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To: alt.religion.all-worlds
From: Paul Hume 
Subject: Re: Panfidelity
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 1996 22:24:37 -0500

David -

History teaches us that paleolithic humans worshipped
> the goddess, and also were matriarchial.  You dispute this?

History teaches nothing of the sort. It is not so much that I dispute it
(I do, but never mind) since my credentials are as popular and based on
second-hand sources as your own, but the folks out in the field digging
upteh material do NOT universally agree with the late Dr. Gimbutas.
Hutton, for one, in Pagan Religions of Great Britain, points out that
themodel of some kind of inescapable Goddess cult in neolithic times is 
subject to significant challenge by history teachers, as it were.

>   One final good reference, page 72-73, __Dreaming the Dark__, by
> Starhawk, she said:
>     "When we turn to the religions of immanence, whether we call them
> Witchcraft, or Paganism, or polytheism,or spirituality, whether we draw on
> sources from Celtic, Greek, Native American, Eastern, or African
> mythology, we encounter paradox.  We encounter the God/dess:  the all, the
> interwoven fabric of being, the dance, the weaver -- we say -- and the web
> of connection, the pattern, the spiral.  "She," we call her.  But She is
> before sex; She whose name cannot be spoken because She is the circle --
> before it is broken by a name that separates-out."
Citing a Neopagan author who defines a position that you agree with
doesn't prove anything,  as I am sure you know. It simply illustrates
that you agree with Starhawk's syncretistic view of Goddesses.

> I stand by my position that "real pagans" worship an immanent god/dess.
And I repat that this is "real" only in the context of Neopagans, and
has squat to do with the peoples whose religon you seek to recreate.
> This is not to say that some people can be "make-believe" or "near"
> pagans, as many people who call themselves "Christians"...
Etc. Which comes to the crus, Dave, that you seem to be playing this
theme so you can be "better than" Neopagans who don't believe in a
(solely) immanent Deity, or who do not otherwise truckle to this view of
It is the abiding curse of Neopaganism that it seems insufficient to
modernize one's own belief, but that people then move on to try and
denigrate Pagans who don't share that belief.
Dammit, man, even modern Pagans with an unbroken chain of belief -
Shintoists for example - distinguish between immanent and transcendent
Deity, and recognize both.

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