Gods and Goddesses

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Willowcreek70633 on Sat May 30, 2009 11:48 pm

Yes, I too understand what you and gilly have been talking about. I must apologize for the true story, but maybe the meaning of "community" has changed from 50yrs ago? I believe it has. Our community back then looked out for each other, you could bop one of us kids, we had a tendancy back then to listen to the old ones, you could play outside from early AM to late at night, you could visit others (sometimes on their stoops, rarely in their homes)....for our homes were where all of our cultural ways were, private and secure within the FAMILIES.
Our diversities, within race/gender/religion/and ethnictisity....made up our community.
So my understanding of what you are saying is: If the new kid on the block wants to be Gary, or Merv...thats what you call him! If you hear his mother call him Shirlie, then you UNDERSTAND why the new kid wants to be called Gary or Merv! You may tease him, you may laugh and heckle him, and tell the whole gang his name is Shirlie, there may be tears or an all out fight....but back in the day....10seconds later you'd be playing paper, scissors, rock to find out whose it for Tag. And the next time you heard his mother call him Shirlie, you would have compassion, and respect him, because he's your friend.
Am I close?
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Gorm_Sionnach on Sat May 30, 2009 11:59 pm

Willowcreek70633 wrote:Yes, I too understand what you and gilly have been talking about. I must apologize for the true story, but maybe the meaning of "community" has changed from 50yrs ago? I believe it has. Our community back then looked out for each other, you could bop one of us kids, we had a tendancy back then to listen to the old ones, you could play outside from early AM to late at night, you could visit others (sometimes on their stoops, rarely in their homes)....for our homes were where all of our cultural ways were, private and secure within the FAMILIES.
Our diversities, within race/gender/religion/and ethnictisity....made up our community.
So my understanding of what you are saying is: If the new kid on the block wants to be Gary, or Merv...thats what you call him! If you hear his mother call him Shirlie, then you UNDERSTAND why the new kid wants to be called Gary or Merv! You may tease him, you may laugh and heckle him, and tell the whole gang his name is Shirlie, there may be tears or an all out fight....but back in the day....10seconds later you'd be playing paper, scissors, rock to find out whose it for Tag. And the next time you heard his mother call him Shirlie, you would have compassion, and respect him, because he's your friend.
Am I close?

There are all manners of community, there are local communities (i.e. neighborhoods) there are religious, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, fandom, political, etc, people congregate together for all sorts of reasons, be they adherence to similar principles or an "accident" of location so to speak. So the context of what you mean when you say community is important, and context is important in general.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Sun May 31, 2009 12:09 am

Gorm, communities (sects) can define themselves but if you have a good thing, and people remain rugged individuals with their own ideas who have an inability to get along all the time, the sects will split, and individuals and new sects will claim to fall under the umbrella. If you look at the history of the umbrella term Wicca, the sects who first used the term weren't able to protect it, nor were the second group of sects who used it, and most likely it hasn't stopped changing yet, just as the religion hasn't stopped changing and growing. The same goes for Christianity and many other umbrella terms. IMO history will repeat itself unless you remain very small.

I liked the true story, Dee. Yes, you are right. Smile

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Sun May 31, 2009 12:19 am

Even Christian Science segmented and split. Ms. Eddy tried her DAMNDEST to keep it solitary. We split into other groups who called ourselves "Christian Scientists" but eventually we did drop the umbrella term and coined our own, New Thought. Then we became Unitics, Divine Scientists, and Ernest Holmes later created Religious Science; Johnnie Cole created Universal Foundation for Better Living and there are others, smaller.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by AutumnalTone on Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:34 am

gillyflower wrote:Unfortunately, Gorm, you don't get to decide whether or not the terms you apply to other people are pejoratives. They do.


I'll disagree with that as a general statement.

In some contexts, such as race relations in the US, that applies. In other contexts, it doesn't. The term "colored," for instance, can be claimed to be pejorative due to its history--when it came to be used it WAS a pejorative, used to denote an inferior status on part of those it was used to describe. Thus, black folk could rightly claim it was pejorative and impolite to use.

In other contexts, however, folks can't choose whether a word is pejorative or not. Take the term "Neopagan," for instance. That term arose with more than one meaning: one, to indicate somebody who is a modern Pagan (and not Shinto or Hindu or any other widely-recognized, long-existent Pagan religion); two, to indicate somebody who is a modern Pagan and not reconstructing an ancient cultural belief system. That some use the term when speaking of practices/persons they have no respect for does nothing to alter the purely descriptive origins of the term. As the term originated as purely descriptive and is still used for the original purpose, one doesn't get to claim that it has suddenly become a pejorative that nobody can use for anything else.

I've encountered people online who think the word "Neopagan" is the worst insult they can fling at others. Doesn't mean a thing. I'm Neopagan under both of the usages I noted above (as even my reconstruction research serves post-modern ends).

In general, a term that denotes difference does not denote any other quality and cannot be said to be a pejorative, despite the sloppy thinking of those who would make it so.

A term also doesn't stretch to cover something simply because somebody wants it to do so. There is a specific meaning to "Wicca," for example. If one wishes to be Wiccan, then one does what Wiccans do--as defined by the already existing Wiccans. If one does something different, then one should expect to not be recognized as Wiccan; newcomers don't get to say "this is Wiccan, too"--that's for the existing Wiccans to decide. That what one does is similar only means it can be recognized as similar to Wicca. That's not to say it's bad. That's just to note that it's different in some essential fashion.

I consider it quite rude for folks to show up and try to stretch a term to cover what they do without regard to a recognized meaning. I'm still unsure that what I intend to do with my Canaanite studies qualifies as reconstruction and only use the term because other recon folk told me it fits under the recon umbrella. It would have been rude of me to claim to be a recon without knowing that what I do fits under the recognized meaning of the term. Corresponding to that, I view those folks who claim to be Wiccan without fitting under the originally-recognized meaning to be rude. That, however, doesn't mean that I use NeoWiccan or Wiccanesque as a pejorative when referring to them.
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by John T Mainer on Thu Jun 04, 2009 11:53 am

In many cases some of us lay claim to the pejorative, and raise it now as our adopted banner. I am a Heathen, at one time that was an insult thrown by Christians at those they felt were unbelievers, but now it has been claimed by the Asatru/Odinist as our own.

In just the same way did the gays take queer from being a pejorative, and claim it for their own community. Words are like currency, they are worth what the consensus agrees they are worth, and what is coined in spite can be cashed for the good.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:33 pm

SeventhCrow wrote:
gillyflower wrote:Unfortunately, Gorm, you don't get to decide whether or not the terms you apply to other people are pejoratives. They do.


I'll disagree with that as a general statement.

In some contexts, such as race relations in the US, that applies. In other contexts, it doesn't. The term "colored," for instance, can be claimed to be pejorative due to its history--when it came to be used it WAS a pejorative, used to denote an inferior status on part of those it was used to describe. Thus, black folk could rightly claim it was pejorative and impolite to use.

In other contexts, however, folks can't choose whether a word is pejorative or not. Take the term "Neopagan," for instance. That term arose with more than one meaning: one, to indicate somebody who is a modern Pagan (and not Shinto or Hindu or any other widely-recognized, long-existent Pagan religion); two, to indicate somebody who is a modern Pagan and not reconstructing an ancient cultural belief system. That some use the term when speaking of practices/persons they have no respect for does nothing to alter the purely descriptive origins of the term. As the term originated as purely descriptive and is still used for the original purpose, one doesn't get to claim that it has suddenly become a pejorative that nobody can use for anything else.

I've encountered people online who think the word "Neopagan" is the worst insult they can fling at others. Doesn't mean a thing. I'm Neopagan under both of the usages I noted above (as even my reconstruction research serves post-modern ends).

In general, a term that denotes difference does not denote any other quality and cannot be said to be a pejorative, despite the sloppy thinking of those who would make it so.

A term also doesn't stretch to cover something simply because somebody wants it to do so. There is a specific meaning to "Wicca," for example. If one wishes to be Wiccan, then one does what Wiccans do--as defined by the already existing Wiccans. If one does something different, then one should expect to not be recognized as Wiccan; newcomers don't get to say "this is Wiccan, too"--that's for the existing Wiccans to decide. That what one does is similar only means it can be recognized as similar to Wicca. That's not to say it's bad. That's just to note that it's different in some essential fashion.

I consider it quite rude for folks to show up and try to stretch a term to cover what they do without regard to a recognized meaning. I'm still unsure that what I intend to do with my Canaanite studies qualifies as reconstruction and only use the term because other recon folk told me it fits under the recon umbrella. It would have been rude of me to claim to be a recon without knowing that what I do fits under the recognized meaning of the term. Corresponding to that, I view those folks who claim to be Wiccan without fitting under the originally-recognized meaning to be rude. That, however, doesn't mean that I use NeoWiccan or Wiccanesque as a pejorative when referring to them.

I've highlighted the apropos sentences. Anyone can show up and call themselves (whatever they want). Another person may have a different meaning for it. Another person can draw the line for who they think the umbrella term should cover. Both can do that and one cannot stop the other and both think that they are right. I think that you will agree that the majority definition for terms changes over time? If you have any doubt about that, please read the paragraph I posted about the term "Wicca."

The real question I was asking is what do you do next? Do you shoot them? Do you make a permanent enemy for your religion? Do you accept that other people will not define the umbrella term the way you do and let it go? Do you try to understand them and agree to disagree? Do you make a friend for yourself and your religion?

You are free to feel that it is rude for people you don't think should claim a term to claim a term as theirs. Smile The dictionaries are free to print the definition for the term that they accept rather than your own personal one, too.

And we are back to deciding that intent matters quite a lot when we use terms me know might offend? And if they are offended they have the right to say so?

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by AutumnalTone on Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:27 pm

gillyflower wrote:
I've highlighted the apropos sentences. Anyone can show up and call themselves (whatever they want). Another person may have a different meaning for it. Another person can draw the line for who they think the umbrella term should cover. Both can do that and one cannot stop the other and both think that they are right. I think that you will agree that the majority definition for terms changes over time? If you have any doubt about that, please read the paragraph I posted about the term "Wicca."

I have read your paragraph on Wicca. My argument stands, though--just because those who came along later wish to use the "Wiccan" term doesn't mean that it applies, nor can they expect others to use it when discussing what they do. Further, they aren't allowed to claim that "NeoWiccan" or "Wiccanesque" are pejoratives when applied to what they do simply because they want to identify as Wiccan (without actually being Wiccan).


The real question I was asking is what do you do next? Do you shoot them? Do you make a permanent enemy for your religion? Do you accept that other people will not define the umbrella term the way you do and let it go? Do you try to understand them and agree to disagree? Do you make a friend for yourself and your religion?

I won't shoot them unless the Revolution has already occurred and I'm hungry. I don't worry about whether they choose to be "enemies" of my religion--that's their choice and I'm not responsible for their choices. I'd say the agreement to disagree is implicit, in that I'll still use the applicable term and they can still whine about it.


And we are back to deciding that intent matters quite a lot when we use terms me know might offend? And if they are offended they have the right to say so?

They can claim to be wronged any time they wish and that won't make it so nor obligate anybody to adjust to their demands. Claiming a term is pejorative when it isn't does not constitute cause. That they want to be described as something they aren't is not cause. That they don't want to be described as something they are is not cause.
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:36 pm

Okay you don't believe that Gardnerians are Wiccans, correct? I'm sure that you are aware that you fall into a tiny minority, don't you?

You don't believe that that Gardnerians should be offended if they are called Wiccanesque? Yeah, sure. Smile I begin to see why Pagans can't get along!

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Thu Jun 04, 2009 6:49 pm

I want to thank everyone who has or continues to participate on this thread. It has given me an appreciation that individuals define words their own way and assume that everyone else defines those words exactly like they do which can lead to some really strange conversations and miscommunication.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by AutumnalTone on Thu Jun 04, 2009 10:39 pm

gillyflower wrote:Okay you don't believe that Gardnerians are Wiccans, correct? I'm sure that you are aware that you fall into a tiny minority, don't you?

Where did you ever get that idea?


You don't believe that that Gardnerians should be offended if they are called Wiccanesque? Yeah, sure. Smile I begin to see why Pagans can't get along!

I suspect it has much to do with putting words in other peoples' mouths.

I'm out of this one.
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:26 am

SeventhCrow wrote:
gillyflower wrote:Okay you don't believe that Gardnerians are Wiccans, correct? I'm sure that you are aware that you fall into a tiny minority, don't you?

Where did you ever get that idea?


You don't believe that that Gardnerians should be offended if they are called Wiccanesque? Yeah, sure. Smile I begin to see why Pagans can't get along!

I suspect it has much to do with putting words in other peoples' mouths.

I'm out of this one.

SeventhCrow even though you say you are out of this one, and that is certainly a choice that is up to you to make, I will quote your words where you said that the Gardnerians should not be called Wiccans, just to clear up the confusion and explain my understanding of the history of the word Wicca:

[i]I have read your paragraph on Wicca. My argument stands, though--just because those who came along later wish to use the "Wiccan" term doesn't mean that it applies, nor can they expect others to use it when discussing what they do. /i]

The Gardnerians did come along later and wanted to use the term Wiccan, as was in the paragraph. According to what is discussed within my tradition, and we were founded by Gardnerians, Wicca was a term that the followers of Cardell used and Gardnerians at first used as a derogatory term to differentiate between themselves (they called themselves Witches) and everyone else. It was only later, in the 60s, that they (Gardnerians and Alexandrians) adopted the term and then wanted the term to exclusively mean BTW members.

So, if you think that later adopters of a word can't or shouldn't use it, or change it's meaning, Gardnerians and Alexadrians took over the term and changed the meaning. As I understand your argument, they should not be allowed to do that. Then, of course, the term changed again (or never changed because the people who were calling themselves Wiccans refused to stop doing it) to include solitary and Eclectic Wicca as well. Now there are only a few Gardnerians who claim that Wicca only means the BTW traditions.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:28 am

BTW?

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:35 am

British Traditional Wicca. It is a defining term to mean just a few traditional linaged sects, Gardnerian and Alexadrian are the most famous, that came out of New Forrest in Great Britain.

The term "British Traditional Witchcraft" was suggested, mainly in the United States, as an uncontroversial label for the New Forest-descended covens, but that term is used in Britain to refer to those traditions, such as Cochrane's, that claim a heritage predating Gardner's publications, but not related to Gardner's groups or recent predecessors of it.

Hence the term "British Traditional Wicca" became the term used to uncontroversially label the New Forest traditions, though they will generally use "Wicca" amongst themselves to refer only to British Traditional Wicca.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Traditional_Wicca

Confusing, eh? Smile

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:38 am

Ah, thanks for the clarification.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:59 am

Our own confusing and disputed history is one reason why I am loath to jump on another person's religion and decide who isn't what they are calling themselves and who is, and who is supposed to be called what and call them other than they are calling themselves. So often one cannot know all the background.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Dromahair on Fri Jun 05, 2009 1:02 pm

gillyflower wrote:Our own confusing and disputed history is one reason why I am loath to jump on another person's religion and decide who isn't what they are calling themselves and who is, and who is supposed to be called what and call them other than they are calling themselves. So often one cannot know all the background.

That's a two edged sword you're balancing there Gilly.

By accepting that everyone is what they say they are you are effectively perpetuating the lie (if such exists). If silence assumes assent you're not avoiding the argument at all - you have in fact picked a side. Not that I think you should demand a 'certificate of authenticity' from everyone who makes any religious claim but a pinch of healthy skepticism will go a long way.
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jun 05, 2009 5:58 pm

LOL I really don't care who claims to be what, Drom, as long as absolutely no one who isn't in either one of the two traditions I belong to claims to be in them. Then I would go to war to stop them. If I am looking for a teacher or something like that, I would check out anyone's credentials, naturally.

Someone wants to claim they are Christian, Recon, or following the Klingon religion, I don't care. Wicca, like I said I would keep repeating that is not something that my tradition believes. That comes with the qualification that if they are claiming to be in a particular sect and I know that they are not or they are bamboozling people for money or otherwise breaking the law, then I would do what I could to put a stop to it.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:02 pm

"Everyone's a little bit Wiccan, sometimes..." Smile

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by gillyflower on Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:13 pm

Oh my gods you're not talking Avenue Q?

To the tune of "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist")
TEVYE: We're a little bit Jewish
BEN: No, you're not Jewish at all!
ANN: It doesn't matter who's Jewish
KATE: Suggesting that you have to be sure takes gall
GOLDE: Oh you read the review?
BIELKE: And it's nothing new— that boy from Oz was gay so who do they pick?
ROD/LAZAR: Hugh Jackman's really good, but has he ever sucked ... ahem.

..............
ALL: In theatre you can be whatever you wish to be
God above has always meant
To include everyone in his covenant
Embrace the Jew in you while there's still time
Raise the Manischevitz — and L'chaim —

CHANUKAH EVE: Everyone's a little bit Jewish!
ALL: Oy!

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Fri Jun 05, 2009 6:16 pm

Yes I was. Very Happy

I was thinking "Everyone's a little bit Wiccan, sometimes...It doesn't mean all our spells have to rhyyyyyymmmmeeee.." Very Happy

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:00 pm

TigersEyeDowsing wrote:Yes I was. Very Happy

I was thinking "Everyone's a little bit Wiccan, sometimes...It doesn't mean all our spells have to rhyyyyyymmmmeeee.." Very Happy

Lol! Do you remember the Haiku spell in Charmed?

The brittle winter gives way to flowers of spring, Ludlow is vanquished.

Hee!
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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by TigersEyeDowsing on Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:14 pm

Gwahahaha. Laughing

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by MaineCaptain on Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:00 pm

I am rotten at rhymes. Embarassed

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

Post by Teka on Fri Jun 12, 2009 1:48 am

Ever since childhood I have a fondness for the idea of Thor. I guess I imagined him be the swift deliverer of justice and I guess I wanted a big brother just like that.

This idea has been buried in my subconcious all my life I suppose. The reason I say that is that I once had a psyhic reading where the reader channeled up Thor and was informed in a brusque manner that I was under his protection. More warriors appeared who claimed to be my brothers. The reader said they frightened him with their manner of thought. There was a tone of menace. He looked a bit rattled, I was thrilled, I think because at that time I felt very threatened. It bouyed me up and gave me courage to face things head on.

So while I know nothing about him from the point of view of Astrau, I have a warm place in my heart for him.

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Re: Gods and Goddesses

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