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Intermediate Modules (was Re: vacuuming another cat)

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  • Arlie Stephens
    ... The other thing that s bugging me is that I m not sure exactly what we consider to be intermediate ... and whether my knowledge level here is more suited
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 10, 2001
      On Tue, Jul 10, 2001 at 02:58:51PM -0400, Ann Sheffield wrote:

      > Perhaps one thing that's holding us back from working on the
      > Intermediate Course is that it seems so dauntingly vast.

      The other thing that's bugging me is that I'm not sure exactly what
      we consider to be intermediate ... and whether my knowledge level here
      is more suited to be student rather than teacher.

      > We've talked
      > some about the idea of modules. Maybe we could pick a module or two or
      > three to tackle first. My nominees for some possible places to begin:
      >
      > -Wyrd
      > -Wights (alfar, disir, dvergar, landvaettir)
      > -Heathen ideas about death and the afterlife
      >
      > I picked these because 1) they're interesting to me and 2) I know enough
      > about the topics to make a contribution. We could have everyone list
      > their ideas and pick a couple of the most popular to work on first,
      > possibly in sub-committee as we've done before.

      I like this idea, partly because that way I can look at things where I feel
      I do have some useful knowledge, rather than feeling overwhelmed by the areas
      where I feel especially ignorant.

      But it would also be good to develop an overall outline ... as in, what set
      of things should such a set of modules ultimately cover. Scary though that
      seems.

      Some other ideas ....

      - history. I.e. a basic (but solid) knowledge of the history of the people(s)
      we derive our ideas/lore/outlook from, along with the relevant source materials
      (literary and archeological). Leaves the student able to answer questions like
      - What was the Migration Period ... and when, and where?
      - What do we actually know about Anglo-Saxon customs?
      - What do we know about trade and travel in the Viking period?
      - What parts of Europe had substantial Viking settlements?
      - What do we know about social organization (leadership, law, etc.)
      of our various forbearers? How much did their customs vary?
      - What do we know about their religious organization/activities ...
      what are the sources? How reliable are they?
      - Why do some people cite the Vedas as evidence for heathen religion?
      - magic (may be at least 2 modules: runes could easily be a topic all on its
      own)
      - modern heathen history.
      - ethics. This is an intimidating topic, but clearly needed.
      - ritual construction, performance, etc..
      - relationships with wights (including gods). I don't know what to call this
      one, but people need an idea of various models and experiences.
      (It seems to me that this is one of those things that surprise
      newcomers by how different things seem from a heathen perspective.)

      Do we want modules on specific gods? A module on gods in general? (How much
      do we put in one module?)

      --
      Arlie

      (Arlie Stephens arlie@...)
    • Manny Olds
      ... We had a working draft of that outline...Let s see... June, 2000: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Asatru-U/message/342 October, 2000:
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 10, 2001
        On Tue, 10 Jul 2001, Arlie Stephens wrote:

        > But it would also be good to develop an overall outline ... as in,
        > what set of things should such a set of modules ultimately cover.
        > Scary though that seems.

        We had a working draft of that outline...Let's see...

        June, 2000: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Asatru-U/message/342

        October, 2000: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Asatru-U/message/500


        Manny Olds (oldsma@...) of Riverdale Park, Maryland, USA

        "Vaster than empires, and more slow"
      • Lorrie Wood
        ... These three topics are all horribly interrelated, at least IMO. Relationships and ritual construction usually fall more under theurgy than thaumaturgy,
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 10, 2001
          On Tue, Jul 10, 2001 at 12:38:36PM -0700, Arlie Stephens wrote:
          >
          > - magic (may be at least 2 modules: runes could easily be a topic all on its
          > own)
          > - ritual construction, performance, etc..
          > - relationships with wights (including gods). I don't know what to call this
          > one, but people need an idea of various models and experiences.
          > (It seems to me that this is one of those things that surprise
          > newcomers by how different things seem from a heathen perspective.)

          These three topics are all horribly interrelated, at least IMO.
          Relationships and ritual construction usually fall more under 'theurgy'
          than 'thaumaturgy,' but the magic module must needs make passing acquaintance
          with both sides of this coin -- there's no clear line in heathenry, and
          I don't really mind that, but one ought to consider the student for whom
          there might well be.

          It would also behoove the author of a non-corporeal relationship
          module to clearly delineate that we don't subscribe to the ideal, seen in
          many other branches of paganism, of 'lap-dog gods,' and the luck of the
          gods to whomever *does* write that!

          > - modern heathen history.

          This is incredibly important. Of course, an unbiased account is
          nigh-impossible...

          >
          > Do we want modules on specific gods? A module on gods in general? (How much
          > do we put in one module?)

          Don't forget, too, we can loot other resources, such as the online
          _Our Troth_, for some of this, particularly the historical bits, as long
          as 'history' is conveniently old enough that the particulars are all dead:
          the focus gets fuzzy the closer we are to present day, and of course
          there's nothing whatever about the goings-on of the past ten years or so.

          -- Lorrie
        • Manny Olds
          ... For some reason, this suggestion brings to mind the story of Egil and the rude farmer. Manny
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 10, 2001
            On Tue, 10 Jul 2001, Lorrie Wood wrote:

            > Don't forget, too, we can loot other resources, such as the
            > online _Our Troth_, for some of this, p

            For some reason, this suggestion brings to mind the story of Egil and the
            rude farmer.

            Manny
          • Arlie Stephens
            ... A lot of these modules are interrelated, really. Wyrd and ethics, for example ... or even history and ethics. Ritual construction, however, involves a lot
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 10, 2001
              On Tue, Jul 10, 2001 at 12:48:35PM -0700, Lorrie Wood wrote:
              >
              > On Tue, Jul 10, 2001 at 12:38:36PM -0700, Arlie Stephens wrote:
              > >
              > > - magic (may be at least 2 modules: runes could easily be a topic all on its
              > > own)
              > > - ritual construction, performance, etc..
              > > - relationships with wights (including gods). I don't know what to call this
              > > one, but people need an idea of various models and experiences.
              > > (It seems to me that this is one of those things that surprise
              > > newcomers by how different things seem from a heathen perspective.)
              >
              > These three topics are all horribly interrelated, at least IMO.
              > Relationships and ritual construction usually fall more under 'theurgy'
              > than 'thaumaturgy,' but the magic module must needs make passing acquaintance
              > with both sides of this coin -- there's no clear line in heathenry, and
              > I don't really mind that, but one ought to consider the student for whom
              > there might well be.

              A lot of these modules are interrelated, really. Wyrd and ethics, for
              example ... or even history and ethics.

              Ritual construction, however, involves a lot more than magic. For someone
              like Groa, it has nothing whatsoever to do with 'magic', in fact.

              Likewise, relationships with wights ought to talk about a lot more than
              dreams, visions and rituals. Starting with basics like "what does it mean
              when someone says they are a Thor's Man".

              I guess I'm primarily seeing a difference in focus here. But perhaps we
              could come up with better subject divisions, with less overlap.

              > It would also behoove the author of a non-corporeal relationship
              > module to clearly delineate that we don't subscribe to the ideal, seen in
              > many other branches of paganism, of 'lap-dog gods,' and the luck of the
              > gods to whomever *does* write that!

              *chuckle* I think the author(s) should probably start by reading things like
              William James' "Varieties of Religious Experiences". And then structure it
              as "these things are reported/common" rather than "this is heathens relate
              to their gods" (Eek!).

              But I think it is important to give an idea of what sorts of things are
              possible, and common. And to provide a variety of models for someone
              trying to make sense of their own experiences.

              --
              Arlie

              (Arlie Stephens arlie@...)
            • Arlie Stephens
              ... Thanks, Manny. I remembered seeing such an outline, ages ago, but didn t have the patience to battle the yahoogroups interface to locate it. I find I m
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 10, 2001
                On Tue, Jul 10, 2001 at 03:40:32PM -0400, Manny Olds wrote:
                >
                > On Tue, 10 Jul 2001, Arlie Stephens wrote:
                >
                > > But it would also be good to develop an overall outline ... as in,
                > > what set of things should such a set of modules ultimately cover.
                > > Scary though that seems.
                >
                > We had a working draft of that outline...Let's see...
                >
                > June, 2000: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Asatru-U/message/342
                >
                > October, 2000: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Asatru-U/message/500

                Thanks, Manny. I remembered seeing such an outline, ages ago, but didn't
                have the patience to battle the yahoogroups interface to locate it.

                I find I'm more comfortable with the earlier version. The one from October
                seems to me to be cramming too much into each module, while at the same
                time not taking anything deep enough. (Crossley-Holland is not enough for
                historical context (!) ... doesn't even really cover it, in fact. And I
                don't think any brochure (I don't have the "Asatru in Brief" one) could
                possibly be long enough to cover everything needed. (Of course, that one
                is structured as 3 passes through the same material, and this would be
                only the first shallowest pass.)

                On the other hand, the June version has more topics, and they connect
                nicely to each other. If we want to take one of these as a starting point,
                I'd be inclined to go back to that one.


                --
                Arlie

                (Arlie Stephens arlie@...)
              • Manny Olds
                ... These are supposed to be the same outline. In June, I posted the draft that shall be called Groa s Outline . It has many points. I contemplated my navel
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 10, 2001
                  > > We had a working draft of that outline...Let's see...
                  > >
                  > > June, 2000: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Asatru-U/message/342
                  > >
                  > > October, 2000: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Asatru-U/message/500

                  These are supposed to be the same outline.

                  In June, I posted the draft that shall be called "Groa's Outline". It has
                  many points. I contemplated my navel and observed that Groa's Outline
                  passed through the same basic topics three times, each time digging deeper
                  and showing more inter-connections. The October note was my attempt to
                  share this observation and to suggest that we turn our attention to
                  fleshing out the first, shallowest layer.

                  And IIRC, once we had mooted that most of our courses should be organized
                  on a "lesson a month" basis, so kindred and study groups could get
                  together and do them as a group. It gives people time to work
                  independently between sessions, but keeps the motivations coming.


                  Manny Olds (oldsma@...) of Riverdale Park, Maryland, USA

                  "Of course as far as science is concerned, religion is neither here nor
                  there. Religion concerns itself largely with phenomena that are not
                  available to direct empirical investigation. Social sciences can study
                  behaviors related to religion, but that does not make social science into
                  a religion, nor religion into a science." -- Jim Nichols
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