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Thread: Looking for some perspective

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Celtic Heathen

    Looking for some perspective

    It’s been six years since my last post here, one about the concern of fitting into a the heathen community when militant and warrior mentalities seemed to be the only accepted way of thing. I’ve grown past that as I was a teenager then and am now in my mid-20s, but the specifics for that aren’t really related to this post.

    Ultimately, I want to ask a question that has been on my mind recently- how much of modern pagan practice do you think comes from research and genuine thought, and how much of it comes from a place of trying to be everything that Abrahamic religions aren’t my forcefully moving in the opposite direction?

    To elaborate, I’ve come across many ideas that seem to have little historical presence backing them up but have a large place in modern pagan religions. One example is the neo-pagan, in particular Wiccan, emphasis on expressions of sexuality. I know actual ritual sex is very rare, but even the recreation of the Great Rite among wiccans is very sexual in its symbolism. There’s also countless books that site sexual practices, and in particular sexual liberty for women, among ancient pagan beliefs. And while they certainly were in some cultures, it’s treated as a fact among all pagan cultures, along with the concepts commonly associated with them such as society as a whole being matriarchal before Christianity came along (an idea that is heavily refuted by professional sources). It comes across to me not as a genuine conclusion from a factual basis, but an attempt to be whatever Christianity isn’t.

    I also see pieces of it in germanic and, to a lesser extent, Celtic based faiths. Heathens in particular express a disdain for ideas such as worship, preferring to “honor” deities, as well as rejecting an notions such as bowing/prostrating oneself or displays of intense emotion such as weeping or any sort of ecstatic practices. There are several historical sources that show that this isn’t the case in ancient Heathenry, as people bowing/prostrating and submitting themselves before idols has been documented more than once. Could this mindset be born of a desire to remove heathens as far away from Christian thought as possible, even in the way they practice?

    I’m not here to judge and point fingers. It’s just something of an observation I’ve had and wanted to see the perspective of others on it. Do YOU think some modern pagan practices were born solely out of contempt for Christianity, or do they all have some kind of historical basis backing them?
    Last edited by c_greene32; 23 Jun 2019 at 19:41.

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