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Author Topic: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?  (Read 18905 times)

SatSekhem

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Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« on: March 18, 2012, 03:41:47 pm »
I'm just, kind of, taking a poll about the pagans on the site who utilized their cultural heritage to find a path versus those who haven't.

So.

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?
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SatSekhem

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2012, 03:43:15 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
I'm just, kind of, taking a poll about the pagans on the site who utilized their cultural heritage to find a path versus those who haven't.

So.

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?

 
Okay, so, yeah. It dawned on me that I should probably answer my own question. Hurr-hurr.

No, I have not based any of my practices off of any of the cultural heritage that is found within my family tree. Kemetism kind of fell into my lap after a life-long obsession with Ancient Egypt and, as far as I know, my family has been all northeastern men and women who have never, ever practiced Voodoo.
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Rhyshadow

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2012, 03:49:09 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
I'm just, kind of, taking a poll about the pagans on the site who utilized their cultural heritage to find a path versus those who haven't.

So.

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?


Depends

By blood - I'm 3/4 Scandinavian and 1/4 German

One of my Patrons IS Thor - so that fits in

However, my other Patron is Brigid - HELLO!!!

Plus I also follow a more Celtic path than a Norse one -

So, I'd have to say pretty much No; I did not base my path on Blood heritage but more on personal choice and what called me - I DID look into Heathenry and Asatru but found them not to be what really interested me

As always YMMV

cigfran

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2012, 04:07:34 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
I'm just, kind of, taking a poll about the pagans on the site who utilized their cultural heritage to find a path versus those who haven't.

So.

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?


I do, yes.

When I decided that I needed to exert some discipline and take a formal direction, I decided that heritage/ancestry was what made sense for an authentic paganism for me. Not that it was much of a stretch as I've always had the cultural interests that I do.

My name is Welsh and I have a broad Germanic background... Austrian, Swedish, Pennsylvania Dutch... so I focus my practice on what's available in those areas, and am a member of both ADF and the Troth.

LiminalAuggie

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2012, 04:20:20 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
I'm just, kind of, taking a poll about the pagans on the site who utilized their cultural heritage to find a path versus those who haven't.

So.

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?


Oh this opens up a whole can of worms for me!
I want to include aspects of my ancestral heritage in my practice because for the longest time in my Pagan wanderings I've been focusing on "generic" spirituality, as it were, and I want to make my path more personally meaningful and get a sense of focus.

However, being biracial I quickly hit this wall of "well I don't know where in Africa my dad's ancestors were from" and "I'm an American, isn't it cultural appropriation to claim X pantheon if I didn't grow up around it?" and "okay I have European heritage but if I limit myself to European cultures is that some form of internal colonial oppression?"

Long story short: I get stuck in really anxious ethical debates with myself when I try to apply cultural heritage to my spiritual path.
I know for sure I've got English and French heritage so that's "safe" for research, but it's slow going at this point.

Juni

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2012, 04:26:17 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?

Yes and no? Helpful, I know.

I did not initially base my path off of my family tree, because growing up, all I knew was I was American. I was drawn to Brighid and Lugh by a combination of my birthday (I'm a Lughnasadh baby) and "ooh, shiny" (I was eight, so.)

Much later, I learned that one branch of my family tree was actually Irish. I tried to force myself into a strictly Celtic path with absolutely no success. I gave in to additional Hellenic and Kemetic influences.

These three cultures all have their own interesting ways of dealing with ancestry, but they're important in all three, which led me to research the Christian practices of the countries my family came from, so I could incorporate Jesus and various saints into my Revered Dead.

These three cultures also have their own ways of interacting with the spirits of place, which led me to research the FN tribes that owned the places in America my family has lived, so I could incorporate some sort of spirit reverence.

In both of these cases, I'm not actually adopting different religions because of my family, where they came from and where they've been. I'm seeking inspiration for my own new practices that honor and respect the old ones.

So... gods: no, but it lined up partially by coincidence. Spirits: Yes. Dead: Yes.

Is that at all coherent/helpful?
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 04:27:21 pm by Juni »
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Vale

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2012, 04:27:15 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
I'm just, kind of, taking a poll about the pagans on the site who utilized their cultural heritage to find a path versus those who haven't.

So.

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?


I don't think I ever made a conscious "choice" as to my "pagan path".  I think it is as it is meant to be and I'm not sure I have that much free will about it.

Having said that - yes my beliefs and practices match my cultural heritage.

I am Welsh, my family is Welsh and I still live very close to my homeland  although temporarily on the wrong side of the river.

Celtag

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2012, 04:30:00 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
I'm just, kind of, taking a poll about the pagans on the site who utilized their cultural heritage to find a path versus those who haven't.

So.

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?
I would say very much so. I founf my path by reasearching my ancestors who are mainly from Scotland and Wales, and parts of Cornwall and England. Blood wise I am about 70% native Britain and about 30% Germanic. So I would say it had a great deal to do with my path as a Celtic Pagan. Brythonic at that.
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Marilyn/Absentminded

Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2012, 04:44:29 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?

I didn't even think of heritage type stuff until I hit university.  What my mother did made more sense than what my father did, I had an invisible friend who never went away, and I was the centre of the universe.  Both my parents' families had sort of turned their back on their families back at the grandmother part, so it seemed like a pretty short lineage.

When I went to school I discovered and was fascinated by the western magical tradition, and by Agrippa and Dee (along with a bunch of other names I can't remember now).  At about the same time there was some rift-healing and I learned a bit about the Scottish and English lines, met some cousins of those lines and of the local res (who I already knew, growing up where I did, but I hadn't known I was related) and got feeling overwhelmed.  

Turning one's back on heritage seems to be the only consistent family tradition and I consciously stopped researching origins and moved instead to researching effectiveness.  I'm a very pragmatic witch and a very reluctant religious.

So, um... yes and no?  I still value effectiveness over everything else and am not very (remotely) spiritual, but I know more than I did during my formative time.  The knowledge is a veneer, though.  I still mostly do what my mom did.

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« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 04:46:25 pm by Marilyn/Absentminded »
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Nachtigall

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2012, 04:56:43 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
I'm just, kind of, taking a poll about the pagans on the site who utilized their cultural heritage to find a path versus those who haven't.

So.

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?

 
Not really.

Slavic Paganism didn't work for me for a variety of reasons, so I chose to follow the Hellenic path instead - for intellectual reasons first, the spiritual part came later - and as far as I know, I've got no Greek blood in me. Although, considering all the interactions between Greeks and Slavs (or pre-Slavic tribes, living on the territories of modern Ukraine) and Hellenic colonies - who knows.

A large part of my practices and worldview though, especially when it comes to honoring the ancestors, is influenced heavily by Slavic traditions - since my cultural heritage is very important to me, I guess it will always influence my spirituality, even if I am not consciously aware of that.

Lokabrenna

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2012, 05:20:41 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?


No, twice over.

My biological family (who I had no contact with until last December) is Romanian. Mom is from Transylvania and dad is from Bukovina (borders the Ukraine and Moldova). I don't really know how far back they go.

My adoptive family is Irish on my mother's side and some combination of English, First Nations, and more Irish on my dad's side. I suppose that would mean my options for pantheons would be mostly limited to Daco-Thracian deities, or Irish ones, and I always found Irish myths to be, well, dull. Now I find that I'm more interested in comparing Celtic and Norse myths, but as far as actually practicing a CR path or any other "Celtic" tradition? I can't see myself doing it.

Tana

Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2012, 05:38:17 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?

 
Mmh, nnnoyes?

But only yes in the sense of 'if it so happens, that my family tree meets with the other stuff'.

'The other stuff' is the heritage of the Land I live on.
And this is very vital and very authentic and vibrant for me.
(Which makes me a something between primal-gaulish-roman hedgewitchy thing.)

I am perfectly happy with it, tho'. ;)
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That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
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RandallS

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2012, 06:37:58 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?

Not really. Most of my family tree comes from (what is today) Germany, Great Britain, and Russia. I'm don't think any were from Greece.
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SatAset

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2012, 08:37:18 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
I'm just, kind of, taking a poll about the pagans on the site who utilized their cultural heritage to find a path versus those who haven't.

So.

Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?

 
I don't have Egyptian heritage, but Aset laid claim to me.  I don't have West African heritage (that I know of) and the Orisha have made themselves known to me.  

I'm half-Scandinavian and English, French, German and First Nations.  The Norse gods have made themselves known to me.  So that matches some of my ancestry.  I honor these gods in part because of my ancestors.  

I also started honoring Brighid since Aset told me to.  "Go learn from Her".  If Brighid and Brigantia are the same goddess, then that might fit for the English ancestry, but I'm not sure.  

I do know of someone who was initiated into Haitian Vodou partly due to the insistence of her French ancestors.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

monsnoleedra

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2012, 09:04:38 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
.. Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?


Well the one facet of my pathway is mostly Shamanic / Hedge & Greenwitchary so yes that is very much based upon my family tree and Family Traditions.  My family is of Scotish / Irish descent for the most part and settled in the mountains of Virigina in the late 1600's.  Legend and Lore say we have Native American blood on both sides of my ancesteral lines along with many influences derived from living on the border regions.

Spiritual wise based upon the gods / goddesses I honor and am sworn to no there is no identifiable heritage I call upon.  Definatley nothing connecting me to the Egyptian pantheon via heritage, nothing I can say is Greek or Anatolian that can be traced and identified.  However, I can't rule it out either given that I can not trace my family line back to the B.C.E. time frame or even the early part of the A.D. time frame.  

Known ancesteral areas are France, Germany, Scotland (Nordic in realility based upon lore and history), Ireland, Britian and Native American though exact nations are in question due to historical time frame and location.

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