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Eschatology

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago

Eschatology is a word usually found in Christian theology - so why include it in a Pagan theological setting?

 

It means "end things" - how the present order of things will come to an end.  This doesn't necessarily mean the end of everything - it may mean simply the beginning of a new cycle.

 

In fact, there is much eschatology in Pagan mythology.

 

In Heathenry, there is the legend of Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods - but there is little or no agreement as to whether it has yet to happen, or has already happened.  If it has already happened, then Heathens ought to be honouring the post-Ragnarok deities (Vidar, son of Odin, etc.)

 

In Hinduism, there are long ages associated with different deities - at present, we are in the Kali-Yuga, the most materialist and depraved age.

 

In ancient Greek thought, there were ages of successive decline: the Golden Age, the Silver Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.  (Two of these gave their name to archaeological eras.)

 

In feminism, there is the myth of the matriarchal golden age which preceded patriarchy.

 

In Mayan chronology, there are many complex interlocking cycles.

 

In New Age thought, we are entering the Age of Aquarius, which is qualitatively different in spiritual terms from the Age of Pisces (often associated with Christianity, since the fish is a symbol of Christ).

 

So we can see that mythologies and cosmologies broadly identified as pagan have all had an idea of successive ages or cycles.

 

Clearly things as they are currently are out of balance.  We are damaging the environment, embroiled in wars, and obsessed with consumerism.  To be sure, people are waking up to this.  But what will it take to wake everyone up?  A massive shift in consciousness on a global scale, surely?  An awareness that the Divine really is immanent in Nature, that we are all connected, not just with other human beings, but with all the beings with whom we share this planet: animals, birds, trees, rocks, plants, wights, genii loci....

 

A Pagan eschatology would have to explain how the current downward spiral of destruction and alienation will be brought to an end.  I would suggest that it will be brough to an end by the restoration of our total awareness of the Divine - a restoration which can only be brought about by mutual yearning.  Given the current spiritual awakening, perhaps the time of restoration is at hand: a time when we will, in the words of a Pagan prayer from BeliefNet, come to believe that we are one:

I pray we, all children of the earth, no matter our path to enlightenment, come to realize that we are one. We may walk our own paths, but we are not alone, for we walk at the same time, toward the same end/beginning. From our individual perspectives, be we Pagan, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Taoist, or Hindu, are the same. I pray that we all feel the love of our Creator(s) and by example learn to see each other as brothers and sisters, allowing the boundary lines of religion to fade away. May the Lord and Lady bless your path. May you always have enough, and may you give enough in return. Blessed Be.

 

- Beliefnet member FaeAisling

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