Thursday, April 25, 2013

Faithless Pagans

As you know, we get much of our fodder from Facebook groups and pages. There are so many diverse opinions, there, and when one strikes a nerve we just have to discuss it on the CFTP_FB page. This one, however, is still lurking around in my brain; so much so, that Uruzz was awakened this morning by my talking in my sleep. Apparently, I was having a wonderful and in-depth conversation with the Admin of the page our current 'gem' comes from:
"I practice a tradition of paganism that requires no belief".

Because I am that asshole who likes to make sure we're all on the same page, I've copied a few definitions and inserted links for people who might not be keen on the current vernacular....

Paganism has become the identifier for a collection of new religious movements attempting to continue, revive, or reconstruct historical pre-Abrahamic (pre-Christian) religion. In the book, A History of Pagan Europe (1995) "pagan religion" [paganism] is characterized by the following 3 traits:

1. Polytheism: recognizing a plurality of divine beings.

[What is the point of recognizing many gods without a belief in them?
This would be atheism.]

2. "Nature-based": Pagan religions have a concept of the divinity of Nature, which they view as a manifestation of the divine

[By this definition we tap into what is commonly referred to as earth religion,
and it is a form of neopaganism that some people have determined to
be a contemporary, and separate form of paganism.]

3. "Sacred feminine": recognizing "the female divine principle", identified as "the Goddess" (as opposed to individual goddesses) alongside, or in place of the male divine principle.

[This is the concept of deity as female.]

With all these entities that paganism endorses, why are there traditions of paganism, suddenly, popping up that require absolutely no belief system, whatsoever? So, I went back into my personal book hoard to grab a few oldies off the shelf.

Ann-Marie Gallaher's Spells Bible (2003) has this to say from page 9:

"We know, from spells inscribed on cave walls or sheet of lead found in sacred wells,
that our ancestors practiced and believed in the efficacy of magic."

This statement has no divinity in it; simply stating that there was a belief in magic. Of course, there should be a belief in magic - a requirement, if you ask me! What is the purposed of performing magic if you don't believe in it?

Sally Dubats' Natural Magick (1999) points out:

"Many witches believe hexing sends negative energy into the world..."

This addresses witches, alone. Practitioners of magical arts whose belief systems may, or may not be pagan. By this, I refer to Vivianne Crowley's Wicca ...

"What the Church later lumped together as 'witchcraft' had 2 elements-
pagan worship and magic." (pg. 18)

Laurie Cabot's Power of the Witch expounds more on why 'witchcraft' and 'Wicca' are sometimes viewed synonymously on page 14:

"The word 'witch'...has evolved. There are different opinions about its origins.
From [root words] we derive the word 'Wicca',
a term many in the Craft use today to refer to our beliefs..."

Vivianne Crowley, apparently, agrees to an extent, saying:
" a living, growing system of thoughts, beliefs..."

So, why 'Wicca', and not just 'paganism'...? Because of the differences in the practices. Paganism is a religion that embraces magic without making it a priority for worship. Wicca is a religion that has prioritized magic over that of worship. Don't believe me? Then why even cast a magic circle before an esbat or sabbat? Neither form of paganism seeming to lack a need for belief.

Laurie Cabot continues on page 20:

"Pagans believe that biological processes are spiritual processes and
that there is divine meaning in every natural event."

Hell, Stewart Farrar has an entire chapter in his book What Witches Do starting on page 40, titled: "What witches believe."
What is the point to doing any of this, if you don't believe?

Belief is the acceptance that something exists.Something one accepts as true or real; a firmly held opinion or conviction. Faith is confidence or trust in a person, thing, deity, or in the doctrines or teachings of a religion. It may also be belief that is not based on proof.

Taking up a course of study to explore paganism is something we have all done. After the day is done, though, you either have faith in your pagan religion and gods, or, you don't. Why do faithful pagans have to make accommodations for those who simply like calling themselves such, without the belief in deity (or nature) that defines paganism as a religion, in the first place?
[Ikinde Skreja Ominnsaer, 2013, Conversations from the Porch]

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

READ ME: The Next Show is a Killer!

We've had guests come on to the "Porch" in the past, who've been quite a joy to speak with - on and off air. Let's see. There's been the controversial author who broke his self-imposed exile in order to speak with us. The Priestess-President of the Panthean Temple, author, diviner and artist has graced us with her presence (and, we call in to bug her on her show, too). The creator of the first-ever proto-Indo European reconstructionist pagan website. Swain Wodening. Various events hosts... So, what's next?

In the past, we have endeavored to keep all future interviews "hush-hush"; going with the whole "life is a box of chocolates" theory: you never know what you're going to get. After 2 years of sorting out the broadcasting process and problems, we've decided to go after bigger and bolder interviews. We are definitely trying our best to make sure that our interviews address questions that you, our listeners, want to have asked.

We need your input! Send a message to us through Facebook, or, email. Everything you need to contact us is in the "about" section on FB! Give us names of people you'd like to hear on the "Porch" -you know we will ask the weird questions, so SEND US THOSE QUESTIONS OTHERS ARE AFRAID TO ASK ON THEIR SHOWS!

And, we'd love to bring back "Open Porch" broadcasts. These are the shows where you, our listeners, can call in and comment or complain about something you've heard on a previous show. If you want to say something about a previous interview, or, whatever, the "Open Porch" broadcasts are your opportunity to do so.

When are they? Whenever we post they will be (usually, on FB) and we also declare an "open porch" at the beginning of each of these shows - complete with TOLL-FREE CALL-IN NUMBER for you poor bastards, like us!

I promise you that the more feedback we get, the bigger and bolder interviews will come. BTW: We have interviews scheduled for both May broadcasts, already. I ain't saying shit to anyone who isn't chatting us up behind the broadcasts! One communicative listener knows who's supposed to be on the next show, and, she's excited as hell we got someone this cool!

Do your part - tune in and feed-back!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Conversations from the Porch 04/21 by Hrafnstong Radio | Blog Talk Radio

Conversations from the Porch 04/21 by Hrafnstong Radio | Blog Talk Radio

Vikings on History Channel; Ancient Alien Norse Gods; Beltane thoughts; INTERVIEW: Bruce with the Lake Okeechobee Summer Solstice Pagan Festival; Cat pees next to Morlog; Morlog's Orlog; new Amon Amarth with Uruzz.