Khaos- Are We Praying For it?
I’ve been pondering a chicken and the egg problem- or should I call it the god and the goth-
We are constantly wringing our hands and moaning “whatever shall we do” about problems with various forms of dysfunction, infighting and disorganization among Neo-Pagans, as well as many people struggling with (un/der) employment, poverty and mental illness. (though I’m not blaming people for economic & mental health issues) Much of this maybe distorted by the demographics and behavior of the Internet- some people behave worse online, because they can get away with it more easily by hiding their identities, and our brains tend to magnify negativity. Still, I see this off-line as well.
People with all sorts of personal problems, backgrounds of difficult family relationships and who just plain don’t fit in, are frequently and often disproportionately drawn to New Religious Movements (NRMs) of which the Neo-Pagan movement is one.
However, I’ve also noticed that many of these people are focusing their worship on gods of chaos, destruction, death and social upheaval. Certainly deities such as the Morrigan, Dionysus, Kali, Shiva are legitimate parts of our religions but I’m wondering if giving and getting to much attention to and from them is collectively adding to our problems.
In some cases (such as Hecate) darker aspects are more emphasized in modern practice than in ancient times. Other gods we have no evidence were worshiped in ancient times, and while that by itself may not be a problem if you’re not a strict reconstructionist, worshiping some of these gods is a really bad idea. Lilith, a goddess disguised by the Patriarchy as a demoness (as with pretty much any other negatively depicted female figure in mythology) Spiteful Eris, the original cause of the Trojan War becomes a cool goddess for spiritually dabbling hippies in the 1960’s. As far as absurdist religion goes, try the Flying Spaghetti Monster, not Eris. And then there’s Loki, red hair, handsome looks, fun stories, He’s all about stickin’ it to the Man- that wimpy Baldur dude? Who needs him? Ragnarok, bring it on!
This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project.