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Morr
January 21st, 2007, 02:39 PM
How strict are you as a Recon?

I'm talking about -- Are you 100% into scholarly, historical, archeological facts? Or are you more open to personal spiritual experiences?

I find a lot of the Recons (especially in the Celtic Recon community which I am part of) are sort of ""Scholar-Nazies"". If its not historically accurate or archeologically proven, etc -- Its not valid.

I view myself as an Irish Reconstructionist. However, I am very open to my own spiritual experiences with my Gods, and my gut feelings. I follow my heart. My Deities guide my heart and soul.

Lately, I've found that I am influenced by Irish/Celtic Christianity. Not so much the belief of Jesus as a messiah, or having Y-H-V-H being the only God, or anything like that. But I am very influenced by Mary, the Saints, the Rosary and Iconography.

I personally feel like I am still an Irish Recon. I am not a Wiccan. I am not neopagan. I stick to the old ways of Ireland and I worship the Irish Deities. I am part of Ireland and the daughter of the Irish Gods. I've always been.

Would I still be considered a ""Reconstructionist"" by the Recon community?

I am not too concerned with labels, I am just curious to hear what other Reconstructionists would think, or what they practice themselves.

Xirian
January 21st, 2007, 03:59 PM
To tell you the truth, I've wondered the same thing in the past about myself. I used to consider myself an Etruscan Reconstructionist, but I don't really feel that I am anymore, even though I still study everything I can get my hands on about the Etruscan culture and history, and I still revere the Etruscan Pantheon in regards to my spiritual affairs.

However, my spirituality is more important, to me, than the historical information that I read. I'm not saying that the historical info. is not important at all, but the entire reason I consider myself pagan is based on my spiritual pursuits more so than any religious pursuit. For now, I'd have to say that I have no religious practices really, or if I do, they are my own personal creation of what I feel religion is.

Lately, I have been finding myself studying more information about Catholic saints and iconography and because of the fact that I feel I have no religion currently, I do not feel confined. However, if I still considered myself a part of a specific religion, I may feel some confinement in that regard. I feel that the more information I can glean about any religion, is beneficial to me. I simply consider myself a pagan who is interested in various religions (pagan or not).

I think that you, personally, could still consider yourself a recon, because the basis of your studies seems to be centered around Irish Reconstructionism and that is what it sounds like you practice. Of course, since I'm not of the Recon community, my comments might not be helpful to you at all. But I'm sure others will have better answers for you and I am looking forward to them.

I'm just glad you've raised these questions, because I've thought of that on and off for a long time. Whether my above comments are helpful or not, I guess remains to be seen. LOL

Thanks!!! :D

Arion
January 21st, 2007, 05:08 PM
I'm just beginning a Hellenic reconstructionist path, so I'm not that experienced with it and the recon community just yet, but here's my two cents:

I try to keep as traditional as possible, honouring the gods with offerings on the appropriate days by following the Athenian/Attic calendar. I give appropriate offerings depending on the deity, but I'm not all that concerned if it was something the ancients would have offered to the deity. I do research which gods likes which herbs, incense, fruits, etc., but I don't have a problem with giving an offering that isn't historically linked with the deity, if I feel that the deity would appreciate it anyway. I'm underage to buy wine, and I don't have a herd of cattle in my backyard to choose a sacrificial animal from, so I gotta improvise sometimes :p

I also try to pray in a traditional Hellenic style, by calling the deity by his or her names and associations, followed by reasons why he or she should answer my request, then an offering to the deity, and a "thank you" in advance. I don't always necessarily feel the need to be so detailed with the prayers. Sometimes I just do much simpler ones, but still following the basic frameworks.

As for beliefs, I'm still kind of adapting to the reconstructionist perspective, since I'm coming from a Witchcraft background. I'm still trying to de-program myself from information about the gods I learned from books with a Wiccan bias. Although I feel more at ease with the Hellenist views of the gods, sometimes I revert back to my old teachings, unconsciously. I also used to only worship a few Greek gods (mainly Aphrodite and often Dionysos) and I'm still getting used to acknowledging the entire patheon and honouring them, instead of just picking and choosing. I still worship my patrons the most closely, but now I honour the rest as well.

_Banbha_
January 21st, 2007, 08:13 PM
How strict are you as a Recon?


http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e189/EtainOcean/red_army_kitten.gif



I'm talking about -- Are you 100% into scholarly, historical, archeological facts? Or are you more open to personal spiritual experiences?

I'm both (and more) but I only debate scholary aspects. UPG is something I respect in others and treasure in my own.

I just want to mention, the living culture, in addition to scholarly aspects and UPG, is so very important to me as to be essential. It's all in threes. I can see more of a clash of [one] and [two] if you are missing [three].


I find a lot of the Recons (especially in the Celtic Recon community which I am part of) are sort of ""Scholar-Nazies"".

I'd prefer ""Commie"" or a 'Red Army' reference over ""Nazi."" Thanks. :hehehehe:



If its not historically accurate or archeologically proven, etc -- Its not valid.

'Historical accuracy' and understanding the lore in context of that and culture, all the better if that can be enhanced by archaeology or some other science, are the base line. Some people debate in scholar mode all the time and I guess that can be grating. When someone comes out and says 'That's not valid' they're refering to scholarly, not UPG. It's a standard and the drawing board.

I'm always curious about the scholary aspect, differing interpretations and new finds. It enriches my understanding and perceptions while at the same time challenging them. I don't know if that made sense. It doesn't take away from my UPG though, it helps me understand; and so deepens the connection. :)


I view myself as an Irish Reconstructionist. However, I am very open to my own spiritual experiences with my Gods, and my gut feelings. I follow my heart. My Deities guide my heart and soul.

Lately, I've found that I am influenced by Irish/Celtic Christianity. Not so much the belief of Jesus as a messiah, or having Y-H-V-H being the only God, or anything like that. But I am very influenced by Mary, the Saints, the Rosary and Iconography.

I personally feel like I am still an Irish Recon. I am not a Wiccan. I am not neopagan. I stick to the old ways of Ireland and I worship the Irish Deities. I am part of Ireland and the daughter of the Irish Gods. I've always been.

Would I still be considered a ""Reconstructionist"" by the Recon community?

I am not too concerned with labels, I am just curious to hear what other Reconstructionists would think, or what they practice themselves.

Not all Celtic Reconstructionist are Pagan in the strict sense. Some are very connected to early Christianity in Ireland. They are still Reconstructionists in every sense of the word in my book. I still adore Mary and am very interested in the saints from my Catholic upbringing. I find their myths (hagiographies) fascinating. I happen to be more interested in learning about the Pagan cultural survival of traditions and lore within the stories though. I love traditions and stories that surround the holy places, especially holy wells and healing springs. Frankly, I think it is an important part of Irish Reconstructionism to understand early Christianity in Ireland. How an individual incorporates this understanding is up to them. :)

Ishtara
January 21st, 2007, 10:19 PM
The more I think about it, the more I think that how strictly one adheres to scholarly views has to do with the level of uncertainty one is willing to accept.
After all, isn't that what this boils down to? Aren't we basically looking for certainties, for reassurance that we are worshipping the "right" way?

Unlike many Kemetics, I consider myself a Reconstructionist. I would love to be able to stick to the texts and archeological finds, but it just doesn't work!

For one thing, even though we admittedly know a lot more today than 100 or even 30 years ago, I think it is important to remain humble and admit that there are still many things about the Ancient Egyptian religion that we do not know or do not understand.
Many translations/interpretations of the cosmological and theological texts are still controversial and vary quite a bit from scholar to scholar. Most of these texts only applied to the Royal person or priestly caste anyway, not to the lay person like you and me.
As for daily observances and rites, sources are fewer and not always reliable; more often than not, what we know of them comes from Greek authors, not first-hand Egyptian accounts.

As for my gut feelings and personal gnosis, yes, they play an major role in my spiritual life. Actually, I learned to follow them the hard way. I did not choose my path, I was dragged onto it by my Gods after months of resistance on my part, stubborn little atheist that I was back then :D Now I know better than to refuse to acknowlege my personal experiences. as they are what got me started on this path in the first place...

I believe that spirituality is much too big, too overwhelming, too mind blowing to neatly fit into book chapters and scholarly essays. These certainly have their place, but spirituality has to be lived and experienced, not just researched and read about :)

skilly-nilly
January 21st, 2007, 10:38 PM
How strict are you as a Recon?

I'm talking about -- Are you 100% into scholarly, historical, archeological facts? Or are you more open to personal spiritual experiences?

I find a lot of the Recons (especially in the Celtic Recon community which I am part of) are sort of ""Scholar-Nazies"". If its not historically accurate or archeologically proven, etc -- Its not valid.

My term (avoiding comparisons with any totalitarian governments---I like the kitty, though!)
is McTat, that is More-Celtic-ThAn-Thou. As the basis of religious practice (imo) it's worse than useless; it invalidates personal religious experience.

On the 1 hand, opinions vary even among the most scholarly of the scholars (or especially among them) to the point that they become hard to read what with citations, etymology, name-dropping, teh big wurds....all squashed in higgilty-piggilty. Celtic Reconstructionism has to start with the understanding that very little is known about pre-Xian practices.

On the other hand, the practitioner has to know themselves and make a clear distinction between what is historical fact and what is not.
For example, I use sparklers in ritual. I believe that the pre-Xian Irish would have used and loved sparklers if they had existed at the time; sparklers are in accordance with my perception of Irish cultural values. But I would never say that the use of sparklers is historically valid.
Several popular writers have said that the Ancient Irish ate potatoes, grew corn(maize) and pumpkins, didn't collect enemy heads/skulls....to pull a few examples----and they are wrong. If they said 'carving pumpkins is soooooooooo much easier than carving turnips that I have chosen to carve historically-inexact pumpkins' then fine.
Srusly, you would need an historically-incorrect dremmel or you would carve off alllllll your fingers

On the gripping hand, there is what is historical fact but now inappropriate (putting my enemies' skulls in niches carved into my door lintels, fr'instance). And there is what is not known but cannot be ruled out (many a McTat has frowned on 8 holidays with the dauntingly-footnoted 'there are only 4...or 3....or 2 holidays that are documented in these untranslated documents').

The way I see it is that the Shining Lands are timeless and so can be accessed now just as they could be accessed then. My rebuttal to McTats thay want to dictate what I can and cannot do is that I don't really want to do exactly what the Ancient Irish did, I want to go where they went.

As long as historical facts are kept firmly in the historical fact section, whatever gets you there is what happens.
aaaaaaaand:
"The music of what happens," said great Fionn, "that is the finest music in the world."

http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/ift/ift02.htm

Haerfest Leah
January 21st, 2007, 11:08 PM
How strict are you as a Recon?

I'm talking about -- Are you 100% into scholarly, historical, archeological facts? Or are you more open to personal spiritual experiences?

I see myself like you, only strict to a point.


I find a lot of the Recons (especially in the Celtic Recon community which I am part of) are sort of ""Scholar-Nazies"". If its not historically accurate or archeologically proven, etc -- Its not valid.

Whew can that statement have Asatru all over it. I try to stay away from those individual when possible, they take their beliefs to a level that's just not called for. It can also easily take the fun out of things. But you still have to be on guard to protect your ways from the ferrets mixing, matching & adding what they like so it can cause a little paranoia towards anything they can't find in the approved souces.

For instance some think the celto-germanic system is no longer being a recon but I think it is when you consider all the things they had in common and what they shared which can be seen as similar to the Celtic Christianity beliefs because they were that way for a long time and their IS evidence of it. Mixing pantheons that lived among oneanother is one thing, mixing pantheons that never met oneanother is not a recon, as is using ancient beliefs with whatevers on the new bandwagon.

So yes I'd still consider you a recon.

_Banbha_
January 22nd, 2007, 12:04 AM
My term (avoiding comparisons with any totalitarian governments---I like the kitty, though!)
is McTat, that is More-Celtic-ThAn-Thou.

I don't care for comparisons to totalirian governments either but if you have to choose... 8O

Reconstructionism in general, even if some seem to think others over-analyze it, mixing in the term Nazi is dicey when there are some neo-Nazi groups embracing their own brand of CR. _inabox_


As the basis of religious practice (imo) it's worse than useless; it invalidates personal religious experience.

I don't understand how someone can invalidate anothers religious experience without their consent. Sorry to crib Eleanor Roosevelt there.

On the other hand, don't most here feel justified in invalidating Edain McCoy's ramblings? And so attempt to invalidate the (very real to them) religious experience of someone else who only knows from McCoy?


On the 1 hand, opinions vary even among the most scholarly of the scholars (or especially among them) to the point that they become hard to read what with citations, etymology, name-dropping, teh big wurds....all squashed in higgilty-piggilty. Celtic Reconstructionism has to start with the understanding that very little is known about pre-Xian practices.

There's tons of stuff to sift through though and it goes beyond academic writings. I still think the actual culture is the elephant in the room here.


On the other hand, the practitioner has to know themselves and make a clear distinction between what is historical fact and what is not.
For example, I use sparklers in ritual. I believe that the pre-Xian Irish would have used and loved sparklers if they had existed at the time; sparklers are in accordance with my perception of Irish cultural values. But I would never say that the use of sparklers is historically valid.
Several popular writers have said that the Ancient Irish ate potatoes, grew corn(maize) and pumpkins, didn't collect enemy heads/skulls....to pull a few examples----and they are wrong. If they said 'carving pumpkins is soooooooooo much easier than carving turnips that I have chosen to carve historically-inexact pumpkins' then fine.
Srusly, you would need an historically-incorrect dremmel or you would carve off alllllll your fingers

I agree with this and it's is just a matter of honesty to yourself and others. There are those who try to pass off they're UPG as traditional. I happen think that's more a problem.


On the gripping hand, there is what is historical fact but now inappropriate (putting my enemies' skulls in niches carved into my door lintels, fr'instance). And there is what is not known but cannot be ruled out (many a McTat has frowned on 8 holidays with the dauntingly-footnoted 'there are only 4...or 3....or 2 holidays that are documented in these untranslated documents').

There can only be one according to some. I don't see why such an extreme opinion should be given card blache when there are indicators from folklore and even in stone that other astronomical observances were of importance. I don't see why this one or two McTat's frowning is more important than my own experience, intuition and studies. Frankly, if it has merit I'll listen too. I don't see how it could harm or invalidate me and my beliefs. :)

Hangatyr 13
January 22nd, 2007, 02:08 AM
When it comes to Heathenry or pseudo-Heathenry, we have people who seem to want to make it up as they go (Norse Wiccans and Neo-Nazi "Wotanist" types) which makes the Folkway look like a joke or in no way resembling the actual religion practiced by our ancestors, and we have "strict reconstructionists" who treat the Folkway as if it's an unchanging historical novelty or some kind of reenactment hobby. Neither Heathenry or, in my opinion, any other reconstructed indigenious religion should be taken to either extream. Personally, I think "reconstructionism" is just a phase that most of these religions are going to have to go through, and once a "dead" religion is again a living religion, then by the gods, it should be a living religion. I can't speak for the other recons (in particular, the Celts who I know also have some very enduring traditions), but Heathens are fortunate in that our religion was never "dead". Many of our religious practices have never fallen out of favor, and the society we live in is primarily Germanic.

I think personal religious experience is important to any religion. I just get a little suspicious when I hear people tell stories about gods "claiming" them, or talking to them all the time and the like. That's not to say that I think it's impossible to recieve a communication from a god (after all, it's what puts the "divine" in divination), I just hear claims of it way too often, and the tone of such claims is often disrespectful. I don't consider reconstructionist religions to be "alternative" religions. At one time, these religions were the way to experience the divine for entire nations of people. These religions are not New Age "paths" made up within the past few decades, they are thoasands of years old. That being said, I don't think we should take them any less seriously than Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddism, or any of the other more popular religions.

In short, I think scholarship is what gives all reconstructionist religions the "base" that many "alternative" religions just don't have, but recon religions should still be treated as living religions.

Seren_
January 22nd, 2007, 11:13 AM
How strict are you as a Recon?

I'm talking about -- Are you 100% into scholarly, historical, archeological facts? Or are you more open to personal spiritual experiences?


I suppose I'm fairly strict in the sense that I base my practises on stuff that's been documented. As a recon you base your practises on things that are relevant to the culture you're focusing on, neh?

But I see reconstructionism as being aimed at creating a living tradition for the modern day as well, so that doesn't mean there isn't room for innovation (like sparklers). And I don't see pre-Christian and Christian practices as being mutually exclusive. At some point in history the two religions met and seem to have blended to a certain extent. I don't see why someone can't carry on with that blending if it has value to them.

If I were to be 100% scholarly, I honestly don't think I'd ever get up off my arse and actually practice my religion. I'd be too busy nitpicking and cross-referencing. Although in the past it's a trap I've fallen into quite easily, I guess. In focusing on actually doing things I've come to appreciate the value of UPG and personal experience. It's something the hardcore McTats don't seem to...


Celtic Reconstructionism has to start with the understanding that very little is known about pre-Xian practices.

On the other hand, the practitioner has to know themselves and make a clear distinction between what is historical fact and what is not.

Exactly.


I don't understand how someone can invalidate anothers religious experience without their consent. Sorry to crib Eleanor Roosevelt there.

On the other hand, don't most here feel justified in invalidating Edain McCoy's ramblings? And so attempt to invalidate the (very real to them) religious experience of someone else who only knows from McCoy?

I don't think it's the religion/experience that gets invalidated when people start going on about Edain McCoy. It's the fact that what she wrote was presented dishonestly as historical fact. It wasn't. If people find value in her writings, then they've gained something very real from her and no one can invalidate that.


In short, I think scholarship is what gives all reconstructionist religions the "base" that many "alternative" religions just don't have, but recon religions should still be treated as living religions.

Absolutely.

It seems to me that a lot of heathens have themselves much more organised as to what living that religion should be like - things like the Troth, yes?

CR - and a lot of the other recon religions - struggles because it doesn't have any sort of organisation or structure to it that can help people to just get on with it and start living their faith. More often than not people on CR lists tend to nitpick the scholarly details than discuss with each other what it is they actually do. When people ask, they get told to go look at the reading list.

On the one hand I like this lack of organisation because I like the freedom it gives me to do things my own way...on the other hand, it can be frustrating because sometimes it seems like people don't want to discuss CR as a living tradition in case some McTat accuses them of 'not doing it right'...

Morr
January 22nd, 2007, 11:23 AM
Thank you everyone for replying. I appriciate it very much!

And as for the ""nazi"" comment, it was kind of a joke. I meant someone who is really strict, painfully strict.

seekerofknwoledge
January 22nd, 2007, 11:51 AM
How strict are you as a Recon?

I'm talking about -- Are you 100% into scholarly, historical, archeological facts? Or are you more open to personal spiritual experiences?

I find a lot of the Recons (especially in the Celtic Recon community which I am part of) are sort of ""Scholar-Nazies"". If its not historically accurate or archeologically proven, etc -- Its not valid.

I view myself as an Irish Reconstructionist. However, I am very open to my own spiritual experiences with my Gods, and my gut feelings. I follow my heart. My Deities guide my heart and soul.

Lately, I've found that I am influenced by Irish/Celtic Christianity. Not so much the belief of Jesus as a messiah, or having Y-H-V-H being the only God, or anything like that. But I am very influenced by Mary, the Saints, the Rosary and Iconography.

I personally feel like I am still an Irish Recon. I am not a Wiccan. I am not neopagan. I stick to the old ways of Ireland and I worship the Irish Deities. I am part of Ireland and the daughter of the Irish Gods. I've always been.

Would I still be considered a ""Reconstructionist"" by the Recon community?

I am not too concerned with labels, I am just curious to hear what other Reconstructionists would think, or what they practice themselves.

I personally describe myself as a Recon in relation to Hellenism, but I don't know how "strict" I'd label myself. My practices do follow those of the ancient Greeks except when deviation is necessary (I can't really sacrifice a bull in my backyard...). I think that it also depends upon what path you subscribe to because the degree of strictness differs for various approaches. For example in Hellenism, respect and even worship of other Gods is present if not encouraged. The Greeks very often adopted deities from other cultures, and wouldn't balk at honoring another God. Not to say that they gave these other Gods the same attention as their own, but it was a similar kind of interaction. Also, there is a lot of "gray are" when it comes to the practices of the ancient Greeks, so there is room for interpretation.

For faiths like Celtic Recon on the other hand, there is so much more available in the scholarly aspect to consider. Also, they did not necessarily have the same policy of accepting other Gods into the fold.

In the end it comes down to what feels righ to you. I wouldn't necessarily say that you are going against your recon roots by looking into Christianity, mostly because it had such a huge influence in early Irish culture and history (and visa versa).

skilly-nilly
January 22nd, 2007, 10:09 PM
I don't understand how someone can invalidate anothers religious experience without their consent. Sorry to crib Eleanor Roosevelt there.

On the other hand, don't most here feel justified in invalidating Edain McCoy's ramblings? And so attempt to invalidate the (very real to them) religious experience of someone else who only knows from McCoy?

I agree with this and it's is just a matter of honesty to yourself and others. There are those who try to pass off they're UPG as traditional. I happen think that's more a problem.





If I were to be 100% scholarly, I honestly don't think I'd ever get up off my arse and actually practice my religion. I'd be too busy nitpicking and cross-referencing. Although in the past it's a trap I've fallen into quite easily, I guess. In focusing on actually doing things I've come to appreciate the value of UPG and personal experience. It's something the hardcore McTats don't seem to...

I don't think it's the religion/experience that gets invalidated when people start going on about Edain McCoy. It's the fact that what she wrote was presented dishonestly as historical fact. It wasn't. If people find value in her writings, then they've gained something very real from her and no one can invalidate that.


I agree that pretending that something you've just made up is historical fact is the problem, and I agree that it's a serious problem. I'm not certain, but I hope that Edain McCoy is genuinely religious. If she were, I hope that the understanding of the value that the culture places on personal honor would make her admit that she is an inaccurate scholar, but that hasn't happened yet.

More likely, I would hope that someone who bought 'Witta' in a big-box store would somehow get a glimpse into the Shining Lands, and search out better resources.

I don't feel personally invalidated by the distain of McTats, but I do find that it limits meaningful conversation, as Seren said:


CR - and a lot of the other recon religions - struggles because it doesn't have any sort of organisation or structure to it that can help people to just get on with it and start living their faith. More often than not people on CR lists tend to nitpick the scholarly details than discuss with each other what it is they actually do. When people ask, they get told to go look at the reading list.

On the one hand I like this lack of organisation because I like the freedom it gives me to do things my own way...on the other hand, it can be frustrating because sometimes it seems like people don't want to discuss CR as a living tradition in case some McTat accuses them of 'not doing it right'...

That's what I was referring to when I said there was very little known---not about folk-lore and stories; there are, as you say, "tons":


There's tons of stuff to sift through though and it goes beyond academic writings. I still think the actual culture is the elephant in the room here.

but there is very little known about the practices. There's no book of common prayer that states. "On this day we all wear our pink ribbons and march, with flags, into the grove singing 'we all come from the goddess......'"

So any McTat can bark out that pink is a colour unattested to in the lore and make us, if not invalidated, then uncomfortable.

My personal example is that I do divination with Ogham; I think of them as trees (as well as meanings); and I use 25. I'm fairly careful to whom I reveal this because a McTat will immediately rip back with: there's no historical evidence that they were used divinatorily/
they're not really trees/the forfenda is medieval and then sit back as if I'd never heard all this many many many times before and now I'm going to say 'my bad' and just stop.

It's then hard for me to explain that I'm not going to stop because divination works for me. We know that some pre-Xian Celts (I'm not sure what specific tribe) divined something from bird-flight because some Roman guy wrote about a Druid auguring something from a passing flock of birds but the Roman guy irritatingly neglected to note down the finer points of the practice for us to use, some centuries later. So we just have to use what works.

You just can't make a McTat see that divination is not referencable in it's purest sense---it's messages from the Gods.

Morag Elasaid Ni Dhomhnaill
January 24th, 2007, 07:51 PM
I'm another of the somewhere in betweeners. I like to include what can be historically verifiable, and have been known to fall into the McTat trap of studying more than experiencing or living. However, there is too much of the unknown, and what the religion may have become if it had continued on in significant way (I'm not denying that there is living tradition, because it does exist, but it's so limited to small, insular pockets, that it's almost impossible for the everyday person to have access to it) to not incorporate UPG. So I think that everyone has to include some level of personal experience and interpretation in their religion.

Fiamma
January 24th, 2007, 11:45 PM
I personally describe myself as a Recon in relation to Hellenism, but I don't know how "strict" I'd label myself. My practices do follow those of the ancient Greeks except when deviation is necessary (I can't really sacrifice a bull in my backyard...). I think that it also depends upon what path you subscribe to because the degree of strictness differs for various approaches. For example in Hellenism, respect and even worship of other Gods is present if not encouraged. The Greeks very often adopted deities from other cultures, and wouldn't balk at honoring another God. Not to say that they gave these other Gods the same attention as their own, but it was a similar kind of interaction. Also, there is a lot of "gray are" when it comes to the practices of the ancient Greeks, so there is room for interpretation.

For faiths like Celtic Recon on the other hand, there is so much more available in the scholarly aspect to consider. Also, they did not necessarily have the same policy of accepting other Gods into the fold.

In the end it comes down to what feels righ to you. I wouldn't necessarily say that you are going against your recon roots by looking into Christianity, mostly because it had such a huge influence in early Irish culture and history (and visa versa).


Actually, there really is a lot more information available to the Hellenic recons than to the Celtics, owing a lot to the fact that the ancient Greeks were literate, not strictly oral as the Celts were. Much of what's know of the Celts came secondhand by way of the Romans

The main place that we lack info is that of personal daily ritual. Many folks have spoken along the lines of "if you were going to write about your life, you wouldn't really spend a lot of time talking about getting up in the morning, putting on your clothes, brushing your teeth..." For the same reason, many folks suspect that ancient Greek writers didn't write about their daily rituals, prayers etc.

There is a lot of information on the public festiivals and rituals. Heck, I think that Hellenic recons are pretty darned lucky to have not only a lot of scholarly research, but quite a wealth of original source material. Take a look at the hymns of Homer, Orpheus, Callimachus, Hesiod's Theogony and Works & Days, Ovid's Metamorphoses (Yes, Ovid was Roman but is considered a source of Greek mythology)

Those are just a few places to start.

If you need help finding more information, let me know. I'm sure you know that you'll find a wealth of information in the history section, but don't overlook anthropology, art history, architecture, language, literature...

Fiamma
January 25th, 2007, 12:21 AM
How strict are you as a Recon?

I'm talking about -- Are you 100% into scholarly, historical, archeological facts? Or are you more open to personal spiritual experiences?

I think that this is like debating the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law.

I consider myself to be a semi-reconstructionist Hellenic. I believe that I am definitely keeping with the spirit of the ancient Hellenic religion, though not following it to the letter.

when it comes to personal practice, I'm all about going with what works for me...modern innovation and all, to a degree. I mean...I wouldn't say, offer Ares kool-aid and cookies and I honestly don't believe that it would be appropriate for anyone whose age numbers over the single digits to do that. In the end though, that's between you and the gods.

When it comes to *talking about history* I am fairly stuffy about not claiming something is historical fact when it clearly isn't, or saying that you're not sure if you're really not. You'll often find me saying that I think I remember reading something somewhere, but not being entirely sure about it and while not citing a source if it's not immediately available, leaving the offer there to try and track down the source if anyone questions it. i have no problems with that.



I find a lot of the Recons (especially in the Celtic Recon community which I am part of) are sort of ""Scholar-Nazies"". If its not historically accurate or archeologically proven, etc -- Its not valid.

I view myself as an Irish Reconstructionist. However, I am very open to my own spiritual experiences with my Gods, and my gut feelings. I follow my heart. My Deities guide my heart and soul.

I might look at you funny, I might argue with you, I might say you're dead wrong if I think you are. In the end though it's not between you and me, it's between you and the gods. If the gods don't smite you when you give them their kool-aid and cookies, then heck, maybe they really do like it. I dunno. Is it completely recon? No. But not everyone's a recon.



Lately, I've found that I am influenced by Irish/Celtic Christianity. Not so much the belief of Jesus as a messiah, or having Y-H-V-H being the only God, or anything like that. But I am very influenced by Mary, the Saints, the Rosary and Iconography.

I personally feel like I am still an Irish Recon. I am not a Wiccan. I am not neopagan. I stick to the old ways of Ireland and I worship the Irish Deities. I am part of Ireland and the daughter of the Irish Gods. I've always been.

Would I still be considered a ""Reconstructionist"" by the Recon community?

I am not too concerned with labels, I am just curious to hear what other Reconstructionists would think, or what they practice themselves.

I honestly don't know. Perhaps you are, but the Christian influence just means you're a recon of a slightly later Irish era? That's my best guess :-P

PeatBog
May 20th, 2007, 03:09 AM
I can't honestly consider myself a Recon since I didn't even know that term until I joined MW. I come from a new-age _tomatoe_ background with eastern elements like meditation and yoga, so I'm not a purist. Also, though some of my distant ancestors may have drank blood and placed decapitated heads on poles for all I know, I'll just stick with how I know to live in today's world, though learning from the paths of my ancestors.

Nitefalle
May 22nd, 2007, 12:11 PM
So, where do we draw the line between the histories and actually living our faith? How can we, as Recons, as a community, encourage and foster this in others that are newer to this path or intimidated by the amount of historical info out there? Or do you think that the way it is now (McTats knocking people on the knuckles with their rulers of Historical Accuracy) is the only way it could ever be and nothing can change that? Do you think that coming together to celebrate a living Celtic spiritual path would dilute it, to some degree?

Arion
May 24th, 2007, 07:05 PM
I think that this is like debating the spirit of the law versus the letter of the law.

I consider myself to be a semi-reconstructionist Hellenic. I believe that I am definitely keeping with the spirit of the ancient Hellenic religion, though not following it to the letter.

when it comes to personal practice, I'm all about going with what works for me...modern innovation and all, to a degree. I mean...I wouldn't say, offer Ares kool-aid and cookies and I honestly don't believe that it would be appropriate for anyone whose age numbers over the single digits to do that. In the end though, that's between you and the gods.

When it comes to *talking about history* I am fairly stuffy about not claiming something is historical fact when it clearly isn't, or saying that you're not sure if you're really not. You'll often find me saying that I think I remember reading something somewhere, but not being entirely sure about it and while not citing a source if it's not immediately available, leaving the offer there to try and track down the source if anyone questions it. i have no problems with that.


_handclapp I absolutely agree with you, especially the comparison between the spirit of the law vs. the letter of the law. A person can follow the sprit of an ancient religion, but practising it exactly like the ancients did is almost impossible these days, so I don't know why some recons seem so anal about it. Hellenismos, for example, although a lot of Greek religion is well-documented, is hard to follow for modern people, since a lot of the practices involve a community. Not just that, but animal sacrifice was also a major component of the ancient religious acts, but not terribly common today lest you have animal rights activists picketing on your doorstep :p
Ancient temples, altars, cult images, community processions for sacrifice and festivals... not really available today. Modern recons usually are on their own and have to work with what they've got, which hardly equates to ancient practises.

Religions evolve and change. Christianity isn't much like it was a thousand years ago, so why should recons be so anal about being stuck in the past? I think as long as you're honouring the ancient gods in an appropriate way, it doesn't matter how close it is to ancient practises. *shrug*

Lolair
June 7th, 2007, 01:09 PM
I think some of the hard-core recons would be horrified with me! I just can't see the logic in trying to as accurately as possible re-create a pre-Christian religion of the Celtic Isles that we only know very little about and some of who's practices are now illegal or frowned upon in most countries. I don't think the neighbours would like it very much if I delved into human sacrifice or killed a rooster or cat and burried it under the house... I think it might get me evicted! Also the laws and culture of those times are so different. If my neighbour cut down an oak tree because it was blocking his view of the creek and I hanged him for it following old Irish law I don't think the local police and I would come to an understanding over it.... I am more concerned with finding the survivals of ancient beliefs that have been passed down to the present than trying to recreate the past. I accept that things evolve and change over time, taking on new forms and that my path will continue to evolve in the future.

I believe in drawing from folklore, liturgy, ballads, folk tales, oral lore and chants... I also think many recons wouldn't think look to the Appalachians or Ozarks for 'pagan' Scottish/Irish practices and beliefs that are still being practiced today undiluted. I do draw a little bit from anthropology and archaeology, but I am much more drawn to the ethnology side of things as I think beliefs and practices that have survived the centuries are more likely to be found and have practical application than knowing what kind of jewelry or housing my ancestors had. So overall I am not a hard-core recon, but I am pretty anal about my folklore...

Athena-Nadine
June 7th, 2007, 08:31 PM
I think Scholar-Nazis would be horrified with me! I just can't see the logic in trying to as accurately as possible re-create a pre-Christian religion of the Celtic Isles that we only know very little about and some of who's practices are now illegal or frowned upon in most countries. I don't think the neighbours would like it very much if I delved into human sacrifice or killed a rooster or cat and burried it under the house... I think it might get me evicted! Also the laws and culture of those times are so different. If my neighbour cut down an oak tree because it was blocking his view of the creek and I hanged him for it following old Irish law I don't think the local police and I would come to an understanding over it.... I am more concerned with finding the survivals of ancient beliefs that have been passed down to the present than trying to recreate the past. I accept that things evolve and change over time, taking on new forms and that my path will continue to evolve in the future.

I believe in drawing from folklore, liturgy, ballads, folk tales, oral lore and chants... I also doubt many Nazi-Recons would look to the Appalachians or Ozarks for 'pagan' Scottish/Irish practices and beliefs that are still being practiced today undiluted. I do draw a little bit from anthropology and archaeology, but I am much more drawn to the ethnology side of things as I think beliefs and practices that have survived the centuries are more likely to be found and have practical application than knowing what kind of jewelry or housing my ancestors had. So overall I am not a hard-core recon, but I am pretty anal about my folklore...


Bashing people's religious view is not allowed on this site.
Calling people "scholar-nazis" or "nazi-recons" is a personal attack against a good number of the members of this site and is also not allowed.If you cannot post your views without attacking the beliefs and practices of others, then don't post.

Lolair
June 8th, 2007, 05:02 PM
Bashing people's religious view is not allowed on this site.
Calling people "scholar-nazis" or "nazi-recons" is a personal attack against a good number of the members of this site and is also not allowed.If you cannot post your views without attacking the beliefs and practices of others, then don't post.
It was meant as a joke in a good-humoured way as the originator of this thread also used. I have friends who are recons who do jokingly call themselves 'scholar nazis' so I didn't think anyone would be offended by a joke. Sorry if I ruffled any feathers, I've edited my post so that people will read the content, not the red flag words.

_Banbha_
June 8th, 2007, 06:54 PM
It was meant as a joke in a good-humoured way as the originator of this thread also used. I have friends who are recons who do jokingly call themselves 'scholar nazis' so I didn't think anyone would be offended by a joke. Sorry if I ruffled any feathers, I've edited my post so that people will read the content, not the red flag words.

Did you read the reactions to the OP's use of the word "nazi" in subsequent posts?

Were there any Recon's laughing about that or just trying to make the best out of a poor choice of words while getting a point across that it is not an acceptable comparsion?

You also used the words straight " "Nazi-recons" " at the end of your post with no disclaimers about strict or not, according to whatever standards you're applying.

It's more than "red-flag words" which are insulting to scholars of all kinds and Recons both; but it was bashing another belief system. You're not a Recon, what does it matter how strict you are as one us? It makes no sense whatsoever. I would not answer a Wiccan thread (for example) asking the same question because as a Recon it would no doubt come across as insulting to their beliefs and traditions which are quite different from my own. Get it?

I could take on your earlier post even after your 'edits'; but frankly, most of the opinions regarding Recons/Reconstructionism in it were so much trash and I've better things to do with my time.

Zibblsnrt
June 8th, 2007, 07:31 PM
WD, the poster was reprimanded, apologized, and edited the offending parts of the post accordingly. That specific element of the thread's over and done with, so there's no need to bring it up or back. Let's get this thread back onto its original topic.

Accept that in good faith, and let us admins do the adminning, alright? :)

_Banbha_
June 11th, 2007, 10:01 AM
Alright Zib, will do on both counts.