Swastikas and the Stars and Bars as Symbols

romuva swastika

    ( This column recapitulates the basic points about the swastika and Confederate flag made in my most recent Witches & Pagans piece, but with a different focus, some different information,  and a complementary but distinct conclusion. )_______After the Charleston murders right wing media and politicians attempted to seize control of its interpretation. In response I wrote moral revulsion was the ultimate corrective to the totalitarian mindset. It and not intellectual ar … [Read more...]

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Probing the Depths of the Charleston Murders: a Pagan perspective

2000px-Confederate_Rebel_Flag.svg

The racist terrorism that killed so many in Charleston this past Wednesday was followed almost immediately by the extraordinary efforts of leading American ‘conservatives’’ to redefine what had just so clearly happened. As they did, they revealed the inner soul of their movement and, as I hope to show, demonstrate how people can ultimately degenerate into defenders of evil in the name of virtue.The shooting had barely ended before FOX News was suggesting the crimes reflected a “war on Christi … [Read more...]

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Caitlin Jenner, the Duggars, and Us

photo credit: DSC_3167-16 via photopin (license)

Caitlin Jenner and the ‘Quiverfull’ of Duggars are perfect symbols for the profound cultural changes tearing this country apart. In their very different ways they represent an epochal shift from a culture predicated on firm, inviolable and hierarchical boundaries, a culture that no longer fits the world we live in, to the birth of one where national, racial, sexual, religious, economic, and ecological boundaries are increasingly open and ill defined and hierarchies relatively flat. The Duggars re … [Read more...]

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A response to Niki Whiting’s review of my book, Faultlines

Replying to reviews with which an author disagrees is in many ways a waste of time.  Reviewers and other readers bring their own preconceptions and biases to whatever they encounter, just as do authors.  It is no surprise two people will read the same book and emphasize different dimensions of it, both possibly different from what the author tried to emphasize.  But at a minimum a review should give the reader a reasonable idea of what the book is about. I was disappointed that Niki Wh … [Read more...]

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Considering ‘Privilege,’ White, Wiccan, and otherwise. Part III: Occult and Spiritual Dimensions

So far I have written as a social scientist, one who has spent much of my life studying human societies, seeking reliable patterns and clear concepts better to understand our world.  But I am also a Pagan, and my outlook is decisively shaped not only by what I have learned as a traditional scholar, but also what I learned as a Wiccan, one who also worked for many years in an African Diasporic healing tradition, as well as shamanic work rooted in Indian traditions.  What I learned here takes my d … [Read more...]

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Considering ‘Privilege,’ White, Wiccan, and otherwise. Part II: When the language of privilege works and when it does not

Part II argues the problems with 'Wiccan privilege' as a concept are rooted in the current abuse of the term in social and political analysis.  While the term has a narrowly circumscribed realm where it provides important insights, its expansion beyond this realm has led to considerable confusion and worse.  I use the example of 'White male privilege' to demonstrate this point, focusing on its analytical, moral, and political shortcomings.All else being equal, in America it is better to be b … [Read more...]

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Faultlines Book Release, and Why Pagans Should Work with Other Religions

Fault Lines

Last month, my new book Faultlines: the Sixties, the Culture War, and the Return of the Divine Feminine was published by Quest. Clicking on the title and linked web page give a pretty good sense of what it discusses, as does a post I just put on PaganSquare. Auspiciously, the date of publication was my birthday, but I was on the road from then until a few days ago, without the peace and quiet to write much. Now that I am back home, I want to focus here at Patheos on the book’s implications for P … [Read more...]

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The “Pro-Life” Movement’s Hidden Subtext

Gus diZerega

The most vociferous and sometimes violent opponents of women’s right to choose claim they act in the name of Christianity and of life.  The truth seems to me to be very different.Interpreting scriptureI expected anti-choice zealots would be able to easily quote biblical passages clearly condemning abortion. I was surprised that instead, the citations they offered were always open to multiple interpretations, and even more surprised that their anti-choice interpretations historically had b … [Read more...]

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If Thought Forms Exist, What Can We Do About Them?

Gus diZerega

I have tried to make the case that ideas are more important than we usually acknowledge. They are more than just fleeting flights of subjectivity that pass through our minds and are gone.  Thought forms are ideas on steroids.They are also our creations, though I suspect they have other sources as well.Thought forms are dependent on the people who generate the mental energy empowering them.  Good or bad, they are expressions of human creativity. Take away our energy and focus, and they w … [Read more...]

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Thought Forms and the American Crisis: Esoteric Insights

Gus diZerega

If Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker can become thought forms able to influence a sensitive medium, human history becomes a great deal more complicated.The idea of a thought form holds that we create and empower psychic energy by molding it through disciplined focused attention.  The literary thought form concept suggests something similar can arise from less disciplined, less focused attention by many people over a prolonged period.  This would be particularly likely if the center of focus c … [Read more...]

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