I am punting on this post, referring you instead to this one by John Beckett on this year’s new holiday (greeting cards will be available next year, I am sure): “Celebrating Wolfenoot as a Pagan.”
Yesterday I celebrated my friendship with A Certain Dog by cleaning up all the piles of vomit he created, indoors and out in the dog run, after eating . . . a bunch of deer parts he found in the woods, near as I can tell. Plus his breakfast.
I tried telling him that he did not have to eat it all at once, but could bring some home in his carrion bag. Did he listen?
Some of the links that I saved that never turned into blog posts . . .
• The Internet loves quizes, so “What Kind of Witch Would You Be?” (answer: hearth witch). I always suspect that the answer is based on just one question, while the others are there just for fluff and decoration.
This is, indeed, one of the roots of many problems in modern polytheism – people being unwilling to wait and let things naturally evolve. My biggest concern here isn’t the specific examples of mis-assignment (though they do exist, and are indicative of a serious lack of understanding in some cases). It is the fact that these folks are sitting around trying to artificially assign gods to places and things as if it’s just a game, or at best an intellectual exercise.
I think a key issue for me was that transmission of symbols, images and ideas from the pagan past are very fragmentary, complex and ambivalent. People are very quick to throw the “Pagan Survival” label around because they so badly need to feel a connection to the past and a feeling of pastness in what they do. People can also be very quick to deny connection to a Pagan past when debunking. One thing that was really apparent to me when doing my research on the Black Dog of Bungay from a local history perspective, was that it is not a zero sum game. Let’s look at the Black Dog of Bungay for example. There are fragments in the myth from the Celts, Vikings and Romans for example. However, if I was to speak to a 16th century Puritan in Bungay he may not even know what a Celt was and would certainly take offense at the suggestion his view of the attack on St Mary’s church by a Black Dog or “Devile in such a likenesse” was Pagan.
He makes some interesting points about how folklore incorporates outside interpretations, digesting them, and presenting them as truly indigenous and original. Worth a read.