Is Pop Culture Paganism going to become the next big thing because I have no patience for this new breed of crazy white folk. No fucking thank you.
I’d ask that before you make some judgment calls on something you understand it. This is not a joke for us, and we’d appreciate it if you’d have some common courtesy. Here are some resources if you and your followers are actually curious.
PC Paganism 101
- Pop Culture Paganism: An Introduction (Part 1)
- Pop Culture Paganism and God Theory
- Lee’s Explanation
- Types of Gods: Lizzy’s Explanation
- Why Pop Culture Paganism?
Books for PC paganism
- The Pop Culture Grimoire by Taylor Ellwood
- Pop Culture Magick by Taylor Ellwood
You guys sure put a lot of thought into your super special snowflake “religion”, don’t ya? I’m not going to be mean or antagonistic, but this is so foolish and childish, y’all need to grow up.
And how can you be an Abrahamic Pagan? That’s an oxymoron.
"I’m not going to be mean or antagonistic"
"Super special snowflake "religion""
Okay there, guy.
So, you’re telling me it’s not special snowflake to think that worshipping a fictional character as a deity is okay? Or that using the names of video game characters to pray is totally normal? Nah, I’m sorry, but this is the stuff of children playing make-believe.
Your opinion. I’m just trying to help people understand something before they immediately call others children, or stupid, or crazy. If you think it’s cool to just go around and mock people, have my best wishes as you go through life as an asshole.
That last comment by monsieurdangereux this post: http://hyrulian-legends.tumblr.com/post/88488477255/were-going-to-play-a-little-game
About a week ago we struck up an open conversation about Pop-Culture Paganism (or really any believe that utilizes deities) and how Gods are created. While it was posted to the PC Paganism tag, people of other beliefs were welcome to bring their input, so long as the discussion was kept civil. It was kept clear that these were opinions and should not be taken as doctrine or fact.
There are a few reigning theories on how Pop Culture and Modern Culture (and any of the other variations that folks have taken up as their descriptor) belong in the Pagan Community. They vary from simple to incredibly complex. Usernames will be kept anonymous for the sake of avoiding personal attacks, and if I cite someone in this article and they would like to be credited, please send me a message and I will credit you.
There are two main camps, so far that can be seen. One is that we create our own gods and one is that we perceive our own gods. The two are often combined, and the theories within the camps can be combined or be a mixed-bag depending on what your personal beliefs are. The following is an incomplete list.
We Create Our Own Gods
The Power of Thought
In a secular sense, there are the concept of thoughtform and godform, egregore, construct, and many other variations working off of the belief that enough energy put into a thing will cause that thing to act of its own accord, whether with restrictions or without. So if a person creates a character, and enough effort is put into making that character, zhe will develop zher own consciousness.
This can go in different ways. Writers and artists of all stripes will talk of their creations as living entities in one way or another: ‘the painting wanted to look a way I didn’t intend it to,’ ‘the character didn’t want to follow the plan I had for zhim.’ Whether intentional or accidental, life has been created.
But it is also thought that where perhaps a character created by another person is not considered ‘alive’ by zher creator, it is the job of someone else to give them a consciousness. This is much like fanfiction: where a person who shares a connection with a character wants more of them, wants them developed more, theorizes, and speculates with other fans on a character’s backstory. So, not to demean this method, the creation is second-hand. In this sense, a person can connect themselves with a pantheon of a television show or a book series that they had no hand in the original creation of.
Tumblr User Quotes:
- "However, witches have always known that thoughts are very powerful; they can and often do manifest. In talking about this, I’m reminded of the Tulpa from Season 1 of Supernatural. Tulpas were, in the show, Tibetan spirits that only existed if people believed they did. Furthermore, they became whatever people thought they were. The Tulpa kept changing throughout the episode because thousands of people kept rapidly changing their idea of what the Tulpa was."
- "I think it’s entirely possible to have gods created by humans, but I think it a) would have to be from something with a HUGE following (I’m thinking Star Wars/Trek, LOtR type thing, where thousands of people have, are, and will be thinking of them at any given time) and b) would take a pretty long time for them to be formed. So, for example, The Hunger Games characters couldn’t be gods, since THG hasn’t been around long enough for the gods to have actually formed. But something like LOtR or Star Wars/Trek has more potential, since it’s had such a large following for decades."
The Power of Need
Gods develop because we’ve needed them. In the past, we needed them to explain phenomena such as the change of seasons, so Persephone became the Queen of the Underworld. When that was explained with axial tilt, Her story didn’t die: it became something else. It became something that someone needed. For every devotee, there are different UPG, but She has become a symbol of strength, of overcoming mental illness, of taking charge of your life.
If a deity’s natural explanatory purpose can form a deeper, more personal meaning from someone who needs it, then it should stand to reason that a person who needs a God would be able to fill that need.
This coincides with UPG (Unverified Personal Gnosis) for historical deities: if a person’s perception of a deity is not exactly like they are portrayed in text, that does not make it wrong. As such, just because a god does not exist historically does not make them any less valid.
Tumblr user quotes:
(Drawing upon a series: The Green Series by Jay Lake, which comes with many trigger warnings for those interested on the extended theory)
- "So for me, cultural icons are something of a further step along that path. Urges are relevant to everything, Titanics are relevant to the universal human experience, Individuals are relevant to a culture, and therefore PC/MC figures are relevant to the individual. Someone who revers Fluttershy from MLP has, to a certain degree, brought their own god into the world (because their Fluttershy will likely have some qualities that are their because they serve a purpose for the individual reverent), but Fluttershy’s nature could also link her back to Persephone as The Maiden, which could link back to the Titanic who represents Kindness, and so on."
If you believe in the Astral, you may have come across the theory that the world we live in now is just another plane. In that sense: if you can think it, it exists. Perhaps not here, but on another plane. This ties in closely with Multiverse Theory and the Law of Finite Senses. A Multiverse opens the possibilities for absolutely everything. Related, is the Law of Personal Universes: that every person’s perception is its own reality.
Now, to consider that your senses are finite means to be unable to prove something with evidence. Again, similar to controversies of UPG: just because you cannot see it, touch it, hear it, does not mean that it is not real. So to prove to someone that your pantheon exists is going to be difficult since they are not experiencing the instance in the same manner that you are (and again with the personal universes.)
Tumblr User Quotes:
- "My personal opinion is that none of the Gods and Goddesses were actual physical forms. A lot of people will interpret this to mean that I think they weren’t real, which is far from the truth. The best thing I can do is quote Dumbledore when he says “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean it is not real?"
- "If someone believes something is a deity then it is. It may not be a deity for everyone else, but for that one person it is. In most cases, what goes on inside our heads is more real to most of us than what’s happening outside. Or maybe I just see things that way because I’m a writer and I’m used to creating universes and characters that are very real to me."
- "What I tend to think is that they exist as beings, somewhere and outside of us, and as they gain a devotee or worshiper they “evolve". The energies that are given to them through offerings and other things go to them and make them more powerful, kind of. I’m really bad at explaining this but it’s sort of like a ladder, the more energy a being gets, the higher they are on the ladder and the higher they are the more power and influence they have."
We Perceive Our Own Gods
Gods Wear A Mask
One school of belief is that the gods that we recognize as pop culture icons are really ancient deities using the guise of a more modern icon to reach out to a generation very different from followers in the past. This ties to the belief that deities, while ancient of themselves, are not fixed beings but change with the social climate.
Tumblr User Quotes
- "I believe that there are entities that exist as sentient, self aware, beings because we/someone believes in them. I also believe that there are entities that exist as sentient, self aware, beings but aren’t gods, and they only become gods when worshiped by humans. Being worshiped by humans can shape how the entity presents themselves, either they shift their presentation intentionally to match what their followers see them as, or they are changed by the force of worship and belief.
This is something that has been said about the Christian Bible: that though it was written by man, it was inspired by God. Being that an author or a writer channels gods (or spirits or whatever entity) and writes them as characters. Whether the author is aware of it or not, they are writing a holy book of sorts.
A wonderful example would be The Prophet Chuck from Supernatural. For those unfamiliar, there is an episode where the Winchesters encounter a man who can see their future and writes them down as fiction novels… which don’t sell particularly well. Similar concept, though more channeling divine or otherbeings.
Tumblr User Quotes:
- "Because if enough people start to see that fictional character as a deity then thousands of years from now people in the future will think that they had always been Pagan Gods or Goddesses, and that there were shows and movies and books written about them, not the other way around.
- At the end of the day, how much do we really know about the very start of the lives of these deities? For all we know, ancient Gods and Goddesses started the same way PC deities are starting right now. We could very well be creating the future of polytheism.”
Each method of thought has its pros and cons, and more beliefs are still open for civil debate. If you would like to see more of the discussion, follow this link: http://cannibalcoalition.tumblr.com/post/55634505185/how-are-gods-created
There is some confusion going around in regards to whether or not PC-Pagans believe in gods, so I think that it is time to bring this post around again. A few months ago, I opened the floor to any theories on how Deity is perceived by Pop Culture Pagans and accumulated a list of theories regarding it.
The short answer on whether or not we believe in deity lies in the individual.