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Thread: Wiccan and Shinto?

  1. #1
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    Wiccan and Shinto?

    Hello all! For those of you that know, I've been interesting and drawn into Wicca now for a few years, but here recently, I've been researching Shinto. Can the 2 be combined into one? Any answers will be greatly appreciated!
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    Why do they need to be one? In Japan (the home of Shinto) most families are both Shinto and Buddhist. They don't really cover the same parts of life so they compliment eachother. Like Shinto does not handle anything to do with death, it's taboo. So Buddhism stepped in and handles all funerals and ancestor worship. I think you can follow more than one path at once.
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    You could be a wiccan and in your personal practice follow the Japanese way of the gods too... but Wicca is just a reconstructed british fertility cult and Shinto has fertility cults already. Id say itd be a lot of effort to go to for no real good reason.

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    I have looked into this myself and came to the realization that it can't for me.
    I lived in Okinawa for five years as a teenager and we participated in Shinto practices while living there, visiting shrines for New Year's and vacations. At the time, we felt like it was just experiencing the culture and in terms of Shinto and Japan.. we were since they could be considered pretty blended.

    I am struggling finding a pantheon to look too as a Wiccan. But I most identify with the ideas and thoughts in Shinto, most likely because I lived around it and understood it. My problem is.. that since I lived there, I most definitely believe the kami would be Japanese in nature. Therefore, they wouldn't be here in the U.S, right..so... it's hard to visualize. .. unless I'm supposed to be creating my own local kami.. .. I guess the best solution would be to ask a Shinto-practicing Japanese native who lives somewhere other than Japan what they do in terms of worshiping. :P

    I think if you're interested in Wicca for the Witchcraft.. then you're just a Shintoist(sp?) practicing Witchcraft. I think you'd have to ask yourself why you're interested in Wicca. I will tell you that I would like to ask a practicing native-Shintoist(sp?) how they feel about the elements.

    I have zero-issues connecting and identifying with natural forces (fire, water, storms, wind, earth, etc)..
    I am... Witchy Woman Incognito
    “Although only breath, words which I command are immortal.” - Sappho



  5. #5
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    I'm a practicing Shinto Believer. The Kami are everywhere not just Japan. They live and breath in all the things that you see around you and even things you can't see.

    If this is where you're most strongly attracted then just accept it and follow the natural flow. You never have to choose a path. I've been on more than one to lead me here.
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    An artist is only an artist on condition that he neglects no aspect of his dual nature. This dualism is the power of being oneself and someone else at one and the same time. - Charles Baudelaire

  6. #6
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    Shinto is basically just animism. For Japanese people who classify themselves as Shinto, it just means their family is registered with a shrine. They'll still have a Buddhist funeral, though.

    Japanese people don't really believe in God, or Gods, in the same way other people do. I asked my boyfriend just the other day, when you go to a shrine to pray, who or what are you praying to? His answer was, I'm not praying to anyone or anything, just praying.

    One problem you may run into is that the Shinto myth emphasizes that Japan is the special country, that the Emperor is directly connected to the Gods, and other things that unless you are Japan-centric may not make sense or be logical, but are still main points in Shinto.

    Shinto is also used by Japanese nationalists to bolster the image of Japanese racial superiority and the divine nature of the Emperor, so for a non-Japanese person to say their Shinto might confuse, or possibly amuse a Japanese person. It probably won't offend them, but they might wonder why you'd chose to believe that.

    All that said, in the end, if this is the path you feel called to, don't resist it. Just do as much research as you can, do what your heart says is right, and don't worry about what other people think.

  7. #7
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    I studied Aikido at the Shinto Shrine in San Francisco ans visited the Shrine in Hawaii So Shinto is not just for / in Japan. The Kami are everywhere. And they are very like Wicca.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XercesBlue View Post
    Japanese people don't really believe in God, or Gods, in the same way other people do. I asked my boyfriend just the other day, when you go to a shrine to pray, who or what are you praying to? His answer was, I'm not praying to anyone or anything, just praying.
    But isnt Shinto also called Kannagara? The way of the gods... Shouldnt it be very focused on deity?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Ra View Post
    I studied Aikido at the Shinto Shrine in San Francisco ans visited the Shrine in Hawaii So Shinto is not just for / in Japan. The Kami are everywhere. And they are very like Wicca.
    Ken if Aikido is an expression of japanese traditionalism and the two shrines were founded by large japanese populations in the area isnt that evidence that shinto is an ethnicly dependant religion?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    But isnt Shinto also called Kannagara? The way of the gods... Shouldnt it be very focused on deity?
    To say that "Kami" means "deities" is not exactly correct. A better explanation would be "spirits," perhaps, or the divine forces of nature, and unlike the deities of other pantheons, the Kami in Shinto are supposedly uncountable. But there of course are deities in a sense that we'd be more familiar with, like of course the sun Goddess Amaterasu Omikami.

    Just to give more info about Shinto, generally speaking, Shinto as it's observed, or rather, not so observed today is basically just for festivals, selling amulets and fortunes, praying the have a wish granted, or for certain holidays like New Years, or events like weddings.

    Certain shrines do take a nationalistic tone, like I said before, and in some places you may find Shinto sects that practice divination, faith-healing, and believe in demonic possession, but they aren't pure Shinto. Usually some Buddhism or Confucianism or folk traditions are in the mix.

    As far as believing in "Kami," some Japanese may or not believe in it, but even if they did, the belief would only come secondary. Shinto is in a sense an orthopraxy and not an orthodoxy, because those that identify as Shintoists go through the motions at weddings, New Years, before taking a test, etc. even if they don't believe in what they're doing. It's their actions that define it. And considering the fact that Japanese that consider themselves Buddhist or even nothing at all will be lined up with their Shinto neighbors at the local shrine on New Years morning, it's more a cultural thing than anything else.

    For more information about Shinto, I would recommend first reading the Kojiki and then Nihon Shoki. I know there's English translations on the net somewhere.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    But isnt Shinto also called Kannagara? The way of the gods... Shouldnt it be very focused on deity?
    Maybe it depends on how you define a "God", like, different traditions have different ways of defining what makes a God, a Shintoist (is that the right word, BTW?) might define their deities in a way different from how an ancient (or modern) Hellene would, an ancient Egyptian might define what makes a God to how an ancient Celt would, who might define it differently to an Jew, etc.

    No definition is "better", they're just different, IMO.

    BTW, hope that made some sense .

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