Tag Archives: culture

Pagan For the Holidays

 

“To be pagan and claim personal affront at the idea of Christmas more so than at Ramadan, Yom Kippur or any other Abrahamic or Eastern religion is not an indication of free thought. Indeed it indicates that one is still a slave to one’s upbringing.”
— Randall Wolfe

 

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the idea of holiday celebrating this past few weeks. I tend to find much about this time of year questionable. Roads and stores are crowded. People seem a good deal crankier and less likely to smile as they look for the perfect way to express to their loved ones in a material way how they want to be perceived as caring about them. People try hard to maintain their roles in each year’s extended family drama. Kids seem more anxious and stressed about what they are getting and whether they have lived up to some perceived standard of behaviour and will be thus rewarded. The list can go on and on and that doesn’t even touch on some of my religious objections.
I freely admit that I do not subscribe to the Jewish, Christian or Islamic faiths. If I had to describe my beliefs at all it would be as wildly eclectic with strong pagan and thelemic leanings. As most who read this blog know, when it comes to faith and universal understandings I have many many questions and relatively few answers. This is not from lack of knowledge of the different options out there, indeed I have studied many of the world’s religions in farther depths than most of their adherents. Thus the questions arise.
Still I try to find meaning in every day I am alive and I applaud others who do the same. If they do this by connecting within a cultural framework and it means something to them that is awesome. Thus I have no problem exchanging “Merry Christmases” or “Happy Chanukahs” or “Joyful Kwanzas” with those who celebrate and I do not trod on their traditions. It is not my business what anyone else chooses to believe and any reason is a good one to celebrate. I graciously accept presents as tokens that someone thought me worthy of their time and I give such tokens as I have because for some a gift at a particular time of year means “I love you too” in a language that they can understand. If this is hypocrisy than it is a small one that I can live with.
The Northern Hemisphere is about at Solstice. The time of least light and greatest darkness. Many cultures celebrate the return of the light and the progress of the seasons no matter what mythology they attach to it. I wish all a pleasant Yule and solstice and a wonderful re-manifestation out of the dark in whatever form it takes.
Blessings, G

 

Click on images to see full-sized:

 

Lord of the GladeLord of the Glade by G A Rosenberg

 

Drifting through the Fractal SpacesDrifting Through the Fractal Spaces by G A Rosenberg

 

Mykonos and Delos

 

“I fear that, with our current veneration for the natural and the real, we have arrived at the opposite pole to all idealism, and have landed in the region of the waxworks.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche,

 

Yesterday the boat ride to Delos and back was amazing.
Layers of belief with the same deities being given new names again and again. Thus the Phonecian goddess Astarte becomes the Egyptian Isis becomes the Greek Artemis becomes the Roman Diana and somewhere on Delos is a temple to each as each culture supplants the old.
Pan, sone of Hermes played his lyre and brings the Maenads to frenzy represent by a black cat who revels in the sun at the entrance to his temple while the temples to Apollo and Dionysius face each other like two respected rivals.
Consulting the Pythia and having her drugged insights interpreted giving some sign and direction of which way to go.
It would take a week to fully do justice to what has been uncovered on Delos and we had but hours. Still walking the ruins in the hot Mediterranean sun was fascinating.
In the museum, Aaron cannot take a picture of my head placed atop the beheaded state of Pan without incurring the guard’s insistence that the picture be deleted. Still we play and wonder amidst the art of the past. On the boat ride back, the Mediterranean baptizes me with its spray (well soaks actually) but its exhilarating. Back in Mykonos at the docks, we try to photograph a lizard that moves all too quickly much like our time in this beautiful area.
Blessings, G

 

Click on images to see full-sized:

 

DelosDelos

 

Statue of Pan  c2000BCStatue of Pan c2000BC

 

Dionysian Temple PhallusDionysian Temple Phallus

 

Mykonos From the SeaMykonos From the Sea