PanGaia #38
Ancient Paganism


PanGaia #38 - Ancient Paganism
History is, by nature, an inexact field of study. It consists less of facts than of theories, interpretations,even innuendo. Even the recent past can prove surprisingly murky. The farther back you go, the more obscure the picture becomes.

In this issue of PanGaia, we begin far back in time to describe the world of our ancestors, and some of the possible roots of contemporary Pagan culture.

In a time when the “peaceful Goddess culture” theories are going out of fashion, there are still voices arguing for them. In “A Millennia Without War,” Jeri Studebaker challenges the premise that humanity is inherently violent. She carefully lays out evidence, arguments, and interpretations to illustrate the different pictures that people paint of Minoan culture. Did they really create a thousand years of peace? Read and decide for yourself. Katherine Reimer explores “Ancient Archetypes of the Jomon.” Her study of Neolithic Japan draws some fascinating conclusions from the most recent archeological discoveries there.“Remember the Mother: Matrilineal Societies Past, Present and Future,” by Joan Robinson-Blumi, explores the effect of family identity on cultural and spiritual expression. She suggests that female-oriented kinship patterns incline a society to more peaceful and equitable living.

Not all of history concerns war and politics. In “Sacred Herstory of Clay,” Christine Davis lays out the story of this substance from prehistory to modern times. Whether sacred or practical or both, ceramic objects come from a unique union of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water that must have awed our ancestors. In Elizabeth Barrette’s article, “In Praise of the Mammoth” we examine these fascinating beasts that appear in ancient artifacts and mythology, as well as contemporary culture. Consider the possibility that they might walk the Earth again!

Sometimes we get so excited by what we want to find in history that we lose sight of what is really there. Archer dissects a popular Pagan motif in her article, “Dilemma of the Dying God.” Come find out how well you know this famous archetype.The “Point of View” department features “Holding My Spirit Guide,” a touching interaction with nature on the most personal level. We continue our popular “Pagan Bookshelf” series with “Part Two: The Best of Contemporary Pagan Writing.” Survey the outstanding titles from the 1980's and 1990's. These are all worth spending your lunch money on.

Day job getting you down? Need a chance to relax? Jeff Rasley to the rescue with “Letting Go in French Polynesia,” a vicarious vacation in tropical paradise. We also bring you a sampling of poetry in this issue. “Ancient Echoes” by Cristina Eisenberg and “This Language” by Kathryn Koromilas both speak of how the past whispers to us through the present. Elizabeth Barrette's poem "“Who Is She?” considers the mysterious aspects of history.

Our regular columnists bring us a fresh array of topics. In “Words and Wheels: Creating Pagan Liturgy,” Cecylyna and Dagonet Dewr continue their rites of passage series with a set of articles on Pagan funerals. Christina Eisenberg writes of renewal in “Trail of Beauty: An Earth Almanac.” In “Underworld Perspective,” R.J. Stewart delves into concepts of ancestral consciousness and deep time. Laura LaVoie wraps up her final installment of “Finding the Goddess in America” with musings on the Hearth Goddess Brigid. S. Tifulcrum is also finishing her column “Connecting the Dots: A Pagan Perspective on Public Affairs” with a look at Pagan businesses and their relationship to communities. Sylvia Stevens concludes this issue with a hilarious look at moving – through the eyes of the First People. Moving from one pueblo to another probably wasn’t any easier than moving to a new apartment or house. The more things, change, the more they stay the same!

Enjoy this look into the past with this classic issue. 80 paged, originally published in spring of 2004.

Mini flash-view of this issue.

Table of contents in PDF format.

Available in either classic-paper or digital editions.

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