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The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?

DigiTrad:
ALLSOULS NIGHT
LORD OF THE DANCE (PAGAN)
O, SAVE US FROM FAUX PAGANS (Or, Observations at a Renaissance Faire)


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GUEST,Okiemockbird 25 Apr 00 - 12:23 PM
MAG (inactive) 25 Apr 00 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 25 Apr 00 - 01:52 PM
Peg 25 Apr 00 - 01:57 PM
Wavestar 25 Apr 00 - 02:54 PM
Mbo 25 Apr 00 - 05:32 PM
Caitrin 25 Apr 00 - 05:51 PM
Malcolm Douglas 25 Apr 00 - 09:16 PM
Rick Fielding 25 Apr 00 - 10:10 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Apr 00 - 02:54 AM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Apr 00 - 09:33 AM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Apr 00 - 09:45 AM
Peg 26 Apr 00 - 09:50 AM
Jim the Bart 26 Apr 00 - 10:00 AM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 26 Apr 00 - 10:15 AM
Jim the Bart 26 Apr 00 - 10:33 AM
Mbo 26 Apr 00 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 26 Apr 00 - 10:45 AM
MMario 26 Apr 00 - 10:49 AM
Mbo 26 Apr 00 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 26 Apr 00 - 11:44 AM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 26 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM
Hollowfox 26 Apr 00 - 01:40 PM
Wesley S 26 Apr 00 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 26 Apr 00 - 01:53 PM
katlaughing 26 Apr 00 - 02:26 PM
GUEST,firehair28 26 Apr 00 - 02:31 PM
MMario 26 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM
Bert 26 Apr 00 - 03:17 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 26 Apr 00 - 03:17 PM
katlaughing 26 Apr 00 - 04:24 PM
Bert 26 Apr 00 - 04:52 PM
SDShad 26 Apr 00 - 05:25 PM
Joe Offer 26 Apr 00 - 05:33 PM
MMario 26 Apr 00 - 05:37 PM
katlaughing 26 Apr 00 - 05:42 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM
Bert 26 Apr 00 - 05:55 PM
katlaughing 26 Apr 00 - 06:49 PM
bbelle 26 Apr 00 - 07:24 PM
Jim the Bart 26 Apr 00 - 08:18 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Apr 00 - 09:02 PM
bbelle 26 Apr 00 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 26 Apr 00 - 09:47 PM
GUEST,Okiemockbird 26 Apr 00 - 10:43 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 26 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM
Rick Fielding 26 Apr 00 - 10:54 PM
T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird) 27 Apr 00 - 12:44 AM
katlaughing 27 Apr 00 - 01:09 AM
catspaw49 27 Apr 00 - 01:29 AM
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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 12:23 PM

Rick,

A partial answer to one of your questions: Here is a book review by Ronald Hutton which distinguishes three forms of modern paganism:

"One is American feminist witchcraft, based upon the idea that the witch figure and its divine complement, the Goddess, can be evoked by any woman bent upon personal liberation. The second is Wicca, a mystery religion developed in England and based upon a rigorous process of training and initiation and a cosmos polarized between equal female and male forces. The third is hedge witchcraft, the modern version of cunning folk, featured here in its commercialized form of individual practitioners offering occult services for money." (These words occur a few paragraphs down the page).

The old words to Nonesuch, which I mentioned earlier, are titled "The French Report" in the Baltimore Consort's album "A Trip to Kilburn". Another name for the tune is A la mode de France, which words form a sort of refrain in the lyric. The words seem to be an anti-Cromwellian political comment.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:17 PM

This is a favorite subject of mine, but I'm no expert.

Thanks to Joe offer for bringing this thread to my attention; I haven't had a lot of time lately for threads.

A few points:

the burning-people-in-wicker-baskets thing first appeared in Caesar's Commentaries. He was writing about conquered people he considered barbarian. To my knowledge, there is not a shred of archeological or anthropological evidence that this practice occured.

One neat song that is done as a round, and I think I have mentioned it before, is the "Blossom of Bone/Hole in the Stone" one. Probably on one of the tapes mentioned above.

The circle dancing and stuff is fun; I am also guilty of needling neo-pagans for their deliberate lack of historical perspective. Once upon a time I did a lot of study on the witchcraft persecutions. (Try reading *Hammer of Witches* if you want an eyeful of inquisitorial self-delusion.) The hysteria wiped out all non-conformists, openly sexual women, political targets of the Church, etc etc etc. The plague had wiped out much of the population of Europe, and another nine million died in an orgy of sadism. Much as people would like it to be true, any shamanistic pre-christian practices did not survive this Holocaust. the fevered imaginations of the clergy, invented the Black Sabbath -- the reverse-image of christian rituals.

All the Morris Dancers I have ever known sedem pretty convinced that the midsummer dances are sympathetic magic, to help the corn grow. It is logical, whether there is any proof or not.

thanks for the info. on new groups to check out. I still recommend *Straw into Gold,* who I understand to have regrouped. (PS, Joe, one of them is a minister.)


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:52 PM

The practice of the Italian benandanti might, with a stretch of the word's meaning, be styled "shamanistic". These were people who claimed that, during the ember days (query: which ember days? there are four sets a year) they fought enemies of the community's crops in their dreams. If a "shaman" is a Siberian religious specialist who goes into a tranced state, there to perform actions on his community's behalf, then I suppost the benandanti could qualify as "shamans" too.

Whether this practice derived from antiquity is a separate question. Christendom was creative enough in its own right, and possessed a tradition of respect for dreams (see the scriptural passages about dreams) that the dream-fight practice could have been arrived at independently of any ancient practice. [Whatever the history of the practice, it collided with the new demonology which started up in the late 1400s. Some practitioners of this new science viewed the benandanti with suspicion. I think it is partly from the records of their investigations that we know about the benandanti at all.]

One historian, Carlo Ginzburg, does try to trace practices like that of the benandanti and of Baltic werewolves to deep antiquity. With what success, I don't know. I still haven't read his book, Ecstasies. In one of his earlier books, The Cheese and the Worms he seemed to try to link a tradition of intellectual inquiry found among Italian peasants in the 15th/16th (I can't remember the dates clearly--sorry) century to ancient paganism. This struck me as unnecessary. There was enough intellectual energy in the thought-world of late-medieval Christianity to account for what Ginzburg described, without trying to forge tenuous links to the remote past.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Peg
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 01:57 PM

Rick; i misunderstood you, thought you meant contemporary music BY pagans!!!
as for music used in ritual, most covens emply some; it is great to have live music of course and i have performed at a number of large public rituals and one group I used to perform with did some very ritualized choreography with our songs...whether an original arrangement of John Barleycorn or a medieval Trotto or Peruvian dance... (BTW I have a CD of this group's work that just came out if anyone is interested, send me a personal message--I am no longer with them but I have several solos on the disc and my arrangement touches are all over it)
as for music played to accompany ritual, this is according to someone's preference...I work with a coven that has been ongoing since the early 1970s and so much of the music they play during certain rituals has been a fixture for a long time...some of it is from that period (1970s; for example, we often play Tom Rush's version of "Urge for Going" at the beginning of the Fall Equinox ritual, but do not use songs with lyrics during the actual ritual itself)and some is older traditional music (like dance tunes by John Renbourne or various harpists or Celtic instrumentalists...the combination of guitar and flute is particularly effective for some reason, as are old 17th century French court dance tunes) and some is contemporary stuff like Kitaro or Dead Can Dance, etc.
Different music evokes different feelings and emotions in magical contexts. So depending on the ritual, the range is wide. I like traditional Middle Eastern music for some rites, slow Celtic guitar for others...Loreena McKennitt has a number of great pieces, with words and without...African drums are often effective for more fiery rituals like Beltane or Midsummer, or things by artists like Gabrielle Roth or Deep Forest...
at a witch "party" you often will hear mix tapes people put together with "witchy" songs, some really magical, some slightly tongue in cheek (like The Eagles' Witchy Woman, Tull's The Witch's Promise, Donovan's Season of the Witch, Cream's Strange Brew, Devil Woman, ELO's Strange Magic, etc.)

hope this helps...

peg
pagan, musician, and pagan musician!


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Wavestar
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 02:54 PM

Joe Offer- Thanks for saying what I think so much of the time. I've got a lot of opinions on this subject, but since I don't feel like being part of a heated debate at the moment... suffice to say, Okiemockingbird, that I think you are overly cynical and demanding of facts, but I see your point. In any case, it's an interesting thread...

-J

PS I did see Libana in concert at one point... they are quite good.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Mbo
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 05:32 PM

YES! ELO's "Strange Magic" RULES! Oh, but what about "Evil Woman" from the same album?

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Caitrin
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 05:51 PM

*s* And you missed Santana's "Black Magic Woman" and Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon"...one of my favorite songs.
This is a most interesting thread in many different ways. I had never really considered what music is particularly pagan, so it's interesting to hear the various theories. I've also enjoyed the friendly and sharing form of discussion of religion...I guess putting it in a musical form makes us a bit more accepting. : )


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 09:16 PM

Very interesting so far, and I think we've managed to avoid getting heated about it, too.  I can't agree with Wavestar, however, that Okiemockbird has been in any way "overly cynical and demanding of facts"; he's just been trying to make the point -as have I- that people who say "this is so" need to provide evidence to support their assertion.  If there is no evidence to support a statement, then it can't really be taken very seriously.  Facts, after all, are the things that we use to prove -or disprove- arguments.  Faith is another matter entirely, and doesn't seem to be susceptible to rational dispute; it is, however, not what we have been talking about.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 25 Apr 00 - 10:10 PM

Geez, amazing! Thank you folks so much.

Malcolm, noted your remark about nobody getting "heated". For that to happen, Elian would have had to have been kidnapped by "Pagans". Actually I quite understand the emotion (and amazing depth of research) expressed here. I have similar involvement in 1920s and 30s recorded country music, Piedmont blues, and baseball. When I see someone drop the wrong name, the wrong date, the wrong right hand position etc. I'm here like a shot.

Nice to see Joe Offer participating again (and not just in a "computer help", or "calm down folks" way. I love Opinions!

Rick


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 02:54 AM

"Ronald Hutton discusses the presumed pagan origins of sheela-na-gigs and green men, and find no evidence. These are Christian sculptural motifs in the sense that thay were paid for by Christian patrons and executed by Christian craftsmen, often as decorations for Christian houses of worship"-OkieMockbird

In Mysterious Britain, Homer Sykes sites several images of the Green Man, including motifs on church benches and chanceries located at Crowcombe, Somerset and Sampford Courtenay,Devon. He states " a common feature of the Green Men is that they are synonymous with the Jack in the Green of May celebrations- a man peering through greenery, still to be found on local pub signs. But before the church renamed this pagan deity Jack, or Robin Goodfellow, he had been a Celtic horned god of fertility, venerated since pre-Christian times with processions of young girls and dancing." Regarding the Sheela-na-gigs ( a symbolic female figure who sits with legs wide apart and tongue protruding )examples are sited from All Saints Church, Buckland, and Saint Mary and All Saints, Willingham. According to Sykes, they "represent the Celtic goddess of fertility and destruction." OkieMockbird does not dispute the presence of the pre-Christian Cult of the Head (exemplified by the christening fonts at St Germoe Church and St Andrew's Well in Cornwall) in Christian church relics and motifs, or has not disputed it thus far. But many of these objects and items are obviously not, as okie says, "executed by Christian craftsmen", since they pre-date the Christian Churches in which they can be found. Also, I am sure Okie would not claim the many stone monoliths, standing stones, and henges in spots where Christian churches were later erected, to be the work "of Christian craftsmen." Rather, these phenomena seem to reinforce what I stated in my previous post:

"Early Christian belief and ritual was quite comfortably intertwined with existing pagan ritual." - Lonesome EJ

And I made no claim that holidays such as Easter, All Saints and Christmas were essentially "pagan in content." But it certainly seems that, according to Biblical accounts, Christ's birthday was in the spring of the year, and not in December. With the "Romanization" of Christianity, the celebration of Christ's birth came to be associated with the month of December because of an already significant pagan celebration of Saturnalia that was celebrated at that time. Also, I don't see the establishment of All Saint's Day at the time of Samhain as coincidental. The Easter-Beltaine-Passover connection would also seem to be rooted in pre-Judaic spring festivals of renewal.Although I don't think an attempt was made by Christians to hijack a pagan holiday, I believe that the coincidence worked to their advantage, and that certain aspects of the pre-christian pagan rituals absorbed into the celebration.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:33 AM

I'm not familiar with Sykes' book, but the fact that he makes statements of opinion on the subject of Foliate Heads (the churches of East Anglia, in particular, have a lot of these, all, so far as I know, carved in situ, few if any earlier than the mediaeval period) and the Sheela-na-Gig (some of which may indeed be old carvings incorporated, along with other salvaged building materials, into later constructions; a common enough practice) is not in itself evidence of anything in particular, and certainly not of any direct connection with earlier deities; such connections may well exist, but it's not an easy thing to establish!  Britain and Ireland contain many examples of churches built on pre-Christian sacred sites; again a common practice where a new religion wishes to supplant its predecessor(s) as painlessly as possible.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:45 AM

My apologies for all those unintentional italics!  There is a series of pictures of foliate heads, incidentally, at Mike Harding's  In Search of the Green Man.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Peg
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:50 AM

Mbo: oh yes i forgot Evil Woman! and of course Rhiannon, and the others mentioned...there are a number of things by various progressive and art rock bands that people consider very pagan in sound if not intent, like the groups Renasissance, Klaatu, Gentle Giant, even Jefferson Airplane, and of course the Incredible String Band...also various songs by Kate Bush, Dead Can Dance, David Sylvian, etc.
BTW a new movie coming out with a great soundtrack (70s classics and score by the contemporary group Air) is The Virgin Suicides; one very memorable scene in which "Strange Magic" is played at a homecoming dance...really great film too!!!

peg


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:00 AM

A few years ago I started reading a bit about the roots of the religion that I had fallen away from. I was schooled by nuns and raised as a good Polish Cat-lick (that's Chicago-ese for "Catholic"), so it goes without saying I had to look for something else. There is a lot of great stuff about the writings that the early Church fathers decided wouldn't be part of the Bible; I think many of these decisions were made by the marketing department. I followed the path of the Cathars and Templars, etc. wherever I could find a thread. It's a worthy search in itself, but that's not what I wanted to add to this thread.

One thing that bothered me about the spread of the religions of the book (Tanakh, Bible, Koran)was their ability to stomp out most traces of the old religions. St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland - a veiled reference to his ability to eliminate the competition. One of the books that has a lot of bits and pieces and that I was directed toward was "The Golden Bough" by an author whose name escapes me (I'm at my place of business and not near the book; I'm sure another 'catter (Cathar?) will be kind enough to fill it in). There is a lot of blather, but there is some good stuff on the Druids and other tree huggers from around the world. It's worth checking out and also a wonderful cure for insomnia.

Two things in closing: Why do so many religions feel that our real home and our true reward is beyond and outside this earthly realm? The old religions, those Pagan faiths the nuns warned me about were mostly rooted in a love for the earth, the only home I've ever known. With May 1 approaching, it might be worth discussing how our mother the earth got nudged aside by our mother the church.

My favorite pre-christian song is the theme from the Flintstones. I believe they pre-date the rise of Christianity by quite a bit, which explains why - unlike the Simpsons - they never go to a Church, Temple or Synagogue (SP?).

Peace to you all and don't forget to tell your mother that you love her.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:15 AM

The only "horned god" I know of who was worshipped by Celtic-speaking folk was Cernunnos. The only picture I have seen from antiquity which might be a representation of Cernunnos looks nothing like the Green man.

I don't know of any picture from pagan antiquity that looks like a sheela-na-gig. I don't think even the Gorgon's head would qualify, though others might disagree.

Reliable contemporary accounts of "processions of young girls and dancing" in honor of pagan gods can, I vaguely recall, be found in the Mediterranean world (at Athens, in honor of Athena (?)), but I am not aware of any such account from the British Isles. Does anyone know of one ?

I am skeptical that there even existed a single, pan-Celtic "goddess of fertility and destruction." My hunch would be that the functions of this presumed goddess were divided among different deities in different places and at different times. But even if there was a single, pan-Celtic goddess, one must identify artistic representations of this goddess from antiquity and compare them to sheelas-na-gig before concluding that the sheela-na-gig's iconographic tradition derives from the tradition of representing this presumed goddess. This isn't an unreasonable idea. In Arles, France, are the Museum of Pagan Art and the Museum of Christian Art, showing pagan and Christian carvings from late Roman antiquity. The Christian stone carvings of, say, the baptism of Cornelius the Centurion are done in the same style as pagan stone carvings. But when people speak of the sheela-na-gig as a pagan survival, though their meaning is not always clear, I think they often mean to imply more than simply a continuity of artistic styles and techniques.

The pagan rituals we know of are of various kinds. Animal sacrifices were practised by pagans and Jews, but not by Christians: there is no "intertwining" here. Christians, Jews, and pagans all seem to have practised ritual banquets, but the evidence here seems to be that the early church authorities wanted to prevent too much "intertwining" of the Christian sacred banquet with pagan habits. Pagans and Jews had temples (there was a Jewish temple at Leontopolis in Egypt, as well as one in Jerusalem) and altars; Christians, at first, didn't. Pagans and Jews used instrumental music in their temple-worship. Many Christians stuck strictly to vocal music in their worship, though I suspect there was no strict uniformity on this point. The influence of pagan practices and presuppositions on formal christian ritual worship is not always obvious. I suspect it was stronger on private customs, such as funerary practices, than on church-worship. The point is that origins and influences on various ritual practices can be complex and difficult to establish, and will sometimes, but not always, be found to be appropriately described as "comfortable intertwining."

The megalithic monuments, like Stonehenge, are not reliably associated with celtic-speaking peoples at all. By the time celtic languages can be show to have been resident in Ireland (where Newgrange is) or Britain (where Stonehenge is) these ancient sites were abandoned, and had been for centuries. This suggests discontinuity between the religious world of the monuments and the religious world of the later celtic-speaking inhabitants of the same places.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:33 AM

Before I get slammed - I mean, gently corrected - by those more knowledgable than I, here is the disclaimer that should have been with my last post:

Although I found the Golden Bough to be informative regarding non-Christian beliefs and practices, the man who wrote it was most likely a Christian himself, as well as a historian, and there could very well be a tilt to the landscape he paints that is not noticed until you view it from outside the room, so to speak. One source is never enough. They say that history is written by the winners, which is why it's always good to "triangulate" your information before you incorporate it.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Mbo
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:39 AM

Peg, the group Air has been noted as being VERY ELO inspired, so that should be pretty cool!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:45 AM

The Golden Bough was written by Sir James Frazer. Some of it is useful, much of it was never accepted by specialists in the relevant fields and has since been superseded. Frazer is thought by some commentators to have had an anti-Christian ax to grind, and it might be helpful to keep this point in mind when using his work.

Bartholomew wrote: "those Pagan faiths the nuns warned me about were mostly rooted in a love for the earth". If the pagan religion of the ancient Greeks can be said to have a single organizing principle, it was "the city", not "the earth." If the pagan Greeks loved the earth so much, why did they wear out the land with inept farming in some places ? (One can probably multiply examples of this kind. If the pagan inhabitants of Easter Island loved the earth so much, why did they cut down every tree on the island ?)

If the religion of ancient Egypt had a single organizing principle, it was probably the continuity of the ruling dynasty and the preservation of social and political order in the Two Lands, not "the earth."

If you think that love for the Earth is a sentiment that incorporates an important truth, and you seek a religous tradition that incorporates the same truth, you might consider the Christianity of your childhood, which implicitly in its rituals (at least as some interpret them) teaches that the Creator created the "the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that is in them" as a means of loving communion between himself and mankind.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: MMario
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:49 AM

spent part of the morning browsing and found the following snippets of information...how accurate they are I don't know. They are from various sources...

1) the term "Green Man" to refer to a variety of foliate heads was first coined in 1939.

2) the earliest known examples are from non-christian graves at the eastern end of the mediteranean. they date to the 2nd century ad.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Mbo
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:58 AM

That's right Okie. In my religion (Roman Catholicism) we don't believe that the earth is some evil place we must endure until we die and move on to Heaven, a better place. We believe that our supreme being (God in this case) created the earth for us, with love. That is why we have the rituals...yes, it may seem pompous sometimes, but it is our way of bringing a tiny bit of Heaven down to make even this holy and love-created earth we live on even a bit more holy, hence the candles, the incense, etc. The earth is the love for the living...not a "heaven on your mind" kind of thing at all. That's also where pantheism comes in too...God is in all things, the animals, the trees, the grass, the rocks...treat them as you would treat fellow human beings. So we're not so far removed from pagan religions after all...we shouldn't be slamming each other's beliefs that much becaue they are so similar...like Styx says "Just remember, it's a grand illusion, deep inside we're all the same..."

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 11:44 AM

In re the time of year when the House Carpenter of Nazareth was born: The Gospel According to Luke states that "in the sixth month, an angel was sent to a maiden named Miriam" (I'm quoting from memory, so don't be too strict with me). The context makes clear that this means the sixth [lunar] month of her kinswoman Elizabeth's pregnancy, not the sixth month of the year. But if we skip that objection and interpret it as the sixth month of the year, we still don't get a single result. The "first month" can mean either the month of Nisan in the spring, or the month of Tishri in the fall. The sixth month, then, is either Adar or Elul, and the nine lunar months of pregnancy would put the House Carpenter's birth nine months after that, in either Kislev just before midwinter, or Sivan (I think that's what the month after Iyar is called) just before midsummer.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 01:15 PM

Further on "horned gods". I know of two depictions of antlered male figures from antiquity which are reasonably inferred to have been produced by, or for, people who spoke Celtic languages, and which are reasonably assumed to be depictions of deities. When I wrote the above, I had forgotten about the Gundestrap (sp?) cauldron. To me, neither of these figures looks like the so-called Green Man. Since the question is one of the transmission of iconographic traditions, I need not have brought the name "Cernunnos" into the discussion at all.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Hollowfox
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 01:40 PM

Whew! This thread grew pretty fast. I took notes while I read, but this posting may jump around like a flea on a hot brick. (1) "Pagan" is as generic a term as "protestant", and covers as wide a range. "Protestant" can mean anything from a Baptist to a Unitarian, and "pagan" covers groups who almost make up their worship forms as they go along, as well as those who read their worship form out of a book , and gods-help-you if you misplace a semicolon. (2) That said, a good many groups include in their belief(s) that the Diety has a sense of humor, so I wouldn't worry about divine offense being taken from your wiswass aspect coming through. (3) Another good book on morris dancing is Dr Anthony Barrand's "Six fools and a dancer", available through Front Hall Records. Good scholarship, very readable, anf the author isn't afraid to give his opinions on the question under discussion here. (4) The placement of some Christmas holidays at certain calendar dates can be placed at the feet of Pope Gregory I, aka Saint Gregory (I think). He sent the papal equivalent of a memo to St Augustine of Canterbury noting the unfortunate habit of the non-Christian population to worship in sacred groves and have feast to honor their non-Christian gods. St Augustine was essentially told to cut down the groves, build churches on those sites (I would think with the newly available lumber), and celebrate Christian saints' days on the old dates, so that in essence the populace would be doing the same thing at the same place, but for the right reason. This project got underway in A.D.597, according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. (The library I'm working at today doesn't have the (translated) text of the "memo" that I'm paraphrasing; I can provide a citation tomorrow, if anybody wants it.) Midsummer Day (late June) was/is St. John the Baptist's Day. This holiday isn't a spopular as it used to be in medieval times. Maybe nobody's figured out a way to secularize it yet. (5) Joe Offer - Amen, brother. The sooner worshipers of All Types get this us/them bit out of their heads, the better off we'll all be. My grandfather once said that the different religions of the world were like road directions, all going to more-or-less the same place, but from different starting points. (6) What was the original question? Oh, yeah, music! The Nonesuch/O She Will Bring... became very popular in the 1980's, thanks to the singing of a man called Gwidion. He died in the early 1980's, and I know of two casettes that he made. I can have a name, copyright claims to the songs, etc, in a day or two, if anybody wants them. // Bob Coltman once reasoned that, if ancient Greek music was/is pentatonic, then you should be able to play it with a boogie woogie vamp, at least. He was just starting his ancient Greece Talking Blues at a coffeehouse when a couple came in, heard a bit and immediately left. Oh, well. // As for what neo-pagans use in worship services, I've heard Ewan MaColl's Ballad of Accounting, Magpie's Living Planet, and Roy Rogers' Happy Trails to You (this was to "dismiss" the various supernatural beings at the end of the Circle). Luckily, these pieces of music were all done at different times and places, not in the same evening.// Chants do predominate however. After a while they do start to sound the same as regards tunes. This led to a composition by Isaac Bonewits (famous in pagan circles) with the following lyrics: E minor, E minor, A minor, E minor, E minor, A minor G. I might have mis-remembered some of the words, but you get the idea.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Wesley S
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 01:51 PM

Joe Offer - Thanks for your post - there is a lot of wisdom there. I couldn't agree more.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 01:53 PM

Whatever may be the case with the spirits, the initiates who sing "Happy Trails" to them certainly have a sense of humor.

Christmas was set on "VIII Cal. Ian." (i.e. December 25th) long before Pope Gregory's English mission. The letter of Gregory to Augustine is famous and widely quoted. As I recall it advises A. not to supress his converts' urge to make merry, but to direct it into Christian channels. He specifically advises having them build lean-tos out of branches during their celebrations if they are accustomed to outdoor merrymaking.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 02:26 PM

I don't have time to go point by point, but there is much of interest under the heading "pagan" in the book I mentioned a few posts ago, The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths & Secrets by Barbara G. Walker.

Much of it disagrees with was T-bird/Taskemus has posted. She cites many authorities. I have scanned in the first two pages, there are 2.5 more to go. If anyone would care for a copy, I can finish them and send them by email. It really does give a very different and thorough, IMO, telling of ther elationship or non between pre-Christian and Christian in the "old days", as I said, with very specific citations.

Someone said the winners write the history. I would ask all to remember that and realise that most of it was written by men; women did have secrets and did pass them on, but most of it had to be by word-of-mouth, out of necessity.

I would also like to say that I do not believe we should discount what people may *feel* is right for them just because there may be no written evidence to support their claims. In some instances there is evidence of a healing, but doctors cannot give any explanation. Similarly, one may feel they have lived before, been to a place before, know something which cannot be explained by this particular lifetime on earth. If we demand proof of such, we deny validation of something which could be very real in that person's heart. It is similar to the worship of science....which once said men would never fly, the earth was flat, etc. for lack of evidence. If we fall into always requiring evidence for a person's faith and spiritual practises, we become repressive.

Sir John Templeton's foundation, BTW, is doing some fantastic work in scientific and spiritual research. I'll see if I can find some info and post it.

Feel like I am rambling, but what else is new, huh?*BG* Hope some of this made sense.

kat


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,firehair28
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 02:31 PM

Boy, this is a fast-growing thread! New here, so please no flamage.

Regarding pre-christian imagery in Britain: Sheela-na-gigs, green men and so on were definitey relevant in different ways at different times as the cultures that viewed them changed. If Christians carved 'em, then they had meaning as christian symbols as well as any older, traditional associations. Also, local deities and spirits were not only revered by locals, but often propitiated by travellers and foreigners who were just passing through. After all, Britain has had a lot of traffic in the last 2000 years or so -- such "local" imagery might have been incorporated from Romans, Vikings, Saxons, Normans, Picts, you name it! It's not like there was one culture throughout britain in pre-christian (or even post-christian) times.

'Nuff said about that (What a mouthful!). What I really wanted to talk about was pagan music. I've been in circles where recorded music was used (lots of Doors tunes), but the best experiences were when we all sang together.

Diana Paxson and Adrienne Martine-Barnes wrote a number of truly beautiful goddess hymns for the Liturgy of the Lady, a ceremony that drew on Christian ritual but centered on the faces of the Goddess rather than the God. I think the Fellowship of the Spiral Path out of Berkeley still has copies, but they rarely perform it anymore.

I don't know the url, but they've got a web site somewhere... Hope this helps!


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: MMario
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 02:45 PM

FYI:

Gregory the Great: Instructions to the Missionaries

The Letter to Mellitus of 601
When Almighty God shall bring you to the most reverend Bishop Augustine, our brother, tell him what I have, after mature deliberation on the affairs of the English, determined upon, namely, that the temples of the idols in that nation ought not to be destroyed, but let the idols that are in them be destroyed; let holy water be made and sprinkled in thesaid temples - let altars be erected, and relics placed. For if those temples are well built, it is requisite that the be converted from the worship of devils to the service of the true God; that the nation, seeing that their temples are not destroyed, may remove error from their hearts and, knowing and adoring the true God, may the more familiarly resort tothe places to which they have been accustomed.

And because they have been used to slaughter many oxen in the sacrifices to devils, some solemnity must be substituted for them on this account, as, for instance, that on the day of the dedication, or of the nativities of the holy martyrs whose relics are there deposited, they may build themselves huts of the boughs of trees about those churches which have been turned to that use from temples, and celebrate the solemnity with religious feasting, no more offering beasts to the devil, but killing cattle to the praise of God in their eating, and returning thanks to the Giver of all things for their sustenance; to the end that, whilst some outward gratifications are permitted them, they may the more easily consent to thee inward consolations of the grace of God.

For there is no doubt that it is impossible to efface every thing at once from their obdurate minds., because he who endeavors to ascend to the highest place rises by degrees or steps and not by leaps. This the Lord made himself known to the people of Israel in Egypt: and yet he allowed them to use the sacrifices which they were wont to offer to the devil in his own worship, commanding them in his sacrifice to kill beasts to the end that, changing their hearts they mad lay aside one part of the sacrifice whilst retained another: that whilest they offered the same beasts which they were wont to offer, they should offer them to God, and not to idols, and thus they would no longer be the same sacrifices.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Bert
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 03:17 PM

I agree with kat on this one. In instances where it is impossible to find 'proof' I don't see any harm in using a modicum of common sense and taking an intelligent guess at some things.

In pre Christian times people in Britain and France worshipped stones. Their leaders (or priests or scientists or whatever you want to call them) aligned stones as primitive observatories. It is reasonable to assume that those leaders also told people it is forbidden to move them(They are sacred).

Corn dollies, Now can we find a logical reason for them to have been sacred. Yup, Choose the biggest ears of wheat from the crop and make ornaments out of them, hang these ornaments in your home and don't eat the wheat (They are sacred). Then, come the beginning of the next season there is a supply of chosen seed for planting. Makes sense.
Don't forget that their leaders were 'The Wise Ones'.

The Early Christian Church used to incorporate the 'pagan stones' into the actual buildings of their churches (Stratford Church in East London, England has one), or they would build the churches near the stones (Beauchamp Roding in Essex, England has one in the churchyard)

It is also reasonable to assume that, seeing as the Church borrowed so much from the indigenous religions, they may also have borrowed some of the music (especially since music is such a powerful and prominent part of the worship in many religions). Some early hymns may perhaps contain vestiges of pagan origins, even though it is probably impossible to find any 'proven' instances.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 03:17 PM

katlaughing wrote: "If we fall into always requiring evidence for a person's faith and spiritual practises, we become repressive."

If a spiritual practice involves historical claims, the historical claims are not excused from the rules for such claims simply because they are related to a spiritual practice.

The Umatilla nation may believe that they have lived on their present lands since the beginning of time. If they claim that among themselves, I have no quarrel. But if they want to impose their claim on a recently-uncovered skeleton which by its age and physical features is clearly not a member of the Umatilla nation, then they are asserting a public claim with implications for what folk other than themselves may do, or not do. In that case I am entitled to dispute, if I so choose.

Adherents of the Murray thesis may sincerely believe that the execution of Charles Stuart was a ritual sacrifice to the god "Janus/Diana", by an English aristocracy which continued to adhere to the religion it had held prior to the conversion to Christianity. If this is in interpretation of a historical event in terms of an abstract paradigm, I disagree but have no deep quarrel. But to the extent that this belief goes farther and actually claims to identify the historical motivations and practices of the actors in the event, then I not only disagree, I am entitled to dispute, and say, There was no such god as Murray's "Janus/Diana", worshipped as part of a widely-organized "witch-cult" which invariably met in "covens" of exactly thirteen people; the English aristocracy were Christian; the religious issues involved in the execution of Charles Stuart were Christian religious issues. If a Murrayite feels "repressed" by my assertions of these things, that is regrettable, but inadvertent. I will try to spare people's delicate sensibilities where I can, but the other fellow's sensibilities need to make room for mine, as mine for them.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 04:24 PM

Whoa, T-bird, I am not a Murrayite and I do not mean that you are repressive. Sometimes it seems your postings are worded in such a way that they will brook no argument, i.e. as THE authority, but that is okay. I've grown to know you, through the threads, and always look forward to reading your posts, and the rest of us can sound pretty sure of ourselves, too. I know that is what I love about this site, goodhearted, intelligent peoples who can discuss such a wide-breadth of subjects in such depth and camaraderie, with music as the unifying factor.

Again, I would urge anyone who is interested in differing viewpoints, with citations, to check out the book I mentioned.

kat


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Bert
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 04:52 PM

Ah! talking of wooden churches! Has anyone been to Greensted Church (Essex, England)? It's a wooden church built in 900 and something AD and still in use. One of the oldest wooden buildings in the world.
Perhaps a nearby Mudcatter could take a picture for us.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: SDShad
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:25 PM

kat--how much does Walker cite Murray, though, I wonder? (Or at least, how much does she cite Murray-infuenced scholarship or other Murray-quoters?) Problem is, you can't really venture into this area without running smack into Margaret Murray, for better or worse. And Murray's theories have been greatly discredited. Unforunately, unbiased skeptical inquiry into the histories of alternative belief systems is hard to come by; seems everyone has an ax to grind. Research that supports the ancient Goddess cult tends to be from sympathetic neopagans, and research skeptical of it tends to be from conservative Christians or atheist cranks for whom their skepticism has become as much of a rigid agenda as any religion.

Obviously, something was there before Christianity, and even before the Druids and their counterparts in other cultures. But I don't think we have nearly as clear a picture of what that something was as a lot of neopagans would like us to believe.

Just my $0.02,

Chris


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Subject: Greensted Church
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:33 PM

Say, Bert - is this (click) (see bottom of page)the church you're talking about?
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: MMario
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:37 PM

Considering how little we know, and how much is vague from 100 and 200 years ago WITH WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTATION AVAILABLE I truly find it hard to believe that we have any body of accurate knowledge extending back to the christianization of Britain (or any other area). People argue about the "correct" religious beliefs and practices of the polynesians - and that time period is much shorter, likewise the practices of Native Americans - so much has been lost...

however - as has been said of folk music...the version being sung is the corrrect one...at that time


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:42 PM

Well, SD, she has 13 pages of small print for a Bibliography, with an average of thirty sources per page, so that makes about 390 sources, only one of which is Murray, and to be honest, I haven't even run into Murray, yet and my book's spine is gone, we've used it so much. It's a full three inches thick and first came out in 1983 by Harper & Row.

Here's what some reviews had to say about it:

Honored by the London Times Educational Supplement as 1986 "Book of the Year"

"Awesomely researched.... Walker has distilled 20 years of research into an absorbing treasure house." - Los Angeles Times

"Whoever ventures into this . . . book runs the risk of being totally absorbed." - Shirley Horner, The New York Times

"A mountain of scholarship, a vast mass of supremely documented material . . . demonstrat[ing] the dominant role women have played in the cultural evolution of our species. " - San Francisco Chronicle

"Barbara Walker upsets the complacent Judeo-Christian apple cart of orthodoxy. [An] outstanding, endless well of information.... Her literary excellence and the unrelentingly fascinating material . . . redresses two millennia of cultural and sexual misrepresentation. " - East West Journal

"A whopping compendium of history, legend, and myth" - The Denver Post

"A vast and detailed resource on women's history . . . offer[ing] a wealth of fascinating detail. It will indeed give a clearer picture of our total cultural heritage." Yoga Journal

"Walker has written a tribute to the goddess . . . Walker has eyes to see what the rest of us cannot: the figure of the goddess hidden behind rites, dogma, fairy tales, nursery rhymes, superstitions, even our very language. She sees the restoring of the goddess to her rightful place as an essential healing act for women and our whole culture . . . You can rely on it to be witty and compulsively readable." - The Philadelphia Inquirer


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:53 PM

THE FOLLOWING OPINIONS OF THE AUTHOR ARE LARGELY UNSUPPORTED BY FACT

My statement early on, that the early Celtic Christian Church in Britain was comfortably intertwined with pre-existing pagan ritual and icons, perhaps errs in the use of the term "comfortably." Putting aside the issues of faith for a moment, the early Christian missionaries in Britain were very much involved in a struggle for the minds and hearts of the people. Pre-Christian belief in England was certainly a varied pastiche of Roman, Celtic, Scandinavian and assorted other mythologies. Add to these an abundance of local sacred relics, altars, and deities. What the early Christians had going was a unification of effort, belief, and purpose. Rather than uproot age-old existing beliefs, I think that these practices were either replaced (if thought to be threatening) or absorbed (if thought to be relatively innocuous). If certain spots were sacred to the old beliefs, the Christians could have taken the tack that these areas were somehow tainted,building their early churches on newly staked-out Holy Ground. But they didn't. The approach, at least initially, would seem to be less confrontational, allowing the practicioners of the old beliefs to gather in the same spots, practice some of the same rituals, and celebrate on many of the same days, so that the transition was slow and relatively painless.

And where else but on the Mudcat, may I say, would you find a group of people knowledgeable enough in these areas to have a discussion like this one. I have certainly learned a lot, and have thoroughly enjoyed it.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Bert
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 05:55 PM

Yes, that's the one Joe, that's a great site you found there, I looked, but could only find a pencil sketch on some Norwegian site. I guess my date was off by 100 years or so but 845 AD is even more impressive. They have a "leper's squint" in the back wall so that leper's could see and hear the services without mixing with the congregation.

The one above it, 'St Peter's on the Wall' is also another MUST for anyone visiting Essex. They used to have a Youth Hostel in Bradwell which is just a mile or so from there. St Peter's Chapel is all alone in a farmer's field. We (My sister & I) went there in November about 1955, the place was deserted.
England is so packed with history that it probably possible to spend a complete vacation on just 'The churches in Essex'.

Thanks for the link.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 06:49 PM

That's exactly what happened, LeeJ. Just couple of tidbits from Walker's book:

The Venerable Bede said Redwald, kind of the East saxons, kept in the same temple an altar to offer sacrifices to Christ and another altar to offer sacrifices to "devils." Source: M. Harrison: The Roots of Witchcraft 1974

And,

Giraldus Cambrensis complained in the 12th centruy that the people of Ireland were still given over to "old barbaric and obscene customs." The cult of Diana coexisted with Christiianity in Devon as late as the 14th centruy, when the Goddess was worshipped in woodland shrines even by monks. At Cologne in 1333, Ptrach saw "women conjuring the Rhine" in what was described as "a rite of the people." Sources: Lethbridge, T.C.

Witches 1972 ; Borchardt, Frank German Antiquity in Renaissance Myth

Also,

The 9th-century Synod of Rome recorded pagan worship in the churches: "Many people, mostly women, come to church on Sundays adn holy days not to attend the Mass but to dance, sing broad songs, and do other such pagan things." Source: J. B. RussellWithcraft in the Middle Ages

Cool church, Bert. Thanks for the link, Joe.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: bbelle
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 07:24 PM

I am Jewish with a tremendous amount of faith and spirituality. And I have no interest in delving into paganism. This thread has, however, been interesting. Being descended from oppression, I have a great respect for other people's religions or non-religion. Plus, I now know, and please forgive me for my ignorance, that Morris dancing has nothing at all to do with the cat and meow mix ... shalom ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 08:18 PM

Thank whatever God(s) there be! I was in the middle of a post when it mysteriously disappeared. And that little demon inside of me that pops up occasionally (I think its Pazuzu) was forcing me into saying things I would undoubtedly regret. I will not enter into a debate about articles of faith in a public forum. All I could possibly do is offend my host, Mr. Offer, and so many other gentle and sincere folks, which is farthest from my intent. Besides I'd just get my butt kicked by Okiemockbird who is obviously well-read and also a person of faith. I admire you for the one and envy you the other. If anyone would like to enter a discussion on why I am not a Christian (Although I do admire Christ - and Buddah, and Lao Tzu, amongst others) I would gladly do so via personal e-mail.

I do like to find out about religious practices and beliefs and regret that so little reliable source material is left of the Pre-Christian practices. I am particularly intrigued by the Druids. That's why this thread has been a treat for me. Peace.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:02 PM

Kat:

The fact that church authorities accused people of indulging in Pagan practices doesn't mean that that is what they were doing; just that whatever they were doing was not approved of by the authorities.  It isn't really the same thing.  As for a "cult of Diana" in 14th century Devon...well, I'd be very interested in seeing some evidence!  

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: bbelle
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:41 PM

Well, Bartholomew ... it looks to me like you are trying to interject incivility into an otherwise civil and interesting discussion. I don't think anyone cares why you are not a Christian. I do think that they respect the fact that you are not. No one has asked Joe or me why we are Christian and Jew, respectively, and not pagans (is that the correct term?) So, keep it clean and allow the discussion to flow, please ... moonchild


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 09:47 PM

Here is Bede's own account of Raedwald:

"Reduald...ab uxore sua et quibusdam perversis doctoribus seductus est...ita ut in morem antiquorum Samaritanorum et Christo servire videretur, et diis quibus antea serviebat. Atque in eodem fano et altare haberet ad sacrificium Christi, et arulam ad victimas daemoniorum. Quod videlicet fanum rex eiusdem provincia Alduulf, qui nostra aetate fuit, usque ad suum tempus perdurasse, et se in pueritia vidisse testabatur."

("Redwald...was led astray by his wife and perverse advisors...so that, in the manner of the ancient Samaritans, he appeared to serve both Christ and the gods that he formerly served; and [so that] in one and the same temple he had both an altar for the rites of Christ, and a little altar for sacrifices of daemons. Which temple the king of the same province [Ease Anglia], Aldwulf, who lived in our time, said lasted into his own time, and that he had seen it in his childhood.")

This is the sort of politic flip-flop that a king, in a time of religious change, might find necessary for reasons of state. Bede's adding the source of his information might imply that he thought his readers would otherwise find the account incredible; which if true means that paganism had entirely disappeared by his time.

The other quotes kat provides illustrate some difficulties for studying the history of paganism. (1) Many people cannot separate religion from magic, while other people separate them quite easily; and (2) many Christians have had a tendency to fling the word "pagan" at other Christians whose customs they found strange or inappropriate.

The reports of people singing and dancing on Sunday tell us nothing about the religious opinions of those singers and dancers, though it tells us something about the moralist's opinions about proper behavior in church. The same applies to the report of people "conjuring the Rhine". We don't know, from that report, what those people thought they were doing, but analogous cases suggest that they considered themselves good Christians (see the "Shoney" practice referred to above.)

References by moralists to "Diana" are suspect. Diana is one of the Roman gods to be mentioned in the Latin Bible (Acts 19.28ff) so a moralist with a touch of scripture knowledge might not simply call people of whose customs he disapproved "pagan", he might go further and accuse them of worshipping "Diana". If he had a touch of classical learning he might accuse them of practising the "rites of Venus". Before I concluded that monks were actually worshipping Diana in woodland shrines, I would

(1) check the primary sources; the reports might contain less than meets the eye;

(2) survey the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinorum and the archaeological literature for Roman inscriptions to Diana in Britain, to see if, and where, this goddess was popular in Britain in pagan times. If she was little known, it is hard to imagine that a cult could "survive" where it never existed. If she was very popular, it would strengthen the case for such a survival.

(3) check the manuscript history of Catullus's poem Dianae sumus in fide/peullae et pueri integri. (One of the lovliest poems ever written in any language.) Though there are many motivations for studying and transmitting this poem, one supposes that if there were actual worshippers of Diana, they would have copied this poem if they had kown it.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: GUEST,Okiemockbird
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:43 PM

Forgot to provide the cite for the Bede quote: It is Church History of the English People, Book II, Chapter 15 (J.E. King, ed., Bedae Opera Historica, Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 1, p. 292.)

Catullus's Diana poem is, I think, poem #34 in his "little book".

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:49 PM

Oops. The inscriptions collection should be Corpus Inscriptionum LatinArum, not "LatinOrum".

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 26 Apr 00 - 10:54 PM

I feel like a cheerleader on the sidelines after starting this...and it feels great! I've learned a lot here. This is Mudcat at it's best. The flamers wouldn't have a chance , when it's at this level. Thanks again.

Rick


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: T in Oklahoma (Okiemockbird)
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 12:44 AM

Here is Ronald Hutton's summary of the "Diana" business in Devon, from The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles, Blackwell, Paperback edition 1993, p. 299-300:

"[I]n 1351 the monks [of Fithelstock Priory] erected a chapel in a wood nearby, where thy installed an altar, a rack of candles and an image which the Bishop of Exeter described as being of 'proud and disobedient Eve or of unchaste Diana' rather than of the Virgin Mary. To this they attracted the local people, and made money out of them by reading their futures according to the casting of lots. The racket was broken up by the bishop, who had the chapel and its contents destroyed. The only other evidence we have that bears on the case is that the priory already had a bad reputation: in 1340 its sub-prior had to do penance for laziness and sexual misconduct. What is missing is any indication of the viewpoint of the monks themselves. It would be very interesting to know whether they were conducting a self-conscious parody of the Christian religion, or whether they were so ignorant and undisciplined that they genuinely did not realize that they were acting outside it. Whatever the truth of the matter, there is nothing in the story to indicate that they were acting in accordance with a local pre-Christian cult. Rather...they were deviants from medieval Christianity."

I agree with Hutton that it is most likely that the monks were spontaneous deviants, not bearers of an ancient non-Christian tradition. I note that it was the Bishop, not the monks (as far as we know) who identified their statue as "Eve or Diana". Without the image, we don't know if the bishop was reasonably shocked by the way the statue was carved, was overreacting to sculptural ineptitude, or whether the sculptor simply produced what we would see (even if the biship did not) as a portrayal of the Mother of Jesus as a strong, self-confident matron.

I must take Hutton's word for it that there is no evidence of Diana-worship in the same area in Roman times. If I ever want to check up on him myself, I'll take the route I mentioned earlier: search the Corpus Inscriptionum and the archaeological literature for evidence of a Diana cult.

Hutton's citations for this incident are:

W. H. Mandy, "An Incident at Bexley", Woolwich and District Antiquarian Society Annual Report and Transactions 1920-5, 23, pp. 25-37.

Jefffrey Burton Russel, Witchcraft in the Midddle Ages, Ithaca, [NY] 1972, p. 164.

R. P. Chope, "Frithelstock Priory", Report and Transactions of the Devonshire Association 1928, 61, pp. 175-176.

I have not seen these sources yet.

T.


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: katlaughing
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 01:09 AM

Well, you might take Hutton's word for it, T-Bird, which means you are expressing an opinion, which is no more supported by evidence than those of some of the rest of us. BTW, J.B. Russel is one of Walker's many reference sources, too.

Bartholomew has a point and I think he did a pretty good job of stating it, even if he did use a little sarcasm. I mentioned it before, that the tone of some of what T-bird writes is rather authoritative and not very welcoming of dissenting opinions. I don't know what kind of library you are accessing, T-bird, but it must be impressive. Would it be possible to include a few links, that is, if you are accessing them online?

At this point, I don't feel like trying to state any more points. I do have some but it just doesn't *feel* worth it when others are so sure of other views.

Thank you, it has been very interesting,

kat


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Subject: RE: The Pagan Alternative. What's the music?
From: catspaw49
Date: 27 Apr 00 - 01:29 AM

Well........I can't shake the feeling that I have slipped back in time 30 years and I'm sitting in a classroom or back at the dorm reading really dry authoritative works or madly writing as fast as I can to summarize the stuff......all those things that I had to do as a philo/religion major. Every philosophy major was required a minor in religion....Why, I have no idea. I also have no idea why I majored in philosophy.

But my best to all who have contributed here and it does show the depth of knowledge and overall intelligence of the members here. I'm in no way being sarcastic when I say this, but I admire anyone who has enough interest in this to research it in the way it has been done here by many of you, since I find it the most boring shit imaginable. You are all to be congratulated on this thread ... one of Mudcat's best.

Spaw


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