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Author Topic: An Orthodoxy of Fear  (Read 7493 times)
Finn
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« Topic Start: May 06, 2008, 08:38:20 am »

I think this has been touched on briefly in the Cill SIG, but I think it's an appropriate discussion for this SIG as well.

Erynn Rowan Laurie's essay on the cr_r LJ community is an interesting and pointed look at the negative atmosphere surrounding CR and its attitude to UPG:
http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/288290.html#cutid1


Any thoughts, especially with regards to how we do things here in the SIG?
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« Reply #1: May 06, 2008, 11:41:36 am »

Any thoughts, especially with regards to how we do things here in the SIG?

I've read the LJ entry and about 90% of what comes after, and it seems to me that this whole thing is immersed in politics: personal and otherwise, especially the politics of a small community.

For myself, I constantly question what I am doing, what I am reading and where it's coming from.  I'd define my path as "Irish Questioner" except that no-one else would understand it.
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« Reply #2: May 07, 2008, 02:31:52 pm »

Any thoughts, especially with regards to how we do things here in the SIG?

In regards to the original post you linked to, Finn, being afraid of posting for fear of community censure, I'm not sure we have that situation here.  To the best of my recollection, I haven't seen any of our regular TC members tell anyone that they're flat out practicing wrong (Yes, we did have a drive-by poster vehemently argue that folks in the Cill were doing things wrong, offerings were to be thrown in a bog, the Celts had no altars, etcetera ad nauseum ad infinitum and subsequently got herself a week long gag.  Haven't seen her since.).  If I'm wrong in my perception would someone please let me know?  I value my friendships here far to much to risk losing them over philosophical differences.

From my perspective, everyone posting in here, even folks who don't identify with the adjective Celtic, have been supportive.  We're all aware that we're trying to cobble together a praxis based equally on historical cultures, often divergent, and Unverified Personal Gnosis, sometimes Shared Personal Gnosis, all while attempting to find a way to fit it into a modern lifestyle and perspective.  Because of this I feel that we're all fairly tolerant of differences.  IIRC, it was one of the originally discussed points as to whether RCR should be considered an actual practice or more of an umbrella term for a community of loosely related practices involving Celtic roots.

I read through the whole post that you linked us to including the side conversations though I didn't jump out to the LJ blogs or elsewhere.  All I can say is that I'm really glad I found TC first.  The infighting going on over there is enough to make me embarassed to even use the RCR moniker (Don't worry, I'm not re-opening that thread ::grin:: ). 

I'm not sure what else I have to say about the matter that won't somehow end up negetive or throwing stones in a glass house so I'm just going to leave this post as it is.
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« Reply #3: May 07, 2008, 02:37:56 pm »

I read through the whole post that you linked us to including the side conversations though I didn't jump out to the LJ blogs or elsewhere.  All I can say is that I'm really glad I found TC first.  The infighting going on over there is enough to make me embarassed to even use the RCR moniker (Don't worry, I'm not re-opening that thread ::grin:: ). 

I actually mentioned the Reformed Recon groups to Erynn when I commented to her about this, and my own coining of 'neo-reconstructionist' to describe what I was doing; she agreed that there's probably something in the water these days. Wink
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« Reply #4: May 07, 2008, 06:25:24 pm »

I actually mentioned the Reformed Recon groups to Erynn when I commented to her about this, and my own coining of 'neo-reconstructionist' to describe what I was doing; she agreed that there's probably something in the water these days. Wink

I think what is the water is that a lot of us have had enough of the "one-true-way" people who seem to dominate many recon-related discussion areas: people who use scholarship not to so much to inform their religious beliefs and practices but as a bat to beat up anyone who does not do things exactly the way they think they should be done. Or who dares to believe that their Gods and religion were not frozen in time a few hundred or thousand years ago.
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« Reply #5: May 07, 2008, 06:55:41 pm »

In regards to the original post you linked to, Finn, being afraid of posting for fear of community censure, I'm not sure we have that situation here.  To the best of my recollection, I haven't seen any of our regular TC members tell anyone that they're flat out practicing wrong (Yes, we did have a drive-by poster vehemently argue that folks in the Cill were doing things wrong, offerings were to be thrown in a bog, the Celts had no altars, etcetera ad nauseum ad infinitum and subsequently got herself a week long gag.  Haven't seen her since.).  If I'm wrong in my perception would someone please let me know?  I value my friendships here far to much to risk losing them over philosophical differences.

From my perspective, everyone posting in here, even folks who don't identify with the adjective Celtic, have been supportive.  We're all aware that we're trying to cobble together a praxis based equally on historical cultures, often divergent, and Unverified Personal Gnosis, sometimes Shared Personal Gnosis, all while attempting to find a way to fit it into a modern lifestyle and perspective.  Because of this I feel that we're all fairly tolerant of differences.  IIRC, it was one of the originally discussed points as to whether RCR should be considered an actual practice or more of an umbrella term for a community of loosely related practices involving Celtic roots.

I read through the whole post that you linked us to including the side conversations though I didn't jump out to the LJ blogs or elsewhere.  All I can say is that I'm really glad I found TC first.  The infighting going on over there is enough to make me embarassed to even use the RCR moniker (Don't worry, I'm not re-opening that thread ::grin:: ). 

I'm not sure what else I have to say about the matter that won't somehow end up negetive or throwing stones in a glass house so I'm just going to leave this post as it is.

I certainly didn't mean to imply that this type of thing is what is going on here; I thought that the issues brought up by the essay are certainly something that I think need to be thought about over here. I also wanted to get some other people's (who aren't necessarily on LJ) thoughts about it, which I seem to be getting. I don't think we're in a situation like this at all, nor do I foresee anything like this occurring anytime soon.

Very nicely put, on all accounts. I'm glad I came here first as well.  Wink
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« Reply #6: May 08, 2008, 04:41:24 pm »

I certainly didn't mean to imply that this type of thing is what is going on here;

I honestly didn't think you had.  The atmosphere here at TC is very much different than that of the LJ community CR's so it's no wonder that this SIG would be markedly different.  Add to that the fact that we started from a less fundamentalist stance adopting instead a "historically informed" viewpoint with plenty of room for UPG and it's no wonder that we're a bit more at ease with each other.

To follow upon what Randall commented on here and Sunflower mentioned in another thread it's more along the lines that what we're doing here is filling in the spectrum between Celtic Recons and Pagan with Knotwork.  I think that's an important niche.  I'm not sure about everyone else but I, for one, have neither the time nor the desire to become a degreed Celtic scholar.  History, while at times intriguing, is not my focus and while learning another language is always useful I'm not in any hurry to learn Gaelic to say nothing of having no current intention to move to another country.  Bloodlines?  I could trot out my pedegree but why?  The gods know who I am (probably better than I do) and have chosen me based on that knowledge not my genetic predisposition.

My focus is on M'Lady and building a relationship with Her.  Knowing Her stories and the culture that told them helps me understand who She is and provides a foundation upon which to build.  It doesn't mean that just because I can't find a reference to a particular type of incense in the admittedly scarce surviving material speaking of Her that I can't use it.  If She tells me She likes it then I'm burning it.

There's a line in an RPG that I like: "When the rules get in the way of having fun, throw out the rules."  I think that statement could be easily modified to "When dogma gets in the way of creating a relationship with the divine, throw out dogma."

Quote from: Finn
Very nicely put, on all accounts. I'm glad I came here first as well.  Wink

Aw, shucks, thanks. Smiley
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« Reply #7: May 08, 2008, 09:54:05 pm »

Any thoughts, especially with regards to how we do things here in the SIG?

I'm really happy that I belong to an eclectic Wiccan Tradition that actually makes it *work*, because then I've always had the freedom to explore and test the boundaries without feeling as though I wasn't going along with the in-crowd. If we were as mired in orthdoxy as some recon groups seem to be, we'd have imploded years ago.

I also like that those of us here in the SIG aren't *too* hung up in the history. Yeah, it's great doing research, and I do want to know what the ancient Irish did (as much as possible), and study the myths, and try to incorporate threads of that into my work... but realistically, most of my experience of deity (specifically Brigit) has been UPG. And realistically, there's a lot about the celts we're just not going to know, given their lack of a writing system early on.

So it's much better, to me, to be doing the work that we're doing trying to build our own viable paths based on what we know than to be mired in debating the "correct" way of doing things all the time. We're paths of "doing" after all. Rituals don't get celebrated through debate, and neither do the gods get honored via arguments.

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« Reply #8: May 12, 2008, 04:50:22 pm »

I think what is the water is that a lot of us have had enough of the "one-true-way" people who seem to dominate many recon-related discussion areas: people who use scholarship not to so much to inform their religious beliefs and practices but as a bat to beat up anyone who does not do things exactly the way they think they should be done. Or who dares to believe that their Gods and religion were not frozen in time a few hundred or thousand years ago.

In my experience it's not just the recon people: one forum I was on has only thrown one person out (it's a very small forum, and the mods jump in to stop discussions getting heated).  That person was a Silver RavenWolf devotee who was convinced that her way was the only way.  The s**t hit the fan when I broadly described the range of paths from Wiccan to Trad and she replied with "people who don't follow the wiccan rede aren't witches".

I was the only Recon/Trad person there, but none of the members followed the wiccan rede.  She eventually got thrown out for using four-letter words with capital letters.
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« Reply #9: May 12, 2008, 04:52:08 pm »

In my experience it's not just the recon people: one forum I was on has only thrown one person out (it's a very small forum, and the mods jump in to stop discussions getting heated).  That person was a Silver RavenWolf devotee who was convinced that her way was the only way.  The s**t hit the fan when I broadly described the range of paths from Wiccan to Trad and she replied with "people who don't follow the wiccan rede aren't witches".

I was the only Recon/Trad person there, but none of the members followed the wiccan rede.  She eventually got thrown out for using four-letter words with capital letters.

We get that now and then here with the SRW fans.  I believe one in particular set the record for quickest bannings.
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« Reply #10: May 12, 2008, 04:57:35 pm »

I'm really happy that I belong to an eclectic Wiccan Tradition that actually makes it *work*, because then I've always had the freedom to explore and test the boundaries without feeling as though I wasn't going along with the in-crowd. If we were as mired in orthdoxy as some recon groups seem to be, we'd have imploded years ago.

I feel you're not being fair here.  One of the forums I'm on is an Irish Trad one.  Three of the four mods are hereditaries from the same family.  I've known them on-line for years, and they know I celebrate the Spring Equinox as the New Year and that I use aromatherapy and astrology as part of my practice.

And they don't care.

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And realistically, there's a lot about the celts we're just not going to know, given their lack of a writing system early on.

And a lot of what is written down was done so by monks and their viewpoint will not be objective.
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« Reply #11: May 12, 2008, 05:12:13 pm »

I feel you're not being fair here.  One of the forums I'm on is an Irish Trad one.  Three of the four mods are hereditaries from the same family.  I've known them on-line for years, and they know I celebrate the Spring Equinox as the New Year and that I use aromatherapy and astrology as part of my practice.

And they don't care.

I think the key word in what you quoted from Karen's post is some.  Not all, not most, not suggesting that this is the norm for recons--but the truth is that some recons do get a little bogged down in orthodoxy.  "A little" being the understatement of the year.  In that regard I think it's perfectly fair, given that there's plenty of room in the statement for recons who don't do that.
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« Reply #12: May 12, 2008, 05:16:37 pm »

I think the key word in what you quoted from Karen's post is some

Fair enough.  It's 22:15 here and my brain is going soft.
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« Reply #13: August 18, 2008, 05:35:58 pm »

I think this has been touched on briefly in the Cill SIG, but I think it's an appropriate discussion for this SIG as well.

Erynn Rowan Laurie's essay on the cr_r LJ community is an interesting and pointed look at the negative atmosphere surrounding CR and its attitude to UPG:
http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/288290.html#cutid1


Any thoughts, especially with regards to how we do things here in the SIG?


In the link on that page he explains the goddess in a very nice way Cheesy Cheesy And it seems he visioned her very well also.
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« Reply #14: October 19, 2008, 11:56:56 pm »

I think this has been touched on briefly in the Cill SIG, but I think it's an appropriate discussion for this SIG as well.

Erynn Rowan Laurie's essay on the cr_r LJ community is an interesting and pointed look at the negative atmosphere surrounding CR and its attitude to UPG:
http://community.livejournal.com/cr_r/288290.html#cutid1


Any thoughts, especially with regards to how we do things here in the SIG?


Thank you for posting the link to the essay on the cr_r LJ community.  I'm in the process of learning about Celtic Recon but at times I've been fairly intimidated by the level of knowledge that others possess and/or the extreme insistence on academic sources for nearly all information.  Don't get me wrong, the rigorous academic nature of CR is one of the things that attracted me to it, but sometimes this seems to become an end in and of itself within the community.
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