A take on UPG, Reconstructionism and what we can know

I agree with the blogger on his points, but I also found the two Witches and Pagans links to be interesting for other reasons. Apparently there are those who have issues with the term “UPG” itself- one writer thinks it’s demeaning to the gnosis that many choose to include in their practice, while the other thinks that it lumps gnosis (which IMHO he scorns a bit) together with more scholarly but non-“lore” elements (which he does seem to like). Personally, I think it’s a useful and valid term- if nothing else, a marker for a personal (or at least local) truth that may need more corroboration or testing or validation.

facingthefireswithin

http://witchesandpagans.com/EasyBlog/upg-an-ugly-misguided-notion.html#.UeC1jsIX3mM.facebook

I certainly go to sources for what we can but the point of the article is that, in many cases, we have less than we think using written sources.  Many reconstructionists supplement with archaeology, and I feel that is still important.  However, there will always be gaps.  It is an unavoidable situation. 

However, here is an opposing point of view:

http://www.witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Culture-Blogs/upg-sucks.html

I also agree that UPG is used by some as an insult.  I would remember the following things:

1) Personal truths may not be transferrable to others.  What works for you may not work for another.

2) Even people with very similar backgrounds and points of view may differ.

3) To many, “right” is what they learned first

4) Whether you like it or not, you likely have more in common with that person at the other end of the spectrum than a random stranger.

 

May you…

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Kitsa
    Jul 18, 2013 @ 18:23:36

    Certainly I can see both points of view. As an historian and a reconstructionist whose path is taking me in a different direction (or directions in my case), dealing with UPG (regardless of how you feel about the term, and I definitely agree with almost all the issues here) was hard enough to acknowledge when it was happening to me, and something I actively fought against until…well we all know what arguing with deity earns you. But the question is, how to approach it. If your UPG effects only you, then its hardly anyone else’s business to agree/verify/legitiize/what have you. And the last thing the pagan community needs is people making these judgements on others, we get enough of that from the rest of the world. Boy, didn’t mean that to come out quite as ranty as it did, going away now.

    Reply

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