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Reconstructionist Study via Genetic Ancestry

Discussion in 'Reconstructionism DIR' started by Verdant Nebulosity, Jun 30, 2018.

  1. Verdant Nebulosity

    Verdant Nebulosity Just Breathe

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    Hi everyone!

    I've recently taken an interest in recontructionist paganism, and decided to get a DNA test to see where my heritage lies. But now that I have my results I am unsure of what paths to look at. Anyone willing to help out? The results I got were:
    Europe West
    42%
    Europe South
    17%
    Great Britain
    17%
    Ireland/Scotland/Wales
    9%

    I know Celtic was the main pagan views in Ireland and Britain at various points. My issue stems from the categorization of the countries covered by Europe West (Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein), and Europe South (Italy, Greece), covers such a wide berth of countries.
     
  2. Verdant Nebulosity

    Verdant Nebulosity Just Breathe

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  3. Podo

    Podo Member

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    Why do you think that your heritage matters? Find something that you like, learn about it, and roll with it. There's no reason to limit yourself to the trends of your ancestors.
     
  4. GoodbyeDave

    GoodbyeDave Well-Known Member

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    2000 years ago the Athenian Isocrates said that a Hellene was some-one who shared their culture, not their ancestors.

    Also, polytheism never restricts you to the gods of one nation: the Athenians worshiped the Thracian Bendis and the Spartans the Egyptian Amun. There are arguments in favour of picking a particular pantheon, though.

    1. Being raised in a particular religious culture can lead you to adopt its assumptions. Immersing yourself in the culture associated with a pantheon can wash some of this off, as it were.

    2. Some gods travel, some don't (e.g. Dionysos and Isis rather than Hekate and Hathor). Certain gods obviously manifest themselves to cultures that they find congenial.

    3. "Cafeteria polytheism" may not give you a balanced spiritual diet. Ares and I may not have much in common, but it's good for me to celebrate his festival, appreciate his point of view, and be thankful for those who follow him (even if they are Christians and so don't realise that they do).

    But pick your gods by gut feeling, not DNA.
     
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  5. Podo

    Podo Member

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    I wanna talk about this statement. I'm not disagreeing, I just want to know more. Why do you say that the Abrahamic god is Ares? Is there any archeological/historical/anthropological basis for this? That's fascinating, if so. And if not, what makes you say that?
     
  6. GoodbyeDave

    GoodbyeDave Well-Known Member

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    I'm not saying anything of the sort! I'm referring to soldiers: those who have chosen that life are manifesting the values of Ares, even if they don't realise it.
     
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  7. Verdant Nebulosity

    Verdant Nebulosity Just Breathe

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    It doesn't, for most. But I would like to take a look specifically at the Gods of my ancestors, and would like to connect with my past via myth.
     
  8. Verdant Nebulosity

    Verdant Nebulosity Just Breathe

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    "Cafeteria polytheism"? Like cherry picking the Bible, but with Gods? *Scratches head*

    Also, I'm interested in recontructionism, hence where my post is. So, as far as I know this includes reconstructing rituals, holy days, etc of a given group; so why not focus on reconstructing MY heritage, as opposed to someone else's?
     
  9. Verdant Nebulosity

    Verdant Nebulosity Just Breathe

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    Ares is a God of war, right? The abrahamic God, Yahweh, has his roots as a warrior good. Taken from Wikipedia so possibly innaccurate, but: "In the earliest literature such as the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1–18, celebrating Yahweh's victory over Egypt at the exodus), Yahweh is a warrior for his people, a storm-god typical of ancient Near Eastern myths..."
     
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  10. Podo

    Podo Member

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    Understood. Thanks, that makes more sense to me :)

    Well, heritage doesn't need to have anything at all to do with belief systems. But if you acknowledge that other options exist, there's nothing wrong with going for your own. Many people think that they can ONLY go for myths from their own heritage, is the problem. Choosing your ancestors' beliefs is fine, but spending time on them because you think they're your only option is less good.
     
  11. Verdant Nebulosity

    Verdant Nebulosity Just Breathe

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    Definitely, I agree, worship the Gods who call to you. Do you have any pointers of where I could look?
     
  12. Podo

    Podo Member

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    Not that would be very helpful, I'm afraid. I don't actually think gods exist. However, I think that we can (and should) engage with culture in a secular way that doesn't have anything to do with religion, even if we don't believe in deities. Most of us in the west, for example, at least nominally participate with Christian mythology whether or not we are christian, due to national holidays and whatnot. Adhering to a culture and set of myths that speak to you seems much healthier, whether it is secular or religiously, than participating in the judeo-christian paradigm which hasn't really contributed anything of value to anyone.

    I'm dancing around heathen reconstructionism, myself, from a secular and cultural angle. I do my best to read the actual sources, not the mythology. Mythology is pretty useless, in terms of comprehension of worldview, if you don't fully understand the culture that the mythology comes from. Most heathens will tell you that the best place to start is not the eddas, but instead Vilhelm Groenbeck's "Culture of the Teutons." With a cultural background, backed by anthropological, archaeological, linguistic, and historical evidence, a person is in a much better place to reconstruct an ancient worldview than they would be if they just jumped right into the mythology.
     
  13. Baladas

    Baladas An Págánach

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    While I agree with the sentiments expressed by others here that a person's ancestry is not binding on their religious pursuits, I can relate in that I am very interested in my heritage, and I do connect with the gods of my ancestors which makes me feel a stronger connection to my ancestors themselves. A little over ten years ago, I went on a trip with a Christian organization called "Youth For Christ" to Ireland to work with "troubled" youth there. When I walked those shores, I swear the land almost spoke to me. I could feel a connection stronger than any that I had ever had to the Christian god. Shortly after, I learned that I have a strong Irish heritage. Years later, I came to call on her as lady Eriu, Ireland herself.

    It's technically hard to say which traditions those results might represent historically. Before Christianity carved it's "peaceful" way through, Western Europe was once largely full of people who worshiped Woden (commonly called Germanic religion). If you go further back, Western Europe was largely Celtic in nature and our knowledge of those traditions is tragically sparse.

    "Southern Europe" could mean Italy (Roman or Etruscan or Celtic or something else) or Greek or several other things.
    Both "Great Britain" and "Ireland, Scotland and Wales" could represent one or more Celtic traditions or perhaps a form of Germanic or Norse religion.

    Best of luck in finding the traditions and gods that are calling you.
     
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  14. DanishCrow

    DanishCrow Seeking Feeds

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    even if we assume genetics matter (they don't, IMO), you have 42% 'western european'. This says germanic/norse/slavic paganism to me.

    Do you know where your family comes from? If you feel aided by that link to your ancestors, perhaps you could visit the natural areas of that region and sacrifice for inspiration?
     
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  15. Baladas

    Baladas An Págánach

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    I love this idea. It's something I hope to do myself.
     
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  16. Verdant Nebulosity

    Verdant Nebulosity Just Breathe

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    Not certain, as I only know half of the story (Mom's side), she claims Italian, which is partly correct, I've just never connected religiously with anything of Italian/Roman origin, that I've found. I like exploring avenues and options.

    I would love to travel really anywhere in Europe, only ever managed to visit Asia though.
     
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