Paganism for Beginners: Controversies

Sleeping Under the Stars, Grapevine Hills, by Costa1973 on Flickr

Over recent years, there have been a number of controversies among Pagans which probably left a lot of newcomers to Paganism a bit baffled, especially when the terminology got a bit arcane. I think these controversies are interesting and illuminating because they raise important questions of who we are, how we relate to each other as a community and individually, what we hold sacred, and how we relate to deities and the world around us. [Read more...]

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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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Being Batty: Polytheism, Experience, and Monistic Reduction

PGPT_Julian_Betkowski175x175

I assert that we make a profound mistake when we attempt to apologize all points of view, all traditions, and all experiences. The profundity and richness of the universe is a result of the majesty and breadth of our differences. Polytheism seeks to embrace those differences exactly as they are presented to us. –A guest post by Julian Betkowski. [Read more...]

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Polytheistic Monism: A Guest Post by Christopher Scott Thompson (Part Four)

Knowth spiral. Image by Christine Kraemer.

Thompson concludes with “Polyvalent Polytheism” and “Monad and Multiplicity.” “I don’t claim any superiority for this perspective. It is only one perspective, and the fullness of reality includes all perspectives in unlimited freedom.” [Read more...]

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Polytheistic Monism: A Guest Post by Christopher Scott Thompson (Part Three)

Knowth - image by Günter Claßen

Thompson continues with the question of whether polytheistic monism denies the gods and whether monism compromises autonomy. [Read more...]

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Polytheistic Monism: A Guest Post by Christopher Scott Thompson (Part Two)

Image adapted from "Hobbit Home" by shes_so_high. Originally posted on Flickr. CC license 2.0

Thompson explicates the relationship between henotheism and monism and looks at polytheistic monism in historical context. [Read more...]

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Polytheistic Monism: A Guest Post by Christopher Scott Thompson (Part One)

Christopher Scott Thompson

Some heathens and polytheists express hostility toward a perspective they define as monism, seeing it as the complete opposite of polytheism, a modern or at least relatively new “corruption” of polytheism, a version of henotheism, a backdoor to monotheism or even a synonym for monotheism. Christopher Scott Thompson argues that these perceptions are largely based on misunderstandings of the terms, and that a polytheistic monism is indeed possible. [Read more...]

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