collapse

Important Announcement

Changing the Guard at The Cauldron

Sunflower is the new Host of The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum
Please read this thread for more information.

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Pop Culture Paganism  (Read 923 times)

Donal2018

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 453
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 79
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Pop Culture Paganism
« on: August 08, 2019, 04:26:12 pm »
I keep seeing the term "Pop Culture Paganism" around, but I am not entirely clear on what it means. Any bit of information might help. I would like to learn more about it.

Ashmire

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: May 2017
  • Posts: 324
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 106
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Eclectic, featuring mainly East Asian and Egyptian plus pop-cultural influences
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2019, 04:42:36 pm »
I keep seeing the term "Pop Culture Paganism" around, but I am not entirely clear on what it means. Any bit of information might help. I would like to learn more about it.

IMO there are actually two different though loosely related practices this can mean.   One is deliberately choosing to follow a fictional deity, usually as something along the lines of Jungian archetypalism, though there are a few other possible ways to interpret that, such as the idea that a fiction writer might have unknowingly channeled real information. 

The other, which is a major part of my own practice is essentially an updated version of ancestor worship, belief in the apotheosis of more recently important ( i.e., pop-cultural) historical figures/folk heroes rather than only those who were deified long enough ago for most people to forget they were originally humans.

Eastling

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Location: Seattle
  • *
  • Posts: 497
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 329
  • Love and be free.
    • View Profile
    • Mystermercury
  • Religion: Dionysian pop culture paganism and heretical Judaism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/him/his
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2019, 05:41:45 pm »
I keep seeing the term "Pop Culture Paganism" around, but I am not entirely clear on what it means. Any bit of information might help. I would like to learn more about it.

As Ashmire noted above, "pop culture paganism" is an umbrella term covering several aspects of faith and practice.

The most common usage of it is to refer to using elements of modern fiction (usually twentieth-century or later, although there are probably pop culture pagans somewhere drawing from earlier novels or the like) in one's religious or mystical practice. This might mean considering a fictional character your spirit guide or mentor (for instance, I sometimes consider the rabbits of Watership Down guides of mine on the astral plane); it might mean using methods of magical practice you learned from recent fiction (although that might be called "pop culture magic" instead); or, and in my experience this is the most common specific usage at the moment, it might mean taking what was initially written as a fictional religion or spirituality (such as the Jedi teachings from Star Wars) or set of gods or Powers (such as the Endless from Sandman) and practicing this path much as one would one drawn from ancient history.

I have also taken to using the term as applicable to a path in which one venerates the apotheosis of a celebrity deceased in living memory, since this is deeply embedded in what we know of as "pop culture," although such work could also be called a hero cultus or ancestor worship.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

Donal2018

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 453
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 79
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2019, 06:22:53 pm »
I keep seeing the term "Pop Culture Paganism" around, but I am not entirely clear on what it means. Any bit of information might help. I would like to learn more about it.

Yes, thanks for the two comments above. They are helpful. Since I put up the original post, I have noticed that there were several prior posts on on The Cauldron about Pop Culture Paganism. I have taken a cursory look at that material and will read more as I have time.

One thing related to this is a term that I coined "Creative Spirituality", by which I mean the freedom to develop one's own spirituality. Cultural material is essentially invented. It is just that ancient cultural material has been around for a long time, and thus maybe has a patina of authenticity and a weight that more contemporary inventions do not.

I bring up the idea of Pop Culture Paganism because I have been inspired a bit by the John Boorman film "Excalibur", about the Arthurian legend.  In it, Merlin gains his power from a being called "The Dragon", which seems to be a beast representing the vast and interconnected power of Nature.

Anyway, it brought me back around to an idea that I have long had. I have always wondered or wished that there were a Western equivalent of the Tao. In my youth I was a Martial Artist and practiced Zen meditation and had an interest in Bushido culture (my Sensei was Japanese and North American head of a large Japanese Karate organization).

So also during that time I read a lot on Taoism and was drawn to it as a philosophy more than as a religion. The Tao Te Ching made a lot of sense to me. Ever since, I have always wondered or wished that there was a Western philosophy or view that held similar views as does Taoism. If one does not exist, I might presume to invent one for myself, albeit humbly as I am not a Sage or Academic Scholar.

"The Dragon" in the movie "Excalibur" seemed like it referred to something like that, the whole of Nature, the power of Nature, everything is the Dragon, etc. This seemed to me to have at least a similar flavor to some of Taoism. I was wondering if it would be legitimate to use this sort of stuff in my private spirituality. An attempt to have a Western Tao. I wouldn't presume to invent a whole philosophy (and probably do not have the capacity) but I wonder if others have invented parts of their own beliefs. This is part of what drew me to the term Pop Culture Paganism at this point.

I would like to hear from others on the idea of inventing parts of one's own spiritual beliefs. This is sort of the sense I got about Pop Culture Paganism, using contemporary material creatively in developing one's own personal spirituality.

Eastling

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Location: Seattle
  • *
  • Posts: 497
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 329
  • Love and be free.
    • View Profile
    • Mystermercury
  • Religion: Dionysian pop culture paganism and heretical Judaism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/him/his
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2019, 06:31:40 pm »
I would like to hear from others on the idea of inventing parts of one's own spiritual beliefs. This is sort of the sense I got about Pop Culture Paganism, using contemporary material creatively in developing one's own personal spirituality.

I think that being able to craft (or receive from above, as it may be) parts of one's belief system is one of the greatest strengths of neopaganism as a whole, not just pop culture paganism.

I'm curious, though, as to why you don't want to draw from the Tao itself. There's no reason you can't learn from and follow the Tao while also practicing a different religion or faith of your choice; it's not an exclusive religion. It's just, well, the Way--a useful, broad-ranging philosophy both practical and spiritual.
"The peacock can show its whole tail at once, but I can only tell you a story."
--JAMES ALAN GARDNER

Donal2018

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 453
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 79
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2019, 06:38:18 pm »
I think that being able to craft (or receive from above, as it may be) parts of one's belief system is one of the greatest strengths of neopaganism as a whole, not just pop culture paganism.

I'm curious, though, as to why you don't want to draw from the Tao itself. There's no reason you can't learn from and follow the Tao while also practicing a different religion or faith of your choice; it's not an exclusive religion. It's just, well, the Way--a useful, broad-ranging philosophy both practical and spiritual.

That is a legitimate point. I do draw form Taoism. My main area of Pagan interest is in Celtic materials, and I was wondering if I could adapt aspects of Taoism onto a sort of Celtic view. I thought that such an invention might be more coherent if expressed in a more directly Western Way. I am fairly eclectic, but I do like there to be some sort of intellectual or aesthetic harmony in my spirituality. I have always looked to the East for certain philosophical resources. It has long been my feeling that Celtic spirituality has a lot in common with some Eastern spirituality- reverence for Nature, belief in reincarnation. I was just wondering if there was a more coherent or more "Celtic" Way of expressing this without just mixing two different cultural views together.

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4831
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 719
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2019, 06:45:05 pm »
That is a legitimate point. I do draw form Taoism. My main area of Pagan interest is in Celtic materials, and I was wondering if I could adapt aspects of Taoism onto a sort of Celtic view.

My Celt sometimes comments that he was sent into fostering with Taoism when he went to acupuncture school, for what it's worth.

Quote
I thought that such an invention might be more coherent if expressed in a more directly Western Way.

The risk to that is bastardization of practice and philosophy; I mean look at what a hash the West has made of "karma".
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4831
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 719
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2019, 06:52:20 pm »
I keep seeing the term "Pop Culture Paganism" around, but I am not entirely clear on what it means. Any bit of information might help. I would like to learn more about it.

Things I have written on pop culture paganism in the past:

https://sunsinherbranches.tumblr.com/post/149733488603/i-saw-the-post-where-you-were-talking-to
https://sunsinherbranches.tumblr.com/post/148367339178/hi-i-was-reading-through-your-faq-and-noticed
https://sunsinherbranches.tumblr.com/post/160343977878/question-for-the-internets
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Donal2018

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 453
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 79
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2019, 08:24:43 pm »
Things I have written on pop culture paganism in the past:

https://sunsinherbranches.tumblr.com/post/149733488603/i-saw-the-post-where-you-were-talking-to
https://sunsinherbranches.tumblr.com/post/148367339178/hi-i-was-reading-through-your-faq-and-noticed
https://sunsinherbranches.tumblr.com/post/160343977878/question-for-the-internets

Thanks for the links. Read them, very good. I liked the references to Dante and Milton. Paradise Lost is a big influence for me. I also like the reference to Arthuriana as the oldest and longest running fan fictIon. I am a long time Arthurian buff.

I found a very old copy of Le Morte D'Arthur in the stacks in my University Library back in the day. I read the entire thing during one Summer. I have very strong memories from that. I was big into The Once And Future King as a kid, read all the major Arthurian fantasies, Crystal  Cave, Mists of Avalon. Excalibur might be my favorite film.

Anyway, all good stuff. More could be said, I will maybe post more later. I am on my Tablet at a Coffee House and I am not a fan of typing on this interface. Thanks everyone for the comments.

Jenett

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3099
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 650
    • View Profile
    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2019, 08:41:03 pm »
Thanks for the links. Read them, very good. I liked the references to Dante and Milton. Paradise Lost is a big influence for me. I also like the reference to Arthuriana as the oldest and longest running fan fictIon. I am a long time Arthurian buff.

You might find this discussion from the forum in 2014 of interest - it's me talking about some of the older variants of Arthuriana, and there's some other really great stuff in that thread too.
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)

Donal2018

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 453
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 79
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2019, 09:07:28 pm »
You might find this discussion from the forum in 2014 of interest - it's me talking about some of the older variants of Arthuriana, and there's some other really great stuff in that thread too.

Yes, I am reading that thread on Arthuriana. Good stuff.

Donal2018

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 453
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 79
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2019, 02:56:31 pm »
You might find this discussion from the forum in 2014 of interest - it's me talking about some of the older variants of Arthuriana, and there's some other really great stuff in that thread too.

Yes, so I did read the thread. I appreciate all the background stuff on Arthuriana that Jenett posted. I had heard about most of that stuff before, but mainly through secondary sources. It is good to see all of it neatly summarized in several paragraphs. A good summary. As I said, I have directly read Malory, but not a lot of the other sources. I would like to look at some of the primary material. I would like a look at the Geoffry of Monmouth stuff and Chretian de Troyes as well.

Anyway, I envy Jenett's Medieval and Renaissance Studies background. I would call myself a Medieval enthusiast or an amateur Medievalist. Most of my studies at University were of Science, Chemistry, Biology and a lot of Social Science. So, my academic focus was more on modern era stuff, barring the History courses that I took. I would often find myself reading a book on Medieval History instead of my assigned reading. The Medieval stuff always draws me in. I go through periodic phases of reading and then not reading, and then back again when I go on a book binge. The Medieval stuff draws a lot of energy out of me sometimes, but it really improves my quality of life to entertain this sort of  material. So, this is a good piece on Arthuriana. Thanks for all the good posts.

SunflowerP

  • Host
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Calgary AB
  • Posts: 8234
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 248
  • Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
    • View Profile
    • If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough
  • Religion: Eclectic religious Witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: sie/hir/hirs/hirself
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2019, 04:44:04 pm »
One thing related to this is a term that I coined "Creative Spirituality", by which I mean the freedom to develop one's own spirituality.

Back in the '70s and '80s, the phrase frequently used in the neoPagan movement was, 'creating religion for oneself'.

So, not just you!

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
"Nobody's good at anything until they practice." - Brina (Yewberry)
My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

Donal2018

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 453
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 79
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2019, 06:05:49 pm »
Back in the '70s and '80s, the phrase frequently used in the neoPagan movement was, 'creating religion for oneself'.

So, not just you!

Sunflower

Yes, I knew the idea was not original, but I thought that the term "Creative Spirituality" was interesting, so I brought it up. I think that part of the problem with being a Solitary is that one might end up reinventing the wheel while one is alone. Whereas in a Pagan Community, someone might say "Yeah, that has been done before." Nothing new under the Sun. So I am glad to have the feedback.

Donal2018

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Dec 2018
  • Location: New York
  • Posts: 453
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 79
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Universalist
Re: Pop Culture Paganism
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2019, 08:19:58 pm »
Yes, so I did read the thread. I appreciate all the background stuff on Arthuriana that Jenett posted. I had heard about most of that stuff before, but mainly through secondary sources. It is good to see all of it neatly summarized in several paragraphs. A good summary. As I said, I have directly read Malory, but not a lot of the other sources. I would like to look at some of the primary material. I would like a look at the Geoffry of Monmouth stuff and Chretian de Troyes as well.

Anyway, I envy Jenett's Medieval and Renaissance Studies background. I would call myself a Medieval enthusiast or an amateur Medievalist. Most of my studies at University were of Science, Chemistry, Biology and a lot of Social Science. So, my academic focus was more on modern era stuff, barring the History courses that I took. I would often find myself reading a book on Medieval History instead of my assigned reading. The Medieval stuff always draws me in. I go through periodic phases of reading and then not reading, and then back again when I go on a book binge. The Medieval stuff draws a lot of energy out of me sometimes, but it really improves my quality of life to entertain this sort of  material. So, this is a good piece on Arthuriana. Thanks for all the good posts.

So Jenett's 2014 post on Arthuriana is more than just a summary, it is a good and concise analysis of the subject matter. It is worth re-reading.

I think that I will try and dig up some stuff on Grael Mysticism. From what I know about it, it is an amalgam of Celtic Pagan elements and Christian stuff. I don't know of any references off of the top of my head, but I remembered reading about it somewhere years ago.

I have heard it said that Arthurian Grael Mysticism has been used by some as a sort Celtic Christo-Pagan Mystery Religion. I don't know if there is anything current on this, but I will look around the Internet.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2019, 08:22:01 pm by Donal2018 »

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
83 Replies
12042 Views
Last post July 24, 2013, 09:09:39 pm
by Jack
2 Replies
2311 Views
Last post May 24, 2013, 09:05:37 pm
by Jujulinda
19 Replies
2990 Views
Last post February 17, 2014, 04:48:04 am
by Freesia
25 Replies
2795 Views
Last post March 04, 2015, 03:41:16 am
by EJay
21 Replies
3409 Views
Last post May 19, 2016, 06:11:17 pm
by RecycledBenedict

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 34
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall