Archive for May, 2014
In my last update of the Celtic Polytheism Resource page, I mentioned my disappointment that online discussion seems to have greatly decreased. I have since discovered that much of it has migrated from Livejournal and Yahoo groups to Facebook. The only constant thing is change- before LJ and Yahoo there was PODSNET, USENET, and before that Pagans communicated mostly with mimeographed newsletters! Anyhow there are so many that I am making this separate page. Each group has its own focus, and slightly different rules, so please keep that in mind in your participation. As always with my resource lists, this is a work in progress.
Facebook Groups: Some are private/closed, so if you prefer you can keep your membership hidden, or create a profile that uses a religious or other assumed name. Since almost all are closed, I’m now only making note of the public ones!
Celtic Polytheists (Public)
Irish/British Celtic Polytheism (Public)
Alexei Kondratiev’s Lorekeeper Course study/discussion group (Public)
Creideamh Si & Ancestral Gaelic Folkways encompasses non-Christian culture and spirituality in Ireland and Scotland, from the pre-Celtic through to the present.
Gaelic Polytheism This is the group you need to join in order to join Gaol Naofa
Sinnsreachd- Gaelic Polytheistic Tribalism: Note this group associates more with modern Gaelic cultures rather than Neo-Pagan subcultures
Loachra nan gaidheal– Gaelic warriors guild- Laochra Cuallacht of Comhaltacht na nGaedheal: Cairdreabh nan Gàidheal
Irish Magic & Spirituality– moderated by Lora O’Brien
Teanga na draoithe– Language of the Druids- Irish language learners
Clann na Morrigna For devotees of the Morrigan- of all genders
Ban-gaiscedach na Morrigna Warrior women of the Morrigan (trans-inclusive)
Clann Bhride: Children of Brighid Religious order devoted to Brighid (co-ed)
Ord Brighideach International– Religious order devoted to Brighid (co-ed)
Forge & Well- Keepers of the Flame– Brigidine order, all women
Nigheanan Brighde Order– Celtic Polytheist flame-keeping order, all women
Cuallacht na Brighid– Order of Brighid for Comhaltacht na nGaedheal: Cairdreabh nan Gàidheal, co-ed, not solely flame-keeping
Coire an Dagda– Cauldron of the Dagda
Contemplative Druidry– focus on contemplative practices in Druidry (big tent definition)
ADF- Ar nDraiocht Fein (Closed) Open to non-ADF members. There are other FB groups and lists for specific ADF groves and subgroups- I’m not listing them all!
OBOD Friends (unofficial)
Sylvan Celtic Fellowship– Located in Lincolnton, NC but welcomes folks from other areas, inclusive of all Celtic-based paths
Northwest Druidry: NW United States and SW Canada
Paganacht Reddit– This one is active!
Celtic Reconstructionist Livejournal Community– in the 2000’s this was the main hub of online discussion- less active now, but lots of good material!
A friend and neighbor of mine mentioned that she participates in a monthly interfaith discussion group, hosted by the St. Paul Area Council of Churches. I told her I might interested in checking that out, but I asked- is this really “interfaith”? Or is it more like “inter-monotheist?”. She told me who attended varied each month (due to availability or interest in the topic) noting the Jewish folks (like herself) were actually often over-represented, different types of Christians, a Bahai’i who moderated the discussion, some Muslims and Buddhists. And atheists- though she said they called themselves “Rational Pluralists”.
The mention of enthusiastic Jewish interest didn’t surprise me- after all, religious minorities have to deal with members of more dominant faiths every day, whereas a Christian has the luxury of ignoring the existence of other religions, having them only occasionally intrude into their bubble. I felt better when I heard the atheists and Buddhists mentioned, and upon looking at the website noted mention of Sikhs, Hindus and American Indians. Sikhs are also a kind of monotheist, but part of the Dharmic family of religions (along with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism) often Hindus involved in interfaith or PR efforts like to frame their religion as “really” monotheistic- all those thousands of Gods are really One, and that’s what matters! Now I totally respect that it’s their choice on how to publicly present their faith, but I hope they are not allowing a monotheist bias to influence them. Anyway Hindus are such a huge and diverse group it’s hard to say.
I knew my friend has some sympathy for this, because even more frequently, especially in areas with less diversity, an “interfaith” event really means ecumenical or intrafaith- between different types of Christianity, sometimes made “interfaith” by inviting the town’s token Jew. Now having ecumenical Christian events, or pan-Abrahamic or just Jewish-Christian dialogue events are fine and dandy by me, they are very much needed. But as religious minority that feels especially well, minor I ask that those events be clearly labeled as such, stating their focus and purpose. Focus and purpose are key to making an interfaith group or event successful (heck any event successful!)
As I mentioned, I felt more included once I heard about the atheist participation (if they can deal with someone who doesn’t believe in any gods, they can deal with someone who believes in many gods is my rationale) And I’m guessing the sorts of atheists that like to go to interfaith shindigs, are the kind I get along with- much like the folks who might be sitting next to me in a pew at Unity. These are the positive Humanists, who believe in working to make the world a better place, and affirm the value of science and reason, and God and religion doesn’t jive with their worldview. And they want to work with religious people to help make the world a better place, and share the values of science and critical thinking with them. But they aren’t anti-religion. I believe religion- like anything created by human beings can be used for good or evil. And as much as I value science and reason as ways of knowing, I find there are emotional, aesthetic, social, and intellectual things that I get out of religion. I can lead a meaningful, ethical life without religion or Gods. I’m frankly agnostic about the existence or nature of the afterlife, so that is not my motivation. But something would be missing for me. And it would be for a lot of people. The anti-religion atheists who don’t understand that need to work on their empathy. But the Humanists who share my view of religion as neutral, they are on my team.