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Author Topic: Non Traditional Gods?  (Read 1775 times)

Treelover

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Non Traditional Gods?
« on: December 25, 2016, 08:05:50 pm »
Ok, so I am new hear, not necessarily new to paganism but not very knowledgeable about magic practice. I have a different, but completely sincere question. Can you call upon Gods from fantasy in your magical works, rituals and spells? And has anyone done this or tried this and how did it go? Cause here is the thing I know that logically all the Gods of the different pantheons can't be real but it seems magic can work with any deity you choose to ask for help. So for example could I call upon Lady Mara Goddess of Love from the universe of The Elder Scrolls?  I ask this for two reasons: I want to know what makes a God "real or fake" and I want to know if my spells could actually work in calling upon that set of fantasy Gods?

Jenett

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Re: Non Traditional Gods?
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2016, 08:16:51 pm »
Quote from: Treelover;200471
Ok, so I am new hear, not necessarily new to paganism but not very knowledgeable about magic practice. I have a different, but completely sincere question. Can you call upon Gods from fantasy in your magical works, rituals and spells? And has anyone done this or tried this and how did it go? Cause here is the thing I know that logically all the Gods of the different pantheons can't be real but it seems magic can work with any deity you choose to ask for help. So for example could I call upon Lady Mara Goddess of Love from the universe of The Elder Scrolls?  I ask this for two reasons: I want to know what makes a God "real or fake" and I want to know if my spells could actually work in calling upon that set of fantasy Gods?

 
I suspect people will be along with more in due time - but the short answer is 'yes, it can be very effective for some people and that if you look through the forum (or search) for 'pop-culture paganism' you'll find a lot of existing posts about this.

(It's not something I do, so my help here is more pointing you at people with more useful comments.)
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Re: Non Traditional Gods?
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2016, 08:26:53 pm »
Quote from: Treelover;200471
So for example could I call upon Lady Mara Goddess of Love from the universe of The Elder Scrolls?  


Plenty of people do.  Pop culture paganism is definitely a thing, and I'm familiar with a couple of Elder Scrolls folks.

Quote
I ask this for two reasons: I want to know what makes a God "real or fake"

 
You're not going to find a ready answer to that question.  In my experience, the primary motivation between declaring some gods as "fake" has to do with people trying to present their religious perspective as the only legitimate approach to truth.  Since I think that's obviously nonsense, it just doesn't come up as a topic.  Department Of Not My Religious Problem.
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Jack

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Re: Non Traditional Gods?
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2016, 09:07:51 pm »
Quote from: Treelover;200471
Ok, so I am new hear, not necessarily new to paganism but not very knowledgeable about magic practice. I have a different, but completely sincere question.


Hello and welcome to TC! I am one of the resident pop culture pagans and I will be jumping on your post today.

Quote
Can you call upon Gods from fantasy in your magical works, rituals and spells?


Well certainly we are likely to be capable of it, though some people have an easier time of it than others. Many of my earliest sources in "real" occultism were in a chaos magic vein, so I am quite practiced at choosing to believe in things for a short time to see whether or not those beliefs benefit me, and I do find that belief is a helpful (though not always necessary) component for calling on all gods, whether found in Bullfinch or Tolkien.

Quote
And has anyone done this or tried this and how did it go? Cause here is the thing I know that logically all the Gods of the different pantheons can't be real but it seems magic can work with any deity you choose to ask for help.


Sure have. As noted, this is often called "pop culture paganism" (though it's been a thing in some corners of chaos magic for a while). It's not super common but it's not super obscure, either.

But more than that, I urge you to examine the logic you're basing that assumption on. Why is it that you know "logically" that all gods cannot be real? How do those frameworks affect the way energy is manipulated in spellwork?

Quote
So for example could I call upon Lady Mara Goddess of Love from the universe of The Elder Scrolls?  I ask this for two reasons: I want to know what makes a God "real or fake" and I want to know if my spells could actually work in calling upon that set of fantasy Gods?

 
So funny story, the name Mara is not uncommon among gods and spirits. I first encountered a power named Mara in a different pop cultural context, on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland (where her temple is visited by thousands every day!) I and others worked with her as a goddess of wealth, health and foresight for several years before learning of the Latvian goddess of the same name. The Latvian goddess Mara is associated with the household sphere, commerce and the earth. I can draw connections there; does that mean I reached the "real" goddess Mara via the "fake" goddess at Disneyland? I think it's more complicated than that.

The only way to know if a spell will work is to do it. There's no other way, no matter how sound or theoretical your theurgy.
Hail Mara, Lady of Good Things!
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Treelover

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Re: Non Traditional Gods?
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2016, 10:15:24 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;200473
Plenty of people do.  Pop culture paganism is definitely a thing, and I'm familiar with a couple of Elder Scrolls folks.


 
You're not going to find a ready answer to that question.  In my experience, the primary motivation between declaring some gods as "fake" has to do with people trying to present their religious perspective as the only legitimate approach to truth.  Since I think that's obviously nonsense, it just doesn't come up as a topic.  Department Of Not My Religious Problem.

Quote from: Jack;200476
Hello and welcome to TC! I am one of the resident pop culture pagans and I will be jumping on your post today.



Well certainly we are likely to be capable of it, though some people have an easier time of it than others. Many of my earliest sources in "real" occultism were in a chaos magic vein, so I am quite practiced at choosing to believe in things for a short time to see whether or not those beliefs benefit me, and I do find that belief is a helpful (though not always necessary) component for calling on all gods, whether found in Bullfinch or Tolkien.



Sure have. As noted, this is often called "pop culture paganism" (though it's been a thing in some corners of chaos magic for a while). It's not super common but it's not super obscure, either.

But more than that, I urge you to examine the logic you're basing that assumption on. Why is it that you know "logically" that all gods cannot be real? How do those frameworks affect the way energy is manipulated in spellwork?

Hum very interesting, thank you for those thoughts. What my thinking is that most mythologies that I have read, mainly Roman, Norse, some Celtic, some theologies of Christian religions. It seems that they have a very complete idea of the universe and the Gods in there own view and timeline of the universe, not necessarily leaving room for other Gods if not like Christian ideas saying that all other Gods are rubbish.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 07:31:30 pm by SunflowerP »

Darkhawk

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Re: Non Traditional Gods?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2016, 12:59:02 am »
Quote from: Treelover;200477
Hum very interesting, thank you for those thoughts. What my thinking is that most mythologies that I have read, mainly Roman, Norse, some Celtic, some theologies of Christian religions. It seems that they have a very complete idea of the universe and the Gods in there own view and timeline of the universe, not necessarily leaving room for other Gods if not like Christian ideas saying that all other Gods are rubbish.

 
And at the same time, the common attitude of polytheistic cultures is that of course other people have different gods than they do, that's because they're other people.

The idea that mythology is a factual description is one of the most pernicious inventions of modern religion.  It has absolutely nothing to do with ancient theologies.  (Keep in mind that there exist ancient cultures, such as Egypt, which had a half dozen different creation myths involving different actors, processes, and implications, and there were no disputes about which one was the "real" one and which the "fake", because such a question was obviously quite silly.  They're all true.)
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

EclecticWheel

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Re: Non Traditional Gods?
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2016, 10:10:51 pm »
Quote from: Treelover;200471
Ok, so I am new hear, not necessarily new to paganism but not very knowledgeable about magic practice. I have a different, but completely sincere question. Can you call upon Gods from fantasy in your magical works, rituals and spells? And has anyone done this or tried this and how did it go? Cause here is the thing I know that logically all the Gods of the different pantheons can't be real but it seems magic can work with any deity you choose to ask for help. So for example could I call upon Lady Mara Goddess of Love from the universe of The Elder Scrolls?  I ask this for two reasons: I want to know what makes a God "real or fake" and I want to know if my spells could actually work in calling upon that set of fantasy Gods?

 
Well assuming deities exist in a similar fashion to ourselves with distict personalities and the like then I do not think there is a way to prove which are fake or real.  There is an element of faith involved.

If one's view of gods is similar to Jung's or monist then one may very well have a rewarding magical or devotional relationship with an archetype in the guise of a fictional being.

Even taking a more realist stance one might believe that independently existing gods inspired a fictional character and takes that form, that a character is an aspect of an ancient deity, and so on.

In matters of religion much of this will come based on experience and often some element and degree of belief even if like me one tends toward skepticism.  Often the theology will work itself out later.
My personal moral code:

Love wisely, and do what thou wilt.

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Re: Non Traditional Gods?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2016, 07:37:55 pm »
Quote from: Treelover;200477


 
A Reminder:
Hi, Treelover,

Our rules  generally prohibit editing after more than 2-3 minutes.  (Correcting  typos or minor mistakes is OK, but don't forget to fill in the "Reason  for Editing" box so that we know what's going on.)  This is because  after that long, several people have already read what you've written,  and they won't see the changes you make.  Because of that, they will  have difficulty following the conversation when someone replies to your  new, updated post.

If you need to correct or add anything  significant after those 2-3 minutes, you should just reply to yourself  and give the correction or additional information in the new post.   Double-posting is not considered bad behaviour here, and this will help  keep everyone on the same page, so to speak.

A couple of other points, as well: one, please make sure you leave the quote codes (the parts in the square brackets) intact when you're quoting; and, two, I'm moving the thread from 'Magic and the Occult for Beginners' to 'Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology', just so you know.

This isn't a formal  warning, just a reminder.  No reply is necessary, but if you have  questions or need clarification, please feel free to contact a member of  staff privately.

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Lumpino

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Re: Non Traditional Gods?
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2016, 01:02:43 am »
Quote from: Treelover;200471
Ok, so I am new hear, not necessarily new to paganism but not very knowledgeable about magic practice. I have a different, but completely sincere question. Can you call upon Gods from fantasy in your magical works, rituals and spells? ...............
..  I ask this for two reasons: I want to know what makes a God "real or fake" and I want to know if my spells could actually work in calling upon that set of fantasy Gods?

 
I would say that gods and goddesses are real beings. Old myteries was about it, see Theurgy by Iamblichus. Hindu bhaktjogis call them, see Ramakrishna and his vision of Kali. Hebrew kabbalist use a real gods names....... etc. And achieves a direct apparitions and effects.
So, what is the purpose of invoking a phantasy of fake gods?

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Re: Non Traditional Gods?
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2016, 02:05:41 am »
Quote from: Lumpino;200597
So, what is the purpose of invoking a phantasy of fake gods?


Well, there are a couple of schools of thought on this issue...
  • Richard Dawkins would say that if you can't see, hear, taste, touch, feel, smell, or measure it, it's not real. And paying it any mind at all is a waste of time.
  • Robert Heinlein, no friend of theism, put forth (possibly tongue-in-cheek) the "World-as-Myth" theory in his later years. He proposed that the very act of conceiving and writing about an imaginary character or world made it real on at least some level.
  • I take an intermediate position. Obviously real things are real, obviously. Some concepts are purely imagination and have no basis in reality. But imaginary concepts can be brought to life with the right kind of work. In human terms that usually involves drafting tables, steel mills, machine tools, rivets, and a whole lot of skilled labor.

But in searching for a better connection with my own God, I have come to believe that he [they] are also seeking to bring noteworthy concepts and characters to life. Sometimes that comes about by giving us the tools and resources to do the hard work on our own: I have a strong hint that the universe was re-created in the 1870s just to make nuclear fission power possible in the wake of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and the fictional submarine Nautilus.

The impression I get from my contact is that she liked Jules Verne; she loved Star Trek. But, in opposition to Heinlein's postulate, I think that the more crucial aspect is not so much the author's words but the readers' responses: Does the character truly come alive in their minds? Do they imagine actions and events which go beyond the plain words on the page?

My strong impression is that if you envision a character or a milieu which is honest, true, good, lovely, and pure then it is very likely that Somebody could be interested in bringing it to life.
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