Polemical topics for polytheists (introduction)

Polytheism has been undergoing a gradual revival, particularly within the last decades, while monotheism has declined.  During that time, the world has also experienced many extraordinary changes under modernity, which is still continuous. In many respects, modernism and monotheism affect the quality of our professed polytheism considerably, because we live in a world that is dominated by them. Polytheism is as much a holistic system as modernism and monotheism, extending beyond religion and belief; it is a way of thought, action, and indeed life. In the infancy of our revival, it behooves us to examine and reconsider several important points that constitute what polytheism truly is, if our intention is to bring this polytheism to maturity. Discussion is always essential at this time, and though debate and disagreement are inevitable, our attention should not be drawn away from our common vision, which is, to restore polytheism to what it once was. I hope to see the day when our restoration is fulfilled at the hands of great men and women, but in the meantime, let us advance steadily and surely, improving our capacities for spirit and learning as we go. To that end, I have laid out a plan for a new series, which I have rightly termed “polemical topics for polytheists”. There are many points of controversy and disagreement that we polytheists either avoid or wield, to serve our purposes, whatever they may be. But can the middle course of discussion be taken? I think so, especially if our purpose is to serve polytheism and the Gods. In the course of the series, I will attempt to present my thoughts on as many as 40 topics that need to be resolved, or at least understood, amongst polytheists of the present time. I don’t profess my views will be perfect or exemplary, but they will be candid and balanced, to the best of my ability; in doing so I will also take care to use ancestral tradition and ancestral wisdom as a general reference to guide me throughout my endeavors. Do please share your own thoughts, whenever you wish; I can truly discuss only when you participate, and my views can truly be beneficial only when somebody engages with them. To encourage you, I offer a short sample of the topics: education (of children), moral relativism, separatism, feminism, shamanism, philosophy, and technology. With that, let me say that part one comes out within a few days; watch out for it!

17 thoughts on “Polemical topics for polytheists (introduction)

  1. Jessica Triepel

    “education (of children), moral relativism, separatism, feminism, shamanism, philosophy, and technology.”
    These are good topics to discuss. On education of children, I struggle with that. Having a three year old, I find it very difficult to get good learning resources that are age appropriate. It also doesn’t help that, as a heathen, but this issue is prevalent also amongst the druidic traditions, that so much is influenced by far left progressives who have infiltrated and seek to divert the various branches of polytheistic spirituality, which means much of the literate clashes with my own values and ethics or at the least is a watered down version. As a result, once I finish my current book series, I would like to begin writing children’s stories based on the Norse lore.
    As for feminism, it seems largely irrelevant and even harmful at this point in time in the west. Certainly, polytheism does not need to be a recruiting front for feminists.
    Shamanism is not respected by most people these days. Oh sure, it’s OK to dabble at it like a game, but there’s no room for a true polytheistic priestly order that is structured and organized, with priests and priestesses whose live are dedicated to the gods and service to the community. This is unfortunate for many reasons, but it is really disheartening to think that the mainstream monotheistic religions in the west can have their full time priestly order and be respected for it, yet if we have our own, we would be ridiculed. At least initially, until we can better establish ourselves.
    Modernism and technology have, in my opinion, become too prevalent in our lives as a society, that we become disconnected from the earth, our nature and the gods. We need balance. I’m reminded of a song, one line in particular: “under the cities lies a heart made of ground, but the humans will give no love.” This is the modern disease. OK, that’s enough of my rambling. I look forward to reading your series. 😊

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Thank you for your comment: I didn’t expect so much good participation already! I agree exactly with your thoughts. I think you said somewhere that you live in Germany; what is your view on future homeschooling for your daughter? I know it is forbidden in Germany, which is unfair. As for children’s literature, you are absolutely right and I commend you for taking it upon yourself to write such works; you’ll be among the first to do so and you will benefit polytheism! I concur with your opinions on feminism, shamanism and technology, but more on those in due time!

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      1. Jessica Triepel

        Yes, I live in Germany, and homeschooling isn’t an option here, although it would be nice if it was. I think private school would be a worthwhile option if I could afford it, and wouldn’t it be grand if there were polytheistic private schools available?! As long as the ethics and values taught didn’t clash with my own, I’d love that!
        Well, I haven’t written any children’s books yet, so we’ll see, but hopefully I can come up with something good. Looking forward to reading your posts!

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  2. maartenmijmert

    Education of Children: On that I would argue that first and foremost it is important to shape the shapeable parts of their character into people that you are rightfully proud off to be in your lineage. As part of that, be prepared for them to form a non-polytheist worldview, temporarly or permanently. Accepting that is where you are a religion rather then a cult. Feminism: Ancient polytheistic views regarding the role of women are ofcourse varied, but we should renember that we live in the modern age and refrain from going backwards when the way forward is better. Women and men are in general different, as in most women are more equipt for certain roles then most men and vice versa. But vitally, there are plenty of expections to those general broad roles. Knowing that we must allow the individual to find the role they can fufill best, regardless of gender identity. Shamanism: I don’t think that is all that relevant as a topic right now. Different forms of polytheism have different practices that might be considered shamanism, it’d be good to get more respectable recources, but that is not something that can really be done on the scale of polytheism, and should come from practicioners. Moral Relativism: One of the things that appealed to me initially was the lack of absolutes, reality is NEVER simple, clear cut and black/white. Teach responsibillity and a sense of honor and pride, not absolutism. As for Technology, lets be serious for a second here, most of us would not have known about polytheism at all if it werent for the internet (for the younger generations) or large scale ”disposable” printing. Every piece of tech is a tool to be appreciated in its role.

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Thanks for the comment. I think it is possible to form a worldview that is both suited to polytheism and aware of modernity. The question is how to balance those? I think homeschooling is the best choice. More on that later though. Your thoughts on feminism and shamanism are worthy of future discussion also. Where I would differ is applying individualism to either of them; such things are best left to distinct traditions and communities. This is also how moral relativism should be practiced. I am not opposed to technology, except when it becomes an end rather than a means. Again, more on these subjects later.

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      1. maartenmijmert

        Traditions and community’s should cultivate the potential in individuals, both from an ethical pov (this is your life, make it count) and from an ”economical” pov. Having the right person fufilling the role suited to them brings value. Homeschooling is honestly problematic I think, the fast majority of parents do not have the skillset, means and time required to give a full rounded education. Plus there is merit in learning to interact and work with vastly different people (but yes the education systems of the western world are in need of a HUGE overhaul).

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  3. K

    A serious attempt at Shamanism, or any similar ecstatic practice, also represents a threat to elements among pagans and heathens. Shamanism relies heavily on experiences. The problem is, we have no real tribes anymore, no guides, and lack an accepted framework with which to easily share and interpret these experiences to others. We don’t even have an environment where such experiences would be seriously considered. Any personal experience is going to be called “Unverified Personal Gnosis” or even laughed at by others among us. Even worse, experience might disagree with the more academically inclined reconstructionists’ findings. I don’t like it when people are too “fluffy” about it either, but “not in the lore, not in the lore” is repeated so much that it feels more like some kind of nerd convention than anything else.

    Psychologically, being open to ecstatic or shamanic experiences also gives Christians in particular a powerful weapon. The majority of us live in a Christian culture, and were raised Christian. This might be changing in some places, but where I stand, this is true as it ever was. Getting someone open to taking shamanic experiences seriously also opens them up to the obvious Christian retort.

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    1. Melas the Hellene Post author

      Thank you for your comment, my friend. I agree with your thoughts. Shamanism is only acceptable and significant within a community that had shamans in its ancestral tradition; hence, shamanism should not be done in a solitary manner at home for personal benefits or for general customers. Tradition needs to be restored. But before this can be done, people need to join forces and agree on what you call “an accepted framework”. Then the Christians will begin to take us seriously.

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    2. Jessica Triepel

      You summed up what I was thinking on this subject. Personally, I rely on a substantial amount of lore complimented by my own intuition. The lore is useful as a guide, but ultimately, we must experience our spirituality, otherwise, can it even be called spirituality? You’re totally right about lacking the framework within our communities. I think the challenge with Christianity would be easier to overcome than the lack societal structure that could facilitate it.

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    3. maartenmijmert

      The issue is that right now we don’t have an ancestoral tradition, people will have to start off from scratch. And Ill support the notion of not paying for shamanic (or other magical/spiritual/religious) work when we stop paying craftmen, teachers and other professionals. For I see no relevant difference between the jobs.

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  4. Paul

    I will save discussion for each topic as it is given its own treatment, but judging by the short sampling of future topics and the discussions beginning already, this upcoming series looks like it promises to be fun as well as informative!

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Pingback: Neat Polytheistic Projects | The Lefthander's Path

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