Reinvention of Pagan Dharma

Pagan Dharma was a blog started last year by Al Billings, founder emeritus of Hermetic Library. The blog ran for a few months and then was taken down, but Al has brought the content back (Recovered from Wayback Machine, even! So very old school! Who needs backups?) and started to post again. You may be interested in following along or participating.

Al Billings' Pagan Dharma

“As you can see, seems to be alive again.

While the domain never lapsed, the website was taken down during 2011. This was because I was finding myself (Al) uninspired to write much and Catherine, the other main contributor, got busy doing some kind of doctoral work and teaching martial arts (obviously, she’s a slacker).

Once again, I find myself thinking about the interrelationship, at least for me, between my cultural paganism (along with associated pagan ideas, praxis, etc.) and the Dharma, that is, Buddhism. Is there a relationship, even if only in theme and direction for me, personally? It is a good question.” [via]

“Why paganism and why the Dharma? After all, this is the “Pagan Dharma” site, right? I’m going to do a few posts here, probably between two and four. You’ll have to bear with me (or just skip ahead) as I work out what I want to say right now.

As I’ve mentioned before, I spent 16 or so years as a pagan (aka “Neopagan” or “those people doing rituals and worshipping strange gods”). I got involved with it around age 18, when I become a young Wiccan. I proceeded from there (with various turns taking from one to five years) to being a Germanic pagan (or heathen) as well as being various shades of a Hermetic magician with a heavy salting of Neoplatonism. I even joined the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) somewhere along the way, meeting my wife while involved in it, though, truth be told, I was never a fervent enough fan of Aleister Crowley to make the cut in the longer term.

When I think back in these not-so-elder years of what it was like being a pagan or what it is exactly that I was or am drawn to there or miss, there are a few things that come to mind. These are, in no particular order:

  1. Community rituals and celebrations
  2. Celebration of the seasons and cycles of the Sun and Moon
  3. Inspirational creation of rites or rituals
  4. Exploration and creation of one’s own personal spirituality

Clearly these listed items are fuzzy and interpenetrate with one another. Let’s look at each of these in turn.” [via]