Should Christians Be More Like Pagans? Would it Matter?

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  June 22, 2013 — 172 Comments

On the Summer Solstice over 20,000 individuals went to Stonehenge to revel and watch the sun rise (alas it was too cloudy this year to actually see the sun, though that didn’t seem to dim the celebrations). While in the past these massive throngs of travelers, tourists, and true-believers were seen as a charming (or annoying depending on your views) facet of British life, recent demographic upheavals regarding religion in the island nation have some re-evaluating what these crowds represent.

Solstice Stonehenge revelers in 2009.

Solstice Stonehenge revelers in 2009.

“A new analysis of the 2011 census shows that a decade of mass immigration helped mask the scale of decline in Christian affiliation among the British-born population – while driving a dramatic increase in Islam, particularly among the young. It suggests that only a minority of people will describe themselves as Christians within the next decade, for first time.”

So I was not completely shocked to hear that the Anglican Church in England is working to create a “pagan church” in the name of reaching out the kind of folks who like to gather at megaliths for festivals.

“The church is training ministers to create “a pagan church where Christianity [is] very much in the centre” to attract spiritual believers. Ministers are being trained to create new forms of Anglicanism suitable for people of alternative beliefs as part of a Church of England drive to retain congregation numbers. Reverend Steve Hollinghurst, a researcher and adviser in new religious movements told the BBC: ‘I would be looking to formulate an exploration of the Christian faith that would be at home in their culture.’

No doubt certain corners are already hunting “Episcopagans,” but I think this is more like the churches that hold “goth” services. It’s the same Christian theological center, but with trappings designed to make this growing demographic comfortable. Further, I don’t think this is really about Pagans at all. It’s about the millions of people with “no religion,” the folks who take an increasingly individualistic view of religion, and have no trouble attending a Pagan event on week, and (maybe) going to a Christian church the next.

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2011 Britain Census data.

“Compared with the 2001 Census the most significant trends were an increase in the population reporting no religion – from 14.8 per cent  of the population in 2001 to 25.1 per cent  in 2011, a drop in the population reporting to be Christian – from 71.7 per cent  in 2001 to 59.3 per cent  in 2011, and an increase in all other main religions. The number of Muslims increased the most from 3.0 per cent  in 2001 to 4.8 per cent  in 2011.”

Who knows, maybe a strategy embracing a more Pagan-friendly form of Christianity would win some new converts, but I think most people’s alienation comes from something deeper than aesthetics. On Thursday I spent four hours speaking to evangelical Christians who were studying to become clergy and full-time missionaries within their faith. At one point a young woman asked me what theological common ground modern Pagans and evangelical Christians shared. It was a question that stopped me short, and I had to finally admit that there was no theological common ground of note between us. That indeed, Christianity was in part formed in opposition to the then-dominant paganisms of the ancient world. Exclusivity, rigid monotheism, creator-steward dynamics, an infallible central text as ultimate authority, there are things are simply aren’t embraced by the bulk of the modern Pagan movement. I eventually said that instead of searching for theological common ground, we should focus on things that jointly concern us as human beings (human rights, the environment) and work on relationships instead of bridge-building through belief.

I suppose a “pagan” Christianity could emerge within festival culture like the Jesus People did within the 1960s hippie movement, but it’s not something that can be constructed from the top down. Training Pagan-friendly ministers might be nice for certain interfaith interactions, but I can’t see it convincing anyone to reclaim an Anglican Christian identity. What really needs to happen is more authentic relationships across faith lines, not training in how to conform to perceived subcultural norms. A relevant Christianity is one that re-focuses on its core radical message of love and embracing those outcast by society, not one that knows how to drum at Stonehenge during the solstice.

What do you think? Should Christians be more like Pagans, at least aesthetically? Would it matter to you?

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • MysticQabalah

    It sounds like, to me, that the church is simply trying to bolster its numbers by a slow convertion to christianity process.

  • Guest

    A friendly, accepting Christian is alright with me. I neither want to die or kill over religion

  • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

    I have no doubt they’ll pick up a few kids following fads, maybe a few fluffy pagans or Wiccans prone to monotheist style thinking.

    But it sounds desperate, and rather pathetic. If they want to pull off some of the loose fringe, they can feel free. I’ve always been slightly uncomfortable with how many people seemed to have changed their clothes and words but not really changed their minds concerning Christianity. They’re more than welcome to them, if it makes those individuals happy.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      It is not about what they actually accomplish and more about what they are attempting.

      I think, perhaps, the reason for the fluff on the fringe is due to the fuzz in the middle.

    • Ali Ducharme

      Most of those from Christianity unless they’ve been scholars of any sort, are not aware…and that includes much of the “usually accepted clergy” even those who went to Bible School or even a Christian University… the levels of blindness have grown ever stronger since i was a young child.,..and i’m now 57

  • Wyrd Wiles

    Wow… Don’t hold back, tell us how you really feel…

    This kind of reactionary outburst is understandable, but overall, not constructive.

    So the church wants to cater to a new audience and change up the rhetoric. Ok, let them. They may come out better for it, and it’s unlikely to affect us at all. Those who want to follow a Pagan path are unlikely to be swayed by this new direction, and those who are probably would have stayed/returned to Christianity anyway.

    We don’t need to sound the charge against every other religion does that we disagree with. That’s why we don’t recruit. Those who want to find us, will; the rest can go about their merry business as they please. We’ve never played the numbers game, we don’t have congregations (as such) to steal from. That’s their game, let them play it.

    Save the fighting for when we’re under attack.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      We are under attack. This is me restrained.

      You want unrestrained? I’ll keep it polite: Varg was right.

  • antonella

    I just have to say LOL LMAO, I guess, all as other people said it’s sad and pathetic and laughable…My first instinct is to better educate people that while the figure of Christ is not in opposition with Paganism and can be seen as an enlightened master, an alien or whatever they want, that Christianity and Paganism are. As the article said the theologies are completely in opposition. We should educate people we come in contact with of this fact so they can make an informed and intelligent choice whatever they choose if they have the misfortune of meeting one of these new fakely paganized christian ministers….

    • Wyrd Wiles

      While it is difficult to find theological common ground between most modern Pagans and canonical Christianity, if this really is a shift in rhetoric/practice then that may no longer be the case. You’re also assuming that these ministers are “Fake”. I know Jews who are completely monotheistic, but have a love for the natural world, and a tribal tendency that looks not to different from some of our own cultures. What’s to say a Christian couldn’t do the same? We don’t have to agree with (or even LIKE) the Theology, but why should we spit on something that in many ways represents the cultural shift in perception that so many of us try to embody through our various roads to Paganism?
      Now maybe this is just a ploy, maybe it’s some charlatans just trying anything to boost their numbers, but we cannot make that assumption without evidence.

      • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

        There’s a lot more to my faith than “a love for the natural world” and tribalism.

        This is just changing the font on the letter, nothing more. Rhetoric won’t change the underlying assumptions of universalist monotheism, and those underlying assumptions run completely contrary to even soft polytheism.

        • Wyrd Wiles

          You’re not wrong, but my point was that this idea might not be entirely disingenuous. They’re not going to replace us, and they’re not likely to “Steal our people”. So why should we be concerned? At best they present a version of Christianity with which we may have slightly better grounds for communication, at worst they pull in a small liberal base while alienating their standard (more conservative) one, and become yet another Christian fringe group.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            The idea behind it is inherently insulting. It’s the assumption that we can be swayed by changing their clothes and wording.

            The sad fact is I’m not sure they’re wrong about a good deal of people who identify as “pagan”.

            But it shows a massive lack of respect for us and our choices.

            Also, I won’t have “better grounds for communication” unless they respect polytheists. Pulling in a bunch of fluff pagans that are practically Christian in thought won’t change that. I’ve seen plenty of self-identified Wiccans that scoff at hard polytheism, and I assume this plan will gather only the fluffiest types, ones more acculturated to monotheist assumptions than the people I just mentioned.

          • Crystal Hope Kendrick

            “But it shows a massive lack of respect for us and our choices”
            But that’s not anything new, is it? They always assume that if they could do or say the right thing we would all come running and realize our “errors”. They’re deluded but it’s no skin off my nose.

  • PhaedraHPS

    There’s a lot of layers of interest here.

    On the surface, it doesn’t feel much different than the folk Mass movement in the ’60s (you might be too young to remember that) more so than the Jesus People. The Jesus People were maybe closer to an Evangelical Christian sensibility than to Anglican/Episcopalian.

    I can’t speak so much to the growth of Paganism in England, but it’s interesting to note how many American Pagan movers and shakers came out of either Catholic and Jewish backgrounds. From what I understand of British culture, the Anglican Church is pretty pervasive culturally, if not religiously. Certainly it was so in the generations that produced Gardner, Valiente, and Stewart Farrar. Those cultures brought with them expectations of what religion is supposed to look like and feel like, and what members of religious communities are supposed to mean to each other.

    Now, the unchurched have no such expectations. They haven’t been raised in a church nor left a church, they’ve never been part of a church community. (An online community is not the same thing, not even close.) I suspect the Anglicans don’t get that. It’s beyond trappings or theology. It’s the community support and community action they don’t get–and don’t seem to want or care about.

    On the other hand, many of those have absorbed cultural Christianity even if they were not raised in a church. They carry expectations of behavior and morality that they don’t recognize as Christian; they call it “common sense” or something like that. Those folks butt heads against what they find in old-time (meaning the 20th century–hah!) Pagan culture. “A bunch of old hippies” is a put-down that might be expressed by this group. This group might find some ways to to be comfortable in organized Christianity, except they probably carry the same lack of interest in “community” as the rest.

    The Christian witches or the Christo-pagans or the “I invoke Jesus in the circle” crowd might be the closest to the target audience, but even with these, I don’t see where they would fit into the structure of a large institution. That’s the part the churches don’t get, I think. Even as there is a rejection of the hippie legacy, there is an anarchist and anti-institutional mindset inherited from those days that simply cannot be easily absorbed into any existing structure.

    • Deborah Bender

      I agree with your observation that people who have been raised in some kind of religiously based community have expectations of mutual support and collective action from the community that the radically unchurched do not have.

      Most ordinary people have little interest in one theological idea over
      another unless the differences are tied in to ethnic or political
      identity. People who are looking for a religious community may be fairly indifferent to the official teachings of the religion in question. What they care about is that it looks like a functional community with a reasonable return on their investment of time and money, that it’s respectable, and that it will give some institutional backing to whatever values they are trying to teach their children. If a church can offer them that, they will go to church, any church. Many churchgoing Protestants and Catholics in the U.S. don’t believe in major tenets of the denominations they belong to, and that includes evangelicals as well as the more liberal sects.

      I also agree that if people are not looking for a religious community, absent some societal rewards or punishments, they won’t join one. Today those rewards and punishments barely exist in most Western nations except in bastions of cultural conservatism like the American South.

  • Lēoht Sceadusawol

    Allow me to elaborate on the ‘Augustine’ comment:

    The following is a letter written by Pope Gregory I to
    Bishop Mellitus, who was going to join Augustine of Canterbury’s mission
    to the English, giving instructions for dealing with the holy places of
    the newly converted Saxons and their pagan practices.

    “Tell Augustine that he should be no means destroy the temples of the gods but rather the idols within those temples. Let him, after he has purified them with holy water, place altars and relics of the saints in them. For, if those temples are well built, they should be converted from the worship of demons to the service of the true God.

    Thus, seeing that their places of worship are not destroyed, the people will banish error from their hearts and come to places familiar and dear to them in acknowledgement and worship of the true God. Further, since it has been their custom to slaughter oxen in sacrifice, they should receive some solemnity in exchange.

    Let them therefore, on the day of the dedication of their churches, or on the feast of the martyrs whose relics are preserved in them, build themselves huts around their one-time temples and celebrate the occasion with religious feasting. They will sacrifice and eat the animals not any more as an offering to the devil, but for the glory of God to whom, as the giver of all things, they will give thanks for having been satiated.

    Thus, if they are not deprived of all exterior joys, they will more easily taste the interior ones. For surely it is impossible to efface all at once everything from their strong minds, just as, when one wishes to reach the top of a mountain, he must climb by stages and step by step, not by leaps and bounds….

    Mention this to our brother the bishop, that he may dispose of the matter as he sees fit according to the conditions of time and place.”

    http://www.britannia.com/history/docs/mellitus.html

    • Ali Ducharme

      whoa! i’d heard of this document for several decades but never gotten a chance to read it…this explains a lot of things to me…utilizing what i attribute to OT strategies used both by and against the Jews to falsely promote the Church…using “the glory of God” as their motto forcibly brainwashing or at least re-programming those that were supposedly tryihg to “save” and how even today, these same tactics are being utilized, sometimes using more subtle versions, sometimes worse………..this makes a lot of things make sense to me now…and of all things, basing it on the wisdom gained down thru the centuries before that on the process and phases of education…the next to last paragraph also explains why my journey from that to this has been so damn slow…wow

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        I actually put a lot of the faults of early Christianity at Paul and Constantine.

        • Ali Ducharme

          agreed…my former studies back in the day brought me to the same conclusion…one of the few right things Paul ever did was to challenge Peter on his hypocrisy when with the Jewish members after the Gentile family’s conversion experience

          • Ali Ducharme

            imho, though Paul may have been sincere, i believe his entry into what became Christianity marked the time period of when the seed of legalism planted by James and his crew in Jerusalem took strong root and broke ground. i seem to recall vaguely there are other points of time as well in between Paul and the conversion of Helen, but they aren’t coming to mind atm. Just as there were points at when there were opportunities to chop that tree of legalism down and burn out the roots of it…but it never, to my recall got fully taken out. and if i’m recalling accurately there is a pattern of revival to legalism to terrorism by the Church (leaders) is there any proof of that theory i just made?

  • paganheart

    “A relevant Christianity is one that re-focuses on its core radical message of love
    and embracing those outcast by society, not one that knows how to drum
    at Stonehenge during the solstice.” <— Pretty much this.

    I would add that I think the only way that Christians and Pagans will ever "get along" is if–or when–Christianity gives up its insistence that theirs is the only "one true way." Virtually all of the Pagans–or Buddhits or Hindus or Sikhs or Atheists or Agnostics or Jews–that I know do not actively try to convert people to their beliefs; they simply live them, and if asked, they will tell you about them, and offer to assist you if you are interested in learning more. They take a pretty "live and let live" attitude toward other faiths, understanding that there can be more than one version of "truth."

    Only the Christians I know denigrate the beliefs of others, and insist on trying to convert others to their faith even after repeatedly being told "not interested." Some are more subtle–such as these "paganized clergy, perhaps–others insist on "Bible-thumping," but all refuse to accept or believe that their faith is not for everyone. Hence their refusal to respect the beliefs of others. (Yes I am aware there are some pretty obnoxious atheists out there, but I am fortunate to not personally know any. Nor do I know any Muslims personally so I can't speak to their viewpoints towards those of other faiths, other than what I see on the news, which as we know is not always accurate.)

    I do respect the teachings of Christ, and believe that if he existed he was an "enlightened being" along the lines of the Buddha. I have no respect for the twisted "church" created by his followers, and will not respect them until they show respect for people like me and my faith. I don't think it is asking too much to ask them to respect and understand that not everyone wants to be Christian. But I don't think it will happen in my lifetime.

  • Josh Pronk

    It is as if Paganism were treated as a lifestyle, instead of a religious group. The Anglican church thinks that by becoming less church and more paganish, that they will magically (hehe) gain Pagans back to the church. The reason people leave the church is due to doctrine more than anything else. Until that changes, these conversions won’t really happen.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      A lot of people do treat Paganism as a lifestyle, unfortunately.

      I can’t speak for anyone else, but I left the Church (of England) due to their pantheon, not their organisation.

    • Ali Ducharme

      There are several reasons for leaving the Church…some leave due to doctrinal or theological reasons, some leave because their need for community and support isn’t being met, sometimes its actually due to personality and/or other conflicts with leadership, some churches will throw you out if you don’t conform (and not just individuals or families either), sometimes it’s the old shtick of disillusionment or grief or acting as a baby who didn’t get their pacifier, some leave because they aren’t done seeking what seeks them and usually find it within the paths of Paganism, then there’s those like me…not sure what label(s) or category (-ies) i/them would fall into.

  • AndrasArthen

    It bears keeping in mind that this is an initiative sponsored by the Church Mission Society, which is an evangelical organization affiliated with the Anglican Church; I don’t think it’s been established that the Anglican Church itself supports this effort. This is also not a sudden thing, though it seems to have been picked up by the news media only in the last few days because of the connection to the Solstice celebration at Stonehenge. Andrea Campanale of the CMS has been at this for at least 3-4 years now. I agree with Jason that they probably aren’t out to convert mainstream pagans — they seem much more focused on what many people in the UK call the “BMS movement” (Body, Mind, Spirit), which is to say, people generally into New Age spirituality, alternative healing, environmentalism, etc. As Europe becomes progressively more secular, the numbers of such people grows exponentially, and many of them are obviously drawn toward paganism. Those seem to be the “seekers” which the CMS is particularly interested in.

  • Ali Ducharme

    What the Christians need to do, and I speak from the experience of having been one, in fact, clergy (+ more), that if the Body of Christ, irrespective of sect, denomination or whatever, would just be to follow the words, acts, and lifestyle of Ye’hushua Ha Meschiach Immanuel bar Yusef aka the Christ (for this article to use the name of Jesus aka Healing Zeus would be ridiculous). He taught to pray for those who persecute you (not be the persecutors), to be meek (as opposed to arrogant), to be gentle (as opposed to harsh), to be mild (versus dominating), to be generous to all (not just those within your church building and/or congregation) and to do all with love for (not hate nor fear of) those others who believe not as you do. And to go back to the roots of your faith…the Body of Christ aka the Church (at whatever location it may be) was to be built of flesh and bone not mortar and stone…when the Body of Christ can, as a whole, return to that which the 1st century Church not only knew educationally but practiced in their daily thoughts, word and deed, and leave to Caesar what is Caesar’s, then and only then will the Bride of the Christ be made blemishless and be without fault….

    as to how to start? try stopping to pit yourselves against everyone and everything and every belief that is not yours. Ye’hushua did NOT say to Bible Bash those into theological submission…he said, go feed my sheep…instead, the sheep for centuries have been poisoned by those who led it and they for the most part no longer hear the Voice of the Savior of Men and Angels…only the voices of mankind’s desire for dominance and power and greed.

    You could also start by truly searching out ALL the scriptures, not just those canonized, and removing the poison that was placed by the various rulers of the earth who used the Bible as a political tool…Ye’hushua is One Who Personifies Truth…until the full truth is fully shared, reparations made and the fruit of repentance witnessed by all those NOT in the Body of Christ, any attempts you make to revive the Churches or even the Church as a whole, will be futile and as sands thrown into the winds of the desert.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Or they could take their godling back to the desert, where it belongs.

      • Ali Ducharme

        then we would ALL have to move there, Leoht

        • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

          How so?

          • Ali Ducharme

            i don’t have the exact figures at hand, but so far as my education currently is aware of, the majority of our ancestors came from what is now the middle east (aka desert) and africa and the other mediterranean areas through the migration of the different people groups who were descended from the original populations

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Uhm…no.

            First, the Middle East is not all desert. Much of it is fairly arid, as in low rainful, but not entirely desert. You seem to be confusing areas like the Rub’ al-Kahli or desert areas of Jordan, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia with the whole region.

            Second, our ancestors came from all over the place. There is evidence for both the “Out of Africa” theory and the “multi-regional” theory. So even then Kenya’s Rift Valley isn’t exactly desert.

            Third, what exactly does that have to do with the Christians’ God?

          • Ali Ducharme

            it has to do with Leocht’s original comment for those of the Christian faith to move back to the desert…

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            In which case your, incorrect, musings on the origins of humanity are relevant how?

            I saw it as fairly straight forward. In the Christian (and Jewish) mythology their God is a God of the mountains and desert (more mountains than desert but the association has changed when the Hebrews rewrote their history to make it seem like they were always monotheists. Nonetheless hints remain, the title El Shaddai seems to involve the mountains, and might even have once been an independent deity. Cult sites to Yahweh were associated with mountains and hills, etc). I don’t see what that has to do with humanity as a whole.

            I don’t necessarily agree with the comment (it has been a long time since the Christian God has had any real characteristics, though the earlier parts of the Hebrew Bible can fill in some blanks), but I don’t see how your response was in any way relevant.

          • Ali Ducharme

            yes my research agrees with much of what you just stated…however on a page like this, there is no one forcing anyone else to agree with anything nor everything anyone else states.

            if you don’t see the relevance, i’m sorry, but i have not the time to teach nor even discuss further, for as I said, I’m but a student, and my studies and other life responsibilities are being needed to be dealt with so duty calls.

            thank you for your remarks, i will consider and evaluate them as to their being either fact or perspective or opinion. and whether they are valid and something i need to look at, not valid or neutral (and the non-valid and neutral i always put on the shelf to look at again later).

            IF you are upset i’m leaving the discussion, there is a saying among those I study under: “if you can’t (or won’t) understand my silence, you won’t understand my words.”

            Enjoy the rest of your day/evening/night and rest well…tis only just before 530pm here and there is much i need to do…it is the Solstice after all… :)

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            I’m a bit upset you’re on such a high horse.

            Gods below, you couldn’t sound more like a pompous ass if you tried. You sound like a freshman philosophy major trying to impress women at a bar, an over-important sense of your own knowledge and importance and a refusal to treat others as your equal. Further, I very much doubt your qualifications based on the lack of facts in your statements combined with your clearly high opinion of yourself.

            I hope you have a nice day, and Gods willing someone else can deal with your self-importance.

          • Ali Ducharme

            check your mirror, Gods willing you’ll see your reflection in what you see in others.

          • Ali Ducharme

            you may be more learned in academics Gearoid, but when it comes to sounding like a pompous ass, you have me trumped with 5 asses…oops i meant Aces

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Go far enough back, and you find humans are (likely) descended from tree-dwelling rodents. Not too many trees in deserts.

      • Ali Ducharme

        editing it from all moving to the desert to godling moving, is not worthy of your points that you have made elsewhere…you have shown yourself to be no different than those whom you now persecute and say that they know not the truth…just like how they edited the Jewish, Greek and Aramaic texts to base their colonialism and other things on…if you’re fighting for the truth…be full of the truth, not hypocrisy and attitude…but then obviously you don’t see what’s going on here…so typical of blind leading blind into the pit without rope nor ladder to get themselves out

        • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

          First, cut the snark.

          Second, “the Truth” is a very monotheist concept. I care about truth, but it is truth in my life, not some cosmological pissing contest.

          Third, based on your other comments I’m skeptical you’rs not also the “blind leading the blind”.

          • Ali Ducharme

            1st…valid comment
            2nd…actually no it isn’t solely a monotheistic concept…as do I…but as a Seeker of Truth (that which is/can be found out throughout this world and universe), there have been many whom also have been throughout the ages and are now respected by many as those who are/were wise.
            3. To be a Seeker or Student or Teacher of Truth is a never-ending commitment to searching it out…I’m merely a Student…and what I KNOW is ever changing…and to those things i am currently blind to, that will change as well…
            and i seek not to lead but to challenge others to excellence and to the searching out of the truths that this life has to offer us

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Sounds like a bunch of self-righteous hippy bullsh*t. I’m sure you mean well, but try not to sound so pompous. Just because I don’t go on about capital T “Truth” doesn’t mean I don’t A. read heavily and B. constantly improve my education.

            Sounds like a pretty bloody monotheist comment to me. You want one truth, some unifying concept. You can’t envision the world without unity. That to me is a monotheist assumption. I’m perfectly capable of not trying to create illusionary unity in the world. I see diversity as the natural state.

            Also, your “seeker of truth” comment might make sense from your perspective, but it is massively anachronistic to assume any of the figures you respect viewed themselves in such a way without clear evidence. Essentially you’re applying your biases onto the past.

          • Ali Ducharme

            there is only one unifying truth: we are all humans of one sort or another (except for those visitors who show up for their burgers and fries or fish & chips and black pudding lol)

            i did not mean to say, infer nor imply that you were not heavily read up on things…nor to say, imply nor infer you weren’t increasing your education as well…

            my background is my background and i will NOT apologize to you nor anyone else regardless of spiritual path or religion for what that background is…and what may SOUND or APPEAR to be one thing or another, is RARELY what it actually is…and all you need to know about my current path for the sake of my response to this article is that (a) i am no longer on the Christian path and (b) the path i’m on is FAR from being monotheistic…and is non-religious in nature (in other words not Wiccan-based) and (c) i will be continuing on this path for the rest of my life…if you wish to know more about me personally, feel free to look up my FB and G+ profiles and related pages…you may get a surprise lmao

            i am also quite aware of the humility levels of the majority of people of both past and present whom we all at least recognize if not respect as having wisdom.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Then honestly, if you’re a non-religious former Christian why are you even here? If you’re some “spiritual” type, why come to a pagan blog and talk about what Christians should do? You can believe whatever you want, but you still seem to be quite acculturated to monotheism and it’s assumptions about the world and universe, even it’s style of language. Which is not an insult, most people remain that way, but there is little point in denying it.

            It has nothing to do with humility. It’s anachronism. There is more than enough ahistorical ridiculous among both pagans and the spiritual crowd. I wish I could organize a historian bootcamp just to try and get people to avoid the basic rookie mistakes. Applying your perspective, knowledge, assumptions, labels, or morality into the past is a BIG one.

          • Ali Ducharme

            i am here because the road i am now on, one has to go through the door of paganism to find it…and there are many paths to look at and explore before finding it and of course i’m still acculturated to Christianity/culture…you don’t easily put as many years as i was on that path aside and adopt “pagan” acculturation in a day or even a year…or even a decade or longer, depending on one’s circumstances etc. i do not take it as an insult, but as an analysis, which i believe that was your intent? i neither deny nor apologize for it…it is my personal history and experiences

            all spiritual and/or religious journeys are just that…a journey…one step at a time, and if one is lucky, they come across a staff to help them up the mountains and/or through meadows and rivers as a tool or as a way to rest a wee bit when there is nothing to rest on otherwise, for some their path is short, for me it is, has been and will be a very very long walk…and have a sack in which to put food, perhaps beverage and acorns into for both physical, mental and spiritual consumption and in good times have a place to setup a fire for all the purposes needed (hopefully with water handy) and to lay at night if not in a comfy bed, then somewhere away from the crowd to lay upon the hopefully soft earth, feel the grass beneath and contemplate the stars above and listen to the trees and the stones and the animals when they choose to speak, and when they choose interact with those beings some call gods and goddesses…either way, my road leads to stones and oaks and a house of wisdom, protected and taught by the dragons…is that pagan sounding enough for you? for that is all related to my road which i have been on since 1997, thank you very much. if you wish to know more, then you can research me…i have very little time these days for reading non-study-related posts and entering into discussions…which i dreadfully miss, but that’s part of the cost of my studies for now…i have much still to unlearn and re-educate myself…i do not know everything there is to know…but i still seek still study and still learn…as any one of the oak would

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            I’m honestly offended by your “does that sound pagan enough”. Do you think all of use are a bunch of hippies? LOTR fans? I am not some stereotype you read in a book. You consistently have been trying to force people into roles that fit within whatever confused ideology you have. The “All religious paths” bit is more of the same.

            I say this as non-offensively as possible, but the “re-educating” you’re doing seems to be from VERY unreliable sources, based on your comments here.

          • Ali Ducharme

            well let’s see you attacked me for being too christian acculturated and now you’re offended when i respond with not only my response but my feelings? and know i don’t…and neither am i a stereotype so stop responding to me as such, or my responses will be in kind…
            you know absolutely nothing about me, my life or my education, past present or future…and now you have offended me….

            although i invite your feedback, because sometimes others can see what one cannot even if looking in a mirror, but your opinion of me, and my source of information, i could care less about…opinions are like armpits, sometimes they smell good and sometimes they stink…and your opinion of me stinks really bad…you are making assumptions based on ONLY my words…so if you really want me to take your opinion of me seriously…go do your research, Gearoid…while i do mine…

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            My opinion of you stinks to you, so therefore I am wrong? Never before have I seen such a ridiculous statement. That entire first paragraph is incomprehensible. I’m not sure if you’re confused, or simply obfuscating, but you FURTHER entrenched my opinion that you’re heavily acculturated to monotheist norms with your little “dragons and woods” bit up there. I don’t see how you think that is being “pagan” in any meaningful sense.

            Yes, I’ve said I’m making assumptions based on your words. What else should I respond to?

            I’ve done quite a lot of research. Here’s something for you, since you seem to like analogies. What use is a book to a person that can’t read? Any fool can write a book, or put something on the internet. The thing people are rarely taught is how to check it, how to check for charlatans and fools. You’ve provided no evidence you understand how to look out for such people.

            In fact, you’ve used language that consistently mirrors the language used by pseudo-academics and cult leaders. That is warning sign to me. Whether that is what you’re reading, I can’t tell, because you’ve barely made a single factually verifiable statement here. Rather you’ve relied on intelligent sounding language and appeals to emotion. Which once again, is generally considering a warning sign. The statements you have made have betrayed a lack of background knowledge, except for the early bit of Christianity, which also contained some very odd statements (remove Jewish influence from Christianity? Let’s just say no matter how foolish I think you are I’m not willing to group you with the only other people I’ve ever seen suggest that).

            Do not trust everything you research. I don’t know what your qualifications are, and you’ve presented none, but it’s easy enough for anyone to get misled.

          • Ali Ducharme

            it’s becoming obvious to me Geariod, that you have much more knowledge of and experience with rhetorical, logic-based arguments of/for debating and discussion than i do. Seems too my desire to leave the need for Apologetics behind when I left the Church isn’t going to happen anytime soon either.

            And my earlier remark about research was in regards to finding out about me…not research in general. And yes I do know how to check, and have done so.. As for your warning signs, I thank you for pointing those out to me…they make both a good reminder and an external mirror. Wish I had seen this particular comment of yours sooner. But seeing Franklin’s comments did help in making me aware of what you’ve really been trying to say as well as saying here.

            not remove the Jewish influence per se, but the pseudo-Jewish affectations by Gentiles which the Church was supposed to have removed (see Acts of the Apostles for my reference points….story of Peter’s visit to I believe it was Corinth). Thanks for not doing so.

            As for my qualifications and credentials, why present any? For myself, I feel it is enough, for all of you who don’t know me personally, what i’ve told you already. I am who I am now at this moment. I am the culmination of my past, but I am not the person I was in the past. I do not wish to be labeled by it, until i feel/sense that the timing is right to present them. I do not wish for the failures and mistakes of my past to color or shadow anyone’s perception of who i am today. Those who do know me, should understand those reasons. I do not really have any titles before (except for if i ever get the honor of doing a wedding for a couple) nor letters after my name. At this time, as you and others have indirectly pointed out, I am a poor example of the Academy belong to…so why color the image of that or my teacher, when it’s not his fault…he’s responsible to teach, i’m the one with the responsibility to learn, and i have much to unlearn and learn :S

            If you or others feel you absolutely need to validate my identity and credentials, and not respect my wishes as well as oath-bound nature issues regarding some things, my legal name is Alice S Ducharme. My ordination is through Universal Life Church/Modesto, CA USA (i’d have to look up the date)
            much info on me can be found here in my About section: http://www.facebook.com/aliducharme
            other info can be found on G+ by looking up Lady Light Shadow.

          • Ali Ducharme

            To obfuscate counters the process of getting the answers I’m either seeking consciously or that i just need to know or being able to communicate effectively. Just like faking it in order to fit in is neither cool, good nor me. I do have major holes in my education that my previous teacher tried to fill in and teach me…some stuff i got, some stuff i didn’t at the time but got now, but still missing a whole lot of stuff. The reason I use “intelligent sounding language” is because I am intelligent…just slow on uptake at times…sometimes long times lol

            I’m curious…what group are you referring to? That was my own theory based on conclusions made on the Biblical research I’d done myself using different translations of the Bible, an interlinear, Strong’s Concordance and other valid research tools.

            I don’t trust every source when researching…you can end up in jail or dead like several groups have ended up. Jail and I only get acquainted when I’m visiting a friend and i want to keep it that way…and it isn’t time for me to pass through the veil…not by a long shot. And i’m aware of other negative scenarios that could occur if misled.

          • Ali Ducharme

            the article interested me for many reasons. the reasons for the lack of expected progress of moving from monotheistic to polytheistic premises given the amount of time on this path are 1. Hermit-like lifestyle, 2. life circumstances, 3. i’m slow. I have no intention of remaining this way as long as i don’t lose “me” in the process…Wasn’t aware, especially to the extent you’re saying, of this set of drawbacks. Well if i’m still having issues with this by the time you have that boot camp, if/when you have it, would you please give me a buzz lol My patience level with the process is not always the best…lol

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I’ll dispute the ‘we are all humans’ claim.

          • Ali Ducharme

            lmao someone always does…some, imho, are not fully genetically human but mixed. many of which are feared, some for no reason, others in addition to those are seen as “devil or demon spawn”
            some are awakened to their full natures at birth and the lucky ones raised by those like them
            others don’t awaken til much later, with the awakening complicating the hell out of the life that was built prior to it.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            After this statement I shudder to think what sort of sources it is you are studying.

            I honestly cannot think of any way to respond to this.

          • Ali Ducharme

            please note: the abbreviation imho…it means “in my humble opinion” which means, i am not stating it as fact, merely as my opinion…and opinions can sometimes be initially based on conjecture or sometimes on based on past teachings which are still not fully validated nor invalidated…solely opinion…in this case, based on my personal experiences…(prior to meeting my current teacher, btw)

            sometimes, silence is the best response

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Sitting silent while someone spreads easily falsifiable nonsense runs counter to the training of just about any type of academic.

            It does nothing but support people spreading such things, who often do it with considerably less innocence than you seem to show.

          • Ali Ducharme

            i understand and actually agree with your points…yeah well i’m not innocent in some areas, but i don’t intentionally spread bs…and what i know as fact or have been led to believe is fact, i state it as such…what is conjecture or opinion or experience, i state what’s aplicable…there is too much i don’t know and what i do know is more than some but less than many

          • Ali Ducharme

            how are you meaning the term “easily falsifiable”? do you mean misrepresenting theories as facts or providing false documentation or what, Gearoid?
            connotations or differences in various usage of terms tends to mess me up at times, and i’d rather make sure i’m on the same page here

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            I mean presenting something without any evidence, that is easily proven baseless with evidence in existence.

            Your little thing on genetics up there for example, unless you meant that some people have traces of Neaderthal and Denisovan DNA, which I doubt.

          • Ali Ducharme

            thanks very much for clarifying that for me Geardoid…to my knowledge, although some groups are asserting this or that about their theories of modified DNA, I am not referring to Neanderthal DNA…and not acquainted with the Denisovan DNA (am not a scientist)but you’re right in that my genetics theory would require scientific evidence…evidence that to my knowledge doesn’t currently exist, just like I don’t see how that group could prove their theoretic assertions. :( All I’ve heard for certain about the demographics of what i’m talking about, is that there are studies going on…and from what i understand, that will be a very long process of research

          • Ali Ducharme

            i understand one aspect of linguistics (i believe that’s the right term?), and that is this: for communication to be effective one or more of the parties have to change their wording, inflection etc so that all parties can understand each other. As I’m the relative newcomer on-board, the burden lies primarily on me to make myself understood to all of you…am I right? However much I put effort into that, I am not going to fake it, cos that’s just not me. And in the process, i’ll do my best not to come across as pompous she-ass…however, the misconceptions you have of me and what i write, which you apologized for somewhere here (accepted), is based on one fact: you perceive me as wanting only one truth…one truth is good, more truth is better, all truth is what i want…whether that happens or not is something else. I love and thrive in diversity…my biggest pet peeve with many of my countrymen is that they want to make what’s supposed to be analogous to a beef stew into split pee soup (misspelling intended)

            Okay…had to look up anachronism to fully comprehend what you were meaning…agreed…i always have a problem with time-related issues (including getting homework done lol) and unfortunately in some cases past life recall etc is not considered clear evidence yet. Understood about the biases…now to just gotta figure out how to stop doing it then figure out what biases i still have left to deal with to get beyond that. i had to take the hard road didn’t I? lmao

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I’m not fighting for truth. I’m fighting for territory.

          • Ali Ducharme

            that’s honest and understandable…i can relate to that

      • JezabelleDisreali

        Their godling? By now, their deity is fully god, and there is nothing wrong with it or anything we can do about it. While I can understand your rage at the Church, by saying we must fight back and push their god back to the desert we stoop to their level.

        This is something we cannot do. We cannot afford to resist in any violent manner. It is counter productive. If we are to resist, it must be peacefully. Do not go the services, state that you disagree with it and then provide logic rather than inflammatory rhetoric when asked why.

        You fail to realize that you are a representative of your religion while on the internet. And yes, this is a Pagan blog but others read it too. Do you really want what they see to be your invective? And for that to be what they think of when they hear the word Pagan? If so, then yes. We will have a fight on our hands, which we do not need and should attempt to avoid.

        • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

          Invective? It’s certainly rude. On a scale of one to ten it hits about a 3, tops though.

          You’re over-reacting more than I think he was.

          Also, not all of us are pacifists, or believe in “turning the other cheek” so to speak. There is honor in an honest fight.

          • Wyrd Wiles

            *There is honor in an honest fight.*

            Indeed, but there’s a reason the All Father didn’t lunge into battle every time something rankled him.
            Knee-jerk reactions, and a chip on ones shoulder won’t get you very far. Choose your battles.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            You’re making assumptions you shouldn’t be making. I suggest you step back from them, because you’re getting dangerously close to insulting me with them.

            Also, last a checked an unkind word is hardly “lunging into battle”.

            Further, you’ve got the wrong pantheon for me, so your comment, while understandable, is not particularly relevant to me.

          • Wyrd Wiles

            Apologies, I’m a Heathen. I put it into the best context I could figure out in the spur of the moment. My comment on the “Lunging” was less about you and more about Lēoht Sceadusawol.
            My goal was not to offend, but to debate. I understand the points that you and Leoht are making. Trust me, I’ve HAD those feelings. As I said above, I’m not urging pacifism, I’m urging reasoned response.

          • JezabelleDisreali

            Honor there may be in the honest fight, but it doesn’t mean you’ll win. Or if you win, it won’t always cast you in a good light. Restraint now is worth it later. This will either fail, which is no matter of concern. Or it will open to the door to a conversation about the Christian occult and how it is similar to some Pagan practices, which isn’t a bad thing.

            I would say that it is invective. Calling a deity, regardless of whether or not you recognize it, a godling when it isn’t is critical and insulting to both god and followers. Especially when that same logic and language could be applied to us, given that very few Pagans worship their local gods we’re the easier set to displace.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I’m not a pacifist, nor does my particular path preach tolerance.

          Some violence is good (but violence is not always physical.)

          Is Herakles a god or a demigod? How can Jesus be seen as any different?

          • Wyrd Wiles

            We’re not looking for pacifism, we’re looking for reason. We’re not expecting acceptance, we’re expecting understanding/comprehension. Nobody is telling you to bend over and take it, nobody is asking you to agree with it. All we’re saying is that if you’re going to do something about it then it should be well reasoned and planned, not emotional and violent.

            Make a case, change some minds, open some eyes. An angry hate speech doesn’t accomplish anything constructive.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            You obviously misunderstand what I am doing.

            It is pretty basic psychology and politics. I am venting. It is (effectively) harmless to do such in a place like this.

            At the same time I attract those of like mind. Once the initial anger/outrage subsides, we can then look forwards to how best to challenge and combat this. But that is for tomorrow.

            For now I rage like Þunor, then I can plot like Ƿōden before acting like Tīw.

          • Wyrd Wiles

            I…. Well actually that makes sense… It’s not generally how I operate, but I can’t argue with the psychology of it.
            Here’s where I admit to my own biases. I’ve seen that kind of unreasoned ranting used against Pagans (as well as other minority religions) all my life. People really do LISTEN to that. There are those extremists who aren’t just venting, and they’re often have religious credibility which somehow seems to validate their ranting in the eyes of the public.

            It’s a personal… Pet peeve isn’t a strong enough descriptor… of mine.
            So if I really misjudged your remarks, then I apologize. I hope you can understand my concerns, however.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            If I was an extremist, I would be grabbing some petrol and heading to the nearest church. I’m not and I don’t actually condone such an action (it happens to have history dating back to about the year 1200).

            I do feel, however, that something needs to happen to increase Pagan/Heathen visibility in British communities.

            How to fight back, in real, modern terms? Well, I’d advocate a more complex, multi-layered ‘attack’, utilising both glamour bombing campaigns and also a visible Pagan outreach programme.

          • JezabelleDisreali

            You make a huge mistake by comparing Heracles to Jesus. The only similarity that they have is their birth-son a divine father and a mortal mother. While Heracles had cult centers, the method of worship and concepts around the are distinctly different.

            Jesus falls into the son-father-sage set up of a triumvirate god. That alone makes him a god, rather than a demigod. If we further factor in the spread of the religion, and the fact that most prayers go to Jesus the Son, giving him power, he has been bumped up to godhood long ago.

            You don’t have to be a pacifist, or even tolerant. But you do need to play the game. You have to play by their rules so that everything goes in your favor. No matter if it resolves itself early and easily or later and with difficulty you’ll be cast in a good light. Which is something we very much need.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I don’t make a mistake comparing Herakles to Yeshua.

            I just have a difference of opinion on what makes a god. (It isn’t prayer, in my opinion.)

    • Ali Ducharme

      also, going back to the basics and removing the paganism from your Christian practices and teachings…would go a long way for those of us not on the Christian path to respect yours…cut all which is not of the Christ out of everything in your churches and practices…and leave us to ours, living in peaceful coexistence…

      • Ali Ducharme

        also, which other than the historical significance and the literature of the Bible, remove what is Jewish from the Gentile sections of the Body, and leave those to the Messianic Jews

    • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

      That would be “Yehoshua (or more likely Yeshua) bar Yosef” and it’s mashiach, not meshiach. If you’re gonna throw his name around so much, you should at least get it right. Ye’hushua is not a name, and never was; and what is that random apostrophe in there even supposed to mean? Also, all of your comments are incoherent.

      • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

        I’m going to be a bit more of a language nerd here, but don’t you traditionally use the definitive article with the word not separate? Say “HaMashiach”? Unless Hebrew is much more different than Arabic “Ha” on it’s own is completely meaningless, it’s just a prefix.

        • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

          Correct, in Hebrew the article is directly attached to the beginning of the word. Interestingly, in Aramaic, it’s different and the definite article is made via a change to the end of the word; so, in Aramaic, ‘the Messiah’ would be m’shicha.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            Huh. I’m going to wonder about that for the rest of the day. That’s a fairly different grammatical change for Arabic and Hebrew not to have, though they are all closely related.

            Then again, at least some Palestinian A’miyya (informal) Arabic sometimes negates a word in the same way, which is usually done with a word before the verb. I wonder if that’s related to Aramaic influence?

        • Ali Ducharme

          idk i’ve seen it used both ways

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            I don’t know where. For the record, “Ha” is meaningless on it’s own, and every time I’ve seen Hebrew transliterated, either in linguistic literature, historical literature, or even modern Israeli papers, it has been connected.

          • Ali Ducharme

            my spelling and grammatical placements may be atrocious the past however many hours its been since i joined this discussion not to mention faults in my comments and whatever…however, with what seems to me to be a high level (defo higher level than my own) of semiotics and of linguistics and discourse analysis (?) going on here, most of you would be shocked at what i’ve seen that drives me nutsy here stateside. and you think i’m badly prepared etc lol

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        Not my area of expertise, but I’ve seen it written Yeshua ben Yusuf.

        Ignoring the first and last name, the connecting word is of interest. Is there a difference between ben and bar?

        • http://www.forgingthesampo.com/ Kauko

          ben is Hebrew for ‘son’ (or in this case ‘son of’), whereas bar is the Aramaic equivalent. It’s a very typical difference between Hebrew and Aramaic that the usual Semitic n’s become r’s in Aramaic via rhotacization.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Cheers, always good to know the details.

          • Ali Ducharme

            Much like the difference between “Mac” usually of the Scots and “Mc” of the Irish on surnames

    • Ali Ducharme

      to clarify any confusion…the post was related to how the Christians should or could change…and that’s how i approached it…as though speaking to those in that religion

  • Patrick Wolff

    There’s been a small but persistent trend that doesn’t get much attention toward “Celtic Christianity” among disaffected Evangelicals and Catholics since the 1980s (there was actually an older one too, around the late 19th/early 20th c., same time as the Druid revival). This sounds very similar to me. The usual themes are mysticism, the presence of God in the natural world, and spiritual disciplines/practices (sometimes with a New Age, sometimes even pagan, bent). For example: http://www.faithandworship.com/Praying_through_the_Celtic_Year.htm

    • Franklin_Evans

      Can you or anyone reading this recommend a decent account of the actual Celtic Christian Church? I’ve seen snippets about it, but not much breadth or depth. I’d be grateful for it.

      • Patrick Wolff

        There might be something better that’s more recent, but the two best I’m familiar with would be Brendan Lehane, Early Celtic Christianity, or for something shorter, Ted Olsen, Christianity and Celts. The images in Olsen’s book are incredible. Both note that sources on Celtic Christianity are limited, so modern versions of it are essentially reconstructions (another similarity to paganism).

  • Franklin_Evans

    Wow. I missed a lot in the last few hours. Last I checked this thread it was just Lēoht’s passionate rant at the top.

    Lēoht, I call it a rant, because that’s what I would do in your shoes. It’s a good rant. It came out a bit piecemeal, but a forum like this sort of makes that unavoidable.

    My reaction — and I tried to read the rest of the thread, but I got bogged down in the wrestling match with Ali (a bit on that at the end) — can be summarized thus: It goes back to the core tenet of Christianity that defines its theological and emotional superiority to all other religions. I for one will not trust this as far as I can spit, and I would even consider joining an intervention organization to try to dissuade semi- and almost-pagans from buying their thin veneer over a very longstanding arrogance.

    Infiltrate, obtain their trust, lead them out and away. It’s a very old strategy, one that still works rather well… or they wouldn’t keep going back to it.

    Ali, I believe I saw your difficulty right away. Either English is not your language of birth, or you have consciously chosen a writing style that presents an unrelenting tone of formal arrogance. I actually disagree that it was pompous, but you clearly made an heroic effort to achieve pompous.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Yeah, ranting is a good way of venting. ;)

      • Franklin_Evans

        Everything I learned about venting started with a Polish HVAC contractor (I’m going for laughs, but it’s true) and honed on a news group called alt.callahans.

        You rant exceptionally well. So well that I have to stop and think twice about whether I agree with your points. :D

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          That’s somewhat the idea. ;)

    • Ali Ducharme

      I apologize ahead of time for this not being brief and concise lol

      American English IS my language of birth (and have tried to keep up with the idiomatic changes of the Queen’s English used in the majority of the rest of the native English-speaking world).

      And as for my personal writing style, it is neither my intent to be arrogant nor pompous…although the more I am personally attacked (as opposed to critiques of what I write) the more formal I tend to get, and will give back what is sent at me in kind (that’s part of my bitchy nature which i’m working to control–and/or eliminate–as it’s not appropriate for a Witch nor a soon-to-be Druidess). I have a bad tendency of using complex-compound sentences as well…working on that as well. One aspect of my writing style, however, will NOT change, and that is my use of some of the old place names and people groups when it comes to the lands and people of the UK and Ireland. It is my link to my genealogical as well as spiritual-religious heritage, as well as my way of honoring my ancestors. If you don’t like it, there’s a mythological horse of sorts you can ride if you wish…hope you can swim though lol

      Conscious choice is what I have to use at times to bring balance to my writing due to influences I am around…I am one who picks up styles (and in speaking, accents, something which may or may not be attributable to my empathic nature) quite easily, yet going back to my natural style is not always that easy or simple to achieve at times. Plus, my natural informal style would not be acceptable in this sort of setting…so at this time, it’s all about finding balance, just as in the rest of my life.

      Regardless of what any of you may think of my current training, I’m having to not only learn my Arts (though having been on the path since 1997, I am only just under the 2 year mark of studying under my current teacher), but to also return to an academic mindset and culture after many years of the street mindset and sub-culture making a double re-learning process. That process beginning MANY decades after I left college. And I’m finding that much of what I was taught, not only while in the Christian faith (one of my many reasons for leaving that religion, you all have done a good job of listing many, though not all, of the rest of my personal reasons lol) but also by some of my former Pagan teachers and what I learned on my own between teachers, has been very inaccurate.

      And Franklin, to be able to summarize everything that is wrong with Christianity within one very short sentence…that to me is amazing. At times, I’m not that bad a writer, but my self-editing definitely needs a wee bit of work lol To be brief and concise is my goal (one I rarely achieve in prose lol)…but back to the subject of your summary:

      You are quite correct, and in that, is another reason for me leaving that religion. And that strategy you mentioned is quite excellent for use by any group, not just the Christians. I am too tired to determine whether your mention of that was solely of fact or for an inference to be applied to my case. However, let me say this, and time will prove it true: I am not an infiltrator and I have no desire to lead someone into a religion that has its members leave their brains and gifts at the door (even among the more charismatic groups, that is still true) and uses fear to both bring in and keep in people for their congregations, as well as more terroristic behaviors towards those of any other religious or spiritual path. And as I stated earlier in this reply, all of you mentioned other aspects which are very wrong with that religion and many, if not most, of its members. I came to agree with Gandhi: “I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians.”

      I want to thank you Franklin, for stating things as you did, as a moderator of the discussion, in a non-confrontational manner, and breaking down some of what Gearoid was trying to say to me to a level I could understand the points which you made. I really appreciated you doing that. Had you not done so, this site would have probably ended up with many others I have had to remove myself from. A task which would have saddened me, as I really like the setup and the discussion here.

      • Franklin_Evans

        Ali, I do not desire and rarely accept apologies in online, text-based forums. I’m a visceral person, and lack of actual contact leaves me very skeptical about how much I actually understand of what another is trying to say. Of course, I post my share of knee-jerk reactions, but that’s mostly to reassure others that there is an actual human typing these words. Secret identities are very difficult to maintain. ;-)

        Sometimes my intuition does serve me well. I saw in your writing a fellow traveler, in the takes-one-to-know-one sense, if not a kindred spirit (something I never assume). I still get similar reactions to my writing. I tend to just accept the blame/credit for any misunderstanding and make a reasonable attempt to clear the air. Sometimes a polite wave and walking away (from the thread, not the forum) is the best choice.

        Let’s return to the regularly scheduled topic here. I have not yet met the Christian congregation that doesn’t maintain, however well-intended they might be, a strong sub-text of wanting the rest of the world to be just like them. I have some inside experience, as it were, with some local churches inviting my production of “A Winter Solstice Singing Ritual” into their premises. They’ve ranged from the UUA minister who was a Wiccan High Priestess before entering seminary, every performance “sold out” with congregation members needing little encouragment, to the United Methodist minister who brought us in several times but rarely convinced members of the congregation to attend a performance.

        The UUA experience is my personal benchmark. Theirs is epitome of pluralistic acceptance, of looking for reasons to celebrate instead of question. The Christian churches, including the most liberal ones that I’ve encountered, continue to just be uncomfortable with us at some level. Some are better at masking it than others.

        • Ali Ducharme

          Thanks, and i believe you/your intuition is serving you well on both counts…but time and contact will tell if we’re both correct.

          That’s why I’m always me…have enough path related secrets and clergy-related confidentiality to deal with…doing the shadow thing is not my usual mode…and i am in my usual mode here. the reasons for my reticence of credentials etc, are very personal…i prefer having people judge me for who i am, my character and integrity etc, not what i am.

        • Ali Ducharme

          as for the suggestion of me leaving the thread…is it okay if i just do the best to go into what i call stfu mode please? i’ve been learning a lot from everyone here…and this still is a topic that interests me…

          and thanks everyone for putting up with me :)

  • lunasgathering

    This sounds like the co-opting of Pagan holidays to convert by choice or by force all over again. Christianity as the center of a “pagan” church or at home in our culture just sounds like conversion tactics that, when ignored by most, will get more insistent. They fear becoming the minority and losing power. And when formerly powerful Christians lose the ability to control the majority, they will take back that power by any means necessary. They prove time and again they are willing to die and kill for their faith. Religious freedom is only for those in the “correct” religion.

    • Ali Ducharme

      Sadly, I have to agree, with my only hope being that if/when it comes down to that, you will be proved wrong about how they take back power, if they succeed at doing so. I live in reality, not fantasy-land, so the odds of you being proved wrong in that prophecy are slim to none. However, it would be great, if in this day and age, no blood was shed and they let their God decide the future of His Church…but that history precedes the birth of that religion well into its Hebrew roots…long before the modern Jewish calendar began.

  • Sart

    Hello
    I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed at a lot of the comments here. A lot of people seem to have instantly grabbed at this as proof that they are being attacked by the Church.
    The Church has a lot to learn from Paganism, and many Church members and leaders are increasingly realising that. Perhaps instead of reacting to this as a threat, perhaps it is an opportunity to move beyond a position where your people are saying there is no theological common ground between Christianity and Paganism to recognising that there are actually several issues that we can and often do agree on such as our attitudes to materialism, concern about globalisation, consumerism, and respect for ecology (you would be surprised to know how much many Christians are waking up to the significance of climate change and the duty to be good ‘stewards of the earth’).
    I’ll admit I am coming at this from an opposite perspective to a lot of you, but when I heard about this I was excited that it represented an opportunity to move beyond confrontation and towards a place of mutual respect and engagement. Perhaps I’m a bit overly optimistic.

    • Ali Ducharme

      Since Roman times, there has been an oppositional and confrontational conflict between those of the Christian faith/religion and those of the practices and religions of the Old Ways both then and down through history to modern times. Which, as I stated before, has roots from the history and religion of the Hebrews. Those on the Pagan side refuse to forget the lessons of the past, since it’s still an ever-present danger of becoming our future again.

    • Ali Ducharme

      However, I do agree with you on some points, and I for one would not be surprised, but then, I used to be a Christian….but the points the others made are valid. Cooperation would be great…when it comes to community issues…but i’ve already stated my opinion on how best the Church could change…just as an individual’s life changes start from within, so should institutions such as the Church…inventory, clean house get back to basics within and then work on joint issues…don’t try to unmake or remake the past…just change what can be changed now…

      • Ali Ducharme

        Let the God of the Church run the Church…and let ours deal with us

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Disappointed?

      Tell you what, I will start respecting Christianity when it becomes polytheistic. How’s that for compromise?

      • Ali Ducharme

        lol i doubt that would work…lmao although there are some groups who feel it is a polytheistic religion…

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          If we ignore the triune principle for a moment, all I am really asking is that they acknowledge that other people follow different gods, rather than being deluded/confused/mislead by (or actively involved with) Satan.

          It’s not like I am saying that YHWH (and co.) doesn’t exist.

          • GearoidMacConfhiaclaigh

            You want monolatry, not monotheism.

            I’d say it’s actually quite possible, since if you read the Bible many of the older authors were henotheists or monolatric. It is part of the tradition, though a part most are ignorant of and the few who do know want to keep covered up.

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Exactly!

            (Learning new words is always handy. A bit of reasoned looking, after being inspired by the term ‘monolatry’, and I find I am an alatrist.)

          • Ali Ducharme

            and there are many others, including myself, that agree and are asking the very same thing.

    • kenofken

      We can have mutual respect and engagement, but I think the way to do that isn’t to try to paper over vast theological differences nor to ape each other’s cultural and ritual trappings to look more “accessible” to the other. Imitation is not always flattery.

      The Anglicans in this case are at high risk of falling into the New Age trap, which is addressing questions of substance with style. Rather than fishing around for the right marketing campaign or ritual motifs, they need to do the deep work to figure out what is the core of their belief system, and then build from that, with a totally blank slate but with one final yardstick: Is this authentic to our core beliefs? They need to accept that some, or even most of their losses, are not due to style problems but to fewer people believing in what they have to offer, or perhaps not having any sense that they have a real core “brand identity.”

      It’s possible they could learn some practical organizational things from us about how to run a fun, safe, participatory gathering like PSG or any of a number of other fine events. At the same time, they need to realize that what makes things work for us they way they do in totality arises from OUR core beliefs and ethics. It is not something akin to a few lines of code that they can copy and paste into their own template and expect it to work the same.

      Incidentally, some pagans are at risk of falling into this same trap. Some (though not all by a long shot), of the interest in getting institutions and congregational forms for pagan religion is rooted in a desire to make us more “plug and play” friendly for the mainstream society, to make us more Christen-esque so as to make us more politically and culturally accessible. The tradeoffs in either direction are simply not worth the gains. Be authentic to who and what you are and engage the other sides with respect, and we’ll get good results within and among our various tribes.

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        You can say many things about the CofE, but they do know how to throw parties.

  • Sart

    Hello
    I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed at a lot of the comments here. A lot of people seem to have instantly grabbed at this as proof that they are being attacked by the Church.
    The Church has a lot to learn from Paganism, and many Church members and leaders are increasingly realising that. Perhaps instead of reacting to this as a threat, perhaps it is an opportunity to move beyond a position where your people are saying there is no theological common ground between Christianity and Paganism to recognising that there are actually several issues that we can and often do agree on such as our attitudes to materialism, concern about globalisation, consumerism, and respect for ecology (you would be surprised to know how much many Christians are waking up to the significance of climate change and the duty to be good ‘stewards of the earth’).
    I’ll admit I am coming at this from an opposite perspective, but when I heard about this I was excited that it represented an opportunity to move beyond a position of being in opposition to each other to something more positive. Perhaps I’m a little too optimistic.

    • Ali Ducharme

      it double-posted Sart

    • Ali Ducharme

      I had a prophecy once (which is part of the reasons for my interest in this) during my Cristo-Pagan days, for which this would be a great step towards achieving what is necessary for the good part of that prophecy to come about.

  • Ali Ducharme

    its growing here stateside too…but this time not from strength as in the past other than politically, but from fear

  • http://enondragonart.com/ Kelly NicDruegan

    Maybe this is a chance for Pagans to quietly infiltrate and “convert” Christians. Considering the Church of Englans also venerates many of the same saints as Catholics do, and how many of those saints are actually “domesticated” Pagan gods maybe this could be a perfect opportunity to re-introduce veneration of traditional Celtic and Saxon gods to the general British population. Turn some of their own past covert conversion techniques back on them.

    Stranger things have been known to happen…

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      I’d rather see Heathen/Pagan street preachers (and the building of temples, but that’s a more long term ideal.)

      • http://enondragonart.com/ Kelly NicDruegan

        Don’t know about the street preachers because I find most anyone yammering at me as I try to go about my business highly annoying (then again that could come from living in a city that is more tourist trap from April to November) but I definitely would like to see more temples to the old gods being built!

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I don’t mean the “Have you got a moment to speak about the Ēse?” variety, more the standing-on-a-soapbox kind.

          • http://enondragonart.com/ Kelly NicDruegan

            Yeah…. it’s the standing on the soap box kind I was talking about as well. Get enough of that here in Salem, MA from the wacko-fundies all summer yapping about demons, hellfire, and admonishing people to “come to Jesus” (triple the number during October’s Haunted Happenings… with bullhorns no less!). The idea of Pagan street preachers adding to that kind of noise pollution just sets my teeth on edge.

            And the first Pagan “missionary” to ring my doorbell wanting to know if I have found the Great Goddess is going to be told to frack off just like the Mormons and the Jehovah’s Witnesses

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Rather than sermonising, how about if they simply told stories from their respective mythologies?

          • Ali Ducharme

            like an Eisteddfod?

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Similar, yes. (But the national Welsh one s of little interest to me, since that is entirely secular now.)

          • Ali Ducharme

            well i guess that’s the fruit of Iolo’s deceit…that and splitting the Druid community forever….or at least til someone’s willing to fix it…

          • Ali Ducharme

            well since i don’t know a thing about you, hell not even sure i’d pronounce your surname correctly lol, won’t even take a guess where that originates from lol, but if you’re not Druidic or Bardic, if there’s a word for a storytelling circle other than Eisteddfod (?)…start your own whether you are or not you could still use that word i guess lol

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            The word is fine, it’s just the National Welsh Eisteddfod that annoys me. (I lack tolerance.)

          • Ali Ducharme

            normally i have tolerance and some patience, but atm i’m close to bankrupt in both…perhaps a good rest might revive both in me lol

  • John H Halstead

    I would like to see a Christian denomination that took up Carl Jung’s call “to transform Christ back into the soothsaying god of the vine, which he was, and in this way absorb those ecstatic instinctual forces of Christianity for the one purpose of making the cult and the sacred myth what they once were — a drunken feast of joy where man regained the ethos and holiness of an animal” and “bring to fruition its hymn of love, the agony and the ecstasy over the dying and resurgent god, the mystic power of the wine, the awesome anthropophagy of the Last Supper”. But I don’t know if it could fairly be called Christian after such a transformation.

  • John W. Morehead

    Here is a link to a post by Steve Hollinghurst for his perspective on the story and why The Telegraphy piece is inaccurate. It should at least be considered in the mix: http://onearthasinheaven.blogspot.com/2013/06/exposing-church-of-england-plan-to.html?spref=fb

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      Interesting to see how he lays it out. However, he is still an evangelist and would rather see people becoming Christian. As such, I don’t trust him.

      • John W. Morehead

        Hopefully this is an area where Christians and Pagans can dialogue. Simply because adherents of some religious traditions believe that persuasion and evangelism is an important part of their religious pathway does not necessarily mean these adherents should not or cannot be trusted. So long as full disclosure is provided, and they engage themselves with civility and respect, perhaps trust can be possible. I would urge Pagans to look at Steve’s work with Pagans and New Spirituality adherents beyond this to see whether trust is warranted.

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          I’m not going to trust someone who has made the statement (implicit or explicit) that they desire to see the whole world following their religion/god(s) and that they would like to help make it happen.

          Simply because I am not a very trusting person.

  • ChristopherBlackwell

    I do not much care what Christians do as long as it does not affect me, my right to believe or practice my religion. May I point out the biggest reason Pagans lost to Christians was our history of fighting among ourselves. Note that we commonly do that even now as new Pagans and Heathens. Divide and conquer was the Christian way. That is still our greatest danger, our constant fighting and back stabbing.

    Also remember once the Christian church was the official religion of the Roman Empire it became possible to Christians to attack pagan temples and rob them of their wealth while killing the Pagan Priests and Priestesses. This made the early Church quite wealthy. That money allowed them to afford to bribe Pagan chiefs and kings into Christianity and then fiance their wars against the Pagan neighbors, with the new Christian king and the Church dividing the spoils. Without Pagans and Heathens willing to be bribed and turn on other Pagan and Heathens. the Christians would have never been able to take over western Europe.

    Once again our greatest danger is not the Christians but the treachery of our own people. Stop that and there is nothing the Christian can do that will stop us. If they could stop us, they would when we were just forming again. Their attempts proved to be too pitiable to stop us.

    As a certain cartoon character said, “We have met the enemy and it is us!”

    So do we modern Pagans and Heathens learn this time or do we repeat the mistakes of our ancestors. Can we learn from our are ancestor’s past mistakes. Without those mistakes we would have a Pagan Heathen world and Christianity would have never been more than a minor religion.

    As the Heathens say, We are our deeds. We are responsible for everything we think, do and say. It is long past time to take full responsibility for ourselves and stop pointing figures of blame on other people. Blame has never solved a problem or kept a people from failing themselves.

    Now back to the bunkers while brick a bracks start coming my way. [Grin] But I will always speak what I believe to be true. Are the new Pagans and Heathens wise enough to survive in the modern world? If we are not, then the Christian will whip us again. If we are wise enough then the Christians are of no danger to a brave and wise people, after all they are losing big numbers themselves and they are also their own worse enemy, not us whom they blame for their failing.

    Survival is all about the ability to adapt and adapt fast. Our ancestors faced massive changes in nature and climate during their existence several times, just as we do now. Their failure was their constant in fighting. Is that ours as well? We don’t have to be the same, we must be independent, not homogenized. But we should be able to work together to at least guarantee our survival of our religions in a modern world. Right now our numbers are very small. Power comes with numbers.

    Personally I am a solitary and not good with group politics, but I can work with people of any of our many traditions and religions for our mutual survival and the development of our religions to create a firm foundation for our descendants to build on. I would hope that there are many others. I will not interfere with what you believe or practice nor will I allow others to interfere with what I believe or practice, but I will use what meager talents that I have for the common good.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      In the modern world, words are the weapons of choice and politics is the battlefield. As such, to have influence, organisation is needed. I am not suggesting that one Pagan church is needed, more that many are, of the various different religions and divergent denominations. They these organisations can come together to exert mass pressure.

      Perhaps evangelism is needed, It is a powerful weapon in the modern world.

      • Franklin_Evans

        I mentally toy with the idea of a sort of evangelism that focuses on our statutory rights — I tend to forget that you are in the UK, but I wonder if this is as relevant there — and become an anti-evangelist in message if not in style.

        It has long been my view that the core concept and belief of Christian evangelism is un-American. It violates the spirit (ahem, all my puns intended) of the religion clause of the First Amendment, and in our history has violated it in practice over long periods of time.

        • Ali Ducharme

          I disagree in part…the core concept and belief of evangelism is as American as offering or being open to offering any religion. And as so, is covered in the religion clause of our First Amendment rights. However, I do agree that certain aspects of American evangelists’ practice of it certainly have been and are a violation and increasingly so…
          would be nice if they’d realize that if they wanted to call the USA any type of country as it was founded…the term Masonic comes to mind lol

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          Only form of evangelism I’m really interesting is the telling of the stories of the gods.

      • Ali Ducharme

        I would agree that organisation is or might be needed (for I am only aware of a few larger groups past that of my local area), especially to link with those sects, like Wicca, who have no central authority. However, to use evangelism would violate the essence of one of our core practices based on our beliefs, and that is, the principle and practice of those who are seeking will find what is seeking them and they will connect with whichever of the paths, traditions, sects or designs that will meet what the Powers-That-Be wish them to be in. The essence of the sayings, when the student is ready the teacher will appear and when the teacher is ready the student will appear.

        Having been an evangelist in my former path, I find that it is difficult at times to be silent as the stones and share only with those who take the time to get silent enough to listen…just as I have to do in order to learn from the Stones

        • Lēoht Sceadusawol

          There’s nothing in my belief/philosophies that says “Thou shalt not evangelise.”

          Besides, what’s so wrong with sharing the myths and legends of Pre Christian Europe with those people who have not heard them?

          • Ali Ducharme

            Sharing stories, imho, is just that…that can be done at any time, at a place that allows storytelling (libraries are great). That to me is NOT evangelism…it can be a tool of evangelism, but in and of itself is not…even making others aware of classes or personal instruction that are available, is still, like storytelling, not evangelism, but can be a tool of it.

            then go right ahead, and do as you wish, to each his own…feel free to go to the Christian bookstores to lookup their books on How-To-Evangelize lol (unless you still have them in your bookshelves?)

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            If I go to a Christian bookshop, it will be to glamourbomb it.

          • Ali Ducharme

            lmao…and what you gonna have it look like when you’re done with glamming it?

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Oh, I’d be subtle. Just slip ‘calling cards’ with passages from the Poetic Edda into all the books.

          • Ali Ducharme

            roflmao

  • yewtree

    Paganisms and Christianities are so varied that it would be difficult to see how this might be achieved. However, I think they are using “pagan” in the sense of no religion, rather than Pagan in the sense that we mean it. Has anyone actually asked them? It is deeply culturally illiterate of them, anyway.

    Christians should be more LGBT-friendly and more tolerant of other religions and more caring about the environment (though many of them already are all these things). Pagans could perhaps learn from some of the mystical and heretical aspects of Christianity, with techniques such as contemplative prayer and lectio divina, but other than that, I think we should keep the two religions distinct.

    • Lēoht Sceadusawol

      I think a lot of Christians still hold the opinion that anything not focused on YHWH is not religion.

      • Ali Ducharme

        add these and your statement would be true: not “the true” religion

    • Ali Ducharme

      Well perhaps contact with some of the Cristo-Pagan groups and Orders? As a former member of the MOCC (a Druidic Wiccan Order connected to the RDNA), that is one of I believe several Druid Orders that are either Cristo-Pagan/Culdee in their emphasis or have rites/fellowship for the Cristo-Pagans within their Orders/groups

  • harmonyfb

    “The church is training ministers to create “a pagan church where Christianity [is] very much in the centre” to attract spiritual believers.

    I have a fair number of Episcopal priests as friends – their reaction to this story has pretty much been a confused look and “What the hell?” Apparently this memo hasn’t reached the rank and file of the priesthood (of course, this appears to be one random guy’s assessment, and not an actual suggestion from Canterbury, so I’m not surprised that nobody else inside the church has heard of it.)

    • Ali Ducharme

      Gathering from the tweets of HRM the Queen and HRH Prince Charles through their facebook walls which I subscribe to, as well as having read some of their blogs, I am led to believe that this may be just for the UK and/or the Commonwealth countries, not for the extended Anglican Communion (which I also am familiar with as a former Episcopalian)

      • Lēoht Sceadusawol

        The former Arch Bishop (Rowan Williams) was made an honorary Druid many years before he became Arch Bishop. It is a purely secular title bestowed by the National Eisteddfod of Wales. Think of it more about PR and tourism than anything remotely spiritual.

        (Don’t know anything about the new guy.)

        • Ali Ducharme

          honorary? You would think, with all the work that people in most Druidry and Druid Orders put in to gain the reward of the rank of Druid, honorary would not be done. That to me, were I a member, would be like a slap in the face.

          • Ali Ducharme

            i know…i’ll do it on FB :)

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            It is treated no differently to an honorary degree:

            Eisteddfod Gorsedd honours 2013

            “In line with the Gorsedd of the Bards’ arrangements for honouring new members, all new members enter the Gorsedd on the same level, irrespective of whether they are honoured into the Blue or Green robes.”

          • Ali Ducharme

            yeah i read it…and some other stuff…has nothing to do with me…but i guess i needed to find out for myself…druidry can do its own thing…i’m not of that line…

            that’s Bardic…not Druidic

          • Guest

            i wouldn’t want any part of any thing that was founded on lies and deceit and a con job…bad enough i’m stuck with being guardian of a grove that was founded in a similar manner…

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            Inclusivity has its drawbacks. Superficiality being one of the more obvious ones.

          • Ali Ducharme

            could you please clarify/expand on that please?

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            In an effort to be seen as tolerant and inclusive, many organisations (including many Pagan ones, I would say) sacrifice depth for numbers.

            With so many people doing so many different things, the commonalities will not run as deeply as in those who all sing from the same hymnal.

            As an example – if the Eisteddfod was purely for religious Druids, would it be the big event that it currently is? I strongly doubt it.

          • Ali Ducharme

            i wouldn’t want any part of any thing that was founded on lies and deceit and a con job…bad enough i’m stuck with being guardian of a grove that was founded in a similar manner…

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            There are lies and deceit in everything. Of course, not all falsehoods are deliberate. Some are genuine mistakes.

          • Ali Ducharme

            so said my late ex when i confronted him about all the plagiarism in the grove’s history and ritual and teaching documents….i didn’t beleive him then and had to deal with several geasa due to his bloody actions…

            btw, anytime you see me say bloody, put any expletive in its place that comes to mind…and occasionally every one that comes to mind lol

        • Ali Ducharme

          Anyone feeling my blood boiling right about now?

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            When is a thing ‘appropriation’?

          • Ali Ducharme

            excuse me? you mean like when a wife appropriates her hubby’s side of the bed or his shirts while he’s away (or with her too lol?

          • Lēoht Sceadusawol

            I mean religious or cultural appropriation, as opposed to ‘borrowing’.

            Many who ‘do runes’ will not be Heathen, they merely ‘borrowed’ the runes from that particular branch of Paganism.

            But to start using native American spirits in Wicca would be more likely viewed as appropriation (which is frowned upon).

            I was simply asking (in a rhetorical fashion) where the line is drawn.

          • Ali Ducharme

            from my observations what I’ve seen is that, in general, at least for what I’ve seen of Paganism and Wicca-based groups and groups based on Druidry (groups with some link to Iolo’s bs), they have eliminated the line and appropriate as they see fit. For a long time, this created a problem personally for me, as I am of the persuasion/view that even if one learns the different Arts, you do NOT mix them in your practice of them…and it took me (if you don’t add in my teen years exploration) 11-14 years to find a teacher who taught several Arts, but doesn’t mix them…i say 11-14 years due to my finding my original teacher (my late ex) had some of the right ideas, but was found to be very inaccurate, as well as his character defects pretty much negatively affected both mine and his other students’ learning.

          • Ali Ducharme

            hmm wonder why that showed up as a guest and not me?