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Modern Day Pagans And Wiccans.

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Modern Day Pagans And Wiccans.

Post  Αρχιμήδης on Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:09 am

What do others here think of modern day pagans and wiccans?

Sure, they seem a bit new age and all that, but I have yet to meet another follower of Hellenismos face to face where rather than be alone in my own private setting I congregate with them frequently.

Where I live it is very christian and so with that crowd I find a sense of community despite them not meeting my own beliefs 100%.

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Re: Modern Day Pagans And Wiccans.

Post  Erodius on Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:32 am

Αρχιμήδης wrote:What do others here think of modern day pagans and wiccans?

Sure, they seem a bit new age and all that, but I have yet to meet another follower of Hellenismos face to face where rather than be alone in my own private setting I congregate with them frequently.

Where I live it is very christian and so with that crowd I find a sense of community despite them not meeting my own beliefs 100%.
First off, as far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as a 'pagan.' There is always a more accurate term for any group. The word was coined to imply simple-minded rusticity, lack of education, and an implication of unrefinement and stupidity.

The genuine 'Wiccan' religion is a modern religious movement founded in England, based on a blend of British folklore, Golden Dawn ceremonial magic, and some anthropological ideas that were in vogue at the time (which have since, in many cases, been partially or wholly discredited). However, I do not know much more than that, because actual Wicca is an initiatory system that enjoins secrecy upon its members and does not publicly divulge much information at all — or almost any, in many cases.

What often gets called 'Wicca' is neo-Wicca, not the actual Wicca. Neo-Wicca is a relatively recent phenomenon, withib about the last 20 years, spurred by the fact that any yahoo can now publish a book and spread whatever ideas they wish to in the connotatively-authoritative form of a DIY paperback book from the 'occult' section of a bookstore. Neo-Wicca is really indistinguishable in most cases from the New-Age. It is where, usually, the stereotype paperback priestesses and plastic shamans come from. It usually idolizes eclecticism and egolatry, the supernatural, rejects any codified moral structure, encourages its members to feel perpetually oppressed, prohibits rational inquiry or questioning of any claims, with the response that questioning or criticizing them is just further evidence that you are oppressing them. Their modus operandi is often aggressive cultural 'borrowing', where elements from any culture or religion around the world are uprooted, decontextualized, and re-interpreted to suit the individual's wishes, usually with the later claim that 'X-religion/culture/group' supports/believes in whatever the individual has pirated the element to support. This form of wicca-influenced 'create your own religion and call it whatever you want' is often called 'Neopaganism' or even just 'Paganism' — which has had the disturbing effect of leading whole slews of people into believing that ancient and Classical religions are part of the same heritage/lineage as contemporary, eclectic 'Paganism', or even that they share virtually anything outside of the names of deities, which 'Pagans' lift from every conceivable religion across the world.

Classical religion and 'Paganism' are entirely separate and genealogically unrelated, though 'Paganism' as I said, often  'adopts' anything and everything piecemeal from anywhere the individual 'Pagan' wishes to, virtually always without any consent or explanation from or to the group it is being 'adopted' from.

That said, my dislike of the 'neopagan/eclectic' ideology is less an issue, for me, of disliking their beliefs (although I do have considerable issue with many of them), but rather from the rampant dishonesty and anti-intellectualism I see in that community. What troubles me is that, more often than not, there is an instance of deliberately trying to pass something off as being something it is not (the repeated use of 'the old religion' to refer to neopaganism, for instance, which is only about 30 years old in the form that many of these individuals understand it). I would have far, far less of an issue if these groups were honest about their purely modern origin, and honest about the fact that their beliefs and practices are largely made up as they go along. If someone is okay with such a system and wants to follow it anyway, then fine, there is nothing to stop him/her from doing so. But they need to call things as they are, not as they wish they were.

It also should be said that I have a virtually zero-tolerance threshold for 'whimsy'. I don't have a single whimsical bone in my body, and, at least where I'm from, people who call themselves 'pagans/wiccans/neopagans/druids/fiddle-de-dees/etc' are usually overflowing with it.

I do not support 'settling' for people. If someone is genuinely a good friend match, then you ought to associate with them. But hanging out with someone just because you don't have anyone better to hang with, at least as I see it, isn't really beneficial, and isn't very honest to the other person either. There is an online community here that is usually relatively active, and has existed in some form since, I believe, 2008. I do not have any friends near me of the same religion as I (although I have some long-distance friends both from here and from the Orphic church). Of my three best friends, one is an avowed Marxist and an atheist, another is a Telugu Vaishnavite Hindu, and another is a liberal Pakistani Muslim, and we get along splendidly. Of all, the closest religious similarity between most genuine forms of religious Hellenism and another religion is with the various Hindu religions. If you are really craving similar religious association, I would recommend looking for a Hindu temple, and studying some Hinduism while you're at it. The similarities with Hellenism are dramatic, and in the stance taken by the Orphic tradition, Hinduism is a form of the same religion as our own.

However, it is also beneficial to have real-time interaction with individuals. Although this is often not possible in person, it is through venues like Skype and other video/internet calling programs.

In the Orphic tradition, actually, we teach exclusively by means of actual verbal instruction from teacher to student. This is both to discern a postulant student's character and intentions, as well as to solidify a relationship between teacher and student, and between student and other students.

Based on this and on your earlier question about issues of ethnicity, I would recommend the following links:

i. Living the Tradition
ii. FAQ's

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Re: Modern Day Pagans And Wiccans.

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:18 pm

There are other threads in this forum, Αρχιμήδης, where you can find Erodius and myself heaping on the medley of enthusiasms that is Wicca something that is not quite opprobrium, but more severe than amusement.  Therein you will find laid bare the mists and secrets of the dreadsome maw of the coven, as clear and as terrifying as the cackle of the bookstore Goth girl cashier, as bloodcurdling as the scream of the eviscerated pumpkin...
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Re: Modern Day Pagans And Wiccans.

Post  Linda on Sat Sep 07, 2013 3:27 pm

Out of Phlegethon wrote:  Therein you will find laid bare the mists and secrets of the dreadsome maw of the coven, as clear and as terrifying as the cackle of the bookstore Goth girl cashier, as bloodcurdling as the scream of the eviscerated pumpkin...
Gave me a good laugh, that statement!
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Re: Modern Day Pagans And Wiccans.

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sat Sep 07, 2013 8:01 pm

Then I'm glad it fulfilled it's intention, my friend!
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