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Topic - Mythical Faiths

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  • thunderhoofdesigns
    Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage of people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what outsiders would consider
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 1, 2007
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      Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage of
      people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what outsiders
      would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means all)
      might include:

      Faeries,
      Dragons,
      Discordians,
      Church of All Worlds,
      and so on...

      When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone completely
      outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?

      I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on these
      faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into a
      context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.

      Namaste,
      Stephanie
    • thunderhoofdesigns
      I m rather surprised that no one responded to this. One thing that occurred to me is that all faiths are built to a greater or lesser degree on myth. Is is
      Message 2 of 10 , Mar 4, 2007
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        I'm rather surprised that no one responded to this.

        One thing that occurred to me is that all faiths are built to a
        greater or lesser degree on myth. Is is coincidence that much of the
        stories which were attributed to Jesus *after* his death are mirror
        images of other Pagan demi-god myths? Did the angel Gabriel really
        write the Koran? Did Buddha sit under a tree?

        Of course; unless you are talking to a Unitarian Universalist or a
        *very* broad-minded person you are risking an argument by suggesting
        this. One person's faith is another one's superstition.

        So, is this part of your faith-base that you just tend to keep
        private and not mention unless you feel pretty certain of some degree
        of tolerance? Or does it seem inauthentic to hide it? Have you ever
        shared it in a 'risky" situation and received a positive response?
        What do you think supported that positive response? What is the best
        way to bring it up so that acceptance is a viable possibility?

        Just wondering,
        Stephanie


        --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns"
        <thunderhoof@...> wrote:
        >
        > Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage of
        > people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what
        outsiders
        > would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means
        all)
        > might include:
        >
        > Faeries,
        > Dragons,
        > Discordians,
        > Church of All Worlds,
        > and so on...
        >
        > When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone
        completely
        > outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?
        >
        > I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on
        these
        > faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into a
        > context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.
        >
        > Namaste,
        > Stephanie
        >
      • Frances Osborne
        While I would not necessarily be out in the open about my decision to become a pagan, I have made it well known about my abiding love for and interest in
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 4, 2007
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          While I would not necessarily be out in the open about my decision to become a pagan, I have made it well known about my abiding love for and interest in fairies. My son and I both are big believers in fairies and fairies by other names...nature spirits, the little people, elves gnomes hobgoblins, etc.  How ever you choose to call them, I love them all and believe wholeheartedly in them.  I live in West Lake a fairly conservative community, and about two years ago I met and made friends with a woman who lives nearby.  The first time I went to her home, I was stunned by her front yard.  It was covered with herbs, stones, pathways, plants, fountains, etc.  I immediately blurted out, "You've got a fairy garden! You're trying to attract the fairies to your house!" And I thought to myself, oh no now she'll think I'm nuts! And then she said, "Yes I do! The people at my Methodist church think I'm kind of weird, but I don't let that stop me!"

          A belief in the small spirits, the spirits of nature the brooks and waters, the guardians of wells and other sacred places, is universal and cross-cultural.  It ranks right up there with marriage as a cross cultural institution.
           
          All I can say is: millions of people can't be wrong.
           
          take care Frances



          To: Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com
          From: thunderhoof@...
          Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2007 19:59:26 +0000
          Subject: [Ethical_Witches] Re: Topic - Mythical Faiths

          I'm rather surprised that no one responded to this.

          One thing that occurred to me is that all faiths are built to a
          greater or lesser degree on myth. Is is coincidence that much of the
          stories which were attributed to Jesus *after* his death are mirror
          images of other Pagan demi-god myths? Did the angel Gabriel really
          write the Koran? Did Buddha sit under a tree?

          Of course; unless you are talking to a Unitarian Universalist or a
          *very* broad-minded person you are risking an argument by suggesting
          this. One person's faith is another one's superstition.

          So, is this part of your faith-base that you just tend to keep
          private and not mention unless you feel pretty certain of some degree
          of tolerance? Or does it seem inauthentic to hide it? Have you ever
          shared it in a 'risky" situation and received a positive response?
          What do you think supported that positive response? What is the best
          way to bring it up so that acceptance is a viable possibility?

          Just wondering,
          Stephanie

          --- In Ethical_Witches@ yahoogroups. com, "thunderhoofdesigns "
          <thunderhoof@ ...> wrote:
          >
          > Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage of
          > people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what
          outsiders
          > would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means
          all)
          > might include:
          >
          > Faeries,
          > Dragons,
          > Discordians,
          > Church of All Worlds,
          > and so on...
          >
          > When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone
          completely
          > outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?
          >
          > I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on
          these
          > faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into a
          > context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.
          >
          > Namaste,
          > Stephanie
          >




          Get news, entertainment and everything you care about at Live.com. Check it out!
        • Alana
          Okay, you asked for it- what about the stories in Christianity? This young teenage girl gets pregnant and says she had sex with a mythical being (angel); Then
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 4, 2007
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            Okay, you asked for it-
            what about the stories in Christianity?
            This young teenage girl gets pregnant and says she had sex with a mythical being (angel);  Then her boyfriend believes her. (Now THERE's an interesting myth.) She is looked upon as a sacred woman, even though the Christian creed forbids sex before marriage, though I do not recall any edict that specifically forbids sex with angels.
            Then these guys who are leaders of great nations (Kings, for heaven's sake!) are told by their astologers that they should follow this star that has appeared in the sky, and they walk away from their duties to go out on a quest to follow that star; this in a faith that denies astrology.
            Then this kid grows up and his cousin is going around the countryside telling people that he has this group that they can join if they let him hold them under water and say some magical words. This part is plausable, becuase people are always watching for new groups to join. So this kid Jesus goes to his cousin and says he wants to join his cult, and after his cousin John holds him under water and says the magical words, a bird comes down and lands on this guy's head. This is some pretty potent stuff!
            One of the guys he hangs out with is going to turn him in for a bounty, and he's able to tell the guys that it will happen, and tells the one who does it who he is- Jesus is psychic!
            This guy has a few tricks up his sleeve- his friend Lazerus (sp?) dies and the guy comes over and brings him back to life. This beats sawing a woman in half. When he's at a wedding and they run out of wine, he tells them to bring in the jugs of water on hand and presto! he changes it to wine.
            Finally, the government becomes concerned by his popularity and decides to put him to death. But even that doesn't stop him. After he'd killed, his gravesite is empty and his friends and followers see his ghost walking around.
            This seems no more farfetched than dragons, fairies, and other myths out there.
            Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Christianity is not valid; but when the tales are examined, they're no more plausable than anyone else's belief system, it seems to me. Do I believe these things could have happened? Of course- why not, I believe in Fairies and other 'mythical' beasts' and communication with those who have passed. Why not a guy who can do these other things?
            Alana

            thunderhoofdesigns <thunderhoof@...> wrote:
            I'm rather surprised that no one responded to this.

            One thing that occurred to me is that all faiths are built to a
            greater or lesser degree on myth. Is is coincidence that much of the
            stories which were attributed to Jesus *after* his death are mirror
            images of other Pagan demi-god myths? Did the angel Gabriel really
            write the Koran? Did Buddha sit under a tree?

            Of course; unless you are talking to a Unitarian Universalist or a
            *very* broad-minded person you are risking an argument by suggesting
            this. One person's faith is another one's superstition.

            So, is this part of your faith-base that you just tend to keep
            private and not mention unless you feel pretty certain of some degree
            of tolerance? Or does it seem inauthentic to hide it? Have you ever
            shared it in a 'risky" situation and received a positive response?
            What do you think supported that positive response? What is the best
            way to bring it up so that acceptance is a viable possibility?

            Just wondering,
            Stephanie

            --- In Ethical_Witches@ yahoogroups. com, "thunderhoofdesigns "
            <thunderhoof@ ...> wrote:
            >
            > Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage of
            > people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what
            outsiders would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means
            all) might include:
            >
            > Faeries,
            > Dragons,
            > Discordians,
            > Church of All Worlds,
            > and so on...
            >
            > When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone
            completely
            > outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?
            >
            > I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on
            these
            > faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into a
            > context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.
            >
            > Namaste,
            > Stephanie
            >




            "If you want to have what you have not, you must do what you do not."
            Taro Gold, American-born Buddhist Philosopher and Author


            8:00? 8:25? 8:40? Find a flick in no time
            with theYahoo! Search movie showtime shortcut.

          • Alana
            Well, what I often do is offer to light a candle when someone is having a problem, and put them on my prayer list. I have mentioned to a few people that I know
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 4, 2007
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              Well, what I often do is offer to light a candle when someone is having a problem, and put them on my prayer list.
              I have mentioned to a few people that I know people who have alternate beliefs, if the conversation leads that direction. If the individual then says something that sounds as though they may be open to discussion, I may self-disclose. It's a difficult line to walk sometimes, with all the 'wiccan/pagan equals satan' stuff out there. I believe that people who know individuals as individuals first then find out one's beliefs are more likely to be open to listening because they do not shut down to the different thoughts.
              Frances, the way you approached your friend was great- because if she had not been aware of your beliefs, she could have thought you read children's books or studied types of landscaping, and the relationship could have still continued, just not on as deep a level. What a delightful surprise for you!
              Alana

              thunderhoofdesigns <thunderhoof@...> wrote:
              I'm rather surprised that no one responded to this.

              One thing that occurred to me is that all faiths are built to a
              greater or lesser degree on myth. Is is coincidence that much of the
              stories which were attributed to Jesus *after* his death are mirror
              images of other Pagan demi-god myths? Did the angel Gabriel really
              write the Koran? Did Buddha sit under a tree?

              Of course; unless you are talking to a Unitarian Universalist or a
              *very* broad-minded person you are risking an argument by suggesting
              this. One person's faith is another one's superstition.

              So, is this part of your faith-base that you just tend to keep
              private and not mention unless you feel pretty certain of some degree
              of tolerance? Or does it seem inauthentic to hide it? Have you ever
              shared it in a 'risky" situation and received a positive response?
              What do you think supported that positive response? What is the best
              way to bring it up so that acceptance is a viable possibility?

              Just wondering,
              Stephanie

              --- In Ethical_Witches@ yahoogroups. com, "thunderhoofdesigns "
              <thunderhoof@ ...> wrote:
              >
              > Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage of
              > people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what
              outsiders
              > would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means
              all)
              > might include:
              >
              > Faeries,
              > Dragons,
              > Discordians,
              > Church of All Worlds,
              > and so on...
              >
              > When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone
              completely
              > outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?
              >
              > I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on
              these
              > faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into a
              > context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.
              >
              > Namaste,
              > Stephanie
              >




              "If you want to have what you have not, you must do what you do not."
              Taro Gold, American-born Buddhist Philosopher and Author


              Don't get soaked. Take a quick peak at the forecast
              with theYahoo! Search weather shortcut.

            • Frances Osborne
              Alana, thank you for your kind words! I do have a lot of material at my home (book wise) about fairies, mythology, religions, lots of history and other stuff
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 4, 2007
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                Alana, thank you for your kind words!
                 
                I do have a lot of material at my home (book wise) about fairies, mythology, religions, lots of history and other stuff too.  My interests are pretty wide ranging.  It is interesting what people "see" when they look at my books.  Depends on what their background belief is in.  If a person is Christian, they hone in on my Christianity/Judaism/ Bible section and miss the pagan, tarot, and occult books; some only see my history books. Women have asked me, when they see my cookbook section, "Oh do you actually cook or is that just for show?"  The first time I was asked that I sputtered, "What?!!! Just for show???? What do you mean?" It had never occurred to me to have a section of books "just for show."
                 
                If someone were to "see" my tarot, pagan, tarot books and I think they aren't receptive, I usually explain that I am interested in a wide range of books and that my degree is in history and anthropology, specifically ancient religious beliefs. I might further add to them that I am interested in how these ancient beliefs have survived and changed in the modern day.  People are usually receptive when they hear that but they don't ask for more information.
                 
                Luckily, the way that non-christian culture has permeated this society to the point that even Target sells statuettes from other cultures in its "World Market" section helps people who are not looking walk right by my altar of statuettes. A Pagan is instantly drawn to it, a Christian lets it melt into the scenery. So, there is enough at my house to instantly allow someone to "come out" if they are so inclined. I have several close friends who are Christian who have absolutely NO IDEA that underneath my soft motherly exterior lies a raging pan-theist fairy worshipper!  Luckily, I have an aura of "edumacation" about me so those Christians "see" my stuff sometimes and shrug it off as Frances being intellectual again...

                take care Frances



                To: Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com
                From: alana_50@...
                Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2007 13:35:04 -0800
                Subject: Re: [Ethical_Witches] Re: Topic - Mythical Faiths

                Well, what I often do is offer to light a candle when someone is having a problem, and put them on my prayer list.
                I have mentioned to a few people that I know people who have alternate beliefs, if the conversation leads that direction. If the individual then says something that sounds as though they may be open to discussion, I may self-disclose. It's a difficult line to walk sometimes, with all the 'wiccan/pagan equals satan' stuff out there. I believe that people who know individuals as individuals first then find out one's beliefs are more likely to be open to listening because they do not shut down to the different thoughts.
                Frances, the way you approached your friend was great- because if she had not been aware of your beliefs, she could have thought you read children's books or studied types of landscaping, and the relationship could have still continued, just not on as deep a level. What a delightful surprise for you!
                Alana

                thunderhoofdesigns <thunderhoof@ austin.rr. com> wrote:
                I'm rather surprised that no one responded to this.

                One thing that occurred to me is that all faiths are built to a
                greater or lesser degree on myth. Is is coincidence that much of the
                stories which were attributed to Jesus *after* his death are mirror
                images of other Pagan demi-god myths? Did the angel Gabriel really
                write the Koran? Did Buddha sit under a tree?

                Of course; unless you are talking to a Unitarian Universalist or a
                *very* broad-minded person you are risking an argument by suggesting
                this. One person's faith is another one's superstition.

                So, is this part of your faith-base that you just tend to keep
                private and not mention unless you feel pretty certain of some degree
                of tolerance? Or does it seem inauthentic to hide it? Have you ever
                shared it in a 'risky" situation and received a positive response?
                What do you think supported that positive response? What is the best
                way to bring it up so that acceptance is a viable possibility?

                Just wondering,
                Stephanie

                --- In Ethical_Witches@ yahoogroups. com, "thunderhoofdesigns "
                <thunderhoof@ ...> wrote:
                >
                > Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage of
                > people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what
                outsiders
                > would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means
                all)
                > might include:
                >
                > Faeries,
                > Dragons,
                > Discordians,
                > Church of All Worlds,
                > and so on...
                >
                > When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone
                completely
                > outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?
                >
                > I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on
                these
                > faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into a
                > context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.
                >
                > Namaste,
                > Stephanie
                >




                "If you want to have what you have not, you must do what you do not."
                Taro Gold, American-born Buddhist Philosopher and Author


                Don't get soaked. Take a quick peak at the forecast
                with theYahoo! Search weather shortcut.




                Get news, entertainment and everything you care about at Live.com. Check it out!
              • caamora2001
                Maybe because I believe all Faiths are part of a greater Truth it is easy for me to explane my faith. I say that I believe in a God that is behind the Veil.
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 5, 2007
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                  Maybe because I believe all Faiths are part of a greater Truth it is
                  easy for me to explane my faith.

                  I say that I believe in a God that is behind the Veil. God is
                  everything and more. I am made from the same power as god so I am
                  god, your god, the trees are god, and god is all of this and more. I
                  believe to give a name to that witch is god lets you control it. So
                  when I do magic I use one of god/goddess's names. At this point even
                  the pagens drop their jaw and walk away.

                  love and light
                  Viola





                  --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns"
                  <thunderhoof@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage of
                  > people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what outsiders
                  > would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means all)
                  > might include:
                  >
                  > Faeries,
                  > Dragons,
                  > Discordians,
                  > Church of All Worlds,
                  > and so on...
                  >
                  > When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone completely
                  > outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?
                  >
                  > I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on these
                  > faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into a
                  > context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.
                  >
                  > Namaste,
                  > Stephanie
                  >
                • thunderhoofdesigns
                  This didn t occur to me until I was working on the Yew Grove website just now, but this discussion fits in rather nicely with the topic for this week s YGC
                  Message 8 of 10 , Mar 6, 2007
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                    This didn't occur to me until I was working on the Yew Grove website
                    just now, but this discussion fits in rather nicely with the topic
                    for this week's YGC Metaphysical Salon in Austin. Details below:

                    Friday, March 9th
                    Yew Grove CUUPS Metaphysical Salon

                    Topic: Creed Comparison

                    Paganism has many faces, each with its own ethical systems. This
                    discussion will focus on a comparison of Pagan creeds, and also
                    compare them to creeds of other faiths.

                    7:00 pm. Discussion starts 7:30
                    Room 11,
                    First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin
                    4700 Grover Ave.
                    Austin, TX 78751
                    Directions http://www.austinuu.org/directions.html .

                    I hope some of you can come,
                    Stephanie



                    <thunderhoof@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > > Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage
                    of
                    > > people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what
                    outsiders
                    > > would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means
                    all)
                    > > might include:
                    > >
                    > > Faeries,
                    > > Dragons,
                    > > Discordians,
                    > > Church of All Worlds,
                    > > and so on...
                    > >
                    > > When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone
                    completely
                    > > outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?
                    > >
                    > > I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on
                    these
                    > > faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into
                    a
                    > > context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.
                    > >
                    > > Namaste,
                    > > Stephanie
                    > >
                    >
                  • Torvald Adolphson
                    I m a few weeks behind again, but here goes my two pennies... What immediately springs to mind in the setup of the question is mainstream faiths and what we
                    Message 9 of 10 , Mar 9, 2007
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                      I'm a few weeks behind again, but here goes my two pennies...

                      What immediately springs to mind in the setup of the question
                      is "mainstream faiths" and what we may view as an opposing view
                      of "mythic-based faiths". I am prone to clarify exactly what facts
                      that mainstream faiths (MF) are based on.

                      In several dozen accounts of trying to tie in science and history to
                      prove the existence of many aspects of the MF, there has always been
                      a large number of gaps where conscious or, perhaps, subconscious
                      belief has been forced to fill in under the guise of either "we've
                      missed something - again" or "we must have faith that two
                      unsupporting things are tied together chronologically". There is
                      absolutely no historical base to any of the dogma that MF uses in
                      their book for almost 300 years after "the fact". Gospels are not
                      written until late in the 250s CE to the 500 CE and continued to be
                      revised at the whim of the current heads of Church for another 1000
                      years. A particular "shroud" has been repeatedly radiocarbon tested
                      at the behest of the Vatican over a dozen times and is found to be no
                      older than from the 15th century. The supposed Spear of Longinus is
                      of a make and model that did not appear anywhere in the Roman realm
                      until Germanic tribes showed use of one in the late 700s.

                      So, littered with mythical connotations, the MF can no more produce
                      concrete evidence of their basis than we can. However, if nothing has
                      proven the test of time better, it is the generational "tradition" of
                      clannish and communal peoples that has outlasted every type of
                      popular dogma whether openly accepted or martially enforced. I give
                      you the eggs and bunnies of Easter, the name "Easter", the observance
                      of hibernating animals coming out of holes, the sharing of hearts and
                      arrows in early Spring, the act of celebrating the heat of Summer and
                      the bountiful Harvest, the trees that come into the house for
                      decorating, the wreath on the door and the log in the hearth. Many of
                      these traditions have been, in one form or another, the mainstay of
                      Indo-European peoples for 5000 years of provable history; 3000 years
                      longer than the beginnings of the popular dogma of MFs.

                      Things like these are what I bring up when I have the time to truly
                      answer someone's inquiry of personal faith. If that doesn't hit home
                      too well because they "ain't done that much readin' aside from the
                      Good Book", then I challenge them to explain some of their dogma and
                      see how their "faith" stacks up against passages in the good book.

                      Now, here's where I have to tiptoe around a bit. On the mythic side
                      of "faith", there are those so overwhelmed with the shiny baubles
                      associated with all myths that one may encounter a person that
                      worships "the everlasting light of the divine unicorn" or "the
                      brotherhood of the purple gym sock". Both have equally as much
                      historical fact to support themselves. Those people I usually label
                      as "nut bags" and pray to anyone's God that they don't find
                      themselves in front of a camera defending our pagan beliefs.

                      Those people aside, though, we pagans and Heathens actually have the
                      most proof and validity to practice what we do. From a Heathen
                      perspective, we honor ancestry above all else and have stories that
                      are provably over 1500 years old that teach us about our ancestry and
                      how they kept traditions and geneological bloodlines alive and
                      active. Our Gods and Goddesses are seen as our ultimate fathers,
                      mothers, sisters, brothers, etc. because many of those stories that
                      have outlasted 20 or 30 generations tell of physical interaction
                      between the Gods and our ancestry. Therefore, we are tied to our
                      superconsciousness by blood and have the ability to subconsciously
                      tap into their existence. The MFs can not claim that ever.

                      From both Heathen and pagan aspects, we are tied most closely to the
                      Earth and the natural order of our surroundings. Proto Indo-European
                      (PIE) peoples have been reaping the benefit of nature-based
                      interaction for tens of thousands of recorded years. It was this pure
                      interaction that led many of our ancestors to their graves being
                      persecuted as witches, many of whom simply used the cures available
                      from plants and herbs when blind faith simply wouldn't work. You have
                      to wonder why, in many church settings, there are candles lit when
                      intentions are focused and why certain things need to be repeated in
                      exact unison at certain times if everything is all part of that
                      singular divine plan. If it's all predetermineed and all planned out,
                      why bother? What's going to happen is going to happen.

                      It is usually around this point in the conversation that one person
                      realizes that it is a moot point to continue because the other is
                      intent on using "outside resources" to prove their point. Either that
                      or it comes down to "oh, I have to ask my pastor what to think about
                      that". Having no other recourse, it usually boils down to "well,
                      would you look at the time. I gotta be going." And wouldn't you know
                      it, I have to get going too.

                      Keep the change,

                      Torvald



                      --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns"
                      <thunderhoof@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage of
                      > people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what
                      outsiders
                      > would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means
                      all)
                      > might include:
                      >
                      > Faeries,
                      > Dragons,
                      > Discordians,
                      > Church of All Worlds,
                      > and so on...
                      >
                      > When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone
                      completely
                      > outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?
                      >
                      > I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on
                      these
                      > faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into a
                      > context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.
                      >
                      > Namaste,
                      > Stephanie
                      >
                    • thunderhoofdesigns
                      Well of course the Mainstream Faiths are at least as founded on myth as any branch of Paganism, but sadly the average mainstream believer is highly disinclined
                      Message 10 of 10 , Mar 10, 2007
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                        Well of course the Mainstream Faiths are at least as founded on myth
                        as any branch of Paganism, but sadly the average mainstream believer
                        is highly disinclined to think so. That's one of many reasons I feel
                        so much at home at the Unitarian Universalist Church. The one I
                        attend in Austin had their main Christmas sermon about the myths that
                        Christianity in particular; and the holiday of Christmas in specific,
                        were based on.

                        Many of the self-same points you brought up were mentioned, and we
                        happy Pagans in the congregation shot each other looks across the
                        aisle and felt rather vindicated. Oh, it was sweet!

                        It's been an ongoing joy for me to be there and see the liberal
                        Christians in the congregation face and discuss the many mythological
                        foundations which Christianity is built on. Once that is faced,
                        where do you go from there? I love watching them wrestle with these
                        questions, and I don't mean that in a patronizing sense. I mean it's
                        a delight to watch people of any faith break down their beliefs to
                        the core so that they can rebuild something that reaches them on a
                        deeper and truer level. Something that's uniquely their own and can
                        sustain them across a lifetime.

                        It's really quite beautiful.

                        Stephanie


                        --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "Torvald Adolphson"
                        <torvald_adolphson@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I'm a few weeks behind again, but here goes my two pennies...
                        >
                        > What immediately springs to mind in the setup of the question
                        > is "mainstream faiths" and what we may view as an opposing view
                        > of "mythic-based faiths". I am prone to clarify exactly what facts
                        > that mainstream faiths (MF) are based on.
                        >
                        > In several dozen accounts of trying to tie in science and history
                        to
                        > prove the existence of many aspects of the MF, there has always
                        been
                        > a large number of gaps where conscious or, perhaps, subconscious
                        > belief has been forced to fill in under the guise of either "we've
                        > missed something - again" or "we must have faith that two
                        > unsupporting things are tied together chronologically". There is
                        > absolutely no historical base to any of the dogma that MF uses in
                        > their book for almost 300 years after "the fact". Gospels are not
                        > written until late in the 250s CE to the 500 CE and continued to be
                        > revised at the whim of the current heads of Church for another 1000
                        > years. A particular "shroud" has been repeatedly radiocarbon tested
                        > at the behest of the Vatican over a dozen times and is found to be
                        no
                        > older than from the 15th century. The supposed Spear of Longinus is
                        > of a make and model that did not appear anywhere in the Roman realm
                        > until Germanic tribes showed use of one in the late 700s.
                        >
                        > So, littered with mythical connotations, the MF can no more produce
                        > concrete evidence of their basis than we can. However, if nothing
                        has
                        > proven the test of time better, it is the generational "tradition"
                        of
                        > clannish and communal peoples that has outlasted every type of
                        > popular dogma whether openly accepted or martially enforced. I give
                        > you the eggs and bunnies of Easter, the name "Easter", the
                        observance
                        > of hibernating animals coming out of holes, the sharing of hearts
                        and
                        > arrows in early Spring, the act of celebrating the heat of Summer
                        and
                        > the bountiful Harvest, the trees that come into the house for
                        > decorating, the wreath on the door and the log in the hearth. Many
                        of
                        > these traditions have been, in one form or another, the mainstay of
                        > Indo-European peoples for 5000 years of provable history; 3000
                        years
                        > longer than the beginnings of the popular dogma of MFs.
                        >
                        > Things like these are what I bring up when I have the time to truly
                        > answer someone's inquiry of personal faith. If that doesn't hit
                        home
                        > too well because they "ain't done that much readin' aside from the
                        > Good Book", then I challenge them to explain some of their dogma
                        and
                        > see how their "faith" stacks up against passages in the good book.
                        >
                        > Now, here's where I have to tiptoe around a bit. On the mythic side
                        > of "faith", there are those so overwhelmed with the shiny baubles
                        > associated with all myths that one may encounter a person that
                        > worships "the everlasting light of the divine unicorn" or "the
                        > brotherhood of the purple gym sock". Both have equally as much
                        > historical fact to support themselves. Those people I usually label
                        > as "nut bags" and pray to anyone's God that they don't find
                        > themselves in front of a camera defending our pagan beliefs.
                        >
                        > Those people aside, though, we pagans and Heathens actually have
                        the
                        > most proof and validity to practice what we do. From a Heathen
                        > perspective, we honor ancestry above all else and have stories that
                        > are provably over 1500 years old that teach us about our ancestry
                        and
                        > how they kept traditions and geneological bloodlines alive and
                        > active. Our Gods and Goddesses are seen as our ultimate fathers,
                        > mothers, sisters, brothers, etc. because many of those stories that
                        > have outlasted 20 or 30 generations tell of physical interaction
                        > between the Gods and our ancestry. Therefore, we are tied to our
                        > superconsciousness by blood and have the ability to subconsciously
                        > tap into their existence. The MFs can not claim that ever.
                        >
                        > From both Heathen and pagan aspects, we are tied most closely to
                        the
                        > Earth and the natural order of our surroundings. Proto Indo-
                        European
                        > (PIE) peoples have been reaping the benefit of nature-based
                        > interaction for tens of thousands of recorded years. It was this
                        pure
                        > interaction that led many of our ancestors to their graves being
                        > persecuted as witches, many of whom simply used the cures available
                        > from plants and herbs when blind faith simply wouldn't work. You
                        have
                        > to wonder why, in many church settings, there are candles lit when
                        > intentions are focused and why certain things need to be repeated
                        in
                        > exact unison at certain times if everything is all part of that
                        > singular divine plan. If it's all predetermineed and all planned
                        out,
                        > why bother? What's going to happen is going to happen.
                        >
                        > It is usually around this point in the conversation that one person
                        > realizes that it is a moot point to continue because the other is
                        > intent on using "outside resources" to prove their point. Either
                        that
                        > or it comes down to "oh, I have to ask my pastor what to think
                        about
                        > that". Having no other recourse, it usually boils down to "well,
                        > would you look at the time. I gotta be going." And wouldn't you
                        know
                        > it, I have to get going too.
                        >
                        > Keep the change,
                        >
                        > Torvald
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In Ethical_Witches@yahoogroups.com, "thunderhoofdesigns"
                        > <thunderhoof@> wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Compared to many mainstream faiths, there is a large percentage
                        of
                        > > people in the Pagan community whose faith is based on what
                        > outsiders
                        > > would consider fictional or mythical. Some examples (by no means
                        > all)
                        > > might include:
                        > >
                        > > Faeries,
                        > > Dragons,
                        > > Discordians,
                        > > Church of All Worlds,
                        > > and so on...
                        > >
                        > > When you are explaining what your faith is about to someone
                        > completely
                        > > outside the Pagan frame of reference, how do you go about it?
                        > >
                        > > I do want to make clear that I am not putting a lesser value on
                        > these
                        > > faith systems, just exploring how you put your belief system into
                        a
                        > > context which (one hopes) makes sense to the outside world.
                        > >
                        > > Namaste,
                        > > Stephanie
                        > >
                        >
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