This paragraph only is a reply to the OP:
Your failure to to debate the points stated, in the spirit of this site, has open this thread up for what it really is. A ill informed judgmental
rant based on supposition and nothing further. You insistence that further replies will be ignored demonstrates that you do not wish to consider any
point of view that does not support your obvious and ignorant position, and is an extremely weak manner to end the discussion, by dismissing them as
"techniques". You have brought nothing new to the table in support of you theory, that is what is it, theory. Your use of the general tem Pagan in
relation to an abhorrent act supposedly performed in the name / worship / sacrifice to a single trait / divine responsibility of a single Greco-Roman
deity is misguided at best, and hate speech at worst. You state you have Pagan friends and use it as a defense, as a homophone or racist state they
have black and or gay freinds... but!. I charge you to ask them their position if they consider the action in Libya to be a pagan ritual. if indeed
they are your friends I suspect they won't be after the proclamation of such. End.
To the rest of the people populating this thread.
Note this is in the defense of my own religion, and not a slight against any other. but mearly a presentation of facts and observances.
Also that I wish you to understand the true meaning of Panagism, and not take this particular thread to be the be all and end all of the subject, with
this blinkered view that what is going on in Libya is somehow related to Pagan practice. When it can be demonstrated that sacrifice at this time can
be linked just as easily, and less tenuously to authodox Abrahamic traditions.
The OP states that the "Birthday of Athena / Minerva" is the 19th March However the extract from the source states that her festivals were celebrated
In fact here is the entire text of the source paragraph from Wikipedia (for those that did not read it.
The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the neuter plural, Quinquatria, the fifth after
the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans' holiday . A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the
flute-players, who were particularly useful to religion. In 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the
temple of Minerva on the Aventine hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus. The Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an
important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic.
In fact as it states this festival is more in celebration of her trait as Goddess of Poetry. And states that another festival, although lesser was
celebrated in the ides of June. No where in this quote does it state anything about a Birth date. If anything a Birth date / return of the Goddess to
the earth is celebrate at Imbolc (2nd Feb)(Candlemas), which is literally the return of the light.
However, further in relation to this date, please see below other correspondences.
* Christian Feast Day: o Joseph of Nazareth (Western Christianity) o March 19 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics) * Earliest
day on which Maundy Thursday can fall, while April 22 is the latest; celebrated on Thursday before Easter. (Christianity) * Mojoday
(Discordianism) * Saint Joseph's Day (Roman Catholicism and Church of England) related observances: o Father's Day (Spain, Portugal,
Belgium, Italy, Honduras, and Bolivia) o Las Fallas, celebrated on the week leading to March 19. (Valencia) o "Return of the
Swallow", annual observance of the swallows' return to Mission San Juan Capistrano in California. * The Kashubians' Unity Day. * The first day
of Quinquatria, held in honor of Minerva. (Roman Empire)
Note the list above is not exhaustive, and many traditions around the world will have significance for this date.
Note the 19th of March is considered Easter in Eastern Authodox tradition, born out of what was the Byzantine Empire, or eastern Roman Empire, in
particular the festival of Great Lent. Common practice of which is to offer of the self in honor of the divine.
Indeed Julius Cesar himself was "sacrificed" on the ides of March, to ensure the survival of the Republic from Tyranny. (sound familiar) But are we
saying that the actions in Libya are in honor of Julius Cesar?
Indeed this part of the year can be associated with offering / giving / sacrifice across many traditions.
Passover for example, Where god sent the plague of the death of the first born. Protection against which was the blood of the spring lamb. Again we
see blood sacrifice to ensure survival.
This is not a knew tradition, and certainly not limited to Paganism.
Who is to say that this dates significance with the start of warfare, for protection reasons, is not done as part of the Qabbalistic / High Magick
ceremony employed by Masonic tradition of which TPTB are suspected to be members. Although I am sure the Masonic membership here would be able to
enlighten more, or not as the case may be.
So back to the point
On the term Pagan, lets look at the the full text of the extract given by the OP
Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "country dweller", "rustic") is a blanket term, typically used to refer to polytheistic religious
traditions. It is primarily used in a historical context, referring to Greco-Roman polytheism as well as the polytheistic traditions of Europe and
North Africa before Christianization. In a wider sense, extended to contemporary religions, it includes most of the Eastern religions and the
indigenous traditions of the Americas, Central Asia, Australia and Africa; as well as non-Abrahamic folk religion in general. More narrow definitions
will not include any of the world religions and restrict the term to local or rural currents not organized as civil religions. Characteristic of pagan
traditions is the absence of proselytism and the presence of a living mythology, which explains religious practice. In the Christian perspective the
term has been used historically to encompass all non–Abrahamic religions. The term pagan is a Christian adaptation of the "gentile" of
Judaism, and as such has an inherent Abrahamic bias, and pejorative connotations among monotheists, comparable to heathen and infidel also known as
kafir (كافر) and mushrik in Islam. Peter Brown observes:
This shows that the word pagan, originally meaning country dweller, who would hardly be in a position of high magick ceremonial sacrifice. No matter
what the films say. But this is a supposition of my own. however has now come to represent, as stated by the OP. a blanket term for polytheistic
tradition. Whereas a celebration / sacrifice to one specific deity, although part of a polytheistic tradition, would be a mono-deictic observance. and
not specific to the tradition as a whole. Let alone the other tradition that now come under the Neo umbrella term which spans culture as well as
if you wish to look for a Roman god of battle. Look to Mitrias.and his Festivals
Nevertheless, it is clear from the archeology of numerous Mithraea that most rituals were associated with feasting - as eating utensils and food
residues are almost invariably found. These tend to include both animal bones and also very large quantities of fruit residues. The presence of
large amounts of cherry-stones in particular would tend to confirm mid-summer (late June, early July) as a season especially associated with Mithraic
festivities. The Virunum album, in the form of an inscribed bronze placque, records a Mithraic festival of commemoration as taking place on 26 June
184. Beck argues that religious celebrations on this date are indicative of special significance being given to the Summer solstice;
Again June is mentioned.
In summary, and with what is a glut of information, history, myth, and legend. It is hard to say what the motivation of the protagonists truly are.
However to say this is in worship of a Greco-Roman Deity, with it's obvious links to Middle Eastern Mystery, and the Abrahmic traditions. And then
call it blanket pagan, under a polytheistic umbrella heading, is misguiding, and untruthful.
For further information I give you the Pagan Federation - Note this is a member based group, and NOT a church or relgious hierarchy.
In closing I leave you with an extract from the Charge of the Goddess, Written by Doreen Valiente. in the 1950's at the birth of what is modern
Paganism, and where the umbrella term, as used by the OP, was originally stated to be used.in this context, as implied. This is a primarily a Wiccan
poetic prose, but its validity as a Pagan writing is as much as that of the Greco-Roman diety worship stated above.
Now listen to the words of the Great Mother, Who was of old also called among men Artemis, Astarte, Athene, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite,
Cerridwen, Dana, Arianrhod, Isis, Bride And by many other names.
I am the gracious Goddess, Who gives the gift of joy unto the heart of man. Upon earth, I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal; And beyond
death, I give peace, and freedom, And reunion with those who have gone before. Nor do I demand sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all
An it harm none so mote it be.
edit on 21/3/2011 by JakiusFogg because: (no reason given)