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Author Topic: Not Heathen, not Asatru, not Pagan … so what?  (Read 10197 times)
Mark C.
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« Reply #15: May 10, 2011, 05:54:28 am »

Thanks for the warning. Think I'll be avoiding that, thankyouverymuch. Wink

Very wise!

Before I settled on heathenry I used to label myself as a philosophical pagan. I wasn't interested in the magic or ceremony or spellwork but mainly just concerned with the mythology and how it related to me, etc etc. Maybe you'd feel comfortable with philosophical heathen? Or a philosophical lore-ist? (Lorist? Loreist? whatever).

I do like “philosophical heathen”. Very good! I think I’m now down to four main terms:

“Non-Literal Heathen” – Which I like because it conveys that I don’t see the mythology as literally true but poetically true. Although there is something a little “clumsy” about it that I can’t quite put my finger on.

“Modern Heathen” – Which I think captures the general heathen outlook but with a nod to what we now know about the world around us and human nature. The downside is that all present day heathens are “modern” in the sense that they exist now. I also worry that “modern” could be taken as running contrary to the heathen part i.e. misconstrued as being something “eclectic” and not based on lore / historical heathenry.

“Philosophical Heathen” – Just been introduced to me, but I think that has the benefits of the above without the potential negative connotations. It also captures that it is the worldview that appeals and that the metaphor is not taken as literal.

“Naturalist Heathen” – Taking “naturalist” to mean that I don’t believe anything supernatural exists. I had considered “atheist heathen” but that’s not true because I do think the gods exist, but not in a supernatural “castles in the sky” kind of way. The gods are poetic metaphor for the “divinity” we find in ourselves and the word around us.

Does any one have any thoughts on the above four?

I do appreciate everyone’s help with this. It is proving very valuable to me.

Mark
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Asch
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« Reply #16: May 10, 2011, 05:57:45 am »


“Naturalist Heathen” – Taking “naturalist” to mean that I don’t believe anything supernatural exists. I had considered “atheist heathen” but that’s not true because I do think the gods exist, but not in a supernatural “castles in the sky” kind of way. The gods are poetic metaphor for the “divinity” we find in ourselves and the word around us.

Does any one have any thoughts on the above four?

I do appreciate everyone’s help with this. It is proving very valuable to me.

Mark

As an outsider I'd think Naturalist Heathen was interested in the natural world/environmental causes.
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Mark C.
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« Reply #17: May 10, 2011, 06:00:54 am »

Not sure if these would be helpful to you in figuring out what 'type' of Heathen you may be, but I'm a bit of a quiz addict and stumbled upon these three quizzes recently.  I thought I'd share the links in case you might be interested in checking them out.  Who knows how accurate they are, but perhaps they might give a hint as to a label.

They were great fun! I enjoyed those. I came off as a Reconstructionist Heathen in two of them and a Modernist Heathen on the third. I don’t think it gave me an answer, but the questions were useful in getting me to think about the issues. Thank you for those.

Mark
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Mark C.
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« Reply #18: May 10, 2011, 06:05:11 am »

As an outsider I'd think Naturalist Heathen was interested in the natural world/environmental causes.

Thank you for that. They are the kind of potential misunderstandings that I'm hoping people can help me avoid. I have a lot of sympathy for environmental causes, but that is not what I'm wanting to communicate here. It's this kind of "Naturalism" that I was referring to by "naturalist": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)
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« Reply #19: May 10, 2011, 06:09:08 am »

Thank you for that. They are the kind of potential misunderstandings that I'm hoping people can help me avoid. I have a lot of sympathy for environmental causes, but that is not what I'm wanting to communicate here. It's this kind of "Naturalism" that I was referring to by "naturalist": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naturalism_(philosophy)

I understand your intent Smiley Just saying that at first glance I would tend to assume it was a literal naturalist descriptor. Labels are so darn tricky.
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Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. - Thomas Jefferson

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. - Thomas Jefferson
Mark C.
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« Reply #20: May 10, 2011, 06:14:19 am »

Just saying that at first glance I would tend to assume it was a literal naturalist descriptor

Definitely. Perhaps "Naturalistic Heathen" would be better?

Mark.
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Mark C.
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« Reply #21: May 10, 2011, 06:38:59 am »

Definitely. Perhaps "Naturalistic Heathen" would be better?

Mark.

I've just had a look on this wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_Naturalism

The page states that “Religious naturalism is an approach to spirituality that is devoid of supernaturalism.

The following definition of “religious naturalism” also struck a cord with me:

P. Roger Gillette of Meadville Lombard Theology School says that religious naturalism is a religion "in that it is a system of belief and practice that demands and facilitates one's intellectual and emotional reconnection with one's self, one's family, one's local and global community and ecosystem, the universe of which the global ecosystem is a part, and (perhaps) the creative source of this universe".

Because I don’t subscribe to supernatural ideas, I want a “religion” of the here and now and not some “otherworldly relm”, and because I use a heathen worldview / heathen lore to facilitate / demand that “emotional and intellectual connection” with myself, my family, my community and the natural world around me then “Naturalistic Heathen” would seem bang on the money.

Am I missing something or do people feel that could work?

Mark
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Lokabrenna
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« Reply #22: May 10, 2011, 07:53:14 pm »

Not sure if these would be helpful to you in figuring out what 'type' of Heathen you may be, but I'm a bit of a quiz addict and stumbled upon these three quizzes recently.  I thought I'd share the links in case you might be interested in checking them out.  Who knows how accurate they are, but perhaps they might give a hint as to a label.  

http://quizilla.teennick.com/quizzes/1482778/what-type-of-heathen-are-you
http://quizilla.teennick.com/quizzes/1185340/what-kind-of-heathen-are-you-really
and http://quizfarm.com/quizzes/new/isnorden/what-kind-of-heathen-are-you-really--version-20/

Interestingly, but not entirely surprisingly, I got Modernist Heathen as my result for all three quizzes.  

I love taking online quizzes, so I decided to give them a shot. I got "Eclectic Heathen" for the first one, and "Modernist Heathen" for the other two. Although, to be fair, I would have liked to have the option to pick multiple responses for a couple questions, because I was like: "Well, yes, but..."

Sorry, went a bit OT there...
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Collinsky
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« Reply #23: May 10, 2011, 08:40:20 pm »


I personally like the sound of philosophical heathen, a lot -- I think it says everything you need it to. I like Naturalist Heathen, too, but I do think that there's a potential for some people to confuse that with "likes to forage for berries."   Smiley

Non-literal Heathen sounds off to me... perhaps because it sounds like it's describing you, as a person, rather than the approach/belief that you hold. To me (so get your salt ready) Modern Heathen says that you're someone who is embracing heathenry, but in a way that is different from Recon approaches.
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« Reply #24: May 10, 2011, 11:11:35 pm »



Hmm...How about Modernist Recon rather than what we (would now  Wink) label as Traditionalist Recon?


ETA: Oo!Oo! Then make a post detailing the differences between a modernist recon and a traditionalist recon. Smiley
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