This is the age of overstimulation – of so many concerns vying for our attention that intellectual, emotional and focus burnout is a daily occurrence for many people. When we look at the needs of the world, or even just our individual countries, it’s easy to become overwhelmed: poverty, climate change, war, illness, natural disasters, politics…the list is bottomless.
This blog series is all about responding to the world in ways that are useful and productive. I approach new onslaughts of awful with a three-part response: immediate physical environment, inner world and lastly, relationship to community. This blog post is all about that latter-most category. Our relationship to community is how we actively respond to the onrushing stimuli. It’s about what we try to change in the world, what we try to introduce, what we choose to work on.
To try to help all areas of need at one time is to invite self-destruction.
I have nightmares about the ocean. They never start off scary. In my dreams, I am excited to go to the beach. It’s often the same seaside town I visit in my slumbering journey: a rather New England-looking village that slopes down a hill toward the shore. Cheerful buildings, boardwalk, winding sidewalks and narrow roads, bright sunlight on a sparkling sea. People out walking, riding bikes, visiting shops. I stand at the top of a hill looking down at this idyllic scene, appreciating its beauty.
I don’t know about you, but I’m finding right now to be a deeply challenging time in which to live. As someone who is passionate about expanding social justice, equality, and equity for all, it sure feels like every attempt to make the world a better place is being flagrantly, callously, and sometimes even gleefully thwarted by those in power, at least daily.
Certainly Christianity has built its own theological tradition based on Christian foundational assumptions. That does not mean modern polytheists should consider the field off limits to us. Quite the contrary: if our religions are to grow and thrive, they need a strong theological component. But so far we haven’t produced much in the way of theology.
This needs to change. There have been a few works of Pagan and polytheist theology, but not many, and fewer still that are accessible to ordinary readers.
As of January we have another: Ascendant: Modern Essays on Polytheism and Theology, edited by Michael Hardy and published by Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It’s a collection of short essays by modern polytheists, some well-known and others not. They vary in length and emphasis, but they’re all thought-provoking. And at this point in the polytheist restoration, thought-provoking is what we need most.
SO MANY BEAUTIFUL BEINGS! I smile every time I see these faces. Ivo Dominguez, Jr & Herne’s Hollow Folks at the Alombrados OTO in New Orleans.
There are some really great folks out there. Not just some, a LOT. Really. If your main exposure to “community” in terms of Witchcraft/Paganism is only through the Internet, you’re probably going to have less than an optimistic view of what it’s like in physical space. I don’t like to say “in real life” because the Internet can be amazing for fostering relationships. But there’s a disconnect that happens when people forget they’re still communicating with other human beings on the other side of their screens, which leads to some rather crappy behavior. And while the online world is an equalizer in some ways, it’s also very easy to form echo-chambers and provide amplified platforms for personalities – for better or worse.
If this is the very first book of Astrology you pick up, you can consider yourself lucky indeed. Seriously, if you’ve been avoiding Astrology the same way you avoided calculus (like the plague) this may be the book for you!