Concepts of Modern Polytheism – Post Round Up

The “Concepts of Modern Polytheism” series is dedicated to making complex ideas more accessible to those unfamiliar with them. While the series is new, breaking down complexity is something I’ve focused on for awhile now.

That being so, I thought it might be helpful to provide links to previous posts that do that too. If nothing else it gets all the relevant posts corralled into one place.

The first two links especially are ones I reference quite a bit. Completely new to the whole idea of polytheism? Hospitality and Devotions are an excellent place to start!

A Southern Girl’s Guide to Hospitality

Hospitality is a foundational concept in modern polytheism. However, people talking about it may assume a base level of knowledge that simply isn’t there. Not all of us grew up with a model of Hospitality we can follow, after all, and those who did might not know how to apply the core ideas to working with the Powers. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started. (Note: This post uses the term “Kindred” in the place of “Power”. I’ve since stopped doing that.)

Growing Devotions

Once we understand Hospitality we can use it to develop a regular devotional practice. This six-part series covers the idea of devotions, the reasons they’re a good idea, introduces the three main types of Powers with which we engage, discusses different ways of engaging with Them, and goes into the need for discernment.

Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide

Most of us grew up with the idea that sexual repression was virtuous and morally superior to sexual permissiveness. Coming into the more sex-positive Pagan and polytheist communities can leave people foundering, unsure of how to navigate these new situations. This post tackles that, with a focus on consent and enforcing personal boundaries.

Fleur De Lis – A Symbol of Sexual Boundaries

Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex talks about enforcing our personal boundaries in community settings. But what if we don’t know what those personal boundaries are? Establishing them for ourselves can be challenging, especially if we’ve been relying on rules provided to us by other people or systems. This post provides a framework to help us figure all of that out for ourselves, and can be applied in a wide variety of situations.

The Roles Filled by Clergy, Explained

What is clergy, really? What do they actually do? And, especially, how do those roles manifest in groups? Here’s my breakdown.

Envelopes, Labels, and Gods

There are a lot of different Powers out there. Sometimes, to make that number easier to deal with, Powers are lumped together into different categories. This post talks about why that can be a bad idea, with a focus on Archetypes.

I hope you find these posts helpful!



8 thoughts on “Concepts of Modern Polytheism – Post Round Up

  1. ganglerisgrove says:

    um, i’d argue that a traditional polytheist probably has far different views on sex than your typical Pagan. Just saying, i wouldn’t lump the two in that category as above. (and it’s going to depend on the polytheist and what Gods that person venerates granted but many of us have sexual ethics that in no way reflect the Pagan norm).

    • Caer Jones says:

      Issues of sex and sexuality are a deeply personal thing, and there are all kinds of options within that, from the “sex is bad outside of marriage” idea of Christianity to the “all sex is awesome!” idea of some of the more liberal Pagan groups.

      When considering traditional polytheism, I guess some modern polytheists did wake up one day and say “You know, I think I’m done with the Jesus thing now. I’m gonna work with Zeus and see how that goes. Let me research ancient Greece and traditional polytheism to figure out how the original worshipers of Zeus would have done that.” And that’s awesome for those folks. That’s certainly a more direct path to take!

      Others of us, though, came through Paganism on our way to polytheism and are still sorting out the differences between the two. Still others consider themselves part of both communities, or don’t really see a distinction between the communities at all. And then there are those of us who follow Powers who either encourage sexuality in general or don’t care one way or the other. Following traditional polytheist models is of course a valid path, but other approaches are valid too.

      My posts, especially the Six Rules for Pagan Sex post and the Fleur de Lis post that follows it, are meant more for the latter groups than the “woke up polytheist” crowd.

  2. ganglerisgrove says:

    The little blurb around one of your links made it sound like Pagan and Polytheistic approaches were similar and they may not be. It is a very individual thing not just with each person but with each person in relationship to their Gods. It also sounded, though this may be the trained philologist in me parsing meaning, that sexual continence was incompatible with sex positivism and i don’t think that’s the case either. It’s hard to find workable language for so many of these ideas!

    of course i’m fresh off a debate with someone that Modesty wasn’t important to Roman religion (when it was, to the point that there was a goddess of modesty with temples in the center of Rome so maybe i just have sex on the brain lol).

  3. ganglerisgrove says:

    Ok, reading now. Gotta point out that asceticism can also be a way to our Gods. Polytheists/pre-Christian pagans did it first lol. It’s just as workable and valuable a way of engaging as hedonism (though both can be corrupted).

    I”m glad you’re exploring the tension in some sections of the Pagan community with refusing sexual advances. I tend to dislike the overt sexuality so prevalent in parts of the community. I don’t necessarily think it’s any healthier than being completely repressed. I also think it falls under good boundaries and having them. lol. The issue that i see is more about boundaries including sexual ones. I am so so glad you wrote about issues of consent though. the article is very good.

    I haven’t seen sexuality so much of a problem in strictly polytheistic circles. I think that if we’re drawing from ancient polytheisms, the relationship we have between public and private and with sexuality is very different from what may have evolved in paganism by way of the 1960s and …i’m glad for that. I do think that all of us end up having to wrestle with what we were taught growing up, either in our society or more likely by way of our birth religions and what might reflect our chosen polytheisms.

    Still, good and i suspect very much needed piece. I’m glad you wrote this.

  4. ganglerisgrove says:

    actually, i think your piece that discusses consent is absolutely needed….i’m thinking about a ghastly article i read recently on Patheos damning women who didn’t want to have indiscriminate sex …with the author of the piece. *snorts*. really vile language too. so if that’s indicative of what is happening …shit, your piece ought to be shared liberally and well!

    • Caer Jones says:

      Oh, I remember seeing that on Patheos! *shudder* That was horrifying! By the time I got to it he had effectively been shut down, which I appreciated, but it still made my skin crawl. Adding a sense of religious/spiritual expectation to those already overburdened with societal expectations around sex is not ok!

      And thanks for the comment about sharing. From what I understand it’s being shared around several Pagan groups and events – I received inquiries/notifications about people doing that after the post went live on Witchvox, anyway, and that makes me really glad to have written it!

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