8

votes

Any Pagan paleos out there?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 17, 2010 at 3:58 AM

In all honesty I, at first, wanted to ask this tongue-in-cheek question as a reaction to the recent religious threads on paleohacks. However, I am quite sincere in wanting to take the same retrospective analysis towards the spiritual traditions we evolved from as we do for our eating habits. As an atheist I want to be able to honor the animals that nourish and sustain me and my family without praying to an imaginary intermediary. Are pagan-inspired rituals even necessary, or will simply caring about the humane treatment of my food sources and doing my part to respect and take care of our environment be enough?

427c8cbb9c2492d74b887fc5cf7a8ce0

(432)

on September 03, 2011
at 01:22 AM

I think the blessing I use is in the Pagan Book of Prayers...

30c294a878674535234b5b3720128efe

(165)

on December 27, 2010
at 04:43 AM

I've spoken to a few Buddhists myself, and I've learned that some of them believe that the original version of Buddhism permitted the consumption of animals. I can't actually say anything about their sources, so to be honest I have no idea if this is true. But I wasn't trying to state that Buddhism was where to finish, just where to start when looking for rituals that are based in animism and not towards a specific god/dess. Animism is generally looked down upon in our society, even to it being featured in movies as the belief system of "savages" (Avatar, anyone?).

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on December 22, 2010
at 02:24 PM

I'm not really sure that Buddhism is really the best non-deist religion out there. Specifically I have problems with Ahimsa, or non-violence. Ad far as I have been able to tell it either means vegetarianism or cheating by eating animals that were not really killed for food. This goes against my morality. Also non-violence can also mean that you are not allowed to kill an animal for humanitarian reasons. I have discussed this with a few Buddhists and they have been adamant that it was part of the animals karma to suffer in death, and that it would be bad for my karma to kill it.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:15 AM

Great blog, thanks for the suggestion.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:15 AM

Yes, going on a hunt would be a rewarding experience, but I want to look for a consistent habit or ritual to make myself stay aware of the food that provides for my family.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:13 AM

Yes, animism is more along the lines of what I was looking for. The rituals are more for spiritual 'upkeep' so to speak, not wanting to take my food and environment for granted. So 'praying' or some analogous ritual could be a cognitive mechanism to keep me grounded to nature even though we're so far removed within an industrialized society.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:10 AM

I agree, thanks.

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 17, 2010
at 11:30 PM

I'm planning on going with my husband and a friend of ours, the next time he does. I come from a strict vegetarian household, so man, it's some barriers to break down! I'm a little concerned with my current fitness level, since I'm still very out of shape. I hear its a ton of trapsing about it the woosd XD

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on December 17, 2010
at 11:42 AM

Also agree, seeing too many religious subjects. I mean, I always heard don't bring up religion, politics or (damn, whats the other)?

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on December 17, 2010
at 11:40 AM

When I killed my first deer I had experienced extreme emotions that I couldn't explain. I thanked the deer and nature for letting me kill it and I would be fibbing if I said I didn't shed a tear.

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on December 17, 2010
at 11:35 AM

Agree with you on this Haig. Just saying something is rude is based on your own beliefs. I do not find anything rude. I let all words bounce off of me like stones. I can control my thoughts and emotions, therefore when someone is "rude" to me I can laugh and not let it bother me.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on December 17, 2010
at 05:55 AM

If you get the opportunity to hunt for your food you should take it Sigil. In my younger days I used to go hunting most weekends, mostly kangaroo, wild pig, rabbit, duck and some fishing. Something you learn early on is to not kill something you don't intend to eat. Ie: don't kill for the fun of it. It's a great way to form more of a bond with your food if you understand me.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 17, 2010
at 05:29 AM

Is it rude if I referred to Zeus as an imaginary being? Where should I draw the line? This is the last comment/question I write about anything having to do with religion on this site because it has been such a disappointment.

Af842c68e3d07fa0e35b4274f3acaeec

on December 17, 2010
at 05:24 AM

You could have at least refrained from labeling other people's belief in a divine being as "an imaginary intermediary". It's pretty rude, just to let you know. From what I've seen, others have not included criticizing comments in their religious questions.

64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on December 17, 2010
at 05:18 AM

The blog owner is an awesome lady. Great choice Melissa.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:46 AM

@haig, of course you can ask the question, but most of the paganism we know about is modern or historic, not paleolithic.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:33 AM

Ed, I agree, but shouldn't this theme end with the more appropriate paleolithic variation of the question. If people can ask about Christianity on paleohacks, why can't I ask about paganism, seeing as it is actually more relevant.

6426d61a13689f8f651164b10f121d64

(11488)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:25 AM

This theme grows tiresome (although I can't speak for everyone, of course).

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13 Answers

best answer

10
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on December 17, 2010
at 05:15 AM

This blog is great and it's written by a pagan paleo http://wildernesschilde.blogspot.com/

You might also be interested in Don't Sleep There Are Snakes, which is about a missionary who goes to help convert a tribe. The tribe is a sort-of rationalist form of paganism and it has a big impression on him, causing him to abandon Christianity.

Another tangential thing, is that I've met a few paleos that do Ayahuasca, which is a practice of jungle shamans. Most of those people are not theists, but apparently the visions they have are very interesting even if they just come from your own mind.

64242a1130eb51f4852f78beed38b3d5

(1343)

on December 17, 2010
at 05:18 AM

The blog owner is an awesome lady. Great choice Melissa.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:15 AM

Great blog, thanks for the suggestion.

4
9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:57 AM

I consider myself Pagan, and it makes me pretty happy to be eating things that actually exist, instead of synthesized and processed "american cheese food" type of garbage. I'd really like to go hunting once, actually, since I've never killed anything in my life, though I happily eat it. I think that would be a good time for a ritual.

It's true that all the pagan stuff we have now is inspired by what's old, not a direct copy. Part of my personal belief is that it's what you're trying to do that's important. Maybe this question could be answered with your family. Do you all want to have some sort of feast ritual? Some giving of thanks to the animals that were killed for you to eat? Building something together as a family can be very powerful, and could include or exclude whatever god/goddesses/energies you like.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on December 17, 2010
at 05:55 AM

If you get the opportunity to hunt for your food you should take it Sigil. In my younger days I used to go hunting most weekends, mostly kangaroo, wild pig, rabbit, duck and some fishing. Something you learn early on is to not kill something you don't intend to eat. Ie: don't kill for the fun of it. It's a great way to form more of a bond with your food if you understand me.

1cbb6b2a813475d6c0b17fd5e898dc50

(1248)

on December 17, 2010
at 11:40 AM

When I killed my first deer I had experienced extreme emotions that I couldn't explain. I thanked the deer and nature for letting me kill it and I would be fibbing if I said I didn't shed a tear.

9b1da5c61c41bb93afb668f9ab3bc76a

(422)

on December 17, 2010
at 11:30 PM

I'm planning on going with my husband and a friend of ours, the next time he does. I come from a strict vegetarian household, so man, it's some barriers to break down! I'm a little concerned with my current fitness level, since I'm still very out of shape. I hear its a ton of trapsing about it the woosd XD

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:15 AM

Yes, going on a hunt would be a rewarding experience, but I want to look for a consistent habit or ritual to make myself stay aware of the food that provides for my family.

3
30c294a878674535234b5b3720128efe

on December 20, 2010
at 05:25 AM

I'm an eclectic pagan. If you are looking for a ritual for honoring your food's spirits, I suggest you look into belief systems that acknowledge the spirit without holding to a supreme spirit or god. I would start with Buddhism, if your question is in earnest. I would also suggest researching animism since this belief seems to align with the lack of belief in a god while choosing to believe in the spirit of other things. Also, it is speculated that this system is the original belief system of our ancestors, which eventually evolved into the belief in one or more "major spirits" (aka gods). Hope that helps.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:13 AM

Yes, animism is more along the lines of what I was looking for. The rituals are more for spiritual 'upkeep' so to speak, not wanting to take my food and environment for granted. So 'praying' or some analogous ritual could be a cognitive mechanism to keep me grounded to nature even though we're so far removed within an industrialized society.

30c294a878674535234b5b3720128efe

(165)

on December 27, 2010
at 04:43 AM

I've spoken to a few Buddhists myself, and I've learned that some of them believe that the original version of Buddhism permitted the consumption of animals. I can't actually say anything about their sources, so to be honest I have no idea if this is true. But I wasn't trying to state that Buddhism was where to finish, just where to start when looking for rituals that are based in animism and not towards a specific god/dess. Animism is generally looked down upon in our society, even to it being featured in movies as the belief system of "savages" (Avatar, anyone?).

F6c1df7d5699661bd1f0d6d0a6c17fc6

on December 22, 2010
at 02:24 PM

I'm not really sure that Buddhism is really the best non-deist religion out there. Specifically I have problems with Ahimsa, or non-violence. Ad far as I have been able to tell it either means vegetarianism or cheating by eating animals that were not really killed for food. This goes against my morality. Also non-violence can also mean that you are not allowed to kill an animal for humanitarian reasons. I have discussed this with a few Buddhists and they have been adamant that it was part of the animals karma to suffer in death, and that it would be bad for my karma to kill it.

3
E393d80bd9ad40217976e2a5253456de

(30)

on December 17, 2010
at 04:27 AM

Well, I am not orthodox pagan ;) but I believe that respecting nature is respecting ourselves and are all one, not the separateness that our evolved ego or id led us to believe. I'm just sayin....

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 20, 2010
at 09:10 AM

I agree, thanks.

2
29e2bf6b555322d39d022126e12b08cd

(370)

on January 08, 2011
at 07:27 PM

Another paleo pagan here. I basically just give thanks to mother earth and to the animals who gave their lives, before my meals.

It's fine to get inspiration from older traditions. And it's also fine to create your own tradition too. Do you believe in a deity? Do you believe the earth is a living organism with a spirit(s)? Do you believe in the sacredness of the earth and its creatures without ascribing anything supernatural about it? Mulling on some of these concepts may help you decide how you want to honor the food that gives you sustenance. There are many ways to do so, just as there are many ways to be pagan.

2
Eafee106d73d49bdaec8cb3dae41d514

on December 21, 2010
at 10:44 PM

I am a Pagan.

To answer your question, what matters as far as respect to animals goes is what you find respectful. If you can do that without any spiritual help whatsoever, there is no problem with that.

I like the idea of doing a simple ritual of thanks, it helps get my mind and heart in the right place. That's a personal ideal, though.

2
8274ce9d4bffd8209055e1e34def04d6

(429)

on December 21, 2010
at 06:34 PM

I waver between atheism and pantheism.

I read that Einstein was somewhat pantheistic, as this very interesting website explains.

I don't think rituals, as they are used by the Catholic Church, for example, really inspire spiritual growth. At least not in me.

But, nature-based rituals, used to deepen our connection to the land, can be extremely simple, and thus extremely powerful.

I can't remember what I was reading, but the author recommended a gesture of gratitude after making a kill. Or a special place where one could reflect on taking the life of an animal.

The reverence and significance of killing can not be neglected...

1
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on September 02, 2011
at 10:49 PM

Lifetime of observation and interest; twenty-plus years of practice. And I don't know at all anymore how to define my "belief" system, which is weirdly agnostic and pragmatic.

Is modern paganism (what other kind could exist in the modern world, eh?) related to paleo eating/living? Shrug. I will say that I've never been drawn to the neolithic, middle-eastern agricultural goddesses, and have always been much more interested in ancestors. And hunting. For whatever that's worth.

1
C1ea79115a062250a7263764797faa30

(851)

on December 23, 2010
at 03:33 PM

'Nother pagan/shamanic-type here. I don't think you should be worried about trying to find rituals or prayers to perform to help you explore the spiritual nature of living and eating. Adopting practices you don't understand that don't already have meaning for you is not really effective, IMO. If you're interested in exploring the authentic natural spirituality inherent to humans, you should start by focusing on what you already have and doing things that are meaningful to you already. Keep it practical, keep it totally honest, and adjust to whatever your actual experiences are rather than what a tradition or culture tells you to believe. If you do that, you should be more successfully animist/pagan than if you were to arbitrarily pick a system to follow.

1
Fc75af5f2356fe86f5fe775a5a72c0c3

on December 22, 2010
at 05:33 PM

I'm Eclectic Pagan, and It has felt so right to me to eat things that are real. Not fake sugary carb loaded garbage. I thank the Goddess for every meal and all that she has given me. When I cook I infuse the food with positive energy, so that when we eat it is back inside of us. I've never hunted but I really want to. I want to use a bow though, because I know it is more challenging, and I don't think I should deserve the wonderful food of our mother unless I shoot well.

0
427c8cbb9c2492d74b887fc5cf7a8ce0

on September 02, 2011
at 10:32 PM

I follow a shamanic path. I bless my food before I eat and thank the animal & plant spirits who have given their lives to keep me alive and healthy. I also believe that this simple blessing has contributed to my health recovery (it makes a lot of sense when you can feel the energies).

427c8cbb9c2492d74b887fc5cf7a8ce0

(432)

on September 03, 2011
at 01:22 AM

I think the blessing I use is in the Pagan Book of Prayers...

0
3dffcfd7d629d2b7284542065b7947d3

on December 21, 2010
at 11:31 PM

I'm not Pagan. I thought I should say that since the majority answering the question seem to be. I actually don't know much about Paganism. Something I wanted to learn more about some time. My understanding is that Paganism has a great respect for nature and the environment.

I am a Christ Follower who also believes in Evolution. I am definitely not conservative but I don't really want to say I'm liberal either.

0
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on December 17, 2010
at 06:20 AM

To be honest, I believe politics and religion are probably the top two sources of contention among people. If it isn't specifically related to the site in question, I tend to avoid it since it usually ends up being counterproductive and cause unnecessary friction.

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