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Thread: Why are there so many paths in paganism?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladeflower View Post
    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.

  2. #12
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    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.
    Crying "cherry-picking!" with one breath and "diversity!" with the next doesn't work either.~brymble
    "Sometimes the Light at the End of the Tunnel is really a Cranky Dragon waiting to roast your ass!"

    In Darkness I Know Myself



    Close friends with: Yarrow Elfglow, Czechwoods, Rudas Starblaze, Stormbeard, Philosophia, The Woman Monster, Rick and Elise, Sacred Sin David19.....



  3. #13
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    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).
    Brought to you by the
    National Association For Addressing Prejudice Against Jackasses (NAFAPAJ).
    Not all witches are love and light, nor are they all hate and darkness.
    Some witches are just real mothers - like me.
    You cannot carve a beautiful sculpture in stone with loving strokes.
    It takes a hammer, a chisel, and a lot of aggression that needs converted.
    I am aware of how nasty I come across.
    If others have the right and freedom to be sweetness and light,
    I have the right to be spit and vinegar.

  4. #14
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    Why are there so many paths in paganism

    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.

  5. #15
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    Yeah, there are so many people that think outside the box that it seems no one remembers how to think inside of the box.
    Brought to you by the
    National Association For Addressing Prejudice Against Jackasses (NAFAPAJ).
    Not all witches are love and light, nor are they all hate and darkness.
    Some witches are just real mothers - like me.
    You cannot carve a beautiful sculpture in stone with loving strokes.
    It takes a hammer, a chisel, and a lot of aggression that needs converted.
    I am aware of how nasty I come across.
    If others have the right and freedom to be sweetness and light,
    I have the right to be spit and vinegar.

  6. #16
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    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.

    TWM's Blog

    Check out MWMagazine!
    MW FORUM GUIDE - Dreams and Divination + A Pagan's Life.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by perceval23 View Post
    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."
    "I put a capital N on nature and call it my church."

    -Frank Lloyd Wright

  8. #18
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    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?
    Last edited by perceval23; March 5th, 2011 at 01:59 AM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
    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.
    Last edited by perceval23; March 5th, 2011 at 02:54 AM.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by perceval23 View Post
    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.
    "I put a capital N on nature and call it my church."

    -Frank Lloyd Wright

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