A Very Interesting Round Up

Druid elder and respected environmental activist John Michael Greer has provided some reasoned and well balanced commentary on the situation with G&R and Rhyd: 

History shows that when a religion discards its deities, politics fills the void that the gods leave behind. The result does not keep well. Liberal Christianity in the United States made that choice in the 1960s, discarding its faith in the Risen Christ in favor of agnosticism and social-justice activism, which is why churches that dominated the American religious scene in the middle of the 20th century are now selling their buildings, going to part-time unpaid clergy, and facing extinction once the remaining parishioners die off or get bored and wander away. That’s beginning to happen to eclectic Paganism right now.

 

Read the full article here

Lucius Helson has a final solution for our Pagan Problems here.

They’re going to have to go to the elders who have so long been abused, get down on their knees and say “I’m sorry for what has happened. I am sorry I didn’t do enough to stop it. But let us try again, together, the right way. With respect for you, and knowledge for me.” And elders are going to have to understand that the days of fame and fortune are over…for now. Their best gifts will not earn them money, but can earn the respect and honor, places of privilege within their own religions traditions. And then, down the line, fortunes may come, because people want solidity in their religions, something unique, fulfilling, and immutable. Practice that, preach that, enforce that, and you will find people come to you much more than they ever have to something homogeneous.

Gods and Radicals blogger C. S. Thompson and his comrades perpetuate racist stereotypes about African Traditional Religions here:

As we were making our introductions, another protester walked by carrying an effigy of Donald Trump, filled with needles and pins like a so-called “voodoo doll.” Surprisingly enough, this led to a debate between two of my comrades over the relative merits of Vodou and Santeria! (Neither of which actually uses this type of magic, but that’s beside the point.) I turned to them and said “whatever gets the job done” and they burst out laughing. That was the end of the debate.

and finally, on account of this and more, Hellenic polytheist Julia Ergane is calling for a boycott of Many Gods West here. I think we can all see why. 

I am urging that people of good will and ethics to BOYCOTT the Many Gods West conference. In addition, I also do not TRUST the bona fides of the organizers for this conference. If you already have reservations — cancel them. If you are a presenter — cancel your appearance. People who are enmired in the amount of miasma that these organizers have perpetuated will imbue the conference with it. Do Not be a party to it!

That is all for now, folks. 

 

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Posted on April 22, 2016, in community, Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. That first link is especially interesting, if pessimistic. I can’t help but contrast it with modern Heathenry, which seems to be experiencing the exact opposite effect. Since it has (largely) disassociated itself from neopaganism, its growth has been steady and its maturing as a community has been palpable. If Greer’s “fifty year lifecycle” theory is correct, is the implication that Heathenry is simply behind the curve, and its diffusion and die-off is imminent? Or does Heathenry have some secret of cohesion that eclectic neopaganism lacks? My money is on the latter, and I suspect it has to do precisely with Heathenry’s non-eclectic nature. But of course it’s just a guess; we’ll know in twenty or thirty years, I suppose. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. JMG is one of my intellectual heroes, so there’s my bias for you. I think his 50 year life cycle is almost flippant, however. These organizations definitely have life cycles- history tells us that much. I’m not sure they can be so neatly measured. Either way I believe that his point (s, actually) still stand. Much of the neopagan movement is headed into a well-worn rut in history.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. John Michael Greer fan here as well. His articles are always thoughtful and well written and perfect with a fresh cup of coffee.
    I’ve enjoyed Lucius Helson’s writing lately too. His solution, as seen in his latest post, almost resembles a form of the “Benedict Option” that many orthodox Christians are beginning to look at as a response to the rising totalitarianism of the Left.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Richard Norris

    John Michael Greer is one of the people who really woke me up from my progressive nightmare and got me to see that there were other games in town besides secular humanism. Seeing that column today surprised and pleased me. Very glad to see other polytheists who read him as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. John Michael Greer is an intelligent man, but I don’t know where his “life cycle” theory comes from. Most life cycle theory on religion that I have seen speaks in terms of centuries, and even then not everyone accepts the idea of a simple arc of birth-growth-decline.

    But replacing “juice” with politics when you have nothing else to offer? He might be right.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I had to think about Greer’s connecting fantasy and neo-paganism. Actually, I do see it alot – with people dressing in vaguely Celtic sort of mediveal clothing at festivals. There is also a lot of drinking at festivals as well. Sometimes, I wonder if the eclectic Neo-Pagans are more for letting their freak flag fly or simply refugees from mainstream religion.

    This leads me to my second point. It would seem that Neo-Paganism today is actually a continuation of the U.S. civic religion of Progressivism. That if you are not Progressive as they have defined it, then you are not really a Pagan. That means inclusion of everyone into every faith system, political actions for liberal causes ranging from animal welfare to the environment, intolerance of people who want to be left alone, and an “us against them” mentality.

    I have noticed that the activist Pagans have presented things as a zero sum game. That if you are not with them, then you are obviously the enemy, and must be dealt with in harsh, shaming terms. That if they fail, that you have succeeded. Their loss is your gain.

    Personally, I see the world as multiple choice in shades of grey. Simply because I don’t subscribe to ending animal sacrifice, doesn’t mean I don’t care about animal welfare. There is a wide-range in-between. But this black and white thinking has to stop. It is forcing people into positions that they are not a part of.

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  7. And of course, the response has just been to call Greer a fascist and a racist.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ganglerisgrove

      course it has been. it’s exactly what they did with me and everyone else — EVERYONE else — who disagreed with them.

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      • ganglerisgrove

        and as someone who actually knows what those words mean (unlike apparently our detractors), there was absolutely nothing in Greer’s piece that read as either racist or fascistic. One can disagree with Rhyd and company and NOT be a racist, don’t ya know.

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    • As a longtime reader of John Michael Greer’s Archdruid Report (and thanks to this, now a reader of this one) I see a person looking soberly at the physical reality facing us in the forms of peak oil and climate change, and assessing ways to address it. I have never, in all my years of reading his blog and book, The Long Descent, have detected fascism, just that sobering assessment and addressing of the world, and the future in store for us.

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  8. Virginia Carper

    The comments section of Greer’s blog is interesting and refreshing. The examination of rhetoric and logical fallacy for a few of these political pagans and their writing is in order. Only thing is how do cooler heads prevail?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. JMG a racist ?! Lol, that’s rich, I’ve been reading both of his blogs for the past several years and I’ve never found anything he’s written to have a hint of fascism or racism. I guess those making such accusations didn’t read the comments where several POC and people with mixed children or spouses of a different race/ethnicity commented positively the the ideas in the post and the comments.

    I speak only for myself: as an AA woman I kinda wish sjw’s (especially non poc one’s) would let me gather my thoughts and speak for myself before jumping up to yell racism on behalf of me or any other ethnic person or group. We’re capable of figuring out what’s offensive and harmful to us,and frankly such reactions reek of trying to avoid being tagged with the racist label oneself and infantilizing the group’s one claims to be speaking for. These types of so called allies also tend to have as stereotypical view of AAs/POC as any other prejudiced person: That our experiences are only about struggle and pain and only that narrative of Blackness is acceptable.

    Liked by 3 people

    • ganglerisgrove

      RMD, i’ve noticed the stereotypical views coming out quite a bit, and the infantilizing (thank you…i was thinking ‘it’s condescending’ but that wasn’t the word i wanted. it’s infantilizing) and it does reify only ONE narrative of Blackness…i hadn’t considered the full effect of that but I think you’re spot on. I think that’s exactly part of what is happening and I”ll leave the whys and wherefores for cooler heads than mine to discuss.

      thank you for commenting.

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    • ganglerisgrove

      RMD, may i quote your comment above in a post i’m working on?

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  10. Yes you may Galina

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