collapse

* "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: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them  (Read 2704 times)

Nyktelios

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 562
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« on: February 11, 2014, 09:23:47 am »
I haven been having an odd experience over the past few months, and I'm not sure what to make of it. I have been going to my grandmother's Anglican church with her over the past year since my grandfather declined and died last spring. It's a comfort to her and it helps me feel closer to my grandpa too, especially since he's interred in the church columbarium. Now that I've been going regularly for a while, I feel like I'm starting to embrace it on a deeper level. I am starting to identify, at least culturally, as an Anglican, and my pagan practice has really decreased.

The weird thing is, I wasn't raised in a religious household, so the church thing is a bit new to me. I mean, I did go to a Catholic high school (for convenience more than faith), and we did go to Christmas Eve services at my other grandfather's Presbyterian church, but my parents are militantly anti-religious.

I rather enjoy the ritual of church, with the candles, the processions, and the music.  The Anglican Communion is a nice compromise between Catholic ritual and more liberal Reformed ideas. The church I go to is very open to queer people, and most of the ordained clergy on staff are female. I like the rector a lot because he is radically inclusive, and his sermons mainly focus on compassion and social justice rather than guilt, shame, and encouraging young people towards marriage and babies (oh, how I miss Catholic school liturgies :p).

The church I go to is actually pretty moderate to low in terms of its ritual structure, which can be nice in that it's very relaxed and comfortable, but I do sometimes crave some of the more "high church" ceremonies. Actually, I found out recently that the church my grandparents went to in the 1960s, the one my father grew up going to, is an Anglo-Catholic parish (a church that is part of an Anglican diocese, but emphasizes the pre-Reformation Catholic heritage of the Church of England). I didn't know there was such a thing, but I've gone to visit that church and another Anglo-Catholic one nearby, and they are beautiful. I like to drop in to light a candle in front of the Virgin Mary statue, and spend some time in prayer and quiet reflection.

Through all this, I don't feel like my "beliefs" have really changed. I like the teachings of Jesus, though I don't consider him divine, except maybe as another incarnation of the other dying gods in the Mediterranean mystery cults. I am really a universalist, I think all religions are wells that draw from the same water once you dig deep enough. I just struggle with the idea of God the Father, when I have always viewed the primordial creator deity in feminine form. I know God is supposed to be genderless in more abstract theology, but referring to "him" exclusively as Father, Lord, King of Kings, etc. makes that difficult to understand. I don't necessarily feel the need to fully adopt Christianity in private, but I do feel like going to church regularly has expanded my religious horizons. However, like I said, my pagan practice has waned. I mostly just light a simple white candle to commune with Deity in a generic sense, and while I still feel attached to certain pagan gods, I really only honour them on important festivals.

Unakite5

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Jan 2014
  • Posts: 27
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2014, 12:52:26 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;139461
I haven been having an odd experience over the past few months, and I'm not sure what to make of it. I have been going to my grandmother's Anglican church with her over the past year since my grandfather declined and died last spring. It's a comfort to her and it helps me feel closer to my grandpa too, especially since he's interred in the church columbarium. Now that I've been going regularly for a while, I feel like I'm starting to embrace it on a deeper level. I am starting to identify, at least culturally, as an Anglican, and my pagan practice has really decreased.

The weird thing is, I wasn't raised in a religious household, so the church thing is a bit new to me. I mean, I did go to a Catholic high school (for convenience more than faith), and we did go to Christmas Eve services at my other grandfather's Presbyterian church, but my parents are militantly anti-religious.

I rather enjoy the ritual of church, with the candles, the processions, and the music.  The Anglican Communion is a nice compromise between Catholic ritual and more liberal Reformed ideas. The church I go to is very open to queer people, and most of the ordained clergy on staff are female. I like the rector a lot because he is radically inclusive, and his sermons mainly focus on compassion and social justice rather than guilt, shame, and encouraging young people towards marriage and babies (oh, how I miss Catholic school liturgies :p).

The church I go to is actually pretty moderate to low in terms of its ritual structure, which can be nice in that it's very relaxed and comfortable, but I do sometimes crave some of the more "high church" ceremonies. Actually, I found out recently that the church my grandparents went to in the 1960s, the one my father grew up going to, is an Anglo-Catholic parish (a church that is part of an Anglican diocese, but emphasizes the pre-Reformation Catholic heritage of the Church of England). I didn't know there was such a thing, but I've gone to visit that church and another Anglo-Catholic one nearby, and they are beautiful. I like to drop in to light a candle in front of the Virgin Mary statue, and spend some time in prayer and quiet reflection.

Through all this, I don't feel like my "beliefs" have really changed. I like the teachings of Jesus, though I don't consider him divine, except maybe as another incarnation of the other dying gods in the Mediterranean mystery cults. I am really a universalist, I think all religions are wells that draw from the same water once you dig deep enough. I just struggle with the idea of God the Father, when I have always viewed the primordial creator deity in feminine form. I know God is supposed to be genderless in more abstract theology, but referring to "him" exclusively as Father, Lord, King of Kings, etc. makes that difficult to understand. I don't necessarily feel the need to fully adopt Christianity in private, but I do feel like going to church regularly has expanded my religious horizons. However, like I said, my pagan practice has waned. I mostly just light a simple white candle to commune with Deity in a generic sense, and while I still feel attached to certain pagan gods, I really only honour them on important festivals.

 
Has your pagan devotion waned because of the church going? Just curious.

From your text, I'm not quite clear whether or not your pagan practice waning is distressing for you or not. I'm so glad, though, that you feel your horizons have expanded. That's always lovely (unless, of course, it's not). And, that it seems like a connection to your grandparents. It's also so cool to me how you've been free to make your own choices concerning your path.

I was Catholic for five minutes as a kid and there was nothing so beautiful as the Mary statues everywhere.

Anyway, let us know how you're doing?
"Sophia is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her." Wisdom 6:12

Juniperberry

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1891
  • Total likes: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2014, 05:08:44 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;139461




. I know God is supposed to be genderless in more abstract theology, but referring to "him" exclusively as Father, Lord, King of Kings, etc. makes that difficult to understand.

 
This might sound stupid but is it possible to think of "Father" as a role and not a gender? There are single mothers who say that they are both mother and father to their children, and maybe it would be helpful to look at it in that light and what the 'father' hat means in terms of a deity is specificallr providing in that role, rather than 'father' identifying the self of that deity?
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

DavidMcCann

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2013
  • Posts: 147
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 02:04:53 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;139461
Through all this, I don't feel like my "beliefs" have really changed. I like the teachings of Jesus, though I don't consider him divine, except maybe as another incarnation of the other dying gods in the Mediterranean mystery cults. I am really a universalist, I think all religions are wells that draw from the same water once you dig deep enough. I just struggle with the idea of God the Father, when I have always viewed the primordial creator deity in feminine form. I know God is supposed to be genderless in more abstract theology, but referring to "him" exclusively as Father, Lord, King of Kings, etc. makes that difficult to understand. I don't necessarily feel the need to fully adopt Christianity in private, but I do feel like going to church regularly has expanded my religious horizons. However, like I said, my pagan practice has waned. I mostly just light a simple white candle to commune with Deity in a generic sense, and while I still feel attached to certain pagan gods, I really only honour them on important festivals.

With the Anglicans, you can believe most things!

As for God, if mankind is created in God's image, "male and female" as it says, then God must be both. Pope John Paul said “God is Father, and even more, He is Mother.” If you want to say "Our Mother", why not? It's really a matter of language: the Semitic and most European languages insist on grammatical gender. If Christianity had started in China, where there's one pronoun instead of he, she, and it, we wouldn't have all this bother.

And many people think of the Holy Spirit as feminine:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_of_the_Holy_Spirit#Feminine_imagery
Minorities are almost always in the right.
They haif said. Quhat say they? Lat thame say!

Nyktelios

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 562
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 04:21:46 pm »
Quote from: Unakite5;139544
Has your pagan devotion waned because of the church going? Just curious.

From your text, I'm not quite clear whether or not your pagan practice waning is distressing for you or not. I'm so glad, though, that you feel your horizons have expanded. That's always lovely (unless, of course, it's not). And, that it seems like a connection to your grandparents. It's also so cool to me how you've been free to make your own choices concerning your path.

I was Catholic for five minutes as a kid and there was nothing so beautiful as the Mary statues everywhere.

Anyway, let us know how you're doing?


I'm not even really sure if it's distressing me. I think I just mainly feel a little confused, and like I'm losing interest in something I strongly associated with my identity. On the other hand, it's not really bothering me that much. I'm really drawn to the beauty of Anglo-Catholicism, and the friendly, open community of my regular church has been comforting during what has been a rough year. I just kind of see it as a different way to honour the same divinity I had already been worshiping in pagan form. I'm not prepared to give up paganism, I just think my practice is settling into including various influences. Maybe I combine them more than I think I do. I do feel that all my practices overlap and that there's an underlying unity to it all, but as life goes on I feel like I'm just picking up more and more religions that I practice simultaneously with each other, not that it's really a problem.

My grandma recently let me borrow my late grandpa's prayer book with AC/High Anglican prayers, which I find quite beautiful, and I have been incorporating them into my personal practice. For me it's kind of a link to family tradition and heritage, as well as just generally a beautiful practice that adds something to my spirituality. I'm also starting to understand a lot of my traditions my grandma kept that I didn't realize when I was younger. Her father was actually an Anglo-Catholic vicar in small-town Yorkshire, so these traditions are very important to that side of the family. Not that they really stuck with my father, as he's militantly atheist and anti-religious. It never really occurred to me to practice Christianity despite going to church regularly this past year until recently when I've visited Anglo-Catholic churches, which include the beauty and borderline paganism of Catholicism, except that the Anglican Church is a lot more friendly to the LGBTQ community and allows women to be ordained, unlike the RC Church. It seems compatible with my own personal practice. I think my grannie is also happy to have someone in the family who shows an interest in the traditions she grew up with.

I'm not sure if I responded to your question sufficiently or not, I tend to blather on. It's nice to unpack all these experiences, as I don't really know anyone in a similar situation, and I'm not motivated to write unless it's for someone else to read. Anyway, I'm hopefully going to my first high solemn mass at an Anglo-Catholic church this Sunday, so we'll see how that goes. I've only been to a few simple weekday said masses at AC churches before. I enjoyed them, but Sunday is when they pull out all the stops.

Quote from: Juniperberry;139560
This might sound stupid but is it possible to think of "Father" as a role and not a gender? There are single mothers who say that they are both mother and father to their children, and maybe it would be helpful to look at it in that light and what the 'father' hat means in terms of a deity is specificallr providing in that role, rather than 'father' identifying the self of that deity?


Hmm, that's actually a really interesting way to look at it.
 
Quote from: DavidMcCann;139753
With the Anglicans, you can believe most things!

As for God, if mankind is created in God's image, "male and female" as it says, then God must be both. Pope John Paul said “God is Father, and even more, He is Mother.” If you want to say "Our Mother", why not? It's really a matter of language: the Semitic and most European languages insist on grammatical gender. If Christianity had started in China, where there's one pronoun instead of he, she, and it, we wouldn't have all this bother.

And many people think of the Holy Spirit as feminine:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_of_the_Holy_Spirit#Feminine_imagery

 
Interesting, thanks! The pastoral associate at my regular church recently gave a sermon in which she referred to God as "he or she," using both pronouns instead of the regular "he." I perked right up. For someone like me who has a natural interest in religion anyway, being able to constantly observe a religious community in action is very exciting, especially when I learn new things.

EclecticWheel

  • Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 685
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 172
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Christo-Eclectic
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 03:02:30 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;139461

The weird thing is, I wasn't raised in a religious household, so the church thing is a bit new to me. I mean, I did go to a Catholic high school (for convenience more than faith), and we did go to Christmas Eve services at my other grandfather's Presbyterian church, but my parents are militantly anti-religious.

I rather enjoy the ritual of church, with the candles, the processions, and the music.  The Anglican Communion is a nice compromise between Catholic ritual and more liberal Reformed ideas. The church I go to is very open to queer people, and most of the ordained clergy on staff are female. I like the rector a lot because he is radically inclusive, and his sermons mainly focus on compassion and social justice rather than guilt, shame, and encouraging young people towards marriage and babies (oh, how I miss Catholic school liturgies :p).

The church I go to is actually pretty moderate to low in terms of its ritual structure, which can be nice in that it's very relaxed and comfortable, but I do sometimes crave some of the more "high church" ceremonies. Actually, I found out recently that the church my grandparents went to in the 1960s, the one my father grew up going to, is an Anglo-Catholic parish (a church that is part of an Anglican diocese, but emphasizes the pre-Reformation Catholic heritage of the Church of England). I didn't know there was such a thing, but I've gone to visit that church and another Anglo-Catholic one nearby, and they are beautiful. I like to drop in to light a candle in front of the Virgin Mary statue, and spend some time in prayer and quiet reflection.

Through all this, I don't feel like my "beliefs" have really changed. I like the teachings of Jesus, though I don't consider him divine, except maybe as another incarnation of the other dying gods in the Mediterranean mystery cults. I am really a universalist, I think all religions are wells that draw from the same water once you dig deep enough. I just struggle with the idea of God the Father, when I have always viewed the primordial creator deity in feminine form. I know God is supposed to be genderless in more abstract theology, but referring to "him" exclusively as Father, Lord, King of Kings, etc. makes that difficult to understand. I don't necessarily feel the need to fully adopt Christianity in private, but I do feel like going to church regularly has expanded my religious horizons. However, like I said, my pagan practice has waned. I mostly just light a simple white candle to commune with Deity in a generic sense, and while I still feel attached to certain pagan gods, I really only honour them on important festivals.


It doesn't sound to me like you are displeased your path is changing so it may simply be a natural development.  Everything changes, soome things faster than others.

Regarding God as Father it may be as others suggested a role.  In Trinitarian theology God is the source of the Trinity and in some ways of thinking - some of the Gnostic schools of thought as we refer to them - referring to this aspect of God as masculine denotes that he is active or the source.  Thus the Son would be feminine.  Some view the Holy Spirit as feminine though because the spirit is described in feminine terms in Hebrew so it depends on what lens you want to view it through.  Julian of Norwich referred to Jesus as God the Mother because he died for us and feeds us with his own body and blood.  There is a lot of gender bending in her Revelations of Divine Love and writings of other mystics.

I have actually practiced two paths in parallel before, Anglicanism and a path I created around fiction exploring postmodern ideas and my own take on Chaos (Alice from Alice in Wonderland was my main focus and personification of Chaos).  I did not mix the two paths or even try to reconcile the beliefs - that was part of the exploration of the idea of Chaos, that I could shift beliefs and practices at will.

Eventually as I continued to change, my practices did combine into a single worldview although it took new forms, but I was okay with this because it did seem, well, chaotic, and the perspectives underlying the whole endeavor continue to inform what I do now and still influence my ritual.

The point being we all change and it's not necessarily bad to practice two systems in parallel.  I found it worthwhile and even a lot of fun.  I have learned a lot about myself and how who I think I am can be completely different depending on the worldview and actions I engage in.  My view of what truth is is very different now.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Nyktelios

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 562
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 12:34:57 pm »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;141576
Eventually as I continued to change, my practices did combine into a single worldview although it took new forms, but I was okay with this because it did seem, well, chaotic, and the perspectives underlying the whole endeavor continue to inform what I do now and still influence my ritual.

 
Thanks, I feel like I'm in a very similar situation, and it's nice to get some perspective from someone with similar experience. I think I'm at that point where the worldviews are combining into one.

Athirat-umy

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Apr 2014
  • Posts: 3
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://terraspiritus.ca
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2014, 01:15:44 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;141661
Thanks, I feel like I'm in a very similar situation, and it's nice to get some perspective from someone with similar experience. I think I'm at that point where the worldviews are combining into one.

I have had this experience myself. In fact I was even ordained in a progressive Episcopalian tradition.
I felt my Pagan self sort of wane.
I tried to mold my Christian/Anglican self to fit my Pagan self and tried to fit my Pagan self to fit my Anglican self. May I offer a blog entry I wrote about it? This entry has caused me some grief on some other online communities, but this thread seems to totally be in line with my experience and my outcome.
One Path, Two Tools or 'Confessions of an Anglipaganostic'
When I decided to dedicate myself to running a coven again, I once again embraced more fully my Craft path --- however I know I am free to go to Church, admire what it is about it I love. It's ok.
Sometimes, depending on the particular part of my path, different tools have been called for.
Blessed Be.

Nyktelios

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 562
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2014, 10:48:11 pm »
Quote from: Athirat-umy;145626
I have had this experience myself. In fact I was even ordained in a progressive Episcopalian tradition.
I felt my Pagan self sort of wane.
I tried to mold my Christian/Anglican self to fit my Pagan self and tried to fit my Pagan self to fit my Anglican self. May I offer a blog entry I wrote about it? This entry has caused me some grief on some other online communities, but this thread seems to totally be in line with my experience and my outcome.
One Path, Two Tools or 'Confessions of an Anglipaganostic'
When I decided to dedicate myself to running a coven again, I once again embraced more fully my Craft path --- however I know I am free to go to Church, admire what it is about it I love. It's ok.
Sometimes, depending on the particular part of my path, different tools have been called for.
Blessed Be.

 
Thanks for sharing. It seems like our experiences are very similar, and it's interesting to read your thoughts on your spiritual journey. It feels good to know other people have experienced religion in a similar way.

I've also been thinking of studying for Anglican ordination recently, though I haven't decided for sure yet. I mostly want to learn more about high Anglicanism via a Divinity degree, and see from there if I feel called to be ordained. The survivals of paganism in the high church are a big draw for me. The ancient Mediterranean religions that truly interest me are dead, but I can kind of indirectly appreciate them in ways they have survived in catholic ceremony and devotion. I find Anglo-Catholicism much easier to stomach than Roman Catholicism, as it has the same beauty, but without the child abuse scandals, and the Anglican Communion is generally a lot more open to women clergy and LGBTQ inclusion, both of which I support.

MadZealot

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Location: So Cal
  • Posts: 2462
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 167
  • Eye yam tu papi.
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Bitter Clinger. Sith Lord.
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2014, 11:29:04 pm »
Quote from: Nyktelios;154904
It feels good to know other people have experienced religion in a similar way.

 
Welcome back to the forum!  Sounds like you've settled a bit into your new mode of spirituality, and I'm glad for it.  
I've been poking around at my own version of christo-paganism for, I dunno.... maybe a year, but where others see difficulty in reconciling opposites, my process involves taking what works and what makes sense for me.  
I've been going to a Protestant church with the family, and I agree with you on the craving for high ritual.  There's something very powerful in a good liturgy.  Important, imho.  I keep threatening to get ordained, too, but will probably go a more gnostic route.  
So, yeah.  There's more like you.  :D:
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

Nyktelios

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 562
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Following Christianity and Paganism Without Combining Them
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 09:18:25 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;154912
Welcome back to the forum!  Sounds like you've settled a bit into your new mode of spirituality, and I'm glad for it.  
I've been poking around at my own version of christo-paganism for, I dunno.... maybe a year, but where others see difficulty in reconciling opposites, my process involves taking what works and what makes sense for me.  
I've been going to a Protestant church with the family, and I agree with you on the craving for high ritual.  There's something very powerful in a good liturgy.  Important, imho.  I keep threatening to get ordained, too, but will probably go a more gnostic route.  
So, yeah.  There's more like you.  :D:

 
Oh, very cool! That's great that you have been able to take what works from both sides.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
10 Replies
4185 Views
Last post July 22, 2011, 04:52:14 pm
by Jenett
52 Replies
6004 Views
Last post December 01, 2012, 03:25:23 pm
by Nyktelios
130 Replies
8754 Views
Last post March 10, 2014, 02:37:17 pm
by Valentine
51 Replies
6488 Views
Last post February 13, 2016, 12:37:57 am
by Jack
88 Replies
9653 Views
Last post February 17, 2016, 06:25:16 pm
by sionnachdearg

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 68
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any 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.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* 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