Other people’s words

I don’t have time to work on my own posts right now, but I’ve got one brewing on Shinto and Hellenism that I hope to post over the weekend, as well as one on systems theory and process theology (more inspiring than it sounds!). In the meantime, this is one of those weeks when greatness is popping up all over the pagan blogosphere, and I want to share some recent posts that I have found particularly inspiring. Happy reading!

Hrafnkell has a great post On Sacrifice: It is not about doctrine and dogma or about holy writings. It is about giving the Gods their just due, just as we give our parents their just due… we need to get back to a simpler religion ourselves, and we need to push aside this need for doctrine, this devotion to sacred writings, which only get in the way of a proper appreciation for who we are and where we are in the greater scheme of things. (γνῶθι σεαυτόν, baby!)

Sara Sutterfield Winn speaks on embodied spirituality, one of my favorite topics: But the need to be involved in religion at the visceral, physical level cannot ever be ignored. Sweat-faith. To create is to share life, to suffuse your spiritual world with your own blood and tears and muscles… This is the forge in which you are bound to the Mama.

Ule ponders relationship with the Earth Mother: Pagan religions are not lost as long as you bear all these things in mind- the essence of the wisdom of the Pagan world is found right here, in the ability to go outside and experience the sacredness of things. If you can do that, understanding the nature of the Goddess that you are directly touching, you are building a bridge between yourself and the past, which allows for many blessings to flood through.

And, finally, Sannion and the folks at Neos Alexandria have unveiled their new website. Check it out! From the site: To us, Alexandria never fell. The light of the Pharos burns just as brightly today as it did twenty-three centuries ago. We can still hear the chants of the priests in their temples, feel the brittle scrolls from the Library beneath our fingers, smell the salt sea of the Mediterranean as it washes against the shore, and dream of a world united by the bonds of universal brotherhood regardless of race, nationality, gender, political ideology, or religious creed. The foundations of the eternal city have been set in our hearts, and thus we are all citizens of the New Alexandria.


4 thoughts on “Other people’s words

  1. Yvonne

    Hi Erik

    Thanks for the wise words (generally and in your comment on my blog) and keep up the good work! Love the Shinto and Hellenism comparison, fascinating.

    Interestingly, the concept of original sin was introduced by Augustine of Hippo and does not taint the Eastern Orthodox tradition of Christianity. They believe that the Fall was more of a stumble than a nose-dive, and that “sin” is separation of our consciousness from the Divine, not a permanent condition of defilement. Restoration of the connection does not mean loss of personhood, however, it means becoming who you truly are. Of course this metanoia is available in all religions, not just Christianity. Check out the interesting One-Storey Universe articles by Father Stephen, an Orthodox priest (linked on my sidebar).

    The Jewish concept of the Fall is also quite subtle, as they believe it is our job to help repair the broken Qliphoth in the process of Tikkun Olam. Theirs is a very life-affirming and nature-friendly religion.

    I don’t know enough about Islam to comment on its views on this.

    Don’t let the excesses of Augustine of Hippo and his followers, and Jean Calvin and his ilk, blind you to the possibility that even those bad ol’ Abrahamic faiths might have something worthwhile to say.

    Process theology is fascinating, don’t forget to look at Charles Hartshorne as well as AN Whitehead. Enjoy!


  2. executivepagan Post author

    Hi Yvonne,
    Thanks for stopping by! The silence on the Shinto post was so deafening I was beginning to wonder if I should keep up the series… :/

    Theirs is a very life-affirming and nature-friendly religion.
    It is – that’s one of the things I love about it. I particularly like the work that Rabbi Jill Hammer at Tel Shemesh is doing in this area.

    (If you haven’t read my Why Polytheism? post, it goes into some of my adventures with Judaism…)

  3. executivepagan Post author

    Don’t let the excesses of Augustine of Hippo and his followers, and Jean Calvin and his ilk, blind you to the possibility that even those bad ol’ Abrahamic faiths might have something worthwhile to say.

    Oh, I know that well… as a polytheist I’m quite willing to accept that there is a god of some sort behind Christianity, even if I question whether it’s really the same God as the Jewish one, or believe that all monotheisms are flat-out wrong to the extent that they claim absolute singularity for their chosen deity.

    My quarrel with Christianity is not existential, but personal – while I acknowledge that it can be a light for some people, it’s just not mine.

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