Pagans: what religious significance does kinship have to you? What is your spiritual relationship to your kin?

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In many places and times in our history we have been very family oriented. How do you compare that to the present day, and where would you like to see improvement if it is needed?
What would be your most favorable, if not ideal, form of Pagan community, and what role would a family play in that community? How would that family be structured itself? How could we work toward that?
~Just as a note, the word king came from kin; interesting shift from domestic authority.

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keltillos

I believe in filial piety, but, fortunately, Paganism does not require stupidity. It also does not require one to be a doormat.

Amethyst Moon

Well in my experience as a Witch who has been out of the broom closet so to speak over half my life, My family including my ancestors are Pagan we are Celtic Witches so we have always had a strong sense of Family! My friends who I consider family as well all add to my Kin…I’ve been a Celtic Witch for over 20 years I’m 42 so in my case the kinship has and remains strong I find this the “norm” among the Pagan/ Witch families I know here (San Diego, CA) we have a huge very strong family oriented community here!

Boɳɛs

Kin ’tis very important in my religion.
Alas, these days isolation is the norm, which I find very sad.

MissDementia

Please excuse me if I sound scattered/out of it today. I’m very tired and the coffee isn’t helping as much as it should. I’m actually having problems with my English right now when I’m usually quite good at it! LOL!
Our Kin are very important in my form of Nordic Heathenism. I have never met a Germanic/Nordic Heathen that *didn’t* consider their Kin one of the most important things in their lives. Indeed, we consider our deities to be like Kin, just much older, wiser and more powerful. This is why many of us don’t “worship” in the way other faiths do. We merely honor them, look to them for guidance, advice and protection when necessary and enjoy their company. Our deities are the types of folk you’d have over for tea and crumpets. (Or more accurately – mead and cookies! Heathens dig on cookies, but who doesn’t?)
Groups of us who gather together for spiritual purposes and religious observances are frequently called a “Kindred” or a “Hearth” this belief in kinship is so strong. Our Kin is not necessarily confined to those to whom we are blood related either. To a certain extent, we consider all of the Folk our Kin and honor them, dead or alive, because of this. Our dead kinfolk can actually impact our lives and hanging about and meddling in the affairs of your descendants is an option for us after death. (Though I’ll take eternal rest in Helheim, Lady Hel willing – I need the sleep!)
In my view the ideal Heathen community would be structured just as we structure the Kindred I belong to right now. We are all considered equals, each with our own strengths and weaknesses. For logistics and planning and other practical matters, I’m the one to see. For spiritual guidance, they see Halla or her male BFF, Per. (I’m one of her female BFFs, thanks! ☺) Families are structured in the same manner, which makes total sense. The Kindred IS my family just as much as my blood relatives (who are also Nordic Heathens) are my family. A lot of us live in mulit-generational households or with other Heathens who may not be blood related to us. The people in my Kindred are fortunate that way as so many people now don’t have that opportunity and are fairly isolated.
I do think it is sad how in modern times many people have forgotten how important it is to honor their kin. My friend Sylvi used to work in a nursing home as a cook. Not only were we all horrified when she emailed and told us that some of these people had living relatives that simply wouldn’t care for them (they didn’t have “time” or “weren’t able to care for them” WTF???), but it was made worse by the fact that so few of them even received regular visitors. I can’t even imagine treating any of my kin that way. In my mind things like that need to be made into what they truly are – a shameful thing. Modern society has somehow made it acceptable for some people to simply abandon their families. I am puzzled as to when this became acceptable behavior and in some cases even expected behavior. I think if this was not so accepted except in very extreme circumstances and was viewed as abandonment or neglect or just plain shameful it wouldn’t be quite so prevalent. It’s just one small step toward reinforcing the bonds between kin that never should have died in the first place.

Frou Frou

good q, interesting
well, me as a person, i have always been family and friend orientated, i always want to be close to my family and friends, liek atight knit family bond, but, life doesnt work out that way
even fellow pagans i feel a connecton to, i feel we are one big family, like we have this special bond/connection that we dotn evenhave to say, because its there, and it makes itself known in how we feel, how we communctate, who we are
the fact that the majority of pagans (not all of course) are so friendly and tolerant is to me that connection, that bond, the energy we share does connect us liek family, and we cant get away fromthat bond, its there, whether we want it or not
id love if i lived in a more open friendly community, even tho i have social problems, the need to be close to people is still there
i think if we coudl live that way, life would change to be muchmore tolerable and fun
work toward it, hm, probably an unrealistic goal, as not only are so many peopel not pagan so dotn feel that connection and maybe dont even want it, but soceity does not liek to be forcd into soemthing its not
very good q, i liked it, but i always like pagan qs 😉

Heathen Princess

Kin and kith are the cornerstone of our faith, whether those who have passed or those who remain.

Stella

Family has always been very important to me. 🙂
Unfortunately none of them share my beliefs. Only my mother knows my religious beliefs, and she thinks they’re kind of “weird.” The rest of my family just knows that I haven’t been to church since I was a child, and that I consider religion “a personal matter.”
I don’t lie about my beliefs, but I don’t share them either. I have a couple fundies in my family, and it’s easier to keep the peace by keeping them in the dark. Family or no, I’d be in for some unwelcome harassment if they knew my religion. I’ve already had more of their beliefs forced upon me than I feel comfortable with.
The only real community I have is groups I’ve joined online. I’m childless-by-choice, so having real-life family to share my religion with isn’t something that’s going to happen. And my husband is an atheist. LOL Once I get more settled into my new neighborhood, I may start to reach out to other local co-religionists. But for now, I’m content, if a little frustrated that no one in my immediate world shares my views on just about anything. 🙂

Pretty

Looks like you got really good responses! Family, Kinship, Community
are all very important. Remember the Bible’s Old Testament story where Cain killed his brother Abel? God asked Cain, “Where is your brother, Abel”?
Cain responds, “how would I know? Am I my Brother’s Keeper”?
Good lesson. Yes…We are all brothers and sisters in Spirit. We should all Love and Look after one another.
Love, Cyndi

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