The Reality of the Gods

Sulis Minerva - Bath

Last week I had an e-mail with a question that was both very simple and incredibly complex: “Are the Gods real? I want to believe!”How can I answer that question with integrity?How can I answer that question in a way that honors the Gods and Goddesses who have made Themselves known to me? How can I answer it in a way that honors science and the scientific method? How can I answer it in a way that honors the sovereignty of the questioner? How can I answer it in a way that honors the mys … [Read more...]

Polytheism is the Future

pouring offering high res

Editors' Note: This article is part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Patheos community here.This summer Patheos has featured a weekly series titled “Conversations on Religious Trends.” Each of Patheos’ eleven channels has addressed an issue of particular concern to its tradition – the Pagan Channel was asked to write on the failure of the environmental movement.For the final week, the editors asked represent … [Read more...]

Nurturing Polytheism

Isis 06.15.14

The response to the Portrait of Danu was overwhelmingly positive, even if the volume wasn’t what it is when I write on controversial topics. Friends and other commenters thought the painting was beautiful – I obviously agree.But in a private comment, a very knowledgeable Pagan friend (who wishes to remain anonymous) said: Thanks for the post on Danu today. it's nice to see advocacy of devotion to a Mother Goddess from a polytheist perspective. Sometimes it seems like the nurturing Goddesses … [Read more...]

Serving Many Gods

Danu and Cernunnos 06.28.14

When things go well or turn out to be pleasant, we tend to want to do them again.  Sometimes this works well, as when a first date turns into many dates and many dates turn into a lifetime partnership.  Sometimes it doesn’t work so well.  The second piece of cheesecake never tastes quite as good as the first, and a strong desire for cheesecake tends to have a negative affect on your waistline… and on your wallet.And some experiences are the proverbial “lightning in a bottle” – a fortuitous an … [Read more...]

The Four Centers of Paganism

Centers of Paganism

Welcome to Under the Ancient Oaks, a thoughtful little blog on the Patheos Pagan Channel.  I’m John Beckett, and as the header says, I’m a Pagan, a Druid, and a Unitarian Universalist.  Earlier this week I felt called to respond to the misogyny in our society after the killings in Isla Vista, California.  Apparently what I had to say resonated with a lot of people, because traffic on this blog is up.  A lot.  More people read Dude, It’s You in its first 24 hours than visit in a typical month. … [Read more...]

Pagan Worship

Yule altar 2013

In my contribution to the recent discussion on polytheistic theology, I made several references to worship: Do you worship Poseidon or do you worship The Sea?Both are beautiful and powerful and I stand in awe of both.  It seems reasonable to me to worship both.If you say “I’m a polytheist:  I worship The Land, The Sky and The Sea” then I have no argument with you even though your approach is not enough for me.The more I work with the Gods as individuals – the more I pray, worship, me … [Read more...]

Polytheism Redux

O

I spent yesterday working on a post about how the success of my “themes not goals” approach means I’m now setting goals for 2014.  But before I could finish it there was a rash of posts on polytheistic theology and I feel the need to respond.Much of this discussion is contentious and some of it has become personal.  If you want to catch up, read this post by Morpheus Ravenna, this one by Rhyd Wildermuth, this one by Alison Lilly, this one by Traci Laird, this one by Anomalous Thracian, and th … [Read more...]

Danu

Danu statue by Maxine Miller

As a polytheist I recognize all gods, I honor many, and I work with and for a few.  But I have a very close relationship with two:  Cernunnos and Danu.  They claimed me as theirs and I serve them as priest.Cernunnos is first among equals.  He spoke to me long ago when I still thought there was only one god.  He introduced himself again when I began my Druid studies.  I’ve communed with him (intimately at times), I’ve written about him, and I’ve led rituals in his honor.Danu has been more … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X