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Author Topic: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism  (Read 3523 times)

Castus

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Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« on: May 17, 2016, 01:04:22 pm »
As far as I can tell, pop culture paganism seems to be something largely unique to TC (and possibly tumblr?) so I figured this would be the best place to start. So I recently had one of those periodic collapses in my religious journey where my mind folds in on itself and suddenly there are eighty different religions beckoning my name. I've even investigated initiatory witchcraft, which is... uncharacteristic of me. So I've decided to take a hard look at a project I've been mulling for awhile: a form of pop culture paganism based around the Imperial Cult of the game Warhammer 40k.

I have no idea where to start though, or even what I'm really aiming for in the end. Any help?

Castus

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2016, 08:45:56 pm »
Quote from: Castus;191190
As far as I can tell, pop culture paganism seems to be something largely unique to TC (and possibly tumblr?) so I figured this would be the best place to start. So I recently had one of those periodic collapses in my religious journey where my mind folds in on itself and suddenly there are eighty different religions beckoning my name. I've even investigated initiatory witchcraft, which is... uncharacteristic of me. So I've decided to take a hard look at a project I've been mulling for awhile: a form of pop culture paganism based around the Imperial Cult of the game Warhammer 40k.

I have no idea where to start though, or even what I'm really aiming for in the end. Any help?

 
I stand corrected. PCP is very not unique to TC.

Morag

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2016, 10:58:29 pm »
Quote from: Castus;191190
I have no idea where to start though, or even what I'm really aiming for in the end. Any help?

 
I don't know much about WH40K except that red makes vehicles go faster, so I can't help much with specifics.

However, when it comes to pop culture religion, my advice is actually...kinda similar to advice that I see Reconstructionists give out (which is why I like the term 'fictional recon' that Jack came up with): study primary sources until your eyes water, and try to build upon that.

Of course, in this case, 'primary sources' refers to the original books, movies, TV episodes, or whatever else was put out about the universe in question. Then you can expand to secondary sources, which I think includes the breadth of fandom (fanon, fanfic, etc). Tertiary sources I think would be whatever the mainstream picks up about the particular pop culture thing, often from fandom (or from their own interpretation of what they see in fandom).

It can be hard if the fictional religion you're trying to make workable in the real world doesn't have actual canon practices associated with it, or if they're few and far between, or only one or two are mentioned, because you do have to start from scratch for the actual practical application.

It's useful to look at the tenets and beliefs of the fictional religion, as well as the characteristics of the god(s), and to think about how those tenets and beliefs and characteristics apply in modern life and how you can tailor your worship based on that. This isn't much different from finding new ways to worship old gods, or translating old practices to modern life. I can't steal cows to give to people without cows, but I can lend money on Kiva to help people start their own business (which might involve cows), or donate to Heifer international, or knit hats for the homeless -- and all these things can be seen as part of my worship of Brighid, because I am in the broadest sense giving cows to the cowless.

It's the same idea with the D'Angeline gods -- going into service for Naamah isn't really an option for me (sacred prostitution in the books), but I could work to make sure that comprehensive sex ed is available for people, I can work on educating people about consent, I can work to be sex-positive in my life as much as possible.

How worship activities apply to modern life is going to differ depending on the god you follow. From what I see on the link you provided, the main god of the Imperial Cult is a deified human who was big on reason and science -- so that might be a place to start.

I don't know if any of this is useful to you. I hope it helps, and wish you luck. :)
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Darkhawk

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2016, 11:21:55 pm »
Quote from: Castus;191190
As far as I can tell, pop culture paganism seems to be something largely unique to TC (and possibly tumblr?) so I figured this would be the best place to start.


You might find it worthwhile to plug "pop culture paganism" into your preferred search engine and have a look around.  When I plugged it into Google I didn't get the unhelpful stupid giant flamewar that was going around, what, six months ago in the big blogs, which is nice?

Quote
So I've decided to take a hard look at a project I've been mulling for awhile: a form of pop culture paganism based around the Imperial Cult of the game Warhammer 40k.

I have no idea where to start though, or even what I'm really aiming for in the end. Any help?

 
A lot depends on what you're looking for.  A full functional system?  A devotional practice to put alongside other things?  Artistic inspiration?

Who are the entities involved?  What do they expect from their worshippers?  Start from what is known in the canonical writeup of what the religion is like and find the places there are gaps that you'll have to fill in.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

MadZealot

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2016, 11:42:49 pm »
Quote from: Castus;191190
So I've decided to take a hard look at a project I've been mulling for awhile: a form of pop culture paganism based around the Imperial Cult of the game Warhammer 40k.


That is a dim, dark future, friend... one in which there is only war.  :p
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

Jack

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 02:15:35 am »
Quote from: Castus;191190
So I've decided to take a hard look at a project I've been mulling for awhile: a form of pop culture paganism based around the Imperial Cult of the game Warhammer 40k.

I have no idea where to start though, or even what I'm really aiming for in the end. Any help?


Man, it has been a long time since I cracked the Sisters of Battle army book.

Kiya and Morag have asked a lot of good questions. I think where I'd start is, what about the Ecclesiarchy appeals to you? I'm assuming it's not just that they have an even harder line on heresy than Catholics. ;P
 
Have you ever seen the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion? This is probably the weirdest rec I've ever given on this board, but there is an Evangelion fanfic called Shinji and Warhammer 40k. It is about 750k words about what happens when a young Shinji discovered 40K and built his life around it.
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MadZealot

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2016, 09:14:14 am »
Quote from: Jack;191245
Man, it has been a long time since I cracked the Sisters of Battle army book.

 
2nd ed SoB Codex.  Best fluff.  Always loved the concept of the Sisters, although GW couldn't ever get em to work as a standalone force.  Great as an allied contingent though, esp alongside fellow fanatics like the Inquisition or (my fave) the madly zealous Templars.

Gaah.  Geek mode.  :D:
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Darkhawk

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2016, 09:32:38 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;191258
Gaah.  Geek mode.  :D:

 
Oh noes, geek mode, whatever will we doooooo.

:ange:
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we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

MadZealot

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2016, 09:38:19 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;191259
Oh noes, geek mode, whatever will we doooooo.

:ange:




 [attach=CONFIG][/attach]
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Jabberwocky

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2016, 09:44:10 am »
Quote from: Morag;191228

However, when it comes to pop culture religion, my advice is actually...kinda similar to advice that I see Reconstructionists give out (which is why I like the term 'fictional recon' that Jack came up with): study primary sources until your eyes water, and try to build upon that.

 
There's also an interesting parallel with Greek & Roman recon here.  Recreating the Imperial Cult will mean looking at how you recreate a state religion without the state to back it up.

There's also an additional issue with this work of choosing which canon to go with; there's been various retcons and even outright changes over the years.

For the specifics of WH40k paganism, I have actually done a fair bit of work with the Warhammer pantheon, but I only know Fantasy so some of this may be different.

As others have said, at least trying to come up with a vague direction you want to head in will be useful, even if you change that as things develop.  Look at the Chaos Gods (including important questions like how some of the pro Chaos factions see them and even utilise them) with both their good and bad points.  From there, you may get more of an idea of how to progress.

Personally, I've worked with Slaanesh and Tzeentch.  Never felt the need to work with Nurgle. And I avoid Khorne like the plague. (If I did feel the need for a warrior god I'd be more likely to look at Ulric or Myrmidia or even the High Elf conception of Khaine).
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Sefiru

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2016, 06:26:46 pm »
Quote from: Castus;191190
So I've decided to take a hard look at a project I've been mulling for awhile: a form of pop culture paganism based around the Imperial Cult of the game Warhammer 40k.


Whee, 40K. The fascinating thing about this setting is how internally inconsistent the material is, and this is on purpose. So you actually have a wide range of philosophies to look at even within the Imperial faction. (I write 40K and I have so much head canon.)

I am kind of a Blood Angels fangirl so that colors how I look at the setting; they are one of the lighter shades of grey around. I highly recommend the Blood Angels novels by James Swallow as a great depiction of how to be Lawful Good without being stupid about it.
 
In terms of out-of-setting material, I'd suggest reading up on Humanism and Stoicism.

Castus

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2016, 06:40:05 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;191307
Whee, 40K. The fascinating thing about this setting is how internally inconsistent the material is, and this is on purpose. So you actually have a wide range of philosophies to look at even within the Imperial faction. (I write 40K and I have so much head canon.)

I am kind of a Blood Angels fangirl so that colors how I look at the setting; they are one of the lighter shades of grey around. I highly recommend the Blood Angels novels by James Swallow as a great depiction of how to be Lawful Good without being stupid about it.
 
In terms of out-of-setting material, I'd suggest reading up on Humanism and Stoicism.


Thanks everyone for the great replies. Special thanks to Kiya for gently reminding me that Google is my friend, but without pointing out that I probably should have searched it up to begin with.

My brother is the big WH40k fan in the house and owns a great deal of their novels, so I've begun reading the less... war-centered ones in hopes of gleaning some good bits of lore; in addition to online reading. The way things are shaping up in my head it's probably going to be less fictional reconstructionism than taking the Catholic-influenced imagery and jargon, along with the basics of how the Emperor is perceived and worshiped in-canon, and slamming that hard into a Religio-based praxis.

Which means that I may end up with a Catholic-looking lararium, praying from a homemade psalter to a fictional representation of God.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2016, 06:55:51 pm »
Quote from: Castus;191190
So I recently had one of those periodic collapses in my religious journey where my mind folds in on itself and suddenly there are eighty different religions beckoning my name.


I am sorry to hear that. Religious crises may be smoother or deeper, but seldom entirely pleasant in my experience. You will be in my prayers.

Quote from: Castus;191190
So I've decided to take a hard look at a project I've been mulling for awhile: a form of pop culture paganism based around the Imperial Cult of the game Warhammer 40k.


Religion's equivalent to Chaos Magic, I suppose?

I don't know that much about Warhammer, since I don't play. Friends of mine with that peculiar hobby claimed, that I reminded them of a Librarian, whatever that was supposed to mean? Besides that, I have seen this:

http://www.chaosmatrix.org/library/chaos/rites/tzeentch.html

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2016, 08:42:16 pm »
Quote from: Castus;191190
(...) pop culture paganism (...)


Something I expect from religions, be it Christian 17th century illuminism, several forms of Buddhism, Sufi Islam, Druidic pathworkings or Pagan theurgy, is that it challenges my preconceived notions of existence. In which way does the Warhammer branch of pop culture paganism or pop culture paganism in general fulfil this purpose?

A rather frequently occurring expression of religion is recital of divine names, be it the 99 names of God in Islam, kabbalistic names in Judaism, the hesychastic Jesus prayer in Christianity (especially the Eastern Orthodox variety) or the repetition of Amitabha Buddha's name in several forms of North Asian Buddhism. In mediterranean paganism, the Chaldaean Oracles warn against changing traditional divine names (saying No. 150 in my translation, but it is possible that there are more than one enumeration of the sayings). My question is: Do you integrate some sort of recital of names in this pop cultural paganism?
« Last Edit: May 18, 2016, 08:44:20 pm by RecycledBenedict »

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Delving seriously into pop paganism/WH40k paganism
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2016, 08:58:27 pm »
Quote from: Castus;191190
I have no idea where to start though, or even what I'm really aiming for in the end. Any help?


Some short - or not so short - daily devotion(s) characterize most religions.

Traditional Hindus prays sandhya vandanam, less traditional Hindus at least participate in an aarti, Roman Catholics have the Liturgy of the Hours or the Roman Breviary (though less popular among the laity), Anglican Christians have Book of Common Prayer, Japanese Buddhists recite the short puja according to temple-affiliation (danka), Moslem prays five times, Bahais have a prayer cycle with three prayers of different length, Jews prays three services from the Siddur, and Roman Reconstructionst Pagans venerate (at a minimum) Janus, the genii and Vesta.

How would a pop cultural cycle of daily prayers be organized?

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