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Thread: Non-Reconstructionist Gaelic Polytheists?

  1. #1
    Jr. Member chris_pagan's Avatar
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    Non-Reconstructionist Gaelic Polytheists?

    Hey everyone! I just posted yesterday but I've got a question that would best fit in this area specifically, so here it goes.

    I've been researching Gaelic Reconstructionism for some time now (A year, maybe?) and it's honestly to the point to where every source I'm running into for information has nothing new in terms of things to learn. I feel comfortable now pointing my research direction elsewhere, though still within the vein of Gaelic Polytheism.

    Every source I find concerning Gaelic Polytheism is all reconstructionist, save for the Henge of Keltria, but they're a initiatory mystery tradition that is not as well known, so it's a little difficult to find information on them. I'm turning to the forum for answers now, so here it goes- is anyone out there a Gaelic Polytheist who does not take a reconstructionist approach to their beliefs? Anyone who respects their history and traditions, but isn't afraid to branch out and bring in concepts, practices, and ideas from other areas?

    I've seen very few who actually do this, and it's mostly in things such as a soft-polytheistic view of the divine instead of the more common hard-polytheistic view. But when it comes to using elements of Wicca/witchcraft or seeing tradition as being flexible and taking a "Use what works" path with Gaelic Polytheism, I've never seen it. It makes me curious as to whether anyone actually does it or not.

    I guess the closest thing to what I may be thinking of would be individuals like Philip Carr-Gomm, but honestly, I really don't know very much about him, only that he's very involved with the OBOD and that his views generally fall under the Wiccan umbrella.

    For those who really don't have a direct answer, here's some food for thought:
    Do you think it's wrong to take a reconstructionist path and not follow it as a reconstructionist?
    If you follow a path such as Gaelic Polytheism or Asatru or other heavily historically based paths, do you have a moral obligation to ensure that your practices fit within the cultural context of your beliefs and to not bend those to your will?
    And lastly, where exactly is the line drawn when it comes to making tradition and faith more flexible and less set in stone?

    Thanks a ton, have a great day (:

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    Sr. Member loststarshine's Avatar
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    Re: Non-Reconstructionist Gaelic Polytheists?

    I would be considered a hard polytheist. I havent work with the Gaelic pantheon. I have with the egyptian i research historic traditions and what feels right. I think your path grows and evolves as you do. Its your path do what feels right for you.

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    Re: Non-Reconstructionist Gaelic Polytheists?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris_pagan View Post
    Hey everyone! I just posted yesterday but I've got a question that would best fit in this area specifically, so here it goes.

    I've been researching Gaelic Reconstructionism for some time now (A year, maybe?) and it's honestly to the point to where every source I'm running into for information has nothing new in terms of things to learn. I feel comfortable now pointing my research direction elsewhere, though still within the vein of Gaelic Polytheism.

    Every source I find concerning Gaelic Polytheism is all reconstructionist, save for the Henge of Keltria, but they're a initiatory mystery tradition that is not as well known, so it's a little difficult to find information on them. I'm turning to the forum for answers now, so here it goes- is anyone out there a Gaelic Polytheist who does not take a reconstructionist approach to their beliefs? Anyone who respects their history and traditions, but isn't afraid to branch out and bring in concepts, practices, and ideas from other areas?

    I've seen very few who actually do this, and it's mostly in things such as a soft-polytheistic view of the divine instead of the more common hard-polytheistic view. But when it comes to using elements of Wicca/witchcraft or seeing tradition as being flexible and taking a "Use what works" path with Gaelic Polytheism, I've never seen it. It makes me curious as to whether anyone actually does it or not.

    I guess the closest thing to what I may be thinking of would be individuals like Philip Carr-Gomm, but honestly, I really don't know very much about him, only that he's very involved with the OBOD and that his views generally fall under the Wiccan umbrella.

    For those who really don't have a direct answer, here's some food for thought:
    Do you think it's wrong to take a reconstructionist path and not follow it as a reconstructionist?
    If you follow a path such as Gaelic Polytheism or Asatru or other heavily historically based paths, do you have a moral obligation to ensure that your practices fit within the cultural context of your beliefs and to not bend those to your will?
    And lastly, where exactly is the line drawn when it comes to making tradition and faith more flexible and less set in stone?

    Thanks a ton, have a great day (:
    Gaelic Polytheist here, hi

    You won't find much on non-reconstructionist Gaelic Polytheism because it's pretty much a term adopted by recons to describe a more specific subset of Celtic Reconstructionism. Nobody can stop you calling yourself a Gaelic Polytheist, of course, but it will probably end up causing confusion if you do call yourself that when you don't take a reconstructionist approach and are more eclectic, incorporating Wiccan elements etc. Non-recons tend to go by labels like Irish Pagan, Celtic Polytheist, that sort of thing, unless they belong to a druid order.

    Henge of Keltria are Neo-Druidic, not Gaelic Polytheist (not reconstructionist); last I saw they have a website but I've no idea how active they are these days. But the bottom line is, whatever path you decide to take, that's really up to you. Reconstructionism isn't for everyone, but even if it's not for you, you might find the resources provided by recons useful in finding your own way, along with others. So long as you're honest about who you are and what you're doing nobody can say much about it (unless you're actively harming people, etc...). The only thing I'd say is find a label that helps articulate who you are, rather than try to use labels that already have a clear definition that don't necessarily fit you.

  4. #4
    Jr. Member chris_pagan's Avatar
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    Re: Non-Reconstructionist Gaelic Polytheists?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seren View Post
    Gaelic Polytheist here, hi

    You won't find much on non-reconstructionist Gaelic Polytheism because it's pretty much a term adopted by recons to describe a more specific subset of Celtic Reconstructionism. Nobody can stop you calling yourself a Gaelic Polytheist, of course, but it will probably end up causing confusion if you do call yourself that when you don't take a reconstructionist approach and are more eclectic, incorporating Wiccan elements etc. Non-recons tend to go by labels like Irish Pagan, Celtic Polytheist, that sort of thing, unless they belong to a druid order.

    Henge of Keltria are Neo-Druidic, not Gaelic Polytheist (not reconstructionist); last I saw they have a website but I've no idea how active they are these days. But the bottom line is, whatever path you decide to take, that's really up to you. Reconstructionism isn't for everyone, but even if it's not for you, you might find the resources provided by recons useful in finding your own way, along with others. So long as you're honest about who you are and what you're doing nobody can say much about it (unless you're actively harming people, etc...). The only thing I'd say is find a label that helps articulate who you are, rather than try to use labels that already have a clear definition that don't necessarily fit you.
    Hey thanks!
    Your answers are all really helpful. I definitely do see your point in still finding recon sources helpful- in fact, most of what I use in terms of research is recon based. I don't often use non-recon sources unless it's obvious that whoever did write whatever it is did their research and knows what they're talking about, and that they aren't just throwing together something and slapping a Gaelic label on it and calling it a day. I would even argue that I lean closer to reconstructionism more than I do other paths, but I'm certainly not a full on reconstructionist.

    I suppose Paganism is strange in that way, there's so many thin lines and there's always just as many people walking them as there are on either side of them, making it a little cloudy for people who are just starting out. Thankfully forums like this help to clear some of the fog and make it easier to understand where those lines are and where you may fall in between them (:

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