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habbalah
11 Aug 2015, 19:50
Pop Culture Paganism is a relatively new "brand" of paganism, for lack of a better word. For those of you who don't know what it is, here (http://thepaganstudygrouppage.tumblr.com/post/75580019817/pop-culture-paganism-an-introduction) is a rundown. A very basic explanation is using pop culture to shape your ideas and worship, but please read the link, as that leaves a lot out.

What do you think about this? How does the idea of pop culture paganism strike you?

MaskedOne
11 Aug 2015, 19:51
If it's crazy but works then either it isn't crazy or it's the awesome kind of crazy. If it doesn't work then why are you bothering? This principle applies beyond PCP.

habbalah
11 Aug 2015, 19:52
If it's crazy but works then either it isn't crazy or it's the awesome kind of crazy. If it doesn't work then why are you bothering? This principle applies beyond PCP.

And not the drug.

Willow
11 Aug 2015, 19:55
It's not particularly my thing, but I've talked to a few people who put a lot of energy and time into learning about it and putting it to use (so to speak). Those I've talked to have said it's not entirely about the character per say, but they provide an image by which to attach the desired identity and thereby provide an easier focal point for whatever it is they're doing.

Sorry if that's confusing, I think my brain shut down a couple hours ago.

But it seems to work for some people, and I'm interested to see what others here think about it.

anunitu
11 Aug 2015, 20:06
So,One could make Scubydoo into kinda a deity because he has come in contact with so many super natural things? And what of Thelma,and scrappydoo ???

Medusa
11 Aug 2015, 20:08
If you worship a pop culture character then you are an idiot and I will call you out.
The end.

LearningMan
11 Aug 2015, 20:09
I'm wary about it, because a lot of fluffbunnies get what they know (or claim to, anyway) from stuff like "The Craft".

anunitu
11 Aug 2015, 20:15
If you worship a pop culture character then you are an idiot and I will call you out.
The end.

Thank you Duce for the moment of clarity....

MaskedOne
11 Aug 2015, 20:29
If you worship a pop culture character then you are an idiot and I will call you out.
The end.



We seek to provide a comfortable environment where our members can feel safe and may openly share any information without fear of religious intolerance.




2. Be courteous to your fellow members.
<snip>
5. Do not troll, bait, instigate fights, flame, attack or otherwise violate forum rules.
<snip>
9. If you disagree with anything, do so in a respectful manner. Do not spread drama over disputes or personal discord over multiple threads.


Remember the above. They've been there for years. There is no exemption if a member is named Medusa. You will abide by them within the boundaries of this forum or you will be ejected from this forum. If you have a problem with that then send a request for special treatment to Thal and Juni before you step into a ban. You are welcome to your issues with Pop Culture Paganism but if you attack one member of this forum for who they choose to worship then I will take that fight off their hands and you won't attack another.

For everyone: this is NOT open to public discussion. Don't start one. I don't give a damn what you do outside PF but if you think that a forum member's beliefs are silly enough to exempt them from the protections of site rules then start writing your appeals to Thal and Juni right now because once you act on those misguided beliefs, you will need them.

Medusa
11 Aug 2015, 20:50
I don't recall calling anyone an idiot. I thought this was a general discussion, not that someone was actually worshiping a pop culture character (as the link said). We were asked what we thought. It's my opinion. I can word it less meany if needed. Whatever floats your pizza boat.

MaskedOne
11 Aug 2015, 20:58
I don't recall calling anyone an idiot. I thought this was a general discussion, not that someone was actually worshiping a pop culture character (as the link said). We were asked what we thought. It's my opinion. I can word it less meany if needed. Whatever floats your pizza boat.

You promised an action. I want you to be firmly aware that if you carry out that action in a manner that violates forum rules then I will hold you to account for that action. Should you choose to call people outside this forum idiots for their beliefs then that is on you. Should you choose to act on your first statement in this thread in a manner that violates forum rules toward say the two resident followers of the God Emperor of Man, toward V when she is particularly emulating a fictional pantheon, toward Thal if she decides to interface with Deity through a character from modern fiction as well as various Titans or toward any number of potential future members who may build their beliefs around fiction then you and I are going to have words and then I'm going to Ban you. If you don't intend to follow through on your promise to call people out for their choices on who to worship on PF then we won't have a problem related to this issue.

Medusa
11 Aug 2015, 21:16
Well since you brought this up. Look, I'm not trying to go to war over something that is a sentence. I don't like long wordy stuff. So I'll just ask as to be very clear.

1. Are you asking me to change my opinion on this subject? Because that will never happen. And I have a feeling that's not what you are saying at all.

2. Are you asking me to change the way I word my opinion as to not be insulting to the 'outside' world. I have no idea who that is. Because f the outside world. For That dude who believes in the video game and to V, I do apologize. So if you want me to change my wording to be more sensitive to those, that can definitely happen.

3. I don't call out anyone until they ask the forum for their opinion. And I feel I'm part of this forum, even when I have the dissenting opinion. I try to not post in all those other threads out of respect, because I know the rules and where I actually am (a Pagan forum). But when asked 'hey, what do you think', well..I do think. Though like I said, I can post that opinion in a more sensitive way if needed.

So number 2?

Munin-Hugin
11 Aug 2015, 21:26
I feel that creating a new and special snowflake title of "Pop Culture Paganism" is really sort of silly, when you come to think about it. In ancient Greece, it was "pop culture" to believe in and to worship Zeus and Apollo and the like, it was "pop culture" for the Norse to pray to Thor and Odin. You have to remember that back then, the myths, stories, legends, artwork, cave drawings, etc were their form on entertainment. Instead of turning on the TV and watching a show, they'd gather around and tell stories.

As much as at times I find myself thinking someone who says that they call upon My Little Ponies for help and guidance, you've got to wonder. For all we know, some Greek kids might have been playing by the water and decided to make up a game where the boy pretended to be a sea monster and tried to drag the girl into the water. Next thing you know, we've got Poseidon wanting virgin sacrifices to the Kraken.

I've always held the thought that gods, monsters, fairies, and all other sorts of beings are created and die every day. If you believe in something strongly enough, it becomes the truth, if only to you. That faith has power, and through it beings of thought and form are created. Once that belief fades away, so do those beings.

volcaniclastic
11 Aug 2015, 21:26
I appreciate being defended, and I appreciate the apology, but it is unnecessary. At the core of my belief, I believe in an ideal, and I have found that ideal to be emulated within a fictional character. I don't believe said fictional character is actually tangible and real, but that doesn't stop me from worshipping the idea.

To each their own. We find the divine in a thousand ways. Some would argue that holy texts are also fiction, and that God is a fictional character. Just from a much older novel...yet millions, if not billions of people worship him. And they're not idiots. I mean, I'm sure some of them are, but not for their belief.

And I know of a particular member who practically worships an X-Men character, so...what's that say about her? ;)

MaskedOne
11 Aug 2015, 21:27
So number 2?

2 is close enough. I don't mind if you disagree with Pop Culture Paganism. You disagree with standard theism, why would I expect you to agree with pop culture paganism? My concern is that we have and will have members in the future who hold beliefs that you think are silly. We have a number of people I disagree with. You want to say you disagree? Cool. Just understand that there is, "I disagree" or "Yeah, I'm not a fan," (both of those are referencing ideas) and there's "Anyone who believes X is an idiot and I'll call them one". "Anyone who believes X is an idiot" is an attack on any number of members whose beliefs you aren't aware of and "I'll call them one" is a statement that you have no problem starting a flame war in a forum that expressly forbids such. I'll accept, "Pop Culture Paganism is silly" unless you push the point so aggressively that it can't be anything other than a provocation. I won't tolerate "You've based your religion on Superman. You're a f-ing moron"

See the distinction?

B. de Corbin
12 Aug 2015, 02:24
A common type of Buddhism practiced in western countries is called "Shambala Buddhism." It gets similar criticism from practitioners of Asian forms of Buddhism - that it is "pop Buddhism" because it is specifically adjusted to fit in with western culture allowing the practitioner to both be Buddhists and continue living a western style life, but with Buddhist principles.

The criticism is foolish. Every place Buddhism went after leaving India (and even as it moved about in India) it changed to adjust to local culture - this is why Zen Buddhism in Japan is different from Mahayana Buddhism in Mongolia.

All belief systems change and are altered by local needs, conditions, customs, cultures, and subcultures. The idea of "purity," for any religion, is (to be polite) goofy. The same is true for pagan beliefs. Not everybody has to be a museum recon, or wants to be.

If a person feels compelled to judge the religion of another, I suggest sincerity of belief and effectiveness in producing promised results as more meaningful.

I suggest respect as even better.

thalassa
12 Aug 2015, 04:16
Pop Culture Paganism is a relatively new "brand" of paganism, for lack of a better word. For those of you who don't know what it is, here (http://thepaganstudygrouppage.tumblr.com/post/75580019817/pop-culture-paganism-an-introduction) is a rundown. A very basic explanation is using pop culture to shape your ideas and worship, but please read the link, as that leaves a lot out.

What do you think about this? How does the idea of pop culture paganism strike you?



This is not new. This has been going on forever. Think about it this way--we have myths from ancient cultures. Those myths came from somewhere. We don't actually know that they weren't stories about old grea-great-great-great-great grea-great-great-great-great-grea-great-great-great-great-grea-great-great-great-great-Grannie Athena, founder of Athens back in her arse kicking days before the generational game of telephone got started and people started thinking she was really something *else* and forgetting that she was actually a person. Look at the Iliad and Odessey by Homer...until about 1870 years ago, Troy was just a myth. Who is to say that myths didn't come first? That campfire on the savannah needs some entertainment now and again. And even if they didn't, myths are not authentic stories about gods--whether that god is YHWH or Ariadne; myths are metaphors. Pagans have been worshipping since well before this little Superman dust up over the past year, and even before the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Chocolate Rabbit (http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/ostarathespringequinox/ht/LBRChocoRabbit.htm)of my early Wiccan years. Appeal to antiquity is a logical fallacy, I see no reason why religion makes it otherwise. (https://nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/real-is-irrelevent/)

Real is irrelevent. Humans have been worshipping imaginary friends for pretty much their entire modern history. It doesn’t matter if they are “real” or not, it matters that we find meaning in our interactions with them. It matters that those interactions better ourselves and our world. (https://nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/real-is-irrelevent/) Evidence of religious practices and concepts date back to the Paleolithic, long before the cultures that created the mythology and the gods that Pagans worship. There is something about us that craves an interaction with agency where agency doesn't objectively and concretely exist. There is some serious scientific speculation that this
regarding religion as a type of group selection (I recommend the book Supernatural Selction) for more info on this. Religion is about relationship. It doesn't matter whether or not the object of that relationship is something that actually exists or not, or whether that existence (metaphorical or otherwise) is modern or not.

The honest truth about religion--the ONLY honest truth about religion that I've ever been able to establish--is that the only thing that determines “right” is belief (including everything before this that I said). It goes without saying that I believe I’m right (or at least more right than the next guy), or else I’d have different beliefs. It also goes without saying that people with diametrically different and even opposed beliefs believe that they are right as well. So, we can’t all be right (unless there are multiple dimensions of reality or some other wacky string theory idea); nor can we independently and objectively verify who might possibly be right (there’s no way to dip out the measuring spoon for god). Religions don’t need their stories to be literally true, it is people that need to believe their mythology as literal truth. Perhaps because we have been programmed to think that we have to be “right”, and if we are “right”, then everyone else must be “wrong”. Or maybe its because we have been conditioned to think that only the literal truth matters. But a story doesn’t need to be literally true to be important and it doesn’t need need historical accuracy for it to have meaning. I don’t need my religious beliefs to be “right” to be true, and I don’t need them to be literally true to be right for me. Nor do I need to formally reject the ideas that I think are wrong for me…its enough for me that I just don’t believe in them or follow them. The mythology of the Bible and the Abrahamic faiths is just as legitimate (and no more) as the mythology of the Celts, the Greeks, the Norse, the Egyptians, etc. They are all just as legitimate, and still, just a myth. (quoting myself from my blog) (https://nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com//?s=myth&search=Go)



Look, I worship beings whose literal existence I know cannot be established, and one or two that I absolutely know are totally made up. My reverence, my experience is still real.

anunitu
12 Aug 2015, 04:25
The pop culture term is most likely not a real good term to use. That term tends to trivialize because it tends to bring up the idea of short term fads. I am not sure what term would be better suited in this discussion. Perhaps the term"Modern myths and beliefs" would better form more of a solid reason for how people interact in this way.

B. de Corbin
12 Aug 2015, 04:27
Let me present an interesting example of a religion intentionally incorporating a character they know to fictional, and then forgetting they have done so.

LeVeyan (atheistic) Satanists.

Rae'ya
12 Aug 2015, 04:41
Pop Culture Paganism is a relatively new "brand" of paganism, for lack of a better word. For those of you who don't know what it is, here (http://thepaganstudygrouppage.tumblr.com/post/75580019817/pop-culture-paganism-an-introduction) is a rundown. A very basic explanation is using pop culture to shape your ideas and worship, but please read the link, as that leaves a lot out.

What do you think about this? How does the idea of pop culture paganism strike you?

I have no issue with Pop Culture Paganism, and I think that it can quite easily fit into several different forms of belief in 'entities'. Pop culture icons provide quite good foci for the worship or reverence of a conceptual figure, particularly if it's one that you are very familiar with. Pop culture icons often fit easily into typical Archetypal characters, and therefore can be used to embody any of those Archetypes just as effectively as any other entity. And if we choose to be literal, I absolutely do believe that there are a number of pop culture icons who have enough backing behind them to have become a sort of group egregore and therefore can be considered to be an actual entity.

It's easy to have a knee jerk reaction against Pop Culture Paganism, but most of the pagans I know who work with pop culture icons don't literally worship the icon as their actual hard polytheistic style god... they work with the energy and focus of the conceptual figure or Archetype behind the icon. It's not quite the same, and while the former could easily be considered 'silly', the latter is no more silly than any other form of deity (or character) reverence.

MaskedOne
12 Aug 2015, 04:45
I have no issue with Pop Culture Paganism, and I think that it can quite easily fit into several different forms of belief in 'entities'. Pop culture icons provide quite good foci for the worship or reverence of a conceptual figure, particularly if it's one that you are very familiar with. Pop culture icons often fit easily into typical Archetypal characters, and therefore can be used to embody any of those Archetypes just as effectively as any other entity. And if we choose to be literal, I absolutely do believe that there are a number of pop culture icons who have enough backing behind them to have become a sort of group egregore and therefore can be considered to be an actual entity.



I need to dust off my Chaote plan of summoning Bugs Bunny against my enemies. :)

Hawkfeathers
12 Aug 2015, 04:50
Bugs is my hero!

anunitu
12 Aug 2015, 04:55
I can't really say I ever found say a media figure to invoke a spiritual connection,not for myself at least. I have at times known people that became much deeper involved with them. I knew a guy that could be said to revere "James bond" and others that found super heroes(Comic,movie,graphic novel) to be worthy of elevation to idol of a sort. My take is,what ever helps you and your interaction with what can only be described as our chaotic real life interactions in human culture. I would at times consider a stiff drink something of a needed connection with the spirits to help cope with the madness that is our human reality.

thalassa
12 Aug 2015, 05:08
I feel that creating a new and special snowflake title of "Pop Culture Paganism" is really sort of silly, when you come to think about it.

The whole "Pop Culture" descriptor happened well after the practice of incorporating fictional contemporary cultural figures into personal pantheons, and it was meant to be an insult by the people doing the criticizing, not a self-adopted moniker by the people actually practicing this way.

Before that, it was just called Paganism.

anunitu
12 Aug 2015, 05:08
Should add that alcohol was used in many rites and ceremonies in many belief systems..

Ula
12 Aug 2015, 06:20
I don't incorporate pop culture stuff into my religion but I love pop culture elements in spell work. I have four rock bands I use lyrics from in spell work or listen to them to get a mood or energy going. I have blasted Led Zeppelin to clean a spaces in my home. But spell work is kind of different than offering and worship.

NeoPlatonic
13 Aug 2015, 10:15
The pop culture term is most likely not a real good term to use. That term tends to trivialize because it tends to bring up the idea of short term fads. I am not sure what term would be better suited in this discussion. Perhaps the term"Modern myths and beliefs" would better form more of a solid reason for how people interact in this way.
I agree. The problem is the term per se, not the beliefs. I disagree on a basic level with a few of the philosophical points, but I do not ridicule them. "Pop Culture" however equates those beliefs with fashion.

That aside, I can absolutely see how a person can look at some modern work of art and feel attracted to it. Say, a follower of Zeus looks at a painting from an artist and thinks "This - this is how I imagine Zeus to be". But it does not have to be Zeus; it could be any deity. It could be a minor deity that seems to be calling only to them. It could also be that the work of art has inspired them to such great height as to attribute divinity to it.

Furthermore deities often take many shapes. Is it possible that a few have adapted themselves to the modern period by portraying themselves in current forms of media? Perhaps. Interestingly, some works of fiction deal with this same subject.

I don't incorporate pop culture stuff into my religion but I love pop culture elements in spell work. I have four rock bands I use lyrics from in spell work or listen to them to get a mood or energy going. I have blasted Led Zeppelin to clean a spaces in my home. But spell work is kind of different than offering and worship.I do a similar work with music, even if I do not perform spells. I can take an instrumental piece and make up lyrics for it, and sometimes these are directed as a prayer or praise to my god. I find both the experience more enjoyable and easier to sing a prayer/praise that way.

Willow
13 Aug 2015, 18:59
I don't incorporate pop culture stuff into my religion but I love pop culture elements in spell work. I have four rock bands I use lyrics from in spell work or listen to them to get a mood or energy going. I have blasted Led Zeppelin to clean a spaces in my home. But spell work is kind of different than offering and worship.

I had never actually thought of this as pop culture - esque. I use some modern music at times for meditative or other purposes and never really thought twice about it. Whatever works, eh?

Torgrim
13 Aug 2015, 19:35
It seemed a bit silly when I first started reading about the whole thing, but as I read more through it, and as I looked at other posts here in this thread, I got to thinking about how it really isn't overly silly at all.

I look at it this way: if you spot the divine in the forest, perhaps in a bubbling brook, or in the light filtering through the trees... or perhaps in the playing of the birds above in the branches... some people call that divinity. Some say it is a symbolic representation of deity, it gives them faith, it makes them stronger in their beliefs and empowers them and gives them strength. In the same way, some might look to modern culture (as in the past) and find the same sort of beauty and inspiration there.

I thought about what draws me to my own gods, their own traits, symbolism, power... and I thought how many of those things I also find out and about in nature and in the media. I'll admit, I am a die-hard Adventure Time fan, and after thinking about all of this, I realized that, although I don't worship the show or characters in any way, I really look to some of the characters as symbols of certain traits and archetypes that I aspire to in some manner. I could see how this could be taken farther and fleshed out into a worship of the character as a symbol of the divine just as some worship the beauty of nature as the divine.

Its just a matter of perspective, and sometimes when you don't agree with something, you merely need to turn your perspective upside down to see it...

B. de Corbin
14 Aug 2015, 03:48
Oh thou poor mortals, limited by time and space!

I bring to thee the wisdom of the future. Behold, and tremble...


http://youtu.be/im29S6ZWRDI

Azimuth
15 Aug 2015, 20:07
I think the idea is a little silly, for many reasons. I don't doubt that some people have the will and psychology to make it work, but it's like fetching a toothpick to peel a banana. Unless the image of whatever pop culture item is so ingrained into your brain that nothing else would make sense for what you're trying to accomplish in your path, you're just making your own life harder. Your path should make it easier to live life, not to make a fantasy route to escape from it. IMO

Rae'ya
15 Aug 2015, 21:26
I think the idea is a little silly, for many reasons. I don't doubt that some people have the will and psychology to make it work, but it's like fetching a toothpick to peel a banana. Unless the image of whatever pop culture item is so ingrained into your brain that nothing else would make sense for what you're trying to accomplish in your path, you're just making your own life harder. Your path should make it easier to live life, not to make a fantasy route to escape from it. IMO

This depends largely on how you worship, though. If you're a hard polytheist who believes that deities are literal entities who are actually interacting with you on a level that is external to yourself, I agree that Pop Culture paganism could make your practice harder.

BUT... if you were a soft polytheist who believes that deities are manifestations of some overruling Divine Force, and that said Divine Force manifests in all things... well then working with someone like Nocturnal (http://elderscrolls.wikia.com/wiki/Nocturnal)from the Elder Scrolls mythos could potentially be just as 'easy' and effective as working with Nyx of Roman mythos. If you're a chaote, then Pop Culture icons are completely legitimate identities to work with, and in many cases are preferred over existing deities specifically because they are more flexible and tractable than existing deities. There is also the fact that many people don't just work with the Pop Culture icons, but actually resonate with the surrounding religious ideas behind them.

There are a lot of Pop Culture icons which have very complex and detailed lore, mythology and religion. I'll come back to Elder Scrolls, because that's what I'm most familiar with... but there are not only a number of deities in the Elder Scrolls lore, but they each have relationships to each other; the different races have different names for the same deities, which can be explored through books you pick up in your travels; the Daedric Princes have realms within Oblivion (the Otherworlds) which can be visited; you interact with many of the deities and Daedric Princes through the games; you are submersed in the culture and beliefs of the races who's lands you are in; and if you care to read all the lore you can construct a workable religious or spiritual path with relative ease. As someone who spends a lot of my spare time in the Elder Scrolls universe, I can absolutely see how it would seem an attractive thing to do to construct my spiritual and religious practices around some of the deities... and if you weren't a hard polytheist, it would be just as easy (if not easier!) to do that then it would be to read a bunch of authors and academic texts about any existing Thisworld mythology or path.

monsno_leedra
16 Aug 2015, 06:36
I remember when Star Wars was the pop culture paganism that was running wild for a bit. The phrase "May the force be with you" was nearly the same as any Christian blessing you might likely hear on the street.

I think the thing with pop culture paganism is that culture seem's to change nearly every generation so to then does the idea of pop culture paganism. One might compare it to the 70's when you had the save the earth culture with all the Native American symbolism that filled the airwaves. The feminist roots of modern paganism could be said and effectively argued that the modern pagan face owes much of its structure to that era of the 70's and early 80's pop culture issues. The Satanic scare of the 80's and early 90's changed a lot of the face of paganism and created a notion of pop culture paganism, especially with it's Christian dogma clinging on. I truly expect to see more and more of the Middle Earth pop culture paganism picking up with the success of the LOTR and Hobbit movies. Well correctly say resurgence as the middle earth pop culture pagan influence has been there for many years already.

I think where it gets ugly is when say the Middle Earth pop culture movement says that the Twilight pop culture movement is fake and has no foundation as one is based upon teen literature vice more valid mythological based literature. While the game group says both the literature based groups are hokey and the game world is the more realistic structured universe. Wonder how many remember when the Gor novels were the big thing and people were pushing that as a basis for some pagan practices? That would have been late 70's and into the 80's near as I recall now. Tied nicely to the role Princes Leia had as Jabba the Hutts slave and the Star Wars fringe groups.

anunitu
16 Aug 2015, 06:45
POP ROCKS is the only true sacrament,You all know this to be true...runs off tossing pop rocks to the throng of fans chasing me for my autograph...

monsno_leedra
16 Aug 2015, 06:49
POP ROCKS is the only true sacrament,You all know this to be true...runs off tossing pop rocks to the throng of fans chasing me for my autograph...

The stories I've heard about pop rocks and how they were used. Snap, crackle and pop when just a little moisture was added to them. The erotic aspect unreal from some supposed first hand accounts we spoke about on those long mid watches with nothing else to do.

Pop culture though i'd have to add in clackers and the almost ritualistic usage everyone seemed to have with them. Those glass and later sort of a hard plastic balls that you banged together. Gained famed with one song near as I recall....Had two balls and a string told me it was my ding a ling a ling....

anunitu
16 Aug 2015, 06:53
And then there was the scandal where the clackers shattered,and then like a mist,they were gone,just ask Keyser Söze.

monsno_leedra
16 Aug 2015, 07:05
And then there was the scandal where the clackers shattered,and then like a mist,they were gone,just ask Keyser Söze.

Yep but thing is I never knew anyone that had one actually shatter on them. Heck we took hammers to some of ours trying to get them to shatter and fly apart. The worse we ever got was some surface abrasions and chips from using them. Many times with the hammer the most we ever got was the ball splitting in half. Funny looking back on it though. I got in more trouble with them when we tried to use them as bolo's, yet you can still buy bolo type toys.

Medusa
16 Aug 2015, 10:14
I have to ask. And this time I'm going to do so without judgement because I honestly canot form an opinion on this.

Do people actually believe believe this? Like they are going to base not only this life but their very real afterlife on this?

Or is this more of a coping mechanism to get along in the world. A sort of I'm going to put on these Disney Mickey ears for the next few hours while at Disneyland and drink the koolaid. Because that I can actually understand. I know exactly how that feels and that's an actual experience for me when I go to Disneyland.

I mean if it's like 'this is real reality' then I feel like that might constitute a hard case of mental illness. I see mental illness. I've lived with it. Believing in things that are not real and not knowing the difference seriously makes you crazy in the literal medical sense. But believing in it but knowing waaay down under, it's not, it's just a nicer view of the world, then ok.

I get that. Some people need this to get through the world. Some people just need Wolverine.

Hawkfeathers
16 Aug 2015, 10:41
Some things are written so as to inspire deeper thought, like Star Trek, Star Wars, Narnia, etc., and people may view the creators of such as visionaries, and perhaps base a bit of their beliefs on the ideas presented in their writings. Kinda like the Bible, only with talking animals or Klingons. I guess it's all faith that there could or should be something else going on besides our mundane existences. How cool would it be to open a wardrobe and enter into another land? And who's to say it's not there, but we, none of us, can see it?

Medusa
16 Aug 2015, 10:54
Some things are written so as to inspire deeper thought, like Star Trek, Star Wars, Narnia, etc., and people may view the creators of such as visionaries, and perhaps base a bit of their beliefs on the ideas presented in their writings. Kinda like the Bible, only with talking animals or Klingons. I guess it's all faith that there could or should be something else going on besides our mundane existences. How cool would it be to open a wardrobe and enter into another land? And who's to say it's not there, but we, none of us, can see it?

Sure. That sounds romantic. And sweet. I've dealt with a mentally ill mother who talked to things that were not there. Like the time she was in the kitchen with a kitchen knife in the dark twirling like a ballerina. Or the time she heard someone tell her to save the children outside. So she attacked a crossing gaurd.

Real people who believe things that are not really there are not romantic nor or they cute or sweet or whimsical. Most people aren't seeing fairies and Picard. Most are seeing demons and running around with butcher knives.

That's the real 'I believe in unreal things' reality. :(

Munin-Hugin
16 Aug 2015, 10:58
I mean if it's like 'this is real reality' then I feel like that might constitute a hard case of mental illness. I see mental illness. I've lived with it. Believing in things that are not real and not knowing the difference seriously makes you crazy in the literal medical sense.

Put in those terms, that means that having a religion (thus believing in something that you personally see but no one else does, things you've experienced that no one else has, and following the writings from various books, stories told by various people) means that you suffer from mental illness.

I know that it looks pretty crazy and maybe a little obsessive to some to put up little shrines to each of the Care Bears, and then to light candles and pray to them. But break it down into what it is. Each of those cartoon characters were designed to represent different emotional states and feelings of humans. So praying to Luck Bear in hopes to get get something you desire, or lighting a candle to Cheer Bear to help a friend get out of his depression is no different than doing the same to Ganesha or Bishamon respectively.

Hawkfeathers
16 Aug 2015, 10:58
You also have the tales of Moses seeing a burning bush, and of Mary's visions of an angel telling her she was going to have the child of God, etc., which all seem to be no problem for lots of people to take seriously, because "It Is Written".

Rae'ya
16 Aug 2015, 19:13
I have to ask. And this time I'm going to do so without judgement because I honestly canot form an opinion on this.

Do people actually believe believe this? Like they are going to base not only this life but their very real afterlife on this?

Or is this more of a coping mechanism to get along in the world. A sort of I'm going to put on these Disney Mickey ears for the next few hours while at Disneyland and drink the koolaid. Because that I can actually understand. I know exactly how that feels and that's an actual experience for me when I go to Disneyland.

I mean if it's like 'this is real reality' then I feel like that might constitute a hard case of mental illness. I see mental illness. I've lived with it. Believing in things that are not real and not knowing the difference seriously makes you crazy in the literal medical sense. But believing in it but knowing waaay down under, it's not, it's just a nicer view of the world, then ok.

I get that. Some people need this to get through the world. Some people just need Wolverine.

Do people believe that there are literally other planets out there with Jedi warriors and Death Stars and that we just haven't discovered them yet? I'm sure that some do, but from what I've seen, in general, no. That's not what Pop Culture paganism is about. It's not usually literal belief in the actual existence of those worlds and icons.

Usually, it's people using the imagery and created mythos to push their religious buttons. It's people using the familiar images as symbols to represent ideas and concepts. It's people who don't buy into extant or ancient existing religions, using a relatively modernly created one that resonates with their worldview better. It's people gaining more insight and enriching their lives more with the lessons of modern storytelling than with ancient storytelling.

To me, the only time this does not make any sense whatsoever is if you are a hard polytheist who doesn't accept that there is some level of pantheistic or panentheistic Divine Force. If you're a soft polytheist then all deities are manifestations of the Divine created by human culture, so what difference does a few thousand years of them being around make? If you work with Archetypes then any known image can represent that Archetype, regardless of how popular it is, because what matters is YOUR associations of it. If you're an atheist, there is no difference whatsoever between people believing in Roman gods and people believing in Pokemon... you believe they're all fake anyway so what difference does a few thousand years make?

Medusa
16 Aug 2015, 19:16
If you're an atheist, there is no difference whatsoever between people believing in Roman gods and people believing in Pokemon... you believe they're all fake anyway so what difference does a few thousand years make?

You are right. It's all the same to me.

I was just curious by those who do this, if it's known to be fake but useful or real. I assumed most were using it as an archetype (the way Satanists use Satan) So I get that. I just don't want to pretend to understand and accept mentally ill people who do think Jedis are real and on other planets etc. Because it's one step to cutting off my head if they trip wrong!

MaskedOne
16 Aug 2015, 19:24
I just don't want to pretend to understand and accept mentally ill people who do think Jedis are real and on other planets etc. Because it's one step to cutting off my head if they trip wrong!

I really should make up a cosmology that allows me to push the literal existence of Jedi somewhere just to see how many people will think I'm sincere...

Rae'ya
16 Aug 2015, 19:37
You are right. It's all the same to me.

I was just curious by those who do this, if it's known to be fake but useful or real. I assumed most were using it as an archetype (the way Satanists use Satan) So I get that. I just don't want to pretend to understand and accept mentally ill people who do think Jedis are real and on other planets etc. Because it's one step to cutting off my head if they trip wrong!

It's the same knee jerk reaction I think we all have when we're first exposed to the idea of Pop Culture paganism... "but it's not REAL". But when you think about it more, and when you start talking to people who actually do this, you start to see that it's not really that different to most pagan's belief patterns.

Having said that, I think there absolutely are people out there who actually believe in the literal existence of these entities. Some accept the 'egregore' explanation, but I'm sure there are those who think they were pre-existing entities completely separate to human construction. That I struggle with myself... I can't reconcile the literal, actual existence of Pokemon or Sailor Moon. But I get that maybe someone's archetype wears Sailor Moon's face, or that the Divine manifests that way because that's the image that helps the person understand that energy more deeply. I even sort of get people using fictional creatures like Pokemon as 'animal guides'... kind of... this one I struggle with a bit more, but I do get why they might.

But then, I'm a hard polytheist shamanist, so by your definition, I'm crazy. But I'm okay with that. If you boil me right down to my core, I'm agnostic and I completely accept the possibility that I'm crazy. I just believe in my beliefs anyway because they enrich my life. I figure, who am I to denigrate anyone else for doing the same with their beliefs?

Rae'ya
16 Aug 2015, 19:40
Also, just to clarify... I didn't mean that comment snarkily at all... I was just trying to illustrate the point as succinctly as possibly. You know I'm no good at 'succinct'. Usually when I try I just end up feeling blunt and bitchy!

Medusa
16 Aug 2015, 20:11
It's all good. In actual real life I think most people tend to be a nice middle ground. They use the imagery and they don't try to sacrifice me to their god. I guess I'm slanted because I've been around quite a few of the crazies. Once you see mentally ill people (like my mother and brother (who is schizophrenic)) you tend to be weary of people with imaginary anything. :=L:

anunitu
16 Aug 2015, 20:13
Speaking to the choir sister..been there,done that..

Azimuth
17 Aug 2015, 17:34
This depends largely on how you worship, though. If you're a hard polytheist who believes that deities are literal entities who are actually interacting with you on a level that is external to yourself, I agree that Pop Culture paganism could make your practice harder.


BUT... if you were a soft polytheist who believes that deities are manifestations of some overruling Divine Force, and that said Divine Force manifests in all things... well then working with someone like from the Elder Scrolls mythos could potentially be just as 'easy' and effective as working with Nyx of Roman mythos. If you're a chaote, then Pop Culture icons are completely legitimate identities to work with, and in many cases are preferred over existing deities specifically because they are more flexible and tractable than existing deities. There is also the fact that many people don't just work with the Pop Culture icons, but actually resonate with the surrounding religious ideas behind them.

There are a lot of Pop Culture icons which have very complex and detailed lore, mythology and religion. I'll come back to Elder Scrolls, because that's what I'm most familiar with... but there are not only a number of deities in the Elder Scrolls lore, but they each have relationships to each other; the different races have different names for the same deities, which can be explored through books you pick up in your travels; the Daedric Princes have realms within Oblivion (the Otherworlds) which can be visited; you interact with many of the deities and Daedric Princes through the games; you are submersed in the culture and beliefs of the races who's lands you are in; and if you care to read all the lore you can construct a workable religious or spiritual path with relative ease. As someone who spends a lot of my spare time in the Elder Scrolls universe, I can absolutely see how it would seem an attractive thing to do to construct my spiritual and religious practices around some of the deities... and if you weren't a hard polytheist, it would be just as easy (if not easier!) to do that then it would be to read a bunch of authors and academic texts about any existing Thisworld mythology or path.

I appreciate the response, and I do get what you're saying. I guess a better point that I could have made is that people should carefully consider which deities/symbols/archetypes/lore are actually the best for attaining a higher form of conversation (above the ego level), and which just seem personally appealing. Of course, if someone finds that x fits whatever function they originally intended, it's their own business. On the other hand, I think it's easy for people to mistake something as more important or genuine within their own work than it actually is, especially if it's emotionally satisfying... I've had a few realizations like this. And obviously there's nothing wrong with drawing some very general inspiration from fiction. I'm pretty sure everyone does that.

Wonder
17 Aug 2015, 19:10
I have to ask. And this time I'm going to do so without judgement because I honestly canot form an opinion on this.

Do people actually believe believe this? Like they are going to base not only this life but their very real afterlife on this?

Or is this more of a coping mechanism to get along in the world. A sort of I'm going to put on these Disney Mickey ears for the next few hours while at Disneyland and drink the koolaid. Because that I can actually understand. I know exactly how that feels and that's an actual experience for me when I go to Disneyland.

I mean if it's like 'this is real reality' then I feel like that might constitute a hard case of mental illness. I see mental illness. I've lived with it. Believing in things that are not real and not knowing the difference seriously makes you crazy in the literal medical sense. But believing in it but knowing waaay down under, it's not, it's just a nicer view of the world, then ok.

I get that. Some people need this to get through the world. Some people just need Wolverine.


“Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

Willow
17 Aug 2015, 20:03
“Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

Love this...

:cthulhu::cthulhu::cthulhu:

Medusa
17 Aug 2015, 22:04
Cthulhu is real. I don't mess with it. Nope.

(stays out of corners)

Willow
17 Aug 2015, 22:06
Cthulhu is real. I don't mess with it. Nope.

(stays out of corners)

Have I mentioned lately how much I love your posts? ^^
Probably wise not to read any cryptic-sounding verse out loud too.

thalassa
18 Aug 2015, 03:41
On the other hand, I think it's easy for people to mistake something as more important or genuine within their own work than it actually is, especially if it's emotionally satisfying...

Does this matter? Really, at the end of the day, the gods are invisible, intangible, subjective and abstract agents--they are no more real, except in our individual perceptions and beliefs, than Batman. If, at the end of the day, belief in Batman makes you a better person, does it matter whether its simply emotionally satisfying?

anunitu
18 Aug 2015, 08:28
If I am gonna go with pop culture stuff,this guy will do...also name this Character

http://bullwinkle.toonzone.net/crusaderrabbit.gif

Quetzal
18 Aug 2015, 08:47
If I am gonna go with pop culture stuff,this guy will do...also name this Character

http://bullwinkle.toonzone.net/crusaderrabbit.gif

Crusader Rabbit.

anunitu
18 Aug 2015, 09:02
Showing your age there.....This was as they said the first cartoon on TV,ever..

Azimuth
18 Aug 2015, 11:16
Does this matter? Really, at the end of the day, the gods are invisible, intangible, subjective and abstract agents--they are no more real, except in our individual perceptions and beliefs, than Batman. If, at the end of the day, belief in Batman makes you a better person, does it matter whether its simply emotionally satisfying?

That was essentially my point. I apologize if it was so poorly phrased. Of course, my point was also that "pop culture paganism" isn't always born out of necessity; why does it matter what people believe so long as it helps them? Because it might not. Belief in Batman might make someone a better person, or it might just be a belief in Batman (at which point the individual is not only being a bit delusional but is acting treacherously to their own spiritual journey by practicing something which neither true nor useful, to him/herself or anyone else).

Mainly I was implying that the hypothetical "Batman practitioner" should practice careful skepticism and weigh which things are best. This is just as important in spirituality as it is anywhere else. I never claimed that "pop paganism" could never work.

thalassa
18 Aug 2015, 13:15
Mainly I was implying that the hypothetical "Batman practitioner" should practice careful skepticism and weigh which things are best. .


I think this is true whether you worship Batman, Jesus, Zeus, or nothing at all!:)

Shahaku
15 Feb 2019, 16:24
I'm reopening this thread for a couple reasons. This concept is still really new in the pagan community, and I know lots of folks haven't heard of it. With all the activity and some newer people and as old as this thread is, I think it's worth a shot. Also, when this was first discussed, I hadn't really heard of this, but it opened up a whole other world for me.

I strongly believe that spirituality is something we build for ourselves. And that so long as we're making an effort to be a good person that's the most important thing. I also believe that any deities that exist out there are faces of archetypes (another idea I got from here I think) and that the faces we put on them don't particularly matter. I also realize that many pagan paths, even those reconstructing ancient traditions, have to be rebuilt for the modern world and so they are essentially new traditions, if they weren't completely modernly made up (Wicca).

So I don't have any problem drawing inspiration from fictional books or other pop-culture sources. Sometimes it's an image. Drawing from the Kushiel series for an image of a deity of justice as an example. But it's also been the spiritual feeling I get from a well-built world, like elements from the Black Jewel series influencing my sense of morals and ethics. Or the way I visualize magic.

Thoughts? (There are lots of good pages of reading in this thread as well)

anunitu
15 Feb 2019, 16:27
this was a very old thread i think.

- - - Updated - - -

at least 2 years old

B. de Corbin
15 Feb 2019, 16:42
I love literature - in the full sense of "literature is meaningful expression," rather than literature as " the recorded fantasies of dead white guys," so I see nothing even slightly odd or in appropriate it using contemporary stories to populate one's mythic landscape.

Really, IMHO, it's exactly what has always occurred, always, throughout human history.

Shahaku
15 Feb 2019, 18:13
this was a very old thread i think.

- - - Updated - - -

at least 2 years old

Three or four years old, more like. Which is part of the reason I decided to revive it. A lot can change in that time period.

Eleanor
16 Feb 2019, 11:50
Really, IMHO, it's exactly what has always occurred, always, throughout human history.
I agree. The pantheons as we still know them nowadays used to be a big part of pop cultures throughout history. Pop culture just means whatever is popular at the moment. So I think there's nothing wrong with involving parts of that pop culture into your beliefs.

I'm definitely not a pop culture pagan, but I do understand why some people are attracted to it. I know a Star Wars fan who works with the Force as a way to empower himself. IMO, and I hope I'm not offending anyone by saying so, I think it's no different than witches using magic. Everyone just calls it differently and uses their own deities, symbols and energies to achieve their goals.

Pop culture has changed the way I see certain things, escpecially because of movies. I just can't read through my Norse mythology books anymore without seeing Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth. But I do think that movie-Loki and movie-Thor are waaaaay different the actual gods Loki and Thor. So that image hasn't changed.