Hail and well met from Vancouver B.C. once more! I’m doing a little better today (as I have been a little under the weather last few days) and I have yet another topic for you. Sorry, on a bit of a semi-religious kick. Don’t mean to be – just happens to be the way of things, but at least it’s on topic on what I usually love to talk about in general. This is definitely a “Food for Thought” topic today.
Something I have heard and seen is a good handful, possibly more, people out there in the Rescontructionist communities like to say, “That’s ours, that’s ours, you STOLE that from us – it’s originally ours!” to anything that they feel originally was a part of their ancestral traditions. This ranges from holidays to holiday activities to general rules/guidelines, beliefs, principles and other things.
Now while I do understand the feelings for a want and desire to “Claim” what is rightfully part of your heritage, the fact of the matter is – society is all rather “Bled-Together” these days and nothing is really truly pure anymore (unless you find a really remote village or something, not the point). If one culture was conquered by another you can bet they integrated their beliefs together – or – they dominated it completely.
Same thing with groups that were/are secretive about their practice, most information you might be looking for on something can be found through books or the internet, because someone decided their information and knowledge needed to be shared with the world and decided going against their vows of secrecy was worthwhile (Reiki and its symbols being leaked is a very good example). The internet has literally, by and far, done away with secrecy (while some might argue it maintains it since you can post anonymously, that’s hit or miss).
I know one system that incorporates many other belief systems teachings into it and the “Old Ways” of other Pagan religions is “Wicca”. Now, if you know something about Wicca, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about and I’m not trying to pick on anyone who is “Wiccan” but I’ve met plenty Wiccans, I know at least three for sure were part of an actual Order before, and I’d like to think this experience has given me some knowledge and “leeway” on this subject matter. The others I have known were/are questionable.
If you don’t know what the similarities of Wicca are to other religions – you got some studying to do (too much to explain and you learn more through research & your own hard-work). And if you are a Wiccan denying the similarities and the stuff you share with other Pagan Religions, claiming to be completely unique, original, ancient – you don’t know your religion very well.
Again, I understand how it would be nice to say, “Hey! That originally belongs to us or at least our ancestors! We want credit!” or “You need our permission to use that!” there is also a great deal of good that comes from sharing knowledge and information as well. I have my specific path I follow, but I have learned a great deal from other systems as well. I’ve adapted and incorporated some of it into my own beliefs, but at least I know where some of it comes from. Just not all of it.
You can bet if I do know where it’s from though, I will let people know – if I remember. Now I know there are some things that do belong to my Order/Tradition, but I also know there are others who claim “Whatever” it was, is their’s 1st yadda yadda. So again, when the lines become so blurred fighting over something so petty as, “This was our (insert whatever the qualm is here). You can’t use it!” becomes rather moot. We don’t know who is right and we don’t know who is wrong.
In the end though, does it really matter? Do we really want to waste our time nit-picking about whose right, who’s wrong, what’s ours, what’s yours? I can think of better things I rather spend my time and energy on and it certainly isn’t any of those. I hope some will join me in my sentiments and carry on. My Ka’huna once said to me, “If it works for you – use it. If it doesn’t – don’t worry about it and try something else and find something that DOES work for you“. I think this fits rather nicely when it comes to the possibility of incorporating others practices into our own, no matter who we are.
Thank you for reading as always; the time and effort you take out of your day is much appreciated.
~Infinite love and gratitude, blessings, merry part & merry may we meet again, Namaste~