All Our Relations: Pagans and the more-than-human world.

For aware Pagans the Sacred encompasses us all, rivers and mountains, oceans and deserts, grasses and trees, fish and fungi, birds and animals. Understanding the implications of what this means, and how to experience it first hand, involves our growing individually and as a community well beyond the limits of this world-pathic civilization. All Our Relations exists to help fertilize this transition.

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Gus diZerega

Gus diZerega

Gus diZerega DiZerega combines a formal academic training in Political Science with decades of work in Wicca and shamanic healing. He is a Third Degree Elder in Gardnerian Wicca, studied closely with Timothy White who later founded Shaman’s Drum magazine, and also studied Brazilian Umbanda  for six years under Antonio Costa e Silva.

DiZerega holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from UC Berkeley, has taught and lectured in the US and internationally, and has organized international academic meetings.

His newest book is "Faultlines: the Sixties, the Culture Wars, and the Return of the Divine Feminine (Quest, 2013) received a 'silver' award by the Association of Independent Publishers for 2014. It puts both modern Pagan religion and the current cultural and political crisis in the US into historical context, and shows how they are connected.

His first book on Pagan subjects, "Pagans and Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience," won the Best Nonfiction of 2001 award from  The Coalition of Visionary Resources. 

His second,"Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and a Christian in Dialogue" is what it sounds like. He coauthored it with Philip Johnson. DiZerega particularly like his discussion of polytheism in Burning Times, which in his view is an advance over the discussion in Pagans and Christians.

His pen and ink artwork supported his academic research in graduate school and frequently appeared in Shaman’s Drum, and the ecological journals Wild Earth, and The Trumpeter. It now occasionally appears in this blog.
Re-examining Cutural Appropriation: Part V.

I have argued culture is a network of living processes best understood as an ideational ecosystem. We are inhabitants of this ecosystem, as we are inhabitants of a biological one. But, as in biological ones, we are not alone nor are we in charge. We share our cultural ecosystem at least with memes, and as minds, we co-evolve with them.  With this brief summary, let’s look again at the argument for ‘cultural appropriation.’

Looking again at ‘cultural appropriation’

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    I could not agree more.
  • Carol P. Christ
    Carol P. Christ says #
    My friend Carol Less Sanchez said that she was happy for non-Native Americans to learn to love and live in greater harmony with na
A Living World: Language, Memes, and Thought Forms : Moving Beyond 'Cultural Appropriation' Part IV

 

Many memes are communicated through language, and, like any tool, language shapes how we look at the world when using it.  Language facilitates some memes’ replication and makes the survival of others more difficult by shaping what relations are easy to notice and what relations require more effort. Different languages have different biases in this regard. One linguistic feature is particularly relevant here: do we experience our world primarily as objects, or primarily as processes and relations?  Clearly there is value in both perspectives, but which gets emphasis is in no small part shaped by language.

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Moving Beyond 'Cultural Appropriation:' Part III: Memes as cultural organisms

 

Memes

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Moving Beyond Cultural Appropriation: Part II. Cultures as Ecosystems

Jarume Uwujare  argues cultures should relate as equals when they take something from another, and contribute something to the other in return. I think we all can agree people can and should relate as equals, but I argue this is a confused way to think about cultures.

If I have what you want, we are not equal unless you also have what I want, and want it with about the same intensity. We can easily have a formal equality to make an exchange or not, but this equality is modified, sometimes drastically, by the intensity each of us has to make the exchange. The more desperate one party is compared to the other, the greater an important kind of inequality.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Meaning of Lammas

 

The Wheel of the Year is widely honored by we Wiccans, along with Druids, and many other NeoPagans. The eight Sabbats arranged along the Wheel are divided into universal solar cycles celebrating the solstices and equinoxes and four place-specific ones representing the agricultural cycles of planting, growth, harvest, and death.  The Wheel’s symbolism is beautifully adapted to illustrate profound insights in regions with four seasons because both cycles are coordinated, but its basic insights are true everywhere.

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Moving Beyond 'Cultural Appropriation,' a Pagan Perspective. Part I.

Some people within the Pagan community object to instances of what they consider “cultural appropriation.”  Smudging with sage, seeking a power animal, celebrating Day of the Dead, is somehow stealing. To my mind they are confused about culture, confused about appropriation, and even confused about what it is to be a human being. In their confusion they attack other Pagans, creating a problem for all of us.

No NeoPagans practice traditions with an unbroken connection to pre-Christian times. Almost all old Pagan traditions have been mostly oral, and the core of those teachings have been lost. When once Pagan practices have survived, their interpretation will have changed, as Sabina Magliocco has described in rural Italy.         

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Aryós Jezebel quotes cultural appropriation as "'Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or ar
  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy says #
    I too, have found the phrase to be mostly a stumbling block. It seems as if it may have been mostly used for more extreme example
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you for continuing the discussion! Though some of what you raise eill be in later installments, here is some stuff I hope y
  • Aryós Héngwis
    Aryós Héngwis says #
    "You say for you it was limited to the sacred. Maybe for you. For example, thoughtlessly eating a burrito was given as an example
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Aryós I am not very concerned with where the term first appeared, but if you can provide a link I will be happy to make that disti
The Occult, Science, and NeoPaganism

 

As NeoPaganism has grown and flourished, the paths taken to get here have multiplied from those taken by a relatively few serious spiritual explorers initially engaged in occult studies to include people attracted by dissatisfaction with monotheism, a feeling of finally finding a spiritual home, our music and culture, curiosity about the off-beat or forbidden, and increasingly, their family’s beliefs.   This is not a bad thing.  It is in fact a good thing. But it is a complex good thing.

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  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    I have just learned many W&P readers read from mobile devices where longer articles might be a problem. A question to those who ha
  • Karena
    Karena says #
    That was very thought-provoking- thank you!

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