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PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Europa - World History Encyclopedia 

An Open Letter

 

Dear Andras Corban-Arthen,

I'm looking forward to hearing your presentations at Paganicon 2023 this year; I've long been an admirer of your work.

Really, though? “Indians”?

 

Indians of Old Europe

European paganism never died out completely – to this day, ethnic survivals of traditional pagan practices can still be found in remote areas of Eastern and Western Europe. Andras has spent over 40 years seeking out such surviving traditions, and in this workshop he will discuss the nature and scope of some of those practices, how they managed to survive, and the striking similarities they share with indigenous spiritualities from other parts of the world. The presentation will also include slides of people and places, as well as a short video.

 

I get it, I get it. As “Indians” are to the Americas, so “pagans” are to Europe. Indigenous Americans, Indigenous Europeans. For all its inherent limitations, it's a useful analogy.

Still, “Indians”?

Well, I don't know about the Berkshire highlands of western Massachusetts, but around here in the Paleozoic Plateau's upper Mississippi Valley—historic Dakota country—there are still lots of Indigenous/First Nations people, our elders in the Land. These folks are our friends, our neighbors, and our kin, and I think you should know that at least some of them—for reasons that should be pretty obvious—find the term “Indian” more than a little objectionable.

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Tips ’n’ Tricks: The Salt of the Earth

You can cleanse all of your jewelry by placing it into a bowl of sea salt for seven days to make sure nobody else’s energy is permeating the pieces. This is especially helpful if you own antique or estate jewelry.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Minoan Ritual Shells: Toot Your Triton

Tritons are a type of mollusk, a large (10-40 cm long) sea snail in the genus Charonia. That's a photo of one of their shells above. They live in tropical and temperate waters around the world, including in the Mediterranean. As you might guess, the Minoans knew about them.

In fact, the Minoans were kind of obsessed with them. I have some thoughts about that obsession.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Movement Dreams: Boats

Having dreams about boats is often a sign of how well you are navigating your emotions in your waking life. How do you cope when bad situations come your way—do you sink into a sea of negative emotions, or do you stay afloat through the storm? Try to remember what the water looked like in your dream. Were there calm waters and clear skies? This could mean that you are experiencing “smooth sailing” in your life. You confidently handle your own emotions and everything in your life feels like it’s under control. On the other hand, if the boat experienced rough seas in your dream—crashing waves or winds tearing at the sails—it might mean that you’re struggling to keep your emotions under control. You might be feeling overwhelmed in your waking life, or letting unhappy thoughts and feelings get the better of you. Think about ways that you can comfortably and safely express what you are feeling. Let this negativity run its course, but don’t let it sink you.

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Presentation to the 2023 Conference on Current Pagan Studies: NATURALISTIC PAGANISM: A CHALLENGE TO THE PARADIGMS OF THE OVERCULTURE

NATURALISTIC PAGANISM: A CHALLENGE
TO THE PARADIGMS OF THE OVERCULTURE

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

I'm dishing up the last of the kimchee out of the jar.

That will put the fear of the gods into 'em,” I say.

As kimchee matures, the red pepper just naturally migrates toward the bottom of the container. This is going to be Hot-with-a-capital-H.

 

Pagan, do you fear the gods?

Well, maybe you should.

Charged language, I know: uncomfortable. Redolent, maybe, of places where we've been, and don't want to go again.

Fine. For “fear”, then, read “respect.”

 

In my travels, I've met a surprising number of folks who seem to think—at least, they talk—as if they have the gods in their back pockets.

(“Hey, the gods are my buds.” Shudder.)

If you believe this, you're deluding yourself. Gods are not a tameable species.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 

 Is Polytheism the “Highest Form of Evolved Theology”?

 

An Early 20th-Century Apologist for Polytheism

I'd heard of Viennese intellectual Franz Sättler (1884-?1942) and his overtly polytheist Adonismus (“Adonism”) before, but was pleased to renew the acquaintance recently in Stephen Flowers' The Fraternitas Saturni: History, Doctrine, and Rituals of the Magical Order of the Brotherhood of Saturn.

Let me quote from Flowers' appendix, “An Outline of Adonism”:

Adonistic doctrine advocates polytheism—as opposed to pantheism or monotheism—as the highest form of evolved theology. Pantheism views everything as divinity, and thus is impotent to see and act effectively for any sort of transformation or betterment of the world. Everything simply is. Monotheism, on the other hand, requires that evil be ascribed ultimately to the divinity itself, which is philosophically repugnant. But polytheism correctly ascribes the good to divinity and evil to other forces. All these forces participate in one way or another to the shaping of the world we live in now (Flowers 173).

 

 Kicking the Theological Can?

Well, now: heady stuff indeed. Personally, I would acknowledge the justice of Sättler's critiques of both pantheism and monotheism; notoriously, theogony—the problem of good and evil—has always been the rock on which the ship of monotheism (JCI-style monotheism, anyway) founders.

Several contemporary apologists for polytheism—notably Steven Dillon and Gus diZerega—have argued a greater philosophical coherence for a worldview based on many gods on precisely these grounds. Whether or not blaming evil on “other forces”—trolls and etins, say—rather than the gods themselves, does not ultimately constitute a mere kicking of the theological can down the alley, I leave you to decide for yourself.

(Personally, I can't help but wonder if the so-called “problem of evil” is not at heart largely semantic rather than ontological, but maybe that's just me.)

 

Not to Mention Distasteful

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