Gods and Goddesses

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Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Mon May 25, 2009 9:25 pm

So, over the years of talking to pagan folks here and there I've heard a lot about being chosen by various gods and goddesses and what that was like. I wasn't sure if I should put this under debate or learn-about so if you think it's in the wrong place please move it. What about folks who haven't been 'chosen' by a god or goddess? Can they still be Pagan? Can they be Pagan and follow no particular god, or can they 'pick' god(s) they like in their thoughts and devote themselves to them?

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Mon May 25, 2009 10:14 pm

It's a two way street. I see no problem with folks dedicating to a god or goddess that calls to them, even if it isn't a literal choosing. People are pagan if they call themselves pagan. That doesn't mean they are a good pagan or a bad pagan however.
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Tue May 26, 2009 7:29 am

Being a Pagan doesn't mean that a god or gods have chosen you. I think it just means that you have chosen a non-Abrahamic religion or world view. There are plenty of people who follow a religion and worship one or more gods without ever having contact with them. As long as that works for the person, great!

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue May 26, 2009 8:51 am

gillyflower wrote:Being a Pagan doesn't mean that a god or gods have chosen you. I think it just means that you have chosen a non-Abrahamic religion or world view. There are plenty of people who follow a religion and worship one or more gods without ever having contact with them. As long as that works for the person, great!

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue May 26, 2009 12:03 pm

NeoPaganism is all things to all people except when it isn't...

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Tue May 26, 2009 12:11 pm

Why do you call people NeoPagans when they don't call themselves that? Do you self identify as a NeoPagan? Do you call the Celtic Reconstructionists NeoCelts?

I think that you use it as an insult correct?


Last edited by gillyflower on Tue May 26, 2009 12:15 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Tue May 26, 2009 12:14 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:
gillyflower wrote:Being a Pagan doesn't mean that a god or gods have chosen you. I think it just means that you have chosen a non-Abrahamic religion or world view. There are plenty of people who follow a religion and worship one or more gods without ever having contact with them. As long as that works for the person, great!

Shocked

So I really AM pagan! Very Happy

Yep. These days it is sort of limited to religions that came out of Europe, ie. Wicca and Asatru, etc., but pagan if you look it up in dictionaries:

"One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially a worshiper of a polytheistic religion."

From the Free Online Dictionary.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue May 26, 2009 12:15 pm

I am Pagan, not into the label Neopagan, the only thing Neo about my Paganism is me. Since what I interact with is surly much older.

And Tiger........................................I KNEW IT!!!!!!! Very Happy Razz

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Tue May 26, 2009 12:55 pm

I'm sure they are out there but I have never run across a person who called themselves NeoPagans. Or called themself NeoWiccans, NeoCelts, NeoAsatrus, or NeoBuddhists.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue May 26, 2009 12:55 pm

gillyflower wrote:
TigersEyeDowsing wrote:
gillyflower wrote:Being a Pagan doesn't mean that a god or gods have chosen you. I think it just means that you have chosen a non-Abrahamic religion or world view. There are plenty of people who follow a religion and worship one or more gods without ever having contact with them. As long as that works for the person, great!

Shocked

So I really AM pagan! Very Happy

Yep. These days it is sort of limited to religions that came out of Europe, ie. Wicca and Asatru, etc., but pagan if you look it up in dictionaries:

"One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially a worshiper of a polytheistic religion."

From the Free Online Dictionary.

Ah - I never realized the definition for Pagan was essentially the same as "heathen". That's really neat!

MaineCaptain wrote:I am Pagan, not into the label Neopagan, the only thing Neo about my Paganism is me. Since what I interact with is surly much older.

And Tiger........................................I KNEW IT!!!!!!! Very Happy Razz

cheers LoLFlag

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Tue May 26, 2009 12:57 pm

I think the heathens started using Heathen to distance themselves from the rest of us fluffy NeoPagans.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Tue May 26, 2009 1:04 pm

gillyflower wrote:I think the heathens started using Heathen to distance themselves from the rest of us fluffy NeoPagans.

Damn neogpagan. I'm going to start using "Neoheathen" just for spite. Laughing

As I've always said, I may be a pantheist, but I'm just pagan at heart.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue May 26, 2009 2:10 pm

Hysterical neo Heathen, watch it you might get splatted or something Laughing

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Tue May 26, 2009 2:37 pm

Can I be a NeoWoman, please? Smile

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Genocon on Tue May 26, 2009 7:55 pm

gillyflower wrote:I'm sure they are out there but I have never run across a person who called themselves NeoPagans. Or called themself NeoWiccans, NeoCelts, NeoAsatrus, or NeoBuddhists.

I've only ever heard "Neo-Wiccan" come from old-guard traditional Wiccans, usually to describe anybody who doesn't follow their tradition.
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Genocon on Tue May 26, 2009 7:56 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:What about folks who haven't been 'chosen' by a god or goddess? Can they still be Pagan? Can they be Pagan and follow no particular god, or can they 'pick' god(s) they like in their thoughts and devote themselves to them?

God, I hope so. Otherwise I wouldn't be hanging out here.
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Tue May 26, 2009 8:19 pm

Eh. I view these things as mostly SD type titles, anyway.
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by John T Mainer on Tue May 26, 2009 9:12 pm

Heathens have been quietly getting away with self describing with the term for so long that even most Pagans know who we are when we identify as Heathen.

It may have once meant the same as Pagan, but once we moved in we totally redecorated, customized everything, and now it has been totally made over into our image.

We managed to stake claim so slick and so smooth that even the Christians are a little bewildered that much of the secular community now recognizes Heathen not as the Christian insult to all of the community, but a descriptive for our cozy corner of it.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue May 26, 2009 9:44 pm

gillyflower wrote:Why do you call people NeoPagans when they don't call themselves that? Do you self identify as a NeoPagan? Do you call the Celtic Reconstructionists NeoCelts?

I think that you use it as an insult correct?

Well CR's either refer to themselves as such, or Celtic Reconstructionist Polytheists (CRP), or Gaelic Recon Poly (GRP), Paganachd(t), or any other number of names depending on the tradition one belongs to. So, for example, I am a GRP of the Fálachus tradition.

As far as neoCelts go, there are some who refer to themselves as such, its kind of silly since there are existing Celtic cultures and communities. As far as the neo-Pagan label goes, I switch it up between Pagan, Neo-Pagan, NeoPagan, I understand what I mean.

As far as something like NeoWicca however, that actually describes a particular segment of the Wiccan population, which is outside core Wicca, but not watered down enough to be Wiccanesque. Its all a mater of perspective.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue May 26, 2009 9:50 pm

In regards to the originakl question, it is wholly dependent on how ones defines Pagan to begin with, as it is not a religion in and of itself but rather a grouping of self identified people, you're going to get a variety of answers. I have met people who were panentheist who considered themselves Pagan, Atheist Pagans, and so on...

I think it depends, some people are drawn to Paganism for reasons other than a belief the Gods have called them. I do not believe it is a prerequisite to have been called so to speak, but it certainly helps Wink

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Tue May 26, 2009 10:08 pm

Gorm_Sionnach wrote:
gillyflower wrote:Why do you call people NeoPagans when they don't call themselves that? Do you self identify as a NeoPagan? Do you call the Celtic Reconstructionists NeoCelts?

I think that you use it as an insult correct?

Well CR's either refer to themselves as such, or Celtic Reconstructionist Polytheists (CRP), or Gaelic Recon Poly (GRP), Paganachd(t), or any other number of names depending on the tradition one belongs to. So, for example, I am a GRP of the Fálachus tradition.

As far as neoCelts go, there are some who refer to themselves as such, its kind of silly since there are existing Celtic cultures and communities. As far as the neo-Pagan label goes, I switch it up between Pagan, Neo-Pagan, NeoPagan, I understand what I mean.

As far as something like NeoWicca however, that actually describes a particular segment of the Wiccan population, which is outside core Wicca, but not watered down enough to be Wiccanesque. Its all a mater of perspective.

No it doesn't. I am a Wiccan and the only people who use NeoWicca are sneering at people who aren't in their tradition - and most likely the sneerer will be BTW. Wiccanesque is also an insulting term used by Wiccans to describe people who don't practice the religion the way they think they should or don't hold to core principles that they think they should. It is like the Evangelicals sneering at the Catholics and calling them non-Christians. These are insults by Wiccans aimed at Wiccans. In-house insults as it were.

That probably holds true for the rest of the Neo- labels, don't you think?

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by MaineCaptain on Tue May 26, 2009 10:13 pm

I do not consider it an insult from you Gorm, but as Gilly said, a lot of the time it is used as a derogative. And I have never like the neo.
Pagan a lone works quite well. And technically every faith has been new in its own time, even if it thousands of years old, since those practising it are new in the sense that they are alive today.

And in this vain, Christianity could be called Neo Christianity, The same for every other faith Poly or Mono.
At least that is how I view it . Smile

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Tue May 26, 2009 11:16 pm

I understand, no offense intended. Though I do not believe that Creaky (which incidentally is where I picked up the differentiation) was using it to establish some sort of hierarchy, merely the developmental history of Wicca...

Yes I think that Wiccanesque and NeoWiccan could be seen as pejorative.

as far as the "Neo" Label goes, I've seen it argued that it is supposed to be a method of differentiating between the historic "Pagans" and modern Pagans, depending on context it makes sense, makes no sense, is ambivalent.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Wed May 27, 2009 8:48 am

I know I have gotten cranky as I've aged about people who label other people in order to create an "us vs. them" scenario and/or in order to diminish the "them." When you talk about, as Creaky did, the changes within an umbrella community, sometimes labels are helpful within that context but more often they are used as pejoratives by one group who are using it instead of "true followers" and "the big old fakes." They think by using neo-something instead gets them past the monitors and that no one can complain about the slur. Passive aggressiveness at it's finest.

I do understand the problem that within any umbrella community you are going to have the nuts and the crazies. Look at any of them - Christians, Wiccans, you name it. My feelings about it is, instead of trying to kick them out of the religion - which, by the way, I've never seen work - just say they are crazy or that their beliefs are not your own or that's not what your tradition believes or does or whatever.

Which brings up this: what do you personally do about all the other people in your religion that don't believe what you do? Is it your business to correct them? Is it your business to distance yourself from them? How do you do that?

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Wed May 27, 2009 10:23 am

gillyflower wrote:I know I have gotten cranky as I've aged about people who label other people in order to create an "us vs. them" scenario and/or in order to diminish the "them." When you talk about, as Creaky did, the changes within an umbrella community, sometimes labels are helpful within that context but more often they are used as pejoratives by one group who are using it instead of "true followers" and "the big old fakes." They think by using neo-something instead gets them past the monitors and that no one can complain about the slur. Passive aggressiveness at it's finest.

I do understand the problem that within any umbrella community you are going to have the nuts and the crazies. Look at any of them - Christians, Wiccans, you name it. My feelings about it is, instead of trying to kick them out of the religion - which, by the way, I've never seen work - just say they are crazy or that their beliefs are not your own or that's not what your tradition believes or does or whatever.

Which brings up this: what do you personally do about all the other people in your religion that don't believe what you do? Is it your business to correct them? Is it your business to distance yourself from them? How do you do that?

Well since Fálachus has... guidelines, anything which contradicts those guidelines is not Fálachus and therefore corrections can and should be made to anyone claiming membership but acting contrary. CR (and Reconstructionism in general) has an interpretative framework, we have the sources on which to base our understanding and evaluate UPG, which to be understood as valid in the CR context, needs to reflect the information in the sources, if something is contrary to what we know, it is generally seen as incorrect, again in its specific context.

I think correction can become necessary only when they are holding themselves to be CR, but speaking in a way which contradicts the sources, and holding their view to be authoritative. When there is an established base from which to work, pointing out what is contrary or factually incorrect is a lot easier than something which is understood as self defined.

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