How Should We Define Modern Paganism?

The Dodekatheon

The Dodekatheon

I hope it can accomplish the task of prompting further community questions and discussions on these topics and more. I welcome dialogue. Dialogue can often lead to impassioned opinions on every side of the opinion aisle, but as long as they are courteous and professional, I see no reason why we can attempt to understand one another, even if we disagree. The majority of this blog was extrapolated from an article I wrote for the Witches’ Voice. You can find the original article here. There have been some additions to this blog post, however, so it will be quite different in many respects.

The Debate
It has become somewhat of a proverb in our modern Pagan Community: just what is Paganism? What makes you a Pagan? I read a lot of blogs and occasionally chime in on Facebook feeds where many people debate just what Paganism means to them. Unfortunately, the fights begin when people start pushing their personal definitions onto others and begin using them as a means of comparing who is “more Pagan” than the other. Pagans who are vegetarian begin to condemn Pagans who are meat-eaters for not being Pagan; Pagans who are polytheist begin attacking Pagans with atheist leanings that they are not Pagan; Pagans who perform daily devotions begin chiding other Pagans who don’t for not being Pagan “enough.”

What has happened is that rather than focusing what unites us and having a real discussion, our human propensity for one-upping emerges and it bleeds into spirituality. Ego battles ensue, and very soon we forget what we were discussing in the first place. Then there are the Reconstructionists who eschew the word Pagan because they think of eclectic New Age White-Lighters with crystals chanting “Om, ” or hippies smoking ganja with a “feel good” outlook on life that are anti-authoritarian. While this is certainly an image of some, it’s not everyone. Nonetheless stereotypes emerge and they are construed as negative imagery. It seems that even amongst our own, we have turned the word “Pagan” into a negative term…something that, ironically, our Christian forebears began doing to their non-Christian neighbors.

(For the record: I am not saying anything is wrong with holding crystals and chanting “Om” or to be a hippie that smokes ganja) .

A blogger had written about how he doesn’t call himself Pagan anymore. When he started studying Druidry, he found that what he was studying wasn’t historically accurate. He then went on to study Celtic Reconstructionism. Unfortunately, he and his group didn’t find a comfortable welcome at Pagan festivals. While he was focused on historical accuracy, many of the Pagan workshops focused more on what he felt were contemporary New Age concepts such as ley lines, auras, and the like. In addition, many Pagans who were familiar with Wicca felt disconnected to the Reconstructionist methods of performing ceremonies. He states that he and his group seemed to find more common ground with practitioners of other belief systems such as Native Americans and Tibetan Buddhists. He is one of many who have dropped the appellation “Pagan” in favor of “Polytheist.” While that is certainly his right, I personally believe that there were some missed opportunities; opportunities which I will explain later.

Definitions
It has been noted in a publication that was a collaboration of scholars (many of whom are practitioners) that many dictionaries seem to be responsible for presenting a non-definition of Paganism (2005, Modern Paganism In World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives). Michael Strmska has done a marvelous job of looking at The Oxford Concise Dictionary of English Etymology, The American Heritage Dictionary, and The Scribner-Bantam English Dictionary for how “Pagan” is defined:

1) “One who is not a Christian, Muslim or Jew, ”
2) “Heathen, ”
3) “Idolator, ”
4) “One who has no religious beliefs, ”
5) From Latin paganus rustic, peasant, from pagus rural, the country, originally landmark fixed in the earth, ”

He rightly concludes that hardly anyone can come away with a positive sense of the term Pagan, and thus we in the Community are having a troubling time defining just who and what we are. Many modern Pagans believe in some of these definitions, and will hastily classify Buddhists, Shintoists, and Native Americans as “Pagans.” Moreover, an implied conclusion is drawn that since Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are popularly seen as Monotheistic faiths, then “Pagan” should apply to only those who are polytheistic. This presents a problem, as it effectively excludes a growing number of Goddess worshipers who venerate solely the Great Mother Goddess, a monotheistic concept in which the Goddess is All That Exists. She is tangible in everything: the earth, the wind, the fire, the sea, the stars, you and I. While this type of monotheism includes a pantheistic blend, it is nonetheless monotheistic.

What I think happens is that terms are thrown around like everyone knows what they mean, but in the midst of arguing and debating they are lost in visual and word associations that have little to do with the ACTUAL definition. For example, if I say “monotheism” many minds will automatically jump to the Father concept of God in Christianity. Your mind may also link to other word and concept associations such as “exclusionary, ” “Bible, ” and “transcendent.” In other words, your mind comes to terms with how many Christians, Jews and Muslims define monotheism, but not necessarily what the word actually means. Monotheism simply means “One Deity.” That’s it. So if you are a Pagan who believes in the Great Mother Goddess, that She is All and All is She to the exclusion of other Deities, then you are monotheistic. This concept is very popular in a growing number of Dianic and Hekatean circles. In my opinion, the transcendent vs. immanence debate is more a matter of epistemology than theology/thealogy.

But we still haven’t answered where “Pagan” comes from or if the definitions above are valid.

Pagan is Pejorative
The problem is that the negative appellation of “pagan” comes from the Roman Christians themselves who applied the term to others who were not part of their faith. Moreover, as Christianity spread and conversion occurred through war and politics, traditional customs and folk practices among the rural populace were called “pagan.” But country folk had no name for their observances, as they were the result of hundreds and perhaps thousands of years of familial custom and traditions. The religious evolution of the word “Pagan” started becoming more evident away from its original definition of “rural dweller” around the fourth century CE with the changing religious tide. Here we have evidence of the progression of the word as it began to change with the times.

This is where many modern Reconstructionists break with those who call themselves Pagan. For Reconstructionists, they are using historical accuracy and scholarly research in an attempt to bring back the original ritual practices, ethos, and philosophies of their ancestors. This means that many modern Wiccan-inspired Pagan ceremonies that involve cast circles, invocation of the Four (or Five) Elements, and celebration of the Oak and Holly King are nowhere near what they do. In addition, because they include ancestral veneration in their praxis, they feel it was an affront to their ancestors to have their faiths demeaned by the Christian rulers with the negative word “Pagan.” Reconstructionism, in a sense, can be seen as an attempt to reclaim and take pride in one’s ancestral lineage, whether that is ethnic Greek practices, Romanian, Russian, Bulgarian, Lithuanian, Scandinavian, Irish, Nordic or Roman; there is a swell of pride in that one is actually reviving the ceremonies and sacred mythos that was suppressed or altered by Christian conquerors. I for one am glad to know that people are reconnecting and reforging relationships with their ancestors and their cultures.

Medieval Paganism
Shortly after the fourth century CE and at the onset of the Middle Ages, many people in various rural areas in southern, western and northern Europe were amalgamating beliefs from Christianity into their folkloric customs and superstitions (a term applied by Church authorities to what many now refer to as folk magic). People readily adapted, and there are numerous examples worldwide of ethnic practices that survived – many times with the approval and participation of the local Christian clergy – as syncretic expressions of people’s faiths (2005, Pagan Survivals, Superstitions and Customs). What happened was that the cultural expressions and traditions continued, albeit changed and altered. Sometimes even new rituals and customs were created to fit with new paradigms. According to the literature of the period, “Pagan” was still pejorative. But what we are glimpsing is the adaptation of traditional customs and the development of new ceremonies in the light of the times.

It didn’t just happen in Europe either. The same thing occurred among native populations in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and India under Islamic rule (2012, Paganism in the Middle Ages: Threat and Fascination). From reading the Bible, we can also get a glimpse that similar situations had occurred under the rule of the nation of Israel (and even later when the nation split into Israel and Judah). The native beliefs of the Canaanites, Hittites and Amorites would not be squashed under Jewish rule. They stubbornly clung onto their native traditions, in spite of governmental persecution and ethnic genocide. But evidence is abundant that many practicing Jews also syncretized their faith with that of others. Syncretism is not new, and is a very old practice among humanity. We are always borrowing ideas and norms from other places, because this is what we do. It’s natural behavior. But in this blending of ideas, myths and practices, unique differences were evident depending on the culture, region, town or area you traveled in. This is important to keep in mind, because this format neatly resembles the wide diversity of practices, beliefs and customs found in modern Paganism.

Renaissance Paganism
There is an argument as to whether any Paganism existed during the Renaissance. Keep in mind however that when these arguments are taking place among scholars, they are using the definitions that we had used earlier. The most popular is describing someone who is not a Christian, Jewish or Muslim. The argument goes that the people responsible for reviving Classical Greek and Roman studies (i.e. mythology, imagery, literature, etc.) identified as Christian, and therefore could not be Pagan. Rather some even argue that no one in the Renaissance actually believed in pre-Christian Deities, but rather pretended as if they actually existed (2005, The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance).

But the revival of pre-Christian philosophies, sacred literature and practices cannot be denied. The translation of the Corpus Hermeticum, The Chaldean Oracles, and The Orphic Hymns served to bring Classical Pagan Neoplatonic thought into a world on the cusp of change. Indeed one of the influences of the Italian Renaissance, Gemistus Pletho (1355 – 1454?) founded a Mystery School in Greece where he taught polytheism and his students prayed to and venerated the Olympian Gods. While modern Reconstructionists may argue if his formats were correct, this is a wonderful example of Pagan thought reviving. Much later the English Platonist Thomas Taylor (1758 – 1835) described himself as a Hellenistic Pagan. Here we have the definition evolving to religious identity.

Modern Paganism
If you remember the definitions of Pagan in the dictionaries, the most common was someone who is not a Christian, Jewish or Muslim. However, without realizing it, during the studies done about the Middle Ages “Pagan” became the appellation attributed to continuations of religious and folk practices that had their roots in the pre-Christian past. During the Renaissance it became applied to people who gathered to study and practice the pre-Christian Hellenistic as well as the syncretic Judeo-Egyptian-Hellenic Hermetic faith in some way. Whether these roots had different offshoots or made way for new expressions, the commonality between them all was that they had come from a period before the political takeover of Christianity.

The continuation and re-discovery of pre-Christian practices, literature and philosophies throughout the Middle Ages, Renaissance and post-Renaissance world opened up new avenues for the fall of political Christianity in Europe, the rise of scientific thinking, the era of the Romantics and Transcendentalists. It also paved for the Occult Revivals – from Italy to England and to the United States – which were all social, political and spiritual grounds that were broken and made possible the 20th century public revival of Paganism beginning with Wicca. Modern Paganism is the newest expression in a long line of movements in which people were desperately trying to break free from a belief system that they did not align with. Many of us use similar practices, philosophies and concepts that were studied during these tumultuous times, no matter what our Group or Tradition is (i.e. ADF, AODA, British Traditional Wicca, British Traditional Witchcraft, Hellenismos, Theodism, Kemetic Orthodoxy, Stregha, Strix Craft, etc.) . Or we have spawned new expressions of celebration that were inspired by these efforts.

Reclaiming the Name
Recall that the Roman Empire had taken over the entirety of Europe, North Africa, and parts of the Near East. As a result in these areas is where we find the term “Pagan” applied to the people and cultures that did not align with Christianity. But as we have also seen, this term evolved from its original meaning of “country dweller” to “non-Christian.” Later the definition expanded to “someone who is not Christian, Jewish or Muslim.” It even meant “idolator” in the sense of someone who honored the Old Gods or were seen as superstitious by the Church. However, I believe the term “Pagan” can continue to evolve in meaning, and we have the opportunity to use it in the present. We have examples in our past of the term being for religious identity.

I mentioned earlier that I believe our blogger missed a valuable opportunity at Pagan festivals (although to be fair to our blogger, it doesn’t seem like the missed opportunity was his fault in the least). Rather than feeling welcome, he and his group felt like outsiders in a place that promoted many teachings and paradigms akin to New Age. I can’t say I blame the blogger for feeling like an outsider. There are many Pagans who argue about the rightness and trueness of casting a circle, calling the Elements, doing Cakes and Ale, and talking about the Moon Goddess and Sun God. Many, but not all, have and will attack a ritual practice they deem at odds with their own ideology. And many, but not all, have very liberal, Leftist and anti-authoritarian leanings. So much so that if a Pagan were to admit they were Republican, conservative and did not believe in Climate Change I predict a fair share of ostracism. The opportunity I believe that may have been missed was education to introduce the Pagan Community to Reconstructionism. It really was unfortunate that he and his group were belittled for “doing things wrong” because he did not follow Wiccan-inspired formats.

Pagan has become synonymous with Wicca, and that is a definite mistake. But another error is that for too long “Pagan” has adopted rudiments of political and activist thought. This is another weakness in our definition, because it is not accurate. For example, you will not find under the definition of Christianity the word “United States Republican , anti-gay, pro-life and pro-war persons who believe in the literalism of the Bible.” There are many Christians who are Leftist and Democrat in the United States, and there are many who do not believe in the literalism of the Bible. Yet, they identify as Christian nonetheless even though the fringe fundamentalists may not accept them as such. And that’s the problem we’re facing: the difference between practice and belief. Liberal Christians (sometimes called progressive Christians) self-identify as Christian because they share similar practices with their more hardline right-wing contemporaries: they share inspiration from the words and teachings of Jesus Christ. While the interpretations might differ between the camps, nonetheless they have a unifying principle between them.

I believe there is a commonality that many of us – whether Reconstructionist, Revivalist, or Eclectic – can share when we designate ourselves “Pagan.” But it will definitely take ongoing dialogue, intellectual discussion, and agreeing to examine ourselves in order to drop unnecessary divisions that cloud our minds rather than free it (e.g. including veganism, peace activism, Goddess monotheism and politically liberal leanings as automatic synonyms of “Pagan”). In other words, we have to be willing to leave our individual beliefs behind and look at what our practices bring together, as well as where they come from. There is nothing wrong with trying to reconstruct our past, but there is also nothing wrong with creating new celebrations; indeed, that has always been a part of human expression!

A vast scope of diversity and yet shared unity can be seen similarly in modern Hinduism. Many scholars view the striking similarities between many Pagan ideals, ideologies, practices, and divisions with Hinduism. Indeed, some go so far as to say we share a common spiritual (and perhaps genetic) ancestry as Indo-Europeans. This may be our shared commonality: the revival or reconstruction of the pre-Christian religious practices, mythologies and philosophies of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. As I mentioned before, this was the extension of the Roman Empire, and it was in these areas that Classical Pagan thought, philosophy, magico-religious practices, customs and beliefs that were essential as the inspiration behind the modern practices of what we call Paganism. It is also where we find the word “Pagan” used so much. Beneath this Pagan umbrella we can include ethnic polytheist Reconstructionists, American and European witches, Druid Revivalists, and American and European peoples who practice continuations of folkloric survivals, customs and traditions rooted in our pre-Christian past.

Pagan is a term to be reclaimed to fit with the times. We also should not discount the anti-authoritarianism of our hippie predecessors. Their activism is what made possible the public emergence of Pagan practices. It sowed seeds that have blossomed in many corners as people revive links that were thought lost. While certainly we are far from ending our dialogue, I am hoping that our shared commonalities as peoples who are building bridges to our nearly lost spiritual inheritance can at least open up more avenues to explore what our future means for all of us.

Post Script
My Hellenic Temple, the Temple of Hekate: Ordo Sacra Strix, is a polytheist Temple that blends aspects of the Western Mysteries and Classical Hellenic Polytheism. In this case, we tend to approach ritual theology from a different angle than our Neo-Wiccan and Wiccan neighbors. I am a Traditional Wiccan myself, being an initiate of the Minoan Brotherhood. I am also a member of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I have friends within the various Polytheist, Neo-Pagan, Neo-Wiccan, Trad Wiccan, Recon, and Revivalist camps. I have walked among them, spoken to them, and come to understand where each person is at in their faith and why. Unfortunately for Polytheists, there seems to be a great deal of misunderstanding currently regarding their praxis and the clash they are experiencing with those familiar with Neo-Wiccan ideology. Why? I haven’t the foggiest clue. I don’t know if it’s due to people suspecting practices that are different, or just ego clashes between leaders of the various camps, all of whom are strong-willed people. As a devotee of Dionysus and Hekate, as well as someone who has triumphed over a lot of trauma, I, too, have a very strong-willed and assertive personality which easily clashes with other people. The side-effects of my brain injury don’t help: lack of empathy, asking a million questions, and being difficult with social cues. Nonetheless, I am a firm believer in the wonderful Work of my Gods and the Spirits that we worship and are allied to. This dogmatic belief is very antithetical to what modern Paganism claims to embrace. And so, like other Polytheists, we are finding difficulty in finding some sort of cohesion within the Community. But I’ll blog about that in another upcoming post. For now, we have legacy to think of and Gods to worship.

Io Evo He!

Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
~Oracle~

Sources:

Jacob, Drew. (26 May 2011). “Why I’m Not Pagan.” Rogue Priest: I Believe We Can Meet the Gods. Retrieved from: http://roguepriest.net/2011/05/26/why-im-not-pagan/

Strmiska, Michael (2005). Modern Paganism in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives. In Michael F. Strmiska (Ed.), Modern Paganism In World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives (pp. 4-54). CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc.

Filotas, Bernadette. (2005)Pagan Survivals, Superstitions and Customs. Toronto, Canada: Pontifical Institute of Mediaevel Studies. 

Steel, C., Marenbon, J., and Verbeke, W. (Eds.) . (2012)Paganism in the Middle Ages: Threat and Fascination. Belgium: Leuven University Press.

Godwin, Jocelyn. (2005)The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance. NY: Red Wheel/Weiser.

4 thoughts on “How Should We Define Modern Paganism?

  1. Donald Barks says:

    R. Buckminster Fuller, one of my heroes, said, :

    “God, to me, it seems
    is a verb,
    not a noun,
    proper or improper”.

    Perhaps that can apply here, as well.

  2. André says:

    Hi Luis, I appreciate your nod to my post in writing this. I feel I should respond about the claim of “missed opportunities,” which I do not feel is accurate.

    First, I should say (as my original blog post emphasized) that I feel very close to the Pagan community, and that our Temple continued to work closely with that community. I have nothing but respect and good feelings for Pagans.

    So I’m not sure where you got this idea:

    “It really was unfortunate that he and his group were belittled for ‘doing things wrong’ because he did not follow Wiccan-inspired formats.”

    No one ever belittled or mocked us. For the record, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Pagan community is exceptional. They’re more diverse and yet connected than any Pagan community I’ve seen. We had great experiences at the annual Pagan Pride Fest and our Temple’s ceremonies were regularly among the most popular and well-attended there.

    Let me try to explain to you what was actually going on.

    As positive as our Pagan community experiences were, our Irish American community experiences were more positive. Like Pagan Pride Fest, we also had great interest and popularity at Irish Fair Minnesota, but the difference was: after Irish Fair, the people who met us there had ongoing interest in what we did. In Pagan events, people joined our ritual then left (with exceptions), most of them feeling no lingering connection to a culturally rooted, temple-based organization with an apprenticeship model. Irish Americans and Irish culture enthusiasts on the other hand seemed to be stirred, inspired and excited by the traditions we were keeping alive, and wanted to be part of it.

    A similar phenomena happened when we networked with other religions, like Vodou, Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism. People in these traditions saw our traditional practices as gems that had been preserved or reconstructed for a reason, and were excited that someone was putting so much work into salvaging ancient spiritual traditions. Pagans on the other hand had a wide range of responses to the careful preservation and reconstruction of old practices, but I would not characterize it overall as “enthusiastic.”

    And a note on Reconstructionism: there is some debate among Celtic Reconstructionists as to whether reconstructionism is a religion in itself (as envisioned by the first people to use that term) or if it is simply a methodology. Viewing it as a methodology is the popular view these days, and certainly the one I support. To me and to many reconstructionists, calling reconstructionism a religion is like calling meditation a religion. It isn’t, it’s a practice that some religious people do. Anyone can choose to use scholarly sources to reconstruct lost practices; it doesn’t matter if you are Wiccan, Celtic Polytheist, or Jewish for that matter.

    Also In your post, you say we missed an opportunity (to do what? remain Pagan?) because we did not embed ourselves within a collection of people and religions that have very different goals and interests than we do. I don’t see that as a missed opportunity. I see it as an opportunity we seized and made good on: the opportunity to define ourselves on our own terms.

    You portray the word “Pagan” as something worth reclaiming, but you never explain why. Why is it so important to reclaim it? And if it is important, why should non-Pagans be the ones to do it?

    If I wanted to be forceful about the matter, I could suggest that you—and all Pagans—should give up the word “pagan” and reclaim the word polytheist. Polytheist was a word originally coined in the late Classical world to differentiate Classical religion from Christianity. It is a respectful word that the ancient polytheists used in a positive light to describe their own practices. It’s also more literally true (“many gods”) and has no negative associations (idolater, devil worshipper) or confusing connotations (atheist, non-Christian/Jew/Muslim). If someone is going to be the sheriff of word usage and decide which words to reclaim, then everyone should stop calling themselves Pagan and switch to polytheist right away.

    But I don’t believe in that kind of forcefulness. I believe that groups are free to choose their own identity, and if they choose one umbrella term over another they likely have very good reasons for doing so. Why don’t Christians consider themselves Jews? Why don’t Lutherans consider themselves Catholics? Because they have a history and a set of experiences that gave them their own identity. If a Christian blogger wrote that Lutherans had a “missed opportunity” to stay Catholic, imagine how offensive and insulting it would be.

    Through seven years of community work, public activism, networking and cultural festivals our Temple found that we had an identity of our own and that it was not Pagan. If there was an opportunity missed in that, it’s only that we didn’t realize it sooner.

    I understand that the sudden exodus from Paganism of many reconstructionists and polytheists is a difficult, and potentially embarrassing thing for Pagans as a whole. But I would urge Pagans to consider two questions:

    (1) Do Pagans have a better opportunity to define themselves and find common ground, now that these non-Pagans are out of the picture?

    (2) If many Pagans are upset by the departure of some polytheists/reconstructionists, then is there something of value in polytheism or reconstructionism that Paganism should cultivate?

    I have no answers to these questions for you; that’s really up to your own community.

    In closing I would add:

    “In other words, we have to be willing to leave our individual beliefs behind…”

    I agree.

    • luisvaladez says:

      Andre:

      First, allow me the privilege of thanking you for taking time for this well-thought out reply. I sincerely appreciate the effort to clarify certain points which I was not previously aware of. The lack of the backstory may be why I misinterpreted certain things, not to mention that snippets combined with the slower processing speed of my TBI-induced brain may have also been responsible. Granted, it’s not an excuse, but certainly a valid reason. Allow me to begin:

      I THINK the area where I interpreted (albeit, as you pointed out, incorrectly) the notion that there was some belittling going on is from this statement:

      “I could go on with dozens more. When Pagans visited the Temple they felt a little confused and out of place.”

      Somewhere, somehow, I misinterpreted this statement to reflect that there was somehow some hostility accompanied with the confusion. My mind-word association with pagan groups encountering confusion in a ritual brings to mind a visual cue of under-the-breath ridicule and hostility at times (at least, that’s been my experience, so my visual memory cue dredged up my personal experiences and pasted them onto that entire statement, rather than taking it for what it said). I do apologize for any insinuation in the surrounding Community that was unwarranted.

      Secondly, by stating there was a “missed opportunity,” I certainly did not mean for you all to remain by the “Pagan label.” It certainly is not my job (nor would I want it to be!) to try and police what people may or may not call themselves. If Polytheist works for you, then so be it. My observation of “missed opportunity” stems from the false notion that there may have been some hostility, and furthermore (again) it has been my personal experience that the Pagans with whom I have worked with in the past have belittled or otherwise not understood Reconstructionism: its approaches to Mythos and praxis, that is. I wholeheartedly agree with you that Recon is not in and of itself a religion. In fact, my own Temple is not Recon, but we do use Recon methods to a certain extent.

      But, like you, my own worship and engagement is not dependent on what some call themselves. The purpose of my article was an attempt to introduce an understanding of the word “Pagan” itself, especially to other Pagans who cannot seem to agree on a given definition. While many may disagree with my assessment – which is certainly their right! – the summation of this article was to call for dialogue. Right now on the blog-o-sphere there has been increased hostility between Polytheists and some Pagans, just as there is some hostility between Trad Wiccans (sometimes) and Neo-Wiccans. While hostilities will always happen when theological conflicts ensue, in the end whatever legacy is left between the general Pagan Community and the growing Polytheist Community is between those who adopt or eschew labels.

      Can we have a shared understanding on some things? No doubt. Can we have a shared goal when it comes to combating religious discrimination? Absolutely I believe it so. But then there are those of us, like me, who need to find out where we belong and why. This article was a personal attempt to also discover whether my path, my spirituality, is Pagan, Polytheist, or Pagan Polytheist. While the ending may not have been clear, hopefully that insight can help you to better understand where I was coming from in the first place. A personal journey, to be sure.🙂

      Once more, thank you for the feedback. I welcome it. If you’d like to contact me personally, please do so at: luis.valadez@rocketmail.com

      I would love to correspond with you privately and, if you are willing, help me to understand further perhaps what our own Temple can do as we reach a period where we are deciding (or rather, I am deciding) where and how we belong as we walk a path to honor our ancestors and leave a strong foundation for our descendants.

      Eirene kai Hugieia!
      (Peace and Health to you!)
      ~Oracle~

      P.S. – If there is anything here which is confusing, please feel free to contact me further with questions. Sometimes what I THINK I am typing, and what actually comes forward, are two different things. While this is true for anyone, for a TBI individual it can be even more confusing.🙂

      • André says:

        Hi Luis, thank you for your excellent and very kind reply and I completely understand where you and your Temple are at right now. Please know that my long reply time was only because of a busy travel schedule, and I’m happy to talk further. I’ll email you right now.

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