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Author Topic: Can your gods / goddesses die?  (Read 10618 times)

RandallS

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2011, 08:20:52 am »
Quote from: LeG;31906
If we haven't strong evidence - we use logic to combine the descriptions from ancient authors, who were much closer to this things that we now.

It is easy to combine descriptions of anything, but that does not mean there is a good reason to do so to begin with. In your mind there apparently is good reason to combine these descriptions while to my mind there isn't.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 06:19:39 pm by SunflowerP »
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A Disgruntled Scotsman

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #46 on: March 18, 2013, 03:22:02 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;22046
The gods of ancient Greece were truly immortal -- undying. Immortality was what separated the Gods from humans and animals.

 
Weren't the Greek gods only immortal because they regularly consumed ambrosia?
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troll maiden

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2013, 04:03:43 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;21975
Let me preface this with:  This is off the top of my head so not an in-depth look into any particular mythology! :stop:

................................................. ...........

Can your gods / goddesses die? That is a notion or question that occurred or came to me this morning. Sort of a companion question to the notions of gods / goddesses being immortal or semi-immortal and can they be injured like mortals.

 
In Shintoism Gods and Goddesses can die. In the Shinto version of the story of creation Izanami-no-Mikoto dies and Izanagi-no-Mikoto attempts to revive her. I think it involved him descending into the underworld. :)

troll maiden

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2013, 04:12:27 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;21975
As I pondered that, it occurred to me I am only aware of two pantheons that actually speak of such events occurring. The most apparent or visible examples recorded in the deaths of Osiris in the Egyptian mythos and that of Baldur in the Nordic mythos. I suppose for arguments sake one might add Jesus in the Christian mythos as he too is a divine being that died. Especially important is the fact that neither Baldur nor Osiris rose from the dead but where seen as truly being dead in my recall.

 
I assume you're referencing the story of Osiris being cut up by Set? If so, then he was indeed revived. He was bought back by Isis and Nephthys.. hence why He is associated with rebirth, the underworld and death.

Check me out with the knowledge. ;)

Rhyshadow

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2013, 04:31:06 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;21975
Let me preface this with:  This is off the top of my head so not an in-depth look into any particular mythology! :stop:

As I pondered that, it occurred to me I am only aware of two pantheons that actually speak of such events occurring. The most apparent or visible examples recorded in the deaths of Osiris in the Egyptian mythos and that of Baldur in the Nordic mythos. I suppose for arguments sake one might add Jesus in the Christian mythos as he too is a divine being that died. Especially important is the fact that neither Baldur nor Osiris rose from the dead but where seen as truly being dead in my recall.

So I ask, Can your gods / goddesses die?

 
Quote from: troll maiden;102066
I assume you're referencing the story of Osiris being cut up by Set? If so, then he was indeed revived. He was bought back by Isis and Nephthys.. hence why He is associated with rebirth, the underworld and death.

Check me out with the knowledge. ;)

 
And Baldur also comes back - after Ragnarok, but instead of the 'end of the world' that most interpret it, you read further and you find out that two humans survive and Baldur returns from Hel's realm to lead the new Gods in place of Odin

Far as the TDD are concerned, yes, they get injured - Nuada loses his arm for a while - and even die. The Gods are not uninjurable immortals, they can go away, it just so happens that others have skills that can bring some back and make other whole again

Gilbride

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #50 on: March 21, 2013, 09:33:55 am »
Quote from: Rhyshadow;102070
And Baldur also comes back - after Ragnarok, but instead of the 'end of the world' that most interpret it, you read further and you find out that two humans survive and Baldur returns from Hel's realm to lead the new Gods in place of Odin


That's probably the IE concept of cyclical creation and destruction of the universe, IMO.

Quote from: Rhyshadow;102070
Far as the TDD are concerned, yes, they get injured - Nuada loses his arm for a while - and even die. The Gods are not uninjurable immortals, they can go away, it just so happens that others have skills that can bring some back and make other whole again


Macha died, but then kept reappearing in later stories with the provision that she was "from the Sid mounds." So, when a deity dies it become a cthonic deity. Otherwise, death doesn't seem to slow them down much!

SPhoenix

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #51 on: March 21, 2013, 09:45:42 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;21975
Truthfully, I can't even recall a single goddess that suffers the loss of any body part or perminate injury such as experienced by Tyr or Odin.

The Morrigan is injured by Cu Cthulain (sorry spelling). Her injuries don't go away until he meets her as an old hag, milking a cow. For each drink of milk she gives him, he blesses her (which heals the injuries he did to her in her various forms).

Granted, they weren't permanent in that they never got healed, but they were permanent until healed by the man who struck the blows.

Which I think is an interesting social commentary on marriage. Many times, men do not understand that they've struck serious blows to their marriages, and that it's the man who must heal those blows before the marriage can be healed. This is especially apropos because Morrigan is the Goddess of Passion... and it tends to be passion that most suffers in a marriage from these blows.

Of course, that's personal interpretation. :p
« Last Edit: March 21, 2013, 09:46:37 am by SPhoenix »

Senedjem

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #52 on: January 17, 2014, 01:31:51 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;21975
So I ask, Can your gods / goddesses die?

 
Yes it is my belief that my gods can die, but that doesn't mean its an easy feat. I don't believe gods 'simply' die.

In a case like Wesir (Osiris) for example, I believe there could be some good that a god would be willing to die for. From a certain Kemetic outlook- if Wesir hadn't died, the Duat would be without a ruler, and would be significantly different in ways we can't know.

Wesir also serves as god of the akhu (blessed ancestors), so that entails his death. Some Kemetics very much believe that death was by his own decision, so that the Duat wouldn't be without a ruler.

That isn't to say I believe other gods couldn't die in other ways, and I don't see the gods of other pantheons through a Kemetic lens. I respect each pantheon as separate, so I believe there are probably other means by which gods can and do die.

The death of Pan in the Hellenic pantheon is quite mysterious, and not really explained by any account I'm aware of, but there is an account claiming Pan did die.

All this being said, I still find the death of gods sometimes difficult for my mind to comprehend, and I don't dwell on such a concept. I'm not sure the gods die easily or simply.

I suppose that's my take.

Sage

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #53 on: January 17, 2014, 01:37:36 pm »
Quote from: Senedjem;136728

The death of Pan in the Hellenic pantheon is quite mysterious, and not really explained by any account I'm aware of, but there is an account claiming Pan did die.

 
If I recall correctly, this account it's Hellenic in nature but rather Christian, proclaiming the death of the pagan god Pan. Source: my faulty memory, so maybe someone else can back me up?
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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2014, 01:54:07 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;21975
Can your gods / goddesses die?


I feel a need to preface this by saying - they're not my Gods/Goddesses.

Do I believe a God can die? No. However I am basing that upon my limited understanding of death purely from the perspective of a living human being who will one day die. It could be that Gods can and do die all of the time, but their life spans are so vast as to seem immortal to me.

Having said that, I do believe that a God can fade. And perhaps that is near enough to death as anything if it fades enough.

I fall back upon the great modern mythic writer Terry Pratchett and most of his book "Small Gods" for how my thinking on this topic has developed.

When people stop believing in a God, I think they do fade. And when a God has faded completely from human memory, then it could indeed be said that He has died.

All the rest of them, well they may "die" in the stories, but they all seem to be standing back up again by the next Act.

Kairos

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2014, 02:06:22 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;21975
So I ask, Can your gods / goddesses die?

The short answer is I don't know.

The long answer is I don't know. I have seen a goddess in human form and I have seen some gods and goddesses as forces or natural occurrences. I can imagine something with a human form dying, but I don't know how time or the ocean or the night sky could die.

If I were to invent a story about the gods and goddesses I know, I might say that their avatars can die, but that they themselves cannot. Whether the story says anything true is another matter, and one I cannot answer yet.
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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #56 on: January 18, 2014, 01:51:25 am »
Quote from: Sage;136729
If I recall correctly, this account it's Hellenic in nature but rather Christian, proclaiming the death of the pagan god Pan. Source: my faulty memory, so maybe someone else can back me up?

 
The Wikipedia article on Pan has a section on that - while it has quite a few issues relating to citations, it seems to give a sufficient basic overview.

As a kind of 'negative confirmation', Theoi.com's entry on Pan doesn't appear to make reference to it at all - which makes sense for something that doesn't show up at all until Plutarch (who is late enough - early Common Era - to be more post-Hellenic than Hellenic).

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A Disgruntled Scotsman

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #57 on: September 17, 2014, 11:50:23 am »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;21975
Let me preface this with:  This is off the top of Can your gods / goddesses die? That is a notion or question that occurred or came to me this morning. Sort of a companion question to the notions of gods / goddesses being immortal or semi-immortal and can they be injured like mortals.
So I ask, Can your gods / goddesses die?

 
The Greek deities can apparently die and are frequently injured.  Ares is, once, captured & sealed in a great jar.  He almost dies but is saved by the efforts of the other Olympians.  Aphrodite & Ares are both injured by the hand of Diomed during the Trojan War, though these instances only happens with the blessings of Athena.
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Louisvillian

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #58 on: September 21, 2014, 06:50:53 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;21975
Can your gods / goddesses die?

Yes and no. I'm syncretic, but not eclectic, and I lean towards reconstructionism as regards the individual pantheons and their worship. That said, I do have to take into account the differing views of divinity that each culture expressed.
The gods in Greek and Roman religion are explicitly referred to as immortal, and it is this deathless quality that separates them and makes them sacred and special. Many rituals in Hellenic and Hellenistic religion is framed around cleansing a space or person from "mortality" so that they cannot bring that into contact with something so pure and immortal as the Olympian gods. So it is well-established in both myth and ritual that the gods cannot die.
The Irish gods, whom I worship as my ancestral gods, are a rather more complicated story. Literary mythology depicts them as dying, but cultural custom would imply that they aren't. In addition, it is well known that the Irish literary cycles euhemerizes the gods as powerful mortal kings and heroes, due to Christian influence. I have a suspicion that any depiction of the Irish gods straight-up dying is a tacked-on addition, a retcon to make the stories more amenable to a post-polytheistic audience.

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Re: Can your gods / goddesses die?
« Reply #59 on: September 25, 2014, 11:36:55 pm »
Quote from: Louisvillian;159704


 
My answer is 'I don't know,' but if I had to guess, 'probably not, it depends.'

It seems as though in most traditions with an afterlife, the gods are able to transcend both mortal life and the afterlife (and, if applicable, their divine realm). So, if they did die, it doesn't feel like it would make much of a difference.

Of course, if there isn't an afterlife, then the ability to walk in and out of it wouldn't matter.

Then further, I think it depends who kills them. An equal or higher deity might be able to do a more permanent death than a lower-ranked one, or spirit or human.

And then also also, it depends where we draw the line for gods. Is it just higher creationy type gods, or is it including the smaller ones like specific kami, or something else?

Generally I'm of the opinion that they're immortal but not invulnerable, but at the same time, I think it's very unlikely a god would be killed, even were it possible. And assuming it were, that brings it back to the afterlife thing.

tl;dr, still don't know.

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