[A Pedagogy of Gaia] “The P-Word” by Bart Everson

I call myself Pagan because wild nature is awesome, and I experience Earth as sacred, and I realize I don’t have a well-delineated self separate from the planetary ecosystem. I call myself Pagan because I think honoring the ancestors is a good idea, and I feel a connection to antiquity, and I like mythology. I call myself Pagan because dancing under the moon is my kind of religion, and a purely rational approach to life is deadening. I call myself Pagan because I value reason and intellect too, and I think ancient philosophers like the Stoics had a lot of wisdom. I call myself Pagan because pentagrams are cool, and Gerald Gardner was one interesting cat, and Starhawk is my hero. I call myself Pagan because baby, I’m an anarchist. I call myself Pagan because it offers a political and psychic bulwark against Abrahamic hegemony. I call myself Pagan because polytheism provides a metaphor for the mysteries of existence that’s frankly preferable, in my view, to the monotheistic metaphor in terms of both ethics and aesthetics. I call myself Pagan because I celebrate the Wheel of the Year, and my family prays to Mother Earth before dinner, and I’m an active participant in a local Pagan circle. I call myself Pagan because “eco-spiritual practitioner” is such a mouthful.

Humanistic Paganism

I have quite a bit of ambivalence about the P-word. I doubt anyone’s noticed, but I make an effort to avoid it while writing this column. That may seem faintly ridiculous. After all, I’m writing for a site called Humanistic Paganism. Who am I trying to kid?

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