collapse

* "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" Problem Logging In?

If you get an "Unable to verify referring url. Please go back and try again" error when you try to log in, you need to be sure you are accessing the board with a url that starts with "https://ecauldron.com".  If it starts with https://www.ecauldron.com" (or "http://www.ecauldron.com") you will get this error because "www.ecauldron.com" is not technically the same website as "ecauldron.com". Moving to the more secure "https" means it is more picky about such things.

Author Topic: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?  (Read 6325 times)

Nyktelios

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 562
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2012, 12:22:11 pm »
Quote from: PlaceboArtist;51294
I understand that Hard Polytheism is a rejection of the 'all gods are one god, all goddesses one goddess' point of view. So no matter how similar their spheres of influence are, Mars and Ares (for example) are distinct entities. But what about gods who have become different due to regional variations on name spelling? For example Lir and Llyr, Tyr and Tiw? At one time these gods would certainly have been the same, but they are arguably now separable. But then, many gods have more than one name that unequivocally applies to them: Odin has twelve names listed in the Prose Edda.

So what I want to ask is, how do you decide when gods are separate entities?


I'm not a hard polytheist in the usual sense, though don't necessarily see all gods as one god. My philosophy is closer to the Hindu concept of Brahman, in which the Ultimate is not a god, but an all-pervading force or power. A god is a personification of this power on to whom humans project their own symbolism and attributes. I think deities with different names but similar functions can be both the same and different, depending on the level of understanding from which one approaches them.

To use deities I'm familiar with as an example, Hathor and Aphrodite can be considered the same, as they both represent the erotic, fertile, maternal power of divinity, associated with both fertility and death. However, they are different because they have different cultural symbolism applied to them based on the people who worshiped them. Aphrodite is associated with the sea and sky, while Hathor, while also a sky goddess, is not associated with the sea and is commonly represented as a cow, a symbol of her maternal nature. On a cultural level, they are different but similar goddesses, but in my opinion, they are different personifications for the same power on a deeper level. I think this goes for the gods with similar names like the OP brought up. They may be different on the level of worship in terms of symbols, myths and attributes, but are personifications of the same thing.

I definitely would not go so far in my polytheism to see every god as a distinct literal entity walking around up there somewhere, or invisibly around here somewhere. I think to do so takes the symbolism of deities and mythologies too literally and humanizes them too much. I don't see divinity as being the same as humanity except immortal and with supernatural powers. I'm also not one of these neo-pagans who views characters from myth as their imaginary friends.

NibbleKat

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 401
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://nibblekat.deviantart.com
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2012, 02:05:04 pm »
Quote from: PlaceboArtist;51294


So what I want to ask is, how do you decide when gods are separate entities?

 
When in an archaeolgical/historical sense, one deity taking on a different name is logical, as opposed to "Diana is Sedna is Oshun."

If you can trace one people taking their deities along with them into a new land, it's much easier to say, yes, Odin is Wotan.  When there's evidence that, in fact, Poseidon was not and is not Neptune, but an amalgamation of the two? That's easy.

There is no black and white for us semi-hard (hurhurhur) polytheists. It's a case by case thing, and even then it's difficult to really suss out who is who.
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
http://nibblekat.deviantart.com
Ask if you\'re interested.

Alex

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 42
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://rockofeye.wordpress.com
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2012, 02:53:36 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;70364

To use deities I'm familiar with as an example, Hathor and Aphrodite can be considered the same, as they both represent the erotic, fertile, maternal power of divinity, associated with both fertility and death. However, they are different because they have different cultural symbolism applied to them based on the people who worshiped them. Aphrodite is associated with the sea and sky, while Hathor, while also a sky goddess, is not associated with the sea and is commonly represented as a cow, a symbol of her maternal nature. On a cultural level, they are different but similar goddesses, but in my opinion, they are different personifications for the same power on a deeper level. I think this goes for the gods with similar names like the OP brought up. They may be different on the level of worship in terms of symbols, myths and attributes, but are personifications of the same thing.

 
A friend came up with a way to describe how Deities interrelate--that They each belong in a 'house'--the pink house for love gods/goddesses, red house for the gods/goddesses who deal in the flesh and sex, black house for the death and/or underworld gods/goddesses, etc. They are separate entities who do similar things and, when you ring up for a death deity, you might get Hel or you might get Anubis, but you can know that They do similar Work and can maybe refer you if the wrong One happened to pick up the phone for you. Telling Aphrodite that She is the same as Hathor, which is NOT what I think you are saying, may result in a cosmic slap that one may not be prepared to take...but they belong to the same house, so They are likely at least familiar with each other.

NibbleKat

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 401
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://nibblekat.deviantart.com
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2012, 03:51:28 pm »
Quote from: Alex;70379
A friend came up with a way to describe how Deities interrelate--that They each belong in a 'house'--the pink house for love gods/goddesses, red house for the gods/goddesses who deal in the flesh and sex, black house for the death and/or underworld gods/goddesses, etc. They are separate entities who do similar things and, when you ring up for a death deity, you might get Hel or you might get Anubis, but you can know that They do similar Work and can maybe refer you if the wrong One happened to pick up the phone for you. Telling Aphrodite that She is the same as Hathor, which is NOT what I think you are saying, may result in a cosmic slap that one may not be prepared to take...but they belong to the same house, so They are likely at least familiar with each other.


...I don't know if I like the idea of categorizing deities, putting them in the box.  They don't fit that easily.  

Two of my deities are healing deities, and yet they are also connected with death and the underworld, are earth-deities and yet solar deities at the same time.

Doesn't work in my book.  :ange:
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
http://nibblekat.deviantart.com
Ask if you\'re interested.

NibbleKat

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 401
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://nibblekat.deviantart.com
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2012, 03:55:45 pm »
Quote from: LiminalAuggie;51384


I'm starting to think that the amount of (hilarious) confusion I'm having during this process is part of this Deity's M.O. Like making an offering and adding "Mercury" onto the current placeholder title I use when addressing Him and immediately getting "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music stuck in my head, complete with puppet visual.

Like Maps said, I'm sticking with "I don't know." The full scope of the answer might just be beyond my puny human perception.

 Here's an aside: if you want to talk about the Hermes/Mercury/Gallic Mercury conundrum, feel free to PM me.
And another aside: Songs come to my head at the altar with him, too.
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
http://nibblekat.deviantart.com
Ask if you\'re interested.

Alex

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 42
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://rockofeye.wordpress.com
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #35 on: August 23, 2012, 06:46:00 pm »
Quote from: NibbleKat;70390
...I don't know if I like the idea of categorizing deities, putting them in the box.  They don't fit that easily.  

Two of my deities are healing deities, and yet they are also connected with death and the underworld, are earth-deities and yet solar deities at the same time.

Doesn't work in my book.  :ange:

 
Well, no box is taped shut, but having a general 'this is what You kinda are known for' can be really useful, even if your experience is outside the proverbial box...They all have many faces to many different people [hooray for UPG!]. Hell, my God doesn't even have a box or a pantheon or anything like that, but I like knowing where Someone's work tends to be.

NibbleKat

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 401
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://nibblekat.deviantart.com
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #36 on: August 23, 2012, 07:37:38 pm »
Quote from: Alex;70410
Well, no box is taped shut, but having a general 'this is what You kinda are known for' can be really useful, even if your experience is outside the proverbial box...They all have many faces to many different people [hooray for UPG!]. Hell, my God doesn't even have a box or a pantheon or anything like that, but I like knowing where Someone's work tends to be.

 
Yeah, but the work that they tend to do doesn't tend to be just one thing, was my point-- in terms of work, too many do this thing, this thing, that thing, and this other thing, not just... this one singular thing they can be categorized by.
I do altar art, icons, and pagan art!
http://nibblekat.deviantart.com
Ask if you\'re interested.

drekfletch

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: New England. On Winnipesaukee, to be more specific
  • Posts: 317
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Polytheist. Hellenic-ish
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2012, 12:22:00 am »
Quote from: Alex;70222
I think cultures borrow the IDEA of a Deity/Spirit and not the Deity/Spirit Themselves, and then that name is taken up by Someone Who is willing to fill that role, if that makes any sense.

 
This.  I think, in a lot of cases, They are perfectly just doing their job (though I think it's more of a hobby, but I digress) and only occasionally bother with getting more specific.  I also think they sometimes fill in for each other, or merge, or fragment, or retire.

Each small community starts with their own God of X.  As the physical community grows, they encounter another community with their own God of X.  If the two communities grow together, both gods start looking out for the whole.  Sometimes it was one god working two jobs.  Maybe the community grows so big it starts to diverge.  Maybe God of X says, 'I want to go with this section of the people.  Who wants to take this section?'  And another steps in, but uses the same name.  Other times they might say, 'Eh, you people are like this and you others are like that, but I'll work with both groups anyway.'  Maybe the community meets another and the new(or old) God of X says, 'I'm a little bored with this hobby.  Would you mind taking my calls for a few centuries?'  Etc. Etc.

It's all very complicated and situational.  A base-line of, 'this is how I'm working with you who I'm calling This; that ok with you?' is advisable.
There is no inherent meaning to life.  Stop looking and give your life meaning.
------------------------------------------
Chapter 91 of The Order War by L.E.Modesitt jr.  If I could quote the entire thing I would.

drekfletch

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: New England. On Winnipesaukee, to be more specific
  • Posts: 317
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 5
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Polytheist. Hellenic-ish
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2012, 12:27:34 am »
Quote from: Alex;70379
They each belong in a 'house'

 
But not this.  I think Their external directories might be grouped like this, but they aren't actually in these 'houses.'  How do you decide which house Zeus is in, for example.  Is he in the 'Leader' house, the 'Rain' house, or the 'Hospitality' house?
There is no inherent meaning to life.  Stop looking and give your life meaning.
------------------------------------------
Chapter 91 of The Order War by L.E.Modesitt jr.  If I could quote the entire thing I would.

Hrútsvinr

  • Sr. Apprentice
  • ****
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Posts: 50
  • Country: au
  • Total likes: 2
    • View Profile
    • Torch and Hailstone
  • Religion: Heathenry
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2012, 01:39:46 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;70364
To use deities I'm familiar with as an example, Hathor and Aphrodite can be considered the same, as they both represent the erotic, fertile, maternal power of divinity, associated with both fertility and death. However, they are different because they have different cultural symbolism applied to them based on the people who worshiped them. Aphrodite is associated with the sea and sky, while Hathor, while also a sky goddess, is not associated with the sea and is commonly represented as a cow, a symbol of her maternal nature. On a cultural level, they are different but similar goddesses, but in my opinion, they are different personifications for the same power on a deeper level. I think this goes for the gods with similar names like the OP brought up. They may be different on the level of worship in terms of symbols, myths and attributes, but are personifications of the same thing.

I definitely would not go so far in my polytheism to see every god as a distinct literal entity walking around up there somewhere, or invisibly around here somewhere. I think to do so takes the symbolism of deities and mythologies too literally and humanizes them too much.

(My bolding).
This exactly. (Thank you, Carnelian, I've been trying to articulate this to myself for months!) :)
I treat the Gods as distinct entities insofar as they relate to me and my world, because that's kind of how I'm forced to understand them - they're much too complex for me to properly comprehend, but it's simpler and easier to delineate. So, basically,
same source/power/deeper being, but different deities/ways of understanding them. IMO, of course.
(I guess that makes me a...pantheist? *shrug*) :confused:
« Last Edit: October 13, 2012, 01:40:20 am by Hrútsvinr »

BigDestiny

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 8
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #40 on: October 28, 2012, 11:06:57 pm »
Quote from: RandallS;51871
If the names changed because of human language changes/differences, then the Gods are the same. If the gods were different but similar and this was noticed when the cultures met, chances are the gods are different beings. This is no simple rule to follow. Each case would have to be examined on its own merits.

I also find that this is not a simple question to answer.  For the most part I'm a hard polytheorist, but I find it hard to keep the Roman and Greek pantheons separate.  Especially now that I have one of each as a patron.

Complicating things is the fact that my meditations have been soft polytheorist at times.  One time I was trying to pass on some healing energy to a former coworker, and I was meditating with Helios (this was when I first was called by him).  And I made a comment about how odd it was that - given that healing was one of my primary gifts - that HE chose me, rather than Apollo who is 1. a healer 2. also a sun god and most importantly 3. pretty gay at times.  Helios laughed at me, and said that I KNEW that that was not how things worked.

Grimnir

  • Apprentice
  • ***
  • Join Date: Oct 2012
  • Posts: 48
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2012, 03:42:10 am »
Quote from: Aster Breo;51303
Ultimately, with regards to the gods, I, personally, think we should start from the premise that each one is a separate, distinct individual, regardless of whether S/He shares a name or other characteristics with another deity.  If that is incorrect, and if it matters, I believe the god/dess in question will let His/Her worshiper know.

 
TBH I could've just quoted Aster in toto, as she put this so much better than I can!

I'm a hard polytheist. I'm a devotee and, when needed, priest of Odin. "I call myself Grim and Ganglari, Herian, Hialmberi, Thekk, Third, Thunn, Unn, Helblindi, High, Sann, Svipal, Sanngetal, Herteit, Hnikar, Bileyg, Baleyg, Bolverk, Fiolnir, Grimnir, Glapsvinn, Fiolsvinn, Sidhott, Sidskegg, Sigfather, Hnikud, All-father, Atrid, Farmatyr, Oski , Omi, Just-as-high, Blindi, Gondlir, Harbard, Svidur, Svidrir, Ialk, Kialar, Vidur, Thror, Ygg, Thund, Vakr, Skilfing, Vafud, Hropta-Tyr, Gaut, Veratyr." The many names of Odin from the Grimnisamal, and this is not all His names, just the ones He mentions in that lay.

I've always felt from Him that all these, back to Wodanaz (if that was His first name known to men), are all use-names He has taken for specific things. I doubt we have a language that could encompass a Gods true name.

Humans know Him by many names but He is one distinct being.
Kind Regards, Raven
Gæð a wyrd swa hio scel! - Fate goes ever as she shall!

Shine

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 912
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
    • http://houseofthelion.wordpress.com/
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2012, 10:45:10 am »
Quote from: PlaceboArtist;51294

So what I want to ask is, how do you decide when gods are separate entities?

 
Been thinking about this question as of late.

I think hard polytheism vs soft polytheism is a continuum. In general, I let the gods decide when they're separate entities. For example, when I started practicing Kemeticism, I worshipped Anpu as the syncretized Anpu-Wepwawet. Soon I got the message, "we're actually two separate gods, so act accordingly."

But Atum or Khepri don't seem to mind it when I address Atum as Atum-Khepri. Same with Atum-Ra and Aten-Ra-Atum (though you could make the argument that I'm referring to the same sun god by different names, so the point is kind of . . . lost)
Leave your darkness with me, and I will make you shine.

Gilbride

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Sep 2012
  • Posts: 597
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Hard Polytheists: How far does your hardness go?
« Reply #43 on: October 31, 2012, 09:25:45 am »
Quote from: Shine;78630
I think hard polytheism vs soft polytheism is a continuum.

 
There's a line by the Chinese poet Li Ho I've always loved: "The gods are here! Forever present between somewhere and nowhere..."

That line captures what I think of as the mysterious fluidity and ambiguity of the gods, which is why I don't really identify with either hard or soft polytheism.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
621 Views
Last post January 13, 2013, 10:23:00 am
by Jenett
17 Replies
2702 Views
Last post September 29, 2014, 10:24:52 pm
by Castus
2 Replies
1412 Views
Last post March 07, 2015, 12:22:34 pm
by Darkhawk
0 Replies
982 Views
Last post October 22, 2015, 07:51:00 am
by Ouroboros
8 Replies
1822 Views
Last post September 30, 2019, 04:36:07 pm
by Krasnopol86

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 41
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 0

There aren't any users online.

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* Shop & Support TC

The links below are affiliate links. When you click on one of these links you will go to the listed shopping site with The Cauldron's affiliate code. Any purchases you make during your visit will earn TC a tiny percentage of your purchase price at no extra cost to you.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Host:
Sunflower

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Darkhawk

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Senior Staff:
Aisling, Jenett, Sefiru

Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, EclecticWheel, HarpingHawke, Kylara, PerditaPickle, rocquelaire

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, LyricFox, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Site Administrator:
Randall