Possibly the most disquieting sentence that I've ever read opens Robert Graves' retelling of one of the Greek myths:

One day Mother Earth was visiting Athens.*

Say what?

Also up there on my list of theological “What-duh-f**k?” moments is Isaac Bonewits' “Invocation to the Earth Mother”:

Thou Whom the Druids call Danu,

Come unto us.

Thou Who art Erde of the Germans,

Come unto us.

Thou Whom the Slavs call Ziva,

Come unto us....*


Half a mo here. We're calling Earth to come to us?

Call me a concrete thinker if you like. Accuse me of radical materialism. (Both charges would be true.) Personally, I think that we're asking—pleading—for trouble when we start thinking of gods as beings somehow unmoored from their physical bodies.

When Goddess Earth ≠ Planet Earth.

When Sun-the-God ≠ Sun-the-Star.

When Thunder-the-God ≠ Thunder-the-meterological-phenomenon.

I have the same philosophical problem when the real me becomes something intangible and my body just something that it wears.

Once we set our feet on that path—when once we begin to devalue physical existence in favor of the "spiritual"—at that moment, we have begun to walk away from our paganism.

And we all know where that path ultimately leads.


*With no derrogation intended to the work of either Graves or Bonewits. Both were men ahead of their time; that they failed to think through every implication of every statement is hardly an indictment.