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Author Topic: American Pantheon of Gods?  (Read 9544 times)

Auress

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #60 on: April 05, 2012, 09:06:35 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;48948
Thanks for the head's up on those. I'm going to look into reading more about them.



!!!! George Washington is on this list. As a posthumous deification. I guess he's depicted in the U.S. Capital Dome of ascending to heaven and becoming a God. He's also worshiped on Hawaiian shinto shrines.......I'll be looking into that more, as well!

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

Altair

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #61 on: April 05, 2012, 11:09:00 am »
Quote from: Valentine;48922
I mean, Diodorus Siculus  would agree with you.  Two thousand years ago or so, he wrote a series of history books that suggested that all of the Gods were folklorized historical figures, and that the Olympians represented a real, historical human dynasty.  And about nine hundred years ago, Snorri Sturluson proposed something similar about the Aesir in his Prose Edda.  So there's precedent for ideas like yours.

For my part, it doesn't really matter to me.  The Gods are the Gods; They are Themselves, and I take Them at face value.


Though in Snorri's case, one has to wonder about motivation. He, a Christian writing about the northern European mythos after it had been displaced by his religion, was trying to "demote" the gods by retconning them into human royalty. Or so it seemed to me.
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Jabberwocky

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #62 on: April 05, 2012, 03:16:13 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


Those are both really interesting case studies in this kind of discussion.  Both of them have now become symbols; it's not about them as people any more, not primarily.  Especially Elvis- teenage rebellion, rock and roll etc.

And they both have a small number of fans who are genuinely utterly devoted to them to the point of building what are, to all intents and purposes, shrines.  (Interestingly, you see the same process with Star Trek fans).

So I think you could make a good case for them being modern deities.  But only to a small number of people.  Which is the big question.  In this time of cultural and spiritual fragmentation, I'm of the view that you're unlikely to find a deity, especially one who was a mortal in living memory, who is likely to have appeal broad enough to take on that role for an entire nation.

In terms of UPG, what I found with chaos magic is that working with pop culture figures can be very rewarding, but only if it's a figure you have a connection to in the first place.  

I've been working with Robin of Loxley for several years now, which I've found very valuable.  Although, there, you obviously have the question of where the line between "pop culture figure" and "mythical hero" can be found- we don't even know if he existed for certain and there's a lot of different interpretations that can be found.  Generally, the Loxley lad has been reinvented to fit the needs of the era.  One of the reasons his legend endures in my view.
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drekfletch

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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #63 on: April 05, 2012, 09:06:55 pm »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;48978
Generally, the Loxley lad has been reinvented to fit the needs of the era.  One of the reasons his legend endures in my view.

 
Which would also indicate a certain universality of his domain/area of influence.
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Re: American Pantheon of Gods?
« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2012, 03:09:58 pm »
Quote from: Altair;48968
Though in Snorri's case, one has to wonder about motivation. He, a Christian writing about the northern European mythos after it had been displaced by his religion, was trying to "demote" the gods by retconning them into human royalty. Or so it seemed to me.

 

I mean, that's always been my suspicion, with ol' Snorri.  Likewise, I have to wonder what Diodorus' agenda was regarding his relationship with imperial Rome.  Either way, they both make for some bizarre reading if you're not expecting it.  
It's at least a helpful reminder that human agendas have always influenced the lenses through which we see the Gods.  Every source we know, have, or read is steeped in the priorities and perceptions and politics of the humans who made it.
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