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SacredNight
March 4th, 2011, 04:50 AM
Only within Wicca we suddenly have a bucket full of sub paths with their own labels.

Does this happen because there is a certain behavior caused of a certain need which might be common amongst those who seek paganism as their identity.
And thus leading to decentralization of paganism.
Might it be common to build a distance from other pagans, amongst pagans?

Is it other pagans who form all these labels to other pagans?
Or does these new labels form and worn by the same person?

Do anyone suspect a pattern, i like patterns.

Daecon
March 4th, 2011, 08:05 AM
It's not just Wicca, or even just neopaganism. Consider all the different sects that call themselves Christianity. The reason is the same, a person is inducted into an existing path, discovers it's "not quite right" and produces their own version. If that version speaks to enough others, it becomes a sect of its own. Neopaganism tends to encourage this seeking, but it's an evolutionary impulse in every religion.

perceval23
March 4th, 2011, 08:47 AM
It's not just Wicca, or even just neopaganism. Consider all the different sects that call themselves Christianity.

You beat me to it, but yeah, Christianity's the most obvious example.


Not to knock what you're saying, but I think you have it slightly backwards. Wicca is one path in the overarching category called Paganism, not the other way around.

Not quite. Wicca and Thelema started Neo-Paganism, and they're both rooted in the Order of the Golden Dawn, which is, itself, rooted in the Christian Mystery traditions. Most Neo-Pagan Paths are heavily influenced by Wicca, regardless of what they call themselves.

Wicca draws heavily from Folk Catholiism, as well. Folk Catholicism would be the basis for most of whatever in Neo-Paganism isn't influenced by Gardner or Crowley, such as Santeria, Voodoo, etc. I know it may seem strange to those unfamiliar with Catholicism that Papa Legba is actually from it's Folk traditions, but there's a reason many Catholics who dabble in Neo-Paganism often return to it, though with more of a Universalist mindset than when they first began exploring.

monsnoleedra
March 4th, 2011, 04:00 PM
Gladeflower wrote: Only within Wicca we suddenly have a bucket full of sub paths with their own labels.

I agree to a point. The problem I see is one that arose when Wicca became uninitiated and unlineaged. With the popularity of it in the late 80's onward it became more and more shake and bake and take what you want.

It also became seen as a teenager revolt against structure and normality. A trend that if one waited they would grow out of. Granted many did and continue to do so which sort of masks those that grow beyond the glitter stage and actually discover the inner depth and beauty of the system.


Does this happen because there is a certain behavior caused of a certain need which might be common amongst those who seek paganism as their identity.

I do not think so. The single most common trait being the revolting against society and social accepted religious beliefs. They go from a tight structure and dogma to what they think has no dogma and structure. Yet the true falicy is they do not realize the dogma and structure is still there and when they discover it they try to find or create their own nitch. Yet it's still a lot of the revolt stage stuff that drives and creates the shallow depth of thier practice.


And thus leading to decentralization of paganism.

Even that isn't true compeltely. If one looks to the Odinist, Asatru, Voudon, Santeria, Shamanic, Family Trads, etc its not about being different or decentralized. By their nature many are centeralized about family elders or people that are seen in those lights. But then again most of them do not claim a pagan titled or affiliation except to the point of saying this is where they would mostly likely be placed in discussion.

The stronger sense of decentralization I see is usually backed by those who want to think they are laying a new pathway. That they are doing thier own thing and choosing what parts to take in. Not even ecclectic in the sense that they do not take from the whole with both good and bad but only from a sense of what they like. Almost like children at a dinner table who choose only the desert and avoid the rest of the meal, then wonder why others look down upon them.


Might it be common to build a distance from other pagans, amongst pagans?

Even that is a loaded question. My pathwalk as a Shamanic practioner is always as a loner. My pathwalk as a family trad member is also restricted and closed to those not of my family blood. heck even the Stregian pathway I was initiated into is closed to those outside of it.

Yet it was not from trying to distance ourselves from others, for in truth we really didn't and still do not concern ourselves with what they think. Especially so when we look and see what is occuring within the developing notion of Pagan and the many groups that try to seperate themselves from that umbrella term.


Is it other pagans who form all these labels to other pagans? Or does these new labels form and worn by the same person?

My base belief is because of uneducated opinions. To much charmed and other fantasy added to the mix. Celtic Wiccan? To my belief no such thing. One is a Wiccan if they are descended from a lineaged coven, Celtic is only the godheads they work with.

Yet for me I see many that use the labels in the hopes that it will seperate them from others and perhaps make you think they are better informed and knowledged than they are.

It's like I ask tell me how your beliefs will or would hold in an equatorial zone. Wicca fails off the bat in that one as the seasonal practice fails immediately. It works in the regions farther away from the equator but fails the closer one comes to it. Which is why I think it has never taken hold in those regions. Just as an example.


Do anyone suspect a pattern, i like patterns.

There's many patterns but most will be overlooked in the cry of "You can't tell us what to believe or how to believe!"

monsnoleedra
March 4th, 2011, 04:13 PM
Ahautenites wrote: Not to knock what you're saying, but I think you have it slightly backwards. Wicca is one path in the overarching category called Paganism, not the other way around.

Actually I would disagree there to the extent that when Wicca became public no one else was calling themselves Pagan. We were family trads for the most part or occultist but never pagan.

The usage of Pagan seemed to arise as more and more tried to seperate from the exploding umbrella term of Wiccan. Especially as the self - initiated and uninitiated practice was taking hold and the practice was being sold in books.

I started seeing it more and more as it became popular to be "Wiccan" or "Pagan". Yet the more popular it became the more anti-pagan things seemed to become. Northern based pathways started to really utilize the "Heathen" title to seperate themselves from the fluffy Pagan movement. Recons started to really push and insist that they were not Pagan either as they actually took the good and the bad from the social and belief systems they connected to.



I do believe it is natural for a person to want to belong to a group of like-minded people. And because there are so many different people out there, there are lots of different people with whom to be like-minded. It leads to a fractionalization of groups.

I agree to a point here. By the very design of our beliefs and thier non-traditional roles in most societies we come together for acceptance. Yet it also causes strife in that fluffiness becomes a semi-critical facet many can not and will not ignore.

We used to say to be an occultist was to be on the path of the wise. We researched everything and constanlty tried to expand our knowledge of both the phsycial world and spiritual world. UPG was a guide but it was never accepted blindly. No single book was ever proof enough, nor was ones position accepted withouth the ability to present their position with sufficient evidence to stand before critical analysis.

That is steadly falling away. UPG has become sufficinet reason for many. Proof is based upon what ever current Pagan author writes without regard to their credentials or expereince. It's becoming a case of why and I want it fast and now. No need to research or self discover for all or most want the give it to me.

monsnoleedra
March 4th, 2011, 04:32 PM
Ok now i'm really confused. I quote and respond to a message that was here but is no longer to be found here it seems.

lightdragon
March 4th, 2011, 05:00 PM
Ok now i'm really confused. I quote and respond to a message that was here but is no longer to be found here it seems.
it might be the person posted it might have soft deleted it.

mercurialmaven
March 4th, 2011, 05:14 PM
I know it may seem strange to those unfamiliar with Catholicism that Papa Legba is actually from it's Folk traditions,

False. Legba originated as a deity of native Africa, commonly thought from Benin though I've heard some Nigerians claim him. He has morphed over time, taking on the various forms, especially once he was combined with the conqueror religion of Catholicism.

He was not a saint, though some connect him with Saint Anthony of Padua. I don't know so much if they see him as one in the same or a close associate.

monsnoleedra
March 4th, 2011, 05:17 PM
it might be the person posted it might have soft deleted it.

I though of that but though that it would still leave a place holder.

lightdragon
March 4th, 2011, 05:33 PM
I though of that but though that it would still leave a place holder.
unless you are an admin. or a guide assigned to this forum. you will not see nothing. not sure on teachers.

mouseytalons
March 4th, 2011, 05:43 PM
Only within Wicca we suddenly have a bucket full of sub paths with their own labels.

Does this happen because there is a certain behavior caused of a certain need which might be common amongst those who seek paganism as their identity.
And thus leading to decentralization of paganism.
Might it be common to build a distance from other pagans, amongst pagans?

Is it other pagans who form all these labels to other pagans?
Or does these new labels form and worn by the same person?

Do anyone suspect a pattern, i like patterns.

You asked: Only within Wicca do we have a bucket full of sub paths with their own labels.

A definition of paganism can be found at:
http://www.ourladyswarriors.org/dissent/defpagan.htm
I hope this helps you with the definition of paganism itself.
Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and many other world religions also have this problem of having many sects or strains of the bigger label, so no this is not exclusive to Wicca. Even amongst the Greco-Romans, there are many different paths.
I hope this helps.
Blessings.

aluokaloo
March 4th, 2011, 06:13 PM
because there are alot of paths that draw from various cultures and practices and pantheons, like Celtic, Roman, Greek,Finish etc.

and because there are many people who find their own paths.

Terra Mater
March 4th, 2011, 07:51 PM
And the cynic's answer is:
Every time you hav any group of people, there will always be members of the group that think that they do not quite fit in. Enough of them feeling isolated enough over time will band together and exit the group to form their own. New groups need new labels.

Christianty finds unique names for each new path (Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, etc), Pagans often just adapt a previous name to suit their purpose (Celtic Wicca, Faery Wicca, Pluralist Pantheo Paganism, etc).

Shanti
March 4th, 2011, 10:21 PM
Because there are so many people willing to think outside of any singular box. :)


Even Christianity has many forms, versions and subs.

All religions and belief systems have many variables.

Terra Mater
March 4th, 2011, 11:46 PM
Yeah, there are so many people that think outside the box that it seems no one remembers how to think inside of the box.:thumbsup:

TheWomanMonster
March 5th, 2011, 12:57 AM
It happens in all faiths, different sects break away or form and the term 'pagan' 'christian' 'wiccan' just becomes an umbrella for everything underneath it.

Adelphos
March 5th, 2011, 01:15 AM
Not quite. Wicca and Thelema started Neo-Paganism, and they're both rooted in the Order of the Golden Dawn, which is, itself, rooted in the Christian Mystery traditions. Most Neo-Pagan Paths are heavily influenced by Wicca, regardless of what they call themselves.


I have to agree and dissagree with this statement. That is true for the majority of people who fall into the "pop-paganism" category, ie. Wiccans and Wiccan derivatives. In general, anyone following a "rede", the three-fold-law, casting circles, etc. falls into this category.

Where I disagree (and have had disagreements with a wiccan friend of mine) is the concept that Wicca is the "Old Religion", that it started it all, and every branch of paganism is an offshoot of this wicca tree.

I consider myself Pagan, and proud of it. I actually tend to avoid books that have too much of a wiccan slant to them. I am a bit of an ecclectic (Shamanic/Heathen/Buddhist) and can honestly say I have no problem with that.

As far as the "old religion" is concerned, Shammanic practices go back to before recorded history, and have been practiced by various peoples world-wide without interruption. I don't think Aleister Crowley had any input here.

If you look on the Mysticwicks board, you'll see a whole rainbow of different traditions all calling themselves Pagan. Using the definition given earlier, a Pagan is someone who doesn't follow one of the three Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). The statement that Wicca, and therefore Paganism is rooted in the Christian Mystery traditions and Catholicism is therefore at odds with this definition.

As to why there are so many paths in Paganism, it's because we all come from different backgrounds and bring a variety of experiences and knowledge to the table.

I don't mean to start anything here, but the concept that all Wiccans are Pagan, therefore all Pagans are Wiccan is misguided at best, and pretty darned insulting at worst. It's like saying "hey, you are from the U.S., therefore you must be a southern baptist."

perceval23
March 5th, 2011, 01:32 AM
False. Legba originated as a deity of native Africa, commonly thought from Benin though I've heard some Nigerians claim him. He has morphed over time, taking on the various forms, especially once he was combined with the conqueror religion of Catholicism.

He was not a saint, though some connect him with Saint Anthony of Padua. I don't know so much if they see him as one in the same or a close associate.

Then, why are there no references to the name "Papa Legba" pre-dating Voodoo? Why is that name only used in Catholic cultures? Why are representations of him sold primarily in Folk Catholic botanicas?

Voodoo is a fusion of African and Folk Catholic practices. It's not purely traditional African any more than Celtic Christianity is pure Druid. Catholics have been practicing Syncretism for centuries. That's why there are so many Folk Catholic traditions.

Which brings us nicely back to the actual topic. Voodoo, Santeria, and Candomble are just a few examples of Folk Catholicism. Wherever there are Catholics, there's some variation and Syncretism. There's mixtures with pre-Christian Irish practices. There's mixtures with various Native American practices. There's Italian variations. And these people describe themselves as "Good Catholics."

This is just one denomination within Christianity. If there are that many Paths in a religion dedicated to Christ, how much more are there going to be in Neo-Paganism?

Should we really complicate things and bring up the Unitarian Universalists? :)

perceval23
March 5th, 2011, 02:22 AM
I have to agree and dissagree with this statement. That is true for the majority of people who fall into the "pop-paganism" category, ie. Wiccans and Wiccan derivatives. In general, anyone following a "rede", the three-fold-law, casting circles, etc. falls into this category.

Where I disagree (and have had disagreements with a wiccan friend of mine) is the concept that Wicca is the "Old Religion", that it started it all, and every branch of paganism is an offshoot of this wicca tree.

Well, since I described Wicca as a 20th Century religion, I certainly don't call it the "Old Religion". And, I qualified it with "most."


I consider myself Pagan, and proud of it. I actually tend to avoid books that have too much of a wiccan slant to them. I am a bit of an ecclectic (Shamanic/Heathen/Buddhist) and can honestly say I have no problem with that.

The indiginous cultures often have a problem with that, though. They tend to see Neo-Shamanism as more of that New Age stuff, accusing them of appropriating their cultural practices, removing the role of fear, and making it... Pop Paganism.

And, to a degree, they're right (again, to a degree). Neo-Shamanism does take the same approach that Wicca took to pre-Christian European religions. I'm influenced by Shamanism, myself. But, in no way would I claim to be a traditional Shaman. It's an influence. Wicca is an influence. Hinduism and Buddhism are influences. The nicely annotated Methodist edition of the Bible is an influence (A must for Bible study, I think). Crowley is an influence. George MacDonald, Lewis Carroll, and C. S. Lewis are major influences, as is Robert Anton Wilson. Catholicism is an influence. I have a lot of them, even Castaneda, though I'm a little embarrassed about that one. :)

Adelphos
March 5th, 2011, 02:45 AM
The indiginous cultures often have a problem with that, though. They tend to see Neo-Shamanism as more of that New Age stuff, accusing them of appropriating their cultural practices, removing the role of fear, and making it... Wicca-like.

I practice shamanism in the context of the Northern European tradition. I am NOT borrowing from other cultures, but learning from my own heritage. Don't assume that just because someone practices shamanism, that they are appropriating the cultural practices of others.

perceval23
March 5th, 2011, 03:35 PM
I practice shamanism in the context of the Northern European tradition. I am NOT borrowing from other cultures, but learning from my own heritage. Don't assume that just because someone practices shamanism, that they are appropriating the cultural practices of others.

But, you wrote...



As far as the "old religion" is concerned, Shammanic practices go back to before recorded history, and have been practiced by various peoples world-wide without interruption.

That was implying an unbroken tradition, as opposed to what Wiccans do. There isn't a Pagan unbroken Shaman tradition in northern Europe. The last holdouts in northern Europe regarding Christianity were the Sami people, and they'd converted by the mid 1700s. A lot of their Shamanic practices survived within Folk Christianity, so what's practiced there, today, is filtered through Christianity by people who consider themselves Christians (You'll find something akin the the "wise men" and "wise women" in most Folk Christian traditions).

There are people attempting to reconstruct the old Euorpean Pagan practices and religions, including Shamanic traditions, but this sort of thing was started by Wiccans. There's a reason Neo-Paganism didn't explode until Wicca had established itself. Neo-Paganism has a strong Wiccan influence, regardless of whether the Path practices something from Gardner or not. Gardner got the ball rolling, and deserves some credit for it, regardless of what one may think of Gardner, personally, or Wicca as a religion.

IanCorrigan
March 5th, 2011, 03:57 PM
Only within Wicca we suddenly have a bucket full of sub paths with their own labels.

It certainly isn't only within Wicca. Christianity, Judaism, islam all have many sub-sects and local special examples. Hinduism is entirely a patchwork of many schools, traditions and lineages, with only the loosest connections.

I think it's natural and correct for religion to be local and specific, rather than general and universal. Ancient Paganism certainly was - every valley and forest would have had their local spirits and local expressions of the Gods.

By keeping religion local we make sure that each person can get what they need, and not have to conform to some imagined universal ideal.

Difference need not build distance. In our town we have a group that runs big public holy day worship, and folks from many traditions come to the rites, not caring whether it's 'their way' or not. In a polytheistic system there's no reason for the Gods to be jealous.

Adelphos
March 5th, 2011, 04:28 PM
You are trying to twist two seperate posts of mine together.

When I said Shamanism has survived to the present day, I was talking shamanism as a whole. (Not specific to Northern Europe.)

When I was talking about my personal practice I refered to the Northern Traditions, and the fact that I'm not necessarily borrowing from other cultural shamanic practices. Nowhere did I say the traditions of Northern Europe were never broken. You jumped to that conclusion yourself.

Heathenism bases itself on the surviving lore that has been preserved over the centuries. Northern Europe is scattered with examples from the pre-christian era. Iceland was the last to be christianized, although paganism was generally allowed to continue there without too much persecution. From Iceland there is substantial literature, namely the Nordic Sagas and the Eddas, relating to the pagan period. You won't find mention of wicca in the Havamal.

As far as what you said:

"There are people attempting to reconstruct the old Euorpean Pagan practices and religions, including Shamanic traditions, but this sort of thing was started by Wiccans. There's a reason Neo-Paganism didn't explode until Wicca had established itself. Neo-Paganism has a strong Wiccan influence, regardless of whether the Path practices something from Gardner or not. Gardner got the ball rolling, and deserves some credit for it, regardless of what one may think of Gardner, personally, or Wicca as a religion."

That phrase is false. Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the "witch cult" and "witchcraft," and its adherents "the Wica." From the 1960s onward, the name of the religion was normalised to "Wicca." There were many people involved in the revival of paganism long before Gardner. He didn't create something from nothing, and he certainly wasn't the first.

Gardner combined the teachings that he had received from the New Forest coven with additional ideas taken from a number of disparate sources, including Freemasonry, ceremonial magic, mediaeval grimoires, and the writings of the occultist Aleister Crowley, a man whom Gardner knew personally.

By the way, Neo-paganism didn't explode when Wicca had established itself (1950's and 60's.) It didn't really explode until after some authors in the 80's and 90's began promoting self-initiation (which traditional wiccans were actually against), and the media and the internet began popularising it through movies and t.v., making it more accessible to the masses.

Daecon
March 5th, 2011, 09:39 PM
The reconstructionist paths don't represent an unbroken line to the pre-Christian any more than Wicca does. They all date from the 1930's or later.

Adelphos
March 6th, 2011, 01:18 PM
The reconstructionist paths don't represent an unbroken line to the pre-Christian any more than Wicca does. They all date from the 1930's or later.

I agree.

I was just clarifying where Perceval had misquoted to make it sound like that was my claim.

To restate:
Unbroken chain = indiginous tribal shamanism in places like the amazon and australia
Paganism = any religion outside of Christianity/Judaism/Islam
Therefore Wiccans are pagan, but not all Pagans are Wiccan

The last statement is where perceval and I are in disagreement. He claims all Pagans are Wiccan.

All is clear?

mercurialmaven
March 6th, 2011, 02:10 PM
Then, why are there no references to the name "Papa Legba" pre-dating Voodoo? Why is that name only used in Catholic cultures? Why are representations of him sold primarily in Folk Catholic botanicas?

Voodoo is a fusion of African and Folk Catholic practices. It's not purely traditional African any more than Celtic Christianity is pure Druid. Catholics have been practicing Syncretism for centuries. That's why there are so many Folk Catholic traditions.


Because "Papa Legba" originates within the cultures of Voudoun, while LEGBA the GOD, is from Africa. They are the same entity.

You need to do more research. A simple google search (http://www.mysticvoodoo.com/papa_legba.htm)would have answered that question for you.

Allytria
March 8th, 2011, 04:50 AM
Wasn't Papa legba once called Eshu Elegbara?

perceval23
March 9th, 2011, 08:44 AM
Responding to two different posters, to avoid confusion...



Because "Papa Legba" originates within the cultures of Voudoun, while LEGBA the GOD, is from Africa. They are the same entity.

You need to do more research. A simple google search (http://www.mysticvoodoo.com/papa_legba.htm)would have answered that question for you.

May I respectfully suggest you take your own advice?

Please point to anywhere, any time, the name "Legba" was used outside of a Catholic culture.

Does Legba have aspects of earlier African concepts? Yes. That's what I mean by Syncretism. Since you suggested Wiki...

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

And, even right there in that article, when we get to the Caribbean...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syncretism#Caribbean_religions_and_cultures

...there's Voodoo on the list. Here's a quote...



Another highly syncretic religion of the area, vodou (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Haitian_Vodou), combines elements of Western African, native Caribbean, and Christian (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Christianity) (especially Roman Catholic (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Roman_Catholic)) beliefs.

Voodoo is a fusion of different things from different cultures. Here's something else from Wiki...

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

And, again, there's Voodoo...



Some forms of folk Catholic practices are based on syncretism (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Syncretism) with non-Catholic beliefs and may involve the syncretism of Catholic saints and non-Christian deities. Some of these folk Catholic forms have come to be identified as separate religions, as is the case with Caribbean and Brazilian syncretisms between Catholicism and West African religions, which include Haitian Vodou (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Haitian_Vodou), Cuban Santeria (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Santeria), and Brazilian Candomblé (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Candombl%C3%A9). Similarly complex syncretisms between Catholic practice and indigenous or Native American belief systems, as are common in Maya (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Maya_peoples) communities of Guatemala (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Guatemala) and Quechua (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Quechua_people) communities of Peru (http://mysticwicks.com/wiki/Peru) to give just two of many examples, are typically not named as separate religions; their practitioners generally regard themselves as "good Catholics."

All clear, now?


When I was talking about my personal practice I refered to the Northern Traditions, and the fact that I'm not necessarily borrowing from other cultural shamanic practices. Nowhere did I say the traditions of Northern Europe were never broken. You jumped to that conclusion yourself.


Not really, since you claimed your version of Neo-Paganism had no influence in it's history from Wicca, whatsoever, and used Shamanism as your example.



There were many people involved in the revival of paganism long before Gardner. He didn't create something from nothing, and he certainly wasn't the first.

Gardner combined the teachings that he had received from the New Forest coven with additional ideas taken from a number of disparate sources, including Freemasonry, ceremonial magic, mediaeval grimoires, and the writings of the occultist Aleister Crowley, a man whom Gardner knew personally.


I did mention Crowley, BTW, with Thelema, which I described as the origin of Neo-Paganism along with Wicca.

The existence of the New Forest Coven is disputed. Of course, Gardner drew from earlier things, from Christian Mystery traditions (mainly the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) and Folk Christianity, along with the (since disproven) theories of Margaret Murray and the poetic vision of Robert Graves.

Crowley was once a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as were Charles Williams of the Inklings (C. S. Lewis's literary group that included Tolkien), W. B. Yeats, and A. E. Waite (co-creator of the most infuential an widely used Tarot deck, which was illustrated by fellow Golden Dawn member Pamela Coleman Smith). The Golden Dawn's roots are in the Christian Mystery traditions of Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism.


Unbroken chain = indiginous tribal shamanism in places like the amazon and australia
Paganism = any religion outside of Christianity/Judaism/Islam
Therefore Wiccans are pagan, but not all Pagans are Wiccan


And, when I refer to Neo-Paganism (which you'll note is the term I've always used), those first three letters and that dash are important. Those three letters and that dash distinguish it from Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and other genuinely Old Religions. NEO-Paganism does not = "any religion outside of Christianity/Judaism/Islam". You're also forgetting the Zoroastrians, who were Mothotheistic long before Judaism came along.



By the way, Neo-paganism didn't explode when Wicca had established itself (1950's and 60's.) It didn't really explode until after some authors in the 80's and 90's began promoting self-initiation (which traditional wiccans were actually against), and the media and the internet began popularising it through movies and t.v., making it more accessible to the masses.

So, you're agreeing with my point that Neo-Paganism didn't explode until after Wicca came along? That's an argument in favor that Wicca got the Neo-Pagan ball rolling. And, again, remember those first three letters and that dash. "Neo" means just that, including things like Neo-Shamanism.

DiscordianKitten
March 9th, 2011, 08:55 AM
The answer is fairly obvious to me. There's no Bible in Paganism.

mercurialmaven
March 9th, 2011, 09:10 AM
Responding to two different posters, to avoid confusion...



May I respectfully suggest you take your own advice?

Please point to anywhere, any time, the name "Legba" was used outside of a Catholic culture.

Does Legba have aspects of earlier African concepts? Yes. That's what I mean by Syncretism. Since you suggested Wiki...

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

And, even right there in that article, when we get to the Caribbean...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syncretism#Caribbean_religions_and_cultures

...there's Voodoo on the list. Here's a quote...



Voodoo is a fusion of different things from different cultures. Here's something else from Wiki...

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

And, again, there's Voodoo...

African origins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haitian_Vodou#African_origins)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/03/Gbe_languages.png/200px-Gbe_languages.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gbe_languages.png) http://bits.wikimedia.org/skins-1.17/common/images/magnify-clip.png (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gbe_languages.png)
Vodou original area


The word vodou derives from vodũ, which in Fon, Ewe, and related language (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gbe_languages) (distributed from contemporary Ghana (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghana) to Benin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benin)) means spirit or divine creature (in the sense of divine creation).
The cultural area of the Fon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fon_people), Ewe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ewe_people), and Yoruba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_people) peoples share common metaphysical (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysics) conceptions around a dual cosmological (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmology) divine principle Nana Buluku (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nana_Buluku), the God (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God)-Creator, and the vodou(s) or God-Actor(s), daughters and sons of the Creator's twin children Mawu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mawu) (goddess of the moon) and Lisa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisa_%28mythology%29) (god of the sun). The God-Creator is the cosmogonical (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmogonical) principle and does not trifle with the mundane; the vodou(s) are the God-Actor(s) who actually govern earthly issues.
The pantheon of vodoun (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dahomey_mythology) is quite large and complex. In one version, there are seven male and female twins of Mawu, interethnic and related to natural phenomena or historical or mythical individuals, and dozens of ethnic vodous, defenders of a certain clan or tribe.[citation needed (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Citation_needed)]
West African Vodun has its primary emphasis on ancestors, with each family of spirits having its own specialized priest and priestess, which are often hereditary. In many African clans, deities might include Mami Wata (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mami_Wata), who are gods and goddesses of the waters;[2] Legba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legba), who in some clans is virile and young in contrast to the old man form he takes in Haiti and in many parts of Togo; Gu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogoun) (or Ogoun), ruling iron and smithcraft; Sakpata (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sakpata), who rules diseases; and many other spirits distinct in their own way to West Africa.
[1] European colonialism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonialism), followed by totalitarian regimes in West Africa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Africa), suppressed Vodun as well as other forms of the religion. However, because the Vodun deities are born to each African clan-group, and its clergy is central to maintaining the moral, social, and political order and ancestral foundation of its villagers, it proved to be impossible to eradicate the religion. Though permitted by Haiti's 1987 constitution, which recognizes religious equality, many books and films have sensationalized Vodou as black magic based on animal and human sacrifices to summon zombies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie) and evil spirits.


You're welcome.


Further more, considering most religions in these areas are Oracular instead of Written, you would would have to talk to the people's of the individual clans themselves to gain a full grasp of how long their deities have been exalted.



The sentence I bolded PLAINLY highlights that these deities were existence BEFORE Catholic (read European) intervention.


The second sentence I highlighted (about Legba) shows you the differences between the views of this particular deity from the originators and the religion of slaves that arose after cultural "relocation".



I know what syncretism means, especially considering I've used the term myself. But we're talking about origins here and the ORIGINS of this deity you seem to be so dead seat on being syncretic and Catholic, are in AFRICA, from a group of indigenous traditional African religions.

mercurialmaven
March 9th, 2011, 09:43 AM
More Links-

Elegba in the Yoruba Religion (http://members.tripod.com/omo_ileosikan/id2.html)

Followed by;

History of the Yoruba People (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Yoruba_people)

The African peoples who lived in the lower western Niger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Niger) area, at least by the 4th century BC, were not initially known as the Yoruba, although they shared a common ethnicity and language group. Both archeology and traditional Yoruba oral historians confirm the existence of people in this region for several millennia.
Between 1100 AD and 1700 AD, the Yoruba Kingdom of Ife (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Ife) experienced a golden age (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_age), the oba (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oba_%28ruler%29) or ruler of Ife is referred to as the Ooni of Ife.[10] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_people#cite_note-9) It was then surpassed by the Yoruba Oyo Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyo_Empire) as the dominant Yoruba military and political power between 1700 AD and 1900 AD,[11] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_people#cite_note-10) the oba or ruler of Oyo is referred to as the Alaafin of Oyo. Ife, however, remained and continues to be viewed as the spiritual homeland of the Yoruba. The nearby Benin Empire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benin_Empire) with its capital in the city of Benin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benin_City), which is also in modern day Nigeria, was an equally powerful force between 1300 and 1850 AD, its ruler being referred to as the Oba of Benin.[12] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_people#cite_note-11)

[/URL]
[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_people#cite_note-11"]
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_people#cite_note-11)
Now I can understand being like "who influence who" as far as the etymology of the deities name. Especially once you consider that Benin, itself, is formed of different groups of people- and had been so when they originally mifrated closer to the southern groups. While it's simple to see how "Legba" could be taken out of "Elegba" (Maybe not for you, but it is for me and I don't mean that as insult, I'm just saying what I see).

I would also suggest you speak with actual AFRICAN practitioners of their traditional religions as you will find that they have complete pantheons, of which Legba is part of; hell I found a link where black Africans speak, shortly,but candidly, on what Legba means to them and Africa (http://www.africaspeaks.com/reasoning/index.php?topic=1955.0).

For the life of me I cannot understand why you're having such a hard time with this.

Fact: Legba (Elegba) existed BEFORE Christian (read European) intervention.
Fact: Voudou, the religion, has it's roots in AFRICA.
Fact: Voudou, the religion, has been transplanted to other areas where slaves were trafficked.
Fact: Syncretism did occur in these areas where Catholicism was placed above the traditional religion.
Fact: Hence Catholic equivalents for Legba, without the deity of Legba himself being replaced.
Fact: You can still talk to actual Africans (They still exist you know) who can attest to their pantheons and how they differ from the Haitian religious sect)

mercurialmaven
March 9th, 2011, 11:02 AM
How can I forget!? I should probably connect the dots to make this a little easier.

http://0.tqn.com/d/africanhistory/1/0/5/M/SlaveryTable001.jpg


Take a look at where a good portion of where Transatlantic slaves came from.

Benin and West Central Africa the area comprising not only Benin, but Togo and Nigeria as well. It makes total sense that the Indigenous African religions of these areas would morph into the Afro-Caribbean religions of today.

I'll provide a map for you;

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/cnhc/images/%21csm-otet.gif

Further more;

From "How Stuff Works (http://people.howstuffworks.com/voodoo1.htm)" not a most credible source but it pretty much restates other links and information I have given you;

"This African form of Voodoo is a precursor to the Voodoo practiced in Haiti and other parts of the Western hemisphere. The regions of Africa where Voodoo has thrived are also areas that were heavily trafficked during the slave trade. Slavery brought Voodoo to the Americas. Next, we'll look at the changes to Voodoo that took place on the other side of the Atlantic."

And this tidbit is interesting;

"Voodoo originated in the African (http://science.howstuffworks.com/map-of-africa.htm)kingdoms of Fon and Kongo as many as 6,000 years ago. The word "voodoo" comes from the Fon language, in which it means "sacred," "spirit" or "deity."

If you read any of the sources I've linked, a few of them will mention how these traditions are mainly ORAL, so the names of deities, their governance, and ways of worship shift with each clan- BUT Legba, in all of his forms (and different names) plays an integral part in many West African religious sects and has done so since before the slave trade that brought these religious beliefs into contact with forced conversion.

Adelphos
March 10th, 2011, 01:15 AM
The answer is fairly obvious to me. There's no Bible in Paganism.

THANK YOU!!!:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

SacredNight
March 10th, 2011, 06:05 AM
Good kitten.

SacredNight
March 10th, 2011, 06:11 AM
Sounds like almost no one even agree on that paganism is more decentralized then other.

I still haven't seen anyone problematize that paganism may fill other functions as an identity then these big religions which have many functions in the social life, they are THE culture, the base which aint questioned. And many just have that christian/chatolic label and go along with it, if they did formulate specific creeds then many functions of what religion do for them would vanish.

DiscordianKitten
March 10th, 2011, 06:28 AM
Good kitten.

Purr purr :hyper:

perceval23
March 11th, 2011, 03:35 PM
Now I can understand being like "who influence who" as far as the etymology of the deities name. Especially once you consider that Benin, itself, is formed of different groups of people- and had been so when they originally mifrated closer to the southern groups. While it's simple to see how "Legba" could be taken out of "Elegba" (Maybe not for you, but it is for me and I don't mean that as insult, I'm just saying what I see).


Never said it wasn't drawing from pre-Christian traditions. In fact, I've said that it did the entire time, despite your claims otherwise.

But, the specific name "Legba" is only used where there happened to be Catholics. Where the region was mainly Protestant, other names were used. Now, I suppose it's entirely possible that that's just an amazing coincidence, but I doubt it.

There were also many religions in that region of Africa before Christianity came. Think about why this one set of beliefs and traditions survived, while the others disappeared. It being centered on a single Creator God, with Sprits that coresponded nicely with Angels and Saints, made it compatable with Christianity, especially Catholicism. So, it became a part of the Folk Christian practices, there, it's practitioners considering themselves Christian.

And yes, it went through changes in the process. That's how religions develop. Always have, always will. When there are major cultural changes, the local religion changes with them. That's why no one, today, can be a "pure" this or that, because we don't live in those ancient cultures. Anywhere Christianity took hold, local traditions became incorporated, but have come to us, today, through centuries of filtering through Christianity. In places where the locals weren't introduced to writing before Christianity, we really can't know what the religion was before being put through a Christian filter. We can guess at some aspects based on what distinguishes the local practices from others, but we'll never know exactly what they were.

It's the same with the Druids. What we know of them is based on the hostile Roman Pagan accounts (which painted them as bloodthirsty savages who were entirely about war and himan sacrifice), the sympathetic Christian accounts (which focused on the Nature aspects and spirituality, while acknowledging the human sacrifices), and what survived into Celtic Christianity (which was quite a bit, including the Mythology, but, again, with a Christian filter).

The only pre-Christian religions in the West we can be certain about are the ones that wrote things down.

C. Iulia Regilia
April 9th, 2011, 03:41 PM
I agree.

I was just clarifying where Perceval had misquoted to make it sound like that was my claim.

To restate:
Unbroken chain = indiginous tribal shamanism in places like the amazon and australia
Paganism = any religion outside of Christianity/Judaism/Islam
Therefore Wiccans are pagan, but not all Pagans are Wiccan

The last statement is where perceval and I are in disagreement. He claims all Pagans are Wiccan.

All is clear?

For most coming TO pagan thought from other traditions Wicca plays a huge role. it's sort of the catch all where people start out until they know enough to start looking for a path. It's sort of the womb of paganism. Which means that when people start to branch out a bit, they form new Wiccas and perhaps later new Druidisms etc. to better express what they understand. Nothing in Europe (including Iceland) came comepletely without a Christian Filter, just like nothing in the Middle East exists without a Muslim Filter.

Xentor
May 25th, 2011, 02:29 PM
The answer is fairly obvious to me. There's no Bible in Paganism.

I disagree. There's at least 1 witches' bible, and there's a satanic bible... maybe more.

Xentor
May 25th, 2011, 02:34 PM
Because we can.


Most Neo-Pagan Paths are heavily influenced by Wicca, regardless of what they call themselves.

Mine is one of the few that isn't.

Woden's Spear
May 25th, 2011, 04:11 PM
What's the matter with lots of paths? Too much freedom?

Gaudior
May 25th, 2011, 04:12 PM
The more freedom, the better. Like Left Eye once said, be a free spirit! :)

Sophronia
May 25th, 2011, 05:10 PM
I'll take a shot.

Why are there so many paths in Paganism?

-If you're talking about Paganism and not just Neo-Paganism then every religion that isn't Islam, Christianity or Judaism is considered Pagan, and that's a lot of religions.

-If you're asking why there are so many Neo-Pagan paths formed in such a short amount of time in contrast with how long it's taken other religions to diversify, I think that's because the world is different today from what it was when Christianity was really the only option, or even before European people were converted to Christianity (I do know that religion was always diverse-I just don't think it was as diverse within say...70 years. Even when every hill had it's own mythology, it was probably very old mythology that had been established for a long time.). Following tradition wasn't an option, it was a rule. People weren't given the chance to make their own decisions. They were whatever religion they were because it benefited the community and the society they lived in. Now a lot of us are brought up in a culture that pays a decent amount of attention to the individual on top of having access to so much information and so many different experiences. Diversifying under these conditions seems normal. Humans are curious. We want to try new things and have new experiences.

I also think that so many people are drawn to Neo-Paganism from a kind of illusion or idealism. On the one hand you have people who have "the grass is greener on the other side" kind of attitude and so they flit from one religion or one path to the other always thinking that whatever the next one has will be the ideal. On the other hand you have people who see Neo-Paganism as a kind of fertile ground for creating religions that truly fit people of this age, instead of people from 2,000 years ago. So maybe the people who are coming up with all of these new paths are trying to give us a religion that doesn't impose boundaries that are outdated on us?

Of course it is possible that Neo-Paganism isn't as diverse as it seems. Everything that is a broken or not an established religion tends to go under the Paganism umbrella. Basically then, as we try to rebuild so many religions, those religions that before Christianity would have just been the religion of that area are now considered Pagan. I don't know if I'm explaining this too well. Say you have Mayan influenced Paganism and Norse influenced Paganism and Middle Eastern influenced Paganism you would have three forms of Paganism under today's terms, but before they would have just been Mayan religion and Norse religion and Middle Eastern religion and really wouldn't have anything to do with each other. So I guess what I'm saying is that specific paths that before wouldn't have been connected are now connected, but only superficially.

Or maybe I'm wrong and it's none of these things. Would not be the first time.

The last reason that I just remembered is intent. People have all different kinds of intentions when they come into Paganism. Some want to revive their dead ancestor's religion, some want to create a utopia, some want to act out fantasies. Different intent leads to many paths?

phathead
May 25th, 2011, 07:47 PM
As an initiate, I can say Voudun, Lukumi and Candomble are not Catholic Folk Traditions. That would imply that they were started by Catholics that began to syncretize African, Native American and spiritist practices into their Catholicism. The exact opposite is actually true and historically / Anthropologically very easily verified. They were started by African slaves that adopted folk Catholic practices to disguise the real practice of their transplanted religions. That is why there was Saint iconography, terrerios and Cofradias (mutual aide societies), processionals on feast days, etc. The African has always had no problem syncretizing other practices that they saw value in....read - Bruce Lee - use what works.
And someone needs to explain to me how references to "Papa Legba" pre date Voodoo.....whose practice has been established to be at least 5,000 years old????

Xentor
May 28th, 2011, 05:00 AM
Here's an argument about why nowadays we have so many variations of spaghetti sauce, mustard and coffee. Nowadays? Yes. According to this speaker, the variety we allow ourselves today, and is allowed us by food manufacturors, is only 1 to 2 decades old.

It's not about food. It's about whether or we accept that we differ. Just like we do with our religion.

Enjoy.

Malcolm Gladwell on spaghetti sauce
http://www.ted.com/talks/malcolm_gladwell_on_spaghetti_sauce.html

Umbress
June 1st, 2011, 07:35 AM
If you're asking why there are so many Neo-Pagan paths formed in such a short amount of time in contrast with how long it's taken other religions to diversify, I think that's because the world is different today from what it was when Christianity was really the only option, or even before European people were converted to Christianity (I do know that religion was always diverse-I just don't think it was as diverse within say...70 years. Even when every hill had it's own mythology, it was probably very old mythology that had been established for a long time.).

Christianity BEGAN diversified – Been debating a priest on and off for almost year I am decent with my early christian history – Look up Nicaea council of 325 – called by the emperor Constantine to reach a consensus regarding the divine nature of Christ and his relationship to god the father – That's right some early christian churches did not even see Jesus as being equivalent to god the father but regarded him as a lesser deity and some did not see him as a deity at all – So the christian church STARTED out as various fractions but for Roman political reasons were FORCED into reaching a consensus - So religions FREQUENTLY start out diverse and become more centralized later only if pressured to do so in order to survive or by political force.


Perceval23 – I am not even sure where to start – The Jews got many of their religious ideas from the Chaldeans and Zoroastrianism with a hint of Egyptian thrown in for good measure – Christian connection to Jewish tradition is seen only by the Christians. The Jews thought of christian as another heretic polytheistic pagan religion that was bastardizing their religion hence the prosecution of Christians by the Jews as written about in the New Testament PAGAN practices as in pre-christian ones INFLUENCED Christianity as much if not more so than the Jewish traditions the Christians claim .

That is why many who are studying ancient religions LOOK at early christian writings because early Christians absorbed/wrote condemning practices from the surrounding pagan cultures. Catholic churches modified their own practices as a means of encouraging local pagans to convert. Many of the pagan influences are evident in the catholic ceremonies So if the truth be known it is pagans re-claiming what is left of their traditional practiced via way of christian traditions/writings NOT the other way around - History offers evidence beyond the shadow of a doubt that pagan religions were here first.



Indigenous tribes who usually did NOT write their traditions down are probably the closet to “pure” but then again as people moved about and traded with other tribes, and people from other lands they influenced each other – We are social creatures designed to interact – Every time we interact we are influenced by those with whom we interact with regardless of whether not we agree with them.

Wicca is a drop in the primordial religion bucket as far as influences go – Paganism was around long before wicca as some one already pointed out the practices just wasn't called paganism


Next point shamanism was NOT a design of ingenious tribes of Europe, Australia or north american. The word was used by the natives of Siberia, to describe a specialized type of holy person. It is now understood to indicate a certain style of spiritual journeying or trance work.

Oh and the shaman example by Adelphos


As far as the "old religion" is concerned, Shammanic practices go back to before recorded history, and have been practiced by various peoples world-wide without interruption. I don't think Aleister Crowley had any input here.

The point here is that this form of spiritual practice was NOT influenced by Wicca Crowley or even Neo-pagan popularity because it is one of the oldest spiritual practices dating further back than antiquity. Shamanism influenced religion through out the ages – Even Christians have shamanic experiences they simply used different terms to express it – Jesus could have easily fit into the role of traditional shaman healer!

Please hop off the wiccan carrousel – the religion has it's place in modern pagan culture but it is not in the place you want to put it. My practices have little if any thing to do with wicca – Wicca and Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn are not the same thing – wicca resembles Catholicism more than the hermetics which tend to favor mystical Jewish ideology.{the kabbalah being an example} The hermetic ideologies are an eclectic belief system drawing ideas from a variety of spiritual, ceremonial and intellectual sources with wicca being one of the few exceptions simply because wasn't around!

Louisvillian
December 29th, 2011, 05:23 PM
The last statement is where perceval and I are in disagreement. He claims all Pagans are Wiccan.
I don't think that's what he's doing. He's saying that several neopagan paths are influenced by Wicca in a way that is very integral to their outlook and practices. He might be a bit wrong to say "most", but I think he's thinking in terms of non-reconstructionist, eclectic paths. Which is pretty true.
I think he's mostly just pointing out that Wicca deserves a lot of credit for getting the ball rolling in the middle of the 20th century. It jump-started neopaganism's popularity in the 1960's and 70's. Whereas proto-neopagan groups and ideas were a lot more limited.


Not quite. Wicca and Thelema started Neo-Paganism, and they're both rooted in the Order of the Golden Dawn, which is, itself, rooted in the Christian Mystery traditions. Most Neo-Pagan Paths are heavily influenced by Wicca, regardless of what they call themselves.
Thank you for making this point in my absence. It's a strange fact of history that, yes, Wicca owes a lot of its ideas and practices to Christian mysticism and occult. Though those Christian Esoteric ideas have roots in Neo-Platonism and Pythagoras, so...it's come full circle?
Either way, Wicca as it is now is one of several neopagan paths, within the whole spectrum of polytheistic revival religions.