Polytheists are under attack!

From Galina Krasskova:

Polytheisms are under attack worldwide. Daesh, for instance, has been quoted as saying that “Whenever we take control of a piece of land, we remove the symbols of polytheism and spread monotheism in it.” – an ISIL terrorist (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” Symbols are obviously important and Daesh has made good on their word too, looting and destroying (as in reducing to rubble and dust) polytheist sacred sites. Within our own communities, a large majority of Pagans are not only diametrically opposed to polytheism, but I believe dedicated to its eradication (how else is one to interpret the constant breech of our traditions, the ongoing attempts to co-opt our religious terminology and to water down our traditions until they are meaningless, and the insistence from so many quarters that atheism – a religious position in and of itself—is part of Paganism?).

https://krasskova.wordpress.com/2015/10/08/r-e-s-p-e-c-t-for-the-gods-imagine-that/

Whether it is ISIS terrorists who appropriate the name of the Egyptian goddess or an atheist blogger who appropriates the images of an Egyptian goddess, the effect is the same.  It is an assault on the gods.  It is an assault on polytheism.

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

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Atheist Pagan bloggers are no better than Islamic terrorists.

From Tess Dawson:

If it is not an “archaic” extremist militant group like Daesh trying to erase the gods of my tradition and my heart, and all of the gods of the lands of the Middle East, with propaganda, machine guns, jackhammers, or explosives, it’s “modern” and “rational” persons in the media or, as in this case, in mainstream Neopagan blogging, desecrating and trying to erase them through subtler, less obvious means. These latter are dirty and insidious means, which generally slip past modern audience’s emotions and critical thinking “radars” when the explosive damage of Daesh is more likely to be noticed and treated with the horror, the anger, and the acknowledgement the deities deserve, the ancestors deserve, and frankly we deserve, too. (I wonder sadly, though: is this notice because the explosions draw the attention of the “modern” West because of the horror done to the gods, or because of the statement of cowboy defiance against the West implicit in these acts?)

We all — beings from deities, to ancestors, to humans, to many other beings — we all deserve better. We deserve to see these situations made better as best we can manage for all involved. We can’t do that without seeing the truth of these assaults for what they are first; assaults not merely on remnant history or symbols but on the fabric of meaning and upon our gods themselves and the relationships held most sacred in this world. (And these matters certainly extend well beyond the deities of the Near and Middle East, but the scope of this writing specifically addresses these desecrations.)

There exist in our world many harms, and some are very obvious. Some are much more subtle harms, which can cause the same damage and erasure that Daesh can wreak, often without present notice at all. No bombs, no jackhammers, no machine guns aimed at the ancient artifacts which are images of the gods… “funny” manipulations and desecrations of an image accomplishes a similar goal of erasing the deities and desensitizing us to the wrongness in one blow.

You may think that a blogger can’t do as much harm as a terrorist.  But you’d be wrong.  Bloggers can be terrorists.  They don’t blow up temples.  But they blow up sacred images in the minds of people.  Whether they use real bombs or word bombs, they deserve the same treatment.

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

Internet Paganism is real Paganism

A great response from Morag to John Halstead’s claim that “Internet paganism is not paganism”:

That is to say, writing about paganism on the web isn’t really religion like how, you know, pouring libations or saying prayers or whatever it is that people do offline is religion. …

Do you want an actual quote as to what he considers real paganism? Here is one, verbatim:

“Connecting with the land and it’s other-than-human inhabitants, celebrating the Wheel of the Year, worshiping gods, venerating ancestors, meditating, praying at your shrine, pouring libations, making offerings: these kinds of things are Paganism.”

Which, you know, completely erases the existence of pagans who, in their offline lives, do things that are NOT THESE THINGS — and thus, we can assume, they are not really ‘doing paganism’. …

Because guess what? For me, internet paganism IS PAGANISM. This writing I do on this blog? It’s mostly a religious act for me. (Maybe not when I’m ranting like this,*** but most of the time? Yeah. It’s an act of devotion.)

The online shrines that I keep for the gods, the postings I put there, the reblogs? Devotional activity.

My Pinterest boards of devotional imagery? You guessed it — devotional activity!

The 8tracks playlists that I listen to, that I have collected in a “Songs for the Gods” collection? Yes, devotional activity.

The “Songs of the Gods” playlist I have on my Youtube? Devotional.

The weekly Otherfaith online get-togethers, or the conversations we have — all online — throughout the week? Devotional. Related to the Four/Four. Related to our faith, that we’re building, and a way for members of the faith to connect with each other.

Making Kiva loans? Devotional.

Reading certain pieces from certain blogs? Devotional.

Contributing to Deily? Devotional.

All these things and a shitload more, things I do exclusively or mostly online — devotional. Devotional. DEVOTIONAL.

And I know it’s the same for other pagans I know. I know I’m not the only one who lives their religious life partly online.

Who the fuck does Halstead think he is saying that Pagans have to “get their hands dirty” or that we can’t worship the Gods behind a keyboard and a computer screen?  This blog is my offering to the Gods.  This is my shrine to them.  Big deal, so you are tree hugging, dirt worshipping hippie Pagan.  So what?!  I worship real Gods.  Who do you think made the earth that you worship so sanctimoniously?  My Gods did, asshole.

odin_by_giye

Odin

dionysus

Dionysus

morrigan-1

The Morrigan

Polytheists and Blacks have something in common.

From Galina Krasskova:

I’ve noticed that one of the first accusations leveled against polytheists when they call out Pagan privilege, protest attacks on their traditions, challenge disrespectful attitudes, impiety, or micro-aggressions is that we’re “mean.”

Without taking anything away from the unique struggles they go through, in many ways this dynamic is comparable to the situation of Black activists who are told that they’re too angry and need to “get over” things like violence, poverty, injustice, and systemic oppression because talking openly about such things makes Whites uncomfortable. If people agitating for recognition and autonomy bother you maybe it’s time to start considering why and whether you’re actually part of the problem.

And polytheism is, fundamentally, a human rights movement – something we should never forget, since our enemies sure haven’t. Around the world we can watch a precise, ruthless and uncompromising war being carried out against adherents of polytheist and indigenous traditions.

https://krasskova.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/why-are-polytheists-so-mean-or-the-effects-of-the-ongoing-battle-against-privilege-and-pollution/

I love Ms. Krasskova!  She is like the Martin Luther King, Jr. of polytheism!

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

Atheist “Pagans” have no spiritual substance.

From Galina Krasskova:

the subject of atheist “Pagans” came up and again we were informed that they were so much nicer and ‘live and let live” than polytheists (of course they are, they have no religious integrity, no tradition to protect, no Gods to actually venerate. It’s rather like someone who maintains a steady diet of candy: just because they’re sweeter doesn’t mean it’s good for you. A steady diet of sugar will do nothing but make one ultimately sick just like a steady diet of pollution and impiety will make one spiritually sick).***

***I have no issue with atheists when they stay in their own sandbox. But atheist “pagans”? Oxymoronic in the extreme.

https://krasskova.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/why-are-polytheists-so-mean-or-the-effects-of-the-ongoing-battle-against-privilege-and-pollution/

This is a great analogy.  People need to eat their fucking vegetables.  The vegetables are the gods.  Or else they are going to die of spiritual diabetes.

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

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

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