The Privilege of Polytheism

We are so very fortunate to be polytheists, to be awake and aware of the many and varied Holy Powers, to be aware of the rightness of veneration and respect for Them. We are so incredibly lucky to be able to take part in the restoration of our traditions here and now, and to be setting our feet once again on the path of devotion and piety to our Gods and ancestors. That is no small thing. It is the most important work we will ever do.

I feel very sorry for people who find putting devotion to the Gods first within religions complicated, people who would rather spend their time attacking devotion, attacking polytheistic traditions, pushing an anti-theistic, humanist, and political agenda. Since the advent of monotheism, polytheisms have been under ongoing attack by the polluted, the impious, and the ignorant or by people too full of themselves to leave any room for devotion to the Gods, people with a clear agenda: corrupt what they cannot destroy; destroy what they themselves cannot corrupt. Nothing has changed except now we’re being told that if we don’t prioritize some political agenda, or social justice agenda, we’re “privileged.” Yes we are. It is both a privilege and an honor to be pious.

Let me repeat that.

It is both a privilege and an honor to be pious.

When people try to tell you otherwise, shame you into supporting their political agendas or social fixations over the Gods (and do this specifically in religious space most of all), understand that they are walking miasma. Purify yourself and get on with the business of venerating the Gods.

Anything good and sacred will always attract bottom feeders. It is our task to ensure that our traditions are clean enough, solid enough, focused enough on the Gods to resist any attempts to tear us down. Understand: it is our privilege and honor to be pious. It is this that elevates us and this to which our lives should be given.

Our polytheistic ancestors knew this well.

“My good man, the evil force that now moves you and prompts you to steal from the holy is neither of human origin nor of divine, but it is some impulse bred of old in men from ancient wrongs unexpiated, which courses round wreaking ruin; and it you must guard against with all your strength. How you must thus guard, now learn. When there comes upon you any such intention, betake yourself to the rites of guilt-averting, betake yourself as suppliant to the shrines of the curse-lifting deities, betake yourself to the company of the men who are reputed virtuous; and thus learn, partly from others, partly by self-instruction, that every man is bound to honor what is noble and just; but the company of evil men shun wholly, and turn not back. And if it be so that by thus acting your disease grows less, well; but if not, then deem death the more noble way, and quit yourself of life.” (Plato, Laws 854ac)

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Posted on July 19, 2016, in community, Polytheism, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. When people try to tell you otherwise, shame you into supporting their political agendas or social fixations over the Gods (and do this specifically in religious space most of all), understand that they are walking miasma. Purify yourself and get on with the business of venerating the Gods.
    —–

    John Michael Greer talked about how Neo-paganism was on the way out in one of his blog postings. That it was mostly dress-up play-acting, with a hollow centre. I agree with the hollowness of Neo-Paganism. Which is probably why we have people shaming us to follow whatever they want us to follow. They are hollow inside and are reeds bending in the wind.

    My mother always said to me, “You are selfish, because you want to do what you want to do. NOT WHAT I WANT you to do.” Damn straight, I am selfish but then so are you. Your failure to plan doesn’t make it my emergency to fix. That is what I am seeing in the blog verse – their failure to plan and dumping their crap on us to fix.

    Most of the people who call us selfish are those who can’t be by themselves, and want us to do what they want us to do. What is happening is that Neo-Paganism is forming orthrodoxy – a certain leftist bent to their religion along with being politically active for the “right” causes along with making everyone make room for the loudest atheists around. What ends up, is not even a soup but a polluted mess of pond scum. They talk the talk, but I don’t see any walking such as offering pro-bono services to People of Colour being arrested or working instead of begging for money and other stuff.

    Anyway, I want to be left alone, not be called names. not be shamed into following someone elses’ agenda or get pulled into ego boosting them for being so wonderful in their causes. I want to be selfish and venerate the Gods fully and completely.

    Sorry about being so harsh, but it really grinds my gears when other people insist on telling me how to live my life.

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  2. Once upon a time I would have thought you were being dramatic but recent internet ‘debates’ have led me to realise how right you are. I sincerely apologise. (The debate sprang from a group that was trying to get “the dictionary” to redefine the word pagan so it reflected how modern pagans use it. From there, pagans would be able to come together in community under a set list of principles and grow. My argument was that not all pagans follow the same path, we can’t even agree on what ‘pagan’ is. I pointed out that this list of principles – based on the Wiccan 13 principles – was erasing groups such as polytheists. Can you believe I got compared to the All Lives Matter movement for being selfish and not seeing the “bigger picture”? Apparently, polytheists and other minority pagan groups should sacrifice their practices for the super pagan group so we can all have a big kumbaya round the fire. I was so angry I couldn’t sleep that night.)

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    • ganglerisgrove

      Yep and that is only the tip of the iceberg.

      thank you for sharing your experience. I very much think that we need to be loud about this type of erasure every single time it occurs (and it occurs a lot).

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  3. If the mono-culture sets up that we live in a fallen world and have original sin, it will seep into social justice workers who insist on policing the rest of us. I saw it in the Sixties in the local Christian churches, and of course in the 1850s, dueling Churches split over slavery – Southern branches using the Bible to condone it, Northern branches using the Constitution to abolish it. I do believe that it is a part of the Christian DNA, the social justice policing, since it means that we all need to confess to our guilt to absolved of it, and then the final Paradise promised by God will come.

    This mono-culture has seeped into Neo-paganism and its ideas of (leftist) politics equals religion.

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