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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in polytheism

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_wonderwoman.jpg

Like a lot of American kids, I grew up on a steady diet of Saturday morning and weekday afternoon cartoons. I plunked myself down in front of the tv for hours, lost in the adventures of He-Man and She-Ra, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Tarzan and Isis and Aquaman. And, of course, Scooby and the gang.

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PaganNewsBeagle Faithful Friday Sept 12

Today is Faithful Friday here at the Pagan News Beagle, the day we share interesting stories about religious communities around the world. Our stories today include the launch of the new Polytheist community website; a call for papers on Pagan and Goddess studies; animal sacrifice outlawed (in part of India); Chinese Buddhist brand building; American Muslims meet (and integrate better than Muslims in Europe.)

The new website Polytheist.com launched recently and hopes to offer a variety of columnists (the site eschews the term "blog") from across this diverse movement.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_800px-Cannon_Beach_02.jpgWhile the Vanir are always present in the world around us, I personally tend to feel Them the most strongly in that liminal space when the seasons change: Nerthus when fall becomes winter, Freya when winter becomes spring, Frey when spring becomes summer... and Njord when summer becomes fall.

This is the time of year when depending on where you live, it's still warm enough to be comfortable, but the oppressive heat of summer starts to fade, and the rains come or will be coming soon.  As the land mellows, I feel Njord's gift of serenity, water after fire, which will later wash color into the world.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Gods My People Swear By

I think it was Judy Harrow that told me this story. If not, apologies to my actual informant, whoever you are. As my father is fond of saying, “Age spares us nothing.”

Dateline: Chicago, 1993: the World Parliament of Religions. (This was the event at which the archbishop of Chicago used his political muscle to get the pagans a permit to do a ritual in a public park. Now that's what I call ecumenism.) It's the main event: religious leaders from all over the world are lined up on stage. The place is packed so full that they have to set up TV screens outside to accommodate everyone that wants to see. The pagans are all outside, watching. (There are, of course, none on stage.)

Some grandee gets up to talk. “Let us all be as one,” he says. “After all, we all worship the same god.” Nods, smiles, and knowing applause from the entire line-up on stage, including (shame on them) the Hindus. The audience eats it up.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • T-Roy
    T-Roy says #
    I don't name my Gods, they exist as identities, Hearth, Summer, Mother and so on but those aren't names, just labels. Not until
  • Lady Pythia
    Lady Pythia says #
    Delighted to share that the Parliament of World Religions returns to the States in 2015! We're not sure where yet. Andras will let
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Yeah, this is one story about one incident. Having seen my own thinking change on a number of topics over the course of the years,
  • Alison Leigh Lilly
    Alison Leigh Lilly says #
    "Nods, smiles, and knowing applause from the entire line-up on stage, including (shame on them) the Hindus." Do you find it at al
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    It was certainly not my intent to declare shame on Hinduism or Hindus generally, Allison. During revision, I thought: Maybe I shou

My religious practice is mostly Wiccan.  Were I practicing a Heathen, Celtic Reconstructionist, or some other NeoPagan tradition, my examples would differ but I think my point would remain the same. 

Wiccans have a primary pantheon of two major deities, the Lord and Lady. We also have a number of mythologies describing these deities’ relationships. Taken literally they are not consistent with one another.  In some but not all Wiccan traditions She is viewed as having three guises: Mother, Maid, and Crone.  Sometimes She will have three dimensions but not as mother, maid, and crone, as with Hekate.  Sometimes She is treated as a single goddess.  The Horned Lord is sometimes seen as the Oak King and the Holly King.  At the solstices they engage in ritual combat, dying to be reborn.  In other Wiccan contexts and traditions He is treated as a single deity, and sometimes as an aspect of a more inclusive deity. 

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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
Deific Multiplicity.

Before the blog entry proper, Id like to state that the ideas proposed are still in a somewhat incubatory stage. That said, I invite your criticism and thoughts on the topic. Still needing to flesh out the ideas and needing better metaphors, I offer up the discussion here for better ways to express these thoughts. Thank you.

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Al
    Al says #
    All good points. Personally I think that the truth lies somewhere between elevated ancestor spirits and archetypes when it comes t
  • Travis Crockett
    Travis Crockett says #
    haha pardon domesticality*
  • Travis Crockett
    Travis Crockett says #
    Al, that's a brilliant analogy! You articulated what I fumbled with in less than stellar language. What I feel like will will be a
  • Al
    Al says #
    I'll take a stab at this. First, the 'facets of divinity' approach might be missing the point by not further defining 'divinity'.

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