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Author Topic: Do you believe all the Gods are one?  (Read 3143 times)

Elani Temperance

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2012, 11:40:09 am »
Quote from: Loelia;55590
I would love to get a better picture of how others view deity and what your tradition is.

I'm a pretty darn hard polytheist in that I believe that every God or Goddess ever born/created is a distinct God or Goddess, even if they carry the same portfolio or even (partially) the same name.

... which is not to say that certain Gods can't have different faces and still be that one God; I just believe their other incarnations have sentience on their own as well be part of the greater whole. Like the different Aspects of Ra, who rule over different times a day. All are Ra but Khepri and Khnum stand alone as Gods as well.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 11:44:11 am by Elani Temperance »
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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2012, 11:56:20 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;55745
I'm a pantheist - I believe we're all parts of the Divine, and that religion is an attempt to understand that Divine.

I'm also a polytheist.  Gods are pieces of the Divine - masks given form, for lack of a better way of putting it.  They ARE personalities, but .. well, sometimes they trade.  Or share.  Or otherwise do things that don't fit nice easy boundaries.

I kinda go on the "leave it alone, figuring it out will make you crazy" level on that one, honestly.

 
I'm a pantheistic hard-polytheist - everything is of the Divine and some parts are better at doing what they want than others.
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Egarwaen

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2012, 02:34:30 pm »
Quote from: Loelia;55590
I would love to get a better picture of how others view deity and what your tradition is.

If there is already a thread covering this, please send me the link!

Many thanks in advance!

 
Not sure what my tradition is yet, or even if I have one. I'm still fumbling around, working out the best ways to relate to the Otherworld.

That said, I'm a hard polytheist. I see the gods and goddesses are distinct entities, big and complex and frequently contradictory things that we can't completely understand. Maybe even things for which the entire notion of rational "understanding" doesn't make sense. Now, this doesn't mean that I think soft polytheists, or monists, or pantheists, or even monotheists are wrong. Like I said, big and complex and contradictory. But none of those are how I see them, or experience them, or understand them. The one goddess I've had anything even remotely approaching personal contact with (Brigid) presents herself to me as a distinct individual with her own identity, and seems pleased that I've started using the correct forms to address her after getting it wrong for years.

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2012, 02:48:43 pm »
Quote from: Loelia;55590


 
Since They present Themselves as distinct entities, it would be the height of rudeness for me to treat Them otherwise.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Sharysa

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2012, 03:26:25 pm »
Quote from: Loelia;55590
I would love to get a better picture of how others view deity and what your tradition is.

Irish Reconstructionist pagan and thus, a hard polytheist. I believe that all the gods are separate entities--some may be very similar in function, but like very similar people they are not exactly the same. Aengus Og is not another "version" of Eros or Eros under a different name, even though they're both their pantheons' respective gods of love and share similar functions. They're distinct deities who happen to have similar jobs.

However, I find nothing wrong with soft polytheism because if it works for you and you're not trying to convince hard polytheists that "ALL THE GODS ARE EXACTLY THE SAME, THEY JUST HAVE DIFFERENT NAMES," that's fine.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 03:29:57 pm by Sharysa »
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iulla

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2012, 03:35:55 pm »
Quote from: Loelia;55590

I would love to get a better picture of how others view deity and what your tradition is.


I'm a hard polytheist.  Like several other people have said, I always assume that the gods are separate entities; they might be, they might not be, but I think for the most part it's more respectful to treat them as their own individual selves.  There are few cases where I am 100% sure that a deity is the same - actually, there are only two, and they concern the Greek and Roman Apollo and Hercules/Heracles.
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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2012, 03:38:16 am »
Quote from: Loelia;55590
What I mean is, it is not a purely Wiccan idea.


It's not really a Wiccan idea at all, or not in a defining sort of way - some Wiccans do take that view, but many more don't.  Where it comes from is Dion Fortune, who was a mystic Christian and ceremonial magician, not Wiccan or even Pagan, but whose works had some influence on the development of Wicca.

Quote
I would love to get a better picture of how others view deity and what your tradition is.


I'm a medium-hard polytheist - what Randall, Liadine, Rhyshadow, and Darkhawk said are a pretty close match for me, but I call it medium-hard because I'm also a pantheist; everything is part of the Divine, so I can't say I think the deities are completely separate individuals... but they're not any less separate than human-type people are.  (I'm also an animist, and that makes it even more complicated - lots of things are people/individuals; all are part of the Dance.)

I don't have a tradition per se.  I'm an eclectic neoPagan religious Witch, influenced by exoterically-available Wiccan materials but also by other forms of neoPagan religious Witchcraft (Feri, the Cochranist trads, various other things).  Have bootstraps, will travel:).

I notice that not many people have answered this question - it's likely that this is because most of them aren't part of a "tradition" of a single Pagan religion, they're part of one of the many different Pagan religions.  (Pagan religions are at least as separate and distinct as the deities are:).)

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catja6

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2012, 09:04:11 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;55885


I'm a medium-hard polytheist - what Randall, Liadine, Rhyshadow, and Darkhawk said are a pretty close match for me, but I call it medium-hard because I'm also a pantheist; everything is part of the Divine, so I can't say I think the deities are completely separate individuals... but they're not any less separate than human-type people are.  

 
This is also me.  Also like Darkhawk, I approach my polytheism as hard because it seems more POLITE to do so -- the gods show up in myth and to me as separate entities, so it seems deeply rude to just assume that they're all one just because I might think it "should" be so.  I don't think that being a philosophical soft polytheist is rude or anything; I'm just talking about when approaching the gods themselves, that it's more polite to treat them as individuals unless they request otherwise.

Morphidae

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2012, 09:22:16 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;55885
I'm a medium-hard polytheist - what Randall, Liadine, Rhyshadow, and Darkhawk said are a pretty close match for me, but I call it medium-hard because I'm also a pantheist; everything is part of the Divine, so I can't say I think the deities are completely separate individuals... but they're not any less separate than human-type people are.  (I'm also an animist, and that makes it even more complicated - lots of things are people/individuals; all are part of the Dance.)

I don't have a tradition per se.
Sunflower

 
Well, I thought I was a soft polytheist but I'm more this. I think the god/desses all have distinct personalities and should be treated separately, yet I think they are all facets of the Divine which is too big and complex to relate to in any way other than through personal gods and goddesses, spirits, what-have-you.

Nor do I have any tradition. I consider myself more of a generic pagan.

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2012, 11:41:32 pm »
Quote from: catja6;55920
This is also me.  Also like Darkhawk, I approach my polytheism as hard because it seems more POLITE to do so -- the gods show up in myth and to me as separate entities, so it seems deeply rude to just assume that they're all one just because I might think it "should" be so.  I don't think that being a philosophical soft polytheist is rude or anything; I'm just talking about when approaching the gods themselves, that it's more polite to treat them as individuals unless they request otherwise.

 
Yep.  Soft polytheism has its points, but it's just plain less useful when interacting with the deities.  And it's difficult to maintain when the deities interact back:) (once upon a time, I was a softer polytheist, about on the same lines as Amber Seal way back at the beginning of the thread).

Sunflower
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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #25 on: May 22, 2012, 11:46:51 pm »
Quote from: Morphidae;55926
Well, I thought I was a soft polytheist but I'm more this. I think the god/desses all have distinct personalities and should be treated separately, yet I think they are all facets of the Divine which is too big and complex to relate to in any way other than through personal gods and goddesses, spirits, what-have-you.

 
I'd place that as "medium" to my "medium-hard" - I don't see them as facets with distinct personalities (anymore - see my response to Catja immediately above), any more than I see myself as a facet with a distinct personality.

But it's not so very far apart - neither of us has runny yolks.  (Hey, it was time for the polytheistic egg jokes to start!)

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Loelia

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2012, 05:52:18 am »
Thanks so much for your replies! Very interesting.

Blessings

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Re: Do you believe all the Gods are one?
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2012, 10:12:03 am »
Quote from: Loelia;55590

I would love to get a better picture of how others view deity and what your tradition is.

 
I'm a hard enough polytheist that I can accept and believe that all Gods exist as separate entities, but soft enough to encompass syncretism and aspecting, which I've picked up from Kemetic theology. I tend to play it by ear depending on how the Gods approach me and what They indicate. I don't know how you'd describe this approach though. Medium polytheism? IDK. But that's how I see things.

As for my tradition, I'm an independent solitary eclectic Pagan. and, well, mostly Kemetic. In a Graeco-Roman sort of way. My basis is Kemetic at any rate, whatever else this thing is.
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