Monotheistic Filter: War on the Dead

In the Polytheist world, the Dead are not ectoplasms or phantoms. They have form and substance and physically interact with the living. People make sacrifices to the Dead for protection, guidance, and favors. As Ancestors, They stay and guide the family. They can also become Spirits of Place, Home, the Unquiet Dead or the Harmful Dead. Since the Dead link the living with the Gods, They are feared, honored and placated.

The Christian Church actively made war on the Polytheistic veneration of the Dead. Moreover, the Church redefined who the Dead were and the relationship of the living to Them. In the dichotomy set up by Christianity, the Dead who were saved went to Heaven, those who were not went to Hell. To explain Revenants, the Church invented Purgatory. Instead of Heaven or Hell, some Dead ended up in limbo, which is Purgatory.

Under Christianity, the Dead became souls undergoing punishment for their sins. They were now dependent on the living, who said Masses for them, gave alms in their name, and prayed for Them. The relationship between the living and the Dead was now reversed.

In its war, the Church successfully desacralized the Dead. Attacking Polytheistic beliefs, Augustine and Gregory the Great said that the Dead were only dreams. Other theologians reasoned that They were animated by angels or demons. Lacking substance, The Dead turned into ghosts, which only exist in people’s minds.

Furthermore, the Church redefined the concept of “soul.” In Polytheism, people have multiple souls. One soul dies with the body, and another one survives to form its own body. The Romans have the genius, renamed by Christians as the Guardian Angel. Meanwhile, the animus, which is the dynamic force of personality, exists outside of the body. Merging all the souls into one entity, Christianity said when the body dies, the soul merges with God, thereby dismissing the existence of Revenants.

Further Reading:

Adkins, Lesley and Roy Adkins, “Dictionary of Roman Religion.” New York: Oxford University Press. 1996.

Black, Jeremy and Anthony Green, “Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia.” Austin: University of Texas Press. 2014.

Filan, Kenaz and Raven Kaldera, “Drawing Down the Spirits.” Rochester (VT): Destiny Books. 2009.
“Talking to the Spirits.” Rochester (VT): Destiny Books. 2013.

Jones, Prudence and Nigel Pennick, “A History of Pagan Europe.” NY: Routledge. 1995.

Kaldera, Raven, “Dealing with Deities.” Hubbardston (MA): Asphodel Press. 2012.
“Wyrdwalkers.” Hubbardston (MA): Asphodel Press.2007

Krasskova, Galina, “Devotional Polytheism.” Sanngetall Press. 2014.
“Honoring the Ancestors.” Sanngetall Press. 2014.

Lecouteux, Claude, “Demons and Spirits of the Land,” translated by Jon Graham. Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT). 2015.
“The Return of the Dead,” translated by Jon Graham. Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT). 2009.
“The Tradition of Household Spirits,” translated by Jon Graham. Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT).2013.

Paper, Jordan, “The Deities Are Many.” Albany NY: State University of New York Press. 2005.

West, Philip, “The Old Ones in the Old Book.” Washington (US): Moon Books. 2011.


Monotheistic Filter: “Re-worlding the Gods”

Max Weber, German sociologist, introduced the concept, “disenchantment of the world” to explain the malaise found in modern society. Weber explained that when the revealed religions became dominant, they sought to explain the unknown. The Christian “Myth of the Redeemer” depended on a meaningful cosmos. Therefore, Christianity developed a systematic rationalization of problems and their solutions. Revenants (The Active Dead) became the wandering souls of Purgatory.

After the Protestant Reformation, religion, as a whole, gradually lost its authority over creating meaning for the world. The Enlightenment brought forth secular disciplines such as science and history to provide new definitions. These emerging authorities took over explaining the unknown. Ghosts, once the wandering souls of Christianity, became only figments of people’s imaginations.

Meanwhile, modern people have tried to bring the mystical back into their world, but The Filter prevents them. One popular method is using Carl Jung’s theories of the Collective Unconscious. By employing archetypes, people can allow the ancient myths to regain their power. However, Jung’s theories is a retelling of the “Myth of the Redeemer.” The objective is for people to unite with their Higher Selves (i.e. the God Archetype), and become whole.

Another method often tried is Marxism. According to Marx and Engels, Capitalism has objectified and commodified the world. Therefore, its victims should band together, pool their resources, and defeat this evil. Under Communism, the new religion of humanity, people will work for the common good. Since the basis of Marxism is people’s feelings of instability and pessimism, it fails. These emotions are rooted in the disenchanted world.


Works Used:

Dintino, Theresa, “Notes from a Diviner in the Postmodern World.” Self-published. 2016.

“Divining America: Religion in American History,” National Humanities Center Teacher Server. 2010. Web:

Felluga, Dino, “General Introduction to Postmodernism,” Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. 2015. Web:

Filan, Kenaz and Raven Kaldera, “Drawing Down the Spirits.” Rochester (VT): Destiny Books. 2009.
“Talking to the Spirits.” Rochester (VT): Destiny Books. 2013.

Hansen, George P., “Max Weber and the Charisma of Disenchantment,” The Trickster and the Paranormal, 2001. Web:

Romanian Association for Psychoanalysis Promotion (AROPA), “Resources for Carl Jung.” 2017. Web:

Walter, Philippe, “Christianity, the Origins of a Pagan Religion,” trans. Jon E. Graham. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions. 2003.

Walton, Chris, “Philocrites: Religion, Liberalism, and Culture.” 2009. Web:

Monotheistic Filter: The Great Chain of Being

Ordained by the Christian God, the Great Chain of Being, is a hierarchy based on perfection, independence, spirit and flesh. God is at the top, perfect, completely independent and made entirely of spirit. The Angels come next since they are dependent on God. Humans, who are made of flesh and spirit, are farther down. Each member of the chain is dependent on the next higher member. At the bottom, below the rocks is Nothingness, the opposite of the Christian God.

This concept is subtly reflected in the discussions about various pantheons. A hierarchy is assumed with the “chief” God being a male Sky God. Then the pantheon’s hierarchy moves down from the Gods of the sky to the earth to under the earth. Spirits of the Home or Place are often relegated as unimportant or ignored since They do not fit neatly in this hierarchy.

The study of Polytheistic religions reveals something different. The Greeks have three Brothers – Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades ruling their respective domains as co-equals. The Etruscans and Romans have Triads of Gods to govern their pantheons. These Triads consist of two females and one male, who are peers of each other.

Furthermore, the Great Chain promotes single purpose units, since it is a moral duty to know one’s place in the Chain. Fish are just below seed-eating birds, which are just below worm-eating birds. This aspect of the Great Chain is reflected in Polytheism by having only single purpose Gods. Thus, Mars is relegated to being only the God of War in the Roman Pantheon. Mars is also regarded as being the only God of War as well. (Note 1).

Note 1: Minerva, Bellona, and Nerio are Goddesses of War. Honos and Virtus are the Gods of Military Courage and Honor. Mars is also the God of Fields and Agriculture. None of these Gods are single purpose Gods.

Further Reading:

Kaldera, Raven, “Dealing with Deities.” Hubbardston (MA): Asphodel Press. 2012.
“Wyrdwalkers.” Hubbardston (MA): Asphodel Press.2007.

Paper, Jordan, “The Deities Are Many.” Albany NY: State University of New York Press. 2005.

Suber, Peter, “The Great Chain of Being.” 1997 Web:

Wheeler, L. Kipp, “The Chain of Being: Tillyard in a Nutshell.” 2017. Web: https://




Living in Season: My Climate


Constitution Gardens during Canada geese overwintering

Pondering Washington D.C.’s climate, I constructed my own Wheel of the Year for living in season. Spring begins “Tulip Tree Blooms” in March and continues with “Cherry Tree Blooms” at the end of March to the beginning of April (the time of the official Cherry Tree Festival). April and May are “Humid Blooms.” June is “Wet Summer,” and July through September, “Tropical Summer. Autumn is be split into October, “Hot When Leaves Turn Color,” and November -December, “Cool When the Leaves Fall.” Mid-January is “Thaw” and End-February is “Pussy Willows.” This is how I live in sync with my climate.

Why would I want to do this? How does “living in season” help a person? We have seasonal cycles – times when we are active, and times when we become sick. Some people have winter blues, while others have spring fever. In subtle and not-so-subtle ways, the seasons shape people’s lives. Living in artificial time means that people neglect or are unaware of their own cycles. No one can be a machine that goes at a constant steady state. People have down times and flat times. Living within the natural rhythm of “slow time” enhances both the physical and mental health of a person.

Living in season can be a time when we look forward to cherry blossoms or falling leaves playing in the wind. The month of May for me is a time of review where I am in my life. Summer is a time of going to the pool and reading. I am the most active in the fall. Around the winter solstice, I am at my lowest and must focus intently on self-care. Having little rituals for each cycle helps to remind me of the joy and satisfaction that nature brings.


Living in Season: The Eight-Fold Year

ndIshtar-star-symbol-encircled.svgI was introduced to the “School of the Seasons,” when I encountered the Eightfold Year of the Neo-Pagans (Wheel of the Year). Before that, I, like many other people, automatically adhered to the U.S. civil calendar. Summer started Memorial Day (around May 27), high summer – the Fourth of July, and the end of summer – Labor Day (around September 4). Fall lasted until Thanksgiving in November, when the holiday season began and continued to New Year’s Day. Winter was the next day and continued until Easter, when spring arrived. This was unsatisfactory to me since the delineation of the seasons seemed arbitrary. Since it did not fit the climate that I lived in, I felt out of sync with the natural world and living out of natural time.

Dividing the year into eight equal parts seemed to me a better way to follow the cycles of nature. The Eightfold Year starts with Yule at the winter solstice. The longest night and the returning of the light is commemorated. Imbolic (cross quarter – February 2), a time of restrained joy, celebrates the first signs of spring. Ostara, at the spring equinox, honors spring. Beltane (cross quarter – May 1) focuses on fertility in all its forms. Midsummer, at the summer solstice, commemorates the longest day and the coming dark. Lammas (cross quarter – August 1) is the first harvest. This festival celebrates the waxing and waning of the plant world. Mabon, the autumn equinox, focuses on the descent of Queen Persephone into the Underworld and the coming winter. Samhain (cross quarter – October 31) is the time of the Ancestors.

The Eightfold Year seemed to be more in sync with the actual seasons of my climate. However, I had several problems with it. First, it is man-made, and therefore arbitrary in deciding natural cycles. Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, and Ross Nichols of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD) based this Wheel of the Year on their romantic ideas of ancient Pagan festivals in Britain.

The second problem with this Wheel that it follows the climate of Britain. I live in Washington D.C., which is in the humid subtropical climate zone. Our seasons consist of mild winters from December/January, a windy dry March, the hot and humid springs of April-May, and tropical summers that extend from June into October. Fall usually runs from mid-October to end-December.

However, the Eightfold Year is an elegant way of discovering the actual cycle in the natural world. Dividing the year into segments of six weeks gives shadings to each of the seasons. This is an excellent start to reconsider how to live in each season. It can be adapted to the climate that one lives in. As Roman Polytheist, I do not celebrate the Neo-Pagan festivals. However, I do appreciate the approach to constructing a Wheel of the Year.


Monotheistic Filter: Redefining God(s)

Monotheism has embedded in people’s minds that God is always good and always rational. He cares about individuals and humankind. Under the watchful eye of God, everything happens for a reason. This ratifies the person’s importance in the mundane world.

Sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Denton coined “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism” (Note 1) in 2005 to describe the beliefs of American teenagers. They define this term as:

1. A God exists who created, ordered the world, and watches over human life on earth.
2. The God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in “The Bible” and by most world religions.
3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
4. The God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life, except when this God is needed to resolve a problem.
5. Good people go to heaven when they die.

This is reflected in Polytheism, in the following ways. Everyone must have a special relationship with one God. Because of this, other people bemoan the lack of having a Patron. Moreover, a number of Polytheists only develop a relationship with one or two Gods, ignoring the rest. In each case, the God in question watches out for them, without expecting reciprocity.

The most striking example in Polytheism are the Moralistic Therapeutic Deities Who were the Norse Gods, Loki and Odin. In Tumblr postings, their God-Spouses (usually female) focus on how these Gods will meet their needs. They write about their importance to Odin or Loki (or Both), and how much He cares for them. These God-Spouses have no other relations with any of the Norse Gods.

Other examples are the blog sites of “Naturalistic Paganism” and “Humanist Paganism” which are directed towards Pagans who do not believe in the Gods. The bloggers, at those sites, regard Polytheism and Monotheism as the same religion, with One God in many forms. Written for Marxists, “Gods and Radicals” have bloggers who regard their Gods as devoted to the Marxist cause, while all other Polytheists (and their Gods) are the Capitalist enemy.

Meanwhile, “The Valkyrie Squad” of Tumblr reviews blogs, and lists only those they deem safe for Pagans and Heathens. They write that “racism, sexism, misogyny, ableism, homophobia and trans-phobia will not be tolerated.” My opinion is that The Valkyrie Squad functions similar to the Roman Catholic Church who had the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (the List of Prohibited Books). This group of self-appointed and unknown people with only screen names have decided that the Polytheist Gods should be comprised only of their particular ideas.

Note 1. R. Albert Mohler Jr., “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism – the New American Religion.”

Molher, R. Albert, Jr., “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism – the New American Religion,” The Christian Post. 18, April, 2005. Web:

The Monotheistic Filter


The Monotheistic Filter

What is The Monotheistic Filter?

In her blog, “Gangleri’s Grove,” (Note 1) Galina Krasskova explains that people are shaped and informed by nearly 2000 years of Monotheism. She calls this shaping, the Monotheistic Filter. In her opinion, The Filter is a sentient being that feeds off humanity. According to Krasskova, The Filter works tirelessly against the Gods, to retain Its hold on people.

Easy to describe, The Filter is hard to define. I have experienced It as an aspect of the Monotheistic Gods (God). (Note 2) In trying keep his power, He uses the Filter to disable and dissuade people from challenging Him. He needs people to continue to believe in redemption and salvation, which makes them dependent on Him.

Religion can be divided into “revealed” and “natural.” In revealed religions, God transmits his knowledge and expectations through prophets. Holy texts such as “The Bible” are the official record of these revelations. Meanwhile, God is transcendent and beyond all physical laws. To interact with Him, a person has to give up the world and seek salvation. Religious doctrine and dogma are interpretations of this God’s requirements and desires.

In contrast, natural religions like Polytheism arise from people’s interactions with the world. The Gods and other Spirits are immanent and live in this world. They are accessible to people through divination and offerings. The relationship between humans and the Holy Powers is one of reciprocity and mutual respect.

Before modern people can develop a Polytheistic mindset, they need to know the workings of The Filter. It spreads through groupthink (Note 3), which colors what people think and believe to be true. The prism that truth is determined by is filtered through others and the culture they live in. The group teaches people to how to cherry pick for “truth.” By collecting certain stories and discarding others, people form their belief systems in accordance to groupthink. This is how The Filter burrows into people’s thought processes.

Note 1. Galina Krasskova, “Radical Polytheists or Happy Fucking New Year to You Too.”“Radical Polytheists or Happy Fucking New Year to You Too.”

Gangelri’s Grove. 5 January 2015. Web: https//

Note 2. Monotheism has multiple Gods, all male, and all specific to each Monotheistic religion (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam).  The Filter is an aspect of all these Gods united.

My experience with the Filter has been one of pain. I was thrown out of bed when I started this essay. As I continued, I suffered from strained calves. The Filter is nasty to those who defy It.

Note 3. Groupthink occurs when a group reaches a consensus by minimizing conflict. Outside or alternative viewpoints are not allowed for the sake of group harmony.