Thursday, December 06, 2012

By Blood or by Deed?

Last night my friend said something in passing that made me think. She had been asked why she was so focused on her genealogy and heritage. Her reply was that it gave her something to research and often times she came across cultural details that she found attractive and that she may want to research and get into.

We wound up further discussing the topic and I wound up with the following questions based off her answers:

Do you think that heritage is a determining factor in your practices and actions even down to your religious beliefs?
As in do you think that because you have a lineage tied to a certain practice or belief/system that you should be a part of it?
Conversely does a lack of a blood tie exclude you from that heritage or system?

So for instance could I being a black male with no notable ties to Celts or such practice a Celtic Religious system and be accepted by virtue of my sincerity alone and a belief and adherence to the practices of that system or would such a thing be frowned on?

I am very comfortable with my religious views and spiritual path and I don't think that blood, so to speak, ties a person to a particular path. I am going to go old school and say " By blood or by deed " I concede that an ancestral tie can be a good factor in a choice like that but I think a person legitimately dedicated to and interested in a religion should be just as welcome to be a part of it.

I hear about cultures and people being exploited by outsiders using their ways and traditions and I have to wonder if that his a blanket accusation. On the one hand there could indeed be someone exploiting the culture, on the other they may be people seriously interested and dedicated to following the tradition or practices.

Away from both of these are those who take portions of the practices and adapt them to suit their purposes. They tend to be accused of diluting the culture or perverting it. To me so long as they aren't claiming to be a practitioner of said culture it's all good. For instance an eclectic Wiccan taking a portion of a Druidic ceremony and tweaking or altering it to suit a ritual they are performing is all gravy so long as they admit it and don't claim it is something it isn't.

Whats the consensus on the whole thing? Thoughts, feelings, experiences?

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