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Author Topic: All Pagans Should Celebrate the Wheel of the Year Regardless of specific Religion?  (Read 15069 times)

RandallS

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Long time members of TC known that any discussion of "Pagan Unity" can quickly become a major thread with a lot of "hostility" here, so I am sort of reluctant to bring this up here, but the idea is at least interesting (note: "interesting" does not necessarily mean "good").

I received feedback on our web site asking me why we do not stress the Wheel of the Year more as while the wheel is a property of Wicca and Wicca-like religions more than Pagan religions in general, the public tends so associate the Wheel of the Year with Paganism. The author of this note believes that all Pagans should celebrate the eight Wheel holidays in some way even if they are not a part of their specific Pagan path -- just as many Christians celebrate secular cultural holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc. religiously even though they are not truly holy days in Christianity. Doing so would give Pagans more of a common culture and would be more visible to the general public than each group only doing their religion's own thing.

What you you think?

I'm very skeptical, but I figured it would make a good discussion.
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stephyjh

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Quote from: RandallS;67394
Long time members of TC known that any discussion of "Pagan Unity" can quickly become a major thread with a lot of "hostility" here, so I am sort of reluctant to bring this up here, but the idea is at least interesting (note: "interesting" does not necessarily mean "good").

I received feedback on our web site asking me why we do not stress the Wheel of the Year more as while the wheel is a property of Wicca and Wicca-like religions more than Pagan religions in general, the public tends so associate the Wheel of the Year with Paganism. The author of this note believes that all Pagans should celebrate the eight Wheel holidays in some way even if they are not a part of their specific Pagan path -- just as many Christians celebrate secular cultural holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc. religiously even though they are not truly holy days in Christianity. Doing so would give Pagans more of a common culture and would be more visible to the general public than each group only doing their religion's own thing.

What you you think?

I'm very skeptical, but I figured it would make a good discussion.

 
I'm pretty skeptical of the idea myself. I don't know that the "other" category really needs to have a common culture.
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That what is no sense must be nonsense.

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Nyktelios

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Quote from: stephyjh;67395
I don't know that the "other" category really needs to have a common culture.

 
I agree, it seems pretty unnecessary.

Sharysa

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Quote from: RandallS;67394
I received feedback on our web site asking me why we do not stress the Wheel of the Year more as while the wheel is a property of Wicca and Wicca-like religions more than Pagan religions in general, the public tends so associate the Wheel of the Year with Paganism. The author of this note believes that all Pagans should celebrate the eight Wheel holidays in some way even if they are not a part of their specific Pagan path -- just as many Christians celebrate secular cultural holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc. religiously even though they are not truly holy days in Christianity. Doing so would give Pagans more of a common culture and would be more visible to the general public than each group only doing their religion's own thing.

What you you think?

I'm very skeptical, but I figured it would make a good discussion.

I think "giving pagans a common culture" would be missing the point of paganism. Yes, the drawback with paganism is that all the choices are hard to process and it's hard to explain briefly, but finally finding your path is generally regarded as worth all the hassle.

"Unifying" pagans even for a good cause (and I don't personally feel that "making it easier to explain to the public" qualifies) could run the risk of turning Wicca into the pagan counterpart of Christianity.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 03:58:05 pm by Sharysa »
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Caroline

Quote from: RandallS;67394
Long time members of TC known that any discussion of "Pagan Unity" can quickly become a major thread with a lot of "hostility" here, so I am sort of reluctant to bring this up here, but the idea is at least interesting (note: "interesting" does not necessarily mean "good").

I received feedback on our web site asking me why we do not stress the Wheel of the Year more as while the wheel is a property of Wicca and Wicca-like religions more than Pagan religions in general, the public tends so associate the Wheel of the Year with Paganism. The author of this note believes that all Pagans should celebrate the eight Wheel holidays in some way even if they are not a part of their specific Pagan path -- just as many Christians celebrate secular cultural holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc. religiously even though they are not truly holy days in Christianity. Doing so would give Pagans more of a common culture and would be more visible to the general public than each group only doing their religion's own thing.

What you you think?

I'm very skeptical, but I figured it would make a good discussion.

I think it can be a useful framing mechanism for those who wish to come together in some sort of general community effort or expression. I've gone to various functions where the events held are not necessarily "mine" neither are they inherently offensive. I can celebrate the seasons, say, should I feel the urge for a community experience, but reserve more specific or intimate celebrations to a more appropriate or private event.

"Commonalities" often aren't, imo. At least not once you look below surface appearances.

I'm also completely unconvinced that there is a pressing need for all pagans to *want* or need to support a public visibility.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 04:22:27 pm by Caroline »

Darkhawk

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Quote from: RandallS;67394
The author of this note believes that all Pagans should celebrate the eight Wheel holidays in some way even if they are not a part of their specific Pagan path -- just as many Christians celebrate secular cultural holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc. religiously even though they are not truly holy days in Christianity. Doing so would give Pagans more of a common culture and would be more visible to the general public than each group only doing their religion's own thing.

What you you think?

 
Makes about as much sense as suggesting that I should celebrate Christmas and Easter in order to properly conform to the common culture of the United States.

Even aside from the fact that that's obviously bullshit if you reframe it in terms of a different religious cultural hegemony, one of the biggest problems I run into in broader pagan culture is this sense that I don't exist.  I once got screamed at and called a censoring asshole for pointing out that I had celebrated my religious new year when it actually falls, at the beginning of August, and thus that it was inappropriate to call Samhain "the pagan new year".  (Today is actually my new year, though religious celebrations are slightly superceded by Stompy's birthday party.)  Because simply existing in a non-Wiccan context is apparently as much of an attack on insecure neo-Wiccans as simply existing as a non-Christian is to seething fundie assholes.

I just have no patience for this "But but but the War On Yule" nonsense.  Shove it where you want the nitwits to shove their bullshit "War On Christmas".
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Aine Rayne

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Quote from: RandallS;67394
Long time members of TC known that any discussion of "Pagan Unity" can quickly become a major thread with a lot of "hostility" here, so I am sort of reluctant to bring this up here, but the idea is at least interesting (note: "interesting" does not necessarily mean "good").

I received feedback on our web site asking me why we do not stress the Wheel of the Year more as while the wheel is a property of Wicca and Wicca-like religions more than Pagan religions in general, the public tends so associate the Wheel of the Year with Paganism. The author of this note believes that all Pagans should celebrate the eight Wheel holidays in some way even if they are not a part of their specific Pagan path -- just as many Christians celebrate secular cultural holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, etc. religiously even though they are not truly holy days in Christianity. Doing so would give Pagans more of a common culture and would be more visible to the general public than each group only doing their religion's own thing.

What you you think?

I'm very skeptical, but I figured it would make a good discussion.

 
I'm with everyone else here is saying that it's an unnecessary idea at best. This sort of thinking, IMO, is like someone saying that everyone who is African-American should celebrate Kwanzaa in the spirit of being "unified". In other words, ridiculous and offensive. Not to mention I feel like for all pagans to celebrate the Wheel even if it's completely unrelated to their path would completely nullify the point of paganism as a whole. It's all about finding/creating your own path, why would it make sense to then nail everyone down with a construct that's only relevant to one set of paths and is nearly useless in others?

Just because the public associates it with paganism as a whole doesn't mean we have to accept it. The public associates Original Sin with all of Christianity and violent crime with the mentally ill, doesn't mean anyone in those groups needs to conform with that just to make everything "easier" to explain to the public. Personally I don't think any of us should care what the public says we as pagans should be doing. The whole point is to be the masters of our own spirituality and gives us license to ignore other pagans and especially the public at large who will assume whatever it wants even if we were to conform to this idea that all of us should follow the Wheel for the sake of continuity. I have to agree with Sharysa that conforming for continuity is not a good reason in any context.
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Melamphoros

Quote from: Darkhawk;67404
Makes about as much sense as suggesting that I should celebrate Christmas and Easter in order to properly conform to the common culture of the United States.

Even aside from the fact that that's obviously bullshit if you reframe it in terms of a different religious cultural hegemony, one of the biggest problems I run into in broader pagan culture is this sense that I don't exist.  I once got screamed at and called a censoring asshole for pointing out that I had celebrated my religious new year when it actually falls, at the beginning of August, and thus that it was inappropriate to call Samhain "the pagan new year".  (Today is actually my new year, though religious celebrations are slightly superceded by Stompy's birthday party.)  Because simply existing in a non-Wiccan context is apparently as much of an attack on insecure neo-Wiccans as simply existing as a non-Christian is to seething fundie assholes.

I just have no patience for this "But but but the War On Yule" nonsense.  Shove it where you want the nitwits to shove their bullshit "War On Christmas".

 
Instead of posting a long rant about how the Neo-Wiccans are trying to co-oped the term "pagan,"  I'm just going to say "What Darkhawk said."


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Aine Rayne

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Quote from: Melamphoros;67406
Instead of posting a long rant about how the Neo-Wiccans are trying to co-oped the term "pagan,"  I'm just going to say "What Darkhawk said."

 
lol if there were like buttons, you'd get a like. Honestly, I've been a pagan for less than a year and I'm starting to feel like it would be easier for all of us if we dropped the term pagan and just claimed our paths. We'll still get the WTF look from the public, but at least we won't have the baggage of the term and the problem of fluffs trying to claim the term for themselves. Let them be pagans, I'll be Kemetic. Then there'll be less likelihood of "well why don't you celebrate the Wheel?" "Cuz I'm not Wiccan, I'm Kemetic." "Well what does that mean?" "It means Egypt never had the Wheel!" I've been lucky in never having had a conversation like that so far, but I know I'd be frustrated somethin fierce if I did.
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Elani Temperance

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Quote from: RandallS;67394
What you you think?

Um... no.

When I was Neo-Wiccan and Eclectic, I celebrated the Wheel of Year because it was part of the mythology and practice that fitted my Tradition. Had I been Celtic Recon, I would still clebrate some of the Wheel of Year Festivals. But I'm not. I'm Hellenic. The Ancient Greeks knew three seasons, for starters, and although you can probably find a festival near to the Wheel of Year festival days, it would still not be celebrating the Wheel of year; I'd be recreating a Hellenic festival. The Wheel of Year festivals have, traditionally, absolutely no business being anywhere near my practice, even though Hellenismos falls under the Pagan banner.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 05:11:32 pm by Elani Temperance »
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Aine Rayne

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Quote from: Elani Temperance;67409
Um... no.

When I was Neo-Wiccan and Eclectic, I celebrated the Wheel of Year because it was part of the mythology and practice that fitted my Tradition. Had I been Celtic Recon, I would still clebrate some of the Wheel of Year Festivals. But I'm not. I'm Hellenic. The Ancient Greeks knew three seasons, for starters, and although you can probably find a festival near to the Wheel of Year festival days, it would still not be celebrating the Wheel of year; I'd be recreating a Hellenic festival. The Wheel of Year festivals have, traditionally, absolutely no business being anywhere near my practice, even though Hellenismos falls under the Pagan banner.

 
Like Darkhawk said, Kemetic New Year is in late July, early August depending on location. The Ancient Egyptians live in a desert area, the Wheel makes no sense whatsoever for a Kemetic practice. The stretch you'd have to make to force the Wheel into a Kemetic practice would be pointless
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Melamphoros

Quote from: Aine Rayne;67411
Like Darkhawk said, Kemetic New Year is in late July, early August depending on location. The Ancient Egyptians live in a desert area, the Wheel makes no sense whatsoever for a Kemetic practice. The stretch you'd have to make to force the Wheel into a Kemetic practice would be pointless

 
Hell, the stretch it would take to force the Wheel in any belief system not native to the British Isles (or places with a similar yearly climate) would be pointless.


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Aine Rayne

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Quote from: Melamphoros;67412
Hell, the stretch it would take to force the Wheel in any belief system not native to the British Isles (or places with a similar yearly climate) would be pointless.

 
Honestly I don't think the Wheel appreciates it. There's a sort of "totally missing the point here" by people, both non-pagans, neo-wiccans, and fluffs, are totally missing the point by insisting that the Wheel fits all or should fit all. The Wheel is a way to celebrate and honor the seasons and the gods of a specific area and tradition. It was never meant to be shared among other landscapes and peoples because it doesn't belong there. It came into existence for a specific purpose for specific people. I wouldn't deign to insist that Wep Ronpet should be shared by all pagans, that's even more ridiculous since there are even fewer areas of the world and by extension religious practices where Wep Ronpet would be relevant. And I would be flinging the point of Wep Ronpet right into the Nun, which is to celebrate new beginnings. You would think that considering lots of pagans left religions that try to shove "one size fits all" bullshit down their throats they wouldn't do it to each other.
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monsnoleedra

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Quote from: Aine Rayne;67413
Honestly I don't think the Wheel appreciates it. There's a sort of "totally missing the point here" by people, both non-pagans, neo-wiccans, and fluffs, are totally missing the point by insisting that the Wheel fits all or should fit all. The Wheel is a way to celebrate and honor the seasons and the gods of a specific area and tradition. It was never meant to be shared among other landscapes and peoples because it doesn't belong there. It came into existence for a specific purpose for specific people. I wouldn't deign to insist that Wep Ronpet should be shared by all pagans, that's even more ridiculous since there are even fewer areas of the world and by extension religious practices where Wep Ronpet would be relevant. And I would be flinging the point of Wep Ronpet right into the Nun, which is to celebrate new beginnings. You would think that considering lots of pagans left religions that try to shove "one size fits all" bullshit down their throats they wouldn't do it to each other.

 
I think part of the issue is that the term wheel of the year has become associated to Wicca / Neo-Wicca yet many practices do have a wheel of the year.  The difference being some refer to it as a thirteen month lunar wheel, Some as a lunar or solar wheel based upon rotation of the heavens, some as a three season wheel based upon flood stages such as in Egypt.  Heck some simply a planting wheel or agrocultural wheel or rutting wheel.

Lots of wheels in practice but it seems more often than not say Wheel of the Year and it's assumed to be the Wiccan / Neo-Wiccan wheel and those established quarter and cross quarter days.

But supporting an all inclusive wheel not hardly on my part.

Aster Breo

Quote from: RandallS;67394
Doing so would give Pagans more of a common culture and would be more visible to the general public than each group only doing their religion's own thing.

What you you think?


I don't care about creating a common pagan culture or being visible to the general public.  I care about my Goddess and the about doing the work She gives me.

It's not my job to educate anyone about my path unless Brighid asks that of me.

Plus all of the great points that have already been made about the inappropriateness of applying the wheel to other paths and about how trying to homogenize paganism misses the whole point.

So, I vote no, which seems to be the majority TC viewpoint.  ;)

~ Aster
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