What I'd like to see

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What I'd like to see

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:06 am

I've no reason to expect any shenanigans from most of the users currently on the site, however for those who I do not give the benefit of the doubt...

This is the appropriate place to debate and criticize the merits and drawbacks of the various Reconstructionist religions, be they: Asatru, Religio Romana, Hellenissimos, Celtic Reconstructionism, Slavic Reconstructionism, Kemetic Reconstructionism, Spaecraft or any other such religious, linguistic and cultural traditions.

All are welcome to post, all are wlecome to respond. Dissent, discord and disagreement are the stock and trade of this board, but I ask that you follow the forum rules and above all keep it civil.

Gorm.

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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Mon Apr 13, 2009 2:14 pm

Civil?

Wink
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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:51 am

Civility or face the dire consequences (i.e. I ask you to be civil again)Rules!

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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue Apr 14, 2009 7:56 am

Whip

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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:35 am

Gosh, I'll try anyway..... Evil Grin
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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue Apr 14, 2009 1:36 pm

hee

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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by AutumnalTone on Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:48 pm

I've sort of landed as a Canaanite Neoconstructionist. Can I play here?
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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue Apr 14, 2009 8:56 pm

neo constructionist?

All are welcome to play in my sandbox.

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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:53 pm

Yes, crow. Explain this thing called neo-constructionist. We love learning more!
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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by AutumnalTone on Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:52 am

Well, it's new to me...the term popped into my head during a discussion on a Canaanite list that I've been lurking on for some time.

This was my first run at explaining it. I'll be fine tuning the explanation as I go along, of course.

She said:
>I really don't know how much of a recon I consider myself--I go back
>and forth about the issue-- but I do try where possible to do my
>homework... I guess I just do what I do; some will call
>that "reconstructionism" and some won't. Of course, there are also
>aspects I either cannot or would not want to reconstruct: Bronze
>Age theocracy, slavery, daily animal sacrifices, fewer women's
>rights than what we have now, et cetera. A fellow on another list,
>Edward, said: "Reconstruction is not a prison, it's an instrument."
>I like that idea, and I'm currently exploring what that means or can
>mean to me.

I said:
"I've figured out that I'm drawn strongly enough to the
Canaanite pantheon that I can identify as a Canaanite. I figure I'm a
Canaanite Neoconstructionist, though."

"By that, I mean that I'm looking to build a thoroughly
modern/postmodern practice that draws on historical Canaanite
practice. This isn't the sort of syncretism exhibited by many
eclectic Pagans and the like, which involves seeing something that
looks interesting and tossing it on a pile with all the other shiny
things from many other historic religions. It involves taking
everything that I can learn from the scholars about Canaanite
practice and distilling the essence into the vessels of the modern
structure. So, while I expect to end up with won't be a
reconstruction of ancient practice, it also won't be a Wiccanesque
flavor-of-the-month "tradition." It should be recognizable as
clearly Canaanite by other Canaanite Pagans. Or so I hope."

"So, I think my constructionism is akin to discriminating
reconstruction (which is how I would term what you described),
stepping beyond it to inject Canaanite content into modern ritual
structures (which don't resemble Wiccan rituals). It's a pity so many
of the texts I looked up at Borders today cost so damned much...."

[Note: many of the texts on Canaanite religion are reallyreallyespensive--textbooks priced over $200. Ouch! Couldn't I have been drawn to a less expensive pantheon?]
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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by John T Mainer on Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:47 pm

Well that sounds less like neo-reconstructionist than real reconstructionist.

You intend to seek out the fundamentals of Canaanite practice, theology, and thought, and build a practice that is true to the ancient essence, but with relevance to the modern world.

Your attempts to use the best modern scholarship on their ancient practices and bring forward the essence of that does you credit. Believe it or not Gorm doesn't sit in a round straw Rath with the hounds gnawing on bones in the rushes, and I'm not typing this in a smoky longhall of timber, with my guests sleeping beneath their dining benches, and goats cavorting happily on the roof.

We all adapt our practice to modern times. I have only performed one animal sacrifice, and that was last Althing. Unless you are feasting large numbers, it isn't really feasible. We offer symble as appropriate for small family rituals, because that is what we have most frequently.

Our ancestors were constantly adapting their own practice to the changing of their own times; they would not expect you to be an imitation of them, but rather an expression of your shared belief that is as relavant to your own time, as theirs was to them.

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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:12 am

That's why, to me, the question in reconstructing a manner of practice of my ancestors is only partly answered by "what did they do".

While I will admit that John's scenario above does occasionally hold some appeal, it is not a realistic manner of life for any but the most dedicated in our modern world.

A question just as important, if not more so is "what would they do".

all
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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by AutumnalTone on Thu Apr 16, 2009 11:14 am

I think the difference, as I see it, is that I'm approaching the whole thing from the modern end first. Instead of trying to recreate faithfully a Canaanite ritual, I'm seeking to create a modern ritual structure and then infuse it with Canaanite content.

That may be how many reconstructionists go about their pursuit. I view reconstructionism as trying to reconstruct the historic as a start, and then pare off what doesn't fit with the modern--coming at it from the other direction.

Of course, I'm not well-versed in the operations of the greater recon community, so I can't speak with any great knowledge on the matter. There may be many who approach it as I do. I just figured it better not to claim recon status if what I'm doing doesn't fit.
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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:19 pm

I've posted this elsewhere, but I find the four points stated by Bill Linzie quite useful in outlining what Reconstructionism is, methodologically.


  1. There is no attempt to recreate a combined pan-European paganism.
  2. Researchers attempt to stay within research guidelines developed
    over the course of the past century for handling documentation
    generated in the time periods that they are studying.
  3. A multi-disciplinary approach is utilized capitalizing on results
    from various fields as historical literary research, anthropology,
    religious history, political history, archeology, forensic
    anthropology, historical sociology, etc. with an overt attempt to avoid
    pseudo-sciences.
  4. There are serious attempts to recreate culture, politics, science
    and art of the period in order to better understand the environment
    within which the religious beliefs were practiced.
There are of course caveats depending on the branch of Reconstructionism one is referring to. Something which is not listed here is the inclusion of the living cultural traditions, especially folkloric aspects, something that is a core part of CR. In terms of meshing the modern with the ancient, there seems to be some agreement about how much is acceptable, i.e. I have not yet met a Recon who has (seriously) advocated for the reestablishing of human sacrifice. I have seen adaptations of modern forms, i.e. substituting a human being with plant's which represent the associated humans body parts (something which is existent in the Celtic material). There are legal and ethical limits to which of the more "problematic" aspects can be reconstructed. Animal sacrifice is another issue, however it has been my experience that Recons tend to be more comfortable with it than neoPagans generally. Of course culture is not static and cultures change over time, it is not unreasonable to expect this (it is one of the reasons that folk traditions are embraced by CR's).

One of the practical ways in which to address the modern vs ancient issue is asking what the practice look like now had history gone another way. It is highly speculative, but keeping in mind the four guidelines, it can be a useful exercise.

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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by AutumnalTone on Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:02 pm

Gorm_Sionnach wrote:

  1. There is no attempt to recreate a combined pan-European paganism.
  2. Researchers attempt to stay within research guidelines developed....
  3. A multi-disciplinary approach is utilized capitalizing on results ....
  4. There are serious attempts to recreate culture, politics, science
    and art of the period in order to better understand the environment
    within which the religious beliefs were practiced.

#1. I'm not doing anything European. Heh. I'm not looking for anything pan-Ancient Near East, either, so I guess I meet that one.

#2. I'm drawing on the research of scholars whose work it is to dig into the ANE cultures, specifically those working on Canaanites.

#3. As with #2.

#4. That's essential to making the modern practice Canaanite in essence.

I suddenly don't feel as lonely! I'm not a lone weirdo! Woohoo!
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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by John T Mainer on Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:14 pm

Naah, you are wierdo in good and full company. Welcome Very Happy

All hit the important question on the head, what would they do? They were modern folk in their own time, so you have to assume they would practice in a fashion consistent with their modern culture were they in continuous practice today.

All and I are not wanabe Vikings, but modern men, productive and active citizens in our own community. We are also Asatru. You can be a modern Canaanite, using your own language, the tools that are familiar to you; just as the Canaanites used their own language, and tools that were familiar to them.

Sometimes we err in holding ourselves to standards that our ancestors simply would have shaken their heads at and laughed. It really shouldn't be complicated, it is after all, natural.

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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:30 pm

Yeah, sorry about the non inclusivness of 1, I was posting verbatim.

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Re: What I'd like to see

Post by AutumnalTone on Tue May 05, 2009 4:51 pm

I've read quite a bit of Wilber and I find the approach he takes to human development and spirituality interesting. I'm thinking that taking the best information we have that bears on supporting human development and spirituality and infusing it with the essence of the Canaanite experience will provide me with a vibrant experience and something worth sharing with others.

I suspect I'm guilty of not making it as natural a process as it was for the ancestors. I tend to make lots of things much more cerebral than necessary, though that seems to be the way I absorb them best. I'll have to work out the grand outline, then structure the components, then infuse them with the juicy goodness, climb in and see how it feels, then approach the gods with it all and see how they respond.
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Re: What I'd like to see

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