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My Brand of Paganism

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Eternal Seeker:

Ah- this reads differently; thank you for expanding on your thoughts! We have a lot in common; I am an animist and a panentheist (a slight twist on pantheist).

I agree that individuals are sovereign, and have ultimate responsibility for their actions, but disagree about the Pagan having no new lands to conquer... the ultimate challenge always was and remains mastering one's self, not conquering the outside world. One of the Christian saints said, "Man commands others and is obeyed; he commands himself and meets resistence." This is the resistence to be overcome.

As to the Danes, the Welsh, and the Britons (or Brigante), they did not live as loose collections of individualists, as you imply- they had hierarchies, rules, and dogmas just like everyone else. If you read the original eddas, and the various myths and folk stories, you'll find hierarchies between the lines, in the basic assumptions and understandings in the background. Even the heroes- for what makes a hero? Individual skill and courage, yes, but used in the service of their community. The badasses who fought for their own benefit were the villains, the monsters. Humankind are individuals, yes, but so are herd animals. A dog or a cow can operate freely as an individual, but only come into their own as a member of the greater group. "No man is an island, complete unto himself... ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."



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