About Yvonne Aburrow

Yvonne Aburrow has been a Pagan since 1985 and a Wiccan since 1991. She has an MA in Contemporary Religions and Spiritualities from Bath Spa University, and lives and works in Oxford, UK. She has written four books on the mythology and folklore of trees, birds, and animals, and two anthologies of poetry. She is the editor of the Theologies of Immanence wiki, a collaborative project for creating grass-roots Pagan theology.

Why I am a polytheist

The Prose Edda

I have always been drawn to Pagan deities, even before I knew what they were. When I was a child, my parents told me that some Christians do not celebrate Christmas because it is an overlay on the Winter Solstice, when ancient people would go to the tops of hills and light bonfires as sympathetic magic to make the Sun come back. I wanted to go to those hilltops and dance round those bonfires. I used to have dreams of a king in a cave under a hill. I discovered my own personal goddess, and drew images of her. I read Greek mythology. I talked to trees. I read Puck of Pook’s Hill and loved Pertinax and Parnesius, who built an altar to Pan somewhere in the lowlands of Scotland, and worshipped Mithras by night. I read about witches, and wanted to be a witch. [Read more...]

Systemic racism, othering, and alienation

August 15 protests in Ferguson. Photo by Loavesofbread

The first step to rectifying the situation is to acknowledge the endemic racism in the system. We need to stop seeing a specific group of people as being of less worth than other people. We need to stop being frightened of people who dress differently, walk differently, or talk differently. Instead of trying to force people into a dehumanised mass of work units, we need to see every human being as having inherent worth and dignity. [Read more...]

Polytheist.com

View of mountain lakes in the Albanian Alps, by Lenar Musin

There are many reasons why polytheism is an exciting and vibrant theology that solves many contemporary theological conundrums (such as the diversity of gender and sexuality, the problem of evil, and the diversity of religious expression). Congratulations to all involved in the new project – may it go from strength to strength. [Read more...]

Anti-kink and transphobia have no place in Paganism

Rainbow At Maraetai Beach New Zealand, by Haley Sulcer

It may not be your cup of tea, but at least make an effort to understand it before you write it off. In the BDSM community, there is a saying, “Your kink is not my kink, but that’s OK”. If only other communities were as accepting and welcoming of diversity as that. Generally speaking, the Pagan community is accepting and welcoming of diversity, including sexual orientation, polyamory, kink, and gender variance. Let’s keep it that way. [Read more...]

Walking away from Omelas

Light Walk in October by Hartwig HKD

Have you read Ursula Le Guin’s classic short story, The ones who walk away from Omelas?

Omelas is a privileged city, almost a utopia, apart from the one thing that enables its citizens to lead full, happy, and carefree lives – and that one thing is what makes many people walk away from Omelas.

Would you walk away from Omelas? Or would you consider that the bargain is justified? [Read more...]

Indigenous peoples

Belonging

When they are ripped out of their environment, lifeways, and culture, they do not flourish. Look at the problems experienced by First Nations people in North America. Look at the alienation of Europeans who are divorced from our indigenous lifeways both by capitalism and barren forms of religion. The destruction of ancient pagan religions in Europe was a tragedy from which the European psyche has never recovered. As members of the contemporary Pagan revival, struggling to recover our ancestral ways from the wreck of history, we owe it to our relations, the indigenous peoples of the world, to help prevent such a tragedy for them. [Read more...]

Why do we need labels?

Labels

I have been asked twice recently why people need labels for sexual orientations and gender identities; one person commented, “aren’t we all just human beings?” People have also wondered if we need theological labels like ‘polytheist’, ‘pantheist’, ‘monist’ etc. To me this question is a bit like asking why we need names for things. [Read more...]


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