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Author Topic: Trad, path, religion or other - what's the difference?  (Read 10275 times)
Juni
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« Reply #15: April 23, 2007, 02:40:52 pm »

Shadow's post started a stray train of thought...

There's been a lot of conversation about starting your own religion (surprise with Shadow around :p )
But then I was wondering, what's the difference between a religion, a trad, a path.... is there any basic difference or are they variations on a theme?

Tradition usually refers to Wicca, I know, but then what do you refer to non-wicca religious witchcraft as? Not to mention non-religious, non-wicca witchcraft.

Is it a path if there's more than one person on it, or a religion if there is only one?

Although I'm not sure why I even had that stray thought, but there you go! And I swore I'd stay away from attempted definition conversations Roll Eyes

I think the tradition definition has been covered pretty well, but I wanted to stick my nose in about the difference (for me) between a path and a religion. For me, a religion needs to have stood the test of time. That's one of the reasons I will never call Conair an Cheo a religion- because it's young and untested and in 20 years may not remotely resemble what it is today. A path doesn't need as much weight and testing behind it as a religion does. Does that make sense?
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« Reply #16: April 23, 2007, 03:06:26 pm »

I've found that almost all BTWs who are used to interacting with the broader Pagan community will use the term "BTW" (especially if they are from a BTW tradition other than Gardnerian or Alexandrian) as well as their tradition as they know that otherwise they are likely to be assumed to be non-BTW. They ones who "don't give a flying fork whether you've heard of their trad or not" tend to be the ones that give BTW a bad name -- not because they don't use the term but because all their interactions with other Pagans tend to be on "don't give a flying fork about you" basis.
Yeah, okay - I didn't put that as well as I should have.  I was really thinking of those who say "X tradition, which is one of the BTW trads" if they think the trad name alone won't mean anything, or who readily elaborate if asked.  "As well as" is the key there; BTWs cherish their trads, and IME most would rather say they're Mohsian or Kingstone or whatever and then have to explain it, than omit it.

I know about the other sort you speak of - they're the ones who, when I describe myself as Eclectic (Eclectic anything, not just Eclectic Wiccan), stop hearing what I'm actually saying because they're so sure I'm saying exactly what the last six self-described Eclectics they bothered to listen to (back in '98) said.  I can stand having my misconceptions corrected - even when I have trouble seeing the distinction between my thought and the correction - but geeze, first pay attention to what I said to make sure what correction is needed.

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« Reply #17: April 23, 2007, 03:20:11 pm »

My mistake, I had thought that BTW was a trad separate from trads such as Gardernarian. However I think my point was still made Smiley
Understandable - there's a fair number of folks out there intentionally cultivating that impression, the better to be seen as Real WitchesTM.

Your point was indeed made, and is both excellent and pertinent.

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« Reply #18: June 27, 2007, 02:05:01 am »

Quote
But then I was wondering, what's the difference between a religion, a trad, a path.... is there any basic difference or are they variations on a theme?

Tradition usually refers to Wicca, I know, but then what do you refer to non-wicca religious witchcraft as? Not to mention non-religious, non-wicca witchcraft.

Is it a path if there's more than one person on it, or a religion if there is only one?

Wow, now you made me think.  To me, a "religion" infers the worship of deities and set core of beliefs.  A tradition in Wicca (as others have said) is a "denomination" of Wicca, for example Gardnerian.  I'm not sure how people who practice other religions would use that  term.  My "path" is my own personal spiritual journey, the White Lotus Path. 

Since I left Wicca and have been identifying as a Solitary Shamanic Witch, I'm not sure what my "religion" is anymore.  Is it "Shamanic Witchcraft"?  How could that be, when we all have very different beliefs and practices?  What about just "Witchcraft"?  Again, that could mean so many different things to different people, so that wouldn't be right.  I guess I have practice an "unnamed Pagan" religion?  Although that doesn't really tell you anything either.  Erf...

Any ideas?
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« Reply #19: June 27, 2007, 09:31:01 am »

Wow, now you made me think.  To me, a "religion" infers the worship of deities and set core of beliefs.  A tradition in Wicca (as others have said) is a "denomination" of Wicca, for example Gardnerian.  I'm not sure how people who practice other religions would use that  term.  My "path" is my own personal spiritual journey, the White Lotus Path. 


TribalCat,
Please leave the full quote tag intact. Since there was know link back in the quote I had to go back to a previous page skimming posts to see who you were replying to. In this case the post you replied to was from way back in April.
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« Reply #20: June 27, 2007, 08:14:34 pm »

Shadow's post started a stray train of thought...

There's been a lot of conversation about starting your own religion (surprise with Shadow around :p )

Yeah, she seems to be good at that, huh?

Quote from: Purplewitch
But then I was wondering, what's the difference between a religion, a trad, a path.... is there any basic difference or are they variations on a theme?

Well, I missed this thread earlier... so..

Religion I've always seen as a man-made structure of values and behaviors which one subscribes to.  Because they are man-made they are not perfect but they do provide a valuable service in creating a moral structure within which a society finds the capability of working together.  A tradition to me would be a subset of a particular religion emphasizing/de-emphasizing various points of the main religion in a manner which works for a select group.

Spirituality, for me, has nothing to do with religion.  To me it's the relationship one has with however one defines the Divine.

A path is the journey an individual takes through their lifetime weaving through and amongst religion, tradition and spirituality.

There.  Clear as Tarkalian glass....
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« Reply #21: August 24, 2007, 10:14:47 pm »

There's been a lot of conversation about starting your own religion (surprise with Shadow around :p )
But then I was wondering, what's the difference between a religion, a trad, a path.... is there any basic difference or are they variations on a theme?

I use "tradition" to describe the style in which I "do" my religion. I'm a member of Asphodel, which is an eclectic, polytheist, recon-derived, Pagan tradition. We've got a specific way of doing things that distinguishes us from other Pagans who share the same key beliefs. I consider folks who share those key beliefs to be the same religion as me, but they worship in a different tradition.

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« Reply #22: October 23, 2007, 12:20:02 pm »

Shadow's post started a stray train of thought...

There's been a lot of conversation about starting your own religion (surprise with Shadow around :p )
But then I was wondering, what's the difference between a religion, a trad, a path.... is there any basic difference or are they variations on a theme?

Tradition usually refers to Wicca, I know, but then what do you refer to non-wicca religious witchcraft as? Not to mention non-religious, non-wicca witchcraft.

Is it a path if there's more than one person on it, or a religion if there is only one?

Although I'm not sure why I even had that stray thought, but there you go! And I swore I'd stay away from attempted definition conversations Roll Eyes

Like Star, I usually refer to the term Tradition like Denomination.  I usually refer to other Pagan religions as that, I do sometime call them traditions, both are interchangable to me.

As for those who practice just magic, (non-religious, non-wicca witchcraft) I consider it what it is... a craft or practice, or a way of life.

I really don't see any problem with 'starting your own religion'. I don't really like the phrase though, because unless you are spreading it to the masses, does it really need to be called a religion. I would rather call it spirituality, but that is just me.

The point is really that you can believe whatever you want, and since they are YOUR beliefs, I think you can call them whatever you want.

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« Reply #23: October 23, 2007, 12:49:43 pm »

(It's been a while, so I'm not sure I'm not repeating myself here.  Please forgive me if I am...)

I really don't see any problem with 'starting your own religion'. I don't really like the phrase though, because unless you are spreading it to the masses, does it really need to be called a religion. I would rather call it spirituality, but that is just me.

I don't see religion and spirituality as the same thing, though.  I think I once referred to spirituality as the conversation between oneself and whatever's out there, and religion as the words to describe the conversation.  I still feel like that's a relatively accurate description of what the terms mean to me; religion is structure and expression and external things, and spirituality is connection and emotion and internal things.

Whether that means religion needs a community or not is debatable--I don't feel it does, but I know others feel differently--but if it does, I don't think "spirituality" is necessarily the right word for the individual form of the external stuff.  (Then again, I don't have a better suggestion, so...)
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« Reply #24: October 23, 2007, 03:11:25 pm »

I really don't see any problem with 'starting your own religion'. I don't really like the phrase though, because unless you are spreading it to the masses, does it really need to be called a religion. I would rather call it spirituality, but that is just me.


So, it's not a religion unless one intends to proselytize?  That leaves out a huge number of Pagan faiths.

And like Star said, there's a difference between "religion" and "spirituality."  In scholarly terms, "religion" is the structure that springs up in order to translate myths (sacred narratives) into meaningful experience for humans -- the prayers, the rituals, the worship, the theology, etc.  "Spirituality" implies something much less concrete.
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« Reply #25: October 23, 2007, 04:23:23 pm »

So, it's not a religion unless one intends to proselytize?  That leaves out a huge number of Pagan faiths.

I wouldn't agree that a religion can only be a religion if it's being "spread amongst the masses" or some such, but I personally hesitate to call a religious path a "religion" unless it has more than one person, because for many religion connotes community, which is a little hard if it's just one person.
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« Reply #26: October 23, 2007, 04:53:32 pm »

I wouldn't agree that a religion can only be a religion if it's being "spread amongst the masses" or some such, but I personally hesitate to call a religious path a "religion" unless it has more than one person, because for many religion connotes community, which is a little hard if it's just one person.

I think the unmarked, unqualified term "religion" does indeed *connote* community, but I also think that "personal religion" is a perfectly reasonable concept. 
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« Reply #27: October 23, 2007, 04:55:17 pm »

I think the unmarked, unqualified term "religion" does indeed *connote* community, but I also think that "personal religion" is a perfectly reasonable concept. 

Oh, I agree, but I think that sometimes the differentiation needs to be made.
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« Reply #28: October 24, 2007, 12:30:43 am »

I wouldn't agree that a religion can only be a religion if it's being "spread amongst the masses" or some such, but I personally hesitate to call a religious path a "religion" unless it has more than one person, because for many religion connotes community, which is a little hard if it's just one person.

I agree here. I have no problem with the term religion. I do call my own personal spirituality a religion. I guess I just don't hold the term religion to such a ridged standard of ways and practices. I see the term religion as defined as a way you commune with you Divine, whatever that may be....But I guess that could also be a definition for the term spirituality. This is just my personal opinion though.

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« Reply #29: October 24, 2007, 01:59:15 pm »

what's the difference between a religion, a trad, a path.... is there any basic difference or are they variations on a theme?
Is it a path if there's more than one person on it, or a religion if there is only one?


Religion is the umbrella term, even more so than "Paganism" for example

Tradition is a set path with many followers, generally established by a religious leader

Path is a unique set of ways established by personal experience

If religion is the unbrella term, then yes, one person could follow it and it would still be considered as such
Path as a specific set of ways for more than one individual would probably lean more into the Trad label...

But all of this is just my humble opinion...
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