For a while now there has been a growing movement to declare me the Pagan Pope. I have remained steadfast in my refusal to accept such honors because 1) wearing a tiara and womanly gown – as the heads of other religions seem to favor – is not flattering with my figure and 2) I feel a white-hot hatred for humanity and therefore prefer to limit my interactions with others as much as possible. It has become apparent over the last couple days, however, that there is great divisiveness and confusion within the Pagan community and it is times such as these which excellent men were created for. It is universally acknowledged that there are none who surpass me in wisdom, piety, eloquence, virility or humility – therefore I accept the office of authoritative head of all Pagandom so that I may once and for all settle such disputes. Henceforth it is permissible – nay, obligatory! – to refer to me as His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I, though those whom I permit a measure of familiarity may address me as Big Poppa. Further, let all acknowledge that the Pagan Holy Land is the eminent city of Eugene, Oregon – or at least for as long as I continue to reside here – and that it is incumbent upon all Pagans, regardless of their station or personal finances, to make a pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime to offer sacrifices upon Skinner’s Butte and at the shores of the sixteen-times sacred Willamette.
On the evening of May 28th, 2011 by the common reckoning, His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I convened a council in the eminent city of Eugene, Oregon to definitively decide matters pertaining to the religion of Paganism. His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I was the only one in attendance, but since he is the final arbiter of all that pertains to Paganism his sole presence is all that was deemed necessary for the council to be authoritative and binding. What follows are the Canons of the Council of Eugene which all Pagans everywhere are obliged to adhere to.
Paganism shall be understood as the natural and proper religion of humanity, excluding those people who have fallen into the ignorant and pernicious error of the accursed sons of Abraham. Paganism is the worship of a multitude of divine beings – including gods, spirits, heroes, divinized mortals, abstract personifications and all such related entities – who are universally acknowledged as the source of all blessings and good things in life. Each nation has devised its own methods of proper worship for these divine beings over the span of countless centuries; furthermore the divine beings have communicated to men their own preferences with regard to the worship that they ought to receive. Pagans, therefore, should not concern themselves with idle speculation and unnecessary controversy when it comes to religion. It is not necessary to know more than what is pleasing to the divine beings, nor should anyone meddle in the affairs of others or attempt to coerce, convert or compel another to believe or worship as they do. If a divine being is not pleased with the worship that they receive at the hands of an individual that divine being is more than capable of making their displeasure known to them. It is not the responsibility of a Pagan to correct or chastise his fellows, nor should any Pagan become involved in disputes over who is or is not entitled to call themselves a Pagan. Only His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I has the authority to make such a decision and the only persons he deems unworthy of being considered a Pagan are those who deny the existence of the divine beings or refuse to grant them the worship that they so richly deserve.
Anathema shall be all those who seek to bring electronic devices into the worship of the divine beings, especially those who would attempt to text or speak on their cell phones while the ritual is underway. There is a time and a place for all things, and during ritual our minds should be entirely focused on the divine beings and the worship that we are conducting in their honor. It is permissible to use musical devices to amplify worship, though it is vastly preferable for Pagans to make their own music, even if it is of an inferior quality. Likewise one may record the ritual for educational purposes, to preserve the event for posterity, or to enable others to participate from a distance provided permission has been granted by all parties beforehand and it is not intrusive. However it is best not to do this as all participants should be fully engaged in the worship and it precludes deep and powerful encounters with the divine beings. It is best to record only the beginning and aftermath of a ceremony, letting the mystery remain inviolate. All other uses of technology are forbidden without the prior consent of His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I.
Pagan worship is best conducted out doors in the wild places of nature unless the participants have access to a properly functioning and dedicated temple or the divine beings have communicated that they prefer to be worshiped inside. These natural places – forests and mountains, rivers and lakes, deserts and city parks, etc. – are inherently sacred places and the abodes of the divine beings, therefore Pagans should especially seek them out in a desire to be closer to the divine beings and know them better. Pagans should spend as much time as possible in these places, including non-festive occasions.
Pagan worship should, of course, be tailored to the specific needs and desires of the divine beings, with nothing done that would be contrary to their preferences. But as a general guide Pagan worship should include: processions, offerings, libations, dancing, music, feasts and sport. Pagan worship should be exceptional, beautiful, memorable and above all engaging. It should intoxicate and involve all of the senses. It should be entertaining not only for the participants but especially for the divine beings in whose honor such worship is conducted. Pagan worship is best when it involves masks and dances and alcohol and anything else that contributes to ecstatic celebration. It is not enough to merely give a speech or recite poetry from a book. Let the impious Christians bore their god with such things – ours require more of us. It is permissible to use strange drugs in your rites, provided that you first share some with His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I.
Anathema are all those who would drag their politics or hobbies or non-religious interests into Paganism; likewise those who would use our worship as an opportunity to find a mate. Paganism is about honoring the divine beings and that is all. There are plenty of other opportunities to share the banality of your existence with people who may even find it of moderate interest, but we Pagans are not those people. We do not care about the television shows you watch, what bizarre conspiracy theories you hold to, how you stay up at night weeping over this or that injustice in the world, what excites you sexually or who you were in a past life. Be sparing when you speak of your encounters with the divine beings or the other extraordinary experiences you have had. This is especially important when you are meeting strangers for the first time. If someone does not know you well they will not be able to judge whether there is any merit to your words or if you’re just completely insane and this oversharing puts them in an uncomfortable position. Just because Pagans happen to believe in certain things which are considered unconventional by the standards of our broader society that does not mean that we believe everything indiscriminately or that we have any desire to hear all of your absurd and outlandish notions.
Anathema are those who wear tie-dye, Renfaire or Steampunk clothing, excessive jewelry, makeup or perfume, and t-shirts with slogans on them. (Unless those slogans extol the virtues of His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I, of course.) It is also not permissible for a Pagan to have more than three bumper-stickers on their vehicle or anything, anywhere, representing dragons, unicorns, or rainbows.
No Pagan shall claim for themselves a title which they have not properly earned – especially if it is liable to elicit derision in all who hear it. One should also put much thought into the choice of a religious name, shunning anything from popular entertainment or which sounds even vaguely Native American. If you want people to respect you, then pick something sensible, humble and pious like His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I.
Pagans should not take advantage of other Pagans – it is permissible to mistreat those who do not honor the divine beings, however – nor should they ever feel a sense of entitlement. Nothing in the world happens without effort: someone had to work hard to make that ritual, gathering or piece of art you enjoyed possible. Do your part, particularly when it comes to cleaning up after yourself and compensating organizers for the expense of putting on an event. You should go to extravagant lengths in demonstrating your appreciation, especially when His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I has done something for you.
Although all creatures are to be treated with pious respect, Pagans are to revere spiders above all others for spiders are weavers of great magic, bringers of good luck, infinitely wise and beautiful and in close communication with the divine beings. Under no circumstances is a Pagan to ever harm a spider, destroy its web or impede it from traveling wherever it wishes to – even if that means permitting it to crawl on one’s person or enduring its bite. If the bite should prove lethal the Pagan is to consider themselves singularly blessed in having been chosen to die in this manner. And all other Pagans should henceforth consider the deceased divine through association with the spider.
After the spider the raccoon and goat are the most holy creatures – though it is not necessary to endure their bite without defending one’s self.
All Pagans must show the highest reverence for the phallos.
Thus ends the Canons of the Council of Eugene, convened by His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I on the evening of May 28th, 2011 by the common reckoning. His Phallic Awesomeness Pope Sannion I reserves the right to call as many additional councils as he deems necessary to address issues which may arise within the community of Pagans, over which he is the absolute and undisputed authority.