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Author Topic: Worship Deities outside their religion  (Read 918 times)

Local Magpie

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Worship Deities outside their religion
« on: January 20, 2019, 11:46:03 am »
Hello! I was wondering what your guys thoughts are on worshiping deities differently then practiced in antiquity. Of course it's impossible to worship them exactly how they were. But I mean more of worshiping Norse gods in the way one would worship deities in Religio Romana or Celtic deities in Wicca (I know this is more common due to the way deity is viewed in Wicca). Even say, worshiping Kemetic deities with rituals you create don't resemble or aren't inspired by the ones done in antiquity. Do you think it's fine as long as the deities in question give it the a-okay? Or do you think it's disrespectful?
 I hope this makes sense and I am very curious to what you all have to say!

Ashmire

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Re: Worship Deities outside their religion
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2019, 12:04:47 pm »
If they do indeed OK it, then it can hardly be considered disrespectful.  Blundering in with a pig-headed determination to do it without asking their opinion seems pretty stupid (personally I probably would be inclined to ask before even trying proper historical practices in case the archaeologists got it wrong, but not everyone is going to get answers that intuitively), but I would guess the gods themselves can sort it out if they feel comeuppance is deserved.

That said, I keep finding that the things I thought I made up often do have historical basis, so...*shrug*

EnderDragonFire

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Re: Worship Deities outside their religion
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2019, 02:42:19 pm »
Hello! I was wondering what your guys thoughts are on worshiping deities differently then practiced in antiquity.

I don't think it's an issue. In fact, everyone does it!

Living, unbroken traditions like Hinduism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism have naturally drifted over the millennia, and their forms today are quite different from their antique forms.

Many modern religions, both pagan and non-pagan, are totally constructed and don't even try to emulate ancient religions; rather, they might borrow ideas, practices, or deities but they are wholly new religions.

Recon groups do indeed try to follow the ancient ways exactly, but the dearth of information on even the best-documented pagan religions means that there is always, without exception,  error, inference, and substituion.

In short, nobody on earth worships deities exactly how they were worshiped in antiquity. Not mainstream world religions, not folk religious practices, not indigenous religions, not New Age groups, and not even Reconstructionist Pagans.

"The worshippers of the gods go to them; to the manes go the ancestor-worshippers; to the Deities who preside over the elements go their worshippers; My devotees come to Me." ... "Whichever devotee desires to adore whatever such Deity with faith, in all such votaries I make that particular faith unshakable. Endowed with that faith, a votary performs the worship of that particular deity and obtains the fruits thereof, these being granted by Me alone." - Sri Krishna

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Re: Worship Deities outside their religion
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2019, 03:01:08 pm »

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Re: Worship Deities outside their religion
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2019, 03:34:42 pm »
If they do indeed OK it, then it can hardly be considered disrespectful.

This was pretty much what I was thinking (though I've never tried any sort of worship, so I'm speculating rather than speaking from experience, or even UPG).
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Re: Worship Deities outside their religion
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2019, 04:52:42 pm »
Hello! I was wondering what your guys thoughts are on worshiping deities differently then practiced in antiquity. Of course it's impossible to worship them exactly how they were. But I mean more of worshiping Norse gods in the way one would worship deities in Religio Romana or Celtic deities in Wicca (I know this is more common due to the way deity is viewed in Wicca). Even say, worshiping Kemetic deities with rituals you create don't resemble or aren't inspired by the ones done in antiquity. Do you think it's fine as long as the deities in question give it the a-okay? Or do you think it's disrespectful?
 I hope this makes sense and I am very curious to what you all have to say!

I think as long as it's done reverently and with reason behind it, there's nothing wrong. Having said that however, some deities may not hear you if you do things out of line -- the Roman gods in particular are very... insistent on proper decorum.

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Re: Worship Deities outside their religion
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2019, 08:44:31 pm »
I don't think it's an issue. In fact, everyone does it!

Living, unbroken traditions like Hinduism, Christianity, and Zoroastrianism have naturally drifted over the millennia, and their forms today are quite different from their antique forms.

Many modern religions, both pagan and non-pagan, are totally constructed and don't even try to emulate ancient religions; rather, they might borrow ideas, practices, or deities but they are wholly new religions.

Recon groups do indeed try to follow the ancient ways exactly, but the dearth of information on even the best-documented pagan religions means that there is always, without exception,  error, inference, and substituion.

In short, nobody on earth worships deities exactly how they were worshiped in antiquity. Not mainstream world religions, not folk religious practices, not indigenous religions, not New Age groups, and not even Reconstructionist Pagans.

There is some debate on whether or not reconstruction should be exact. In many cases, like you say, it’s not possible. A lot of recons focus on establishing continuity with the past, such as a living tradition like Hinduism might have. In my view, the west has a problem stemming from broken continuity in its religious traditions. For me the goal is to repair that break in continuity, and formulating a reconstruction of the past is only the first step of that.

arete

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Re: Worship Deities outside their religion
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2019, 06:16:22 am »
Hello! I was wondering what your guys thoughts are on worshiping deities differently then practiced in antiquity.
Hello :)
Reconstruction is very important. We must follow the old rituals. BUT when we practice alone and we don't have access to official rituals, then we try what we think best. Official religious groups must be recontsruct though.

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Re: Worship Deities outside their religion
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2019, 08:27:55 am »
Hello! I was wondering what your guys thoughts are on worshiping deities differently then practiced in antiquity. Of course it's impossible to worship them exactly how they were. But I mean more of worshiping Norse gods in the way one would worship deities in Religio Romana or Celtic deities in Wicca (I know this is more common due to the way deity is viewed in Wicca).

My practice is religious witchcraft, and pretty heavily polytheistic. I mostly end up working with deities who come from Greece, Rome, and occasionally Egypt, and my person practice involves deities I am pretty sure are English (or something pre-England), not Celtic. And I do all of that within the structure of religious witchcraft - cast circle, four quarters, and a ritual structure that mostly dates to the last century in terms of its specifics (though parts of it are centuries older.)

My experience has been that most deities are glad to get thoughtful, respectful attention. Where the form of the ritual matters, it is in my experience for a couple of reasons:

1) You need a specific form to make a specific thing happen, ritually.

Functionally speaking, some ritual formats make bread, and some make cake, and some make pasta, even though you're starting from often very similar ingredients. If you want pasta, following the instructions for bread won't work well for your goal.

2) There are things that must be avoided (which means planning)

Some deities have things they should not be offered/near/involved with. Some have strong preferences about other deities invited. The historical ritual structures often take those into account, modern ones may not without research.

3) Deities do generally appreciate historically appropriate offerings (with modifications, when needed), and especially historically-informed praise/invocation/evocation language that recognises where they've been and come from.

That said, I don't think they're static, so including modern references (for example, there's a lot more technology relevant to Mercury or Hermes now than there was even a century ago) is fine. And as I've said before, I've never been in a ritual where good chocolate was turned down as an offering. (I know of a few cases where it's happened, but the vast majority of deities, like many people, seem to go "Yay, chocolate!")

4) The humans care about the form of the ritual.

This is the thing that's most true: humans like ritual, we like to have an idea what to anticipate, and historical ritual structures built those expectations in specific ways, and modern rituals do some things the same and some things different. And that's okay - it's a question of what makes sense for the people, the deities, the space, and the various logistical and practical concerns. 
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Re: Worship Deities outside their religion
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2019, 11:10:05 am »
Hello! I was wondering what your guys thoughts are on worshiping deities differently then practiced in antiquity.

My take on this concern is that we often forget that deities are evolving alongside humanity. In any given religion you will have an evolution of the rites (like the christian mass is vastly not recited in latin anymore), and the deities themselves (Anubis was the one weighting the soul but the Egyptians switched it to Osiris as his cult took more importance with time). Even is recent religions the deities take different form, from vengeful to benevolent etc.

From that base, in my opinion the deities don't mind who is communing with them, I have yet to see an example of a deity rejecting someone not of the appropriate culture. Like many who don't even have Scandinavian blood still resonate with Norse pantheon! A huge majority look towards Egyptian/Greek/Sumerian pantheon and have no ancestry in that part of the world.

As for the rites themselves, trying to emulate ancient ones is fine but many are not appropriate to our current society, like animal/human sacrifices to name only that one. So I'm all for making new rites appropriate to your culture but with the deity sphere of interest in mind of course. If you are doing something wrong you will know it and feel an urge to change things around until it feels just right and communication comes easily.

It also comes down to your personality. Some of us like lots of decorum and fixed prayers because it gives more power to the communion, some of us are quick moving air signs and a magickal trigger or a quick meditation is enough with whatever feels right at the moment, ever changing. The importance of respecting what they did in the past is relevant only for you. Like I know I won't wear a jackal mask when I'm embalming! A medallion will do just fine.

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