Oh no, you aren't the only one who's noticed this. It always got me that for nature based religions, it always surprised me how people tend to ignore how harsh and brutal the natural world can be, but yet there is still a beauty to be found in it and if anything it inspires a different kind of respect for the power in the natural world, we tend to forget the power it holds now. But then I'm a Heathen and we tend not to be quite so fluffy, at least in my experience anyway. This band, while not pagans themselves, they use Norse mythology quite a lot in their lyrics, but more thoughtful and subtle than a lot of other bands, but this video reminded me of the great power in nature, even although waterfalls and rivers don't seem it, when you get battered around in one you will appreciate they do! [link] Sorry if you don't like the music but I've loved them for so many years and for good reason.
Black and white, evil and good. The way I see it, while I don't like evil, to me it is almost necessary. If there were no evil, then how would we define good? Would the act of doing good loose it's value and meaning, would only the highest of good become worthy and lesser good become the new evil? See where I am going? I'm not advocating it, but it helps bring perspective to things, or as I saw written, it is only in darkness that you see the stars.
As for deities that are considered to be bad, evil or negative, while some people will hate me for this opinion, in some ways there are some that reflect what humanity is like. Take Loki for example, he is often the mischief maker who either by design or by accident brings trouble upon himself and/or the other gods and goddesses and somehow makes things come right, but as you see in the death of Balder, Loki's capture and Ragnarok, you could say that it stemmed from his jealousy of Balder's gift from his mother to be harmed by nothing and then revenge against the gods for his imprisonment. Jealousy and the desire for revenge are all emotions we have felt or will feel, and in those myths you see how destructive they can be at their worst. While destruction is not always bad, and sometimes destruction is necessary to create the new, it's not hard to see that this does rather reflect one aspect of what we can be like.
Well I have to say I appreciate that the Norse deities are not these "perfect" figures. I know some will say that is just how they are but I can't help think that by this there is something to be learned about how we are ourselves, warts and all, ether from them or from the myths and what happens in each one.
The thing is it is a common thing to have such evil figures with such negative traits throughout many cultures. I sometimes wonder if by making caricatures out of these and presenting them as deities, monsters or whatever, that it was maybe a primitive way for humanity to hide the fact that in the end we have the potential to be the source of the greatest evils and all the evil that has happened in history has been caused by mankind against each other. We don't like to face up to that fact so we make baddies, monsters and boogie men, maybe as a way of dehumanizing the evil humans do to each other.
I actually left Wicca and followed a specific pantheon due to the restrictiveness of it all. I still identify on being on the light side of things, though, but it's more a personal choice than anything else. I've seen the dark and grey side of things though. It ain't all bad.
Yeah. I think one of the biggest hurdles to pagan religions actually being truly practiced in an authentic manner is the legal and financial problems associated with animal sacrifice in the modern era.
I generally don't do animal sacrifice unless completely necessary, but that's just me. I know religions like Santeria require them often, and they should have the right to do it, as long as the animal's not put through too much pain.
Yes, but people who worship no gods but their ancestors still count as pagan, people who believe in only animism(everything has a spirit) are considered pagan, and if you want to get technical, deists, pantheists and theists are also considered pagan
I dont know where you get these but shamanism or animism are not counted as pagan. There are animists in pagan and shaman cultures both but you cant categorize it in under either one of them. I personally never counted dead veneration as paganism either. Otherwise most of the Christian cults that value saints and stuff would be counted paganist wouldnt they? Other veneration cultures had gods on their own, maybe thats why they could be counted paganist.
While it does usually mean that someone worships old gods, the most widely used definition is any set of beliefs that's not strictly Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Therefore, animistic cultures(such as Shinto, Native American Spiritualism...)and ancestor worship(Ancient Chinese belief systems seem to be a good example of this) all count as pagan as well.
1. one of a people or community observing a polytheistic religion, as the ancient Romans and Greeks. Synonyms: polytheist.
the first defintion of paganism is that they worship to more than one god.
there is no gods in shamanism. its not a religion either,. maybe some pagan religions might fall under the category of shamanism or shamanic cultures also had a paganist religion next to it, but that doesnt put shamanism under the title of paganism as a whole. that would be a very absurd definition.
"Ethnologists often avoid the term "pagan," with its uncertain and varied meanings, in referring to traditional or historic faiths, preferring more precise categories such as polytheism, shamanism, pantheism, or animism."
"Shamanism isn't a religion, it's a spiritual methodology. Shamanic practices are those which involve communication with spirits. There are types of shamanism in almost every culture and religion and can be vastly different depending on the pervasive belief in spirits, though often the methods are comparable. Native American beliefs often have some shamanic elements, british-style hedgewitchery is considered another form of shamanism, the original use of the word "shaman" comes from Mongolia where it describes their spiritual practices..."
i couldnt see any reference to shamaisn or animism in that definition that you used as reference so i dont understand why you think that they are.
if you are considering every culture that is not Muslim or Christian or Jewish as paganist than that is pretty weak. historian usually differ these.
animism is not a religion as itself. there are animistic elements in shamanism or shintu or other religions but that doesnt make the whole culture animistic. animism is just a belief or a way to act. it doesnt cover a whole religion.
i think you are thinking shamanism as in the neo-paganism yourself. an old shamanist tribe in siberia had a totally different religious cultural pattern than a greek city.
I think you would consider me a white witch, though perhaps more of a gray. Not really sure, XD' I really like that you mentioned "Black magic simply calls to me more than white magic does." To me that really puts the backing to everything you had to say.
I know Nature is not all pretty butterflies and prancing fawns, glittering sunrays and babbling brooks. There are droughts, cold winters with no food, the struggle to survive and the food chain, and so much more for both sides of the picture and everything inbetween. I'm not 'well-read' or knowledgable in any know-how of black magic or white magic, though i suppose the morals i have and the practices that have called to me and i have followed set their own boundaries within parts of both realms to some extent.
It really intrigued me when you showed me the Witch's Knot, i find it interesting how similar it is to the symbol i drew up to represent myself without having any knowledge of the Witch's Knot.
;-; Mitsu, you don't have to do that, but I appreciate the thought.
When you mentioned people going out and hunting with just a pocket knife, it made me think a lot. I can't really put my thoughts into words very well, but i can try! xD Most people, i would say, don't like thinking about that side of nature. And for me, i don't see it as something dark or gloomy. The wolf must hunt for his food, and he must live off of the death of other creatures just as a horse must live off of the plant life around them. I guess for me, it's alot to do with the intention of everything. I would not want to kill someone--animal, human, plant or otherwise--with malice or anger. Self-defence or to protect someone, sure.
I do not like animal cruelty, negligence, or otherwise. It's sad whether it is done to a child or an adult, to a horse or a tree or simply the land itself. I know that at some point in time, everyone and everything must die at some point, just as they suddenly came into existence, they must leave it to allow others to come into the picture.
...no. I'm off-topic and my words are jumbled, gomen, xD''' I tried, thoughhhh~ MIRA NOT GOOD WITH WRITING THIS KIND OF STUFF LIKE THIIISSSSS I could, however, note you a story that i wrote for Mythological Lens class. I think it should explain to you a lot of how i relate to the world around me.
The assignment was that we had to write a story of a personal experience we had--a true story, obviously--that changed us in some way and/or allowed us to realize something, a moment in life that was very significant to us.