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Author Topic: Finding my Pantheon  (Read 6174 times)

Aeto

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Finding my Pantheon
« on: July 19, 2011, 04:01:16 am »
Finding a pantheon is turning out to be very difficult. I have English, Irish, Scottish and German ancestry. So naturally, I decided to look into the Norse, Scottish and Irish myths. After months of research both on the internet and at my local library (I think I just about borrowed every book they had on Celtic and Norse mythology) I came up empty, none of the gods or myths resonated with me. Undeterred, I looked into other Celtic myths, particularly the Gaulish and Welsh. Once again, nothing.

Still undeterred, I looked into the Greek, Slavic, Roman and Kemetic myths and once again, after months of research, the gods and myths did not resonate with me at all.

After almost 2 years of researching it's really starting to bug me. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?

Lokabrenna

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2011, 11:44:10 am »
Quote from: Aeto;6112
Finding a pantheon is turning out to be very difficult. I have English, Irish, Scottish and German ancestry. So naturally, I decided to look into the Norse, Scottish and Irish myths. After months of research both on the internet and at my local library (I think I just about borrowed every book they had on Celtic and Norse mythology) I came up empty, none of the gods or myths resonated with me. Undeterred, I looked into other Celtic myths, particularly the Gaulish and Welsh. Once again, nothing.

Still undeterred, I looked into the Greek, Slavic, Roman and Kemetic myths and once again, after months of research, the gods and myths did not resonate with me at all.

After almost 2 years of researching it's really starting to bug me. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?


A couple things come to mind:

1. Are there individual deities that interest you? Sometimes one just doesn't "click" with certain members of a pantheon, but there's one deity that does it. Everyone wants to find where they belong, but I think expecting to automatically "click" with a pantheon as a whole is a little...hasty? Maybe it works for some people. A lot of Pagans don't have patron deities, either, but that doesn't make them wrong, just different. Maybe you aren't meant to connect with a pantheon, per se, or maybe you aren't looking in the right place.

2. There are, of course, many other pantheons to explore: Sumero-Akkadian, Canaanite, Phoenician, Mesoamerican (particularly the Aztec pantheon) I've even heard of Pre-Historic Paganism. There are also Pagans who follow a more syncretic path (Christo-Pagans, and IndoPagans, to name two).

Nyktelios

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2011, 12:24:58 pm »
Quote from: Aeto;6112
After almost 2 years of researching it's really starting to bug me. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?

 
I don't know what kind of path you are on, but it's usually not necessary to have a specific pantheon that you absolutely need to honour, unless you are coming from a more culturally-specific tradition. It's okay to follow a more abstract concept of divinity, like the Goddess and God, or just the All, the Universe, or the Divine Source. Some people do need specific deities to connect with, and I get that, too.

My suggestion is to ask yourself what drew you to paganism in the first place, and try to figure out which deities or which path best embodies those characteristics for you. Some people like Witchcraft because it holds nature as sacred and emphasizes being in tune with the seasonal and lunar cycles, and honours both male and female forms of divinity. Others relate to specific cultures, and although there's a particular prestige associated with Reconstructionism these days, a person shouldn't feel pressured to focus on one culture exclusively in the modern age. From my experience, Recons aren't often much better informed about their base culture than anyone else, anyway.

Another idea might be to light a candle, or go for a walk outside, and just say a general prayer that the right deities will come to you so that you can begin to cultivate relationships with them. Try to notice if anything pops up in your life, like a particular book on a certain pantheon that you find yourself drawn to in a bookstore, or a documentary that you stumble across on TV that happens to be about a certain deity or religion.

I think finding one's gods is kind of like making friends or finding a romantic partner. It just happens in its own time, and you can't really force a connection. Although, it is good to keep researching and learning to expose yourself to different gods to see if a connection takes hold. Still, you don't want to research too much so that you don't really give anything a chance before moving on to the next pantheon. Sometimes it helps to just take some quiet time and see what comes to you rather than always actively looking for something. My advice is just to relax and pay attention to the way the universe communicates with you, and see what comes your way. If you aren't getting a connection from pursuing the gods intellectually, you may want to try a more intuitive approach.

OpenHands

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2011, 12:48:18 pm »
Quote from: Aeto;6112

After almost 2 years of researching it's really starting to bug me. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?

 
I have some thoughts on this, but they're a little jumbled so I hope you don't mind bullet-points.  

- Do you have an established relationship with your ancestors or local spirits?  That might be a good "grassroots" place to start, if you will.  There's a lot of focus on gods in modern paganism and I think many of us miss out on the other relationships that are to be had.  It's a connection I wish I had made earlier on, at any rate.  Ancestors in particular might be able to offer some guidance.

- Have you researched not just the pantheons, but the religions themselves to see if they might be a good fit for you?  Deity relationships may come after you commit to learning about a religion that appeals to you.  

- What are you looking to get out of devoting yourself to a pantheon?  If you are looking for active, personal deity relationships, then it might be better to sort of put your radar out for an individual god and see what happens from there.

Starglade

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2011, 01:08:20 pm »
Quote from: Aeto;6112


After almost 2 years of researching it's really starting to bug me. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?

 
You could try what I did, which worked amazingly well in retrospect. I pretty much threw up my hands in defeat and sent out a message akin to "Okay, I give, if anyone out there is listening, let me know and we'll work something out."

Within a relatively short time I had my answer--and on researching *that* I found out, as with so many things, the answer had been there all along. I just hadn't realized it.

Best wishes for finding your answers.
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monsnoleedra

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2011, 02:11:04 pm »
Quote from: Aeto;6112
.. After almost 2 years of researching it's really starting to bug me. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?


Reading the stories, sagas and edda's is a lot like reading a fantasy series.  Many times only the major characters are really developed and expanded upon to such a degree that one can relate to them.

It's like Artemis for instance, every one knows of her running in the wilds and bound to no man as a wife.  That is the story that is repeated over and over in the tales and stories from the Greek pantheon.  Yet you have to read outside of the stories to find many of her atributes and discover how she was seen.  For instance I discovered a great deal about Artemis and Hecate through the coins issued with thier images and tales.  Things that were seldom if ever touched upon in the stories.

Sometimes one has to ignore the stories and look to the temples, sanctuaries, holy spots, etc to see the other side of the god / goddess.  To use Artemis again you don't really see some facets of her persona until you research her Arktoi (Bear Maidens) and the birthing sanctuary at Vravron (Brauron) outside of Athens.

Part of the discovey though is to first discover what it is you expect of them.  All the tales, fables, eddas, sagas, national creation myths, etc will show nothing if your not sure what your looking for.

It's like for me I have a strong connection to water.  I am born under a water sign, spent most of my adult life in the Navy, find my greatest solice when I am near water and astrologically fall beneath a water planet.  Now one might not think Artemis would fall beneath such but as Mistress of Animals she is also associated to the seas, marineers & sailors and had many temples dedicated to her in coastal towns.  As a blood goddess she was also tied to battle and testing of those upon those pathways, especially at Orthia (Sparta) and as Tuarian Artemis.  Yet my birth name means from the mountains or of the mountains so that ties in as well.

If one looks though you see all that also applies to Hekate who I also honor and follow.  Discovering quite a bit about both Artemis & Hekate especially in their combined roles of Artemis-Hekate and Hekate-Artemis.

My advise would be to look into self and discover who you are and what you expect them to be.  To identify what you are looking for in them and how you think they would be found.  I can't say it will work for you but for many I have known the clues to who calls to us is hidden in us.  When we discover who we are many times we reveal who they are.

Aster Breo

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2011, 04:05:50 pm »
Quote from: Aeto;6112

Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?

 
Others have posted excellent advice already in this thread.  I just want to reiterate the idea that maybe you'll resonate with one specific god/dess, rather than a pantheon.

That's what happened to me.  I've always been very interested in anything Celtic.  I have some Irish, Scottish, and Gaulish blood in me, but I don't really think that had much to do with my interest.  Mostly, I just really loved the traditional style of Celtic artwork, especially the knotwork and intertwining plant, animal, and abstract images.  I spent some time researching Celtic art, which led me to archeology, history, mythology, and spirituality.  Over the course of that -- and I'm talking about several years -- I realized that I'd get a little "thrill" or tingle whenever I read about Brighid.  So I started reading everything I could find about Her.  Eventually, I realized She had been in my life all along, even though I couldn't "see" Her before.

I've been a dedicant of Brighid for quite a while now.  But I've never really felt any connection to or "click" with any of the other god/desses in the Irish or Celtic pantheon.

It works for me.  YMMV, of course.  ;)
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Aeto

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2011, 08:56:54 pm »
Quote from: Aster Breo;6256
Others have posted excellent advice already in this thread.  I just want to reiterate the idea that maybe you'll resonate with one specific god/dess, rather than a pantheon.

That's what happened to me.  I've always been very interested in anything Celtic.  I have some Irish, Scottish, and Gaulish blood in me, but I don't really think that had much to do with my interest.  Mostly, I just really loved the traditional style of Celtic artwork, especially the knotwork and intertwining plant, animal, and abstract images.  I spent some time researching Celtic art, which led me to archeology, history, mythology, and spirituality.  Over the course of that -- and I'm talking about several years -- I realized that I'd get a little "thrill" or tingle whenever I read about Brighid.  So I started reading everything I could find about Her.  Eventually, I realized She had been in my life all along, even though I couldn't "see" Her before.

I've been a dedicant of Brighid for quite a while now.  But I've never really felt any connection to or "click" with any of the other god/desses in the Irish or Celtic pantheon.

It works for me.  YMMV, of course.  ;)

 
Thank you all for your replies. I have tried trying just to find a god and a goddess that I feel attracted to, I forgot to mention that. Apart from the myths, I did try and look at pictures of all the gods and goddesses that I came across, hoping that I might feel attracted to a certain image. I did not. Also, I tried looking into attributes that I may have felt a connection to, I found that difficult as well. I do feel as if there is a god and/or goddess out there for me but just exactly who they are I have no idea.

Aster Breo

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2011, 02:42:35 am »
Quote from: Aeto;6355
I do feel as if there is a god and/or goddess out there for me but just exactly who they are I have no idea.

 
Maybe it's one of the god/desses that have been lost to history.  We know there were hundreds of local god/desses honored by various Celtic tribes, but, since the Celts didn't use written records, most of them are unknown to us now.

I don't know how you'd go about figuring that out, other than trying to make contact during meditation or possibly trying to reach out to local deities where you live.  I know there are a few people here who have been trying to figure out who their god/dess is for a while.  Maybe one of them can make better suggestions.

I'm sorry this has been so frustrating for you.
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SatAset

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2011, 03:29:31 am »
Quote from: Aeto;6112


After almost 2 years of researching it's really starting to bug me. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?


This seems to me that maybe you're trying too hard.  You seem to be so focused on looking for a deity that you may miss it when signs from a deity are coming your way.  Slow down.  

I'd suggest lighting a candle or offering incense and just asking for a deity whose interested in a relationship to contact you.  

And then wait.  Really wait.  And see if something comes up.  

Not all the deities are featured in the myths so there could be deities you're over looking just because they weren't in the myths (the ones we have, anyway).  

There are plenty of obscure gods out there.  And sometimes the relationships we need are the ones we least expect.  

So be open, and ask and let the process happen.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

Aeto

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2011, 05:22:48 am »
Quote from: SatAset;6419
I'd suggest lighting a candle or offering incense and just asking for a deity whose interested in a relationship to contact you.  

And then wait.  Really wait.  And see if something comes up.


Thank you for the advice. How exactly would you ask the deity and/or deities to contact me? I do not know of any prayers or invocations.

EJay

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2011, 05:32:18 am »
Quote from: Aeto;6112
Finding a pantheon is turning out to be very difficult. I have English, Irish, Scottish and German ancestry. So naturally, I decided to look into the Norse, Scottish and Irish myths. After months of research both on the internet and at my local library (I think I just about borrowed every book they had on Celtic and Norse mythology) I came up empty, none of the gods or myths resonated with me. Undeterred, I looked into other Celtic myths, particularly the Gaulish and Welsh. Once again, nothing.

Still undeterred, I looked into the Greek, Slavic, Roman and Kemetic myths and once again, after months of research, the gods and myths did not resonate with me at all.

After almost 2 years of researching it's really starting to bug me. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?

 
All kinds of good ideas shared here and wanted to throw in mine.

When I left the Christian road and started down the pagan path way back in ought-when, I started in Wicca.  I had no names, but simply referred to them as Lord and Lady.  But, just like if you see someone all the time and call them "sir" or "ma'am," they'll often tell you after awhile to "Call me Bob."

I really, really wanted to follow the Greek pantheon.  I loved everything about Greece and the mythology (read it relentlessly), started to teach myself Greek, even backpacked through Europe just to get to Greece.  I tried to make it work, but it wasn't the right fit.  So I just went back to Lord and Lady, sir and ma'am.

The "Lady" started to feel stronger after (a long) while and didn't really get much of a feel for the "Lord" side, which is one reason Wicca didn't work for me.  So I focused more on getting to know who the Lady was.  I didn't try to define her, she was there and started to give me clues about who she was, but didn't give me her name until much, much later.  And when this Lady finally did give me her name in introduction, I found out that Madam Pele has a very firm handshake!!

Anyhoo, making a long story longer, I found that it's okay to say "sir" and "ma'am."  They'll know who you're talking to and read your intent.  Then introductions will be made and I wouldn't worry so much about the time-frame--you can still get to know someone even without knowing their name.  Sometimes that's even better because you don't get saddled with preconceived notions aforehand.

Best~
EJay
If you understand, things are just as they are.  If you do not understand, things are just as they are.

SatAset

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2011, 05:41:54 am »
Quote from: Aeto;6431
Thank you for the advice. How exactly would you ask the deity and/or deities to contact me? I do not know of any prayers or invocations.


Use your own words.  Just ask.  

They can contact you in a dream.  Or other ways too.  

If you do this with a candle before bed, don't forget to blow it out before going to bed.  You don't want to keep a flame going unattended because of fire safety concerns (unless it is in a watery bathtub).
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

Aeto

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2011, 06:12:13 am »
Quote from: SatAset;6434
Use your own words.  Just ask.  

They can contact you in a dream.  Or other ways too.  

If you do this with a candle before bed, don't forget to blow it out before going to bed.  You don't want to keep a flame going unattended because of fire safety concerns (unless it is in a watery bathtub).


Thanks for the advice, I will give it a try. :)

Morgan

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Re: Finding my Pantheon
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2011, 01:24:17 pm »
Quote from: Aeto;6112

After almost 2 years of researching it's really starting to bug me. Does anybody have any ideas on how I might be able to find them?

 
Hello,
There could be a possibility that a certain deity is calling you, but you are ignoring the signs.  For instance,  when I was younger I love mythology-greek in particular.  I read quite a few books and those books would mention their roman counterparts.   Well, recently I started was reading a world mythology book.  It mentioned Janus.  That was the first time I have ever heard of Janus, even with my Greek mythology fascination when I was younger.  Then every where I looked I saw Janus's name.
I am unsure if he is my patron, or was just showing me that soon there will be new beginnings.

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