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Author Topic: Mixing Pantheons?  (Read 23245 times)
Dania
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« Reply #15: August 11, 2007, 09:08:02 am »

I still believe a cultural context is still important.

Many Northern European and Celtic polytheist have been forced to create a new structure due to lack of documentation by the ancients, and the coming of Christianity. So, yes, we have a very new structure of rtiual/worship but it is heavily rooted in cultural traditions and practices.

I don't think a cultural context is a *huge* thing but it is nice. I will admit, my practices are very eclectic. More Roman than Celtic, honestly. I took a bit from Rome, a wee bit from the Celts, threw in a lot of my own thing. I've been doing it that way for over a year and so far, no one seems to mind!! Smiley
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« Reply #16: August 11, 2007, 10:24:15 am »

I still believe a cultural context is still important.

Many Northern European and Celtic polytheist have been forced to create a new structure due to lack of documentation by the ancients, and the coming of Christianity. So, yes, we have a very new structure of rtiual/worship but it is heavily rooted in cultural traditions and practices.

the thing is, I don't live in /that/ culture.  I live in /this/ culture.  This is where my worldview is, where my points of reference are, everything.

I'm not saying I'm going to worship Apollo as a fertility goddess or something .. I'm not saying the gods have changed drastically, though they may have some.  (Everything else does, after all.)  But I'm not an ancient Greek.  I have a drastically different understanding of religion, of life, of personal vs. community .. how can that NOT affect how I worship?
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« Reply #17: August 11, 2007, 10:41:11 am »

I'm not saying I'm going to worship Apollo as a fertility goddess or something .. I'm not saying the gods have changed drastically, though they may have some.  (Everything else does, after all.)  But I'm not an ancient Greek.  I have a drastically different understanding of religion, of life, of personal vs. community .. how can that NOT affect how I worship?

Honestly, I think that worship is more meaningful when it's relevant to the culture of the worshiper. The culture of the ancient Greeks, or Romans, or Celts, is not relevant to us now. A sacrifice of livestock (the ancients' livelihood) wouldn't mean much now; I mean, let's face it, most people think that the sacrifice of livestock was done because the Gods like big dead animals. *facepalm*

Some of the ancient practices are worth carrying on. I offer wine and incense (well, as close as I can get to wine!). History tells me that the ancients offered wine and incense. But for various reasons it's not practical, nor particularly meaningful, to sacrifice a bull; and thus far, the Gods have not asked me to. There are other things I offer instead. Juno seems to really appreciate Hershey's Special Dark Kisses for instance; I *know* they did not have those in Ancient Rome! Grin
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« Reply #18: August 11, 2007, 10:59:34 am »


My question is.... I have read that it is not good to mix panthions is this good advice? But what if one were to feel the pull of two Goddesses from diffrent countries?

I feel a thrill every time I see or hear the name Danu, also the same with Hecate. Some advice or information would be of great help. I have been a seeker now for about 7 months not long I know so forgive my stummbling baby steps.

Pogue

Nothing wrong with baby steps Smiley
sometimes that's the best way to start - just take each relationship one step at a time and feel your way along, and see what happens and how They feel about things.
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« Reply #19: August 11, 2007, 11:17:15 am »

It's disrespectful, that's why.

If you call An Mhorrigan into ritual using an athame to celebrate Saturnalia than expect some negative repercutions.

Well yeah you'd expect interesting consequences if you did that, but...

Why create a completely new structure when one already exists?

Because not everybody is a reconstructionist of any kind? And the structure doesn't work for everyone.

I still believe a cultural context is still important.

Understanding cultural context - or what information there is available still doesn't mean you have to do things in that way. Not to say that cultural context isn't important, just that it isn't the only facet of having a relationship with a deity. Not everyone is called to be a reconstructionist, some are, some aren't. Different people have different relationships with the same deity and are called to honour them in different ways.

If you are going to have a personal relationship with a deity/deities, any deity, and They do not consider what you do or don't do disrespectful, then with all due respect to people who do things differently from you (the general you) personally, why is it anyone else's business?

If you (generally) do something that your deity considers disrespectful, then you can be pretty damn sure that they'll let you know. While I have been accused on occasion of being potentially disrespectful of my Lady, She doesn't seem to think I have been and I'm certainly not dumb enough to be disrespectful to Her intentionally.

Why do something according to a prescribed 'form' that means nothing to you when you could do something different that does hold meaning for you? There's an argument that holding to form just for the sake of it and going through the motions would be in itself disrespectful. (That is not a reflection on anyone btw simply a generalised observation.)

I am not and never will be a recon, if I tried to hold to strict recon I would myself be guilty of 'going through the motions' just for the sake of it and that's not the kind of relationship I have with my Lady.

I apologise if I offend anyone, that's just my opinion. I have a great respect for all recons, I'm just not cut out to be one Smiley
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« Reply #20: August 11, 2007, 03:05:07 pm »


Because not everybody is a reconstructionist of any kind? And the structure doesn't work for everyone.
Cultural context and tradition is not limited to reconstructionists.
Understanding cultural context - or what information there is available still doesn't mean you have to do things in that way. Not to say that cultural context isn't important, just that it isn't the only facet of having a relationship with a deity. Not everyone is called to be a reconstructionist, some are, some aren't. Different people have different relationships with the same deity and are called to honour them in different ways.
I can agree with that
If you are going to have a personal relationship with a deity/deities, any deity, and They do not consider what you do or don't do disrespectful, then with all due respect to people who do things differently from you (the general you) personally, why is it anyone else's business?

If you (generally) do something that your deity considers disrespectful, then you can be pretty damn sure that they'll let you know. While I have been accused on occasion of being potentially disrespectful of my Lady, She doesn't seem to think I have been and I'm certainly not dumb enough to be disrespectful to Her intentionally.
It's not so much being disrespectful to deity but rather to culture and living tradition. When people take traditions and manipulate them for whatever reason without regard to sanctity or meaning behind X, then it is a threat to sacred tradition. (Not accusing you of doing such).
Why do something according to a prescribed 'form' that means nothing to you when you could do something different that does hold meaning for you? There's an argument that holding to form just for the sake of it and going through the motions would be in itself disrespectful. (That is not a reflection on anyone btw simply a generalised observation.)
Again I agree. My religion may be based in the past but it is not limited to it. I'm all for respective innovation.
I am not and never will be a recon, if I tried to hold to strict recon I would myself be guilty of 'going through the motions' just for the sake of it and that's not the kind of relationship I have with my Lady.
That's a common misperception of reconstructionism. We don't go 'thorugh the motions' just for the sake of it. There are sacred and traditional meanings/symbolism behind them that many "outsiders" won't understand just at first glance.
I apologise if I offend anyone, that's just my opinion. I have a great respect for all recons, I'm just not cut out to be one Smiley

No offence taken. Very well thought out and written. Smiley
« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 03:07:05 pm by TomasFlannabhra » Logged
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« Reply #21: August 11, 2007, 04:08:01 pm »

No offence taken. Very well thought out and written. Smiley

Well I'm glad you're not offended Smiley
And I agree, cultural context and tradition isn't only limited to recons, altho that's probably a big enough kettle of fish for it's own thread.

Quote
That's a common misperception of reconstructionism. We don't go 'thorugh the motions' just for the sake of it.

Seems I do need to clarify one thing tho (my bad not yours) if I can - I didn't mean to imply that reconstructionists go through the motions at all. What I was attempting to say was that people who aren't reconstructionists might feel as if they are doing so if they try to adhere to a reconstructionist format (because they feel as if they ought to) even if that format doesn't work or hold adequate meaning for them personally - in the context of their relationship with their deity.

does that make more sense?

« Last Edit: August 11, 2007, 04:11:28 pm by Purplewitch » Logged

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« Reply #22: August 11, 2007, 09:05:17 pm »

Well I'm glad you're not offended Smiley
Seems I do need to clarify one thing tho (my bad not yours) if I can - I didn't mean to imply that reconstructionists go through the motions at all. What I was attempting to say was that people who aren't reconstructionists might feel as if they are doing so if they try to adhere to a reconstructionist format (because they feel as if they ought to) even if that format doesn't work or hold adequate meaning for them personally - in the context of their relationship with their deity.

does that make more sense?

Perfectly.  For instance, I dont always light candles for Brighid, but she sure seems to expect me to clean house and write articles!  Cheesy

Of course, she and I seem to still be working on THAT one, trying to figure out our exact relationship!  I think someone else described it perfectly, (sorry, cant remember who) when they talked about pouring out an occasional libation for Odin I think it was? (mind fried, long trip to pick up my son today!) but not in a worshipful way so much as a "we are friends" way.   I think of Brighid as my FRIEND, in caps  Grin

Honestly, I think that worship is more meaningful when it's relevant to the culture of the worshiper. The culture of the ancient Greeks, or Romans, or Celts, is not relevant to us now. A sacrifice of livestock (the ancients' livelihood) wouldn't mean much now; I mean, let's face it, most people think that the sacrifice of livestock was done because the Gods like big dead animals. *facepalm*

Some of the ancient practices are worth carrying on. I offer wine and incense (well, as close as I can get to wine!). History tells me that the ancients offered wine and incense. But for various reasons it's not practical, nor particularly meaningful, to sacrifice a bull; and thus far, the Gods have not asked me to. There are other things I offer instead. Juno seems to really appreciate Hershey's Special Dark Kisses for instance; I *know* they did not have those in Ancient Rome! Grin

True, this is exactly why I dont offer Brighid alcohol as an offering.  I dont drink.  Period.  To offer her alcohol would mean absolutely NOTHING to me, and she sure knows it!  Besides with my genetics, drinking is a big NO NO. 

Gina

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« Reply #23: August 12, 2007, 04:55:45 am »

Hi,
  I do not see a problem in mixing pantheons if they feel right to you . Only you will experience this in your heart.
  Brian 
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« Reply #24: August 12, 2007, 09:18:36 am »

Honestly, I think that worship is more meaningful when it's relevant to the culture of the worshiper. The culture of the ancient Greeks, or Romans, or Celts, is not relevant to us now.
[Host's note: I closed the quote as it included the entire message, but some of what follows appears to be quoted material as well. but I do not have time to carefully compare the material with the original.  Quoted test need to be set off with the quote BBcode. HTML does not work here either. -- RSS]

<b>Maybe not their ancient cultures, but their living cultures definitely are.</b>
A sacrifice of livestock (the ancients' livelihood) wouldn't mean much now; I mean, let's face it, most people think that the sacrifice of livestock was done because the Gods like big dead animals. *facepalm*
<b>That's not why it was done. The animal was almost always consumed afterwards and a portion of fat or meat was given to the gods. It was similar to a "thanksgiving".</b>
Some of the ancient practices are worth carrying on. I offer wine and incense (well, as close as I can get to wine!). History tells me that the ancients offered wine and incense. But for various reasons it's not practical, nor particularly meaningful, to sacrifice a bull; and thus far, the Gods have not asked me to. There are other things I offer instead. Juno seems to really appreciate Hershey's Special Dark Kisses for instance; I *know* they did not have those in Ancient Rome! Grin
<b>It's not about living or reviving the past. It's about taking inspiration from ancient beliefs and practices and making a modern, viable, and accurate living tradition.</b>
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Dania
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« Reply #25: August 12, 2007, 09:38:59 am »

That's not why it was done. The animal was almost always consumed afterwards and a portion of fat or meat was given to the gods. It was similar to a "thanksgiving".

True, but they still killed the animal. They consumed it (to not do so would have been wasteful!) but they then did not have that animal for all of it's other uses. It certainly wasn't something that was done lightly.

There were many, many factors involved in animal sacrifice that are pretty much lost to many modern people; it was more than just taking a life.

Here's an excellent discussion on the various reasons for animal sacrifice: http://www.unrv.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=5865
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« Reply #26: August 12, 2007, 10:22:36 am »



Tomas,

I think you're screwing up the quoting.  If you want to quote just a portion of someone's post, you need to make sure that the "/quote" is at the end of the quoted portion.  Then you can type in your comment.  If you want to quote more after that, hit "reply/quote" again, quote just the portion you want, and make sure the "/quote" is at the end -- then type your comment in.  In other words, you need to rehit the quote button if you want to put your comments in between several qoted passages -- otherwise you end up with *everything* in the quote box. 

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« Reply #27: August 12, 2007, 11:22:14 am »



(Now, for the topic itself.   Smiley )

I think there are two issues at stake:  a) the wishes of the individual deities, and b) correct labeling of practices.  The first is, I think, obvious; if a deity communicates that s/he wants (or doesn't) want to be worshiped in a particular way, then someone following that deity's directives *isn't* being disrespectful, whether they're following recorded ancient practice or doing the fluffiest of new age ceremonies:  if that's what that deity wants, *not* doing something that way would be disrespectful.  I think it's really problematic to label approaches to worship that aren't recon-inflected as automatically disrespectful, because that's the *deity's* call.

As for the second, I think reconstructionism is great for those who feel called to it, but it is *not* for everyone.  Religion exists to translate myth -- sacred narratives -- into *meaningful* experiences for worshipers.  And when one is trying to put together a private practice in a religion without any kind of "official" governing body, then I don't think it's either ridiculous or disrespectful to prioritize *personal* relevance.  And since none of us live in ancient Greece/Ireland/Egypt/whatever, then of course elements from our own culture are going to factor in -- it's just a matter of degree, and of correct labeling.  In Europe, there is a *vast* cultural gulf between ancient Pagan cultures and the modern cultures that occupy the same geographical area; it isn't the same thing as say, indigenous African religions, which are still living pagan (in the broadest sense) cultures. 

In the absence of specific deity preference communicated to the worshiper, if what feels most relevant to a worshiper is as historically accurate a ritual as possible, then that's the right answer -- as is a Wicca-inflected ritual for someone who really resonates with that format.  As long as one is not confusing modern innovation with recorded historical practice and/or claiming modern innovation to be something it isn't, I'm really not sure why that's an issue.  Of course, there's a great deal of bad history floating around the non-recon sections of Paganism, but that doesn't somehow render all newer religions, or new twists on ancient religions (which actually includes reconstructionism itself) nonsensical or disrespectful or whatever pejorative term one wishes. 
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« Reply #28: August 12, 2007, 11:36:46 am »

(Now, for the topic itself.   Smiley )

I think there are two issues at stake:  a) the wishes of the individual deities, and b) correct labeling of practices.  The first is, I think, obvious; if a deity communicates that s/he wants (or doesn't) want to be worshiped in a particular way, then someone following that deity's directives *isn't* being disrespectful, whether they're following recorded ancient practice or doing the fluffiest of new age ceremonies:  if that's what that deity wants, *not* doing something that way would be disrespectful.  I think it's really problematic to label approaches to worship that aren't recon-inflected as automatically disrespectful, because that's the *deity's* call.

I wasn't labelling non-recon practices as disrespectful. I should have been more careful with words. What my issue is when people suddenly disregard already existing, traditional practices just for their own "what feels right for me" without any regard or consideration. Also, when people use their own preference or style of practice and claim that it is authentic or traditional. Or when someone decides to worship Shiva in a Celtic context or when someone attempts to Wicca-fy an already sacred practice. That was my issue with cultural context.

Quote
As for the second, I think reconstructionism is great for those who feel called to it, but it is *not* for everyone.  Religion exists to translate myth -- sacred narratives -- into *meaningful* experiences for worshipers.  And when one is trying to put together a private practice in a religion without any kind of "official" governing body, then I don't think it's either ridiculous or disrespectful to prioritize *personal* relevance.  And since none of us live in ancient Greece/Ireland/Egypt/whatever, then of course elements from our own culture are going to factor in -- it's just a matter of degree, and of correct labeling.  In Europe, there is a *vast* cultural gulf between ancient Pagan cultures and the modern cultures that occupy the same geographical area; it isn't the same thing as say, indigenous African religions, which are still living pagan (in the broadest sense) cultures. 

Agreed.

Quote
In the absence of specific deity preference communicated to the worshiper, if what feels most relevant to a worshiper is as historically accurate a ritual as possible, then that's the right answer -- as is a Wicca-inflected ritual for someone who really resonates with that format.  As long as one is not confusing modern innovation with recorded historical practice and/or claiming modern innovation to be something it isn't, I'm really not sure why that's an issue.  Of course, there's a great deal of bad history floating around the non-recon sections of Paganism, but that doesn't somehow render all newer religions, or new twists on ancient religions (which actually includes reconstructionism itself) nonsensical or disrespectful or whatever pejorative term one wishes. 

Again, agreed.
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« Reply #29: August 12, 2007, 11:43:29 am »

Also, when people use their own preference or style of practice and claim that it is authentic or traditional. Or when someone decides to worship Shiva in a Celtic context or when someone attempts to Wicca-fy an already sacred practice. That was my issue with cultural context.

These things bother me as well. It's like some people just do not care to do the research into what they are actually doing. I have no issue with adapting and altering practices to fit your own path, as long as you admit that's what you are doing, and do it with care and proper research.
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