Wish upon Ostara: Why I wish Ostara was called something else

f_astarte

The year should turn the Wheel, not the other way around. The problem with many of the Neo-Pagan Sabbaths is that we start with a name, then work out what the day should mean from its etymology and history, and then try to associate it with the season — which is completely backwards. [Read more...]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 7: The Mother and the Son

The Neo-Pagan Goddess may be called Mother, because she is the eternal Source, the continuous principle of Life which gives rise to life in its myriad forms. The Goddess does not die; she is death … and life. The Goddess gives birth to the God, who is manifest life, and then receives him back into the tomb that is her womb. The God is born lives, dies and is born again. He must accept death, falling back into the Source, like a seed returning to the earth, while the Goddess endures to bring forth new forms of life from the inexhaustible store that is her Being. [Read more...]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 5: The Dying God

Scholars have criticized Jame Frazer’s Golden Bough, arguing that he glossed over significant differences in order to find his archetypal Dying God. But regardless of whether ancient pagan gods fit the archetype, Frazer’s theory has had a profound influence on contemporary Neo-Paganism. Frazer was a significant influence on Jane Ellen Harrison, Robert Graves, Dion Fortune, D.H. Lawrence, and other writers, who were themselves influential on Neo-Paganism. [Read more...]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 4: Sacrifice

It is natural to resist change and to “rage against the dying of the light.” We want to live forever, but this is not our fate as human beings. We must surrender to that finitude which is represented by the dark aspect of the Goddess. Through surrender to our fate, we are transformed, not to endless life, but to a meaningful life in the context of the cosmic cycle of change. [Read more...]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 2: The Meaning of Death

Neo-Paganism sanctifies our ultimate annihilation and holds that death is no less sacred than life. Indeed, death possesses a holiness which transcends the individual ego’s will toward life. [Read more...]

How James Frazer (inadvertently) saved Easter for Neo-Pagans

“Reborn” by Tomasz Alen Kopera

Rebirth is something very much on my mind at this time of year, as I notice the the buds appearing on the trees, the birds singing again in the morning, and the wild geese returning north. For this Pagan, Easter is celebration of the parousia, the manifestation of Indestructible Life which shows forth in the warming sun and the rising green grass, as well as in the lifting of my spirit from the shroud of internal winter. So I feel no cognitive dissonance in celebrating the Easter holiday with my Christian wife this year. The point for me isn’t that Jesus was a Dying God, but that the Dying God lives in me. Whether life is in humans, in animals, or in plants, it is always Life, and when the incomprehensible point that is called rebirth comes, it is always Jesus who returns, alike to a tree and to a human being. [Read more...]


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