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Author Topic: Ancient Pagan Philosophy and its connection to modern Paganism  (Read 2565 times)

Zephyrine

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eg. Seneca, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurians, Stoics etc.

My question is do the Ancient Pagan Philosophers provide the philosophical foundations of modern Paganism, like Augustine does for Christianity and Maimonides is to Rabbinic Judaism.

Are the ancient pagan philosophers connected to Druidry, Wicca, etc. or is neo-Paganism a completely modern movement.

I know the Stoics advocated a philosophy that was aligned with nature, but concepts like magick and play seem to be new...

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Ancient Pagan Philosophy and its connection to modern Paganism
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2016, 06:54:51 pm »
Quote from: Zephyrine;192211
My question is do the Ancient Pagan Philosophers provide the philosophical foundations of modern Paganism, like Augustine does for Christianity and Maimonides is to Rabbinic Judaism.


For some modern Pagans, yes, but not for all, just as in the past. While Stoicism and Neo-Platonism were very important for the approaches to their own religion among the Roman aristocracy, among Greek-speaking philosophers and among significant sections of the Egyptian priesthood, they weren't necessarily so among Italian, Mesopotamian or Egyptian farmers.

Quote from: Zephyrine;192211
Are the ancient pagan philosophers connected to Druidry, Wicca, etc. or is neo-Paganism a completely modern movement.


Some persons in the Druidic movement and within Wicca were aware of Neo-Platonism. Neo-Platonism is one among several ways to interpret Druidry and Wicca. I know, that I have read Neo-Platonic interpretations of Wicca on the Web in the past, but I am now unable to find them, which is strange.

Quote from: Zephyrine;192211
I know the Stoics advocated a philosophy that was aligned with nature, but concepts like magick and play seem to be new...


The Greek philosopher Iamblichus defended theurgy as a practical application of philosophy, and that line of thought and practice was followed by Proclus and Damascius. Theurgy is sometimes regarded as a sub-division of magic (high magic).

Yei

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Re: Ancient Pagan Philosophy and its connection to modern Paganism
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2016, 09:27:50 pm »
Quote from: Zephyrine;192211
eg. Seneca, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurians, Stoics etc.

My question is do the Ancient Pagan Philosophers provide the philosophical foundations of modern Paganism, like Augustine does for Christianity and Maimonides is to Rabbinic Judaism.

Are the ancient pagan philosophers connected to Druidry, Wicca, etc. or is neo-Paganism a completely modern movement.

I know the Stoics advocated a philosophy that was aligned with nature, but concepts like magick and play seem to be new...

 
I think it really depends. Reconstructionist religions would probably make heavy use of philosophers, while new neo-Pagan religions probably not so much. And of course, it could vary between different Reconstructionist paths.

Even then the specific ...err 'denomination' (?) may impact the importance of such texts. Some may put a huge emphasis on doctrine, philosophy, theology, while others not so much. And of course their ultimate importance may be down to the individual. But I imagine that they would be generally important.

Zephyrine

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Re: Ancient Pagan Philosophy and its connection to modern Paganism
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 03:07:18 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;192214
For some modern Pagans, yes, but not for all, just as in the past. While Stoicism and Neo-Platonism were very important for the approaches to their own religion among the Roman aristocracy, among Greek-speaking philosophers and among significant sections of the Egyptian priesthood, they weren't necessarily so among Italian, Mesopotamian or Egyptian farmers.



Some persons in the Druidic movement and within Wicca were aware of Neo-Platonism. Neo-Platonism is one among several ways to interpret Druidry and Wicca. I know, that I have read Neo-Platonic interpretations of Wicca on the Web in the past, but I am now unable to find them, which is strange.

 
It's kind of what I'm wondering. Does modern Paganism associated more with the "folksy" religious aspects of ancient religions - those practiced by the common people, mostly illiterate and non-intellectual or does it associate itself with an "intellectual tradition" of paganism stretching back to the ancients.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Ancient Pagan Philosophy and its connection to modern Paganism
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 05:54:38 pm »
Quote from: Zephyrine;192331
It's kind of what I'm wondering. Does modern Paganism associated more with the "folksy" religious aspects of ancient religions - those practiced by the common people, mostly illiterate and non-intellectual or does it associate itself with an "intellectual tradition" of paganism stretching back to the ancients.


Yes, on both accounts.

LilacRaveclaw

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Re: Ancient Pagan Philosophy and its connection to modern Paganism
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2016, 05:55:20 pm »
Folk magic is a grass roots kind of thing and ceremonial magic seems to favor the great work. For myself realization came when I accepted my self from where I came from and who I am. I prefer folk magic and animism over the ceremonial. I do hope to complete the Abramelin. I did start it but couldn't finish it. I didn't go crazy though. Nor did I give into my dark side when I realized it's really not for me.  


May the wind always be at your back.

Lumpino

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Re: Ancient Pagan Philosophy and its connection to modern Paganism
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2016, 12:22:28 am »
Quote from: LilacRaveclaw;193104
Folk magic is a grass roots kind of thing and ceremonial magic seems to favor the great work. For myself realization came when I accepted my self from where I came from and who I am. I prefer folk magic and animism over the ceremonial. I do hope to complete the Abramelin. I did start it but couldn't finish it. I didn't go crazy though. Nor did I give into my dark side when I realized it's really not for me.  


May the wind always be at your back.


Why magic? Meditation about a name of a god/goddess is fully  sufficient. See for example Ramakrishna and his vision goddess Kali. (Try google)
But, take it a time. So you need be patient.

RandallS

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Re: Ancient Pagan Philosophy and its connection to modern Paganism
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2016, 07:57:17 am »
Quote from: Zephyrine;192211
My question is do the Ancient Pagan Philosophers provide the philosophical foundations of modern Paganism, like Augustine does for Christianity and Maimonides is to Rabbinic Judaism.


Neither ancient Pagan religions nor modern Pagan religions come from one sources. The Greek philosophers had some impact on some Mediterranean area ancient religions (mainly some of the Greek and Roman ones), but had little or no influence on others -- and probably none on ancient Pagan religions outside the Mediterranean area of the world

Quote
Are the ancient pagan philosophers connected to Druidry, Wicca, etc. or is neo-Paganism a completely modern movement.


Modern Pagan religions vary in the amount of influence any ancient sources have -- depending on the goals and knowledge of their creators. The Greek philosophers have more influence on modern Hellenistic Pagan Religions than they do Wicca or modern Druidism, for example.

Side note: One of the main "problems" with your question is that you seem to be considering "Paganism" to be a religion like Christianity which has subgroups (aka denominations) which share the majority of their core beliefs and practices when in reality Paganism is simply an umbrella term for a large group of different religions that often have relatively little in common in the beliefs and practices department.
Randall
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Darkhawk

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Re: Ancient Pagan Philosophy and its connection to modern Paganism
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2016, 10:55:01 am »
Quote from: Zephyrine;192211
eg. Seneca, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurians, Stoics etc.

My question is do the Ancient Pagan Philosophers provide the philosophical foundations of modern Paganism, like Augustine does for Christianity and Maimonides is to Rabbinic Judaism.

Are the ancient pagan philosophers connected to Druidry, Wicca, etc. or is neo-Paganism a completely modern movement.

 
To more explicitly add to what Randall said here, you cite a bunch of Greeks and ask whether religions that have nothing to do with Greece use them as sources.

There is notably more to the ancient world than Greece.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

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