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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in polytheism

Over at the blog Son of Hel, Lucius Svartwulf Helsen has written a 3-part response to my post, "The Disenchantment of Hard Polytheism".  Helsen's series is entitled "Let's Disenchant the World".  Here I will respond to Part 1 of Helsen's series.

Helsen begins by describing the two "camps" within Paganism: the archetypalists and the hard polytheists:

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Fighting the Good Fight: Steven Dillon's Case for Polytheism

In his new book, The Case for Polytheism, philosopher Steven Dillon sets out to prove that belief in the existence of multiple “disembodied consciousnesses” (i.e. gods) can be rational, logically coherent, and intellectually credible.

And, for the most part, he succeeds—for one already inclined to belief, at least. Though this diehard polyatheist (= non-believer, but culturally polytheist), for one, remains unconvinced, Dillon is hardly to be faulted for not achieving the impossible. To have attempted the impossible in the first place in itself constitutes heroic endeavor.

Dillon's argument, however, is handicapped by an unexamined premise that he shares with John Michael Greer, whose World Full of Gods is also a notable contribution to the field of what the late Isaac Bonewits was wont to call “polytheology.” This is the premise that all gods ever worshiped by anyone, pagan or non-pagan, have the same ontological existence.

Now, to contend that many gods exist is by no means the same as contending that all gods exist. Is the polytheist to be permitted no skepticism whatsoever? Is to love the Many necessarily to be party to everything that the human heart has ever dreamed?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • tehomet
    tehomet says #
    Lost Gods of the Witches! Bring it on.
  • Lizzy Hood
    Lizzy Hood says #
    I will be looking forward to reading your book, sir.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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This is the third in a series of posts in which I discuss four terms that polytheists use to distinguish gods from archetypes: "real", "literal", "separate", and "agents". In this post, I want to address the position the the polytheistic gods are separate from us in a way that archetypes are not.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Fábio
    Fábio says #
    And if we consider another point of view: that the Gods are not part of nature, but the nature is part of the Gods? That the natur
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Sorry, I can't make sense of any of that.
  • Fábio
    Fábio says #
    That´s the reason about all your appointment. You´re not looking, you´re only thinking and believing that thinking is enough to kn
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Kristen: You can email me at allergicpagan [at] gmail [dot] com or FB message me.
  • Taffy Dugan
    Taffy Dugan says #
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. - Hamlet (1.5.167-8), Hamlet to Horat

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

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I have heard hard polytheists come up with all sorts of words to distinguish their gods from Jungian archetypes.  The gods, they say, are "real", "literal", "individual", "distinct", and "separate"; they are "persons", "beings", "entities", or "agents".  The archetypes, it is implied, are none of these things. 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

So for the last two weeks, I find myself spinning in place, a bit bewildered by mundania. In comparison to where I've been, the mundane world seems cold and barren.  

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Unpacking Piety

Do ut des means “I give so that you may give.” It is one of the defining points of Roman polytheism, and it is the most important. It is in these 3 Latin words that we can lay out how the Romans viewed their Gods. It is in these 3 Latin words that we can lay out a different approach than what we likely grew up with in regard to relationships with the Gods and society as a whole.

Ask someone in the Pagan community about Roman polytheism and you will regularly hear that it was contractual to the point of lifelessness. Actually, ask a lot of Roman polytheists the same, and they will repeat that statement as well, preferring to take the outdated tone of early scholars of the Roman religion, who regularly were Christian and carrying on a long tradition of upholding their perceived superiority through biased writing and opinion.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

And in my heart the daemons and the god
Wage an eternal battle ...

-- W.B. Yeats

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