Posted by: aediculaantinoi | May 24, 2012

An Interesting Taxonomic System…for Modern Paganism!

Since before I started this blog, I had feared that I might eventually run out of ideas for even once-weekly posts. As I’m nearly to 900 posts, and I’ve only been doing this for less than two full years at this point, I think you can see how irrelevant and thus irrational such a fear is in my case…but, in any case, I was afraid I might be getting to the end of my ideas again recently. I’m happy to say several things in the last few days have proven that fear false once again.

I’ve recently read an article on the blog The Allergic Pagan (a title which could as easily apply to me and several other folks I know, in so many respects) which was quite fascinating: “The Three (or more?) ‘Centers’ of Paganism” which I’d highly recommend everyone have a look at. While I can’t say I agree with this blog post’s laying out of the particularities of this issue point-for-point, I’d say I’m probably at about 92.6% in agreement with them. See what you think for your own satisfaction…

But for myself, personally, I find that using this model, I’m primarily deity-centered, with a good bit of both Self- and earth- in there as well; if I had to locate myself in the Venn diagram, I’d be just inside the vertex of the deity-centered section of the central triangle where they all overlap.

There is some good discussion in the comments about how making the model in this fashion sort of presupposes that one should want to be in the middle and be balanced; and yet, it wasn’t the author’s intention to put that viewpoint across, which I’d very much agree with. How to make a better visual model, though? I don’t know…

Nonetheless, I’d be interested in hearing your own thoughts on this, and where you might find you’d be located yourself.


  1. Thank you so very much for bringing this article to my attention. Aside from being very informative, clarifying & well presented, it gave me new terminology: “literalist animism.” I have always used “polytheistic animism,” but I like having an alternative. I suppose that places me right between deity & earth-centred. This piece really brought my thought together — I have always grappled with these ideas, but could never put my finger on them quite this concisely.

    And since I am actually commenting… I enjoy your blog & appreciate your insights very much. Thanks for being here.

    Lurker Moma.

  2. aediculaantinoi: Thanks for your comments. I was really hoping for 93%, an A-, but I’ll take a B+. 🙂 Your own writing here has been a significant influence on the development of my own ideas of Pagan identity. Thank you. I hope to read your 1000th post in the not so distant future!

    • In my own grading system (and the one standard at the colleges where I teach), a 92.6% would be an A-, so you’ve got one, no worries! (A 93% would be a regular ol’ A!)

      Thanks very much for your comment, and for your excellent work!

      I think I’ll probably get to 1000 by the end of this year…I’ll have to save up some really interesting topic for it, rather than just “Oh, look, it’s my 1000th post, bully for me!” (or something similar). Perhaps I’ll have another book ready or nearly ready by then…Studium Antinoi: The Doctor’s Notes, Volume Two with any luck? Hmm…

  3. Great find! I think I’m more between the earth and deity centered. Not because I find some stigma with the term ‘self centered’, but because my spiritual practice focuses on serving the gods and others through natural works. I actually just wrote an article on Earth-centric Paganism earlier this week!

  4. Hm. I suppose that ancestors count as “deities” in that scheme (or perhaps “earth”? It’s difficult to say). In that case, probably balanced pretty well between the three (or a little more toward “earth” if ancestors fit better there).

    • Ha! And it occurs to me that ancestors can easily fit into the category he terms “Self”, as well!

      • True enough…perhaps there’s a kind of meta-level in the center where they all unite which would be either “floor 2” or the “basement” which has ancestors as its focus…?!?

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