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Old 08-13-16   #1
MonSno_LeeDra
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Default Have modern Pagan's missed the mark?

Catchy title.... Serious though

Have modern pagans missed the mark when we look back to the old stories, poems, influences, etc? I was sitting here thinking about Hekate and pondering the various works that are cited for things that are sacred to her or invoke images of her. The idea of snakes girdling her, forming hair or adorning her head as she rises up from the underworld to appear before Jason one of the images that came to mind. In part melding with the ongoing contemplation I've been having regarding the conflating of aspects of Medusa in particular and the Gorgon in general with Hekate in some aspects of Hellene mythology.

Yet as all that has been coalescing in my head I kept getting images of how we use modern imagery and symbology to convey things today. Not to portray sacred images or thoughts but to use association and deeper cultural associations with an items placement within and the subliminal message generated by its inclusion. Sort of the idea of using green face on women and warty noses to suggest witches at Halloween along with a black cat. It's more of a cultural and psychological meaning more than anything else now more than a religious or occultist meaning when it is seen. The same could be said of the inclusion of various objects such as bones for the death, an Owl for Athena, a bow for Artemis, etc.

So if I consider just how much of that usage of imagery and atmosphere is to be found in our own media and art why should I not assume it would not be present in the archaic works? Then if I presume it is there then should we not presume that many of the descriptions and imagery being created speak to the cultural and social norms and expectations of the day? Why should we expect Hekate to rise from the underworld with anything less than snake when the snake held such a cultural and social connection to the underworld in Hellene culture? Why wouldn't Hekate have so many characteristic's similar to the gorgon who was so closely connected to evil spirits and keeping evil away by its gauze when Hekate was associated with them as well as guarding entryways. Yet all that would also be things the viewer would already know and would be thinking upon viewing or hearing it so it would be present.

The playwright didn't have to add much to the play for the audience already knew it. Little backstory needed for the audience already knew it and had the foundation laid. The subliminal message was already implanted.

I know for me it seems the further I delve into discovering those I am sworn to the further I seem to move away from what others seem to see them as. Yes they are still mystical and magical and even powerful but they no longer seem fractured though that may not make sense as a statement. I suppose in many ways it seems, to me anyway, that people are focusing upon the props vice understanding what the props indicate and convey to the playwright who incorporates them into his / her play for the audience.
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Old 08-13-16   #2
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Default Re: Have modern Pagan's missed the mark?

I considered joining this and the "What makes a thing sacred thread" but though the idea of imagery and symbolism to suggest and inspire could be separate enough from the idea of sacredness and relics to generate two separate topics. Figure the idea of imagery and symbolism in my thoughts didn't need the concept of religion as a base component though it would be present as a mitigating factor in how it influenced ethics, fears, ideology, social and pseudo-scientific attempts to identify ones world
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Old 08-14-16   #3
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Default Re: Have modern Pagan's missed the mark?

I think that perhaps our symbolisms and our imagery change all the time as the world changes around us. Modern-day stories in pop culture still use particular archetypes and themes that were used in myth and older stories too, though the specific portrayal of these archetypes and themes has now been updated to reflect the times we live in today. There are symbols part of our everyday life now that weren't even around back then, but when incorporated into the story take on the meaning/intent of older symbols that no longer have meaning in our lives today.

I also think that the use of those symbols back then was never strictly religious or occult to begin with. They were usually symbols that had cultural and psychological associations as well. I think that the symbols that survived all those years and the ones that shifted forms throughout the ages are all multidimensional in the sense that they have a significance born of not just the mystical but also of the earth. I think we only miss the mark when we see the old stories as nothing but religious/mystical -- they are impossible to detach from their culture and psychological significance, and disregarding those aspects flattens the imagery entirely as far as I'm concerned.

As both playwright and consumer, I find it really interesting to witness an audience's response to stories. One of my favourite things to do is read "meta"/"headcanons" about pop culture, in which people examine the underlying meanings of a story and add to its canonical state by including their own thoughts and symbolisms to further dimensionalise the work. I sometimes write fanfiction in addition to my regular stories, which is interesting to do because it means you're engaging in the specific storytelling of a set world. One of the most surprising but welcome compliments toward one of my works came from someone who rewatched the show I wrote a fic for and then was surprised to find that a scene of the story I'd written wasn't anywhere in the show -- apparently, the scene I called up in that particular moment was one that could have seamlessly fit into the show itself. There's a universal kind of quality to those levels of storytelling where the imagery used is subliminal and seamless and speaks to an audience through the playwright on a multidimensional scale.
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Old 08-14-16   #4
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Default Re: Have modern Pagan's missed the mark?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunSister View Post
-- they are impossible to detach from their culture and psychological significance, and disregarding those aspects flattens the imagery entirely as far as I'm concerned. ..
I think that touches on it exactly. Using the Hekate and snakes aspect it looses and flattens the psychological imagery of the cultural and psychological symbolism it brought to the table. I tend to think what is written would be a far cry from what would be presented in the physical play. Adorned upon the actor or about the stage, much less perceived by the human eye due to what the audience sees or thinks they saw due to expectation.
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Old 08-14-16   #5
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Default Re: Have modern Pagan's missed the mark?

For me, the serpent imagery represents the sine wave, which in turn corresponds with electronics and electrical technology.

I no longer believe in the single linear theory of human evolution, but that at various points in the past, there were civilisations which were technologically as advanced, or more advanced, than we are today. I also, however, believe that without exception those civilisations destroyed themselves relatively soon after their discovery of electricity.

As a means of attempting to warn their descendants about the inevitably lethal consequences of discovering and utilising electrical technology, the surviving minorities from some of these civilisations encoded a reference to the sine wave, by representing it as a snake, since an animal form would be known to those less technologically advanced, but the wave pattern itself would not be. The snake also physically resembles the sine wave, and moves via oscillation in a similar manner.

This is why Genesis refers to the serpent as "that ancient enemy of mankind," because it absolutely is. It has repeatedly threatened humanity with extinction, just as it is doing so today. It is in no way necessary for the maintenance of truly sustainable, peaceful, and ethically desirable societies, and it enables the immoral to destroy said sustainable societies.

This is also why ancient prophecies exist which seem to refer to the current time, but which in fact only refer, not to the current time, but to a specific set of circumstances or conditions, which could occur at any time, when electronics had been rediscovered. The entire reason why the ancients could so clearly predict the calamities that we are currently experiencing, is because they have happened before.

The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil refers to the knowledge of electronics, and the Tree of Life refers to life extension technology, which the ancient Egyptians had. The earliest monarchs on the Egyptian king lists, reigned for hundreds of years, but said reigns are disregarded as mythological by current Egyptologists; although paradoxically, hunting down a list which includes said reigns on the Internet, has been suspiciously difficult. They don't want you to know about that. I wouldn't know about it myself, except for the fact that the Egypt-themed science fiction series Stargate SG-1 had references to a "sarcophagus," which was actually a rejuvenation device that allowed deceased monarchs both to be made younger, and literally to be brought back from the dead, so that they could live more or less indefinitely.

It would be very easy to make yourself look like a God if you had access to that kind of tech; and from there, all you really need to do is close your eyes and imagine what the likes of Hillary Clinton would do with it.

Last edited by petrus4; 08-14-16 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 08-15-16   #6
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Default Re: Have modern Pagan's missed the mark?

Sort of moving away but I have wondered at times about the serpent imagery and the idea of electricity. Even when comparing it to the Hydra and its many heads and how if you cut one head off two appear in its place which I've seen with some electrical aspects where one arc will split into two. Even to the aspect of one head appearing to breath fire and consume via flame depending upon what type platform the person is standing on or in.

Which from a relationship to Hekate are both symbolically associated with her, especially in her Chaldean influences during the Roman period. But while many pagans like to refer to her three headed persona not to many actually seem to employ to much of the Chaldean material other than the Hekate's Wheel reference though in my opinion they get that horribly wrong with what they extract that as.
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