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Author Topic: Issues within Paganism  (Read 11189 times)

Sorcha

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #165 on: February 02, 2017, 07:33:57 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;202231
Off topic: have you read Karen Armstrong's book The Battle for God, and if so, what did you think of it? I have been trying to get through it, but it's a slog.

 
I haven't. It sounds like a slog. An interesting slog, but a slog nonetheless.

The blurb mentions that she has some not-too-kind things to say about the Bakkers and Swaggart, and I'd suggest exercising caution there; not all fundamentalists are fans of their flavor of fundamentalism, and I heard people often thought of as fundamentalist figureheads slammed as heretics and apostates just as often as I did, say, the pope or whatever. Same with Bill Gothard; a lot of fundamentalists absolutely loathe him.


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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #166 on: February 02, 2017, 10:06:02 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;202230
There is a school of magic based on Kemeticism that is known to have survived from antiquity, rather than being reconstucted by modern scholarship: Hermetic magic. It does not resonate with me.

 
And really, that's more Greek than Egyptian anyway in function.

(Worth reading, by the way, Hornung's "The Secret Lore of Egypt: Its Impact on the West", which is about all of the mystical woobity-woo occultic Egypt stuff that's in pop culture and how much of it has actual relevant to the real Egypt.)
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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #167 on: February 03, 2017, 12:19:15 am »
Quote from: Sorcha;202232
Whaaaaaaaaaat?!? You mean there's no hive mind? No shared brain? We're not the Ood?

 
For one thing, we are not nearly as well-organized as the Ood.
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Sorcha

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #168 on: February 03, 2017, 12:20:58 am »
Quote from: Jack;202244
For one thing, we are not nearly as well-organized as the Ood.

 
We're considerably better-looking though. And we seem to collectively have a lot more hair.


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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #169 on: February 03, 2017, 06:32:03 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;202238
And really, that's more Greek than Egyptian anyway in function.

(Worth reading, by the way, Hornung's "The Secret Lore of Egypt: Its Impact on the West", which is about all of the mystical woobity-woo occultic Egypt stuff that's in pop culture and how much of it has actual relevant to the real Egypt.)


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Louisvillian

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #170 on: February 04, 2017, 12:01:38 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;202201
Honestly? There isn't really a good "positive" definition.

Not for small-p "paganism" anyway. There's a good reason it's fallen out of use in academic contexts; it's too vague and broad to actually define anything. Big-P "Paganism", i.e. Contemporary/Modern Paganism is a bit of a different matter, but it's still a definition with which one must be wary of overreaching. For the most part, I use Darkhawk's definition, or something close to it.

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #171 on: February 13, 2017, 11:59:49 pm »
Quote from: Louisvillian;202294
Not for small-p "paganism" anyway. There's a good reason it's fallen out of use in academic contexts; it's too vague and broad to actually define anything. Big-P "Paganism", i.e. Contemporary/Modern Paganism is a bit of a different matter, but it's still a definition with which one must be wary of overreaching. For the most part, I use Darkhawk's definition, or something close to it.

Has (s)he written an article on that?  I have read the one on eclecticism.  I followed a thread discussion that involved defining religions like Kemetic Reconstructionism as neo-pagan in terms of the sociocultural mix they emerged from.  That seems very useful.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2017, 12:00:29 am by EclecticWheel »
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

Darkhawk

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #172 on: February 14, 2017, 10:01:23 am »
Quote from: EclecticWheel;202623
Has (s)he written an article on that?  I have read the one on eclecticism.  I followed a thread discussion that involved defining religions like Kemetic Reconstructionism as neo-pagan in terms of the sociocultural mix they emerged from.  That seems very useful.

 
This is a basic overview article (which is incomplete, it misses things like neo-Vedanta as part of the process, I should consider revising that in):  http://sunsinherbranches.net/faq/why-are-all-these-different-things-called-pagan/

This is the current revision of a fuller description of the sociocultural development, which was composed after I did much more research:  http://sunsinherbranches.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Pagan-Clade-Simplified-Graphical-Soup-v.5.png

And this is a currentish (I haven't uploaded the new revisions yet) revision of the interrelationships specifically regarding religious witchcraft groups:  http://sunsinherbranches.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/RW-Soupmap-v.2.1.png
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OldenwildeHP

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #173 on: February 15, 2017, 03:57:15 pm »
Quote from: OldenwildeHP;202050
... Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic & Provincial Words notes under "Ale-feast":  "A merry meeting at which ale was generally drunk, often took place after the representation of an old mystery, as in a curious prologue to one of the fifteenth century in MS. Tanner 407, f. 44." ...[/I]

Now, doesn't that sound suspiciously like what we'd call an Esbat? ...

 
For those of you still holding your breath, relax -- no hidden Pagan treasure after all, at least not in this spot. I now have a library copy of The Commonplace Book of Robert Reynes of Acle: An Edition of Tanner MS 407, and the "curious prologue" on f. 44 is nothing but a generic rhymed epilogue for any play that thanks the audience, asks for their positive reviews (a medieval version of "like us on Facebook"), and requests they buy an ale to cover the cost of the play, with the surplus to be donated to the Church. The book's editor associates it with a contemporary tradition of "church ales".

However, the rest of this book is studded with spells, astrology, instructions for divination by thunder, and all sorts of intriguing Pagan magic interspersed among copied Christian inscriptions and spiritual practices, along with more mundane clerical notes. The author was a commoner in an English village ca. 1500 who happened to know how to read and write, so this book is one fascinating record of how deeply intertwined Paganism and Catholic Christianity (as we'd now call it) were in popular English culture in the years before the Protestant/Scientific/Industrial Revolutions declared their various ongoing crusades against spiritual mysticism of all stripes and exiled it to the underground and the margins of Western culture.  

Thanks again to Jenett for helping me find this little goldmine!
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Beryl

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #174 on: February 16, 2017, 12:23:49 pm »
Quote from: OldenwildeHP;202703


However, the rest of this book is studded with spells, astrology, instructions for divination by thunder, and all sorts of intriguing Pagan magic interspersed among copied Christian inscriptions and spiritual practices, along with more mundane clerical notes.

 
I'm curious (and genuinely so, no snark here, I'm just too tired to be sure I don't sound like I'm being a jerk), what about it makes it Pagan magic as opposed to Christian magic? (I realise this is a bit of a philosophical wossname, just wondering if there's stuff that would make it Not Christian or Actively Pagan, I guess?)

Raccoon

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #175 on: March 23, 2017, 05:13:16 pm »
Quote from: troll maiden;201288
I'm part of an Asatru community on Facebook, today one of my fellow members posted a rant about the bigotry that he's encountered within the faith.

Well, it got me thinking about other issues that exist within Paganism. I don't know of many, and the knowledge I do have is superficial at best. Mainly because I don't really get involved in communities. I would like to but I'm way too socially awkward. :ashamed:

Anyway, I was wondering what issues people have come across within the various paths.


Btw sorry if this thread's in the wrong place. I was unsure about where to post it! ^^;

 

Smug recons. Definitely not all recons, but I've run into a really unpleasant minority who think that unless you're perfectly recreating an ancient religion you're not a real devotee of [insert deity here]. Or that all eclectics are just new age fluffy bunnies who don't deserve to be taken seriously.

And on the flipside, dumb eclectics/wiccans. Again definitely not all, but there's an obnoxious minority that pushes false history, assumes all witches need to follow the wiccan rede, that all pagans need to follow the wheel of the year, judges anyone who's not super "love and light", etc.

People who spread dangerous misinformation about herbs/crystals/etc, or don't include warnings. Ingesting, handling, or burning certain plants or minerals can make you seriously ill. If you make a list of plant correspondences that includes Hemlock or something you NEED to put a big ass "warning if you eat this you will die" in bold somewhere, or else someone will just see the list and go "ooh wow super magical and cool gonna brew it into a tea and drink on the full moon".

There are also a sort of flippant attitude towards health that bugs me. If you want to use herbal remedies for a legit health issue you really need to talk to a professional, not someone on the internet. Off the top of my head, I often see St. John's Wort being recommended for depression, but people generally don't mention that if you have bipolar depression instead of unipolar it can really mess you up.

Louisvillian

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #176 on: May 10, 2017, 11:03:45 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;202651
This is a basic overview article (which is incomplete, it misses things like neo-Vedanta as part of the process, I should consider revising that in):  http://sunsinherbranches.net/faq/why-are-all-these-different-things-called-pagan/

It's great, on the whole. My only quibble (this coming from my own base of knowledge and biases, so take it with a grain of salt) is the lack of emphasis on James G. Frazer and the later fascination with the West's 'pagan roots' that his work inspired. Though his effects are, admittedly, felt more among Wiccans and Wicc-ish "General Neopaganism".

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #177 on: May 12, 2017, 04:37:24 pm »
Quote from: Louisvillian;205980
My only quibble (this coming from my own base of knowledge and biases, so take it with a grain of salt) is the lack of emphasis on James G. Frazer and the later fascination with the West's 'pagan roots' that his work inspired. Though his effects are, admittedly, felt more among Wiccans and Wicc-ish "General Neopaganism".

 
I will quibble back at you, and note that, while Frazer's work had a lot of influence on the neoPagan movement once it emerged (I'm not sure if he was nearly as influential on the movement's precursors in the first half of the 20th century), his work wasn't so much a source point for a later fascination, as part of a fascination that was already going on, and had been for several decades.

Even in the neoPagan movement per se, Frazer might appear to have a greater proportion of the influence than he actually does; there are a great many things that are influential but that people don't think to mention (and may not even realize their influentiality, which is the point of Darkhawk's explorations of Soup), but Frazer is a favorite for name-dropping. (Often by people who have never actually read The Golden Bough, IME - I would say, 'but that's a whole 'nother can of worms,' except I s'pose it's pertinent to the original thread topic.)

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Louisvillian

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #178 on: May 12, 2017, 11:02:32 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;206015
I will quibble back at you, and note that, while Frazer's work had a lot of influence on the neoPagan movement once it emerged (I'm not sure if he was nearly as influential on the movement's precursors in the first half of the 20th century), his work wasn't so much a source point for a later fascination, as part of a fascination that was already going on, and had been for several decades.
That's completely fair. I think that he clearly elucidated certain ideas in a way that others hadn't before, but I'll agree with you that he was part of a wider movement that was already in full swing.

Quote
(Often by people who have never actually read The Golden Bough, IME - I would say, 'but that's a whole 'nother can of worms,' except I s'pose it's pertinent to the original thread topic.),
I'll agree with this, too. The ideas he's famous for among Neopagans can be a little hard to parse (honestly, Robert Graves was more clear, though he was heavily influenced by Frazer).
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 11:03:05 pm by Louisvillian »

Oniaten

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Re: Issues within Paganism
« Reply #179 on: July 18, 2017, 05:20:08 pm »
Anyway, I was wondering what issues people have come across within the various paths.

Speaking of Asatru and Heathenry, back when I identified as such, one of the greatest problems I noticed was the large number of highly racialized and right-wing Heathens.  Of course, there are those within the Asatru community who aren't like that at all (and I still keep in touch with a few of them).  But it always seemed like, at least in the States, I ran into more of the former variety.  Honestly, it led me to largely withdraw from the community.

Within American Indian/First Nations folkways, you also see a little bit of that.  There are those who maintain strong views that only people who meet a certain blood quantum should be allowed to practice said ways (please note: I'm referring to the practice of folkways, not tribal membership [which is a different matter entirely]).  Fortunately, the majority hold to the view of "if it's done correctly and with respect, it's okay".

A larger problem within American Indian folkways has to do with the sheer amount of nonsense and misinformation out there.  It's very common to see people lump all the various native nations together in a generic "Native American Spirituality/Red Path/Medicine Way" and ignoring the, sometimes, vast differences between nations (i.e., medicine wheels, spirit pouches and a concept of the Great Spirit are only found among some tribes).
Unfortunately, even some of the natives buy into it.
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