I am new to these forums; however, I am not new to the subject of Indo-European studies. I have been studying this subject intensely for over 15 years. No breaks and nearly all of my free time. I have some advanced degrees in the area (and will be pursuing further studies soon) and I read in many ancient languages classified as Indo-European (while speaking many of the living ones).
I am very concerned about some of the older posts I have read regarding reconstructing the Indo-European religion.
Quite frankly, I have read and/or collected hundreds if not thousands of studies, scholarly books and otherwise, primary works, secondary, very obscure books on religion and language, and viewed samples of Indo-European writings at the University of Chicago and other libraries and museums. I have read some of the mythology and scriptures in the original languages (all over Europe, Asia, Mid-East, China, anywhere they have been). I have studied scholars from several continents writing and doing research for the past 200 years +. This to me is the greatest story ever told.
There is more than enough evidence from all branches of science and other fields to accurately reconstruct the Proto-Indo-European religion, language, and what these people looked like with a degree of certainty (a very educated view based on a lot of evidence and not merely an opinion). In fact, early specialists thought that this would unite disparate cultures and races across Europe and India originally. Iranians, Indians (particularly North), Afghans, various Europeans, many others, etc., as far away as Western China are all connected linguistically (and there is increasing evidence for ethnic and genetic and cultural ties as well due to sexual behavior and migration). Not new information at all.
However, I am dismayed by the fact and curious (while not wanting to upset anyone) why some pagans in Europe and USA have decided to become ethnocentric and not realize that when they reconstruct Germanic, Celtic, etc. paganism that they are actually reconstructing the Indo-European religion in its various permutations? This is not Blavatsky or Third Reich territory either (and it is sad that things have gone in that direction in the past). The people who gave you Odin, Thor, Perun, Indra, etc. were short people with dark skin who migrated using chariots and horses. Sometimes they were invaders and committed genocide and sexual violence (but not always) of the native people (especially on pre-Historic Europeans) and sometimes they were peaceful migrants (again, Aryan Invasion theory is just as discredited as the Out of India theory). This is a fact.
Their genetics are spread half way across Eurasia. Very old Sanskrit words have Samoyed and Finnic terms for trees that only grow in Northern Europe. We can reasonably propose that these people originated somewhere in the Baltic or Ukraine area, Eurasia broadly. Lithuanian neo-pagan ceremonies are so similar to Hindu temple services that it is uncanny! Lithuanian and Latvian are the closest languages alive today, outside of India to Sanskrit.
Irish Gaelic, German, Slavic, Latin, Greek, Hittite, even Persian and Pashto, share many, many lexical and grammatical commonalities, cognates, etc. And the list of languages goes on and on. My favorite example is that the word for Ireland in Gaelic and the name of the country of Iran are very similar if not identical to Sanskrit words (a couple candidates including the Sanskrit word ‘arya’ or noble and/or a few others).
As a librarian, I have been building lists/bibliographies of these peer reviewed sources and publications for years. I have viewed manuscripts and written papers on them in great libraries all over the world.
Do people really still feel this way in the pagan (specifically Northern European pagan) tradition? Or have thoughts changed? I have recently been writing a paper on genetic studies of modern-day Ukrainians, their relation to the Yamnaya culture (pre-historic culture; maybe a pre-cursor or the actual Proto-Indo-Europeans), and the Vedic tribes of India, particularly linguistic roots shared by Slavic languages and Vedic Sanskrit for instance.
How do you answer the charge frequently made by numerous individuals inside and outside of academia that your reconstructions are not based on history or any actual practice (or very little of those practices) by an ancient German, Celt, Slav, etc.? There is plenty of evidence based on scientific research from all areas of science for accurate practices. I am not judging, I just want someone to tell me what they think and how they defend that position. I am ready to defend it with mounds of research and data spanning centuries from many fields.
This is a very serious question for me (maybe others?). I have been confused (my subjective view) by a lot of religious ideas that turned out to not be based on fact. I apologize for any vitriol that comes out, but if I have an interest in religion again, I do not want to make the same mistakes.
To be a worshipper of Indo-European Goddesses and Gods is rather complex and there were many materialist/non-theist/complex readings given by actual Indo-Europeans of their mythology and scriptures. To state that only someone who wants to worship an actual spiritual being or angel is the only kind of pagan (to me) is someone who has adopted a radically different stance than these ancient peoples held, and oversimplifies their highly enlightened existences and beliefs. Many of the ideas that I hear regarding Goddesses and Gods in modern European paganism ring of a ‘state church’ mentality (to me, others maybe) found in the Abrahamic Faiths, and represents why these people were forcibly converted to begin with. Division and ethnocentrism. It is also obvious that Western occultism is also largely derived from Middle Eastern theology and/or practice (among many, many other non-European cultures and religions).
A lot of controversial statements and/or questions (for some yes, some not). Any thoughts? Forgive my exuberance today, I am a bit sick from some Epilepsy medication, but I assure you I can think and write in an orderly way (typically, haha). My lectures are better than my writing today.
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