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  • Originally posted by DebLipp
    Myth and comparative religion
    Knowledge of Goddess/Matriarchy theory. Today I would add knowledge of authors like Cynthia Eller who argue cogently against matriarchy theory.
    Hey Debb! Thought I'd poek my head in here, before I toddle off to bed [Gods, it's late...I simply have to get my hours turned back around!), but I'd love to add to this list tomorrow, when I have some time.

    However, I would like to offer a word of warning re: Cynthia EWller and her-- frankly laughible-- book The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory. And, in so doing, I most definately recommend the reader to the following critique, by Harvard educated "independant scholar" Max Dashu: Knocking Over Straw Dolls [it's long!].

    However, I will point out a few striking areas that concerned me: Eller seemed (at least this is how I read the book) to paint many of the excellent academics (such as Miriam Robbins Dexter, PhD.) with the same brush that she painted that early femenist extremists.

    She even, astonishingly, re-defines any theory with even the slightest whiff of egalitarianism as a full-bown "Matriarchy" (period)!

    Then there's the fact that while she mentioned what proper methodological protocol is, she-- in an act of blatant hypocricy-- didn't follow through once (ie, she didn't practice what she preached). Indeed, she seemed to accept, rather unquestioningly, every alternative theory that was claiming the Stone Aged figurines to be anything but Goddesses. Then again, my b.s.-detector is usually set to "high," anyway! LOL... (I also believe that every scholars ought to explain what methodology they have adopted, and also balance the equasion, rather than invoking the supposed "academic consensus; Hutton, for example, is particularly guilty of not presenting a balanced equation, as well as invoking the academic consensus as though there were no disagreement within "the ranks".)

    Here are some other critiques of note (one by a favourite author of mine, who has recently passed on, Asphodel P. Long);


    Unfortunately, due to this books severely antithetical views, many Pagans have accepted every word, not realizing that such theories have NOT been "disproven"-- they are merely out of favour (there's a BIG difference between the two, which they very often don't understand). And, as a result, a lot of bullying ensues, as well as juvenile name-calling for explaining the failings of this particular text.

    Indeed, academia appears to be in a process of moving ever further away from their previous knee-jerk reductionist views as the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other, and now seeks its balance! Until recently, most scholars were content to throw their academic weight around and claim that the Neoliuthic is beyond interpretation, and we shouldn't even try (this was certainly the taste Hutton's The Pagan Religions left me with). However, even since the late 1980s, neurological lab results have allowed us to do what scholars have claimed was impossible! One such scholar-- whose book Inside The Neolithic Mind was amazing!-- David Lewis-Williams has been accruing a number of supporters, who include: Peter Ucko, Ronald Hutton, and Miranda & Stephen Aldhouse-Green. It's a shame that one of my heros, Marija Gimbutas, was never able to rely upon Lewis-Williams-- I like to think that she would have approved, and also adopted his methodology!

    All my best,
    Wade MacMorrighan

    Comment


    • don't agree with all of Eller's points, but she is a necessary antidote to the virtually limitless access to the opposite view.

      Originally posted by MacMorrighan
      However, I will point out a few striking areas that concerned me: Eller seemed (at least this is how I read the book) to paint many of the excellent academics (such as Miriam Robbins Dexter, PhD.) with the same brush that she painted that early femenist extremists.
      I disagree. Eller presents her argument carefully, but you have to read carefully. She has objections to assumptions in many works, but doesn't necessarily dismiss them.

      She even, astonishingly, re-defines any theory with even the slightest whiff of egalitarianism as a full-bown "Matriarchy" (period)!
      Yeah, she does. I recall that she's most interested in looking at the work that is accepted uncritically by the Women's Spirituality movement. Some of that work is without merit and some has merit, but her real expertise is in the movement itself, and how it views the material.

      Indeed, she seemed to accept, rather unquestioningly, every alternative theory that was claiming the Stone Aged figurines to be anything but Goddesses.
      My reading of it is that she presents, but does not accept, such theories. She is establishing a thesis that we cannot prove any theory about prehistoric peoples, and so we should consider all reasonable ones, rather than embracing things like "Catal Huyuk was a matriarchal temple" as fact.

      One such scholar-- whose book Inside The Neolithic Mind was amazing!-- David Lewis-Williams has been accruing a number of supporters,
      Interesting. I'll have to investigate that.
      Please visit my blog!

      Nowadays, every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a Sister of the Dark Ones. —Willow Rosenberg

      If that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
      www.deborahlipp.com

      Comment


      • Well, here's what I would add to the "List" if it hasn't been mentioned, yet. This was first introduced to me by Laurie Cabot in her book Power Of The Witch: A Witch's Guide to Her Craft. Here are some titles that I recommend:

        QUANTUM MECHANICS
        • The Tao of Physics -- Fritjoff Capra
        • The Holographic Universe -- Michael Talbot
        • Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness -- Itzhak Bentov
        • A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes -- Stephen Hawking
        • Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind -- F. David Peat
        • Looking Glass Universe -- F. David Peat
        • In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality -- John Gribbin
        • The Elegant Universe -- Brian Green
        • The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy -- Three Anonymous Initiates [Not about quantum physics, per sde, though the Laws do seem to mirror the "New Physics".]
        • Mind Into Matter: A New Alchemy of Science & Spirit -- Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D.
        • The Hidden Messages in Water -- Dr. Masaru Emoto [Again, not exactly about physics, though it does have implications where potions are concerned, IMHO.]
        • The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality -- Brian Greene


        All my best,
        Wade MacMorrighan

        Comment


        • Originally posted by MacMorrighan
          Well, here's what I would add to the "List" if it hasn't been mentioned, yet. This was first introduced to me by Laurie Cabot in her book Power Of The Witch: A Witch's Guide to Her Craft. Here are some titles that I recommend:

          QUANTUM MECHANICS
          • The Tao of Physics -- Fritjoff Capra
          • The Holographic Universe -- Michael Talbot
          • Stalking the Wild Pendulum: On the Mechanics of Consciousness -- Itzhak Bentov
          • A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes -- Stephen Hawking
          • Synchronicity: The Bridge Between Matter and Mind -- F. David Peat
          • Looking Glass Universe -- F. David Peat
          • In Search of Schrodinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality -- John Gribbin
          • The Elegant Universe -- Brian Green
          • The Kybalion: Hermetic Philosophy -- Three Anonymous Initiates [Not about quantum physics, per sde, though the Laws do seem to mirror the "New Physics".]
          • Mind Into Matter: A New Alchemy of Science & Spirit -- Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D.
          • The Hidden Messages in Water -- Dr. Masaru Emoto [Again, not exactly about physics, though it does have implications where potions are concerned, IMHO.]
          • The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality -- Brian Greene


          All my best,
          Wade MacMorrighan
          Great list.

          This post has turned into a book, which is currently seeking a publisher. I didn't include any Quantum Physics in the book. It is a topic worth exploring but I don't know much about it.
          Please visit my blog!

          Nowadays, every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a Sister of the Dark Ones. —Willow Rosenberg

          If that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
          www.deborahlipp.com

          Comment


          • Thank you for sharing this. Although I'm an "old-timer" myself, and my training was fairly rigorous, I somehow missed having to study in some of these areas you listed. We were required to choose an area of specialization, and I chose divination. Anyway, thanks again. I had just posted a message on another forum asking fellow teachers to share their teaching methods, format, etc., and no one wanted to discuss it.
            B*B,
            SoulFire

            Comment


            • Originally posted by DebLipp View Post
              Spellwork
              Grounding, centering
              Shielding
              Kabbalah
              Yoga
              Gnosticism

              Crafts & Skills:
              Sewing, embroidery, applique (robe making, altar cloths)
              Weaving
              Knotwork crafts
              Spinning
              Smithcraft
              Bardry (song, dance, poetry, storytelling)
              Beading

              A note about handcrafts: What does sewing have to do with Wicca? Several things. Back in the day, you couldn't count on buying robes, tools, and supplies retail—the market wasn't there, the stores weren't there, the WEB WASN'T THERE. You made things yourself. In addition, handcrafts have long been considered sacred to various gods, especially smithcraft, weaving, and of course bardry. In addition, repetetive handcrafts such as spinning and weaving are incredibly useful for creating trance, and knotwork is famously a part of spellworking.
              I was also required to study history, literature, mythology, folklore, comparative religion, art, music, dancing, and crafts. Also, sensing and projecting energy, color theory, herbalism, poetry, etheric sight, the Triune Soul, and astral projection.

              Thanks again, Deb!
              Last edited by SoulFire; December 24th, 2006, 05:36 PM.
              B*B,
              SoulFire

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Ben Gruagach View Post
                Unfortunately Rhiannon Ryall was exposed as lying about being pre-Gardnerian quite a few years ago. It's all documented in some detail in Ronald Hutton's book "The Triumph of the Moon" (page 301 is where it starts.)

                There were people who practiced witchcraft prior to Gardner. However, Gardner appears (at least based on the evidence available to date) to have been the first to actually present an actual religion based on witchcraft rather than just a bunch of folk magick practices.
                ...And Mike Nichols argues that that's all pre-Gardnerian Witchcraft was in the first place: a folk religion, versus an organized "Religion". (Nichols uses the term "religion" in its broadest sense.) He writes:

                "Scholars of comparative religion will already know where I'm going with this. In our Western culture, we tend to think of religion in very narrow terms. We suppose it always comes with certain trappings and structures, and that it remains highly consistent over time. We might assume a religion must have specific beliefs, that it has sacred scriptures, that it has a recognizable clergy, that it has some connection to a God or Gods, that is has a specific set of rituals, that is has a hierarchy of followers, or that it champions a certain set of moral precepts. Surprisingly, as travelers to the Orient have discovered, many of the world's great religions break one or more of these rules. All the more so do the hundreds of smaller, tribal, and aboriginal religions break them. Some of these religions are little more than a loose collection of rituals and devotions that change dramatically over time. They are not the large-scale, well-funded, organized religions typical of the West. Rather, they might best be described as 'folk religions'. It is in this sense that Witchcraft is a religion."

                I would argue that Leland was the first to posit "Wicca" - he even caps it - or witchcraft as an organized religion, in his book Gypsy Sorcery and Fortune-telling, some 60 years before Gardner.
                B*B,
                SoulFire

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Ben Gruagach
                  Unfortunately Rhiannon Ryall was exposed as lying about being pre-Gardnerian quite a few years ago. It's all documented in some detail in Ronald Hutton's book "The Triumph of the Moon" (page 301 is where it starts.)
                  While I am not arguing for Ryall's claims, nor necessarily against them, I firmly believe that you happen to be taking Ronald Hutton a mite far too seriously than one ouyght to, these days. He happens to be the one Professional Historian which disillusioned me more than any other! But, I digress... I know this may sound cynical, but, I view it as rather "convenient" that Ryall was dead by the time of writing, so unable to defend herself. That aside, on these two pages Ronald makes a number of "faux poas" that are worth notation. But, one should remmeber that Hutton never "exposed [Ryall] as lying about pre-Gardnerian [local withcraft religion]." This would be at least more than a little misleading, I fear.

                  He begins by saying of Devon and Somerset that Folklorists have studied it thoroughly for generations, and concludes that "none of them recorded even a rumour of a pagan witch religion in the locality." This is quite a problematic statement because it makes him sound as though he has an exhaustive knowledge on any given topic, and it's a tactic that he uses quite frequently. However, I am personally doubtful (as he has proven himself to have huge gaps in his knowledge, yet he is keen to make such all-encompassing statements) that he has read EVERY scrap of paper written by EVERY Folklorist that has EVER studied the area! It is his earlier problematic texts that colour my views of his later texts and the statements he routinely makes. And, of course, this statement is, as the same time, an intimidation tactic against anyone that may, in future, find such a scap of folk-lorist writings! Indeed, when he says "no one has found" or some other such statement, bells and whistles start to go off-- I am very warry of such statements, and have become severely jaded as a result. Basically, his latter argument (that no such religious practices have been recorded) is not so much as "proven", but based upon personal supposition-- the two are far different animals, and need to be acknowledged as such (especially by we Pagans!). After all, it's very different to claim that one has proven something due to a severe lack of evidence, when compared to proving something when one has an abundance of evidence. This dichotomy also much be recognized by modern Pagans, also. It's a rather implicate logical fallacy in itself worth bearing in mind, especially when reading various texts by numerous authors.

                  Even further down the mid-end of the paragraph on page 301, as I read it, he argues contrary to Ryall-- even though she may well be wrong concerning Cornwalls pagan and Christian past-- by giving the reader only his say-so, rather than citing the numerous examples at his disposal. This is problematic on a very pedantic level, because I don't like being put in the place of taking Hutton at his work, when he can frequently be demonstrated to be wrong in other texts.

                  Comment


                  • Just so you all know, The Study of Witchcraft will be out from Weiser's next fall. You'll find an expansion on all the major topics here, plus lots more.
                    Please visit my blog!

                    Nowadays, every girl with a henna tattoo and a spice rack thinks she's a Sister of the Dark Ones. —Willow Rosenberg

                    If that which thou seekest, thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee.
                    www.deborahlipp.com

                    Comment


                    • I look forward to it! It's been an interesting discussion here. I've enjoyed your other books, so this should be equally as good or better. Thanks!
                      The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.
                      --Bill Watterson

                      Comment


                      • I thought I'd bump this thread, since I find it's a rather valuable resource.


                        My Author Page
                        That's the thing about magic. There's always consequences. Always.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by RubyRose View Post
                          I thought I'd bump this thread, since I find it's a rather valuable resource.
                          I hope that Deborah has written a book about the topic which has found it's way into the hands of an enlightened publisher.

                          A well researched book on Wiccan philosophy, history and origins from one who has a feel for it would be very welcome. IMO it'd go a long way toward preventing much personal energy from being invested (if not entire lives) in concepts that work against themselves.

                          I personally feel (and have experienced this feeling in others) that Wicca empowers the Grand Feminine in ways that have been neglected for thousands of years. One of my greatest hopes is that it will not fall into the traps of many other religions while it is flexing its wings. Matriarchy is as big a devourer of beings as Patriarchy. Lineage and family OTOH enable and connect us all (if we open our eyes and look).

                          Searles O'Dubhain

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by odubhain View Post
                            I hope that Deborah has written a book about the topic which has found it's way into the hands of an enlightened publisher.
                            She did write a book, and it has been published. Look for "The Study of Witchcraft." It was published by Weiser in Oct. 2007.

                            It's a great book and expands on what was posted here.

                            Ben Gruagach
                            MysticWicks forum guide in "Paths: Wicca", "Books" and "History"
                            author of The Wiccan Mystic: Exploring a Magickal Spiritual Path
                            visit my website at http://www.witchgrotto.com
                            read my LiveJournal blog
                            find me on Facebook

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Ben Gruagach View Post
                              She did write a book, and it has been published. Look for "The Study of Witchcraft." It was published by Weiser in Oct. 2007.

                              It's a great book and expands on what was posted here.
                              Thanks, Ben. I'm ordering a copy now.

                              Searles

                              Comment

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