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Harp and Hammer:
Celtic and Germanic Heathen Dialogue
Let's start this with a simple question: those of you have… 
28th-Sep-2006 11:57 pm
Let's start this with a simple question: those of you have historical syncretic practices (like those of us with Scottish traditions that deal with Picts, Scots, and Norse in ancestory--and I know each group was Christianized at differing times which makes dealing with this more difficult--or Manx traditions), how do your respective communities deal with it?
30th-Sep-2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
I don't know that this seems such a simple question, I've been thinking about it for nearly two days now. ~;) I think part of the problem for me is that I don't really have enough of a community to find the answer. My household is mixed, we are Gaelic culture but mythos999 is rather a "Viking" having married in after establishing a relationship with a Norse God. We met shortly after I got into an interesting situation with another Norse God. When we were trying to run a group, based on being tribal, it was sometimes confusing and uncomfortable for some I think. Now that we have returned to our Outsider lives, I think it becomes more comfortable. It's another way of being liminal. Those CRs who I have a loose relationship with seem to find no issue with it, even those who are extremely conservative in regards to modern syncretisms. I do not feel my ancestors have much problem with it either, especially the MacDonalds. I think to them the idea of a Gael woman and a Northern man with the Gaelic culture being predominant is just the way things are supposed to be. ~;)
30th-Sep-2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
My wife is vaguely Heathen too--she really is not actively so and isn't a member or any specific organization or tradition--but she is attacked to Frig and Freyja something fierce and her family line goes back to the Black Forrest, traceably to pre-Christian times.

So my household is mixed too and I feel the pull from both Germanic and Gealic roots from Scotland and Western England/Eastern Wales.

I am careful, however, to keep my rituals seperate (even when there seems to be some cross-over in pantheon)...
and outside of my family, the only pagans I know locally are Wiccans or Pagan Thelemites, so I suppose the community isn't developed enough to object.

30th-Sep-2006 07:40 pm (UTC)
Aaron isn't working with any Heathen organization either, his only involvement has been with a soley Celtic (and at the time very CR based) ADF grove and within CR.

I know that many Reconstructionists feel that rituals should be separate if you serve God/desses of two pantheons. I totally do not understand this and realize I am in the minority here. This is because, to me, it's about the culture. My culture is derived of the Gaelic, specifically from a Gaelic culture shaped by heavy Norse and Brythonic (through the Picts) influences. I do not work in two cultures, which is what one is trying to do if one does a Gaelic ritual one day and a Norse the next. I do not believe this is what our ancestors would have ever done. Certainly I have attended sumbel and blot (too lazy to look up marks I don't use often, sorry) but as guests to those who are trying to live the Norse or Germanic cultures. I would not run one, although for many intents and purposes some of my rituals do not look all that different, for they are not of my culture. I don't know them. Why I know the God that I do is uncertain, but He came to me knowing I was following a Gael path and has seemed to have no problem with this. Aaron's Patron chose him when Aaron was studying CR with me. If there were truly a problem I do not think this would have happened. To me the culture is the key, I just do not live in two different ones, so it is about where one culture touched another and melded, even if one was mostly Christian when most of it happened. I cannot divide myself.
30th-Sep-2006 08:18 pm (UTC)
Right, and that's sort of an issue in and of itself, because I don't feel as pulled by Viking culture. I do, however, believe that it wouldn't be offensive to give offering to Norse god in norse context to a Gael or Gaul trading with nieghbors or any of that.

But being "bi-cultural" would be difficult, but then again, part of the problems of recon have to do with being-essentailly--bi-cultural (modern Western and recon)
2nd-Oct-2006 07:20 pm (UTC)
I'm rather late coming to this but I felt it necessary to comment anyway.

Your comments here really struck a nerve, and I think you have a very good point in arguing that our ancestors would not have used separate culture motifs and rituals to honor deities outside of their native "pantheon". I believe certain cultural elements would have been adopted when deemed necessary or conducive to worship, but that these would have, in true Celtic fashion, been reshaped to fit the Celtic world view and religious concepts.

I would even hazard to say that to not recognize and honor the Brythonic and Nordic elements of our past, as Scottish Gaelic polytheists we would not only miss out on a wealth of religious and cultural beauty, but we would be ignoring a fair number of our ancestors.

Thank you for a well-worded and thought provoking post.
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