Friday, August 3, 2012

Of Methodology

A few people who have visited my blog and read the page I had up on it (Reconstructionism and Unverified Personal Gnosis) sent me emails saying "yes, but HOW?" among other things. So I thought I would use this post to answer some of their questions. **Now remember, this is MY approach. It doesn't mean that it is the ONLY approach.** Now that that is out of the way let us get started.

It seems to me from all the emails I got that a lot of people are still unsure what reconstructionism is. So I'm going to tell you what it means to me. To me it means piecing together what we know about the Pagan religion of the Irish from around 1000 BCE (to be on the safe side) until the Early Christian period. This is done by looking at the material remains of the people (archaeology), at what the classical world had to say about them, their mythology, and their folklore. It is very important also to look at their worldview so an understanding of their culture and society is very important (anthropology and sociology). Putting all these sources together then bringing that knowledge into the modern world, this to me is reconstructionism.

Unverified personal gnosis is already defined in the page above, but I'll reiterate, it is the idea that someones spiritual insights or intuitions may be valid for them with out them being generalized to other people's experiences. However, even this has to have certain rules governing them that are mentioned in the page above.

Now there is one question that a few have asked and which I want to answer here. What do you do when something is not mentioned in history, mythology, or folklore, for example, how to perform rituals. This is where comparative studies come in for me.

The Celtic languages are part of a larger family tree which is the Indo-European family tree. Within this family there are similarities in some cultural and religious aspects, and within this family there are groups that we do know the ritualistic behavior of. People like the Indians (Hindus to be exact), the ancient Greeks and the Romans. We can use comparative studies to fill in the blanks. Again keeping in mind the same rules that are applied to UPG, because this would certainly fit under that heading.

I hope I have cleared up a few things for the people that asked and please keep your questions coming.

Location:Zarga Al-Yamama,Kuwait

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