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Author Topic: Oldest Pagan Religion  (Read 17039 times)
Mandi
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« Reply #15: March 26, 2007, 11:47:48 am »

And which also leads some people to think that "natural" = "harmless."  Foxglove is perfectly natural -- harmelss, it ain't!

Gotta keep a careful eye out for that natural TP.  I've heard it's made of yard waste.  The all natural poison ivy coloring has me worried.
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« Reply #16: March 26, 2007, 01:59:08 pm »

Gotta keep a careful eye out for that natural TP.  I've heard it's made of yard waste.  The all natural poison ivy coloring has me worried.

ROTFL

I get most of my cleaners and such at the health food store because of the reactions I have to 'standard' cleaners.  One time I got some seventh generation kleenex when my daughter had a cold.  She gave me a lecture on how my bio-friendly addiction had gone too far when I bought tissue that felt like sand paper.  I went back to the Kleenex Ultra soft. Wink
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« Reply #17: March 26, 2007, 08:32:29 pm »

I know this might be seem mean, but "Pagan" would imply the modern movement of alternative religions. In that case it would most likely be Wicca. However, if you were meaning Pre-Christian religions, that devolves into best guess scenarios.

I would add pretty much all religions were 'pagan' pre monotheism. And as far as I recall, the first attempt at monotheism was Egypt's Akenaten's attempt to make the Aten the single god of his people.

Phouka
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loneash
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« Reply #18: March 26, 2007, 08:44:25 pm »

One of my friends described his path as "universe-based".  Smiley

Sounds great but the reality of it so far is that it is still just earth based.   The universerse is out there but we know precious little of it.
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dryad
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« Reply #19: March 29, 2007, 03:56:04 pm »

My question is, what is the oldest known Pagan religion?  And would Paganism be the oldest known religions in general?
Do you mean "oldest" as in "been around the longest" or as "earliest?"  I honestly don't know the answer to either question, but "Paganism" probably doesn't count for what you're looking for simply because it is not one single religion.  Pagan, ie non-JCI religions, have been around continuously since religion started, but I don't know which particular ones could be quoted as being around the longest.

Interesting tidbit though... there is at least one neanderthal burial site that led archaeologists to suspect religion as a factor in why and how these individuals were buried.  I can't remember the site name, but I'm sure it would be easy to Google.
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« Reply #20: March 29, 2007, 04:29:54 pm »

Hmm, my mind is still working over what I want to say so I'm going to put it down as coherently as I can. Using the some of the more modern definitions of "paganism", couldn't one say that the oldest form of paganism would have been animism and the use of sympathetic magic?
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« Reply #21: March 29, 2007, 09:27:49 pm »

I think the oldest known artefacts attributed to human religious impulses are items tentatively identified as deriving from a mother goddess cult, from the paleolithic era (~40,000 years ago).

As for the celestial alignments of prehistoric sites in Scotland - well, I've looked into this a fair bit, and there is a degree of complexity that suggests something more than a simple calendrical function, i.e. for identifying seasons, and deciding when to plant crops. Setting to one side of course the fact that the early population of Scotland were not actually that reliant on crops to justify devising such a calendrical system for that reason (they were more reliant on game up until Roman records begin). So immediately inferring some calendrical role risks making an assumption based on the misapplication of ideas developed to account for sites elsewhere, other than Scotland.

A guy from St Andrews published a study which was based on the alignments of prehistoric sites in Fife which he felt were strongly suggestive of a lunar cult active from about 8,000 years ago. (I will look it out and post details of this study if anyone is interested). Perhaps the most startling conclusion he reached is that the Scottish flag, the saltire, which has been used since the 9th century CE according to the historical record, but was probably a more ancient symbol of power, is actually a representation of these lunar alignments! I found that part a little hard to swallow I must confess.

Other celestial alignments seem unrelated to seasonal considerations and are based not on typical constructions such as stone circles or burial chambers but on other significant sites that are usually overlooked. For example, places where rivers ran through a deep gorge were incredibly significant to the prehistoric inhabitants of Scotland. We know this because of the royal inauguration sites found there, usually with a footprint carved into the rock to ensure the inaugurand correctly observes the position for the ritual, and with a basin carved into the rock for lustral purifications. These sites were significant because the surface of the water was deemed to be a membrane between this world and the other world, and that membrane was particularly tenuous the deeper in the earth it was found. Well, some alignments relating to these sites still exist and are preserved by the syncretisms of the early Christians who incorporated aspects of former practise into their observances. So form example sites of churches dedicated to early Scottish saints are often located on an alignment with one of these prehistoric inauguration sites and the position of the sunrise on the saint's feast day. The churches were usually built on the site of a pre-Christian ritual centre which is probably the origin of the alignment and also the reason for the selection of the date of the alignment as the saint's feast day. The amazing thing is that some of these alignments involve sites that are beyond each other's horizon.

I could go on about this indefinitely but I had better not.
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LyricFox
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« Reply #22: March 29, 2007, 09:49:15 pm »

I think the oldest known artefacts attributed to human religious impulses are items tentatively identified as deriving from a mother goddess cult, from the paleolithic era (~40,000 years ago).



I think that the "mother goddess cult" was pretty well debunked years ago. It crops up occasionally in modern pagan writings and writings based on the works of Gimbutas and other devotees, but there's never been any solid proof of any of that.

Everything that I've seen addressing the goddess cult idea pretty well falls under wishful thinking.
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« Reply #23: March 30, 2007, 09:39:20 am »

I think that the "mother goddess cult" was pretty well debunked years ago. It crops up occasionally in modern pagan writings and writings based on the works of Gimbutas and other devotees, but there's never been any solid proof of any of that.

The idea of a universal mother goddess cult was debunked -- and the theories positing that "worship of a mother goddess" was the "original" religion.  It's still a reasonable interpretation for evidence in certain locales.   
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SatAset
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« Reply #24: March 30, 2007, 10:14:09 am »

I would add pretty much all religions were 'pagan' pre monotheism. And as far as I recall, the first attempt at monotheism was Egypt's Akenaten's attempt to make the Aten the single god of his people.

Phouka

Not really.  Akenaten's religion was his worship of Aten and himself and his wife.  He didn't like Amun too much since His priesthood was really powerful at that time.  Aten is called other gods in hymns like Ra, etc. 

Other deities have been found at Akhetaten in workshops so other deities were worshipped, we're just not sure if that was "against the state religion" or not. 

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LyricFox
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« Reply #25: March 30, 2007, 11:35:49 am »

The idea of a universal mother goddess cult was debunked -- and the theories positing that "worship of a mother goddess" was the "original" religion.  It's still a reasonable interpretation for evidence in certain locales.   

I should have specified universal there, though I thought that's what the original poster was talking about. Might have misread it, though.
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« Reply #26: March 30, 2007, 11:39:59 am »

I should have specified universal there, though I thought that's what the original poster was talking about. Might have misread it, though.

I went back and looked and the original post was talking about "a mother goddess cult", so that's what I was reading...universal.
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« Reply #27: March 30, 2007, 11:45:11 am »

I went back and looked and the original post was talking about "a mother goddess cult", so that's what I was reading...universal.

*g*  I figured since she was saying "*a* mother goddess cult," as well as saying 'tentatively," she was referring to something specific; if she'd said "THE mother goddess cult" and left out the "tentatively," I would have been all over it.   Cheesy
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« Reply #28: March 30, 2007, 11:57:05 am »

*g*  I figured since she was saying "*a* mother goddess cult," as well as saying 'tentatively," she was referring to something specific; if she'd said "THE mother goddess cult" and left out the "tentatively," I would have been all over it.   Cheesy

I think you and I are about to link arms and go skipping down the symantics path. LOL

How about this? Universal Mother Goddess Cult = bad. Widespread Mother Goddess worship = OK.
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« Reply #29: March 30, 2007, 11:59:46 am »

I think you and I are about to link arms and go skipping down the symantics path. LOL

How about this? Universal Mother Goddess Cult = bad. Widespread Mother Goddess worship = OK.

Bwahahaha!  Deal!  *shakes hand*
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