i've just started re-reading 'spiral dance', and the history at the beginning of it is a little rediculous. she states all these assumptions that have little evidence as if they are fact and only offhandedly says that they are just using archaeology to support ideology-- without proof-- in one of the footnotes way at the end of the chapter.
but that's pretty standard; everyone does that.
what's bothering me about this is that neopaganism doesn't have a history like that, but feels it needs to. as we are now, we happened sometime in the 50s and were refined sometime in the 70s. both were reworking of what has been assumed to be archaeology and what has been preserved as folkways, so i suppose it can claim to be based on other older things, but what's wrong with being a new religion? we're the history that others will claim-- we're the founding members and the primary shapers, the first few generations where we can do anything and anything is available to us. it's all open and full of potential-- why are we ashamed that we're starting fresh and building a new religion from scraps and scratch? one based on old ideas reinvisioned to fit new problems, yes, but put together in very modern ways and built for a modern audience.
why do we have this need to claim unbroken ties that just don't exist? only genetics go back 35,000 years, and even then there are mutations, changes, mixings, whole lineages that die out, whole cultures that are destroyed. nothing remains untouched, and that's one of the basics of the religion-- 'everything she touches changes and she changes everything she touches'. change is innevitable. we are built on cycles, admit to cycles, celebrate how things shift and change and move and never stay stagnant, and yet we want this tether, this weight. i think it's a holdover from previous religious ideals, something built when we first came out to claim something we didn't have: historical importance. but the importance is that we're a new religion that wants to fix and preserve the earth in a time when that's needed and the old ideas have caused too much damage. the importance is that we're the fastest growing religion in the west today. the importance is that we have a democratic and collaborative way to build the future that no one else has-- in neopaganism, everyone has a say in how the world will go.
why do we feel we need to be tied to this fake line?