Pagan Voices: T. Thorn Coyle, Ivo Dominguez Jr, Rhyd Wildermuth, and More!

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  March 24, 2014 — 143 Comments

 Pagan Voices is a spotlight on recent quotations from figures within the Pagan community. These voices may appear in the burgeoning Pagan media, or from a mainstream outlet, but all showcase our wisdom, thought processes, and evolution in the public eye. Is there a Pagan voice you’d like to see highlighted? Drop me a line with a link to the story, post, or audio.

Rhyd Wildermuth

Rhyd Wildermuth

“Strings and wires and cords bind me and embrace me and restrain me, but they are not mine alone. There are other filaments, unseen but always felt, invisible but ever-present.  Some tie you to me, thoughts and dreams, laughter and hatred, what is shared and what is feared.  I meet you and we are tethered, sometimes anchored, sometimes set aloft like connected balloons slipping from the hands of children into the endlessness of sky.  Some tie me to you, affection or dislike, duty or admiration, care or casualty, love or loss.  Some are like chains which weigh upon the soul, but many others like long stitches which keep us together. Not just in present, either.  There are the threads of fate woven into my form and existence at birth and from even before, the tugging strong rope of destiny unfolding, and all the myriad unfollowed threads of stories and sorrows, possibilities and failures still loose. I’ve heard existence spoken of as a web, but I have never quite felt this true.  Webs are spun to constrict and trap, to bind and kill.  A broken strand does not destroy it.  Its patterns can be predicted, its geometry assured. No. Rather, then, a tapestry, woven from time and the self, of threads countless and coloured, and each strand is you, and you, and you, and some of them are me.” Rhyd Wildermuth, on strings, and the tapestry of existence.

Julian Betkowski

Julian Betkowski

“Part of the process of community building is realizing that community will be composed of others potentially quite unlike ourselves. We must be willing to release our preconceptions and allow others to speak for themselves. Others are not simply mirrors, dully reflecting our own images back to us, they possess a depth and mystery all their own. When we interpret the speech of others as metaphor, we strip them of their depth, of the richness of their experience, and refuse to acknowledge any unique substance in them. Simply, others are reduced to pale imitations of ourselves, and can only be understood as phantom extensions of our own being. This is a subtle form of solipsism. The strategy of reinterpretation becomes even more troublesome when the speech of others becomes so unique, so different from our own expectations, that it naturally resists all attempts to be read as metaphor. We will encounter others with whom we share so little in common that descriptions of their own experiences will find little to no resonance among our own store of memory. In such situations we are forced to either employ extreme hermeneutical maneuvers in order to apologize their speech with our experience or disregard it as nonsense. Alternatively, we could, most simply, just accept it as it is presented to us.” – Julian Betkowski, on resisting the urge towards metaphor in our interactions with others.

Carol Kirk

Carol Kirk

“Even to use the word “community” when speaking of Pagans would seem to be a misnomer.  There is no Pagan community where I live.  There is just a small group of Pagans who get together over coffee every two weeks and then go their own way. They have no interest in working together on community projects or in working with those of non-Pagan religions. They don’t have any interest in creating any sort of Pagan community so why care about reaching out to the rest of the interfaith community at all?  It seems to me we have become as judgmental and as intolerant of each other as those other religions we complain of when they do the same. Perhaps our interfaith work as Pagans needs to begin with ourselves.  If we cannot find tolerance and an ability to work together between the various forms of Paganism, what chance do we have of finding it in the outside world? Something to remember about interfaith work is that it isn’t all about talking about your beliefs and practices with others; although, education to end misinformation is certainly part of what we in interfaith hope to accomplish.  Rather successful interfaith is about gathering those of many faiths who have an interest in programs to benefit their community, to promote social justice, and to work to the good of all.  It is through working side by side on such programs that we come to acknowledge that we are all human and that we can and do care for each other.  Maybe this is where the various Pagan religions need to start.” – Carol Kirk (aka Lark), on interfaith within the Pagan movement.

Ivo Dominguez Jr.

Ivo Dominguez Jr.

“What matters to me is that we leave behind a viable culture and a real infrastructure as Pagans. Infrastructure  is the single most important next step. Things that are tangible and real in the physical world are infrastructure. It could be a building, be land, be a library or a shrine or temple. A large event like Pantheacon is infrastructure too. It takes a large number of individuals, money, time, and energy to create this Brigadoon type of event that lasts only a few days. Three thousand people intersect in a great Pagan crossroads, like a Pagan United Nations session. This is also fragile, it takes very little to destroy an event. It take a lot to maintain, and requires cohesiveness of a group to continue. How we hope to maintain things like this is by this example. We put on an event every few years called Between the Worlds. In 2015 it conflicts with a smaller annual event in the Mid-Atlantic area the Sacred Space conference. We could just go forth and divide the teachers and participants between the two events. The smaller group would probably suffer financially and possibly become less viable. Our two boards met and decided to hold a joint conference. Both events will take place in the same hotel and admission to one gets you admission to the other. We have worked it out to be fair and keep both events, the infrastructure viable.  Cooperation is possible, it is not easy. It is messy, but it can be done.” – Ivo Dominguez Jr., on what Paganism needs to accomplish in the next 20 years. 

Sable Aradia

Sable Aradia

“Here was a great book; a practical step-by-step guide,  with detailed tables and illustrations, that explained magick in a direct, matter-of-fact manner which encouraged scientific thinking and observation of empirical evidence.  Sometimes I am a little obsessive about things, and I threw myself into the Work.  I did the year-long course delineated in Mr. Kraig’s excellent textbook in six months. This is not something I recommend, by the way.  My life went promptly to hell for the next two years, grounded in personal magickal transformation and teenage angst.  But I emerged from that period as a very strong person, with a lifelong appreciation for and love of magick and the Craft. I credit Modern Magick with significantly improving my magickal technique; because the training was excellent, and because I did it at such a young age.  I have seen this book since listed among recommendations for “Advanced” material that long-time Witches, bored with the basic how-to books, could go to in order to take their practice to the next step.” – Sable Aradia, on how Donald Michael Kraig impacted her life and religious practice.

Lon Milo DuQuette. Photo by Charles Elliott.

Lon Milo DuQuette

“I bet you’ve always felt special, haven’t you? Be honest with yourself. I’d wager that even as a child you you were haunted by the uneasy feeling that you were different from everyone else around you. You probably felt (and still feel) profoundly alone with a host of naughty feelings, secret fears, disturbing dreams, curious passions, and desires that are uniquely yours and yours alone. Compared to everyone else, you might consider yourself quietly odd, different, perhaps even defective or incomplete. Nevertheless, even though all of us to one degree or another secretly believe ourselves to be profoundly and fundamentally flawed, we simultaneously believe we are the most special, most interesting, most fascinating person in the universe—the super-star of our own movie, the protagonist of our own novel, the most important actor in the great drama of existence. Am I right? Don’t worry if your answer is “yes.” You’re probably not too crazy. And you’re certainly not alone in your megalomania. Everyone feels that way—and for good reason. Because it’s true!” – Lon Milo DuQuette, on finding the Muse.

David Oliver Kling

David Oliver Kling

“Recently, I found myself feeling like I was running through a gauntlet within a local Facebook group by a few members of the group who had a serious problem with Christopaganism.  Their problem was centered on their understanding of, “the Bible says this…”  What transpired was a litany of Bible passages they felt that condemned Paganism.  I responded that I didn’t feel it necessary to “proof text” with them and volley back with other Bible passages.  I responded that I didn’t feel the Bible was “inerrant” and that I believed it was written by people struggling to make meaning out of their world.  I mentioned that what was important was the hermeneutic one used to interpret the entire text and not taking various texts out of context to use as a “theological weapon” against another. What does it mean for Pagans if we become what we say we are not?  One does not need to embrace Christopaganism to dialogue about it for understanding.  What does it say if we become the type of community that expects tolerance from others without practicing tolerance?  This is the heart of the dilemma I presented. This same treatment I’m advocating towards Christopaganism should be offered towards other forms of Paganism different from one’s own.   As a community, Paganism is starting to mature.  We’re starting to “come of age,” and with that comes responsibility.  In life it is often common to give youth or adolescence a “pass” from time to time with the explanation of, “Well they’re young…” As a community we’re reaching a point where we can no longer be given a pass.  We need to practice the tolerance that we covet for ourselves and when we fall short of this, and we will, we need to acknowledge our shortcomings and keep trying.” – David Oliver Kling, on practicing what you preach.

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

“Do you know that thing which happens to some performers, who are great in a performance in front of thousands of people, but then they falter when they know that their mother is in the audience? This kind of feels like that: I’ve done rituals halfway across the world, and in many other parts of the U.S. (including not far from here, in Anacortes and Seattle and Bellingham), in front of large groups of people, but this is different. Two people who will be there have only done/been at one other ritual, ever (this one!), and while I’d like it to be good for them, at the same time, I know that pretty much anything will be good as far as they’re concerned…And, I know the main Diva who will be receiving our praises appreciates anything and everything that people are able to do for her, and should be pleased with this (which may be the largest group I’ve ever had for a ritual to her–the next-largest being myself and two others, including Erynn Rowan Laurie, in 2009 at her house, and likewise one in 2005 in Ireland with two others, including Sharynne MacLeod Nic Mhacha at my house there), nonetheless, there’s another audience that we don’t often take as much into account as we ought to, even as scrupulous, self-conscious, and (most importantly!) other-aware polytheists and animists, which is the place of place itself and those places that are particular to us and know us and in which we have lived, but which may not be “used to” certain sorts of activities by us in those locations.” – P. Sufenas Virius Lupus, on a strange form of homecoming.

T. Thorn Coyle

T. Thorn Coyle

“There is nothing in our lives that is not sacred. Our laughter. Our excretions. Our hopes and dreams. Our fear. The way we love. The way we cry. The way we fight. What we eat. How we learn. There is nothing in our lives that is not sacred because life itself is a holy and blessed thing. Every flower, animated. Every rock, an ancient pattern. Each song, an expression of humanity in relationship to all things. We are star stuff, it is said, and this is true. We are made of the same iron that gives off distant, dying light. We are made of the same iron that anchors us to this earth. Sometimes we remember. Sometimes we forget. Every day presents this offering: Try again.” – T. Thorn Coyle, on living sacred

That’s all I have for now, have a great day! 

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • http://www.cernowain.com/ cernowain greenman

    I commend David Oliver Kling, not only for his tolerance, but for not joining in the argumentative “tit for tat” quoting of the bible. Why lower one’s self to the level of a fundamentalist? I like the way that David disarmed and de-escalated the discussion by framing the bible in a different way. Of course Pagans do not need to view the bible the way some Christians do. And you don’t have to agree with someone but you can still listen respectfully to their story. If we as Pagans want tolerance, we must have it toward others. It is the only way to move forward instead of getting stuck in defensiveness.

  • Franklin_Evans

    I’ve personally witnessed Ivo’s efforts — and successes!! — in walking his talk with The New Alexandrian Library. I contrast that with my own falied efforts along that path. With community and specifically that which serves Pagans directly still at the forefront of my thinking, I’ve come full circle on this.

    If you (general, Pagan) don’t want it, or see any need for it, I wish you well and personally promise to leave the lights on and the door open for you should you change your mind.

    If you (general, Pagan) are content with efforts (and successes) in integrating yourself(ves) in the culture at large, and see no reason to divert your energy to a specifically Pagan community, I wish you well. I hope you’ll be open to requests for cooperation and collaboration. I firmly believe our separate efforts have important areas of overlap.

    If you (general, Pagan) find yourself(ves) complaining about your situation, about your exclusion from culture-at-large, and you don’t see the value in joining in explicit efforts towards Pagan community, I wish you well, but I sincerely don’t see any potential for improvements in your situation.

    In my experience, no disrespect intended, that seems to cover the vast majority of Pagans. I truly hope to be proven wrong.

    • Ray Wheeler

      wow its a long fall from a high horse.

      • http://www.cernowain.com/ cernowain greenman

        There are some who dare to ride in the saddle and some who just watch others ride the horses.

        • Ray Wheeler

          and some mix metaphors.

      • Franklin_Evans

        I’ve got quite a collection of deceased equines, which get trotted out occasionally to get impacted with blunt objects. If you describe the high horse, I can tell you which one I used in my post.

    • kenofken

      I think many of us find ourselves in a vast and complex terrain between the positions of “infrastructure or not.”

      I don’t hold to the position that we should avoid institutions at all cost, but neither do I accept the premise that we need to have infrastructure for infrastructure’s sake, or to somehow legitimize our position in society or what we’re doing with our spirituality.

      We start with the assumption that we need to build something as a touchstone of our pagan-ness in the physical world. So we work from a mandate to build “something” and that’s exactly what we do. We figure we just need to build a space of our own, and it will be very cool, and the details will just work themselves out. Just get something under roof or lease with books and bad-ass art. We just need to get on our own people to grow up and commit to the cause.

      This has left us mired in the “build it and they will come” mentality, which has a perfect record of failure. We should be working the problem from the other end, beginning with the question of who we are and what are we called to do in the world as pagans. What part of that truly demands dedicated infrastructure. From there, the flow chart has to do into the deadly dull and critical areas of business planning. In any honest process, 90% or more of blue sky ideas will die on paper.

      I love the gumption behind the New Alexandrian Library and the concept, but I wonder which paradigm it’s taking shape within. They seem to have some solid ideas for long-term sustainability in terms of stewardship, but how do the numbers work after the ribbon cutting?

      It’s designed as a center for scholars, but what scholars? What institutions will be paying them, and where will the money for staff, utilities, acquisitions, archiving, research tools etc. come from? Modern neopaganism is a legitimate area of academic research, but not exactly one brimming with funding sources. The humanities as a whole are being cut to the bone even in old-line prestigious schools. How do the economics of a brick-and-mortar library work in the woods of southern Deleware in 2014? More importantly, how do they work in year 5 or 10?

      • Franklin_Evans

        You put my cynicism to a bit of shame, and I hope I’m not being ironical in thanking you for it. :)

        I’ve not had the in-depth conversations with Ivo that would permit me to report what he has in mind in answer to your queries. I do carry the assumption — in which I feel confident — that sustainability has always been foremost in his planning. A part of that assumption is that (for example) a full-time paid staff is not part of the plan. I do know that he does have a detailed plan. Only Ivo can inform us of its details, should he choose to do so.

        I plan to make a personal pilgrimage to the library once it opens. I have some personal research plans, and my hope is that NAL will be the best place to start. Besides, the few times I’ve attended ritual there were the most pleasant such experiences I’ve ever had.

        • kenofken

          I hope I’m coming more from a place of hard-headed realism than cynicism. I don’t think we’re incapable of building great institutions or that it’s not worth ever doing.

          I think too many of us have written off institution building entirely out of frustration or fears that is is inherently corrupting. The small but highly dedicated minority who wants to build infrastructure I fear sometimes does not have the best, or at least the most sustainable reasons for wanting to build them, and our idealism and activism sometimes gets 10 steps ahead of economic reality.

          I also think it’s the case that we’re “coming of age” at a time when institution building is a very difficult business for a variety of economic, technological and social reasons. Institutions with deep roots, endowments, diverse funding sources and top-notch governance are, in many cases, hanging on by their fingertips these days. Some of the institutional models we’re seeking to copy are simply no longer viable templates or will evolve beyond recognition by the time we get our own copy off the drawing board.

      • http://www.cernowain.com/ cernowain greenman

        I do not think of infrastructure as mainly physical buildings. I also think of it as people in important positions in society, such as having a US Military Pagan chaplain. Infrastructure is also organizations that can respond to needs and create change, such as an organization of researchers dedicated to Pagan studies that help promote that research.

        • Bianca Bradley

          A U.S military chaplain does not just help their own special group. They have to serve ALL religions in the military and even atheists if they need it. The military also has regulations about the type of schooling a Chaplain needs, 4 years and a seminary program, last I looked.

          They have however built monuments and circles and provided sanctuaries for the Pagans in the military.

  • yewtree

    Jason, any chance you could make these quotes posts not italicised? I find them really valuable, but the italics make them harder to read.

  • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

    Pagans do not need lectures from Christians about how we need to be more tolerant. Sheesh. Nor do we (who follow the Old Religion) need any passive-aggressive congratulations from Christians about how we Pagans are now “starting to mature.”

    • http://www.cernowain.com/ cernowain greenman

      I don’t disagree with what you just said, but where in the hell did that come from, Apuleius? I did not read that in anything Kling said.

      • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

        It’s not an interpretation of what he said. It is what he literally said.
        1. In the first place, Kling’s whole article amounts to an accusation that Pagans are insufficiently tolerant enough toward so-called “Christopagans”. The title itself says it all: “Practice what you preach!” Bah.
        2. In the second place here is a direct quote from his full article: “As a community, Paganism is starting to mature.”

        • http://www.cernowain.com/ cernowain greenman

          And you find these statements offensive, why?

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            I am not “offended” by what Kling says. I disagree with what he is saying. Why does everyone have to reformulate disagreements into “taking offense”? It’s idiotic.

        • Baruch Dreamstalker

          I would agree that Pagans are insufficiently tolerant of Christopagans, going by some comments (though not all) on this blog. And Paganism has matured from the Sixties, if only in that the boundary-stomping young Pagans who re-ignited our religion now have kids of their own that they worry about.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            There is a difference between merely getting old and less feisty and “maturing”.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Oh, you’re going to play the definition game? Buzz off. I’m not going to try to outline Pagan development over the last fifty years only to watch you write, “Oh, that’s not maturing!” You may waste your time that way; you may not waste mine.

          • kenofken

            What does “tolerance” require? I wish Christopagans the best and support their right to pursue their own spirituality. I don’t recognize their theology or practice as something which fits within my understanding of what paganism is. I also don’t accept the idea that we have to abandon all sense of distinction or meaning for the sake of “diversity” or that it’s healthy to do so.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Tolerance requires, for a start, distinguishing the Christian for whom Jesus is not only exemplar but messiah and savior, from the Pagan who responds to words attributed to Jesus in Gospel but not to the bureaucracy of Paul nor the dogma of the Fathers. The first is of a different communion than ours. The second may fit right in with us with an odd choice of altar deity.

          • kenofken

            I understand the distinction, but that is exactly where my problem with Christopaganism begins, not ends. I certainly understand where many Christians love their deity but hate the dogma and self-serving institutions.

            It’s great that they find joy in experiential and immanent experience of deity and often have a deep appreciation for nature. That does not make them pagan because pagan, whatever many thousands of things it may be, is something more than an aesthetic or even a mode of worship. At least it is to me.

            A more fundamental problem for me is that the gods are who and what they are, not merely altar pieces which go where we like them. I am not, by far, a strict reconstructionist. I find that our experience of deity is intensely personal and mutable and varies at their will and mission for each of us.

            I try very hard not to assert authoritative knowledge about their true nature because I think it is utterly beyond our scope and gives rise to a dangerous sense of hubris. What I have managed to discern of gods and goddesses tells me that the “hard polytheists” are more accurate in their conception than the “all gods are one” camp. My own experience of the Judeo-Christian god tells me that He is really not ok being one god among many in a pantheon of pagan deities. Accordingly, I will not invoke Him in circle nor make offerings that He would likely consider profane.

            I just don’t see a natural compatibility of Christopaganism within pagan religion. Other’s mileage may vary. I don’t think that means we can’t be natural allies with them or that we must judge them as no different than their evangelical cousins.

          • Bianca Bradley

            So you may as well tell Halstead he can’t be Pagan, or the Atheists who don’t believe in divinities but still do Pagan or witchy stuff they can’t be Pagan, or the various Buddhist inspired Pagan themed religions, Or the ones who follow just the elements.

            It basically amounts to I don’t like it. They don’t correspond to how you view religion, so what. I view thinking of marvel literature as a way of finding divinity to be more than a bit silly, but I sure as heck can’t say nope you aint Pagan. ChristoPagans are Pagans, they just aren’t your type of religion.

          • TadhgMor

            No, it corresponds to the idea that if you already have a religious community, why do you need to be in ours?

            What is it exactly, that makes a Christopagan a “pagan”? Is it the trappings? The environmentalism? It seems to me it is everything BUT theology. But I’m open to a counter proposal on that, I simply haven’t seen it well defined yet.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            What is it exactly, that makes a Christopagan a “pagan”?Henotheism. The approach that there are many god/desses whose worship is valid, and my worship is of, or inclusive of, the Nazarene.

          • Bianca Bradley

            How is that different from Polytheism?

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Henotheism is a subset of polytheism, marked by this particular approach.

          • TadhgMor

            Then they are not a Christian. Yet many of them identify as Christians. But that is explicitly a violation of Christian doctrine and runs counter to the Bible.

            The use of the term “Christopagan” is intentional I think. They are not simply pagans who also worship Jesus. They frame themselves as at least partially Christian.

          • Bianca Bradley

            It runs counter the doctrine of traditional Chrisitanity. Then again so did the Gnostics and the Marcions and many other denominations. Which Bible the one translated several times after the Nicean Creed, or the older one that has a lot of stuff that contradicts itself?

            As for how can you worship different Gods than Yahweh, if you worship Yahweh, read William G Dever and see how the ancient Jews did it.

          • TadhgMor

            The ancient Jews weren’t monotheists. They did not yet have the textual tradition they have now. Your point, while valid, has no relevancy here.

            Also, Dever is a….problematic source at times. Not that he is on this.

            No, it runs counter to the fundamental theology of Christianity. Not the doctrine. The fundamental theology as it has been for the past 1600 years. The “I am on the only God” thing is a pretty fundamental claim to Christianity.

          • Bianca Bradley

            The Jews after Moses were monotheists and yet they did worship other Gods other then Yahweh. I sourced my source, William G Dever. Dever is not a problematic source. He’s a bloody archaeologist that retired from the University of Arizona a decade ago. Not only an Archaeologist but one of the more preeminent ones. Murray is problematic, Dever is not.

            The I am the only God is fundamental claim to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the traditional sects.

          • TadhgMor

            There was no Moses. If we’re talking about history, that is pointless.

            Second, there were no “Jews” until monotheism arose. They were Hebrews, and the foundation of their religion was present. But “Jews” refers only to the monotheist groups, and should not apply before circa 630 BCE at the earliest (I’d push it later).

            If you were familiar with the field of “Biblical Archaeology”, you’d know why some consider Dever problematic at times. Again, not on this issue, but in others. He’s the best of the crowd, but the rest of the crowd is full of charlatans.

            The traditional sects? So now you get to redefine those faiths in order to serve the interests of a niche group of unorthodox Christians? That is paternalistic in the extreme. They explicitly define themselves as monotheists. There is no form of “Christianity” since the early period (some debate calling the Gnostics “Christian” even then) that is polytheist. Monolatric, monist, yes. But not polytheist.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            I would ask one of them what “Christian” means, It might not be what it means to you.I have specified the spiritual source material for this hypothetical Christopagan, and it does not include the roots of the only-valid-deity claim. Please don’t drag them in; they are odious.

          • TadhgMor

            Christian is a defined term. They do not get to redefine it. It has nothing to do with “what it means to me”. It has to do with how the term is defined by the Christian community.

            Yes it does. You mention the teachings of Jesus. Jesus cannot be divorced from the Jewish context. Doing so is fundamentally problematic, both religiously and historically. Jewish context is fundamentally exclusionary monotheism.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            “Christian” as used in an email is indeed a defined term. Used in a conversation, in a sentence like, “Why do you call yourself a Christian?” it arrives with layers of meaning unique to each individual.My hypothetical Christopagan ignores the Jewish contexts because this person is another one of us insane appropriators with no regard for the integrity of the tradition (ie, one of the majority).

          • TadhgMor

            Are there or are there not fundamental qualities inherent to the label?

            Ah, so you can simply throw out tradition because you feel like it? Despite your tone, that’s essentially what you’re saying. Also, the majority does not act in that way outside of the pagan community. Most people accept rational boundary maintenance, not this insistence that everything is equally valid no matter what. Even if the majority was like that, that’s a logical fallacy. Majority does not equal good or right.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Have I ever given you any reason to doubt that I am virtually your complete opposite in the appropriation issue? That I regard spiritual tools like shamanism and powerful names like Samhain to be the common heritage of humankind? Do you have any interaction with the Women’s Spirituality movement? They do the same thing to goddesses (to filter out patriarchy) and are not the least abashed about it.

          • TadhgMor

            No, I don’t, and as you’ve brought it up before, I oppose their actions just as much.

            You’re looting. There is no other word for it. You’re using your privilege to smash down the doors and loot other cultures. Then you justify it by calling all those who oppose that “fundamentalists” or the like, as I saw in a few links provided by the other person I’m arguing with who apparently finds labels meaningless but UPG to be sacrosanct.

            I have no idea what a “powerful name” is in that context. You do know the month of October is called Samhain in Irish right? Mí na Samhna. That sounds like a construction that allows you to justify your use of the name.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            We need to agree to disagree, and turn down the noise.

          • TadhgMor

            Turning down the noise only helps you. You’re asking me to surrender.

            I’m being polite. But the constant attempts to beg off from the question do nothing but entrench and perpetuate the issue. Most people I know have already given up, even comparatively tolerant sites like this are written off due to this behavior.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            This “behavior” is explained with an allegory someone just used over on either Gus or Aidan’s blog: When you want a seat at the table, don’t immediately tell them they are holding their forks wrong and should refer to bread and trout as grain and Fish.

          • TadhgMor

            I don’t want a seat at your table. I want to stop the misappropriation.

            DiZerega is not a man I have any respect for. Of course he would support your point. Do not sully yourself with men like him. At least you are more honest.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Then you don’t get to complain when ChristoPagans come into our safe places. Because Pagans are a diverse lot full of liberal and fluffy Pagans and other stuff that make you grit your teeth.

          • TadhgMor

            I don’t leave until all of you deal with the harms you commit. If you want to break off from the recon paths, go ahead. Politely give us back our holidays and customs then, and I’ll let all of you syncretists play nice and cherry pick all you want.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Cocks an eyebrow at you. They aren’t your holidays and customs. You don’t have ownership of them. They aren’t physical properties, nor are they something you came up with.

            Though what the heck this has to do with the price of rice in China in an argument about whether or not ChristoPagans(who may or may not be syncretic)are Pagan is beyond me. Stay on target ffs.

          • TadhgMor

            Oh, they do not belong to the cultures from which they came? Unlike you Neopagans, Recons try to change our culture, not just our clothes and names. It is a fundamental difference.

            It has EVERYTHING to do with it. Why are we broadening the tent to bloody Christians when we haven’t even fixed the issues already present? I think it it’s to further stack up the side of syncretism and monism.

          • Bianca Bradley

            So now I can’t allow ChristoPagans in a diverse tent, because it’s a conspiracy against you? Because you have a personal issue with getting along with other Pagans?

            Cocks the eyebrow again.

            The culture from whence they came are long dead.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            I have no reason to believe Gus is a less honest man than I am.

          • TadhgMor

            Watch his behavior with others some time. You are of significantly higher quality than that arrogant paternalist, for all of our disagreement.

          • Bianca Bradley

            This isn’t a war, a battle or anything else. It’s and Internet argument. Agreeing to disagree is not surrendering. Hell if you want to use the analogy it’s agreeing to a stalemate or truce.

          • TadhgMor

            Yes it is. This is about the slow destruction of old heritage by ignorant, but usually well-motivated, New Age pagans. Where you replace the Gaelic Samhain with some completely different Wiccanate holiday that has nothing to do with Gaelic culture, that often runs COUNTER to Gaelic culture.

            You do not agree to a “truce” where you give up everything. That relies on concessions from both sides. If I shut up, appropriation goes unmentioned and unnoticed among you.

          • Bianca Bradley

            No this isn’t. This is about definitions of Paganism and whether another group can be considered Pagans.

            Whether or not Samhain (a Celtic not Gaelic holiday) can be used by Wiccans or other Pagans(and when they do the dumb feast and honor the dead and ancestors are well within historical precedence) is done right has no bearing on this conversation. NOr is it a war. The Celts are long dead, and what we have now is educated guesswork if you use the recon methods.

            Appropriation is a different subject altogether. If you want to argue that, feel free, but don’t stick it in the argument of whether or not CHristoPagans are Pagans. You dont’ even know without reading their individual practices if they practice Samhain.

          • TadhgMor

            Samhain isn’t attested outside of Gaelic cultures. The Gaulish “Samnios” refers to the month, in the same way Mí na Samhna refers to the month in Modern Irish.

            The Celts are not “long dead” there is a living culture. Way to prove your ignorance.

            I know how Wiccans claim Samhain. I see make posts about what the “meaning” of it is, with not a bloody mention that the Irish never worshiped any “God and Goddess”.

          • Bianca Bradley

            I don’t find labels meaningless. I do find UPG to be imp but not sacrosanct. Quit putting words in my mouth. If you want ot know what I believe, you can got my facebook page, follow to my blog and read my pondering, meanderings and other deep religious thoughts.

            I am arguing on one point and one point only that ChristoPagans are Pagan.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            “I have specified the spiritual source material for this hypothetical Christopagan ….”

            There is not a single sentence in all of the surviving Gnostic texts (or any other non-canonical Christian texts from that period) that supports, even implicitly, the notion of “Christopaganism”.

            All of the various Christian sects, including the Gnostics and other “heretics”, all agreed on one thing: They were right and everyone else was wrong. There were no namby-pamby Christian sects back then. All of them condemned each other as heretics, and fought each other bitterly and violently.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            My hypothetical Christopagan is attracted by words of Jesus, not the Gnostics.

          • TadhgMor

            So why deify him? If you reject the tradition, why not view him as a philosopher? If you accept him as a deity, you are simply cherry picking what you like out of the tradition to avoid the theological contradictions.

            You might be able to get away with that when you do it to tiny groups like Celtic or Norse pagans. Mainstream Christians have a bit more power to push back.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Of course my hypothetical Christopagan is cherry picking. The name sort of gives it away.The only people I see pushing back are Pagans. Don’t our Christian lukers and sometime discussants have a dog in this race?

          • TadhgMor

            I doubt Christopagans are even on their radar.

            So because they choose to cherry pick some cosmetic “pagan” practices we should allow them into the community…..why?

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Repetition is not an argument. I’ve told you this before.

          • TadhgMor

            Either is dodging the issue.

            Your answer relies on everyone sharing your worldview. If I wanted to break bonds with my community and faith and become some individualistic hippy, I would have done so. You’re going to need more logic than “they can do whatever they want because”.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            MY argument relies on everyone sharing MY worldview!? Do you own a mirror?

          • TadhgMor

            Mines does not. Mine relies on you showing a minimum of respect of my worldview, in which case I can try and make compromises that will leave an ill taste in my mouth to lessen the harm done.

            But it has never gotten that far in any debate I’ve had with anyone that thinks like you.

          • Bianca Bradley

            He doesn’t have to respect your worldview, simply tolerate it in the hippy dippy world of tolerance you don’t like:P You really can’t force him to respect your world view.

          • TadhgMor

            Neither of you are tolerating anything. You’re whitewashing the harm.

            I can respect that appropriators may have emotional ties to terms that were stolen. I can try to find compromise when I think they are well meaning.

            I cannot abide cowards who refuse to even admit the harm done.

          • Bianca Bradley

            And you are being thin skinned and seeing harm where none exists. You are throwing in a wide variety of topics in one narrow argument of whether or not Christo Pagans are Pagans. You are tossing out insults, based on your personal problems.

          • TadhgMor

            And you’re showing your privilege. You can read others if you dislike me as a source. I’m far from the only one.

            Personal problems? Get f***ed. You have no f***ing right. You privileged f***ing ****s always like to talk down to anyone non-normative. You’re just like the bloody Christians you’re defending.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            Maybe we should agree to disagree.

          • TadhgMor

            Which still leaves you capable of perpetuating your behavior and ignoring it.

            I don’t think you understand that what you are asking is the total surrender of my position in any meaningful sense. If you shut down the conversation, you shut down the issue. Half of your brethren lack even the grace you’ve shown here; they shout down the conversation with screams of “fundamentalism!” and “folkish!”.

            I understand the desire to just agree to disagree. But that only works in cases where the parties are equal or close to it.

          • Bianca Bradley

            What community are you talking about? My friend Kelly is a hippy dippy Pagan, but she’s still a Pagan. So is the more democratic than thou sometimes uses recon stuff devotional polytheist I know. So is Franklin who is more of a whatever he defines himself(Iforgot franklin sorry) so am I a more hard devotional Lokean poytheist(and other Gods) so is Halstead who is trying to do I think devotional pantheism. How are you breaking bonds with this diverse ‘community’? A ChristoPagan is right at home in this hodgepodge of religions.

            No Baruch doens’t need more logic then they can do whatever they like because. Again by the loosey goosey definitions of Paganism, that pretty much applies.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Hell even Pagans cherry pick.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Your view of History needs some work. Pauls letters to the various churches are to different Christian sects. Were the Gnostics put to the sword, yeah, after the NICEAN Creed, so were the Cathars, and a bunch of others. Early Christianity in the Roman Empire before Constantine, A. had to worry about surviving and not turning into a garden implement for Nero’s joy, or B after they were ok were dealing with their own crap and their own teachings.

          • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

            Which of Jebus’ “teachings” is this henotheism based on?

          • Bianca Bradley

            Love your neighbor as you would yourself. Jesus teachings were real life approaches to the 10 commandments.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            My hypothetical Christopagan becomes polytheistic before being turned on by the words of Jesus.

          • Bianca Bradley

            So because you think that they have a community in Christianity they can’t be part of ours? That isn’t an argument. That is I don’t like it. Well don’t be it.

            As for what makes a ChristoPagan a Pagan, that really depends on them doesn’t it? http://www.northernway.org/cpinfo.html Seems this one has historical roots based in it. http://witchesandpagans.com/Good-Witch-Bad-Witch/can-i-be-christian-and-pagan-wp19.html

            I see no reason why ChristoPagans aren’t Pagan. It’s just as well put as the many Shinto Pagans(who don’t follow all of the Shinto stuff) or the Buddhist Pagans, or any of the other Pagans. Depending on the Christo Pagan, they may or may not need more critique and be more well thought out in their arguments. As to whether it is Pagan enough, your argument from the little googling I have done doesn’t hold water.

          • TadhgMor

            Yes. I do. I don’t see why Christians need to invade our safe spaces when they have a community. They can interact with us like other Christian allies.

            I don’t consider “witches and pagans” a reliable source and that article was basically “yeah do whatever you want!”. It’s fetishizing tolerance to the point of making labels meaningless. It is not wrong to have boundaries.

            The other source is…well let’s just say I’m going to need more than a Wiccan discussion about “divine feminine”. They are just being unorthodox Christians. That “dual-faith period” (I’ve never seen that term before) ignores that those people in those times considered themselves Christian. They adopted Christian theology, but kept some holidays and cultural practices. But importantly they DID NOT consider themselves “Christopagans”.

            I’m not sure I’d consider Buddhist pagans pagan either, if their theology is primarily Buddhism. What is it that makes them pagan? Is it anything more then who they hang out with, how they dress, and their socio-political views? When did theology become irrelevant in religious labels?

          • Bianca Bradley

            Because they are Pagans and not Baptists, or Catholics or even Universalist enough to be UU’s. They are Pagans. They are Pagans that happen to like Jesus and Mother Mary, instead of Brigid and Cernununnos, oh hell they may like them too.

            They are more newagey than the other syncretic faiths or systems like Voodoo and Hoodoo(and if you don’t think that Hoodoo doesn’t use the psalms and Jesus and Yahweh then you don’t know Hooodoo and many are very Protestant Christians) and Santerians and many other people.

            How the hell is what ChristoPagans believe primarily Christian? Did you even bother looking at the two links I gave? That is not primarily Christianity. If you think it is, you need to relook at what the various Christian denominations dogma is.

            Hell go read William Dever if you want a longer historical presedent. Jews worshiped Asherah and Caananite entities, even after the Moses Covenant and the Levitical scrubbing of things they didn’t deem ok.

            What safe spaces are you possibly talking about?

            Fetish is a sexual term. There is nothing sexual about saying sure if it calls to you do it. Your arguments are I don’t like it. That’s a personal problem, not a valid theological counterpoint.

          • TadhgMor

            HOW ARE THEY PAGANS? You are not bothering to answer ANYTHING. You just keep restating the same empty thesis without any support.

            Dever isn’t support for you. Those were not Jews. They were Hebrews. Jews refers to monotheism. I’m more than familiar with the archaeology of the late Bronze and early Iron Age Levant, and you are distorting the record in service of your point.

            Fetish is not only a sexual term. I suggest you review the definition.

          • Bianca Bradley

            I ALREADY ANSWERED HOW THEY WERE PAGANS AND I GAVE THE LINKS. STOP TRYING TO SAY THEY AREN’T BECAUSE YOU DON’T LIKE THEIR RELIGION.

            They were Jews. I am also familiar with the time period.

          • TadhgMor

            No you haven’t. How are they theologically pagan? They worship a deity that makes claims to exclusivity. If they deny that, they are not a Christian. If they accept it, they cannot be a pagan unless you define “pagan” as all the frills and window dressing, not the theology.

            They were not. Using the term before it had any currency is an anachronism. The term “Jews” refers to Judah and the period when Judah began to expand prior to the Babylonian captivity. The period you are discussing is earlier and they were Hebrew polytheists of two (or more) kingdoms.

          • Bianca Bradley

            It has been answered. Just because you don’t like the answer does not make the answer valid. Your taste is not relevant to whether or not they are Pagan or not.

            The period I am talking about was after Moses. Did God have a wife.

          • TadhgMor

            There was no Moses, so there is no historical period involved. If you claim to know the period surely you’re aware that the proto-Hebrew material culture only shows up in the highlands circa 1150 BCE or so.

            It has not been answered. You’ve dodged, provided links, but NONE of them have dealt with the theological issue here. Let alone the issue of allowing Christians into pagan spaces simply because they claim to be pagan.

          • Bianca Bradley

            SO the exodus never happened? Moses didn’t come down from Mt. Sinai twice with the 10 commandments? That btw is (from my reading of dever) is when the whole there shalt be no other God before me came into being. Why not just say that the passover never happened either.

          • TadhgMor

            Yes, it never happened. Archaeology is pretty clear on that. The closest compromise is that it’s a folk memory of the numerous annual migrations Canaanites made into the Egyptian delta, which is a documented phenomena.

            Again, Dever is problematic because he lets his religious beliefs skew his archaeology. He believes the Biblical narrative, even though it has no evidence. Try Finkelstein, “The Bible Unearthed”, he’s less beholden to that narrative, though he’s not a radical minimalist.

            Passover didn’t happen, not the way it is in the stories. There were no “Hebrew slaves” in Egypt. The connection of the “Habiru” to the Hebrew is spurious.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Dever is a humanist, not someone who believes in religion. In fact he pisses off the Christian Apologists just as much as the liberals. Your wrong again.

            Introduction to Did God have a Wife laid out what Devers beliefs were.

          • TadhgMor

            You’re right, I was mistaken. Though he often sides with Maximalists for some reason, and his acceptance of the Biblical narrative as “generally historical” puts him at odds with most scholarship not done by apologists.

            Either way, he’s out of date. You might want to try reading something more recent.

          • Bianca Bradley

            If it interests me I will. I personally like his grumpy cantankerous writing. It has less political bias attached to it.

          • TadhgMor

            Finkelstein is one of the far too small cadre of Israeli archaeologists completely unbeholden to politics. Avoid either of the Mazars, and take Garfinkel with a grain of salt (he makes big claims that aren’t backed up by evidence, but it drives the right wing Christians and Jews up the wall so they run story after story). Anyone associated with Elad should be ignored, they’re a far right political group despite claiming to do archaeological work.

            You might already know some of that, so I don’t mean to sound like a lecture. But I figure if I’m going to suggest it I should cover the bases.

          • Bianca Bradley

            I don’t have access to my notebooks to write that down, and I’m gonna swiss cheese this in my memory banks, so send me a facebook message if you please?

          • TadhgMor

            I don’t use facebook. You can probably copy paste the comment into a notepad doc or something though.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Thanks anyway. I’ll argue with you more later:) Off to brave the ks wind to get the kiddos:P

          • Bianca Bradley

            Oh and here is another source the Jewish book of mythology. http://www.amazon.com/Tree-Souls-Mythology-Howard-Schwartz-ebook/dp/B005FVPFAY/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395854396&sr=1-3&keywords=Jewish+book+of+mythology

            Read up on whether or not the Shekina depending on the Jew was considered Asherah or not.

          • TadhgMor

            Posting a link to Amazon and saying “read up” is ridiculous. Link a paper if you’re going to say that.

          • Bianca Bradley

            I linked a source, the source is a book. I’m not linking a paper because you want an easier read.

          • TadhgMor

            I’m not buying a book because you think maybe there is some sentence that supports your nonsensical point.

            Asherah is NOT RELEVANT. I cannot make that any more clear.

          • Bianca Bradley

            It’s several stories not a sentence and she most definately is relevant.

          • TadhgMor

            Not at all. A culture being polytheist once does not in any logical way support your point. Thousands of cultures meet that criteria.

          • Bianca Bradley

            MOre links for your perusal of their definitions.

            http://christopaganism.org/about/

            seems pretty Pagan to me. http://thechristopaganmystic.tumblr.com

            I definately don’t subscribe to the ascended masters thing, but it’s no more fluffy then the crap I read in Mastering Witchcrafthttp://www.amazon.com/Mastering-Witchcraft-Practical-Witches-Warlocks/dp/0399504427

          • TadhgMor

            It all looks pretty bloody fluffy to me on the first link. I don’t see any theology. I see New Age trappings. Candles “magick” etc. Nothing “pagan” about it. The second still defines nothing, just makes a plea about syncretism.

            Neither of those define anything. You’re just throwing links at me, most of which are harming your case by showing me the kind of New Age nonsense that I think is harming “paganism” as a community, rather than helping it. As well as a source the demonizes anyone who DARES to set boundaries for our communities.

          • Bianca Bradley

            So what if it is fluffy. Plenty of Pagan stuff is fluffy. It doesn’t negate it’s Paganess. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t negate it’s valid Paganess. It just means, it aint for you. So don’t be one.

            WE don’t have a community. WE have a diverse amount of cats that refuse or want to be herded, depending on who is doing what.

            I’m not saying that critical thinking, lack of conflict resolution skills are not imp. I’m not even getting into that. I am however as a meany pooh pooh headed devotional polytheist saying you are wrong on the internet. You are conflating stuff yo don’t like and saying it aint Pagan. Sorry that isn’t a valid negation. Don’t follow the path. But stop putting your personal issues into it.

          • TadhgMor

            New Age culture, dress, and practices ARE NOT PAGAN. They are New Age. They might be common among pagans, though I sincerely wish they weren’t. But they ARE NOT pagan. They are not inherent to paganism.

            You haven’t presented a single bloody point. You’ve thrown links at me and then attempted to deflect with this “well you don’t like it” argument.

            I don’t follow the path. But why should I accept Christians coming into our safe spaces? They have enough places. It’s basic respect. I’m tired of watching Recons get demonized while we play nice with Christians. Apparently Wiccans are fine appropriating from my path, but Gods forbid I ask them to show me half the respect and tolerance they’ll give to a bunch of half-Christians, or I’m some sort of “fundamentalist” like your fluffy links have said.

          • Bianca Bradley

            My links aren’t fluffy. YOu asked how they were Pagan and I did some light research and gave you how. I gave you how from the sources themselves. That would be considered a primary source. Just because you think the people who practice it are fluffy doesn’t negate their Paganism.

            Some are syncretic, Some are Polytheist and some are Pantheistic. It is up to the ChristoPagan on how it is.

            AS for whether or not your issues with Wiccan appropriating from your path, has no bearing on whether or not they are theologically Pagan. That is a separate discussion. Your arguments amount to I don’t like it. Well tough tiddly winks. You aren’t required to like it. That doesn’t make them not Pagan. As to the Newagey claim. Pray take a good hard gander at the 70’s and 60’s sometime and Paganism and the writing and the occult stuff.

          • TadhgMor

            You didn’t provide anything theological. The closest was the one site which talked about syncretism, but they don’t get into any detail. It didn’t answer the issue of theology.

            Some of the others were definitively fluffy by any standard. Not all primary sources are reliable.

            I’m not sure you really understand the terms you are using. Polytheist and pantheist mean one thing, syncretic means something completely different. That’s apples and oranges.

            My arguments amount to classifying religions based on their theological content, not how they dress or what speech patterns they have. It is an argument you’ve repeatedly ignored.

            I have no desire to look at the 70s and 60s and see the merger of religion with what I consider a vacuous and anti-intellectual subculture.

            You’ve still not addressed the point, and at this point I don’t think you’re going to bother to. Have fun basking the glory of “defending tolerance” or whatever other dishonest way this will be framed.

          • Bianca Bradley

            I provided 4 theological sites. One from witches and Pagans your not liking the source does not make it not theological. 3 from ChristoPagans sites themselves.

            Your arguements amount to you don’t like their religion. You can dress it up any which way you like, but it’s basically not your cup of tea. It isn’t relevant. Not to whether or not they are Pagan, which is an umbrella term. Hell if Satanists can be Pagan, then Christo Pagans can as well.

          • TadhgMor

            Do you know what “theological” means? I do not think we are using the term in the same way.

            None of them defined anything. None of them dealt with theological issues. Being a religious site doesn’t mean it is “theological”.

            Who the hell is saying Satanists are pagans now?

            Also, you’re still wrong, you’re still not engaging my argument.

          • Bianca Bradley

            The only seminary Pagans have that I’m aware of is Cherry Hill seminary. That would be the only theological source I can get that fits the narrow hard definition of theological.

            the·o·log·i·cal [thee-uh-loj-i-kuhl] Show IPA

            adjective

            1.

            of, pertaining to, or involved with theology: a theological student.

            2.

            based upon the nature and will of God as revealed to humans.

            Well apparently those links do hit under the hard definition. Based up on the nature and will of God as revealed to Humans(3 links where people talk about how they percieve God or Gods and they show personal stuff of how it is revealed to them count. All Pagans are still theological students(unless you are only going to count this as seminary students, and for that we have Cherry Hill as the only seminary I am aware of but that is problematic)

            So you are going to have to lump the fact you can’t get it the way you want.

          • TadhgMor

            I’m not asking for theological sources. I’m asking for an explanation of the theological contradictions. How do you reconcile fundamentally contradictory theologies without simply jettisoning all tradition?

            I’m not interested in UPGs. I do not share the Romanticist individualist assumptions that most “mainstream” pagans do. You don’t get to redefine centuries of tradition simply because you “feel” something. That is entirely counter to my values, though I know that is not the case for all. Further, it does not solve the theological issue, it merely tries to skirt around it.

            I have no idea what you’re trying to say with the second half of that paragraph.

          • Bianca Bradley

            How do you reconcile theological different paradigms depends on the practitioner, so look to the links again and see how they do it. It doesn’t have to make sense to you, it has to make sense to them.

            Whether or not you are interested in UPG is not an argument. You seem to think whether or not you find it religious or tolerable or even good, matters to the definition at hand. It doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if the Methodist preacher I know thinks of them as Christian or the Southern Baptist one agrees either. You seem to think that it has to make sense to you, it doesn’t. (grumbled edited out thrice darned TYPO)

            None of that applies to whether or not Christo Pagans are Pagan. They just are. Hell if you really really want to argue definitions than look at Halstead 3 pillars of Paganism, or the various other definitions that run amuk.

            Your argument basically goes I don’t like it(irrelevant) Wiccans are mean to me(not relevant) The Wiccans and other fluffy Pagans keep playing with my stuff(again not relevant). It is no more relevant than if you agree that Shinto or Buddhist Pagans are Pagan. Your liking it doesn’t negate that by our current stew of Pagan definitions, they are Pagan.

            Also edited in :

            Everything else you mention(how tolerant the non POlytheistic Pagans are is a separate conversation. Kling may even agree with you. Cultural appropriation and whether or not Wiccans or Pantheists are appropriating is again another conversation. I am addressing ONLY whether or not ChristoPagans are Pagan. I am not bringing in my personal views. Though I am being a bit snarky for my own amusement.

          • TadhgMor

            Yes it does matter. Communities define the boundaries of their identities.

            None of those links have provided a single answer to my question. Saying “read the links” isn’t an argument, it’s a dodge. I read them already.

            I’ve never seen a “definition of paganism” that wasn’t overly reductive and monist centric.

            If you think that is my argument, then you really need to reread my points. That is a caricature maybe.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Oh and brtw, you just growled at me above for not providing theological sources, so yes you were asking for them, which I had already provided.

            It’s not my job to reconcile their differences of Christianity (how you accept it) vs Paganism(how you accept it)

          • Bianca Bradley

            I understand the terms pretty damn well. Quit acting like an ass because you don’t like what others practice. Your arguments are emotional, couched in intellectual terms. The links I gave were not fluffy by “any standard” you just don’t like them. You asked and I answered based on light research. You still don’t have to like what they practice, but your arguments of they aren’t Pagan aren’t valid.

            Your arguments also contain a whole lotta stuff that aren’t part of the conversation. Whether Wiccans take from YOUR practice(debatable. It would be more accurate to say they take from their perception on how others did it way back in yee olden days) is not part of this discussions. Whether or not Pagans are tolerant of Polytheists is not part of this discussion and why you keep tossing up is beyond me.

          • TadhgMor

            You haven’t answered anything. You threw links that don’t answer the questions I asked. How is that helpful at all?

            Well your sentence was worded poorly then, since you seemed to conflate different terms.

            Debatable? There is outright appropriation of Celtic and Norse culture in Wiccanate forms of paganism. The fact that they base their appropriation on false Romanticist nonsense only makes it worse, since they redefine it and replace the origin with this new creation.

            My original posts dealt with both issues. I find the treatment of Christopagans, and the lengths to which people will go to defend them, very telling in comparison to how Recon groups get treated.

          • Bianca Bradley

            There is 0 governing bodies when it comes to Paganism. Hell we don’t even have a good definition of Paganism that is agreed upon. There is no set dogma. There is no Pope. There is no Mormon prophet. Whether archaeologists scientific speculation agrees with our mythology or or religious points is moot.

            So self identifying as Pagan, makes you Pagan. Your dislike of the political liberal concept of tolerance doesn’t a apply. In a case like this, it is what it is. Whether or not the people of the 60’s or 70’s were vaccous is also moot, that is your personal likes and dislikes and has no bearing on whether or not ChristoPagans get to call themselves Pagans.

            Your assertion that they are coming into our safe spaces, makes me wonder what the hell places you are talking about. It also boils down to I don’t want to play with them. So don’t play with them, but it doesn’t make them undefinable as Pagans.

          • TadhgMor

            Great, so the term is meaningless. Essentially nothing matters other than personal will. I never thought I’d want to call someone a hedonist, but you’re getting me close.

            Yes, I don’t want to play with them. I have to play with them every day of my life. I want someplace where I don’t need to pretend to fit their norms.

            You’ve still not answered my question at all. You’re essentially just arguing the term is meaningless. F*** community, it’s all about the individual.

          • Bianca Bradley

            So basically you are back at an emotional reaction. That is not a valid counterpoint to whether or not they are Pagan. This proves my point that you don’t like it. Ok, no one is requiring you to be A a ChristoPagan and B. to even hang out with them.

            from wikipedia:

            ontemporary Pagan religious movements are diverse, sharing no single set of beliefs, deities, creed, ritual practices, or texts; nor do any claim to be absolutely authoritative. However, there is a great deal of overlap amongst Pagan movements and there are a number of beliefs commonly shared by many Pagans, including pluralism, pantheism, polytheism, and a general belief that divinity is found in mind and nature.[3]

            http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pagan

            A hedonist btw is considered a Pagan here. ChristoPagan comes under new religious movement

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/allergicpagan/2012/05/23/the-three-or-more-centers-of-paganism/ The three tiers definition

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/allergicpagan/2014/01/19/paganism-is-paradox/

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_paganism

            The term Pagan is valid. It is however loosey goosey as hell. So you are wrong.

          • TadhgMor

            All of that is a Wiccanate viewpoint only. So sure,.if you define “pagan” in a way that leaves out the foundations of modern paganism, the cultures and paths which Wicca and others took from, then I suppose you’re right.

            But that seems a tad dishonest no?

            My counterpoint is there is nothing pagan about them and you’ve failed to tell me what it is that makes them pagan other than that “they are”.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Wicca is one of the foundations. Haven’t really found Heathens or other Recons giving much of a rats patootie about defining Paganism more. They do point out umm you are leaving us out, your definition needs work.

            I’ve proven my point time and time again. Your counterpoint is nuh uh and I don’t like it. Not an argument.

            No it doesn’t seem dishonest that Gardner in 1930’s did stuff that we find unethical now. Though honestly if someone finds some truth in what the ancient Saxons, Celts, or picts did, I don’t’ find it stealing. (cultures that existed in Britain prior to Christianity, oh darn I forgot the Romans). It is part of Gardners nationality, though I don’t really know his genetic roots.

            Now his bringing the Buddhist stuff he encountered from his travels in the east, when he was a civil service employee, that can be appropriation.

          • TadhgMor

            They tried, more and more are simply leaving.

            Wicca is the modern foundation. Guess who early Wiccans took from rather liberally?

            If you find “truth” in falsities isn’t that a contradiction? If you want to invent a new holiday, why steal and existing one?

            Oh, so it’s appropriation for Buddhism, but not Celtic cultures? Why exactly?

          • Bianca Bradley

            They tried more and more are simply leaving? Care to pin the context of that vague sentence down?

            I’ve told you before, if you want to know what I personally believe, you can find that out. Otherwise quit putting words in my mouth.

            No I don’t find it to be appropriation to use cultures that are part of your heritage, and use holidays you find an affinity with. As for why use Samhain vs making a new one, get a ouija board and ask Gerald yourself.

            Who did early Wiccans take from. Ceremonial magicians(OTO, and Golden dawn 4 watchtowers are the archangels)

            Germanic and Celtic holidays

            All this can be found by gooling Wicca tbh. Sacred Texts 50 years of Wicca and a bunch of other sites can give a lot more info .

            It really doesn’t bother me as a Polytheist that Wiccans(BTW or Eclectic) do what they do) Fail to see what “harm” you keep referring to.

          • Bianca Bradley

            The first link I showed isn’t fluffy. It may not meet up to the hard recon standards but it is far from fluffy. Nor is the one that describes it as syncretic.

          • TadhgMor

            You’re right, I got them mixed up in the comment. It still wasn’t descriptive at all. No one is dealing with the fundamental issue to me, which is theology.

            The second one was pure fluff.

          • Baruch Dreamstalker

            With respect, you are failing to make the distinction I suggested — you are defining Christopagans as Christians and then building a case that therefore they are not Pagans. You are going by your own experience of the Judeo-Christian god and not allowing for Christopagans to act spiritually on their own experience. No one is challenging your right to deal with that god personally in your own way, only asking that you extend that right to Christopagans without kicking them out of the Pagan community.

          • TadhgMor

            That seems to be a bit of a “tyranny of the individual” to create a term. We must give up boundaries to because someone feels a way personally? There is no group consensus? Only the feelings of an individual, no matter how strongly it runs counter to the known traditions, matters?

            It is a legitimate point of view, but is why I think the term “pagan” is doomed. Not all of us share that highly Romanticist “do what feels right labels are meaningless” worldview. That it has dominated the pagan mainstream for so long surprises me.

          • Bianca Bradley

            There is no group consensus. Most of NeoPaganism is about the individual. Also yes, throwing out a lot of tradition is perfectly acceptable as well. Whether it is ethical is another matter.

          • TadhgMor

            I’m not a “Neopagan”. I leave that term to your like.

            Yes, the Romanticist norm of “do as you will”. I’m aware of it. But it has very little truck among my community and others like me. It is probably an insurmountable gap.

          • Bianca Bradley

            Yeah you kinda are. You aren’t some ancient Roman, nor are you Boudicca or her Brethren from centuries ago. If you are, dang man, how did you learn the computer? Either that or you are some vampire, hope you don’t sparkle.

            You are a New Pagan.

            Modern paganism, also known as contemporary paganism, and neopaganism,[1] is a group of contemporary religious movements influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various historical pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe.[2][3] Although they do share commonalities, contemporary Pagan religious movements are diverse and no single set of beliefs, practices, or texts are shared by them all.[4]

            Contemporary Paganism has been characterised by Dennis Carpenter as “a synthesis of historical inspiration and present-day creativity”,[5] in this manner drawing . influences from pre-Christian, folkloric and ethnographic sources in order to fashion new religious movements. The extent to which contemporary Pagans use these sources differs; many follow a spirituality which they accept is entirely modern, whilst others attempt to reconstruct or revive indigenous, ethnic religions as found in historical and folkloric sources as accurately as possible.[6] Polytheism, animism, and pantheism are common features in Pagan theology. Of the various days for celebration among Pagans, the most common are seasonally based festivals of the Wheel of the Year.[7]

            Recons count as Neo Pagans

          • TadhgMor

            Quoting wikipedia? Seriously?

            Oh, I get it. So I can’t set boundaries for what is a pagan, but YOU get to set boundaries? What a hypocrite. I want nothing to do with your New Age nonsense. “Neopagan” means nothing but fluffy and New Age in the minds of most people. I will not associate with that.

          • Bianca Bradley

            So don’t accept them into your particular practice,but it hurts what to accept them more in the Pagan umbrella? For that matter can we really close the door to them? In the Pagan umbrella we have Atheist Pagans, Otherkin, Polytheists(hard, toned and squishy), Pantheists, people who worship the elements, uber feminists, Gains, Shamans(of various stripes)People who view marvel characters are Gods. Oh and the Satanists Etc Etc Etc Etc

            Your going to say no to a group who happens to like Jesus? Meh, I don’t see the reasoning as sound tbh. We already have diversity.

  • Ray Wheeler

    most of these comments save for baba lon,aradia and coyle are pandering to some watered down laymans idea of paganism. very little of any of it is even couched in serious philosophical or metapysical understanding. These folks each make good leaders of fools and those whom are not very intelligent. In no way should anyone with a brain think of them as leaders or intelligencia in any way.

    First the word tolorence is vastly missused. tolerance is not sitting and swallowing winnowing religious garbage hand over fist and saying things like ‘oh how interesting’ and ‘oh my what an interesting way to look at it’ etc ad nauseum. tolerance is not impeding the ability of another to be as they wish in there own space. it does not entail acceptance of doctrine or belief in anyway. period. If i think your an idiot then so be it but i tolorate your existance as an idiot until it impedes my own. then I may take action. Acceptance of any and all doctrines and beliefs as valid means you personally have no belief and are just a leaf blowing in the wind. as most of these quotes are from people reiterating the direction they think the winds of your average ignoramous are blowing. everyone wants acceptance and few are willing to do the work and thinking required of the more serious and profound paths this means that people who like to pander and act so smart are going to get alot of ‘airtime’ on blogs such as this.

    The problem with christianity and its attendant paths is that they are almost all based in guilt and the concept of the fall from grace. most whom are trying to merge the non christian with the christian are just trying to cobble topgether words to save face in a very christian society.

    As for Betkowski’s comments he assumes each individual is a depthful mystery when such is just not the case with most people. most people are just reflections of socital personality trends and do not deserve the respece afforded a mystery.

    As far as interfaith goes thats a more complex and nearly indigestable can of worms than is purported. Interfaith? what if your form of paganism is not acceptable to the larger christian community. are you to hide your rites? are you to act prim and proper as a good christian so they don’t become uncomfortable. are you to change what paganism is so much so that it really become christianity with a funny name and a new costume? are you to speak and act like a religious idiot as most christians do so as not to upset their apple cart?

    seriously these are the quotes of leaders? deap thinkers? people whom are afraid to offend and pander as such are the awful result of mindless sycophantic strains inherent in most human culture.

  • TadhgMor

    Funny how the question of tolerance comes up for these “Christopagans”…yet try and deal with how poorly treated Reconstructionist paths are in the “pagan mainstream” or “pagan institutions” and no such cries arise.

    It’s a monist hegemony apparently. That’s really the only conclusion I can draw. You can be a half-Christian (EDIT: this sounds more derogatory than I mean it to be. Clearly they aren’t orthodox Christians, but they bear little resemblance to paganism in my mind either) and still end up with more time, space, and respect than Recon paths.

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com Apuleius Platonicus

      Ah, the strange allure of victimhood. Why do so many find it so irresistable?

      • TadhgMor

        Ah, the strange allure of ignorance. Why do so many choose to remain so?

        You think it’s not true? Try and bring up appropriation to a group of Wiccanate pagans sometime. That subject is not really “tolerated”.

        • mptp

          And now we see why the term Wiccanate got pushback – look how quickly it is used as a pejorative label, instead of a neutral descriptor … Or were you not trying to use it as an “othering” term?

          • TadhgMor

            There is nothing pejorative about it in my comment. I’m using it in the term of classification.

            No, it was not an othering term. It is an explicit description of the broader “category” of paths that I have an issue with over appropriation. Further, I find the idea of “othering” the dominant group to be rather…odd.

          • TadhgMor

            In response to your question that I think accidentally underwent moderation, I am not “ignoring” that site. I was unaware of its existence. Which leads me to believe you might be overstating its influence. Certainly I frequent circles where there is considerable concern with appropriation and the “fluffy” nature of some groups of Wiccanate (again not a pejorative, a classification) paganism, but I have never heard of such a site. Childish antics like that won’t get us any closer to our goal, which is to deal with the appropriation we feel is occurring and find some sort of way forward.

            As for “othering” the majority, I’m going to need more evidence that we have any power to do so. You are, and will remain, normative in the “pagan” community.

      • Franklin_Evans

        You cannot avoid looking like a hypocrit when you disdain precise usage of terms, previously clarified by TadhgMor in great detail, after and in the same thread posting a complaint that people won’t agree with your restrictive use of the verb “to mature”.

        You can be very informative. I must agree with the view of others that you sometimes do not debate in good faith. Tolerance does not automatically equal permission. Understanding does not automatically equal agreement.

        • Bianca Bradley

          Thank you.

    • Franklin_Evans

      I seek your consensus on something I consider a matter of courtesy.

      I find myself too often grinding my teeth over a personal catch-22. If I try to use precise wording in service to brevity, some seem to willfully take it as other than intended. If I make the effort to spell things out in detail, leaving (I hope) no room for misinterpretation, some will just not read it, others will stop reading to rush to respond to something out of context, some will just complain about it being too long.

      I submit to all a definition of civility: If necessary sit on your hands while reading, and don’t free them to type until you’ve read every word in the post, considered the possibility that there was some unintended ambiguity, and decided to ask the author of the post to clarify or explain.

      Wondering out loud: Does it really matter that a usage can have pejorative connotations if it accurately conveys the thoughts of the user?

      • TadhgMor

        I think it does matter, honestly. I’m not the nicest person, but if a label seems pejorative, it can muddy the waters of your point. Without getting into civility, it’s a simple issue of clarity.

        But on the other hand in this instance I think you need to set apart classifying terms from their use in more polemic contexts. The example I would use is “homosexual”, which is considered pejorative as an identifier (homosexuals say…) but not as a classifier (homosexual attraction, etc).

        • Franklin_Evans

          The “source” of the catch-22, IMO, is the large number (want to say majority) of people who don’t look at the qualifiers or classifiers, and leap directly to an assumption of ill will.

          I don’t let such things upset me. I try to acknowledge reactions to pejorative connotations, but unless one of them sits down with me and offers a rational justification, I just shake my head and move on. I have LGBTQ friends in whom I have implicit trust that if I’m ignorant of something they’ll clue me in, instead of attacking me for misspeaking out of that ignorance. I don’t believe I need to keep track of nationwide trends, etc. especially when my friends don’t necessarily agree with them. Shrug.

          Take the label “black” for African Americans (I’m limiting my remarks to my culture). Its former place in the lexicon was filled by “negro”. They are cognates. One is English, the other Latinate. My father was born in Crna Gora, Montenegro, “black mountain”. “Negro” is the “pure” source for the aggressively pejorative, dialect-colloquially corrupted form “nigger”. They are not cognates. I must be chastised for using the latter. I won’t accept being chastised for using the former, especially when I grew up with it as a part of the lexicon without any connotations beyond simple description.

          Maybe I’m being too simplistic. I dunno. :)