A friend of mine recently posted a link this interview between Deepak Chopra and Grant Morrison on Facebook (Hey Barry, nice find!)…
which in turn reminded me of this book, which I’ve been meaning to get around to reviewing for a while…
which in turn triggered off this weird, disorganized, stream of consciousness style excuse for a blog post.
I’m a nerd, a geek, a dork. And if you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance that you are too.
I love history and mythology and sci-fi and super-heroes. I love stuff with Ninjas in it. And Spartans. And Vikings, of course, I love Vikings too.
Oh, and while we’re at it, I also love stuff with vampires, werewolves, witches and ghosts.
Oh, yeah, and aliens…and conspiracy theories…yep, just one big all-round dork.
And it’s very likely you are too.
See, Heathenism and Neo-Paganism are Nerd Religions. Magick and ritual are really nerdy, dorky, geeky things to do.
And that’s OK.
There’s nothing wrong with being a nerd. In many ways we’re smarter, tougher and braver than the normal folks who had such easy childhoods. We should be proud of our geek status, and we should be honest about it too.
And that means being truly honest about who we are and where we really came from.
For example, how many of us really got into Norse mythology directly? Probably very few.
I grew up on Greco-Roman mythology, King Arthur, Robin Hood, Br’er Rabbit, The Magic Faraway Tree, Star Wars, Forgotten Realms, The Karate Kid, Marvel and DC, Stephen King and Anne Rice. I didn’t even start reading the Norse myths and Sagas until I was already in my twenties.
My point is this, all of that stuff I read before had its effect on me. None of us come to any religion or worldview as a blank slate, everything that we’ve learned up to that point has an effect on how we receive new ideas when we encounter them. Many of us in Heathenry and Neo-Paganism seem to come from a heavy background in comic books and sci-fi and, you know why, because comic books and sci-fi are heavily pagan genres.
Take a close look at the themes and archetypes and you’ll discover a great deal of similarity not just across cultures but across millennia. Most shocking is that this effect works backwards as well as forwards, myths written thousands of years before the industrial revolution contain sci-fi elements that are hard to deny.
So, it makes me wonder, to what extent do any of us really choose the religions we claim to follow? Most of you reading this will have come to where you are as a convert, having shed the religion (or lack of) you were raised in, but to what extent do we choose our religion as adults and to what extent is it chosen for us (perhaps indirectly) by the myths and archetypes we are exposed to as children?
And if that’s true, do we really need to call ourselves “Neo”-Pagans or Reconstructionists at all? Aren’t we just natural, home grown, organic Post-Christian Heathens? Or something?