per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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Bringing back the gods
dream
evcelt
An interesting and thought-provoking article I found via Galina's blog.

http://www.patheos.com//Pagan/Bringing-Back-Gods-Sufenas-Virius-Lupus-01-11-2013.html

ETA: And an interesting and thought-provoking followup:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/sermonsfromthemound/2013/01/must-pagans-be-polytheists/

As a hard-polytheistic Pagan it's certainly something for me to think about... I don't know that I agree with Kraemer's Venn diagram, etc. (I don't fall into the Goddess-spirituality or Earth-centered camps, but I don't question my Pagan identity) but it's a starting point.

ETA: the comments sections on both posts are also worth reading.

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I like the first article better than the second and think the Venn diagram in the second article is a bit too generic.

What I liked about the first article is that I've always been puzzled why pagans identified as pagans. Why don't pagans identify with the gods and goddesses they worship? Astruar is probably the closest to this as well as the Discordians.

Furthermore, why even identify as pagan at all? If you are to get away from the dance naked under the moon Earth religion stereotype then I would think that divorcing yourself from the name and like Lupus says in the first article, bring back the gods. We don't refer to Hindus, Buddhists, Shintos, Voodons, or other "current" religions practiced by other cultures as pagan (or maybe people do, probably evangelical churches do but they're narrow-minded like that) so why refer to revivals of ancient religions as pagan? They are just as legitimate as current religions. Faith is faith.

"Dancing naked under the moon" is part and parcel of much modern Pagan practice. It may be a bit of a cliche, but it isn't untrue; why should we want to "get away" from it? If you mean "get taken more seriously", that is happening. It's a young religion, it will take time... and it is happening under the name "Paganism".

The term "Pagan"/"Paganism" is useful as an umbrella term denoting a faith group and not a individual religion. It is is roughly equivalent to "Abrahamic". Use of the term(s) is also a recognition that the underlying similarities and origins of the paths making up the faith group are as important as the differences (if not more so). It has nothing to do with perceived legitimacy or lack thereof.

Using the term "Polytheist" would for many place too much emphasis on that aspect of Paganism, and also exclude many Pagans who are not polytheists.

If someone is Asatru or Discordian (or Hellenismos or Kemetian or what have you), that is all very well. But I revere several Celtic god/desses, several Vodoun lwa, and celebrate in a tradition that does trance possession rituals for spirits regardless of their cultural origin. "Pagan" is the best term for what I am.

Raven Kaldera chose to use the term Northern Tradition Paganism rather than "Asatru" or "Heathen" partially because both of those latter groups limit themselves to one subgroup of the gods (the Aesir, and grudgingly the Vanir), while Northern Tradition Paganism states that all gods are worthy of worship, and allows for adherents being dual- or multi-tradition.

Edited at 2013-01-17 07:42 pm (UTC)

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