Sunday, 1 January 2012

Raw Paganism

Midgard Serpent (Jormungandr), destined 
to battle with Thor at Ragnarok (when this 
world will end and a new world will begin)
To me, part of the appeal of Pagan practice is the potential link it gives one to ancient or even pre-historical spirituality  to something raw, to something fundamental and continuing in the human spiritual process. The Religio Romana interests me partly because I see it as an ancient European religion about which we are reliably informed – much of the source material on Roman Paganism existing today was written by Pagans writing in a Pagan world, but, of course, there are other ways we can inform ourselves about authentically ancient spiritual practices and that is by looking to that which is common to a multitude of cultures and timelines – as a child of Europe I am naturally interested in the beliefs of the Indo-Europeans, from whom I am (at least partly) descended. Common themes in their belief systems include/d:
  • The deification of natural forces such as the sky, the dawn, rivers, the sea, the sun, the moon, spirits of nature (nymphs) and so on.
  • Folklore involving a battle with a serpent which may represent a battle between order and chaos (eg, Hercules and the hydra; Thor and the Midgard serpent; Krishna and Kaliya).
  • Cyclic myths (eg, of the seasons).