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Thread: Cherry-Picking Vs. Traditionalism

  1. #71
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    Isn't Wicca a "cherry-picking" religion. When Gardner was "creating" the path he took traditions for all different cultures.
    He claims a European path but takes Ideas like Karma (three fold Law) from Eastern beliefs.

  2. #72
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    I am not familiar with Eastern Philosophy, however I am familiar with the three fold law as presented in Wicca. Most of the witches I know though they do not adhere to the threefold law express such concepts as 'what goes around comes around' so they recognize that there are reactions and consequences to the energy they direct. As for gardener I never read any of his books, but from what I learned of Wicca I believe you are right about him trying to dig through the past and adapting an older Pagan European tradition the result of which being what we call Wicca today.

  3. #73
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    Personally, I'd consider that a false dichotomy. There are few if any "traditional" faiths and practices that haven't strayed from their original form, if we could even pinpoint what that "original" form was. There are also few if any "cherry pickers" (I really don't like that phrasing, personally) who don't conform to any sort of structure. Most of us fall somewhere in-between.

    If there were a hard dichotomy, though, I doubt any would be any "better" than the other, they're just two ways of doing things.

  4. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbow View Post
    Personally, I'd consider that a false dichotomy. There are few if any "traditional" faiths and practices that haven't strayed from their original form, if we could even pinpoint what that "original" form was. There are also few if any "cherry pickers" (I really don't like that phrasing, personally) who don't conform to any sort of structure. Most of us fall somewhere in-between.

    If there were a hard dichotomy, though, I doubt any would be any "better" than the other, they're just two ways of doing things.
    I agree that's it natural for all religions to change as people convert and bring along some of their old beliefs, or are forced to convert through conquest and hold onto their old beliefs as much as embracing the new ones. Some people are just more honest about it.
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  5. #75
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    I may have responded to this previously...

    Let's put this into perspective. Making an altar to Hecate I don't believe is a terrible crime against that faith or hellenic recons in general. It probably isn't the way that she was necessarily worshiped long, long ago but seeing as how all that info is more or less lost to us then the faith has to evolve.

    But... A Voodoo Lwa? You can't just walk into a circle and invoke him. You don't invoke them, as far as I know. You have to work, in that tradition, within the framework of the practice/faith or you may as well not be working at all. In this regard you need an altar, perhaps 9 candles on it, a veve at some point potentially, a poppet made to represent him, offering of whiskey/rum and cigars. It'd be highly improper to just pick the deity and start doing whatever feels appropriate.

    This is not a yellow pages phone book people. Have some reverence. -_-

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dumunzi View Post
    I may have responded to this previously...

    Let's put this into perspective. Making an altar to Hecate I don't believe is a terrible crime against that faith or hellenic recons in general. It probably isn't the way that she was necessarily worshiped long, long ago but seeing as how all that info is more or less lost to us then the faith has to evolve.

    But... A Voodoo Lwa? You can't just walk into a circle and invoke him. You don't invoke them, as far as I know. You have to work, in that tradition, within the framework of the practice/faith or you may as well not be working at all. In this regard you need an altar, perhaps 9 candles on it, a veve at some point potentially, a poppet made to represent him, offering of whiskey/rum and cigars. It'd be highly improper to just pick the deity and start doing whatever feels appropriate.

    This is not a yellow pages phone book people. Have some reverence. -_-
    This is a good point, but it bring to mind a question, at least for me.

    As you said, one doesn't "invoke" a lwa - but let's just say that someone looking through their "Big Book of 5000 Non-Corporeal Entities" decided to pick a lwa and attempt to use their name in their invocation.

    Part of me wants to say, at least in this specific example, that the invocation would have no effect. As the lwa don't recognize much other than specific calls to them (as you mentioned, the vévés and their traditional preferred offerings,) why would they bother peering across the horizon (or whatever they have) and looking for other kinds of calls; single candles lit, circles made with tumbled gemstones and green men and Gaia and Shiva and a wolf statue and Pan and the kitchen sink kind of thing. I mean, why would it even occur to them to look? So maybe it would do nothing.

    But...

    (And here's the funny thing.)

    At least, in the specific example of the lwa, I would never discount one of them hearing their name being called, and showing up just to "have a good time." Perhaps that's personifying the lwa overmuch, but I was always under the impression that there are several, of all families, who just enjoy making mischief.

    But its more likely that the cherrypicker would be overlooked, if not outright ignored in your example, I would think. Perhaps one of the Voodoosants on here can correct me though.
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  7. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by malkookoo View Post
    Is it Wrong to stray from specified guidlines within a path?
    No, I don't think so. I don't, however, think that you should call yourself a traditional such and such if you don't specifically follow the traditions of that path.

    Will doing so tarnish a given practice? Will doing so show disrespect to those that have "done the work"?
    Who says that "cherry-pickers" haven't 'done the work'? I know that I have put a lot of time, study, and effort into each aspect of my path - and I consider myself an Eclectic Pagan by path definition, so I'd fall into the "cherry-picker" category.

    Should we adhere to the rules?
    I think it depends on the rule. Like I said above, I don't think you should misrepresent yourself as a traditional member of x path if you do not adhere to the traditions - but if you find value and validity in certain aspects of a path and wish to incorporate them into your own... why shouldn't you?

    Some paths are so steeped in tradition that you would be hard pressed to get away from following them if you chose that path (the previously mentioned Vodou, for one)... but is it impossible? Well, I don't know. I would have to want to try it and find out the hard way to see if one of the Lwa would respond to me or anyone without the trappings and traditions of the vodou path. I can't answer that with a 100% yes or no.

    Conversely, does holding onto the traditions from maybe thousands of years in the past keep us from moving forward?
    Ancient traditions are subject to translation... which means that there is already a good chance that they aren't "true" to the original, but subject to the interpreters ability to interpret the original creators intent.

    I don't think embracing well-known or ancient traditions is wrong - and I don't think it will keep you from moving forward unless you allow it to.

    Should we take what we like, what is of use, and discard the rest?
    I think that you should take what applies to you and utilize it, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the other traditions and beliefs of a particular system are worthless or that someone else shouldn't ascribe to them.
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  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by RivaWitch View Post
    He claims a European path but takes Ideas like Karma (three fold Law) from Eastern beliefs.

    Karma=/=three-fold law.
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  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiamma View Post
    Karma=/=three-fold law.
    That is certainly true, but the threefold law idea was based on the eastern concept of karma.

    Gardner spent a good part of his life living and working in eastern countries and had lots of exposure to eastern religions. Theosophy, which was popular during Gardner's day, also drew heavily on eastern philosophies. Gardner had a strong connection to Theosophy through his involvement with the Rosicrucian Theatre group, which included Mabel Besant-Scott, who just happened to be Annie Besant's daughter. Annie Besant was a leading Theosophist and was the president of the Theosophical Society for a time.

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  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    The Lay of Thrym from The Poetic Edda.



    I know Heathen folk that hold rites outside prison walls as executions are happening, dedicating the slain prisoners to Odin, just like in the good ol' days... I have considered joining them, and most likely eventually will.

    ...now that's a cherry that'll probably not soon be picked, eh?
    If I ever end up sentenced to death I am requesting this!

    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Goddess View Post
    Faith is the primary foundation to Christianity one need only believe; it is orthodox. Doing "works" which I take to mean as charity work and the like is in no way orthoprax, orthopraxy implies worshipping in a specific way by doing/saying specific things, referring to ceremonies, rituals, and the like.

    Whether or not doing works helps your way there or not is another argument for Christians to have out at each other, but the primary foundation for all of Christianity is belief in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Son of God/God incarnate and the truth of the Word of God.
    As a former Catholic I'll add my thirty pieces of silver.

    Catholics require Orthodoxy in believe and orthopraxi in Mass. You must believe and do the right actions at all times.

    However charity isn't just feeding the poor. Infact currently the highest charity would be trying to end abortion, trying to convert non-Catholics and most of all praying for the living and the dead. The dead to get out of purgatory. The living that there free wills be subverted to obey the Catholic Church in all things.

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