If it isn’t deity-centric, it isn’t Pagan.

From Galina Krasskova:

My polytheism, as I believe devotional polytheism by its very nature should be, is very, very Deity centric. I honor and serve the Gods because it is the right and proper thing to do as an intelligent, responsible adult. While my practice is in part about building community, that community is one centered in devotion to the Holy Powers. That is the only community in which I am interested. I would go so far as to say Paganism that isn’t Deity centric isn’t Pagan. It might be fun. It might be a intellectually entertaining. It might be a nice, accepting social gathering. It’s not, however anything approaching polytheistic spirituality.

http://witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Paths-Blogs/deity-centered-polytheism.html

Amen sister!  Community-centered “Paganism” is not Paganism.  Self-centered “Paganism” is not Paganism.  Earth-centered “Paganism” is not Paganism.  It’s simple.  No gods, no Paganism.

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

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Humans have value only if they are serving the Gods.

From Galina Kraskova:

i don’t care if my words offend. I don’t set out to offend, but in the end, I care only about my Gods and serving Them well, in the ways my own gnosis and extensive and ongoing divination indicates They wish for me to serve. Outside of my partner, my dearest friends, and my House, outsiders have value to me only insofar as they are serving their Gods rightly and well.

At least somebody’s got their priorities straight!  Gods first.  Humans second.  And only if they are serving the Gods.

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

Every polytheist has a responsibility to draw a line in the sand.

From Galina Krasskova:

This is a struggle. We are engaged in a potentially divisive struggle. It’s a necessary one, but it’s a struggle, a call to arms nonetheless. We are fighting to establish and build our traditions, restore our lineages, and renew veneration for the Powers in a way that will outlast us and our descendants. Secular Paganism, humanist paganism, atheist paganism, pop culture paganism, archetypism, and all of these various ideologies that put just about anything but actual Gods central to the spiritual experience (combined with the expectations that we as polytheists will give these ideologies equal legitimacy and weight to our own within our own traditions) are attacks on the integrity polytheism as a whole. Our traditions were destroyed once. It will not happen again. I believe that every devoted polytheist today has a responsibility not only to honor their Gods and ancestors consistently and well, but to stand up and draw a line in the sand with the greater mishmash of “Pagan” communities, a line that says ‘you take your horse shit this far and no farther.”

http://witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Paths-Blogs/deity-centered-polytheism.html

Fuck yeah!  You lead and I will follow Ms. Krasskova!  To arms!

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

Humanist, reductionist poison

From the comments to “Gods of Consequence”:

They are real beings, with real agendas, real personalities, real engagements. … It is an offense to Them, it is an offense to our relation to Them, and it is a danger to anyone who comes along trying to answer a call, young or old in age, from their gods… only to be fed from the trough of humanistic, reductionist poison.

Humanistic, reductionist poison. I couldn’t have said it better myself. We are building a tradition, resurrecting a lineage, and honoring the Gods we love and serve above all else. To do that and to have any hope that our traditions will be restored in any matter whatsoever approaching the fullness of what our ancestors experienced we absolutely will hold the line against such garbage. The line needs to be held and strongly.

Yes!  Time to take the garbage out!

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

Paganism is ours and you can’t fucking have it.

From the comments to Gods of Consequence:

It’s about the restoration of a tradition, a body of traditions, about picking up threads of wisdom and power and knowledge that were wrenched brutally from the hands of our ancestors. It’s about restoring those traditions, bringing them alive into the here and now in a way that is vibrant and sustainable. You don’t build a house on a faulty foundation. Neither can a restoration such as some of us are tasked by our Gods and ancestors with doing be accomplished on a foundation full of horse shit. Believe what you want. practice what you want, but don’t define it as polytheism or even Paganism. You ask for meaning: what do your ancestors tell you about this? What do your Gods tell you? neither Anomalous nor I nor any other spirit worker weighing in on this topic I’d warrant is speaking metaphorically when we ask those questions. Anything that attempts to veer Paganism or Heathenry or Polytheism or any of these traditions in the process of being restored away from those indigenous roots is something to be resisted.

You can play pretend with your imaginary gods all you want.  But Paganism is the worship of real gods.  Got it?  Real gods.  And we will fight you every inch of the way if you try to take that away from us.

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal

If your gods can’t kill you, they’re not gods.

From Anomalous Thracian:

Polytheists do not require “belief” (although for many of us it is there as a useful tool on the side) anymore than I need to “believe” in the presence of black bears in the California mountains when deciding where to store my food on a campsite. (That I *do* believe in bears is irrelevant to their belief of entitlement to my food; you don’t need to believe in a bear to find yourself uncomfortably between it and a roast pork sandwich.)

And therein lies a major difference that I have seen: the self-described “self-centered” or humanist or archetypal pagans are engaging with powers and so forth which are by their own definitions of no greater consequence than their own (collective, at times) unconsciousness, and no matter how much you glorify and believe in the great and sacred power of internal cognition and transcendent psychology, these things are not going to maul you to death in the woods.

And the thing is? Our gods will.

Guns fire bullets that can kill, ripping through flesh and bone and sinew. Power-saws can slip from timber and take off a hand. Cars, airplanes, baseball bats, whiskey bottles, and juggler’s flaming bowling pins; all of these things have tangible consequence when they are not approached with the proper respect. The respect that they are due. The respect that they demand, not based on some flimsy made-for-us fabricated belief system, but because steel, brass, iron, lead, glass, hickory, and fire are elements of consequence. And humans? They are soft, meaty, fragile creatures.

Gods are greater than guns, faster than cars, bigger than airplanes, wield more concussive leverage than a bat and hold far more spirit than a tempered glass whiskey bottle. Gods are the source of fire. And bowling pins. (And jugglers.) Approaching the deities with respect and deference is not a thing of belief, but a thing of necessity.

This is an intrinsic difference between polytheists and archetypal-or-humanist “self-centered” pagans, spiritual-seekers and so forth. Unless you view the gods as having the power to rip your arms off and beat you to death with them, or take the face of your lover while turning your skin inside out and dropping you in a pit of jello and alligators, we’re not talking about the same thing.

Archetypes are no gods.  Comic book super heroes are not gods.  Unless your gods can literally rip your arms off and beat you to death with them, they are not gods.  At least not gods worth my consideration.

“If evil though knowest, then proclaim it to all as evil, and make no friendship with foes.” — Havamal