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Author Topic: Taking deities names 'in vain'  (Read 1137 times)

TransporterMalfunction

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Taking deities names 'in vain'
« on: January 07, 2018, 09:40:06 pm »
Something that I read a long, long time ago was the idea that in paganism, taking a deity's name 'in vain' could actually be an act of worship rather than offensive. I've been thinking about this, and I like the concept. Saying 'Oh good/f'ing Zeus Kosmetes' appeals to me, although I haven't actually been going around saying it, as of yet. Of course, 'By Herakles!' is a common one, although I haven't delved into how historically practiced it was.

Does anyone here do this? Or have an aversion to doing it, whether by UPG or by religious doctrine?
Remember how long you’ve been putting this off, how many extensions the gods gave you, and you didn’t use them. At some point you have to recognize what world it is that you belong to; what power rules it and from what source you spring; that there is a limit to the time assigned to you, and if you don’t use it to free yourself it will be gone and will never return. - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book II

ehbowen

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2018, 11:38:16 pm »
Does anyone here do this? Or have an aversion to doing it, whether by UPG or by religious doctrine?

Not when I'm with someone else, not usually, but when I'm alone and have just thought of some particularly stupid thing I have done or said in the past (this happens a lot!), I will often say "Oh, God!" or similar. But it's actually not taking his name in vain, it's really a condensed prayer. If I were to write it out it would go along the lines of, "God, yes, I really did that. I could have done better. A lot better. I hope that some day you'll give me a chance to do better, or at least do something to set what I did to rights." "Oh, God!" is a lot quicker....
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Jainarayan

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2018, 09:35:42 am »
Does anyone here do this? Or have an aversion to doing it, whether by UPG or by religious doctrine?

In Hinduism it's actually encouraged to call upon God's name(s), to keep repeating them and chanting them. I personally would not include profanity with the name, though I don't think even that is considered blasphemous. Calling on (the) God's name(s) wipes out all transgressions.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

Cinder

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 12:34:34 pm »
Something that I read a long, long time ago was the idea that in paganism, taking a deity's name 'in vain' could actually be an act of worship rather than offensive. I've been thinking about this, and I like the concept. Saying 'Oh good/f'ing Zeus Kosmetes' appeals to me, although I haven't actually been going around saying it, as of yet. Of course, 'By Herakles!' is a common one, although I haven't delved into how historically practiced it was.

Does anyone here do this? Or have an aversion to doing it, whether by UPG or by religious doctrine?

I tend to say "Oh, Lord". Considering the number of epithets (a good number of which proclaim them lords of one thing or another) my deities have, it could mean any one of them.

I don't think it's an act of worship in the same way a prayer is, but I also don't think that it's offensive. It's also another way for me to bring my beliefs into the everyday.

Eastling

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2018, 01:51:41 pm »
Something that I read a long, long time ago was the idea that in paganism, taking a deity's name 'in vain' could actually be an act of worship rather than offensive. I've been thinking about this, and I like the concept. Saying 'Oh good/f'ing Zeus Kosmetes' appeals to me, although I haven't actually been going around saying it, as of yet. Of course, 'By Herakles!' is a common one, although I haven't delved into how historically practiced it was.

Does anyone here do this? Or have an aversion to doing it, whether by UPG or by religious doctrine?

While casually swearing by gods I may or may not believe in is normal for me and always has been (as is largely encouraged in this culture)...I have been a little surprised lately to find myself occasionally, in private, swearing by the gods I do believe in. While the former isn't something I give much thought, when the latter happens it's usually a specific expression of awe at my Powers.
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MeadowRae

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2018, 12:09:29 pm »
Something that I read a long, long time ago was the idea that in paganism, taking a deity's name 'in vain' could actually be an act of worship rather than offensive. I've been thinking about this, and I like the concept. Saying 'Oh good/f'ing Zeus Kosmetes' appeals to me, although I haven't actually been going around saying it, as of yet. Of course, 'By Herakles!' is a common one, although I haven't delved into how historically practiced it was.

Does anyone here do this? Or have an aversion to doing it, whether by UPG or by religious doctrine?

Part of my practice is honoring my ancestors. She isn't exactly a goddess, but my great grandmother doesn't seem to be a fan of fluff. She would rather me sit down and talk to her with a sailor's mouth than light incense for her and meditate. As far as deities go I don't ever feel the need to curse when I'm speaking to Brighid. I think Aine can appreciate lewdness, but cursing I've never tried.
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Emma Eldritch

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2018, 08:04:05 pm »
Does anyone here do this? Or have an aversion to doing it, whether by UPG or by religious doctrine?

When I was little my aunt got on my ass for using god's name in vain, so I guess I've never really understood what the big deal is. My only aversion to "oh my goddess!" type exclamations is whether or not it would sound douchey - like, "look at my alternative religion" sort of thing. I haven't honestly heard enough of such exclamations to really say, though.

I myself just spew many traditionally blasphemous curses, possibly because I grew up around truckers.

Kylara

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 09:15:01 am »
Something that I read a long, long time ago was the idea that in paganism, taking a deity's name 'in vain' could actually be an act of worship rather than offensive. I've been thinking about this, and I like the concept. Saying 'Oh good/f'ing Zeus Kosmetes' appeals to me, although I haven't actually been going around saying it, as of yet. Of course, 'By Herakles!' is a common one, although I haven't delved into how historically practiced it was.

Does anyone here do this? Or have an aversion to doing it, whether by UPG or by religious doctrine?

A fiction story (Harry Potter fanfiction actually), had one of the characters making up really wonderful swear phrases, stuff like, "By the water's of Lethe" or, "Merlin's unruly beard."  Okay, the ones in the story were better than those I just made up but you get the idea.

I love the concept of this, and I don't think that most of the deities I work with would object to being named like this...assuming the phrasing fit them.  I probably wouldn't, for example, say something like, "Kwan Yin's furious anger"

But honestly....in the heat of the moment I never remember to be creative.  I would probably have to practice phrases just so that I could call on them as needed.  The closest I get is sometimes I'll say, "Gods help me."
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MeadowRae

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 12:39:24 pm »
My only aversion to "oh my goddess!" type exclamations is whether or not it would sound douchey - like, "look at my alternative religion" sort of thing. I haven't honestly heard enough of such exclamations to really say, though.


I feel the same way. I feel like if I use goddess in place of god in normal conversation it comes off as attention-seeking, which I don't want to do.
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Ashmire

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2018, 01:02:21 pm »

I love the concept of this, and I don't think that most of the deities I work with would object to being named like this...assuming the phrasing fit them.  I probably wouldn't, for example, say something like, "Kwan Yin's furious anger"

But honestly....in the heat of the moment I never remember to be creative.  I would probably have to practice phrases just so that I could call on them as needed.  The closest I get is sometimes I'll say, "Gods help me."

At least two of my deities have a certain amount of pop cultural presence that comes with possible catch phrases.  They seem amused rather than annoyed with use of these, and it solves the "attention-seeking" issue, since no one is to know you are actually talking about your actual deity instead of just being a big nerd.   

Noctua

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2018, 01:31:31 pm »
At least two of my deities have a certain amount of pop cultural presence that comes with possible catch phrases.  They seem amused rather than annoyed with use of these, and it solves the "attention-seeking" issue, since no one is to know you are actually talking about your actual deity instead of just being a big nerd.

Yep, I've fallen into this camp as well. I'll sometimes throw out a "by Jove!" and people think it's just some goofy thing Sherlock Holmes used to say, they don't equate Jove with Jupiter. I've also sometimes thrown out a "Gods forfend!" but that's also now a phrase used in Final Fantasy 14 so yeah. Usually I just stick to the good old blasphemies of my Catholic youth though, they're what comes easiest.

Kylara

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2018, 10:04:18 am »
I feel the same way. I feel like if I use goddess in place of god in normal conversation it comes off as attention-seeking, which I don't want to do.

I feel this one to some extent.  There is a lot of terminology in some of the women's groups I am in that just annoy me to no end (I really dislike changing words like history to herstory....)  I thought siSTARS (caps for emphasis...the sparkly shiny upgrade to sisters) was cute at first, but it's started to irk me now too.

For me, the distinction comes from how much people draw attention to the things they are doing.  If they just use a word, and don't remark on it or try to point out how amazing their word is or how oppressive the other option is, I don't mind as much.  But when their word choice comes with a five minute lecture on why it is empowering....every time they use it (which is often every couple of sentences...), then it just becomes very needy.
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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2018, 06:40:32 pm »
But honestly....in the heat of the moment I never remember to be creative.  I would probably have to practice phrases just so that I could call on them as needed.  The closest I get is sometimes I'll say, "Gods help me."

Same here. At the times when I would use such language, consistency in religion is the furthest thing from my mind.

CoyoteFeathers

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2018, 10:17:40 pm »
I feel this one to some extent.  There is a lot of terminology in some of the women's groups I am in that just annoy me to no end (I really dislike changing words like history to herstory....)  I thought siSTARS (caps for emphasis...the sparkly shiny upgrade to sisters) was cute at first, but it's started to irk me now too.


Uck, I hate that! Or women to womyn... At that point you're just overdoing the "screw the patriarchy" thing now. Words have etymologies; the argument that "woman" contains the word "man" as if inferior to regular "man" or "history" invokes the sense of "men's stories" and not women's is just a gross misunderstanding of how language works and evolves.

Anyway, I was told a few times as a kid not to "take God's name in vain" but I never really understood that. I supposed it was kind of a "don't call out to God if you don't need him/aren't praying to him," but as ehbown said, it is kind of a condense prayer. Now that I'm not so Christian anymore, I just kind of say "God!" or "God dammit!" just because I'm used to it and that's what I grew up listening to my mother say all the time. I suppose telling God what to damn and what not to damn might be a little disrespectful, though...

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Re: Taking deities names 'in vain'
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 12:40:54 am »
Same here. At the times when I would use such language, consistency in religion is the furthest thing from my mind.

In the end, I think most of us tend to use whatever we hear around us most.  I am better at making animal friends than human ones, and that shows in the fact that I often instinctively growl or hiss at times when others swear.  But it depends on the situation, too.

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