I now seriously believe that very few self-identified “pagans” are as committed to “sustainable living” as they want others to think they are. Oh, you and your hubbie made cheese in your basement that you shared with your “poly family” while you spend oodles of cash at the local No We’re Not Whole Foods But We’re Not a Farmer’s Market, Either? These people are living on 1/3 of an acre or less, and are producing a majority of their own diet.
I also suspect Jane Jacobs had an urban-focused spirituality. Too bad she’s no longer around for me to ask.
What?! It’s a puppy!
in the first few generations after Octavian cemented his sole rule of Rome there was very little for a politically minded Greek to do. You got nowhere without extensive social contacts in Rome – and the wealth to travel in such circles – and even then there were limits on how high one could aspire. Many Romans looked down their noses at their Greek subjects, except when it came to the arts and philosophy where they were grudgingly accepted as their superiors. Thus many cities such as Athens, Alexandria and Antioch became little more than college towns where wealthy Romans sent their sons for proper education, deeming them worthy of little else.
This is the era into which Plutarch was born. At one point he even moved to Rome seeking a promising career. Though he made many close friends and met with modest success he eventually bumped into the glass ceiling and grew frustrated with the realization that he could progress no further. So he returned to his hometown, once the shining star of Boiotia but now a pitiful backwater, and spent the remainder of his days active in small-time local politics, serving as a priest at Delphi and pursuing antiquarian and philosophical studies.
While discernment is extremely important, and certainly some things that appear to be messages are just random coincidences, I think we often err too heavily on the side of skepticism because of our preconceptions. That face we saw in the pattern of leaves on a tree must just be our imagination, even though it looked so much like a familiar god, even though we had prayed for a sign, because a real vision of a deity will manifest out of nothing before us, undeniable and life-altering. But why do we expect that the gods and spirits would use, as the medium of Their communication, anything other than the elements of our own physical world, when those elements are ready at-hand (and, as a bonus, easily processed by our sensory organs and brains)?
Normally, I’d put this follow-up interview of Ronald Hutton in the “Shit You’ve Probably Read Already” sub-heading, but I wanted to include a quote that actually got me interested in reading Hutton’s book:
Will you publish on the history of modern Paganism again?
Probably not. I wrote Triumph to suggest an answer to one specific question: why Wicca appeared in England, of all the places in the world, and in the mid twentieth century, as opposed to any other time. To put it another way, I wanted to show why it was that one of the most industrialised, urbanised and densely populated countries on earth happened to be the one to produce a religion drawing on ancient pagan roots and centred on nature deities, at the threshold of late modernity? In providing my answer, I also believe that I achieved three other objectives. One was to explain the national and international success of the religion concerned, and another to reassure those who knew little or nothing of it of its essentially benevolent character. The third was to show that, far from deriving from ideas and impulses which were the preserve of a fringe element in society, they drew on several which were mainstream to modern British culture, and involved some of its most familiar and admired figures. In particular, its deities, although present in the ancient world, were not those who were most central to that world’s religions but those who had become most important to the modern British in general, in a way which has not been adequately appreciated and honoured.
Oh, and did you know that Sannion hates women who get abortions? Oh, wait…:
At any rate I do not want to see people going around saying that Sannion believes Dionysos hates women who get abortions, because that is so not the point of this post.
The Barking Shaman has some words about that HuffPo article from the mother of a 7-year-old who came out as gay:
The Huffington Post ran a piece a few days ago from a mother whose 7yr old son recently declared that he was gay. It was a lovely essay about love and acceptance, with a bit of parental concern in there too. The parents are being supportive of his identity, while at the same time, understanding that what he feels at seven may or may not be how he feels in the months and years to come. They seem quite content to take him at his word and see what does or doesn’t change with time.
There have been quite a lot of people on internet message boards saying that this is ridiculous, that this child can’t know at such a young age that he is gay. I’ve seen this particularly on LGBT message boards, where people are holding up their own coming out at older ages as proof that seven is “too young.”
I’ll probably say something about this, myself (assuming I haven’t already, and then forgot to come back here and edit appropriately).
And I also found Hêrakleion, a Herakles blogger. It’s a relatively new one, but so full of good posts already!
Shen Hart at Ink-Stained Pawprints asked Atheists to be a bit more tolerant. I may have arrived late, but I think I “totes pwnd” a troll.
I’m glad to see some-one I don’t believe I know (on-line or off) who enjoyed my post on urban spirituality facts and the pagan community.
Just in case you were curious:
This has been the first week (to my knowledge) that this blog has had a minimum of 100 views a day.
I also learned the hard way that ReBlogging does not work with privately hosted WordPress blogs, no matter how much you’ve hooked up said blog to your WP.com account.
Shit You’ve Probably Read Already:
* Survey on Pagan Prayer
* Galina Krasskova: C is for Cultural Misappropriation
* Hark! A Vagrant – Greek Couples sketches
* Something Positive: Seasonal Spirit (I really wish those things existed)
* Oglaf: Obligation Day (NSFW)
* ETA! Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell: Valentine Pin-Up Boys! (sorry about the last minute add, but I had to)
Your New Old Word for the Week:
Rhathymia (ruh-THY-mee-uh): n. from Greek rhathymos (light-hearted, easy-tempered, carefree): the state of being carefree; lightheartedness.
The modern person often mistakenly sees Aphrodite as a Goddess of Peace and rhathymia, but that role belongs to Eirene.