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Author Topic: General/Non-Specific: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?  (Read 1121 times)

Donal2018

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Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« on: March 13, 2019, 10:52:58 pm »
I am wondering about Cultural Reconstruction and whether or not it must exclusively be about religion. For example, ancient cultures might be about Craft, Art, Music, Literature/Stories, Martial Art, Food, Drink, Farming, Hunting. I am sure that Religion intersected with these things, but an ancient culture was not just exclusively about Religion, but also had other practices and paths.

My personal focus is largely Celtic. It is certain that not everyone could be a Druid, or would want to be. In these old cultures, there were Warriors, Chieftains, Craftspeople, Hunters, Farmers, Traders, etc. Religion would be a part of their lives, of course, but not the only aspect. Not everyone would have been a Priest, Wise Woman, or Healer.

So, I wonder if various Recon Practices are not just exclusively about reconstructing ancient religions, but also perhaps other ancient folkways as a way of living closer to the Earth and our Ancestors. Maybe practicing other reconstructed aspects of ancient cultures would bring us closer to our religion by embracing other folkways that are not exclusively religious.

Zlote Jablko

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 08:56:41 am »
I am wondering about Cultural Reconstruction and whether or not it must exclusively be about religion. For example, ancient cultures might be about Craft, Art, Music, Literature/Stories, Martial Art, Food, Drink, Farming, Hunting. I am sure that Religion intersected with these things, but an ancient culture was not just exclusively about Religion, but also had other practices and paths.

My personal focus is largely Celtic. It is certain that not everyone could be a Druid, or would want to be. In these old cultures, there were Warriors, Chieftains, Craftspeople, Hunters, Farmers, Traders, etc. Religion would be a part of their lives, of course, but not the only aspect. Not everyone would have been a Priest, Wise Woman, or Healer.

This is definitely part of the draw for me. I understand that the tribal way of life cannot be recreated, but I still draw inspiration from the communal and family-oriented lifestyle of ancient tribes and clans. I also enjoy learning new things. For awhile, before I had a son, I was really involved in mead-making.
As for being an amateur folklorist/ anthropologist I would do that for fun even without religion.

While we’re on the subject of vocations, I believe in the three functions of Indo-European society. (As propose by Dumezil) Traditionally it was farmers, warriors, priests. I think you still kind of have producers, glory seekers, and intelligentsia.

arete

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 10:24:40 am »
I am wondering about Cultural Reconstruction and whether or not it must exclusively be about religion. For example, ancient cultures might be about Craft, Art, Music, Literature/Stories, Martial Art, Food, Drink, Farming, Hunting. I am sure that Religion intersected with these things, but an ancient culture was not just exclusively about Religion, but also had other practices and paths.

My personal focus is largely Celtic. It is certain that not everyone could be a Druid, or would want to be. In these old cultures, there were Warriors, Chieftains, Craftspeople, Hunters, Farmers, Traders, etc. Religion would be a part of their lives, of course, but not the only aspect. Not everyone would have been a Priest, Wise Woman, or Healer.

So, I wonder if various Recon Practices are not just exclusively about reconstructing ancient religions, but also perhaps other ancient folkways as a way of living closer to the Earth and our Ancestors. Maybe practicing other reconstructed aspects of ancient cultures would bring us closer to our religion by embracing other folkways that are not exclusively religious.
The ancient Greeks were all about religion. Religion is a lifestyle, we can't do without.  :) In my opinion, us pagans should become more active in modern society to reunite religion and lifestyle.

Donal2018

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 02:06:27 pm »
This is definitely part of the draw for me. I understand that the tribal way of life cannot be recreated, but I still draw inspiration from the communal and family-oriented lifestyle of ancient tribes and clans. I also enjoy learning new things. For awhile, before I had a son, I was really involved in mead-making.
As for being an amateur folklorist/ anthropologist I would do that for fun even without religion.

While we’re on the subject of vocations, I believe in the three functions of Indo-European society. (As propose by Dumezil) Traditionally it was farmers, warriors, priests. I think you still kind of have producers, glory seekers, and intelligentsia.

Yeah, mead-making sounds good. I am not very crafty myself. Nor am I a big nature person. I respect and honor nature as part of my spirituality, I just don't camp or hunt. I am a city man. I have had a long association with Athena due to this. I love libraries, museums, restaurants, concert halls, etc.

I am looking a bit at Hellenism as a way of honoring "The City" or "The Polis". My lifestyle might be considered "a Celt in the City." I like to imagine that some Celtic Folks came down from the north to the Hellenic world. I identify with that. Sort of a more nature based person in the City. I think there is a book called "City Magick" that might relate to urban paganism. Maybe others.

Amateur folklorist/anthropologist sounds good as well. We live in a modern world, but there is something sustaining about connecting with the echoes of our ancestors and relating ourselves to ancient cultures. Old and new combined, religion and also other folkways integrated into our lives.

TheGreenWizard

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2019, 08:35:58 am »
I am looking a bit at Hellenism as a way of honoring "The City" or "The Polis". My lifestyle might be considered "a Celt in the City." I like to imagine that some Celtic Folks came down from the north to the Hellenic world. I identify with that. Sort of a more nature based person in the City. I think there is a book called "City Magick" that might relate to urban paganism. Maybe others.
The Book you're referring to is Christopher Penzcak's City Magick: Spells, Rituals, and Symbols for the Urban Witch (ISBN13: 978-1578632060). I haven't read it yet, however, from friends who have, and who live in cities, they appreciate the resource. Then again, I'd presume it's geared more towards the Wicca framework, given that Penzcak was trained in... Gardnerian Wicca if I recall correctly.
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TheGreenWizard

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2019, 09:01:59 am »
My personal focus is largely Celtic. It is certain that not everyone could be a Druid, or would want to be. In these old cultures, there were Warriors, Chieftains, Craftspeople, Hunters, Farmers, Traders, etc. Religion would be a part of their lives, of course, but not the only aspect. Not everyone would have been a Priest, Wise Woman, or Healer.

So, I wonder if various Recon Practices are not just exclusively about reconstructing ancient religions, but also perhaps other ancient folkways as a way of living closer to the Earth and our Ancestors. Maybe practicing other reconstructed aspects of ancient cultures would bring us closer to our religion by embracing other folkways that are not exclusively religious.
This has been an uphill battle for me with being a Hellenic Pagan (which I have been told to work on by my Powers): how to incorporate these practices into my daily life motions, seeing as I am a science teacher in NYC. With my schedule, it's difficult to do the daily devotions, because it's too much for me (as of now) to wake up and devote 15, 20 minutes of time to do the morning devotions (though, as I typed that sentence, I really had to think if it is - something to ponder for a bit). In addition, as someone who was surrounded by nature as I grew up, being in the city really limits where I can go for those nature experiences and to be closer to it and the Gods. I'll have to reexamine that in the coming days.

I think it was @RandallS who started a thread in the old forums that there is a Recon/Neopagan spectrum: there's the hardcore Reconstructionists on one end, the Neopagans on the other, and then the ones who fuse the two in the middle. I'm not necessarily Recon, but I'm not necessarily Neopagan - to use his words, I'd probably be left of ReconLite.
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

SunflowerP

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2019, 03:25:44 pm »
The Book you're referring to is Christopher Penzcak's City Magick: Spells, Rituals, and Symbols for the Urban Witch (ISBN13: 978-1578632060). I haven't read it yet, however, from friends who have, and who live in cities, they appreciate the resource. Then again, I'd presume it's geared more towards the Wicca framework, given that Penzcak was trained in... Gardnerian Wicca if I recall correctly.

Thank you for adding the full cite - that makes things much easier for people to follow up on. (It's also fine, if you want to, to include a link to Amazon or another bookseller that has an online presence/shop, but not required; I mention this just in case you were concerned that you shouldn't.)

Penczak's training was Cabotian (i.e, by Laurie Cabot), which isn't Gardnerian or any other sort of BTW, but a different current of neoPagan religious Witchcraft. It is, though, a longstanding distinct current, dating back to a time when such things were almost always somewhat Wiccish. (Other examples: Feri, the Cochranite trads, NECTW, and several others.)

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Aetherwinds

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2019, 03:28:03 pm »
I am wondering about Cultural Reconstruction and whether or not it must exclusively be about religion.
My personal focus is largely Celtic. It is certain that not everyone could be a Druid

I'm Irish/Scandinavian/French and always was drawn to Celtic and Norse mythology. My relation with paganism is a bit complex but I do have a non-religious approach to grounding with my roots: I started learning the Celtic folk harp. Sure it's not an ancient lyre, but it's a descendant. All my three origins played a form of lyre (and later of harp) and art was a very important part of their culture. That's my way of connecting with the past, through music, art and poetry. By keeping up the old songs alive and composing new ones celebrating the myths of old (I also play the violin, composing is nothing new to me).

That's my little participation in a kind of bardic/skald path if we can call it that, and it's done in a respectful but non-religious approach for now anyway.

Klaw

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2019, 03:57:02 pm »
I am wondering about Cultural Reconstruction and whether or not it must exclusively be about religion. For example, ancient cultures might be about Craft, Art, Music, Literature/Stories, Martial Art, Food, Drink, Farming, Hunting. I am sure that Religion intersected with these things, but an ancient culture was not just exclusively about Religion, but also had other practices and paths.

It really is a life style. I doubt anyone here is looking for a once a week circle or a go to church on Sundays experience. This subject is so wide spread, but I think it really just comes down to awareness in your entire day. Anything from noticing a sign or stirring your coffee three times.

Perhaps what music you listen to or using a finger labyrinth at your desk. Being aware of where your food comes from and the sacrifice the plant or animal made for you. Maybe even just acknowledging the love and work put into a home cooked meal. A great deal of what draws people to these religions is action and awareness beyond prayer.


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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2019, 08:46:58 am »
It really is a life style. I doubt anyone here is looking for a once a week circle or a go to church on Sundays experience. This subject is so wide spread, but I think it really just comes down to awareness in your entire day. Anything from noticing a sign or stirring your coffee three times.

Perhaps what music you listen to or using a finger labyrinth at your desk. Being aware of where your food comes from and the sacrifice the plant or animal made for you. Maybe even just acknowledging the love and work put into a home cooked meal. A great deal of what draws people to these religions is action and awareness beyond prayer.

100% yes. I am still new to this and not ready to label myself as following any religion yet, but certainly what draws me to a few certain religions/cultures is the entire lifestyle. I grew up in the Christian church, which ironically never really taught me how to live and grow as a person. I've always been drawn to the cultures of my ancestors (even before I knew that they were in fact my ancestors!) and finally giving myself permission to explore their way of living (including their religious practices) has been life changing. There is also this deep sense of remembrance that I can't quite explain. For me, religion may actually be the smallest part of it right now, although this may change down the road.

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2019, 04:42:19 pm »
I am wondering about Cultural Reconstruction and whether or not it must exclusively be about religion. For example, ancient cultures might be about Craft, Art, Music, Literature/Stories, Martial Art, Food, Drink, Farming, Hunting. I am sure that Religion intersected with these things, but an ancient culture was not just exclusively about Religion, but also had other practices and paths.

My personal focus is largely Celtic. It is certain that not everyone could be a Druid, or would want to be. In these old cultures, there were Warriors, Chieftains, Craftspeople, Hunters, Farmers, Traders, etc. Religion would be a part of their lives, of course, but not the only aspect. Not everyone would have been a Priest, Wise Woman, or Healer.

So, I wonder if various Recon Practices are not just exclusively about reconstructing ancient religions, but also perhaps other ancient folkways as a way of living closer to the Earth and our Ancestors. Maybe practicing other reconstructed aspects of ancient cultures would bring us closer to our religion by embracing other folkways that are not exclusively religious.

The vast, sweeping majority of my time spent in and around pagan has centred on Roman paganism, of varying degrees of reconstruction. I know that many other cultores (followers of the Roman Gods) have an interest in broader reconstruction of Roman life -- clothes and food being especially popular.

I, however, do not give a good goddamn about reconstructing or attempting to live non-religious aspects of Roman culture. Although of course the average Roman integrated religious practice/ritual into their daily life, ancient Rome (blessedly) was not one of those holistic nature civilisations where a name for religion didn't exist, or other silly things such as that. The Cultus Deorum maintained by the state was very precisely defined and maintained, and the corpus of extant primary sources which tell us about the CD is massive... relative to almost any other ancient European culture.

All of which is to say that cultores are very lucky because we are able, if we so choose, to practice our religion without having to sift through countless layers of humdrum life. We can instead go straight to the point. I, personally, enjoy that. I can read Cicero or Sallustius' commentaries on the Gods without having to eat garum (a salty fermented fish sauce popular among tasteless Romans) or wear a tunic; and I intend to keep at it.

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Re: Non Religious Aspects Of Paganism?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2019, 12:46:18 am »
I also enjoy learning new things. For awhile, before I had a son, I was really involved in mead-making.
As for being an amateur folklorist/ anthropologist I would do that for fun even without religion.
I bought a sword (a real one, not decorative) and learned techniques from a fourteenth century German fighting manual. That was a lot of fun. I thought of joining a HEMA group, but there was never one close to me. I do think Pagans and Creative Anachronists should get together more often. At the Pagan conventions, I see lots of spiritual stuff but not a lot of craftsmanship; at the Renn Faires, its all craftsmanship, nothing spiritual.

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