Pagan Reconstruction

I like to watch Neo-pagan, Heathen, and Reconstructionist videos on YouTube. And, we have customers who follow these and related paths. It’s all very magical and mystical and romantic, but it seems a mirage to me. I’m a minority voice here. We know so little and no one likes to hear that the light on … Read more

LARPing tribalism

I don’t understand the reason so many modern heathens and neo-pagans are drawn to fantasies of re-creating antique tribalism. I don’t think they understand the idea of tribes. That’s why I see it as LARPing. Our ancestors used tribe as a synonym for ethnicity and nationality. The Saxons were a tribe; the Franks were a … Read more

Coping with Eostre

Many neo-pagans resist scholarship because it destroys the fantasy. “Every possible religion that ever was and is is the result of a cultural soup with borrowed elements from everywhere and there is no such thing as a pure, unique, and original religious background. It was like that in the past and it is like this … Read more

Indigenous Religion

I like this post about indigenous religion by ReligionForBreakfast. There are some important points here. My neo-pagan chums often have a weak understanding of indigenous religions, even though that’s what they are trying to recreate from the fragments of their own past. Place, relationship to land Power, sacredness located in the landscape Protocol, ceremonial obligations … Read more

Dying into the Mountain

If you learned Old Norse religion from children’s book, as many of us did, you might have a too simplistic idea about the afterlife. Likely, you think most men were warriors so they went to Valhöll, Odin’s hall in Ásgard. Maybe so, but there’s more difference of opinion among scholars than you might know, and … Read more

Pagan vs Post-Christian

C.S. Lewis asks, “Are there any Pagans in England for me to write to? I know that people keep on telling us that this country is relapsing into Paganism. But they only mean that it is ceasing to be Christian. And is that at all the same thing?“ He thinks not. They’re very different things. … Read more

America is a Religion

Just finished watching “Americans Are Religious About America“. That rings some bells. “Basically, American Civil Religion is when Americans are religious about America. The series argues that Americans are being religious when they create and curate American identity and ideals.” Robert Bellah says, “The phrase ‘civil religion’ is, of course, Rousseau’s. In chapter 8, book … Read more

Asuras and Devas

One of the more interesting questions in religious history is why there is a divide and reversal between the asuras and the devas. If you’ve made a serious study of religions this divide is old hat. If you haven’t heard of it until now, you can begin to see it easily and quickly just by … Read more

Linking Religion to Ethnicity

Some interesting thoughts here. Ethnicity, language, religion, and race are not entirely independent variables. Traditional pagans won’t be surprised by that. This particular discussion reminds me of something I often hear from Jewish friends — if go back just a few generations, you run into a solid wall of orthodoxy. The ancestors of modern Jews … Read more

Ancestors and Personal Power

“In traditional East Asian forms of witchcraft and ceremonial magic, connection to your ancestral lineage hs always been expressed as kind of a requirement. Real talk, right? Historically and culturally, ancestors are always involved. . . . When you do anything at all, it’s got to be on behalf of your ancestors or in the … Read more