jewish pagan

Here’s to the witches...

The Satanist Witches.  Who are constantly thrown under the bus by witches who don’t want to associate with you because they want people to know they’re not “evil”.

The Atheist/Secular Witches.  Who have trouble finding spells suited to their beliefs because most other witches insist on calling on gods or goddesses. 

The Abrahamic Witches.  Who are constantly told their paths aren’t valid by people of their religion and witches alike.

The Trans/non-binary Witches.  Who have a hard time finding representation in religion and the craft.  Who are excluded from covens solely due to how they were born

To Non-Wiccan Witches.  Who constantly need to remind people that witch is not synonymous with Wicca.  

Y’all are wonderful.  Keep being awesome witches!

I am thinking about starting an interfaith blog. With the rise of fascism and xenophobia, I think it is important that there be dialogue and interaction between religions. 

I wish to get a bunch of people from differing religions. Mods would represent their respective religions and will be willing to answer questions and talk about their faith. 

I am a Christian, and I am looking for those who are Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Pagan (or any other faith) that may wish to become mods. I would prefer if mods were engaged and informed in their faith (but you don’t need to an expert). You can send me a message or reply to this post if you are interested.

Twas the night before Christmas...

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the nation
the Christians were having a grand celebration.
They left their offices early and closed all the shops,
and it seemed almost as though the whole world has just stopped.

But hidden away, tucked far out of sight
The Others were having a less silent night.
They emerged from their houses in frolicsome fleets,
Shouting with glee as they danced through the streets:

“Now Muslim! Now Jain! Now, Buddhist and Hindu! 
On, Jewish! On, Pagan! On, Bahá’í and Shinto! 
And all other faiths, and all nonbelievers! 
Get ready for Dim Sum, get ready for movies!”

And so off they went, the whole ethnic flock
to India Palace and Mandarin Wok.
They stuffed themselves silly on dumplings and kheer
only stopping to watch the movies premier

Then they all stayed out late because
none of them had to get home for Santa Clause.
And at the end of the day they said with delight:
"Merry Christmas to some, but to all a good night!”

Holy Holly days with all the gods

Merry 50 different winter holidays from 30 religions or something like that! Including the small ones with small gods.
(Happy Birthday Isaac Newton who changed the world.)
Happy Hanukkah.
Happy birthday to the Green Man, the Horned God, Mithras, a couple of Celtic and Greek gods I forget, happy Saturnalia and Jul and the coming of Roman God Janus.
Adore Freya and her joyous loving parties.
Find laughter and love with Hermes and Pan.
Bless Gaia, Ouronos, and the life they support.
Keep the Hogfather alive at Hogswatch, so the Sun keeps illuminating the world.

May your food be in abundance and may kindness be in your heart and may your hearth be warm all winter. May Apollo heal you as you live and Loki prank you kindly and Quan Yin bring you compassion and Hecate lead you down all your best paths. May Janus open all the doors you need.

“Christmas originates from pagan--” Stop Right There!

Buckle up kiddies, Aunt Shad is gonna explain why the common belief of Christmas’ pagan origins is fallacy.

To begin with, one has to understand the culture of the early church in order to understand how they approached pagan practices. clergy were extremely concerned with the mixing of religions, especially ritualistic practices, because of the threat it posed to the unadulterated church. remember, much of the early church’s doctrines and teachings were written by “doctors” (scholars) who researched scrupulously, particularly in matters of salvation history, in ordet o examine what did and did not belong in the church’s teachings. thus, they examined the old testament: which includes the failings of the Mosaic Jews. the one thing they struggled to do generation after generation was to remain faithful to God. why is this important? well, one of the major reasons they continued to fail at monotheism for centuries was because Jewish men took pagan wives: these women eventually corrupted the conviction of the Jewish men’s belief in monotheism. It was the prophet Ezra who eventually figured out this forumla for disaster, and became known for being extremely strict when it came to marriages.
The early doctors of the Church, being the indepth scholars they were, noticed this trend. They would not want it to be repeated. In fact, there are many testaments in early Church history to being complete abandon of paganism a requirement in conversion: the most obvious and well-known would be King Charlemagne, who was renowned for his complete and brisk conversion of the pagan Franks. As he swept through towns, any and all pagan symbols were swept away, burned, or removed completely.
Perhaps the greatest reason the Church did not assimilate pagan practices was to prevent converts from feeling tempted. It’s certainly logical– constantly being reminded of your former beliefs would certainly create a longing or pull towards what you had left behind. Thus, the Church very much believed in starting fresh, on a clean slate.
Using Pagan holidays/customs to draw in converts is a fallacy within itself. It simply wasn’t in the early Church’s “purity” culture– they were obsessed with keeping the religion untainted. Just check out how many negligible heresies the Church openly sought to squash. If they were truly concerned with just getting people to convert, they probably would have let a few heresies slide here and there to keep people content with the Church. This was the furthest thing on its mind.

Moving on to the very common claim that most Christian holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc) are based around pagan holidays. This is just plain false. The misconception became widely circulated in the 19th century, with the publication of Alexander Hisop.
To begin with, Yule was a celtic pagan celebration. Doesn’t make much sense for the Church to center the celebration of Christmas on a day devoted to one tiny section of west Europe. In fact, the current date of Christmas on Dec 25th wasn’t set until the Middle Ages, past the time when most of Europe was converted into SOME form of Christianity.
One such quote that has sparked such belief in Christmas being pagan is the following:
“It was a custom of the Pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the Sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnised on that day.” (Christianity and Paganism in the Fourth to Eighth Centuries, Ramsay MacMullen. Yale:1997, p. 155)

Many seized this passage as proof of paganism being the root of Christmas. However, context (as we all know) is super important. Bishop Bar-Salibi (the author) was an Eastern Orthodox bishop, writing to his flock to attempt to explain why WESTERN Catholics celebrated on the 25th instead of the EAST’S tradition of Jan 7th. He had only a cursory knowledge of Western Catholic culture and wrote sparingly, not particularly well thought-out or with much research. It is by far no means “proof” or an official statement as to how or why the celebration came about.

Early Christians adapted a LOT of traditions from Judaism. Of course, not just any traditions could be assimilated– that was left to the Apostles, and eventually the early Church, to decide what still applied to Christians and what was no longer okay to celebrate (Council of Jerusalem circa 50 AD, according to Acts). As it was, Hanukkah did not originate from Mosaic Judaism: i.e., the part that Christians were told to no longer follow. It was a way for the Jews to remember and celebrate the second dedication of the Temple after the Maccabean revolt. The celebration always lasted 8 days, starting on the 25h day of the Jewish month of Kislev. The month of Kislev on the Jewish calendar overlaps the month of December on the Julian/Gregorian calendar. In fact, sometimes the overlap is so close, that Hanukkah is celebrated at the same time Christians are celebrating Christmas.
Now, Hanukkah was very much a celebration focused on light, a “rebirth” for the (earthly) kingdom, and a refreshed covenant with God. It made sense that Early Christians would therefore feel close to it. However, early Christians were shunned by the Jews, often kicked out of the culture completely. They lost track of the Jewish calendar over time, and thus it’s only natural that they fell into using the Julian calendar as other Christian Gentiles did. They instead celebrated Hanukkah on December 25th–which was pretty close to Kislev 2th anyways. And–here’s the kicker– there are 8 days between Dec 25th and Jan 1st, meaning it perfectly wrapped up the end of the Christian cultural year with re-dedication (new years revolutions, anyone?). Christmas became the christened version of Hanukkah in the beginning. This went on for several centuries in the Early Church.

So how did the Christian Hanukkah become associated with Christ’s nativity? Very early Christians believed that the world was created on Nissan 14, which is about March 25 on the Julian calendar. These Jewish Christians not only associated the beginning of the world on that date, but also the beginning of the new world: meaning the conception of Jesus Christ. To this day, the Catholic Church (and Lutheran, Anglican) celebrate the Annunciation of Mar 25th. Pregnancies last for about 9 months, so count that far ahead from the date: you get to December 25th. Early Doctors/Fathers such as Saints Ireaneus and Sextus Africanus firmly defended this date. Thus, it was only natural for Christians to adapt their version of Hanukkah into a celebration of Christ’s nativity. Eventually the 8-day feast was overshadowed by 12 days, but that’s another discussion irrelevant to this one.

So you’ve got two explanations as to how Christmas came to be: the widely-circulated suggestion of it being based on pagan practices, mostly prompted by 19th-century misconstructions; versus it naturally originating from the course of intermingling of Jewish and Gentile-born early Christians. The latter is supported by a lot of official documentation by the church, including published works by several saints/scholars close to the time of origin.

Some might continue to suggest it was still influenced by pagan holidays. Such as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (Birth of the Unconquered Sun). However, this was proposed on Dec. 25th by the pagan Roman emperor Aurelian in 275 AD– AFTER the dates of published works from the aforementioned Saints Irenaeus (130 - 202 AD) and Sextus Africus (160 - 240 AD). Thus, early Christians (many of Jewish heritage) were celebrating December 25 as a date closely associated with Christ long before Aurelian dedicated the birthday of the sun. Why do this? Remember that the early Christians were actively persecuted for many centuries by the then-Pagan empire. Still the religion was gaining traction. Aurelian could have easily set the date with the mind to upstage the rising tide of Christianity.

In fact, many scholarly sources indicate that the winter soltice was NOT a hotbead for sun-worshiping for pagans. Here’s the most succinct quote: “Thomas Talley has shown that, although the Emperor Aurelian’s dedication of a temple to the sun god in the Campus Martius (C.E. 274) probably took place on the ‘Birthday of the Invincible Sun’ on December 25, the cult of the sun in pagan Rome ironically did not celebrate the winter solstice nor any of the other quarter-tense days, as one might expect.”  (Michael Alan Anderson)
The principle dates for sun-worship were actually in August…not December.

And again, culture context is KEY. The Christians were being actively persecuted BY the Pagans in the early Church days. Is it really that likely that those same pagans would take kindly to them adopting their practices–or that the Christians would WANT to assimilate the culture that was trying to wipe them out? Not likely.

Accepting that Christmas was not pagan-based, let’s move on. What about the supposedly pagan customs ingrained in it? Like the Christmas Tree (hey trey)? Yes, the Franks and Scandinavians worshipped trees. But there is no credible documentation found that suggests they even brought them into their houses (in fact, this probably would have been sacrilegious, esp to the Norse: trees were only ever to be chopped down for absolute necessity, so having one around for ornamentation would be disrespectful).
St. Boniface was glorified for the legend of his chopping down of the (pagan) Donor Oak to prevent human sacrifice, and this act was quite evangelized. The Germans watched in horror, fearing Thor would strike them down for this brazen act. Boniface, seeing this, took action. He indicated a small fir sapling growing close to the roots of the former sacrifice tree, and used it as a teaching tool: the fir was triangular in shape, representing the trinity; it was always green, representing God’s never-ending love for His people; and the needles always point upwards as God. Boniface suggested that God placed the fir there as a symbol to the pagans. It is then said that Boniface took a tree into the later-constructed church, an ever green similar to the fir, during the winter as a reminder.
Of course, the modern Christmas tree came later, during the time of the Protestant reformation. It was in Germany, in an attempt to recreate St. Boniface’s tree. Martin Luther is said to have first added lighted candles to an evergreen tree, in an attempt to recreate in his chapel the starlight he saw, shining between trees in a forest, while walking home one winter night.

There are other supposedly Pagan symbols used in Christmas celebrations, but most of those aren’t as widely used or accused as the Christmas Tree.

TL;DR: Christmas comes from Jewish customs, not pagan.

You’re welcome.

Havdalah (Seperation) and Sacred Spacetime

For all that this book (see prior post) has managed to irk the everliving fuck out of me, there was a techinah in it about Havdalah that reminded me I wanted to make a post. Do a thing.

There’s a lot to be said for putting aside sacred time as well as sacred space. For Jews, it’s Shabbat, the day of rest, a time to reflect and pray (and procreate–no, really!) and to step outside of the everyday mindset. It starts ten minutes before sundown on Friday night, with the lighting of the Shabbat candles. Remembering and observing the Sabbath is a commandment, a mitzvah, and one candle is lit for each of those verbs, remember and observe. There’s more to it, but the Big Picture is that you dress up and eat a better meal than usual and you pray and you spend that 24-hour period in a state of holiness. There’s a piece of lore that say that Jews have a second soul during the Sabbath, and during Havdalah, you can see it leave.

Because that’s what Havdalah is, really. A goodbye-saying to Shabbat, to the Sabbath Bride, to the sacred spacetime you’ve created. You leave the heightened mindset, and return to the normal week, ready to go to work. Havdalah rituals have always seemed more dreamy and moodish than the ruach (spirit, energy) of Shabbat (particularly Shabbat Shira, or services that focus on singing. Do you want to talk about raising energy? Go to a Jewish summer camp Shabbat song session). Mourning what has passed.

Now, I realize my audience here is mostly non-Jewish. But the big point I’m trying to make is this: be as deliberate in breaking sacred spacetime as you are in creating it. That will help you keep the mindset of sacredness special. It’s kinda like when experts say you should only use your bed for sleeping, so that when you go to bed, your body will know it’s time to sleep.

What are some methods for this?

  • Ritual garb, worn only for religious ceremony. Some people wear special robes or jewelry. Some only cover their heads before the presence of their gods. Changing back into normal clothing after ritual helps to ground and return to working mindsets. (This is why the tallit and tefillin are used in prayer and study. Also why: 

  • Ritual languages. For me, Hebrew will be a language for prayer before a language for speaking conversationally. Similarly, Latin for the Church (Carpe, feel free to jump on this point). But even made up languages can be a path to the right headspace, if they’re not used casually or loosely for funsies.
  • Scents. Scent is a great marker for memory. Having a particular scent of candle or incense (or food, or what have you) can be a trigger for the ritual mindset. Clear the air afterward with another scent or Febreeze, or by leaving the ritual space.

So, yeah. There’s my thoughts, at length, on how to create and leave a ritual mindset, by setting aside time and space to be sacred. Feel free to give my your thoughts! I love hearing about how concepts can be used in other places.

anonymous asked:

Is Judeo-paganism closed? Is it bad to convert to Judaism with the intent to follow a Judeo-pagan path (seeing as converting is usually seen as choosing to adhere to more "traditional" forms of Judaism)?

Anything related to the Jewish faith is initiation only, so therefore Judeo-paganism would be closed to non-initiated members.

However, I do not know about reasons for converting. I have seen a variety of people within the communities on Tumblr who are Jewish born pagans. By checking the tag Jewish pagan I see that underthepleiades has provided answers for a similar topic before. Asking them or another Jewish person within the pagan community is your best bet for finding answers.


anonymous asked:

I see Jewish and Pagan lesbians anywhere and that's neato but Christian (specifically Catholic) wlw don't exist on Tumblr and I feel like I have to choose between my faith or finding another girl to love and be with forever

you so do not have to choose. it may be harder to find a gf of the same faith, but they’re out there! i personally know a few sapphic christians. you’ll find somebody great! good luck

bloodsiren  asked:

Hi :) You say you answer questions about goth. I have a serious question, not joking or trying to judge anyone. So many of the goth blogs i see, the people worship satan. Is there such thing as a Christian goths? Thanks

Loads! The gothic subculture is not affiliated with any religion, and there are Christian goths, Muslim goths, Jewish goths, pagan goths, atheist goths, Satanic goths, and so on. Many of them are active here on Tumblr as well. All religions or the lack of thereof are represented and welcome in the subculture.

I’d also say that many people with Satanic symbolism (or what is perceived as such) on their blogs are not actually a part of the Church of Satan but have it there for aesthetic reasons, just like many non-Christian goths enjoy the architecture of gothic, Christian churches and the look of crucifixes.

Не давая осмотреться жидам, настигай культуры паразита, пиявку крови,
Гони нещадно прочь, в пустыню возвращая иудеев семя, в песок и в жгучий зной ветров

Тяжелый дым отравит небо легких, но очистит духа воздух ледяной и жесткий, свежий и стремительный очистит кровь

To Asexual/Aromantic Girls

You can still be ace/aro and religious. Your God (or Gods) won’t hate you, won’t keep you out of a happy afterlife, and won’t see you as sinners. You’re loved. This goes for Christian girls, Muslim girls, Jewish girls, Pagan girls, Buddhist girls, and Hindu girls ❤