Saturday, December 15, 2012


We sit here.

Another shooting as occurred, this time it is exceptionally tragic to us. Why? Because it was children involved. Targeted, perhaps, as the majority of the slain were between 5-10 years old.

We are scared. We think "that could have been my kid". For a few people, it was their kid. We think "That could have been my brother." For a few people, it was their brother. We grieve by proxy.

We sit here, scrambling for a way to cope with these feelings. Some of us lit candles last night, some of us are praying, some of us are getting angry. I've seen some Pagans "working magick" to help "soothe the grief." All of these things, they are to make us feel better. They won't bring back the children, they won't soothe the grief of the survivors, and they won't erase the horror or scars from the minds of the children who suffered.

No, it is an act of selfishness ultimately, a way to cope with the fear, and despair that many are feeling. This is okay, but stop trying to pretend that you are doing it to "help" those involved. Pretending in this way, well, it is childish.

Those of us who weren't affected, we should be grateful.

Those who were affected, I won't even begin to pretend I can fathom the grief and pain that you are feeling. I simply can't. I only hope that you don't wind up living a life of fear because of this.

No one should live in fear.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Monday, December 3, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Lyrics: The Empty Room

I PROMISED A SONG. Here it is, slightly older.

If I said that I want your love
Would you believe me?
If I said I've changed dear friend
I want to hold your hand
If I said that I want your love
Could you, would you, trust me?
Well dear friend, it's all just lies
And that, you can believe

I'm not scared to love at all
It's just that love
Is scared of me
I really want to and I want to try
But really I'd rather be lonely
Than feel like dying

It's not heartache I'm afraid of
It's just tearing up
Because crying is like showing weakness
Another way of
Messing up

I'm not scared to love
It's just that
Love is scared of me

I'm not scared to love
It's just that
Love is scared of me

If I said that I want your love
Would you believe me?
If I said I've changed dear friend
I want to hold your hand
If I said that I want your love
Could you, would you, trust me?
Well dear friend, it's all just lies
And that, you can believe

I'm not scared to love at all
It's just that love
Is scared of me
I really want to and I want to try
But really I'd rather be lonely
Than feel like dying

It's not heartache I'm afraid of
It's just tearing up
Because crying is like showing weakness
Another way of
Messing up

I'm not scared to love
It's just that
Love is scared of me

I'm not scared to love
It's just that
Love is scared of me

Love is scared of me
Love is scared of me
Love is scared of me
Love is scared of me

(vocals only)

It's not that I'm scared of love
It's just that I'm tired of trying
Everytime I get so caught up
In not getting hurt
I forget to open my heart

So yeah, I'm not scared of love
It's love that's scared of me
The door is closed
Because I like that room empty

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Lyrics: The Girl and The Bird

I decided that every Sunday I am going to post some lyrics written by me. It may have been written a time ago, or may have been written moments prior, either way, every Sunday this is the goal. If you would like to use the lyrics, message me and we will arrange something.

She saw a pretty bird
Trying to cross the street
Its feathers like emeralds
The finest blackest beak

The pretty little bird
Trying to fly away
Until a savage brute
Got into its little way

She found the pretty bird
With its broken black beak
It still had its beauty
In its own special way

Coo coo coo
She sang the bird to sleep
Coo coo coo
She sang the bird to peace

She kept the little bird
Inside a little box
She cared for the sad bird
The pretty bird was weak

She loved the little bird
It grew stronger each day
But with its broken wings
It couldn't fly away

The girl knew the bird
Was strong enough to leave
Happy to set it free
Sad to see it away

Coo coo coo
She sang the bird a song
Coo coo coo
She sang the bird to peace

The caring pretty girl
Her days approached an end
Living each little day
Like everything's the same

The sickly pretty girl
Living her final day
Abandoned by everyone
But she liked it that way

The sweet, kind, pretty girl
Saw the pretty little bird
Perched outside her window sill
It flew to her and sang

Coo coo coo
She sang the girl to sleep
Coo coo coo
She sang the girl to peace

Coo coo coo
She sang the girl a song
Coo coo coo
She sang the girl away

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review: The Myth of Matriarchial Prehistory

                Before I begin singing the praises of this book, I would like to give a brief overview of its content. The book was written by Cynthia Eller in an attempt to show that a universal matriarchal pre-historic society that worshipped an ubiquitous Goddess is almost certainly a myth, and that the myth is very likely more harmful than it is helpful. She begins by giving a general over-view and run-down of the situation at hand, then she proceeds to discuss the archaeological evidence and why it isn’t even close to being conclusive, and then she proceeds to talk about why the artistic evidence is nowhere close to even helping anyone ascertain as to whether ancient societies were Goddess worshipping and matriarchal.
                Now, let me start out by pointing out the biggest flaw in the work as a whole. Eller makes no secret that she disdains and abhors the matriarchal myth and finds it more than a tad silly. While this does not necessarily color her interpretation or presentation to a large degree, it does come across as hostile in the tone, this aside, the information and assertions are quite solid.
                One of the stronger moments in the book where when she pointed out the fact that even if the societies were Monotheistic-Goddess societies, that doesn’t mean that they would have demonstrated gender egalitarianism.  Eller’s examples included some Hindu sects who highly revered Goddesses yet said that the difference between Goddesses and women are similar to the differences  between the stone you worship and the stone you defecate on. Another example that she provides is that of the plight of women in Ancient Greece, specifically Athens where Athena was venerated very widely yet women were treated harshly, deprived of the right to vote, and were essentially “legal minors” even after marriage.
                The argument as a whole is wonderfully constructed. Eller carefully burns the tethers which would suggest the myth as having any sort of truth, and demonstrates why it is useless as a myth (mainly, because it relies on gender stereotypes, sexism, assumptions about gender, and has more than its share of generating misandry among its adherents.) She also obviously thoroughly researched the subject and is a great example of scholarly work if one would only thumb through her references and her discussing the references and how she reached her conclusion.
                Overall, if you can get past the, at times, caustic tone of the author, you will find a wealth of information which will most certainly enhance one’s understanding of Indo-European cultures, and of how to sort the chaff from the grain when it comes to interpreting archaeological finds and when peering into pre-history (spoiler alert: Almost everything is chaff)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Beware of Myth

     Some of you may recall my post on the dangers of taking myth literally. I have also noticed a less subtle, more accidental form of literalism in which the person judges a deity based solely on the myth surrounding them. Let's be honest here, most of us have likely done this to some degree. Whether it is liking the tenacity and dominance of Morrighan's portrayal or hating how promiscuous Zeus is, we've all likely let these character portrayals affect how we view the deities themselves. Case in point is the Medusa myth surrounding Athena. As many of you know, I have a great affection for Athena and on a forum some time ago, we were discussing which Gods and Goddesses we have special affinities for and why. Well, I (of course) mentioned the fact that I have a rather strong liking for Athena, in which I (in quite a short time) had several people go "I hate Athena." I was shocked first, and a bit hurt second (in the same way that when you think a person is very attractive and a friend remarks on their lack of beauty.). I, of course, asked why. All the people in question cited the Medusa myth as their reason.
     Let us look at the Medusa myth for a moment. In the most common(or perhaps popular?) telling of the myth, Medusa is an absolutely beautiful priestess of Athena. While tending the temple of Athena, Poseidon appears and then forces himself upon Medusa, there-by taking her virginity and disrespecting the temple of the "Virgin Goddess" (Athena's status as a virgin Goddess is *highly* debatable, but that is a story for another time). Athena, in retaliation, does not punish Poseidon, but rather punishes Medusa by turning her into a hideous beast which no one could look at, and if they did they would transform into stone.
     The people who took issue with this myth were appalled by the fact that Medusa was raped and was punished and Poseidon got away scott-free. They said for that reason, they hated/disliked/abhorred Athena. This, however, is quite the silly reason. It is like hating George Washington because you read a "Historical Fiction" book in which he was portrayed as a serial rapist. People would tell you, "Well, that was a fictitious story, you shouldn't hate him because of that!" so the same it should be with myth. Myths can tell us perhaps about certain aspects of a deity, such as their domains and rituals, but they cannot tell us exactly how a deity is. The myths were created by story-tellers as a way of explaining certain truths about deity. Athena did not punish a woman for getting raped and Poseidon did not rape anyone, and to abhor either for simply being present in a story created by the culture isn't fair to the deities. Take  myths for what they are, myths. Reflections of the thought and culture of the time, as well as containing certain ritualistic elements and small truths about the Gods.
     The reason why we have this tendency to give myths an abnormally high truth-value is because we like to know and have reasons. Knowing this, how do we therefore get to know deities, how they operate, how they function, and how they feel about us? The answer isn't easy, fast, or quick. We must pray, meditate on, and commune with the Gods in order to get to know them more fully. Pay attention to which Gods and Goddesses call out to you, and (this is oft neglected) pay attention to the ones which your heart calls out to. Other good starting points are to focus on the Gods which rule your work, crafts, hobbies, or passions. Get to know a deity before you pass judgement on them, you wouldn't tell a random stranger on the street that you hate them, why would you do it to the Gods?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Save the Recons!

Reconstructionism is hard, and it isn't nearly as attractive as some other options within the Pagan movement. While Paganism in general requires a great deal of reading and study, Reconstructionism requires even more, and the texts that a recon has to read and access to become acquainted with the practice are often a fair deal more dry and cerebral than those of other Pagans. Reconstructionism isn't for everyone, and the numbers tend to be small, but it can be very fulfilling. The question is, how do we cope with the isolation? Why do we have difficulty maintaining people? How do we reach out to people? Well, lucky for you imaginary person, I've got some ideas.

Reconstructionism is tied to a specific culture or cultural grouping. You, of course, have various sub-varieties, but ultimately each is an expression of the whole. In Hellenism we have Attic practices, Spartan practices, and Athenian practices. Heathen groups have their plethora of expressions (from Old England Heathenry up to the stereotpyical Nordic and German varieties) Celtic Reconstructionism varies greatly depending on the region involved, point is this, each one is tied to a very specific culture.

 Very simply put (from all that I've scratched into) Pantheon preference comes in cycles. The "standard" as I like to call it, has been and will probably always be, the various Celtic pantheons. The other Pantheons (aside from "mainstays" like Hecate, Isis, Diana, and Artemis) come and go in cycles. You will have years where the Egyptian/Kemetic pantheon be popular for a stretch of years, then here comes the Nordic, then here comes the Greek/Hellenic. Now, this isn't to say that the pantheons get abandoned, but rather they decrease in popularity. If someone has a patron God or Goddess from that Pantheon, I've noticed they tend to bring them along to their new practice, but this isn't always the case. The reason why this does not bode well for Reconstructionist is because first and foremost, Reconstructionism is bound to a specific Pantheon and thus they will see an increase and decrease in their number in accordance with these rhythms. Secondly, to be a Reconstructionist you must have a love of the land and of the culture to some degree, and many Neo-Pagans, while drawn to certain aspects of the culture, don't really have the drive or time to dig into the ancient culture and really "get" them, as this takes quite a good deal of time. In addition, these people when they "convert" from one Pantheon to the other often do not change up their whole practice when they do so. They may alter superficial elements, but the core practice stays precisely the same, between Recon groups this is not so, and as such becoming a Reconstructionist may ultimately result in "wasted time" or feeling that time was wasted, since the person has a tendency towards switching every so many years. In addition, recon groups are not accommodating.  They have a specific view of deity (polytheistic etc) and that is that. Perhaps they will allow for various varieties of that particular theism, but an Atheist or a Duotheist may be tolerated in a recon group, but will likely never be fully accepted as "part of the group".

Recons also have very loose national associations but very tight-knit tribal/blot/demos groups. This is very good locally because it gives the recon group strength and consistency, however it makes it very tough for those individuals who do not live close to other recons. While online interaction is enough for some, nothing can replace human warmth or community, especially when the tradition is so focused on the group rather than the self. Thus, Recons often lose people due to attrition because people cannot find a group to practice and discuss things with. This often leads to stagnant numbers or even negative growth of the tradition, I think there is a way around it though, if the recons ever have any hope of having more than a handful of people scattered across the broad USA.

1) Solitary Recons, join a Neo-Pagan group while you also practice home/hearth based reconstructionism. Many of these groups have no individual proscriptions for belief or practice, and thus are ideal for solitary recons getting a satisfying communal experience. The key is that you find something that resonates with you, and to keep in mind that you can in fact have two practices. I find that the easiest way to solve this dissonance is by incorporating another Pantheon that you may have been interested in, which allows you to perform your reconstructionist practice with one pantheon and your Neo-Pagan group experience with another. This will help you keep a consistent practice and will help to solve any dissonance you may have had or have. This is of course only directed at those who long for that community That is not to say that you should abandon the group if your flavor of Reconstructionism picks up though, you should only join the group if you find it satisfying , and you should only leave it if it becomes dissatisfying I would recommend a neo-Druidic order/group such as OBOD ( ADF ( AODA ( If that isn't quite your thing there are often CUUPS groups in a Unitarian Universalist Church. They tend to be very generic in their practice, but the community tends to be quite good. CUUPS: Unitarian Universalist Association: . Really, I recommend getting involved with a non-recon Neo-Pagan organization even if you aren't solitary. They (generally speaking) have quite a lot to offer just about anyone in terms of learning.

2)All Recons, work on increasing "visibility". The reason why some people are not reconstructionist is because they don't know it exists! I have heard of more than a few stories of Wiccans and Eclectics doing their thing with a particular pantheon, but not being fully satisfied. They don't look into reconstructionism simply because they don't know it *exist*. Also, just because they know one sort exists, it does not mean they know it exists for all sorts. Attending things like Pagan Pride Days and performing rituals or setting up a booth for your group or something of that nature is rather important. Even if it is merely getting the word out on the internet, every little bit helps!

3) If you have the time or the means consider starting a National group if one doesn't exist, if one does exist, try to learn how you can help strengthen the group. National groups are a blessing ultimately, even if they do have their faults. They allow for members all over the Nation (and World!) to communicate and co-ordinate nationwide conventions, meet-ups, or otherwise assist in equipping members with the proper knowledge and resources so that they are not merely stumbling in the dark with their practice. I cannot begin to express how much help it was to get in touch with and discover From suggested reading to the bare basics, they helped immensely in leading me down what I have found to be immensely spiritually satisfying.

4) Play nice with others. Reconstructionism isn't superior because it is older, nor is it any more "true" than any other Neo-Pagan groupings. The fastest way to be absolutely miserable is to alienate yourself from local Neo-Pagan groups by being a brazen ass, and then realizing that being a solitary recon is really hard. Don't get mad because they mix pantheons at the altar, don't get mad if their rituals center around a Horned God and a Mother Goddess, and don't stare if a man shows up wearing a dress. These things are to be expected.

All of these things are, of course, not just my experience. A lot of this is observation and talking to people, but I think doing at least *some* of these things will help recons to survive, endure, and grow. Ultimately, if you take just one thing away from this, I hope it is this. The Dualism of belonging to a Recon group and non-recon Neo-Pagan group can be immensely satisfying, and even complimentary to one another.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Those Passed On

I am a young man, 19 years old, and I have lost many, many people in my short life. The loss has been primarily to moving around so much, but I've had several people move on from this life, and seeing as it is Samhain, I'd like to honor their memory.

Nancy Lynn Warren (Davis)

My mother with my sister

This is my mother. She passed away when she was 24. During her life she bore myself, my sister, and my little brother and was a wonderful mother. She was bright and crafty, and often experimented in her cooking from trying out applesauce pancakes to corn-flake chicken. She was a bright woman, a loving mother, and was my Legend of Zelda buddy. I miss her deeply. 

Paul Warren
(no picture available) 
My Uncle, he was a proud father of three and an avid Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fan and a Mixed Martial Arts fan. He left behind two sons to carry on his legacy, a daughter, and a loving wife. I remember being at his house when I found out my mother had passed away, I remember him inviting us over for pool parties, and I remember him introducing us to the Grand Theft Auto video games. 

 Cody Warren
(no picture avaliable) 
My cousin, he was a bright young man who was loved by his family and friends. My memories of him are not as abundant as I had hoped, but he was a bright and funny guy who knew how to have a good time. Very optimistic, and had a love for life

Eula Faye Russel(Gose) and Joseph Theodore Russel 
My Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather

I never got to meet my Great-Grandfather as he died before I was born, but I am told he was a hard-working and industrious man. He was entirely devoted to his wife and children and to making a better life for them. My Great-Grandmother was a stern and loving woman in her adult years and a loving and kind Grandmother in her seniority. I recall seeing her face light up with joy when my siblings and I would go visit her and I fondly remember her obese chihuahua that she adored so much. She was deeply committed to her faith. 

These are my people, my family. I do not know if I will see them when I die, but these are the people I honor, with my thoughts, my actions, and my life. 
I miss them all, so very much. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Saying Good-Bye

On Sunday, one of my best friends moved 250 miles away.

Now, I have lost a lot of people in my short life, on top of my countless moves growing up (I estimate between 17-20) I have had an uncle, a cousin, and my mother die. I am no stranger to losing people, yet I feel that it never gets easier, especially whenever the person had been a bit more than a friend for a solid chunk of time. Now, I find myself, once again, depressed over the loss of somebody I care about, the distance isn't insurmountable, but I used to look forward to our weekend visits as a means to relieve stress. On occasion I find myself thinking "well, at least I'll get to hang out with [anon] this weekend" then I bluntly remember, no, they have moved away.

Of course, moments like these aren't all loss. I am grateful for the time we had together and the things I learned about myself. It was not time wasted and despite the feelings I have now due to the attachment I had, I don't regret any of it. People come, and they go, and all we can do is be grateful for their presence in our lives and learn from them.

Of course I am feeling. . .more than a bit rough, but it reinforces the lesson, the Gods don't abandon you whenever you are down, and without the Gods I don't have a clue how I would be right now.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Review: "The Druids"

          "The Druids" was written by Peter Ellis. The book is a brief survey of evidence for the beliefs and history of the Druids and is pulled from many different secondary sources. I will start the review by saying that Ellis definitely did his research and was well acquainted with his source material, he covers from Caesar and Poseidonios all the way to the "Druidic Revival" of the 18th Century. Ellis cannot be exhaustive obviously, but for the space of the book he elaborates quite well, however he most definitely has his flaws.

          The first and foremost flaw is that he apparently doesn't even endeavor to hide the fact that he and Nora Chadwick have some sort of confrontation or conflict occurring, and if they don't he certainly has a great deal of contempt for her work, which as far as I can tell is due to her favoring ancient Roman society. He also frequently refers to other author's works off hand saying that they make a certain claim but have no evidence to back it up, quite arbitrarily. The references are merely off-hand as far as I am concerned and rather distracting from the over-all work.  It is also quite clear that as opposed to merely wanting to give a brief survey of the history of the Druids, Mr. Ellis is also seeking to put forward and support his own theories. He frequently mentions the “Mother Goddess” concept and attempts to give evidence to support it (compelling evidence, mind you). I n addition he frequently draws parallels between the Druidic class and the Brahmic class of the Hindus in order to support the Indo-European hypothesis. Mind you, not all of these references are out of turn, but they occasionally seem forced or over-done. 

          Now that the flaws of the book have been covered, I would like to discuss the strengths. Aside from whenever he seems to be purporting his own theories and speculations, or when he is not making jabs at his collegues, Mr. Ellis seems to be quite impartial and quite frequently lets the reader know that it is currently open to speculation (though, he obviously tries to push you towards his interpretation.) Ultimately, Mr. Ellis does an adequate job of accomplishing his goal, even if he obfuscates the information a bit on occasion. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I have a very good friend (who shall remain un-named) that I chat with over Skype quite frequently. He and I frequently get into various arguments and debates. He and I have debated everything from the validity of the "Four Directions" in Neo-Pagan thought, to the possibility of sidhe living among us, and the importance/unimportance of having a specific and grounded tradition (I'm sure you can guess my opinion on many of these things. . .) One argument I did not expect to have with him was whether or not the myths were literal.

Now, don't get me wrong, he is a great dude and rather intelligent, but when we began debating the validity of the Perseus myth or the Hycanith myth I couldn't help but feel a bit awe struck. I couldn't help but feel a bit stupified when he told me that yes, it is entirely plausible that Medusa's blood turned into poisonous snakes in the dessert, that the Odyssey totally might have happened and that in the myth of Math, he probably turned his nephews into a stag and doe in a very real sense. I simply was unaware of what to think, and then he told me that he believes in the Bible literally too, and he just thinks certain things may have been exaggerated or tainted.

Ah ha! I began to have suspicions at this point.

So, we began talking further, about the nature of deity and possible plans, when he made a statement that surprised me (yet again). He said, in essence "Well, why does it matter to you if you don't actually believe in the Gods?". At this point, I began to ponder if for him, the belief in deity necessitated believing the myths to be literal to some degree, and it turns out that yes, that was a sort of qualification for him. I also found out that he was raised as a "literalness" Christian. At that point, it hit me, he had transferred the qualification of literal belief in mythos as belief in deity that Conservative Christianity contains to the setting of  modern (Eclectic for him) Paganism. You could say that he just expanded his extremeism from the Christian mythos, to the Greek, Celtic, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, etc mythos (since he told me that he believes *all* myths are literal with some corruption involved).Okay, now to get to where the danger in this lies.

First of all, the danger of literal belief lies most evidently in attempting to act out some of these myths or rituals described in myth, because, let us be honest, many of them are quite brutal. From the rampant rape in the Greek myths, to the brutal killings in the Celtic myths, believing them to be real and valid modes of expression to deity is *dangerous* just as it would be dangerous for Christians to be allowed to stone gays and witches (which I'm sure more than a few would like to do) and despite the act being illegal Pagans and homosexuals are assaulted by Christian extremists on the occasion.

Secondly, this is a clear transfer of belief from a Monotheistic setting to simply a Polytheistic one. By doing this we are allowing our Faith to be a sort of reaction or augmentation to Monotheism which is simply damaging to the movement as a whole. It makes our actions partly contingent upon the actions of the dominant Monotheistic religion in America(or Ireland, or Britain, or Russia etc). If they go Left, then we either go Far Left or go Right, they declare November Christian Blue Month, we end up with a detachment of Pagans declaring October Pagan Red Month. It simply is not a good mode of operation. Now, we obviously do not operate as a cohesive unit, but we do operate as an allied unit by means of a common goal and common interests. Asatru and followers of Hellenismos may associate with Eclectics and Wiccans due to the fact that, whether we like it or not, we are in this movement together, and by allowing this kind of *poison* to enter the movement we are setting everyone back. I mean, let us face it, the hook for many people comes from the Eclectic/Wiccan practices, then when they really start digging into it, that is when they tend to get involved with specific movements such as Asatru or Hellenismos.

End rant

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Why I'm Not Christian

I am a person who went from being a Monotheistic Pentecostal to being a skeptical Deist to being a Polythiest. These changes obviously weren't sudden, but rather gradual shifts, however I still am often asked "If you can believe in many Gods, why can't you believe in just the one?" more specifically they are generally talking about the God of their faith (the Christian rendition generally) and I am writing this to clear up a few matters. Please note, I'm not attempting to "convert" anyone as I have not motive to, I'm merely talking about why I'M not Christian.

1) A God which is omnibenevolent, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent is extremely hard for me to believe in whenever there is so much suffering in the world, even extending outside of a Christian perspective. Relegating it to merely a Christian perspective makes it even harder for me to do so, seeing as in the Old Testament he feels sorry for drowning everything, and has to correct the mistake he made with the whole sinful humanity thing. This sort of dissonance is not present for me in my current beliefs, however. Gods which are not omnibenevolent have no automatic obligations towards humanity, Gods which are not omniscient cannot be looked down upon for not having forsight, Gods which aren't all powerful cannot be chastised for the Universe not operating in a particular way. Omnipresence is generally a moot-point and is almost universally shared with all Gods (to some degree.)

2) The Christian God requires faith before experience, from a polytheistic viewpoint, my Gods do not require faith before experience, but rather for experience to generate faith. Now, this is not to say that I don't think that Christians have not felt "God's Love" as the refer to it, but I certainly never felt it in all my years of being a devout Christian. I saw others experiencing and I ached for the feeling of being touched by the Divine, I never was. I have been touched by various other Deities since I have taken a Polytheistic viewpoint of Deity, and this was crucial in generating Faith for me, actually feeling the presence of Deity. It would be horridly inaccurate to say that I believed in them before I prayed to them, I was merely open to their existence, and sure enough I discovered that being open to it was all it takes. I simply cannot believe without feeling first.

3) The Christian God dooms those who are not Christian. This is perhaps the crucial point of the whole thing for me, more than the dissonance that a Monotheistic viewpoint generates, more than the lack of ever having felt Yahweh's presence in my life, the Christian religion condemns those who are not Christian to Hell. That is all there is to it, (John 3:16-20, Acts 4:10-12), I cannot see a way for me to personally work around this, perhaps other people could, but I cannot. It is a pretty central tenet as far as I can tell. I simply cannot believe in such a thing. 

There are a few other reasons as well, but these are the big three for me. Again, I reiterate, I'm not slamming against Christianity, I'm stating why I'm not Christian. I've explained this a few times, but I merely want to give a bit of a more thorough explanation than I usually can.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I dislike duotheism

Now for the reasons why.
The first reason is that it is merely a modification of Monotheism. Duotheism is simply a monotheistic viewpoint converted to a Hindu like view of deity separated into "Lord and Lady" or "Horned God and Mother Goddess" aspects, each one encompassing various feminine and masculine aspects. While this may not seem like a problem to many people, it ultimately is an *issue* because it creates the problem of "everyone else is wrong". While this may not be an actual statement applied by followers of such a theology, it is basically implied and causes little room for debate or conversation on deity because there can be no conversation on deity. Deity is either "Lord and Lady" or it isn't, simple as that. They may worship in many aspects, but the end schema is the same. Two supreme forces, one "Male" and one "Female".

The second reason is due to the fact that there is an imbalance in worship. In theological terms they should be honored equally, however practitioners of duotheism tend to venerate the Lady over the Lord, and as such ultimately venerate feminine qualities over masculine ones. It creates an inequality of Gender in mental schemas (which I believe in avoiding) and causes us to look more in terms of gender as being vital as opposed to simply being a thing which is. Feminine qualities are venerated over masculine qualities. Which encourages men to distance themselves from their own masculinity. Feminine traits are prized and feminine processes (such as menstruation and birth) are considered wonders and divine experiences that are to be treasured. This would be perfectly fine if it didn't result in the exclusion of men in many instances, after all Dianic Wicca exists and no one bats an eye, but let us say that there is one for men alone (well, other than the Minoian Brotherhood, but they also have a Minoian Sisterhood, both groups which are focused upon Gay and Lesbian individuals respectively) and it would likely be looked down upon.

The third reason builds on the second, it has led to a new kind of Monotheism, one in which a ubiquitous Goddess is worshiped, and women are sine as expressions of her divinity, with all Gods being seen  as constructs and not actual divinities. The first problem with this is the fact that, just as worship of a monotheistic God encourages sexism, worship of a monotheistic Goddess encourages sexism. Duotheism was the key to this movement really taking root, just as Monolatrism was the key for a monotheistic God taking root, video on that here. In addition to the inherently sexist nature of an ubiquitous Goddess, we run into far more theological problems with it, which are nearly identical to those related to monotheism, in addition to a few extras (what caused Gods to be worshiped? What overthrew the matriarchy? Why is there suffering? etc etc)

The fourth reason should be outright obvious from the previous reasons. Duotheism encourages sexism and encourages people to view Masculinity and Femininity as having certain inherent associations. The Feminine is often viewed as nurturing and caring, whereas the Masculine is seen as protective and aggressive. It also reinforces the notion of males being disposable as the year of the wheel is a story generated to tell about the two divine beings, which results in the God dying and being replaced by himself whereas the Goddess never dies nor even truly ages (in the wheel of the year story, not in the moon story). Thus, the theme of males being replaceable becomes most evident because the Goddess will always bare another God to replace the one who died.

Comments? Thoughts? Wanna tell me I'm wrong and stupid?
Comment below.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What is a "Pagan"?

I have been mulling over what makes a Pagan a Pagan for quite some time now. At first I simply thought, "Well, Perhaps what makes a Pagan a Pagan is the belief in multiple Deities" and this was simply shot out of the water by the presence (and acceptance of) Humanistic Pagans. Obviously the quantifying trait of a Pagan is not the following of the "Wheel of the Year" since many Pagan persons do not observe or celebrate said days. So again, I ask, what makes a Pagan a Pagan? Allow me to ramble for a bit. (Also, by circles, I mean social circles, not ritual circles.)

The first thing that is vital to being a Pagan is to not be Christian. This is absolutely essential, since while clearly we don't have to actually believe in any Gods, if a person believes in the Christian God they are automatically shunned from Pagan circles.

Next, it is absolutely vital that one identify either as an Independent or a Liberal, and it is absolutely *essential* that one by sympathetic to Gay Rights and Environmental crusades, to do otherwise will undoubtedly get you shunned from Pagan circles.

Thirdly, it is essential to make sure that everybody knows that you are a free spirit and won't be simply confined to hierarchies and that anyone who follows a specific set of rules and practices is just being far too rigid.

Of course, I am being a bit factitious here, but really we must ask ourselves, why? Paganism has devolved (and I truly mean this) less from a set of religious beliefs, and more towards simply a social clique. If you don't share a specific set of core attitudes (i.e. being sympathetic to Liberal causes, rejecting the Christian God, and generally believing that correcting others is "bad", except in times when they are so wrong that only fluffy bunnies would feel bad about correcting them) then you are excluded. I personally find more than a few of the attitudes of the Pagan community to be more than a bit hypocritical, Christian Pagans (since obviously the word Pagan has come to identify a social group, and not a core set of beliefs, and therefore what at first may appear to be a contradiction, is in fact not.) are shunned while Humanistic Pagans don't even have a bat of the eye, but my question is why? Ultimately, I do not know. The word Pagan has become cheap and meaningless. It no longer even relates to the worship of ancient deities. Paganism has become a social club, a social club who I fit in well with, but a social club none the less.

We could change this of course, however, I strongly feel that being the disorganized mass we are, there will never be a meaningful use of the word. At one point it may have meant a person who worships many Gods, but now. . .

Friday, September 7, 2012

Will Start Posting Again Soon

Title says it all. Life has been throwing my a lot of curveballs as of late and it has made it hard to concentrate well enough to study, let alone well enough to write. Hopefully I'll be light again soon. These things will only ultimately make me stronger.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Love and Hard Polytheism

Being a hard polytheist puts one into a very hard position in American society. On one hand we have monotheists who upon hearing that one is polytheistic scoffs. They generally end up asking if "you really believe in Zeus" or things of that nature, of which I generally and calmly reply "yes." They may roll their eyes, they may debate you, they may inquire, or they may try to convert you, but most ultimately seem to end with a heave-and-a-ho and disregard it as a silly mindset. On the other hand we have Atheist and Agnostic persons, who are not (usually) so aggressive, but still often find it necessary to ask "Why?" This question lies at the heart of this, but usually they reject my explanation as being "too emotional" or "too subjective", but these subjective experiences ultimately are what color life and make it bright and worthwhile.

When explaining my outlook on things, I often have to turn to the following story. I once had an online friend who insisted that "love isn't real"(Especially Eros Love) and frequently stated that people who have claimed to felt love of any sort were merely deluding themselves (so very similar to how many people treat the Gods they don't believe in.) and that they were being tricked by "feel good chemicals." We cannot deny the existence of these feel good chemicals, no, we know for a fact that they exist and that they contribute to the feeling of Eros Love, in fact without these chemicals many aspects of Eros Love would not be present, and the feeling may not exist at all. His conclusion was that since these chemicals are not produced indefinitely that Love (in all of its forms) could not exist and is merely a trick we play on ourselves to make life easier. Unsurprisingly, he had (and still hasn't) ever felt love or been in love. and thus still refuses to "believe in it." He is missing the point though, as one of my friends put it "he is majoring on the minors." Just because we know the physical structure and make-up of something, does not mean that there is no element of it that transcends the physical plane, well the "all-consuming" part of Eros Love may fade it can become many other types of love (and it should if the relationship is healthy) and need not remain in one simple place, and it will transcend the simple Eros Love. We can feel it ourselves(if we are so lucky) and we can see its presence in other(generally older) couples, yet this is still not good enough for him. The only thing that will convince him is experiencing it for himself, yet to do that he must open himself up to the possibility, but in order to do that he must be convinced it exists.

We can certainly see the circular nature of this.

The Gods are much of the same way, if we do not open ourselves up to their presence or to their literal existence, then how can we EVER hope to feel their presence or existence. I'm not saying that one has to believe per se, but I am saying that one has to open to the possibility.

I recall a time when I was in a rather dark place in my life. I was cynical, easily angered, slightly depressed, and disgustingly apathetic. At the time I considered myself a Deist, and basically thought that no religion would ever be right for me. Slowly, and gradually, I began to get into Paganism and found it profoundly interesting. I hadn't realized that people still worshiped the Ancient Gods and I began to wonder, well perhaps there is something to this. Eventually I stumbled upon a Big Think video containing Stephen Fry  speaking about his belief that God is Everywhere, I began to ponder, well what if there ARE multiple Gods? Is it logical, does it make sense to me? After thinking about it long and hard for quite a while, I wasn't sure. I did however become open to the possibility that it was, but still considered myself a Deist. I thought that maybe the Gods existed as archetypes though, or perhaps were just representative of general forces in nature

Time went by as it does, and my general mood didn't improve very much. Eventually, I got to a rather bad place in my life and felt utterly and totally alone and overwhelmed. So, I did something unexpected, I called out to Athena and prayed for comfort and relief. It surprised me that I performed something like a prayer (which was something I hadn't done since I was young) and it surprised me that shortly there after, I did feel. . .comfort for lack of a better word. I was soothed to say the least, and in my heart something told me "stop being afraid." After that, I began praying more often and I started developing a religious practice. I began to feel little sparks of recognition of the various Gods and Goddesses, Zeus, Ares, Hera, Hestia, they were beginning to know me (though, I felt like Athena has known me for quite a while) I began to get glimpses of their natures. I began to connect with them and perform offertories. Hermes has pulled through for me on a few occasions, and I have had comfort and strength afforded to me on multiple occasions as well. Interacting and praying with the Gods caused me to know them, and know that they exist. Like love, you may simply need to open up to the possibility of existence to feel it
This isn't to say that I think everyone should be a hard polytheist, nor is it saying that I'm absolutely certain that I'm right. Perhaps it is like love, perhaps it is simply a trick of the mind as my friend claims and exists merely as a brief illusion, but also like love, my experience, my feelings, and my meditation on the subject point me in another direction. I could be wrong of course, but then again, so can you.

Friday, August 10, 2012

About Me

Seeing as I have never posted anything before, I figure it would be appropriate to include some basic information about myself.

Simply put, I'm someone of very little importance. I am a college student (Sophomore starting August) and I am studying to be a Theatre Arts teacher. I'm gay, play way too many video games, and rather boring I believe. I grew up in an extremely impoverished family and as thus moved around A LOT. I have met a lot of people, lived in a lot of climates, and have had to grow up rather quickly in many regards. My mother died when I was seven, and my father failed in his role as dad. I have one brother and one sister as well, and am currently residing in North Texas

Another simple thing. I'm starting this blog to
1) Grow as a writer. I need to gain some experience and ability in writing, and this is hard to do outside of a classroom setting. I want to be able to communicate effectively to others and I see starting a blog as a perfect outlet to do this
2) To document my spiritual journey. I have been a Pagan *officially* for under a year, but I have been interested in it for a number of years and have been reading off and on. I am starting the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids curriculum fairly soon, and see this as a way to not only document my experience and journey for myself, but also document it for others. I figure someone could find it useful, but just maybe

To be honest, I'm not 100% sure yet. I worship the Greek Pantheon and have had some very strong experiences with Athena, but I'm not sure if I want to walk a path of Reconstructionism(this is what my current practice is closest to), Druidry, or neither. Honestly I see myself taking a more syncretic approach as I learn more about Druidry, seeing as I also feel myself drawn towards the Celtic pantheon (and a vast majority of my ancestors came from Ireland, so go figure!) As for my view on deity, I am a hard polytheist. Since I could talk for quite a while as to why I am, I will simplify it down to this, I have had experiences with multiple deities from two pantheons, and thus view each deity as a distinct being. I believe in Ancestor veneration, as well as working with the spirits of ancestors. Magic, totem animals, and the like I'm not sure on yet. Time and experience will tell.

A short introduction.
Hope you'll continue to read.

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A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.