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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Greet the sunrise

Between one and the next.


After the Solstice

What I did for the Autumnal Equinox


NeoNote — Religion & morality

Well done is better than well said.
— Benjamin Franklin

Ro3 № 27

A living faith draws from three sources. There's what others have done before you. There's who you are and what you've done. And finally there's the link you make to the Divine. The dynamic tension shapes your faith.
— NeoWayland, Faith Triad, see also Rules of Three

Listening and lecturing

The courage we desire and prize is not the courage to die to die decently, but to live manfully.
— Thomas Carlyle

We don't see ourselves as separate

You may have noticed that my quote section is building to a truly awesome size.


NeoNote — Where do pagans fit in?


NeoNote — Nature and the World are not cruel.

I'm not shy about heated debate or passionate discourse, but when people get crazy or rude, that's a buzz kill. There's got to be a better code of conduct, some basic etiquette.
— Mos Def

Paths to the Innermost

There are two Paths to the Innermost: the Way of the Mystic, which is the way of devotion and meditation, a solitary and subjective path; and the way of the occultist, which is the way of the intellect, of concentration, and of trained will; upon this path the co-operation of fellow workers is required, firstly for the exchange of knowledge, and secondly because ritual magic plays an important part in this work, and for this the assistance of several is needed in most of the greater operations. The mystic derives his knowledge through the direct communion of his higher self with the Higher Powers; to him the wisdom of the occultist is foolishness, for his mind does not work in that way; but, on the other hand, to a more intellectual and extrovert type, the method of the mystic is impossible until long training has enabled him to transcend the planes of form. We must therefore recognize these two distinct types among those who seek the Way of Initiation, and remember that there is a path for each.


Stuff to hold us together


“We are the Pagans who have moved on”

These blog entries have been reformatted and entered into the current directories. Redirect pages have been placed in the old locations.


Alienates us

The demand that we always wear clothing while in society causes at least four kinds of alienation: it alienates us from ourselves, from others, from nature, and from the Divine.
— Mark Storey

❝That's beyond our comprehension❞

Thinking by blogging

Truth is winning in a small way. I've been finding people that I agree with online.


NeoNote — Religion & responsiblity

If it was what you expected, why do you call it change?


Relics of faith

“Our mythical places series continues, and this week Mike Rugnetta is talking about some stories that revolve around mountains. Mountains loom large in human stories, not least because mountains are, well, large. So ascend with us to the lofty peaks of The Ten Thousand Treasure Mountain in China, and Mount Fuji in Japan.”


NeoNote — “Not all …”

Near Doetinchem in the Netherlands.


NeoNotes — Defending my faith (the long one)

I hadn't heard of the "well poisoner" bit, although obviously I heard about "poisoner." There are certain bits that I don't let folks get away with, like the "unbroken matriarchal tradition" or "Never again the Burning Times"

I try to give Christians the benefit of the doubt, mainly because I expect the same. Some make it harder than others (Bob Barr). Live and let live works mostly.

Anyway, I'll go back to my books now.


Satanists are not witches, usually.

One does not like being labeled as the other.

Sort of like comparing an intramural softball team to a volunteer soup kitchen. There are similarities but there are far more differences.

And I've seen extremely energetic discussions why they aren't the same thing. I even agree with most of it, Satanism is usually more self-focused.

As far as the "eternal destination," no one This Side knows.

Which is almost certainly the point of being This Side.

Actually you don't.

You know that I don't like labels and that I prefer to live and let live. You know I think humans are mostly good, given half a chance and a few kind words.

But part of my path means I don't casually share the Names of my gods. It's part of how I honor them.

It's not your place to judge, and it certainly isn't your place to allow me anything.

It's literally between me and the Divine. Your own book teaches that.

Parity. Simple parity. You don't want your stuff questioned by me, don't try to impose it on me. Live & let live. You're not a gatekeeper no matter how hard you try.

I'd like to make this World just a little better than I found it. Where is it "written" that is wrong?

It's not complicated. It doesn't require Divine evaluation.

There you go again, trying to assume authority that was never yours.

There's nothing in that special handbook that gives Christians power over other humans.

I won't bow before your belief, just as you won't bow before mine. You can't require that of me and I can't require that of you.


Pardon, but I didn't say anything about forcing. That's not why I'm objecting.

He's disputing my beliefs because he doesn't share them. Nothing wrong with that. But then he attempts to put his beliefs over mine without logic, but faith. He'd be screaming bloody murder if I tried the same thing.

I don't allow it when the climate change crowd tries. I don't allow it when the RadFems try. And I don't allow it when certain Christians try. Not because I disagree, but because no one has the power to dictate faith.

I pointed out that no one This Side knew what the "eternal destination" was.

I pointed out that QM wants me to put his faith over mine.

"But that doesn't mean we have to stop trying to warn you."

"The only judgment he made was that God suffers you to live."

Both those were yours I think.

Pardon, but both those were taken from your replies.

"The key, however, is the eternal destination is the same…"

That was QM, above.

Absent proof, my belief is as valid as his. That was my point.

And NONE of that matters This Side, where it's up to us to Manifest the Divine in a way that hopefully makes the World a little better than we found it.

You and he are nitpicking about the afterlife when we should be focusing on the here and now.

Oh my, that is just too funny!

Just what do you think you're doing when you continually insist your beliefs apply to me when I disagree?

Oh, and while we're at it, note that I haven't said one blessed word about what I think will happen to you after This Side.

We weren't discussing invalidating, we were discussing calling something invalid.

We also had established that using your beliefs to control others is a Bad Thing™. Just in case you hadn't noticed, my criticism of Christianity is reactive and mostly directed against certain Christians.

Celebrate your beliefs and cherish your faith. All I ask is the same. Just don't demand that my beliefs and actions are bound by yours. Live and let live.

There is a difference.

You can call something invalid, but that does not invalidate it.

And yet you're still here trying to convince me.

Come down off your high horse.

This from someone who presumes that the default setting for humanity is Christianity, or at least that Christians are in the majority.

You know, one thing I haven't been able to figure out about you is why when you tell people that they should be Christian, the only reason you give is a vague threat about what "happens" to non-Christians after death.

Yes, yes, I know you're going to tell me it is not you that threatens and it is up to Christians to "warn" others.

I didn't say it was what you said, I said it was what you presumed.

Why are you so desperate for me to bow before your belief? If I didn't know better, I'd think you were threatened by my beliefs.

And of course, this discussion conveniently lets you ignore the here and now in favor of your "Christian duty."

Outside of religion, it's accepted practice to say "I disagree" and both parties move on.

However, some Christians act as if that's a full challenge.

For whatever reason, you feel you cannot allow dissent to your chosen creed. Now, the logical and respectable thing to do would be to accept that some believe differently and not "mark your territory." It would get you allies and a certain amount of leeway.

But that's not the way you're going to do it, is it?

You need to go back and read everything I've said.

No, I don't think so.

You beclown your by doing so, then whine that the other guy is doing bad things to you.

Actually what I do is show that when you can't handle the argument, you go after the person. It's amateurish and you can do better.

I'm not looking for allies.

You should be.

So you've gone from warning to leading me "around by the nose."

Except you haven't.

You still can't address the argument, you have to go after the person..

Having dealt with some incredibly silly propaganda over the years, I beg to differ.

The first step to invalidating something is to prove it wrong.

Words matter. Actions matter more. Intentions don't.

By the way, have you noticed you're focusing on my "unbelief" and the Christian reaction? Do you remember what I said a few posts back?

And NONE of that matters This Side, where it's up to us to Manifest the Divine in a way that hopefully makes the World a little better than we found it.

You and he are nitpicking about the afterlife when we should be focusing on the here and now.

Seek paradox for truth.

What you have is an either/or trap. You believe that the conditions of your faith are such that all other faiths and belief systems must be universally false. So when I say my faith tells me different, by your conditions I am declaring your faith to be Untruth.

But by the conditions of my faith. I'm just seeing things from another perspective.

What you need to ask yourself who imposed the either/or trap? Your god? Or people claiming to speak in His Name? Why should Diety be limited by a human logical construct?

It's paradox and illogic because some of the "universal" assumptions that you use aren't exactly universal.

You can mix metric and English parts, but something is probably going to come loose and fly apart.

Assume I am making a pie.

You tell me I need apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, cane sugar, apples that have been cored and peeled (preferably Granny Smith but others will work in a pinch)…

But I am making a key lime pie.

Then you tell me that's not a True Pie®. And it may not be from your perspective.

But from my point of view, it works just fine. It's round, it's dessert, and my guests will enjoy it.

There's not just one type of pie.

Your belief shouldn't control what I can and can not call a pie.

Who knows? Next month I may go with my grandmother's pecan pie. It's a pain to make but absolutely delicious.

My key lime pie and my pecan pie do not negate the existence of your apple pie. Your apple pie doesn't prevent me from making my key lime pie and my pecan pie. They aren't your pies so you may not wish to call them pies, but they exist for me.

You didn't state your motive, at least not all of it.

You stated your justification.

If it were really about "warning" people, you would give your warning a few times and that would be it.

You also wouldn't try to go after another's character when they disagree with you.

This is what you do.

When you can't dismiss the argument, you go after the person. When that doesn't work, you go after the person some more.

That doesn't work with me.

Simple questions.

Would you give up your faith and your beliefs for mine?

Why should I give mine up for yours?

Will it make you a better person?

Will it give you some Divine merit points?

Why should I care about some nebulous benefit that comes to you?

Live and let live.

The questions are central to this discussion. Particularly the first two.

Would you give up your faith and your beliefs for mine?

Why should I give mine up for yours?

I'm pretty sure if you think about those questions, you'll discover what "live and let live" means.

I've told you before that my faith and beliefs are at least as important to me as yours are to you.

You wouldn't stand for someone like me telling you what and how to worship.


Live and let live.

No, you are insisting that your beliefs trump mine.

I'm telling you they don't.

I never take anyone's word alone for their motives. I always include their actions.

Guess which I place more importance on.

Guess which tells me more.

He is the only reality.

You believe that, but you have no proof other than faith.

I do not believe as you do.

I have my own beliefs, they are at least as real to me as yours are to you.

I've no proof other than faith.

Live and let live.


You do in deed have "faith" but it is not faith based on a firm foundation.

As opposed to you?

Who are you to judge what is a "firm foundation?"

Why do you assume you have that power?

Go back and digest what I said earlier.

Why? Would you do that if I demanded that you do it with what I wrote?

I don't "assume" to have any power.

Again, your own words prove my point better than I could. You're here now, trying to disprove what I wrote, unleashing your "big guns." That's an awful lot of trouble to take against one man who is seriously outnumbered and hasn't really done anything except write "I disagree."

The main point I make is that there are different faiths and it's wrong to act as if Christianity controls the others.

You wouldn't stand for it if someone tried to do that to Christianity.


Live and let live.

Very simple.

Again, it's live and let live.

Not the strange rewrite that you keep pushing, but the simple idea.

I have my belief, you have yours. As long as you don't keep insisting that your belief governs mine, there's no problem.

It's your insecurity that makes this happen.

Through each of our every discussions, I've never criticized Christianity. It's always been specific followers.

Except you have.

Every single time you trotted out your afterlife threat. Every single time you've insisted that people with other faiths are bound by Christian rules. Every time you've insisted on deference for Christianity while dismissing other faiths.

Can you show how your "firm foundation" is better than mine?

In fact, let's take it one step further.

Can you give me ANYTHING except a vague threat about the afterlife to tell me what a good thing Christianity is and how it is better than my faith?

I've never seen you do that, you know. You recite plenty of afterlife threats, but never any benefits This Side.

I've never seen you do it for anyone you disagree with.

Always with the threats.

Never with the wonders.

Certainly something to think about.

You still haven't established how your "firm foundation" is better than mine.

So now we've come back to where it all began.

Your problem is that you want me to put your faith first and I tell you "no" because I have something else.

No other reason.

You can't tell me the wonders of Christianity, you can only claim that my faith is lacking because it is not Christian.

That is just sad.

ETA: Okay, that was awkwardly worded. Let's try again.

But you still can't bring yourself to say what the wonders are.


I'm not telling you how, or what, to worship. I've simply pointed out the warnings of the consequences of rejecting Christ.

Behold the contradiction.

Or the paradox if you prefer.

As I told RHW above, if there's a paradox, chances are pretty good at least one of your core assumptions is wrong.

He can claim Biblical justification all he wants, but he needs something other than "the Bible told me so." If that's all he got, then his faith is no different than mine, is it?

He may believe that it's more, but he can't control my belief. That's why he trots out "my God suffers you to live."

Instead of looking at the World and how we might make a difference, he presumes his faith gives him the power to give judgement, even as he denies the judgement is his.

And if anyone disputes it, well, it's Holy Writ, isn't it?

It certainly has very little to do with the message of the Bible.

Unfortunately this is not my first or thirteenth dance with QM, we have a history. He has in fact at different times done everything you said he hasn't done on this specific thread.

I'd still prefer live and let live. Which means not publicly insisting that the tenants of your faith control the actions of others. It also means finding a common morality without putting one religion over all others.

Is it more important that I acknowledge that "the Bible is Holy Writ," or is it more important that I agree that government mandated and funded abortion is A Really Bad Thing™?

Which is more practical?

That's the thing. You and others believe that the Bible is "Holy Writ," but that doesn't make it so.

I happen to think there are some good ideas there, but I don't think it's particularly holy.

Now we can get hung up on my "unbelief" and Christian reaction to it, or we can find things we do agree on and work from there.

Again, which is more practical?

And why do you feel compelled to speak for your God? Did he call you on the phone? Was there a registered letter?

More importantly, how does that get us closer to agreeing?

My faith and beliefs are at least as important to me as yours are to you.

"The Almighty, however, probably has a different perspective on what you believe."

Beats the usual. Most Christians just cite chapter and verse.

Nothing wrong with that PROVIDED you don't use it to try to control others.

And yes, I know Christians are supposed to spread the news. However, Christians don't appreciate it when others do it to them.

Parity. Or the Golden Rule, if you prefer.

*shrugs* Which is why I don't usually make it except under very specific circumstances.

Some Christians insist that the rules defined by their religion are universal and everyone must comply or else.

I disagree. That's usually when I'm accused of attacking Christianity.

"Neither of us have accused you of attacking anyone."

Give QM time.

"Listen to us or don't, that's your choice."

Stars above, if only it were that simple.

"But that doesn't mean we have to stop trying to warn you."

And if you only did it once each or once each per thread, that would be great.

But I didn't lie.

As for the afterlife, you have your belief and I have mine. No one This Side knows.

You were the one who took exception to that statement.

"You are your source of authority."

No, I'm not.

Perhaps what frustrates you most is that you can't denounce my faith without undermining your own. At the end of the day, we don't have anything but our faith. Mine is just as valid as yours by every "objective" measure you trot out.

Live and let live. Why is that so hard for you to accept?

My posts "reveal" that I answer to an authority different than yours.

I never claimed an "objective" standard. Truths are incredibly subjective.

How many times have I told you that a man is measured in the lives he touches?

That's not exactly about the self, is it?

Of course it is not you that threaten, it is your God. He just sits down at your keyboard and types away.

That tells me is that you don't know your God very well.

Yep, too many people are into religion for the politics.

No, you believe that the Bible is God-inspired. So do a lot of other people. That doesn't make it "objectively true." Especially since it is the most heavily edited, redacted, and revised book in history. Remarkably well preserved, but still.

What I "fessed up to" was that I didn't remember the Hebrew that I studied briefly for a few months about three decades ago. Since I don't use Hebrew regularly, that's hardly surprising.

Again, if you don't like what I have to say about the Bible, stop insisting that I am bound by it. Even Christians are extremely selective when it comes to the portions they use.

ETA: I don't think the Christian message was ever intended to be confined to dusty writings.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.


NeoNotes — multiple intelligences

It's important to understand that The Bell Curve deals with intelligence, not potential ability. As a rough definition, measurable intelligence is the practical knowledge and skills necessary for a given set of problem solving. There are probably multiple intelligences, each with it's own scope and limitations. The upshot of which is that English literature doesn't grant the ability to tune up a motorcycle. "Street smarts" won't help you balance a checkbook.

I did say probably. The theory does have it's detractors, but it is effective. Much of the problem lies in the definition of "intelligence."

Look at it this way. Leg presses build up your torso and leg muscles, but don't do much for your arms or hands. Different muscle groups are used for different things and they aren't all useful for everything. Likewise, different intelligences work for you in different situations.

I've got three problems with Gardner's original model. He didn't allow for as yet undefined intelligences (he fixed that when he added to the original group). And he left out two obvious (to me anyway) intelligences. First, he didn't distinguish between gross motor coordination (a baseball pitcher) and fine motor coordination (a jeweler). Second, he didn't allow for awareness and interaction with the Divine. Historically and across many cultures, there have been examples of this particular intelligence, even if we ourselves don't understand it well. I call it gnostic intelligence, the identifying and labeling is my own small contribution to Gardner's theory.

Jordan Peterson would be the first to tell you not to treat anyone as the absolute authority on everything, including himself. While I admire Peterson's work, my studies and experiences have shown that Gardner's theory does produce practical results. Too many results to dismiss the theory out of hand.

Peterson didn't say IQ, he said intelligence.

I still think much of the problem is in the definition of that word "intelligence." It's not a general problem solving ability. As you pointed out, Gardner used examples who were extremely gifted in one area but deficient in others. That alone means that "intelligence" as it's usually defined is inaccurate.

I just wrote a short piece at my pagan slice-of-life blog going into further detail. I understand if people here don't want to go there, so I'll sum up. An intelligence is a set of mental tools that can solve a problem. What works with one challenge won't work with another, anymore than you could exchange a pipe wrench with a smartphone and expect the same results.

I understand your concerns, but I still think the problem here is in the definition of that word "intelligence."

For example, you might be able to recite Shakespeare, but I'm pretty sure you can't speak Navajo. While those skills are probably related (sort of - the Navajo use different assumptions about time & distance), neither gives you the skill to bake a cake from scratch or help you deal with the loss of a loved one.

We develop patterns of behavior that we use to deal with life. Sometimes we have the patterns we need, sometimes not. But there are patterns that just don't help with other things.

The problem isn't with multiple intelligences, the problem is with a badly defined word that doesn't really do what we are asking.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

Okay, this is a terrible oversimplification, but I have to explain if I expect people to understand.

I said above that much of the problem is in that word "intelligence." Understand, the word is not the thing. Just because you have a symbol for something doesn't mean you have the thing itself. Manipulating the symbol doesn't let you manipulate the thing unless unless you've built the framework and links. Your cell phone is the front end of a very complex network, pressing 7 on the phone does nothing unless you are connected to the network.

And yes, magick works the same way. The symbol is not the thing.

Intelligence in it's strictest sense is not something easily measured. We know it's an approximation. We use chronological age to calculate the intelligence quotient. We know it's not linear. We know that gaining intelligence has to do with the plasticity of the brain. That slows down after the age of 25 or so. We know that older people find it difficult to gain new intelligence and adjust behavior patterns, especially if those behavior patterns have generated passion in the past.

Not success, but passion. Your brain doesn't care if it's "bad" or "good," "successful" or "failure." The feedback mechanism isn't designed to distinguish between positive or negative, only the amount of passion.

And yes, obviously that means that the more you focus on how bad you failed, the less likely you are to achieve your result.

Gods, I could write pages on the passion feedback loop, but it really does boil down to three words. Amount, not polarity.

With that in mind, let's refine the definition from my NeoNote above. Measurable intelligence is the practical knowledge and skills necessary for a given set of problem solving AND the ability to change the knowledge and skills as needed.

In other words, it's not enough to succeed. You need to adjust your thinking and skills as needed for new situations.

Intelligence IS NOT general problem solving. The ability to compose a song does not translate to the ability to weave a rug. A sledge hammer doesn't work as a screwdriver. A pry bar won't start a fire.

So let's refine the definition again. Remember, this is still only an approximation. An intelligence is a set of mental tools that can solve a problem.

With that definition, it's easier to accept that you use one mental toolkit for English literature and another for algebra. Hence, different intelligences.

One last thing, the picture above is not complete. I already wrote about the differences between gross motor coordination and fine motor coordination. And of course there's gnostic intelligence. There are almost certainly intelligences that haven't been identified yet.

An intelligence is a set of mental tools that can solve a problem.

Tainted frisson

We've not had one of these in a while, have we?

I've been busy, but that is not the reason. Politics has tainted paganism in my mind and I am working to re-establish the separation.

Paganism is about the relationship between you, the World, and the Divine. Politics is not a part of that.

This author is Officially Approved this week, but that doesn't mean anything about next week. Next week it may be old fashioned. The week after there may be some scandal as defined by Today's Morality that wasn't immoral when it happened. If it happened.

This isn't new. One of my favorite symbols is the wheeled cross. But it has white supremacist connotations, so I can't use it in "public" pagan discussion. Never mind that it makes more sense to me than the pentagram. It's racist. Off limits. Not allowed.

Sex play and flirting that was allowed a decade or so ago is now denounced. And everyone who participated is expected to abase themselves before the new morality.

As this leaks more and more into how pagans act, it's less about paganism and more about doing the "right thing." Enforcing the echo chambers. Closing out dissent or contrasting opinions. Expelling all that might be tainted by immorality or evil. Part of it is politics, but it goes beyond that.

Some pagans want to change paganism from an experienced faith to a revealed faith. Something with all the bumps and twists and turns ironed out. No unexpected surprises. Nothing not previously declared. No uncomfortable truths. No juice. No frisson. Everything nice and neat and perfectly defined.

The experience has been sanitized for your protection. Truth will be revealed, but only if you do as you are told.

It has been approved by the powers-that-wanna-be.

Not necessarily the gods.

It's politics, not faith.

Some things will be revealed. If you pay attention and ask the proper questions. In the proper order. And no more. Politics will advance you more in this new pagan faith than experience.

Except those people aren't really a part of paganism.

It's about your Journey. Not about their Story.

Paganism is about the experience. The juicy, sexy, messy, screwed up experience that you struggle to make a part of your life. It's about embracing the passion. It's about where the gods point you. It's about finding and living your own way.

Paganism is about the relationship between you, the World, and the Divine. It can't be revealed, it can only be experienced.

Will you live it?

Or will you avoid the taint?

We walk between the worlds

As a pagan, I've long since learned that the World isn't mine to control.
— NeoWayland

Can't keep the magick

Paganism is about the relationship between you, the World, and the Divine.


Pagan virtue signaling

A choice that is imposed is no choice. A religion that is imposed in the name of 'freedom and decency' will be neither free nor decent.
— NeoWayland

NeoNotes — A long hard look

Sending kids to "get religion" instead of practicing it with them is one of the surest setups for failure I know.
— NeoWayland

In the still of the night

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C65989237/E20060525233957

My journey to and from a funeral reminds me of the world outside artificial light

I did some driving in rural Arizona and New Mexico this last week.

One of the big differences between urban areas and rural areas is the amount of light at night. Depending on the size of the town or city, even as little as thirty miles is enough to reveal a whole other world.

Headlights are visible for miles if the road is in view. The shadows wrap around you so you feel like you could just reach out the window and gently stroke it. The desert night air has it's own scents and promises. The plants rustle in your side vision which seems a notch or two sharper. The land hints at it's shape rather than revealing.

And then the stars. Oh gods, the stars.

In a city, you see a few twinkles of the stronger stars, but that is nothing compared to what you see when you get away from the city lights. Suddenly the words "Milky Way" make sense. When I have been away from all the stars, my first instinct on a clear night is to strip down and bathe in all that silver starlight.

It's not just lights. In the desert and away from the roads and cars, you swear you can hear every single sound for miles around. Maybe it's just psychological. You're away from the normal stimulus so you pay extra close attention to the ones you do sense.

There are times I am very much in hermit mode and there are reasons for that. I can't tell you the name of the American Idol contestants. I have no idea what the Top 40 is these days. I have no interest in having Dr. Phil solve my problems on national television. More importantly, I've no real desire to think about these subjects. But they wrap themselves around you, insidiously. It's all that most people talk about.

It's the same with religion, at least for the people who want to get noticed. Folks are so busy making noise for their gold stars that they don't pay attention to the "stillness of the soul." The Blessed recognize that as the place where your inner journey begins, the gateway to your higher selves.

So away from the churches every block, the people mouthing the noise they think the Divine wants to hear, the flood of television and radio evangelism, and away from all those bits that we humans like to wrap ourselves in, that is the where the inner soul can wake and the outer soul can sleep.

I need to go camping again soon I think.

Posted: Thu - May 25, 2006 at 11:39 PM


Discipline, the Modern Pagan, and power from victimhood

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C65989237/E20060722013450

What makes the so many modern pagans fluffy? And why don't they seem to want more?

There is an old saying that the difficult truths are the only ones that must be told.

I've tried several times in the last couple of weeks to write this post. It keeps coming out wrong. So I am going to sit here and hammer this one out once and for all so I can concentrate on other things that I want to say. It's probably going to be shorter than I wanted, but there are only so many times I can rewrite the thing.

Before I get too deep, I want to say that I absolutely despise classifying people, their abilities, and their accomplishments based on membership in some group. I am an individualist. As far as I am concerned, we are human. To understand the poisonous mindset, it's necessary to put that viewpoint aside for a bit and wade into meaningless yet influential group distinctions.

I read Shelby Steele's excellent White Guilt. While not a pagan book, it gave me excellent insight into American life over the last few decades, and helped focus some of my own realizations. Most of it doesn't apply in a pagan context, with one very important exception.

The rise of the popular forms of modern paganism are tied into the rise of the feminist movement that followed the success of the 1960s civil rights movement. Feminism (and paganism through feminism) borrowed some of the best and worst ideas of the civil rights movement for it's own purposes.

One idea was power through victimhood because of past crimes committed against one group by members of another.

Before you tell me that doesn't apply, go find someone talking about "Never again the Burning Times!"

For "power through victimhood" to be successful, it's not enough to have an "oppressed victim," there also has to be a public acknowledgment of guilt by the powerful and a lingering guilt. "PTV" gains it's moral authority only through guilt, otherwise it runs smack dab into the morals and ethics of the majority.

To simplify, American blacks had a legitimate grievance. That isn't necessarily so for American feminists, and it probably isn't so for American pagans. It is the difference between oppression and repression.

Paganism was a good way for repressed women to explore the Sacred Feminine and experience the Divine instead of having it handed to them through a patriarchal framework. Since many pagans celebrate the Female Aspects of Divinity, of course we took joy as the ladies took center stage and found themselves.

But all things have destruction wrapped in creation. The power wasn't in the victimhood. It never was. Overcoming victimhood could be the first gate to power. Some took power from the victimhood itself, never realizing that their "strength" depended entirely on the guilty pity of others. Without that guilt and pity, the "moral authority" collapsed.

This wasn't just in paganism of course. Much of Western culture and society was undergoing the same growing pangs. So to preserve the "power through victimhood" of certain groups, permanent victim groups were enshrined. Blacks first. Then other minority groups. Then women (of course). And finally alternative religions. With a pecking order firmly established, it became the Progressive Thing to make sure that the victim groups and the pecking order were universally established. If some members of the victim groups weren't quite good enough, that was okay, they had been through enough. Allowances would be made.

That in turn introduced our second and third tier problems. Members of the victim groups weren't expect to be "as good" as the majority. Excuses were made for their failures. They were never held personally responsible.

Imagine that. By virtue of victimhood and belonging to a recognized victim group, someone could be excused from being an adult and taking responsibility for themselves.

I want to stress that the victimhood was never universal. Many people soon learned to move beyond victimhood and into individual excellence.

But for those who didn't, they never realized it was a trap. Some of them still don't.

Fast forward a few decades.

Now some areas have schools that cherish victimhood of certain groups before the kids are old enough to understand if they are even victims at all. Being a social victim means that others will look out for you and that you are not fully human.

Nor can you be fully trusted. Even if your victimhood grants you "moral authority" and exceptions from the rules.

Other kids see that being a victim is the easy path. Even if you don't know the answers, they will be provided to you in a timely manner. And if you can't be bothered to learn them this time around, that is okay. You've had a hard victimhood.

The end result are people who not only don't know the answers, but expect those answers to be provided on demand. And they want a second chance to take any tests, only this time with crib sheets.

It's not their fault that this is how they were taught.

It's their fault if they do not change once their path demands more.

Master the discipline or be mastered by the victimhood.

Bright & Dark Blessings, everyone.

Posted: Fri - July 21, 2006 at 09:34 PM


Magick in the modern world

When someone starts talking about THE truth, it's to exclude the thoughts and ideas they find uncomfortable.

Born with a spark of the Divine

We humans were born with a spark of the Divine. We spend our lives trying to pass that on.

Sometimes we succeed.

Religion and popular culture

This is what happens when you hit deadline and you can't think of anything to write. You bring out something from your poetry file. This started as a chant and developed into something else along the way.


Control how we touch other people

What I carry is what I use.
— NeoWayland's Pennyworth iPod Touch engraving, 19Nov2012

❝Think of nature…❞

I think too many people are in religion for the politics.
     — NeoWayland

Every woman I meet

Gods make you stretch.
     — NeoWayland

Journal 23Jun2017

This Forest God is definately a Man's Man.



We are starstuff, we are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out. As we have both learned, sometimes the universe requires a change of perspective.
— Delen in Babylon Five

NeoNotes — Which god?

Most importantly, my faith is not political.


NeoNotes — Nothing supernatural exists

I am recoding the Lexicon.


NeoNotes — Origin of Wicca

”And The Rhythm Of Life is a powerful beat…”


Sex advice

Hold her hands, gently, almost like a caress. Tell her how you feel about her. Tell her how you feel when you are with her. Do it again in thirteen minutes, precisely.


Faith Triad

Thinking by blogging

No, it wasn’t responsible. No, I’m not proud of it. And yes, it lasted longer than it should have with me.


Earth centered

You can see that politics corrupts pretty much any religion, faith, or path you’d care to name.



I think too many people are into religion for the politics.


Hermit and the noise

It’s like everything Glows Slightly Peach.



Summer begins



I mentioned some of my concerns, but their future is full of utopia and collective effort.


Beyond the details


Essays on writing have me thinking and remembering


Revisiting writing the book

If it’s bad when the People of the Book do it, then why on Earth is it a good idea when neopagans do it?


Unsent note to a Christian

Check out the new pages at the top.


Gods make you stretch

Almost four years on this blog and I hadn't answered these questions yet - UPDATED



Frustrated by unspoken expectations


“In the absence of understanding, triviality dominates.” - UPDATED

Rocket in my garden


Real flows, direct from the source

Keeping the past alive


Taproot: Open the Way

Thinking by blogging
On stage I make love to twenty-five thousand people; and then I go home alone.
— Janis Joplin

Taproot: Family, Guests, Ancestors, and Gods

The cycle turns, another step into the abyss


Reflections in a laptop screen

How I think paganism works for me


Why are you Pagan?

Where you live and how it shapes you


“Follow” is not exactly an accurate term

An absolutely serious and scholarly discussion on the details of Pagan belief



Before and after


Bringing it home

Bone, Heart, Thought, Deed, and Spirit, I choose to honor those who touched my life


By Your Own Name

Thinking by blogging

Beware the Egos


Sunfell Tech Mage Rede Nine Words Serve The Tech Mage Best Keep What Works Fix What’s Broke Ditch The Rest

A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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