I have no issues with this, in fact you could call me a syncretist. It isn’t a new idea in any shape, form, or fashion. People in the ancient world moved, married, warred, settled, uprooted, etc., so why is it such a hard idea in many modern Pagan circles?
America is a country of syncretism, I had a post on this earlier on this blog. Canada is there too from what I’ve seen and heard of it, many countries of this modern world are already syncretistic. Man that’s a hard word to spell.
The ancient world was not as severed and blocked off as many would assume.
There was tobacco in Egypt:
Roman statues and traded pottery found in Mexico:
Found a possible lead on the Jade Buddha found in a Viking hoard: (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1391864/posts)
So historically, syncretism isn’t a new idea – people were trading goods and ideas for centuries. What about the Celto-Roman interpretations? Celto-Germanic anyone? In our modern era we have Conjure, Voudon, Hoodoo, Santeria, and even there’s still more out there.
And for us mutt Americans and North American inhabitants in general this shouldn’t be too shocking – in truth, many of the Pagans that were against this idea were syncretists, I’m not sure if they knew it or not. The four elements? Greek, not Celtic. If you practice Wicca, it’s syncretic. It’s not a bad idea, I think syncretism can create beautiful devotions – such as those who revere the Loa.
How do you know that the Celts who were conquered by Rome didn’t worship Cernunnos and Lupa? How do you know a woman who married a Teutonic man didn’t worship Rosmerta and Frigg?
Syncretism is about being in sync, in a balance, wherever you happen to be and with whomever you happen to be with. The ancients didn’t mind sharing Gods – because it’s an ancient notion of ‘Hey, they’re doing pretty damn good, I think I’ll worship their Gods as well, for some good ju-ju to come my way too.’ Says a Greek man in Babylon.
Or maybe ‘They kicked our asses, maybe their Gods are stronger.’ Says one tribal man after a battle.
Or possibly ‘Sybil speaks to me, I heard Her in Her temple. I will revere Her too, alongside my own Gods of Freya and Ishtar.’ So sayeth the Nordic merchant’s wife.
Truth is, you don’t know. Scholars don’t completely know. We could have the whole picture backwards. All we have is the educated assumptions of scholars through archeology, and our own gnosis.
I do believe that everything came from some ‘source.’ But this ‘source,’ is genderless and without form, in my view that wasn’t the point. It was raw awareness, the makings of Gods, people, everything. The Gods made themselves from this awareness, and became themselves.
It is because of this, my views on Fate, have changed. I do not see one deity, but many faces, and more of a webbing than just one cauldron. It is a force, a power, a will, in and of itself, even the ‘Fates,’ are bound to it. No one escapes. Like a rolling rock gathering moss sort of thing, in an indirect description.
I have actually almost gotten into physical fights over this with other Pagans. Look, if you are unsure of your own beliefs that’s your business, I don’t think you’re wrong; I do think however, you’re being a dick by trying to tell me how I should approach the divine. This may be titled ‘The New World,’ but many, many old Gods came with people here. You’d be just as likely to meet Bast as you would Lupa, or Anubis, or Apollo, on a lonely highway.
Now, I’ll go pour all of us some rum, and let’s play scrabble until we forget how to spell, ok?