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Author Topic: How do you picture the gods?  (Read 11012 times)

Juniperberry

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How do you picture the gods?
« on: August 19, 2011, 12:35:32 pm »
A few weeks ago I posted a pic that reminded me of Freyja. Finding a visual representation for how I view her and experience her personality was a fun and interesting way to understand the goddess. It enabled me to think outside the box and  formulate a new understanding of her and her essence, as I focused solely on that individual and her qualities.

I thought asking others to do the same would be a fun, creative, and productive thread. I'm personally very interested in seeing representations of how people see Set- for example, which is a god I know little about but hear of often.

(It probably goes without saying, but the pictures are just interpretations of the gods ...it's like a movie adaptation where one finds an actor that best embodies the character in a book. And it's all in good fun. :) )

I'll start off with a few:

Freyja

Freyr

Frigga

Odin (A classic that can't be topped, IMO)
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 12:36:08 pm by Juniperberry »
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Lokabrenna

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2011, 01:42:07 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;14080
A few weeks ago I posted a pic that reminded me of Freyja. Finding a visual representation for how I view her and experience her personality was a fun and interesting way to understand the goddess. It enabled me to think outside the box and  formulate a new understanding of her and her essence, as I focused solely on that individual and her qualities.

I thought asking others to do the same would be a fun, creative, and productive thread. I'm personally very interested in seeing representations of how people see Set- for example, which is a god I know little about but hear of often.

 
Here are some that automatically sprang to mind:

Loki

It was harder to find one for Freyja, but this is close to how I picture her, except with blonde hair.

Freyr although his appearance isn't as "nailed down" in my head. There's also this one. Basically I like my gods clean-shaven. I know, I know, beards were the ultimate manly thing way back then, it's purely a personal preference.

I can't find good ones for either Njord or Skadi, unfortunately.

KittyVel

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2011, 04:24:14 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;14080
A few weeks ago I posted a pic that reminded me of Freyja. Finding a visual representation for how I view her and experience her personality was a fun and interesting way to understand the goddess. It enabled me to think outside the box and  formulate a new understanding of her and her essence, as I focused solely on that individual and her qualities.

I thought asking others to do the same would be a fun, creative, and productive thread. I'm personally very interested in seeing representations of how people see Set- for example, which is a god I know little about but hear of often.

(It probably goes without saying, but the pictures are just interpretations of the gods ...it's like a movie adaptation where one finds an actor that best embodies the character in a book. And it's all in good fun. :) )

 
I see Anpu very similarly to the way Dark Natasha (artist) portrays Him.  Here are a couple of examples.

http://darknatasha.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=144#/dv8w5h

http://darknatasha.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=48#/d1pglna

http://darknatasha.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=144#/da9vte

http://darknatasha.deviantart.com/gallery/?offset=168#/d5pxec

Sekhmet:  Kinda sorta this: http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=sekhmet&order=9&offset=24#/dr9eug

But more like this:  http://www.ashtarontheroad.com/i//Sekhmet.jpg

Mafdet:  Sorta like the cheetah at the bottom of this: http://images.elfwood.com/art/e/l/elinavm/kissajumalattaret11.jpg

I have yet to find a representation of Her that is accurate to what I see in my head...

Bast:  This is a pretty accurate interpretation (almost identical to how I see Her):  http://browse.deviantart.com/?q=bastet&order=9&offset=48#/d1gxiif
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Taliesin

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 07:30:15 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;14080
A few weeks ago I posted a pic that reminded me of Freyja. Finding a visual representation for how I view her and experience her personality was a fun and interesting way to understand the goddess. It enabled me to think outside the box and  formulate a new understanding of her and her essence, as I focused solely on that individual and her qualities.

I thought asking others to do the same would be a fun, creative, and productive thread. I'm personally very interested in seeing representations of how people see Set- for example, which is a god I know little about but hear of often.


In anthropomorphic form, this is pretty much how I view Manannan:

http://meg-glinda-aluna.deviantart.com/art/Manannan-mac-Lir-Young-Man-189812814?q=boost%3Apopular%20manannan&qo=6

It's quite spooky how accurate it is! :')
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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2011, 04:47:06 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;14080
A few weeks ago I posted a pic that reminded me of Freyja. Finding a visual representation for how I view her and experience her personality was a fun and interesting way to understand the goddess. It enabled me to think outside the box and  formulate a new understanding of her and her essence, as I focused solely on that individual and her qualities.

I thought asking others to do the same would be a fun, creative, and productive thread. I'm personally very interested in seeing representations of how people see Set- for example, which is a god I know little about but hear of often.

(It probably goes without saying, but the pictures are just interpretations of the gods ...it's like a movie adaptation where one finds an actor that best embodies the character in a book. And it's all in good fun. :) )

I'll start off with a few:

Freyja

Freyr

Frigga

Odin (A classic that can't be topped, IMO)

 
Representing gods images as human beings is the most ridiculously primitive you can be. Pagans should visualize their deities as the forces of Nature, or something abstract that has more the power of emotions than any realistic presentation.

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2011, 11:42:08 am »
Quote from: Anaitis;14269
Representing gods images as human beings is the most ridiculously primitive you can be. Pagans should visualize their deities as the forces of Nature, or something abstract that has more the power of emotions than any realistic presentation.

 
So ancient pagans of many cultures have been doing it wrong all this time with their myths and pictures portraying their deities as humans? Daft buggers clearly didn't know what they were doing.

I have to say, my mental image of Freyr has great 'power of emotion' even though it's 'primitive' in that he looks like a human being in my head. Mostly cos he's hawt.
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Juniperberry

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2011, 12:26:42 pm »
Quote from: Anaitis;14269
Representing gods images as human beings is the most ridiculously primitive you can be. Pagans should visualize their deities as the forces of Nature, or something abstract that has more the power of emotions than any realistic presentation.

 
Interesting opinion.

Would you mind clarifying whats wrong with the primitive and primal? Also, please explain why you think the gods I listed would rather my visualizations of them be more ciivilized and progressive.

Its funny that you mention power of emotion, as clearly none of these representations ARE the gods but yet through EMOTIONAL presence they can reflect the gods own nature. Do you disagree that people can embody these abstract forces?
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

diana_rajchel

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2011, 12:42:43 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;14080


I thought asking others to do the same would be a fun, creative, and productive thread. I'm personally very interested in seeing representations of how people see Set- for example, which is a god I know little about but hear of often.



This is very possibly a holdover from my Christian upbringing, but I don't picture the gods. That's not to say I don't put in pictures of representations from other imaginings, but what I do instead is use that as a launching point, and as I develop a relationship with that deity, I try to be open to what/how the deity wants me to see him/her/beyond gender interpretation. For example, while I do have a vision in my mind of grey-eyed Athena, I consider it possible for her or any other deity to cross my path in different forms - animal, human, whatever, that may not fit the traditional descriptions or depictions.

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2011, 01:11:43 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;14080



 
I think this is a cool thread, thanks for starting it Juniperberry. I am interested in how people view their gods.

Arynn

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2011, 01:30:35 pm »
Quote from: Anaitis;14269
Representing gods images as human beings is the most ridiculously primitive you can be. Pagans should visualize their deities as the forces of Nature, or something abstract that has more the power of emotions than any realistic presentation.

 
As a follower of the Hellenic Gods, I don't see a problem in visualizing Them in human forms (in conjunction with Their Earth-Nature-Power forms/embodiments), as that's what the Ancient Greeks did, and much of what we know of the Hellenic Gods comes from the Ancient Greek writings and interpretations and artwork.

Also, in my opinion, Pagans (or anyone religious, for that matter) shouldn't have to do anything (or be told to do anything) - what's the harm in visualizing a God you are deeply devoted to in a human form, if that's how you best relate to Him or Her? That kind of thing is a personal choice. I for one think visualizing Gods in human forms is a very harmless, personal technique humans often do in order to make Gods easier to relate to. I see it as a way to make something so hugely powerful and beyond us more like us, and therefore easier to understand and relate to...some might view this as selfish, or primitive, or something like that, but I see it more as somewhat charming/harmless/unavoidable. Humans can't help but think that way sometimes. And if it is considered primitive, that doesn't necessarily have to be a negative thing, does it? I think most serious Pagans (and other religious folk) who worship a God/Goddess or a set of Gods/Goddesses realize that such Deities are indeed powerful beings that are part of and/or are actually various Natural Forces, among other unexplainable things, regardless of what form(s) they visually represent Them in (humans, animals, etc).

I worship Persephone mainly - and to go back to the original request of this thread (requested by Juniperberry), my personal favorite representations of Persephone (and Hades too, for that matter) come from these amazing works of art:

Persephone/Hades I

Persephone/Hades II

Juniperberry

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2011, 02:05:49 pm »
Quote from: Arynn;14318


Persephone/Hades I

Persephone/Hades II


This is great: Your perspective of Hades is vastly different than how I envisioned him. It makes me wonder what aspects of him I've missed and stretches my understanding of him in an effort to include yours. This thread is mainly just for fun, but I like that it helps me think outside of my box in a new way.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Arynn

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2011, 06:02:52 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;14329
This is great: Your perspective of Hades is vastly different than how I envisioned him. It makes me wonder what aspects of him I've missed and stretches my understanding of him in an effort to include yours. This thread is mainly just for fun, but I like that it helps me think outside of my box in a new way.

 
Glad I could help broaden your perspective(s)! ^__^

I can't remember for the life of me where I read this, but in high school, when we studied Greek mythology, I remember reading a passage about how Hades, as a brother of Zeus, was born of "the same stock" - which I interpreted to mean that He looked like His brothers (both Zeus and Poseidon), at least somewhat. I basically viewed Him as just as regal as Zeus - of course, His coloring (clothing, etc.) eventually grows darker, due to His position. I don't believe He was necessarily always darker, but when He was given His lot as King of the Underworld, I think that position molded Him into a darker, shadowier King. Hades was also known, less popularly, as the God of Riches - meaning the riches of the Earth. In that sense, I also view Him as more "human" and less "demon-y," or some other way.

I also tend to have an extremely detailed and romantic (UPG inspired) personal vision of the Hades/Persephone relationship. The pictures I posted are very accurate as far as how I view Their love story - rather tragic, but also sensual, emotional, and full of curiosity (both are curious about the others' world). The Hades in those pictures is genuinely interested and enraptured with Persephone, Her beauty as much as where She comes from and what She represents. And He looks at Her so tenderly. Call me a romantic, but I love that depiction of it. (I know many interpret the story of Hades and Persephone as more of a "rape" - I choose not to see it entirely that way).

I could clearly ramble on about this for hours haha ^_^;;

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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2011, 08:27:14 pm »
Quote from: Anaitis;14269
Representing gods images as human beings is the most ridiculously primitive you can be. Pagans should visualize their deities as the forces of Nature, or something abstract that has more the power of emotions than any realistic presentation.

 
Wow, that's not arrogant at all. Oh wait, I was wrong.

I would just LOVE to know why your concept of how gods should be visualized should trump anyone else's concept of how they visualize their gods. And who are you to tell anyone else what form they should find more emotionally powerful.

Whatever form you find more powerful for your deities, hey, good for you. But don't you even try to tell me that I should find any particular form better than what work for me just because you like it better. I don't even see how you could think to try to foist this opinion on anyone else, seeing as so many gods have been represented in anthropomorphic form for thousands of years.

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« Last Edit: August 20, 2011, 10:16:29 pm by Marilyn/Absentminded »
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Re: How do you picture the gods?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2011, 10:21:41 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;14080
A few weeks ago I posted a pic that reminded me of Freyja. Finding a visual representation for how I view her and experience her personality was a fun and interesting way to understand the goddess. It enabled me to think outside the box and  formulate a new understanding of her and her essence, as I focused solely on that individual and her qualities.

I thought asking others to do the same would be a fun, creative, and productive thread. I'm personally very interested in seeing representations of how people see Set- for example, which is a god I know little about but hear of often.

 
Just to answer your example: When I think of Sutekh, all I can see is bright, flaming red hair. I don't see a face or anything: bright red hair is the only thing. Perhaps he hides from me? I don't know. Veggiewolf, Devo, or Darkhawk would be better at filling in that gap.

As far as Sekhmet, you can look to see how I picture her merely by looking at my icon. This was the first image of her that struck me and that's how I've always seen her. I have a statue of her all in gold. I like it. However, that representation is more of a cold and impersonal one: as though the artist was just taking any lion head and placing it upon any body.

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