Monday, November 05, 2007

Paganism: An Audio Interview with Margot Adler and Prof Kandace Cant

Today I would like to share an audio interview with Margot Adler and Prof Kandace Cant (History Dept., CSN) that aired on KNPR Radio. (Link below). Two things stood out for me when I heard this. First, a comment by Ms. Adler in which she said that Paganism was more about what you did, then what you thought. I find that to be true. Paganism has no set dogma (although it does have ethics and values) and there are no Pagan Thought Police. Here at Full Circle, we think actions are more important than words or titles. As I have often said, Doers make things happen and their actions light the way for those that wish to follow their example. I love Doers.

I was also struck by her observation that more Pagan groups she knew of were becoming involved in interfaith work. The search for what we at Full Circle call The Great Hearts is an on-going quest. To paraphrase something I've said in different ways and in different venues for many years now: We have seen the true Enemy and it isn't one religion, political party or group or even that-Witch-down-the-street-who-offends-you. The true Enemy is a lethal combination of prejudice, fear, lust for power, fanaticism and ignorance. If we look carefully, we can see that the Enemy sits, like a canker in the rose heart of every world religion, every spiritual path and political movement, every new Enlightenment and in every age and culture. When we founded Full Circle I told our Council members that this was the time to reach out to those Great Hearts who could be found in every religious, spiritual and secular community. We did reach out, and it worked. In 2004 I wrote this: We will know (the Great Hearts) by their works and by the fact that these people reject the real Enemy, even when they find it (like Saruman, like Wormtongue) hiding amongst their own. These like-minded people will join with us to create peace and justice - all we need do is ask. Will we waste yet more time arguing that a Dwarf cannot possibly work with an Elf or will we stand together and fight side by side, as friends?. (1)

This NPR podcast offers an interesting interview with two very involved and thoughtful women. I think you'll like it. You can find the podcast and other forms of this interview to download here along with some useful links.

Update 11/6: Here is a print interview with Ms. Adler at The Wiccan Pagan Times about the revised 2006 edition of her book, Drawing Down the Moon.

The Wild Hunt Blog also interviewed Ms. Adler. You can read that interview here.

Excerpt: Which voices within modern Paganism today do you feel are shining a light towards our future? Who are we not listening to that we should?

"I really don't know how to answer this. I think we are beginning to have real elders, people who have been in this movement for 40 years, and some of them have real wisdom to impart. Then there are young people, often the third generation and second generation Pagans are a really interesting phenomenon, and some of them are dynamite!!!! I also love that there are actually books that are deeper than mine at this point...I started out when there were few books around, except for Murray, Gardner, Graves, Lethbridge, Justine Glass, and a few others. "Triumph of the Moon" is utterly brilliant! I think we have to keep true to the anti-authoritarian, pluralistic spirit at the heart of contemporary Pagansim. It is truly an antidote to the authoritarian religions of our time."



Related articles

Pagan Doers
(a bit out of date, but still relevant)

The Christians and the Pagans

What's Past, Is Prologue

Titles, Schmitles

(1) From What's Past, is Prologue, written after the 2004 elections.

Image: Mossy Branches, Spotted Owl by Robert Bateman - available at Gallery One
The artists write: I see the spotted owl as a kind of hapless symbol of what we have to do to preserve a huge and very important ecosystem - the North American temperate rain forests. We go around to international congresses, telling others to stop cutting down their rain forests, when we are, in fact, much closer to cutting down the last remaining old-growth rain forests on our own continent. The spotted owl needs large tract of unbroken forest to survive. When these tracts are sliced up by logging operations, others predators come in. The spotted owl cannot stand the competition and becomes extinct in that area. - R. B.

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