We are in the northern part of Turtle Island. We start every circle with a land acknowledgment and a blessing for the First Nations of this land. Today we invoked Brighid, goddess of smith-craft, poetry and healing. This is her message. She wanted me to put it on the Internet. Even if you don’t believe in channeling and goddesses: her message is truthful.
The revelation of the restored version of the Mystic Lamb from the Ghent Altarpiece got me thinking about theriomorphic deities.
The scary goggly eyes of the restored version attracted quite a lot of comment and even a scary meme of the Lamb winking.
Before you go and have a look at the pictures, I have to warn you that what has been seen cannot be unseen.
I’m still seeing people assuming that all Wiccans are duotheists. In my experience, this is simply not the case.
Do deities have gender? What about sexual characteristics? As non-physical (and some might say, metaphorical) beings, they can manifest in whatever form they want.
Some have argued that any form of theism is incompatible with science. Which is odd when so many scientists are theistic in some form or other.
The other day, I had an interesting discussion with Brenton Dickieson about the shape of the spiritual life.
I said, if I was to attribute a shape to my spirituality, it would be a tree, connecting spirit and matter, the heavens and the Earth, the human and the divine. If you think about the shape of a tree, its roots mirror its branches.
I often see Pagans, polytheists, and Christians talking about ethics and morality as if they were mandated by a deity, and as if that deity was the ultimate arbiter of what is good.
I mention Christians because it’s all too easy to pretend that Pagans are so much cleverer than Christians — but only because we don’t yet have the Pagan equivalent of a “What would Jesus do?” bracelet (as far as I know).
Some psychologists have suggested the existence of a “god-shaped hole” in the mind — a set of psychological functions that evolved for some other purpose (like detecting predators sneaking up behind us), but which predispose us to believe in gods, or in God, or the supernatural, or the preternatural, or something out there other than ourselves.Continue reading
I’ve often said that Terry Pratchett was one of the greatest Pagan theologians, although he wasn’t a Pagan. In his books Small Gods, Pyramids, and the series about the witches, he often explored ideas about how gods might might come into being, and how they interact with the world. He was also, in a quiet and humorous way, a passionate advocate of thinking about things more deeply, looking beyond the surface of things, and being compassionate. (If you missed that about his writing, read it again.)
In the Tiffany Aching series, there’s a great passage about first thoughts, second thoughts, and third thoughts:
“First Thoughts are the everyday thoughts. Everyone has those. Second Thoughts are the thoughts you think about the way you think. People who enjoy thinking have those. Third Thoughts are thoughts that watch the world and think all by themselves. They’re rare, and often troublesome. Listening to them is part of witchcraft.”
― Terry Pratchett,