Paganism for Beginners: Things we care about

Earthday Embrace by Steve Jurvetson

Some issues are associated in people’s minds with being Pagan, most obviously environmentalism and feminism. Since Paganism and Nature-worship are synonymous in many people’s minds, caring for the Earth seems like an obvious thing for Pagans to want to do. And since the Earth is often viewed as a goddess, or as the Goddess, Paganism is an obvious choice for anyone who wonders why so many monotheists view their deity as exclusively male. [Read more...]

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A Queer Pagan Reading List

By Malcolm Lidbury (aka Pinkpasty) (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Here are a bunch of books for the LGBTQ Pagan reader. I have either read these and can recommend them, or I have read another book by the same author, and can therefore recommend the ones on this list. [Read more...]

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Why Pagans don’t proselytise or evangelise

A deer in Holland. Photo by Yvonne Aburrow

Pagans don’t actively seek converts because we believe that the realisation that you are a Pagan wells up from within, as a response to the beauty of Nature, the call of the Pagan deities, or a growing convergence with Pagan values and a Pagan world-view. We do not believe that it is “cosmically necessary” to be a Pagan – our gods want willing adherents, not forced ones, and they do not punish people who do not believe in them (ancient pagans also did not believe in punishment for non-believers). [Read more...]

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Spirituality – let the buyer beware

Sunrise with Hasidim by Nosha

Every time I have an encounter with someone who has an interest in spirituality, and also possesses power over others, I find that they want to silence my anger at injustice because it is “not spiritual” to be angry. I find myself bruised and diminished by their criticism of my way of being in the world. Any engagement with the intellectual or theological or historical context of an issue is also silenced by these people, because that is “not spiritual” either. [Read more...]

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Blue Beltane

A woman alone on a swing

With about ten days to go before Beltane, I find my thoughts turning wistful and sad, because my beloved will not be here to celebrate with me. I love Beltane and its energy and joy, I think it is very fitting to have a festival of sexual love and erotic joy at this time of year, but this year (not for the first time), I find myself outside looking in at the bubble of happiness. [Read more...]

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Re-Imagining the Hero’s Journey

mama owl

Not everyone wants to be king. Not everyone wants to end up married and live happily ever after. Let’s diversify the Journey. [Read more...]

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Tradition and change

Image by JOAT, courtesy of Shutterstock

What is a tradition? What is the function of tradition? What are valid criteria for modifying or abolishing a traditional practice, and when should it be retained unchanged? Traditional practices help to reinforce group identity, which is why they are so powerful, and why so many people resist changing them. [Read more...]

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