Monday, February 23, 2009

Speaking/Singing in Tongues

I have some totally random questions about speaking in tongues in a pagan context. (As opposed to the Pentecostal Christian context) Specifically I’m talking about Glossolalia: speaking in a ‘holy language’ composed of what appear to be non-sense syllables that nonetheless sound much like some sort of fluent language and the sometimes incorporated Xenoglossy: spontaneously speaking in a real language which is completely unknown to the person speaking it.

I got curious about the topic after seeing a documentary that discussed it recently and looked it up on Wikipedia (not the most impressive of sources, I know). At the bottom of the entry, they noted that this sometimes shows up in pagan and shamanistic faiths (also possible in voodoo).

Have you ever had experiences with either? Is speaking in tongues a part of your path? If so, how do you use it and why? Does it have a historical basis in your tradition or is it a modern/UPG add-on?

On a related note, if you do speak in tongues, do you consider what you say a product of purely Glossolalia or do you suspect it might be Xenoglossy, that is to say, do you believe the language you are speaking is or was at one time a real language (such as an unlearned or undiscovered language you cannot identify)?

If you don’t speak in tongues, what do you think of the practice? Have you ever encountered it outside the Christian faith? Do you believe it can serve a purpose or do you see it as nonsense?

And although I’m not specifically talking about constructed languages or ‘Conlangs’ in this post, I could see how the topics might be related and wanted to throw that out there too. Do you think there is any relationship between speaking in tongues and inventing fantasy languages? Why do humans feel the need to do either?

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