Pagan Voices: Donald Michael Kraig, Ivo Dominguez Jr., Alison Leigh Lilly, and More!

Pagan voices is a new spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution  in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio.

Donald Michael Kraig

“Merely because something works for you doesn’t mean it will work for others. However, it is quite possible that if something works for you either that method or something similar may very well work for others. If it is shared in that light, that’s great. If you share what you’ve learned for others to try and, if necessary, change as needed, that too is great. Similarly, if someone shares something they’ve developed and that works for them so you can try it out and perhaps modify it so it will work for you, that’s excellent.

Problems develop when someone believes that because something worked for them it must work for everyone and can only be done the way they want it. That entire approach, in my opinion, runs counter to the very concept of the New Age. And yet there are people for whom something worked who market their “discovery” claiming it will work for others. They have no evidence to support it, but since it’s “New Age” it must be true, right? And if you buy the product or service and it doesn’t work for you, the fault isn’t that the seller moved from the specific (it works for me) to the general (it should work for you) without any reason to do so. No, it’s because you, the consumer, aren’t spiritually advanced enough to make it work.”Donald Michael Kraig, from a blog post at Llewellyn Worldwide entitled “Where the ‘New Age’ Goes Wrong.”

Ivo Dominguez, Jr.

Ivo Dominguez, Jr.

“Agora is the ancient greek word for the gathering-place or marketplace that was also the center of political and spiritual life in a city. Pagan businesses and the activities that they help to foster, can act as our agora. Within our community the idea of thinking globally but acting locally is very popular. I know many pagans that go to great lengths to eat locally grown food, which is a good thing. Please extend the concept of acting locally to supporting your local pagan businesses. Pagan bookstores and businesses are an endangered species. They are endangered because of thoughtless actions fueled by the need for convenience. I mentioned at the beginning of this post that running a bookstore is a labor of love. That is true, but I can also tell you that it takes money to keep the doors open. Unless more pagans choose to use their money locally at pagan businesses, then our money shall line the pockets of large corporations and feed their Gods. Minority communities only begin to thrive when they fully invest in themselves first.”Ivo Dominguez Jr, from his blog post “The Once and Future Agora.”

Alison Leigh Lilly with a very big tree.

Alison Leigh Lilly with a very big tree.

“Natural polytheism draws on an ecological approach to theology to build upon the insights of hard polytheism, challenging us to deepen our relationships with the gods by asking more challenging questions about their relationships with us, with each other and with the natural world. Natural polytheism does not reject hard polytheism any more than natural history excludes hard sciences like biology, geology or chemistry by embracing ecology. But it does draw connections and invite us to think about the world holistically, as systems nested within systems, wholes nested within wholes. An ecological perspective can deepen our scientific understanding of the world by moving us beyond the questions “What is it?” and “How does it work?” to the more challenging questions, ‘How come?’ and ‘What for?’” -  Alison Leigh Lilly, from her recent blog post: “Natural Theology: Polytheism Beyond the Pale”

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

“Are British Traditional Witchcraft practitioners in the U.S. practicing an “indigenous” religion? No, not really, I don’t think, because by definition, that religion was created and grew up in a land and a culture quite different from the U.S. The same is true of any “ethnic” polytheism that is practiced in the U.S., Canada and Australia, as well as many other places. At very best, those various ethnic polytheisms and the forms of modern Paganism that they have inspired are diasporic religions, but they are not indigenous religions unless they are practiced in the land which gave them—and the cultures who practiced them—their original shape.”P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, from a Patheos column entitled “The Indigeny Debate.”

Teo Bishop

Teo Bishop

“These thoughts occur to me as I continue with my ADF Dedicant Path studies. I feel like I’m studying to be one thing, but the stuff around me suggests that I’m something quite different. I’m studying to be an ADF Druid working within a Pan-Celtic hearth, as it were, but my stuff indicates that I’m really quite eclectic. This isn’t a crisis by any means, but it is something to consider. What does our stuff say about us? And, how much stuff do we need in order to do our religion?” – Teo Bishop ponders his stuff in a post entitled “How Much Stuff Does One Pagan Need?”

T. Thorn Coyle

T. Thorn Coyle

I honor the ancestors and those who are to come.

I honor this moment and the spacious reach of soul.

I am placed between the rising and the setting sun,

The warm and the cool.

I stand between the great above and this firm earth.

Here I am. Awakened to this day.

- T. Thorn Coyle, from her poem “Equinox Morning: Some Thoughts After Waking.”

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

About Jason Pitzl-Waters
  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    Instead of modern, made-up terms like “hard” or “natural” polytheism, perhaps Pagans should focus our attention on actual polytheism. There is a huge amount of written material in which polytheists explain in their own words their ideas about the relationship between humans and the Gods. For those who like a good story we have myths, novels and plays. For those who prefer more poetic forms of expression we have stirring hymns, monumental epics, erotic love poetry, etc. For those with more analytical bents we have philosophical disquisitions out the wazoo. And this vast literature comes from a large swath of human history (from the dawn of writing itself right up to the present) and represents a very diverse cross-section of languages and cultures.

    • Baruch Dreamstalker

      So what’s wrong with the present age adding to the analytical matter of polytheism? We are, after all, within that swath of history and moreover are the Ancestors of the future.

      • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

        I think it comes down to acknowledging that we are at a disadvantage, with respect to our understanding of polytheism, when compared to the ancients or to modern day Hindus (for examples).

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          I acknowledge no such thing. Most modern Pagans have had to discover their own path to the sacred. If that involves library research, well and good. If it involves application of new paradigms to old ideas, equally well and good. Insisting on either as the best choice for everyone, smacks too much of “my way or the highway” fundamentalism for my taste.

  • Elissa Rich

    This is a great roundup of Pagan voices. I commented on Ivo’s post, but I think it bears repeating in many places so that as many eyes as possible see it and hopefully take it to heart: we need to build community not just in a ‘we’re all connected together spiritually’ concept, but in a truly physical way as well. We can talk about ‘being connected’ and feel it in an empathetic manner, but (in my experience) it only starts really coming home when a physical connection is also established.

    Similarly, I enjoyed reading Allison’s post on natural polytheism – I think it challenges us to truly think about all these connections to our gods and to our environment, and I’m glad for the rigorousness of the questioning. It’s something that “soft” polytheists can benefit from, as well – understanding these connections, and why, makes us all better informed about our choices and deepens our spiritual beliefs and pathwork. I think it’s also a great way to begin exploring ecopsychology and biophilia, which has become a part of my own path after learning about it while developing my interior design Senior Capstone project over the past six months.


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