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Author Topic: Help choosing which polytheism to pursue  (Read 2805 times)

minus

Help choosing which polytheism to pursue
« on: December 30, 2016, 11:01:59 am »
Hi Everyone, this is my first post on here and I was wondering if you could help me.

I have recently become interested in European Polytheism. My ancestry is Germanic and Celtic.

The problem is, I am finding it really hard to choose what to do. I feel a very strong connection with the God Thor, yet at the same time i feel a stronger connection with the celtic gods overall.

All of this is making me feel really confused and I'm scared to do anything wrong incase I offend some gods that I have no intended to.

I'd look forward to hearing from you all.

minus

Alexeigynaix

Re: Help
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2016, 11:17:30 am »
Quote from: minus;200610
Hi Everyone, this is my first post on here and I was wondering if you could help me.

I have recently become interested in European Polytheism. My ancestry is Germanic and Celtic.

The problem is, I am finding it really hard to choose what to do. I feel a very strong connection with the God Thor, yet at the same time i feel a stronger connection with the celtic gods overall.

All of this is making me feel really confused and I'm scared to do anything wrong incase I offend some gods that I have no intended to.

I'd look forward to hearing from you all.

minus

 
Step one: breathe. :)

My experience--granted it's with Greek Gods, not Germanic or Celtic, but I am reasonably certain this is reasonably universally true--is that when you're just getting started in polytheism, the Gods are very forgiving. Because you don't know any better.

I know a bunch of people who do work in multiple polytheistic traditions, and what I hear from them is that the Gods are not typically jealous, either. So if you want to work with Brigid or whoever in the Celtic way and also Thor in the Germanic way, that should not pose any problems for you.

I suggest you start researching both traditions. I have no particular recommendations for books or essays or anything, for which I apologize. Hopefully someone else around here does!

minus

Re: Help
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2016, 11:36:28 am »
Thanks for your reply, so does this mean I'm practicing eclectic polytheism (never really liked the term pagan) or something else?

also how do i get started in celtic polytheism exactly because theres hardly any "bible" or edda equivalent that I know of.


Quote from: Alexeigynaix;200611
Step one: breathe. :)

My experience--granted it's with Greek Gods, not Germanic or Celtic, but I am reasonably certain this is reasonably universally true--is that when you're just getting started in polytheism, the Gods are very forgiving. Because you don't know any better.

I know a bunch of people who do work in multiple polytheistic traditions, and what I hear from them is that the Gods are not typically jealous, either. So if you want to work with Brigid or whoever in the Celtic way and also Thor in the Germanic way, that should not pose any problems for you.

I suggest you start researching both traditions. I have no particular recommendations for books or essays or anything, for which I apologize. Hopefully someone else around here does!

Alexeigynaix

Re: Help
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2016, 12:01:41 pm »
Quote from: minus;200612
Thanks for your reply, so does this mean I'm practicing eclectic polytheism (never really liked the term pagan) or something else?

also how do i get started in celtic polytheism exactly because theres hardly any "bible" or edda equivalent that I know of.

 
"Eclectic polytheism" is probably a good term.

There isn't that I know of, either. Read the myths, is usually a good starting point. Cu Chulainn? Mabinog--wait that's Welsh, never mind.

Also, maybe The Well of Five Streams, by Erynn Rowan Laurie? I'm pretty sure Laurie is a well-known name in Celtic paganism, whose essays might therefore be helpful to you. (I apparently own this in ebook but I'm pretty sure I haven't actually read it yet. So I can't speak to the contents.)

minus

Re: Help
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2016, 02:11:34 pm »
thanks, i'll be sure to check that stuff out. On a different note, I've asked this elsewhere, but could anyone else help me with the question?

Recently my wife bought we a valknut without knowing the meaning behind it, it tried it on. I've read some places that once it has been worn you have made a commitment to odin.

I was not aware of this at the time I tried it on, and I'm certainly not ready to make such a commitment.

IS there any truth to this and if so how do I fix this? I'm no where near the point of making commitments.

Quote from: Alexeigynaix;200613
"Eclectic polytheism" is probably a good term.

There isn't that I know of, either. Read the myths, is usually a good starting point. Cu Chulainn? Mabinog--wait that's Welsh, never mind.

Also, maybe The Well of Five Streams, by Erynn Rowan Laurie? I'm pretty sure Laurie is a well-known name in Celtic paganism, whose essays might therefore be helpful to you. (I apparently own this in ebook but I'm pretty sure I haven't actually read it yet. So I can't speak to the contents.)

Sefiru

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Re: Help
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2016, 03:32:39 pm »
Quote from: minus;200610

All of this is making me feel really confused and I'm scared to do anything wrong incase I offend some gods that I have no intended to.

 
Hi there!

One thing to keep in mind is that it's always possible to apologise, even if you do offend a god, and most of them aren't easily offended.

We've had a lot of threads here on how to combine different pantheons or traditions; if you do a search for "eclectic" or "eclectic paganism" you'll turn up several.

minus

Re: Help
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2016, 04:40:29 pm »
thats really good to hear. in regards to the odin knot do i just apologize and then move on?

Quote from: Sefiru;200620
Hi there!

One thing to keep in mind is that it's always possible to apologise, even if you do offend a god, and most of them aren't easily offended.

We've had a lot of threads here on how to combine different pantheons or traditions; if you do a search for "eclectic" or "eclectic paganism" you'll turn up several.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 07:44:12 pm by SunflowerP »

SunflowerP

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Re: Help
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2016, 01:32:09 am »
Quote from: minus;200616
Recently my wife bought we a valknut without knowing the meaning behind it, it tried it on. I've read some places that once it has been worn you have made a commitment to odin.

I was not aware of this at the time I tried it on, and I'm certainly not ready to make such a commitment.

IS there any truth to this and if so how do I fix this? I'm no where near the point of making commitments.

 
It might get Odin's attention, but, no, just putting it on does not constitute a commitment. Even wearing it regularly does not; what constitutes a commitment is making a commitment - the notion that one can do so accidentally/inadvertently is, IMO, as ludicrous as the notion that one could make a binding marital commitment 'by accident', or, say, by simply putting on a ring of typical 'wedding ring' design.

The Wikipedia article on the Valknut is actually really good for clarifying this - it makes it clear that the valknut isn't established as definitely being a symbol of Odin, notes modern usages that demonstrate the unlikelihood of the 'instant commitment' notion, and even quotes the passage from Davidson (a very highly-regarded academic antiquarian specializing in northern Europe) from which the 'instant commitment' notion is likely derived, and if so, is clearly a misinterpretation of.

So, you probably don't even need to 'apologize and move on'; you can wear the valknut or not, as you prefer and with no guilt or anxieties either way (many Asatruar use it simply as a symbol of their heathenry, not as a symbol of devotion to Odin specifically), no apologies needed.

With regard to your initial question, Darkhawk's essay On Eclecticism will probably be of interest and use to you.

Sunflower
I'm the AntiFa genderqueer commie eclectic wiccan Mod your alt-right bros warned you about.
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My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

minus

Re: Help
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2016, 08:45:34 am »
Thanks for your response sunflower, you've made me feel a lot better.

I shall definitely read the link you sent me.

A the moment I'm still trying to find my feet, so i'm not really following any particular path, but exploring options. I noticed you are interested in religious witchcraft. Is there a specific celtic witchcraft path/option that I could look into. this sounds right up my street.

Sorry for so many question, this whole thing is so difficult to understand at first.

Thanks for your patience.

Quote from: SunflowerP;200656
It might get Odin's attention, but, no, just putting it on does not constitute a commitment. Even wearing it regularly does not; what constitutes a commitment is making a commitment - the notion that one can do so accidentally/inadvertently is, IMO, as ludicrous as the notion that one could make a binding marital commitment 'by accident', or, say, by simply putting on a ring of typical 'wedding ring' design.

The Wikipedia article on the Valknut is actually really good for clarifying this - it makes it clear that the valknut isn't established as definitely being a symbol of Odin, notes modern usages that demonstrate the unlikelihood of the 'instant commitment' notion, and even quotes the passage from Davidson (a very highly-regarded academic antiquarian specializing in northern Europe) from which the 'instant commitment' notion is likely derived, and if so, is clearly a misinterpretation of.

So, you probably don't even need to 'apologize and move on'; you can wear the valknut or not, as you prefer and with no guilt or anxieties either way (many Asatruar use it simply as a symbol of their heathenry, not as a symbol of devotion to Odin specifically), no apologies needed.

With regard to your initial question, Darkhawk's essay On Eclecticism will probably be of interest and use to you.

Sunflower

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Re: Help
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2016, 11:41:56 am »
Quote from: minus;200624
thats really good to hear. in regards to the odin knot do i just apologize and then move on?

 
As Sunflower said, that isn't anything that requires an apology. The wedding ring analogy is a good one. Sometimes a ring is just a ring, and sometimes a knot is just a length of string.

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Re: Help
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2017, 04:56:39 am »
Quote from: minus;200669
A the moment I'm still trying to find my feet, so i'm not really following any particular path, but exploring options. I noticed you are interested in religious witchcraft. Is there a specific celtic witchcraft path/option that I could look into. this sounds right up my street.


That depends on several things; among them, what you mean by 'Celtic' and what you mean by 'witchcraft'.

For sorting out options, you might find the resources provided in our Hello, I'm a New Pagan wiki article useful.

Quote
Sorry for so many question, this whole thing is so difficult to understand at first.

 
Nothing to apologize for; that's what our beginner-friendly areas are for! And, yes, the breadth and scope of all the many different things that fall under the umbrella of paganism is complex and confusing.

One suggestion I'd make, though, is that rather than simply adding new questions to your existing thread, making new threads for new questions (or sets of related questions, when you have many), with thread titles that are more specific about what you're asking about, is more effective for getting the attention of people who are interested/knowledgeable in the relevant things. I've edited the title of this thread (or rather, will as soon as I post this) to be more specific.

Sunflower
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I do so have a life; I just live part of it online!
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
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My much-neglected blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough"

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Re: Help
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2017, 08:56:45 pm »
Quote from: SunflowerP;200727
I've edited the title of this thread (or rather, will as soon as I post this) to be more specific.

 
And then promptly forgot to do it. But now I have.

Sunflower
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Night Owl

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Re: Help choosing which polytheism to pursue
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2017, 06:29:32 am »
Quote from: minus;200610
Hi Everyone, this is my first post on here and I was wondering if you could help me.

I have recently become interested in European Polytheism. My ancestry is Germanic and Celtic.

The problem is, I am finding it really hard to choose what to do. I feel a very strong connection with the God Thor, yet at the same time i feel a stronger connection with the celtic gods overall.

All of this is making me feel really confused and I'm scared to do anything wrong incase I offend some gods that I have no intended to.

I'd look forward to hearing from you all.

minus

Hi there,
A good place to start is to find a framework for working with the deities that appeals to you and try it out. You can decide the framework isn't working for you at any point and switch it out for another, or keep the things that are working for you and don't use what doesn't. A lot of them are tied to an organization: for example, Ar nDraichot Fein (ADF) has developed its own ritual framework as has the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids (OBOD). While these organizations both require one to join for full access to their materials, enough are available for free online to get the gist of what it's all about. As well as this, with a well-designed google search it's often possible to find blog posts by people who either are active members, use the framework, or have used it and like or dislike it for their own reasons.

I've only given links to a couple organizations geared to one pantheon (celtic) and one approach to working with the celtic gods (druidry). This is for two reasons: one is that they are ones I am familiar with, and another is that doing your own research and working out which resources are ones you want to use is pretty much an essential skill for being a pagan. It's even worth learning about pantheons and religious frameworks you don't intend on interacting with: you can find some good answers for why certain things are done or not done in different practices: for example, in Wicca it's common practice to cast a circle before ritual. In ADF's ritual structure, it's not. Why? That's your homework if you want to find out :p

In seriousness, though, the best thing to do when you don't know what to do is research, research, do more research, and then talk to others about what you found in your research. You don't have to jump into anything immediately, though you can if you want to: you'll learn something from the experience whether you end up liking it or not. There are so many approaches to paganism, but it takes experimentation to find the one you like.

As well, since you are drawn to more than one pantheon, I will second the suggestion to have a look at Darkhawk's essay on eclecticism.

I hope this is helpful, and good luck :)
« Last Edit: January 08, 2017, 06:31:04 am by Night Owl »
:D:

OldenwildeHP

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Re: Help
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2017, 10:29:00 pm »
Quote from: minus;200616

Recently my wife bought we a valknut without knowing the meaning behind it, it tried it on. I've read some places that once it has been worn you have made a commitment to odin.

 
Thank your wife for her intuition, because that valknut is an apt start for your Pagan path, if you choose to make it such.

A) It's interwoven, interconnected, much like the pentacle Pagans also wear -- much like the Gods Themselves, Who seem willing to morph into whatever names and forms mortals require while always retaining Their integrity as Beings. The challenge of following an eclectic path is to avoid getting confused and lost in the anarchic crowd of authors, mythologies, traditions, interpretations, etc. (which leads a lot of people to ricochet to the opposite extreme of fundamentalism). Follow instead the common threads: Why does that symbol signify Three times Three? When you trace Triplicity through Celtic and Norse and other pantheons, what do you discover? Why would this number be so commonly associated with Spirit, vs. Four with Matter ... and so on. Don't be satisfied with anyone's answer to such questions but your own.

B) From metaphysical theory to magical practice: This symbol is a knot. Knots bind, and magical knots bind spiritual energy -- hence, I'd bet, the superstition that putting the Valknut on binds you to the God Who hung thrice-three nights on the World Tree to discover the runes. If it has the innate power such a legend implies, what else might you use this symbol to bind? You can choose to run off and experiment with its potential powers at your own risk (and maybe others'!), or to obtain magical training first to learn how to use such spells well -- either way, you'd be taking an active, real-life step (rather than just a book-bound theoretical one) to pursue your Pagan path.
"You\'re not alone -- the majority of the world\'s people believe that it\'s neither men nor money that rules the earth but magic." -- The Goodly Spellbook

Beryl

Re: Help
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2017, 04:44:48 am »
Quote from: Alexeigynaix;200613
"Eclectic polytheism" is probably a good term.

There isn't that I know of, either. Read the myths, is usually a good starting point. Cu Chulainn? Mabinog--wait that's Welsh, never mind.

 
Just wanted to point out, Welsh *is* Celtic - I don't think OP had specified, say, Irish? So, yes, the Mabinogion (I'd go with Sioned Davies' translation) is definitely worth checking out (possibly worth a look even if you're more interested in Irish stuff, as there's at least one story which features some, er, interactions with an Irish king and his men, if memory serves - could be interesting to see how other Celts portrayed the Irish, though (IIRC) as with the Táin and indeed the Norse Eddas, the Mabinogion was written down by Christians, as the pre-Christian Celts didn't really hold with writing.)

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