Pagan Pride

Jerry_B

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Pietro_Mercurios said:
Jerry_B said:
... There's a desire in some to be taken seriously because they think that they're are following an ancient (and therefore justified and valid) path - they clearly are not.

..
Says you. I'm afraid we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. :)
So you are basically saying that it's okay for make them to hijack stuff and absorb it into their belief system, invent history, etc. even though it's a bad element from organised religion? If so, why should we forgive pagans for doing this any more than other religions?

It is, after all, clearly bogus. I don't think anyone should be supported for attempting to rewrite history to suit their own ends. Or are you not concerned about that aspect?
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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Jerry_B said:
Pietro_Mercurios said:
Jerry_B said:
... There's a desire in some to be taken seriously because they think that they're are following an ancient (and therefore justified and valid) path - they clearly are not.

..
Says you. I'm afraid we're just going to have to agree to disagree on this one. :)
So you are basically saying that it's okay for make them to hijack stuff and absorb it into their belief system, invent history, etc. even though it's a bad element from organised religion? If so, why should we forgive pagans for doing this any more than other religions?

It is, after all, clearly bogus. I don't think anyone should be supported for attempting to rewrite history to suit their own ends. Or are you not concerned about that aspect?
What you believe about their historical accuracy and what they believe are two quite different things. History is not set in stone and must always be a discourse with the present and differing points of view. What they believe should be largely their business, unless they try and foist it forcefully on others, or it is actually harmful to others.

Otherwise, what you believe and appear to be attempting to foist on us, somewhat forcefully, given your attitude and use of language, should be subjected to the same criterion. You may believe that what you believe is supported by a sound basis in historical fact and archaeological discovery, but I believe, based on my own experience and research, that such things are just as much at the whim of modern fashion and foible.
 

Jerry_B

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So 'anything goes' then?

You seem to be saying that they can make up anything they want. That's fine with me, but not when any of them claim that what they've invented is based on historical actualities. That's the problem. If they point at some part of the known historical record and say 'This is where we come from', when they clearly have no actual historical relationship to that, then I'd say they shouldn't try to claim historical legitimacy. Some modern pagans would like us to think that they come from some sort of long line bsed in history, and rely on the notion of history to give their beliefs legitimacy. They're pretending that they have an ancient past, but they clearly do not.

If we find out tomorrow that druids (for example) actually did the various things claimed of them or invented by some pagans, that would be all well and good. But until such time as that happens, pagans cannot claim that druids actually did such things. Thus far the proof for alot of modern pagan takes on what they think is history is not actually borne out by what we do actually know.

The thing is, if pagans make moves to have their religion more widely recognised and garner certain rights from that, and do so by trying to claim an actual ancient lineage, they should be taken to task over that IMHO.
 

crunchy5

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Jerry_B said:
So 'anything goes' then?

You seem to be saying that they can make up anything they want. That's fine with me, but not when any of them claim that what they've invented is based on historical actualities. That's the problem. If they point at some part of the known historical record and say 'This is where we come from', when they clearly have no actual historical relationship to that, then I'd say they shouldn't try to claim historical legitimacy. Some modern pagans would like us to think that they come from some sort of long line bsed in history, and rely on the notion of history to give their beliefs legitimacy. They're pretending that they have an ancient past, but they clearly do not.

If we find out tomorrow that druids (for example) actually did the various things claimed of them or invented by some pagans, that would be all well and good. But until such time as that happens, pagans cannot claim that druids actually did such things. Thus far the proof for alot of modern pagan takes on what they think is history is not actually borne out by what we do actually know.

The thing is, if pagans make moves to have their religion more widely recognised and garner certain rights from that, and do so by trying to claim an actual ancient lineage, they should be taken to task over that IMHO.
Is the bee that's got into your bonnet similar to those ancient pagan depictions of bees ?
 

jefflovestone

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Jerry_B said:
So 'anything goes' then?

You seem to be saying that they can make up anything they want. That's fine with me, but not when any of them claim that what they've invented is based on historical actualities. That's the problem. If they point at some part of the known historical record and say 'This is where we come from', when they clearly have no actual historical relationship to that, then I'd say they shouldn't try to claim historical legitimacy. Some modern pagans would like us to think that they come from some sort of long line bsed in history, and rely on the notion of history to give their beliefs legitimacy. They're pretending that they have an ancient past, but they clearly do not.

If we find out tomorrow that druids (for example) actually did the various things claimed of them or invented by some pagans, that would be all well and good. But until such time as that happens, pagans cannot claim that druids actually did such things. Thus far the proof for alot of modern pagan takes on what they think is history is not actually borne out by what we do actually know.

The thing is, if pagans make moves to have their religion more widely recognised and garner certain rights from that, and do so by trying to claim an actual ancient lineage, they should be taken to task over that IMHO.
I'm sure Jerry's found the wavelength that my tinfoil hat can't deflect as I'm agreeing with him again. :shock:
 

ghostdog19

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So in short they've adopted areas of hollow history then.

sneaky. :twisted:
 

Jerry_B

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It's always seemed odd to me that the ancient religions we do know quite alot about - Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Mithraic, etc. don't have many adherents with the modern pagan community. This despite the fact that most of those religions have a healthy smattering of aspects such as magic and ritual.

The fact that modern pagans instead prefer to focus on religions about which we know little seems to me to be down to the fact that they can thus invent alot of what they require. At the same time, we're supposed to believe that these inventions do actually have some sort of historical basis. So they appear to desire the sheen of respectability from a historical context, but at the same time lack any historical context. So we get big claims about ancient lineage, etc. but no proof of any actual lineage from history itself. Seems like they want to have their cake an eat it ;)
 

Pietro_Mercurios

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Jerry_B said:
... Seems like they want to have their cake an eat it ;)
And? Your point being? :confused:

What makes you think that would be wrong?

Why should they, or would they, necessarily choose to believe in something which you seem to find more acceptable? Pagans may have very good reasons for adopting their belief systems. Just as the ancient Hebrews had good reasons for choosing the belief system they did and the ancient Christians chose theirs. Right, or wrong, they were belief systems intended to both explain and make the situations in which their believers found themselves, significant.

A lot of what Pagans believe is actually based on the best research and interpretations of a previous generation and not all of an occult variety. It may be out of date, belief systems tend to carry on and develop beyond their sources, but that may also be because the some of the present generation have swallowed the mythbusting myths of the likes of Hutton, Randi & Dawkins. Based on some unguessed of future science and research, coming generations may view the World, its past and its beliefs quite differently. Who really knows? :)
 

ghostdog19

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Well, I think both views are very clear on the matter, but I don't think we're going to have an agreement here and I'd hate to see another good few pages of the same point being argued again and again, since they're both clearly opinions. example.... I wouldn't trust so readily in Egyptology since it's subject to educated guess work so much of the time (which is fine in small doses except that so much of it is built on the foundations of educated guess work, a lot of which we take for granted), and Ancient Rome is subject again to educated guess work in many areas, notably wherein the romans fought the Gauls. "History is written by the victors" and all that. And example would be given with the battle against the Nervii (if people want to look into that one further) where the "REAL" history would be "assumed" since the only account at the time for many of these battles would have been the victors testament and given as at I think it was 57AD Caesar was making a play for Rome before returning... much of it is political spin. Bit like finding record of these early years of the 21st century written mostly by the Bush administration*.

So in short, history is a lie agreed upon. If we've established anything then it's that we're not going to get much agreement here, given the interpretive No Man's Land that history is.

{edited to add: *my word, could you imagine how revisionist that would be? You know, I can understand Bush's stance on education in the classroom... I mean, a guy who looks like a monkey is not going to want to believe that we may have evolved from apes, is he?}
 

Jerry_B

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Pietro_Mercurios said:
Why should they, or would they, necessarily choose to believe in something which you seem to find more acceptable? Pagans may have very good reasons for adopting their belief systems. Just as the ancient Hebrews had good reasons for choosing the belief system they did and the ancient Christians chose theirs. Right, or wrong, they were belief systems intended to both explain and make the situations in which their believers found themselves, significant.
They can choose to believe what they want - the point of contention is those elements that are attempting to rewrite history by saying that their beliefs have some sort of ancient lineage. Despite what they might believe, they are not carrying on any sort of anceint belief system. If they try to make out that they in fact are, that's where I have a problem with it all. As I've said, I don't see why we should turn a blind eye to such things in the pagan community if we're not willing to forgive it in other religions.

In short, don't try and dress up a religion as being 'ancient' if, in the grand scale of history, it only came along a few days ago.

Paganism is all fine and dandy with me - I just object to those pagans who try to claim that what they believe and whatever path they follow is 'ancient', when it clearly is not.
 

Jerry_B

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ghostdog19 said:
I wouldn't trust so readily in Egyptology since it's subject to educated guess work so much of the time (which is fine in small doses except that so much of it is built on the foundations of educated guess work, a lot of which we take for granted), and Ancient Rome is subject again to educated guess work in many areas, notably wherein the romans fought the Gauls. "History is written by the victors" and all that.
Nevertheless, we do know quite alot about Roman and Egyptian religion. We know very little indeed about the religions of the pre-Roman Britons, etc.. Yet for some reason some modern pagans seem to prefer the stuff we know little about, pad it out with alot of modern invention, and then try to dress it up as 'ancient'.
 

jefflovestone

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Jerry_B said:
As I've said, I don't see why we should turn a blind eye to such things in the pagan community if we're not willing to forgive it in other religions.
Or perhaps more to the point, if they're not willing to forgive discrepancies, inaccuracies and historical grey areas in other religions.
 

Jerry_B

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That's true in some cases, yes. Claims about christainity rewriting pagan stuff does tend to loom large in some modern pagan thinking. And then there's also the problem of some pagans trying to rewrite some christian-related history - i.e. the so-called 'burning times'.
 

ghostdog19

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Jerry_B said:
That's true in some cases, yes. Claims about christainity rewriting pagan stuff does tend to loom large in some modern pagan thinking. And then there's also the problem of some pagans trying to rewrite some christian-related history - i.e. the so-called 'burning times'.
you mean that 'feminist documentary' made in the late 80's or early 90's? There's also a book written in the late seventies which is where that title comes from....which would suggest you're speaking specifically about Neo-Paganism and Wicca.
Pietro_Mercurios said:
It may be out of date, belief systems tend to carry on and develop beyond their sources, but that may also be because the some of the present generation have swallowed the mythbusting myths of the likes of Hutton, Randi & Dawkins. Based on some unguessed of future science and research, coming generations may view the World, its past and its beliefs quite differently. Who really knows? :)
Well Margaret Murray was the lady who seemed to think she knew (Egyptologist....see, told you, bloomin' Egyptologists!!!). The correct term for reinventing religious history or whatever it was someone on this thread said is "Polytheistic reconstructionism".

Even NeoPagan's and Wiccas alike acknowledge that Margaret Murray work was flawed. NeoPagan isn't supposed to be an ancient religion (in sight of this I might add) and they say it's more an "ideal" pertaining to pre-Christian beliefs.

However, if you're simply talking about Paganism and not "neo-paganism" then that's why maybe you two are at logger heads in this debate. The archeological data you're talking about pertains to Paganism. The Polytheistic reconstructionism Jerry is talking about pertains to Neo-Paganism. If you are talking about Neo-paganism archaeology, then that's Margaret Murray, and if Jerry's talking about Neo-paganism then as I said earlier she's someone even the Neo-Pagans openly acknowledged was flawed.

[edited to combine two posts into one...economical! and to add a jerry springer style sum up but without the Orco from Masters of the Universe style moral message]
 

jefflovestone

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ghostdog19 said:
you mean that 'feminist documentary' made in the late 80's or early 90's? There's also a book written in the late seventies which is where that title comes from....which would suggest you're speaking specifically about Neo-Paganism and Wicca.
To be fair, it's hard to talk in specifics when it comes to neo-paganism and wicca anyway. It's not like there's one solid definition of wicca, for example.

Also, whilst Murray etc., etc.. gets a different take now, I'd say that attitude is a fairly recent one.
 

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Live and let live I say.

As long as they're not hurting anyone, who gives a flying carpet?

Worship any god you want however you want, as long as you don't try to sacrifice me to him/her/it/them/wibble.

So speaketh the Reverend.
 

Jerry_B

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ghostdog19 said:
However, if you're simply talking about Paganism and not "neo-paganism" then that's why maybe you two are at logger heads in this debate. The archeological data you're talking about pertains to Paganism. The Polytheistic reconstructionism Jerry is talking about pertains to Neo-Paganism. If you are talking about Neo-paganism archaeology, then that's Margaret Murray, and if Jerry's talking about Neo-paganism then as I said earlier she's someone even the Neo-Pagans openly acknowledged was flawed.
When I use the term pagan, I'm usually referring to modern pagans, unless I say otherwise. Actual pagans have, I assume, been dead for quite some time ;)

But yes, Murray via Gardiner (perhaps via Crowley) and others all played a part in painting the scenery that makes up what modern paganism. Even if they tend to refute Murray nowadays, they'd still have a hard time coming up with anything that points to them having any sort of 'ancient' lineage, IMHO. If they're keen on having such a lineage, one wonders why they don't go for the stuff we know more about, instead of grasping at a few questionable bits and bobs and stitching on alot of inventions.
 

ghostdog19

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jefflovestone said:
ghostdog19 said:
you mean that 'feminist documentary' made in the late 80's or early 90's? There's also a book written in the late seventies which is where that title comes from....which would suggest you're speaking specifically about Neo-Paganism and Wicca.
To be fair, it's hard to talk in specifics when it comes to neo-paganism and wicca anyway. It's not like there's one solid definition of wicca, for example.
To be fair "the burnings" that Jerry is talking about is quite specific.
Jerry_B said:
When I use the term pagan, I'm usually referring to modern pagans, unless I say otherwise/Even if they tend to refute Murray nowadays, they'd still have a hard time coming up with anything that points to them having any sort of 'ancient' lineage, IMHO.
So Neo-Paganism. Well then according to Neo-Paganism it's the "ideal" as earlier stated. That's what its supposed to be. If however you're getting people still forcing round pegs into square holes of history based on Murray's work (which is what I've found), then you've got people who understand their faith on a superficial level. It's not actually accepted doctrine. But that very much fits the 'counter culture' label it gets sometimes. Like you said, a bit like people having their cake and eating it, only more like people ordering their pizza and adding extra toppings (enough with the food analogies-sorry-won't do it again).

[edit}Also, isn't "the ideal" based on 19th century Romanticism anyway (which I think would explain an angle on the Arthurian fixation)?
 

ghostdog19

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Moving on a little to the root of the problem concerning observed prejudices...

Personally, I quite like Roman Polytheism. It's nice. Saturnalia sounds like tip top fun. ;)

What you get with Christianity is quite a deliberate slur on Polytheism here. Saturnalia itself eventually came to mean "Orgy" thanks to the Christians who then took it for themselves and turned it into Christmas.

Likewise the word Babel from Babylon to mean 'nonsense' in Hebrew or 'gibberish' when it's true meaning was 'gate of gods' meaning it was a polytheistic term for polytheism... the Christian teachings would rather you knew that word to mean 'nonsense'. The Old Testament itself, as I mentioned earlier was an anti-polytheistic manifesto (primarily aimed at Babylon, a polytheistic culture). If a modern pagan were to argue that Christianity was anti-polytheistic, they'd be right. Of course it is.

That any faith should then change the meaning of words to suite their doctrine.... well that's just plain sneaky :evil: Polytheistic reconstructionism has a lot of catching up to do if it wants to out do Christianity in terms of reconstructionism.

Personally, I see polytheistic reconstructionism as simply a perpetuation of the problem. It smacks of "he started it" with a finger of accusation sometimes rightly and sometimes wrongly pointed firmly at Christianity, but it hardly forms the basis for a carry on in much the same manner. At this point I want to ring the final bell and ask both parties, "where is your faith?"
 

jefflovestone

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ghostdog19 said:
jefflovestone said:
ghostdog19 said:
you mean that 'feminist documentary' made in the late 80's or early 90's? There's also a book written in the late seventies which is where that title comes from....which would suggest you're speaking specifically about Neo-Paganism and Wicca.
To be fair, it's hard to talk in specifics when it comes to neo-paganism and wicca anyway. It's not like there's one solid definition of wicca, for example.
To be fair "the burnings" that Jerry is talking about is quite specific.
I'd disagree. You actually pointed out two different and not wholly synonymous instances to what the burning times could refer to in your own writing.

Daly herself wasn't that specific either as the definition is broadened to include a general theme about patriarchy. Some people define the term on gender lines (which is pretty unfair on the men that were persecuted during witch hunts and then if used as a specific it becomes an example of a 'pick and mix' history) whereas others see it as matter of religious (in)tolerance.

I'd hedge(witch) my bets and say that there are even going to be others who see this as class issue or, in the case of Salem, (should this be included in the "burning" times?) even possibly a race/xenophobia issue.

It's one of the phrases where its meaning is coloured by whoever is using it and so the actual use can differ a fair amount.

Specifics tend to narrow focus rather than widen it out and make it open to interpretation.
 

ghostdog19

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jefflovestone said:
I'd disagree. You actually pointed out two different and not wholly synonymous instances to what the burning times could refer to in your own writing.
I asked if he was talking about the documentary.
jefflovestone said:
Daly herself wasn't that specific either as the definition is broadened to include a general theme about patriarchy.
She coined it. In 1978 before the documentary was made. The actual use of the term "Burning Times" by Neo-Pagans came about a year later in "The Spiral Dance". But it was from Daly's book which is where it was used first of all. So, it is quite a specific term. The reason for specifics is because Gerald Gardner is "retroactively" attributed to coming up with the term.
jefflovestone said:
Specifics tend to narrow focus rather than widen it out and make it open to interpretation.
Funny you should say that. You'll like this: The Spiral dance was revised in 1999 with added notes on how the author's beliefs and practices had changed since writing the book.
 

rynner2

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Pagan police get right to take festivals as holiday
Sean O'Neill and Richard Ford

Police officers have been given the right to take days off to dance naked on the solstices, celebrate fertility rituals and burn Yule logs if they profess pagan beliefs.

The Pagan Police Association claimed yesterday that it had been recognised by the Home Office as a “diversity staff support association” — a status also enjoyed by groups representing female, black, gay, Muslim and disabled officers.

Endorsement would mean that chief constables could not refuse a pagan officer’s request to take feast days as part of his or her annual leave. The eight pagan festivals include Imbolc (the feast of lactating sheep), Lammas (the harvest festival) and the Summer Solstice (when mead drinking and naked dancing are the order of the day).

Problematically, the pagan festivals also include Samhain (known to non-pagans as Hallowe’en), a day when police leave is often cancelled because of the high incidence of vandalism, violence and antisocial behaviour.

The new association, which already has three official police chaplains and committee members in the Metropolitan, Hertfordshire and Humberside forces, welcomed its breakthrough. PC Andrew Pardy, its vice-chairman and a beat officer in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, said: “The Police Service needs to embrace paganism in order to represent communities effectively.”

Mr Pardy, who worships Norse gods, added: “All activities undertaken by the association support and reinforce the vision and values of the Police Service, while upholding the Home Office standards for equality and diversity.”

However, there is unease in policing circles that the widening definition of diversity is creating a morass of organisations based on religion, gender and sexual orientation that appear to emphasise division.

Andy Hayman, the former Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner, said: “No one would want to deprive any officer from being able to follow their religious belief — but what is difficult to understand is why representative groups have been springing up at such an alarming rate. Members of these associations are often permitted to meet in duty time — taking them away from their policing duties. The public are right to wonder sometimes whether any police work gets done.” :twisted:

Mark Wallace, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said he was astonished that the Home Office had time to consider the application from the Pagan Police. “Taxpayers don’t want the police obsessing about what divides them, they want them to be a united force protecting the public.

“It shouldn’t matter what your religion is when you’re a police officer — it should only matter that you are committed to fighting crime.”

The National Policing Improvement Agency said that it advised the pagan group on how to complete the paperwork needed for Home Office recognition.

The Home Office said, however, that it had refused a request for funding from the Police Pagan Association and did not endorse it as an official staff organisation.

David Davies, Conservative MP for Monmouth who also serves as a special constable with the British Transport Police, said: “It sounds like some kind of prank to me but as long as they receive no funding, then they can do what they want. However, I am concerned at the plethora of police organisations set up to support different ethnic groups and religions.”

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 121843.ece
 

rynner2

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Tolerance of paganism now a symbol of civilised society
Ruth Gledhill: Analysis

A sign that paganism has come of age is that there are now lapsed pagans — heretics who resort to scientific explanations for phenomena formerly attributed to the supernatural.

For centuries, Christianity, Judaism and Islam were regarded as the marks of civilisation in Western Europe as they supplanted the beliefs of ancient civilisations. But these beliefs never disappeared. Even in the City of London, with nearly 50 churches in one square mile, the ancient guardians — the giants Gog and Magog — housed at Guildhall, are carried in procession in the annual Lord Mayor’s Show as they have been since the reign of Henry V.

Today the wheel has turned full circle. Practitioners of witchcraft are no longer burnt at the stake — and it is a mark of civilised society that those who follow these beliefs are accorded the same rights as those who follow mainstream faiths.

Pagans in Britain follow a variety of traditions based on the pre-Christian old religion. Among its practitioners are druids, shamans, Odinists and heathens.

Not all druids are pagans. In 2002, Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was inducted as a druid in the Welsh Gorsedd of Bards — a literary rather than religious organisation, using a Christian-based ceremony.

Wiccans or witches, along with most pagans follow white, not black, magic.

Many Christian celebrations, such as Christmas and Christingle, are built on the mounds of pagan festivals.

Pagans have never been as well organised as Christians or Muslims, but the Pagan Federation — set up in 1971 — is gaining influence and has become the main liaison body between pagan ministers and hospitals, prisons and other authorities.

Its quarterly journal, formerly The Wiccan, is now called Pagan Dawn. The federation has also set up the Public Body Liaison Committee for British Paganism, to draw up guidelines for official recognition of paganism. The federation has also helped with appeals, such as the 2004 disaster in Boscastle, which affected the Museum of Witchcraft.

In some quarters, paganism is gaining in its appeal to younger generations, disillusioned or bored with mainstream faiths.

Although the precise dateline is contended, many New Agers believe the world is moving from the Age of Pisces — the fish became a symbol of Christianity — to the Age of Aquarius.

This is in tandem with the rise of the green movement. Paganism fits well into the lives of this generation, where belief in a transcendent, male God is rejected for a feminine earth force or Gaia, seeking to right the injustices to nature wreaked by rampant materialism.

The election of Caroline Lucas, the first Green MP, is just one sign seen in some pagan circles as marking a new dawn. Internet forums have been debating whether volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are Gaia’s revenge. 8)

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 122052.ece
 

rynner2

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Onward Pagan soldiers: 100 UK servicemen classed as witches and druids
By Ian Drury
Last updated at 7:29 AM on 7th June 2010

As fighters they are capable of crushing an enemy with terrifying might.
But when some members of Britain's Armed Forces take off their uniforms, they like nothing more than casting spells and taking part in midnight rituals.
Around 100 UK service personnel - some taking part in the war on terror - class themselves as pagans. Another 30 are witches, according to figures.
The intriguing details about the beliefs of soldiers, sailors and airmen were obtained from the Ministry of Defence using the Freedom of Information Act.

Paganism, which focuses on the worship of nature and its 'vitality and spirituality', finds its roots in the traditional religions of ancient Britain.
Pagans - who consider Stonehenge a place of pilgrimage - worship goddesses as well as gods and believe in the existence of spirits and other magical beings.
Practitioners of the faith take part in rituals to celebrate seasonal festivals. Often held in woods or caves, on hilltops or seashores, members will meditate, chant, play music and dance, and recite poetry. Pagans believe that casting spells can help people in their daily lives.

The faith, which includes shamans, sacred ecologists and heathens, has exploded in popularity in recent years.
Last year, a pagan police association was set up to cope with the increasing number of officers declaring themselves followers of the religion.

According to the MoD, 30 servicemen and women said they followed wicca, which involves religious witchcraft, or druidism. Both are offshoots of paganism.
Sixty said they were spiritualists, a faith which believes that the spirits of the dead can be contacted by mediums.
Fifty claim they are Rastafarians, a way of life which involves the worship of Haile Selassie, former King of Ethiopia. It is better known for its links the reggae music of Bob Marley.

Others put down Zoroastrian and Baha'i, both established in Persia but now in danger of extinction, and Kirati, an ancient Nepalese religion with a Hindu influence.

The overwhelming majority of servicemen and women record themselves as being Christian or 'of no religion'.
Under the Equality Act 2006 it is illegal for Armed Forces chiefs to discriminate on the grounds of someone's beliefs.
Phil Ryder, of the British Druid Network, said he believed there were more pagans than the figures suggested. He said: 'Druids and followers of wicca tend not to publicise their beliefs for fear of discrimination. In some areas it's seen as odd.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z0qADm9gTy
 

rynner2

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Pagan prisoners given time off to worship the Sun God
By Jack Doyle
Last updated at 10:06 AM on 7th December 2010

Hundreds of criminals are to be given four days a year off prison work - to celebrate pagan festivals.
Prison governors have been issued with a list of eight annual pagan holidays and told pagan inmates can choose four to celebrate.

The festivals include Imbolc - The Festival of the Lactating Sheep - which falls on February 1 and is dedicated to the goddess Brighid.

Another is the festival of Beltane, which falls in early May, devotees are urged to celebrate the Sun God with 'unabashed sexuality and promiscuity'.
The Yule festival involves pagans 'casting spells' and dressing up as ghosts.
Pagan inmates may even be allowed special food and drink on their days off.

Traditional pagan food include Ewe's milk for Imbolc, Simnel Cake and eggs on Spring Equinox and Roast Goose on Autumn Equinox.
On Samhain - celebrated on Halloween - pagans by tradition go apple bobbing.

It is the latest in a series of rulings to protect convicts' rights and ensure equality among different faiths.
New guidelines entitled 'Religious Festival dates for 2011' state that all prison staff must be made aware of the pagan festival dates.
It states: 'The Prison Service is committed to ensuring that prisoners from all religious faiths are given the opportunity and facilities to practise their religions.'
It lists the eight main festivals before adding: 'Most Pagans celebrate the eight festivals set out, but depending on the particular tradition would attach particular significance to certain days.'
'Because of variations in emphasis between different Pagan traditions it has been agreed with the Pagan Federation that prisoners may choose four festivals on which they should not be required to work.'

Prisons are told they must prepare specific foods if it is a requirement of a prisoner's religion. But the guidance states the food should be prepared inside prison kitchens and the cost must be 'proportionate to the number of prisoners involved'.
Paganism was first recognised by the Prison Service as a religion more than nine years ago.

The number of prisoners declaring themselves as pagan has tripled in six years to 366 last year.
Worshippers are allowed to keep tarot cards, a hoodless robe and a twig to use as a wand in their cell.
They can also keep incense, a piece of jewellery and rune stones.

Skyclad, or naked worship, is banned. 8)

Pagan inmate Mark Stewart, who is serving a three year term for drug dealing at HMP Elmley in Kent, wrote to prisoners' newspaper Inside Time this month to complain about how Pagans are treated.

He claimed Pagans had been 'sidelined' and 'marginalised' in favour of more popular religions.
He wrote: 'There is a perception amongst most people that Pagans are devil worshippers, etc, but that is so far from the truth.
'I am an earth loving person who thanks Mother Earth, spirits and ancestors for what I have today.
'I do practise witchcraft, but only for good.'

Sources said there was ‘no question’ of prisoners being served roast goose or boar.

etc...

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z17QDnDN7m
 

OneWingedBird

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Skyclad, or naked worship, is banned. Cool
Try stopping them :lol:

The local news here cut to the chase on this story in it's usual inimitable way:

Pagan prisoners will be allowed four days off work next year for festivals which celebrate lactating sheep and promiscuity.
But tbh I think the YEP just hate everone and everything.
 

FrKadash

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I was very pleased to see this article in The Guardian today. Sadly Hilmarsson and his organisation have a somewhat mendacious but innocuous approach regarding their doltish interpretation of the Ásatrú/Heathen path. But at the end of the day they have my support as they're active & passionate, so blessings be upon them. :)

Iceland to build first temple to Norse gods since Viking age
A modern version of Norse paganism has been gaining popularity in recent years as followers see the stories as metaphors for life not worship of the gods

Reuters in Reykjavik

Monday 2 February 2015 15.54 GMT


Icelanders will soon be able to publicly worship at a shrine to Thor, Odin and Frigg with construction starting this month on the island’s first major temple to the Norse gods since the Viking age.

Worship of the gods in Scandinavia gave way to Christianity around 1,000 years ago but a modern version of Norse paganism has been gaining popularity in Iceland.

''High priest Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson and fellow members of the Asatru Association attend a ceremony at the Pingvellir National Park near Reykjavik. Photograph: Reuters''
 
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FrKadash

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Just saw this interesting article on the Huldra posted on FB. I'm interested in forest spirits and tree guardians and have dedicated a small section of my new book on sabbatic craft to these spirits of the land, there are quite a few to be found in the folklore and traditions of various cultures. There's one interesting race of forest spirits called the moss folk or Moosleute in German, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moss_people

January 25, 2018
The Huldra - Guardian of the Nordic Wood

Skogsrå, skogsfru, huldra, vittra – the woodswoman of Nordic folklore is known by many names throughout Scandinavia. Some describe her as being “a part of the forest itself,” and with the ability to change into the shape of a tree, a mossy stone or an animal. Sometimes she appears as an old woman and sometimes as a beautiful young maiden. But despite her beautiful appearance, there is always something amiss – be it her back, covered with bark or hollow like a rotten tree trunk, or be it the long tail sticking out from under her skirt.
http://www.stinagray.com/2018/01/the-huldra-guardian-of-nordic-woods.html?spref=fb
 

AlchoPwn

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I am surprised people want to be called "pagans". I would have thought "pantheists" would be a better and less denigrating description of their beliefs?
 
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