Tag Archives: Respect

A rag on a poll!

“Sharpe: Do you really believe men will fight and die for a rag on a pole, sir?



Hogan: You do, Richard, you do”



Sharps Rifles.

The quote, for a book by Bernard Cornwall, clearly shows both the power and danger of symbols. Now Shape, a fictional soldier in the British army fighting Napoleon during the peninsular wars, was referring to a flag but one with religious meaning to the local people who it was hoped would rise up if the flag was flown. What that simple quote shows is that symbols, especially those that embody religious meaning, can inspire fanatical loyalty and deep reverence in people. It also shows how difficult we find it to understand why others feel the same way about their symbols.

Part of this dichotomy is probably in the way that symbols, particularly religious ones, are given their meaning. Possibly the most powerful part of religious symbology is that it provides the wearer a way of identifying with the group that they belong to. This feeling of group identity is very powerful, as can be seen with the way that groups will behave in a way totally different to that of any of the individual members. This group dynamic can be seen in the football fans following their team or in the ‘esprit de corps’ developed by military groupings.

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Respect & Our Ancestors!

One of the things that many pagans feel strongly about is that we should treat our  ancestors with due reverence and respect. This has led to issues and concerns about the reburial of remains, access to and protection of sacred sites. These concerns are such that the Government has started a consultation process to look at these issues.
One of the questions that arise from these thoughts is who exactly are our ancestors? This country has been subject to invasion and migration from many sources over the years, from the Romans in CE 43 to the  Vikings and Normans in 1066. It can be  argued that given the number and range of  influxes into this country just about anybody can, with careful choice of their path through their family tree, claim ancestors in just about any part of Europe.
The history of these islands enables us all to claim a kinship with a vast range of peoples and cultures and should lead to a certain  respect for all the diverse traditions and  cultures we find both today and in the past. Unfortunately this is not the case as often as it should be! Even within the pagan  community!

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