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Is our religion sometimes an excuse?

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Old 06-02-2010, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default Is our religion sometimes an excuse?

Now, there are overweight people everywhere and not just in Paganism

Sometimes I wonder if Paganism enables or gives people an excuse, that they "look like the Goddess".

I feel like my spirituality gives me all the most reason to be minful of what I put into my body and how I treat myself. If I can't help myself or others physically, if I can't discipline myself, how can I ever will anything magically?
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:07 PM   #2
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I wonder the opposite -- does being pagan mean we see more of the general population participating regardless of gender, size, age?

Because I see more babies/kids/teens/adults/elders at pagan gatherings than I do at my UU church.

And in seeing a higher cross-section of ages, we see more body shapes.

A.
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Old 06-02-2010, 09:08 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by souvenirdarling View Post
Now, there are overweight people everywhere and not just in Paganism

Sometimes I wonder if Paganism enables or gives people an excuse, that they "look like the Goddess".
I don't think that I've ever met or heard of anyone who expressed this...
Hmmm, on the flip side, "Jesus accepts me just as I am" is as good an excuse as any too.
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:10 AM   #4
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I don't go to many gatherings, but I've also never been afiliated with any other religion. Passionista, you do have a point! I guess it was a sentiment I encountered on a forum I used to like, which caught me off guard - though I did like that it helped her accept herself the way she was instead of letting herself be miserable.
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Old 06-13-2010, 05:55 AM   #5
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the very first book i picked up as a pagan-curious teenager said you couldn't truly be pagan or right w/ the god/goddess or whatever... unless you were trim and physically fit. to be anything else then in your prime condition was an insult. well- i found that book an insult and moved on... other then that i can't think of any time when the two subjects crossed my mind at the same time.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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I dunno... My body resembles the Venus of Willendorf more than any other goddess iconography that I've seen, but she (Venus of W) has never really figured into my spiritual practices.

Now, let's not take this the wrong way, but I think that certain... "Island of Misfit Toys" vibe you can get from pagan groups could be the more likely culprit. Interacting with a group of people who have learned from experience that it's not fair to judge someone based on their religious/spiritual beliefs, looks, or desire to wear fairy wings 24/7 does technically enable (or empower) people to stop feeling like they need to conform to a specific body-image (even if it would improve their quality of life). It's a double-edged sword in many respects.

However, I'm sure there are people out there who don't feel the need to lose weight because they believe in sanctity of bodies like the Venus of Willendorf.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:07 AM   #7
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I think everyone's path is different and what is right for you isnt necessarily going to be good for someone else. But in general I think it is a good thing to be in control of our passions. It seems wise to be able to control ourselves before attempting to control the elements or use magick but this has many layers and I don't feel being chubby is a bad thing in and of itself. I don't think the gods really consider it at all so it is a personal choice or according to the tradition you follow.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by souvenirdarling View Post
Sometimes I wonder if Paganism enables or gives people an excuse, that they "look like the Goddess".
I have definitely heard this, A LOT. Like anything else though, for some people it's an excuse, for others it has real meaning that is valid. There are lots of different goddesses, too... the Venus of Willendorf is famous for her curves, but there are far more slim and curvy (meaning, boobs and hips) goddesses. Ancient Middle Eastern (Assyro-Babylonian, Canaanite, etc) and Egyptian goddesses were usually (always?) depicted as slender; the Greco-Romans were curvier, but certainly not obese. Same goes for Asian and Hindu. I know less about Western European goddesses, but I think there are fewer depictions of them.

The Venus of Willendorf is just one example, and I would guess she is famous specifically because she is unusual.

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Old 02-15-2011, 09:06 AM   #9
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the very first book i picked up as a pagan-curious teenager said you couldn't truly be pagan or right w/ the god/goddess or whatever... unless you were trim and physically fit. to be anything else then in your prime condition was an insult. well- i found that book an insult and moved on... other then that i can't think of any time when the two subjects crossed my mind at the same time.
Now that I think about it, these days I hear this more often. And if I'm honest, I'm a little bit in this camp. Not necessarily because I think it's an insult, but rather, like souvenirdarling said up at the top, how can we expect to exert will on the outside if we can't even control the inside? Certainly you can "be" pagan or whatever and be fat; what I'm talking about here is practical application. Some groups are taking this really far and are requiring devotees to complete various physical challenges to participate. Kind of harsh, but I think it's a good thing--barring physical disability.

2 things can happen if you don't have self control. 1: nothing at all, no results to speak of; or 2: you lose control of fill-in-the-blank and the poop hits the fan.

I have even heard occult types speak very disparagingly of people who seek help with their problems (this forum for example would fall into the "help" category), because they think it's an admission of weakness. I had to get past that idea myself in order to get serious about my weight loss.

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Old 02-15-2011, 05:28 PM   #10
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Now, there are overweight people everywhere and not just in Paganism

Sometimes I wonder if Paganism enables or gives people an excuse, that they "look like the Goddess".

I feel like my spirituality gives me all the most reason to be minful of what I put into my body and how I treat myself. If I can't help myself or others physically, if I can't discipline myself, how can I ever will anything magically?
I've wondered about this and also wondered at the reason this section of the forum gets to be tediously slow.

I don't know that most pagans want to look like the goddess, but more that they are just more self-accepting.

Or on the flip side, the rule of thumb being that you need to keep yourself healthy and trim. Your body is your temple type of thinking.
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