(continued from last post) Most importantly, the Wiccan and Neo-pagan movements are attemp

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(continued from last post) Most importantly, the Wiccan and Neo-pagan movements are attempting to reconstruct elements of the pre-Mystery Religion shamanic societies and make them relevant to the modern day. Some are looking to the Amerind tribes for inspiration, because for one thing their tradition was formulated as a response to the energies of the Americas and not of Europe, hence it's more relevant to Americans. Another reason the Amerinds are so inspirational is that their lifeway has been preserved the best of all those of Indigenous People. Even under the onslaught of first the Spaniards, then the expanding United States, much of the old ways have been recorded and preserved. In Europe a similar attempt is being made at recovering old pre-Christian ways, but since the old European shamanism is by and large long dead, they have far less to go on. As well as the lifeways of the Amerind tribes, also the ways of ancient Afrika are also showing up in Neo-paganism through the syncretes of Santeria and Voudoun. Both Santeria and Voudoun are based on the rites of the Yoruba people of Nigeria, the tribe that was most plundered by the slave trade to the Americas. Santeria is most practiced by Hispanics, most notably those of Cuban descent, and Voudoun, with its connection to the largely Black population of Haiti, is the flavor that has sparked the imagination of not only Haitians, but Afrikan-Americans looking for a connection to the Motherland and its old ways and find Black Christianity and Islam to be unsatisfactory. VI: A SUMMING UP. World religion is still dominated very much by the Mystery Religion mold. In a lot of areas where shamanic religions are still practiced, they are largely mixed in with elements of Mystery Religions like Buddhism, (in the case of Tibetan Shamanism or Bon Po and Korean Shamanism) Hinduism (in the case of Tantra) Christianity (In the case of the Native American Church, Santeria, Voudoun and Macumba) and Islam (some tribal religions in Africa) and are more rightly called syncretes. However, the rediscovery of traditional lifeways among young people of aboriginal descent in the Americas, Africa and Australia, as well as the growth of such synthetic religions as Wicca, Neo-paganism and Thelema, and even the growth of Humanism as a non-religious spiritual path shows the way to perhaps a new era that will see vital competition with the Mystery Religion mold of religious thought. Many traditional "out groups" pilloried by the major Mystery faiths like women, gays and lesbians, intellectuals and those of minority races are finding themselves drawn to these spiritual alternatives. Women especially are finding a spiritual voice within Dianic Wicca, where the Goddess is honored as "She who created us in Her image," in contrast to the Judeo-Christio-Islamic view of a single Male God who creates man in his image and creates woman as an afterthought. I cannot see, however, a "post Christian world" where the dominant Mystery Religion of the modern world, Christianity, is swept aside in favor of post-Mystery Religion spiritual modalities. Even if this truly is a "New Aeon" or a "New Age," it is obvious that Mystery Religions will be with us for a long time to come. Hopefully Neo-paganism can influence the more conventional religions towards less harsh treatment of women and homosexuals, and towards AFFIRMING the individual worth of humans for their own sake, rather than CONDEMNING those who are "unbelievers" to perdition. But the pessimist in me sees that as being a fairly lost cause. 1990 Michelle (Minerva Toypurina Cihacou White-Puma) Klein-Hass based on work by Talespinner Brad Hicks


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