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Author Topic: Conflicting Advice  (Read 1720 times)

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diniesaur

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Conflicting Advice
« on: October 06, 2011, 11:56:45 AM »

I have normally been told that authors like Scott Cunningham are very good, but today I read somewhere that Scott Cunningham and every other author who says Paganism is "what you want it to be" should be disregarded. Which is true?
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Tirya

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Re: Conflicting Advice
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2011, 12:11:11 PM »

Both. :) There is a saying, "If you ask 10 pagans the same question, you will get 12 different answers." There is no "holy revealed text" of paganism. There is no Bible, no Torah, no Koran. As pagans, we are responsible for finding our own path and forging our own understanding of the Divine. That's not to say that there aren't traditions and religions in the "pagan" umbrella that vary widely from each other - Wicca is not Druidry, Druidry is not Asatru, Asatru is not Wicca. Yes, they're all pagan religions. No, they are not all the same. Some followers of a specific path or religion are much more rigid and protective of what they consider "the right way" to be. But you also see that in Christianity (Catholics vs Protestants vs Mormons, for example), Islam (Shiite vs Suuni), Judaism (Orthodox vs Reformed, I think?). People who are sure that "my way is the right way and the only way and anyone who does it differently isn't a true (insert name of religion here)." For me, I just say "Okay" and go on my merry way, because personally my view of the Divine doesn't fit into that narrow of a box. But I also don't claim the label of the groups that do so - I do not call myself Wiccan, or Kemetic, or Tameran, or whatever. To me, that label isn't important, and if claiming that label means I have to limit myself and my spirituality, then I'll just learn what I can and use what makes sense to me. Remember the colander visual? :)
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diniesaur

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Re: Conflicting Advice
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 12:13:07 PM »

Yeah! I remember the colander visual. I was a bit troubled by what that person said about Paganism not being what we want it to be, since I think each person should form their own specific connection to the Divine.
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Fox

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Re: Conflicting Advice
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 12:13:53 PM »

:yeahthat:

I think she pretty much covered it and is what I would have said if she didn't beat me to it (though I'm sure she still said it better ;) ).
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Tirya

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Re: Conflicting Advice
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 12:21:33 PM »

I've seen several comments that "WICCA isn't just 'what we want it to be' " (which I agree with - there are some specific beliefs and practices that make Wicca "Wicca" as opposed to, say, "Asatru", and just throwing in stuff changes it from "Wicca" to "something based on Wicca"). I don't know that I've seen that same idea applied to Paganism in general. I mean, I suppose you could come up with something and say "that's not Pagan", but the broad definition of Paganism is basically a "Non-Abrahamic religion" and that leaves a whole lot of ground to cover...
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Eternal Seeker

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Re: Conflicting Advice
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 01:22:19 PM »


I wrote about how different truths can still be valid, and how one figures it out here: http://www.paganjourneys.com/index.php?topic=212.0

peace,
ES
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diniesaur

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Re: Conflicting Advice
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2011, 06:27:33 PM »

Thanks! I read the thing about the watchtowers you wrote, and it was helpful. I can see how one person might think "what you want it to be" and "anything goes" are the same thing, while another person, like me, would not. When someone said paganism isn't "what you want it to be," I thought she meant that every pagan should follow a specific branch of paganism already set in stone by someone else.
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brad

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Re: Conflicting Advice
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 04:17:22 PM »

With me being primarily an air element, I struggle with conflicting stories too. I like having structure and logic. What I do a lot is find the oldest basis for the subject I'm looking at I can. When I find the oldie original, then I look back at newer works on it. I have a favorite website that has a lot of old works that are now in public domain that I use to look things up. Another thing I try to do is look at other works and biographies of the author. If I know more about the background of the author, I can understand the opinions better.
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Zlat

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Re: Conflicting Advice
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 05:31:43 PM »

Quote
I have a favorite website that has a lot of old works that are now in public domain that I use to look things up.


Share the link?
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