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Non-traditional pagan Dreamspeaker question

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  • #16
    Originally posted by KingJohn View Post
    Would a gypsy fortune teller that believes in new age spiritualism and represents the Roma version of one be a dreamspeaker?
    “Gypsy” is a racial slur and the idea of a Romani fortune teller is a racist caricature. Do like, anything else.


    Remi. she/her. game designer.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

      Weirdest thing I came across when researching Norse magic practices for Mage 20 years ago: Runic yoga.
      Lol wut? Please tell me more


      Are you on the square?
      Are you on the level?

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Dwight View Post
        Lol wut? Please tell me more
        Rune stadhagaldr is the modern name used by neopagan, Heathen, and New Age practitioners. The rough idea is to place the body into poses representing the different runes in order to channel cthonic and celestial energies for spiritual and mystical benefits. You can read more about it here and here, as well as see video of it on YouTube.

        I kind of want to do a cabal that includes the Hermetic Tryllekunstner character from their original Tradition book, the Verbena being lectured by Ratatoskr in Dead Magic II, a genderfluid Ecstatic chaos magician/seidr, and an Akashic who uses stadhagaldr as a gateway art for Do.
        Last edited by No One of Consequence; 05-26-2019, 01:56 PM.


        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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        • #19
          Regarding Roma (or Romani, Rom, etc.), for anyone interested in learning more about the people and culture, I highly recommend the works of Ian Hancock, especially We Are the Romani People. It is a good overview of the subject that isn't too dense or overloaded.


          What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
          Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

            Sure. Traditional Roma mysticism/folk beliefs tend to involve protection against malevolent (usually spiritual and/or supernatural) influences, healing, cursing one's enemies, and divination*, and those that practice such arts and join the Traditions tend to gravitate to the Dreamspeakers. Not just because they work with aspects of the spiritual world, but also because a big part of the Dreamspeakers' focus is on acting as teachers, protectors, and cultural preservers of their chosen people (which may or may not be the ethnic group one was born to; it could be a subculture, geographic location, or other thing). New Age beliefs would be equally valid, though some more traditional Dreamspeakers might turn their nose up at it (much in the way an arch-traditionalist Hermetic might snub technomancers in the Order). But there is an entire faction, the Ghost Wheel Society, made up of Dreamspeakers who find such modern ideas equally valid and worthy of exploration.

            *Fortune telling is kind of a grey area, as there are varied opinions about whether or not Roma practice it among themselves or only for outsiders (and some claims that they don't really believe in it at all). Drabardi is the term I've heard used for Roma diviners/seers (at least female ones), but I've no idea how widespread the usage is/was among different groups.

            I'd probably suggest some mix of Spirit, Time, Entropy, and Mind for such a character as a starting Sphere spread. (2/2/2 or 2/2/1/1)

            My only concern is how limited the character will be. Would a fortune teller-themed dreamspeaker be able to do as much as a traditional shaman could? A traditional shaman could use their culture and spirits to justify use of any of the spheres, does a fortune teller/psychic have the same luxury?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by KingJohn View Post


              My only concern is how limited the character will be. Would a fortune teller-themed dreamspeaker be able to do as much as a traditional shaman could? A traditional shaman could use their culture and spirits to justify use of any of the spheres, does a fortune teller/psychic have the same luxury?
              Again, I’ve really gotta insist that there are better characters to play than a racist stereotype about a marginalized, closed culture. You can play a fortune-teller just fine without tying them to a people you’ve really got no claim to.


              Remi. she/her. game designer.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by atamajakki View Post

                Again, I’ve really gotta insist that there are better characters to play than a racist stereotype about a marginalized, closed culture. You can play a fortune-teller just fine without tying them to a people you’ve really got no claim to.

                Because I am sure he has claim to all those other marginalized SHamanic cultures out there.. you might as well be saying "Only play a hermetic if you want to play a magician"

                Seriously give him something helpful to work off of.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Lian View Post


                  Because I am sure he has claim to all those other marginalized SHamanic cultures out there.. you might as well be saying "Only play a hermetic if you want to play a magician"

                  Seriously give him something helpful to work off of.
                  “Don’t be racist” is helpful.

                  Play someone who reads tarot who isn’t Romani. Play someone who does any of the Roman augury; reading flocks of birds, weather patterns, entrails. Play someone who has devised their own numerology and relies on random number generators. Play someone who consults an obsidian mirror and the angels of the celestial bodies like Dee did.

                  If you can’t see the difference between “the religious practices of marginalized, colonized cultures,” “a racist stereotype forced onto a closed culture,” and Hermeticism, I don’t think you’re arguing in good faith.


                  Remi. she/her. game designer.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by KingJohn View Post


                    My only concern is how limited the character will be. Would a fortune teller-themed dreamspeaker be able to do as much as a traditional shaman could? A traditional shaman could use their culture and spirits to justify use of any of the spheres, does a fortune teller/psychic have the same luxury?
                    Something to keep in mind is that where a character starts doesn't exactly dictate where they will end up. The more Mages they interact with, especially mentors and Masters from their Tradition, as well as the more Seekings they undergo, the greater their understanding of reality and the Spheres becomes. What starts as a talent for glimpsing peoples' future and fortune becomes a much greater understanding of time and fate as one interacts with more and more powerful spirits of those concepts, some of whom may also be tied to additional concepts such as life, death, the seasons, the soul, and so forth. Likewise, what starts as empathy and a talent for knowing what people want/need to hear when they come to you for advice/readings becomes much more powerful as one practices and cultivates it, potentially being able manipulate minds and even bodies, skin-ride animals, and enter the dreams ofothers. As Mage characters grow, they kind of move from the realm of real world mysticism (sphere levels 1 and 2) to myth (3 and 4) to fantasy (5+).

                    Out of curiosity, is your main character focus looking to be a fortune teller/seer or a member of a specific ethnic group? The former is probably easier to play, and if you want to base it on New Age mysticism and spirituality, easier to find a variety of foci and methods, many of which tend to involve spiritual entities of one sort or another. And even if the more arch-traditionalist Dreamspeakers might gripe, others won't, especially if you are trying to fulfill the role of guide, healer, and protector to those around you. The 2000 film The Gift gives a really great example of this, and is an excellent film for Mage in general. I also recommend C.E. Murphy's The Walker Papers series of urban fantasy novels for its presentation of a mixture of North American and Irish shamanism, for Dreamspeakers in general.


                    What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                    Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      The limitations of "fortune teller" depend on a few things (this is Mage).

                      If your character's whole magical outlook depends on reading fate/destiny/etc.? Yes, you'll be very limited compared to concepts such as those that write new fates into the fabric of reality. If your character specializes in divination or even just uses fortune telling as something they do to fly under the radar (that is, nobody things anything of the new age fortune teller buying certain things, or dressing a certain way)? Then you're not really restricted at all.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by atamajakki View Post
                        “Don’t be racist” is helpful.
                        In my experience, I've found that respectful conversations based on presumption of being unaware of an issue are more productive than hostile lectures based on presumption of malice.


                        What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                        Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                          In my experience, I've found that respectful conversations based on presumption of being unaware of an issue are more productive than hostile lectures based on presumption of malice.
                          Hence my explaining upthread that the idea of a “gypsy fortune-teller” is an offensive stereotype and being talked past on how to better execute the offensive stereotype.


                          Remi. she/her. game designer.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post

                            Something to keep in mind is that where a character starts doesn't exactly dictate where they will end up. The more Mages they interact with, especially mentors and Masters from their Tradition, as well as the more Seekings they undergo, the greater their understanding of reality and the Spheres becomes. What starts as a talent for glimpsing peoples' future and fortune becomes a much greater understanding of time and fate as one interacts with more and more powerful spirits of those concepts, some of whom may also be tied to additional concepts such as life, death, the seasons, the soul, and so forth. Likewise, what starts as empathy and a talent for knowing what people want/need to hear when they come to you for advice/readings becomes much more powerful as one practices and cultivates it, potentially being able manipulate minds and even bodies, skin-ride animals, and enter the dreams ofothers. As Mage characters grow, they kind of move from the realm of real world mysticism (sphere levels 1 and 2) to myth (3 and 4) to fantasy (5+).

                            Out of curiosity, is your main character focus looking to be a fortune teller/seer or a member of a specific ethnic group? The former is probably easier to play, and if you want to base it on New Age mysticism and spirituality, easier to find a variety of foci and methods, many of which tend to involve spiritual entities of one sort or another. And even if the more arch-traditionalist Dreamspeakers might gripe, others won't, especially if you are trying to fulfill the role of guide, healer, and protector to those around you. The 2000 film The Gift gives a really great example of this, and is an excellent film for Mage in general. I also recommend C.E. Murphy's The Walker Papers series of urban fantasy novels for its presentation of a mixture of North American and Irish shamanism, for Dreamspeakers in general.
                            Yes. I was moreso thinking a general fortune teller, not a member of a particular ethnicity.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
                              The limitations of "fortune teller" depend on a few things (this is Mage).

                              If your character's whole magical outlook depends on reading fate/destiny/etc.? Yes, you'll be very limited compared to concepts such as those that write new fates into the fabric of reality. If your character specializes in divination or even just uses fortune telling as something they do to fly under the radar (that is, nobody things anything of the new age fortune teller buying certain things, or dressing a certain way)? Then you're not really restricted at all.

                              So I could use fortune-telling and new age spiritualism as a theme while also pursuing mediumship and other activities, which would give my character the same free reign a shaman would have?

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                              • #30
                                Sorta? Mage doesn't really define these things by social roles like "fortune-teller" or "shaman." How you build your character's Focus (using M20, different terminology in older editions) defines how limited or flexible your character's magic is; not what role they play in society or types of magic they specialize in.

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