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Author Topic: Closed Traditions?  (Read 16279 times)
Waldfrau
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« Reply #45: July 17, 2008, 05:17:03 am »

Can't really say I understand it either. I know 10 years ago what you ran into was that Recons pretty well stayed to themselves. Then there was a slow movement out into more general pagan forums and that's where culture shock set in. I don't think it was really harassing anyone so much as there was a whole lot of bad information out there coming from the 101 books and Recons, because of the nature of their religions, had a better grasp of the scholastic information. You also ran into people who had no earthly idea we existed, so that shock ran both ways.

So, while maybe some harassing went on, it was more a case of correcting bad information. It's not just the opinion on how to worship, but a fundamental ignorance of the nature of the gods themselves (I'll pull the Hekate as Greek crone goddess out here for example). There would also be discussion about methods of worship just because that always comes up.
Thanks for the backround info.

I guess part of the problem is if people confuse facts with religion. Like you have historic facts (or theories based on those facts) of how people worshipped in ancient times, but that doesn't necessarily mean that people have to worship the same way today. Cultural context has changed, people have changed and maybe the deities as well. I don't know and I also don't have a problem with someone seeing things more strictly recon than I do. It's just that I'm sometimes astonished of how heated discussions can get over something you can't proof and force others to accept (how to worship - history you can proof). But I guess it's just religion and that problem runs with eclectics or other religious orientations as well.

It also doesn't annoy me if people simply correct facts, but trying to force someone to believe or practice the 'right' way escapes me. As long as the Gods don't drop tables down with worship laws written on them I don't see any facts there. (And even if they would we'd need proof that the tables were dropped by them and not by someone else.)

Btw, I haven't seen any harassing from Greek Recons yet, but maybe I just haven't managed yet to step into the right land mine for them or I'm in the wrong forum. The exchange with you guys here has been a lot fun mostly. Wink
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« Reply #46: July 17, 2008, 08:01:45 am »

Thanks for the backround info.

I guess part of the problem is if people confuse facts with religion. Like you have historic facts (or theories based on those facts) of how people worshipped in ancient times, but that doesn't necessarily mean that people have to worship the same way today. Cultural context has changed, people have changed and maybe the deities as well. I don't know and I also don't have a problem with someone seeing things more strictly recon than I do. It's just that I'm sometimes astonished of how heated discussions can get over something you can't proof and force others to accept (how to worship - history you can proof). But I guess it's just religion and that problem runs with eclectics or other religious orientations as well.

Well, but you can prove many elements of worship. There are things that are known. Some things can be extrapolated, too. So, that's generally where it can get heated, though I've seen some pretty hot discussions about minutiae. Occasionally you have interpretive stuff, but when I've gotten into those discussions, it becomes really obvious really fast when I'm dealing with a fundie. I've been known to draw parallels between what they're attempting to do and what fundie Christians do.

Quote
It also doesn't annoy me if people simply correct facts, but trying to force someone to believe or practice the 'right' way escapes me. As long as the Gods don't drop tables down with worship laws written on them I don't see any facts there. (And even if they would we'd need proof that the tables were dropped by them and not by someone else.)

Like I said, some of this comes from things that can be proved. Things we do know. And, ultimately I think, it comes down to whether we're even worshiping the same God when the worship and interpretation is so off from the original. I generally think we're not, though I have absolutely nothing but UPG to go on. Is this worth arguing about? Probably not, but humans have been arguing religion for thousands of years and you and I aren't ever going to change that. Smiley

Quote
Btw, I haven't seen any harassing from Greek Recons yet, but maybe I just haven't managed yet to step into the right land mine for them or I'm in the wrong forum. The exchange with you guys here has been a lot fun mostly. Wink

And you won't. Randall and I know the pitfalls of that and won't have the board torn up like that.

Hard core Recons won't generally be here anyway. Most of them won't spend a whole lot of time on general pagan boards. You tend to get a more moderate crowd in these places. And I think that's good. When I first went Greek, you just didn't see many Recons out and about...except Asatruar...and when you finally did, there were adjustments on both sides, but I think everyone benefited. I know the knowledge level went up a lot. Someone may choose to approach the gods in a modern way, but it always helps if they know there's a different way to go about it to (which is, btw, the reason I ended up Recon...modern interpretations were clashing badly with the primary sources I was reading).
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Waldfrau
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« Reply #47: July 18, 2008, 03:57:17 pm »

Well, but you can prove many elements of worship.
Yes, of course there is a lot of proof of how the ancient Greeks or Celts worshipped etc. Sorry if I didn't express myself clearly there. What I meant is that you can't proof that the Gods will get angry if you don't worship like people in ancient times did, so you can't proof how everyone has to worship today. If I'd offer chocolate to Brighid for example, it's quite a different matter to think she might accept it according to the circumstances today than to claim people did this in ancient times. If I'd claim the latter people could certainly proof me wrong (and it would be very benefical to proof wrong such a claim). Smiley
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« Reply #48: July 18, 2008, 05:12:23 pm »

Yes, of course there is a lot of proof of how the ancient Greeks or Celts worshipped etc. Sorry if I didn't express myself clearly there.

No problem. Smiley

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What I meant is that you can't proof that the Gods will get angry if you don't worship like people in ancient times did, so you can't proof how everyone has to worship today.

Nope. You sure can't. Otherwise, I would have expected the Christian god to do a bit of "correction" on some his more fundie followers. *g*
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« Reply #49: July 29, 2008, 01:53:47 pm »


Hi! I have come across this line of thinking actually - in a Dennis Wheatley novel "They used Dark Forces" I think it was; whereby a Voudou Priest called upon Cernunnos to aid him as his father was of European descent. Mind you, his views are very un-PC by todays standards and reflect the attitudes of his time. However, I also came across the reverse being true - (In my reading, sadly, not my own first hand experience!) where Lois Bourne documents her experience of being "Ridden" by a Loa whilst participating in a Voudou Full Moon rite. And how many people utilise Cabbalistic symbolism, knowingly or not, without a drop of jewish blood in them? Doesn't make it any less effective, so I don't think it makes any difference myself. Perhaps coming from a particular cultural background may give you more insight into a particular system or history; but not stunt your experience of the path.
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« Reply #50: July 29, 2008, 06:46:52 pm »

I was on a site I frequent called gaiaonline.

So I googled this gaia online and got an anime role-playing website.   Huh
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« Reply #51: July 29, 2008, 07:42:05 pm »

So I googled this gaia online and got an anime role-playing website.   Huh

What I'm getting (gaiaonline.com) looks more like a social networking site with an anime-ish theme than an RPG.  Such a conversation could just as easily spring up in an MMORPG with a decent ability to chat with other players, though, I suppose.
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« Reply #52: July 29, 2008, 09:26:40 pm »

Btw, I haven't seen any harassing from Greek Recons yet, but maybe I just haven't managed yet to step into the right land mine for them or I'm in the wrong forum. The exchange with you guys here has been a lot fun mostly. Wink

Yeah, what Fox said in response to this.

It's very easy to find, sadly. I've actually been in the crosshairs of a particular individual or four from time to time in the last few months myself.
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« Reply #53: July 30, 2008, 02:49:23 am »

Suggested answer:

Fine, don't break with those laws.  But please do tell me where in those laws it says that "only the people who are descended from such-and-such people are allowed to worship these gods?"  If it does say that somewhere, where do these laws come from?  Are they ancient laws that historical research can verify or were they given to the founder of the tradition by the gods about 20-100 years ago?  If the latter, why is that person's Unverifiable Personal Gnosis any more dependable than my Unverifiable Personal Gnosis?

For that matter, if one is claiming Celtic blood (to use your antagonists' example), most modern people of Celtic descent are also of huge Norse descent to the point where it is impossible to tell the degree of each.  If you're really serious about worshipping the gods of your ancestors only, why aren't all the Celtic Reconstructionists also Asatruar?

Don't forget to mention that at least 70-80% or so of White americans (not to mention those of mixed races), have some Celtic descent.
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« Reply #54: July 30, 2008, 02:58:24 am »

Thanks for the backround info.

I guess part of the problem is if people confuse facts with religion. Like you have historic facts (or theories based on those facts) of how people worshipped in ancient times, but that doesn't necessarily mean that people have to worship the same way today. Cultural context has changed, people have changed and maybe the deities as well. I don't know and I also don't have a problem with someone seeing things more strictly recon than I do. It's just that I'm sometimes astonished of how heated discussions can get over something you can't proof and force others to accept (how to worship - history you can proof). But I guess it's just religion and that problem runs with eclectics or other religious orientations as well.

It also doesn't annoy me if people simply correct facts, but trying to force someone to believe or practice the 'right' way escapes me. As long as the Gods don't drop tables down with worship laws written on them I don't see any facts there. (And even if they would we'd need proof that the tables were dropped by them and not by someone else.)

Btw, I haven't seen any harassing from Greek Recons yet, but maybe I just haven't managed yet to step into the right land mine for them or I'm in the wrong forum. The exchange with you guys here has been a lot fun mostly. Wink

Well, that's the point of a recon religion.  They are reconstructionist.  Basically reconstructing the religion as it was "way back when", at least as well as they possibly can, with lack of info, faulty sources.  They seem to be doing a pretty good job of it though.  Or at least having fun.

Basically unlike most of us, they aren't trying to fill in the blanks of worship of those deities with modern stuff, or stuff snagged from other sources.  They are trying to keep it as "true to heart" as possible.

It doesn't mean that they think anyone else is necessarily wrong in their method of worship, just that they choose to worship as close as possible to the way the (for example) Greeks did.  Or the Norse, or the Celts, or the Native Americans (which is much easier done thatn most recon religions), or the Egyptians, etc.
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« Reply #55: July 30, 2008, 08:34:19 am »

Basically unlike most of us, they aren't trying to fill in the blanks of worship of those deities with modern stuff, or stuff snagged from other sources.  They are trying to keep it as "true to heart" as possible.

A large number of recons are willing to use material they create or borrow to fill in missing pieces of their religion. They are just very clear that they have done so -- that is they clearly state what is new additions instead of treating it all as "what the ancients did."  They also try to fit the new additions carefully into what is known. They add stuff because it is needed and it fits well into the ancient practices they known about, not because it "seems neat."
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« Reply #56: July 31, 2008, 01:55:04 am »

A large number of recons are willing to use material they create or borrow to fill in missing pieces of their religion. They are just very clear that they have done so -- that is they clearly state what is new additions instead of treating it all as "what the ancients did."  They also try to fit the new additions carefully into what is known. They add stuff because it is needed and it fits well into the ancient practices they known about, not because it "seems neat."

I know, I was just saying that recons try to avoid doing that as much as possible.  At least that was the way I understood it from others.  I know that it is going to be necessary to fill in the blanks, because some things just simply aren't known, and maybe won't ever be able to be known (unless of course we invent time travel or something).
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