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Public Paganism and a Watered-Down Approach

by Deborah Lipp

Gus diZerega writes about a public Pagan Solstice ceremony he was distressed by. He was disturbed by a sermon in the middle of the ceremony, by the political content of that sermon, and by a guided visualization that was entirely scientific, with no mythic or spiritual content.

And again, disheartening. Distressing even. But also inevitable, and not actually endangering to the core of Paganism. Watering-down is the bridegroom of public accessibility. But there is still the other Paganism, and people still seek it.

What happened with this movement is the esoteric preceded the exoteric. Oooh, big words. What I mean is, the secret societies, the Mysteries, and the spiritually transformative experiences were the bulk and focus of Neo-Pagan religion when it began. It is only in the last ten years that the exoteric; the outer, the public part of Paganism, has really taken over the perception of the nature of the beast, so that people can think the public stuff is Paganism. While there’s a certain synergism to that (the more people think it, the more the Paganism they practice will reflect that, and the more likely the next person will have the same perception), it isn’t completely a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is still not all that difficult to find out that there’s profound esoteric religion in there, both ecstatic and disciplined, and with no diluting agents anywhere in sight.

Read the original article at: Property of a Lady

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