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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in social justice

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Orlando, Rise In Power

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

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A Case for Radical, Progressive Paganism

 

When witchcraft first flourished in the 20th Century, it was cutting edge. Hot on the heels of the feminist movement, the fledgling environmental movement, and a time of great social upheaval, neo-paganism opened a whole new realm of possibility that at once called to our roots but also challenged dominant paradigms. At the same time, a lot of us are drawn to pagan beliefs when we ourselves undergo inter and intra-personal change. To dedicate yourself to a pagan path is a challenging step to take, and the journey is a difficult one. If it was easy - everyone would do it. To be a pagan is already a radical and progressive act. But is it enough? I'd like to offer my own interpretation of what radical, progressive paganism can look like.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ian Chandler
    Ian Chandler says #
    Thanks for the stimulating article and comments. Paganism is such a 'big tent' encompassing so many different beliefs and practice
  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    Like most everything else in Paganism it is a matter of personal choice. If it ceases to be a choice than what good is it?
  • Peregrin
    Peregrin says #
    Hi Jon ... we are living in different 'Paganisms'. Lee clear says she rights "from the point of view of a progressive witch living
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    The irony of this post astounds me. The fact that you are really blind to its irony astounds me even more. Show me a neopaganism
  • Lee Pike
    Lee Pike says #
    As Peregrin mentions, the views I express here are totally relevant to the climate I'm familiar with. Maybe it is different where
She's About More Than Dancing Naked Under the Moon: Goddess Offers A New Path Forward

You are not alone if you believe domination and authoritarian patriarchy are destroying countless lives and our planet.  There is a more sustainable alternative and it's not new.  In fact it's ancient. Exiled for a time, but making a return, the Sacred Feminine has become indelibly integrated into our lives, reminding humanity during this time of crisis that the ideals of the Great She offer a pathway to secure a more sustainable future.   As people lose faith in organized religion, as the paradigm of power shifts across the globe, as climate change quickly approaches a point of no return, people are leading using their divine intelligence gleaned from Goddess teachings to find solutions and sanctuary. They're listening to their consciences, heart wisdom, and intuition to manifest a new normal.  They're practicing partnership, generosity, and compassion to establish a new way of being.  They're tapping into their empathy and morality as they hit the reset button. We are witnessing this awakening across the globe as people from all walks of life and cultures turn to Goddess, deity, archetype and ideal, to evolve from the malignant chaos we face today.

Maybe this comes as a surprise to you.  Your recollection of Goddesses are from middle school as you read about Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty or Hera, the petulant wife of Zeus, always angry as she chased after her philandering husband.  Well, those patriarchal versions of those myths were hardly reflective of these powerful and empowering deities and archetypes of the Sacred Feminine.  Unfortunately as Goddess and her ideals were swept beneath the rug, so were her ideals of nurturing, caring, sharing, and concern for the common good.  Over time, egalitarian societies of peace and partnership inspired by Goddess were over-run by war-like tribes who revered war gods.  You see, our mythology shapes our culture and if we have male deities, then we have male leadership and we've seen the more exploitative and dominating type of authority and leadership can bring.  Research will tell us that in many cultures where the Divine Feminine was at the center of the lives of her people, a more balanced and peaceful society was the norm.

But how is that relevant to me today you might ask?  Well you can connect the dots between losing a feminine face of god and pay inequity for women.  Without Goddess we have patriarchal religions where women are brainwashed to believe they're second class citizens and are meant to submit to their husbands and often never lead an authentic life or reach their fullest potential.  We have men and some States telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies.  Women suffer female genital mutilation, are subject to arranged weddings, are forced in some cases to wear burkas against their will.  I'm sure you can think of other forms of oppression women suffer all across the globe and right here in the United States.

But you shouldn't think patriarchy has only been corrosive or destructive to women.  There is a direct connection between societies who oppress or exploit women and the destruction of the planet and the species on it.  And men are also prevented from being their authentic and whole selves under patriarchy as men strive to live their lives according to man-made dogma or rules determined by religion or society.  Take for instance the fella who is more inclined to be a painter or author and finds it pretty boring going to tailgate parties.  He suffers mercilessly at the hands of the other guys who think he's weak or too feminine.  Or think of the woman who is childless by choice.  She must answer endless questions about why she prefers not to be a mother.

Suffice it to say, the Sacred Feminine, deity, archetype and ideal, provides a pathway forward for a more whole, healthy and sustainable future for the most of us, and we're seeing folks embrace her ideals in many walks of life.  Turn on the news and we can witness this paradigm shift in politics as Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign calls for ideas that reflect the need for policy that benefit the "we and the us" rather than the "I and the me" - or as we might say the 1% versus the 99%.  He makes a convincing case we can have a future with the promise of a better world where all our boats float and we are no longer subject to the domination and exploitation of predator capitalism and corporations run amok taking advantage of employees and denying them benefits enjoyed by workers in countries around the globe.  Greed and exploitation are not the way of the Sacred Feminine.  Instead, generosity, compassion and partnership are hallmarks of belief for advocates of the Great She.

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Claremont Pagan Studies Conference - II (2016)

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Claremont Pagan Studies Conference - I

Twelfth Conference on Current Pagan Studies at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.

Longtime pal Anna Korn and I shared the long drive to the Los Angeles area for this annual event that feeds my soul.  I’ve attended several times since I was invited to be a keynote speaker in 2009.  Last year was the first time Anna went now that she’s retired.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    We'll have to persuade them to invite you as a keynote. ;-)
  • Byron Ballard
    Byron Ballard says #
    W.oman, do you never rest? Thanks for this. Someday I hope to attend

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Social Justice: A Pagan Perspective

I gave a keynote talk at the Conference of Current Pagan Studies January 23 on viewing social justice from a Pagan perspective. It went well and while the paper it was based on is much too long for a normal blog post, I have made it available as an article on my web page. After a discussion of social justice at a more abstract level, I end with exploring issues of Nature and race.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thanks Erin...Fixed!
  • Erin
    Erin says #
    I click the link and it says the webpage can't be found. I really want to read this. Please fix.
Goddess in the Mainstream at Parliament of World Religions

The Parliament of the World's Religions, recently held October 15-19, 2015 at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, is the oldest, largest and the most inclusive gathering of people of all faith and traditions. This year the Parliament connected the dots between spirituality, culture and politics with major speakers such as the Dalai Lamma, Dr. Karen Armstrong, Rev. Jim Wallis and Dr. Vandana Shiva, bringing their global wisdom and practice to the Parliament's theme, Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity. Speakers addressed three critical issues facing people across the globe; Climate change and care for creation, income inequality and wasteful consumption and war, violence and hate speech.

Blogger and Changemakers publisher, Tim Ward, spoke with Rev. Karen Tate, who moderated a panel on Friday, October 16 discussing the relevance of sacred feminine liberation thealogy called The Living Goddess. Tate also gave a presentation on Saturday, October 17th, Reawakening Our Earliest Sacred Stories, that addresses how pre-patriarchal mythology of the feminine face of god has all along given us a template for a more sustainable future.

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