Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reconciling the Christian vs. Pagan issue

I wanted to at least touch upon this issue, which is one that I have largely avoided. I have given the Greek example numerous times, by which this issue is rendered into a complete non-issue. Recently, I was looking something up in a book of mine entitled 'Masonic and Occult Symbols Illustrated' (Burns; 1998). For a period, years ago, I had listened to Christian sources regarding "the occult." Now I haven't completely changed my mind on everything I used to believe, but I'll get to that later. "Occult" simply means "hidden," so theoretically something within Christianity could be "occult" as well. The word "pagan," from the Latin word "paganus," simply means "country dweller." "Heathen," from old Norse, means "a person from the hearth"; and "heathenry" means "people from the hearth." It's easy to see how Christianity demonized the pagans by taking an innocent word like "heathen" and using it as a term of scorn. Ruling classes always have used "shame on you" words to beat their opposition into submission.

'Masonic and Occult Symbols Illustrated' was written by a Christian named Kathy Burns. I'm not ragging on Christians, which I will explain later; but while this is a good reference book on symbols, she made some painfully untrue descriptions on some of them. For whatever it's worth, I had written snail mail to her a few times, and she was nice enough to send me a free small book after I had clarified one symbol for her. Be that as it may, I must at least take issue with her description of the Othala or Odal Rune. In the glossary of symbols, she wrote "possession" under the Othala. Comparatively, after reading the more-than-slight bias with the other symbols, it's pretty clear that she was suggesting something like "possession by a demon," which is wildly inaccurate. The symbol means "home," "homeland," "freedom," "personal possession," "the home front," etc.

This was a clear case of someone calling anything that doesn't coincide with their belief system as "the devil." To the author, every non-Christian symbol is "evil".... "occult!" I'm actually glad that I have something of a background in the Christian view of these matters, because I can spot problems a mile away. In other words, the truth is that there are problem areas in Christianity and the other major religions, as well as in the modern pagan world. There are some very dark influences in both Christian and pagan communities. Not the average person, but in many of the deep-pocketed political influences behind the scenes. I think I will just leave it at that for now, rather than confuse the issue further.

If we are to found a "Cernic Rite," we must decide first what course we need to take. I was looking at some photographs of some type of "pagan pride day" which is held each year in Berkeley, California. Clearly many of the participants were simply acting buffoonish and even dishonorable. Our ancestors didn't sacrifice their lives in order to allow some screwballs and political zealots to make fun of us. We will have to blaze our own path. I would venture to guess that about 10% of the current milieu of Wiccans and similar pagans are worthy of taking the Cernic path. There are some good ones. We know you're out there.

We need a movement which is at least somewhat similar to the Odinist movement. Naturally there would be some big differences too, but the basic tenant of our culture: "Faith, Folk, Family" should be our code. Any son or daughter of Europe should feel welcome. Celtic people lived, or at least influenced, every corner of Europe. In other words, a FOLKISH movement, period. That doesn't mean that we won't communicate with people, study other spiritual paradigms, facilitate guest speakers from other movements, etc.

Lastly, many Christians are probably correct in that magic is not something to be fooled around with. It's not for children. I believe that we would be best served by concentrating on natural sources in nature for our spiritual needs. Many people open doors that they can't close. For example, Ouija boards are a very bad source for this. Even when these people pack up and move, the dark energy follows them. Even within Christianity, these doors are opened. There are both positive and negative spirits in both Christianity and paganism. Therefore, I would strongly suggest... no oaths, and no conjuring up spirits. Lets just honor the ancient Gaulish gods and goddesses, and use the natural sources which they gave us.


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