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Author Topic: Paths and roles - which do you follow?  (Read 22588 times)
Purplewitch
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« Reply #15: May 09, 2007, 06:10:32 pm »

(which demonstrates that the role of wife and mother does preclude a warrior role).

psst - 'does not preclude' ?
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« Reply #16: May 09, 2007, 06:42:14 pm »

The Filid class (fili is singular) in Celtic society fulfilled a wide variety of roles, including entertainment and preservation of history.  They wrote and recited poetry, tales, myths and perserved geneologies...  all basically aimed at creating an oral history of their clan and culture.  The lowest level was that of bard -- basically a poet with a beginning level of poems and a smaller repetoire.  The highest level was ollamh, which basically meant twelve years of aprenticeship in which they mastered a huge amount of material and became expert in all the different poetic styles of the time. 

In a contemporary sense, since we are not participating in a large public religion anymore, I can see the fili role in a wide variety of activities.  We consider ourselves filid on several levels:  first, we learn and use the tales of the Celts as part of our ceremonial practice;  we are active in learning all we can about Celtic history as a way of perserving that;  we make our living through creative writing and our Celtic spirituality influences that both directly and indirectly.

However, there could be easier, less formal ways of connecting with the fili function.  By investigating, documenting and perserving your clan (family) history, you participate in that function.  You might keep a blog, write personal poetry, telling your own stories to your children, learning about Celtic history and myths...   all of these may not make you filid in the formal sense (as in --  this is your life goal), but it is a way of connecting with and valuing that function.   

*snip*

It's really a matter of engaging one's creativity.  There are naturally grades of interaction, which is why I use the term role or function rather than title.  Not everyone, for example, can become a full-time fili, but there is nothing that says you can't tap that function as a way of interacting with the gods/desses.   

Well said, Dru.  I like to think I'm in a filí role because I'm an art student, more specifically a filmmaker.  There are a lot of reasons why I believe in film as poetry, but more than that, I have a goal to both entertain and preserve, to create and remember.  That, I think, is at the heart of filmmaking, of filídecht... and more personally, at the heart of my path, Filíocht.
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« Reply #17: May 09, 2007, 08:10:03 pm »

psst - 'does not preclude' ?

Oops...  I am really the world's worst typist in terms of missed words.

Sigh.  Edited by Dru because Opps is not Oops.
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« Reply #18: May 09, 2007, 08:15:05 pm »

Well said, Dru.  I like to think I'm in a filí role because I'm an art student, more specifically a filmmaker.  There are a lot of reasons why I believe in film as poetry, but more than that, I have a goal to both entertain and preserve, to create and remember.  That, I think, is at the heart of filmmaking, of filídecht... and more personally, at the heart of my path, Filíocht.

What a coincidence...  I am just waiting to defend my MFA in Film Production.  And I agree, on all counts. 
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« Reply #19: May 09, 2007, 08:20:40 pm »

Oops...  I am really the world's worst typist in terms of missed words.

Sigh.  Edited by Dru because Opps is not Oops.
You're not the worst... I'm a terrible typist, (I can spell I just cannot type) and besides, I have always suspected that Randallisms were contagious...
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« Reply #20: May 11, 2007, 08:42:33 pm »

Really, looked at in a broad way, a warrior function is likely useful in most peoples lives...  we've all got battles to fight and friends and family to protect, even if the sword is more metaphorical in this day and age. 

I agree Dru. I dedicated to Macha on my 45th birthday, and consciously chose to move from a Maiden (not having borne a child rather than a virgin) to Warrior (as I was not going to ever be a 'mother'). this was the public (in front of my friends and family) dedication. The private dedication was very different - being between me and Macha during a lucid dream. My dedication was accepted. I still see myself as Warrior. Fighting my past, my depression and collecting the various pieces of me that I lost along the way.

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« Reply #21: May 13, 2007, 09:57:09 am »

I think having only 2 path types is quite limiting.  I'm also pretty sure I don't agree with the types of paths they're choosing.  In Celtic society the Warriors were in the upper crust, and the Poets were even further above (and separate) from the class system.      So, looking at the CR FAQ, that would seem to me to be setting CR members above others.

But, even if you're just looking at what these path types do (ignoring the historical class implications), there's plenty of path possibilities not mentioned; healer and craftsman just to name a few.
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« Reply #22: May 13, 2007, 11:04:26 am »

I think having only 2 path types is quite limiting.  I'm also pretty sure I don't agree with the types of paths they're choosing.  In Celtic society the Warriors were in the upper crust, and the Poets were even further above (and separate) from the class system.      So, looking at the CR FAQ, that would seem to me to be setting CR members above others.

I had to go back and reread that FAQ section after your post, because when I read it before I interpreted it as using the Warrior and Poet paths as *examples* of possible paths, rather than as *the* two possible paths.  I see that they are the only two discussed, but I'm not sure the authors intended to imply these two were the only paths, or even the two most valuable paths.

But regardless of what the CR FAQ means to say, I don't think anyone working on OUR version of RCR intends to limit available paths, or to set any paths above any others.  Would anyone disagree with that?


But, even if you're just looking at what these path types do (ignoring the historical class implications), there's plenty of path possibilities not mentioned; healer and craftsman just to name a few.

Gobae, did you have others in mind?
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« Reply #23: May 13, 2007, 01:05:06 pm »

Some of these terms have connotations, but I'm just going to spit them out and give a brief description of what I'm thinking.  Doubtless there may be other more PC or better terms that could be used for what I'm describing.

Grower - Someone who tends and raises plants, animals, or people.  Perhaps "nurturer" would be an apt word?

Servant - Someone who attends to the needs of others.  But not in the "waiting on someone hand and foot", slave manner.  But, in the capacity of assisting as needed.  Perhaps "facilitator" would be a good alternate word.

The last three are all probably pretty self explanitory:  Teacher, Adviser, Hunter.
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« Reply #24: May 13, 2007, 02:10:58 pm »

Some of these terms have connotations, but I'm just going to spit them out and give a brief description of what I'm thinking.  Doubtless there may be other more PC or better terms that could be used for what I'm describing.

Grower - Someone who tends and raises plants, animals, or people.  Perhaps "nurturer" would be an apt word?

Servant - Someone who attends to the needs of others.  But not in the "waiting on someone hand and foot", slave manner.  But, in the capacity of assisting as needed.  Perhaps "facilitator" would be a good alternate word.

The last three are all probably pretty self explanitory:  Teacher, Adviser, Hunter.

I like these--can't forget the very, very necessary third function, the providers!  Wink  Everyone likes to put themselves into romantic roles, like the Warrior and the Poet and the Outsider, but the tribe would fall apart if we were all Poets and Warriors, not to mention Outsiders (who aren't even part of the tribe, really).  These roles described above ground our spirituality in the real world, in everyday living.

I think Growers (I like Nurturers as well) and Servants would really overlap; in order to raise living creatures to their full potential, one has to serve them in every best way they can. 

I'm trying to think of a Hunter in terms of modern living; perhaps the Hunter is a kind of "brother" role to the Grower role, the Grower being in a more... um... home-based context, while the Hunter is more of a provider in the contexts of bringing the outside world to the home.  I don't want to be politically incorrect, but the Hunter could be the one that "brings home the bacon" while the Grower stays home and makes sure all is well in the home.  I feel like the Hunter, the Grower and the Servant roles would be useful particularly for parents in terms of raising and maintaining a family.

I'd like to hear more input from you, Gobae; I think you're on to something here.  Wink
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« Reply #25: May 13, 2007, 03:58:42 pm »

Quote
I think Growers (I like Nurturers as well) and Servants would really overlap; in order to raise living creatures to their full potential, one has to serve them in every best way they can.

Yes, their certainly is some overlap.  To further define what I was envisioning, I was thinking of the "Servant" as the role of Seneschal or a Chamberlain.  They serve with honor and distinction, anticipate their lord's needs and see that their lord's household is in order.  But you wouldn't really consider them a nurturer as such.

Quote
I'm trying to think of a Hunter in terms of modern living; perhaps the Hunter is a kind of "brother" role to the Grower role....

I almost termed "Hunter" as "Harvester"; thus a brother role to Grower.  But your "in the home" / "out of the home" used to be known in AIL (Ancient Irish Law [Brehon Law]) as 'non-productive' and 'productive' roles.  Now, those terms are pretty loaded today since "non-productive" is often associated with doing nothing, unhelpful or worthless.  But in fact a "productive" role meant, quite literally, there was a product that could be sold or traded as the result of the work; and non-productive obviously meant there wasn't.  The terms had no relationship to role necessity or value.
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« Reply #26: May 13, 2007, 04:18:37 pm »

Yes, their certainly is some overlap.  To further define what I was envisioning, I was thinking of the "Servant" as the role of Seneschal or a Chamberlain.  They serve with honor and distinction, anticipate their lord's needs and see that their lord's household is in order.  But you wouldn't really consider them a nurturer as such.

I like your explaination of the Servant as Seneschal.  I could see the role applying in the modern workplace in that context; in a way, you might see yourself as your boss' or your company's or your business' or your client's servant.  Of course, when your boss isn't exactly the... erm... "kingly" type, you might feel more like a thrall than a servant.  Tongue
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« Reply #27: May 13, 2007, 08:45:01 pm »

I had to go back and reread that FAQ section after your post, because when I read it before I interpreted it as using the Warrior and Poet paths as *examples* of possible paths, rather than as *the* two possible paths.  I see that they are the only two discussed, but I'm not sure the authors intended to imply these two were the only paths, or even the two most valuable paths.

But regardless of what the CR FAQ means to say, I don't think anyone working on OUR version of RCR intends to limit available paths, or to set any paths above any others.  Would anyone disagree with that?
One thing that has often come up over the years, when I've spoken of being on a Warrior Path, is folks asking, "So what all paths are there?"  What they want is a comprehensive list - many of them envision it having some particular spiritually-significant number of items, and/or assume it's some bit of Ancient Wisdom.  As in, "These are the twelve Spiritual Paths known to the ancient <fill in pet culture to romanticize>, to which one might be called."  While they don't mind some overlap, they certainly expect these paths to be distinct in context of the same frame.  (Basically, they want the Game Handbook, with a tidy set of character classes, and maybe a further set of "prestige classes" for those who in previous editions were multi-class/cross-class characters.  Not saying they're treating Paganism like a D&D game in the sense of how seriously they take it, but they do have an expectation, often subconscious, that it's laid out as neatly as D&D.)

They are mighty put out when all I can do is give a few other examples, which can overlap and intersect in all sorts of ways because none of them define in ways that exclude others, and then say, "Not everyone is called to some distinct path, and even those that are may not be called to one that's easily named."  Me, I'm as much a Teacher as a Warrior, and there are other things for which I have a calling that I don't express in "X Path" terminology - sometimes Teacher and Warrior are essentially indistinguishable, coming from the same place in my spirit; sometimes they're not.

None of that is CP/RCR-specific, since I'm not CP-specific, but I feel it's worth throwing in (particularly since that FAQ/those recons almost certainly draw the concept from the "X Path" pattern in Pagandom generally).

Sunflower
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« Reply #28: May 14, 2007, 03:59:40 pm »

I think having only 2 path types is quite limiting.  I'm also pretty sure I don't agree with the types of paths they're choosing.  In Celtic society the Warriors were in the upper crust, and the Poets were even further above (and separate) from the class system.      So, looking at the CR FAQ, that would seem to me to be setting CR members above others.

But, even if you're just looking at what these path types do (ignoring the historical class implications), there's plenty of path possibilities not mentioned; healer and craftsman just to name a few.

I believe these are meant to be illustrative, not exclusive.  Don't confuse historical standing with present day practice.  While a very few very conservative Celtic recons might seek to reflect the historic hierarchy of the Celtic class system, most do not.  In general, the social position occupied by filid or warriors in historical Celtic society is included as evidence of how much the original culture valued the roles.   

Very briefly, historic celtic society was structured thusly:

a)  High king -- sort of a king of kings, as in of all Ireland for example

b)  King of a Province -- a king selected by several local tribes or fines (extended family groups)

c)  King of a tribe (extended family group)

d)  the nobility and priviliged -- these included inherited aristocracy (ie/ kings and nobles) but what set the Celts apart is that others could aspire to this class through training or special service.  Hence, the artistocracy included highly skilled warriors, druids, the filid (bards -- see earlier discussion in thread), craftsmen such as blacksmiths and weapons makers as well as healers. When speaking of roles, most CR groups are referring to the ones represented in this strata of society.  This is not so much a reflection of classism (ie/ we all want to be privileged) as it is a kind of practicality:  there's just not much call for kings these days, and the free famrmer/tenant needs an agricultual culture to support it. 

e)  Free farmers -- farmers who owned land and stock

f)  Free tenants -- there were usually free farmers in financial straits who had to were working off obligations.  This is not so much a class in itself, but a subset of fee farmers who, if there were successful in paying off their obligations would once more become free farmers.

g)  Unfree tenants -- don't think slave here, although the Celts did participate in slavery of individuals captured in war.  In general, unfree tenants were without land of their own and rented everything.   They often served as indentured labourers. 

h)  Outlaws -- pretty much the same meaning as now...  includes criminals, outcasts, unskilled labourers  and the like. 


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« Reply #29: May 14, 2007, 04:11:55 pm »

Servant - Someone who attends to the needs of others.  But not in the "waiting on someone hand and foot", slave manner.  But, in the capacity of assisting as needed.  Perhaps "facilitator" would be a good alternate word.

The last three are all probably pretty self explanitory:  Teacher, Adviser, Hunter.

Hospitality is a hugely critical aspect of Celtic culture, and includes everything from caring for the needs strangers and guests to providing for the comfort of family and clan.  Teacher would be an aspect of any role since passing on knowledge was critical.  Hunter would come under the warrior role (in truth, all adult Celts likely hunted).   

Advisor would come under Druid or Brehon (judge).  Both gave adice to the populace on laws (as did filid, in later Celtic culture, especially after the Romans decimated the Druids at Mona).   
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