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...]

Christians Acting Like Christians: Dissecting Tim Dalrymple’s Comments on Paganism

Tim Dalrymple, who sometimes hangs with publicans and Pagans.

Tim Dalrymple is a good guy. If I were in the midst of paintball battle or organizing an interfaith event, I could do much worse than having Tim on my team. However, Tim is an evangelical Christian, and acts like one. His opinions and arguments are formed by Evangelical Christianity, and it also informs his actions. Which means in certain contexts, Tim is predictable. As am I. In a debate on same-sex marriage you could probably represent Tim and I with puppets repeating the "party line" of our … [Read more...]

The Problem of the Personal Experience

I agreed to edit a devotional anthology to Hephaistos a coon's age ago. Submissions poured in. And I couldn't do it. I feel pretty crappy about that. Today I turned all the material over to someone else to assemble into a devotional.The reason I couldn't do it is because I have very strong personal relationship with Hephaistos. And all of those submissions bore little relevance to my personal relationship to him. It was as if they were talking about someone else. None of them were "bad" or … [Read more...]

The Five Points of Pagan Calvinism

The influential theological system of John Calvin is coming back in vogue among Evangelicals, particularly Reformed Baptists and Presbyterians. And possibly Pagans.

The Five Points of Pagan CalvinismThe Fluidity and/or Subjectivity of Ultimate Spiritual Reality The Pagan Elect Transcendence Irresistible Enlightenment Exclusive PluralismThe Fluidity and/or Subjectivity of Ultimate Spiritual RealityThere is a mystical Oneness of All Things which permeates all of nature. No thing is ever separate from the One. Separateness is an illusion and an error. We perceive separateness by being unaware of or unwilling to recognize the logical … [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...]

Reducing Stress, Increasing Joy: The Stoicism of Epictetus

odysseus-ship

I am in a new state, in a strange part of the country, with three suitcases and a backpack. I don't have a lot of money, and all of my options seem confusing. Yesterday was a rough day, and today is shaping up to be more of the same. I am a weepy, worrying mess today.So what do you do? Where do you turn? As a Pagan who is facing an adventure fraught with both excitement and fear? I turn to my faith. To my gods. To fate, destiny, synchronicity and magical coincidence. I wrote awhile back that … [Read more...]

Imperfect Gods: English to Polish to English

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?

Rutilius got a kick out of my post Worshiping An Imperfect God, and asked to translate it into Polish. And since my life has been very much about going with the flow over the past couple of weeks, I said "Sure, why not?" So for entertainment value I used Google Translate on the Polish translation to pull it back into English. Google did a pretty decent job. I do not believe in perfection (perfection). I do not believe in the integrity of things. I do not believe in purity. I do not believe in … [Read more...]

Percy Jackson Can Lead To Paganism

Percy_Jackson

Although in this case it's definitely soft polytheism/psychological pantheism: The Sydney problem, however, still needed solving. I approached her the other day and said, "Syd, you go to church on Sunday, right?""Yes.""Who do you pray to?""God," she said."One God, right? Then how can you say you believe in all those Greek gods?"She replied with her patented eye roll: "You don't understand about God." And she gave me understanding."When I am at the beach near the water, I … [Read more...]

Dar Williams’ In The Time Of Gods

DarWilliamsInTheTimeOfGods

I have been a big fan of Dar Williams since The Christians and the Pagans, and her lovely contributions to the first Lilith Fair album. Strangely, it was more acceptable for my sisters to listen to Madonna than for me to listen to Dar. Ironically, I think my mother thought Dar, and singer-songwriters like her, were more "gay."I have always liked Dar, but I have literally fallen in love with her new album: In The Time Of Gods. Inspired by Greek myth, it's a collection of modern songs. Had I … [Read more...]

Owning Things

Migrant children in California. March 1935. Photo by Dorothea Lange.

Yesterday I wrote about owning things, and some of my readers were displeased with the idea of "owning" being something good in a spiritual context. My post yesterday was not great, and some readers mistook my unpolished stream-of-consciousness scribble for panic. I am far from panicked. I do not believe that the sky is falling on our heads. I am trying to see us and our place in the world clearly, free of projection and illusion.I have reached a point in my life where I don't own anything … [Read more...]


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