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Author Topic: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question  (Read 8109 times)

HarpingHawke

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2014, 06:16:13 pm »
Quote from: Sage;165909
I'm talking less about an approach to understanding who and what the gods are and more of how a religion is identified or talked about. I don't, for example, see my work with Clann Bhride in terms of eclecticism or reconstructionism, and such terms aren't really so helpful when looking at new Pagan religions - like the Otherfaith that Aine Llewellyn and others are building - which have nothing to reconstruct or to be eclectic about because they're new.

 
Ah. I see.

It would be interesting to think of a term for this kind of thing, because I've been seeing it a lot lately and I would like to be able to call it something.
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

BeardedBoggan

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2014, 06:47:10 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;165914
Ah. I see.

It would be interesting to think of a term for this kind of thing, because I've been seeing it a lot lately and I would like to be able to call it something.

 
Personally, I would just call it whatever you wanted (such as being someone of Clann Bhride) and leave out the semantics.  I also like the usage of the terms "hard" and "soft" for things such as polytheism etc.  It gives it a bit of a focus without going into too many labels and particulars.

Redfaery

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2014, 06:47:51 pm »
Quote from: Sage;165895
Quoting Kiya but really just tossing this out there for anyone to tackle and for my own reassurance:

There are other options. You can be Buddhist. :p

My practice is reconstructionist in some ways - mostly because I consider any attempt at Shinto outside of Japan to be essentially "reconstructionist."

Mostly though, I'm eclectic...but it's not Wiccish bits or historical paganisms that I'm cobbling together, it's bits of various Buddhisms and animosity beliefs.

For example, I used to offer the traditional Shinto offering of water, sake, grain, and salt. Before that, I offered my closest approximation to the traditional Tibetan saffron water. Neither felt right. I've settled into just offering plain tap water. It....works really well.
KARMA: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Yei

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2014, 07:10:08 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;165903
(bolding mine)

So we're talking maybe...pliable paganism? Could it also technically be paired with squishy polytheism?

 
Perhaps Revivalism? Actually that sounds a bit too err... preachy/evangelical, at least to me.

Rebuilt (Insert Religion)...

(Religion) Reloaded...

I give up.

HarpingHawke

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2014, 07:29:53 pm »
Quote from: Yei;165931
Perhaps Revivalism? Actually that sounds a bit too err... preachy/evangelical, at least to me.

Rebuilt (Insert Religion)...

(Religion) Reloaded...

I give up.

 
I like (Religion) Reloaded.

We could also call it The Great Sliding Scale of Religious Practice and have TGSSRP as an acronym. Of course that's kinda long...
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

BeardedBoggan

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2014, 07:43:23 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;165935
I like (Religion) Reloaded.

We could also call it The Great Sliding Scale of Religious Practice and have TGSSRP as an acronym. Of course that's kinda long...

 
Gods, TGSSRP is genius!

HarpingHawke

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #21 on: November 22, 2014, 07:55:50 pm »
Quote from: BeardedBoggan;165936
Gods, TGSSRP is genius!

 
Glad you like it that much! **hides face in hands** Do you have any suggestions?
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BeardedBoggan

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2014, 08:58:28 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;165938
Glad you like it that much! **hides face in hands** Do you have any suggestions?

 
I'd just identify with whatever the path you identify with and not sweat what part of the eclectic/reconstructionist line you might fall on.  Otherwise, we totally need to make a TGSSRP sliding scale graph!

Darkhawk

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2014, 12:35:02 pm »
Quote from: Sage;165895
You can be a Pagan or polytheist without having to pick one or the other, yes?

 
Erm, there are plenty of non-reconstructionist pagan religions out there, like, most of them? But somehow I'm fairly certain that's not what you're asking.
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SunflowerP

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2014, 04:58:12 pm »
Quote from: BeardedBoggan;165944
I'd just identify with whatever the path you identify with and not sweat what part of the eclectic/reconstructionist line you might fall on.  Otherwise, we totally need to make a TGSSRP sliding scale graph!

 
Not just to you, BeardedBoggan, but to this line of discussion as a whole.

What definitions of 'eclectic' and 'recon' are being used here, that they stand as inherent diametric opposites to each other, and as the end points of a line on which all pagan religions fall? I'm finding this very confusing, as I'm not familiar with any definitions of the two words that place them in direct opposition, nor that allow them to be applied to all pagan religions.

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Gilbride

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2014, 05:25:42 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;165986
What definitions of 'eclectic' and 'recon' are being used here, that they stand as inherent diametric opposites to each other

 
This is a really good point- any accurate reconstruction of the paganism of Roman North Africa or Europe would have to be highly eclectic, so the terms can't be opposites.

Darkhawk

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2014, 08:09:21 pm »
Quote from: Gilbride;165988
This is a really good point- any accurate reconstruction of the paganism of Roman North Africa or Europe would have to be highly eclectic, so the terms can't be opposites.

 
Any form of functioning reconstruction has to be eclectic at some level - either by deliberate and conscious construction or by unconsciously grabbing shit from either pop paganism or surrounding Christian overculture - because the information necessary to produce a living practice simply does not exist.
as the water grinds the stone
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BeardedBoggan

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2014, 09:51:10 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;165986
Not just to you, BeardedBoggan, but to this line of discussion as a whole.

What definitions of 'eclectic' and 'recon' are being used here, that they stand as inherent diametric opposites to each other, and as the end points of a line on which all pagan religions fall? I'm finding this very confusing, as I'm not familiar with any definitions of the two words that place them in direct opposition, nor that allow them to be applied to all pagan religions.

Sunflower

A very valid question.  I think that often, when in discussion with reconstructionists and via my own experiences, I've seen recon and eclectic used as opposite ends of the spectrum even though they do overlay and can work in conjunction quite well with one and other. Reconstruction is seen as wholly academic and based on historical and mythological materials that have been written down and eclectic practices are verified more off the practitioner's own UPG and intuition.  I know that it is not so cut-and-dry and much more complex than that; this is merely how I've seen the divide come up in the past.

Of course, not all recons work in such a mindset with the two terms being in opposition to each other; it just seems there can be some disagreement when crossing the two paths.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2014, 09:54:17 pm by BeardedBoggan »

Nyktelios

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2014, 12:42:59 pm »
Quote from: LostEnvoy;165825
So I've been doing some research and I've run into a few common themes, one being some irritation toward eclectic practitioners coming from reconstructionists. Is this a common thing? Where does it stem from? As someone new to this I'm a little confused about why there would be a problem with eclectics and recon folks, except maybe with cultural appropriation?

 
In my experience, recons can have a very rigid mindset, and can be very anal about making sure their religious views and practices can be historically validated. Depending on the culture, there can also be a need to keep one's practices free of foreign influence. I agree that reconstructionism does involve its own kind of eclecticism, but this usually isn't acknowledged by many recons themselves.

From this perspective, eclectics who use a little of this and a little of that can seem flaky, confused and unsubstantial. However, I think it's hard not to be eclectic when modern society is such a melting pot of different cultures, and so much information is available to us. It is hard to maintain that borderline nationalist mindset that a lot of recons have about their source culture (speaking from a Hellenic perspective, at least). Neo-paganism also just has a lot of stuff that ancient religions just didn't incorporate, like different coloured candles for different magical needs, or meditating with chakras. Ancient polytheism was largely devotional, focused on gods rather than New Agey self-help techniques and super cool spellz.

Just my experience, your mileage may vary. I was a Hellenic Recon for a few years, and found myself slipping into a rigid, purist frame of mind, though it ended up not working long-term for my diverse interests. I still maintain certain recon practices when I honour certain gods, but I no longer see reconstruction of an ancient religion as useful in the context of my own life, or very realistic in general, as the whole concept of religion as a single unified system is very Abrahamic.

MattyG

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Re: Eclectic Paganism and Recon Question
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2014, 09:46:30 pm »
Quote from: Yei;165931
Perhaps Revivalism? Actually that sounds a bit too err... preachy/evangelical, at least to me.

 
I was actually just considering the possibility of calling myself a "revivalist" earlier today. The term just kind of popped in my head, and now I'm seeing it on here for the first time. I'm going to probably consider this a little sign from the gods :p

I used to consider myself a Reconstrucitonist, but I started finding that modern reconstructionism wasn't working for me as a foundation for my religion.  Reconstruction, to me, is a little like paleontology. When you put the bones back together you can see what a dinosaur might have looked like, but it's never going to be a living, breathing dinosaur. I guess I like the term revivalist as it puts the emphasis on making something live. I guess what I need is a Jurassic Park for the soul. Mix a little frog DNA into my religion :p

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