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Author Topic: American Pantheon of Gods?  (Read 9499 times)

Auress

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American Pantheon of Gods?
« on: April 03, 2012, 10:29:28 am »
So, I was reading someone's blog and he mentioned something about famous people in America and that got me thinking, so I'm going to toss this out there and let people ponder it, comment on it, yada yada.

If you think about it, and if you do mythological research and reading, how sure are we that those names that have made it into Greek and Roman mythology etc, weren't actually live people at some point in time?

Think about it this way. If you think of it literally, the Gods are heroes in their legends and their myths. What if a person named Vesta really existed at some point and inspired females through the deeds she was responsible for to take a vow of chastity and keep her flame? How do we know that a person named Odin didn't really exist and that his deeds in life were enough to inspire myths about him exalting him to the status of a God. Basically, what if the Gods are really our ancestors?

This brings up an interesting thought, will there ever be an American pantheon of Gods?

Really, the only thing Americans can't say that they have, is a pantheon unique to them, or do they??

What is Abraham Lincoln famous for? He's famous for being President during a large war, the Civil War, and freeing the slaves. I think when we look, we can find several deities who were famous for being prevalent during a war, who's to say they didn't live during that war and the stories have evolved over time for them to be Gods? Could Abraham Lincoln be destined for the same fate? Could he be part of an American pantheon of Gods at some point?

We already basically worship the founding fathers in America. Their names are invoked when people are speaking of the things in America that they fostered. Could they all eventually evolve into an American pantheon of Gods?

Thoughts?

I know this is incoherent. I have certain days when I write better than others, my brain is full of mush today and I can't really articulate what I'm getting at.

Maps

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2012, 10:51:26 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;48684
Thoughts?

 
Maybe? Probably along the lines of ancestor veneration if anything? But this country is so divided between evangelicals and non-believers, and neither of those groups would be interested in deifying Washington or Lewis and Clark, I don't think.

I think our pop culture heroes have a better chance, tbh: "Oh Gatsby, grant me your blessings of wealth and determination, watch over me in my hours of doubt that I may quickly right my path towards fulfillment..."

or "Hail, Johnny Appleseed! He of the wild and the wood, guardian of the apple tree! On our heads is the sauce pot in honor of you and your teachings. Plant a seed in our hearts and bless us as we venture into the unknown landscapes of life and seek to make the unknown knowable!"

Yes, I had too much fun with those. :D:

veggiewolf

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 11:10:54 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;48684
...Thoughts?...


I think it is possible something like this could happen.  Despite the fact that (the majority of) America is in a monotheist period right now, other civilizations shifted from monotheism to polytheism in their histories.

Now I have something to chew on.  ;)
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Lokabrenna

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 11:22:19 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;48684

We already basically worship the founding fathers in America. Their names are invoked when people are speaking of the things in America that they fostered. Could they all eventually evolve into an American pantheon of Gods?

Thoughts?

I know this is incoherent. I have certain days when I write better than others, my brain is full of mush today and I can't really articulate what I'm getting at.


Have you heard of the Hail Columbia project? http://hailcolumbia.us/ Some have called for adopting Columbia as a genius loci for the United States. They add her image to their altars and their work for her involves working to uphold religious freedom.

Auress

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 11:28:43 am »
Quote from: Lokabrenna;48690
Have you heard of the Hail Columbia project? http://hailcolumbia.us/ Some have called for adopting Columbia as a genius loci for the United States. They add her image to their altars and their work for her involves working to uphold religious freedom.


I have heard of it, but only after the particular blog post that I read. The author of that post mentioned Columbia and that got my searching on the net. And that's what got me thinking about this so much. My husband and I were mulling this over a couple nights ago.

Nachtigall

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 11:33:57 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;48684
So, I was reading someone's blog and he mentioned something about famous people in America and that got me thinking, so I'm going to toss this out there and let people ponder it, comment on it, yada yada.

If you think about it, and if you do mythological research and reading, how sure are we that those names that have made it into Greek and Roman mythology etc, weren't actually live people at some point in time?

Think about it this way. If you think of it literally, the Gods are heroes in their legends and their myths. What if a person named Vesta really existed at some point and inspired females through the deeds she was responsible for to take a vow of chastity and keep her flame? How do we know that a person named Odin didn't really exist and that his deeds in life were enough to inspire myths about him exalting him to the status of a God. Basically, what if the Gods are really our ancestors?

This brings up an interesting thought, will there ever be an American pantheon of Gods?

Really, the only thing Americans can't say that they have, is a pantheon unique to them, or do they??

What is Abraham Lincoln famous for? He's famous for being President during a large war, the Civil War, and freeing the slaves. I think when we look, we can find several deities who were famous for being prevalent during a war, who's to say they didn't live during that war and the stories have evolved over time for them to be Gods? Could Abraham Lincoln be destined for the same fate? Could he be part of an American pantheon of Gods at some point?

We already basically worship the founding fathers in America. Their names are invoked when people are speaking of the things in America that they fostered. Could they all eventually evolve into an American pantheon of Gods?

Thoughts?

I know this is incoherent. I have certain days when I write better than others, my brain is full of mush today and I can't really articulate what I'm getting at.

 
I think, the adherents of Religio Romana or a similar religion, where it was common to deify the rulers, may be quite open to it.. I personally just feel very skeptical about the whole "deification of cultural heroes" concept.

SkySamuelle

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2012, 11:42:18 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;48684
So, I was reading someone's blog and he mentioned something about famous people in America and that got me thinking, so I'm going to toss this out there and let people ponder it, comment on it, yada yada.

If you think about it, and if you do mythological research and reading, how sure are we that those names that have made it into Greek and Roman mythology etc, weren't actually live people at some point in time?

Think about it this way. If you think of it literally, the Gods are heroes in their legends and their myths. What if a person named Vesta really existed at some point and inspired females through the deeds she was responsible for to take a vow of chastity and keep her flame? How do we know that a person named Odin didn't really exist and that his deeds in life were enough to inspire myths about him exalting him to the status of a God. Basically, what if the Gods are really our ancestors?

This brings up an interesting thought, will there ever be an American pantheon of Gods?



Vodou spirits are spirits the were once human, and then ascended to a status where they represent certin virtues they had in life, and those virtues became the field expertise they are now petitioned by their 'servants'.
This is something similiar to the theory you are suggesting...

Tough, I have experienced the presence of gods and then presence of vodou spirits and they have a drastically different 'feel' to each of them.
I experienced Gods like 'forces' - the essences of certain pricinples that is both self-aware and sentient. Vodou spirits tough, although they shed part of their humanity and are quite powerful on their own, were more 'contained' presences. I am not sure how explaining it, but I tend to think that They came to us at some point of time and the 'human shape' were the closest thing we could get to define Them, in order to understand what They were and are.  

Quote from: Vermillion;48684
Really, the only thing Americans can't say that they have, is a pantheon unique to them, or do they??


There's native american pantheons.... Mayas, Incas  and Aztecs had a mythology that was just as elabored as the Greeks' one, even if it is considerably less popular nowadays.:)

A few links, if you are interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_mythology

http://www.windows2universe.org/mythology/aztec_culture.html

http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Ar-Be/Aztec-Mythology.html

http://www.crystalinks.com/mayangods.html

http://socyberty.com/history/mysteries-of-the-inca-a-mighty-pantheon/
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Fier

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2012, 11:45:32 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;48694
I have heard of it, but only after the particular blog post that I read. The author of that post mentioned Columbia and that got my searching on the net. And that's what got me thinking about this so much. My husband and I were mulling this over a couple nights ago.

 
I was going to mention Columbia as well. She is the closest thing to a goddess of the USA I can think of, being basically a personification of the spirit of the country.

The thing I don't like about this idea is that such a pantheon could very easily be built on politics. And I don't see myself honoring a bunch of politicians. :whis:

Fier

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2012, 11:47:22 am »
Quote from: Maps;48686

or "Hail, Johnny Appleseed! He of the wild and the wood, guardian of the apple tree! On our heads is the sauce pot in honor of you and your teachings. Plant a seed in our hearts and bless us as we venture into the unknown landscapes of life and seek to make the unknown knowable!"


That is full of win. :thup:

cigfran

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2012, 12:20:39 pm »
Quote from: FierFlye;48697
IThe thing I don't like about this idea is that such a pantheon could very easily be built on politics. And I don't see myself honoring a bunch of politicians. :whis:


But apparently that's something that ancient cultures did. Hail Caesar, and so on.

Altair

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2012, 12:28:42 pm »
Quote from: Nachtigall;48695
I personally just feel very skeptical about the whole "deification of cultural heroes" concept.


Ah, but the phenonenon is real, IMHO, and quite fascinating where pop culture is concerned. I usually think of them as American "saints" rather than American "gods", but the 2 best examples are:

Elvis Presley
Michael Jackson

The latter was instantly transformed from ostracized freak to cherished icon the moment he died. I'm not convinced yet that Saint Elvis and Saint Michael are about to be joined by Saint Whitney, but we'll see.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

cigfran

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2012, 12:36:05 pm »
Quote from: Altair;48702
Ah, but the phenonenon is real, IMHO, and quite fascinating where pop culture is concerned. I usually think of them as American "saints" rather than American "gods", but the 2 best examples are:

Elvis Presley
Michael Jackson

The latter was instantly transformed from ostracized freak to cherished icon the moment he died. I'm not convinced yet that Saint Elvis and Saint Michael are about to be joined by Saint Whitney, but we'll see.


The question then is, if these are American saints, who is the American god to whom one appeals with intercessory prayer through these figures?

Mammon, I suspect.

Auress

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2012, 12:37:09 pm »
Quote from: SkySamuelle;48696
Vodou spirits are spirits the were once human, and then ascended to a status where they represent certin virtues they had in life, and those virtues became the field expertise they are now petitioned by their 'servants'.
This is something similiar to the theory you are suggesting...

Tough, I have experienced the presence of gods and then presence of vodou spirits and they have a drastically different 'feel' to each of them.
I experienced Gods like 'forces' - the essences of certain pricinples that is both self-aware and sentient. Vodou spirits tough, although they shed part of their humanity and are quite powerful on their own, were more 'contained' presences. I am not sure how explaining it, but I tend to think that They came to us at some point of time and the 'human shape' were the closest thing we could get to define Them, in order to understand what They were and are.  



There's native american pantheons.... Mayas, Incas  and Aztecs had a mythology that was just as elabored as the Greeks' one, even if it is considerably less popular nowadays.:)

A few links, if you are interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aztec_mythology

http://www.windows2universe.org/mythology/aztec_culture.html

http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Ar-Be/Aztec-Mythology.html

http://www.crystalinks.com/mayangods.html

http://socyberty.com/history/mysteries-of-the-inca-a-mighty-pantheon/


Thanks for the links! I suppose that by "American" in this post, I'm meaning United States. We don't really have a pantheon we can speal of, unless we happen to be Native American and even then, it's much different concept to the Greeks, etc. Central American and South American would apply to "American" in the broader, continental sense, though and I almost wonder why we don't see more people venerating those pantheons.

Auress

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2012, 12:39:14 pm »
Quote from: FierFlye;48697
I was going to mention Columbia as well. She is the closest thing to a goddess of the USA I can think of, being basically a personification of the spirit of the country.

The thing I don't like about this idea is that such a pantheon could very easily be built on politics. And I don't see myself honoring a bunch of politicians. :whis:

 

But how do we know that the Gods of other pantheons didn't start out as politicians of their era? How about Zeus? He's the supreme God of the Greeks, and Hades is the ruler of the Underworld. Are rulers not politicians of sorts??

I think, in a way, we already are honoring politicians because they all stand for a certain something and are completely unique of one another.

Auress

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2012, 12:42:12 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;48703
The question then is, if these are American saints, who is the American god to whom one appeals with intercessory prayer through these figures?

Mammon, I suspect.



In this country? Most fitting, I think. :p

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