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Good Sources-Alternatives to Nuage

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A good discussion I found on critical sources on paganism.

Books and sites they recommend.
"Ronald Hutton:
The Triumph of the Moon -- history of Wicca and neo-paganism
The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles -- title should be self-explanatory
The Hutton books are *heavily* critical on the historical underpinnings of modern paganism. You will find a complete discussion of the historical origins of Wicca and related groups, who stole what idea from who, etc. Hutton also debunks a large amount of the pablum that pagans pass off about their origins, and about the religious beliefs of the ancients.
But these are history books. They debunk historical claims, of which neo-pagans make a bunch. The aim of these books isn't to show that magic doesn't work or that gods don't exist. Instead, Hutton argues that almost all the standard crap that neo-pagans put out about their origins and about the beliefs of ancient pagans is speculative, made-up bullshit."
"Here's an article that appeared in the <a href="" target="_blank">Atlantic Monthly</a> a few months ago that basically summarizes Hutton's book and debunks the "Goddess Movement" in general. The author, Charlotte Allen, is a Catholic apologist, btw."
"of course, there is in-ranks dissention..." target="_blank">wiccan style...</a>
as you can see, not all pagans are doofs who believe everything... (not that you said they were)"
"I stumbled on this one a while back. The guy has some issues, but there is quite a bit of information that is highly critical of wicca."

Defend the Sacred:
From my perspective, anyone who is working in a cultural tradition should know the terms used by that culture, should speak the language, and have tangible, solid involvement in preserving and participating in the living culture. They shouldn't be using Harner "Core Shamanism" with a few words taken out of a dictionary or old manuscript and used out of context. And if they're using terms from the pre-Christian period, they need to have a solid understanding of how those titles are earned, in community, in the old way, and not just adopt them to be cool.

I enjoy imagination and creativity as much as the next bohemian type, but I'm also pretty protective of traditional cultures, languages and religious approaches, and can get a bit bristly when people play too fast and loose with these things. :-)

This is a serious issue in the NeoPagan community, which I was deeply involved in in my youth, but am now pretty thoroughly disgusted by: it's become overrun with Nuage attitudes, cultural appropriation and fantasy passed off as tradition. I have friends who still attend some Pagan events, but it's really not my scene anymore.

Defend the Sacred:

--- Quote from: Barnaby_McEwan on June 26, 2005, 12:21:18 pm ---
--- Quote ---If you know of any others Barnaby, add them to the list.
--- End quote ---
This is the one on Lewis:

and this is the one on Skye:

--- End quote ---

Reverse that: Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is the one on Skye. They are a great resource and really solid. I have friends and language mentors who've studied there. SMO also offers distance learning via Skype, and many people travel there for classes and intensives.

An Comunn Gàidhealach Ameireaganaich (ACGA)  is a past recipient of their  Gàidhealtachd  Grants program

The language and music are the essential bearers of the tradition. Many who are drawn to "Pagan" things, or looking to be some sort of "shaman" don't have the patience to realize the language and music are where the real tradition is to be found. We still have prayers to the spirits, and powerful songs to call them, but one has to not only know where to look, but have the patience to learn the language and culture if they weren't born into it. They also have to understand that much of what has survived has been "Christianised" - though it's a type of Christianity that's more like what you find in the Afro-Diasporic traditions: In many instances it's integrated with the older ways, and sometimes just a veneer on very earth-based and/or polytheistic practices.

The Matthews, who are English, wrote some OK things when they first started out, but now they are some of the worst appropriators. Caitlin plays very loose with the translations, and last I heard John doesn't have any Gaelic or Welsh at all. Even worse, they are very involved in taking misunderstood versions of Plains NDN ceremonies and trying to "Celticize" them. For instance they sell fake Inipi ceremonies - which they call by appropriated and misapplied Gaelic terms - but it's a fake Inipi. They are largely to blame for starting the whole "Celtic Shaman" fad, which is offensive and damaging to all the cultures they are ripping off, blending and misrepresenting.

Their only books that are useful are the anthologies where they've compiled older, now copyright-free, manuscripts. But skip over their collections of these materials and go straight to the originals. Most of the copyright-free stuff is now available online, anyway, and for free.

ETA: Though I guess what I'd better add, for the record, is that if people show up at these sorts of traditional things asking about "Paganism" or "Witchcraft" or "Shamanism" (or even "ceremonies") they may well be laughed at and/or shunned. For instance, every teacher of Gaelic, especially in America, has seen this happen. It's embarrassing, and there are now stories and earned prejudices about this sort of behaviour. People are certainly entitled to believe as they like, but they also need to know that certain attitudes and behaviours may well keep them away from the very information and community they seek. Just saying...

Real spirituality doesn't happen in a vacuum. The Nuagers, and probably most of the Neopagans, seem to be looking for the "spiritual" equivalent of a drug experience: something intense and exotic that will make them feel special. I guess the more stable types also want community. But traditional spiritual ways are integrated into an entire cultural matrix. IMHO, the salad-bar approach will always leave those sorts of seekers on the outside, still hungry for the real thing. And out of that hunger... well, these pages are full of the examples of what damage spiritually-starved people can do or have done to them.

[updated links]

Defend the Sacred:
There's a pretty serious problem of appropriators trying to hide their thefts from Natives as "Celtic." So the teams at Gaol Naofa (based in Scotland) and CAORANN (based in the US and has Native advisors) have put together some guides for helping people spot Celtic frauds, vs authentic, not nuage groups:

A Brief Guide to Spotting Offensive Celtic Ceremonies

A Brief Guide to Recognizing Authentic, Respectful, Celtic Traditions

Hi. I'm newer to this site and reading through the threads, which even though much older, are new to me.

There are great jewish alternatives to new age nonsense, but the participant's consciousness  can be both great and lacking at the same time.  (I'm sure, in places,  so is mine. ) a great place right now for ecological judaism programs that are strongly rooted in traditional jewish traditions is the hazon/ isabella freedman jewish retreat center in falls village,  CT, especially  a beautiful farm program there called ADAMAH.  and while they have financial aid based on need, it is not cheap by any means.

they offer a lot of programs for both religious and unaffiliated jews and allies, but i think folks here would still call them a mix of new age and jewish. the thing is a lot of what is found in new age-ism is also found in legitimate ways in judaism- for example there are jewish meditation and walking and sitting practices (kind of yoga-ish but from jewish traditions, biblical references, and extensions of jewish spiritual practices from europe and mizrachi middle east; from early middle ages.) there are  jewish healing practices, and use of amulets, and sacred motions to go with prayer, and rain dances, and calling to spirits, and speaking & calling forth the ancestors, and special water rituals associated with birth, purity, transitions, menstruation, and death.... there are jewish healers and practices (which get mistakenly called in an appropriating way- "shamamic or tribal" ) that are fully, legitimately jewish in nature and historical derivation.   They are middle eastern indigenous in origin.    ANd modern jewish leaders, who want to draw young unaffiliated jews back into more traditional practice, they try to embrace people engaging in new age type stuff in such a way that says: you don't need to look to another tradition for this. we have this right here at home, in our own tradition. Come and see.   in this way jewish clergy leaders do not reject new age but try to control and channel it back towards traditional practices, among  jewish audiences.

but modern jews also sometimes mix up their own attempts to reclaim  their traditions...with appropiating native traditions.  And sometimes charge big money for the same , calling it tribal and shamanic jewish practice. It can get all mixed up, some is legit & is some is rip off, because the consciousness  of the leaders is not always clear. It takes work to get consciousness clear (after being raised in a place of obliviousness and white privilege, but  alienated from ones roots) in order to NOT rip off other oppressed people's "trendy" indigenous traditions, as one walks a spiritual path of trying to reclaim one's OWN practices that were lost.  It gets mixed up and that is not ok, it is still appropriation even if/while you are  engaged in the legitimate work of reclaiming your own lost wisdom.  Reclaiming and returning has got to be clean and separate and clear which is which so there is no appropriation out of white privilege and racism.

Me, I want to grow my consciousness to not rip off anyone as I reconnect with my own tradition and learn about other people's practices. It is a process. I know I have participated in activities in the past (no money was involved, but still) that were native appropriations, and I did not realize i was participating in something that was a fraud or rip off.  And I see subtle appropriations all the time around me.   It is like unlearning racism and other prejudices- when you were raised with them- -  you got to practice your consciousness again and again to get clear.

Geology Rocks


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