The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
December 04, 2020, 09:21:21 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 04, 2020, 09:21:21 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: How important is history?  (Read 23510 times)
Ashwren Windintree
Senior Newbie
*
Last Login:July 18, 2010, 11:12:19 am
United States United States

Religion: Wandering path
Posts: 15


Me:-)

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Topic Start: June 03, 2010, 04:22:54 pm »

Greetings, all!

I'm in the process of comparing my specific interests and/or gifts with the paths, practices, or religions that seem to fit me. I'm happiest when I'm surrounded by - and steeped in - Nature: animals, plants, rocks, crystals, the Elements, and the power moving through them all that I gratefully receive to sustain my own energy. I have a sense of Great Spirit throughout us all, but I feel that I'm not yet as open as I can be to that all-encompassing "One and Many". I find I could go on and on about these feelings, but since they don't add to this topic, I obviously need to look for the right one to post them on. In the meantime...

I've been reading about various paths, and Druidry is not only fascinating but enticing, if that's the right word. What I've read about it makes my energy tingle! I have a concern, though, that I realize now has always been in the back of my mind. It would be a question in most cases, I think, regardless of which Pagan path I'm exploring.

How important is history? So many religions and/or practices go back ages and ages, and I don't usually find a resource about one of them that doesn't start with extensive lore. While I respect historical information and lore, I've never had a good head for absorbing and retaining it (them?). And while I very much admire those who are able to grasp the foundations and nuances that history provides (my husband, for instance, is brilliant at remembering and recounting lore), I have a hard time remaining engaged when I try to study it.

Can I immerse myself within and live life as a Druid without emotionally or intellectually embracing the historical foundation that came before?

Are "traditions" and "history" the same? If so, can Druidry be lived without its traditions? Or can traditions be observed as modern adaptations without knowing the lore that began them?

I wonder if any of you have thought about these questions or actually been confronted with them as you've journeyed your own paths, and I'd be grateful for any insights, advice, or opinions you can share.

With respect,
Ashwren Windintree
Logged

"In the end we will conserve only what we love. We love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught."
- Baba Dioum, Senegalese environmentalist, in 1968 speech to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Melamphoros
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:March 28, 2015, 11:01:26 pm
United States United States

Religion: Informed Eclectic with Hellenic Overtones
TCN ID: Melamphoros
Posts: 13621


Kiss My Scythe

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #1: June 03, 2010, 04:37:10 pm »

How important is history? So many religions and/or practices go back ages and ages, and I don't usually find a resource about one of them that doesn't start with extensive lore. While I respect historical information and lore, I've never had a good head for absorbing and retaining it (them?). And while I very much admire those who are able to grasp the foundations and nuances that history provides (my husband, for instance, is brilliant at remembering and recounting lore), I have a hard time remaining engaged when I try to study it.

It really depends on the religion.  If you are on a recon path where scholorship is one of the major practices, then yes.  OTOH, if you are not recon, then it probably wouldn't be important.

Quote
Can I immerse myself within and live life as a Druid without emotionally or intellectually embracing the historical foundation that came before?

Are "traditions" and "history" the same? If so, can Druidry be lived without its traditions? Or can traditions be observed as modern adaptations without knowing the lore that began them?

I'm going to point out that "history" and "traditions" are not always the same.  Druidism, for example, is more influenced by the very romantic vision of them that emerged in (I think) the late 19th century.  A good portion of it more or less contradicts what we knew about the Celtic religions from archeology and second-hand sources.
Logged



Jesus saves, Allah forgives, Cthulhu thinks you will make a great sandwich.
My Spiritual Blog
NibbleKat
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:October 22, 2012, 03:45:56 pm
United States United States

Religion: Hard polytheist dedicated to Hermes, Sequana, and Sirona
Posts: 903


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #2: June 03, 2010, 05:39:51 pm »

It really depends on the religion.  If you are on a recon path where scholorship is one of the major practices, then yes.  OTOH, if you are not recon, then it probably wouldn't be important.

I'm going to point out that "history" and "traditions" are not always the same.  Druidism, for example, is more influenced by the very romantic vision of them that emerged in (I think) the late 19th century.  A good portion of it more or less contradicts what we knew about the Celtic religions from archeology and second-hand sources.

Even contemporary sources of Druids were way off, due to misinformation or propaganda... Caesar, for example, or Pliny, often mixed propaganda or just badly-researched info with the truth. 
Logged

Follower of Hermes!
------------------
Available for devotional and altar art commissions at http://nibblekat.deviantart.com
Ellen M.
Adept Member
*****
*
Last Login:February 17, 2013, 08:34:24 pm
United States United States

Religion: ADF - UU - eclectic Wiccan - devotee of Brighid
Posts: 2479

Go, then - there are other worlds than these.

Blog entries (0)

Ellen MacInnis lellenator
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #3: June 03, 2010, 06:04:58 pm »


Which sort of Druidry? The kind practiced by the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids is way different than the kind done by Ár nDraíocht Féin.
Logged

Sage and Starshine: My new Pagan blog about Druidry, witchcraft, Brighid, and everything in between. -- 14th post 6/1/11
Melamphoros
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:March 28, 2015, 11:01:26 pm
United States United States

Religion: Informed Eclectic with Hellenic Overtones
TCN ID: Melamphoros
Posts: 13621


Kiss My Scythe

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #4: June 03, 2010, 06:24:17 pm »

Even contemporary sources of Druids were way off, due to misinformation or propaganda... Caesar, for example, or Pliny, often mixed propaganda or just badly-researched info with the truth. 

I was thinking more along the lines of mythology that was recorded a little bit later on, but I do concede to your point.
Logged



Jesus saves, Allah forgives, Cthulhu thinks you will make a great sandwich.
My Spiritual Blog
Freakshow
Apprentice
**
Last Login:June 07, 2010, 11:16:02 pm
United States United States

Religion: Religio Romana
Posts: 26


Gettin' Down with 3P!

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #5: June 03, 2010, 11:35:58 pm »

It really depends on the religion.  If you are on a recon path where scholorship is one of the major practices, then yes.  OTOH, if you are not recon, then it probably wouldn't be important.

I would disagree with that statement completely.  The only time one should disregard history and what it has left us is when one is worshipping non-historical deities.
Logged

Frozen in Pose and There's No Way to Move Me
Ellen M.
Adept Member
*****
*
Last Login:February 17, 2013, 08:34:24 pm
United States United States

Religion: ADF - UU - eclectic Wiccan - devotee of Brighid
Posts: 2479

Go, then - there are other worlds than these.

Blog entries (0)

Ellen MacInnis lellenator
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6: June 03, 2010, 11:50:36 pm »

I would disagree with that statement completely.  The only time one should disregard history and what it has left us is when one is worshipping non-historical deities.

I would politely disagree with your disagreement. Smiley I think it depends on the motive and needs of the practitioner. If one is practicing, say, Asatru or Hellenic Recon, then yes, the actual, physical, invariable historical facts (or in some cases, what little we have left of those facts) are extremely important. If someone is practicing something more eclectic, something more gut-based, then I would say no, that within the context of one's spiritual practice history doesn't need to be at the forefront of someone's concerns.

I'll give an example. I once ran into someone who was attempting to identify Odin with the Wiccan Horned God. Personally this isn't something that would ever spring to my mind, as my own personal experiences with Odin don't lead me anywhere near the path of the Horned God, but though I was disagreeing with what my companion was saying, I respected the fact that, to her own UPG, this association worked for her. This is extraordinarily different than if she were trying to say to me that the ancient Scandinavians or modern Asatruar saw Odin as anything remotely resembling Wicca's Horned God.

The distinction is between a spiritual context and a historical one. The gods change, the world changes, cultures and languages change, but historical facts do not. I'm fine with history being more fuzzy on the spiritual end of things, so long as folks understand that mythic history does not equal actual, empirical history. If that distinction isn't made, well. That's where we get the Burning Times and the 50,000-year-old Goddess matriarchy from.  Roll Eyes
Logged

Sage and Starshine: My new Pagan blog about Druidry, witchcraft, Brighid, and everything in between. -- 14th post 6/1/11
Melamphoros
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:March 28, 2015, 11:01:26 pm
United States United States

Religion: Informed Eclectic with Hellenic Overtones
TCN ID: Melamphoros
Posts: 13621


Kiss My Scythe

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #7: June 03, 2010, 11:50:59 pm »

I would disagree with that statement completely.  The only time one should disregard history and what it has left us is when one is worshipping non-historical deities.

However, not everyone feels the need to take a historical approach.  Sure it is what most of us generally suggest, but really what's the point?  We can't make people do things they don't think they can do.  History aside, only the gods themselves can decide how they prefer being approached and/or worshiped.
Logged



Jesus saves, Allah forgives, Cthulhu thinks you will make a great sandwich.
My Spiritual Blog
Aster Breo
SIG Coordinator
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:January 29, 2013, 09:32:22 pm
United States United States

Religion: Feral Brighideach
TCN ID: Aster Breo
Posts: 5260


Avatar byJuni & Dania

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #8: June 04, 2010, 12:23:03 am »

I think it depends on the motive and needs of the practitioner.

I'm mostly "ditto-ing" what Ellen said.  I think history can be an important source of inspiration, even if the practitioner is not a recon.  That's basically how I feel about Celtic history.  I draw from it to inspire my practice, but I don't attempt historical accuracy.
Logged

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  ~ George Bernard Shaw
Ellen M.
Adept Member
*****
*
Last Login:February 17, 2013, 08:34:24 pm
United States United States

Religion: ADF - UU - eclectic Wiccan - devotee of Brighid
Posts: 2479

Go, then - there are other worlds than these.

Blog entries (0)

Ellen MacInnis lellenator
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #9: June 04, 2010, 12:29:16 am »

I'm mostly "ditto-ing" what Ellen said.  I think history can be an important source of inspiration, even if the practitioner is not a recon.  That's basically how I feel about Celtic history.  I draw from it to inspire my practice, but I don't attempt historical accuracy.

Historical accuracy can be a nefarious thing to pin down anyway, and I know we've definitely brought it up on these boards before. I could get a doctorate in Classical archaeology and still not know everything there is to know about the ancient worship of Athena. I know that my modern version of Athena doesn't mind if I replace the ritual oil with offerings of chocolate, though. Smiley
Logged

Sage and Starshine: My new Pagan blog about Druidry, witchcraft, Brighid, and everything in between. -- 14th post 6/1/11
Aster Breo
SIG Coordinator
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:January 29, 2013, 09:32:22 pm
United States United States

Religion: Feral Brighideach
TCN ID: Aster Breo
Posts: 5260


Avatar byJuni & Dania

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #10: June 04, 2010, 12:46:30 am »

I know that my modern version of Athena doesn't mind if I replace the ritual oil with offerings of chocolate, though.

I think part of my position on this question -- and it sounds like Ellen is thinking in a similar vein -- is based on the understanding that the gods "live" in the modern world with us.  IOW, the gods are ancient, but that doesn't mean they're stuck somewhere way back in time. 

My sense of Brighid is that She is part of today's world, and, therefore, understands perfectly well why and how I can serve and relate to Her in today's world.  I, personally, don't think She expects -- or even wants -- me to attempt to accurately replicate Her ancient worship, even if we knew what that was.

YMMV, of course. 
Logged

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  ~ George Bernard Shaw
Cannaid
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:January 22, 2013, 09:32:37 am
Canada Canada

Religion: Celtic Pagan
Posts: 56


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #11: June 04, 2010, 09:45:08 am »

Can I immerse myself within and live life as a Druid without emotionally or intellectually embracing the historical foundation that came before?

Are "traditions" and "history" the same? If so, can Druidry be lived without its traditions? Or can traditions be observed as modern adaptations without knowing the lore that began them?

I wonder if any of you have thought about these questions or actually been confronted with them as you've journeyed your own paths, and I'd be grateful for any insights, advice, or opinions you can share.

For me, I believe that one can practise whatever spiritual expression that they choose. One of the joys have carrying the gift of choice. Just be sure to call it what it is.   

I also believe that in order to have meaningful experiences (spritual or otherwise) one must have clear understanding of the "whys" of the practise.  A wise Elder once said "until you know the "whys" the "what's" don't matter."  Many times the "whys" are rooted in the history.   

I am a Daughter of Bride and I understand her to absolutely exist in the present but my deeper understandings of her come from her history and mythology and the traditions born from it. 
Logged

Kindness first and in all things...
Taliesin
Master Member
****
Last Login:July 04, 2011, 06:01:23 am
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Celtic Panen/Polytheism
Posts: 459


You are a child of the universe...

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #12: June 05, 2010, 02:35:59 pm »

I think part of my position on this question -- and it sounds like Ellen is thinking in a similar vein -- is based on the understanding that the gods "live" in the modern world with us.  IOW, the gods are ancient, but that doesn't mean they're stuck somewhere way back in time.  

My sense of Brighid is that She is part of today's world, and, therefore, understands perfectly well why and how I can serve and relate to Her in today's world.  I, personally, don't think She expects -- or even wants -- me to attempt to accurately replicate Her ancient worship, even if we knew what that was.

YMMV, of course.  

I heartily agree with the both of you. I think that often, history isn't as important as you'd think. I think that a basic knowledge or understanding is pretty much essential, not in the sense that you should be recreating old methods, but so that you have an idea, so that you can adapt to the old ways and ease an emotional attachment to the tradition, or, as Moon Ivy said, to inspire. IMO, a detailed mass of facts and figures isn't particularly necessary -- 'history' is a human concept, and the gods are more than that. The gods, nature - whatever -- it all surpasses physical practices or events, is consistent, is always there, and in the grand scheme of things, history, or what some bloke did so many years ago doesn't really matter. It concerns feelings. Like I said, IMO.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2010, 02:39:06 pm by Taliesin, Reason: Misspelt word! » Logged

'When you do things from your soul you feel a river moving in you, a joy. When action come from another section, the feeling disappears.' - Rumi

'The landscape is always the sand, the sky, the clouds, the sea. Only the waves change, always the same and always different.' - L.E
Freakshow
Apprentice
**
Last Login:June 07, 2010, 11:16:02 pm
United States United States

Religion: Religio Romana
Posts: 26


Gettin' Down with 3P!

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #13: June 05, 2010, 04:29:18 pm »

I think it depends on the motive and needs of the practitioner. If one is practicing, say, Asatru or Hellenic Recon, then yes, the actual, physical, invariable historical facts (or in some cases, what little we have left of those facts) are extremely important.

But our approach does not change the deity.  Odin is Odin is Odin.  You can't show me a figure of Barney the purple dinosaur and tell me that is Odin and how He is the God of peace, love and friendship now as featured in the children' television show.  Sorry, not gonna happen. 

Another thing I don't understand is this belief that over time the Gods have changed.  Its been 2000 years and Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the whole lot are still the same.  Yahweh and Allah are pretty much the same too, not to mention Buddha and Kuan Yin.  So if everyone else is staying the same, why the heck are the Gods of European heritage suddenly changing without notice? 

Our approach may change, but the Gods remain the same; that is the distinction.
Logged

Frozen in Pose and There's No Way to Move Me
Melamphoros
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:March 28, 2015, 11:01:26 pm
United States United States

Religion: Informed Eclectic with Hellenic Overtones
TCN ID: Melamphoros
Posts: 13621


Kiss My Scythe

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #14: June 05, 2010, 05:13:10 pm »

Another thing I don't understand is this belief that over time the Gods have changed.  Its been 2000 years and Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the whole lot are still the same.  Yahweh and Allah are pretty much the same too, not to mention Buddha and Kuan Yin.  So if everyone else is staying the same, why the heck are the Gods of European heritage suddenly changing without notice?  

Whose to say that Yahweh/Allah, Jesus, Mary, etc. haven't changed in the past 2000 years?

(And I'm not sure but technically Buddha isn't considered a deity by his followers.  Could be wrong though)

(edit: and Mary typically isn't considered a deity either)
Logged



Jesus saves, Allah forgives, Cthulhu thinks you will make a great sandwich.
My Spiritual Blog

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1] 2 3 4   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Why is it important? « 1 2 »
Pagan Religions
LyricFox 20 8285 Last post November 08, 2007, 06:43:12 pm
by Oaksworn
Déjà vu - Important? « 1 2 »
Magic and the Occult for Beginners
KenderBard 20 6924 Last post February 16, 2009, 02:58:32 pm
by Hufflee
How 'important' is your deity? « 1 2 3 »
Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology
Tana 41 12767 Last post June 06, 2009, 10:21:52 am
by Ravenari
A most important question « 1 2 3 »
Social Discussion Boards
Ghost 41 14517 Last post October 06, 2009, 08:44:18 am
by SilentEcho
ADMIN: Paypal Subscription Issues (VERY IMPORTANT)
Cauldron Announcements
RandallS 0 1378 Last post April 29, 2011, 08:51:56 am
by RandallS
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.074 seconds with 51 queries.