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Thread: Cherry-Picking Vs. Traditionalism

  1. #21
    ~Elise~'s Avatar
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    Just do not call Odin and Kali-ma in the same ritual...that is just mind-boggling. Keep each pantheon separate, would be my advice.
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  2. #22
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    I think they both have thier strong points, my only issue is people who claim to be following a tradition (like Wicca) but are actually eclectics. but that's really a whole different issue.

    My general advice is to set some sort of basic framework for yourself and build from that, and also to try to respect the traditions you draw from as much as you can.
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  3. #23
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    /shrugs

    I'm one of those darned "cherrypickers" that shouldn't do what we do. I've given a name to my path that reflects it, too.

    "American Witchcraft" is what I call it in any sort of official sense (whatever that means,) and "Melting Cauldron" in familiar company. It's supposed to reflect the Melting Pot analogy of the US, since I pull mainly from the traditions and beliefs of the descendants of people who immigrated to this country.

    For me, its all about using what works. I'm not interested in practicing with a coven or a grove or a circle or a square or a triad or a dodecahedron. So I don't really give a damn what anyone thinks of my practices - I didn't ask anyone's opinion.

    I can almost promise that my methodology won't work the same way for anyone else. So it wouldn't teach anyone else what I've learned from it. Nor would I have learned what I know if I had gone another route. Impossible to say if I would know more or less - unless I had stayed on the path I was born into. Then I can tell you for certain I would know less.

    Cherrypicking aside (and I know what you mean by it, I'm just using it like this without negative denotation because I think its an apt word,) I think the point is for a person to be open to the opportunity to change. If your path comes to a fork in the road, some people choose the left path, some choose the right path, and some folks dither around at the fork and wring their hands and stagnate. It doesn't matter what path you choose - so long as you make a conscious choice. It is in making the choice that we learn.
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  4. #24
    Philosophia's Avatar
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    I'm an eclectic and I firmly believe it's fine to "cherry pick" if you properly research the aspect fully. That means going beyond the basics and looking at the culture and history. Mixing traditions that aren't compatible isn't okay unless you're willing to do a lot of hard work to put them together. It's the same for every single thing that comes into a person's tradition.

    Personally, I find that being eclectic may be a lot more harder than many people realize. In eclecticism, there isn't a set outside structure. It really depends on the individuals who are participating in their own path to create their own structure, even in rituals, prayers, etc..

    Each part incorporated into a participant's path needs to be researched to the fullest degree, even if it is something small (I've heard of some deities being very "picky" about specific things that they desire). If a person doesn't, than they have to take responsibility for the consequences.
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    Let's see how well I can phrase this...XD

    I think that eclecticism can come in many shades of grey, and is not so black-and-white as some might think. In most traditions, there is a bit of wiggle room, so one doesn't have to follow every single traditional/conventional aspect to the letter. But, in most traditions and paths, there are some practices and beliefs that are core and define them, and without those, a practitioner most likely cannot accurately call themselves of that system.

    However, it is not my place to tell someone what to believe or not to believe. I can only offer the suggestion that someone choose the most accurate name for what they practise and believe.
    Example of myself: I am a solitary Wiccan, but I am fairly conventional in my practices and beliefs. However, there is quite a bit of wiggle room in regards to certain things that I could use if I wanted to, and still consider myself a Wiccan. However, since I consider myself part of that particular religion, I can't pick and choose for whatever I want, because certain things might contradict with the core beliefs and practices in Wicca.

    I also agree with what Philosophia said just now- if you are going to "cherry-pick" and be generally eclectic, at least research the source material properly, and know what you're doing before getting into something.

  6. #26
    ~Elise~'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philosophia View Post
    I'm an eclectic and I firmly believe it's fine to "cherry pick" if you properly research the aspect fully. That means going beyond the basics and looking at the culture and history. Mixing traditions that aren't compatible isn't okay unless you're willing to do a lot of hard work to put them together. It's the same for every single thing that comes into a person's tradition.

    Personally, I find that being eclectic may be a lot more harder than many people realize. In eclecticism, there isn't a set outside structure. It really depends on the individuals who are participating in their own path to create their own structure, even in rituals, prayers, etc..

    Each part incorporated into a participant's path needs to be researched to the fullest degree, even if it is something small (I've heard of some deities being very "picky" about specific things that they desire). If a person doesn't, than they have to take responsibility for the consequences.
    And there's the rub...most people won't/don't take that time and research and think it's okay. It is NOT okay.

    Please notice I didn't say all don't take the time. But, lately, I find those are far and few between. And unfortunately, all eclectics get painted with the brush of those who don't.

    Those who follow a Tradition get upset when they see the Gods they follow and honor treated in such a disrespectful manner. This discussion has happened MANY times in the past and my answer is always some form of this.

    I'm not picking on you, Philosophia, I'm using your post as a great example of the way it should be done, but isn't. Accessorizing with the God O' the Week, is not respectful and yes, Traditionalists get upset when they see that happening.

    Using the example a few post above, you want to mix Odin and Kali ma...spend a year with Norse learning, reading, honoring and absorbing, same with Hindu (another year there doing the same)...THEN if you choose to mix those two-at least you have a cultural understanding of what you're doing. (Then, I'll lay you 50 to 1 that you won't do something like that)

    Elise
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    It seems some folks confuse "secrets" with Mysteries.
    The Mysteries aren't secret.
    They are there for whoever wishes to seek them out.
    There just aren't any shortcuts.

    That's the Secret.

    Don't ask Life to polish you into a jewel and then complain about all the rough treatment!

    If you're talking shit behind my back - then you're close enough to kiss my ass.



  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Elise~ View Post
    Those who follow a Tradition get upset when they see the Gods they follow and honor treated in such a disrespectful manner. This discussion has happened MANY times in the past and my answer is always some form of this.
    It seems to me that if traditionalists get upset because of how an eclectic chooses to engage the Gods, then that's their problem, not the eclectic's. I've gone into detail about how Setian eclecticism works before - like Philosophia mentioned it involves a great deal of research and concentration. I am respectful to everybody when it comes to their own beliefs and practices, but if somebody else is upset by something I do in my tradition, that is not my fault nor is it my responsibility to make them feel better. They can either get over being upset, ignore me, or go away. When it comes to my own relationship with the Gods, I answer only to the Gods, not to any man-made orthodoxy or orthopraxy.

    I'm not picking on you, Philosophia, I'm using your post as a great example of the way it should be done, but isn't. Accessorizing with the God O' the Week, is not respectful and yes, Traditionalists get upset when they see that happening.
    Again, I think traditionalists are unwise to let it bother them so much. They should remain focused on their own work and not allow themselves to be bothered by what other people do. If Odin and Kali Ma really don't approve of being called in the same ritual, then They can address the situation themselves; They do not need any human beings to "correct" the problem for Them. And furthermore I can't understand being "upset" by this because it's not exactly like somebody who recklessly "cherry picks" is really committing some kind of heinous crime anyway. I can understand being upset by murder, rape, and other things along those lines, but I can't understand getting bent out of shape because of a heresy.
    My God is a real Ass; He butchered the Dying-and-Rising Lord, He stole the Eye from the Hawk, He sires the Children of Rebellion, and He lusts after God and Goddess alike. Every green and growing thing shrivels into dust at His touch; every convention is violated by the seed of His loins. He brings drought and infertility to the land, and He has no respect for the crook or the flail. Yet without Him, the slave would never break free from his bondage, the evil serpent would devour the sun, and the future would never come to pass.

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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~Elise~ View Post
    Those who follow a Tradition get upset when they see the Gods they follow and honor treated in such a disrespectful manner. This discussion has happened MANY times in the past and my answer is always some form of this.
    It seems to me that if traditionalists get upset because of how an eclectic chooses to engage the Gods, then that's their problem, not the eclectic's. I've gone into detail about how Setian eclecticism works before - like Philosophia mentioned it involves a great deal of research and concentration. I am respectful to everybody when it comes to their own beliefs and practices, but if somebody else is upset by something I do in my tradition, that is not my fault nor is it my responsibility to make them feel better. They can either get over being upset, ignore me, or go away. When it comes to my own relationship with the Gods, I answer only to the Gods, not to any man-made orthodoxy or orthopraxy.

    I'm not picking on you, Philosophia, I'm using your post as a great example of the way it should be done, but isn't. Accessorizing with the God O' the Week, is not respectful and yes, Traditionalists get upset when they see that happening.
    Again, I think traditionalists are unwise to let it bother them so much. They should remain focused on their own work and not allow themselves to be bothered by what other people do. If Odin and Kali Ma really don't approve of being called in the same ritual, then They can address the situation Themselves; They do not need any human beings to "correct" the problem for Them. And furthermore I can't understand being "upset" by this because it's not exactly like somebody who recklessly "cherry picks" is really committing some kind of heinous crime anyway. I can understand being upset by murder, rape, and other things along those lines, but I can't understand getting bent out of shape because of a heresy.
    My God is a real Ass; He butchered the Dying-and-Rising Lord, He stole the Eye from the Hawk, He sires the Children of Rebellion, and He lusts after God and Goddess alike. Every green and growing thing shrivels into dust at His touch; every convention is violated by the seed of His loins. He brings drought and infertility to the land, and He has no respect for the crook or the flail. Yet without Him, the slave would never break free from his bondage, the evil serpent would devour the sun, and the future would never come to pass.

    The song of the tempest is His name.


    Khepher-I-Suti

  9. #29
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    There is within any path a very different relationship between the Diety(or not) and the practitioner and the practitioners and the practitioners.

    I would agree that one's relationship with diety is a matter that is soley between the two. Religion being a process of reconnecting, it is not a matter for other practitioners to dictate what is and what is not acceptable because the process of religion is not dircted toward them*. This has always been my viewpoint, whether dealing with the God of the Bible, or (much later) others that I've felt connected to.

    Now, I will readily admit, guidence has value, important value, and sometimes the guidence of others is difficult to accept and we stubbornly reject what those who may know better have to say about how we should do what.

    At least, I've always been stubbon about it. Blame Freud.



    *Or is it? I am also of the mind that, (psychology aside) our relationship with people is just as important and a part of our relationship with diety. Ah, the paradox of universal consciousness.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Brooks View Post
    It seems to me that if traditionalists get upset because of how an eclectic chooses to engage the Gods, then that's their problem, not the eclectic's. I've gone into detail about how Setian eclecticism works before - like Philosophia mentioned it involves a great deal of research and concentration. I am respectful to everybody when it comes to their own beliefs and practices, but if somebody else is upset by something I do in my tradition, that is not my fault nor is it my responsibility to make them feel better. They can either get over being upset, ignore me, or go away. When it comes to my own relationship with the Gods, I answer only to the Gods, not to any man-made orthodoxy or orthopraxy.

    Again, I think traditionalists are unwise to let it bother them so much. They should remain focused on their own work and not allow themselves to be bothered by what other people do. If Odin and Kali Ma really don't approve of being called in the same ritual, then They can address the situation Themselves; They do not need any human beings to "correct" the problem for Them. And furthermore I can't understand being "upset" by this because it's not exactly like somebody who recklessly "cherry picks" is really committing some kind of heinous crime anyway. I can understand being upset by murder, rape, and other things along those lines, but I can't understand getting bent out of shape because of a heresy.
    The upset comes from the fact that few people these days are willing to follow up their eclectic-centered posts about certain things by saying something akin to "this is how I see so-and-so" or "this may not be historically correct" or "this isn't really [culture]'s way of doing it, but I like doing it this way because...", and so on.

    Ultimately, we traditionalists (if thats what we're being called here) get upset because we fear that individuals seeking to know something authentic/historical/traditional will find these eclectic-oriented posts and believe that X, Y, Z is true of a certain deity or form of worship or whatever, completely leading the individual in the wrong direction. Its not really a matter of what the individual believes in their personal path or how they see the Gods, its just about being honest to oneself and with others.

    If you find that Thor appears to you in a red dress and pink cape, hey whatever that is your personal gnosis, but its nice to let others know that that is how He appears to YOU and may not necessarily match up with how He was viewed by the Norse then and the Asatru now.

    Yeah, sometimes we traditionalists step on peoples toes. We get frustrated and don't want our Gods to be misrepresented anymore than Wiccans don't want to be misrepresented as crazed maniac Satan worshippers. It all comes down to being honest with yourself and others about what you do and believe.

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