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Thread: How do you view mythology and how does this influence your view of deity or lack of?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by David19 View Post
    I'm not Son of Goddess, but, I don't see why the contemporary Italian culture would influence a Roman recon, it might if the Roman religion had continued in some form down to the present day, but, it hasn't (unlike in Mexico, where there are still remains indigenious beliefs and practices of the Aztecs and Maya, so, modern ethnology is important for filling in the blanks for Aztec recons), I'm a Sumerian/Mesopotamian recon, but, it's unlikely I'm going to be influenced by modern Iraqi culture (unless it's something like the food or music, as I do like Middle Eastern food and some Arab music).
    Family is important in all traditional societies but that is only culture in microcosm. The idea that Contemporary Italian and Italian folk culture is not relevant is an insult to members of the Italian Culture and a wild expression of the innocence and arrogance or inexperiance. Someone who dismisses culture is deeply out of touch with the highest expression of the living culture its religion and the nature of reconstructionism.

    Traditional religion as with all traditional crafts is created not in isolation by an elite but in a secular environment by the culture as a whole. Traditions rise and fall within the natural rythm of a living culture and they are revived at will so long as that culture is living. That secular culture which is continuous and contemporary is the creator and preserver of its native religion making it an important study for recon. If the continuance of pre christian religion in folklore isnt enough of an illustration then take the continuing family name De Pagano in rural Italy. Those are pagans in the original meaning of the word. People who are not members of the progressive elite people who practice a religion not in tune with the urbane.

    The main reason all recons pay attention to the contemporary cultures of the religions they study is the culture where a tradition begins religious or otherwise is key to reconstructionism with its emphasis on empiracism and accuracy. To succeed it must have a place where that religion can function as it once did. Given American society is not the traditional society where the religion formed even if the Gods manifested a solid book of the codified religion for the religion to thrive it must be changed to function within the new non traditional environment. It must have elements americans can relate to and it must shape itself to american culture.

    Unless Recons can create something that mirrors the framework of traditional italian culture but is not entirely a throwback to millennia ago, (something that would be alien to contemporary culture) the religion will need to be changed to something that is not recignisably traditional to thrive. A recon can only aspire to be the most Italian, Greek, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Norweigan, Croation et al that they can be within American culture. Just like a family of Italians who do not retain their cultural heritage will not produce children who are recignisably Italian. Failure to study the contemporary culture will mean failure as a recon.

    Also to dismiss contemporary Italian culture is to dismiss neo paganism in Italy which has its own native neo pagan revival, as do a lot of European countries today. Most would study the contemporary movements in the understanding that a craftsman who has inherited his craft has an understanding of the nuances within that craft that a craftsman new to the trade no matter how dedicated must lack.

    Are there even fairies in Italian mythology and folklore?.
    SoG can call them numina I call them fairies. I do that because names like Síoga are foreign to people not native to Ireland. Fairy folklore is international and subject to academic study in Ethnology. Each tale type is given its own defining number the AT/U number. For the screaming hole that would fall under 400-459 the supernatural or Enchanted Wife. I recommend a college course in Ethnology for all recons if there isnt an equivolent Celtic Studies course available for their culture of study.

    http://oaks.nvg.org/folktale-types.html#atu

    I now have an image of Jesus doing a dance with some fairies!.
    Hahahaha Im sorry if this is offensive to either of you but I nearly peed myself laughing at this when I went looking for an image of jesus dancing with fairies. Its shockingly hetronormative (for a college kid).




    EDIT:
    My point with the empiracism and accuracy bit is if the religion is changed to suit its new non traditional home it will move away from being an accurate reconstruction of the religion. It will be a reinterpretation along the lines of wicca.

    I use America for my examples because 99% of recons are american
    Last edited by Nuadu; April 15th, 2009 at 06:57 AM. Reason: context

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    Family is important in all traditional societies but that is only culture in microcosm. The idea that Contemporary Italian and Italian folk culture is not relevant is an insult to members of the Italian Culture and a wild expression of the innocence and arrogance or inexperiance. Someone who dismisses culture is deeply out of touch with the highest expression of the living culture its religion and the nature of reconstructionism.

    Traditional religion as with all traditional crafts is created not in isolation by an elite but in a secular environment by the culture as a whole. Traditions rise and fall within the natural rythm of a living culture and they are revived at will so long as that culture is living. That secular culture which is continuous and contemporary is the creator and preserver of its native religion making it an important study for recon. If the continuance of pre christian religion in folklore isnt enough of an illustration then take the continuing family name De Pagano in rural Italy. Those are pagans in the original meaning of the word. People who are not members of the progressive elite people who practice a religion not in tune with the urbane.

    The main reason all recons pay attention to the contemporary cultures of the religions they study is the culture where a tradition begins religious or otherwise is key to reconstructionism with its emphasis on empiracism and accuracy. To succeed it must have a place where that religion can function as it once did. Given American society is not the traditional society where the religion formed even if the Gods manifested a solid book of the codified religion for the religion to thrive it must be changed to function within the new non traditional environment. It must have elements americans can relate to and it must shape itself to american culture.

    Unless Recons can create something that mirrors the framework of traditional italian culture but is not entirely a throwback to millennia ago, (something that would be alien to contemporary culture) the religion will need to be changed to something that is not recignisably traditional to thrive. A recon can only aspire to be the most Italian, Greek, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Norweigan, Croation et al that they can be within American culture. Just like a family of Italians who do not retain their cultural heritage will not produce children who are recignisably Italian. Failure to study the contemporary culture will mean failure as a recon.

    Also to dismiss contemporary Italian culture is to dismiss neo paganism in Italy which has its own native neo pagan revival, as do a lot of European countries today. Most would study the contemporary movements in the understanding that a craftsman who has inherited his craft has an understanding of the nuances within that craft that a craftsman new to the trade no matter how dedicated must lack.
    Ok, I see where you are coming from now and I agree 100%.

    SoG can call them numina I call them fairies.
    Well I was pointing out what you described in teh context of Roman religion.

    Hahahaha Im sorry if this is offensive to either of you but I nearly peed myself laughing at this when I went looking for an image of jesus dancing with fairies. Its shockingly hetronormative (for a college kid).

    LOL! I thought you might find that funny! Love that picture, haha!


    EDIT:
    My point with the empiracism and accuracy bit is if the religion is changed to suit its new non traditional home it will move away from being an accurate reconstruction of the religion. It will be a reinterpretation along the lines of wicca.

    I use America for my examples because 99% of recons are american
    And this is why *most* recons know that they must alter their worldview to that of the culture in which the religion they are trying to reconstruct. For me, it isn't so bad because I'm part Italian (along with some other stuff, haha) and grew up around that mindset.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    Family is important in all traditional societies but that is only culture in microcosm. The idea that Contemporary Italian and Italian folk culture is not relevant is an insult to members of the Italian Culture and a wild expression of the innocence and arrogance or inexperiance. Someone who dismisses culture is deeply out of touch with the highest expression of the living culture its religion and the nature of reconstructionism.

    Traditional religion as with all traditional crafts is created not in isolation by an elite but in a secular environment by the culture as a whole. Traditions rise and fall within the natural rythm of a living culture and they are revived at will so long as that culture is living. That secular culture which is continuous and contemporary is the creator and preserver of its native religion making it an important study for recon. If the continuance of pre christian religion in folklore isnt enough of an illustration then take the continuing family name De Pagano in rural Italy. Those are pagans in the original meaning of the word. People who are not members of the progressive elite people who practice a religion not in tune with the urbane.

    The main reason all recons pay attention to the contemporary cultures of the religions they study is the culture where a tradition begins religious or otherwise is key to reconstructionism with its emphasis on empiracism and accuracy. To succeed it must have a place where that religion can function as it once did. Given American society is not the traditional society where the religion formed even if the Gods manifested a solid book of the codified religion for the religion to thrive it must be changed to function within the new non traditional environment. It must have elements americans can relate to and it must shape itself to american culture.

    Unless Recons can create something that mirrors the framework of traditional italian culture but is not entirely a throwback to millennia ago, (something that would be alien to contemporary culture) the religion will need to be changed to something that is not recignisably traditional to thrive. A recon can only aspire to be the most Italian, Greek, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Norweigan, Croation et al that they can be within American culture. Just like a family of Italians who do not retain their cultural heritage will not produce children who are recignisably Italian. Failure to study the contemporary culture will mean failure as a recon.

    Also to dismiss contemporary Italian culture is to dismiss neo paganism in Italy which has its own native neo pagan revival, as do a lot of European countries today. Most would study the contemporary movements in the understanding that a craftsman who has inherited his craft has an understanding of the nuances within that craft that a craftsman new to the trade no matter how dedicated must lack.

    SoG can call them numina I call them fairies. I do that because names like Síoga are foreign to people not native to Ireland. Fairy folklore is international and subject to academic study in Ethnology. Each tale type is given its own defining number the AT/U number. For the screaming hole that would fall under 400-459 the supernatural or Enchanted Wife. I recommend a college course in Ethnology for all recons if there isnt an equivolent Celtic Studies course available for their culture of study.

    http://oaks.nvg.org/folktale-types.html#atu


    Hahahaha Im sorry if this is offensive to either of you but I nearly peed myself laughing at this when I went looking for an image of jesus dancing with fairies. Its shockingly hetronormative (for a college kid).




    EDIT:
    My point with the empiracism and accuracy bit is if the religion is changed to suit its new non traditional home it will move away from being an accurate reconstruction of the religion. It will be a reinterpretation along the lines of wicca.

    I use America for my examples because 99% of recons are american
    I can understand why family may be important in Italian communities, and others, and, why the culture may be important for Roman recons (or other Pagans who worship Italian Gods), but, I'm not sure if I'd agree it's central to all religions, for example, like my example, I worship the Gods of ancient Iraq, I'm not sure if there's much that can be of use to me, from a religious stand point from Iraqi culture, considering it's mainly an Islamic country, although I haven't studied Iraqi folklore (I'm not sure if anything has been published on it), I do know that the 8 Pointed Star of Ishtar (Inanna) was (maybe still is) important, and was used as a symbol for an Iraqi Nationalist Party or group. However, just to add something, I do take an interest in Iraq, from a religious POV (and others, for example, from a Human Rights POV, as that is what I do), I'd like to see it become more stable, to overcome the chaos that has gripped it right now, and once again, rise up and become a great power, just like it was in the ancient world (ancient Iraq is, basically, the foundation of western society - cities, law, civilization, religious ideas (it had the first State controlled religion, it had a profound influence on Judaism and Christianity (maybe Islam too), on the Hellenic religion, on the development of Neoplatonism, etc). Anyway, I've gotten a bit ahead of myself there, but, I can understand why culture is important, but, for some recon religions, I wouldn't say it's majorally important.

    BTW, the picture was quite funny and quite cool.

    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Goddess View Post
    And this is why *most* recons know that they must alter their worldview to that of the culture in which the religion they are trying to reconstruct. For me, it isn't so bad because I'm part Italian (along with some other stuff, haha) and grew up around that mindset.
    Can I ask you something, is the modern Italian mindset similar to the ancient Roman one then?.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by David19 View Post
    Can I ask you something, is the modern Italian mindset similar to the ancient Roman one then?.
    I would say so yes, at least from what we can gather from history. There are certain things that have changed based on the rise of Christian-influence, such as the view of homosexual relationships between men for example. But there is still that family focus, a certain regard for the supernatural, maintaining a sense of respect, maintaining appearances, etc...

    Like Nuadu said, modern cultures of ancient peoples inherit the ancient culture--there is a direct line of development from the ancient to the modern, so it is reasonable to believe that the modern culture possess some amount of the ancient one.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Goddess View Post
    I would say so yes, at least from what we can gather from history. There are certain things that have changed based on the rise of Christian-influence, such as the view of homosexual relationships between men for example. But there is still that family focus, a certain regard for the supernatural, maintaining a sense of respect, maintaining appearances, etc...
    Thanks, I've heard from people that, in Mediterranean cultures, like Italy, as well as Latino cultures, it's not so much the act of a man having sex with a man, but, the position that's important, an active man is looked upon more favourably than a passive man. I've only heard that from one guy on my course who lived in Italy for awhile, not having been there or slept with an Italian guy, I can't say for sure.

    Like Nuadu said, modern cultures of ancient peoples inherit the ancient culture--there is a direct line of development from the ancient to the modern, so it is reasonable to believe that the modern culture possess some amount of the ancient one.
    True, I've heard from Kemetic Orthodox that there are some ancient Egyptian customs still in use in Egypt and parts of Sudan (such as making offerings to the river angels, or spirits of the river, like in ancient times, etc). Maybe when I have more time, I'll look into modern Iraqi culture, and see if there's an continuation of Mesopotamian religious ideas, there probably are some in folklore that have survived (apparantly, the Marsh Arabs live in a similar style to the Sumerians too), I've also heard that the Cult of Dumuzi may have survived up to the early Middle Ages, although I'm not sure on that.

  6. #36
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    I'm just curious. In gay sex in the ancient mediterreanean, if you were supposed to be dominant and manly, what would your partner be considered as being? weak and womanly? or somehow dominant and manly? Or something else?

  7. #37
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    It had nothing to do with being "manly", it was social status. The person with the higher social status was the dominant partner, whereas the person with the lower social status was the passive partner.

    I have no idea if that is pan-Mediterranean, but its true for ancient Rome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacredsin View Post

    In my opinion, mythology is nothing more than stories made up my ancient peoples to explain natural events, culture/heritage, and life lessons and excludes anything metaphysical from actually happening.

    This brings me to believe that deities are not omnipotent and less godly than how I viewed deity in my Christian years.
    I feel exactly the same way.
    A long time ago someone told me to study mythology because it would be vital to my journey. Back then I thought 'why?' and now I still ask why.

    Deity is very important to me. I didn't go looking, they came and found me and I welcome them wholeheartedly. The mythology is very interesting but, for me, not integral.

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  9. #39
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    I too don't think mythological stories literally took place. It kind of makes me inwardly cringe when some people claim that they did actually happen, whatever myth it may be. However, i do think they are fascinating and an important part of various human cultures.

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    I love what mythology teaches us about ourselves, and about human history. It gives an excellent view of how our Ancestors understood the world and explained it to themselves and each other.

    I don't believe in deities in a literal sense, but I am coming to understand the sentience of Gaia as an organism. Most of our Ancestors had a much closer relationship with Earth, and I sometimes wonder if some myths are inklings they had of Her processes, and this was their best way to explain it.

    As Glenys Livingstone puts it in PaGaian Cosmology:
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenys Livingstone
    This translation of mine is kin to William Irwin Thompson’s translation of Lyn Margulis’ description of her study of bacteria: he says that when he saw her film about bacteria, his thoughts “on the relationship between myth and science took a jump forward” as he began to understand what his Irish ancestors meant when they had spoken of “the little people” at work in the leaf mold at their feet.
    If you're lucky you'll find something that reflects you,
    helps you feel your life protects you,
    cradles you and connects you to everything.
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