collapse
2017 Donation Drive -- Please Help Keep TC Online

It's time for our annual Server Donation Drive! We need to raise just over $850 to keep The Cauldron's server online for another year. Please help! Either hit that Paypal button to the right and make a one-time donation in any amount or set up a monthly Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor subscription. You can find more info in this message!

Donations as of 16 October: Only $147 more (after Paypal fees) needed to reach our goal! Please donate if you can.


* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Conceptions of deity  (Read 2493 times)

EclecticWheel

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2013
  • Location: Texas
  • Posts: 337
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 11
    • View Profile
  • Religion: HeterodoxEpiscopalian-"Christo-pantheist"-Pantheism
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Conceptions of deity
« on: September 16, 2017, 09:45:48 am »
I was thinking over my practices and also my posts here.  I think sometimes I use the term "gods" differently in part due to my pantheism.  When I relate to an entity through offerings and prayers, especially when I get dreams or visions back, my mind thinks "god" or perhaps "angel" ( in the sense of any message bearing entity, not necessarily sent by someone else) or even "friend" and I do not make a hard distinction between those terms or between ancestors, spirits, and gods because as a pantheist I simply see a continuum of divinity, and my devotions do not look much different between them.  I cannot think of any beings that are THE gods to me as opposed to some others I also honor.

How do you draw the line between say, ancestors and other spirits and gods?  Or maybe you do not.

I remember this discussion popping up, but not in a specific thread, so apologies if I missed anything -- I am using my phone right now and it's a little hard to search.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 09:49:11 am by EclecticWheel »

Megatherium

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 249
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: ca
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Heathen(ish)
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Conceptions of deity
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2017, 04:32:33 pm »
I was thinking over my practices and also my posts here.  I think sometimes I use the term "gods" differently in part due to my pantheism.  When I relate to an entity through offerings and prayers, especially when I get dreams or visions back, my mind thinks "god" or perhaps "angel" ( in the sense of any message bearing entity, not necessarily sent by someone else) or even "friend" and I do not make a hard distinction between those terms or between ancestors, spirits, and gods because as a pantheist I simply see a continuum of divinity, and my devotions do not look much different between them.  I cannot think of any beings that are THE gods to me as opposed to some others I also honor.

How do you draw the line between say, ancestors and other spirits and gods?  Or maybe you do not.

I remember this discussion popping up, but not in a specific thread, so apologies if I missed anything -- I am using my phone right now and it's a little hard to search.

While I wouldn't quite describe myself as a pantheist, I am sympathetic to your idea of a "continuum of divinity". I do, however, make distinctions between the various beings I worship because although I feel there may well be some overlap in these categories, the roles that different beings play in my life and the larger world do, in my view and practice, necessitate some degree of differentiation.

 Ancestors are the simplest category for me, as they are deceased humans that I am descended from. While some of the basic methods of making an offering overlap with some other groups of beings , I generally see these relationships as more intimate and familiar than with other beings. I do think, however, that the dead as a collective group can behave in some sense like a land spirit or god.

Land spirits, or to be all Heatheny, Wights or Landvaettir, are specifically associated with a particular place. If I am showing appreciation to a particular area, this is how i will conceive of these beings. I generally expect a more distant relationship with them than with ancestors, I also expect that more work will be necessary to show respect; my ancestors are invested in me regardless, but land spirits may well be indifferent or hostile. Generally when I visit any natural area for enjoyment, I pick up any garbage I see as an effort to give back to these beings. I think land spirits on a very large scale may well function in a similar manner to Gods.

I view the Gods as fundamentally other and unknowable, and generally existing on a scale I cannot properly comprehend. I believe the main ways I can interact with them is either through ritual or through the experience of the larger natural and cultural forces which they control/underlie/manifest themselves through. With the Gods I have very little expectation of personal benefit from these interactions in the sense of the Gods noticing and responding to me- I worship the Gods because they deserve it and because by making efforts to do it enriches my day-to-day mental state with a sense of awe and reverence which is both enjoyable on its own and allows me to function in a healthier way with other people.

TL:DR - I am fairly agnostic about drawing hard and vast distinctions between various categories of beings so the distinctions as I see them emerge from who or what I am thinking of when I engage in ritual/prayer, etc.
My views are one that speaks to freedom.
-George W. Bush

Eastling

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Feb 2016
  • Location: Seattle
  • Posts: 190
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 21
  • Love and be free.
    • View Profile
    • Utterly Pure
  • Religion: Dionysian pop culture paganism and heretical Judaism
  • Preferred Pronouns: He/him/his
Re: Conceptions of deity
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2017, 07:23:40 pm »
How do you draw the line between say, ancestors and other spirits and gods?  Or maybe you do not.

It's the nature of my Powers to blur the line between god and mortal. I suspect that's a Dionysian thing in some ways: Dionysos and Ariadne/Persephone are specifically positioned as gods of apotheosis. Ancient funerary art attests that Dionysian imagery was associated with life after death and specifically with the idea of deceased mortals becoming identified with Dionysos and his bride, similar to the more explicit beliefs in Kemetic funerary theology.

So it's not always easy for me to draw that line, and I'm pretty sure that's how they want it. I am almost certainly supposed to take away from this blurriness the message that there is no hard and fast line between "mortal" and "divine"; that God is another facet of the Self and the Self is an inchoate God, and perhaps that both "God" and "Self" are illusions that spring from some deeper, united source we don't understand yet.

In my personal practice, I do not regularly make distinctions between different levels of divinity in spirits or Powers, simply because they're not useful to me. The only useful distinction is in how my Powers relate to me--some through inspiration during meditation, others through active channeling, some through writing, some through ritual actions or divinations, or a mixture of the above.
Utterly Pure, a virtual shrine in progress to Ariadne; Someday Comes Back, my general mysticism/pop culture blog.
Everything dies, baby: that's a fact. But maybe everything that dies someday comes back.
--Bruce Springsteen
The words of Dionysos and Ariadne from the mouth of their beloved son: Rule with your heart; live with your conscience; love and be free.

moonlightsonata

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Mar 2017
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
  • Posts: 17
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
    • Born in the Battle
  • Religion: Wiccan
Re: Conceptions of deity
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2017, 11:47:10 pm »

How do you draw the line between say, ancestors and other spirits and gods?  Or maybe you do not.



For me, I have pretty clear demarcations between ancestors, spirits, and deity.

I believe there is one Divine force that expresses itself as the God and Goddess.  I believe all the Goddesses are one Goddess and all the Gods are one God.  That being said, in day to day practice my belief is much more polytheism then duotheism.  I work mostly with Hecate and the Morrigan.  It's easier for me to work with the Goddess that way, at least right now.  But when it comes down to what I believe is Their nature- then I revert to a duotheism.

Spirits are much more...localized.  Fire spirits are around fire, they're not in the ocean.  Spirits that belong to a certain item or area are there.  They're created much like we are, just on a different plane.  Whereas I believe that the God and Goddess are omniscient, omnipotent, etc.

Ancestors are human souls that have departed but can reach out to you under certain circumstances. 
"The life of a Witch is one filled with the awe of the worlds- Seen and Unseen; it is for the curious mind, the seeker of arcane knowledge, and for those who live on the boundaries of the Shadow-Lands" ~Vivanne Moss, "Hekate: A Devotional"

MeadowRae

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Oct 2015
  • Location: West Virginia
  • Posts: 359
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 10
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Pantheist Pagan
Re: Conceptions of deity
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2017, 04:29:41 pm »
I was thinking over my practices and also my posts here.  I think sometimes I use the term "gods" differently in part due to my pantheism.  When I relate to an entity through offerings and prayers, especially when I get dreams or visions back, my mind thinks "god" or perhaps "angel" ( in the sense of any message bearing entity, not necessarily sent by someone else) or even "friend" and I do not make a hard distinction between those terms or between ancestors, spirits, and gods because as a pantheist I simply see a continuum of divinity, and my devotions do not look much different between them.  I cannot think of any beings that are THE gods to me as opposed to some others I also honor.

How do you draw the line between say, ancestors and other spirits and gods?  Or maybe you do not.

I remember this discussion popping up, but not in a specific thread, so apologies if I missed anything -- I am using my phone right now and it's a little hard to search.

As a pantheist I can definitely relate to what you're saying. I kind of feel like divinity/deity is the ether we exist in and bits and pieces become clear to us when we commune with it/them. I do focus on specific aspects of deity in the form of Brighid, the Morrigan, Aine, Mabon, etc. But I have also felt drawn to specific ancestors and spirits of the land and trees. I don't know if they have specific names; it's just sort of gut feeling for land spirits. I guess I don't have so much hard lines as blurred distinctions. It's pretty fluid.

Altair

  • Adept Member
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: New York, New York
  • Posts: 2357
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 44
  • Fly high and make the world follow
    • View Profile
    • Songs of the Metamythos
  • Religion: tree-hugging pagan
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Conceptions of deity
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2017, 06:54:19 pm »
I think sometimes I use the term "gods" differently in part due to my pantheism....
How do you draw the line between say, ancestors and other spirits and gods?

Another pantheist here for whom divinity is a continuous spectrum, since we're all part of it. I express that idea in myth as the Great Goddess singing a song that changes her, diversifying her into every more complex forms, from One to Three to many trillions of worlds and stars to the gazillions of species born of those worlds and stars...

I perceive a difference in spirit in rank--the province of my ancestors is different from that of my garden's guardian, or most senior in rank, my gods--but there's no fundamental differences between them. For me they're all part of one great flow.
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

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
64 Replies
11944 Views
Last post September 18, 2017, 07:13:51 pm
by Castus
11 Replies
2629 Views
Last post October 27, 2011, 02:21:05 pm
by Tamina
11 Replies
2274 Views
Last post January 08, 2016, 02:16:48 pm
by cletus90851
5 Replies
668 Views
Last post January 12, 2013, 11:44:51 am
by Shine
6 Replies
1446 Views
Last post January 16, 2017, 03:14:42 pm
by hraefngar

* Members in Chat

0 members chatting in CauldronMUX:
Updated every five minutes or so

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 23
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 3
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, Emma-Eldritch, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru, Tana

CauldronMUX Chat Staff
Chief MUX Wizard:
Darkhawk

Reserve Staff:
Aisling, Bob, Catja, Fausta, Sperran, Steve

Cauldron Council:
Everfool, Jubes, Kelly, Koi, Melamphoros, Ocelot, Phouka, Sashapablo, Star

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall