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What is paganism? In this penetrating and tightly argued manifesto, French philosopher Alain de Benoist seeks to answer this question with passionate intellectual vigor and a tremendous erudition. Arising out of the "monotheism vs. polytheism" debate that reverberated through Parisian intellectual circles in the late 1970s, this is neither a survey of ancient, pre-Christian religions, nor is it an argument on behalf of any modern neo-pagan sect. On Being a Pagan draws on Nietzsche, Heidegger, ancient philosophy and mythology, and biblical hermeneutics to articulate a pagan theology based on a common Indo-European foundation. In keeping with the critical tradition which hearkens back to the Greek philosopher Celsus, Benoist contrasts the heroic pagan worldview with Christianity's attempts to hobble everything that is beautiful and strong. He compares the cyclical pagan conception of time to the de-mythologizing, linear understanding of history favored by the prophets. Most disturbingly, he traces the roots of modern totalitarianism and intolerance--of both the left and the right--to the leveling ideology of ancient Judeo-Christian monotheism, with its underlying rejection of diversity and différence. Originally published to wide critical acclaim in 1981, Benoist's text is as relevant today as it was when it first appeared--and perhaps even more so for the English-speaking world. This newly revised translation now features an extensive interview with the author, and includes his reflections (both positive and negative) on the various groups and individuals that have attempted to resurrect the pagan spirit. Rather than simply dissecting the 2,000-year Christian interregnum, Benoist's greater purpose is to point the way forward to a world that could have been, and which may only now be in the first stages of being reborn.
More than 60 pagan leaders and teachers describe in their own words what they believe and what they practice. • Addresses how Pagans view parenting, organized religion, and politics. • Introduces the wide range of possibilities within the neo-Pagan movement. • By Ellen Evert Hopman, author of A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year; Walking the World in Wonder: A Children's Herbal; and Tree Medicine, Tree Magic. Who are the pagans and what do they stand for? Why would some of the members of the best educated, most materially comfortable generation of Americans look back to mystical traditions many millennia old? During the last few decades, millions of people have embraced ancient philosophies that honor Earth and the spiritual power of each individual. Ways of worship from sources as diverse as the pre-Christian Celts, ancient Egypt, and Native American traditions are currently helping their followers find meaning in life while living in the Information Age. In this book Pagan leaders and teachers describe in their own words what they believe and what they practice. From Margot Adler, an NPR reporter and author of Drawing Down the Moon, to Isaac Bonewits, ArchDruid and founder of a modern neo-Druidic organization, those interviewed in this book express the rich diversity of modern Paganism. Hopman's insightful questions draw on her own experiences as a Pagan and Druid as well as on her extensive research. With coauthor Lawrence Bond, she examines how Pagans address such issues as parenting, organized religion, and politics. The resulting dialogues illuminate the modern Pagan revival.
The term “polyamory” describes non-monogamous relationships based on honesty and affection. Presenting a fascinating peek inside the polyamorous lifestyle from a Pagan perspective, Raven Kaldera offers practical insight and spiritual depth into a vastly misunderstood way of life. Relating polyamory to astrology and the elements (air, fire, water, earth, and spirit), the author addresses all aspects of the polyamorous life, including family life, sexual ethics, emotional issues, proper etiquette, relationship boundaries, and the pros of cons of this lifestyle. Kaldera also discusses polyamory as a path of spiritual transformation and shares spells, rituals, and ceremonies for affirming one's relationships and spirituality.
What does it mean to live as a Pagan in this uncertain world of climate change, economic hardship and worldwide social injustice? What does it mean to hold nature as sacred when ravaging the land is commonplace? How do we live our Paganism in our families and homes, our communities and countries? Pagans are stepping up in all kinds of ways. This is a Moon Books community project, sharing the energy and inspiration of people who are making a difference at whatever level makes sense to them. This is a book of grass-roots energy, of walking your talk and the tales of people who are, by a vast array of means, engaged with being the change they wish to see in the world.
Britain's pagan past, with its mysterious monuments, atmospheric sites, enigmatic artifacts, bloodthirsty legends, and cryptic inscriptions, is both enthralling and perplexing to a resident of the twenty-first century. In this ambitious and thoroughly up-to-date book, Ronald Hutton reveals the long development, rapid suppression, and enduring cultural significance of paganism, from the Paleolithic Era to the coming of Christianity. He draws on an array of recently discovered evidence and shows how new findings have radically transformed understandings of belief and ritual in Britain before the arrival of organized religion. Setting forth a chronological narrative, Hutton along the way makes side visits to explore specific locations of ancient pagan activity. He includes the well-known sacred sites—Stonehenge, Avebury, Seahenge, Maiden Castle, Anglesey—as well as more obscure locations across the mainland and coastal islands. In tireless pursuit of the elusive “why” of pagan behavior, Hutton astonishes with the breadth of his understanding of Britain’s deep past and inspires with the originality of his insights.
Paganism is a broad term that includes such paths as Wicca, Druidism, and Asatru, whose practitioners embrace the idea that the natural world is sacred. Introduces the beliefs, ethics, and practices of modern Pagans and answers such questions about Pagan beliefs as: What are Pagan rituals like? ; When are the Pagan holidays? ; What do Pagans believe about God? ; What is magick? ; How do Pagans view Satan? ; and What ethics do Pagans follow?
An examination of the sacred botany and the pagan origins and rituals of Christmas • Analyzes the symbolism of the many plants associated with Christmas • Reveals the shamanic rituals that are at the heart of the Christmas celebration The day on which many commemorate the birth of Christ has its origins in pagan rituals that center on tree worship, agriculture, magic, and social exchange. But Christmas is no ordinary folk observance. It is an evolving feast that over the centuries has absorbed elements from cultures all over the world--practices that give plants and plant spirits pride of place. In fact, the symbolic use of plants at Christmas effectively transforms the modern-day living room into a place of shamanic ritual. Christian Rätsch and Claudia Müller-Ebeling show how the ancient meaning of the botanical elements of Christmas provides a unique view of the religion that existed in Europe before the introduction of Christianity. The fir tree was originally revered as the sacred World Tree in northern Europe. When the church was unable to drive the tree cult out of people’s consciousness, it incorporated the fir tree by dedicating it to the Christ child. Father Christmas in his red-and-white suit, who flies through the sky in a sleigh drawn by reindeer, has his mythological roots in the shamanic reindeer-herding tribes of arctic Europe and Siberia. These northern shamans used the hallucinogenic fly agaric mushroom, which is red and white, to make their soul flights to the other world. Apples, which figure heavily in Christmas baking, are symbols of the sun god Apollo, so they find a natural place at winter solstice celebrations of the return of the sun. In fact, the authors contend that the emphasis of Christmas on green plants and the promise of the return of life in the dead of winter is just an adaptation of the pagan winter solstice celebration.

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