Thursday, May 6, 2010

What is Paganism? YOU DECIDE!

June is fast approaching, and while we will be on our third World Religion by that time, I will also have a brand spanking new pseudo-religion episode that month as well. This one, however, will be completely written by you, the Rioters.

You have until June 23rd to get me your definitions, thoughts, arguments for or against, beliefs, opinions, and elucidations on what - EXACTLY - is paganism. The point of this episode, I hope, is to illustrate the myriad of ideas on this subject, and, perhaps, facilitate a discussion matrix of those ideas.

Johnny Rapture had a point, and while I'm not sure it came through clearly, I believe it was this: without a definition, we can only go so far in the fight for legitimacy. At some point calling the Egyptian ceremonialist and the Native American shaman the same thing becomes a bit ridiculous. Now, is this show going to absolutely define paganism?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Is it my hope to be the person to come up with THE definition? Again, absolutely not. The point of this show will be to exchange ideas, start peaceful discussions, and highlight the beautiful shades of pagan that exist. 

So, I ask you Rioters, what are we? You've heard how I handle the religions on the podcast. Give me the basics of paganism as YOU see them. We can all Google 'pagan(ism)' and come up with some meaning, but I'm looking to hear your viewpoint. Please, also, do NOT send me exceedingly long diatribes on history and philosophy, and blah blah blah. I recently put out a 2.5 hour podcast, and I think that won't happen again for a while. (read: ever) Get to the point. Who, what, where, when, and how. 
  1. Who do YOU consider a pagan. Not the dictionary, the internet, or anybody else. Give me a few sentences at most here. (Example: I believe a pagan is anyone who practices magic and rides a unicorn.)
  2. When did the concept of paganism - as it is thought of TODAY - originate in YOUR view? (Ex. Paganism originated with the crash landing of illegal aliens from Arizona at a location now known as Area 69.)
  3. Where is paganism - as YOU perceive it to be - practiced TODAY? (Ex. Paganism is practiced in my pants every night at 7:30p.)
  4. What, exactly, do you define paganism to be? Not Wikipedia. Not the dictionary. Not your D&D discussion group. If somebody asked you to define paganism, and you were miles away from your laptop and smartphone, how would you respond? (Ex. Paganism is the reason my wife lets me sleep with other women at Beltane, because the Goddess would make her barren otherwise.)
  5. How is paganism practiced today? (Ex. Paganism is practiced using rubber gloves in a sterile environment while wearing a tutu.)
These answers should be no more than a 5-7 sentence paragraph each. I want your opinions. Facts, dates, etc. I can find on my own. I'm just looking for the perception of what paganism is, the idea each of us has when we use the term. Give me your first thoughts, your gut reactions to these questions. 

June 23rd is the cut-off date! 

Also, if you're a blogger, podcaster, or pretty much a sack of flesh with lungs, and you'd like to be a part of this special episode via Skype, let me know that, too. In addition to your letters, I'm hoping to have a live discussion with pagans of all walks of life. Your letters will act as the driving force of this discussion!

Email me your thoughts, and let me know if you'd be interested in being part of the discussion, at IncitingARiotPodcast@gmail.com

Quick plug: May is a new month, and it's about the time that I beg for votes on Podcast Alley! So, if you can spare a quick moment, head over there and vote for this show and all your favorites!

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

3 comments:

  1. I'm going to be really bold (or really lazy/stupid, take your pic) and just post mine right here.

    1. Anyone who says they are. I apply this same definition to people who are "Christian," "successful," or "happy." You are if you believe that you are.
    2. The concept of Paganism as earth-centered dates back to about the first Earth Day or so. The view of Paganism as "that creepy Satanic fringe group that we must stop in the name of JAY-sus" began roughly when the first televangelist discovered us.
    3. In cities and state parks, in backyards and by the sea. In deserts, on mountains, in crowded living rooms. Where there are pagans, Paganism is practiced. (also, LOL at your example for this one)
    4. Paganism is a celebration of self and others, of the heavens and the earth, of common and of occult knowledge. Paganism is feeling the energies of the earth and knowing that every moment is sacred.
    5. How ISN'T Paganism practiced? Paganism is practiced through ritualized worship (sometimes in a Circle, sometimes not), food drives, nature hikes, cooking meals, walking the dog, meditating, gardening, singing, dancing, BEING. (LOL again. It's actually hard to give a serious answer when the examples are so delightfully ridiculous.)

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  2. Accepting and respecting all life wether they be white or black, homosexual or heterosexual, plant or animal. Loving all that is on Earth and respecting them as you do yourself. That is what I believe paganism is.

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