Decisive Moment

We have a tiny window of opportunity before the tone of the community and for community discourse is set for the next decade or longer. It’s time for all of you who love your gods, who know that putting the Gods first always, that being a polytheist, engaging in devotion does not in any way equal fascism to get actively involved. We have a group of people who have extreme political views – and they are trying to radicalize polytheism, and even suggesting that those want to be apolitical and focus on religion are fascists– who are systematically targeting both polytheisms and leading figures in the movement. They are using censorship and thought policing and playing on our political fears and they are willing to use threats and force and even going to the police to quell those who think differently than they. If you’re ok with that, then you’re going to live in that community. If you’re not, you need to speak up now before this becomes the norm.

There are those of us who have been speaking out from the beginning on these things and who have been taking hits left and right. We’ve been painted as reactionary, and even psychotic. We’re willing to go in and have the difficult conversations on these important issues in our communities. We’re willing to be uncomfortable and we’re willing to be attacked both publicly and privately. There’s a limit to how much people are willing to put up with that though. If those people aren’t there, who is going to be?

This is a time when all of us need to stand together or you may find yourselves standing alone.

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Posted on March 26, 2016, in community, Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 28 Comments.

  1. So, what do we do now? I am genuinely asking, because I have no idea…

    [All of this couldn’t have happened at a worse time, because I’m on the edge of a breakthrough of some sort, and it is going to take some serious attention and mental/spiritual presence to bring it about, and so this seems like a really unnecessary and pointless distraction for piffling people who want to destroy our traditions and viewpoints…and by giving this any attention, they’re making it actively less possible for me to build what I need to be building at this moment. So, I’m confused as fuck and have no clue how any of this should be handled.]

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    • If the question is whether or not polytheists are allowed to put their gods first, then I would think that being distracted from that work to defend your right to do it would be exactly the wrong thing for you to do at this time.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ganglerisgrove

        sometimes putting the Gods first means getting off our butts and defending the traditions that the Gods have given us, defending a polytheism in which the Gods ARE first. Unless we want to see a community develop where the Gods aren’t even allowed to be mentioned.

        Liked by 3 people

    • ganglerisgrove

      speak out. call it out. write. deconstruct their arguments if you can, if you don’t want to do that, speak out about the need to keep the Gods central to the polytheistic experience, to building our traditions, to what a tradition is and why having mysteries is not a bad thing.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. How do you envision one making such a stand?

    Liked by 1 person

    • ganglerisgrove

      I think there are a lot more polytheists who value the Gods than these people expect. Most are quietly doing their own thing, building their traditions and really probably want to avoid the community drama as much as they can but for the future of our traditions now, to keep polytheisms spaces that are about the gods and not politics to the exclusion of any opposing voice, I think those folks need to speak out. write, post, write about what polytheism is to you, how you’re honoring your Gods, write about keeping the Gods central, and devotion. try to challenge this politicitization whenever you can on social media, on your blogs and make it clear to them that this is NOT our polytheism.

      Liked by 3 people

      • ganglerisgrove

        they use social media. we should too #notourpolytheism.

        and talk about your practices, what you’re doing, how it prioritizes the Gods. that’s every bit as important. I think these people are trying to force division in the community. it’s time we stand together and make it clear that polytheism is about the Gods first and foremost and no one is going threaten or bully or intimidate us away from that devotion. this is a chance to build the type of community that we want but it may mean a bit of discomfort and challenge.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I think #Mypolytheism

        Liked by 1 person

    • ganglerisgrove

      also, most importantly: Use your voice, which is the most powerful tool you have at your disposal. And while writing about it on your blog or social media platforms is a huge step, I’d recommend contacting the people directly and trying to engage them in dialogue. Keep your words measured and reasonable and respectful. Stick to the issues, and avoid getting in personal digs. Hold them accountable for their words and actions and the words and actions of those they support. Demand transparency and accountability in decision making that affects the community. Boycott their projects if you don’t feel your voice is being heard. This may seem like a small thing, but it’s what we can do – each and every one of us.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Most of the controversies I see seem to be on the West Coast. Have you been confronted on the East Coast as well? I grant that I do less public ritual (I do some) and I don’t go to as many large religious events. I will keep an eye and ear open.

        I mean hell, if he is claiming all heathens are racists, I write about that all the time so the hell with that.

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  3. I misread previous…. #Mypolytheism for our experiences and devotion. I will start using it most of my actions are in Service to my Gods.

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  4. Well, I do belong to one of the organisations mentioned in the article as “doing good.” I will use my voice there when they start going down that road. Have not had so far, but still, will watch and wait.

    We have been called fundamentalists (in the bad sense), since we adhere to the fundamentals of polytheism.

    Personally, I think that Rhyd and John are both engaging in privilege – the king they discry. You know, where we are to allow the other group be, and mold ourselves around them. Not dictate to them, our terms and tell them that they are uncivilised, etc.

    In short, as in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” They have become the very oppressors they have fought to overthrow. Ironic isn’t it.

    Can you name places where these conversations are taking place?

    As to their damage, I am not sure to their staying power unless it is a confluence of more than one group meeting together – atheist pagans and radical pagans, etc. In that case, you have several strong personalities with axes to grind.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “An apolitical Paganism is an immensely privileged Paganism. Those who are able to disregard politics are living lives of remarkable luxury.”

    That gem came from : http://www.patheos.com/blogs/shekhinahcalling/2016/03/22/privilege-is-a-sacred-bubble/
    Privilege Is A Sacred Bubble
    March 22, 2016 by Asa West

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    • ganglerisgrove

      they want politics to define their religion not the Gods. I hope I’m not the only one seeing a serious issues with that. The logical step then is that only those who pass some sort of political litmus test can be part of their religion. Thought policing anyone?

      Liked by 3 people

    • Well, in that case, a person was objecting to the presence of politics in a Reclaiming setting–which is just expecting Reclaiming not to be Reclaiming. They weren’t talking about the G&R post at all.

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  6. g2-80e5ba3b355d356b61c8e56c0a1ab4cf

    Maybe that panel on fascism at Many Gods West would be a good place to confront this nonsense? And if the sorts of questions raised by devotional polytheists, Heathens, Reconstructionists, and occultist sorts don’t get addressed, it can be a clear (and perhaps recorded?) sign that this is just an attempt to destabilize and commandeer polytheism. The chances to have discussions like this face to face seem to be rare, but this seems to be the good time for one.

    And yeah, I am well aware of the threat to Sannion, and the chilling effect that has. But with no one who is going talking about the dangers of open satire the organizers of MGW would be powerless to stop every attendant and ask their commitment to the vision of anarchy.

    Anyway, the after-affects of such a discussion could see this nonsense stop, or see Gods and Radicals isolated in the polytheist community as a destructive force. My frustration is that I live on the East end of the country and cannot afford to go, because this kind of action deserves more than cheering from the sidelines.

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  7. Richard Norris

    Sorry, above comment should have the name Richard Norris.

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  8. KhonsuMes Matt

    My response on Facebook, since I have no Blog.

    Thank you for eliciting (and soliciting) these thoughts, Gallina.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Do we need a counter-organisation to Gods & Radicals? One that speaks about 21st Century polytheism with many voices and can directly address their arguments, I mean. It is easy for the community at large to access Gods & Radicals because it is nice and convenient on one, very vocal, page but it is hard to access the Polytheist side because we are sprinkled over our individual blogs which aren’t as easily accessible.

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    • Polytheist.com is the site now that features writings of polytheists. However, Thrax is the gatekeeper and may not want to be drawn into this. “Walking the Worlds” is the publication that is being printed. It is juried, which makes a difference. These two -site and journal – are carefully curated and juried – to ensure that people do not disrupt the dialogue and serious discussion with “their monotheistic bents or atheist ideas.” But I do agree that a portal with various religious polytheist blogs could be a way to present the many voices that are not a part of the two that I mentioned.

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