The Dawn Of The Gods

Eos, Phosphoros, Hesperos, Helios, black-coloured pencil drawing, The National Museum in Warsaw, 1897

In “The Allegory of Love”, CS Lewis wrote that in the declining years of ancient paganisms, people started to see the gods as metaphors, and then as allegorical personifications, until eventually belief in them declined. I wonder if, in order to believe in the gods again, it has been necessary for us to pass through a phase of seeing them as metaphors and personifications, before we can see them as real again. The phase of seeing them as metaphors and archetypes has perhaps been a necessary preparation for seeing them as the face that we can perceive of vast cosmic forces, or localised manifestations of spirit. [Read more...]

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Faith and Belief

Otter in Alaska, photo by S Chucke (public domain). Pixabay.

Many Pagans will tell you that they do not have faith and belief, because they know by experience that the gods exist. Here they are using the words in their modern sense of ‘assent to a creed’. Other Pagans will quite happily use the words faith and belief, because they mean something different by those words. What is going on? What do the words ‘faith’ and ‘belief’ mean? Has their meaning changed over time? [Read more...]

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Why I am still a polytheist Wiccan

Lararium (household shrine) from the Thermopolium of Lucius Vetutuius Placidus, Pompeii

I am a Wiccan and a polytheist, and I do not believe that the gods are merely archetypes. I believe the gods are real and have agency. I am not sure if the gods are made of energy or consciousness or both, but I am sure that they are distinct identities. [Read more...]

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Navigating the ethical minefield

"Daienin Kannon". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daienin_Kannon.JPG#/media/File:Daienin_Kannon.JPG

As we go through life, most of us find our ethics are guided by the field of Applied Ethics. That is, we use concepts of duty and legal/contractual obligations to guide our behavior. Witchcraft requires a different approach: one of normative ethics. Normative Ethics attempt to define, in general terms, what actions are morally right. [Read more...]

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What colour is your witchcraft?

Starry Night, VVincent van Gogh [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Why the question “are you a black witch or a white witch?” is such an unhelpful question. [Read more...]

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Religion, spirituality, and the big ball of mud

Scouts Canada, Toronto contingent to the 4th Pentathlon Jamboree Fredericton New Brunswick. User:WayneRay and Harry Gatley, Quartermasters for the Jamboree.

Religions are organic, they grow with and in culture – and if people rip the ideas out of context, they lose meaning and coherence. Religions are like languages – deeply embedded in culture and history; sometimes they have their own culture. Even religions that claim to be universally applicable arose at a particular time and place because of specific theological, philosophical, and spiritual concerns. [Read more...]

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Marriage equality: All you need is love… or is it?

"Codex Manesse Bernger von Horheim" by Meister des Codex Manesse (Grundstockmaler) - http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/cpg848/0351. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Codex_Manesse_Bernger_von_Horheim.jpg#/media/File:Codex_Manesse_Bernger_von_Horheim.jpg

I am immensely heartened by the legalisation of same-sex marriage across the United States of America. This makes the US the 23rd country to legalise it. Given the large number of people in same-sex relationships who want to get married, it seems like a very good idea, especially when it grants access to all kinds of other benefits. And we should celebrate our victories along the way. However, it does not mean that the struggle for equality is over. [Read more...]

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