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Author Topic: New. Seeking...  (Read 214 times)

kale_crtz_2018

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New. Seeking...
« on: November 06, 2018, 10:02:35 am »
Hi,

I am a new member of the website and I am seeking some explanations regarding paganism and religion in general.

(Introduction to follow. I apologize in advance if people may find it too long).

I identify my religion as Roman Catholic (also African diaspora) on my profile; however, I am at a loss as to what to put there as that is a Faith I do not practice anymore (but still on the parish records). I have also during my life as a Catholic practiced several other paths described commonly as "Occult". I really didn't identify or feel comfortable with them, and I am looking for a different community. I have investigated non-theism for many years, and my mother's family came from a former communist country (many are self-described "militant atheists"/ex-Lutherans/Catholics), but I do not feel completely comfortable with any of those various religions/political systems (some forms of socialism definitely; Marx, etc. some of the others, have always been an influence).

Religion has for me been a big part of ethnic identity.

My father's family is very Southern US, Louisiana and Virginia in particular. We grew up as Creole/Cajun (my ancestry on dad's side is South France, Catalonia, Sardinia, English, German, Welsh, amounts of Filipino and African - often found in New Orleans/Southern Louisiana area people). I have significant Scandinavian and German ancestry on my mother's side (most of my overseas relatives are in Germany, Poland, Czech, Russia, Sweden, Ireland) and a whole lot of Celtic.

I was always drawn to the pre-Christian religions & languages of Europe and India (grew up with many Hindu and Sikh friends).

The biggest interest has always been in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion (broadly), Celtic religion, Germanic, and my greatest interest is in the historical Vedic religion. I feel extremely drawn to the Vedas (and not necessarily Hinduism, except Shaktism) so much so that I learned Sanskrit in addition to my German (and other languages, Louisiana French, etc.) and I am preparing to get a PhD in Indo-European linguistics (among other areas).

Since being more open, my family is so confused by me. Last year I was literally listening to Rigveda before Midnight Mass to calm me, as I felt nervous about going to Mass (sorry to say something more and more common over the years).

The Catholic Faith is very beautiful, as well as the African traditions (I used to keep ancestral altars in my home, which I love to do), but I had a personal bad experience with Roman Catholicism and when my family left the Church it was a bad time, almost like we lost our home but were free of a lot as well. This is difficult subject, I understand that and I do not want to put down the Catholic Faith or any Catholics. Just sharing my own subjective experiences. We have great friends there still and we love all of them. My priest does not seem too happy about any of this, but largely our Catholic friends/family have been understanding.

Because of my multi-racial background I am very nervous to get involved with any modern pagan movements/religions. I am mostly of the European racial category (don't really believe in race however), but I have heard a lot about racist attitudes/actions in neo-paganism, like at Charlottesville. Is this true? I am very open to the life-affirming nature (sexuality as well) of the historical pagan religions and the love of nature and not really using images/idols, identification of the gods as natural/mystical forces rather than people sitting on literal thrones in clouds (for me that is more of a way of visualizing these "forces"). I am not at all interested in Western Occultism, but I really do want to learn about many things. I am still trying to find words to describe everything and some kind of physical and non-abusive (also inclusive) community. I will say that I am very skeptical and science-minded and base most of my beliefs on reason and science.

Right now, I work as a teacher to Adults (ESL and Literacy in the community) and as a Librarian and Independent Researcher. Goes without saying that I love reading and writing. I write many different kinds of fiction, in addition to dry academic papers/articles. It may be important to note I have been influenced by a Semitic pagan (self-identified witch) who was a friend and romantic partner from Israel of the Russian Jewish ethnicity (born in what was then the USSR). I am beginning Russian language studies because of communication issues and as a fun new hobby.

Thanks for reading!

-K.
he/him/his

Jenett

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Re: New. Seeking...
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 10:47:19 am »
(Introduction to follow. I apologize in advance if people may find it too long).

Welcome! Yay more library types!

We don't mind long here! (Especially when it's broken up into paragraphs of 4-6 lines with a blank line between, like you did here, which really helps readability.)

Quote
Because of my multi-racial background I am very nervous to get involved with any modern pagan movements/religions. I am mostly of the European racial category (don't really believe in race however), but I have heard a lot about racist attitudes/actions in neo-paganism, like at Charlottesville. Is this true?

Basically, the range of attitudes in modern Paganism is like the range of attitudes in modern life in general. Pagans are still people. Some people are actively working against racism, some people are actively racist, some people are in the middle with hurtful attitudes that they may change if given the opportunity and reason. Fortunately, the more racist end tend to signal it pretty clearly. (It is particularly an issue in Norse and Northern European focused Paganism, and the anti-racist groups will be very clear about their expectations there, usually, up-front and centre.)

If you're curious about particular groups, or types of practice, those are great questions to ask - someone on the forum may be familiar, or we can help you figure out what to look for (often easier when there's a specific question in play.)

I have a lot of info about evaluating groups (and finding ones near you) on my website (here's the link to the section about that, but other things on the site might also be handy.)

[Fixing broken quote code - SP]
« Last Edit: November 07, 2018, 09:57:37 pm by SunflowerP »
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

Eastling

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Re: New. Seeking...
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 01:52:32 pm »
Hi,

I am a new member of the website and I am seeking some explanations regarding paganism and religion in general.

Welcome to the Cauldron! I hope you find some of the info you're looking for, and maybe some you weren't.

Quote
Religion has for me been a big part of ethnic identity.

I sympathize. I was raised Jewish and it's very important to me even though I've broadened my religious horizons in the past few years. Good luck in finding some way to explore your spirituality in pagandom while maintaining your ethnic religious ties.
Utterly Pure, a virtual shrine in progress to Ariadne; Someday Comes Back, my general mysticism/pop culture blog.
Everything dies, baby: that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.
--Bruce Springsteen
The words of Dionysos and Ariadne from the mouth of their beloved son: Rule with your heart; live with your conscience; love and be free.

Zlote Jablko

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Re: New. Seeking...
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 04:39:43 pm »


The biggest interest has always been in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion (broadly), Celtic religion, Germanic, and my greatest interest is in the historical Vedic religion. I feel extremely drawn to the Vedas (and not necessarily Hinduism, except Shaktism) so much so that I learned Sanskrit in addition to my German (and other languages, Louisiana French, etc.) and I am preparing to get a PhD in Indo-European linguistics (among other areas).

I can tell it's going to be interesting having you on this forum. Welcome! I consider myself both a Slavic and PIE reconstructionist. The best short way I can explain it is that I the Slavic tradition forms much of the surface part of my religion (including much of the Praxis) whereas the reconstructed PIE religion influences my understanding of the deeper mysteries of the tradition. I can't claim to be as erudite as you, but I have my own thoughts on the subject, if you're interested.

Because of my multi-racial background I am very nervous to get involved with any modern pagan movements/religions. I am mostly of the European racial category (don't really believe in race however), but I have heard a lot about racist attitudes/actions in neo-paganism, like at Charlottesville. Is this true? I am very open to the life-affirming nature (sexuality as well) of the historical pagan religions and the love of nature and not really using images/idols, identification of the gods as natural/mystical forces rather than people sitting on literal thrones in clouds (for me that is more of a way of visualizing these "forces"). I am not at all interested in Western Occultism, but I really do want to learn about many things. I am still trying to find words to describe everything and some kind of physical and non-abusive (also inclusive) community. I will say that I am very skeptical and science-minded and base most of my beliefs on reason and science.

The most I can say is that there are plenty of safe places out there, if you look. In general, reconstructionists can be a little bit more prone to those errors than other types of pagans. Norse paganism gets a bad rap for that sometimes. However, it seems like the overtly racist ones are definitely in the minority.

As for skepticism, part of my big return to paganism was based on me accepting that I have a skeptical side and a spiritual side. The way I see it, pagan traditions did not emphasize total faith the way that Christianity does. You didn't have to be completely free of doubt, you just had to respect/believe in the tradition enough to perform the rituals, and keep the traditions alive. I feel pretty agnostic some days, but I've come to the conclusion that paganism helps me to be the best version of myself. I also think that even if it turns out to be false, the reconstruction of ancestral traditions still has value. So I consider myself a religious skeptic of sorts. I reject the idea of total faith, and I actually find the idea sort of unnerving.

kale_crtz_2018

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Re: New. Seeking...
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 04:48:30 pm »
Welcome! Yay more library types!
 
...

Because of my multi-racial background I am very nervous to get involved with any modern pagan movements/religions. I am mostly of the European racial category (don't really believe in race however), but I have heard a lot about racist attitudes/actions in neo-paganism, like at Charlottesville. Is this true?

...

Basically, the range of attitudes in modern Paganism is like the range of attitudes in modern life in general. Pagans are still people. Some people are actively working against racism, some people are actively racist, some people are in the middle with hurtful attitudes that they may change if given the opportunity and reason. Fortunately, the more racist end tend to signal it pretty clearly. (It is particularly an issue in Norse and Northern European focused Paganism, and the anti-racist groups will be very clear about their expectations there, usually, up-front and centre.)

Thanks for your reply Jenett. Great comments on the range of attitudes on Pagan religion, practice, and thought. We are all a diverse human community, which is awesome. I have found people are always in flux, a kind of dialectics. I don't want to condemn anyone. I enjoy talking when people are open to it. Although, I have some confusion regarding some of the racial views of certain groups, I am not here to judge anyone's perspective. I think there are some other dynamics at work that I am not immediately aware of in those groups (reasons for particular beliefs), even though my own desires and attitudes are against racism or ethnocentrism. I am open to other's perspectives if they desire to share. I find all religions to be interesting to me, even though I take a non-theist stance in private. I left my religious community (has its merits and beauties) but I feel I do need some kind of community/religion even though I am not religious in the typical sense (paradox, I know). 

I hope to have many interesting discussion and learning experiences!

K

kale_crtz_2018

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Re: New. Seeking...
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 04:53:40 pm »
I can tell it's going to be interesting having you on this forum. Welcome! I consider myself both a Slavic and PIE reconstructionist. The best short way I can explain it is that I the Slavic tradition forms much of the surface part of my religion (including much of the Praxis) whereas the reconstructed PIE religion influences my understanding of the deeper mysteries of the tradition. I can't claim to be as erudite as you, but I have my own thoughts on the subject, if you're interested.

The most I can say is that there are plenty of safe places out there, if you look. In general, reconstructionists can be a little bit more prone to those errors than other types of pagans. Norse paganism gets a bad rap for that sometimes. However, it seems like the overtly racist ones are definitely in the minority.

As for skepticism, part of my big return to paganism was based on me accepting that I have a skeptical side and a spiritual side. The way I see it, pagan traditions did not emphasize total faith the way that Christianity does. You didn't have to be completely free of doubt, you just had to respect/believe in the tradition enough to perform the rituals, and keep the traditions alive. I feel pretty agnostic some days, but I've come to the conclusion that paganism helps me to be the best version of myself. I also think that even if it turns out to be false, the reconstruction of ancestral traditions still has value. So I consider myself a religious skeptic of sorts. I reject the idea of total faith, and I actually find the idea sort of unnerving.

Zlote Jablko:

Thanks for the reply! I find your perspective very interesting, and I look forward to learning more and having great talks on these forums.

I am a learner and a beginner (want to take after Socrates in that regard, though I am not as wise or intelligent) and always open to hearing more.

The PIE reconstructionist tradition is of great interest to me (academically and in these other ways I have mentioned), and I would like to hear more on your views. Slavic religions are very close to a number of older IE traditions I have been told, so I think it would be helpful to for me to learn as much as possible. I am doing research on PIE and modern day Slavic connections right now.

Best,

K

kale_crtz_2018

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Re: New. Seeking...
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 04:55:37 pm »
Welcome to the Cauldron! I hope you find some of the info you're looking for, and maybe some you weren't.

I sympathize. I was raised Jewish and it's very important to me even though I've broadened my religious horizons in the past few years. Good luck in finding some way to explore your spirituality in pagandom while maintaining your ethnic religious ties.

I appreciate the welcome Eastling!

I am eager to join in the discussions with the attitude of being a beginner (not always easy to do, haha), but I look forward to my time here.

Best,

K

Voren

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Re: New. Seeking...
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2018, 08:33:01 pm »
Hi,

I am a new member of the website and I am seeking some explanations regarding paganism and religion in general.

(Introduction to follow. I apologize in advance if people may find it too long).

I identify my religion as Roman Catholic (also African diaspora) on my profile; however, I am at a loss as to what to put there as that is a Faith I do not practice anymore (but still on the parish records). I have also during my life as a Catholic practiced several other paths described commonly as "Occult". I really didn't identify or feel comfortable with them, and I am looking for a different community. I have investigated non-theism for many years, and my mother's family came from a former communist country (many are self-described "militant atheists"/ex-Lutherans/Catholics), but I do not feel completely comfortable with any of those various religions/political systems (some forms of socialism definitely; Marx, etc. some of the others, have always been an influence).

Religion has for me been a big part of ethnic identity.

My father's family is very Southern US, Louisiana and Virginia in particular. We grew up as Creole/Cajun (my ancestry on dad's side is South France, Catalonia, Sardinia, English, German, Welsh, amounts of Filipino and African - often found in New Orleans/Southern Louisiana area people). I have significant Scandinavian and German ancestry on my mother's side (most of my overseas relatives are in Germany, Poland, Czech, Russia, Sweden, Ireland) and a whole lot of Celtic.

I was always drawn to the pre-Christian religions & languages of Europe and India (grew up with many Hindu and Sikh friends).

The biggest interest has always been in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion (broadly), Celtic religion, Germanic, and my greatest interest is in the historical Vedic religion. I feel extremely drawn to the Vedas (and not necessarily Hinduism, except Shaktism) so much so that I learned Sanskrit in addition to my German (and other languages, Louisiana French, etc.) and I am preparing to get a PhD in Indo-European linguistics (among other areas).

Since being more open, my family is so confused by me. Last year I was literally listening to Rigveda before Midnight Mass to calm me, as I felt nervous about going to Mass (sorry to say something more and more common over the years).

The Catholic Faith is very beautiful, as well as the African traditions (I used to keep ancestral altars in my home, which I love to do), but I had a personal bad experience with Roman Catholicism and when my family left the Church it was a bad time, almost like we lost our home but were free of a lot as well. This is difficult subject, I understand that and I do not want to put down the Catholic Faith or any Catholics. Just sharing my own subjective experiences. We have great friends there still and we love all of them. My priest does not seem too happy about any of this, but largely our Catholic friends/family have been understanding.

Because of my multi-racial background I am very nervous to get involved with any modern pagan movements/religions. I am mostly of the European racial category (don't really believe in race however), but I have heard a lot about racist attitudes/actions in neo-paganism, like at Charlottesville. Is this true? I am very open to the life-affirming nature (sexuality as well) of the historical pagan religions and the love of nature and not really using images/idols, identification of the gods as natural/mystical forces rather than people sitting on literal thrones in clouds (for me that is more of a way of visualizing these "forces"). I am not at all interested in Western Occultism, but I really do want to learn about many things. I am still trying to find words to describe everything and some kind of physical and non-abusive (also inclusive) community. I will say that I am very skeptical and science-minded and base most of my beliefs on reason and science.

Right now, I work as a teacher to Adults (ESL and Literacy in the community) and as a Librarian and Independent Researcher. Goes without saying that I love reading and writing. I write many different kinds of fiction, in addition to dry academic papers/articles. It may be important to note I have been influenced by a Semitic pagan (self-identified witch) who was a friend and romantic partner from Israel of the Russian Jewish ethnicity (born in what was then the USSR). I am beginning Russian language studies because of communication issues and as a fun new hobby.

Thanks for reading!

-K.
he/him/his

Hello and welcome
-Voren
(aka Sou\'r-Ghi\'den)

The Singularity

EnderDragonFire

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Re: New. Seeking...
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2018, 04:03:38 am »
Hi,

Welcome! I already introduced myself in the other thread you started, but I figured I should say hello in your actual intro thread as well!
"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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