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Author Topic: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home  (Read 1822 times)

Kaio

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Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« on: November 21, 2015, 11:40:01 pm »
I'm having a hard time finding ancient texts of morning prayers, bedtime prayers, etc.. And I've been looking for them in scholarly books about different religions like the Roman, the Greek and the Mesopotamian ones.

 It seems that everyday religious rituals at home - at least regarding non-elite, pre-Hellenistic Greeks and Mesopotamians - were mostly focused on the family and/or how the family was embedded in society at large; the Romans seemingly became more individualistic in this regard from a certain period onwards.

 Most extant evidence of everyday rituals at home seems to have to do with ancestor veneration (or worship), rites of passage and maybe magic. I also noticed that, at least in some religions, the Deities worshiped at home were not the Deities that were worshiped in other places and contexts.

 My problems with this state of affairs are

- my family isn't Pagan;
- my most recent ancestors, the ones whom I've met personally while they were alive, weren't Pagan;
- I don't like when I feel I'm making things up regarding religion, and it seems ancient people also didn't like this. It prevents me from constructing rituals with no ancient precedent.

 Can anyone here help me?
« Last Edit: November 21, 2015, 11:41:10 pm by Kaio »
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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 08:45:32 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;182586
I'm having a hard time finding ancient texts of morning prayers, bedtime prayers, etc.. And I've been looking for them in scholarly books about different religions like the Roman, the Greek and the Mesopotamian ones.

 It seems that everyday religious rituals at home - at least regarding non-elite, pre-Hellenistic Greeks and Mesopotamians - were mostly focused on the family and/or how the family was embedded in society at large; the Romans seemingly became more individualistic in this regard from a certain period onwards.

 Most extant evidence of everyday rituals at home seems to have to do with ancestor veneration (or worship), rites of passage and maybe magic. I also noticed that, at least in some religions, the Deities worshiped at home were not the Deities that were worshiped in other places and contexts.

 My problems with this state of affairs are

- my family isn't Pagan;
- my most recent ancestors, the ones whom I've met personally while they were alive, weren't Pagan;
- I don't like when I feel I'm making things up regarding religion, and it seems ancient people also didn't like this. It prevents me from constructing rituals with no ancient precedent.

 Can anyone here help me?

 
 Anyone?
When in Rome do as the Romans do. (Ambrose)

Materialist

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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2015, 10:58:54 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;182586

- my family isn't Pagan;
- my most recent ancestors, the ones whom I've met personally while they were alive, weren't Pagan;
- I don't like when I feel I'm making things up regarding religion, and it seems ancient people also didn't like this. It prevents me from constructing rituals with no ancient precedent.


If one's religion and that of one's family differ, keep it private. Use visualization instead of acting out rituals if that's what it takes.

All that your ancestors were is what you are now. If you believe dead people are exactly the same as when they were alive, then you of course have a problem. Personally, I think the dead were the original gods, and if the afterlife and gods exist, then we all become gods eventually. Would we still be so petty and narrow minded in death? I don't think so. I'm in the curious position of one or two of my ancestors literally being Catholic saints, who are venerated by millions. Semi-divine beings who've been performing miracles for I don't know how long. They have a broader view of existence than we do.

Fundamentalism is a hazard we all deal with at some point in our lives. If only ancient things are valid then stop using a computer and electricity. Cultures evolve by the decade. Ask your parents what life was like in the '50's. It's probably unrecognizable. Why is it that religion must be static, not changing at all, while everything else does at a whirlwind pace? It doesn't make any sense, when you really think about it.

If you can't find the sanctity, literally, in everything-and when I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING-every dust mote and piece of junk in your basement-then following ancient religions exactly won't provide what you're looking for either. Your religion is what you've been doing your whole life, you just haven't realized it yet.

Faemon

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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2015, 01:36:22 am »
Quote from: Kaio;182586
I'm having a hard time finding ancient texts of morning prayers, bedtime prayers, etc.

(...)

I don't like when I feel I'm making things up regarding religion, and it seems ancient people also didn't like this. It prevents me from constructing rituals with no ancient precedent. Can anyone here help me?


Why do you expect to find morning and bedtime prayers? From which tradition is that from? How could that have come about? (I think somebody made it up, but it's established by now. :p )

From a number of your previous posts and topics, there's nothing I can say to help you. From what you've written, you will only accept if a historian or archaeologist discovers relics and canon myth texts from a fully-developed polytheistic pantheon of pre-colonial Brazilian peoples.

But I'll give it one last go: There is a saying that goes, "Love doesn't just sit in your heart like a stone. It needs to be made again every day, like bread." That's why I have no problem with "making it up", because religious practice (a living faith) is more like bread than a stone. The "source material" in the world can be different, and the difference is important, and I understand that ancientness and tradition very much resonate with you. But one is a modern person with a modern life. Every act of adherence is making new bread. Historians and archaeologists, even prophets, can make things up and disagree with each other. Which turn you take, which argument you choose, is you "making it up" or making something up (making a decision.)

If an archaeological report comes in tomorrow that they have unearthed exactly what you wished and hoped for that would fulfill your life, (or maybe it already happened but it's gathering dust in a University library somewhere,) well then I'll be sorry to have distracted you with my stop-gap wishy-washiness. But there's really nothing I could have said to help, because I'm not a Brazilian archeological historian!
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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 08:35:36 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;182692
If one's religion and that of one's family differ, keep it private.


 OK.
 Let us suppose I practice Roman or Roman-like private religion. Then, because my family isn't Pagan, I decide to put my lararium in my bedroom.
 But sometimes I have sex in my bedroom. And the Roman lore is clear as to how sex and worship should be separate; the emperor Severus Alexander only worshiped on the mornings when he had not slept with his wife on the preceding night according to Historia Augusta.
 This is a problem because I don't know if this makes my room an unsuitable place for me to put my lararium in and, if it doesn't, I don't know how I could cleanse it before I put it there. And then, if I eventually put my lararium in my bedroom, I obviously think I should never have sex there again.
 
Quote from: Faemon;182702
Why do you expect to find morning and bedtime prayers? From which tradition is that from? How could that have come about?


 According to my research the ancient Egyptians said a daily prayer and, if I'm not wrong, Nilsson said ancient Greeks said a bedtime prayer, but I think he didn't mentioned its text. Among Scandinavians I think there's no evidence of daily prayers but Sigrdrífa's prayer in Sigrdrífumál could be adapted to be said as a morning prayer.
 But I know I can be biased towards Christian practices because I'm looking for similar daily religious practices in Pagan religions' lore.

Quote from: Faemon;182702
(...)

From a number of your previous posts and topics, there's nothing I can say to help you. From what you've written, you will only accept if a historian or archaeologist discovers relics and canon myth texts from a fully-developed polytheistic pantheon of pre-colonial Brazilian peoples.


 Wow! I didn't know that saying I admired people whose ethnic background and Pagan religion match would make me come across as this!
 I already said I started out a Neo-Wiccan and I became a Heathen recon years later. (And there are very few chances I have any Germanic ancestry.) Currently it's been years since I've done a ritual for several reasons, including mental health issues and a really hard time deciding basic aspects of my possibly now un- or multitraditioned eclectic recon polytheism. And very few of the Deities I think of starting to worship or worshiping again are culturally associated with native peoples of Brazil.
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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 10:01:47 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;182747
Wow! I didn't know that saying I admired people whose ethnic background and Pagan religion match would make me come across as this!

It is not your admiration that comes across as this, but what you reject. Of course you can reject what spirituality does not suit you well. But when you reject so much because it's "making it up" when you have a very clear and specific aim (that can be fulfilled by..."making it up" or making a decision for yourself how to fill that absence, if not at least possibilities), then of course you will begin to get very few replies.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 10:05:06 pm by Faemon »
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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 11:25:56 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;182747
OK.
 Among Scandinavians I think there's no evidence of daily prayers but Sigrdrífa's prayer in Sigrdrífumál could be adapted to be said as a morning prayer.


I'm 99.98% sure that Northern Europeans considered sunset to be the start of a new day, not sunrise. An evening prayer would then be more appropriate in that case.

I've been looking for a book I have that might help with daily personal/household worship in N.European paganism, if you're interested in that sort of thing?
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2015, 04:36:07 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;182747

 But sometimes I have sex in my bedroom. And the Roman lore is clear as to how sex and worship should be separate; the emperor Severus Alexander only worshiped on the mornings when he had not slept with his wife on the preceding night according to Historia Augusta.
 This is a problem because I don't know if this makes my room an unsuitable place for me to put my lararium in and, if it doesn't, I don't know how I could cleanse it before I put it there. And then, if I eventually put my lararium in my bedroom, I obviously think I should never have sex there again.
 


What part of "everything is sacred" didn't you understand? There is no thing that is unclean. Only humans decide to label things as such and construct superstitious practices around them. You have given me the impression that you are a fundamentalist literalist, and as long as you are that your ability to practice Paganism will be severely stunted because Paganism, by its nature, is very fluid-past and present.

You make me think you might be better off as an ultra-orthodox Jew/Muslim/Catholic. If you need strict rules for everything, these are three religions with complete records going back a thousand years who've written everything down.

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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2015, 01:09:24 am »
Quote from: Materialist;182785
What part of "everything is sacred" didn't you understand? There is no thing that is unclean. Only humans decide to label things as such and construct superstitious practices around them. You have given me the impression that you are a fundamentalist literalist, and as long as you are that your ability to practice Paganism will be severely stunted because Paganism, by its nature, is very fluid-past and present.

You make me think you might be better off as an ultra-orthodox Jew/Muslim/Catholic. If you need strict rules for everything, these are three religions with complete records going back a thousand years who've written everything down.

 
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Materialist,

Your post violates the following rules:

1. DO NOT make personal attacks (name calling, hostile remarks, accusations, etc.) anywhere in our community (including posts, personal messages, reputation comments, etc.). In discussion, attack ideas and opinions, not the people who hold them.

It is unquestionably very hostile to Kaio, makes what can be readily construed as accusations, and borders on name-calling; it does not restrict itself to challenging ideas or opinions, but extends to disparagement of Kaio himself.

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I'm not sure if you're proselytizing for the Abrahamic religions here, or for your particular notion of what paganism 'ought' to be, but you're certainly pushing particular religions on Kaio.

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The seeming fluidity of modern paganism is not because all people who practice one or another of the many pagan religions do so fluidly, but because it is an umbrella term encompassing many different religions. Fluidity is not a universal in modern paganism. (Nor are there sound scholarly grounds for universalizing ancient paganisms that way, though that's not a rules issue so much as a 'bad scholarship' issue.)

The last two items are in the 'Don't be annoying' section, and as such are particularly egregious violations. Your past record includes three prior formal warnings, as well as numerous posts that skate close to being violations but don't quite cross the line (see under 'Miscellaneous Rules', 'The Hosts and Staff try to be aware of members who are in the habit of pushing up against the edges of the rules without violating them. Members whose posts repeatedly push these limits, especially in ways that cause difficulties, may be officially warned for their pattern of behavior.').

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Kaio

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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2015, 07:25:21 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;182750
It is not your admiration that comes across as this, but what you reject.


 I don't want to seem dismissive towards other people's spirituality.
 I think I just have a more recon bent.
 
Quote from: Juniperberry;182754
I'm 99.98% sure that Northern Europeans considered sunset to be the start of a new day, not sunrise. An evening prayer would then be more appropriate in that case.


 I think you are right; it seems that not only ancient North-Germanic speaking people but also, if I'm not mistaken, Celts and ancient Greeks considered sunset to be the start of a new day.
 I thought of adapting Sigrdrífa's prayer in Sigrdrífumál to be said as a morning prayer (or wake-up prayer in general) because it was said after Sigrdrífa was awoken by Sigurd.

Quote from: Juniperberry;182754
I've been looking for a book I have that might help with daily personal/household worship in N.European paganism, if you're interested in that sort of thing?


 Yes, I am! :)
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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2015, 07:35:57 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;182586
I'm having a hard time finding ancient texts of morning prayers, bedtime prayers, etc.. And I've been looking for them in scholarly books about different religions like the Roman, the Greek and the Mesopotamian ones.

 It seems that everyday religious rituals at home - at least regarding non-elite, pre-Hellenistic Greeks and Mesopotamians - were mostly focused on the family and/or how the family was embedded in society at large; the Romans seemingly became more individualistic in this regard from a certain period onwards.

 Most extant evidence of everyday rituals at home seems to have to do with ancestor veneration (or worship), rites of passage and maybe magic. I also noticed that, at least in some religions, the Deities worshiped at home were not the Deities that were worshiped in other places and contexts.

 My problems with this state of affairs are

- my family isn't Pagan;
- my most recent ancestors, the ones whom I've met personally while they were alive, weren't Pagan;
- I don't like when I feel I'm making things up regarding religion, and it seems ancient people also didn't like this. It prevents me from constructing rituals with no ancient precedent.

 Can anyone here help me?

 

Forgive me if I'm missing out on some big point here.

I get you'd like to duplicate ancient family stuff, but if that hasn't come to light...

As for daily prayers and devotionals, just say what you want and need in as plain language as possible.

Most likely THAT is what your ancestors did.

Yeah, ancient people just plain "made stuff up" the same as we do today. This is called "creativity." It's okay. Hang in and enjoy it.
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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2015, 12:43:06 am »
Quote from: Lionrhod;182896
Yeah, ancient people just plain "made stuff up" the same as we do today. This is called "creativity." It's okay. Hang in and enjoy it.

I don't agree with this statement.

Primitive religion has more in common with modern science than it does with modern religion. For example: It wasn't "made up BS" that a Mother Earth type goddess would get angry if the same crops were planted in the same field twice; it was an early scientific understanding of the very true fact that planting the same crops twice in a field depletes nutrients and makes the crop vulnerable to disease and pestilence.

It's accepted that if you put the average man in the wilderness next to a primitive man, the primitive man would be much more equipped to handle the circumstances. He may not know how to use a smart phone, but he would know which berries were edible, which were poisonous, and which were sacred (psychoactive). The average ancient man's working knowledge of earth science was much more advanced than ours today.

So, in knowing that, it's not entirely out of the realm of possibility that any spiritual folk-wisdom also has some sort of real world application, rather than being made up woo-woo. Especially considering that the goal in those beliefs was often survival in the best way possible.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2015, 12:43:58 am by Juniperberry »
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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2015, 01:31:22 am »
Quote from: Kaio;182845

 I thought of adapting Sigrdrífa's prayer in Sigrdrífumál to be said as a morning prayer (or wake-up prayer in general) because it was said after Sigrdrífa was awoken by Sigurd.





I'v ebeen going through the book tonight, but I actually decided to check the Havamal really quick. This is what I've found there:

These things are thought the best:
Fire, the sight of the sun,
Good health with the gift to keep it,
And a life that avoids vice.

For these things give thanks at nightfall:
The day gone, a guttered torch,
A sword tested, the troth of a maid,
Ice crossed, ale drunk.


Obviously you can interpret these however you wish to where they still fit the context of the original blessings. If you're unaware of it, the Havamal is a list of proverbs/sayings for life and travel credited to Odin. You might like reading it for this question, though it isn't necessarily for rituals.

But anyway, in the book I'm looking through, which is actually female-focused (Roles of the Northern Goddess), many rituals are tied around maintaining a spiritual relationships with the deities of livelihood at the start and end of the day; like prayers when kindling and smothering the hearth-fire to keep out unwelcome spirits and to welcome the (preferred) goddess within the home.

I'll keep going through it though, and see if I can come up with anything a bit more specific.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2015, 08:25:35 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;182918
I'v ebeen going through the book tonight, but I actually decided to check the Havamal really quick. This is what I've found there:

These things are thought the best:
Fire, the sight of the sun,
Good health with the gift to keep it,
And a life that avoids vice.

For these things give thanks at nightfall:
The day gone, a guttered torch,
A sword tested, the troth of a maid,
Ice crossed, ale drunk.


Obviously you can interpret these however you wish to where they still fit the context of the original blessings. If you're unaware of it, the Havamal is a list of proverbs/sayings for life and travel credited to Odin. You might like reading it for this question, though it isn't necessarily for rituals.

But anyway, in the book I'm looking through, which is actually female-focused (Roles of the Northern Goddess), many rituals are tied around maintaining a spiritual relationships with the deities of livelihood at the start and end of the day; like prayers when kindling and smothering the hearth-fire to keep out unwelcome spirits and to welcome the (preferred) goddess within the home.

I'll keep going through it though, and see if I can come up with anything a bit more specific.

 
 Interesting; these stanzas from Hávamál can really be a basis on which one could build daily religious practices in a Heathen context. Do you know what are these stanzas' numbers?
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Re: Reconstructing everyday personal rituals at home
« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2015, 07:51:03 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;182918

These things are thought the best:
Fire, the sight of the sun,
Good health with the gift to keep it,
And a life that avoids vice.

For these things give thanks at nightfall:
The day gone, a guttered torch,
A sword tested, the troth of a maid,
Ice crossed, ale drunk.



 
At essence, the desires of most humans, both ancient and modern are very similar.

We ask for the warmth of the hearth fire, signifying both warmth and home. We ask for the warmth and beauty of the Sun, without which plants would not thrive, amongst its many other blessings. We ask for the dawning of each new day and its possibilities.

We ask for health.

We ask for the ability to be the best person we can, and to avoid the negative.

We are grateful for the day gone by and all its lessons, as well as the chance to rest from them.

We are grateful for the tests we have faced and won, and even those we have lost, for they teach us as well.

We are grateful for our beloveds and their faith in us and ours in them.

We are grateful for the work of the day, our accomplishments.

We are grateful for the celebration itself and the companionship of that.

The Havamal as above quoted says this beautifully.

And all of these are human desires and wishes and gratitudes. I imagine that all humans have wishes and prayers much similar, whether Roman, Norse or maybe even from another planet.

So when I earlier enjoined you to "make it up" I didn't mean, "just pull something out of a hat."

Instead, I meant just speak honestly and openly to your gods. Say what you are thankful from of the day. Ask for those things you need.

I'm willing to guess that was the substance of Roman morning/night prayer, Nordic morning/night prayer and the morning/nightly prayer of just about every culture around the globe,
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Last post February 10, 2019, 09:15:19 am
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* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
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