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Author Topic: "Take what you like and leave the rest" paganism  (Read 28921 times)
RandallS
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« Reply #60: December 02, 2007, 08:16:19 am »

:::picking a nit:::

A Celtic goddess, not the Celtic goddess.

I think you may have read more into this that was intended. In "Why is the Celtic goddess the Morrighan a goddess of war?" I don't think first "the" in the sentence was intended to imply that there was only one Celtic Goddess, but rather that a specific one was being referred to. After all, people say things like "Why does the Roman God Jupiter look a lot like Zeus?" without implying that Jupiter is the only Roman deity. In fact, saying "Why does a Roman God Jupiter look a lot like Zeus?" wouldn't make much sense, IMHO.
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Sine Silvering
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« Reply #61: December 02, 2007, 08:44:18 am »

I don't want to spark an argument here.  I'm just too curious for my own good.

I know that people have issues with "take it and leave it" paganism.  I understand and agree that in doing this, we are stealing and disrespecting a culture. Absolutely, no argument there.

But, I'm thinking about ecclectic pagans.  Would you say the same about them?

Personally speaking (since I tend to be a "take it and leave it" pagan), I think that if you give proper respect to the culture, then it shouldn't be a problem. 

Aside from that, would you say it is better to take certain things from your own culture (say you are Native American, African, Irish, Italian, whatever) and incorporate that into your practice?

Your thoughts?

--edited for grammar--

Most of the earlier postings have covered most of the points I'd have made, and I knew they would, so I let them.  <G>  Lazy?  Who, me?  Absolutely..

However, one thing that hasn't been addressed is that religion isn't about comfort zones except that true devotion is practically guaranteed to take you out of them.  Devotion to a god or several gods is going to make demands on you that you never expected, make you learn things that had never occurred to you even existed.

The argument against eclectic/take what you like and be religious was never done so well as by Rabbi Marc Gellman, the remaining member of the God Squad, in yesterday's paper:

http://www.buffalonews.com/lifearts/religion/story/218954.html

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« Reply #62: December 02, 2007, 11:33:26 am »


I can totally understand the reaction, though. I mean, how many times have you seen a Greek deity labeled "the god of X"? Totally ignores the fact there are umpteem gods in the pantheon many who have some of the same areas of infuence. A whole lot of modern neo-paganism is based on putting one god in a pigeonhole and completely ignoring the fact that multiple gods had the same area of influence or that the deity in question had conflicting epithets.
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« Reply #63: December 02, 2007, 12:31:26 pm »

I think you may have read more into this that was intended. In "Why is the Celtic goddess the Morrighan a goddess of war?" I don't think first "the" in the sentence was intended to imply that there was only one Celtic Goddess, but rather that a specific one was being referred to. After all, people say things like "Why does the Roman God Jupiter look a lot like Zeus?" without implying that Jupiter is the only Roman deity. In fact, saying "Why does a Roman God Jupiter look a lot like Zeus?" wouldn't make much sense, IMHO.

Excellent point, Randall.  And if I did misunderstand, the poster I was responding to has my sincere apology.
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« Reply #64: December 02, 2007, 12:37:46 pm »

The argument against eclectic/take what you like and be religious was never done so well as by Rabbi Marc Gellman, the remaining member of the God Squad, in yesterday's paper:

http://www.buffalonews.com/lifearts/religion/story/218954.html

A good read - thank you, Sine.

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« Reply #65: December 02, 2007, 12:50:32 pm »

I once had a chat (okay, a rather fiery debate, if truth be told) with a young person who was planning on invoking Kali and The Morrigan in the same ritual.

I physically cringed when I read this and said, "Oy vey."
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RandallS
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« Reply #66: December 02, 2007, 05:57:14 pm »

I can totally understand the reaction, though.

So can I, I just think it was a bit to quick in this case.
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« Reply #67: December 02, 2007, 06:38:41 pm »

"Celtic Wicca" is one of the things that used to - and still does, if I'm to be honest - make me cringe so hard my scalp would almost crawl off of my skull.  Not only do the cosmological systems and the basics of ritual practice not gel well, they are in direct opposition.  To give a couple of elementary examples:  sacred space in Celtic milieus is square, not circular; the directional system is fivefold, not fourfold; you have to deal with the Three Realms, not Four Towers; triple goddesses are defined in functional terms rather than on the basis of life stages.   And the list goes on.
I see your historicity and pedantry, and raise you a factoid (well, actually, there's quite a lot hiding behind this, but I don't want to derail things):  What sets my teeth on edge are those who have no idea that the original application of "Celtic" as an adjective to describe Wicca (not in the phrase "Celtic Wicca", which is redundant in that context) involved a very different sense of the word "Celtic".  (Details here for those who don't know 'em.)

I'm by no means accusing you of this error (you're griping about a different level of the problem), just demonstrating that Eclecticism need not be mutually exclusive with historic accuracy, pedantry, or the picking of nits Cheesy.

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« Reply #68: December 02, 2007, 06:52:50 pm »

The argument against eclectic/take what you like and be religious was never done so well as by Rabbi Marc Gellman, the remaining member of the God Squad, in yesterday's paper:
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Sunflower
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« Reply #69: December 02, 2007, 07:53:29 pm »

Shocked
Ye gods and little fishes.  Apparently, I have a better Catholic education just from paying attention to Koi, than the questioner got from being raised Catholic (perhaps if s/he'd paid any attention to it, s/he'd have discovered that theology is not boring - the questioner, of course, not Koi).

Sunflower

I'm STILL trying to figure out how one can be Catholic without believing in God.

I mean, the other stuff .. I don't agree with it, but I could see room FOR argument.

That one?  dur ......
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« Reply #70: December 02, 2007, 08:11:16 pm »

I'm STILL trying to figure out how one can be Catholic without believing in God.

I mean, the other stuff .. I don't agree with it, but I could see room FOR argument.

That one?  dur ......

LOL...yea...I mean...WTF?? Shocked
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« Reply #71: December 02, 2007, 11:37:57 pm »

Shocked
Ye gods and little fishes.  Apparently, I have a better Catholic education just from paying attention to Koi, than the questioner got from being raised Catholic (perhaps if s/he'd paid any attention to it, s/he'd have discovered that theology is not boring - the questioner, of course, not Koi).

Sunflower

My sentiments exactly. 

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« Reply #72: December 05, 2007, 10:13:43 pm »

I appear to be a labour-saving device? :}
Having now read the essay properly, I can confirm that, yes, you are indeed Grin - I'm not sure I would ever have got to the point of being able to express it so well (so much stuff to do, so little time - an occupational hazard for eclectics).

Sunflower
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« Reply #73: December 10, 2007, 10:03:34 pm »

Aside from that, would you say it is better to take certain things from your own culture (say you are Native American, African, Irish, Italian, whatever) and incorporate that into your practice?

Your thoughts?

I think that what many people think is going on with ecclecticism is actually not really the point of being ecclectic.  It seems to be the assumption that an ecclectic starts out with an empty plate and then goes to a buffet of religions, spiritual practices, and mumbo-jumbo and ends up with an indigestible mix.  Some folks may allow that some ecclectics are better at their cherry picking than others.

I will admit that many ecclectics approach modern Paganism that way, as well as most Newagers. However, I think that to truly follow an ecclectic spiritual path, you have to start out with some sort of spiritual inspiration that is beyond the bounds of any prepackaged religious tradition. I think that anyone who follows a spiritual path starts with that indefinable inspiration, and some find a religion or get a thwap that is that perfect fit.  But I think it is wrong to insist that everyone find one path and stick to it.

For me, it's about learning about many paths, and finding the commonality between those paths and my own drives, experiences, and gnosis and where appropriate, borrowing the practices that can enhance that common thread.  Sometimes it's a crap shoot.  Often it's very enriching.  It is most likely not the same speshul experience that certain speshul paths claim to have for just their speshul few, but to say that there is no depth of spirituality, growth, and experience is just a buch of bollocks.

I honestly don't think ecclecticism is for most people.  I think many ecclectics are wandering blindly, and to be perfectly honest I feel like I'm wandering a bit blind myself during certain times when I'm hitting brick walls.  However, there are periods of great growth that have made the difficulties worth the effort.
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« Reply #74: December 13, 2007, 10:56:53 pm »


For me, it's about learning about many paths, and finding the commonality between those paths and my own drives, experiences, and gnosis and where appropriate, borrowing the practices that can enhance that common thread.  Sometimes it's a crap shoot.  Often it's very enriching.  It is most likely not the same speshul experience that certain speshul paths claim to have for just their speshul few, but to say that there is no depth of spirituality, growth, and experience is just a buch of bollocks.

I honestly don't think ecclecticism is for most people.  I think many ecclectics are wandering blindly, and to be perfectly honest I feel like I'm wandering a bit blind myself during certain times when I'm hitting brick walls.  However, there are periods of great growth that have made the difficulties worth the effort.

Well said...thank you.
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