Author Topic: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation  (Read 40135 times)

Offline NicoleK

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Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation
« on: May 13, 2012, 01:05:56 pm »
Hello,

On one of the boards I'm on, a woman asked what the group thought of calling on Native American Deities as the Goddess and God during a Wiccan ritual.

Now, personally I have a few issues with this:

a) The Goddess and God of Wicca are actual deities, and if you swap them out for other deities, it isn't Wicca anymore. Wicca is a religion, not a prayer structure. It's fine to also work with other deities sometimes, but if you're working with them INSTEAD of the Goddess and God, it isn't Wicca, it is something else.

and

b) Native American deities probably have their own rituals that they would rather be honored in.

and

c) As is often described on this board, it is presumptuous for Europeans to use parts of Native American traditions willy-nilly.

I focused on C, and here is a translation of my response:

***

Be careful, American Indians tend to find people who are interested in practicing their traditions as racist.

For them, the practice can't exist outside the context of their tribe. It's their family tradition, and to take the actions out of context is a sacrilege.

***

I got an admonition from the moderator, saying I should use sentences such as "I think", that there are no hard "facts" in spirituality, there's no "absolute truths".

Do you think I worded my response too harshly, or that it is factually incorrect? How would you have responded instead?

I think the next time someone asks this question my response will be, "Why are you asking us? We aren't American Indians! I believe it would be better if you asked some actual American Indians about their deities and the contexts in which it is acceptable to worship them. Here's a link where you can discuss which ways are appropriate to honor American Indian deities" ... and send them here.

Would that be a good thing to do, to get them speaking to the folks here who are in a better position to explain these things to them? Or would it just be annoying for you regulars to get a bunch of would be American Indian deity worshipping wannabe Wiccans on the board?

-Nicole

PS I realize I'm not a regular and every time I post it is variations on the same theme, but these really are difficult waters to navigate.

<< modified title of thread - no change to message text >>
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 09:37:01 pm by Yells At Pretendians »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Badly worded?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2012, 05:59:50 pm »
Given what I'm about to say, I acknowledge the irony that I'm the first to answer here, but we're a team and sometimes people get busy or tired :)

It's *always* best to tell people to simply listen to NDNs, then refer them to some of the many things that NDNs who are respected members of their communities have written about cultural appropriation. As allies, I think it's our duty to signal boost and offer support when it's wanted, but as much as we may want to insulate our NDN friends from racists, we can't forget that NDNs can and will speak for themselves in these matters, and do so every day. Just living their lives as NDNs means they have already faced far worse than yet another clueless appropriator twinkie chat forum.

You don't have to give the clueless non-Native a Native friend's phone number, personal email or otherwise inflict them on NDNs in a personal way.  You can simply point them to all the many things NDNs have written on the topic, and if they really care they can spend some time reading. It's all been said many times over. This is a public board, and it is for education. Just reading and listening here would be a good start for the clueless. Part of our job with this forum is to help deal with that problem.

Personally, I've mostly given up on trying to talk to Wiccans. I spent too many years banging my head against the wall. Most of them just don't care.

Check out what's going on in the Morning Glory & Otter/Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and the Grey School thread for some examples of the problems. As a mix and match, recently created religion ("All gods are one god, all goddesses are one goddesses") at it's core, Wicca encourages appropriation and taking cultural elements and spirits out of context and inserting them in the Wiccan structure (and it's not just eclectic Neo-Wiccans who do this, I've seen it from Alexandrians and Gardnerians as well). Most Wiccans believe they have every right to do this; it's a foundation of their theology.  I say this from the years of experience I had with the Pagan communities in the eighties and nineties. By the technical definition I am still a type of Pagan, as my faith is other-than-Christian, polytheist, and earth-honoring. But I'm a member of one of the ethnic reconstructionist communities, and in our work to preserve the living traditions of our ancestors and revive the ones that have fallen into disuse, my community has very different values than do the Wiccans and other eclectic Neopagans.

Hang in there. I think it's good you're trying to educate the appropriators. Here and there someone will hear your words and get it. Just know that many of them will never change. You may be able to change some, but if you expect that calling them on their privilege and racism will make all or even many of them stop what they're doing, you may be in for some disappointment.

I'd also recommend the Do's and Don'ts of Being a Good Ally post.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 12:12:28 am by Defend the Sacred »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Badly worded?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2012, 06:32:01 pm »
A few more links:

Resolution of the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Elders Circle - Inter-tribal council of Navajo, Hopi, Muskogee, Chippewa-Cree, Northern Cheyenne, Haudenosaunee and Lakota Elders speak out against the appropriators. "It has been brought to the attention of the Elders and their representatives in Council that various individuals are moving about this Great Turtle Island and across the great waters to foreign soil, purporting to be spiritual leaders. ...be warned that these individuals are moving about playing upon the spiritual needs and ignorance of our non-Indian brothers and sisters. The value of these instructions and ceremonies are questionable, maybe meaningless, and hurtful to the individual carrying false messages."

Declaration of War Against Exploiters of Lakota Spirituality - Unanimously passed by an international gathering of US and Canadian Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nations, about 500 representatives from 40 different tribes and bands. - Specifically mentions Neopagans who are appropriating: "Whereas individuals and groups involved in the "New Age Movement," in the "men's movement," in "neo-paganism" cults and in "shamanism" workshops all have exploited the spiritual traditions of our Lakota people by imitating our ceremonial ways and by mixing such imitation rituals with non-Indian occult practices in an offensive and harmful pseudo-religious hodge-podge; ..."

Letter from Chief Arvol Looking Horse on Protection of Ceremonies - "I now see since these reports, there is a much bigger problem then I ever knew in concern of the violations. Even more reports of deaths, charging, molestation and mixing of other beliefs, this must stop! These violations are affecting our children's health, many of our children ending their life with suicide. They do not feel that ceremonial energy that was meant for them. The People in these hoc'okas need to become stronger and connected with our children's needs to survive."

« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 09:19:33 pm by Yells At Pretendians »

Offline earthw7

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Re: Badly worded?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 12:52:45 pm »
What are Native American Deities? We believe in one God so what are people talking about,
We dont have goddress nor do we have many gods what is wrong with people!
People want to take our belief change them and make them something they are not,
and wonder why we would be upset.


 
In Spirit

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: Badly worded?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 02:04:28 pm »
What is wrong with people? They live in fantasies. I was talking to a friend who is "eclectic" to put it mildly. I was explaining why it was so wrong that someone she knows was using White Buffalo Calf Woman as one of her deities in her "pantheon. I did find something from Vine DeLoria jr. useful. He said ( and I am paraphrasing) that while his people revered WBCW, they did not worship her. The person just said "so what's the difference? And I just said "The difference is that he is saying his people do not consider her a goddess and if you use her as such, you are offending them. THAT she got. The offending part.

Offline NicoleK

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Re: Badly worded?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 10:27:32 am »
The problem is, even Wiccans come out of the Western tradition which is based on Christianity, in which God is for everyone. So this concept gets applied to Pagan traditions as well... to deny someone access to a God (or Goddess, or spirit, or fairy, or totem animal or what have you) is considered horrible and wrong.

In Western thought, the person is being denied salvation or spiritual enlightenment.

Of course, in real life, maybe it is more like being denied access to Sunday dinner. I wouldn't go to your house and crash your Sunday dinner. I wouldn't force your grandmother to attend my Sunday dinner. And if you didn't invite me to Sunday dinner, I wouldn't get offended, because why the heck -would- I be invited to Sunday dinner? Even if it turned out we were 6th cousins twice removed, I wouldn't expect to be invited to your Sunday dinner. Nor would most people.

Just one thing though, "The all Gods are one God" quote is not core to Wicca, it's from Dion Fortune's novel "The Sea Priestess". Dion Fortune was into esoteric stuff, yes, but she was Christian not Wiccan. None of the trad Wiccans I know would agree with her quote.

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: Badly worded?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 02:20:25 pm »


This is interesting because I was told by a wiccan that this was "jungian". She was explaining to me why she had picked certain gods/goddesses for her pantheon and why her husband's were different:

Quote
Just one thing though, "The all Gods are one God" quote is not core to Wicca, it's from Dion Fortune's novel "The Sea Priestess". Dion Fortune was into esoteric stuff, yes, but she was Christian not Wiccan

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Sorry to go on at such length about this, but since we're dissecting why Wiccans insist they have a right to participate in cultural appropriation, there's a significant amount of material to cover.

The problem is, even Wiccans come out of the Western tradition which is based on Christianity, in which God is for everyone. So this concept gets applied to Pagan traditions as well... to deny someone access to a God (or Goddess, or spirit, or fairy, or totem animal or what have you) is considered horrible and wrong.

In Western thought, the person is being denied salvation or spiritual enlightenment.

I guess Christianity (or rebellious rejection of Christianity) could have something to do with it, but it's also plain old white privilege.

Not all traditions that can be classified as "Western", Pagan or even Neopagan function that way. Ethnic reconstructionists, revivalists and traditionals do not mix and match, do not steal other people's traditions or spirits, and I don't know any who conceptualize their way of life as seeking "salvation" or "enlightenment". Wicca is only one of the vastly different traditions that outsiders lump together as "Pagan". 

Though mainstream attitudes can certainly influence everyone who comes into any contact with the mainstream (say, via TV and Hollywood movies), many of us (and most of the members of this board) were not raised Christian.

If we're going to blame attitudes that have bled over from Christianity for the problems in Wicca, the Wiccans (and members of Neopagan trads derived from Wicca) should understand that their cultural appropriation - thinking they can redefine spirits and lead ceremonies for their confused, outsider fantasies of spirits from cultures they don't belong to - is more like reading a webpage about Baptists then claiming they can offer people Catholic communion; and as they lead their fake communions and confessions, ignoring the fact their fake ceremony is being picketed by Catholics and condemned by the Bishops.

Quote
Just one thing though, "The all Gods are one God" quote is not core to Wicca, it's from Dion Fortune's novel "The Sea Priestess". Dion Fortune was into esoteric stuff, yes, but she was Christian not Wiccan. None of the trad Wiccans I know would agree with her quote.

Yes, the quote is from Dion Fortune, a ceremonial magician who laid the groundwork for a lot of what the English and English-descended occultists do (as did Aleister Crowley and the Golden Dawn). Her branch of Hermetic Ceremonial Magic has had a huge influence on BritTrad Wicca. While neither Gardner nor Valiente wrote that bit, many Wiccan groups have incorporated it into their theology, as it encompasses the attitudes in the original Gardnerian materials: ritual scripts where deities and spirits from vastly different cultures are listed, lumped together, "invoked", and all considered "aspects" of one, universal "Great Goddess". This idea of a world-wide religion that was essentially the same in all ancient cultures was not a view held by the cultures Gardner vultured from, but that didn't stop him and his descendants from swiping, twisting and misrepresenting all those different cultures.

Gardner was a product of British Colonialism, and believed his people had the right to colonize and conquer the world. The religion he created reflects that.

In terms of source material for Wicca, I would say it's a tossup between Gerald Gardner's fantasies about Plains NDNs and stuff stolen verbatim (once translated into English) from Hinduism. The reason for the terms and "tools" and theology lifted from Hinduism and Indigenous Asian tribes? Gardner lived and worked in the parts of Sri Lanka and Malaya that were under English colonial rule at that time, first as a plantation manager then as a government employee. His father owned one of the plantations he managed. Gardner was directly responsible for enacting and enforcing colonialist policies.

It may be different where you live, but I have met Gardnerians and Alexandrians who have incorporated the Dion Fortune quote (and other writings of hers, along with things by Robert Graves and other writers) into their rituals and "Book of Shadows". Some BritTrad Wiccans stay strictly by the book they got from Gardner and Doreen Valiente, but as the initial version of even the 3rd degree materials was very sparse, most lineages have added to theirs considerably. During the eighties I was friends with, and was a guest at some rituals of, friends who were BritTrad, including members of the first Alexandrian and Gardnerian groups in this country; most of the BritTrad people in the US trace their lineage to them. Note that during this time the heads of those lineages knew about the ahistoricity of Wicca; the head of the Alexandrian line in particular had come to the same conclusions as Aidan Kelly (author of Crafting the Art of Magic) and other researchers. Kelly's manuscript had also been in private circulation for many years at that point. After Kelly published, a number of Wiccans changed their backstories; some of them even changed the names of their traditions and created new, earlier "initiators" who they claimed were not Wiccan at all. I guess they think people have short memories.

If I sound argumentative or ranty I apologize. I'm just sick of seeing privileged white people use bad theology and inaccurate history as an excuse for racist behaviour.

Oh, and Deb, you're right - even though the exact quote is from Fortune, the idea that there is one, universal Goddess and God pair who encompass all the spirits and deities of every culture in the world is also held by Jungians and Goddess spirituality groups who have no direct connection to Dion Fortune or her tradition of Ceremonial Magic.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 09:37:32 pm by Yells At Pretendians »

Epiphany

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Thanks for these discussions, very helpful. Explains so much about the Wiccan & Jungian movements I was on fringes of in past.

Offline NicoleK

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Sorry to go on at such length about this, but since we're dissecting why Wiccans insist they have a right to participate in cultural appropriation, there's a significant amount of material to cover.

The problem is, even Wiccans come out of the Western tradition which is based on Christianity, in which God is for everyone. So this concept gets applied to Pagan traditions as well... to deny someone access to a God (or Goddess, or spirit, or fairy, or totem animal or what have you) is considered horrible and wrong.

In Western thought, the person is being denied salvation or spiritual enlightenment.

I guess Christianity (or rebellious rejection of Christianity) could have something to do with it, but it's also plain old white privilege.


Maybe a better explanation would be "Western culture as a whole", which include both Christianity and plain old white privilege.

Quote
Not all traditions that can be classified as "Western", Pagan or even Neopagan function that way. Ethnic reconstructionists, revivalists and traditionals do not mix and match, do not steal other people's traditions or spirits, and I don't know any who conceptualize their way of life as seeking "salvation" or "enlightenment". Wicca is only one of the vastly different traditions that outsiders lump together as "Pagan". 

I have actually met quite a few people who feel that any spiritual path that can bring any enlightment, salvation or the more vague "personal growth" should be available to anyone who wants it.

Quote
If we're going to blame attitudes that have bled over from Christianity for the problems in Wicca, the Wiccans (and members of Neopagan trads derived from Wicca) should understand that their cultural appropriation - thinking they can redefine spirits and lead ceremonies for their confused, outsider fantasies of spirits from cultures they don't belong to - is more like reading a webpage about Baptists then claiming they can offer people Catholic communion; and as they lead their fake communions and confessions, ignoring the fact their fake ceremony is being picketed by Catholics and condemned by the Bishops.

I'd agree with that statement. And that is why most of the Wiccans I am acquainted with (who are generally located in New England or San Francisco) specifically stay away from NDN influences in particular, but also Voudou and other African diaspora traditions, among others.

I am no longer located in New England or San Francisco, I'm in Switzerland, where there are no NDNs picketing. If you tell the people here that the actual, real live NDNs don't like having random bits of their culture incorporated into Western occult practice, they get mad at you and don't believe you. They think the only reason to not incorporate NDN stuff into your practice is because you think NDNs aren't really spiritual or are somehow inferior.

They understand that incorporating NDN elements into their practice is controversial, but they think it is controversial -within- the NDN community, they do not understand that it is really only controversial in the general (mostly White) Pagan community. And there are no NDNs around to tell them otherwise.

Quote
In terms of source material for Wicca, I would say it's a tossup between Gerald Gardner's fantasies about Plains NDNs and stuff stolen verbatim (once translated into English) from Hinduism.

I'm not aware of any Plains Indian influence in Wicca. Are there any specific practices that you've noticed that resemble stereotypes or fantasies about Plains Indians?

Hinduism, sure, I can see that.

Quote
The reason for the terms and "tools" and theology lifted from Hinduism and Indigenous Asian tribes? Gardner lived and worked in the parts of Sri Lanka and Malaya that were under English colonial rule at that time, first as a plantation manager then as a government employee. His father owned one of the plantations he managed. Gardner was directly responsible for enacting and enforcing colonialist policies.

Also, he really liked knives.

Quote
It may be different where you live, but I have met Gardnerians and Alexandrians who have incorporated the Dion Fortune quote (and other writings of hers, along with things by Robert Graves and other writers) into their rituals and "Book of Shadows".

And this is where the "no central authority" bit becomes problematic... because the Wiccans I spend the most time with specifically say that the Gods are NOT all one God, that the quote comes from Dion Fortune who wasn't a Wiccan, and that the Gods should absolutely not be treated as all the same.

Quote
If I sound argumentative or ranty I apologize. I'm just sick of seeing privileged white people use bad theology and inaccurate history as an excuse for racist behaviour.

You don't sound argumentative or ranty, you sound like you have well-informed opinions.

The thing is, no one wants to be a racist jerk. People are being racist jerks, but it isn't their intention. I think it is very important to look at the logic behind the racism in order to address it. Not to excuse it, but to understand it.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:38:09 pm by NAFPS Housekeeping »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Hi Nicole,

My point about "enlightenment" is that it's a framing of the goal of religion that comes from Eastern religions. "Salvation" is a rather Christian concept, based on the idea that we are sinners and the world is an evil place that we need to be "saved" from. In my experience, traditional, earth-honouring lifeways usually tend to conceptualize these things differently.

As far as who gets access to community and ceremony... I think your analogy about not being welcome in everyone's home is more accurate. For instance, I know Hindu teachers from India who say that anyone and everyone can pray, privately, to the deities of their tradition; people are usually free to have their own beliefs in their own heads and homes. But if someone is going to attend formal ceremonies, they have to observe certain community standards. In some cases it's just a matter of knowing the proper protocols, but in others it's about being a member of the family, and living your life in a way that meets their standards of purity, including living by certain vows and obligations for a set period of time before one is allowed to participate in certain activities. I'd say to ask the Wiccans if they would run naked into a Hindu temple, insisting on leading prayers of their own devising and climbing up on the altar... but the truth is, I've seen some eclectic, self-absorbed Neopagans be almost that offensive in similar situations.

In terms of source material for Wicca, I would say it's a tossup between Gerald Gardner's fantasies about Plains NDNs and stuff stolen verbatim (once translated into English) from Hinduism.

I'm not aware of any Plains Indian influence in Wicca. Are there any specific practices that you've noticed that resemble stereotypes or fantasies about Plains Indians?

There's no real material from the Plains tribes, rather, there are fantasies about Plains and Hollywood NDNs via a white man from Connecticut, Ernest Seton (who was also one of the founders of the Boy Scouts, another organization that has appropriated, twisted and misrespresented NDN traditions). He created "tribes" of "Indians" who, as far as I know, were all white people. I have a copy of the original article by Cooper and Greer around here somewhere, but I don't think it's available online. This article in the Utne Reader summarizes the relevant bits:

The Wicca That Never Was: The real story of the world's newest "ancient" religion
by Andy Steiner, Utne Reader

"In Gnosis Magazine (Summer 1998), John Michael Greer and Gordon Cooper discount the long-held belief that Wicca is a religious tradition surviving from pre-Christian times. Rather, they argue that modern witchcraft has its roots not in ancient Europe but in turn-of-the-century Connecticut."
... ... ...
"Modern Wicca's true origins, Greer and Cooper theorize, are in the Woodcraft Tribe, a nature organization established in 1902 by naturalist and writer Ernest Thompson Seton that in 1915 became known as the Woodcraft League of America. In an effort to placate the rowdy local boys who lived near his wooded estate in Cos Cob, Connecticut, Seton created a lodge called Woodcraft Indians, a nature club that by 1910 boasted some 200,000 [non-Native - ed] American boys and girls as members.

"For adults interested in taking part in the rituals of the [non-Native - ed] Woodcraft Indians, Seton established Red Lodges: spiritual, initiatory groups whose practices and principles, according to Greer and Cooper, closely resemble those of modern Wicca. From the Red Lodge - and from other offshoot organizations such as the British-based Kindred of the Kibbo Kift - eventually grew the religion we now call Wicca. These nature-focused groups employed similar ritual meeting styles, secrecy rules, initiation rites, and even practiced mysticism and "magick" - hallmarks of modern-day Wicca."
« Last Edit: March 10, 2016, 09:38:51 pm by Yells At Pretendians »

Offline HCSpirit

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2012, 02:21:22 am »
That there is a universal Truth that underlies all human spirituality is not merely Jungian. It's an understanding shared across disparate traditions among mystics (though, generally not, within the faiths they are embedded in). This concept gets bastardized into variations of a simplistic "we're all one!", which it isn't. Nothing in the understanding suggests or condones mix-and-match spirituality. But genuinely understanding mystical ideas can't come from any amount of talking about them, only through experiencing them.

To me, cultural appropriation -- or more aptly in my personal experience, a kind of privileged denigration -- isn't an abstract. My family on all sides are Gorali -- a people from the Orava and Spis areas of the High Tatras, mostly divided between Poland and Slovakia (the Polish Gorali are often known as "Polish Highlanders"). My father's side of the family, in particular, held onto and preserved more of the turn of the century folk culture they brought with them to the US, and even in the immigrant Goral community I grew up in, we were known as "superstitious". I adored my Grandmother and tried to learn and hold onto the traditions in her memory, even as our immigrant community slowly dissolved, our family moved to a very un-Goral suburb, and I came of age and found myself 9999 times out of 10000 the only Goral in the room.

When I first got my bath in mainstream white American culture, I happily shared whatever I knew of my culture with anyone who was interested. I thought what I had was cool and that, frankly, much of the world would be better if they absorbed a little bit of my culture (I was also, in a less positive light, somewhat lost in the world of mainstream American culture, and a part of me fantasized that sharing my culture could turn my friends into my own personal imitation Gorali immigrant neighborhood). But after about a decade of spreading Goral folk culture. I stopped. Not just stopped, but damned if anyone was going to get another word from me of my traditions unless by some chance they shared them.

Why? Everything I shared was not seen as me sharing another way of looking at things and doing things. It was, without fail, turned into an anthropology project. No, I'm not talking about anthropologists per se: none of the people I shared this with had any formal background in anthropology. What I mean is that it was eviscerated of any of its context and content -- all feeling and meaning and significance was drained from it. It became a quaint custom of a backwards peasant people, something to examine and analyze and study and tolerate in good humor. Here I am doing things that intimately connected me to a long chain of ancestors, that tied me to my family and with which I especially honored my grandmother, and in the middle of all of it I'm expected to field these dry, cold, lifeless, often inappropriate, anthropological questions, questions that came with a heaping helping of condescension.

You can't turn a generic European-American into a Goral. You can however turn even the least educated of them into an instant anthropologist.

So I shut up.

I cannot imagine the rage I'd feel if I then found any of my former amateur anthropologists selling bits of my family's traditions, mixed with a boatload of their own, under the rubric of "the secret wisdom of the High Tatras." I'm thinking if anyone had done that, I might have first had to raise bail money before I next met them.

Yes, fundamental truth is still a universality. But what I learned from my grandmother isn't, and neither is it a business plan. Nor is anything you learned from any of your ancestors.

Offline Atehequa

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Re: Badly worded?
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2012, 07:22:08 pm »
What are Native American Deities? We believe in one God so what are people talking about,
We dont have goddress nor do we have many gods what is wrong with people!
People want to take our belief change them and make them something they are not,
and wonder why we would be upset.

And what is the name of that one god who is worshiped by all American Indian tribes ?

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2012, 09:15:15 pm »
What are Native American Deities? We believe in one God so what are people talking about,
We dont have goddress nor do we have many gods what is wrong with people!
People want to take our belief change them and make them something they are not,
and wonder why we would be upset.

And what is the name of that one god who is worshiped by all American Indian tribes ?

Atehequa, Earth did not say all NDN cultures have the same name for the Creator, or that all NDN Nations have the same traditions. :) She was speaking from her perspective as a traditional Lakota woman who lives in her community. Please don't try to grill her. She is well known to us and well-respected - both here and in the community where she lives with her people. You'll also find that people don't usually discuss details of beliefs and ceremonies here.

Offline Atehequa

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Re: Talking to Wiccans about Cultural Appropriation (was "Badly worded?")
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2012, 11:40:07 pm »
What are Native American Deities? We believe in one God so what are people talking about,
We dont have goddress nor do we have many gods what is wrong with people!
People want to take our belief change them and make them something they are not,
and wonder why we would be upset.

And what is the name of that one god who is worshiped by all American Indian tribes ?

Atehequa, Earth did not say all NDN cultures have the same name for the Creator, or that all NDN Nations have the same traditions. :) She was speaking from her perspective as a traditional Lakota woman who lives in her community. Please don't try to grill her. She is well known to us and well-respected - both here and in the community where she lives with her people. You'll also find that people don't usually discuss details of beliefs and ceremonies here.

Greetings.

That wasn't grilling.  I was speaking from the perspective as a traditional Indian who is not Lakota and did nothing to disrespect Earth in responding to her statement about god and beliefs that are not usually discussed here. I have been at places where the one god or single great spirit concept for all Indians has been pushed.

I have to ask, in this endeavor to reveal new age frauds and plastic medicine people, one would think the discussion of what is true and what is false when it comes to those who rip off our spirituality is necessary. Of course I'm not asking anyone about their personal spiritual paths, nor claiming all Indians worship one god.

« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:38:36 pm by NAFPS Housekeeping »