Mudcat Café message #120927 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #4716   Message #120927
Posted By: T in Oklahoma (a.k.a. Okiemockbird)
05-Oct-99 - 11:12 AM
Thread Name: Pagan/Folk/Earth Music Research Project
Subject: RE: Pagan/Folk/Earth Music Reasearch Project
One point of my posts was that there was no single "old religion"; the Gardnerian Wicca was invented in the 1940s based on the Murray thesis which is frankly wrong, and its connections to old polytheism (drawn perhaps mainly from the Blavatsky/Crowley tradition) are tenuous and contain no melodies that can be shown to be an ancient tradition handed down from remote antiquity without any assistance by writing whatsoever.

A recent book review that touches on the history of the Gardnerian Wicca and related issues can be found here. The book author's reply to the review is found here

The wide variety of non-Christian American Indian religions (many Indians are Christian, so Christianity now must be considered an American Indian religion) should make us cautious of lumping them all together as "Earth" religions. We should be careful of calling any such religion an "earth" religion without being clear on what we mean. I don't know of any demonstrably pre-contact American religious tradition that included, for example, an Earth god or goddess in its pantheon. Some of the northern plains peoples in some of their traditional ceremonies mention a grandmother earth, but I can't vouch for the antiquity of this tradition. It may be post-contact.

The Maya 260-day sacred almanac is certainly an ancient tradition, and has probably been passed on mainly orally, but it isn't music. Since American Indian societies (and their languages) have continued continued to adapt and evolve after the arrival of the new-American nations--when the new Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation was installed a few weeks back, one song that was sung was "Amazing Grace" sung in Cherokee-- we should be skeptical of assertions of antiquity for any particular lyric or melody.

Anyhow, as I mentioned earlier, I think steve t's post is one of the high points of the thread.