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Author Topic: Besom Buddies  (Read 5513 times)
Mandi
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« Topic Start: May 22, 2007, 03:37:22 pm »

Sounds like a bad pagan chain letter...

Recently I've noticed that there are deities that are a whole heck of a lot more popular amongst pagan circles- or widely followed.  I guess widely followed would be a better description. 

All questions are open to all comers, I just tried to separate them out into easily used portions.  Pick and choose as appeals to ya.

For those who follow more commonly known deity;

Do you feel pressure to tailor your experiences to match others worshiping a deity under the same name as yourself? 

Is it difficult not to go along with others perceptions of 'your' deity that you disagree with? 

Have you ever been tempted to tell someone that the deity that they are interacting with is clearly not the deity that you are, even though they are speaking the same name?

Do you feel that alignment of perception with others is criteria for validating your practices?  Do others who don't see the deity in question as you do, make you question your perception, or whether you're getting it *right*?


For those who worship less widely known deities, or those who are not widely worked with in pagan demographics;

Do you feel pressured to choose a more "socially acceptable" deity?

Do you find that your perceptions of your deity align with others, if and when you do come across others?

Do you feel they(perceptions) should?

What do you do when there is no one to compare notes with, or when those who might otherwise validate, choose not to - for any reason.  (too personal, ethics, individuality concerns, etc.)

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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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« Reply #1: May 22, 2007, 04:05:28 pm »

Sounds like a bad pagan chain letter...

I was thinking some sort of Pagan knitting circle, myself.  Cheesy


Quote
For those who follow more commonly known deity;

That would be me.  The Greek pantheon in general, Apollo specifically.

Quote
Do you feel pressure to tailor your experiences to match others worshiping a deity under the same name as yourself? 

I feel the need to look to others for inspiration and guidance, because the alternative is floundering around trying to figure out what to do.  But if I run up against something that just doesn't click for me, or feels outright wrong, I don't feel the need to adopt it along with the stuff that feels OK or even right.

Quote
Is it difficult not to go along with others perceptions of 'your' deity that you disagree with? 

It depends on who the perceptions are coming from.  If, for example, Shadow comes up with some observation about Apollo that seems radically different from my experience, I'm likely to at least pause and think about it.  She's got a lot longer history with Him than I do, I think, and she's someone I know well and whose experiences and opinions I trust, so her word would carry some weight with me.  If someone I've never met makes the same observations I'm more likely to just write it off as "O....K, that's really different."

Quote
Have you ever been tempted to tell someone that the deity that they are interacting with is clearly not the deity that you are, even though they are speaking the same name?

Not that I recall.  I'm acutely aware that I can't prove anything, so on the rare occasion that this sort of situation comes up I tend to keep my mouth shut.  Because who knows, I could be the one who's really talking to Someone else.

Quote
Do you feel that alignment of perception with others is criteria for validating your practices?  Do others who don't see the deity in question as you do, make you question your perception, or whether you're getting it *right*?

Not...  as much anymore?  Again, it would depend on who "others" are.  See the Shadow example above about perception, for starters.  On validating practices...  I'm just starting out on a more Recon-ish path than I used to follow, so I do feel a little more need to have some kind of validation about my practices because of that.  Not because it's super-important what other people think, anymore, but because they know what they're doing better than I know what I'm doing.  I guess...  I might phrase it more as double-checking myself than seeking validation, if that makes sense.

I used to be very shy about talking about my relationship with Apollo, though, because I was afraid someone would come along and tell me I was wrong, or laugh at me, or something.  I think getting over that was a combination of developing more emotional maturity and stability in general, and just gaining more experience with the whole situation (which made me more confident).  I still feel a little insecure talking about my practices at large, and I think again that's just going to require more experience to build confidence.
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« Reply #2: May 22, 2007, 07:04:47 pm »

For those who follow more commonly known deity;

[/b]Do you feel pressure to tailor your experiences to match others worshiping a deity under the same name as yourself? 

Is it difficult not to go along with others perceptions of 'your' deity that you disagree with? 

Have you ever been tempted to tell someone that the deity that they are interacting with is clearly not the deity that you are, even though they are speaking the same name?

Do you feel that alignment of perception with others is criteria for validating your practices?  Do others who don't see the deity in question as you do, make you question your perception, or whether you're getting it *right*?

I don't *think* I'm tailoring my perceptions/experiences of Brighid to match what I've heard others say.  It's possible, of course, but I don't think so.  In fact, I'm currently working on what I think is an unorthodox interpretation of Brighid as patroness of the disenfranchised and those working to promote social justice -- in addition to (or rather, as a part of) her more traditional associations with poetry, smithcraft, and healing (and their metaphorical interpretations).  I don't know if I'm getting it "right" -- but I do think I'm on the right track.  So far, nobody has violently disagreed...

I do find it really helpful and...well...validating, I guess, when someone else notes a similar experience or UPG.  Especially about something that's a little unusual.  F'ex, Finn and I were just comparing notes yesterday in another thread about an "assignment" we'd both received from Brighid to learn about Macha, and how that seemed connected to this whole disenfranchisement thing.  Finn has a different perspective on it because she comes at it from a different place than I do, but we're both sensing that we're working on two parts of the same whole.  I had no idea why I was getting nudged to learn about Macha -- but finding out that Finn was getting the same nudge was very comforting.

I haven't had any experiences in which I've radically disagreed with someone about Brighid's nature, so I can't really speak to your other questions.  If that came up, I think I would probably mention that my experiences were different from the other person's, but I don't think I would try to invalidate the other person's perceptions.

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« Reply #3: May 22, 2007, 08:28:41 pm »

Recently I've noticed that there are deities that are a whole heck of a lot more popular amongst pagan circles- or widely followed.  I guess widely followed would be a better description. 

All questions are open to all comers, I just tried to separate them out into easily used portions.  Pick and choose as appeals to ya.

For those who follow more commonly known deity;

I follow Brighid, an Morrígan and Lugh, all of whom seem to be popular.

Quote
Do you feel pressure to tailor your experiences to match others worshiping a deity under the same name as yourself?

Definitely not- my experiences with the deities I serve has been consistent for many years, most of which I had no contact with other worshippers.

Quote
Is it difficult not to go along with others perceptions of 'your' deity that you disagree with?

Not at all- I find I disagree most often with other followers of an Morrígan (rarely on TC, though). 

Quote
Have you ever been tempted to tell someone that the deity that they are interacting with is clearly not the deity that you are, even though they are speaking the same name?

Oh yes. Many, many times- generally with followers of an Morrígan.

Quote
Do you feel that alignment of perception with others is criteria for validating your practices?  Do others who don't see the deity in question as you do, make you question your perception, or whether you're getting it *right*?

No- unless one of us is wildly off the mark, I assume it's just the nature of two different people interacting with someone. My interactions with any two given people could easily leave them with distinctly different impressions. If we're wildly different, I usually assume they're wrong. Grin Honestly, though, it's not something I think much on.

Quote
For those who worship less widely known deities, or those who are not widely worked with in pagan demographics;

I work with Caer, who seems to be less widely followed (though I could be wrong).

Quote
Do you feel pressured to choose a more "socially acceptable" deity?

No, but that may be because I already do work with more widely known deities in addition to Caer.

Quote
Do you find that your perceptions of your deity align with others, if and when you do come across others?

I've not come across another who works with Caer.

Quote
What do you do when there is no one to compare notes with, or when those who might otherwise validate, choose not to - for any reason.  (too personal, ethics, individuality concerns, etc.)

I act as I normally do- work off the scholarly evidence available, and go with my gut.
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« Reply #4: May 22, 2007, 10:56:19 pm »

For those who follow more commonly known deity;

Do you feel pressure to tailor your experiences to match others worshiping a deity under the same name as yourself? 

I like to think that I am not trying to "tailor" my experiences with Brighid because my interaction with her was established some time before I ever met anyone else who was dedicated to her.  And my interaction with her has not changed since then, if only to grow deeper, stronger because I actually found out my relationship with her was actually quite similar to others', or at least not completely unfounded.  My relationship with Brighid is a bit unorthodox, but I don't think it's completely out-of-bounds, and I have been... validated in that feeling thanks to my interaction with other worshippers.  Like Moon Ivy said, it's very reassuring, when you're on a more recon path, to find out that similar thoughts have passed through the minds of other people.

And of course it's always nice to know that someone else has the same homework! Grin

Is it difficult not to go along with others perceptions of 'your' deity that you disagree with? 

Have you ever been tempted to tell someone that the deity that they are interacting with is clearly not the deity that you are, even though they are speaking the same name?

Do you feel that alignment of perception with others is criteria for validating your practices?  Do others who don't see the deity in question as you do, make you question your perception, or whether you're getting it *right*?

Since most of the folks I know have experienced Brighid in much the same way as I have, I don't think I can really answer those.  I try very hard to ground my experiences in attested sources, and so do most of the other folks I know who are Brighid-followers.  Perhaps that's why we're in such agreement; the books make our interactions and ideas accountable in some ways, and our UPGs, though undeniably our own thoughts, often do not branch too far away from the sources, so our experiences end up at least making sense to one another, and do not require a major shift of perception.

If ever confronted with those situations, I would probably just keep my mouth shut, go grumble about it to my Lady, and then go pick up a book and see if their perception is actually right. Wink 
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« Reply #5: May 23, 2007, 02:43:28 am »

For those who worship less widely known deities, or those who are not widely worked with in pagan demographics;

It was hard for me to decide just which one to choose as I worship primarily Epona. She is not unknown, and I've seen at least one person on this board mention that they do as well. But as far as those I encounter in real life and on the internet, Epona certainly isn't amassing the errmm.... army  Grin that some other deities are. So I'll chose less widely known.
 
Do you feel pressured to choose a more "socially acceptable" deity?

Not at all. She'd never allow it even if I wanted to. I might get more funny looks if she were less known, but because many people have at least heard of her I don't get any grief.

Do you find that your perceptions of your deity align with others, if and when you do come across others?

Mostly. On those rare occasions what I've heard from others usually falls in line with what I've experienced.

Do you feel they(perceptions) should?

Yes and No. She's a person - I mean, she's a Goddess but she's more than just a one sentence description in an encyclopedia. There are things about her that should be consistent from one person's experience to another's. But the way she relates to me won't necessarily be the way she relates to someone else. Also she has moods or could come to someone (or me) for a specific purpose on in a specific way.

If someone I respected had a really different take on her it would definitely make me step back and think. I wouldn't just automatically think "they just don't know the Epona I know." But I won't rule out the possibility that I would come to that conclusion.

What do you do when there is no one to compare notes with, or when those who might otherwise validate, choose not to - for any reason.  (too personal, ethics, individuality concerns, etc.)

I guess it would be nice to compare notes. In all honesty though, the things I would probably most like to compare notes about are the things that I would most likely not share with anyone else. So I'm one of the ones who might often times "choose not to". I guess I just go with what I feel. I take the historical evidence I can get and run with the rest.

Melanie
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« Reply #6: May 23, 2007, 08:15:49 am »

Sounds like a bad pagan chain letter...

and answering my own questions...


For those who worship less widely known deities, or those who are not widely worked with in pagan demographics;

I'm not sure if Tonan is widely worked with.  I think I've run into a whole one other Tonan gal on TC, and that pretty much sums up my running into others.  Hispanic people see Tonan very differently than I do.

Most (60-80%?) actually see her in a very Christian sense, as the Virgin De Guadalupe.  It's odd for me going to stores and seeing the candles with her picture on them.  I look at them but I can't say I've ever been tempted to buy one.

Well tempted maybe, but I sort of see the candles as a combo begging style prayer/spell for those who are in denial of casting spells.  Of course they don't see themselves as casting spells, but I do.  Actually from my experience the lady doesn't require all the hoopla.

That and I feel that while those who are praying, and asking do a lot of praying and asking, they are her children rather than her Priests and Priestesses.  She takes care of them, regardless of what they do or don't do.
 

Do you feel pressured to choose a more "socially acceptable" deity?


At times. 

Between the differences between pre-Christian perceptions, Christian revamps, and attempts to find the "nature" of the deity which seems held up in hoc somewhere...  sometimes I ask myself if it would be easier to work with someone who was standing a little closer to the light bulb. 

It would be nice to be able to be like "OMG you too!" on occasion.

Do you find that your perceptions of your deity align with others, if and when you do come across others?


I don't work with Tonan in her Virgin De Guadalupe sense, although I have some connections to the name Guadalupe.  It was the name she first came to me with, but on the other hand, Coatlaxopeuh isn't exactly a name you're going to wake up and be able to plug into a google with ease.

Since most who are worshipers see her as an Hispanic version of the middle eastern Black Virgin, and I don't work with that aspect - I don't feel like getting into the theological mess that really defining who the Aztec lady is would entail.

Long story short, I don't like proselytizing against  her perceived Christian roots - and even those are considered to be somewhat dubious.

Do you feel they(perceptions) should?

To be perfectly honest, at times I feel they are misled, or deliberately ignoring some things for the sake of maintaining their status quo.  Yeah, lighting a few candles and asking without offering is a pretty safe relationship.

I get a bit prickly that in many cases she is backseat and worked with right along side of other religions, even taking on the role of the Virgin Mary in cases. 

What do you do when there is no one to compare notes with, or when those who might otherwise validate, choose not to - for any reason.  (too personal, ethics, individuality concerns, etc.)


I just keep on keepin on.  Whee.

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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #7: May 23, 2007, 08:24:40 pm »

Not at all- I find I disagree most often with other followers of an Morrígan (rarely on TC, though). 

Ditto. My head explodes often.
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« Reply #8: May 23, 2007, 10:00:32 pm »

Ditto. My head explodes often.

We need a nodding smiley! I get that feeling a lot.
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« Reply #9: May 23, 2007, 10:38:13 pm »

Ditto. My head explodes often.

I'm diggin.  Glad I'm not the only one who finds some of the perceptions of their lady to be a bit... uh... erg...

creative.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir
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« Reply #10: May 27, 2007, 12:14:16 am »

For those who follow more commonly known deity;

[/b]Do you feel pressure to tailor your experiences to match others worshiping a deity under the same name as yourself? 

Is it difficult not to go along with others perceptions of 'your' deity that you disagree with? 

Have you ever been tempted to tell someone that the deity that they are interacting with is clearly not the deity that you are, even though they are speaking the same name?

Do you feel that alignment of perception with others is criteria for validating your practices?  Do others who don't see the deity in question as you do, make you question your perception, or whether you're getting it *right*?


[
*  I do not feel pressure at this point, since I am solitary and see no end to this in sight. I work with my deities and honor them in a very organic way, going with what my gods inspire me to do.  While input from various sources from the Pagan community is valuable, it doesn't really matter to me right now.  If at a later time I become part of a coven, I will do as instructed, and I see myself as flexible enough to change the way I look at something in order to grow.

*I would worry if my experience in a group setting didn't have an inkling of similarity of others who participated in that ritual.  With someone else, who lives far away from me, who has had different experiences than me, who follows a different path than me... their experience and how they relate to a god will be different.  As an analogy, I have close friends who are very different from each other.  I do certain activities, tell certain jokes, have certain conversations with each friend in very different ways.  Where one friend I will spend the night at their home and stay up all night talking about deep personal issues, and the other I would go out clubbing with and help her with a term paper or her resume.  I'm a very different friend to each of these people.  Now apply that logic to a deity, and you have an even more flexible and complex possibilities for relationships.  Why would I have the same experience with Isis as a Kemetic when I'm not Kemetic.  The European version of Isis is very different from the Egyptian Isis. I still say they are the same Goddess.  Isis is infinitely complex, powerful, versatile, and there have been many different kinds of people who have loved Her.  There are many secrets that the gods keep that we may never fully understand.  But if we can accept each others' different experiences with common gods and learn from them, we may bring the gods out of the past and into the here and now in a much richer and fuller way.

* I think that everyone experiences the gods and goddesses in different ways.  I really think that when it comes to comparing notes, that it is best to stick to the myths than personal experience.  I am soft poly and hard poly at the same time.  Soft poly leaves a lot open to personal insight while hard poly says that this god is this, this, and this.  I think the gods evolve over time, that they are not stone statues... what they were 2500 years ago is only part of what they are today. The world has changed, and those "popular" gods who have withstood the test of time do so because they reverberate with our inner archetypes so well that they still seek their reflections in our hearts.  What has changed about us has most likely affected the gods, and vice versa.
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« Reply #11: May 27, 2007, 09:58:10 am »

For those who worship less widely known deities, or those who are not widely worked with in pagan demographics;

Do you feel pressured to choose a more "socially acceptable" deity?

Nope.


Do you find that your perceptions of your deity align with others, if and when you do come across others?


In the broad strokes, yes.


Do you feel they(perceptions) should?


Not necessarily.

What do you do when there is no one to compare notes with, or when those who might otherwise validate, choose not to - for any reason.  (too personal, ethics, individuality concerns, etc.)

It's tough being alone in the wilderness sometimes, with no one to bounce stuff off of, but you get used to it. I come to the Cauldron sometimes for just that reason: to interact with folks who are at least somewhat like-minded.
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« Reply #12: May 27, 2007, 01:35:24 pm »

Sounds like a bad pagan chain letter...

Recently I've noticed that there are deities that are a whole heck of a lot more popular amongst pagan circles- or widely followed.  I guess widely followed would be a better description. 

All questions are open to all comers, I just tried to separate them out into easily used portions.  Pick and choose as appeals to ya.

For those who follow more commonly known deity;

Do you feel pressure to tailor your experiences to match others worshiping a deity under the same name as yourself? 

Is it difficult not to go along with others perceptions of 'your' deity that you disagree with? 

Have you ever been tempted to tell someone that the deity that they are interacting with is clearly not the deity that you are, even though they are speaking the same name?

Do you feel that alignment of perception with others is criteria for validating your practices?  Do others who don't see the deity in question as you do, make you question your perception, or whether you're getting it *right*?


For those who worship less widely known deities, or those who are not widely worked with in pagan demographics;

Do you feel pressured to choose a more "socially acceptable" deity?

Do you find that your perceptions of your deity align with others, if and when you do come across others?

Do you feel they(perceptions) should?

What do you do when there is no one to compare notes with, or when those who might otherwise validate, choose not to - for any reason.  (too personal, ethics, individuality concerns, etc.)



I talk with Blodeuwedd.  I have never communicated with any other deity, and I have reason to believe she chose me early.  There is almost no information on her, and that information is incomplete and slanted by those who came after.  So most of it is UPG. 

I don't feel any pressure to choose a more widely recognized and worshiped deity, but then I don't dicuss my personal deity with many people - I didn't chose I was chosen.

Very few people know much of anything about Blodeuwedd, and it tends to be either new age fluffy or the conquerers view.  I just avoid getting into discussion about her.
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« Reply #13: May 28, 2007, 04:10:38 pm »

I find I disagree most often with other followers of an Morrígan (rarely on TC, though). 

An Morrighu does seem to have a lot of controversy surrounding her- there are some wildly different interpretations out there, and unfortunately She sometimes gets pigeonholed into culturally inappropriate concepts like "Crone" "Monolithic Great Mother Goddess" "Earth Goddess" etc. But I suppose as a goddess of battle, it figures there would be some conflict surrounding her  Wink
It also seems that the more popular a deity, the more different views there are likely to be- though people don't seem to argue as much about Brigid, for example.

I work with Caer, who seems to be less widely followed (though I could be wrong).
I've not come across another who works with Caer.

Caer Ibormeith, the lover of Aongus Mac Og- is one of those mythological characters who could be viewed as a spirit, or a deity- Celtic mythology has a lot of those. She is lesser known, though I recall someone on the ADF lists mentioned that Caer was her patron, and I've heard of a couple others invoking her in ritual. So there are other Caer worshippers out there.
I've taken an interest in Angus lately, and when honoring a deity I like to honor others who are associated with them, so I may try honoring Caer as well.
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Did the big meanies break yer speshulness

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« Reply #14: May 29, 2007, 10:55:21 pm »

An Morrighu does seem to have a lot of controversy surrounding her- there are some wildly different interpretations out there, and unfortunately She sometimes gets pigeonholed into culturally inappropriate concepts like "Crone" "Monolithic Great Mother Goddess" "Earth Goddess" etc. But I suppose as a goddess of battle, it figures there would be some conflict surrounding her  Wink
It also seems that the more popular a deity, the more different views there are likely to be- though people don't seem to argue as much about Brigid, for example.

Caer Ibormeith, the lover of Aongus Mac Og- is one of those mythological characters who could be viewed as a spirit, or a deity- Celtic mythology has a lot of those. She is lesser known, though I recall someone on the ADF lists mentioned that Caer was her patron, and I've heard of a couple others invoking her in ritual. So there are other Caer worshippers out there.
I've taken an interest in Angus lately, and when honoring a deity I like to honor others who are associated with them, so I may try honoring Caer as well.

I should probably have a family *thwap* in that direction, (my dads family is Macghiliecaerr) but I just don't.  I've got too much bad blood with my dad.  There is love, but it is the love of rivals on a field of honor.

For offer, on the other hand, the name is connected with Stewart, and Mary Queen of Scotts who married into Stewart.  (who were blood allies)

Cerr/ Kerrr/ Ker/ all divisions of the Macghilliecaerr clan, were the border lords.  They were the division between warring sanctions.  Kerr, and ker are divisions of loyalty in warring times.  There was much traitory along the borders.

Caerr/ Kerr/ Curr were considered lowly border folk, and their claim to fame was the cultivation of lefthandedness.  As a strategy their towers and doors in their castles and holdings were all left handed.
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I'm gonna tell my son to join a circus so that death is cheap
And games are just another way of life
And I'm gonna tell my son to be a prophet of mistakes
Because for every truth there are half a million lies
And I'm gonna lock my son up in a tower
Till he learns to let his hair down far enough to climb outside.
-LIz Pahir

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