“In With the New, Out With the Old”: Generational Conflict Within Paganism

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The next time some Pagan elder is demanding I defer to their judgment about my Paganism, I think I will just turn away, turn to someone younger than me, and ask myself what I have done to help the next generation of Pagans thrive. [Read more...]

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An atheist Pagan, an animist, and a devotional polytheist walk into a ritual …

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We have to accept that we can define words for ourselves, but not for others. And we have to be willing to hold hands and circle with someone who may have a very different interpretation of what is going on. [Read more...]

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Why I don’t trust the gods (at least not if I’m alone with one)

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I think it’s a mistake to assume the gods are benign. The word “worship” derives from the Old English word for “worthy”. I wonder then, why have I rarely seen the question asked whether the Pagan gods are worthy of worship. To put it another way, why should we assume the gods can be trusted? If the gods are paragons of virtue, are they not also paragons of vice? The polytheistic gods, as I understand them, are not necessarily good and they are not omni-benevolent. If the myths are to be believed on any level, the gods are just as flawed as human beings — they just have more power. Why bow down to power, if it is not paired with virtue? One answer perhaps is that the gods should be worshiped because they are — just as nature can be worshiped because it is. Nature is not moral or virtuous, but worship (or reverence) is a natural human response to it. But worshiping something and trusting it are two different things. I don’t ever assume that nature is benign or trustworthy. Why should we assume the gods are trustworthy? [Read more...]

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