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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2009, 10:40 
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Somewhere else the topic of paganism was brought up and how their beliefs may be "irrational".

Well, I know nothing about what any of you may believe, so I would appreciate some enlightenment on the subject.

The most I know is someone mentioned "nature". Being a botanist and an ecologist, this really sparks my curiosity.


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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2009, 16:30 
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As one of the people involved in that other discussion, the whole issue is that there's no uniform pagan belief system. The joke is that if you ask a question of ten pagans, you'll get at least ten different answers, and quite possibly more. Thus, saying "This is what pagans believe" is impossible. It's too broad a topic.

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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2009, 16:49 
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sidhe wrote:
As one of the people involved in that other discussion, the whole issue is that there's no uniform pagan belief system. The joke is that if you ask a question of ten pagans, you'll get at least ten different answers, and quite possibly more. Thus, saying "This is what pagans believe" is impossible. It's too broad a topic.


I believe you are correct.

And as the Leader of Earth's Pagans, what I say goes!
...

Well, until someone else contradicts me, which is usually my High Priestess / Lovely Bride.
Although, others have been known to do so as well.
Often, in fact.

That's why Earth tolerates me as Their Leader!

FEAR ME!

No dammit... I mean it! Stop that giggling over there.
I am Your Leader!!!

Look, it says so right here on my business card:

Quote:
Taliesin of Avalon
High Priest
Leader of Earth's Pagans


See? Sure I had to write the last line in in red crayon, but the man didn't have the proper forms, you know.


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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2009, 17:21 
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Taliesin wrote:
sidhe wrote:
As one of the people involved in that other discussion, the whole issue is that there's no uniform pagan belief system. The joke is that if you ask a question of ten pagans, you'll get at least ten different answers, and quite possibly more. Thus, saying "This is what pagans believe" is impossible. It's too broad a topic.


I believe you are correct.

And as the Leader of Earth's Pagans, what I say goes!
...

Well, until someone else contradicts me, which is usually my High Priestess / Lovely Bride.
Although, others have been known to do so as well.
Often, in fact.

That's why Earth tolerates me as Their Leader!

FEAR ME!

No dammit... I mean it! Stop that giggling over there.
I am Your Leader!!!

Look, it says so right here on my business card:

Quote:
Taliesin of Avalon
High Priest
Leader of Earth's Pagans


See? Sure I had to write the last line in in red crayon, but the man didn't have the proper forms, you know.


Dammit man! I can't contradict anyone named "Taliesin".

Frakkin' Welsh with your language of "L"s and "W"s. I only tolerate you because of the Celtic bond. And that I really like Gwynn Ap Nud.

You're wrong, though. Totally. But I'm not contradicting you. You're just wrong.

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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2009, 21:01 
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Then tell me on an individual basis.


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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2009, 22:48 
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nygreenguy wrote:
Somewhere else the topic of paganism was brought up and how their beliefs may be "irrational".

Well, I know nothing about what any of you may believe, so I would appreciate some enlightenment on the subject.

The most I know is someone mentioned "nature". Being a botanist and an ecologist, this really sparks my curiosity.


Well, from an atheistic standpoint, any supernatural belief falls into the 'irrational' category, but when it comes to religions (and even magical belief) systems, while they may seem contradictory when taken part by part, when seen as a whole, they are cohesive. They also cover functionality, in terms of providing things like ethical codes, economic redistribution systems, and political guidance.

Within the category of 'paganism', there is such a variance that looking at just one to typify the whole might be akin to generalize the terrain and environment of the US from an examination of Hawaii or Alaska.

But, given the localized nature of many of the pagan groups, and the propensity of 'nature' or elemental gods/ demigods/ spirits seen as powerful supernatural entities, many pagans have interests in 'caretaking' or interacting with their local environments. Some of this is 'counter-cultural' to the 'disposable' and/or 'toxic' culture, and some of it is based in more self-sustainability in terms of subsistence and production (hand-work).

(If you want to know more about my personal views, check this thread. And I'm more than willing to expound if you've a more pointed question about them ... :wave: )

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2009, 06:01 
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For me, it's a blend of counter-cultural annoyance with materialism (Fight Club changed my life, srsly), and a general love of nature, hiking, camping, getting out in the woods type living.

Religionwise - my particular goddess of preference is the sister and defender of the land itself, so I try to uphold that. My other preferred deity is one of those "insular deities" associated with fertility, growth, etc. Thus, my stance on ecology - preserve nature, fuckers.

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2009, 09:03 
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sidhe wrote:
For me, it's a blend of counter-cultural annoyance with materialism (Fight Club changed my life, srsly), and a general love of nature, hiking, camping, getting out in the woods type living.

Religionwise - my particular goddess of preference is the sister and defender of the land itself, so I try to uphold that. My other preferred deity is one of those "insular deities" associated with fertility, growth, etc. Thus, my stance on ecology - preserve nature, fuckers.


Could you expound on that?

I recently saw the movie and heard about that happening, and would like to know more...

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2009, 09:21 
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jess wrote:
sidhe wrote:
For me, it's a blend of counter-cultural annoyance with materialism (Fight Club changed my life, srsly), and a general love of nature, hiking, camping, getting out in the woods type living.

Religionwise - my particular goddess of preference is the sister and defender of the land itself, so I try to uphold that. My other preferred deity is one of those "insular deities" associated with fertility, growth, etc. Thus, my stance on ecology - preserve nature, fuckers.


Could you expound on that?

I recently saw the movie and heard about that happening, and would like to know more...


Well, pretty simply, I was depressed, drinking too much, out of shape, and generally a mess. I was also living in the dorms, and happened to be walking through the lobby when some friends of mine were sitting down to watch the movie.

I figured I'd watch the first few minutes and then go to bed. Three hours later, I did go to bed. I also borrowed the movie and watched it again the next morning. A couple lines stuck in my head: "Our fathers were our models for God. If our fathers abandoned us, what does that say about God?" "The things you own end up owning you." "I had a refrigerator of condiments with no food." "Tell them the liberator who destroyed your possessions opened your perceptions."

And, most of all, "You've met me at a very interesting time in my life."

The next morning, I was up at 4am and in the gym. I overhauled my diet, lost 40 pounds in three months, and genuinely embraced the idea that actually living is what makes life enjoyable, not what you gain during life.

Now, mind you, I love having things. I love shiny objects. But it's what they mean to me that makes them important, not what they are in and of themselves. I love to cook my own food, bake my own bread, and do things my own way. I lived for two years with minimal money and no running water. I can survive under harsh circumstances. :)

Just knowing that makes me feel good.

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2009, 11:02 
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Ok, everyone is so fricking vague! heh.

What is it with nature, and why do you have/believe in gods and or goddesses?


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2009, 11:23 
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nygreenguy wrote:
Ok, everyone is so fricking vague! heh.

What is it with nature, and why do you have/believe in gods and or goddesses?


This is my opinion, and only my opinion, but Nature can be treated as a divine manifestation.
We usually associate Nature with the female aspect of deity, that is 'Goddess', but the male aspect can be found equally in Nature.

The idea of many modern practitioners of Magick is that the shared beliefs of many minds actually create lasting forms that eventually become the deities that we worship.
Woman created Goddess in Her own image, in other words.

Does this help at all?


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2009, 11:32 
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Nice point, Taliesin ...

The environment, especially where seasons become important for yearly cycles, is seen to grow 'every spring' or 'in the rainy season', then to go through the appropriate life cycles to age and die by 'winter' or 'the dry season'.

In this way, the generative aspects of the environmnet are associated with the female's ability to 'give birth to' new life, as though the Earth
itself were giving birth to the new life of spring.

Why gods and goddesses? In viewing the force, humans tend to anthropomorphize or at least attribute human psychological characteristics to the force, because then we can 'deal' with them. They should 'recognize' gifts, they should 'hear' pleas, they should 'understand' that some events/crises are important, and thus 'do' something appropriate ...

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2009, 11:47 
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nygreenguy wrote:
Ok, everyone is so fricking vague! heh.

What is it with nature, and why do you have/believe in gods and or goddesses?


I like nature. It's pretty and sustains life on earth. I think that's a good reason.

I like ritual, and I like the idea that there's something more to life than what we see. Thus, I believe in deities. Multiple deities. I also willingly admit that it's irrational and their actual existence has no bearing on my belief or practice.

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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2009, 13:24 
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sidhe wrote:
nygreenguy wrote:
Ok, everyone is so fricking vague! heh.

What is it with nature, and why do you have/believe in gods and or goddesses?


I like nature. It's pretty and sustains life on earth. I think that's a good reason.

I like ritual, and I like the idea that there's something more to life than what we see. Thus, I believe in deities. Multiple deities. I also willingly admit that it's irrational and their actual existence has no bearing on my belief or practice.


Thats a conversation killer.


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PostPosted: 06 Jan 2009, 13:25 
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nygreenguy wrote:
sidhe wrote:
nygreenguy wrote:
Ok, everyone is so fricking vague! heh.

What is it with nature, and why do you have/believe in gods and or goddesses?


I like nature. It's pretty and sustains life on earth. I think that's a good reason.

I like ritual, and I like the idea that there's something more to life than what we see. Thus, I believe in deities. Multiple deities. I also willingly admit that it's irrational and their actual existence has no bearing on my belief or practice.


Thats a conversation killer.


I'll bet he gets that a lot.
:lol:


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