shistavanenjedi: (Default)
[personal profile] shistavanenjedi
This post is really prompted by this article - http://chesterfieldpagans.org/2011/11/16/the-pentagram-and-the-hammer-discussion-time/

My personal opinion on this is that Asatru is so vastly different from Wicca that the two religions cannot evolve together. Others may not agree with me, but this is my take on it. Wicca is a modern spiritual path that has a long way to go before it can be considered a religion. The reason why I say this is because much of it seems to be an eclectic mix of things they have borrowed from other religions, new age practices such as tarot, astrology and crystal magic (which were borrowed from others), and political movements like environmentalism and animal rights. Some may not do that, and tend to focus more on the philosophy of individuals like Crowley. I consider it to have a long way to go because it lacks structure. I even have difficulty thinking of it as a religion because of the mix and matching going on, and to me they seem to be agnostic pagans (pagans who don't know which path they should follow, so they look at everything). I don't have anything against people doing it, and it is great if it works for them, but Wicca is not for me - it may have been when I was young and naive, and didn't know any better and seduced by all the fancy crystal sets, jewellery, etc that you can buy, but a lot of it is also fashion based and going into a shop which sells such items and coming out again with pagan/Gothic themed items does not make a person a pagan (but again, I have nothing against people buying such things, I like them myself and do have Nemesis Now ornaments, etc, in my home, but I have to admit to myself that they are just window dressing!) It is also worth noting that New Age practices aren't a religion in themselves, but maybe things which pagans incorporate into their beliefs and may even be practiced by people who do not consider themselves to be a pagan.

Asatru on the other hand, is more focused, has the potential to grow into something bigger and mature, whereas I don't think Wicca ever will. This brings me on to a similar topic, about the different pagan paths (other than Wicca and Shamanism) that are out there. Many of these have their own mythology and of these, I think Druidry and Asatru are further along than others (if you don't count Hinduism as that religion, fortunately, although pagan has never suffered a dark age of obscurity like the others have) and even though I do not wish to follow paths other than Asatru, I would like to see them restored. There should be a community for people who are interested in those paths as well (Ancient Egyptian religion, Greek, Roman, Aztec, Mayan, Incan, etc). The reason why these differ from Wicca, even if Wicca will take on some of the Gods and Goddesses is that the rituals and practices will be linked to the mythology and culture of those paths, and followers would only stick to those.

As far as I can see, the only thing Wicca and Asatru have in common with each other are the seasonal celebrations which are tied to changes in nature seen through out the year and the only reason why that is so is because we are all living on the same planet! If Wicca is ever going to be a religion, it is a religion in its infancy. Another thing which I think marks Wicca as a religion in its infancy is that they refer to a God and a Goddess but don't give them names and when they do, they borrow the names of gods from other religions.

Shamanism I consider to be different and apart from other pagan paths because it is based on the beliefs of surviving tribal peoples such as Australian Aborigines, native Siberians, the various tribes of native North American peoples which are as varied as the people that practice them. Some pagans of European descent may practice them but it is not the same and care needs to taken when labeling what you do as 'Shamanism.' I do have a theory, based on cave art in places like Cresswell Crags, that animalism is the most ancient of all spiritual beliefs in humanity, but what occurred 10,000 or more years ago is not the same as that practiced by Shamans of European descent today because such a long time as past, but I do think that it is worth acknowledging because it is ultimately where we came from. 

Going back to some of the questions posed in the article:

1. I would like to see more places where pagans can go to meet, which may not nesscairly be out doors. (weather, accessibility and health problems are all issues which need to be considered). What you need to bare in mind is that if the various pagan paths split from each other (which I think they will do, evolution is the one of the most natural processes of life, after all) meeting places other than pubs. I am dubious about going to pubs partly because I sometimes wonder if people go there to get pissed! and because I think it will make it easier for people to form a community of like-minded individuals. This is important for the future of paganism as a whole and will help paganism be accepted in society as a valid spiritual path. Also I think it will assist in the personal spiritual development of individual people because they will be able to hold blots, etc, which they wouldn't have been able to do previously.  Mixing the paths (as it is now) I think is also a barrier to people's personal spiritual development because there's a tendency for people to herd. People have a right to follow what they want to and not be pressured into following Wicca, for example, because most people in a local pagan group do it. 

2. In relation to a religious law system - I think this is wholly ludicrous and unnecessary. How would it be implemented fairly? It smacks to me of people wanting to set up a set of rules where they can dominate and control other people and oppress people into doing their way of thinking. Whether you like it or not, Judaism and Islam are NOT GOOD models for paganism to follow in this regard. They are misogynistic, racist and unjust religions and state laws should be enough for a pagan person to follow. There may be aspects, such as the Nine Noble Virtues which people following Asatru, (for instance) should follow to the best of their ability but it is not the same thing as dictating to people what they should do. I would also think that any religious law system would be illegal in the country that you are living in, as well. I would also like to point out that Sharia Law is one of the things which motivates terrorist activity and would go against the principles of all pagan paths, especially as human rights is one of things that we campaign for.

Welcome

Jul. 27th, 2011 04:26 pm
shistavanenjedi: (pic#582100)
[personal profile] shistavanenjedi
What's this journal about?

I have been interested in paganism, particularly the paths of druidry, norse mythology and shamanic techniques related to both paths for a number of years now and now that my time at univerisity has come to an end (I am a Zoologist, not an artist, writer, theologan or historian) I have more time to devote to this. So this is my journal devoted to my journey. It may or may not reflect the views of pagan groups or organisations.

What will I be studying?

I will be studying mainly Norse, Anglo-Saxon and Celtic mythologies as those are the paths I am most interested in, by looking at classic literature connected to those paths, modern work books and history books of these periods. I also have an interest prehistorical archaeology and will be looking at books on that subject as well. I will also be reading folk tales and fairy tales, history books concerning other cultures/religions which I may find interesting or relevant but whose gods and goddesses I do not worship as these may help me understand aspects of druidry or norse mythology which are difficult. I may also post bardic poems of my own creation, etc in here as well.

What you won't find in this blog

Information on tarot, astrology, new age practices which I find inappropriate, references to Satanism (which is something completely different to paganism), and Wicca.

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