This is another entry in my series titled The Postmodern Druid, in which I work to contextualize this crazy religion we’re so fond of within postmodernity — something its practitioners often resist. Today I want to talk about postmodernity itself, the condition of the world we live in. Druids and other neo-pagans often sneer at postmodernity, claiming they’re trying to get to a world, or at least a wordview, preceding it. But the thing is, without postmodernity our alternative religions wouldn’t exist!
If you take a look at my About page, you can see that I’m an academic as well as a magician and all around weirdo. I also recently declared myself a druid I’m trying it on and seeing how it fits. So far it works for me better than Wicca did. However, even in such a great overall community there’s still some anti-academic bias. And that, for obvious reasons, makes me feel a bit odd. So I thought I’d address that here, in a semi-regular series I’ve been considering for a while. So here’s the first entry in The Postmodern Druid.
I assume you’re as hyped up about the new Gorillaz album as I am, right? It’s coming out pretty soon, and it’s titled The Now Now. And while several songs have already been released, I’m just over here still listening to Humanz from a few years ago. So, naturally, I thought I’d do a tarot reading for it.
I was driving recently and listening to a podcast that features “Pagan music.” That’s both music by Pagans and music with Pagan themes or interest. One thing that struck me is that a lot of overtly Pagan music is very literal. It’s basically like Christian rock: they’re both just talking literally about these symbol-systems and experiences that you have to undergo to understand. That doesn’t mean the songs are obscure, just that sometimes they’re a little too on-the-nose. If we’re literally out here on the full moon (just passed) doing magic, it’s not weird to want some music that instills a sense of mystical wonder. So here are a few songs that I feel create that kind of mood. They’re all magical in one way or another, but they don’t just say “we’re doing magic on the Sabbath” (I have literally heard songs that do that).
Here’s a tarot spread you may find helpful. It’s for those times when you feel something that just seems a little weird and you don’t know where it’s coming from or why.
So did you see A Wrinkle in Time? You should do that, if you haven’t. I’m not going to tell the joke about you going and doing that, because it would take a while, but if you haven’t, consider it something to do. I wanted to write something about the film and the book, since I basically grew up on the latter. In a couple of odd ways, the film is actually better.
This may come as no surprise, but one of my favorite bands is The Decemberists. I first learned about them in grad school. I was introduced to them, I shit you not, from this Questionable Content strip. The title says the joke at the end is like one of their songs. So I immediately looked them up. I remember, too, that Amazon was giving away an mp3 of a song, maybe “The Engine Driver.” So I grabbed that, and proceeded to get as much as I could. I even found a used CD of The Tain when I went back to school, in the local music/book store (that is, naturally, out of business now). This is a long, personal introduction just to say this: their new album is out!