Practical Polytheism: A Review of Devotio Antinoo

devotio antinoo

There are few people in the world that I admire more than P. Sufenas Virius Lupus. He is intelligent, kind, patient, a clear and thoughtful writer, and has been a source of unflagging support in my darkest hours. I am not in the habit of placing Pagans on pedestals, but if Sufenas weren't so tall already I might be tempted.It has taken me a long time to get around to reading his Devotio Antinoo. At over 500 pages it is a tome, so I set aside hours to devote to nothing else this week, and I … [Read more...]

Reciprocity, The Will of the Gods, and Theodicy

the-household-gods-1880

[Sometimes I have ideas for blog posts that I know will get me a lot of flack, and so I hold onto them until my loins are properly girded to deflect flack. Or I just save them up, mix them together and get them out of my system all at once. This post is of the latter type, and my loins aren't really girded at all.]There are a lot of thoughts about our relationship to the gods. The one that makes sense to me is reciprocity. Not tit-for-tat, but a commitment to help one another and work … [Read more...]

When “Pagan” Loses Meaning: Atheists and Theists

I was angry this morning. I read M.J. Lee's post over on Humanistic Paganism and I found myself really pissed. It cheesed my grits. It got my goat. And then I thought "Why are you pissed Star? This isn't even your religion she's talking about."That thought caught me by surprise. I have never before thought that way about another person who considers themselves Pagan. A different tradition, yes. Different nuances, different culture, different emphasis, but always with the same threads running … [Read more...]

Worshiping an Imperfect God

Hera gave Heracles her friendship and daughter in marriage because she admired his striving for excellence against all odds. She had given him a hard time because he had been given gifts tricked out of her which made him superior to other mortal men, but is she to blame that he let the stress of adversity lead him to commit murder?

I don't believe in perfection. I don't believe in flawless things. I don't believe in purity. I don't believe in "pure goodness" because it implies the opposite: "pure evil." I don't think such a thing exists.I don't believe the Gods are pure and perfect, without a flaw. That's the sort of language that is used to speak of Jesus, and promotes an unattainable ideal. I don't think humans are less than the Gods for being imperfect. I think that's a dangerous theology to promote. I am not a … [Read more...]

The Gods We Know… and Those We Don’t…

I have a vague inspiration this morning. I will try to craft a post from it, but it may well fall flat. P. Sufenas Virius Lupus has an excellent column this morning on grappling with the concept of new Gods, and Apuleius Platonicus has, whether you agree with his views or not, a rather passionate post that speaks to both the importance of direct divine experience and the tendency to label our mythos in black and white terms.I suggest you read them both and then come back. Here's some music … [Read more...]

When Interfaith Gets Ugly

From "Prayers to the Gods of Hellas" Facebook page.

Patheos is a diverse place. I tend to think of it like a city with different quarters. There are good neighborhoods and bad neighborhoods, which shift depending on your point of view. There is the place I live, and the places I prefer to avoid. If Patheos is anything, it's proof that, like patience, you should never pray to be more tolerant unless you wish to be tested. I believe having the tenets of your faith tested is a good thing. Makes you strong in your spiritual convictions. Writing here … [Read more...]

Living in the Land of Hera

I am a romantic cynic. I love love, romance and all the ideals of marriage. I'm also quick to see the cracks, the selfish motives, the struggles and the heartbreak of marriage. I'm a hardened cynic. So it's a bit funny that I have a 50/50 chance of being surrounded by a wedding every Saturday.It's strange to find yourself so firmly set in the realm of a God. It certainly gives your cynicism a jolt. I'm going to be thinking about Hera this weekend as I clean, organize and continue to unpack my … [Read more...]

Should Pagans Create Meaning From Scratch? Out of nothing?

I've been sneaking reading into my day, much like the old days under blankets with a flashlight. I got a copy of All Things Shining to review, which rumor has it basically recommends polytheism as the cure for modern nihilism.In the second chapter I found an idea that made me pause, and I invite you to sit with it for a moment, to consider it: "It is as if the true burden of this responsibility—the responsibility to escape from the meaninglessness and drudgery of a godless world by c … [Read more...]

Guest Post: Steve Provost asks Whose god is it anyway?

Need more proof that the traditional media's claims of "objectivity" are bogus? You need look no further than a single three-letter word: god.Current style in journalism goes something like this:Capitalize God or words that mean God in reference to the divine being of all monotheistic religions. Lowercase god, goddess and their plural forms when referring to the deities of polytheistic religions and cultural mythologies; but capitalize their proper names. See any bias there?I sure do. F … [Read more...]

Michael York: Not All Gods Are Deities

Reprinted with permission from a Facebook group. Micheal York is a Pagan theologian and teaches at Cherry Hill Seminary.I want to talk about the gods. We probably all think of the gods differently, and some of us do not think of them at all and/or discount any existential propensity to them. For some of us they are symbols; for others they are real beings. I have currently some provocative students through my CHS module on the World’s Religions. Several have expressed themselves as p … [Read more...]


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