collapse
2019 Donation Drive

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise at least $650 (same as last year) to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 16 Sept 2019: $660 donated. $10 more our minimum goal! Let's beat last year's total of $99 more than the minimum!


Note: This total is updated manually, usually once a day


* "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: Worshipping gods in a reconstructionist or eclectic manner  (Read 2858 times)

Yei

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: May 2012
  • Posts: 546
  • Country: au
  • Total likes: 133
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Mexica Reconstructionism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His
Re: Worshipping gods in a reconstructionist or eclectic manner
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2017, 12:08:32 am »
Am I... am I the only one seeing an issue here? I'm honestly a little surprised that no-one else has commented on this but maybe it's just me.

Speaking as someone who does not worship in an 'eclectic' manner -- and as someone who is perfectly content listening to halakhic authorities -- I strongly take issue with your rude and arrogant characterisation of those who tend towards religious orthodoxy or orthopraxy. I certainly don't have a weak or undeveloped imagination; and I doubt that the billions of observant religious folks out there are universally unimaginative. Similarly I have no idea what 'experience in the power of Creation' is supposed to be but whatever it is I don't think it has any bearing on my religious proclivities.

You're not the only one. Quite condescending really.

I think the difference between those who favour UPG and Recons depends on how one sees ritual itself. Is it about self-expression, or community? Speaking in general terms of course. I'd expect more eclectic worshippers to see ritual activities as highly individual-centric, and expression of personal faith and direct connections. Recons on the other hand see ritual as more about group worship, what the community needs to speak to the gods, and placing oneself into a social and historical context in which their individual traits are not so important. It's not really about the past v. present, as group rituals can be very dynamic and creative. Its about the mentality with which one approaches rituals.

I don't think imagination has anything to do with it.   

MamaThistle

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Location: Mountains
  • Posts: 209
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 32
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Religious witchcraft/Gaelic polytheist
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Worshipping gods in a reconstructionist or eclectic manner
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2017, 12:56:34 am »
You're not the only one. Quite condescending really.

I think the difference between those who favour UPG and Recons depends on how one sees ritual itself. Is it about self-expression, or community? Speaking in general terms of course. I'd expect more eclectic worshippers to see ritual activities as highly individual-centric, and expression of personal faith and direct connections. Recons on the other hand see ritual as more about group worship, what the community needs to speak to the gods, and placing oneself into a social and historical context in which their individual traits are not so important. It's not really about the past v. present, as group rituals can be very dynamic and creative. Its about the mentality with which one approaches rituals.

I don't think imagination has anything to do with it.

Yeah I agree. I think the strong community aspect of recon is a positive thing, it just doesn't work for everyone. Creativity is not the issue, any religious or non-religious person can be creative.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

- W.B. Yeats

Louisvillian

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: May 2013
  • Posts: 388
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Syncretic religio romana/Hellenised Romano-British religion
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Worshipping gods in a reconstructionist or eclectic manner
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2017, 08:21:48 pm »
Interesting. I should add that my reconstructionist period was Gaelic. Therefore, you are absolutely right, it depends on the religion.
I have tried looking into CR, since I do worship Celtic deities. But so much of it is Gaelic-specific, and while I have Early Modern-era Scottish ancestors, I have ancestors from other parts of the British Isles too, going back centuries; my interest drifts across the whole of the Isles, not just Scotland and Ireland. And while I feel pulled to Celtic gods and Celtic history and cultures, it's not exclusive--and all the CR organisations I've read up on take a very hard-line stance on exclusively worshipping Celtic gods.

Roman religion felt right for me, for a number of reasons. Part of it is that, while I have Celtic, Slavic, and English ancestors, ultimately I'm an American, and my heritage and culture is that of the United States. The US consciously modelled itself in part on the Roman Republic and the Neoclassical ideas that pervaded the Enlightenment. My country's roots are Roman in that sense, and I've always felt a pull towards the Roman gods because of that. But the other part is indeed the pragmatism I mentioned; most Religio Romana groups, including the one I'm a member of, are comfortable with its adherents having private cults to whatever they feel drawn to, as long as the Roman gods are honoured in a manner roughly consistent with Roman household practice.

Quote
However, I also think eclectic gets a really bad rep, partially because it should (some people make me cringe) and partially because there isn't a better term.
At least the way I use it, 'syncretic' might fall in between. But really, though I usually do things in a reconstructionist method, I don't have any problems with eclectics. I'm of a very "whatever works for you" mindset--if a religion or practice doesn't work for you, then it's not doing what it needs to do--for you (general you) at least. Reconstructionist methods work for me, because of my emphasis on history, folklore, and (constructive) traditions. But if they don't work for someone, or only kinda-work for someone, then that's fine too.

MamaThistle

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Location: Mountains
  • Posts: 209
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 32
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Religious witchcraft/Gaelic polytheist
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Worshipping gods in a reconstructionist or eclectic manner
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2017, 12:50:32 am »
I have tried looking into CR, since I do worship Celtic deities. But so much of it is Gaelic-specific, and while I have Early Modern-era Scottish ancestors, I have ancestors from other parts of the British Isles too, going back centuries; my interest drifts across the whole of the Isles, not just Scotland and Ireland. And while I feel pulled to Celtic gods and Celtic history and cultures, it's not exclusive--and all the CR organisations I've read up on take a very hard-line stance on exclusively worshipping Celtic gods.


This is partially why I chose to do my own thing. Also, a lot of the Celtic reconstruction emphasizes community. Since I'm solitary and live in a small town, I felt like I wasn't getting the full experience or something

Quote
At least the way I use it, 'syncretic' might fall in between. But really, though I usually do things in a reconstructionist method, I don't have any problems with eclectics. I'm of a very "whatever works for you" mindset--if a religion or practice doesn't work for you, then it's not doing what it needs to do--for you (general you) at least. Reconstructionist methods work for me, because of my emphasis on history, folklore, and (constructive) traditions. But if they don't work for someone, or only kinda-work for someone, then that's fine too.

Couldn't agree more! ;-)



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

- W.B. Yeats

Kasmira

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 68
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 4
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Tendai buddhist
Re: Worshipping gods in a reconstructionist or eclectic manner
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2017, 12:41:32 pm »
I tend not to use those words to describe my spiritual-religious system, though many do consider me to be eclectic.

I extract and utilize strength, power, wisdom and beauty, inspiration, and motivation... whenever, wherever, and however I Will.  I have blended ancient and modern ideas and insights with my own ideas and insights, ancient and modern Weltanschauung with my own Weltanschauung, and my practices all reflect my own True Will and goals and ambitions.  The dreams and desires of other people and cultures come second to my own, if at all.

Some people feel a strong inclination to follow, especially when it comes to religion.  Some people have a weak and underdeveloped imagination, and little experience in the power of Creation.  I do not expect these people to worship their gods in an "eclectic" manner.  If religion interests them at all, they probably feel content signing up for whatever religion is there for them- or interests them the most- and then experiencing it in the way their religious leaders or creators intended them to.  This is not my inclination.  I prefer to do things my own way.

Others have already addressed the issues with considering reconstructionism as a sign of weakness so I'll leave that lie and speak to the opposite side of the same coin - the inherent superiority you seem to see in mix-and-match eclecticism. Certainly there are people on this forum who practice syncretic approaches to religion in a way which is meaningful and respectful. Given the depth of knowledge of each tradition necessary to effectively integrate them, these folks do demonstrate a particular degree of "motivation" and "will". However, this does not seem to be what you are describing when you refer to your "whenever, wherever, however" approach...

To use a terrible analogy, it takes effectively zero will power for a kid to stand in the middle of a candy store and grab anything that looks bright and shiny. On the other hand, another kid could pick one kind of candy and learn everything about it until they can make their own from scratch. A third kid might pick two candies and learn enough about them that he can make a new combination candy. Either of the last two could involve more or less will power depending on how serious the kid is about candy making.

That's really about as far as I can go with a candy=religion analogy... Still, there's one other thing you mention that I feel the need to address: following an established religion does not equal following blindly. I live in a temple and am training as a monk in a fairly traditional Buddhist school (Tendai). Sure, I'm memorizing sutras and mantras and rituals, but I'm also learning to analyse them in order to both better understand the material and to critically evaluate it's relevance. As to the degree of motivation required, Buddhism as a whole is over 2400 years old, Tendai specifically is over 1200, you don't think there's enough material accrued over that time to keep anyone plenty busy for several lifetimes? That's even true if all they were doing were studying the materials as a scholar, not learning to live by them as a practitioner of this religious tradition (which, if anything, requires greater effort).

Anyway, uh, I'll get off my soapbox now...

Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss - Douglas Adams
To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all - Oscar Wilde

MamaThistle

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2016
  • Location: Mountains
  • Posts: 209
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 32
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Religious witchcraft/Gaelic polytheist
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Worshipping gods in a reconstructionist or eclectic manner
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2017, 03:07:09 pm »

Anyway, uh, I'll get off my soapbox now...

I like the candy analogy! Although my practice is "eclectic," I don't feel it's superior, it's mostly out of necessity. I have a very solitary practice and like my privacy. I have worked with different deities, but no strong calls (although I've tried). Basically I tried reconstruction and it felt forced (by me), so right now I'm trying to keep up a ritual and a practice that feels natural. If something calls me I'll be open to it. I describe my practice as "witchy," but not Wicca at all. I do like to read a lot about different cultures, but I don't add anything to my practice without a solid reason.

My eclecticism also has a strong purpose, but there is reason I keep some of it private out of respect for the culture. Currently, my practice is mostly revolved around learning Tarot. It's actually helped me a lot with my spirituality and has shown me that I don't actually have to explain or compare my practice to anyone. All that said, I still think finding a community would be nice and is natural to crave. Not weak.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people."

- W.B. Yeats

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
16 Replies
5540 Views
Last post August 19, 2014, 03:23:55 am
by TheElegantShadow
7 Replies
1396 Views
Last post June 17, 2012, 02:53:58 am
by GoldenSiren
0 Replies
280 Views
Last post June 14, 2012, 01:11:57 am
by GoldenSiren
6 Replies
1768 Views
Last post August 20, 2012, 01:30:34 am
by randomheathen
2 Replies
550 Views
Last post December 25, 2017, 01:45:25 pm
by Jenett

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 14
  • 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.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall