Holy Wild, Poetry & Music

Polytheist Rap Battle

As I continue to work at my on-going exploration of anthropocentrism and its influence on modern Pagan theology and ritual, time passes here in the damp and half-wild city of Seattle as winter slow-dances with spring. This past weekend, we were blessed with a dusting of snow, followed by the hushed drizzle of overnight rain. The daffodils in the front yard are lifting up their little green hands in prayer, and the neighborhood hummingbird perches as sentinel on the highest twig of the lilac tree, flashing his breast in the sun. And everywhere, the damp plush moss!

It’s that time of year when I am restless to be outside… and sometimes restlessness gives way to snark. So while I’m off wrestling the hobgoblins of cabin fever, dear reader, here is a touch of silliness for you to enjoy.

Pagan Mic Night

Polytheist Rap Battle

I try to walk with grace through these tricky conversations,
but sometimes it’s like a minefield of potential lacerations
with each step, each stride, I am swallowing my pride,
trying not to lose my center on this wild online ride.
Inside, I know, I am fierce but I am flawed.
I speak my truth well knowing you might think that I’m a fraud
or an asshole or a flake. That’s great, but wait–
let’s try some give and take.
I’ve got my own opinions, but I also make mistakes.
I am trying hard to listen through this riotous uproar,
but each time I crack a window you wanna show me to the door.

There are lots of insults flying, and some labels you’re applying
that obscure the deeper nuance of ideas you’re decrying.
When I say my gods are earthbound, I don’t mean they’re less than mud.
Sure I may not be too pious but I got spirit in my blood,
in my breath and in my bones, where it’s moving to the sound
of the sultry, subtle rhythms of divinity unbound.
I’ve found, with time, that the edges always blur,
and I can try to be discrete, but still complexity recurs.
And I am no more separate than the forest from the trees,
or the mountain from the valley, or the rivers from the seas.
(Which is to say I am, or at least I seem to be.)

But there’s you and me, and we are lost in definitions,
and without a sense of humor it can all end in derision.
So I smile, and shrug, and I do my best to sing,
and I know I’ve hit rock bottom when I hear that dulcet ring.
But if you’re trying to insult me, I won’t rise to the bait.
I’m weighing every word I say — that’s why my words have weight.
I don’t claim to be a prophet. My gods speak fine on their own
in the wind and in the waters, in the sunlight and the stone.
And there is power in uncertainty, sincerity and grace,
and I don’t mind a little mud so I don’t waste time saving face.

So you’re saying gods are hard, and that I just don’t understand?
But I never was the one who drew that line across the sand.
And now the sands are shifting and the conversation’s changing.
I’m always reassessing, but you’re busy rearranging,
complaining, explaining away your incoherence,
Pretending you’re on defense when you’re running interference.
I’m not picking sides or keeping score — I’m just seeking common ground.
I’m trying to dig deeper. All you do is double-down,
rewriting conversations that we all still have the links to
and then claiming lack of context when that clearly ain’t the issue.
(We miss you, you know, at our round-table discussions.
It’s not the same without you. There are far fewer concussions.)

I’m not saying I’m not snarky. I never claimed to be a saint.
But even in a rap battle, I try to show restraint.
Because it’s poetry that saves me at the end of every day.
So here’s where I say my name, drop the mic and walk away.

Holy Wild, Muse in Brief

Just call me the Greenman…

Just in time for the summer solstice, I’ve designed a new t-shirt for the Hipster Pagan store. (Wait — you didn’t know there was a Hipster Pagan store? That’s okay. It’s pretty obscure. Nobody shops there anymore since it sold out and went mainstream. After all, hipster jokes are so over.)

You can get the tee here. Or browse the store. I’ll be uploading the Hipster Greenman design onto several other non-wearable items (including posters and, of course, coffee mugs — every Hipster Pagan needs their coffee mug when they’re making their daily morning libations to the Goddess Caffeinia).

Plus, you can still get the classic Ironic Pentacle t-shits and the Obscure Goddess tees (you’ve probably never heard of Her). As well as lots of other designs with really bad Pagan-themed puns. Check it out.

Current Events, Holy Wild, Muse in Brief

Hipster Paganism

I’m working hard to make Hipster Paganism a thing. Now that Pagan means Wiccan, and polytheist means Pagan, it’s only a matter of time before the People We’re Embarrassed By start calling themselves polytheists and recons. (It’s already starting.) I for one am embracing this endless cycle by bringing “Pagan” back… but in, like, an ironic way.

Since I owe my editors over at Aontacht Magazine my next Wild Earth feature column by the end of this week, naturally I’ve been procrastinating a lot today by hanging out on Google+ instead of writing. The above quote came about during a complain-a-thread (I just made that term up) complaining about Pagans complaining about Christians (and Pagans) complaining about Christmas being pagan and/or secular and/or consumerist. Because when I procrastinate, I like to go meta.

For your reading pleasure, I have devised a list to help you determine whether or not you are a Hipster Pagan.

Hipster Pagan

Things Hipster Pagans Say

  • “I celebrate an obscure harvest festival. You’ve probably never heard of it.”
  • “I worshipped Jormungandr before it was cool.”
  • “All of my ritual offerings are organic.”
  • “I’m wearing this huge shiney pentacle ironically.”
  • “I post all my instagram altar pics on Tumblr.”
  • “I used to like Damh the Bard’s early stuff, before he sold out.”
  • “I got this hooded robe at Goodwill for only $5.”
  • “Have you read Anaxagoras?”
  • “I love the bodhrán. We should start a drum circle.”
  • “Do these jeans make me look Christian?”
  • “Starhawk is just too mainstream.”
  • “I always bike to rituals on my fixie.”
  • “Isn’t Chaucer’s Mead the best?”
  • “I made my wolf-fur headdress from refurbished vintage coats.”
  • “I don’t go to Pantheacon anymore, it’s just gotten too big.”
  • “Let’s have a ‘Halloween’ Party for Samhain this year and watch ‘The Craft’ — that’d be so retro!”
  • “All of my candles are rechargeable LEDs; incense is so bad for the environment and beeswax is basically like animal cruelty.”
  • “My black Pagan friend told me it’s pronounced ‘Vodoun’.”
  • “I don’t like labeling people.”
  • “I’m not a Hipster Pagan.”