Talk:Semitic neopaganism

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Judeo-Paganism merge[edit]

I don't understand how this merge took place with no discussion on Talk:Judeo-Paganism and, as far as I know, no notification to contributors that this was being contemplated. It seems to have dumped some important data; for instance, Judeo-Paganism is not always concerned with ancient Semetic or Iron-age Caananite religions, but concerns Jewitchery, a movement which blends aspects of Judaism with Wicca or other Neo-Pagan paths. Rosencomet (talk) 15:09, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Material recently removed[edit]

I just reverted some material being removed and wanted to explain why. I do agree with some of the current moves to cut down on articles on non-notable topics in this area, and with the general drive to improve the quality of what's left. However the sites linked here were removed by User:Dominus Vobisdu with the edit summary: No reliable independent sources confirming the noteworthiness of either site. I don't think individual websites or indeed any other thing mentioned in an article needs to be independently notable. Things which would not merit their own article might nevertheless have sufficient importance to be mentioned in an article. I think the article is poorer without these links. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 22:52, 16 October 2011 (UTC)

I didn't say they had to be notable. I said they have to be noteworthy. That is, worth mentioning in WP, whether as a stand-alone article or in any other article. With absolutely zero mention in reliable independent sources, we have no way of determing whether these groups even exist. The sources available are either SPS's that are self-serving, or interviews in fringe sources containing information that comes exclusively from the founders of these groups, who have a vested interest in aggrandizing their groups. None of these sources conducts any fact checking, and we have no way of verifying anything, either. I refer you to the first paragraph of WP:V, which applies to any information to be included in WP. In short, if it doesn't exist in reliable independent sources, it doesn't exist at all as far as WP is concerned. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 23:07, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree that the links are to self-published sources, but the policy on these says: "Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field". I do accept it's a close call, but on balance I think they deserve to stay on this basis. I've commented on the AfDs/MfDs around this topic sufficiently for you to see that I am no standard bearer for the subject, so I hope you'll take this as a relatively unbiased opinion. (Now off to bed so will not see any reply for a while). Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 23:15, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Read further, and you'll see that the first exception to that rule is "the material is not unduly self-serving". That clearly excludes these sources, even for information about themselves. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 23:20, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
(Damn, nearly got to bed then checked watchlist again...) Then I guess our difference comes down to whether or not the material is "unduly self-serving" - whatever that means exactly. My own view - but I did say it's a close call - is that those websites, while self-serving as all SPS will be, are not unduly so.... (And so to bed!) Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 23:28, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
That's not what is meant by self-serving. Self-serving means my website claims that I am the smartest Wikipedian. While this may be true (or not), it would be inappropriate to use such a citation to back up such a claim. Saying a group exists and backing it up with a the group's website is hardly self-serving. I've restored the citation. Toddst1 (talk) 20:45, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Except you reverted me after I made a related but separate argument that you have not dealt with. I reverted you right back. We need independent sources to establish noteworthiness. We don't just add information to Wikipedia because some individual has put up a website saying "look at me and what I do." We need independent sources to justify inclusion. Where are those sources Todd? If I start a my own pagan religious group tonight and make a website and and a yahoo group will you find a place for me in Wikipedia? Clearly not. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 02:47, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
That's incorrect. Self-promotional SPSs are by their very nature unduly self-serving, and that disqualifies all of the sources that have hithertofore been proferred to substantiate anything at all about these movements. The websites is purely self-promotional and including them here constitutes spamming. They cannot be used as evidence for anything, as any information they contain cannot be verified using reliable independent sources. The only sources we have that these groups exist is the word of the founder and chief publicist of the groups. They have a vested interest in misrepresenting the size, significance and even the very existence of their groups, and there is no reasonable expectation that they have not done so. Any source based solely on information derived from the founders or their publicists cannot be regarded as reliable under any circumstances. As I said, if these groups do not exist in reliable independent sources, they do not exist at all as far as WP is concerned. WP is not a platform to advertise or promote one's religion. Sorry, but the burden of proof here on WP rests with those whose wish to add or restore material, and that must be demonstrated with reliable independent sources. And noteworthiness is most definitely required for mention in WP. WP is not an indiscrimate collection of junk information, and it's up to us editors to separate noteworthy information from the junk, based on reliable independent sources, of course. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 20:57, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I must repeat myself from above: "Self-published or questionable sources may be used as sources of information about themselves, especially in articles about themselves, without the requirement that they be published experts in the field". Explicitly therefore, questionable sources can be used in this limited context. Being questionable, but permissible, they obviously don't need to meet the WP:RS requirements for this limited purpose - illustrating something in a group's own words. I didn't in fact see the sources here as particularly promotional. Clearly they were self-referential but no more than any SPS is going to be. The use of these sites is not spamming in that as far as I can see they are linked from this specific and highly relevant article only, and nowhere else on WP. Of course they refer to tiny, fringe groups. We're not talking about massive religious movements here but it doesn't make them any less interesting to those with a minority interest in the topic. Please note I have no axe to grind here. I !voted delete in a current AfD and MfD on the topic. But as a small, illustrative link in a wider article these are helpful and informative to a curious newcomer to the topic like myself and they should stay. The subjects of entire articles need to be noteworthy. The subjects of individual sentences do not. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 21:20, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Sorry to be frank, but you are not accurately quoting the policy on SPSs if you do not include the part about unduly self-serving sources. You cannot cherry pick the parts of a policy you agree with, and ignore those that you don't. I find you're interpretation of policy extremely odd, as it basically justifies the indiscriminate inclusion in WP of any old nonsense found on the internet. If I were to put up a sham site on the internet claiming that I am the founder of a rapidly growing new religion, it seems as if you would have no objections to including it in a WP article.
Your personal opinion of whether the information is useful or informative is immaterial and has no basis in WP policy, nor is it shared by anyone who could have written about it in a reliable source, but hasn't yet bothered. You may think it's unfair that small new religious groups are largely ignored by independent sources, but WP is not here to address this perceived injustice.
Also, you are confusing noteworthiness with notability. Notability is not the issue here. The issue is not the size of the group, either. Small fringe groups can become VERY noteworthy and even notable by, for example, killing a US congressman and committing mass suicide by drinking cyanide-laced Flavor-Aid, or by holding off the ATF in a fiery siege that gets broadcast live over national TV, or by releasing nerve gas in the subway. These groups, however, haven't done ANYTHING AT ALL yet to capture the interest of anyone outside of the small incestuous circle in which they move. Not even a local newspaper reporter.
Also, I think your interpretation of the policies and guidelines related to promotional material is not born out by the policies and guidelines themselves. Spamming does not require multiple instances on WP. In particular, please read point #2 in the "How not to be a spammer" section of the guidelines on spam. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 22:31, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
Exactly, and yes SPAM is a concern here, a very serious concern, and it always needs to be on the radar when you're dealing with topics only covered by self-published sources writing about themselves.Griswaldo (talk) 02:49, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
You both make clear points which I would address at length as I disagree with some of the key ones. But I suspect our respective minds are made up here and we are at a 2:2 impasse in editors for and against the inclusion of these links. Would you folks all be willing to take this to WP:DR? I'd be happy to abide by any outcome reached there. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 06:37, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes. I was just thinking of posting this on RSN myself. Be my guest. Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 07:53, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
OK, will do so tonight when I have more time. best wishes, Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 11:39, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

(Outdent) I've asked at RSN for an outside pair of eyes. Rather than saying anything there about the dispute, I've suggested that someone reviews the arguments we've made here. I was going to add something further but to be honest if we haven't made our positions clear by now adding another contribution won't help much! Hope the rest of you think my wording of the request was OK. Best, Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 18:36, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

That's exactly what I was going to do. Yes, it's fine! Dominus Vobisdu (talk) 18:38, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, self-published sources can be used for information about their authors, as stated in the guideline. But WP:PRIMARY also applies, and it states that "Material based purely on primary sources should be avoided". Making reference to an organisation where the only evidence we have of its existence is an archived geocities page falls foul of this. --FormerIP (talk) 19:16, 18 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree. The alternative is that we are telling people, you can just make up a "pagan tradition", create a homepage dedicated to it claiming it is a 'growing, emerging tradition', and then be sure Wikipedia links to you from content namespace. But Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, it is not a linkfarm. --dab (𒁳) 11:21, 26 January 2013 (UTC)


WHile it has been many months sincei last visited this page, I noticed a lot of changes. While I appreciate the finer point of what constitutes an SPS, with the removal of some of the information: the distinction between a neopaganism reconstruction based on Jewish versus based on Canaanite practices seems to have been lost. While I am looking up good sources to edit this article, I just think a greater differentiation needs to be made. To anyone reading this article, they might ask did the ancient Israelites and their neighbors worship the same? Garama (talk) 03:09, 7 July 2012 (UTC)


The Israelites were Canaanites, they worshiped Canaanite gods like El and Ashera, and many fertility gods, that was the case until the Babylonian captivity when radicals decided that the only one true god was El, who would become Yahweh, however Polytheism survived as far late as the Hellenistic period. The Jews are a Pre Islamic Pre Arab slave trade East Mediterranean group, descended from the ancient Pre Islamic ancient East Mediterranean world, their roots are Canaanite. The Torah which is filled with attempts to separate the Jews from their Canaanite roots was put together, guess when? During the Babylonian captivity, when radicals decided to abandon the Canaanite roots and distinguish the Israelites from their Canaanite brothers, fortunately, they didn't succeed, Hebrew is a Canaanite language which broke from Phoenician, a Canaanite language. Guy355 (talk) 14:52, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Problem with caption ("mother-goddess Astarte/Asherah/Inanna/Ishtar")[edit]

In ancient religion, Inanna/Ishtar wasn't really a mother-goddess, and originally Ishtar/Ashtoreth and Asherah weren't the same goddess at all -- though they were sometimes later syncretistically identified, their names are completely different and distinct (Asherah begins with a glottal stop ʔaleph א consonant, while Ishtar/Ashtoreth begins with a pharyngeal ʕayin ע consonant). The star symbols was not used for Asherah anyway (as far as I know). If modern Semitic neopagans believe that Astarte/Asherah/Inanna/Ishtar is a single mother goddess, and this is made clear, then that would be fine. However, implying that there was a single mother goddess Astarte/Asherah/Inanna/Ishtar in ancient religion is not OK... AnonMoos (talk) 15:31, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Meaning of Arabic wathan[edit]

According to the Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, وثن means "idol, graven image", not "ethnic". Is it possible that somebody has confused وثن and وطن? -- AnonMoos (talk) 15:35, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

Notability of "Wathanism" and "Kaldanism"?[edit]

Is Wathanism, a movement that "primarily consists of tiny online groups", notable? I've only been able to find a couple of blogs mentioning it. Kaldanism doesn't even have that, it seems to be an entirely hypothetical religion. I think both should be scrubbed from the article but for now I will only take out Kaldanism. Eladynnus (talk) 05:59, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

I agree. there isn't even any pretense that this is somehow a "reality-based" thing. We used to be annoyed that people think linking to their private website is a "reference". This doesn't even go as far as linking to a random website, it just sits there. --dab (𒁳) 11:22, 26 January 2013 (UTC)