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    Help choosing which polytheism to pursue

    Hi Everyone, this is my first post on here and I was wondering if you could help me.

    I have recently become interested in European Polytheism. My ancestry is Germanic and Celtic.

    The problem is, I am finding it really hard to choose what to do. I feel a very strong connection with the God Thor, yet at the same time i feel a stronger connection with the celtic gods overall.

    All of this is making me feel really confused and I'm scared to do anything wrong incase I offend some gods that I have no intended to.

    I'd look forward to hearing from you all.

    minus

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    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by minus View Post
    Hi Everyone, this is my first post on here and I was wondering if you could help me.

    I have recently become interested in European Polytheism. My ancestry is Germanic and Celtic.

    The problem is, I am finding it really hard to choose what to do. I feel a very strong connection with the God Thor, yet at the same time i feel a stronger connection with the celtic gods overall.

    All of this is making me feel really confused and I'm scared to do anything wrong incase I offend some gods that I have no intended to.

    I'd look forward to hearing from you all.

    minus
    Step one: breathe.

    My experience--granted it's with Greek Gods, not Germanic or Celtic, but I am reasonably certain this is reasonably universally true--is that when you're just getting started in polytheism, the Gods are very forgiving. Because you don't know any better.

    I know a bunch of people who do work in multiple polytheistic traditions, and what I hear from them is that the Gods are not typically jealous, either. So if you want to work with Brigid or whoever in the Celtic way and also Thor in the Germanic way, that should not pose any problems for you.

    I suggest you start researching both traditions. I have no particular recommendations for books or essays or anything, for which I apologize. Hopefully someone else around here does!

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    Re: Help

    Thanks for your reply, so does this mean I'm practicing eclectic polytheism (never really liked the term pagan) or something else?

    also how do i get started in celtic polytheism exactly because theres hardly any "bible" or edda equivalent that I know of.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alexeigynaix View Post
    Step one: breathe.

    My experience--granted it's with Greek Gods, not Germanic or Celtic, but I am reasonably certain this is reasonably universally true--is that when you're just getting started in polytheism, the Gods are very forgiving. Because you don't know any better.

    I know a bunch of people who do work in multiple polytheistic traditions, and what I hear from them is that the Gods are not typically jealous, either. So if you want to work with Brigid or whoever in the Celtic way and also Thor in the Germanic way, that should not pose any problems for you.

    I suggest you start researching both traditions. I have no particular recommendations for books or essays or anything, for which I apologize. Hopefully someone else around here does!

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    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by minus View Post
    Thanks for your reply, so does this mean I'm practicing eclectic polytheism (never really liked the term pagan) or something else?

    also how do i get started in celtic polytheism exactly because theres hardly any "bible" or edda equivalent that I know of.
    "Eclectic polytheism" is probably a good term.

    There isn't that I know of, either. Read the myths, is usually a good starting point. Cu Chulainn? Mabinog--wait that's Welsh, never mind.

    Also, maybe The Well of Five Streams, by Erynn Rowan Laurie? I'm pretty sure Laurie is a well-known name in Celtic paganism, whose essays might therefore be helpful to you. (I apparently own this in ebook but I'm pretty sure I haven't actually read it yet. So I can't speak to the contents.)

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    Re: Help

    thanks, i'll be sure to check that stuff out. On a different note, I've asked this elsewhere, but could anyone else help me with the question?

    Recently my wife bought we a valknut without knowing the meaning behind it, it tried it on. I've read some places that once it has been worn you have made a commitment to odin.

    I was not aware of this at the time I tried it on, and I'm certainly not ready to make such a commitment.

    IS there any truth to this and if so how do I fix this? I'm no where near the point of making commitments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexeigynaix View Post
    "Eclectic polytheism" is probably a good term.

    There isn't that I know of, either. Read the myths, is usually a good starting point. Cu Chulainn? Mabinog--wait that's Welsh, never mind.

    Also, maybe The Well of Five Streams, by Erynn Rowan Laurie? I'm pretty sure Laurie is a well-known name in Celtic paganism, whose essays might therefore be helpful to you. (I apparently own this in ebook but I'm pretty sure I haven't actually read it yet. So I can't speak to the contents.)

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    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by minus View Post
    Recently my wife bought we a valknut without knowing the meaning behind it, it tried it on. I've read some places that once it has been worn you have made a commitment to odin.

    I was not aware of this at the time I tried it on, and I'm certainly not ready to make such a commitment.

    IS there any truth to this and if so how do I fix this? I'm no where near the point of making commitments.
    It might get Odin's attention, but, no, just putting it on does not constitute a commitment. Even wearing it regularly does not; what constitutes a commitment is making a commitment - the notion that one can do so accidentally/inadvertently is, IMO, as ludicrous as the notion that one could make a binding marital commitment 'by accident', or, say, by simply putting on a ring of typical 'wedding ring' design.

    The Wikipedia article on the Valknut is actually really good for clarifying this - it makes it clear that the valknut isn't established as definitely being a symbol of Odin, notes modern usages that demonstrate the unlikelihood of the 'instant commitment' notion, and even quotes the passage from Davidson (a very highly-regarded academic antiquarian specializing in northern Europe) from which the 'instant commitment' notion is likely derived, and if so, is clearly a misinterpretation of.

    So, you probably don't even need to 'apologize and move on'; you can wear the valknut or not, as you prefer and with no guilt or anxieties either way (many Asatruar use it simply as a symbol of their heathenry, not as a symbol of devotion to Odin specifically), no apologies needed.

    With regard to your initial question, Darkhawk's essay On Eclecticism will probably be of interest and use to you.

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    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by minus View Post
    Recently my wife bought we a valknut without knowing the meaning behind it, it tried it on. I've read some places that once it has been worn you have made a commitment to odin.
    Thank your wife for her intuition, because that valknut is an apt start for your Pagan path, if you choose to make it such.

    A) It's interwoven, interconnected, much like the pentacle Pagans also wear -- much like the Gods Themselves, Who seem willing to morph into whatever names and forms mortals require while always retaining Their integrity as Beings. The challenge of following an eclectic path is to avoid getting confused and lost in the anarchic crowd of authors, mythologies, traditions, interpretations, etc. (which leads a lot of people to ricochet to the opposite extreme of fundamentalism). Follow instead the common threads: Why does that symbol signify Three times Three? When you trace Triplicity through Celtic and Norse and other pantheons, what do you discover? Why would this number be so commonly associated with Spirit, vs. Four with Matter ... and so on. Don't be satisfied with anyone's answer to such questions but your own.

    B) From metaphysical theory to magical practice: This symbol is a knot. Knots bind, and magical knots bind spiritual energy -- hence, I'd bet, the superstition that putting the Valknut on binds you to the God Who hung thrice-three nights on the World Tree to discover the runes. If it has the innate power such a legend implies, what else might you use this symbol to bind? You can choose to run off and experiment with its potential powers at your own risk (and maybe others'!), or to obtain magical training first to learn how to use such spells well -- either way, you'd be taking an active, real-life step (rather than just a book-bound theoretical one) to pursue your Pagan path.
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    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by minus View Post
    Recently my wife bought we a valknut without knowing the meaning behind it, it tried it on. I've read some places that once it has been worn you have made a commitment to odin.
    Just putting it on is not a commitment.

    That being said, I honestly wouldn't wear it without a commitment. It's a symbol of sacrifice and binding, you see. While others may disagree with me, I don't think it is meant to be worn casually as a symbol of Asatru.

    A Mjollnir is a lot better as a casual symbol.

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    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Alexeigynaix View Post
    "Eclectic polytheism" is probably a good term.

    There isn't that I know of, either. Read the myths, is usually a good starting point. Cu Chulainn? Mabinog--wait that's Welsh, never mind.
    Just wanted to point out, Welsh *is* Celtic - I don't think OP had specified, say, Irish? So, yes, the Mabinogion (I'd go with Sioned Davies' translation) is definitely worth checking out (possibly worth a look even if you're more interested in Irish stuff, as there's at least one story which features some, er, interactions with an Irish king and his men, if memory serves - could be interesting to see how other Celts portrayed the Irish, though (IIRC) as with the Táin and indeed the Norse Eddas, the Mabinogion was written down by Christians, as the pre-Christian Celts didn't really hold with writing.)

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    Re: Help

    Quote Originally Posted by minus View Post
    All of this is making me feel really confused and I'm scared to do anything wrong incase I offend some gods that I have no intended to.
    Hi there!

    One thing to keep in mind is that it's always possible to apologise, even if you do offend a god, and most of them aren't easily offended.

    We've had a lot of threads here on how to combine different pantheons or traditions; if you do a search for "eclectic" or "eclectic paganism" you'll turn up several.

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