We live in private worlds mostly of our own creation, and though you may take that metaphorically or metaphysically, in this case I mean the physical conditions around us. I would wager that most of you that are reading this blog live in homes where you have the power of day and night by clicking the lights on or off. You, or someone associated with your home, probably controls the seasons of your home through heating and/or air-conditioning. Water comes to you through a faucet, and the roof keeps the storms at bay. If you so choose, and you have the coin to pay with, the fruits and vegetables of almost any climate and season can be brought to your plate. Unless you are in dire straits or have chosen an ascetic life, these domestic powers are generally taken for granted. Not that long ago in the grand scheme of things, they would have been seen as marvels to be only found in Fairyland or in a wizard’s keep. All magick has a cost, even the very tame magic that is brought about by wires, plumbing, and pistons. Although it is true that our creature comforts have economic, political, and ecological costs, it is one of the costs to our psyche that this blog will explore.
About a week ago I posted an essay on Patheos as a Pagan contribution to a series of short pieces by people of many traditions as to the value of religion today. I really like it, and now that Patheos has had it a week, I want to make it available to others, and so I have posted a version here
On the Vanic side of my spiritual life, one of the most meaningful and nourishing things I do is also one of the most simple, something that may not look outwardly like a spiritual practice: going for walks.
When I first started writing for W&P my intent was to focus more on nature and Spirit here, more technical, interfaith, and political issues over at Patheos. Such plans are nice, but rarely maintain themselves, and that one was no exception. On either end.
I just published what I think is an important post on Pagan religion and environmentalism over there as part of a big discussion on the topic. Perhaps some of you who do not watch that site regularly might want to take a look at it.
Our EuroPagan traditions were last practiced centuries ago. Traditions that had developed in an unbroken sequence since the Pleistocene are gone. Some folklore, myths and sagas have come down to us. Some writings have survived, especially from Greece and Rome. These bits and pieces remain, but like fossils, they are far removed from their ecosystems and relationships.
I’ve read it so many times in books and blogs – now is the season for making love out of doors, jumping naked over Bel fires and generally doing your Paganism in a carefree, unclad sort of way. It is warm enough to be barefoot outside, I grant you, but far, far too cold for nudity. A traditional British summer brings more rain than it does cavorting options. The naked dancing Pagans are either far tougher than me, or don’t actually do as much of the cavorting out of doors as they imply.
As a species we obviously didn’t start out wearing clothes, but have got into the habit over thousands of years. It’s allowed us to extend our habitat far beyond the balmy zones our hairless and not that blubbery bodies could otherwise tolerate. So the trouble with viewing nudity as natural, and thus desirable, is that you aren’t budgeting in what we’ve been doing for a long time purely because we can and do wrap up.
Every religious tradition stands in some tension with its society, legitimizing some things in terms of a larger eternal context, but in the process challenging others, sometimes deeply.As NeoPagan religions increase in America this same pattern is developing. This essay explores how the logic of Pagan religion leads us to question the legitimacy of some important contemporary institutions, particularly the joint stock corporation, and with this questioning, the way our society views the world.
More deeply than most religions, NeoPagans legitimize and honor the goodness of this world, the sacred immanence that shines through all things.Consequently, from a Pagan perspective living well in our world requires observing appropriate ethical and moral relationships.This insight cannot help but lead us to criticize attitudes treating this world as noting but a means for human ends.