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Author Topic: Which Pagan religions are NOT nature-earth based?  (Read 19986 times)
Eadie
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« Reply #15: May 01, 2008, 03:22:23 pm »

I asked because, in addition to reading it elsewhere, I'm in the middle of reading "Drawing Down the Moon" (obviously written with a Wiccan slant) and Margot Adler states this claim up front.  It would seem from most of the regulars here though that such is not the case.
In fact, I get the feeling that Wiccans are the minority at this particular forum.  There's got to be a poll here for that already, I'll have to hunt around for it. 

(I wanted to quote Eadie here, but I can't insert the quote now, it only goes back so may posts.  Argh.. manual time!)
I see what you're saying -  there's another way to look at this too:  perhaps there are more Pagan religions that are not earth or nature centered/worshiping, but, if there are more people in Wicca than the others,  then judging solely by body count,  one might say that most Pagans (but not pagan religions) are nature-based. (Whether that's accurate or not, I have no idea).  I don't think this what she (Adler) said though.  I'm pretty sure she stated "Pagan religions". 



Having read Adler (lo these many years ago - like in the '70's), I'd say she has a rather eclectic Wiccan slant to her writing.  But, while there are a LOT of very vocal eclectics and neo-wiccans who claim nature-based, I have no clue if they are in the majority or not.  Not on this board - you are right.  At least with the more long term members - I would say well less than half truly qualify as Wiccan/BTW/neo-Wiccan.  But I have also noticed that the reconstructionists and other non-nature-based people tend to be less likely to announce their beliefs from the rooftops as it were.  I could, of course, be wrong - this is just my experience.  So, it would be hard to say if even in sheer numbers whether nature-based is in the majority.  Especially since many of the people who are only pagan for a short time - for whatever reason -seem to mostly be in the nature-based catagory - so the 'membership' would have a higher turnover rate...
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« Reply #16: May 01, 2008, 05:33:41 pm »

I asked because, in addition to reading it elsewhere, I'm in the middle of reading "Drawing Down the Moon" (obviously written with a Wiccan slant) and Margot Adler states this claim up front.  It would seem from most of the regulars here though that such is not the case.
In fact, I get the feeling that Wiccans are the minority at this particular forum.  There's got to be a poll here for that already, I'll have to hunt around for it. 

Yeah. She's not the first, nor will she be the last who does that. And it's wrong. Really wrong.

And no, Wiccans aren't in the majority here. Lots of Recons, some Wiccans (both Trad and Neo-), some Eclectics. Really TC is more an interfaith forum than one devoted to just pagans.
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« Reply #17: May 01, 2008, 05:38:46 pm »

*nods*  Yeah.  Like you and Star, I've certainly been guilty of it myself.  But I'm getting to the point where I find it equally frustrating when the kneejerk "WE'RE NOT WICCANS!" overrides scholarship, accurate reporting, and common sense.  Not that this really happens here, but it seems to be fairly common on Recon boards.  It's so, so important to say, as often as necessary (and god, that's OFTEN), that we AREN'T Wiccans; but that shouldn't lead to denial of the scholarship about our own religions, or mischaracterizations of Wicca.

I haven't gotten to that point. I really hate. Really. Really. Really. Not sure I'll ever get to the point where my first instinct isn't to correct someone when they pigeonhole me.

Quote
Back to nature-based, I think it might be best to think of it as kind of a continuum -- I love the continuum, man.  Smiley  Like, imagine a survey, where the question is, "How important is the concept of nature (connection to the natural world, the seasonal cycle, reverence for the earth, fertility, etc., etc., etc.) within your religion?"  If you check "Very important" or "Important," that's nature-based.  If you check "somewhat important," "Less important," or "Not important," non-nature-based.  I think this also allows for an understanding of nature-y paths within religions that aren't overall, nature-based.  Like I mentioned earlier, I would imagine that someone who is devoted to Demeter would rate nature as more important within their religious practice than someone devoted to, say, Athena. 


I like that, but it assumes that the people who are making the claims aren't trying to tell you that you really are something you're not. I don't know, Catja, maybe it's me and the fact I've been on boards and lists for 10 years, but I don't think I've ever seen someone approach this obliquely. If they did, I'd be a whole lot more open to discussing it with them. Unfortunately, it's always been an in-your-face YOU ARE sort of thing and that pisses me off from the get go.
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« Reply #18: May 01, 2008, 05:56:48 pm »

Unfortunately, it's always been an in-your-face YOU ARE sort of thing and that pisses me off from the get go.

At least 90% of the time, that's what I see. Not someone wanting to discuss which religions are nature-based/Earth-based or even what it means for a religion to be nature-based/Earth-based, but someone telling me that my religion must be nature-based/Earth-based.
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« Reply #19: May 01, 2008, 06:05:46 pm »

At least 90% of the time, that's what I see. Not someone wanting to discuss which religions are nature-based/Earth-based or even what it means for a religion to be nature-based/Earth-based, but someone telling me that my religion must be nature-based/Earth-based.

And those of us who would discuss it without the assumptions are generally so pissed off about the subject that we won't bring it up!
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« Reply #20: May 01, 2008, 06:12:03 pm »

And those of us who would discuss it without the assumptions are generally so pissed off about the subject that we won't bring it up!

Yeah that!!  Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #21: May 01, 2008, 07:22:19 pm »

And those of us who would discuss it without the assumptions are generally so pissed off about the subject that we won't bring it up!

Especially since there's the fear that the thread will then be taken over by the "but you really ARE nature-based!" types.

Though I suppose with the membership split on TC, we could actually have the discussion where random passer-by couldn't waltz in and take it over.
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« Reply #22: May 01, 2008, 08:27:02 pm »

At least 90% of the time, that's what I see. Not someone wanting to discuss which religions are nature-based/Earth-based or even what it means for a religion to be nature-based/Earth-based, but someone telling me that my religion must be nature-based/Earth-based.

I would love to have the discussion about what it means for a religion to be nature-based, and I am not the type of person to say to someone that their religion had to be anything (and I wouldn't want such a person to hinder the discussion and turn it into an argument).

With all the definitions I've heard for what makes a nature-based religion, I can honestly say that I have no idea whether my religion is nature-based or not! Nature/the earth plays an important part in my spiritual beliefs, but I do not worship the Earth as such. Some have insisted on calling my religion earth-based, and some have insisted that it's not. I just get confused why such people are so bothered about putting my religious beliefs into a category.
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« Reply #23: May 01, 2008, 08:30:40 pm »

In the future, please just reply to each post separately rather than doing this.  I do thank you for including the words you're replying to, but the link back to the post itself that the code provides is equally important.

Regarding that - technical question/suggestion:  is there a way in the board configuration here to increase the number of visible posts to include/insert quote when replying? (I'm familiar with the inner workings of PHPBB, but not Simple Machines) Only because, on most forums I've been on, it seems they preferred users to make one multi-quoted post than numerous separate posts consecutively.  If that's a no,  then no biggie, I'll just do consecutive posts if need be.
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« Reply #24: May 01, 2008, 08:38:11 pm »

I just get confused why such people are so bothered about putting my religious beliefs into a category.

That depends, I think, on what people do with the information.  It's one thing to be descriptive about what you do, or who you are, and descriptions help people understand things better.  It's human nature to compartmentalize information, thus cataloging it and setting it in a category - it's a cognitive tool. 
I think it runs into problems, however, when people starting using such definitions to draw hard lines in the sand and begin to pass judgement based on those descriptions/categories. If people would avoid applying certain connotations to everything, I don't think setting things in categories would be a bad thing, necessarily.

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« Reply #25: May 01, 2008, 10:22:30 pm »

Regarding that - technical question/suggestion:  is there a way in the board configuration here to increase the number of visible posts to include/insert quote when replying?

I could, but that would slow the board down a bit and have the effect of making in more likely people would quote by hand from posts instead of using the quote/reply "button" in the message they want to reply to (which auto generates the weird linkback quote bbcode -- which is really what we need (and therefore I we want people to quote).
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« Reply #26: May 01, 2008, 11:28:59 pm »

That depends, I think, on what people do with the information.  It's one thing to be descriptive about what you do, or who you are, and descriptions help people understand things better.  It's human nature to compartmentalize information, thus cataloging it and setting it in a category - it's a cognitive tool. 
I think it runs into problems, however, when people starting using such definitions to draw hard lines in the sand and begin to pass judgement based on those descriptions/categories. If people would avoid applying certain connotations to everything, I don't think setting things in categories would be a bad thing, necessarily.

Yeah, it is human nature to do that. And categorising things, even yourself, can help de-clutter everything in your brain.

But what's crap is when one person has their opinion of what a definition means and who/what it includes, and tries to push it on everyone else. Hence, why to some people my religion is classified as earth-based, and to some it isn't. I have to say, that doesn't help to de-clutter my brain in the slightest. It just clutters it up even more.
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« Reply #27: May 04, 2008, 06:59:27 pm »

But defining it that way is just silly, and not even accurate for Wicca.   Wicca, in modern Paganism, is almost always the freaking yardstick by which we *define* "nature-based," and so it's counter-productive to invent a definition where even *Wiccans* can't define themselves as such!
Very counterproductive - when the non-nature-based cite a definition of nature-based that excludes a lot of folks who do identify as nature-based, the result is that both non-NB and many NB wind up on the same side of the hypothetical "line".  That's either going to annoy the heck out of self-identified NB types by implying that they're mistaken in their identification, or it's going to raise the question of how the non-NB-identifying person is less NB than those who identify as NB.

Granted, a lot of the time, such definitions are coming from the Unity Freaks, not from the Recons - but it irks me when such definitions get accepted for the purposes of the debate.

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« Reply #28: May 04, 2008, 08:00:11 pm »

I haven't gotten to that point. I really hate. Really. Really. Really. Not sure I'll ever get to the point where my first instinct isn't to correct someone when they pigeonhole me.

I like that, but it assumes that the people who are making the claims aren't trying to tell you that you really are something you're not. I don't know, Catja, maybe it's me and the fact I've been on boards and lists for 10 years, but I don't think I've ever seen someone approach this obliquely. If they did, I'd be a whole lot more open to discussing it with them. Unfortunately, it's always been an in-your-face YOU ARE sort of thing and that pisses me off from the get go.

hm, I brought up this exact same topic a month or so back, and I really did try not to put anyone in a box. I was curious to know, it was all news to me, and I felt I asked and was answered appropriately. Are you including that thread in your pile of bitterness here? Because honestly, that seems unfair, and I'm sorry if you felt as angry as you sound above. I hear you saying that you have had generally bad experiences, and have now come to expect them. But I also think that attitude adds fuel to the fire and there will never be any hope of even civility, much less any kind of "unity" (whatever that means, I still can 't figger that one out). And I do think civility is always a good goal, in any discussion, even if it doesn't actually get reached. Call me a Pollyanna, it's ok. It's true, actually. Or fluffy, that's another catcall I hear sometimes. I  personally get so fed up with the contentiousness of these discussions, and I wish it would not always come down to everyone complaining that they are not understood or they don't understand ( of course, you can put me in the "don't understand" box, I guess....).
sorry, ranting.

I really try never to assume anyone is or is not anything, and I don't care what other people assume about me, b/c they are 99% likely to be wrong. And so I am always pleasantly surprised when I'm wrong.
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« Reply #29: May 04, 2008, 09:45:49 pm »

hm, I brought up this exact same topic a month or so back, and I really did try not to put anyone in a box. I was curious to know, it was all news to me, and I felt I asked and was answered appropriately. Are you including that thread in your pile of bitterness here? Because honestly, that seems unfair, and I'm sorry if you felt as angry as you sound above.

No I wasn't and it shouldn't be read that way. Discussions, like your thread, are one thing. Waltzing up and telling me that I am nature-based isn't.

Quote
But I also think that attitude adds fuel to the fire and there will never be any hope of even civility, much less any kind of "unity" (whatever that means, I still can 't figger that one out). And I do think civility is always a good goal, in any discussion, even if it doesn't actually get reached.

What you're talking about is a *discussion* and those aren't the problem. I will never EVER be civil to some jackass who thinks he knows my beliefs better than I do stuffing me in some convenient box. If I'm supposed to be, well, that's just too bad. I've been doing this for far too many years to tolerate someone doing this to me.
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