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Thread: Druidism's foundations

  1. #11
    Copper Member Briton's Avatar
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    'seems baby' I'm not even sure what that was a typo of.
    I'm not one to ever pray for mercy
    Or to wish on pennies in the fountain or the shrine
    But that day you know I left my money
    And I thought of you only
    All that copper glowing fine

  2. #12
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    Quote Originally Posted by Briton View Post
    'seems baby' I'm not even sure what that was a typo of.

    lol, I get some awesome autocorrects on my phone and kindle sometimes...


    I don't think any recons truly recon a culture
    And I don't think any of them can, even if they actually wanted to and truly thought they could (most accept this anyhow, though every group has its interesting characters).


    My point (maybe poorly illustrated) was more that we can't truly reconstruct a religion, because we can't truly reconstruct a culture (its my personal opinion that I wouldn't even want to try), or even truly understand it (maybe grok is a better, though invented, word for here). We can be so inspired by the religion and the culture that we wear the correct garments, recite the correct words, perform the correct motions and actions at the correct times, know and accept the correct facts, (assuming, in the best case scenarios, that we can actually find all of this information complete and intact), but even if we are doing all of these things, we are simply using old ideas to practice a new religion that we have created.


    Personally, I prefer to look at the past (and the present) and say, hey...that looks like it works. What is the idea, the context behind it, and how is it used? I may or may not adapt it for my own practice. If not, I keep it in my mental filing cabinet incase I ever need to pull it out again. I prefer to avoid the appeal to antiquity trap. But I am unabashedly, unflinchingly, and unrepentantly eclectic.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  3. #13
    Copper Member Briton's Avatar
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    Yeah I kind of went off on a tangent, I knew what you meant. That's what I'm thinking. Those guys might be on to something doing things the way they did. Doesn't mean they definitely did, or even that they were the only ones onto something. I would be eclectic for the benefit of those who went before me who were no doubt Heathen, Iron Age and even Christian. It's not that I believe the things they did, or that I'm trying to hedge my bets, but ancestor veneration is not really veneration when you're only doing what fulfilled you, rather than fulfilled them. I'd have no problem having a mjolnir, cross and [whatever is significant to the Iron Age Brits] all on my shrine amongst other things. This doesn't mean I believe in, revere, or worship Jesus, Odin or Herne, but that I recognize such was important to them. This thread is going off topic, but I think the OP has been answered so this can go on if anyone wants...
    I'm not one to ever pray for mercy
    Or to wish on pennies in the fountain or the shrine
    But that day you know I left my money
    And I thought of you only
    All that copper glowing fine

  4. #14
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    Quote Originally Posted by thalassa View Post
    Well yeah, the question is actually worded in a way that is fairly offensive
    Having smacked the OP for being offensive (how many Druids here were offended?) you then post this:

    Sure, women-hating, going a-Viking, and dumping people in bogs aren't the entirety of those cultures, and like any society, they have stuff they did right and well too...but cutting the wheat from the chaff changes the context and the meaning of the practice completely. Pretending otherwise seems just as disingenuous to me as lying about the authenticity of a practice would be. This is a view that has, of course, gotten me in hot water with some more fractious recons. Which is fine
    Do as I say, not as I do? For the record, I am offended by being called a liar and having my religion compared to a re-enactment society.

    Cultures draw on religion, but religion is not a manifestation of a culture. Culture is about society, religion is about gods. The Hellenic gods did not command the Greeks to hate women (which they didn't) and I doubt that the Norse gods commanded people to practice piracy. The concept of gods who dictate lifestyles is Abrahamic.

  5. #15
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
    Having smacked the OP for being offensive (how many Druids here were offended?) you then post this:
    You totally missed what I was "offended" about. And it wasn't the question, but how it was stated.


    Do as I say, not as I do? For the record, I am offended by being called a liar and having my religion compared to a re-enactment society

    Cultures draw on religion, but religion is not a manifestation of a culture. Culture is about society, religion is about gods. The Hellenic gods did not command the Greeks to hate women (which they didn't) and I doubt that the Norse gods commanded people to practice piracy. The concept of gods who dictate lifestyles is Abrahamic.
    Nice cherry picking.

    Religion is part of culture. It does not exist in a vacuum of only people+gods. The correlation between a head god that cheats on his wife and rapes women and a culture that treats women like crap shouldn't be surprising. You cannot have a historically accurate recreation of the religion without the historical context of the culture it formed from. You can certainly have an incredibly detailed religion that is based on as much historical information at you can find, but without the culture, you have not constructed that same religion over again (the literal definition of re-constructing something again). You have made something different and something new that is rooted in your interpretation of something old.

    Most recons get that nuance. Some don't.
    Last edited by thalassa; 18 Nov 2015 at 12:21.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  6. #16
    Bronze Member Munin-Hugin's Avatar
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    So I'm just really reading into this thread out of curiosity. Could someone please maybe dumb it down for me and explain what all those random seeming abbreviations are? BNP, PIE, OBOD, ADF ... I started to do a search but nothing I find really seems to make any more sense. I mean, I'm trying to figure out what brain natriuretic peptides or the British National Party have to do with anything associated with druids.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
    Cultures draw on religion, but religion is not a manifestation of a culture
    Religion very much is a manifestation of a culture. It can even be argued that religion was a secondary creation of the forming of a culture.

    For example, you are the leader of a group of people, and that group keeps getting larger and larger. Now, all around you, things are happening that you do not have the scientific knowledge to be able to explain, such as lightning, earthquakes, rain, and even the migratory movements of certain animals. In order to keep your people from slipping into chaos and simply milling about in their own randomness, you settle upon a series of rules and regulations that must be followed. Now, why, your people ask, should they follow them? Because you said so? So you sit and think on it, and come up with an idea. Just last week, lightning struck and started a fire nearby, burning the fields where your group had been doing most of it's foraging. Well, ya know what? You take that, and tell everyone that a giant, all powerful being had gotten angry at the disorder of you guys, his chosen people, and so did that to punish you. Get yourselves in line, or it will happen again! Oh, and a week later when your hunters come back with a large amount of game because the herds were happening to run through the area? See? That god was so pleased with how things were going, he sent animals so that everyone could eat.

    In Nordic traditions, the gods are not all knowing, all powerful, or so high and mighty that they are above and beyond the experiences of humankind. They are petty, argumentative, greedy, violent, and humorous, as well as loving, compassionate, and wise. They did pretty awful and wonderful things to each other and to their worshipers, waging war, granting blessings, helping out, destroying folks ... just like people do to each other. I believe that gods have existed in one form or another for long before we were here, maybe even as just a writhing mass of divine energy, but it took us, and our ideas to eventually give them shape and form until they were able to become entities of their own.

    Look at Christianity, Islam and Judaism (I choose these because they are the easiest to prove the point I'm making). They are NOT just about god, they are religions about society, social structure, leadership, and control. The tenements are not just about what should be done for God, but what should be done for each other. Rules to keep society in line, rules to make life easier, rules to create a system so that they can continue as a people.

    As for those that dictate lifestyles, you cannot place that solely upon the shoulders of Abrahamic peoples. It was a good thing to fight hard and die in battle, so that the gods would take you up to Valhalla, so therefore the gods dictated that warfare and fighting was a good thing. In Hellenic life, you couldn't even wipe your nose without wondering if the way you were doing it was going to piss off some god or another. Want to go to war? Uh oh, gotta ask the gods! Want to dig a well? Hmm, do you think it will upset the gods that we're ripping up the soil?

    Religion and culture walk hand in hand, influenced by and created by each other. Though it's not a difficult argument to make that culture came first.
    "The streams called Ice-waves, those which were so long come from the fountain-heads that the yeasty venom upon them had hardened like the slag that runs out of the fire, - these then became ice; and when the ice halted and ceased to run, then it froze over above. But the drizzling rain that rose from the venom congealed to rime, and the rime increased, frost over frost, each over the other, even into Ginnungagap, the Yawning Void. Ginnungagap, which faced toward the northern quarter, became filled with heaviness, and masses of ice and rime, and from within, drizzling rain and gusts; but the southern part of the Yawning Void was lighted by those sparks and glowing masses which flew out of Múspellheim. Just as cold arose out of Niflheim, and all terrible things, so also all that looked toward Múspellheim became hot and glowing; but Ginnungagap was as mild as windless air, and when the breath of heat met the rime, so that it melted and dripped, life was quickened from the yeast-drops, by the power of that which sent the heat, and became a man's form. And that man is named Ymir, but the Rime-Giants call him Aurgelimir" - The Gylfaginning

  7. #17
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    Quote Originally Posted by Munin-Hugin View Post
    So I'm just really reading into this thread out of curiosity. Could someone please maybe dumb it down for me and explain what all those random seeming abbreviations are? BNP, PIE, OBOD, ADF ... I started to do a search but nothing I find really seems to make any more sense. I mean, I'm trying to figure out what brain natriuretic peptides or the British National Party have to do with anything associated with druids.
    Lol, sorry, that's totally my bad. Since I blog, I'm used to some of the Pagan blogosphere's common abbreviation and didn't think about people not knowing. :/


    BNP is Big Name Pagan, for those Pagans most people know about...usually authors, but sometimes the head of big organizations too

    PIE is Proto-Indo-European, for the language group common to Indo-Europeans before they split into their own languages...it used as shorthand for pretty everything belonging to PIE cultures, from religions to languages to other technologies

    ADF and OBOD (Ár nDraíocht Féin and Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids) are probably the two largest/best known Druid groups, and they have the added advantage of basically representing the two "camps" in Druidry (really more like two midrange ends of a spectrum)
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

    Pagan Devotionals, because the wind and the rain is our Bible

  8. #18
    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
    Having smacked the OP for being offensive (how many Druids here were offended?) you then post this:

    Do as I say, not as I do? For the record, I am offended by being called a liar and having my religion compared to a re-enactment society.

    Cultures draw on religion, but religion is not a manifestation of a culture. Culture is about society, religion is about gods. The Hellenic gods did not command the Greeks to hate women (which they didn't) and I doubt that the Norse gods commanded people to practice piracy. The concept of gods who dictate lifestyles is Abrahamic.

    It is perfectly fine to disagree with people, and to engage in civil discussion and debate about a subject that you do not see eye to eye on.

    It is not fine to make personal attacks, passive aggressive insults or misrepresent the comments of other members.

    Thalassa's posts in this thread so far have been diplomatic and civil. The above post is not. At no point has anyone called you a liar. The re-enactment society comments were used as very valid analogy to demonstrate the points of view being discussed. They were not offensive in nature. Thalassa was also not demonstrating any form of hypocrisy that I could see.

    David, you have a right to be offended by whatever you would like to be offended about. You have a right to voice your opinions and experiences in a CIVIL manner. You even have a right to call BS on anything that another member has said (in a polite and diplomatic manner). However, you do not have a right to mouth off at other members or insult them for comments that they did not actually make. And personally, I think you should be thankful that it was me who pulled you up on this and not Thalassa, who is an owner of the site. She has far more patience and diplomacy than I do, but her Doom is far scarier than my Doom.

  9. #19
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    Hopefully this is back to or more on topic.

    I don't know if the gods get bored with one kind of worship or not (Catholicism may be a mark against that since some churches and cathedrals down here still perform the mass in latin unless someone requests otherwise.)

    However I am a medieval period re-enactor who has lived in medieval conditions for 3 weeks before my health started to collapse (Allergies) And we were using the height of hygiene for the period (Viking believe it or not. Everyone HAD to bathe in frigid water - we get snow up here in winter and this took place in late autumn) As part of the experiment we had a (two month in the end ) Stew. We had to sign releases acknowledging the stupidity of our actions. (Please note a local legal peculiarity - we could still have sued if things had gone pair shaped enough - duty of care is a legal biggy here and signed releases have no legal standing.) Funnily enough I was overall Healthier (no antihistamines for 3 week b4 I had to give up and take them - as opposed to 3 days normally max. in civilized society b4 I had surgery to widen my sinuses) However I guarantee that life like nothing we could imagine. We had to catch something in a trap or shoot it with a bow to get a share of stew that night ( the stew was nice but impossible to describe - after 3 weeks it had rabbit, mutton, venison and several other thing in it as well as alot of vegetables - not potatoes or sweet potatoes though)

    We can however be sure that any vaguely historical re-enactment of druidism would be considered brutal beyond belief in our times. Living like we did in proper felted wool viking design tents (arguable accuracy - would we have been wealthy enough to have them?) was brutal - the most brutal task was the ,most necessary - collecting enough firewood. we also did wrestling and weapons training daily.

    It is entirely possible - even likely - that some original druidic practices included thing that would be anywhere from borderline nuts ( I'd still do them level) like ritual scarification and tattooing all the way to criminal and unconscionable in today's world like ritual sacrifice of criminals and the willing elderly at the onset of winter and the winter solstice to appease the gods that still performed a legitimate social purpose at the time they were performed. The context and times in which they were performed is KEY.

    Any truly successful religion must adapt to it's times (this is not where I'd, personally, classify Christianity in the main. Sorry guys. look up Australian Royal commission into institutional child abuse and see how many christian offenders they are. What started in ancient times as pederasty has become pedophilia and it's not ok! Trust me I'm picking up a fragment of the pieces of that sort of mess!)

    This is where I like Re-constructionist over Re-enactment - a re-constructionist tries to find the best - and discard the worst.

    This is the Key point Druidisim to my knowledge is almost entirely re-constructionist - not re-enactment

    Just my two cents worth.

  10. #20
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    Re: Druidism's foundations

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post

    Thalassa's posts in this thread so far have been diplomatic and civil. The above post is not. At no point has anyone called you a liar. The re-enactment society comments were used as very valid analogy to demonstrate the points of view being discussed. They were not offensive in nature.
    The tone may be civil, but the attitude - recons are either like the SCA or being "as disingenuous ... as lying" - was not. When I join a group of neopagans I always end up reminded of the communication difficulties discussed in
    http://www.heathengods.com/library/w...the_hammer.pdf
    I think I shall quietly leave.

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