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Paganism 
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Post Paganism

Lately I've been interessed in what they call 'paganism'. I've been wondering what people used to believe before christianity spoiled the party here in europe. Christain belief spread like a cancer, incorporating everything it could use and destroyed what didn't fit. A lot of elements go back to german or celtic habits, for example the christmas tree.
However, the problem I'm confronted with is everytime I try to get information I stubble across heeps and heeps of rubbish. Every wicca or guy who claim to be a druid is trying to sell his of her version of the world. It's hard to find something real between all this rubbish. I'm a philosopher and I don't just accept everything. Does anyone have experience with this? Or some recommended literature on this vast subject?

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Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:25 am
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Every wicca or guy who claim to be a druid is trying to sell his of her version of the world. It's hard to find something real between all this rubbish.


Wait, you're looking for something... real in paganism?



...

Mkay, whatever walks your dog, I guess.

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Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:49 am
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By 'real' I mean 'historically verifiable'. I know it hard to find, else I wouldn't be asking.

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Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:14 pm
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Ah, I misunderstood your post. Sorry.

Anyway, you don't think it was the same bullshit as with Christianity? That is, pretty much everyone having a different belief, but with a common root?
Because despite what our dear Christians are trying to stuff down our throats, there was a never an unified belief, there was never that perfect Christianity many claim to have been shadowed now by the world going... "mad".

Paganism looks pretty much as random as Christianity to me.


Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:22 pm
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Blizzard Beast wrote:
Lately I've been interessed in what they call 'paganism'. I've been wondering what people used to believe before christianity spoiled the party here in europe. Christain belief spread like a cancer, incorporating everything it could use and destroyed what didn't fit. A lot of elements go back to german or celtic habits, for example the christmas tree.


I think Christianity incorporated much more than it actually destroyed.
You don't spesify what form of paganism you are interested in. I partook in the Celtic studies programme in the University of Glasgow when I was there for a while. Barry Cunliffe is an author and argeologist that might be interesting if you are interested in the tribes often referred to as the Celts. His views are very much tied to archaeological evidence, thus free from hypothetical romantication.


Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:11 pm
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vilpir wrote:
Blizzard Beast wrote:
Lately I've been interessed in what they call 'paganism'. I've been wondering what people used to believe before christianity spoiled the party here in europe. Christain belief spread like a cancer, incorporating everything it could use and destroyed what didn't fit. A lot of elements go back to german or celtic habits, for example the christmas tree.


I think Christianity incorporated much more than it actually destroyed.
You don't spesify what form of paganism you are interested in. I partook in the Celtic studies programme in the University of Glasgow when I was there for a while. Barry Cunliffe is an author and argeologist that might be interesting if you are interested in the tribes often referred to as the Celts. His views are very much tied to archaeological evidence, thus free from hypothetical romantication.


Thanks for the suggestion. Well, I'll check out this Barry Cunliffe and yes celtic paganism is the form of paganism I'm trying find out about. Mostly the continental celts...the ones that once habitated in the regions I now live in.

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Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:16 pm
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If you want to know about pre-Christian paganism, stay away from Wicca. Some followers claim it's some ancient Celtic religion, but in actuality it wasn't created until the 20th century and incorporates many different influences. Even worse, many "Wiccan" books and websites have little to nothing to do with the actual religion and are more make-it-up-as-you-go than anything else.


Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:47 pm
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Paganism today is many-faceted and it's rather difficult to separate the many movements, currents, etc.

I think there are a few movements who strive some sort of historical accuracy, indeed mostly outside of Wicca, but more in the area of groups who all themselves Heathen, Traditionalist, Reconstructionist, and so forth.

Personally, I think reconstructionism is as compelling as it is utopic. Sure, it would be cool to reconstruct pre-christian religious practice, the problem is that we're always dealing with scientific abstractions. I'm not sure how to express all that in a few sentences, so if anyone likes, we can discuss this stuff more extensively later in this topic.

I think the best forms of paganism are those who are inspired by wisdom and tradition from the past, and have a healthy dose of criticism for the modern world. I have no liking for very strict hierarchical or initiatory structures, nor for radical refution of the modern world entirely (especially on the net :p)

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Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:49 pm
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I have come to consider the idea of primitivism, which does not necessarily have anything to do with heathenism or religion, quite interesting as well and even more interesting than heathenism. Although I find heathenism quite interesting, it seems a bit forced and none of the heathens I have met seem to share the same kind of lunatic spirituality that some fundamentalist christians have. Heh, I guess this is because most western heathens do not inherit or learn it from parents in the same way as christianity is often "inherited". All in all, I'm not really sure as to what the benefits of organized heathenism are over any other form of organized religion. On the other hand individual heathens who don't have a religious system or common religious practices lack the power of the collective and remain somewhat invisible and irrelevant.


Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:29 pm
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Regina Cordium wrote:
If you want to know about pre-Christian paganism, stay away from Wicca. Some followers claim it's some ancient Celtic religion, but in actuality it wasn't created until the 20th century and incorporates many different influences. Even worse, many "Wiccan" books and websites have little to nothing to do with the actual religion and are more make-it-up-as-you-go than anything else.


You're right on that one. Wicca is something I don't want anything to do with. My path is paved by some else. I'm a philosopher with my own views of this world...Writing this I realise I should re-read the 'ethica' of Spinoza. Paganism for me isn't actual historical facts (although it would be great to know more about pre christian life in europe. It is a feeling to me. A longing for a better balance between 'Man' and his surroundings. To more fucked up things get, the stronger this feeling gets.

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Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:36 pm
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Personally, to believe that you must do certain things to be apart of something is a religion: christianity, Buddhism, paganism, wicca, a gang or whatever. being apart of a religion seems to suit no purpose as there is sssoo many to join, whether from this century or whenever. My question to you is, what brings freedom, what lets you know why you are doing what your doing, what makes life make sense? What is something that you can hold on to forever and be certain that its true. Screw living a life where you hope that youre doing the right thing, it's better to know the truth and be free. Religion serves nobody but its self and in the end is nothing.


Fri Feb 08, 2008 5:10 am
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//SILENCE wrote:
Personally, to believe that you must do certain things to be apart of something is a religion: christianity, Buddhism, paganism, wicca, a gang or whatever. being apart of a religion seems to suit no purpose as there is sssoo many to join, whether from this century or whenever. My question to you is, what brings freedom, what lets you know why you are doing what your doing, what makes life make sense? What is something that you can hold on to forever and be certain that its true. Screw living a life where you hope that youre doing the right thing, it's better to know the truth and be free. Religion serves nobody but its self and in the end is nothing.


Ok, you’re not very tolerant towards people’s believes or religions. I think religion can become very suffocating and that the church (or other religious organization) has a lot of blood on its hands but you ask me what gives life meaning or sense. A lot of people find that religion gives their life meaning. The essence of their life is what they believe. And I for one think that that’s just fine as long as they don’t force their ideas onto others. You talk about freedom and truth as if you possess it. I don’t believe to be freedom. I’m bound by so many things. This earth, this body, the situations that make out my life. I have my own truths and the next person has his. I do not find my sense of living in any religion although I pick things out. Whatever speaks to me. I don’t hold anything to last forever. Life is ever changing and that is the tragedy of man. I don’t find a lot of value in religion but I don’t condemn it because others do find value and meaning in it. Just as a atheist find meaning in his atheist view of this world.

I hope this answers your question(s).

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Fri Feb 15, 2008 2:52 pm
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There is nothing wrong with religions. The church is what is wrong.

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