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Author Topic: Incorporating local traditions?  (Read 620 times)
Cliona
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« Topic Start: November 02, 2010, 02:09:29 am »

Not sure how to go about asking this, as the idea is fairly...um...wordless at the moment. I know exactly what I want to know, but now how to ask it or phrase it properly.

As one whose path is largely ADF, I worship the three Kindreds - Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and the Deities. The Indo-European focus of ADF fits well as I mainly work with Celtic Deities (mostly Irish) and my patron is Manannan Mac Lir.

When I begin to focus on the local Nature Spirits, however, I feel like I am meeting a little resistance in places, from particular spirits.* What I'm feeling from them is they are welcoming of my worship but unfamiliar with my Celtic-based method of approaching them. They have long been honored by local tradition/religion, and bringing this "foreign" form of worship to their doorstep seems a bit of an affront.

My question would be, then, would it be appropriate to incorporate local traditions and methods of worship into my ADF worship, to truly honor the local Nature Spirits as they (seem to) wish? I live in Minnesota, between the Mississippi and the St. Croix Rivers, and it's these two beings that have me so puzzled. I felt compelled once to apologize to the Mississippi for how what we've done to it, how we've all but destroyed it, especially after I saw how clean and pure it starts at Lake Itasca and knowing what it becomes by the time it empties into the Gulf. The spirit of the Mississippi answered, which surprised me to no end, as it was my first contact with a local spirit, and even predates my first contact with Manannan. I grew up along the St. Croix, across the street from its shore, and love it for my home and it embraces me because it has fostered me. I love these two rivers dearly, and they are willing and accepting and welcoming, but when I try to worship them from a Celtic perspective, I receive a kind of, "Hey, wait, we have our own histories." Would learning about these entities (I call them spirits because I have no other word for them, really) and the native lore, religion, and practice be a kind of "slap to the face" to my ADF practice, which is based all the way across the ocean?

And if I do incorporate any local traditions into my practice and worship...how would I go about learning? I know Minnesota is rich in Native American history but I don't know where to begin looking. Also, should I keep the practices entirely separate of one another? Is it feasible to properly respect and honor local tradition while the rest of my religious practice is based around another country?

I'm not sure if I asked this properly so that it makes sense. When things get sticky in my head, it's difficult for me to express them with clear understanding, mostly because I do not understand it myself.

I also feel I should mention that Manannan, who has acted as a bit of a guide on my path, has kept the option of learning about local traditions open, which is different than His stance on incorporating other Indo-European Deities. For the latter, He's asking me to be patient, to focus on the Celtic God/esses and get to know Them before exploring the Norse, the Greek, the Roman, and so on. But for the local spirits, I get from Him a sort of understanding that some things have deep, native roots and that I need to learn about the land on which I actually live, its history and stories. What He has been silent about is whether the two are compatible in any way. This seems to be something I need to figure out for myself.

Also, is it possible I'm entirely misinterpreting something?



* This place is not devoid of Nature Spirits that are not so sensitive, and are even from across the pond. I know the Fair Folk are here, I believe they came and settled the Americas (and the rest of the world) as human populations traveled and mingled. I'm specifically speaking about two beings that have been here for a very, very long time, who were born here and did not travel.
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« Reply #1: November 02, 2010, 06:32:31 am »

Not sure how to go about asking this, as the idea is fairly...um...wordless at the moment. I know exactly what I want to know, but now how to ask it or phrase it properly.

As one whose path is largely ADF, I worship the three Kindreds - Ancestors, Nature Spirits, and the Deities. The Indo-European focus of ADF fits well as I mainly work with Celtic Deities (mostly Irish) and my patron is Manannan Mac Lir.

When I begin to focus on the local Nature Spirits, however, I feel like I am meeting a little resistance in places, from particular spirits.* What I'm feeling from them is they are welcoming of my worship but unfamiliar with my Celtic-based method of approaching them. They have long been honored by local tradition/religion, and bringing this "foreign" form of worship to their doorstep seems a bit of an affront.

My question would be, then, would it be appropriate to incorporate local traditions and methods of worship into my ADF worship, to truly honor the local Nature Spirits as they (seem to) wish? I live in Minnesota, between the Mississippi and the St. Croix Rivers, and it's these two beings that have me so puzzled. I felt compelled once to apologize to the Mississippi for how what we've done to it, how we've all but destroyed it, especially after I saw how clean and pure it starts at Lake Itasca and knowing what it becomes by the time it empties into the Gulf. The spirit of the Mississippi answered, which surprised me to no end, as it was my first contact with a local spirit, and even predates my first contact with Manannan. I grew up along the St. Croix, across the street from its shore, and love it for my home and it embraces me because it has fostered me. I love these two rivers dearly, and they are willing and accepting and welcoming, but when I try to worship them from a Celtic perspective, I receive a kind of, "Hey, wait, we have our own histories." Would learning about these entities (I call them spirits because I have no other word for them, really) and the native lore, religion, and practice be a kind of "slap to the face" to my ADF practice, which is based all the way across the ocean?

And if I do incorporate any local traditions into my practice and worship...how would I go about learning? I know Minnesota is rich in Native American history but I don't know where to begin looking. Also, should I keep the practices entirely separate of one another? Is it feasible to properly respect and honor local tradition while the rest of my religious practice is based around another country?

I'm not sure if I asked this properly so that it makes sense. When things get sticky in my head, it's difficult for me to express them with clear understanding, mostly because I do not understand it myself.

I also feel I should mention that Manannan, who has acted as a bit of a guide on my path, has kept the option of learning about local traditions open, which is different than His stance on incorporating other Indo-European Deities. For the latter, He's asking me to be patient, to focus on the Celtic God/esses and get to know Them before exploring the Norse, the Greek, the Roman, and so on. But for the local spirits, I get from Him a sort of understanding that some things have deep, native roots and that I need to learn about the land on which I actually live, its history and stories. What He has been silent about is whether the two are compatible in any way. This seems to be something I need to figure out for myself.

Also, is it possible I'm entirely misinterpreting something?



* This place is not devoid of Nature Spirits that are not so sensitive, and are even from across the pond. I know the Fair Folk are here, I believe they came and settled the Americas (and the rest of the world) as human populations traveled and mingled. I'm specifically speaking about two beings that have been here for a very, very long time, who were born here and did not travel.

I would suggest having a gander at KILLYOUANDEATYOU by Raven nic Rhóisín and Kathryn Price NicDhàna, as the article was essentially written to address this issue.
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