I have a modest proposal | The House of Vines [Reblog]

There’s a war of verbiage within paganism. It’s between those called hard polytheists who believe the Gods are real, live, individual Entities, and — I don’t know, everybody who doesn’t believe that, I guess.

In the post linked to below Sannion proposes that hard polytheists should go offline for the month of July. Since this war of logorrhea isn’t accomplishing anything or getting resolved whatsoever — just … say … nothing. I think this is a fine idea, and I’m a hard polytheist, but then it’s hard these days to find a sorcerer or magician who in a sense isn’t. That the Spirits are real is the in point of view in the magical world, as opposed to the pagan world, where things are just effed up beyond belief.

I don’t think such a war, waged with meandering masses of verbal treacle, could ever happen in the magical community. There people with different viewpoints seem to get along just fine, and pretty much every sorcerer/sorceress and magician is agreed on the point that has the pagans at such odds.

There are admittedly old-school Thelemites who parrot Crowley’s early ideas that we can know nothing about the objective reality of the Spirits (I’m oversimplifying, but that’s the gist). Crowley later changed his mind, by the way. The Holy Books of Thelema were written rather early in Crowley’s life, many of them in the nineteen-naughts and the -teens. Crowley didn’t die till 1947, and shortly before that published his greatest book, in my not so humble opinion, his book on his and Lady Frieda Harris’s Tarot deck, The Book of Thoth. —And there are the (surprisingly, to me) growing number of Chaos Magicians, many of whom stand firmly by William S. Burroughs’s maxim Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

By the way, I read somewhere that an informal survey revealed that about %60 of Chaos Magicians engage in ancestral veneration of some kind. Why? Because it works. Why does it work? Because the Spirits are real. Several of the Chaos Magicians I know personally are what the pagans would call hard polytheists. They just enjoy Chaos Magic.

See what I mean? In the magical community these things aren’t an issue. The “Spirits are real” majority don’t have it in for the Thelemites or the Chaos Magicians. Such a thing is pretty much unthinkable.

Oh things aren’t perfect by any stretch. You’ve got grimoire purists, e.g., who believe very vocally that their way is the best way and most other magic is “New Agey”. (WTF is wrong with the New Age anyway? Most New Agers I’ve met seem to have their rather odd acts together far better than I do.) —You’ve got sorcerers disrespecting Ceremonial Magicians like the Golden Dawn(s) for example. But aside from dissension within the factions of the Golden Dawn itself, I know of nothing comparable to this ridiculous mess taking place in the, I’ll call them, Neopagan and Hard Polytheist camps.

I am of course a hard polytheist, as anyone who’s been reading along as I improvise this blog day by day will know. But this blog isn’t primarily about polytheism. Yes, I’ve written about Spirits and Gods a lot, but that’s because I’m fascinated with them and because I believe that if you practice magic you’re just going to run into them some day. The subtitle of this blog is T and Sorcery. T stands for Transsexuality, Transgenderism, Transition, etc., etc. It’s slang, probably obsolete by now, within the trans community. It’s an odd combination, and I’ve considered splitting it into two blogs, but I have a small but loyal readership and I’m not going screw up what I’ve got going here.

Considering this subtitle, this isn’t officially a blog about polytheism. So I’m not going to participate in Sannion’s proposed black-out, no matter how much I admire the man and enjoy his blog.

If you want to see how bad things are in the pagan/polytheist communities, give the link below a look. It will boggle your mind. —I’m so darned glad I belong to no organized pagan or polytheist group. I can go about my business and look down from a distance at this mess. If you care about the Gods, however, I suggest you educate yourself about the ruction going on, and the link below is a good place to start.

I have a modest proposal | The House of Vines.

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15 thoughts on “I have a modest proposal | The House of Vines [Reblog]

  1. That’s the most annoying thing about this. There are good, smart people on both sides of this who have valuable things to say. But those people are getting drowned out and the common ground between us lost. The name-calling and insinuations are making it impossible to have a real, productive conversation about these issues. (Issues that are important, but I don’t think have to be as divisive as they’ve been presented.) When no one is listening and everyone is screaming, the best thing to do is retreat and focus on what’s truly important which isn’t other, anonymous people on the internet.

    • Rachel Izabella says:

      A comment from Sannion! You’d think I was somebody…

      Yes, it’s a shame. The name calling and personal slanders are disgraceful. And the hard polytheists, we “pagan fundamentalists”, aren’t the ones who seem to be doing it. I think this points to a shallowness in the spirituality on the part of some members of the opposing camp. A lack of morals and ethics, a lack of nobility. I wish I’d said these things in my commentary before the link to your blog, but thanks to you I get to say them here. Instead of as mortal enemies why can’t the factions see each other as merely curmudgeonly, or quaint perhaps? I don’t know the answers. I don’t know why the Gods are such a threat to some people. It mystifies me.

      And let me confess, lest I be guilty of hubris, that compared to yours my piety could be found lacking. But I keep trying…

      I will direly miss your blogging presence in July, btw. Thanks for the visit! Visit often! I had a rough patch but I’m getting back in the groove… Much love. —Rachel Izabella

      • You’re actually one of my favorite blogs! I don’t comment on your stuff because I don’t really comment on most people’s stuff. Hell, I’m bad at responding to comments left in my own blog! LOL

        But yeah, the thing that’s bothered me most about this is the lack of etiquette and basic respect. And one side has definitely been doing that more than the other. I admit, plenty of us hard polytheists came off too strong. I know that I personally crossed a line of what I consider acceptable behavior and didn’t give the nuanced arguments of the other side the proper consideration that they deserve. (Something I tried to rectify during the radio show.) But even the most egregious offenders was acting like a belligerent prick. That’s it.

        The other side, however, resorted to name-calling and mud-slinging pretty early on and that has only intensified as this progressed. When they call us Nazis and fundamentalists and dominionists though they’re completely shutting down the lines of communication. When they bring in irrelevant personal deities about our lives and when they argue that we need to be punished and driven out of the community … that’s going way too far. Especially since there’s a chance some deranged person could see that and decide to act on it. After all, if we’re just Nazis and harming Nazis is a good thing, then harming us is the proper course of action.

        This shit needs to stop. It’s completely insane.

        • Rachel Izabella says:

          I hadn’t thought about the possibility of physical violence erupting. Gods, that would be awful for us all… Yes, this shit has to stop. I wish I knew how to stop it. Why can’t we all just get along? as Rodney King said. I think Timothy Leary’s advice — Turn on, tune in, drop out — is best. If enough people did that, it’d perforce all end. I won’t be stopping blogging, but I’m going to roundly ignore this clusterfuck from now on. If I chance upon it I’ll turn to yet another cliche — Situation Normal. All Fucked Up. — SNAFU. And I’ll move on.

          BTW — It makes me ridiculously happy when a blogger I’ve read for years is now commenting on my blog.

          Best of luck in your dropping out experiment. When you return and see that nothing has changed … well, good luck there too. Much love, Rachel Izabella

      • * Details, not deities. No deity is irrelevant.

  2. My modest proposal is that Pagan and occult bloggers get over themselves entirely, because there are thousands of Pagans and magicians out there happily doing their many things, who don’t read a damned word of our logorrhea, and don’t care. Every time I go to a 3D meeting and say anything about the latest tempest in a blogspot, I get wall-to-wall blank stares. The people doing the actual work have learned to side-step online shit long ago.

    I do agree that the CM world, for all of its tendency to blow up over stupid stuff, is sitting this one out. I’m more inclined to think that people are either firmly in the “hard animist” camp or firmly model-agnostic (both phrases sound funny), and neither position is so insecure that we need to vomit on other people.

    • It’s the very definition of tempest in a teapot. The more we disconnect from the internet, the better everyone will be. The human brain wasn’t made to be so constantly bombarded with information.

    • Rachel Izabella says:

      It’s a good proposal but it’s not going to happen and it messing up half my blog reading. That’s the sum total of my involvement. –As for model agnosticism, I doubt most pagan bloggers, or most any bloggers, have the mental lexicon or acumen to understand what that means. RAW is forever beyond them (not you, Sannion, you’d understand him, but you wouldn’t like him I bet). You last point — you’re absolutely right. The ad hominem arguments I’ve seen are as lovely and fragrant as projectile vomiting. —I guess I’m not as above the fray as I’d like to believe. At least I haven’t joined in. Or have I…?

      My problem with model agnosticism is that it can all too easily lead to this thought: Am I a brain in a vat? The only honest answer to which is I don’t know. I don’t want to live like that myself. Tried it. Didn’t like it. My experience of it — argument enough against it for my simple mind. I’ve chosen my reality tunnel — it’s based on my experiences. Tho’ I don’t know much I walk by knowledge, by experience and experiment, not by faith, or lack thereof either.

  3. Cassie says:

    I am something between a hard polytheist and all that involves and an absolute atheist and hold particular views (all of which I can justify) everywhere in-between!

    • Rachel Izabella says:

      Hi Cassie! Like Hoodoo-folk say, “Whatever works”. If it works for you, super! Me, I need a little more to hold onto. A character flaw, without a doubt. Much love, Rachel Izabella

  4. […] with each one]). After wearing that groove a little wider over time, I’m now feeling, like Rachel Izabella, that the spirit model wins. Spirits and sympatheia (I used to call them entities and currents, […]

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