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Author Topic: How Do You View Death?  (Read 3456 times)

Phouka

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2013, 05:06:31 pm »
Quote from: Fausta;108837
As this is in the "Gods, Goddesses and Mythology" -section, I'm asking this: How do you view Death - as in the god or goddess thereof? Have you interacted with any of the deities associated with death and if you have, what were your feelings? With or without that kind of interaction, do you view Death as a fearsome figure or not?


well I work with Macha who is one of the goddesses of the Morrighan. Macha is a goddess of Death, ususally warrior death, but of course that isn't her only sphere of influence. But...in that sphere, she and I have not interacted per se (dealing with my death) but we have dealt with it in terms of my familial dead and dealing with issues I never resolved with them.

I don't fear Death, or see Macha as fearsome in this regard, but I do respect that aspect.

Mare

Laveth

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2013, 07:30:32 pm »
Quote from: Altair;109431
It's peculiar to my mythos, though this god clearly has counterparts in other mythologies. The god of the unknown (or, more poetically, the Lord of Things Unseen) is called Night in most of my myths, though that's not his actual name. He wears black robes that blend into his black surroundings, and his face is eternally hidden in shadow. He's a thinker, hungry for knowledge, to which he has nearly total access--no shadows are hidden from him. He can be a trickster, and he knows how to manipulate a situation to get exactly what he wants. You don't trifle with him and come out on top, and if you think you have, it serves some purpose of his to have you think so. In his native dark, his words, his least spoken whims, carry absolute power. He's not evil or cruel, but neither does he follow anything that you or I would recognize as a moral code. His voice--a smooth baritone, like velvet--is his signature.

So when Laveth posted the description above, I immediately thought of Night.

Night seemed especially apt because he presides over the shadowlands, a realm a sidestep away from our familiar world and interwoven with it. It is the realm of the "other", of thought, of things normally beyond our reach, hidden in the dark. And it is the realm of the dead.

Night has twin daughters, one of whom is Death. Her thankless and endless task is to bring souls to her father's domain permanently.

 
Interesting. What pantheon/mythos is he native to? I could use some more bedtime reading. :)

Altair

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2013, 09:05:18 pm »
Quote from: Laveth;109504
Interesting. What pantheon/mythos is he native to? I could use some more bedtime reading. :)


My own mythos. Early versions of 2 of the myths were published in the 1999 and 2000 Llewellyn's Magical Almanac; those early versions have come up at the Cauldron since, here:

http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?2904-mythic-stories#6

and here:

http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=3990.15;p=22

I've been working on the myth cycle off and on (mostly off, until a year ago) for a long time now. But even though the mythos has evolved greatly since these early stories, the basics of these myths hold true (mostly the telling has changed). I expect to finish the first draft within a month's time. Then I'll either find a publisher or self-publish (probably the latter), at which point anybody will be able to read the whole thing.

So to bring this back to gods/goddesses of death...does anyone have a sense of whether the majority of death deities are male or female, if one were to tally up all such deities from various cultures?
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

Laveth

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2013, 09:07:24 am »
Quote from: Altair;109514
My own mythos. Early versions of 2 of the myths were published in the 1999 and 2000 Llewellyn's Magical Almanac; those early versions have come up at the Cauldron since, here:

http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/showthread.php?2904-mythic-stories#6

and here:

http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=3990.15;p=22

I've been working on the myth cycle off and on (mostly off, until a year ago) for a long time now. But even though the mythos has evolved greatly since these early stories, the basics of these myths hold true (mostly the telling has changed). I expect to finish the first draft within a month's time. Then I'll either find a publisher or self-publish (probably the latter), at which point anybody will be able to read the whole thing.

So to bring this back to gods/goddesses of death...does anyone have a sense of whether the majority of death deities are male or female, if one were to tally up all such deities from various cultures?

 
Neat, well let me know when it comes out into writ.

Darkhawk

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2013, 09:50:58 am »
Quote from: Altair;109514
So to bring this back to gods/goddesses of death...does anyone have a sense of whether the majority of death deities are male or female, if one were to tally up all such deities from various cultures?

Well, categorisations make that not simple.

I can think of at least four things that might be meant as "death deities":  psychopomps, administrators of realms of the dead, gods who bring death, and dead gods.  And in the latter two, it raises the question of whether death/rebirth cycles go in this category (such as Nut, who eats her own children so that they can be renewed and gives birth to them again, for 'gods who bring death', and the commonly understood Wiccan lord, who dies and is reborn into the same type of form with the same manifest presences, as a part-time 'dead god').

(And then you get: a lot of deities primarily affiliated with healing are also plaguebearers.  Death god, yes no?)
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 09:51:32 am by Darkhawk »
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Altair

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2013, 11:58:30 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;109566
Well, categorisations make that not simple.

I can think of at least four things that might be meant as "death deities":  psychopomps, administrators of realms of the dead, gods who bring death, and dead gods.  And in the latter two, it raises the question of whether death/rebirth cycles go in this category (such as Nut, who eats her own children so that they can be renewed and gives birth to them again, for 'gods who bring death', and the commonly understood Wiccan lord, who dies and is reborn into the same type of form with the same manifest presences, as a part-time 'dead god').

(And then you get: a lot of deities primarily affiliated with healing are also plaguebearers.  Death god, yes no?)

 
Points well taken. I suppose I'm thinking of gods whose primary attribute is that they are personifications of death/bringers of death and/or administrators of realms of the dead.
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

Fausta

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2013, 09:55:02 pm »
Quote from: Altair;109514
So to bring this back to gods/goddesses of death...does anyone have a sense of whether the majority of death deities are male or female, if one were to tally up all such deities from various cultures?

 
We could do a tally. :)

Romans: god of the underworld is Dis Pater, but actual death is Mors, which in writing seems to be feminine but in other presentations male.

Finns: the underworld is ruled by a couple, Tuoni & Tuonetar, while their daughter Kalma is more like actual death.

Nyktelios

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2013, 09:39:03 am »
Quote from: Fausta;108837
As this is in the "Gods, Goddesses and Mythology" -section, I'm asking this: How do you view Death - as in the god or goddess thereof? Have you interacted with any of the deities associated with death and if you have, what were your feelings? With or without that kind of interaction, do you view Death as a fearsome figure or not?

 
I don't know about "interacted with," but Osiris is probably the main deity of the dead who I have honoured regularly. He is a fertility god and ruler of the afterlife who, like Ra, is ever renewed. I think of him as a kind, loving, comforting god, and not as bleak and grim as the Greek Hades. The Egyptians had a much happier conception of the afterlife as a place like the world of the living only better, while the Greek underworld was a dark and gloomy place where shades of the dead wandered aimlessly. Only the most virtuous heroes would enter Elysion, and only the most wicked would be tortured in Tartarus. Of course, these ideas changed over time, and Elysion became a place where people in general who lived virtuous lives could go, not just heroes.

Hathor is also a deity I follow with connections with death. She was the "Mistress of the West," a euphemism for the afterlife, and the fertile, nourishing cow who rejuvenated spirits of the dead. Fertility and death are often linked, and Hathor was the goddess of women, motherhood, and fertility. She was the Lady of the Limit, and her body encompassed the universe as the mother-womb which is the source of all life. Also, as the Mistress of Heaven, she was associated with Nut, whose body was the sky, swallowing Ra (the sun) each evening, and giving birth to him each morning, so the Duat (land of the dead) could be seen as being in her body. Isis was also called the Mistress of Heaven and shared these roles with Nut and Hathor. Osiris and Horus were both identified with Ra, and it could be said that Osiris was his night aspect while the sky was dark and he was in the Duat, while Horus was his day aspect when he was born renewed as the sun in the sky.

Fireof9

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2013, 09:13:04 pm »
Quote from: Laveth;109085
Me too. When I was approached a decade or so ago (it doesn't happen anymore, that path has run its course), it was a masculine figure.

I wouldn't say fearsome, but I would say... not something you would dare think of lightly. Gentle, calm, but incredibly focused and sees straight into the truth of matters.

 
Quote from: Fausta;109321
Noddingnodding to both.

To the latter I'd add a feeling of a kind of infinite sadness: it's not a job that makes one, even a god, light-hearted.


I agree.

I sought him out (yes for me it was male and also not a deity normally associated with being death) and he was very calm. I started out just wanting to learn some things, have some questions answered. Being the smart and practical person I am, I of course did this at a very dark and tumultuous time of my life. My questioned were answered and when I wanted to go with him he very gently asked me if I was sure that is what I wanted. Its really hard to explain, and honestly I have never mentioned it to anyone but one other person ever
Really?  So, hey, want to go fishing?  I\'ve got a telescope, and it\'s going to be a dark night, so we should see the fish really well.
...what, I\'m not talking about fishing?  That\'s stargazing?  It\'s all doing-stuff, so it\'s the same thing, right?
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Pteranotropi

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2013, 06:56:08 pm »
Quote from: Fausta;108837
As this is in the "Gods, Goddesses and Mythology" -section, I'm asking this: How do you view Death - as in the god or goddess thereof? Have you interacted with any of the deities associated with death and if you have, what were your feelings? With or without that kind of interaction, do you view Death as a fearsome figure or not?

One reason for me to ask this is because of a working gone even deeper I imagined and of a god I met there and what happened. Usually, this particular god hasn't seemed to get true cult and there isn't that much UPG to find either - but to me he was clear as crystal about his identity. Now, I'm a not-recon but recon-minded and I'm still wondering. In my own mind I'm dead sure (pardon my pun), but...

This was almost a decade ago, but due to info relating to that particular god and the lack of UPG, I'm still hesitant to say who it was who said "keep being fascinated by death, but as soon I got you handed over by Anpu, I knew my job was to keep you alive" and that he did.



Death to me is simply destruction, the end of something.

It's such a vast concept that I can't invision just one deity associated with it, and indeed most religions had a gazillion deities associated with all the steps of mortality. In Hellenismos, you have Apollon, Artemis, the Erinys and other chthonic deities as the slayers of the living, Apollon and a few chthonic daimons as the decomposers of the flesh and guardians of the cemetery (at least a few sources also attribute similar roles to Helios and Selene), Thanatos as the psychopomp/agent of peaceful deaths, Hermes as the psychopomp, Hades as sometimes fulfilling all of that, Iapetus and the Fates as deciding who dies and when, et cetera.

It's impossible to simplify death, anymore than existence itself.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2013, 06:58:04 pm by Pteranotropi »

Leanan Sidhe

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Re: How Do You View Death?
« Reply #25 on: June 11, 2013, 06:31:33 pm »
Quote from: Fausta;108837
As this is in the "Gods, Goddesses and Mythology" -section, I'm asking this: How do you view Death - as in the god or goddess thereof? Have you interacted with any of the deities associated with death and if you have, what were your feelings? With or without that kind of interaction, do you view Death as a fearsome figure or not?

 
All UPG:

Well, I work with Pluto and The Morrighan, both associated with death.

Pluto is normally calm and cool with me (though he can have a temper). But even then, it's a cool anger, as opposed to a warm one. He's also pretty stoic and he's loving, though sometimes in a distant feeling way. But he can be stern and also forceful, if he feels the need.

The Morrighan is fiery, where Pluto is cool. She can also be calm, but isn't always -- though I don't mean to imply she is chaotic when she isn't calm. I guess, not as laid back in some ways is what I mean. The Morrighan tends to be passionate with me, and also very caring.

Those are my only death deities at the moment. Except... Cernunnos, in his Dark Lord aspect. However, I usually, though not always, work with him in his God of Life aspect -- perhaps because I do work with other death deities.

I have worked with Raven in the past, and probably will again, though more in magical aspects than death ones.

I also tend to view Gaia as both a deity of life and death. Most I work with the life aspect. But it would be difficult for me to watch hurricanes, hawks hunting and killing, the sand of ground rocks, shells, and bones on the beach, and the death of the plants that give me sustenance, without appreciating the death aspect involved in that.

One of my partners is devoted to a deity he usually just calls "Death" or "Daddy" who has elements of many other death Gods, but is unique in some ways. Additionally, he is much more on the side of soft polytheism than hard polytheism.
"Modesty is an illusion" -- de Sade
"The call of death is a call of love. Death can be sweet if we answer it in the affirmative, if we accept it as one of the great eternal forms of life and transformation." -- Herman Hesse

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