Greetings and salutations

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Darius the Red, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. Darius the Red

    Darius the Red New Member

    Hello all,

    I am a blunt american, hope that will not offend too often. I love mythology for many reasons and study myths, legends and folklore rather intensely. I found this forum and figured it would be a great place to track down research leads and get some new ideas.
  2. Misa

    Misa Member

    Welcome, Darius the Red, I'm American too, I think you'll find a few of us about. You mentioned new ideas/research, I was wondering what it's towards?
  3. Darius the Red

    Darius the Red New Member

    Honestly? Besides researching things out of blind curiosity, I sometimes run dungeons and dragon's campaigns with a group of friends. Using parallels to myths, folk stories, fairytaes, historical events, and literature is where about half of my ideas come from. Oh, and I'm a reconstructionist neopagan, so a fair amount of my research on pre-Christian religion gets put to practical religious use.
  4. Nadai

    Nadai Active Member

    Welcome to the forum! Hope you enjoy your stay here. Feel free to pick through old posts--it doesn't matter how far back you look--we've had some pretty entertaining debates here on the forum and have learned a great deal. I've always been interested in Dungeons & Dragons but I never knew anyone who knew anything about it. I guess it's not big where I'm from. Aside from The Big Bang Theory I've got next to no experience with it ^_^
    I haven't heard of this Neo-Pagan Reconstuctionism. What exactly is that, if you don't mind my asking?
  5. Darius the Red

    Darius the Red New Member

    Dungeons and Dragons is effectively grown ups sitting around playing make believe with a very large, complex set of rules to keep the game balanced and rounded out. One person (known as the Game Master(GM), Dungeon Master(DM), Storyteller, etc.) paints the picture of the world and its happenings around the other players, and each player beyond the DM creates a character that they play the role of in that setting. The players then decide what their characters do in response to the DM's world and events therein. Anything past that and it's better to just sit down with a group and try it, since it's a lot easier to pick up as you go.

    A Neo-pagan reconstructionist is a person who worships pre-christian deities from cultures that began disappearing around the time Christian nations began to conquer things left and right (so basically anything before the fall of rome or from a non-christian nation that was colonized later). That's where the Neo-pagan part comes in, but some neopagans worship said old (mostly polytheistic) deities and sometimes whole pantheons in ways of their own design that are often decidedly modern. A reconstructionist neopagan takes this a step further and researches the ways in which a deity was worshipped in the culture of its historical origins and attempts to reconstruct the practices and actions conducted in said worship (wholly or in part, depending on circumstance, requisite infrastructure, and personal choice).

    Say, a modern person chooses to worship the Greek Titaness Hecate. A neo-pagan might borrow from Wicca or ceremonial magick and light a candle, invoke her name in prayer, give praise or offerings of food (not necessarily specific to Hecate's traditions, but typical modern religious food like cakesor wafers and wine or juice) and perhaps petition the deity for aid or wisdom. Such requests and ceremonies are like every modern religion does to whatever divine power they worship, but likely feature specific requests to what falls in that deity's pervue. If that pagan is a reconstructionist, the ritual may become more complex and very specific to directly mimic or partially approximate ancient practice.

    In the old greek way, there are particular objects for a shrine to Hecate to be complete, certain foods for offering, certain times of day to make daily oferings if one chooses to do so, and several festivals and monthly holy days to observe. For example, the Deipnon is the first of a 3 day holy ritual of purification that takes up the 3 day transitions between lunar months in several Hellenic Calendars and specifically falls on the dark moon through to the first sliver of the new moon. There are ancient ways to celebrate this to Hecate(traditionally not the only deity propitiated in this time), but most involve setting out a feast at a three-way crossroads and sacrificing a dog. Since very few modern people are willing to sacrifice a dog or leave pottery out in the street, some suggested using banana-leaf plates or mats woven of wheatstraw or dried corn husk (all swiftly biodegradable options). As to the canine killing, most instead substitute a figurine of a dog made of sticks and other materials, or carved a miniature of wax and sacrifice it in symbol. Since a lot of the old prayers are not available to us, a lot of people default to reciting orphyic hymns to Hecate and a few go so far as to try to learn and memorize them in whatever approximation of ancient greek they can learn to pronounce. The foods are specific to a Hecate feast and some require particular ingredients and preparation by hand from scratch if they are done the ancient way. These recipes often involve bread, cheese, garlic, saffron, and some involve dog meat or other specific sacred animals cooked, their blood spilled on the ground to nourish the cthonic deities and their agregate spirits. Again, since very few are willing to kill animals for this in modern western society, many often pour red wine or fermented pomegranate ale over approximations of those animals. If instead one was giving sacrifice to an ouranic deity (most olympian Gods or Goddesses, for example) the offderings would be burned in a sacred fire on a stone altar at a temple in the old world, with varying ritual and rigamarole to perform depending on the deity being petitioned.

    So, yeah, neo-pagan reconstructionism is a large and complicated attempt to worship old Gds in old ways, would have been a much shorter and less rambling answer......and I fully admit that full reconstruction is often beyond me. I tend to celebrate some yearly greek festivals when I can and use the appropriate foods, but I mix old and new ritual to make it more doable for the pace of my day-to-day life. Some reconstructionists would say I'm not a "true reconstructionist". They are both technically right, and often complete snobs about their correctness. ;-P
    Nadai likes this.

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