For the Anon that asked about appropriation







A good rule of thumb (for myself, anyway. It’s worked to far) is to just automatically assume that if it’s labelled ‘Indigenous’ or ‘Native’, then it’s probably closed to you unless a) you are part of that culture, or, b) people of that culture have stated that it is not closed.

And now, a list of closed religions off the top of my head:

  • Anything Native American
  • Shinto
  • Voodoo and Santeria
  • Hawaiian
  • Judaism
  •  Wicca (Gardenarian and Alexandrian)

-Mod S

Hello, Japanese American witch here.

Shinto is NOT a closed religion. Yes, there are different sects of Shinto (state Shinto, folk Shinto, etc), and yes, it is very much so ethnically Japanese in beliefs and mythos, but there are *NO* rules that say that non-Japanese cannot practise Shinto. Tourists from countries outside of Japan can go into shrines and pray; all are welcome to honour the Kami.

At the moment, there are a few Shinto shrines in the United States that are legitimate shrines with connections to Japan and Japanese shrines. Most of them are in Hawaii, but the most famous is probably Tsubaki Grand Shrine of America, which is a sister shrine to Tsubaki Jinja in Japan. They have very close ties with each other, and it is very much so a legitimate shrine.

So, if someone is genuinely interested in Shinto, obviously they should study with a legitimately Shinto source as they are certainly available. Don’t just grab random influences from Shinto priests or shrine maidens in Japanese media and declare yourself a Shintoist. Study with the real thing, and yes, if you call yourself a Shintoist to a Japanese person in Japan, be prepared for some funny looks. It’s definitely seen as weird for the most part for gaijin to practise, but you probably won’t offend anyone. Just don’t be an asshole and try to assert your knowledge of Shinto over a Japanese person and you’ll be fine, IMO.

(If any Nikkei or other Japanese want to jump in and weigh their thoughts, please do!)

Hello, person who is ethnically/practicing Jew here! Concerning Judaism it is not a closed religion. You have to go through proper channels mainly through the temple/synagogue by a Rabbi and conversion classes provided through the temple/synagogue in order to convert to the religion.

A person who is not born into the religion will be turned away three times by the Rabbi before they are taken seriously, after the third time the Rabbi will then proceed to discuss how they can convert to the Jewish religion.

After the classes the individual will go through something called a mikvah this is normally a shallow pool of water where an individual will walk through it, purifying their body, and leaving their old lives behind.

There is ONE sect of Judaism where you HAVE to be born into it. That is the Kohen sect who are the decedents of Aaron (Moses’s brother) and are considered to be one of the holiest within the religion.

Also individuals who Mother’s are Jewish (either through religion or ethnicity) are automatically Jewish, this is due to the matriarchal society the religion is a part of. That is even if the individual’s father is not Jewish, by just having a Jewish mother THEY are a JEW by default.

I know I probable left some things out but that is some of the basics concerning conversion into the Jewish religion.

Closed religion doesn’t exactly mean you can’t join them. Some closed religions you have to be raised in or born in. Others you can join but you have to do it right, and you can’t just set up as a priest(ess) without going through channels. Buy yourself a black robe, a white collar and a rosary and call yourself a Catholic priest? That’s just fraudulent. If you didn’t do the training and get properly appointed, then there’s no priest, only a liar. Regardless how much self study you’ve done. Contrast: with religions that are open, like heathenism, neo Wicca or non denominational Christianity, yes you simply can decide that you’re a follower, or a priest. If there a question of authenticity, it’s between you and your gods, and perhaps your community, but the notion of an official right way to do it isn’t there.

What everyone above me said. I want to clarify for Shinto (Jinja/Shrine, and Sect) It’s open to everyone as believers/followers but to become a priest/priestess you need to go to seminary school and be officially ordained. To be an official miko you need approval from the head priest/minister of the shrine

As for Folk Shinto usually the worship group leader is a lay person but they are appointed by the community/group and the local shrine they take care of. Even in that case no one can self appoint as a priest/priestess/miko

But to be a believer or follower is completely open and no initiation required

Edit; and your nationality/race doesn’t matter for Shinto

…Someone here is probably going to say that Zoroastrianism isn’t a closed religion. Someone, eventually.

Judaism is absolutely a closed religion. If you are born Jewish or convert you’re fine, but the conversion process must occur with an ordained rabbi and it is deliberately made to be quite challenging. Otherwise, DO NOT incorporate Jewish practice or ritual into your own. This goes double for Kabbalah, which is closed even to most Jews.