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Author Topic: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift  (Read 2103 times)

Darkhawk

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2013, 06:39:42 pm »
Quote from: Altair;117990
I suppose this betrays my (mis)conception of hard polytheism as viewing each god as a distinct individual who has existed as such in perpetuity, before mankind came to know him/her and long after active worship may have faded. To my mind, that view of deity precludes a new deity "budding off" from an existing deity to develop along with a splinter cultural/linguistic group.

 
Whereas I think the only way to be respectfully hard polytheist is recognising that gods emerge from each other over time (the obvious example in my background is of course Aset and Isis) and when they say they're different entities now to bloody well respect that. :}
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Altair

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2013, 06:41:20 pm »
Quote from: Juni;117992
They can, but they don't have to all the time. I see no reason why a deity cannot have more than one name- I have more than one, after all- and why two deities might share attributes and a name and not be the same entity (as I am certainly not the only pagan Juni with a love of cats).


OK. So how one distinguishes between these two possibilities seems to come back to what Neteruhemta was saying; it's a UPG vs. recon issue.
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

Altair

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2013, 06:44:34 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;117995
Whereas I think the only way to be respectfully hard polytheist is recognising that gods emerge from each other over time (the obvious example in my background is of course Aset and Isis) and when they say they're different entities now to bloody well respect that. :}


Do you think hard polytheism is more tied in to UPG than soft polytheism? I'm beginning to get that sense.
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

Juni

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2013, 06:45:07 pm »
Quote from: Altair;117990
I suppose this betrays my (mis)conception of hard polytheism as viewing each god as a distinct individual who has existed as such in perpetuity, before mankind came to know him/her and long after active worship may have faded.

 
I think this point of view is more common in people new to (hard) polytheism, and perhaps those that don't do more than get their toes wet in historical sources. Once you get beyond a 101 list of associations, I think it becomes more difficult to ignore the connections.
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Darkhawk

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2013, 06:47:28 pm »
Quote from: Altair;117997
Do you think hard polytheism is more tied in to UPG than soft polytheism? I'm beginning to get that sense.

 
I don't have any idea what that question even means, frankly.

The form of soft polytheism that is heavily archetype-oriented (such as MMC and the like) strikes me as nearly 100% UPG, for what that's worth.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
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Altair

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2013, 06:53:30 pm »
Quote from: Altair;117930


So what about deities? Are (for example) Odin and Wotan the same god, and only the name changes, depending on the people? Or are they different, if similar, gods? How does one make that determination?


And just to derail my own thread with a little levity after a tedious day's work:

What about Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift vs. Tokyo Drift?

Just as the wheels continue to spin as a car changes the alignment of its axis to the road, do the gods continue as they always have even as our perspective on them changes over the centuries? ;)
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

Altair

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2013, 07:01:20 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;117999
I don't have any idea what that question even means, frankly.



What I mean is this:

Lacking UPG, I look at all these people looking at *something*, and all coming up with different identities. Are they looking at the same thing? I can't be sure. But there are definitely common elements, which leads me to conclude that likely they are looking at the same thing from different angles, and thus interpreting it differently. This is a soft polytheist argument.

With UPG, one *knows* that X and Y are different deities, but Y and Z are different names for the same deity, because one has been told so by one such deity. This is a hard polytheist argument.

Or am I doing injustice to one, the other, or both viewpoints?
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

Neteruhemta RaShuSet

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #22 on: August 05, 2013, 07:04:08 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;117999
I don't have any idea what that question even means, frankly.

The form of soft polytheism that is heavily archetype-oriented (such as MMC and the like) strikes me as nearly 100% UPG, for what that's worth.

 
I tend to go this route also.

Now I'm not familiar with Odin vs Wotan, because it's not my territory.

Here's a secenario that may help:

In this case let's look at Asar to Osiris. I'm a bit on the Kemetic recon-ish end and so I really don't use Osiris (the Greek name) as often, but someone who is Greco-Egyptian may only use Osiris, because they're following Greco-Egyptian or have their information in that background. I recognize it as the same deity. That's a hard polytheism example, because it's recognizing the individual rather than the archetype.

Now let's look at a soft-polytheism example. Osiris/Asar as a sacrificial god. Since he's that archetype, others like Dionysos, Jesus, Adonis, etc. could be considered for this category. A soft polytheist may group them as being the same, just a different cultural name, and not make that distinction of them being separate. Without making the distinction of the differences, there is more reliance on experience, than getting it right according to scholars.

Darkhawk

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #23 on: August 05, 2013, 07:15:01 pm »
Quote from: Altair;118003
What I mean is this:

Lacking UPG, I look at all these people looking at *something*, and all coming up with different identities. Are they looking at the same thing? I can't be sure. But there are definitely common elements, which leads me to conclude that likely they are looking at the same thing from different angles, and thus interpreting it differently. This is a soft polytheist argument.

With UPG, one *knows* that X and Y are different deities, but Y and Z are different names for the same deity, because one has been told so by one such deity. This is a hard polytheist argument.

Or am I doing injustice to one, the other, or both viewpoints?

 
I think those are two possible approaches, but far from the only ones available.

Consider a hard polytheist who is not a channel or otherwise in contact with the deities they care about: perhaps they do research and come to the conclusion that Aset and Isis have different portfolios, and thus are logically speaking different deities.

Or a hard polytheist who operates under the assumption that a different name/title is a different god until demonstrated otherwise by research or gnosis.  (This is more or less where I fall by default.)  UPG is certainly not required to hold this position in the slightest.

Or as I mentioned the soft polytheist who is coming from an archetypalist position; they're starting from the UPG-rooted assumption that there are a limited number of powers that correspond roughly to those archetypes, and thus slot the gods they learn about (whether, again, by research, gnosis, or some other method) into those categories.

There are many, many, many different ways of approaching these things, and I'm really not comfortable with the idea that this is "the hard polytheist way" or "the soft polytheist way".
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Juni

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #24 on: August 05, 2013, 07:18:30 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;118005
There are many, many, many different ways of approaching these things, and I'm really not comfortable with the idea that this is "the hard polytheist way" or "the soft polytheist way".

 
This is very much my position as well.
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Altair

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #25 on: August 05, 2013, 08:04:02 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;118005



There are many, many, many different ways of approaching these things, and I'm really not comfortable with the idea that this is "the hard polytheist way" or "the soft polytheist way".


Fair enough. But in answer to this specific question--in cases where there's a clear linguistic connection between similarly situated deities, how does one delineate where it's different names for the same deity, or different deities?--the responses cited in this thread by hard polytheists have tended towards UPG.
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

Juni

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2013, 08:06:25 pm »
Quote from: Altair;118014
Fair enough. But in answer to this specific question--in cases where there's a clear linguistic connection between similarly situated deities, how does one delineate where it's different names for the same deity, or different deities?--the responses cited in this thread by hard polytheists have tended towards UPG.

 
There is a possibility that your results are skewed, as at least 3/4 of the hard polytheists in this thread have some level of broke-open-headed-ness.
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Darkhawk

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2013, 08:08:01 pm »
Quote from: Altair;118014
Fair enough. But in answer to this specific question--in cases where there's a clear linguistic connection between similarly situated deities, how does one delineate where it's different names for the same deity, or different deities?--the responses cited in this thread by hard polytheists have tended towards UPG.

 
Didn't I just provide several suggestions on how someone might make that decision in the post you're responding to?

I, personally, assume they're different deities unless I am actively given reason to believe otherwise, which would include being explicitly told so, yes.  But the number of gods who haven't told me anything is very large, regardless of whether some of them are the same as each other or not.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Altair

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #28 on: August 05, 2013, 09:22:48 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;118016
Didn't I just provide several suggestions on how someone might make that decision in the post you're responding to?


Sure, and they were illuminating theoretical examples. I don't to discount them. You should note that the responses of folks here (and Juni's right, a very limited sample) describing how they made their actual determinations, in practice, were UPG.

Anyway, my attempt to make any broad conclusions was clearly overreach. This whole question of linguistic drift/deity drift I find fascinating nonetheless. As we humans spread all over the globe, our genes and cultures and languages diversified, and perhaps, our gods along with us. I kinda love that.
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

Darkhawk

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Re: Linguistic Drift vs. Deity Drift
« Reply #29 on: August 05, 2013, 09:30:41 pm »
Quote from: Altair;118023
As we humans spread all over the globe, our genes and cultures and languages diversified, and perhaps, our gods along with us. I kinda love that.

 
It's so totally awesome, isn't it?  The way the universe tends, in ways both subtle and profound, towards complexity?

(An Egyptian phrase for 'before creation' is 'before there were two things'.  But once there are two, they became, inevitably, millions.)
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

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