'Hail Persephone': Pagans Retool the Rosary


#1

From the Religion News Service:
Picking up her Catholic rosary, Meg, a 24-year-old from Maine, begins her prayers like this:

“Hail Persephone, full of strength and beauty. … Blessed are you and blessed is the cycle of your life. Holy Persephone, queen of life and death, pray for your children now, and in the hour of our need. Blessed be.”

Meg calls herself a Christo-Pagan, a blender of traditional Christianity and pagan goddess worship. For her, adapting the Catholic rosary brings a peace that adhering only to the Christianity of her youth did not.


#2

Just imagine how the Persephonians must feel


#3

:dts:
From my personal point of view, I think this is wrong, wrong, wrong to do if they are doing it on blessed Catholic rosaries especially, but on any Catholic rosary for that matter.

However, I see nothing wrong with them making and using their own prayer beads with their own medals. After all, Buddhist monks and other religions use prayer beads as well.

But that is just my opinion!:slight_smile:


#4

This may be a little off topic, but aren’t you guys even a little bit curious about pantheism (such as that found in sufism, hinduism, and some gnostic christian sects) and it’s justifications? It even appears in a lot of Jewish mysticism.

There’s a reason that a lot of eastern and tribal cultures don’t have a problem integrating Christianity with their current beliefs. It’s called the doctrine of “Emanation,” and it’s actually quite similar to the rationale for the trinity.

You see, in almost all pantheist religions there is a prime source for all of existence, and all of the lesser gods, angels, spirits, and even humans are all products of the prime source’s divine consciousness.

It’s sort of like the people who believe that everything exists in God’s imagination, except instead they say “okay Gaia exists in God’s imagination and we exist in the imagination of Gaia,” or something similar. It’s a little more complicated than that because they also believe that the higher levels of being cannot exist without the mundane, but I’m sure you all get the idea.

So I guess what I’m getting at, in a very round about way, is that it’s quite likely this girl identifies Persephone with a Catholic saint (sort of like santerians.)

Now, this is obviously not acceptable behavior as far as the church is concerned, but don’t some of you think that understanding the reasoning behind these beliefs could better inform your frame of reference to deal with such situations in the future?

I’m just kind of curious, and I figure I’m too new to start my own thread.


#5

Nope. Christian doctrine is quite clear - there is only ONE God and one alone, although existing in a triune form. Each member of the trinity is coequal and coeternal with the others. No member created any of the others, none came into existence after the others, none is ‘lesser’ or essentially different in any way than the others.

This one triune God, acting as one entity which it is, alone is responsible for all acts of creation, creatures play none but the most minor role in co-operating to bring the divine creative design about. Creatures don’t exist in the ‘imagination’ of anyone. They exist in reality.

To call any lesser or created being God or a god is totally antithetical to this, and contrary to our most fundamental of commandments, to ‘have no other gods’. Or goddesses.

More objectionable even, however, is the very clear borrowing from our Catholic rosary, and our Catholic prayer the ‘Hail Mary’ in this neo-pagan piece of claptrap. If a neo-pagan is so intent on honouring their own beliefs and deities at least they should pay us the respect of not bastardising our beliefs and practices in doing so.


#6

There those Christo-pagans go again, worshiping Persephone instead of Zeus…they are always praying to Persephone and have statues of her in their temples…


#7

Something along these lines have been discussed over in Apologetics.
Here is my contribution to that conversation:
forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=2059429&postcount=10


#8

I’m not really questioning that it’s a sin to deify Christian figures for use in pagan ceremonies; I’m just trying to stimulate some insightful discussion about why this might happen. To contribute, my hypothesis was that some people don’t understand the doctrine of emanation which is at the core these beliefs which is why they are often unsuccessful in dealing with these situations.

Sorry.


#9

::sigh:: If I was a Christo-pagan, I’d so rather worship Thor.


#10

Of course I understand that it’s both possible and logically consistent in other faiths to integrate Christ or the Christian God into their pantheon.

The doctrine of our Christian faith on this matter has, however, been very well settled for two milennia now. Anyone who seeks to understand our faith or our God outside this well-defined context is in all honesty kidding themselves. Much like someone with no medical training of any description who seeks to call themselves a medical doctor or to practice as one.

What would you classify as a ‘successful’ way of dealing with a quack doctor who is operating entirely outside of the established parameters of the medical profession? Do they need your ‘understanding’ or ‘insight’, or do they simply need to be set straight with a well-timed kick in the rear (in the metaphorical sense if not the literal one)?


#11

Calm down. There is a lot of mixing going on, and as much as I disagree with it, it does work both ways sometimes.


#12

For a very long time religions have been mixing with eachother. People express their devotional practices in a language they are familiar with, its how we connect and let it give meaning, in a sense. For example, there was a time when the proclaimation of the Christian Trinity sounded alot like the Trinity of Truth, Justice and Beauty as put forth by Plato. When this doctrine was originally being taught everyone was aware of its resonance with Greco-Roman philosophy and it was deliberately presented into Greco-Roman language so that people could understand it. Its the same reasoning that went behind a traditional Pagan pagan winter festival being replaced by the celebretaion of Christ’s birth on December 25th.

As a practicing Gnostic Christian I pray the Rosary with my own Gnostic modifications. Because I was raised praying the Rosary it still serves a tool of connecting me to the sacred. Since the traditional language doesn’t communicate what I feel to be neccessarily true, I adjust it so it has more meaning for my experience. Religions have been doing this type of thing for ages. Another example might be how Jewish, and in turn, Christian angel and demonology was strongly influenced by Zoroastriansim. Of course the borrowing isn’t always so blanant, but sometimes it is.


#13

This is worse that the pseudo-Lutheran “Her Church” abomination.


#14

Difference being these were the result of natural and organic intermingling of cultures and crosspollination of not-incompatible ideas.

Both paganism and Christianity have been around for two millenia and I don’t think anyone before the last decade or couple had heard or thought of such a thing as using the very WORDS of the Hail Mary as the basis for a prayer to some pagan deity.


#15

People are reverting to paganism and polytheism because truth doesn’t matter anymore to people. Anyone who applied a little reason would soon conclude that polytheism makes no sense.


#16

Difference being these were the result of natural and organic intermingling of cultures and crosspollination of not-incompatible ideas.

I understand what you are saying, but cultures and religions cross paths now at a much faster pace in this world of the blogsphere, television and instant communication. We shouldn’t be surprised to see completely and radically new hybrids of religious practice that wield together old traditions with modern ideas such as neo-paganism.

Significant portions of people do not feel that traditional religion offers them truth, whether or not you disagree with their conclusions. I think its quite natural for them to base their new pracitices on older models- they simply do not know anything else. New religious movements usually tend to begin in old frameworks and, in time, develop their own unique identity. We need to give new paganism time to firstly see if it will survive and secondly, give it time to find a more independent identity.

People are reverting to paganism and polytheism because truth doesn’t matter anymore to people.

I resent that statements as its completely unqualified. Millions of people practice traditional religions without any real concern for truth but have simply inherited what their ancestor’s taught. In many cases, a break from traditional religion indicates a search for truth because it is reacting against practicing something simply “because”.

In any case, I’m not making a statement about where truth lies, but I should think you have the maturity and intelligence to see that people can be searching truth and not be Catholic.


#17

All I can say is that this is precisely why I brought it up. Because people have this attitude.

If you’re so sure that you know what the truth is, then you are the one who doesn’t care about the truth. If you’re even sure that a human can KNOW the truth, then you are the one who doesn’t care about the truth. A very wise professor of mine once defined a fool as someone who has “too many answers and not enough questions.”

People who subscribe to polytheistic faiths have perfectly good “reasons” for doing so, I can assure you. The fact that you think otherwise is both arrogant and prejudiced.

Maybe people are “reverting” to paganism because they want to avoid statements like yours as much as possible.

EDIT: And while we’re at it, I would love to hear your simple reasoning for why polytheism makes no sense.


#18

**From my personal point of view, I think this is wrong, wrong, wrong to do if they are doing it on blessed Catholic rosaries especially, but on any Catholic rosary for that matter.

However, I see nothing wrong with them making and using their own prayer beads with their own medals. After all, Buddhist monks and other religions use prayer beads as well. **

My husband and I are Hellenic polytheistic Neopagans. We do use beads as a focus for prayer, ones we create ourselves that have meaning relevant to our religion and with prayers relevant to our religion. As the poster says, prayer beads are not something that is unique to or originated with Catholicism (there is really nothing new under the sun–one would be hard-pressed to find any form of ritual that does not have parallels among different religions)
beliefnet.com/story/114/story_11442_1.html

We would not simply pick up a Catholic rosary and go to town with different intent, nor simply insert a different God’s name into the prayer of another religion wholesale. Frankly, I don’t believe my Gods would be very impressed were I to do so.

Honestly, I do not understand the Christo-Pagan movement. It is not something that I could practice.


#19

Anymore, a lot of Pagans (but not all, of course) seems really intent on appropriating as much as they can from as many religions as they can. I think it’s insulting not only to the religions they’re picking bits and pieces from, but to their own, as well.

Using prayer beads? No biggie, lots of religions do that. Taking prayers other faiths take seriously and inserting your own God’s name into them? :mad: I’d never denigrate another person’s faith like that.


#20

I don’t think you understand the degree to which many pagans attach wholly allegorical meanings to their deities. Perhaps Shiva embodies the concepts a person wishes to evoke better than any other analogous gods. Maybe Thor would be appropriate for some ceremonies and Zeus for others.

The gods represent, among other things, the higher natural order of the universe. They are used more as a way to concentrate on abstract concepts that may be difficult to grasp without having some sort of avatar upon which to focus the mind.

Many pagan practitioners even use fictional characters or superheroes in their ceremonies.


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