– by B. T. Newberg
Do ancient myths play a large part in your practice, or only a minor role? Perhaps even no role at all?
By myths, I mean historical traditions of stories that have come down to us from specific cultures, and which typically involve pantheons of gods and sometimes other fabulous creatures and beings. For example: Greek myths of Dionysos and Persephone, Norse myths of Freya and Odin, Irish myths of the Dagda and Cerridwen, etc.
Please take part in the poll, then leave a comment on the issues discussed below.
One thing I’ve noticed in the Naturalistic Pagan community is that myths get much less air-time than in other Pagan circles. They may be talked about indirectly, i.e. as the abstract phenomenon of myth, or not at all. Here at HP, most of it has been of the indirect variety. This makes me wonder how central myths really are to Naturalistic Paganism.
On the one hand, the issue is almost certainly a bias effect resulting from the nature of our community: what distinguishes us is not the myths but our beliefs about them, so we tend to dwell more on the nature of myth than myths themselves.
On the other hand, I can’t shake the feeling that for many of us, such as environmental types and perhaps other varieties, myth may be minor or even absent entirely.
If that is the case, and the poll above ought to give some sense of whether it is or not, then that leaves me with a question:
- In what way is your practice rooted in or inspired by ancient Pagan religions, if not by myth?
Please leave a comment with your reply.