Remembering 9/11

(Warning: some of the descriptions below are graphic and may be disturbing for some readers.)It’s the aftermath of 9/11 I remember the most: people wandering like ghosts through silent streets for days after the towers fell; the echoing silence everywhere, a silence so profound it was nearly palpable; the scorched and smoky smell that permeated everyplace Downtown, that made the heart jump and the throat close up with remembered horror; the open-hearted camaraderie that reached across race, … [Read more...]

Changing of the Gods?

After a metaphysical theory class yesterday I went on a quick shopping trip with some friends. All I was looking for was incense, but I fell head over heels in love with this statue.It's Hephaistos (Hephaestus) forging thunderbolts at his anvil and it fills my heart with joy. When your patron is a Deity that's not as popular as Aphrodite, Zeus or Apollo it's really hard to find images of them for your altar.It captures his proud, workman spirit perfectly. No throne, dais, swans or … [Read more...]

Isaac Bonewits, Hail and Farewell!

This morning Pagan elder Isaac Bonewits crossed over to the Summerlands. I never really knew Isaac but like many modern Pagans I certainly felt his influence. There is a lovely eulogy for Isaac on The Wild Hunt this morning that is far more eloquent than I am capable of today.Here is also a video tribute created by ADF Vice Archdruid Seamus:I honor Isaac for his contributions to Modern Paganism, for his tireless efforts on behalf of his spiritual community and for his good humor and … [Read more...]

Agora: A New Film In The Pagan Cinematic Pantheon

I think I've mentioned before that I'm not a weeper. I can squeeze out a tear, maybe two in a sad movie, but crying isn't something I do often or easily. I wept softly all through Agora. *There may be spoilers ahead.*I'd been waiting to see Agora for months. Finally the little art-house cinema in midtown decided to show it for a week, and some friends of mine decided to make an urban adventure of it. The nature of our adventure actually added to the experience of seeing the film. We first … [Read more...]

Columbia and The Wicker Man: Embracing The Barbaric?

Over the July 4th weekend several Pagan blogs raised a cry of "Hail Columbia!". This was met with some mixed reactions, one of the most thought provoking being from Meadowsweet & Myrrh (a blog worth checking out).The critique for worshiping Columbia is this: she is a symbol of the oppression of white colonialism and her very name comes from an explorer who committed genocide. Also there is a feeling that she is a construct rather than a natural Goddess, and should we work with egregores as … [Read more...]

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Pagan Inclinations of the Founding Fathers

What a great thing it is, to live in a country founded on principles of freedom, especially religious freedom. Despite those who would rewrite history, the United States of America is "not in any sense founded on the Christian religion": a statement approved by George Washington himself. In fact, many of the building blocks of early American government rest on solid Pagan foundations.Am I saying the Founding Fathers were Pagans? No, they were mostly Deists with a good sprinkling of nature … [Read more...]

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A 30th Pagan Spirit Gathering Thank You!

Folks I just got back from the 30th Annual Pagan Spirit Gathering at lovely Camp Zoe in Salem, MO. While there is going to be a lot of content on this extraordinary event in the upcoming weeks I wanted to take the time to say a quick thank you to some of the people who made the experience even more amazing for me.Arthur and Kathryn Hinds were extraordinarily kind, funny and friendly people. They made the 12 hour trip each way a joy and were excellent initiators into the mystery that is PSG. … [Read more...]

The Development of Heathen Culture – Part II

William Arnal writes that “no statement about what religion is can avoid at least partially explaining what religion does, where it comes from, and how it works.”(Arnal, p. 22). This is an issue not just for the specialist but for would-be theologians within the Asatru community as well. There is, especially given the rising denominational clashes within the religion, no fully accepted consensus on any of those things.Leaving aside semantic questions of definition, I believe it is possible to d … [Read more...]

Shaving Bunnies: Doing Your Research 101

Helllloooooooo Baby Pagani!Here at Paganism 101 we do insist on a bit of research. No excuses for sloppy ignorance here!Almost any rumor you have heard about Pagan religions can be easily put to rest with a little digging on the internet. You know what that is, you're using it to read this blog! It's the place where the e-mail is!For instance, I go to that handy little search box and type in "burning times". Ah la, the first three links debunk most of the myths surrounding the "burning … [Read more...]