that I feel most drawn to the ancient Minoan/Greek/Mediterranean
cultures, but not exclusively so.
In other words,
I'm just not sure about the existence of a whole bunch
I got the original
joke from the Minnesota storyteller Steven Posch-Coward, who called
himself a polyatheist.
I am in effect an agnostic polytheist. I have no idea if there is
actually a "God" or what that might mean; I think the
Divine, if there is such a thing, is an enormous mystery, probably
unknowable or inconceivable to us in its essence.
However, when I
experience what I believe to be "the Divine," it is through
multiple forms, particularly the gods & goddesses of antiquity
who personify aspects of Nature (e.g., the Greek goddess
Demeter, the harvest mother).
can also be described as mystical or transcendental pantheism, is the
belief that the divine is simultaneously imminent and transcendant. A
great exploration of these concepts can be found here
if you'd like to read more.
Long ago I
determined that for me to identify with any religion, it would need
to be both rational and ecstatic. The personal form of
Neo-Paganism I have developed over the last ten years answers this
requirement pretty well. There's no need for me to shut down my
reasoning capabilities in order to "believe" in this or
that; but at the same time, I partake of a surpassing richness of
experience which deepens all the colors of my life.
This expresses the
flavor of the particular deities who appeal to me. Chthonic means
"of the earth;" it suggests energies of a darker and more
primal sort, as explored in the ancient mystery religions of
non-Classical Greece. It's often used to describe the older
agricultural and/or underworld deities, like Demeter, Persephone, Dionysos.
I've always been
"Pagan" even before I knew there was such a thing as
Neo-Paganism; and I still consider myself "Pagan" even when
Neo-Paganism isn't a perfect fit, which is often.
For me, Nature is
God (or rather, Goddess), and gratitude is the true basis of worship.
There seems to me no saner or more beautiful way to worship than to
celebrate life, the senses, the seasons, the sun and moon, the land
and all the gifts of the Earth.
The maenads (the
bacchae, bacchantes, bacchanals, Thyiades) were the wild women
followers of Dionysos, the god of
wine. I am devoted to this god and his mythos, and I deeply identify
with Ariadne, the god's beloved and the high priestess of the
maenads. But my journey on this path is just beginning, hence "aspiring."