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Switch to Forum Live View What kind of Pagan are you?
6 years ago  ::  Oct 29, 2008 - 11:15PM #1
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
So your a Pagan... could be a little more specific;)

Since the definition of Pagan gets thrown around and analyzed and scrutinized, dissected and digested all the time, perhaps a different tack would be in order. Where do you fall in the wide and sparkly mosaic (I like this so much better than umbrella, and maybe you don't, if so, too bad for you) that is Paganism. Are you a Celtic Recon? Asatru? Witch? Wiccan? Druid? Shaman? Polytheist? Hellenic Recon? Pan-Pagan? Dianic? Reclaiming? Goddess centered? God Centered? One of a hundred other groupings I've missed?
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2008 - 6:59AM #2
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
Actually I prefer to think of Neo-Paganism as a movement rather than an umbrella. If describing it as a wide and sparkly mosaic works for you, that’s great.  To me, while such is a pretty image, I get the impression of something that relies on the ‘sparkly’ bits to catch people’s interest yet once ones digs below the upper-most flashy layer, there is nothing left of interest. An impression that most definitely doesn’t align to my experiences of being a Pagan.

So here is a second and different tack.

Instead of asking people what kind of pagan he or she is, perhaps the question should be: what kind(s) of paganism would you self-identify with and self-define as? 

One could even dig a bit deeper below that sparkly surface and ask what one found below the initial interest in that surface and that kept one being Pagan….

Now someone could scroll through your initial (albeit limited) list of choices and most would pick not one but a number of different descriptors. Those just starting out or truly specialised in their self-definition might choose only one descriptor or differing combinations depending on who he or she is talking to, what context the description is being used within and so on. 

Plus those high level descriptors are probably going to mean something different to different people.

For example if I were to tack together the descriptors that I might use in my self-identification and self-definition that applies to my being Pagan, it would result in the rather unwieldy: Polytheist, non-Wiccan Dianic Pagan, Goddess-Centered, Dianic and Feminist and Vocational Witch, Goddess Scholar Neo-Pagan. A description I probably wouldn’t ever use outside of my Beliefnet profile or on a thread like this.

Mostly I would respond that I am a Dianic Witch and usually I then have to verify whether what I meant and what the ‘other’ interpreted had any resemblance. Most of the time, for example, the ‘other’ ends up thinking I must be a Dianic Wiccan Witch, which is most definitely not the case.

I'm not trying to derail your thread here but if you truly want folks to be more specific, then general terms are not going to work as descriptors and all the types of paganism that you listed, are all general terms. 

C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2008 - 10:20AM #3
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
[QUOTE=CreakyHedgewitch;860100]Actually I prefer to think of Neo-Paganism as a movement rather than an umbrella. If describing it as a wide and sparkly mosaic works for you, that’s great.  To me, while such is a pretty image, I get the impression of something that relies on the ‘sparkly’ bits to catch people’s interest yet once ones digs below the upper-most flashy layer, there is nothing left of interest. An impression that most definitely doesn’t align to my experiences of being a Pagan.

So here is a second and different tack.

Instead of asking people what kind of pagan he or she is, perhaps the question should be: what kind(s) of paganism would you self-identify with and self-define as? 

One could even dig a bit deeper below that sparkly surface and ask what one found below the initial interest in that surface and that kept one being Pagan….

Now someone could scroll through your initial (albeit limited) list of choices and most would pick not one but a number of different descriptors. Those just starting out or truly specialised in their self-definition might choose only one descriptor or differing combinations depending on who he or she is talking to, what context the description is being used within and so on. 

Plus those high level descriptors are probably going to mean something different to different people.

For example if I were to tack together the descriptors that I might use in my self-identification and self-definition that applies to my being Pagan, it would result in the rather unwieldy: Polytheist, non-Wiccan Dianic Pagan, Goddess-Centered, Dianic and Feminist and Vocational Witch, Goddess Scholar Neo-Pagan. A description I probably wouldn’t ever use outside of my Beliefnet profile or on a thread like this.

Mostly I would respond that I am a Dianic Witch and usually I then have to verify whether what I meant and what the ‘other’ interpreted had any resemblance. Most of the time, for example, the ‘other’ ends up thinking I must be a Dianic Wiccan Witch, which is most definitely not the case.

I'm not trying to derail your thread here but if you truly want folks to be more specific, then general terms are not going to work as descriptors and all the types of paganism that you listed, are all general terms. 

C.H.[/QUOTE]

The sparkly was really more for satirical purposes... which is hard to express in a post...

Again, and why I noted that the various selections listed were limited, was so that people, especially people like yourself, could elaborate and focus their individual beliefs. An example would be listing something like CR, within that you have ethnic/ linguistic/ national groups, various tribal associations (be they larger or smaller familial), specific focus on individual deities, and even within those, all manner of diversity.

The reason I use the mosaic metaphor is because I like to believe that while individuals see themselves as they will, they also recognize they are part of a larger whole the, albeit fractious, Neo-Pagan community. Despite the many differences, there is still a great semblance of community in a pan-Pagan notion of Pagan identity (even if it is self identified [takes a shot]). Evidence of this are the various net forums (like this one), the Pagan pride project, local pub moots, regional events, national and international Pagan conferences, and so forth.

I also realize that many who may be deemed by others to be members of the Pagan community, may not themselves associate with them, even wishing to distance themselves from it, this is especially noticeable within the various Recon trads. Perhaps I just haven't become as disillusioned as other Recons have, so I still identify as being a Pagan. This is where the concept of self identification becomes an important aspect, so I was really leaving it up to individual posters to elaborate on their individual beliefs.

And in terms of why/ how they became involved, I have the "Secret Origins" thread:D
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 30, 2008 - 1:56PM #4
tameless_heart
Posts: 2,084
I'm an eclectic pagan, with some heathen leanings and a hard polytheist outlook. I may invoke deities for different purposes even if they aren't in my pantheon, but I am sure to respect them. (Kind of like the way catholics invoke saints.) That's what I am in a nutshell, I suppose.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 31, 2008 - 4:41PM #5
Dromahair
Posts: 559
[QUOTE=gorm_sionnach;859796]So your a Pagan... could be a little more specific;)
[/QUOTE]

I thought this was why we had public profiles - so people could click on our names and see what kind of pagan (or whatever) we are. :)
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 31, 2008 - 9:02PM #6
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
[QUOTE=] I thought this was why we had public profiles - so people could click on our names and see what kind of pagan (or whatever) we are.[/QUOTE]

That would be awesome, If I could ever get mine to work... But people tend to elaborate if given a chance, maybe even a little more than in their profiles...
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2008 - 6:48PM #7
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
[QUOTE=Seeker Tom;868717]I think this is a good post to ask for some help or direction to go with my answer... 

I guess I would say I am an earth-centered pagan, not a polytheist...who sees the "Creator" as more of a force or living spirit throughout nature.  I am definitely mindful of following the moon phases and tying traditions and rituals to the 8 sabbats/holidays throughout the year.

QUESTION:  Can someone maybe point me in a direction to sort of "label" the way I see the "Deity(s)/higher power/Creator" etc...  Would it simply be Eclectic?  It's not really Animism...  At least I don't think so.

Yet, I do have a respect for the view of a Horned God and Goddess as well...  I would appreciate any responses...

My real question is trying to see where my beliefs would fall or if they align with a standard view... or if its more of an eclectic/unique thing.

Thanks much.[/QUOTE]

I can not remember if you had asked this question in another forum, and if I responded to it there. Your question and name does seem familiar, then again I could just be confused...:confused:

Anyway, after reading your post, I would strongly recommend you take a look at Pantheism, as it is the closest general belief which seems to fit what you are looking for. There are Pagans who consider themselves Pantheists...
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 04, 2008 - 9:33AM #8
wideopenmind
Posts: 7
My main belief is in panentheism (not pantheism). I don't belong to any specific pagan grouping, although BeliefNet's 'Belief-omatic' questionnaire gives me a 100% NeoPagan rating for my beliefs.

I am interested in ancient Celtic spiritualities and in the Druid way but I see the pantheon of gods and goddesses all as aspects of the one ‘god’; who is the spirit of life flowing through all things.

My background is in Christianity and I do still have a strong respect for Jesus; but as a totally human being who was deeply in touch with ‘god’.

David
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2008 - 10:38AM #9
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
No problem Tom. Everyone has to start somewhere.:D
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6 years ago  ::  Nov 05, 2008 - 10:38AM #10
gorm_sionnach
Posts: 237
No problem Tom. Everyone has to start somewhere.:D
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