Things that The Wild Hunt taught me about #blacklivesmatter

On the off-chance that you had not yet seen this post on The Wild Hunt, go right now!

0: the Wild Hunt did not need to teach me this, but I just wanted to preface this with a fan-boy moment and point out that, in addition to being possibly the most prominent African American pagan voice, ever, Crystal Blanton is possibly in my Top Ten of Most Eloquent Pagan Bloggers.

1: when prompted, more pagans and polytheists than I really expected will be willing to speak out against racism. True, a few of the posts linked in The Wild Hunt’s post preceeded Ms Blanton’s impassioned plea for some solidarity, but most seem to be a response to her original FB post. The important thing, though, is that these people spoke up. I would have, myself, as I certainly feel that, as the only blogger I’m aware of holding up Boeotian polytheism, I am at a greater obligation to do so than most other individuals, but this really hasn’t been a great time for me, this last fortnight, for a lot of reasons, so I’ve put it off until I get a better headspace for it. Still, I’m kind of impressed by the number of people who’ve posted about this.

2: It’s still pretty aggravating that there are pagans who would rather derail and / or deny that racism actually affects the world we live in. As I’ve said before (to The Wild Hunt, even), I’m jund of numb from disappointment in the pagan community, at this point, but after all that support for people of colour in the post, all the dozens of links to people making their support very clear, it was almost ironic to see people saying outright, verbatim, “racism doesn’t hurt people“, and not once, but twice. And in all seriousness, what the fuck is this shit?

Well, I really don’t have anything else to add to this. It’s kind of depressing to think too much about, and I’ve been having an absolutely terrible time this last few weeks, so I’ve been trying not to think too much about heavy topics, lest I do something I regret or worse.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

[cabbage-patches]

From my GoFundMe page update:

Nigel likes to watch....

Nigel likes to watch….

I am signing the lease on MONDAY!!! I know I’m just over halfway to my goal, but i *need* the amount for a security deposit –and unfortunately, because the low-cost vaccine/microchip day is only one day a month (and Nigel really needs the chip and his FELV vax; if one of these other cats isn’t up on their shots, or something were to happen and he got out, it really is his best protection), which is the day before I go back to A2/Ypsi, this means I NEED to raise a lot more by then! They said they can accept part of it when i sign the lease and the rest on move-in day (the 25th), but I’d rather it look better for me and get it in asahp! CAN WE MAKE THIS HAPPEN???


So what do you say, can we? We just breached the halfway mark a couple days ago, and I just updated the maths –if every single person who’s subscribing to this blog via WordPress.com (WP.com reader and e-mails, combined) donated just $28 (my lucky number!) then I’m in the clear! C’mon, if BNP, TWH’s JP-W1 can donate $20 to the cause, surely you can do that or better, right? (If you can’t, why not? Aren’t we polytheists at a war with pagans? Do you really want to let the pagans win??2

Can’t find the little progress bar widget thing? Can’t be bothered to go to the frontpage of this blog where it is practically all over? Here you go!


1: translation – “Big Name Pagan, The Wild Hunt’s Jason Pitzel-Waters; don’t mind me, all the initials just entertained me for a mo’….
2: in case you couldn’t tell, I was being funny. I’m hilarious; a laugh-and-a-half. My mother said so. Are you calling her a liar? If so, that’s cool –I was a caesarian birth, so it’s not like you’re saying I came out of a liar’s vag or anything….

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

So I guess Margot Adler died recently?

…and since no-one asked me to say anything about the passing of Mary Daly, Labrys Ruiner1, either, I figured I’d throw in my 2¢:

Margot Adler placed people before the Gods. This is not intended to be a harsh judgement, but a statement of fact. After all, there’s record of her statement that, had there been Hellenic polytheists known to her, she would have done that, instead. Hey, we all have what drives us, and clearly her calling was human-centric rather than deity-centric.

Margot Adler was not a polytheist. She had also said that, had she actually come across other Hellenists in the 1970s (which, if she looked hard enough, she would have, cos we existed then, too), her goal was not to worship but to “become” one of the Hellenic gods. She has said, in favourably quoting another, “the Gods are not to be worshipped”, in spite of all historical evidence and the empirical knowledge of others that points to the contrary.

Margot Adler was not transphobic –at least, if photos of her with Selena Fox can be believed.

Margot Adler was not a big fan of history and facts. Aside from the curious quote showcased in The Wild Hunt’s obituary, anyone remember her participation in this infamous artifact of paganism in the 1980s and ’90s?

She was clearly well-loved and respected by many, and in some ways she deserrved this, but she was never that important to me. She wasn’t transphobic (or least not during her final years), but aside from that, her life and work wasn’t that important to me. She made some comments peripherally related to Hellenism, so I felt compelled to say something about her when I noticed this.


1: If you want to take back the labrys from Daly and her ilk, after all, it’s closely associated with the Minoan Goddess has been anthropologically linked to Wadjet/Isis, who loves All, and Ariadne, wife of gender-fucker god Dionysos, feel free to give me delicious monies.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Sometimes, I think I might be different from most people…

(Here’s something that’s been sitting in my Draft folder since at least August 2013, just figured I’d pick up where I left off and see what happens with it.)

…and that this might be especially true with regards to the pagan community.

First off, I was never interested in Wicca. I’ve seen literally dozens of people all over the Internet and in real life claim that Wicca is a starting point for all pagans, a shared experience to some extent, for all Western pagans. This is simply not true, for myself. All I know about Wicca is mostly from a combination of the old “Why Wiccans Suck” and the Wicca For the Rest of Us sites and a handful of things I’ve seen others say on blogs, LiveJournal communities, and e-mail lists. Most of these “sources” assumed a passing familiarity with many NeoWicca basics, and I gotta say, I still don’t know what “casting circles” or “crossing quarters” exactly is or is supposed to do in ritual, I have an idea based on the things I’ve read, but I’m not sure I could identify it, if I saw it. Wicca was never a part of my journey, and so this is likely the main way I’m simply not like pagans –I’m not very familiar with that language, and it’s not at all an experience I share.

Secondly, I don’t “revere” nature in the same ways that I see from a majority of pagans. I recycle my rubbish and I compost in honour of the nymphai, but my primary interest in avoiding processed food is cos of allergies and other immediate health concerns, rather than the borderline tin-foil-hat ravings against “Frankenfoods”. I say “borderline” because they’re often based in some evidence of experimentation, but no evidence that the sort of experimentation that they speak of will ever enter the mainstream food sources; furthermore, while Monsanto is certainly an evil Capitalist corporation, the whole idea behind engineering resistant crop seeds lays in the compassionate hope to feed more people for less money, including people in deeply impoverished areas in industrialised and non-industrialised countries, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s pretty telling that the overwhelming majority of people who are anti-GMO, across the board, are affluent white people from industrial countries. Humans have been modifying food crops since the dawn of agriculture —it’s kind of how Mesoamericans evolved maize (sweetcorn) from being a completely inedible mutant grass (look up “pod corn” sometime) into the staple crop that would eventually come to dominate the agricultural industry of the Americas. All that’s happened in this last century is technological advances that that accelerate the process by actually examining the genetics faster than the trial-and-error hybridisation observed by Mendel, and also the multi-billion-dollar industry that makes a basic human need and a once-compassionate idea into an unstoppable corporation that exploits its means to penalise small farmers. There’s hardly a single thing humans eat today, save for the cultures that still subsist on game and insects as a major protein source, that isn’t a “genetically modified organism”. This technology can, and has been, a good thing that can literally feed the world, if bourgeoisie honkies and those aspiring to be and /or aping said would take a step back and examine the underlying classism and racism in what they’re saying when they talk about banning this technology as a whole. I’ll agree that some additives are best done without, and that there does seem to be a strong correlation between eating highly preserved foods and poor health, but I’m not so self-centred and ignorant as to believe that simply modifying a crop’s or a livestock’s genetics is a problem, in and of itself. Might it be a problem to introduce one of the highly experimental modifications into the main source crops? Sure. Might there be problems with this accelerated modification several generations down he line? Possibly, but probably not as much as the anti-GMO crowd certainly wants people to believe –if anything, any health risks associated with that accelerated genetic selection will happen more slowly and be less apparent until it affects millions of people, doing it the old-fashioned way.

Then there’s the fact that I REALLY don’t understand why some of, apparently, the most popular pagan bloggers are. From Star “Foster Care” (yeah, I know she tries to pretend she’s “not a pagan blogger anymore”, but from what I’ve gathered from certain people who just feel this inexplicable need to keep me informed on the various minutia of the pagan & polytheist blogosphere, she sure continues to do a lot of whining about how she’s not a pagan blogger anymore, which just makes me think of the kind of atheist bloggers who whine about Christians and how they aren’t Christian, and then act surprised when no-one takes them seriously when they insist that they do more than whine about Chrirstians), to (now ex-pagan) Teo Bishop/Matthew Morris and his shit-eating grin. It’s always that the most popular pagan bloggers tend to have the least to say, but allot more time and energy into saying it than those who are actually pretty interesting, and because of a combination of that, savvy social connections, and sheer persistence, guess who gets the attention for it? It’s not that I necessarily have anything against certain people (though sometimes that changes), and I know their fangirls will always try and insist otherwise, but it really isn’t jealousy. It’s sheer bewilderment that some-one can drone on and on about how much they “never wanted to be a big-name pagan, but poor me, I took a high-profile position at a popular webzine and volunteered to go on CNN and all that shit, anyway” or about how much they really don’t understand how ritual circles work, and dozens, even hundreds of people –other bloggers and mere commentators alike– will sit and applaud, as if this complete nonsense was somehow meaningful, or perhaps confusing ignorance with insight. I mean, I guess if I think about it, I can concoct a few reasons for how this dullness ends up as “the voice of pagan blogging” and how watered-down drivel like Silver Ravenwolf is Llewellyn’s international best-seller: Pagans don’t give a shit about excellence. They want voices that they can relate to more than they want someone to look up to, which possibly reveals a resistance to personal, spiritual growth. They’re so paranoid of any semblance of authority that they’ll buy the notion that some of the least-noteworthy ideas are worthy of a blog entry, just as easily as they’ll buy Scott Cunningham telling them that a “self-initiation” is as valid as a real initiation into a traditional coven, no matter how much the very phrase “self-initiation” smacks of contradiction. I mean, hell, bloggers and Llewellyn authors aren’t the only “pagan writers” lacking in standards of excellence; do a search for “diane paxson, marion zimmer bradley, walter breen sex abuse” and tell me that the pagan community isn’t quick to turn a blind eye to unsavoury associations because someone did something they liked, I fucking dare you.

And don’t get me started on pagan music. A good 85-90% of the pagan music I’ve heard is half-arsed filk that’s barely better than what an especially eloquent toddler might write. The best pagan music is usually in the Gothic or Neofolk genres, and while I certainly won’t deny that SOME Neofolk artists maintain unsavoury associations on par with the kiddie-diddling that Paxson and Bradley were enabling and covering-up (and Bradley, at least, partaking in herself), not only are many (if not most) not maintaining such associations, at least not directly (seriously, Leonard Cohen was one of the major influences on the Neofolk genre, and if you listen to Leonard Cohen, you kind of fail at Nazi) but some Neofolk artists are Far Left or simply apolitical, and yet possibly the most-deserving big pagan blogger, Jason Pitzl-Waters at The Wild Hunt, often seems on a campaign to portray the entire genre as just a bunch of Neonazis when, let’s be frank, there’s far more damaging evidence that Eric Clapton is a fascist than the members of Spiritual Front (yes, I know Simone Salvatori did a song on that tribute album to Codreanu, but he also lists Discharge, an anarcho-punk, Leftist, and pacifist band as one of his all-time favourites –at best, you’ve got evidence that he’s “trolling”, as my humanoid meat-based housemate would say). Then there’s the fact that, many “Martial” bands that make no secret about cozying up to Fascism (even though there’s a handful of clearly Left-wing martial musos, as well). It’s not hard to learn any of this —I don’t have nearly the search engine magics that my humanoid meat-based housemate does, and I can still figure out pretty easily that no, not all Neofolk has “murky politics”, and if challenged on calling out a band or artist, I don’t just brush it off with “trust me, I’m a goth”, as if that makes me some kind of authority on a different scene (albeit one with significant cross-over appeal, but a different scene, nonetheless), I cite my fucking sources.

Then there’s the goddamned polyamourists. In theory, I have nothing against those who have multiple informed romantic/sexual partners, but let’s get a few things straight:

Polyamoury ≠ “Free Love”. The latter was a Victorian anti-marriage/proto-feminist movement, and real Free Love proponents actually frowned on the notion of multiple partners for the simple fact that it’s not what their movement was about –it was about the freedom to cohabitate and raise a family with another person out of love without being subjected to the borderline slavery of Victorian marriage laws. Polyamoury is about “being in love” and having sex with multiple people, all of whom are ostensibly aware, at least in passing, of one’s other relationships. Some polyamourists are married (a notion that appalls true proponents of Free Love) and cohabitation is not a requirement or necessarily a goal, with any of one’s lovers, whereas Free Love is about at least hoping to find a mate for pair-bonding and cohabitation, even if the couple is under no pretentions of this being a lifelong arrangement.

Then there’s the goddamned “poly-” cultists, who seem damned determined to make sure everyone is like them, especially if they’re of the sort that can’t actually be in a functional interpersonal relationship of any sort (with the ostensible exception of biological relatives -but you can never tell with some people) unless sex is eventually going to happen with this other person. of course, is that really a functional relationship model?

And not to mention the fact that even Oberon Zell, who arguably introduced the concept to the pagan community in the 1970s/80s, has even said, “serial monogamy may just be the human default“, and has said it without any sense of judgement, but just as a simple fact that people should keep in mind.

So there’s very little common ground between myself and most self-identified “pagans”, and while I’m totally cool with that, it does help keep me weird.


While I have you here, were you aware that I’m still seeking Moving expense donations?

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Gus-Gus doesn’t know what he’s talking about: Part Infinity

http://wildhunt.org/2014/06/modern-culture-practicality-lessen-nudity-at-pagan-festivals.html#comment-1462993076

gusgus-dizerega001

Do you know how easy it was for me to find a source that proved his statement of “fact” about MZB wrong? You probably have an idea, just by the fact that i brought it up. This toolbox can’t even get his facts straight –WHY do some people apparently still consider him a “respected elder”, again? I’m honestly confused.


ETA:

http://wildhunt.org/2014/06/modern-culture-practicality-lessen-nudity-at-pagan-festivals.html#comment-1463011000

gusgus-dizerega002

Well, that rendered me speechless.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Response to Random “Fan Mail”

Hi – stumbled across your blog doing other research and have been reading post after post. I have a question. Where is Matt Morris/Teo Bishop now? What religion is he practicing now? Do you know? Great intelligent, interesting blog by the way!

Last I knew, he was some generic non-denominational Christian. I don’t know what he’s up to, and I really don’t care. I was never a fan of his, even when he was a pagan (kinda always thought he was even more annoyingly uninteresting than Star Foster, if you can believe that), and now I have even less reason to read his blog. I don’t know why you thought to ask me about any of this, I don’t even think I’ve ever written about him (not even to complain), I’m sure the folks at The Wild Hunt or PaganSquare would have a better idea, to be honest.

Also, I think his name has actually been legally changed to “Teo Bishop” (though I’m sure someone will correct me, if I’m wrong). I may think he’s a wishy-washy and downright boring ex-Mousketeer with the most punchable of shit-eating grins, but I think it’s just basic decency to get his name right.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Some good news, I hope…

Let’s be frank: The pagan blogosphere can be an angst-ridden little hole of existence, Tumblr is especially socially conscious to a fault when a generally sensitive and socially aware comic strip has (via an approved guest strip) famously poked fun at its echo-chamber of disproportionate zeal for what’s only a debatable issue, at most. I bring this up because I feel it pertinent to admit that the sensitive, dramatic nature of on-line community has made me reluctant to say some things in the past; in part for reluctance to have to defend myself, and in part because I am just so tired of having to hold the hands of adult readers, of various ages, and explaining how I didn’t really say what they thought I said. True, there is no shortage of instances where I’ve just felt compelled to speak up, so think about that –this is how you can tell I’m showing restraint, or otherwise, every minor issue would be something I would not only call out on the comments page, but something I would address on my blogs. It would be a constant stream of commentary that doesn’t matter as much.

That said, I’m thinking about perhaps taking what seems to be an offer to do a monthly column on The Wild Hunt. This would be a means of updating the greater pagan community on events from traditional / recon polytheist communities, as a means of trying to repair some of the animosity that’s been fostered and create good will. This came about because I actually had the gall to spotlight something that bothered me, immensely. Funny how that works out, non?

So, it has me thinking about the contacts I have in the Hellenic community and others I know involved witb Heathenry/Northern polytheism, Celtic Reconstruction, Kemetics, and others. Since my days at goth clubs, I’ve always been one of those people just involved enough to know what was going on with who, and had a strong enough memory to know the approximate schedules of the top ten goth/industrial/deathrock nights in the United States. I also somehow seem to be charismatic enough that there have always been people who would just tell me stuff that was going to happen.

This has me thinking about the kind of time it would need, and the kind of time I could spare. This last year, I’ve just about been able to do monthly posts on The Odd Mod Out blog, and (at least until I resigned) on PaganSquare. On the other hand, those are and were blogs that are essentially dictated by my own whims, and with my adult ADD, I tend to have a lot of random thoughts that I’m certainly intelligent enough turn into a full post. It’s different to report on what other people are doing. To report on what other people do, you need to be active and be genuinely concerned with what they’re doing, even if you’re not directly involved in it. You need to keep updated on what they’re doing and if they fail to inform you, you need to ask them –and you won’t remember to get to everyone, and you’ll need to be able to take the criticism when it comes.

I can probably maintain the necessary contacts and needed time to keep it going, so I think I’m going to end up saying “peachy”, but I still think I need a couple days to really take it in and start finding some good polytheists to watch, so I can stay abreast of things in-between reruns of I Spy, Naked City and Taxi (holy crap, do I watch anything on the telly younger than myself?) If, for some reason, my Leonine ego falls victim to those incredibly insecure thoughts it can get, you’ll know. I just wanted to make mention of this so that people know what I’m thinking of, and to highlight JP-W’s responses.

IN OTHER NEWS…

It looks like I’m going to be added to the roster of poetry readings at the Hellenic Revival Gathering. This now means that I will need a ride secured OR, failing that, donations toward train fare and room and board. (Don’t bother me with airfare info, I’m British, I don’t fly unless I’m crossing an ocean or have some highly important reason to be there in five hours.)

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

The Wild Fail

This is something that needs a broader audience than the handful of pagans and polytheists who read this.

I don’t have an irreconsilable problem with all Christians. Some of them, on an individual basis, can be quite pleasant, yes, i know this as well as anybody could. One of my favourite musos ever, Prince, grew up Seventh Day Adventist, famously converted to Jehovah’s Witness in the last decade, and has a career filled to the gills with songs that often juxtapose Christian imagery and frank depictions of sexuality —seriously, he’s barely had three albums that make no references to Christianity at all, and I’m sure I’m overguessing that. Sure, you could argue that when he wrote in “I Would Die 4 U”1 from the Purple Rain soundtrack, the lines “I’m not a woman / I’m not a man / I am something that you’ll never comprehend”, he was infusing his Christianity with Gnosticism, or even, dare I say, a “pagan sensibility”, but let’s be clear about one thing: I read so much biographical information about Minneapolis’ National Treasure that I can say with complete confidence that Prince has always been pretty openly Christian, and has used his music to make this clear, even if the message is riddled with borderline Gnosticism or vague allusions of pagan mythologies (“Adonis & Bathsheba”, anyone?), even if the message is on the same record as songs like “Gett Off” or “Darling Nikki”. Hell, I probably unintentionally (and unknowingly) learned more about Gnostic Christianity from Prince songs than any other source, prior reading over the “Gnostic Gospels” at Barnes & Noble. But I digress….

My first point was this: Christians themselves, on an individual level, are not an issue.

My second point: My problem is with Christianity not only as a religious institution, but as a privileged social status.

Now, as i’ve said in other posts, “privilege” in the sense that is commonly spoken of by armchair/wannabe sociologists with blogs (often on Tumblr) isn’t about having a money vault that you swim in like Scrooge McDuck. “Privilege”, in a sociological sense, is about being of a demographic that the society tends to assume to be the human default. There are other connotations that come along with privilege, but that’s basically how it’s defined in the field. Most people have some degree of privilege, even if it’s just the ability to walk or see unaided, and no serious discussions about socio-political privilege seem to happen anymore where intersectionality of privilege is not considered. In Western societies, Christianity is typically assumed to be the default religion of almost everybody, until there is reason to believe otherwise —like seeing a boy in a yarmulke, or a Middle Eastern-looking woman with a hijab. Compared to Chistianity, all other religions are, to varying degrees, disenfranchised. Judaism and Islam have some clout, especially in large metropolitan cities, because they’re from the Abrahamic umbrella of religions –they all maintain a narrative mythology involving the figure of Abraham and his covenant with his god, but outside those environments, where non-Christian Abrahamic religions are generally accepted, there’s really no telling how people are going to react to it. Now, your mileage may vary, and certainly some places are more accepting than others, but now consider the potential risk of backlash against someone who is of a non-Abrahamic religion. I’ve had potential employers (in the late 1990s, when I was in high school) ask me, point blank, if I was Christian or “if what [their] kid said was true and [I’m] into that devil shit”2. After years of watching news item after news item come up on The Wild Hunt, I have no reason to believe that it’s somehow “better, now”, simply because fifteen years have passed.

That said, I was highly disappointed, to say the very least, when I saw that not only has Matt “Teo Bishop” Morris and his shit-eating grin converted back to Christianity, but The Wild Hunt seems to be letting his continue to post about this personal spiritual journey of his on the Wild Hunt. TWH is not just keeping tabs on him, as a friend and fellow lib-dem religious blogger — TWH is allowing him to make future posts about his journey back to Christianity.

Call me crazy, but that shit is highly inappropriate.

You might as well ask an ex-gay to come talk about their journey to heterosexuality at a GBLT event. Contrary to another commenter’s fool-headed assumption, “ex-gays” have absolutely no place in the GBLT community. None at all.3

I really want to call to a boycott over this, but I dunno, something is telling me that it’ll fail.

Bishop can practise whatever religion he feels his heart is called to, and TWH can publish whatever other writers that Jason Pitzl-Waters feels are appropriate, I suppose, but if JP-W is going to bill this as “a modern pagan perspective”, concentrating on current events and pop culture as they’re relevant to paganism, then why allow this self-indulgent narrative about one man’s journey back to Christianity? No-one reads TWH for that. No, if we wanted to read that, there is no shortage of liberal Christian blogs for that kind of story.

And contrary to JP-W’s ridiculous idea that any other media outlet would do the same? Hardly. Find me one major Christian blog of similar focus (current events and pop culture as related to their religious group) that would let some self-indulgent column about their journey AWAY from Christianity happen, and I’ll give you a dollar. Too many Christians abide by the notion that “true faith is forever” to allow such a thing to happen. In this case, on the other hand, it is both inappropriate and unnecessary, even considering that many pagans encourage the questioning of one’s faith in their gods.

It’s inappropriate because, at this point in time, especially in the Anglosphere, the religious abuses committed by Christians is a well-established fact that often prompts many people into exploring paganism in the first place. Someone who hasn’t properly healed from that sort of experience neither wants nor needs to see Mr Shit-Eating Grin joyfully detailing his re-conversion to Christianity and pondering the potential long-term relevance of paganisms, as an outsider. No matter how much he leaves the option on the table that he “might end up some kind of Christopagan”, as it currently stands, he’s admittedly an outsider. In theory, I have no real issue with Christopaganism; it’s an historically valid thing, to varying degrees, but at the same time, it’s something I have a bit of a tendency to be suspicious of, if for no other reason than that narrative mythology is important to Christianity, arguably more so than in any pagan religion I’m aware of, and much of that puts itself squarely at odds with pagan/polytheist religions; some people have creative ways of reconciling this, so in practise, I take each one as I see them and abstain from generalising this sort of liminal group. That said, there’s a petty apparent difference between some-one who does identify as a Christopagan, and one who simply puts that option out there for himself, as a potential future occurrence. Bishop has done the latter, and as it stands, while certainly debatable, I stand that his presence as a “leading voice” in the pagan blogosphere is at least somewhat inappropriate.

It is also unnecessary. You need only load up Bing (or any other search engine) and type in a few keywords to learn why: There is no shortage of narratives from people converting to Christianity on the Internet. Many are even from liberal Christians writing for liberal Christian blogs. He also has his own blog, where he can yammer on about what he did for Yahweh today, how ritual circles still confound and perplex him, how polytheists are so niche we’re practically irrelevant, and catching up with his old Mickey Mouse Club buddies all he wants. I don’t care that his shit-eating grin has literally graced the cover of Witches & Pagans magazine’s latest issue4, it’s no longer his reality. In a world that is already so saturated with Christian narratives, pagans don’t need Christian narratives in pagan spaces anymore than any other disenfranchised group needs to hear or read the narratives of the privileged, cos we already hear and read about it more than we really care to.

As I’ve already said, this just strikes me as an example of cronyism at its finest because some-one inverted Spock’s monologue and now they think it’s the precious fee-fees of the individual (especially when he’s your buddy) that are more important than the needs of the community —news flash, it’s the other way around.

…but hey, The Wild Hunt has been full of fail for some time now. The more I think about this cronyist bollocks, the less surprised I actually am by it.


1: Prince has made it clear, in no uncertain terms, when asked about that song in particular, “it’s about God”, ostensibly that of Christianity.
2: This was already circulating my school when i was in seventh or eighth grade. I didn’t discover LaVey’s writings until after I left high school, so this was all because I was simply open about my interest in paganism.
3: Nor is heterosexuality ever a “queer experience”.
4: I also don’t trust self-proclaimed journos who use non-words like “irregardless”, but I’m kind of a snob like that.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Narkissos, save me from my own reflecting spring….

“The Informer’s favourite words are, ‘Guess what?'”, Bill Cosby once said.

So, so guess what?

Apparently I’ve been quoted in The Wild Hunt’s regular Pagan Voices feature in the same post as people I find very flattering to be showcased alongside. People like PSVL, T Thorn Coyle, and Ronald Hutton. Mmm…. Makes me want to print out that post and rub it on my nippular appendages.

Guess what else?

So, both my readers (or do I have as many as three, now?) who DO NOT also read Sannion’s The House of Vines, you might be interested to know that he and Galina are going to give me a ring-a-ding-ding for Wyrd Ways Radio on 2 October 2013 at the usual time for that (7pmPST, or 10pmEST, for those of you residing with me in The Future).

Also, I’ve known about this for over a years and a half now, but it seems there’s this Neonazi Heathen web forum that just can’t stop talking about how I’m the face of “Liberal degeneration” as well as a “typical American Hellenist”. Wow and awesome! I mean, I knew I was great, but the face of Liberal degenerates everywhere? I’m truly honoured. Of course, that cock-eyed insult, of calling me both an “American” (I’m British, trying to earn my way back after two generations) and a “typical Hellenist” –well, clearly these sad folks are just either incapable of reading (typical Hellenists on either side of the pond tend to be Platonic and honouring Athenian traditions), or deeply sexually frustrated. I figured that I shouldn’t mention this before, cos I didn’t think it was worth it, but in light of being quoted somewhere so prominent, I figured it was worth mentioning for a laugh. (No, I’m not going to say what forum, it’s mostly locked, anyway, but my incoming links contain thread titles, so I can get an idea of their nonsense. I know I recently made a big deal about calling people out by name, but when I have no names to really go by, and no clear affiliation of this forum witb ANY formal polytheist group, it seems best at the moment to just let them go unnamed for the moment. The name of the forum is just very clearly WP-oriented.)

Also:

Merry Bolanalia, everyone!

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.

Update to Mantis page

Because the Canadian crime of “pretending to practise witchcraft” is a hot topic on The Wild Hunt, again, I’ve decided to update my Mantis page on this blog with a disclaimer at the end.

This is a legitimate religious practise; it is no more or less for “entertainment” value than a Catholic confession, pentecostal exorcism, Quaker group mysticism, Buddhist meditation, or so on. That said, I cannot 100% guarantee that your interpretation of what I tell you I’ve seen will be accurate, and I cannot guarantee that you will immediately be able to make any sense out of it, nor can I guarantee that you ever will. I can only tell you what I believe the Theoi have shown me, and what you take from that is entirely up to you. I absolutely cannot, in good consciousness, claim that this is “for entertainment purposes only”.

The idea that the occasional wacky-ass practises in Abrahamic religions are somehow implicitly “legitimate religion” while anything else is expected to post a disclaimer as “for entertainment only”, frankly, strikes me as abhorrent and the same separate-but-equal bollocks that people in the States have been fighting against for at least the last century. Is this integral to practising my religion? Of course not, but then, joining a convent or monastery isn’t integral to being Catholic, either; this is just a part of the path I have taken on.

I urge other Mantikoi, seers, to protest the notion that this is merely “entertainment” whilst the law allows for people like Bob Larson to practise exorcisms, no more legitimised by science than divination, and call it legitimate religious practise. Copy and paste my disclaimer, or create one of your own that, similarly, refuses to call divination “for entertainment only”.

About Ruadhán McElroy

Ruadhán has been a traditional Hellenic polytheist for about a decade, and has also maintained devotions to Eros and Apollon most of that time; his status as a devotee of Nyx is more recent. He also paints, makes music, makes jewellery, and writes novels set in the Mod Revival (UK) and Swampie (Oz) subcultures of the 1980s. He also gets a lot of odd little experiences that he jokes will forever render him an insufferable Goth.