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6 years ago  ::  Dec 20, 2008 - 9:48AM #41
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
SingerFae,

Given what is out there mis-labeled as Wicca, your mother's reaction is actually quite common. A lot of what is practiced as Wicca is just messing around with incense or doing spellcraft thus not about the Religion.

Correct me if I'm wrong here but having close friends who are Jewish, I have always considered being Jewish as much a matter of heritage/bloodline as being an active participant in that faith. Thus, it may be possible that one could still be Wiccan and remain Jewish but not a practicing Jew. Depending on the degree of orthodoxy within the Judaism being practiced of course.

FYI: there are self-identified Jewish Witches...Starhawk for instance comes to mind. I can't think of any Wiccan Witches per se but it wouldn't surprise me to find such within the newer Traditions of the Religion of Wicca. Jewish Witches incorporate certain elements of Judiasm and Neo-Paganism into variations of the Craft.

C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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6 years ago  ::  Dec 21, 2008 - 8:30PM #42
Ursyl
Posts: 462
That's my understanding from years of online discussion with Jewish friends too, Creaky.

There's the heritage, and then there's the religion.  Not practicing the religion doesn't erase the heritage.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 16, 2009 - 1:02AM #43
LupaLuna
Posts: 30
Actually CH and Ursyl you are both correct...The lineage would be passed on as long as the mother is of Jewish descent or a convert but there is one small problem...Some groups even mild or moderate Jewish communities will not accept the children of a non-practicing Jew as Jewish, even if he/she is.  I learned this during my years at college. I am a 10 years plus Faery Faith priestess but was born Jewish and converted to Catholicism at age 10, many moons later in College a rather bigoted little girl had a blow-out when I said I was half Jewish.

Sometimes being one thing under the laws of a religion dose not mean the participants of that religion will accept it. 

And on a side note...I've always felt that though Pagan is an umbrella term, many people forget that it also designates a specific grouping of Nature Based or Multipantheonic practicioners, who do not always follow the reinvented "Ancient Wisdom" or "Ritual" handed down to us not by our instincts or creativity but by 18th century boredom; people who separate themselves from the ceremonial workings of XVIII Century entities such as the "Golden Dawn" or "Rosa Crucian" society. While both of these focus heavily on a Latin-based "High Magic" they detach from rituals centered around nature and in many ways recreate the religious ideology of  Ancient Rome where spells are contracts between Person and Astral/Deity. The word Pagan means "country-bumpkin" in Latin and this term was applied to those people who looked to nature for aid in day to day existence.
So it suits Faery Faithers (who rather than saying that mouthful followed by a 20Questions about seeing faeries), Elemental witches, and (please refrain from the snorts folks) Otherkin  to just call themselves pagan.


Ok,
After that VERY long digression what I wanted to say is that getting looks or odd stares will happen whether or not you staple "ye goode olde pagan" banner to your bum or not. But it's all about the fun you have with it. Even before I was ever "Out of the broom closet" I used to make a point of making people stare cause I dislike hypocrisy. I don't know if anyone remebers a million years ago when multi-hued lip glosses and lipsticks came out (now I was a tomboy of epic proportions but my one "girl moment" is gloss)? Well  imagine how happy a 14 year old girl was when lipstick now came in her two favorite colors: Black and blue. Being a teacher's kid I was practically a saint in school: no make-up, no jewelry, no funny business (think school marm +uniform) but when I had   my  "Mall" time with my friends  I was free, right? Wrong! I would run into any number of the 1500 students or the 60 faculty members of my school who weren't used to seeing people outside of the "uniformed look"(I lived in a small country with few malls ). In Dominican Republic where I lived if you dressed in black , had darkish hair, and wore "gothy" make-up to go out,  you were automatically tagged as "Satanica/o" (Satan Worshiper or Heavy Metal Fan, in DR they were interchangeable to the adults and a few very consumate Christian kids). Now doing the math so far...Let's see: I'm 14, my favorite color is black and my hair looks VERY dark in the mall cause I dye it auburn...Recipe for disaster? Not!
I used to relish freaking people out because I'd go to the mall wearing all black (mostly a black tee w/some color and jeans or a skirt and heels) and only wear red lip gloss, get to the mall, hit the restroom and switch to black then watch as my friends freaked and begged for me to wipe it off or watch the store clerks try to kick me out of the store but then realize I was "that sweet girl"  that went to school w/son or daughter and they'd have to swallow what would have been a narrow-minded  remark. And I took the same attitude toward being a witch/pagan/ Faery Witch that I did to my self image, it was a decision I had made and people could accept it or freak, but I never tried to hide it or try to publish a headline on it. If you want people to know cool, just make sure they are true friends or that you'll be ok with the consequences if not just keep it to yourself until you feel ready to share. :)

Our spiritualities are our right and no one has a say in that, unless you let them.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 2:33PM #44
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
It is intriguing that differing experiences led to differing conclusions, isn’t it? Then again, everyone must self-define what paganism means to him or her and that only increases the range of possibilities. I have a concern however that your description may be too specific to reflect the sheer diversity of opinions that I see as existing within the 20th and 21st century Neo-Paganism Movement. Not that my self-definitions do so adequately IMO as they are as limited by my experiences as anyone else's. Still I hope you won’t mind if I reference bits of your wording to illustrate our differing perceptions.

I've always felt that although Pagan is an umbrella term, many people forget that it also designates a broad diversity of self-identifying, self-defining experiential modern practitioners who cannot agree on a singular usage of this term. This diversity includes sometimes opposing beliefs and assumptions but also specific groupings of practitioners whose beliefs may be nature- or god-oriented, multi- or uni-pantheonic. All however either directly or indirectly draw upon adaptive mythologies and related origins/roots that within in 20th century became manifested into systems of practices labelled as paganism. These inspirational mythologies do include numerous examples of reinvented "Ancient Wisdom" or "Ritual" drawn from many different movements across (16th to 19th) Europe and Britain such as Glastonbury, Occult, Theophilosophical, Freemasonry, Folklore, Romanticism, Victorian Revivalism, etc. Without such diverse sources to draw upon as well as a body of earlier and contemporary authors who wrote (sometimes in good faith) of myth as actual history, there might not have even been a modern Neo-/Paganism Movement. Certainly not one as richly diverse and as endlessly adaptive as such exists today.

I remain doubtful whether modern practitioners of CM or Thelema consider themselves to be Neo-/Pagans. Anyone know?

However the lingering influences of Ceremonial Magic within Neo-/Paganism seems mainly to be found today in specific religious adaptations used within the older Traditions of Wicca and certain Pagan Witchcraft Traditions outside of that Religion (obviously influenced as are all). If one uses spellcraft as an umbrella term, then that might apply to the specific Wiccan use of religious magick but like any umbrella, one creates the problems of vagueness and practical irrelevance using spellcraft in such a way. The use of spellcraft as contracts between individuals and astral/deities is of course common throughout the world, historically and today. I would agree that the 20th century progenitors of Neo-/Paganism certainly drew from the Romantic Movement’s interpretation of the religious ideology of Ancient Rome. However the specific religion of Rome itself appears to have been more civic-oriented rather than individualistic and operated within a much broader ‘religious backdrop’ that came to be called paganism within the Roman Empire. While the etymology remains debated, I tend to refer back to the original Latin word paganus (plural pagani) that meant civilian or someone not in the military. Early Christians who were probably co-opting the ‘power-military’ language of the time were said to term themselves ‘soldiers for Christ’. Therefore anyone who was not Christian became labelled as a civilian or paganus including earlier and contemporary faiths and eventually entire countries. As Christianity grew most quickly in urban areas, rural areas came to be where the broad diversity being called pagani ended up. Because of this, a later secondary meaning was added to paganus, that of country-dweller. That came to be used (I believe mostly by the military and of course urban writers) somewhat derogatorily as country-bumpkin or as someone who wasn’t sophisticated enough from living in an urban area. The association with nature or living off of nature while probably implicit earlier by virtue of locale would appear to have been influenced far more from the much later 18th century Romantic Movement’s definition of paganism as an ideal pastoral harmony of man, nature and religion. That is probably where the progenitors drew from rather than earlier definitions, I would suspect. The other three prevalent definitions in usage at the time were paganism as Greek and Roman cultures (amazing but no Christian ethics) or that these two cultures had hedonistic liberating state religions (for which there isn’t much evidence) or that they were idol-worshipping barbarians. All of which are still considered valid in some contexts of usage. Modern Neo-/Pagans obviously continue to redefine the term’s neo-pagan, pagan and paganism though across such a broad spectrum of self-definitions that I sincerely doubt we shall ever agree on a singular definition. A plus, IMO, though it certainly leads to confusion at times and occasionally amusement sometimes at how Neo-/Pagans (as well as Witches) can carry on a discussion at length only to discover that their self-definitions are often dissimilar. It also creates endless necessity of sharing one’s self-definition(s) for clarification but that also helps each of us articulate our beliefs to ourselves at the same time.

Speaking of definitions, is there a reason why anyone would ‘snort’ at the term Otherkin? I’ve always found that term, while not in wide use, to be perfectly acceptable.  And curious here, how do you define Elemental Witchcraft? Are you using that term broadly or is it in reference to a specific Pagan Witchcraft Tradition?

Respectfully,
C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 11:09PM #45
gorm-sionnach
Posts: 1,663

CreakyHedgewitch wrote:

Speaking of definitions, is there a reason why anyone would ‘snort’ at the term Otherkin? I’ve always found that term, while not in wide use, to be perfectly acceptable.  And curious here, how do you define Elemental Witchcraft? Are you using that term broadly or is it in reference to a specific Pagan Witchcraft Tradition?

Respectfully,
C.H.



In my experience while the term itself is understood to be acceptable, those who believe they are Otherkin are often met with derision and insult. From a Geek perspective (yes Geek, not Greek) Otherkin could be considered comparable to the "Furry" set (the fact that both are anthropomorphic happens to be a coincidence btw). They sort of exist at the peripheries of both communities, some accept them, some do not.

Truth in our hearts, Strength in our arms, Fulfillment in our tongues.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2009 - 3:41AM #46
LupaLuna
Posts: 30
CH,

As the person before stated Otherkin is often viewed in the context of "Furry Culture", there is also the view of the term being a laughable and imaginative self-deification or self-mythology that is childish and somewhat non-productive (this viewpoint is held both in pagan and non-pagan circles).

As to my definition of pagan, I am referencing a ritual and worship commonality that simply refers to themselves as Pagan, with no other intimation added to the mix. My first teacher was a hedgewitch, herself,  that followed this path. They feel that Neo-paganism is a seperate movement (a rebirth or more precisely a reincarnation of the old traditions of the world before written history with modern flair) and that they are simply the continuation of those beliefs as time continued to progress . What creates the difference or break for them is that they developed with the times, changing, adding spells and also focusing on the preservation of instinctual ritual (what  Goddess/Spirit/God/Astral/Universe is telling us to do) vs. recreating original rituals. Due to the nature of their particular theology, they felt it did not warrant a more specific designation because the magick was a shared heritage not a learned one. Also most Ceremonial Magicians (while I respect their view)  consider pagans by and large to be practitioners of "low magic" or a Gardenerian amalgam of CM which they do not favor. The consider themselves an entity or school seperate from pagan theological or magickal studies.

However I'd like to point out that  you mistook  my defition to be a DEFINITIVE term which (fortunately among this diverse community)  that would be paradoxical at best. All I meant was that one can broaden or narrow the term based on personal experience because as the old meaning, the original defition, no longers holds true new meanings take hold and as Stein showed us the many faces of the rose, so to can the word Pagan signify more that just giant grouping of many differing and perhaps even sometimes similar religious views. I would also like to point out that you misquoted what I said. I referenced only such mystery societies as those I have learned to see with a critical eye because of my training as a historian. I was not disparaging them but merely pointing out that some of us follow a path seperate from the "high magic" notion of the post-Renaissance culture, which is heavily compounded from a theological view point I have no taste for.  I was also did not insinuate that CM's were pagan but that Neo-Paganism drew heavily from those schools of thought.

Now as to your question on my separating a group of people out as "Elemental Witches" ...Yes, I am referencing people with particular talents in magick, not a "Witchcraft Tradition". Elemental witches from my tradition are simply put folks who can control particular elements and their pertaining attributes with extreme ability. (i.e. Storm summoning, pyromancy abilities, Green Thumbed but also grounding abilities, and wind summoning...etc..) .People who work in differeing fields of both the terrestrial and astral have different abilites this is just what our tradition labels these "elementally oriented" witches.

My saying that this term suited the groups I mentioned is the truth. 
It is easier to explain oneself in simplest terms to the world and let our actions evoke the changes we all desire.  I simply wanted to clarify that some of us in the community feel that Pagan is a term that exquisitely evokes our view of who and what we are without being simply just the designation for the bigger groups at large, and that in this particular tradition, community is based on coexisting, symbiotic abilities that nourish and foster a sense individuality but also commonality among the practioners. It is no different than calling oneself a witch, as that word can be as broad as an ocean in definition or as narrow as a pin.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2009 - 12:10PM #47
Innerpoint
Posts: 1,068
[QUOTE=CreakyHedgewitch;968612] I can't think of any Wiccan Witches per se but it wouldn't surprise me to find such within the newer Traditions of the Religion of Wicca.[/QUOTE]Creaky, I know this is an old statement but, reading back through the boards (playing catch-up), it caught my eye.  What did you mean by that sentence?  I've turned it over several times trying to figure it out - so I thought I'd just ask, instead.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2009 - 12:15PM #48
Free2beme09
Posts: 733
[QUOTE=Rayzorblade;592123]Hey everyone,
I was just looking over the boards, and a question popped into my mind. I am a pagan, and open about it, i wont hide it away and pretend to be something I'm not. I was just wondering how other people react to you guys. I get met with hate and fear whenever someone finds out. I had a best friend of 5 years tell me I was going to a Christian hell. I have gotten death threats and all the yummy stuff and i am only 16! Just some thoughts.
Yours truly,
Brad
AKA Rayzorblade[/QUOTE]

Hey Brad!  I am going to hell and I am not Pagan. :p I think you should just be you.  As long as ones action do not effect another ones life, the hell with them.
Religion is for those afraid of hell.  Spirituality is had by those who have been there!
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2009 - 6:44PM #49
Ursyl
Posts: 462
Rereading that original post in yours Free2beme, I have to wonder, politely, just how our young friend is being openly Pagan.

I am just myself too, open without being in anyone's face about it, and only got the one friend reacting so poorly. Got an "oh my" once too, but find that the vast majority of people are cool about it as long as I am as polite as I expect them to be.

Make sense?
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2009 - 7:00PM #50
Free2beme09
Posts: 733

Ursyl wrote:

Rereading that original post in yours Free2beme, I have to wonder, politely, just how our young friend is being openly Pagan.

I am just myself too, open without being in anyone's face about it, and only got the one friend reacting so poorly. Got an "oh my" once too, but find that the vast majority of people are cool about it as long as I am as polite as I expect them to be.

Make sense?




You are making good sense.  ;)

That is definately something to think about.  :cool:

Religion is for those afraid of hell.  Spirituality is had by those who have been there!
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