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Author Topic: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate  (Read 1787 times)

Sefiru

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Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« on: April 06, 2017, 06:56:26 pm »
Obviously I have been reading too much scifi recently, because this has been on my mind...

How do you think your spiritual practices would change if you were living in space? How do you think pagan religions in general might change? After all, many pagan paths are based around nature, the seasons and other features of Earth's surface.

How would the worship of a lunar deity look when practiced on a Moon colony?

How would you go about calling the quarters while in orbit?

Would people be less inclined to be concerned about protecting the environment, when living in entirely artificial habitats? Or would they be more concerned, because their biospheres would be so small and fragile?

(For the moment, I'd like to ignore the question of how we got space colonies in the first place. Just imagine someone invented a handwavium-powered antigravity device in their garage or something.)

Kylara

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2017, 11:56:48 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;204710
Obviously I have been reading too much scifi recently, because this has been on my mind...

How do you think your spiritual practices would change if you were living in space? How do you think pagan religions in general might change? After all, many pagan paths are based around nature, the seasons and other features of Earth's surface.

How would the worship of a lunar deity look when practiced on a Moon colony?

How would you go about calling the quarters while in orbit?

Would people be less inclined to be concerned about protecting the environment, when living in entirely artificial habitats? Or would they be more concerned, because their biospheres would be so small and fragile?

(For the moment, I'd like to ignore the question of how we got space colonies in the first place. Just imagine someone invented a handwavium-powered antigravity device in their garage or something.)

 
Great thought experiment!

I do think that my personal practice would adapt to space, but I also think the core of what I do would remain the same.  I definitely consider space to be part of nature, and the idea that there would be different natural things to work with would be kind of exciting.

As a whole, I think that Paganism in space would still have many of the same varieties it has on earth.  There would be Traditionalists who would try to keep as true to Earth-Paganism as they could.  But there would also be whole new branches who embraced brand new Space-Paganism, working with new practices that were developed around the new circumstances and environment.

I can easily see whole temples and communities on the Moon based around lunar deities.  And new groups forming around moons that aren't ours....and then the inevitable "Are all moon deities the same" discussion!

I could see myself calling quarters in many different ways in orbit.  My first thought was a simple self-based orientation, so I would spend some time figuring out how I felt the elements fit into a "before me, at my right, behind me, at my left" orientation.  But I have also used 'designated North' before (where I assigned a place to be North when I didn't have a good idea of the true directions), and just oriented around it.  I could also see powerful work by assigning 'direction to Earth' as North (I have strong feelings about 'home' and how it's not always where you life, but rather a place that embodies the sensation of home to you).  I kind of like the idea of using Earth as the homing point for your elemental compass.  I can also see orienting based on where you are at, so if you are on a planet/moon with poles, you can orient on it's alignment.  If you are in a ship, you may orient to match it's interior or exterior alignment (with the front being North probably).

I believe that most Pagans would be as devoted to the environment (or more) in space.  Especially in some kind of bio-dome, I think there would be great emphasis on maintaining balance and caring for your environment.  If we were on a planet with it's own biosystem (plants/animals/minerals that were new to us), I can see lots of Pagan scientists working endlessly to not only learn about their new environment and how nature works where they live, but also to learn the energetic qualities of all these new things.  And even if we somehow managed to live or spend a lot of time outside on a 'barren' planet, I think that there would be a lot of Pagans who would reach out to what was there, who would seek out the beauty in the stark landscape and find ways to connect with these new places (I'm one of those people who find stark, empty places super moving and beautiful....I think I'd like being a Space-Pagan)

Ok....now I want to write a story about Space-Pagans....perhaps NaNo this year!
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Sefiru

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2017, 07:00:21 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;204733

Ok....now I want to write a story about Space-Pagans....perhaps NaNo this year!


A confession: I am in fact writing a story (or at least a setting; not much plot yet) where this is part of the premise; hence the thread.

One of my ideas is that each ship or station would have its own totem spirit / genius loci / kami, which its inhabitants would honor. Considering the beliefs that exist about surface ships and other vehicles having spirits, I don't think that's much of a stretch at all.

I agree with you on caring for the environment. On a practical note, I can imagine that candles and incense might not be used as often as they are on Earth, both because of the danger of fire and because they use up oxygen and give off smoke.

One thing I think won't happen is for religion to disappear entirely, like in Star Trek. In fact, as stressful as space travel is likely to be, I'd think space-dwellers would become more spiritual as a means of coping.

Tom

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 09:16:44 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;204746
One thing I think won't happen is for religion to disappear entirely, like in Star Trek. In fact, as stressful as space travel is likely to be, I'd think space-dwellers would become more spiritual as a means of coping.


You know, you mentioning that actually reminds me of the Bajoran religion as how it shows up in DS9, which actually includes space in their conception of religion as they saw their divine beings as being from the wormhole. While yes, the federation called them "wormhole aliens", they were not too dissimilar to deities in a lot of ways.

That makes me wonder if pagans would do similar with space phenomenon like that, seeing them as places of gods.

Yei

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2017, 12:33:35 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;204746
A confession: I am in fact writing a story (or at least a setting; not much plot yet) where this is part of the premise; hence the thread.

One of my ideas is that each ship or station would have its own totem spirit / genius loci / kami, which its inhabitants would honor. Considering the beliefs that exist about surface ships and other vehicles having spirits, I don't think that's much of a stretch at all.

I agree with you on caring for the environment. On a practical note, I can imagine that candles and incense might not be used as often as they are on Earth, both because of the danger of fire and because they use up oxygen and give off smoke.

One thing I think won't happen is for religion to disappear entirely, like in Star Trek. In fact, as stressful as space travel is likely to be, I'd think space-dwellers would become more spiritual as a means of coping.

 
Wouldn't it depend on what you were doing in space? I can see trade gods being popular, or maybe luck gods. Or even mining gods. That would have made Red Dwarf very interesting.

Kylara

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2017, 11:59:48 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;204746
One of my ideas is that each ship or station would have its own totem spirit / genius loci / kami, which its inhabitants would honor. Considering the beliefs that exist about surface ships and other vehicles having spirits, I don't think that's much of a stretch at all.

I agree with you on caring for the environment. On a practical note, I can imagine that candles and incense might not be used as often as they are on Earth, both because of the danger of fire and because they use up oxygen and give off smoke.


 
I like that idea of ships with totems.  I love sci-fi shows where the ship has intelligence/personality.

I bet Spagans (ok yes, I'm making up words....I was about to type Space-Pagans, and mistyped, and that contraction popped into my head!) would find new ways to innovate around candles/incense.  With future tech there are always options of smokeless candles, or even some kind of inverse candle that might function like trees:  consuming carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.  Definitely some great options with virtual reality or holographic candles.  And if you add in alien biology, there are all kinds of interesting things you could do:  rocks that when the surface is scratched they slowly dissolve, releasing different scents depending on the type of rock, plants that open blooms every couple of minutes with a burst of scent, some type of fuzzy animal that has scent glands that trigger when you pet it.

Or, the ships/biodomes could just have good enough air filtration systems that candles and incense aren't an issue.
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Altair

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2017, 10:44:27 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;204746


One thing I think won't happen is for religion to disappear entirely, like in Star Trek. In fact, as stressful as space travel is likely to be, I'd think space-dwellers would become more spiritual as a means of coping.


That rejection of original Trek's approach as fundamentally misunderstanding human nature started me on this very thought experiment, which is what led me to "discover" the gods and mythos I adhere to.

I tried to imagine what human religion in a distant, space-faring future might look like. One result was similar to your last sentence--I figured the better our science and technology got and the more we experienced among the stars, the more we'd realize just how much we DON'T know...so the god the unknown became a major figure.

A sky god made little sense...until I realized he'd be a god of the starry sky, reinterpreted to encompass the sky above us in its broadest possible sense: all of space, and all things of matter and energy within it. The shapeshifting of a sky god like Zeus fit right in with the constant transformations between matter and energy.

The earth mother goddess still exists, but she's no longer alone; she's one of many earth mothers, as the number of Earth-like exoplanets seems countless, with the near certainty that at least some of them have also fostered life, albeit alien to us.

So yeah, I see paganism expanding in very cool ways in a space-based context. I'd better; I based a book on it. ;)
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
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Altair

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2017, 10:51:23 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;204733
Great thought experiment!


I'm fascinated that we approached the question from two different (but not contradictory) angles: You seemed to focus more on how pagans would practice in space, and my focus has always been on how myth would adapt to a space context. Kinda cool.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Kylara

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2017, 12:18:55 pm »
Quote from: Altair;204778
I'm fascinated that we approached the question from two different (but not contradictory) angles: You seemed to focus more on how pagans would practice in space, and my focus has always been on how myth would adapt to a space context. Kinda cool.

 
True, I guess I'm a sort of nuts and bolts person, so my thoughts went automatically to what people would do.  I think they mythos would evolve over time as people worked in new places and developed stories to embrace their new experiences.
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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2017, 05:56:15 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;204710
Obviously I have been reading too much scifi recently, because this has been on my mind...

How do you think your spiritual practices would change if you were living in space? How do you think pagan religions in general might change? After all, many pagan paths are based around nature, the seasons and other features of Earth's surface.

 
My Powers are at least partly grounded in modern cosmology, so I don't know necessarily that much would change for me.

My most persistent UPG is that my primary goddess manifests as the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, so maybe I'd have something built into my spaceship to send off a recording of me singing in that direction every so often.

I would make a point of setting aside some of the spaceship's precious resources to grow a few devotional plants, for sure, as well.
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Altair

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2017, 09:48:21 pm »
Quote from: Eastling;204790

My most persistent UPG is that my primary goddess manifests as the black hole at the center of the Milky Way



OK, that's definitely cool. I'd be curious to know more.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Eastling

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2017, 02:31:29 am »
Quote from: Altair;204793
OK, that's definitely cool. I'd be curious to know more.

 
I've written about it a bit more here and more recently here.
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Castus

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2017, 09:39:16 am »
Quote from: Eastling;204797
I've written about it a bit more here and more recently here.

 
*weeps softly as the Jewish influences become slowly less pronounced*

Tbf I'd be even more disappointed if Neo-Katabasis wasn't so aggressively interesting.

Sefiru

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2017, 06:59:21 pm »
Quote from: Kylara;204767
if you add in alien biology, there are all kinds of interesting things you could do:  rocks that when the surface is scratched they slowly dissolve, releasing different scents depending on the type of rock, plants that open blooms every couple of minutes with a burst of scent, some type of fuzzy animal that has scent glands that trigger when you pet it.

 
I guess it depends how far into the future we're speculating, too.

The isolation of space habitats from each other, and the difficulty of traveling between them, might have some effects on their belief systems too. I'm imagining something based on Pacific Island cultures.

... I'm so tired of Space Westerns. Space Polynesians would be awesome.

Sefiru

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Re: Paganism IN SPACE!: Let's speculate
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2017, 07:01:42 pm »
Quote from: Altair;204777

So yeah, I see paganism expanding in very cool ways in a space-based context. I'd better; I based a book on it. ;)


This is now definitely on my reading list.

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