Pagan or Neo-Pagan

Discussions of all things pagan and neo-pagan.
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Rain ForestMoon
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Pagan or Neo-Pagan

Post by Rain ForestMoon » Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:51 am

Do you see yourself as a Pagan or as a Neo-Pagan?
You may never have thought about it, or you might have and come up with "who cares, I am what I am", or you might have specific views about it.

Normally I am not interested in being labelled or classified. But for some reason I am interested in this, probably because there is a fair amount of media-talk about Neo-Paganism.

I myself think of myself as a Pagan (rather than a Neo-Pagan).
The reasons are that my particular brand of Paganism is a rather primitive or archaic one, seeing that I have Animistic beliefs.

What about anyone else?

Blessings.


(P.S.: I am sure I posted something along these lines about a week or two ago, but I seems to have disappeared without a trace. Maybe the Gods don't want this subject discussed? Or more likely, the Internet was not feeling well on that day.)
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Post by 2Crunchy » Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:36 am

This is something I've been kind of pondering recently as well. I can't quite bring myself to commit to one or the other. My spiritual beliefs are so personal and really unique to me that I don't really want to be wedged in with a large group of people. I think my beliefs are a big mixture of Native North American and Celtic Pagan beliefs with some Eastern Mysticism thrown in. I don't think I can pin down a label on it that would do it justice.
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Post by maccumhal » Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:54 am

I too have often wondered about this. I would like to consider myself a pagan, I never really liked the "neo" thing, nothing personal, just a creature of primative, archaic nature.
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Post by runewulf » Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:07 am

You know, it doesn't really matter all that much. The whole "Neo" title thing or lack thereof. Neo-paganism means, in essence, new or modern paganism, which is true, considering that the practices followed these days are new or reconstructionist, for the most part. However, they're still forms of paganism. If you get right down to it, unless you're discussing paganism both ancient and moderning in a historical, anthropological or sociological point of view, the "neo" prefix is pretty much useless.

I mean, come on, it's like calling episcipals "neo-catholics" or all other denominations of kristjanity "neo-christianity". Kinda pointless and there's no reason to classify pagans in such a way, just as there aren't neo-toaists, neo-buddhist, neo-christians, neo-jews, etc. It seems that the only time they like to use that "neo" prefix is if the spiritual path can involve magick and isn't mainstream, i.e. neo-pagan, neo-shaman, etc.

In the end though, pagans are pagans and the use of neo just denotes whether you're talking about people from current times or people from a thousand years ago or further back. So, don't let it worry you, it's not a big deal.

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Post by FyreGarnet » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:24 am

Man, I can't imagine what would happen if I called my future in-laws neo-christians. Though I'll have to tell my love about that one. He'll get a great kick out of that one.

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Post by runewulf » Mon Sep 12, 2005 2:27 pm

no doubt, eh ? :lol:
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Post by Stormy » Mon Sep 12, 2005 5:56 pm

I tend to agree with Rune on this - "neo" is best used as a means of pointing out the differences in conversation between discussing pagans from the past as opposed to pagans currently - but they're all pagans.

On the other hand, being a woman, I will uphold my right to have several opinions, none of which need to agree ;) That said, I DO feel that all current pagan paths, no matter if they try to reconstruct as exact as possible the ways from the past, are still 'neo' - 'new' - 'modern' - as there is no way to know for sure that we're 'doing it right'. For those unfamiliar with paganism, it is perhaps useful to add on the 'neo' prefix.

I don't actually feel that the 'neo' would be as applicable to christian religion as they (believe) they have very accurate records of how their religion was practiced and they (believe) that they are practicing it the same as it was originally. This in opposition to modern pagans, who, except for a few fanatics, will readily admit that they may follow a specific ancient path but that it is not a complete and true reconstruction. Heck, in many cases it would be illegal - as well as harmful to self and others - to preform rituals and cerimonies as they are recorded to have been done. Which brings up the point that despite the current hell in a handbasket state of the world - in first world countries - and even in some second and third world countries - life is held to be more valuable than it ever was 'back in the day' when they would think nothing of sacrificing animals and humans alike.
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Post by runewulf » Mon Sep 12, 2005 6:36 pm

true, but the key is "they believe ..." because a simple look at the history of the kristjan religous practices show how much they've all changed over time, so they're just as neo in a lot of ways as the modern paganisms.

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Post by Debbrah » Mon Sep 12, 2005 10:24 pm

My understanding is the neo in large part is more applicable to pagans because of the lack of continuity. There is a more radical break between neo-pagans and pagans than between episcopals and catholics. Just like if discussing neo-plationists in a philosophy...there is a clear break in continuity, a clear rebirth and reorganization and readaptation. It is new even while clearly being connected to the old.
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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Tue Sep 13, 2005 6:28 am

I have been purposefully avoiding this thread.

First, I feel I must mention (as virus pop-ups bombard me despite Norton Anti-Virus and various pop-up blockers) that I feel whatever Paganism was a milenia ago, it is where it is at now because this is what people need. Where 1000 years ago you may have found Guides helping in guarding secrecy, now they want the knowledge known. This is the time of information. We are all evolving. Religions are evolving. I mean, you can't call the horses now compared to the horses 1000 years ago "neo-horses" can you? I suppose that really doesn't make sense.

Maybe what I consider myself will help explain my views. The ancient ways I have learned as much of as I can, though it's in my memory anyways (but you know how memories are). Times past I've known the ancient ways, but it is not time now for those ways. They must meld to fit the consciousness of the people of this time. Belief systems are mixing, producing "neo" this and "neo" that. They are all variants of ancient ways, which are variants of even more ancient ways, and so on, all the way back to ... whatever happened in the beginning of this universe, of all universes, that is just too much to fathom without saying, "it has always been."
These are my beliefs, anyway. The heck with Neo-ism. It's all a different path to what we are all seeking.
Wow that sounds grumpy. Not meaning to.
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Post by davisherm » Thu Sep 15, 2005 6:49 pm

Wasn't Neo that guy who could fight the Agents? "Woah" 8-)

I'm with Rune and Stormy on this one. Pagan is Pagan is Pagan. Doesn't matter if you're a young blood or if you're old school. When you boil it all down, you've still got the same basics. The same goes for pretty much any faith.

I can trace much of I personally practice back to the old ways. Doesn't make me a retro pagan. I practice some stuff that I came up with myself. It's like a chose your own adventure faith. :lol: Doesn't make me a neo pagan.

I'm just plain pagan.

edit:

I'm just plain pagan with a dash of red pepper and garlic. mmmmm
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Post by runewulf » Thu Sep 15, 2005 7:35 pm

heh heh... true dat, eh Davish... don't forget the andoullie and crab boil :lol:

oops... sorry, thought we were makin jambalaya there for a minute, my bad :oops: :lol: :lol: :lol:

You're right though, pagan is pagan

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Post by Ragnar » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:30 am

I think, by now, most of you on this thread know my background, so I will not go into that.
I object to "Neo-Pagan", in as far as the press seem to use it as a derogotive. You can almost hear the snear as they use it.
Plus "neo-Pagan" seems to me to be a little like "Born again christian". I did not need to be "born again" I got it right the first time, thank you.

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Post by Crazy Healer Lady » Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:08 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Gotta love those Born-Agains, huh??
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Post by Ragnar » Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:48 pm

Suppose so, but I could not eat a whoöle one at one sitting. I would have to have it sliced on bread for supper.

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