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Author Topic: I need some help finding my path  (Read 2120 times)

Kaio

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I need some help finding my path
« on: July 18, 2016, 04:35:03 am »
Maybe other Pagan people can see options I can't see.

 I've been considering following several paths within contemporary Paganism since I stopped practicing a reconstructionistic form of the religion associated with northern Germanic peoples, and I stopped practicing it almost ten years ago. I've been looking for a path mostly from a reconstructionistic approach, but recently I've started to consider paths for whose followers historical accuracy possibly matter less and, because I would like to worship Deities associated with several different peoples, I've also been considering worshiping Deities without the context of a specific religion but with strong concern for historical accuracy.
 I've also tried to develop and/or to practice some form of ethnic religion associated specifically with Brazil, but I've largely given up this possible path for many reasons.

 I think I need a religion or a religious practice:

 
    that isn't neither Abrahamic, nor Dharmic, nor world-denying,
i.e., non-ascetic;[/LIST]
 
    that doesn't have neither possession, nor substance use (apart from alcohol), nor altered states of consciousness as a compulsory part of its rituals;

 
    that is polyteistic;

 
    in the context of which I can worship Deities associated with more than one religion;

 
    that can be practiced alone from the beginning and in the context of a house or,
more specifically, in the context of a bedroom;[/LIST]
 
    whose prescripted morality fits my social context;

 
    that, if possible, is related to my ancestry, or my possible ancestry;

 
    for which there is some amount of historical information and/or studies that I can rely on.


 I can give more detail if it's needed.

 Can anyone here help me?
When in Rome do as the Romans do. (Ambrose)

RecycledBenedict

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Re: I need some help finding my path
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2016, 07:52:49 am »
Quote from: Kaio;194097
    that isn't neither Abrahamic, nor Dharmic, nor world-denying,
i.e., non-ascetic;[/LIST]
 
    that doesn't have neither possession, nor substance use (apart from alcohol), nor altered states of consciousness as a compulsory part of its rituals;

 
    that is polyteistic;

 
    in the context of which I can worship Deities associated with more than one religion;

 
    that can be practiced alone from the beginning and in the context of a house or,
more specifically, in the context of a bedroom;[/LIST]
 
    whose prescripted morality fits my social context;

 
    that, if possible, is related to my ancestry, or my possible ancestry;

 
    for which there is some amount of historical information and/or studies that I can rely on.


 I can give more detail if it's needed.

 Can anyone here help me?


I love paganism in the late Roman Empire. Due to Greek, Phoenician and Egyptian merchants, Greek and Carian mercenaries abroad, the Persian expansion, the spread of Alexander the Great's Empire and the Roman Empire, people as far west as Britannia (England + Wales) and Lusitania (Portugal), as far east as Armenia and Mesopotamia, as far south as Egypt and Numidia, and as far north as Germania (Luxembourg +  Netherlands + North Rhine-Westphalia) and Dacia (Romania) were in contact with each other and exchanged ideas.

Deities such as Isis and Mithras were worshipped in all these parts of the world, and so were official deities such as the genius of the Emperor and the goddess Roma. In the late stage of development (3d, 4th and 5th centuries) The Sun was a highly popular deity.

There was no mandatory dogma, but among the educated classes a Stoic or Platonic interpretation of traditional religion was predominant.

By Interpretatio Romana, deities from one region are interpretable to be regional expressions of the same deity as deities from other regions. Late Roman Religion is very universalistic and cosmopolitan in this way.

You are able to chose among at least four different rites (perhaps more) when you perform sacrifices: Roman custom, Greek custom, Egyptian custom and Mesopotamian custom.

If you had been interested in exploring Altered States of Consciousness, there is theurgy, but since you are not, you will be able to practice non-theurgical expression of Roman Syncretic Religion.

Virtue ethics were important, and are worthy of being revived - if that is the proper word. In reality was the Christian middle ages and early modern age enough interested in Aristotle, Cicero and Seneca to keep ancient Graeco-Roman pagan ethics alive. The Nicomachean Ethics is a good place to start.

Kaio

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Re: I need some help finding my path
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2016, 01:20:09 am »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;194106
I love paganism in the late Roman Empire.


 I also thought the popular religion practiced in late Roman Empire, specifically in its private/domestic dimension, would be the nearest to the kind of religion I actually could practice. For this reason I've read several scholarly texts about Roman Empire religion in its private contexts, the role of the lararium in this context, etc.. These texts are really good for reconstructionists, and I think about opening a thread on this forum just to help out other people that have a recon bent and that are interested in said religion by referencing scholarly sources that I think can be very helpful.
 However

 
    some Deities I think about to worship, AFAIK, never were worshiped neither in Rome, neither in Roman provinces;

 
    I'm not sure if a
lararium can be set in a bedroom for reasons like that I mentioned on the thread about recon bent and bedroom that I linked upthread;[/LIST]
 
    scholarly texts provide evidence of traditional offerings to Deities within private context, but there's evidence that not every Deity was offered the same offerings;

 
    there are many gaps if one tries to reconstruct private rituals relying exclusively on extant evidence and scholarly texts; AFAIK it's not known how private rituals began, if the words said - actually, if any word was said - in their context were spontaneous or not, what one commonly asked Deities for, how said rituals ended, etc..
When in Rome do as the Romans do. (Ambrose)

RecycledBenedict

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Re: I need some help finding my path
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2016, 09:04:23 am »
Quote from: Kaio;194183
some Deities I think about to worship, AFAIK, never were worshiped neither in Rome, neither in Roman provinces

Religion - not even reconstructionist paganism - is not re-enactment. It is religion today. It is hardly surprising that the number of deities grew by time: It did back then, and now, after a hiatus of 1300-1400 years, or so, the process continues.

In some cases you may give the choice of gifts some thought, so that they became appropriate for each deity.

If there is tension between one deity and another, it is better to keep their sacred spaces slightly apart, perhaps by putting their images on two different boxes and/or two different cloths, or on two entirely different shelves.

Quote from: Kaio;194183
I'm not sure if a lararium can be set in a bedroom for reasons like that I mentioned on the thread about recon bent and bedroom that I linked upthread

We know a lot about upper class religion in the Roman Empire, but how did lower class citizens of the Roman Empire perform their religion? Not everyone could afford a villa with a lararium back then, and modern pagans come from a broad range of socio-cultural and financial backgrounds.

Quote from: Kaio;194183
scholarly texts provide evidence of traditional offerings to Deities within private context, but there's evidence that not every Deity was offered the same offerings

Varro describe flour as the Roman offering by default. I add wine libation on solemn occations. Emperor Theodosius made it a crime to sacrifice fire to the Lar, wine to the genius, incense to the Penates, and wreaths to them all, so we may assume, that exactly these three/four gifts were customarily used for exactly these three/four sacrificial purposes. On the Roman festivals to the Egyptian deities, I switch to a photocopied card depicting Maat and some honey dissolved in hot water.

Quote from: Kaio;194183
there are many gaps if one tries to reconstruct private rituals relying exclusively on extant evidence and scholarly texts; AFAIK it's not known how private rituals began, if the words said - actually, if any word was said - in their context were spontaneous or not, what one commonly asked Deities for, how said rituals ended, etc..

Each family and each individual probably formed their own particular ways of performing private rituals. It is known that Emperor Alexander Severus venerated Abraham, Orpheus and Jesus among the heroes or ancestors of the past, which was probably not a typical choice, but obviously one among several options. Quotes by Cato and Plautus may, however, give you some ideas how to address the domestic deities.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2016, 09:07:22 am by RecycledBenedict »

Yei

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Re: I need some help finding my path
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2016, 08:42:31 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;194097
Maybe other Pagan people can see options I can't see.

 I've been considering following several paths within contemporary Paganism since I stopped practicing a reconstructionistic form of the religion associated with northern Germanic peoples, and I stopped practicing it almost ten years ago. I've been looking for a path mostly from a reconstructionistic approach, but recently I've started to consider paths for whose followers historical accuracy possibly matter less and, because I would like to worship Deities associated with several different peoples, I've also been considering worshiping Deities without the context of a specific religion but with strong concern for historical accuracy.
 I've also tried to develop and/or to practice some form of ethnic religion associated specifically with Brazil, but I've largely given up this possible path for many reasons.

 I think I need a religion or a religious practice:

 
    that isn't neither Abrahamic, nor Dharmic, nor world-denying,
i.e., non-ascetic;[/LIST]
 
    that doesn't have neither possession, nor substance use (apart from alcohol), nor altered states of consciousness as a compulsory part of its rituals;

 
    that is polyteistic;

 
    in the context of which I can worship Deities associated with more than one religion;

 
    that can be practiced alone from the beginning and in the context of a house or,
more specifically, in the context of a bedroom;[/LIST]
 
    whose prescripted morality fits my social context;

 
    that, if possible, is related to my ancestry, or my possible ancestry;

 
    for which there is some amount of historical information and/or studies that I can rely on.


 I can give more detail if it's needed.

 Can anyone here help me?

 
I think you need more details, as some of these are quite vague. To be honest, most of these could apply to pretty much any polytheistic religion with a reconstructionist bent.

To be honest, I'm not sure how to help you. There must be uncountable reasons for choosing any particular religion, and without knowing more about your values, circumstances, or knowledge base, it is not easily possible to say which is right for you.

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