Dear Don: Religious Syncretism…

breedon (144)Dear Don,

I wish I’d left you copies of the photos… you should see the stones now that there is time to really consider them! I’m betting the lion slaying David has an alter ego… and I wonder how many of the accepted interpretations of figures could be reassigned to the myths of pagan streams?

We tend to forget that many of them were discovered in an age where piety wore a crucifix and admitted of no other valid faith. Anything non-Christian was pagan… and never the twain could meet, though certainly the papal mission had other ideas on that, as the letter to Mellitus shows.

scotland trip jan 15 247
It is something we have come across often enough really… the ancient sites Christianised with shrine or church built upon the older places of faith… the churches with stone circles in their foundations, the hillforts topped with a chapel… We’ve been finding such places right from the start, with that very first trip out to Dashwood’s Hellfire caves and his church set within the hillfort above. The ORC the same day… and ancient site beneath the chapel, and ancient hillfort above… And while we realised that quite early on in our adventures I’m not sure we have even now fully understood the implications of that and how much else it brings into question.

hawk hill nick 005It is so easy to accept expert opinion though, isn’t it… even when the experts were speaking from a world constrained by less knowledge, less religious freedom and the shadow of heresy.

By Norman times I think things were less equivocal; the Church firmly established in power. But anything before that is perhaps worth looking at from a pagan perspective as much as the Christian.

We know… and there is enough history to back that up… that the early Ionian Christians took a more Druidic stance to the natural world and the mythologies still resonated and seemed able to stand side by side with faith. I wonder why it was that we felt a need to divorce ourselves from that and turn towards temporal power?

Continue reading at France and Vincent

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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