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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in academia
PaganNewsBeagle Airy Academic Monday July 21

 

In this edition of the PaganNewsBeagle (Air - Monday) edition we have three stories from Creighton University including Voodoo in New Orleans, how online social media reflects (and affects) religious behavior, and a study that concludes religious teachings create an inability to tell fact from fiction in young children.

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It used to be simple. Wiccans and NeoPagans in general were polytheists in contrast to Christians and other mostly monotheistic religions.  NeoPagan polytheists usually spent little time on theology and considerably more creating and practicing rituals.  Most of us became Pagans by virtue of personal attraction enriched by our involvement with a teacher or a coven or similar group.

Today many NeoPagans first learn about our traditions from books or the internet.  The net in particular has expanded easily available information about our religion but at a cost.  That cost is to be severed from NeoPagan history and practice except as available through pixels or the printed word.  Instead of starting with learning and practice with others and then studying written sources, many NeoPagans now go from the study of texts to practice. They hope to interpret experiences they anticipate having through the texts they have read rather than judging whether the text illuminates or contradicts the experiences they have had.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Hi Rebecca- I agree with you. I tried to make it clear that there are not enough qualified teachers and that hopefully the growth
  • Rebecca Kinney
    Rebecca Kinney says #
    Just to point out, as a fairly new Pagan(in my thirties, not a teen), finding those who are willing to communicate in person is to
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    As a resident of the Eastern Washington scablands I can relate. I have often complained about the bias of "educated" men who dis
  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir says #
    *applauds* I agree, and I look forward to your next post.
  • Kristina Galbraith
    Kristina Galbraith says #
    Thank you for writing this. There are so many times I have been told I am not a "real" Druid because I havent been approved by som

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Literacy of Magic Pt 1

Recently Ivo Dominguez Jr published a thought provoking article where he discussed the lack of the literacy in magic in today's Pagans. While I found myself nodding in agreement with a lot of what he had to say (I've observed in the past that there is an increasing amount of emphasis on removing magic from Paganism because it makes Paganism less acceptable to the mainstream*), I also found his use of the word literacy problematic, and by extension it caused me to re-examine his article and some of my agreement with the article in a different light. As a result, I think it worthwhile to examine the concept of the literacy of magic, both in relationship to the word literacy and its variety of meanings, and also in context to the practice of magic vs the "literacy" of magic, which I'll argue are not one and the same (in part 2 of this series). In fact, part of the issue I have with the use of the word literacy is that conjures up the armchair magician, a person has read a lot of books on magic, but has done little, if anything, with that magical knowledge. I would locate the armchair magician on the opposite end of the illiterate Pagan (at least as that illiteracy applies to magic). However, as we'll see, it's simplistic to categorize anyone as literate or illiterate, because literacy itself is a loaded term.

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  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Just as a clarification, I did not say that the Western Magickal Tradition was the only source for trusted systems, only that it w
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Hi Ivo, Thanks for the clarification. I really appreciate that you've written that post, because it's gotten some much needed con
  • Jay Logan
    Jay Logan says #
    I would hazard a guess that it is because we are talking about different kinds of magic. To take a simplified approach, you can d
  • Henry Buchy
    Henry Buchy says #
    I'm of a different mind in that I'd maintain that humans were practitioners of magic before we were practitioners of religion. Tha
  • Henry Buchy
    Henry Buchy says #
    I'd say part of it is due to the same factors which are apparent in the discussion of the word 'literacy' and the looseness of lan

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Paging Thoth & Athena

 

I read a lot of blogs, go to a lot of conferences and festivals, teach a lot of workshops, and have lively discussions with friends related to all things Pagan and Magickal. Although I can say that ease of access to ideas through the internet, bookstores, and Pagan and Magickal events has increased awareness of many social issues, ideologies, religious and theological perspectives, and the vast amount of minutia related Pagan culture and fads, there is an increasing percentage of the Pagan community that is magickally illiterate and innumerate.  I’m not saying that people are less serious, less devoted, or less committed to their path. Nor am I saying that the level of discourse has dropped, in fact in many ways it is much more sophisticated in exploring the development of Pagan culture. What I have noticed is that the technical end of things, magick theory, sacred sciences, and the like, are less well known. I've also noticed a trend towards focusing more exclusively on the lore and mythology of a specific people or a specific time at the expense of a generalized understanding of how magickal paths manifest in a variety of cultures and communities.

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  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    Ivo, this is well thought out and beautifully written. Thank you for this glimpse into your own processes.I hope you will consider
  • William Anthony Hood
    William Anthony Hood says #
    Mr. Dominguez, I am not able to reply to your specific comment, so I'll have to put up a new one, I hope that is ok. "I am not
  • William Anthony Hood
    William Anthony Hood says #
    This post is perfectly illustrative of why so many reject the term "Pagan" anymore. You're like an American architect bemoaning th
  • Ivo Dominguez Jr
    Ivo Dominguez Jr says #
    Dear William, I am not bewildered nor confused and certainly expected responses similar to yours and others. Certainly you do not
  • William Anthony Hood
    William Anthony Hood says #
    "I would say that authors and teachers like Diana Paxson, Kveldulf Gundarsson, and Edred Thorsson are as good as they are because

NPR reports on a study that confirms what many of us already felt, that poor people are more charitable, in how they think about community and as a percentage of what they have.  So what's going on here?  I have some ideas, not all of which could possibly be correct at the same time, and I'm even more curious about the ideas I haven't thought of myself.

Not surprisingly, "religion" is cited as a motivator for charitable behavior, but from what I can tell, that generic term as applied in the studies cited actually means "Christian religion" instead.  It's understandable that researchers focus their efforts on the largest groups, but the rest of us must read between the lines.

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  • T
    T says #
    I recall (though sadly can't cite) this being a repeatedly reaffirmed trend. Heck, even Jesus has parable with an example of the p
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I like the connection you draw between community and charity, T, particularly this remark: "Someone who has not directly experien
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Not Paganism specifically, but a general New Age concept that if you want to attract prosperity into your life you must be willing
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Five points for making me look up a word, Ted! Sometimes I wonder if giving tax deductions for charitable contributions is actua
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    The tight fist of fear definitely keeps us from giving a lot more money.

 

If you want to hide the truth from the uninitiated, keep it in plain sight. Even reveal it to them, openly and honestly! They will not believe you.

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  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you for your comment, Greybeard! I appreciate the contact.
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    You are right that conspiracy theorists don't want the truth. Another good example is all the "Bermuda Triangle" hype. The truth

How to engage the reconstructionist / historical-based pagan and not get your feelings hurt:

Lesson 1: Learn to discern the differences between fact and opinion, history and UPG/experience.

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  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    Part 1 of How to Engage the Other Kinds of Mod/Recon Pagans: 1. Reference the all mighty shiny fact of power. 2. Be nice to tho
  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    (I mean no insult, I'm just throwing in my two cents on the foucault bit. very frustrating to read, probably because i'm incredibl
  • Ruadhán J McElroy
    Ruadhán J McElroy says #
    He's not only incredibly abstract, he's Abstract For Your Own Good!™ I can make perfect sense out of nonsense like Zardoz, or Liq

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