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Thread: Defining "Pagan"

  1. #151
    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    Hm seems like the Riddler (Frank Gorshin) would work better here than the old Joker (Caesar Romero I believe)
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    Live and learn anunitu's Avatar
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    wondering if the riddler is Pagan???
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    The Gaze of the Abyss B. de Corbin's Avatar
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    Quote Originally Posted by anunitu View Post
    wondering if the riddler is Pagan???
    What's a "pagan"?
    Those who have suffered understand suffering and therefore extend their hand.

    I can't do everything, but I can do something.

  4. #154
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    A pagan is one who believes he/she is.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I wonder, did the early roman call the people living outside the cities call them pagans or did that happen later?

  5. #155
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    Peeps may or may not have noticed that this thread has been merged with some older threads. Given that we have a number of new and recent members who haven't had the opportunity to engage in this discussion yet, I'll ask everyone to please respect their right to do so and not make me pull out the Turquoise Of Doom again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Briton View Post
    My apologies for being blunt. I wrote without self censoring. I won't try to justify or explain my opinion as the damage has been done and I doubt it would improve the situation. I don't want to make enemies, I just don't find it as easy to be considerate online as in face to face. Apologies again.
    Briton, explaining your opinion is generally a good thing. As is making it clear that it is your opinion. Simple things like beginning your sentence with 'I think' or 'I believe' go a long way towards avoiding staff pulling out their coloured text. We also tend to look favourably upon statements that are backed up, rather than statements made in isolation without further explanation, as this facilitates discussion rather than putting people on the defensive.

    You are welcome to explain your opinion further in this thread, as long as you can be respectful of other people's opinions. We have a large member base here, so it's important to consider the fact that there's bound to be at least one person reading your posts who holds the opinion that you are denigrating. This is not the first time that the staff have said this to a member, and I seriously doubt it will be the last.

  6. #156
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonsFriend View Post
    I wonder, did the early roman call the people living outside the cities call them pagans or did that happen later?
    As far as the origin of the word is concerned, a paganus was originally a a country person, who lived in a pagus, a hamlet. The word pagus could also mean the settlement that grew up outside a legionary camp, so in army usage a paganus was a civilian. That usage was borrowed into Greek, where paganos only meant a civilian. Eventually the Latin word came also to mean a layman, an outsider, or just "not one of us": hence the usage by Christians.

    Incidentally, paganus was never derogatory - it never had the sense of yokel or redneck. Also the old idea that the pagans were called civilians because they weren't "soldiers of Christ" was a mistake. That expression was popularised by Tertulian, who only used paganus to mean a countryman, and it was out of fashion long before paganus came to mean a pagan.

  7. #157
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    An interesting essay/article: http://sarahannelawless.com/2018/11/...aganism-as-is/

    I agree with maybe 3/4 of it...

    And I also take some issue with her total lack of references...either you spout that much opinion as opinion, or it should be referenced.

    Warning: the pics are probably NSFW for most employers...


    But I figured it made for good debate/food for thought





    Also, if you go peeking though the rest of this thread, note the dates. Its an oldie... actually, its several merged threads on the same subject that tends to be repetitive. So, some people may not be around to respond if you quote old posts.
    Last edited by thalassa; 15 Nov 2018 at 10:19.
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  8. #158
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    Forgive me if this isn't the most well put together response... my daughter doesn't have school today...

    I like how she breaks down neopagan/pagan. But too many people don't understand these definitions, and times change. Word meaning changes. And we shouldn't have to always look to what something meant historically to define it today. Any time someone who has used the word neopagan that I've seen, there tends to be a trend of viewing them as part of some "fluffy bunny" path. At that makes folks shy away from the word now.

    Cultural diffusion and appropriation happen. I think that so long as we're careful to try and locate our sources, and to educate ourselves, this shouldn't be big deal. It comes down to acknowledging where your information is coming form and sourcing it appropriately. If someone feels called to something, they feel called for a reason. All knowledge is worth having. And once you have the knowledge, it's kind of hard not to use it, just because it's been labeled appropriation. Respect and communication.

    Capitalism effects everything anymore. We can't really stop it. We just need to do our best to educate ourselves. I can agree that Llewellyn pretty much sucks... but I'm fairly sure I have plenty of books on my shelves from that publisher. I just try to double check their sources, and mostly use them to reference ideas for how to practice, rather than for any value on historical reference.

    When she gets to the part about sex I was kind of confounded. Inappropriate actions at festivals... I've only been to a few festivals. One small local festival I've been to a few times, one very large (PSG) one twice, and I've never seen this being a problem. In fact, there were workshops on consent even for hugging. And I've never seen any public sex acts, even heavy petting or PDA's that I wouldn't see out in the wider world. Even at clothing optional events. But, I also know that PSG got started on the basis of having an LGBT friendly festival, so I know it wasn't always the case.

    Having never been in an initiatory tradition, I've never had to deal with sex being an issue. Though I have seen how the bipolarity of male vs female effects those who aren't at the far ends. I have also attended a women's retreat that was very off, unaccepting of trans folks, anti-men, that sort of thing. I don't think it's wrong to have a belief system that is sex-positive, but I can see what she means about not having sex itself be a part of the tradition. As someone who is asexual, I would really struggle with that, if I did try to join an initiatory tradition.
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

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    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
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  9. #159
    Supporter Torey's Avatar
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    I've just read the article (it really was an interesting perspective), but I don't particularly agree with 90% of it at all.

    As thalassa stated, it seemed to be an opinion article - and there is nothing inherently wrong with that, but it was, IMHO, overpopulated with generalisations that weren't sufficiently qualified.

    I felt that the constant references to sex were a bit of overkill. I also didn't like the following statements:

    "Do the spiritual paths of neopaganism deserve a place at the big table with the grown up religions who are millennia old? In the current state of things, no, I do not personally believe they do. I do not think society will ever take neopagans seriously and the real question is why should it? I honestly don’t think neopagans can or should be taken seriously at this point. "

    To add my own bit of opinion, why do "grown up religions" who are "millenia old" deserve greater validation over any other religion? I generally do not subscribe to the idea that "older is better". Culture (and religion) is not a static, unchanging concept - to the contrary, it is ever-changing.

    The other thought I had regarding the above statements by the author is, "who cares if society takes Neo-Paganism seriously"? I feel that there is too much importance being placed on how Neo-Paganism and Neo-Pagans are being "regarded by society" and not enough importance being placed on the understanding that spirituality is, and should be, a deeply personal experience that has everything to do with the sense of belonging and satisfaction it brings to the person practicing it.

    On the flip side, of course there are obnoxious groups of Neo-Pagans or New-Agers who somehow manage to offend people in some way or another - whether it's claiming ancient lineage (again, who cares) or misappropriating something (I do get that this can be offensive). But I think that perhaps an important question to ask is why we should be so concerned with how we are being perceived by others and should this concern define how we view ourselves and what we believe.


    Last edited by Torey; 22 Nov 2018 at 19:00.

  10. #160
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    Re: Defining "Pagan"

    Quote Originally Posted by Torey View Post
    I felt that the constant references to sex were a bit of overkill. I also didn't like the following statements:

    "Do the spiritual paths of neopaganism deserve a place at the big table with the grown up religions who are millennia old? In the current state of things, no, I do not personally believe they do. I do not think society will ever take neopagans seriously and the real question is why should it? I honestly don’t think neopagans can or should be taken seriously at this point. "
    I missed this statement. I tried to read it through, but things got a bit muddled with the interruptions from my kiddo. I think it's an unfair statement. Simply because our traditions don't have a direct line, doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of folks trying to revive ancient traditions that do have a millennia of backing. I know that's hard, and imperfect, because resources on actual practices are scarce, but I do believe that people are trying to the best of their ability.

    And, yes, spirituality is deeply personal. What you experience and how it affects you is more important than what anyone else has to say (for your personal beliefs and life).
    We are what we are. Nothing more, nothing less. There is good and evil among every kind of people. It's the evil among us who rule now. -Anne Bishop, Daughter of the Blood

    I wondered if he could ever understand that it was a blessing, not a sin, to be graced with more than one love.
    It could be complicated; of course it could be complicated. And it opened one up to the possibility of more pain and loss.
    Still, it was a blessing I would never relinquish. Love, genuine love, was always a cause for joy.
    -Jacqueline Carey, Naamah's Curse

    Service to your fellows is the root of peace.

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