Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Pagan. Period.

I'm a lapsed high-church Episcopalian of Russian Polish German Jewish heritage, on my mother's side, back when that land changed hands, and on my father's side, Scots-Irish, raised on the moors to eat porridge, related to the "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God" Puritan Jonathan Edwards.

As a child in Costa Rica, my husband was born Catholic, but this mother thought that through, found it lacking, and became Jehovah's Witness. His religion now is soccer. With a side of French bread. The man really loves his baguette. The staff of life, I say. But he finds that too Biblical; he is rather crunchy.

What on earth to raise the kids? I say Earth worshipping, foragers, with a streak of literacy, and a love of kindness like the Dali Lama, and like the Sufi mystics, an urge to whirl.

I'll light some incense for that, get a pet sacred cow, put a fire on the hearth, like Hestia, Greek goddess of the hearth for whom I have a special fondness. She sat apart from her brothers and sister Olympians, and focused on the rotating spit, and made mean S'mores.


  1. I love this. I would say "me too" if I'd been clever enough to think it through this clearly -- but I have sort of lived this, with a side of "running free on empty beaches as sacred moment." Thank you for giving this words.

  2. Have you read the latter Heidegger? I am thinking about a chapter in a book on him -- the book is titled _Heidegger and Unconcealment_ by Mark Wrathall and the chapter is titled "Between the Earth and the Sky" (and p.211 specifically, where Wrathall cites Heidegger urging us to tarry in the remnants of the old religious practices so as to achieve a real contact with the holy, because, as he says, religion is succession).

    I am not Pagan (I am an Orthodox Christian), but I wonder about this: if one _is_ a Pagan, is it even worth entertaining the idea of "bringing back the old gods?" --or is one forced to operate Paganly within a living tradition? I suspect the latter, though I do not think I do either.

  3. And I thought I was alone with this problem of growing up in the great American (what do we call it? stew pot?) And I love your approach! An essay poem?