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Author Topic: mixed ways  (Read 3692 times)
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« Topic Start: December 02, 2010, 11:27:18 pm »

 Lately I have been having individuals in my clan challenging my belief system. I do not mind if they want to ask questions or say that they disagree with me. The problem is that these certian individuls say that I should not be eclectic wiccan and follow a native path at the same time. I told them that I have developed my own path and it works for me. They say that if I mix these two ways that I will end up spiritually injuring myself. I then told them that they could worship how they wanted and I can how I see fit. Now they are trying to get me barred from Native ceremonies even though I do not use my Wiccan energy while at these gatherings. I talked to the leaders of the ceremony and they said that as long as I only used native traditions while there then I am still welcome. Even though it has caused no permanent damage, it has still had an impact on how my clan veiws me.Is there anyway I can do further damage control or should I just let things be?

Thank you for reading. Along with advice I would appreciate tellings of your personal experience with issues like this one.

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« Reply #1: December 02, 2010, 11:47:56 pm »



First off, how is it possible to "spiritually damage yourself" by practicing spirituality? The only damaging spirituality I acknowledge is one that promotes guilt, intolerance, and self-hate. It sounds like the people in your clan are sticking their nose where it frankly doesn't belong.
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« Reply #2: December 03, 2010, 01:35:17 am »

First off, how is it possible to "spiritually damage yourself" by practicing spirituality? The only damaging spirituality I acknowledge is one that promotes guilt, intolerance, and self-hate. It sounds like the people in your clan are sticking their nose where it frankly doesn't belong.
I agree with you there. To clarify it's not the majority of the clan, just about 4 individuals. They think that the two ways combined will energetically react and harm me. I have spent alot of time developing my path and know how different energies mix.
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« Reply #3: December 03, 2010, 09:05:23 am »



I just touched on this in a PM but I hadn't seen this thread yet or realized you were having problems.  They are probably worried that you will try to add your outside stuff into the group stuff, which is a big no-no and can happen too easily when you are used to combining both personally.  You can start doing it unconsciously, but other people will pick up on weird terms or out-of-order concepts.

The thing is that most native spiritually has been literally under attack for centuries.  Retaining, regaining, and rebuilding is a priority, as is identity.  There is a justified paranoia about keeping Christian and other non-native concepts separate and identified as separate.  Don't get me wrong - there are  many Christian and Pagan FN, and many keep native concepts in their other religions.  They just don't want to do the reverse, for historical and cultural reasons that are often misunderstood.

Your people may be worried that you will start talking about chakras and energy work, or western concepts of the gods, and maybe not even realize that, though similar, these things are 'not' the same or interchangeable.  I admit I was surprised myself when you compared chakra placement with a similar-but-different-in essential-ways thing in native spirituality, and when you referenced your 'red path', which is a new age term some find offensive.  It may be that kind of thing giving your cousins pause.

I can't tell you how to reassure them - since you have permission to continue being involved in ceremony I would just say to be careful to be fully in the tradition and don't give them further cause to worry.  You have the rest of the world to be pagan in.  If you want to be involved in closed things you have to give respect to authority.  Change is not welcome and is seen as more colonialist attempts to control.  Too much work has gone into rebuilding and reclaiming to let what is done be watered down by new age influences.

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« Reply #4: December 03, 2010, 10:25:59 am »

First off, how is it possible to "spiritually damage yourself" by practicing spirituality? The only damaging spirituality I acknowledge is one that promotes guilt, intolerance, and self-hate. It sounds like the people in your clan are sticking their nose where it frankly doesn't belong.

Marilyn's already commented on a lot of what I'd say, but I wanted to talk about this bit...

I believe there are a couple of ways people can spiritually damage themselves that go beyond intolerance and self-hate. How likely they are depends on a particular path and a lot of other details, but ...

- Taking some actions changes you: some of those changes may not be compatible with a particular path's requirements or methods. Sometimes this is practical, sometimes this is energetic, whatever.

To give a really pragmatic example: I am an initiated priestess in a religious witchcraft tradition: the oaths I made at my initiations make me really damaged in terms of, say, becoming a fundamentalist Christian: I have deliberately aligned my energetic make-up and ties and other commitments such that even if I tried, I don't think I'd find satisfaction in that community. (Because the echo of those choices would always be present for me)

- Some actions have risks. I know people who've been broken by badly-done initiatory work. I know people who took substantial damage and managed to dig out of it only after years of hard work. In my own practice, and my own teaching, I try really hard to avoid both of those in my own teaching - but that doesn't mean they aren't out there.

Most of the more serious versions of damage have to do with pushing too far too fast, using methods that are abusive or destructive, or using methods without understanding their traditional checks and balances. But there's other stuff that can go there: a poorly run group or circle can leave damage in trust, desire, etc. that lasts for quite a long time and makes it difficult for even the most interested person to fully participate in other group settings.

There's probably more examples I could give, but that's enough to give the idea.
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« Reply #5: December 04, 2010, 01:33:11 pm »

I just touched on this in a PM but I hadn't seen this thread yet or realized you were having problems.  They are probably worried that you will try to add your outside stuff into the group stuff, which is a big no-no and can happen too easily when you are used to combining both personally.  You can start doing it unconsciously, but other people will pick up on weird terms or out-of-order concepts.

The thing is that most native spiritually has been literally under attack for centuries.  Retaining, regaining, and rebuilding is a priority, as is identity.  There is a justified paranoia about keeping Christian and other non-native concepts separate and identified as separate.  Don't get me wrong - there are  many Christian and Pagan FN, and many keep native concepts in their other religions.  They just don't want to do the reverse, for historical and cultural reasons that are often misunderstood.

Your people may be worried that you will start talking about chakras and energy work, or western concepts of the gods, and maybe not even realize that, though similar, these things are 'not' the same or interchangeable.  I admit I was surprised myself when you compared chakra placement with a similar-but-different-in essential-ways thing in native spirituality, and when you referenced your 'red path', which is a new age term some find offensive.  It may be that kind of thing giving your cousins pause.

I can't tell you how to reassure them - since you have permission to continue being involved in ceremony I would just say to be careful to be fully in the tradition and don't give them further cause to worry.  You have the rest of the world to be pagan in.  If you want to be involved in closed things you have to give respect to authority.  Change is not welcome and is seen as more colonialist attempts to control.  Too much work has gone into rebuilding and reclaiming to let what is done be watered down by new age influences.

Absent

Thank you for your thoughts. The people in question recently found out through someone outside the ceremonial circle who is a mutually known person. Before that no one new because I am very careful to set my energy to match the ceremonial grounds. When I do it I change inside so that the only focus is on the ceremony and the traditional way it should be done. When I leave the grounds I reset my energy back to te standard mode I usually operate in. I am very careful to keep things traditional for many of the reasons you mentioned above. There probablly is no way I can reasure them since these fears run so deep. I will just have to continue doing things at ceremony the way I always have and let time tell.

A word about the Red Road, The Red Road actually comes from a Lakota story about death and is not about skin color. On the medicine wheel(which symbolizes the cycles of life) there is two paths to walk. One is the black road which is self serving, greed, materialism etc.
The other is the Red Road which is service, generosity, caretaking. In this way when you die, you go to the milky way . At the end of it there is an elder woman who asks you questions about your choices in life. If you walked the black road you get sent back to earth to try again. If you walked the Red Road then you get to go to the home of the spirits. I am going to be adopted by a Lakota woman which would make me Lakota. I was refering to walking The Red Road when I said continue walking my red path.

I apologize because sometimes Iforget that people might not have the same connotation to stuff as I do.
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« Reply #6: December 04, 2010, 03:02:13 pm »



You seem to have reached a compromise that satisfies you and most of those you work with.  I don't personally think it is possible to totally reset energy in the way you describe - it is all you to begin with and, unless you are dissociative or have multiple personalities i can't see partitioning your essence as a good thing.  It is enough to have respect and discipline - fragmenting yourself in that manner may have long term consequences you haven't considered.

The other thing I wanted to mention (and please don't think I'm picking on you - I just want to make something clear to others that you may understand very well, but that does not come across clearly in your post) is that adoption is into families, not tribes.  Unless you are a minor, being adopted by a Lakota woman makes you that woman's daughter, not a Lakota.  Enrollment has other requirements and is not made easy on purpose.

When the US president was 'adopted' by a tribe member his PR team made this mistake and made a big thing about him being adopted into 'the tribe'.  This caused a lot of mockery on NDN boards that the man himself probably didn't deserve.  Status (the Canadian term; I think the USian is enrollment) is a technical process, and I know that the way you put your adoption is a casual description, but it is the kind of thing that hits my 'tradition-geek' button.

Other than that technicality, I wish you well on your Red Road, (which does sound different and less offensive than the new age red path) and hope that others will form their opinions on the example you present among them over the coming years.  You are right that that is the only way to achieve trust.

Absent
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« Reply #7: December 04, 2010, 03:53:57 pm »

You seem to have reached a compromise that satisfies you and most of those you work with.  I don't personally think it is possible to totally reset energy in the way you describe - it is all you to begin with and, unless you are dissociative or have multiple personalities i can't see partitioning your essence as a good thing.  It is enough to have respect and discipline - fragmenting yourself in that manner may have long term consequences you haven't considered.

The other thing I wanted to mention (and please don't think I'm picking on you - I just want to make something clear to others that you may understand very well, but that does not come across clearly in your post) is that adoption is into families, not tribes.  Unless you are a minor, being adopted by a Lakota woman makes you that woman's daughter, not a Lakota.  Enrollment has other requirements and is not made easy on purpose.

When the US president was 'adopted' by a tribe member his PR team made this mistake and made a big thing about him being adopted into 'the tribe'.  This caused a lot of mockery on NDN boards that the man himself probably didn't deserve.  Status (the Canadian term; I think the USian is enrollment) is a technical process, and I know that the way you put your adoption is a casual description, but it is the kind of thing that hits my 'tradition-geek' button.

Other than that technicality, I wish you well on your Red Road, (which does sound different and less offensive than the new age red path) and hope that others will form their opinions on the example you present among them over the coming years.  You are right that that is the only way to achieve trust.

Absent

I don't completely fragment myself when I partition my energies. What I do is I reoganize them and put up a barrier between any energies that might interfere with the ceremony. The energy is not removed only set aside. It does take time to reintegrate those energies but is something I have practiced for a long time. My energy or that part of myself does not get fragmented. Part of the other spiritual work I do requires me to adapt a specific essence that can not be touched by the other energies in me or it compromiises the essence. It can be dangerous if I do not reintegrate properly which is why I only do it when it is absoloutly required. I had calculated the risks and benifits when I first learned the technique. I use it in the ceremonies when my dicipline is not enough to keep the other energies in check. I am sensitve to subtle energies and do not want some of the ones I carry to effect anyone else. To be clear this is only the way I have adapted and would not recommend it to anyone else.

Thank you for clarifing the techincality. For relationship purposes I will be considered by the Lakota family that is adopting me as a Lakota. It does not mean I am a registered Lakota tribe member by the U.S. government.

As far as those individuals who are giving me trouble, I will set clear boundaries on what I will and will not tolerate from them. If the people in charge say I can come to ceremony there is not much they can do about it anyway.
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« Reply #8: January 08, 2011, 04:22:14 pm »


  My advice would be that if you're going to practice your spirituality with other people, then you should absolutely and without exception respect everyone's considerations and views.  Why?  Because it isn't a government or a club, it is a spiritual community, however small.  The purpose of that spiritual community is to be wholesome, and surely a fragmented practice of spirituality--whether you are fragmented or not--would disrupt their feelings.  The group isn't there to accommodate your spiritual path, it is simply a convergence of paths that must be in harmony to function.  They may be bothering you or even harassing you, but you have a responsibility to respect them.
  with metta
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« Reply #9: January 08, 2011, 05:20:49 pm »

They may be bothering you or even harassing you, but you have a responsibility to respect them.
  with metta

I strongly disagree. My advice to anyone experiencing harassment is to get out. You do NOT have a responsibility to remain with people who don't respect you and your beliefs. Yes, in a spiritual environment there must be give and take, but that does not extent to harassment.
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« Reply #10: January 08, 2011, 05:26:21 pm »

I strongly disagree. My advice to anyone experiencing harassment is to get out. You do NOT have a responsibility to remain with people who don't respect you and your beliefs. Yes, in a spiritual environment there must be give and take, but that does not extent to harassment.

  I never advised anyone being harassed to stay in a spiritual group.  I advised that if they are going to stay in this spiritual group, then they must be responsible in this way.  In response to what you're talking about, I would advise anyone to avoid groups in which there is any harassment.
  If you're in the group, then you're choosing to be in the group.  If you want to leave, then the circumstances wouldn't apply at all.  We're talking about someone in a Native group practicing some things that the group does not agree with as a whole.
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« Reply #11: January 09, 2011, 11:06:56 am »

  I never advised anyone being harassed to stay in a spiritual group.  I advised that if they are going to stay in this spiritual group, then they must be responsible in this way.  In response to what you're talking about, I would advise anyone to avoid groups in which there is any harassment.
  If you're in the group, then you're choosing to be in the group.  If you want to leave, then the circumstances wouldn't apply at all.  We're talking about someone in a Native group practicing some things that the group does not agree with as a whole.
  with metta

To clarify there were only a few people giving me problems and trying to get me banned from ceremony.

When I am at a Native ceremony I use only Native technique and am very respectful to those arround me. The ones who are giving me flak are the ones who don't agree with my practices outside of ceremony.

Most do not try to interfere with anothers personal life unless they are using thier personal life to effect the circle, which I am not.
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« Reply #12: January 09, 2011, 11:24:34 am »

To clarify there were only a few people giving me problems and trying to get me banned from ceremony.

When I am at a Native ceremony I use only Native technique and am very respectful to those arround me. The ones who are giving me flak are the ones who don't agree with my practices outside of ceremony.

Most do not try to interfere with anothers personal life unless they are using thier personal life to effect the circle, which I am not.

  I see.  What I'm saying is that if they have a problem with that--even though it seems to be irrational--then it needs to be wholly dealt with our both yours and their spirituality is going to be effected.  You mentioned the leaders of the group, but why aren't they really dealing with the problem and consulting everyone?  And if they are, then what is the problem?
  This is my curiosity speaking.
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« Reply #13: January 24, 2011, 02:07:52 pm »

  I see.  What I'm saying is that if they have a problem with that--even though it seems to be irrational--then it needs to be wholly dealt with our both yours and their spirituality is going to be effected.  You mentioned the leaders of the group, but why aren't they really dealing with the problem and consulting everyone?  And if they are, then what is the problem?
  This is my curiosity speaking.

There problem is wih how my path manifests outside of the ceremonial circle. The Ceremonial Leader told me just to ignore them since we have made an agreement. If they continue to other me at Ceremony then they will be reprimended.

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« Reply #14: January 24, 2011, 10:34:30 pm »

There problem is wih how my path manifests outside of the ceremonial circle. The Ceremonial Leader told me just to ignore them since we have made an agreement. If they continue to other me at Ceremony then they will be reprimended.



  Sounds like an alright leader.  Good spiritual group for you?
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