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Reconsidering the Importance of Myth

By Star Foster

[Snip] The lack of continuity is one way modern Paganism is different from other religions. We talk about this lack occasionally, and acknowledge that we have no idea how Hellenic polytheism, or other ancient polytheisms, would have evolved unfettered over the centuries. But instead of picking up the torch where it was dropped, so often we are trying to create a new torch. I’m not talking about practice (someone, I forget who, said that reconstructionism is essentially finished when it comes to the practices of ancient Greeks). I’m talking about the way we think, and the way we view the world.

On a flight to Denver I read Ochani Lele’s Teachings of the Santeria Gods. I was surprised to find a book about a religion so foreign to me was so satisfying and comforting to read. I’ve thought long and hard about my reaction to those stories, and the answer I have come to is that they felt so right to my soul because they were not myths. They were not presented as myths. They were presented as stories that explain the world from Santerian culture. I didn’t realize how important that was until recently.

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