Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I Am Not A Heretic…In My Heart

One of my very favorite Neo-Pagan anthems is Heretic Heart, lyrics by Catherine Madsen set to a traditional tune. The refrain--My skin, my bones, my Heretic heart
Are my authority
—resoundingly declares the stance  of a Neo-Pagan in the postmodern world. Magic and the ability to do it arise from inner sources that touch extraordinary resources beyond the empowered individual.

But the song speaks of somebody who was reared or instructed by Christians before they departed for the Neo-Pagan wooded dell and flowered meadow. This makes the Pagan hearted speaker technically a heretic, since (so far as I, non-Christian for good and all, can tell)  is one who was Christian at one time but later separated from Christianity.

Apologetics Index says about Christian heresy:

A person who teaches heresy is called a heretic. A church, movement or organization that claims to be Christian, but which nevertheless teaches heresy, is a cult of Christianity. Christians who have not learned discernment easily fall prey to such groups.

That sort of Neo-Pagan would have a heretic heart.

But I am not that sort of Neo-Pagan.

I am not any sort of Christian, and I never was. Much as I love this song and sense a Neo-Pagan energy through it--I am no Heretic in my Earth loving, God and Goddess loving, magic loving heart!

Side note: At some point after writing the song, Madsen departed Neo-Paganism and entered Judaism. Madsen is now a successful editor, scholar, and liturgist. Several others have departed Neo-Paganism for other major religions. Makes me wonder how much things like a gift for liturgy leads a seeker towards religions that offer a more extensive body of liturgy and, perhaps, greater recognition for creators of liturgy.

Heretic Heart Lyrics:

Christian heresy:

1 comment:

Yewtree said...

In the ancient pagan world, a heresy simply meant a school of thought. All schools of thought were equal.

It was only when the might of the established church arose that it came to mean a school of thought considered wrong by the orthodox.

So in the ancient pagan sense, you are a heretic because you belong to a school of thought (presumably).

We need to start reclaiming our words....