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Author Topic: Searching for a Tradition  (Read 1120 times)

Poetic_Anarchy

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Searching for a Tradition
« on: September 15, 2016, 01:20:04 am »
Hello! I'm trying to figure out a tradition that makes sense for me. I know recon isn't a path I want to follow because (I think) I'm too open to UPGs and the like. I am attracted to the Romantic era and the idea of following old gods. I have to be able to practice alone and largely be "in the closet" about it. I'm not attracted to initiatory paths for the simple reason that I do have to practice alone (middle of nowhere and in the Bible belt). I'm open to pursuing any pantheon at this point, much like the new kid is willing to make friends in any clique.

Thanks all for the help!

Darkhawk

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Re: Searching for a Tradition
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2016, 12:48:56 pm »
Quote from: Poetic_Anarchy;196273
Thanks all for the help!

 
I suspect a fair amount of your trouble is that you don't seem to have anything on which you can make a basis for a decision.

What do you want to do?  What matters to you?  What ethos do you want support in?  What personal issues do you want help with?  Do you have beliefs you want to express?  Are you looking for something with nature veneration?  Ceremonial magic?  Occultism?  Literary roots?  Ties to ancestral cultures in some way?  Structured?  Eclectic?  Mystical?  There are dozens of different pagan religions.

Basically, any advice I could give you from what you've said would be pretty much totally random, and that's not helpful; you need to do some exploration and elaboration of what you're looking for.
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Poetic_Anarchy

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Re: Searching for a Tradition
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2016, 09:15:11 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;196279
I suspect a fair amount of your trouble is that you don't seem to have anything on which you can make a basis for a decision.

What do you want to do?  What matters to you?  What ethos do you want support in?  What personal issues do you want help with?  Do you have beliefs you want to express?  Are you looking for something with nature veneration?  Ceremonial magic?  Occultism?  Literary roots?  Ties to ancestral cultures in some way?  Structured?  Eclectic?  Mystical?  There are dozens of different pagan religions.

Basically, any advice I could give you from what you've said would be pretty much totally random, and that's not helpful; you need to do some exploration and elaboration of what you're looking for.


Good points. I suppose the problem is that I have trouble finding things that aren't recon religions or Wicca based. And I don't necessarily have a problem with Wicca based except that (from what I've read) "real" Wicca is initiatory, which is both infeasible for me and something I'm uncomfortable with. I happen to know my ancestry and it spans the Roman Empire, so pretty much anything could have some degree of ancestry tied to it. But that isn't a high priority for me.
I suppose the heart of what I want is to work with and connect with the divine. If that's best achieved through ceremonial magic, then I'll give it a shot. If it's best achieved through altars and offerings then that will be my path. I suppose I don't have many strict requirements because I'm more interested in finding a pantheon/god/goddess that welcomes me than I am in forcing such a connection.

Faemon

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Re: Searching for a Tradition
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2016, 09:19:33 pm »
Quote from: Poetic_Anarchy;196273
I'm too open to UPGs and the like. I am attracted to the Romantic era and the idea of following old gods. I have to be able to practice alone and largely be "in the closet" about it (...) (middle of nowhere and in the Bible belt). I'm open to pursuing any pantheon

How open is too open to UPG? ;) Because a tradition to me most pertinently provides the vocabulary, the structures to understand or attribute meaning to personal gnosis and even mundane life...but, if I go by that first and work backwards, I start to consider tradition present where it's not so easy to point and say, "That there? Is tradition. Yep, yep."

Example: I eased into pop culture paganism from Jung and Campbell, who weren't pagan, and weren't (aren't) even uncontroversial among more savvy pagans, whereas I'm sure that some get to the same place by encountering a specific work in pop culture media and/or having UPG and/or going, "Fudge it all, I like this so it's mine to make religious now". From what I've seen, those with more helpful ideas or structures or practices get their content shared around more, but it's not really a tradition as in defined by recognized leaders or practices.

While not exactly a pantheon, I embrace a lot of fairy lore. That originates very far from where I'm usually living so I wonder how to adapt that to a land and cultural climate it didn't grow out of, and my favorite sources on that are dated in ways that leave it a question how much of that I carry over to contemporary life too. (I settled on a steampunk aesthetic. Is that Romant-ish? Romanticismish?) At the same time, I get the sense that it's part of a pop culture so pop that most people, even where I live, half-believe something like it and only half-joke when they bring up the local fay phenomena as a figure of speech; and the half-disbelieving leans more towards, "That's not even a threat," as an alternative religion present in a society that's picky about acceptable alternatives, not that the local good folk never act malevolently. So...that's been cozy broom-closet padding for me, but it might be very different where you live, especially depending on what you're seeking to fulfill you.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 09:22:22 pm by Faemon »
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missgraceless

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Re: Searching for a Tradition
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 11:05:44 pm »
Quote from: Poetic_Anarchy;196273
Hello! I'm trying to figure out a tradition that makes sense for me. I know recon isn't a path I want to follow because (I think) I'm too open to UPGs and the like. I am attracted to the Romantic era and the idea of following old gods. I have to be able to practice alone and largely be "in the closet" about it. I'm not attracted to initiatory paths for the simple reason that I do have to practice alone (middle of nowhere and in the Bible belt). I'm open to pursuing any pantheon at this point, much like the new kid is willing to make friends in any clique.

Thanks all for the help!
Try sitting down and meditating (or taking a walk and meditating, whatever works for you) on what's important to you. Like Darkhawk said, you left it a little too open for us to really pinpoint anything.

Plus, who said you have to follow only one tradition, or that it has to be a tradition at all? My own religion is a strange mix of Taoism and Chinese Buddhism, with a dash of earth-centered neopaganism and Hinduism thrown in. I usually just call myself "eclectic pagan" for simplicity's sake.

But definitely try to do some self-reflecting and figure out what it is you actually want. And for keeping it in the broom closet: if anyone asks what you're doing/why you're meditating, say it's for stress relief. Meditation/yoga/stuff like that has become such a mainstream thing that no one will think twice about it.
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Jenett

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Re: Searching for a Tradition
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 11:55:30 am »
Quote from: Poetic_Anarchy;196293
And I don't necessarily have a problem with Wicca based except that (from what I've read) "real" Wicca is initiatory, which is both infeasible for me and something I'm uncomfortable with.


There are other options in the religious witchcraft realm than Wicca! (Some of which are initiatory, but some of which aren't.) The material on my Seeking site is an example of religious witchcraft stuff that doesn't involve initiatory practice.

(My own full practice is initiatory, but everything on that site is pre-initiatory material, and things I'm glad to discuss in practice which can be used to make a fairly complete practice by itself, though applying some additional effort to things like 'make the ritual structure work in a way that makes sense to you' and 'come up with a consistent ritual method that you can repeat over time' would make it better.)

Also, in talking to people, I've found that there's a lot of confusion from people about what initiatory witchcraft involves (and why it's relevant or not.)

This isn't meant to try and convince you to do it (initiatory witchcraft is not the right choice for most people!) but if it'd help to ask questions or clarify things that might help you or anyone else make more sense about public materials from initiatory sources, I'm definitely glad to help do that. (Though probably a new thread would make sense.)

Quote
I suppose I don't have many strict requirements because I'm more interested in finding a pantheon/god/goddess that welcomes me than I am in forcing such a connection.

 
There are several pieces on the Seeking site (in the skills and practices page) about deity work. One method I like a lot (it was part of my training) was doing introductory work with a bunch of deities: we had to write a brief summary (2 pages or so - basic information about them, their role in the pantheon they came from, summarise a couple of major stories, etc.) and then do a creative project about that deity (art, music, poetry - someone designed a garden once, someone did scent blending, any kind of creative project!) I found the combination really effective, and many deities are fine with a "I'm a little curious about you, and want to get to know more about you."

We worked from a list (that was partly deities the tradition worked with sometimes, partly ones who just come up a lot in the larger community - Brigid, for example - and partly some other suggestions.) For your own list, you could put together a list of deities you might be curious about, or who (on brief research) are associated with things you're particularly interested in or committed to.

The point of the exercise isn't to make a big commitment to a deity immediately, but to get a better sense for how different interactions might go (like you might if you moved somewhere new and were trying out different social settings.) Some may not work, some may be good one way, some another way. Even if there's a great fit, you might not want to throw yourself into a big longterm commitment yet. But by getting a sense of the range, you can then come back after doing the initial exploration, and decide what you want to focus on, with more information about how you respond, and what you care about.
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Dusk

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Re: Searching for a Tradition
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 12:32:07 pm »
Quote from: Poetic_Anarchy;196293
Good points. I suppose the problem is that I have trouble finding things that aren't recon religions or Wicca based. And I don't necessarily have a problem with Wicca based except that (from what I've read) "real" Wicca is initiatory, which is both infeasible for me and something I'm uncomfortable with. I happen to know my ancestry and it spans the Roman Empire, so pretty much anything could have some degree of ancestry tied to it. But that isn't a high priority for me.
I suppose the heart of what I want is to work with and connect with the divine. If that's best achieved through ceremonial magic, then I'll give it a shot. If it's best achieved through altars and offerings then that will be my path. I suppose I don't have many strict requirements because I'm more interested in finding a pantheon/god/goddess that welcomes me than I am in forcing such a connection.


If connecting with deities is your priority, then I'd recommend starting there rather than with the tradition. Research different deities and pantheons, figure out which deities interest you and resonate with you. Then figure out the traditional way to worship a specific deity, and try that out. You say you're not interested in reconstructionism, but you can still take cues and practices from recon while leaving yourself open to UPG and allowing yourself some flexibility in the specific way you worship.
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Vitkyng

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Re: Searching for a Tradition
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2016, 12:36:33 am »
Quote from: Poetic_Anarchy;196273
Hello! I'm trying to figure out a tradition that makes sense for me. I know recon isn't a path I want to follow because (I think) I'm too open to UPGs and the like. I am attracted to the Romantic era and the idea of following old gods. I have to be able to practice alone and largely be "in the closet" about it. I'm not attracted to initiatory paths for the simple reason that I do have to practice alone (middle of nowhere and in the Bible belt). I'm open to pursuing any pantheon at this point, much like the new kid is willing to make friends in any clique.

Thanks all for the help!

 

To add to what everyone else said it sounds like you need to read, read, and read some more. And you need to also put the books down and go out and just commune with the world aroound you, see what does call to you.

what does the word tradition mean to you? Is it just a label you seek? If so, why do you feel you need that label.

Plus you need to ask yourself how you see/experience divinity. Are you a polytheist (there are many gods and they are seperate entities)? A pantheist (all things are divine, and all things are part of the same divinioty,  but we see different faces to understand divinity)? Monotheist? Something else?

Basically you sound like you are just at the beginning of a long journey, relax and enjoy the trip.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Searching for a Tradition
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2016, 06:37:46 pm »
Quote from: Poetic_Anarchy;196293
I suppose the problem is that I have trouble finding things that aren't recon religions or Wicca based.

Druidry doesn't fall in the categories 'recon religions' or 'Wicca based'. There is lot of information of several flavours of Druidry out there.

Oh. And there is Discordianism.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 06:38:50 pm by RecycledBenedict »

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