Posted in Spirituality, tagged Archetypes, Asatru, Belief, Faith, God, Gods, Heathenry, Hellenismos, Hinduism, Jung, Language, Mysticism, Neopaganism, Newbie, Paganism, Piety, Polytheism, Polytheist Reconstructionism, Psyche, Psychology, Reconstructionism, Reconstructionist Polytheism, Religion, Semantics, Shinto, Spirituality, Thwapped, Vocabulary, Wicca, Witchcraft on December 21, 2009 |
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Wicca-derived modern neopagan slang terms like “newbie” and “getting thwapped” have absolutely no place in even moderately reconstructionist pagan religions.
“Newbie” is a term implying resentment towards beginners. It’s appropriate in something like online gaming, where beginners can be annoying and in the way. Whether or not it’s appropriate in Wicca or other witchcraft practice is none of my business, since I’m not a Wiccan or any other kind of witch. But in [recon] polytheist faiths, that kind of attitude towards new believers makes no sense whatsoever. We should be embracing, welcoming, and guiding new believers, not resenting them and being annoyed at them. Why on earth would we want to discourage people from coming back around to the gods of their ancestors? Sure, just like new believers in any faith, their (our) heads are probably full of leftover ideas from wherever they came from, but the response there should be gentle (or firm, as the case may be) correction, not personal resentment. Direct your ire toward the religion(s) that gave them unhelpful ideas, not toward them for having them. New believers are not in the way; they are an essential part of a living, thriving faith community.
“Being thwapped” is a flippant and disrespectful term for a powerful and sacred revelatory mystical experience. It stems from an casual attitude towards the gods that is born from neopagan beliefs about the nature of divinity that have no place in a truly polytheistic (or any kind of true theistic) faith. But even if you believe that the gods are mere psychological archetypes, they still are potent and powerful archetypes that should be honored and respected. Being casual about them is dangerously disrespectful, if you believe they actually exist in any real sense.
Between the lore we have from the ancients and analogous modern living polytheist faiths we have plenty of vocabulary–specialized, tested, specific vocabulary that properly expresses what we are trying to say the way we should be saying it. Relying on modern neopagan slang to define our spiritual lives essentially allows modern neopaganism to set the terms, and it undermines many of the core concepts of our faiths.
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Posted in Spirituality, tagged Beauty, Brotherhood, Courage, Death, Divinity, Fate, Fatherhood, Fear, Forever, Friendship, God, Goddess, Gods, Greek Mythology, Hellenic Polytheism, Hellenic Reconstructionism, Honesty, Identity, Immortality, Joy, Kosmos, Life, Love, Loyalty, Manhood, Military, Mortality, Motherhood, Mysticism, Passion, Polytheism, Prayer, Reconstructionism, Relationship, Reputation, Sadness, Spirituality, Temperance, Terror, Universe, Values, Virtue, Virtue Ethics, Virtues, Works on December 19, 2009 |
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I am a Hellenic polytheist actively working out my spiritually while keeping a balance between reconstructing the ancient ways and moving forward boldly in living faith.
I believe that the gods are alive, that they take interest in the affairs of mortals, that they are approachable, personal–they hear our prayers and are capable of responding with infinite might and ultimate softness. I believe that by entering into relationships with them we can let their divine passion into our lives and be changed forever. I believe that we live in a world full of gods, and that when we wake up and see it for what it is, then only can we begin to fully understand and experience its beauty and terror.
I believe that virtue is eternal. I believe in honesty, loyalty, courage, and temperance. I believe in the the significance of fatherhood, motherhood, sisterhood, and brotherhood. I believe in friendship that transcends affinity. I believe that what we do, what we accomplish, our reputation, our deeds–these things matter; these things can live forever.
I believe in meeting my fate boldly and unafraid, in walking the path that the Kosmos has laid out for me without reservation or trepidation. I am not afraid to love, to fear, to feel joy and sadness, and I am not afraid to hate. I am unafraid to live life to the fullest, and to meet death when it comes.
I am a father, a husband, a son, a friend, and a brother. I am a soldier. I am a mystic. I am a man.
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