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Author Topic: What the hell is my path?  (Read 1292 times)

MattyG

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What the hell is my path?
« on: November 06, 2014, 02:47:19 am »
I'm not exactly a beginner, but I'm really struggling to find a path to pursue. I really want to find community that is working on the things I'm interested in, but I simply don't think it exists. I look at so many that I'm not really sure what to do. I kind of just need to get these thoughts out there, so maybe somebody will have an idea or be able to sympathize.

1) I'm primarily drawn to the Celtic (generally Irish) gods and goddesses, myths, and cosmology. There are a handful of gods from other cultures that interest me (like Sun Wu-Kong or Dionysus), but I wouldn't claim them as my primary interest. I'm interested in some of Shinto's claims about the nature of the Kami, but that religious path seems totally blocked off to me by how foreign the culture is to me.

2) I was originally drawn to reconstructionism because, as I understood it, they were trying to adapt Celtic spirituality to modern life, but I honestly don't see them doing that. The groups I've found generally seem so focused on the past that they aren't accounting for spiritual needs in the present. There are so many holes in the worldview that they don't seem to be trying to fill (no real efforts to design a druid class, create myth, devise astrology, etc.). I'm not just interested in a recreation of the history of Celtic religion. I want to see it become a living, breathing, coherent thing. Something that's actually adapted to our current time and place.

3) I live in a city in Southern California. While I love the agricultural, 4-season based calendar structure of Celtic religion, I don't find that it describes my actual reality. Is there no Celtic endeavor to create a religion that accounts for the urban as well as the rural? The Greeks were able to develop both rural and urban religions, so why don't modern Celts seem as interested in that? I'm interested in a Celtic religion that tries to actually account for the way the whole universe works, not just one particular environment in one particular time.

4) I honestly don't know where I stand on eclecticism. On the one hand, I don't really care that much about the gods and myths of other cultural groups in a spiritual sense. On the other hand, when a group tells me specifically that I should avoid eclecticism and syncretism, I get very defensive. I can't think of any polytheistic culture that doesn't partake in syncretism, and I feel like making a point of rigidly rejecting outside, cultural influences really kind of misses the point of polytheism.

I don't really know what my point is with this post, but I just needed to vocalize this frustration. Thanks for putting up with me.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 02:49:04 am by MattyG »

katbast

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Re: What the hell is my path?
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2014, 10:39:33 am »
Quote from: MattyG;164541
I'm not exactly a beginner, but I'm really struggling to find a path to pursue. I really want to find community that is working on the things I'm interested in, but I simply don't think it exists. I look at so many that I'm not really sure what to do. I kind of just need to get these thoughts out there, so maybe somebody will have an idea or be able to sympathize.

1) I'm primarily drawn to the Celtic (generally Irish) gods and goddesses, myths, and cosmology. There are a handful of gods from other cultures that interest me (like Sun Wu-Kong or Dionysus), but I wouldn't claim them as my primary interest. I'm interested in some of Shinto's claims about the nature of the Kami, but that religious path seems totally blocked off to me by how foreign the culture is to me.

2) I was originally drawn to reconstructionism because, as I understood it, they were trying to adapt Celtic spirituality to modern life, but I honestly don't see them doing that. The groups I've found generally seem so focused on the past that they aren't accounting for spiritual needs in the present. There are so many holes in the worldview that they don't seem to be trying to fill (no real efforts to design a druid class, create myth, devise astrology, etc.). I'm not just interested in a recreation of the history of Celtic religion. I want to see it become a living, breathing, coherent thing. Something that's actually adapted to our current time and place.

3) I live in a city in Southern California. While I love the agricultural, 4-season based calendar structure of Celtic religion, I don't find that it describes my actual reality. Is there no Celtic endeavor to create a religion that accounts for the urban as well as the rural? The Greeks were able to develop both rural and urban religions, so why don't modern Celts seem as interested in that? I'm interested in a Celtic religion that tries to actually account for the way the whole universe works, not just one particular environment in one particular time.

4) I honestly don't know where I stand on eclecticism. On the one hand, I don't really care that much about the gods and myths of other cultural groups in a spiritual sense. On the other hand, when a group tells me specifically that I should avoid eclecticism and syncretism, I get very defensive. I can't think of any polytheistic culture that doesn't partake in syncretism, and I feel like making a point of rigidly rejecting outside, cultural influences really kind of misses the point of polytheism.

I don't really know what my point is with this post, but I just needed to vocalize this frustration. Thanks for putting up with me.

 

Eclectic Celtic soft-recon maybe? Maybe check out either ADF or OBOD? I'm all for making up your own label and doing your own path personally. Or not bothering with a label at all. It sounds like you found something that somewhat fit but with a group that didn't.

NiDara

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Re: What the hell is my path?
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2014, 04:22:58 pm »
Quote from: MattyG;164541
I'm not exactly a beginner, but I'm really struggling to find a path to pursue. I really want to find community that is working on the things I'm interested in, but I simply don't think it exists. I look at so many that I'm not really sure what to do. I kind of just need to get these thoughts out there, so maybe somebody will have an idea or be able to sympathize.

1) I'm primarily drawn to the Celtic (generally Irish) gods and goddesses, myths, and cosmology. There are a handful of gods from other cultures that interest me (like Sun Wu-Kong or Dionysus), but I wouldn't claim them as my primary interest. I'm interested in some of Shinto's claims about the nature of the Kami, but that religious path seems totally blocked off to me by how foreign the culture is to me.

2) I was originally drawn to reconstructionism because, as I understood it, they were trying to adapt Celtic spirituality to modern life, but I honestly don't see them doing that. The groups I've found generally seem so focused on the past that they aren't accounting for spiritual needs in the present. There are so many holes in the worldview that they don't seem to be trying to fill (no real efforts to design a druid class, create myth, devise astrology, etc.). I'm not just interested in a recreation of the history of Celtic religion. I want to see it become a living, breathing, coherent thing. Something that's actually adapted to our current time and place.

3) I live in a city in Southern California. While I love the agricultural, 4-season based calendar structure of Celtic religion, I don't find that it describes my actual reality. Is there no Celtic endeavor to create a religion that accounts for the urban as well as the rural? The Greeks were able to develop both rural and urban religions, so why don't modern Celts seem as interested in that? I'm interested in a Celtic religion that tries to actually account for the way the whole universe works, not just one particular environment in one particular time.

4) I honestly don't know where I stand on eclecticism. On the one hand, I don't really care that much about the gods and myths of other cultural groups in a spiritual sense. On the other hand, when a group tells me specifically that I should avoid eclecticism and syncretism, I get very defensive. I can't think of any polytheistic culture that doesn't partake in syncretism, and I feel like making a point of rigidly rejecting outside, cultural influences really kind of misses the point of polytheism.

I don't really know what my point is with this post, but I just needed to vocalize this frustration. Thanks for putting up with me.


I resonate with this post very much. I've read info on CR blogs and websites, but they're limited on how to apply it directly to daily life if you're someone who doesn't live a rural lifestyle. I live in the country, but I'm not a farmer in any shape or form. I also like the agricultural calendar, but I'd like for it to mean something deeper than just a sowing/birthing/harvesting calendar and folk traditions. I want something based in history, but it can still be a personally viable spiritual practice.

I think you can create your own path that has connections with the past, but it works for you. Katbast hit the nail on the head. Use a title that you're happy with or not. Adjust it so it works for you.

Revenant

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Re: What the hell is my path?
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2014, 09:07:01 pm »
Quote from: MattyG;164541
I'm not exactly a beginner, but I'm really struggling to find a path to pursue.


I can relate to quite a few things in your post. After years of trying to find something (as in, an "established" practice), I've come to realize that the only name for my path is "winding". I've practiced and studied and researched numerous paths...nothing ever really fit though so I've more or less given up on finding "the right one". I made a list similar to yours and forged ahead on my own. If, for whatever reason, I find myself in need of a title I'll use panentheist. It doesn't quite encompass all my beliefs but it's close enough for casual conversation. You may very well stumble across something that just seems to click with you and, if so, that's great. If not, there's a lot to be said for tailoring a path to suit yourself. You may not have the same sense of community that you would find on a more traditional path but there are a lot of folks out there walking a solitary path that can relate. It's not always an easy way to go but it can be a worthwhile option for some.

Sorry I can't be of more help than that...good luck to you!
"When I have a terrible need of - shall I say the word - religion, then I go out and paint the stars."  ~Vincent Van Gogh~

Aster Breo

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Re: What the hell is my path?
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2014, 01:20:26 am »
Quote from: Revenant;164617
there's a lot to be said for tailoring a path to suit yourself. You may not have the same sense of community that you would find on a more traditional path but there are a lot of folks out there walking a solitary path that can relate. It's not always an easy way to go but it can be a worthwhile option for some.

As you might have discovered, there are many TCers who have created their own paths.  Some individually, some with like-minded cohorts.

If this is a possibility for you, you might be interested in checking out the path a few friends and I created:  Clann Bhride,
http://www.clannbhride.wordpress.com

To date, more than 100 other people have joined our Facebook group, so, apparently, we stumbled on something that resonates with others.

As you can see on our website, we wrote what we call our Book of Hours (available as a free pdf download: http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/clann-bhride/clann-bhride-book-of-hours/ebook/product-21404132.html), which includes a description of our beliefs/values, essays about how we see Brighid, prayers, rituals, etc. -- all of which are original works. (Some are based on traditional prayers, but we adapted those for our own use.)

Our path is centered exclusively on Brighid, which might not be a good fit for you.  So I'm not saying Clann Bhride is the right path for *you*, but it might serve as inspiration or a model for your own creation.

Good luck!

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

MattyG

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Re: What the hell is my path?
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2014, 01:25:37 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;164624
If this is a possibility for you, you might be interested in checking out the path a few friends and I created:  Clann Bhride,
http://www.clannbhride.wordpress.com

 
Thanks for this. I'll have to check it out. I haven't been working with Brigid much lately, but I have had positive experiences with her in the past. It would be nice to see some shared, group structure.

And thanks to everyone else too. It's nice to see a little empathy. I've just been getting a little frustrated lately and it's good to see others who feel the same way.

Aster Breo

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Re: What the hell is my path?
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2014, 01:45:52 am »
Quote from: MattyG;164625
Thanks for this. I'll have to check it out. I haven't been working with Brigid much lately, but I have had positive experiences with her in the past. It would be nice to see some shared, group structure.

You're welcome.  And you'd be welcome in Clann Bhride, if you feel it's a good fit for you.  (Just btw, we have a lot of people in the Facebook group who combine Clann Bhride with other paths, so there's no requirement that you be exclusively dedicated to Brighid -- although some of us are, including me.)

Just to clarify, while we've shared our materials freely and started a Facebook group as a place for discussion and sharing, Clann Bhride isn't really set up as a *group* path. That is, we don't have a structure that includes local groups (we don't really have any structure at all), we haven't done any group rituals, etc. You don't even need to participate in the Facebook group to be a member of Clann Bhride.  

I think our materials could be adapted for groups pretty easily, if someone wanted to do that. But, at the moment, we're basically a group of individual practitioners, some of whom like group discussion.

Oh, and we do have a couple of small group projects in the works. F'ex, a small group of volunteers is currently working on a Brighid resource list. We'll post it publicly on the website when it's finished, so anyone can use it.

Just wanted to make sure  I'm not misrepresenting Clann Bhride.  :-)
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

MattyG

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Re: What the hell is my path?
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2014, 12:15:11 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;164627
You're welcome.  And you'd be welcome in Clann Bhride, if you feel it's a good fit for you.  (Just btw, we have a lot of people in the Facebook group who combine Clann Bhride with other paths, so there's no requirement that you be exclusively dedicated to Brighid -- although some of us are, including me.)

Just to clarify, while we've shared our materials freely and started a Facebook group as a place for discussion and sharing, Clann Bhride isn't really set up as a *group* path. That is, we don't have a structure that includes local groups (we don't really have any structure at all), we haven't done any group rituals, etc. You don't even need to participate in the Facebook group to be a member of Clann Bhride.  

I think our materials could be adapted for groups pretty easily, if someone wanted to do that. But, at the moment, we're basically a group of individual practitioners, some of whom like group discussion.

Oh, and we do have a couple of small group projects in the works. F'ex, a small group of volunteers is currently working on a Brighid resource list. We'll post it publicly on the website when it's finished, so anyone can use it.

Just wanted to make sure  I'm not misrepresenting Clann Bhride.  :-)

 
That's cool. I understand. I wan't necessarily looking for an in-person group that regularly meets for rituals or anything. Just a group of like minded people that I could talk to and explore issues with.

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