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Author Topic: Nameless/unknown deities  (Read 1759 times)

Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Nameless/unknown deities
« on: November 05, 2013, 02:18:12 pm »
I was going to reply to the Having a patron that most don't thread with this, but then I realized that maybe it needed its own thread.

One of the deities I belong to is nameless. I'll go into this more in a reply to this post, but basically I've spent nearly a decade trying to track down exactly who he might have been. There have been a few tantalizing hints, but they ended up being the wrong answers and I'm left in the same place I started. I'm mostly fine with that - I figure his name just hasn't survived - but it does leave me in a slightly weird situation.

Does anyone here deal with a similar situation, or have you in the past? It doesn't have to just be nameless deities - ones with a name but no other surviving information are also in the same boat, I imagine. How do you deal with the majority of your dealings with them being 100% UPG? Are you comfortable with the idea that you won't discover anything else about them from research, or are you still searching?
We owe it to each other to tell stories [Neil Gaiman]
night's a good herd [my religious tumblr]

Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2013, 02:44:47 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128422
I was going to reply to the Having a patron that most don't thread with this, but then I realized that maybe it needed its own thread.

 
Right, might as well reply to myself now. Sorry in advance if none of this makes sense, I'm on day million of the cold from hell and I'm all doped up on cough syrup.

Like I said, I've belonged to Himself (also known as "the horned guy") for nearly a decade now. I cycled through calling him a whole bunch of names for a while - he was very clear that none of them were his, and although I was allowed to call him by those names for a short while (mostly because I would have given up at that point if I hadn't had SOMETHING to call him, I think) I eventually gave up at his request and started digging deeper. Digging deeper also yielded nothing; I knew some key facts about him (antlers, from somewhere in the British Isles, what is important to him, and so on), and none of the deities I found matched up. More importantly, he didn't accept any of those names as his.

There was one that came close, but I think that close call just illustrates why I can't find the horned guy. The close-call god was just a name, thought to be a hyper-local god who later disappeared due to syncretization with a Roman deity. Under those conditions it would be very easy for his name and all associated information to disappear entirely. I still check out anything I haven't read through before on the off chance that I'll finally stumble onto him (and I don't rule out new archaeological discoveries setting off that ringing in my head), but it just doesn't seem very likely at this point.

And like I said, I'm mostly okay with that now. After so long, I have a rich and deeply important relationship with him - I know what he's like, what to offer him, what he wants from me, and even some of his stories. The majority of what I know about him comes directly from UPG out of necessity, but some of it is drawn from researching similar deities who came from the same place. In some ways I'm grateful for the lack of information, since it made me that much more determined to develop an actual relationship with him, but it's also been frustrating and made me spend a lot of time doubting myself and my experiences. I'm not a recon (obviously), but it's important to me to have a solid foundation in research before going off and dealing with UPG - something that's basically impossible here. I particularly struggle a lot when I learn something that is emotionally difficult for me; rarely something he wants, usually something that my mental issues aren't prepared to let me accept. In those circumstances it's sometimes tempting to go NOPE, SHOW ME THE HISTORICAL SOURCES FOR THAT, I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN.

It can also get a little lonely. I don't think I'm literally the only one in the world who knows about him - my head's not that big, and I am seriously not ready to even consider the weight of that kind of thing - but there's no way for me to find the other people. Maybe they've found his name, maybe they're calling him by a different name, maybe a lot of things. I don't mind working alone, but there's still something missing when I know that's the only choice.
We owe it to each other to tell stories [Neil Gaiman]
night's a good herd [my religious tumblr]

Laveth

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2013, 12:38:29 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128427

And like I said, I'm mostly okay with that now. After so long, I have a rich and deeply important relationship with him - I know what he's like, what to offer him, what he wants from me, and even some of his stories. The majority of what I know about him comes directly from UPG out of necessity, but some of it is drawn from researching similar deities who came from the same place. In some ways I'm grateful for the lack of information, since it made me that much more determined to develop an actual relationship with him, but it's also been frustrating and made me spend a lot of time doubting myself and my experiences. I'm not a recon (obviously), but it's important to me to have a solid foundation in research before going off and dealing with UPG - something that's basically impossible here. I particularly struggle a lot when I learn something that is emotionally difficult for me; rarely something he wants, usually something that my mental issues aren't prepared to let me accept. In those circumstances it's sometimes tempting to go NOPE, SHOW ME THE HISTORICAL SOURCES FOR THAT, I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN.


 
I think you pretty much answered your own question right here.

It's not unheard of for entities to push your boundaries to help you develop, and it sounds like without a title you were more able to connect on a deeper level and to trust in a way that you maybe haven't been able to do before this.

The deity may have a name. He may also simply be denying your knowing of that name to prove a point-that you don't need it to build that understanding relationship. Sometimes it can be even more useful not to have a name because then you get caught up in the lore and the written, scholarly sources (which may well leave a lot of important things out) rather than the real experience that's happening at that moment.

You may never know the name because of this. Or, it may come out at some point in the far future when you don't particularly care anymore and have moved beyond this challenge. It doesn't sound like it's really up to you at this point. :)

Materialist

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2013, 02:26:50 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128427

 I cycled through calling him a whole bunch of names for a while - he was very clear that none of them were his, and although I was allowed to call him by those names for a short while  I eventually gave up at his request and started digging deeper. Digging deeper also yielded nothing; I knew some key facts about him (antlers, from somewhere in the British Isles, what is important to him, and so on), and none of the deities I found matched up. More importantly, he didn't accept any of those names as his.


Have you ever tried making up a name for him, that fits his personality? In Romano-British iconography, at the least, horns were not peculiar to a specific deity, but a symbol of how powerful they were, so any deity could be portrayed with horns.

Devo

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2013, 06:44:10 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128422


Does anyone here deal with a similar situation, or have you in the past? It doesn't have to just be nameless deities - ones with a name but no other surviving information are also in the same boat, I imagine. How do you deal with the majority of your dealings with them being 100% UPG? Are you comfortable with the idea that you won't discover anything else about them from research, or are you still searching?

I deal with astral entities, though I don't know if that counts as quite the same thing.
Names, for myself, are less important than the relationship developed. I do understand that it can get lonely and that sometimes you might feel like you're losing your marbles. However, I don't necessarily think that a name or historical sourcing is the be all and end all of a devotee/deity relationship.
Not sure if that helps any, though.

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Liadine (dragonflyeyes)

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2013, 01:17:28 pm »
Quote from: Laveth;128535
I think you pretty much answered your own question right here.

It's not unheard of for entities to push your boundaries to help you develop, and it sounds like without a title you were more able to connect on a deeper level and to trust in a way that you maybe haven't been able to do before this.

The deity may have a name. He may also simply be denying your knowing of that name to prove a point-that you don't need it to build that understanding relationship. Sometimes it can be even more useful not to have a name because then you get caught up in the lore and the written, scholarly sources (which may well leave a lot of important things out) rather than the real experience that's happening at that moment.

 
I've never actually thought about it that way before - I'm fine with not knowing his name these days (I mostly just made this post to see if other people had dealt with similar issues), but it never occurred to me that not knowing his name might be something he wanted for me. Definitely something to chew on, so thank you.

I definitely agree that not knowing his name has been a good thing in some ways. If I didn't have my relationship with him, I'd have a lot more trouble knowing what to trust/what to be skeptical of when it came to my UPG with other deities (where I do have quite a lot of information to sift through). As difficult as it is sometimes, I wouldn't go back and tell younger me his name even if I knew it now.
We owe it to each other to tell stories [Neil Gaiman]
night's a good herd [my religious tumblr]

Tana

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2013, 01:34:06 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128815
I definitely agree that not knowing his name has been a good thing in some ways.

In hindsight I'd say: not having any 'popular' names, was the best thing ever.
It made me realize that while the divine energies are there on their own accords, the divine pictures we make ourselves (aka gods) are man-made and are a fluid thing in some cases.

Also it helped me definitely to think outside the box.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2013, 01:34:34 pm by Tana »
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You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
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Leirion

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2013, 03:24:19 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128422


Does anyone here deal with a similar situation, or have you in the past? It doesn't have to just be nameless deities - ones with a name but no other surviving information are also in the same boat, I imagine. How do you deal with the majority of your dealings with them being 100% UPG? Are you comfortable with the idea that you won't discover anything else about them from research, or are you still searching?

 
YES.

One of the goddesses I belong to is currently nameless. She first appeared to me a couple of years ago, and I originally called her Universe Personified, then the Birch Goddess, then Mother.

I have a nice slew of things that she is associated with, such as the birch, and autumn, and earth. Her month is November. Her color is amber. Her face is often veiled or masked, and she is tied to dismemberment, and cannibalism. She appears stone cold, but also warm at the same time.

There are a few known names I have tried to call her, and she often will answer to them, but none of them are really hers. I have found a few scattered references to her in my research, which I never plan on giving up on. But my best guess is her name is either lost to history, or still buried in the undeciphered Linear A.

I do not mind that it will come down mostly to UPG. Most of my interactions with deities are that way. Something happens, I have an experience, then I go and look it up to see if it has any kind of non-UPG backing (almost always does). Having it verified is a plus, but does not really change anything.  I will still experience her just the same.

Scales

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2013, 02:28:53 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128422


I swear I replied to this thread, but I don't see my post, and I don't see it in any other threads I could have accidentally put it in. Whoops.

Regarding UPG, that is honestly how I feel about most religion and some kinds of magic. There are parts that are consistent between many people, but one's experience is their own. So, my deity being unlabeled and rather modern doesn't have any different effect on me than an ancient known one would.

I've been fairly outrightly told that he isn't a member of any pantheon, nor one generally worshipped. He is not as powerful as some gods, but nonetheless very powerful compared to most humans. He felt modern, and this was sort of confirmed by him telling me that though he's from CanadAmerica, he's not aboriginal-based or worshipped.

I have a general idea of his look and personality, and use those, though I would love to get a more specific idea. The only thing that does bother me about it being unusual is that if say, I was worshipping Dionysus and wanted to make an offering, but was feeling no particular prod toward a type, I could go 'well, Dionysus likes wine.' In my case, it's like 'he liked tea sometimes, but on the other hand maybe there is food. None of this tea is appealing to me, what is in the fridge? Maybe something with honey? Ahhhhhhhhhhhh...!' until I just put out something at random or light incense.

Qumran Taj

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2013, 03:02:51 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128422
I was going to reply to the Having a patron that most don't thread with this, but then I realized that maybe it needed its own thread.

One of the deities I belong to is nameless. I'll go into this more in a reply to this post, but basically I've spent nearly a decade trying to track down exactly who he might have been. There have been a few tantalizing hints, but they ended up being the wrong answers and I'm left in the same place I started. I'm mostly fine with that - I figure his name just hasn't survived - but it does leave me in a slightly weird situation.

Does anyone here deal with a similar situation, or have you in the past? It doesn't have to just be nameless deities - ones with a name but no other surviving information are also in the same boat, I imagine. How do you deal with the majority of your dealings with them being 100% UPG? Are you comfortable with the idea that you won't discover anything else about them from research, or are you still searching?

 
An argument could be made that a nameless deity can still be known as a personality provided you have a relationship with them.  I will leave that debate to other folks to take up.

Personally, I DO have a similar "problem."  I have a guardian spirit whose name I have been trying to discover forever it seems.  I have had independent psychic sensitives who have given me his name but somehow I feel it is incomplete.  I am almost afraid to accept the name I THINK it is.... but maybe one day I will.  Sorry to be so secretive.

Anyhow, IMO it matters little if you assign a name to this deity until such time as it indicates to you it wants to be called something else.  If it doesn't indicate otherwise I would assume it suits him/her/it well enough.
"The ultimate secret to magickal power is to know that you have it" ~Qumran Taj http://www.qumrantaj.com

HarpingHawke

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2013, 01:45:24 am »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128427
Right, might as well reply to myself now. Sorry in advance if none of this makes sense, I'm on day million of the cold from hell and I'm all doped up on cough syrup.

Like I said, I've belonged to Himself (also known as "the horned guy") for nearly a decade now. I cycled through calling him a whole bunch of names for a while - he was very clear that none of them were his, and although I was allowed to call him by those names for a short while (mostly because I would have given up at that point if I hadn't had SOMETHING to call him, I think) I eventually gave up at his request and started digging deeper. Digging deeper also yielded nothing; I knew some key facts about him (antlers, from somewhere in the British Isles, what is important to him, and so on), and none of the deities I found matched up. More importantly, he didn't accept any of those names as his.

There was one that came close, but I think that close call just illustrates why I can't find the horned guy. The close-call god was just a name, thought to be a hyper-local god who later disappeared due to syncretization with a Roman deity. Under those conditions it would be very easy for his name and all associated information to disappear entirely. I still check out anything I haven't read through before on the off chance that I'll finally stumble onto him (and I don't rule out new archaeological discoveries setting off that ringing in my head), but it just doesn't seem very likely at this point.

And like I said, I'm mostly okay with that now. After so long, I have a rich and deeply important relationship with him - I know what he's like, what to offer him, what he wants from me, and even some of his stories. The majority of what I know about him comes directly from UPG out of necessity, but some of it is drawn from researching similar deities who came from the same place. In some ways I'm grateful for the lack of information, since it made me that much more determined to develop an actual relationship with him, but it's also been frustrating and made me spend a lot of time doubting myself and my experiences. I'm not a recon (obviously), but it's important to me to have a solid foundation in research before going off and dealing with UPG - something that's basically impossible here. I particularly struggle a lot when I learn something that is emotionally difficult for me; rarely something he wants, usually something that my mental issues aren't prepared to let me accept. In those circumstances it's sometimes tempting to go NOPE, SHOW ME THE HISTORICAL SOURCES FOR THAT, I DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN.

It can also get a little lonely. I don't think I'm literally the only one in the world who knows about him - my head's not that big, and I am seriously not ready to even consider the weight of that kind of thing - but there's no way for me to find the other people. Maybe they've found his name, maybe they're calling him by a different name, maybe a lot of things. I don't mind working alone, but there's still something missing when I know that's the only choice.

 
I think we know the same god. :whis:
"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self." - Hemingway

Mondschein

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2013, 11:51:52 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128422
I was going to reply to the Having a patron that most don't thread with this, but then I realized that maybe it needed its own thread.

One of the deities I belong to is nameless. I'll go into this more in a reply to this post, but basically I've spent nearly a decade trying to track down exactly who he might have been. There have been a few tantalizing hints, but they ended up being the wrong answers and I'm left in the same place I started. I'm mostly fine with that - I figure his name just hasn't survived - but it does leave me in a slightly weird situation.

Does anyone here deal with a similar situation, or have you in the past? It doesn't have to just be nameless deities - ones with a name but no other surviving information are also in the same boat, I imagine. How do you deal with the majority of your dealings with them being 100% UPG? Are you comfortable with the idea that you won't discover anything else about them from research, or are you still searching?

 
I currently work with Mama Quilla. It was little jarring to come to terms with the fact that I had been connecting with her before I even THOUGHT about even looking into a pagan path/spirituality outside of Christianity. Unfortunately there isn't much detailed information out there about her. Actually there's:( What I've gathered from a few sources all basically repeat the same thing  (If anyone could find any comprehensive sources on her I might just lose my shit with glee). So a lot of my dealings with her are most definitely UPG. I never stop looking though.

It's a little frustrating because you want there to be something tried and true that you know you can at least fall back on. I think the going can seem slower and a little scarier when you have little choice but to stick your feelers out about things and hope you don't get your ass handed to you.

Then a couple months ago I got a MASSIVE tug from somebody. It took a while but I finally did a "Hey there. Don't know who you are but let's get to know each other a little," ritual. Which left me with: Strong Air/Water association, Messenger, Star, feels feminine. And a few other details that build on those. No name of any kind. Although recently I've been feeling like I should actually be paying attention to Sirius. So now I plan on getting acquainted with any mythology and the like associated with it. It's definitely a process.
I know you. If I were blind, I would know what you are.

farscapeman

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 04:26:17 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128422
I was going to reply to the Having a patron that most don't thread with this, but then I realized that maybe it needed its own thread.

One of the deities I belong to is nameless. I'll go into this more in a reply to this post, but basically I've spent nearly a decade trying to track down exactly who he might have been. There have been a few tantalizing hints, but they ended up being the wrong answers and I'm left in the same place I started. I'm mostly fine with that - I figure his name just hasn't survived - but it does leave me in a slightly weird situation.

Does anyone here deal with a similar situation, or have you in the past? It doesn't have to just be nameless deities - ones with a name but no other surviving information are also in the same boat, I imagine. How do you deal with the majority of your dealings with them being 100% UPG? Are you comfortable with the idea that you won't discover anything else about them from research, or are you still searching?

 
Nameless deities? Well I follow Shinto and we have many such deities. The Kami are infinite you see and it's impossible to know them all. My advice is to not try to know. If they accept you and you them then there isn't any real need as such things are above words (unless they are necessary to you of course).

If you feel a dire need to find out though then find comprehensive resources which lists deities and what they represent. You might find your answer somewhere in the world.

As for me, a Kamidana holds a guardian Kami. I don't know who this Kami is but I'm eternally grateful for their presence in mine.

Could be an old god from my area for all I know ;)

Tana

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2013, 05:52:05 am »
Quote from: farscapeman;133655
Nameless deities? Well I follow Shinto and we have many such deities. The Kami are infinite you see and it's impossible to know them all.

*snip*

As for me, a Kamidana holds a guardian Kami. I don't know who this Kami is but I'm eternally grateful for their presence in mine.

Could be an old god from my area for all I know ;)


I really like this take on things.
\'You had to repay, good or bad. There was more than one type of obligation.
That’s what people never really understood.….Things had to balance.
You couldn’t set out to be a good witch or a bad witch. It never worked out for long.
All you could try to be was a witch, as hard as you could.\'
Terry Pratchett \'Lords and Ladies\'

Confuzzled and proud. :p

Aeronis

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Re: Nameless/unknown deities
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2014, 02:31:09 pm »
Quote from: Liadine (dragonflyeyes);128422
I was going to reply to the Having a patron that most don't thread with this, but then I realized that maybe it needed its own thread.

One of the deities I belong to is nameless. I'll go into this more in a reply to this post, but basically I've spent nearly a decade trying to track down exactly who he might have been. There have been a few tantalizing hints, but they ended up being the wrong answers and I'm left in the same place I started. I'm mostly fine with that - I figure his name just hasn't survived - but it does leave me in a slightly weird situation.

Does anyone here deal with a similar situation, or have you in the past? It doesn't have to just be nameless deities - ones with a name but no other surviving information are also in the same boat, I imagine. How do you deal with the majority of your dealings with them being 100% UPG? Are you comfortable with the idea that you won't discover anything else about them from research, or are you still searching?


For the longest time, Annona wouldn't tell me her name. She first came to me in a dream, and frankly, it scared me s-tless. I was sort of new to patronage in the first place, and I already had a really developed relationship with Proserpine, so I wasn't sure what to do. (Also, just as a sidenote, I know we're encouraged to look at the mundane before the magickal, but I knew at first glance, this was a goddess dream.)

She told me to "seek Melinda in the fields of grain" I didn't know anything about her, but I knew her name wasn't "Melinda" it was just a place-holder she gave until she deemed me ready to know her true name. I started meditating in my family cornfield. I learned right away that she was Roman. I also learned that she wasn't fruit, she wasn't the overall harvest, she was the lady of the grain. JUST the grain. and that was a big indicator.

Later on, I found out she was Annona Augusti, a goddess created by the Roman government to commemorate their independence of grain supply. I realized then, why she hadn't told me her name. I'm a structured person. I'm into stability, and tradition, and order, and Annona is none of those things... She's independence and change. Also, she knew I would have been wary of approaching a "propaganda" goddess. Because she has no official mythology, it's all UPG, and I was afraid of messing up. Fortunately, she's very forgiving, and has revealed to me what I need to know, when I need to know it, not when I want to know.

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Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall