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Author Topic: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?  (Read 20918 times)

Maps

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2012, 09:05:25 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?

 
Sooooorta not really?

The initial whys and wherefores of my interest in Latin and Pre-Columbian America is a story for another day, but the drive mostly came from my desire to connect more with my Mexican (and thus, Mestizo) roots on my mother's side. On my father's side, I'm an amalgamation of different European heritages, mostly German and English, with a dash of Irish.

Despite being white-skinned, I've always felt much more at home in the culture of my mom's side (I was raised almost entirely by that side of the family, so that's probably why), and I'm always looking for ways to reaffirm that heritage. That said, my ancestors on that side were probably Aztec, not Maya (probably too far south). While many of the cultural cornerstones are similar, the old mythology of the Mayas, as fragmentary as most of it is, really just captured my heart.

I've thought about looking into Celtic and Germanic religions, but idea never sticks. (The idea never stuck 10 years ago back when I was a practicing Wiccan as well!) I just get a feeling of oversaturation and even fatigue whenever I try doing serious research on those cultures, and it just doesn't jive with me.

As for the idea in general? Do whatever works, but just be careful if it's coming from a place of colorblindness or "we are all one culture" sort of stuff. Especially if the religion is still alive and being practiced today.

Castus

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2012, 09:20:49 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?

My family's racial and cultural heritage is, I think, Anglo-Saxon and Germanic. As such, no I do not. However, since all of Western Civilization is based off Roman influence, perhaps.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2012, 09:23:08 pm by Castus »
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Annie Roonie

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2012, 10:29:07 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324


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


I started being interested more deeply in witchcraft due to my maternal grandmother's influence regarding what I now know is folk magic. And those habits stick around as I look more deeply into other things. It is a tricky matter to find out what the heritage is on her side of the family.

My father's side is German and an aunt has done the family tree back to the mid 1700s, so I may look in to those roots. Although, I suspect they were all Catholic even then. I certainly use some of the Catholic trappings in ritual.

My path is still unclear to me, and while there is a draw to find out about my ancestors, I don't feel bound to them. Perhaps I would if I had more information.

Nyktelios

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2012, 11:17:55 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?

 

No, I don't. I have English, Welsh, Scottish, Irish, and German ancestry, but I'm not interested in the religious traditions of any of those cultures. As far as I know, I don't have any Greek or Egyptian heritage, but those are the cultures whose traditions I follow.

Micheál

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2012, 04:33:56 am »
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?

Yes, my personal practice and religious world-view comes from the culture of (most at least) of my ancestors. My craft however doesn't, although it's incorporated in some areas.

I don't think these factors are important, or make any difference, but just for the poll it just kind of happened that way for me as an old-fashioned traditionalist that likes to acknowledge heritage.

Kylara

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2012, 09:10:49 am »
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 wouldn't say I based my path on my ancestral culture(s), but I do feel I am coming back around to some of them.  My path roots are very firmly in mainstream published (non-traditional) witchcraft and Wicca.  When I first started, I read pretty much anything I could get my hands on, which was a lot of Llewellyn and websites of very questionable origin.  I found pretty quickly that I resonated with some things and not with others.  As I have progressed, I have been branching out and ended up in a very eclectic place with Norse leanings.

Culturally, I was raised mostly in America.  My father is white with European roots (mainly Irish, some Saxon and wandering back at one point into Egypt), and my mother is Chinese.  We did at one point live in Hong Kong, so I have a bit of personal experience outside of America.  I didn't have much interaction with Chinese culture (besides very small things like red envelopes for Chinese New Year) until I was in high school and we move to Hawaii (where most of my mother's family lives, outside of her parents).  There I got a small taste more with Ancestor day, where we would go with family to light incense at the temple and offer food and burnt paper offerings at the grave site.  

I think that my Pagan interests have lead me more to investigate my cultural heritage and not the other way around.  Lately I have found myself much more drawn into exploring Chinese spirituality and finding more about that part of myself, which I feel I don't know that much about.
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Mandi

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2012, 09:26:11 am »
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'm German and French. My patrons are Demeter and Poseidon. So no.
But you've inspired me to research more into my roots and their spiritual side. Thanks :)

Holdasown

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2012, 09:37:53 am »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324
Did you base your pagan path off of the cultures in your family tree or not?


Yes both sides of my mother and father's families are either English or German. I stay with the Norse/ Anglo pantheon.

dionysiandame

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2012, 10:45:19 am »
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?


As a child of the Western World, with no other connections besides this one; I consider becoming a Hellenic Polytheist part of my cultural narrative.

I've been asked this question before, especially since I'm black American and it is assumed I would want to worship an African pantheon or study some form of an Afro-Caribbean; but I've been raised, educated, and indoctrinated into the values of the Demos and the Republic; that represents "my culture" more than attempting to shoehorn myself into a world I am not familiar with and have no connection save by skin color.
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Lorraine

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2012, 12:37:38 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;46324

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


The ancestors I know of via genealogy are a mix of English, Scottish, Romany and Anglo-Norman with a smattering of Welsh and Irish.  My patron is a Greek god and I also feel a connection with some others of that pantheon, as well as some Celtic gods and a couple of unnamed ones that feel British.    

I've wondered whether the Hellenic connection comes from the fact that that pantheon and myths were the first I remember learning of as a child, so there's a cultural connection in that sense.  But I don't know for sure.

ZombyFrogg

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2012, 03:08:17 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 have more interest/calling to the Greek pantheon than anything else. Although there is a slight interest in Celtic area.
I am Irish - paternal grandfather immigrated from Ireland in early 1900's -  Blackfoot and Cherokee on that same side and maternal side from what we know (mom was adopted) I am Cherokee and European. I not sure what pantheons would fall under European....

Altair

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2012, 03:10:08 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?


No.

That's a tough one for us African Americans, since we typically don't know our ancestral roots with any certainty; the closest we can usually come is to assume some West African link and go for the Yoruba ways. But since cultural links to that heritage were long ago destroyed by slavery (vs., say, Irish immigrants, most of whom maintained varying degrees of cultural connection to Ireland, its history, and its culture), it's apt to seem as alien culturally to an African American as deciding to go Shinto.
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Altair

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2012, 03:11:34 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;46421
As a child of the Western World, with no other connections besides this one; I consider becoming a Hellenic Polytheist part of my cultural narrative.

I've been asked this question before, especially since I'm black American and it is assumed I would want to worship an African pantheon or study some form of an Afro-Caribbean; but I've been raised, educated, and indoctrinated into the values of the Demos and the Republic; that represents "my culture" more than attempting to shoehorn myself into a world I am not familiar with and have no connection save by skin color.

 
This.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Nyktelios

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2012, 03:41:03 pm »
Quote from: dionysiandame;46421
As a child of the Western World, with no other connections besides this one; I consider becoming a Hellenic Polytheist part of my cultural narrative.

I've been asked this question before, especially since I'm black American and it is assumed I would want to worship an African pantheon or study some form of an Afro-Caribbean; but I've been raised, educated, and indoctrinated into the values of the Demos and the Republic; that represents "my culture" more than attempting to shoehorn myself into a world I am not familiar with and have no connection save by skin color.


Yeah, I think that's an important point that religion is a matter of culture more than it is about ethnicity.

Altair

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Re: Cultural Heritage: Yay or Nay?
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2012, 04:29:05 pm »
Quote from: LiminalAuggie;46330
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?"


Yup. I totally hear you.

Quote
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.


Just curious: Have you settled on any specific path, even provisionally? If so, which, and why/how did you arrive at that one?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

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