Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 17,292,682


October 20th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits

A Microcosmic View of Ma'at


October 5th. 2014 ...

The History of the Sacred Circle

Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots


September 28th. 2014 ...

Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials

Creating a Healing Temple


September 20th. 2014 ...

GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)


September 7th. 2014 ...

Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery

Web Oh-oh

The All


August 31st. 2014 ...

Coven vs. Solitary

Faith

A Strange Waking Dream


August 24th. 2014 ...

Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation

The Pagan Cleric

A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)


August 17th. 2014 ...

To Know, to Will, to Dare...

On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows

The Darkness


August 10th. 2014 ...

As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?

The Power of the Gorgon


August 3rd. 2014 ...

Are You a Natural Witch?

You Have to Believe We Are Magic...


July 27th. 2014 ...

Did I Just Draw Down the Moon?

Astrological Ages and the Great Astrological End-Time Cycle

The New Jersey Finishing School for Would-Be Glamour Girls and Boys


July 20th. 2014 ...

Being an Underage Wiccan

Greed, Power, Witches, and the Inquisition

Malleus Maleficarum - The Hammer of the Witches

Thoughts on Ghost Hunting


July 13th. 2014 ...

A World Of Witchcraft: Belief Is Only The Beginning...

From Christian to Pagan (Part III)

Being Wiccan

My Wiccan Ways...


July 6th. 2014 ...

Keys: Opening the Portals into Other Worlds

The Lore of the Door

Leaves of Love


June 29th. 2014 ...

What Does the Bible Say About Witches and Pagans?

Are You My Familiar ?

Invocations of the God and Goddess

Everything's Alright, Yes: Mary Magdalene

Results Magic and the Moral Compass


June 22nd. 2014 ...

Witchcraft vs. Religion

Christianity and Paganism: Why All Of the Fighting?

Norse Mythology


June 15th. 2014 ...

Becoming Your Own Wise One

Canine Familiars: Role of the Alpha


June 8th. 2014 ...

Moral Relativism and Wicca

Paganism in Cebu, Philippines

Color Infusion

Soul Strings


June 1st. 2014 ...

Rediscovering My Pagan Faith

13 Keys: The Wisdom of Chokmah


May 25th. 2014 ...

Some Differences Between Priestesses and Witches: Duties and Trials

Awakening to our Celestial Nature (A Free 8-Day Course)

How to Work With Your Muse

10 Things I Love about my Sacred Work as a Public Witch


May 18th. 2014 ...

Finding the God (From Christian to Pagan -Part II)

The Medea Within Us All

Visits from the Departed


May 11th. 2014 ...

Breaking the Law of Return

Mental and Emotional Balance- I CAN Have it!

Karma and Sin

The Sin Concept


May 4th. 2014 ...

When to Let Go...When to Hold On

Goddessy: Sorceress Speaks On Beauty

Embracing my Inner Goddess through Belly Dance


April 27th. 2014 ...

Mental Illness in the Pagan Community

Being Pagan, Being Bipolar

World Crisis: Awaken Witches and Take Action

"Earth Day" Is A Pagan Conspiracy!


April 20th. 2014 ...

Six Rules for Safer Pagan Sex: A Guide

Safety: Let's Shift Our Focus

Morality and Controversy in the Craft

A Pagan Perspective on Easter

The Star Child


April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Being a Worrisome Witch

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.










Religious Syncretism

Author:
Posted: January 11th. 2004
Times Viewed: 3,088

The definition of syncretism states "the reconciliation or fusion of differing systems of belief, as in philosophy or religion, especially when the success is partial or the result heterogeneous." (It's almost like what the word "synthesis" means: "the combining of separate elements to form a coherent whole.")

Syncretism is one of those words that fancy book-learning people use to describe something that people all over the world and all through time do and have done since the beginning of time - as a function of their possession of living capricious human minds, and interacting with others who have views and attitudes and stories different from their own.

A really obvious example of this happened when the Romans invaded Greece, and ultimately adopted a modified version of the Greek mythos. Take a look at a chart of Greek versus Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans were masters of syncretism, actually. There's a nice passage in "The History of Hell" by Alice K. Turner that addresses the practices of conquering Roman armies:

"Romans, though pious, were not much for myth-making. Their native religion was a form of animism quite similar to Japanese Shintoism: groves, streams, even single trees had their own Gods, and so did households and courtyards, and each function or aspect of daily life... For their important gods... they adopted Greek myths wholesale, efficiently filling in their own God's names as protagonists of the stories. Soldiering in foreign parts, they did exactly the same thing as they marched up to local shrines. A statue of a maiden thus marked the shrine as that of Diana, no matter who the resident Gauls might think she was, and she would be honored accordingly. The practice worked well: since the armies displayed respect and piety, they managed to avoid religious conflict." (pg. 35)

NeoPaganism is a mosaic of Pagan backgrounds that have been strongly influenced by other countries and indigenous worship and beliefs. Due to this diversity, some syncretism is to be expected. While often viewed as uniformly Pagan, there has been an increase in the diversity, expression, and syncretism of religious belief systems. Throughout history a sect's inability to meet the people's needs and the mixing of cultures caused by war and treaties has led to the conversion of individuals to alternative practices. These conversions are one way that different religions meet and influence each other. The influences cause key variations that are displayed through beliefs regarding sickness and healing, imagery and representation of The One Source, and religious expression through ritual and practice.

While the believers of other monotheistic faiths now consider their holy books as divinely inspired and the direct word from God, there lies the problem. That is the reason when any believer in these faiths loosens his/her belief system, he or she can no longer remain under its fold. In short, either take it one hundred percent or leave it. There is no scope for a weak belief system in the strict rhetoric of these faiths. It is this mindless literalness that keeps a religion stagnant, and that religious stagnation fuels a much larger cultural and intellectual stagnation.

The liberalization process of certain religions has not occurred in a few short years. Present construction of other monotheistic or polytheistic religions depends on a softer ground. It has taken hundreds of years of inner struggle to make religions more pragmatic, humane, and open. The inherent problem of religious segregation is the tendency of keeping it within the fold of an assumed 'finality' premise which is more than merely rhetoric. Labels define 'things' so that others understand them, yet it seems that many don't understand just what the label they've applied to themselves means and then they tend to argue with others about this definition and that, what's 'true' and what's not. This is getting a bit 'nit-picky', don't you think? It turns into a coercion based upon threat instead of a choice based upon personal spirituality.

When we find ourselves holding the minority perspective on an issue we become acutely aware of discrimination and insults, and when we are in the majority perspective tend to lose our objectivity. Pagans, who definitely hold a growing but still minority perspective on religious matters, tend to be keenly aware of issues of religious freedom and freedom of speech. The very definition of Eclectic (often used when referring to Paganism) is simply a mixing of Pagan beliefs from various traditions. This is widely accepted. Why wouldn't it be accepted for religion in general?

Now that 'tradition' has been mentioned, let's take a look at the other side of the coin. It is quite understandable that members of certain traditions (especially ancient ones) would want to keep their faith anti-syncretic. After all, it's safe to assume that the whole purpose for the tradition is to continue practicing rituals and beliefs that were held by one's ancestors (cultural or familial). The obvious question would then be how do these traditions prevent stagnation?

I have spent the last 14 years studying Theology and Religion as a hobby. The thing I have noticed most is the congruity in beliefs and practices that span the earth and time with seemingly little intercultural contact. Which brings me to the idea of the collective unconscious.

The following is from the "Definition" portion of Jung's lecture in 1936 on "The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious, " Collected Works, Vol. 9.i, pars. 87-110.

"The collective unconscious is a part of the psyche which can be negatively distinguished from a personal unconscious by the fact that it does not, like the latter, owe its existence to personal experience and consequently is not a personal acquisition. While the personal unconscious is made up essentially of contents which have at one time been conscious, but which have disappeared from consciousness through having been forgotten or repressed, the contents of the collective unconscious have never been in consciousness, and therefore have never been individually acquired but owe their existence exclusively to heredity. Whereas the personal unconscious consists for the most part of complexes, the content of the collective unconscious is made up essentially of archetypes.

"The concept of the archetype, which is an indispensable correlate to the idea of the collective unconscious, indicates the existence of definite forms in the psyche which seem to be present always and everywhere.

"Mythological research calls them "motifs;" in the psychology of primitives they correspond to Levy-Bruhl's concept of "representations collectives, " and in the field of comparative religion they have been defined by Hubert and Mauss as "categories of the imagination." Adolf Bastian long ago called them "elementary" or "primordial thoughts." From these references, it should be clear enough that my idea of the archetype -- literally a pre-existent form -- does not stand alone, but is something that is recognized and named in other fields of knowledge.

"My thesis, then, is as follows: In addition to our immediate consciousness, which is of a thoroughly personal nature and which we believe to be the only empirical psyche (even if we tack on the personal unconscious as an appendix), there exists a second psychic system of a collective, universal, and impersonal nature which is identical in all individuals. This collective unconscious does not develop individually, but is inherited. It consists of pre-existent forms, the archetypes, which can only become conscious secondarily and which give definite form to certain psychic contents."

If the collective unconscious owes its existence exclusively to heredity, then where did the heredity come from? Was the idea of religion existent in the primordial ooze that some believe created life? How did it get there? Did all of those little amoebas practice the same religion? The questions could go on and on.

I personally believe that the theory of collective unconscious has merit. I believe we were all created by the same source (no matter what we choose to call it). I believe that source is responsible for the ideas found in the collective unconscious and that culture and outside influences are the source of religious diversity.

All of this was a great big, fancy, long-winded way of saying that I believe religious syncretism is natural and necessary. I believe that this is one of the premiere practices that are going to allow us to reach the ultimate dream of world peace.

Rev. Mary A Duclos, DD (Twylyght)




ABOUT...



Location: , USA

Bio: Merry meet!!! I am a Doctor of Divinity and ordained High Priestess. I have been practicing magick all my life. I started studying when I was 14. After the first of the year some friends and I will be starting a Coven in San Antonio.




Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email ... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).