Sunday, July 22, 2012

QoD Our traditions are now owned by Christian and New Agers

Here is a quote taken from a blog post talking about why polytheism is vital to paganism:

Right now Goddess-worship, tarot, astrology, reiki, magic, ritual, meditation and all the things we practice are being reclaimed and invigorated. But not by us. By bland New Age philosophers and by Progressive Christians. In the larger picture, they own these things. They are the face of all our practices and theology. Ecological spirituality, shadow work, energetic healing, shamanic journeying and the power of intention are all things they own. For every small-town priestess teaching her handful of students about the power of intention there are millions watching Oprah express the same concepts and principles on television. They are the ones buying the bulk of the incense and tarot decks and crystals and attending workshops. They are the ones buying the books by Deepak Chopra on using Merlin as a guide to self-transformation.

They own it all. Everything. There is nothing you can name that they do not own. Even Voudou is practiced by Catholics using the names of saints instead of orishas. Even those things that have originated within our communities are now owned by them. The Divine Feminine is now a liberal Christian concept. Christian theology and atheism have taken over the Greek philosophers. They own it all.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you have to be a member of a more traditional religious minority to understand that the dominant culture will always try to co-opt whatever you have. Witness the relationship between Christianity and Judaism. But that doesn't mean that the creations of Judaism are now Christian. It doesn't matter if Christians want to have a "Passover" celebration where they eat pancakes(!). That in no way affects the Pesachs of millions of Jews. Same goes with Pagan stuff. As for magic and witchcraft, these practices have always made use of symbols, objects, and techniques from the dominant (and not-so-dominant) religions of the cultures they are part of. It's just natural. Heck, just take a look at the Greek Magical Papyrus and the mixture of gods there.

I own a shop for witchcraft supplies, and I have not noticed that the majority of my customers are Christians and New Agers. In fact, over the course of the 12 years I have run my shop, I have noticed just the opposite. The Christians have stood out. Now it's true--some of the best conversations I've had about incense have been with Anglicans and Greek Orthodox folks. They're seriously into incense as a spiritual tool as opposed to a magical one, so that's fun for me. New Agers have been few and far between, IME.

The Pagan sky is not falling in my neck of the woods.

Rufus Opus said...

OMG, did pagans just now figure out they've been copying Christian beliefs that were previously copied from pagan beliefs?

Teh Sky IS falling!!!

Unknown said...

I find myself smiling and thinking that pagans should realize that these practises can not be 'owned'. Some of these practises listed are also watered down versions that simplify things to much.

Then I also think that pagans should relax and realise that some of their precious rituals are in fact quite inspired by unorthodox abrahamitic thinkers (christian, judaic and muslim). As RO points out.

As far as taking over greek philosophy, a rehabilitation of greek philosophy from the standpoint of Catholic Europe was good for civilization - and probably opened up for philosophy to be kept and studied, even on its own. For a time it was the arabs that were also a force in keeping an open door between religion and philosphy - translating greek manuscripts to arabic. If Islam and Christianity had at all times adopted a fundamentalist approach, modern day pagans probably wouldn't be able to study history in the way it is now able to do.