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Valid Practice

 

I'm not Pagan.  I don't have a horse in this race.  Still, I thought it was an interesting, thought provoking, blog entry.

 

Enjoy.

 

 

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/starlight/2020/02/your-witchcraft-practice-is-valid/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Pagan+News+and+Views&utm_content=37

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I've read that article too. The idea of gatekeepers is relevant in many religions but particularly newer and/or less mainstream religions.

 

Paganism seems to have grown up enough o have these kind of franchise wars so in a way, mazel tov!

 

Here in the southern bible belt gatekeeping is an issue too, about who is Saved enough to tell the rest what to do (short version, there are like 2 dozen splinter groups who split over the issue)

 

I remember here in the ULC 15-odd years ago there was a movement by a small group who, after gaining their free ordination wanted to turn around and gatekeep, adding all kinds of restrictions and hoops to new members thereby making their ordination more respectable.

 

It seems to be a pitfall that people who leave some kind of orthodoxy subconsciously bring with them, to redefine a new orthodoxy to defend. It gets more...unsavory when consciously done just to defend one's perceived power.

 

Just my 2 cents

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1 hour ago, imgnick said:

I've read that article too. The idea of gatekeepers is relevant in many religions but particularly newer and/or less mainstream religions.

 

Paganism seems to have grown up enough o have these kind of franchise wars so in a way, mazel tov!

 

Here in the southern bible belt gatekeeping is an issue too, about who is Saved enough to tell the rest what to do (short version, there are like 2 dozen splinter groups who split over the issue)

 

I remember here in the ULC 15-odd years ago there was a movement by a small group who, after gaining their free ordination wanted to turn around and gatekeep, adding all kinds of restrictions and hoops to new members thereby making their ordination more respectable.

 

It seems to be a pitfall that people who leave some kind of orthodoxy subconsciously bring with them, to redefine a new orthodoxy to defend. It gets more...unsavory when consciously done just to defend one's perceived power.

 

Just my 2 cents

 

 

 

I don't know why it surprised me, but it did.  That Pagan groups would be struggling with issues of power, authority and legitimacy.  Now, it seems obvious.  Humanity is always caught up in power issues.  The Monotheistic religions -- all of them -- are caught up in power struggles.  I took this to mean that they couldn't agree about the one true God.  No.  It's deeper in Humanity than that.  On further reflection, even the different Atheist, Agnostic and Humanist groups can't play nicely together.

 

Surprise.  The different Pagan groups have the same basic issues, as everybody else.  On the other hand, as long as it's a war of words -- without a body count -- the Pagan world has much to be proud of.

 

In the various mythologies of the world; the gods themselves, often have difficulty living with each other.  It's a great truth.

 

:D

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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I've never questioned the fact that religion is about power, gate-keeping, access, profit and domination. Being able to determine the future from chicken guts gave the prognosticator (or was given) the power over others, whereby the willing would bring gifts, food, money (of what ever sort), so that the prognosticator didn't have to work for a living and could remain in constant touch with the spirits, gods, aliens, whatever they believed in.  There is a reason that religious leaders were often state leaders as well, to have the backing of a god/gods would be a hard card to beat.

https://youtu.be/cAgAvnvXF9U

 

Edited by damnthing

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4 hours ago, damnthing said:

I've never questioned the fact that religion is about power, gate-keeping, access, profit and domination. Being able to determine the future from chicken guts gave the prognosticator (or was given) the power over others, whereby the willing would bring gifts, food, money (of what ever sort), so that the prognosticator didn't have to work for a living and could remain in constant touch with the spirits, gods, aliens, whatever they believed in.  There is a reason that religious leaders were often state leaders as well, to have the backing of a god/gods would be a hard card to beat.

https://youtu.be/cAgAvnvXF9U

 

 

 

You are overlooking the possibility, that the "prognosticator" is sincere.

 

This is not something that I'm proud of.  I used to read Tarot cards for people.  At the time, I was sincere.  Obviously, I was mistaken.  This much I have learned.  It's easy for people, to be delusional about their abilities.

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Jonathan H. B. Lobl said:

 

 

You are overlooking the possibility, that the "prognosticator" is sincere.

 

This is not something that I'm proud of.  I used to read Tarot cards for people.  At the time, I was sincere.  Obviously, I was mistaken.  This much I have learned.  It's easy for people, to be delusional about their abilities.

 

:mellow:

 

 

 

 

I'm sure it *started out* sincerely, but sooner or later that 'spiritual leader' realizes the power they possess over all the others. And when, as that *spiritual leader* they further discover that they possess unquestioned power, that they can have people 'sacrificed', they can have *heretics* put to death, all in the name of their god(s), there is no going back. And when all of that power gets baked into the dogma, well at the very least you end up with an out of touch, isolated leader in a small, walled in country in the middle of rome.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, damnthing said:

I'm sure it *started out* sincerely, but sooner or later that 'spiritual leader' realizes the power they possess over all the others. And when, as that *spiritual leader* they further discover that they possess unquestioned power, that they can have people 'sacrificed', they can have *heretics* put to death, all in the name of their god(s), there is no going back. And when all of that power gets baked into the dogma, well at the very least you end up with an out of touch, isolated leader in a small, walled in country in the middle of rome.

 

 

 

 

This is getting specific.  Transubstantiation is some seriously weird magic.  Holy wars have been fought over whether it was literal or figurative.  Well, that's an issue for the Popes -- and others -- who care.

 

 

 

 

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I'm always baffled by those who insist there particular brand has "ancient origins" as if age begets legitimacy.  An idea 10000 years old was once brand new.  It doesn't become more true with time.

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3 hours ago, cuchulain said:

I'm always baffled by those who insist there particular brand has "ancient origins" as if age begets legitimacy.  An idea 10000 years old was once brand new.  It doesn't become more true with time.

 

 

Over time, living religions change.  Only dead religions are changeless.

 

Consider "modern" Christianity.  Jesus would have difficulty recognizing any of the current forms of Christianity.

 

Consider how Judaism has changed.  From tribes -- to Temple Judaism -- to Rabbinic Judaism.

 

Consider what Buddhism has become.  Buddha would never recognize much of it.

 

Of course, the various Pagan religions -- and cultures -- have changed over time.  How could they not?  Pagans have changed over the last 10,000 years.  Of course, they are different from the Pagans of the dim past.

 

:D

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, damnthing said:

I'm sure it *started out* sincerely, but sooner or later that 'spiritual leader' realizes the power they possess over all the others. And when, as that *spiritual leader* they further discover that they possess unquestioned power, that they can have people 'sacrificed', they can have *heretics* put to death, all in the name of their god(s), there is no going back. And when all of that power gets baked into the dogma, well at the very least you end up with an out of touch, isolated leader in a small, walled in country in the middle of rome.

 

Who was it, that said: "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"...? :coffee:

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8 hours ago, RevBogovac said:

 

Who was it, that said: "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"...? :coffee:

Knowledge is power...so we are corrupting people by teaching them, yes?

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

Knowledge is power...so we are corrupting people by teaching them, yes?

 

Isn't ignorance a bliss...? 

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

Knowledge is power...so we are corrupting people by teaching them, yes?

 

I don't see much knowledge being spread around here, so don't worry about it  :)

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4 minutes ago, Dan56 said:

 

I don't see much knowledge being spread around here, so don't worry about it  :)

 

Your lack of vision, is not relevant.     :mellow:

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, Dan56 said:

 

I don't see much knowledge being spread around here, so don't worry about it  :)

I think one would have to be able to recognize knowledge to further realize whether or not there's any about. I mean, we are talking knowledge here right, not just myths and faerie tales based on superstitions, magical thinking and of course, the ever worthy, woo.

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1 hour ago, damnthing said:

I think one would have to be able to recognize knowledge to further realize whether or not there's any about. I mean, we are talking knowledge here right, not just myths and faerie tales based on superstitions, magical thinking and of course, the ever worthy, woo.

Do you believe there’s no knowledge to be gained from myth?  

I ask this as someone who doesn’t take myth literally, but still values its importance in my religion for what it is.

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2 hours ago, LeopardBoy said:

Do you believe there’s no knowledge to be gained from myth?  

I ask this as someone who doesn’t take myth literally, but still values its importance in my religion for what it is.

 

 

You raise an interesting point.  The lessons behind mythology.

 

I find it easier to discuss the Norse gods than the Greek.  To my understanding, the gods are personifications of the forces that they represent.

 

The Mighty Thor, represents one type of chaos.  He is the chaos of the storm.  He is the chaos of battle.

 

Trickster Loki, is a different type of chaos.  Loki is about conflict and social disorder.

 

Sometimes Thor and Loki are the best of friends.  The different types of chaos working together.  Sometimes, they are at each other's throats.  The different types of chaos in conflict.  They both interact with the other gods.

 

The stories are also great entertainment and are vehicles for the culture -- and discussion about values and philosophy.

 

Of course, as you say, the gods are not literal.  They are mythology.

 

:whist:

 

 

 

The Greek gods have different lessons to teach about the world.

 

Hermes is the god of physicians.  Also, commerce, thieves and gamblers.  Something to remember when we visit the doctor.

 

In addition, Hermes persists.  Go to a casino.  What are they chanting at the craps table?  C'mon seven!  Baby needs a new pair of shoes!  After all.  Nobody appreciates good foot ware, like the messenger of the gods.  We all know about his winged sandals.

 

Apollo is the great healer -- who brings plagues.  Apollo is music and sunshine.  All part of healing.  And archery.

 

The world is not simple.  More lessons from mythology.

 

:whist:

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Myth and religion, being synonomous to me, can be learned from.  But too many fall into the trap of believing it literally and conflating these myths with reality.  So you have the people who cannot recognize the difference in knowledge vs belief in myth.

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1 hour ago, cuchulain said:

Myth and religion, being synonomous to me, can be learned from.  But too many fall into the trap of believing it literally and conflating these myths with reality.  So you have the people who cannot recognize the difference in knowledge vs belief in myth.

 

 

That applies to a lot of Bible believers.  Does it apply to Pagans?

 

 

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