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Author Topic: Celtic: Spiritual Tear Down  (Read 1201 times)

Donal2018

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Spiritual Tear Down
« on: August 15, 2019, 01:54:44 pm »
So I have been reading a bit on Celtic Reconstruction and also Druidry lately. What is apparent to me is that I have been Solitary for a long time and a lot of my views are UPG and very personal. From doing this reading it seems to me that  I have a lot more to learn. So I am going to try to do a sort of "Spiritual Tear Down", to get my views down to a basic level and build from there.

In my private practice I feel moderately advanced, maybe intermediate. Still, my public and community practices need to be improved. So, I am going to try to act as a Novice and be humble and really try to learn from people and sources that are more experienced and advanced than me.

Much of what I read about Druidry, for example, emphasizes long term education before you can really be called a Druid. Which is fine for me. I am not intending to "become" a Druid. I am just interested in the wisdom of people who already are and who have put the work and years in to claim that title. I think that I am more of a Celtic Pagan Lay Person, for lack of a better term.

I would also say that I am an Eclectic and a Universalist, but I am coming to respect the sort of "tough mindedness" of the Celtic Reconstruction perspective. I want to temper my Eclecticism and Universalism with maybe more Celtic Recon type thinking.

So, I feel that I have some things to learn and I need to get back to being a Student. This despite my years of private and solitary experience. That experience and UPG needs to be tempered with stronger thought and more study. A "Spiritual Tear Down" and maybe a "Spiritual Rebuild".

sevensons

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2019, 08:22:32 pm »
So I have been reading a bit on Celtic Reconstruction and also Druidry lately.

I would also say that I am an Eclectic and a Universalist, but I am coming to respect the sort of "tough mindedness" of the Celtic Reconstruction perspective. I want to temper my Eclecticism and Universalism with maybe more Celtic Recon type thinking.

So, I feel that I have some things to learn and I need to get back to being a Student. This despite my years of private and solitary experience. That experience and UPG needs to be tempered with stronger thought and more study. A "Spiritual Tear Down" and maybe a "Spiritual Rebuild".
Being creative is an interesting way to learn admittance belongs more correctly less crisis scripts and futuristic mission south which can be captured with anything containing a poor division.
As I dream the perfect cut of images characters that scream who look like models from A magazine.the predicted outcome combine motion without fatigue or fake looks.my favorite start and wake up call that changed when activated within tasty lips<>

Donal2018

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 01:36:30 pm »
Being creative is an interesting way to learn admittance belongs more correctly less crisis scripts and futuristic mission south which can be captured with anything containing a poor division.

Not sure what you mean, Sevensons, but I appreciate the comment anyway.

So the thing with Celtic Reconstructionist views is that there is really not too much ancient material to work with. Some writing, usually from Romans and Outsiders, Archaeology, some Myths and Folk Tales. So CR seems reductionist and not a lot of original source material. I am looking at maybe a more modern view but rooted in decent scholarship.

So far, the Druidry stuff I have been reading resonates with me more. I wish that I had more money to buy some relevant books. I have been looking at both CR and Druid reading lists and there seems to be a lot of good books. My local library does not have a lot of them. Someone on Facebook recommended the book "Living Druidry" by Emma Restall Orr. I am getting it through interlibrary loan.

I feel like I am at the beginning of a good experience. Restarting and not going into these books and studies with a lot of presuppositions. I have been looking at both the Celtic SIG and the Neo-Druidry SIG. There is a lot of good material there for me to work with. New spiritual development. It is an adventure.

sevensons

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 02:34:22 pm »
Not sure what you mean, Sevensons, but I appreciate the comment anyway.



 There is a lot of good material there for me to work with. New spiritual development. It is an adventure.
Went as planed reread my post.
As I dream the perfect cut of images characters that scream who look like models from A magazine.the predicted outcome combine motion without fatigue or fake looks.my favorite start and wake up call that changed when activated within tasty lips<>

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2019, 06:04:09 pm »
So the thing with Celtic Reconstructionist views is that there is really not too much ancient material to work with. Some writing, usually from Romans and Outsiders, Archaeology, some Myths and Folk Tales. So CR seems reductionist and not a lot of original source material. I am looking at maybe a more modern view but rooted in decent scholarship.

That's a issue with most European religious reconstruction beyond that of ancient Greece and ancient Rome  -- and even there the material can be more limited that what it seems at first. For example there is a lot of information on the Greek religion as practiced in the major cities (especially Athens), much less to nearly none on smaller cities and rural areas. To be honest, i think attempting to reconstruct ancient religions too closely will almost always fail because world views and situations in the modern world generally aren't that close to those of 2-3 thousand years ago. If you want it to work in today's world, you really need to study what was done in the past, try to figure out WHY it was done and then try to create a modern practice that matches that "why".  Of course, this view makes me a heretic with many recons.
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Donal2018

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2019, 07:26:47 pm »
That's a issue with most European religious reconstruction beyond that of ancient Greece and ancient Rome  -- and even there the material can be more limited that what it seems at first. For example there is a lot of information on the Greek religion as practiced in the major cities (especially Athens), much less to nearly none on smaller cities and rural areas. To be honest, i think attempting to reconstruct ancient religions too closely will almost always fail because world views and situations in the modern world generally aren't that close to those of 2-3 thousand years ago. If you want it to work in today's world, you really need to study what was done in the past, try to figure out WHY it was done and then try to create a modern practice that matches that "why".  Of course, this view makes me a heretic with many recons.

(Limited response for the moment as I am on my Tablet and don't like typing on this interface)

Yes, thanks for the comment. I wonder how a Recon person might practice with limited historical information yet turn around and consider someone a heretic. Seems to fly in the face of Freedom of Religion to me.

I think Hellenic and Roman Pagans have the advantage over Celtic Pagans in terms of having at least some written materials. Even though the Celtic stuff is different, I suspect that it still might benefit Celtic Pagans to do a comparative study of other European mythologies and established Pagan practices.

So I think that this is a good topic to delve into. I will try to find more sources on these topics and will work on learning more. I saw a reference elsewhere on a book on Indo European Mythology that might help to study the roots of this stuff. Unfortunately, my city library does not have the book in its system. Any other book suggestions would be welcome. I will be working on this topic as a project over time, so I look forward to further discussion here.

Donal2018

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2019, 08:03:49 pm »
(Limited response for the moment as I am on my Tablet and don't like typing on this interface)

Yes, thanks for the comment. I wonder how a Recon person might practice with limited historical information yet turn around and consider someone a heretic. Seems to fly in the face of Freedom of Religion to me.

I think Hellenic and Roman Pagans have the advantage over Celtic Pagans in terms of having at least some written materials. Even though the Celtic stuff is different, I suspect that it still might benefit Celtic Pagans to do a comparative study of other European mythologies and established Pagan practices.

So I think that this is a good topic to delve into. I will try to find more sources on these topics and will work on learning more. I saw a reference elsewhere on a book on Indo European Mythology that might help to study the roots of this stuff. Unfortunately, my city library does not have the book in its system. Any other book suggestions would be welcome. I will be working on this topic as a project over time, so I look forward to further discussion here.

So I found the reference to that book I mentioned and figured I would post it here in case anyone was interested.

It is "In Search Of The Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, And Myth", by J.P. Mallory.

This book was listed on the ADF (A Druid Fellowship) reading list:

www.adf.org/training/resources/reading.html

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2019, 06:39:25 am »
So I found the reference to that book I mentioned and figured I would post it here in case anyone was interested.

It is "In Search Of The Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology, And Myth", by J.P. Mallory.

This book was listed on the ADF (A Druid Fellowship) reading list:

www.adf.org/training/resources/reading.html

I wonder if you saw the book further down on the booklist, Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans by Ceisiwr Serith. It's been in the back of my mind to read this when I can see over the top of my TBR pile...
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Donal2018

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2019, 01:47:01 pm »
I wonder if you saw the book further down on the booklist, Deep Ancestors: Practicing the Religion of the Proto-Indo-Europeans by Ceisiwr Serith. It's been in the back of my mind to read this when I can see over the top of my TBR pile...

Yes, I have looked at the whole list. Unfortunately, my City Library does not seem to carry any of these books. I might check up at the University Library where I can get Library Privileges because I am an Alum. I really do not have the money to go and buy some of these books. Anyway, thanks for pointing out that book. It looks pretty good. Maybe I will find it up at the University.

Jenett

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2019, 05:02:33 pm »
Yes, I have looked at the whole list. Unfortunately, my City Library does not seem to carry any of these books. I might check up at the University Library where I can get Library Privileges because I am an Alum. I really do not have the money to go and buy some of these books. Anyway, thanks for pointing out that book. It looks pretty good. Maybe I will find it up at the University.

So, one of the things about libraries is that they have collection development policies (which is the fancy library jargon for 'what books and materials do we buy with other people's money...') A public library is going to have different policies than an academic library, and a high school library is going to have different policies than the library I work in (which is a research library serving a particular area of education.)

If you're trying to figure out whether a given title is potentially available through your library access (whether that's a public library, a larger library consortium, a university library, or through services like interlibrary loan), I usually start with the easiest catalog (the library I use most), and then try WorldCat (http://worldcat.org), which is a cooperative catalog of thousands of libraries around the world. You can enter your zip code/postal code/equivalent, and it will sort the libraries that have it by proximity.

(There are many libraries that aren't part of WorldCat, for a wide range of reasons - starting with the fact it costs money and staff time to manage, but it will give you a decent sense of 'is a library copy of this likely to be available near me'. You sometimes also have to poke around at different editions to find the records that have the editions near you.)

Looking at the last two titles mentioned here, I get some interesting results that make a useful contrast, so...

Book the first:
In search of the Indo-Europeans: language, archaeology, and myth by J.P. Mallory is listed in 940 libraries across editions - that's a pretty respectable number. For me, in the Boston metro area, with approximately a zillion (unscientific term) colleges and universities in the area with a wide range of programs, the first two pages of results are within a dozen miles of me.

Looking at those results, however, I don't see any of the public library systems near me (in Boston, we have several larger library consortia, depending on where you live, plus anyone living, working, or going to school in the state can get privileges in the Boston Public Library system). That doesn't surprise me, because looking at the information about the book, it's not an academic publisher exactly (it's not a university press) but it is a press that specialises in more academic books, especially with complex illustrations.

So that's a book that a) is probably going to be more expensive to buy (colour plates usually are, even if you find used copies), and b) is probably available via interlibrary loan. (More on that in a sec.)

Book the second:
When I search on Deep ancestors : practicing the religion of the proto-Indo-Europeans by Ceisiwr Serith, in contrast, I get 8 results, worldwide in WorldCat across all editions (here's the record)

That means that, probably, few libraries are going to have it anywhere else. And when I look at the publisher info, I can see why - it's published by ADF itself. That doesn't make it a bad book, but it does make it a niche book.

Libraries have limited budgets, limited shelf space, and limited time to figure out what new books they're getting - so they rely heavily on reviews in established publications (mostly aimed at libraries and bookstores) to figure out what titles to add. No public library is going to collect a lot of niche material on any religion (even Christianity, what they get is still going to be more public-accessible material, not, say, dense theological analysis of St. Augustine or his life.)

Very few Pagan books get reviewed in those publications and honestly, that's okay, because most of the material coming out from Pagan publishers is not a great fit for most public or academic libraries - they're focused in ways that are more detailed and niche topics than a public library or most academic libraries will cover. More general works like historical surveys, or current surveys or books with a very broad general appeal are a lot more likely than something very specific.

Many collection development policies have a requirement (or strong request) that a book have good editorial reviews from neutral publications (i.e. industry review publications, journals in a particular field, etc.) or some other measure of review that often isn't in place for Pagan or Pagan-community-aimed titles.

Many libraries (if they're not completely budget strapped) have an option to request the library consider purchasing a title (if so, there's often an option for you to give your contact info, and be the first person to check it out if it's added), but these days budgets are tight enough that a book still needs to meet other collection considerations (like cost and how appealing it may be to the library's user base) before it will be added.

On the other hand, this is probably a book where if you want to read it, you're going to need to find a copy through Pagan community sources, or save up and buy it.

Interlibrary loan
There is an option to get books from other libraries, if there's another library (especially in your state) that carries it. Public libraries and academic libraries are often part of larger library consortia that share resources, since often there's enough demand for a title or reason to have it to have one or two in the state, but not one in every academic library, or every public library. In addition to smaller consortia, there's also often (in the US) a state-level resource that coordinates and provides additional materials.

Your local librarian can explain what the interlibrary loan policies are for your library. In some places, it's free, in some places, there's a small fee to cover the costs of getting the book to and from the lending library to your library. In many cases, you also get a limited time with the book, not multiple renewals.

More about interlibrary loan and how it works on my research blog. Also more about library selection policies and some other resources for inexpensive books.

However, all of this depends on some library with connections to your library having a copy in the first place. And for Ceisiwr Serith's book, that's not terribly likely (not impossible, but 8 results worldwide is not promising.)
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Jenett

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2019, 05:04:57 pm »
Went as planed reread my post.

Hey, Sevensons -

I know we've mentioned this before in the past. Many of your posts are very confusing and hard to read. When someone says they don't understand what you meant, telling them to read it again comes across as rude and unhelpful.

If you don't want to discuss the topic more that is fine, but then you should expect that people may not want to interact with your posts. Text is a limited way to communicate, and all we have are your words. If we can't understand your words, and you don't try to explain in a different way, we can't have a conversation.

Jenett, with her staff hat in view in hopes of improving this strand of conversation.
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sevensons

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2019, 03:22:32 am »
Hey, Sevensons -

If you don't want to discuss the topic more that is fine, but then you should expect that people may not want to interact with your posts. Text is a limited way to communicate, and all we have are your words. If we can't understand your words, and you don't try to explain in a different way, we can't have a conversation.

Jenett, with her staff hat in view in hopes of improving this strand of conversation.
I haven't thought about other's understanding I also try to communicate on a higher level.it's hard to explain my theories. (I shall try to help with remedies of understanding.)
 
As I dream the perfect cut of images characters that scream who look like models from A magazine.the predicted outcome combine motion without fatigue or fake looks.my favorite start and wake up call that changed when activated within tasty lips<>

Donal2018

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2019, 05:21:49 pm »
So, one of the things about libraries is that they have collection development policies (which is the fancy library jargon for 'what books and materials do we buy with other people's money...') A public library is going to have different policies than an academic library, and a high school library is going to have different policies than the library I work in (which is a research library serving a particular area of education.)

If you're trying to figure out whether a given title is potentially available through your library access (whether that's a public library, a larger library consortium, a university library, or through services like interlibrary loan), I usually start with the easiest catalog (the library I use most), and then try WorldCat (http://worldcat.org), which is a cooperative catalog of thousands of libraries around the world. You can enter your zip code/postal code/equivalent, and it will sort the libraries that have it by proximity.

(There are many libraries that aren't part of WorldCat, for a wide range of reasons - starting with the fact it costs money and staff time to manage, but it will give you a decent sense of 'is a library copy of this likely to be available near me'. You sometimes also have to poke around at different editions to find the records that have the editions near you.)

Looking at the last two titles mentioned here, I get some interesting results that make a useful contrast, so...

Book the first:
In search of the Indo-Europeans: language, archaeology, and myth by J.P. Mallory is listed in 940 libraries across editions - that's a pretty respectable number. For me, in the Boston metro area, with approximately a zillion (unscientific term) colleges and universities in the area with a wide range of programs, the first two pages of results are within a dozen miles of me.

Looking at those results, however, I don't see any of the public library systems near me (in Boston, we have several larger library consortia, depending on where you live, plus anyone living, working, or going to school in the state can get privileges in the Boston Public Library system). That doesn't surprise me, because looking at the information about the book, it's not an academic publisher exactly (it's not a university press) but it is a press that specialises in more academic books, especially with complex illustrations.

So that's a book that a) is probably going to be more expensive to buy (colour plates usually are, even if you find used copies), and b) is probably available via interlibrary loan. (More on that in a sec.)

Book the second:
When I search on Deep ancestors : practicing the religion of the proto-Indo-Europeans by Ceisiwr Serith, in contrast, I get 8 results, worldwide in WorldCat across all editions (here's the record)

That means that, probably, few libraries are going to have it anywhere else. And when I look at the publisher info, I can see why - it's published by ADF itself. That doesn't make it a bad book, but it does make it a niche book.

Libraries have limited budgets, limited shelf space, and limited time to figure out what new books they're getting - so they rely heavily on reviews in established publications (mostly aimed at libraries and bookstores) to figure out what titles to add. No public library is going to collect a lot of niche material on any religion (even Christianity, what they get is still going to be more public-accessible material, not, say, dense theological analysis of St. Augustine or his life.)

Very few Pagan books get reviewed in those publications and honestly, that's okay, because most of the material coming out from Pagan publishers is not a great fit for most public or academic libraries - they're focused in ways that are more detailed and niche topics than a public library or most academic libraries will cover. More general works like historical surveys, or current surveys or books with a very broad general appeal are a lot more likely than something very specific.

Many collection development policies have a requirement (or strong request) that a book have good editorial reviews from neutral publications (i.e. industry review publications, journals in a particular field, etc.) or some other measure of review that often isn't in place for Pagan or Pagan-community-aimed titles.

Many libraries (if they're not completely budget strapped) have an option to request the library consider purchasing a title (if so, there's often an option for you to give your contact info, and be the first person to check it out if it's added), but these days budgets are tight enough that a book still needs to meet other collection considerations (like cost and how appealing it may be to the library's user base) before it will be added.

On the other hand, this is probably a book where if you want to read it, you're going to need to find a copy through Pagan community sources, or save up and buy it.

Interlibrary loan
There is an option to get books from other libraries, if there's another library (especially in your state) that carries it. Public libraries and academic libraries are often part of larger library consortia that share resources, since often there's enough demand for a title or reason to have it to have one or two in the state, but not one in every academic library, or every public library. In addition to smaller consortia, there's also often (in the US) a state-level resource that coordinates and provides additional materials.

Your local librarian can explain what the interlibrary loan policies are for your library. In some places, it's free, in some places, there's a small fee to cover the costs of getting the book to and from the lending library to your library. In many cases, you also get a limited time with the book, not multiple renewals.

More about interlibrary loan and how it works on my research blog. Also more about library selection policies and some other resources for inexpensive books.

However, all of this depends on some library with connections to your library having a copy in the first place. And for Ceisiwr Serith's book, that's not terribly likely (not impossible, but 8 results worldwide is not promising.)

Thanks so much for your time and your expertise, Jenett. It is very much appreciated. I am on my tablet at a coffee house, so my response will not be long. I use the computers at my City Library and my University for Internet and longer form stuff. So, limited Internet for me on a Sunday.  Anyway, I will go to my Libraries and see what I can find on those books. I will report back when I get some results. Thanks again. Great post.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2019, 05:23:41 pm by Donal2018 »

Donal2018

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2019, 05:46:08 pm »
Thanks so much for your time and your expertise, Jenett. It is very much appreciated. I am on my tablet at a coffee house, so my response will not be long. I use the computers at my City Library and my University for Internet and longer form stuff. So, limited Internet for me on a Sunday.  Anyway, I will go to my Libraries and see what I can find on those books. I will report back when I get some results. Thanks again. Great post.

Something that just occurred to me- my local Unitarian Universalist Society has a Library, so maybe this material is there, or if not, they might take suggestions for purchasing those books.

I also thought that Seminaries or other Religious Education places might be a place to look. We only have a small Seminary associated with the local Catholic Diocese in my town, so that is probably is not a likely place for me to look, but I bring it up just in case someone reading this is close to a Seminary or Theological School. Maybe Pagan Resources at Seminaries might be an interesting topic in itself.

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Re: Spiritual Tear Down
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2019, 06:49:29 pm »
Something that just occurred to me- my local Unitarian Universalist Society has a Library, so maybe this material is there, or if not, they might take suggestions for purchasing those books.


That's not impossible, though most small community collections are - well, managed by small communities, so figuring out what they have, and whether the copy is where it's supposed to be are a bit more up in the air than a larger library a lot of the time. (Or whether the collection is being developed by any means other than 'this is what people wanted to donate')

Quote
I also thought that Seminaries or other Religious Education places might be a place to look. We only have a small Seminary associated with the local Catholic Diocese in my town, so that is probably is not a likely place for me to look, but I bring it up just in case someone reading this is close to a Seminary or Theological School. Maybe Pagan Resources at Seminaries might be an interesting topic in itself.

This varies vastly - I was at a meeting with a (Pagan) graduate of Harvard Divinity School Friday, and from what he said, the collection was not particularly on the Pagan front. (They have some things, but honestly, chances are pretty good that most people who have been seriously attentive to Pagan reading for more than a couple of years and have even a quite modest grad student type budget probably have a better personal collection on the topic most of the time. At least when it comes to materials centered on practice, rather than say sociological study or history.)

There are a couple of specific Pagan library projects - the New Alexandrian Library project in Delaware is probably the best known (but visits are by appointment only, and you have to visit to use any materials). I believe Ardantane in New Mexico has something of a library, but I think Cherry Hill Seminary's is online only. (And before anyone wonders about that, creating access to ebook versions legally for niche topics is exceedingly complicated for a small library, print is at least three times easier.) There have been other attempts over the years, but they've mostly ended up as boxes of books in people's storage spaces (starting a library is really really hard in ways a lot of people don't realise. Staffing one with volunteers is even harder.)

I will note that for the two books in question, there are two major seminary libraries in the Boston area that attract a number of UUs (i.e. people who are more likely to be interested in the topic than your average seminary). While there are copies of the Mallory book as I noted, the closest copy of the Sither book is New Jersey.

Again, not at all surprising, given the ADF publishing. A lot of academic libraries (and that includes seminaries) have collection development policies that make it unlikely they're going to add many small publisher niche titles unless there is a specific course need, probably driven by a professor, not by a student.
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Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

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