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Author Topic: reconciling different pantheons of deities.  (Read 4366 times)

Sage

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2014, 10:03:43 pm »
Quote from: Kahina;153126
I think I'll just have to keep reflecting on that. I need to stop being so impatient - I'm just eager to try and feel stable in my spirituality. Uncertainty and I don't get along.

 
You also don't need to have everything figured out before you start experimenting. It's completely acceptable to approach a deity and say "Look, I don't know how this'll work out but I'd like to start exploring this path and maybe You're someone who can work well with me. Here's a candle/incense/whatever, let me know what You think."
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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2014, 10:18:58 pm »
Quote from: Kahina;153126
I think I'll just have to keep reflecting on that. I need to stop being so impatient - I'm just eager to try and feel stable in my spirituality. Uncertainty and I don't get along.

 
Don't feel as if you need to sort everything out right away. Focus on what you feel is right for you and build from there. I understand that starting out is frustrating when you want everything to fit together magically, but magic doesn't work that way. Not many of us have plans when we start our practices and if we do those plans change drastically. You say you want stability, well the sea isn't very stable and it is perfectly happy in motion. If I were you I'd start with dance.

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2014, 11:03:58 pm »
Quote from: Kahina;153123
Now that I've had time to sit down and think while I was in the shower, I'm not sure. I'm torn between wanting to invoke spirits to explore their energy, and not wanting to give the sea any particular 'image' or 'name' -


I get this. Lately I've sort of deconstructed my ideas of polytheism into that nameless community of The Universe. As in, that instinctive habitual utterance of, "Thanks, Universe", when things either go really well or really bad. And it's very uncomfortable shoving The Universe (as big as it is) into little boxes labelled Thor, Odin, etc.

And it got me wondering, what did people say before they said, "Thanks, Universe"? And that was sort of the answer to my own problem.

Quote
I don't want to go to a deity when I'm paying homage to the sea. I just want to go straight to the source.


Try exploring deities as expressions of the sea and not the sea as expression of the deities. Poseidon doesn't rule the sea, the sea rules Poseidon. (Note: this suggestion is unique for this poster only and isn't applicable to every system. Let's just head that off at the pass, shall we? ;) )

Quote
How does one go about picking their spirit/deity? I've been reading and thinking and thinking and reading and I'm running myself into circles. Should I take a break and just focus more on working with the sea until then, or - ?


I chose my religion/spirituality and then took on the accompanying deities. I liked having a framework.

It sounds like you have also chosen your spirituality first, that for you, the sea is the source. Don't deviate from that if you're feeling like you should. Let it be the source. It's actually funny you say that because we had a similar discussion recently about a source, and gods being like stalagmites or storm system that are off-shoots of that. So I'd say let the gods come forward to you on the tides, and let them recede with the tides. Stagnant water is usually a bad thing, right?

Basically, take your cues from the very nature of the sea and let it reveal its own unique concept of divinity to you. What is love to the sea, Home to the sea, War to the sea?

Hope that helped some!
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Kahina

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2014, 12:27:55 am »
Quote from: Juniperberry;153129
I get this. Lately I've sort of deconstructed my ideas of polytheism into that nameless community of The Universe. As in, that instinctive habitual utterance of, "Thanks, Universe", when things either go really well or really bad. And it's very uncomfortable shoving The Universe (as big as it is) into little boxes labelled Thor, Odin, etc.

And it got me wondering, what did people say before they said, "Thanks, Universe"? And that was sort of the answer to my own problem.



Try exploring deities as expressions of the sea and not the sea as expression of the deities. Poseidon doesn't rule the sea, the sea rules Poseidon. (Note: this suggestion is unique for this poster only and isn't applicable to every system. Let's just head that off at the pass, shall we? ;) )



I chose my religion/spirituality and then took on the accompanying deities. I liked having a framework.

It sounds like you have also chosen your spirituality first, that for you, the sea is the source. Don't deviate from that if you're feeling like you should. Let it be the source. It's actually funny you say that because we had a similar discussion recently about a source, and gods being like stalagmites or storm system that are off-shoots of that. So I'd say let the gods come forward to you on the tides, and let them recede with the tides. Stagnant water is usually a bad thing, right?

Basically, take your cues from the very nature of the sea and let it reveal its own unique concept of divinity to you. What is love to the sea, Home to the sea, War to the sea?

Hope that helped some!

 
That was really helpful, and I really appreciate this advice!

I think my other reason for impatience is that I've been having a hard time making friends at college. For me, the thought of inviting a demon/spirit around as a sort of companion had a lot of allure, something that goes above even a spell to attract that kind of energy in the first place. I'm still strongly thinking about invoking demons, but like I said, it doesn't feel like they are inherently tied into the sea for me.

If a deity is right for me, I feel like the name will come when I find it. Somewhere. Doesn't have to be now.
"be careful, you are not in Wonderland. i\'ve heard the strange madness long growing in your soul, in your isolation."

Kahina

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2014, 12:31:39 am »
Quote from: Freesia;153128
Don't feel as if you need to sort everything out right away. Focus on what you feel is right for you and build from there. I understand that starting out is frustrating when you want everything to fit together magically, but magic doesn't work that way. Not many of us have plans when we start our practices and if we do those plans change drastically. You say you want stability, well the sea isn't very stable and it is perfectly happy in motion. If I were you I'd start with dance.

 
I anticipated as such. I'm just glad that I at least am much further than I ever have been before - I have a name to what I want to do, and I am in practice, so I feel good. I guess I'm eager for more, but don't quite have the direction.

Ironically enough, Earth is my element [I'm a Capricorn]. Being intuitive and an empath is natural, just as much as being a stubborn, unmoving goat is. I'm working on different ways to channel the energy of the sea despite my setback being in a different element.
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a.walker.abroad

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2014, 10:49:25 am »
Quote from: Kahina;153138
I have a name to what I want to do, and I am in practice, so I feel good.

 
And that is a great place to be.  Some people get so hooked up on titles and Gods, they never reach that place.  :)

I feel like what you are dealing with is the classic syncretic balancing problem.  You are taking things that apeal to you and forming your own Craft and practices from them.  The problem is what seperates you from an eclectic: you require an underlying "flow", if you'll pardon the pun, or cohesion, to elements you add.  It's not enough that they don't conflict, they have to make sense together as a whole.  

And that is not alway easy to do.  There is a reason many pagan look down on eclectics; it takes little effort to stitch together beliefs and practices when the only requirement is that they don't conflict with one another.  Some eclectics don't even hold that as a standard.  Not that I have anything against eclectics, mind you.  I was one for a solid four of five years.  

Just my two cents on the situation, but do you really need a deity?  It sounds to me like the sea is your diety, and doesn't need a name or a face to be honored.  The sea is powerful and dynamic and ageless as it is.  The source of life, it's a little universe in its own right.  Sounds divine to me...

And as for spirit work, there is a long history of many cultures having at least some association between the sea and the dead.  For demons, it would really then be up to exactly how you view demons.  

Hope that helped, even a little.

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2014, 07:39:54 pm »
Quote from: a.walker.abroad;153163
The problem is what seperates you from an eclectic: you require an underlying "flow", if you'll pardon the pun, or cohesion, to elements you add.  It's not enough that they don't conflict, they have to make sense together as a whole.  

And that is not alway easy to do.  There is a reason many pagan look down on eclectics; it takes little effort to stitch together beliefs and practices when the only requirement is that they don't conflict with one another.  Some eclectics don't even hold that as a standard.  Not that I have anything against eclectics, mind you.  I was one for a solid four of five years.

 
There is indeed a reason why many pagans look down on eclectics: it takes very little effort to use a word as if it was inherently a term of disdain, rather than going to the trouble of finding out whether it actually is or not, or the even greater trouble of critiquing the way in which some particular person goes about eclecticism.

Just because some people go about eclecticism in an incoherent way does not mean eclecticism inherently lacks cohesion.

You might take a look at the definitions of eclecticism and syncretism (links are to OneLook, so you can consult and compare a wide range of definitions) to see how the sense in which many pagans often use these words is a sense that's slanted for the purpose of disparaging eclecticism in general. (These days, a lot of people use it in that sense because they keep hearing it used in that sense, and it doesn't occur to them to find out whether this is what the word means or a distortion of the meaning - but originally it was done intentionally.)

As well, there are some excellent articles on the subject, that discuss both the community conflicts about the word, and some of the community history involved. In TC's own archive-board article library, there is Darkhawk's On Eclecticism, and the Strategic Sorcery blog has both 7 Rules for Sane Eclecticism from last year, and one that's so new I haven't had a chance to read it in detail yet, Eclectic from the Old Line PART 1 (with, obviously, more to come).

One thing that doesn't seem to be touched on in any of those articles is that the earlier uses of 'eclectic' as a term of disdain were often in context of the emergence of the reconstructist methodology as an approach to practicing cultural polytheisms/paganisms, and was applied - by some recons, not all - to anything not reconstructionist and monocultural, for the purpose of defining recon polytheism as not just a different approach but an inherently superior one. Because this attitude still persists in some recon spaces, and because history matters even when it's recent history, this is worth mentioning as a specific factor.

Many people here on TC identify as eclectic, and do not have practices that fit the description of 'eclectic' that you give. Some of us are, to paraphrase the new Strategic Sorcery article (which in turn is quoting another linked article), 'traditional Eclectics of the Old Line, from before "eclectic" was a slur'. We are not interested in relinquishing the word we've long (sometimes several decades) used to describe ourselves, merely because others seek to redefine that word.

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2014, 09:46:29 pm »
Quote from: a.walker.abroad;153163
And that is a great place to be.  Some people get so hooked up on titles and Gods, they never reach that place.  :)

I feel like what you are dealing with is the classic syncretic balancing problem.  You are taking things that apeal to you and forming your own Craft and practices from them.  The problem is what seperates you from an eclectic: you require an underlying "flow", if you'll pardon the pun, or cohesion, to elements you add.  It's not enough that they don't conflict, they have to make sense together as a whole.  

And that is not alway easy to do.  There is a reason many pagan look down on eclectics; it takes little effort to stitch together beliefs and practices when the only requirement is that they don't conflict with one another.  Some eclectics don't even hold that as a standard.  Not that I have anything against eclectics, mind you.  I was one for a solid four of five years.  

Just my two cents on the situation, but do you really need a deity?  It sounds to me like the sea is your diety, and doesn't need a name or a face to be honored.  The sea is powerful and dynamic and ageless as it is.  The source of life, it's a little universe in its own right.  Sounds divine to me...

And as for spirit work, there is a long history of many cultures having at least some association between the sea and the dead.  For demons, it would really then be up to exactly how you view demons.  

Hope that helped, even a little.


This is pretty comforting to hear, to be honest.

I don't think deity work is necessary for me; it's more of something I want because I've been having a hard time dealing with the isolation of my college, so the thought of a spirit providing me some kind of intimacy or companionship is so appealing that I'm really bending over backwards to realign what I believe just to make it work.

What I'm going to do about this isolating problem, I'm not sure. I am, however, sticking back to what I want. I just got a pocket spelbook that I want to modify so all of the work I perform can always go back to what I view as the ultimate source of energy: water and the sea. Doing small things like this make me feel more comfortable, even if I'm still frustrated at my own situation.

Also, that was a legit pun. I approve.
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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2014, 12:17:07 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;153200
snip

 
I think this is a fantastic post, is it possible for this to end up on the wiki somewhere?
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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2014, 08:04:14 am »
Quote from: savvy;153292
I think this is a fantastic post, is it possible for this to end up on the wiki somewhere?

It is good.  Belongs right next to DH's eclecticism piece.
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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2014, 08:34:00 pm »
Quote from: savvy;153292
I think this is a fantastic post, is it possible for this to end up on the wiki somewhere?

 
Quote from: MadZealot;153303
It is good.  Belongs right next to DH's eclecticism piece.

 
Aww, shucks:o! Thank you.

I am planning to revise/edit it for the Wiki - I hadn't really thought about that until Savvy mentioned it, but I agree that an article addressing the contention about the word is a good thing to have.

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2014, 11:37:20 pm »
Quote from: Kahina;153270
This is pretty comforting to hear, to be honest.

I don't think deity work is necessary for me; it's more of something I want because I've been having a hard time dealing with the isolation of my college, so the thought of a spirit providing me some kind of intimacy or companionship is so appealing that I'm really bending over backwards to realign what I believe just to make it work.

What I'm going to do about this isolating problem, I'm not sure. I am, however, sticking back to what I want. I just got a pocket spelbook that I want to modify so all of the work I perform can always go back to what I view as the ultimate source of energy: water and the sea. Doing small things like this make me feel more comfortable, even if I'm still frustrated at my own situation.

Also, that was a legit pun. I approve.

 
We all deal with frustration and isolation in our lives. My personal experience with gods is very limited. One came into my day and demanded a favor, I did it, and she left. I do not feel the need to seek her out further, but if she needs me again she knows where I am. Other entities find me and they can be troublesome, I light incense for them and leave out beer and tea on occasion. I do not know how good a demon will be for companionship since some of the entities I "entertain" fuel my creativity for the time they stick around, but when they go I'm left feeling lonelier then ever. Sometimes I suffer from depression for a while and blame it on SAD. I am married, I have two kids, lots of pets, but I can still feel like the only person on the planet. Sorry if I'm bumming you out, but I'm pulling myself out of a very deep hole right now (I also miss my youngest who is with my parents).  

I think joining a study group will help you break the ice with classmates. I learned how to play pool as a method of meeting people. I hung out at the library a lot and am still close friends with my first college librarian. It was very hard for me to break out of my shell and enter the college society; it still is. I'm going through the pre-semester jitters right now. I'm 33 and most of my classes are online, but anxiety doesn't care about that.

Kahina

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2014, 01:52:45 pm »
Quote from: Freesia;153371
We all deal with frustration and isolation in our lives. My personal experience with gods is very limited. One came into my day and demanded a favor, I did it, and she left. I do not feel the need to seek her out further, but if she needs me again she knows where I am. Other entities find me and they can be troublesome, I light incense for them and leave out beer and tea on occasion. I do not know how good a demon will be for companionship since some of the entities I "entertain" fuel my creativity for the time they stick around, but when they go I'm left feeling lonelier then ever. Sometimes I suffer from depression for a while and blame it on SAD. I am married, I have two kids, lots of pets, but I can still feel like the only person on the planet. Sorry if I'm bumming you out, but I'm pulling myself out of a very deep hole right now (I also miss my youngest who is with my parents).  

I think joining a study group will help you break the ice with classmates. I learned how to play pool as a method of meeting people. I hung out at the library a lot and am still close friends with my first college librarian. It was very hard for me to break out of my shell and enter the college society; it still is. I'm going through the pre-semester jitters right now. I'm 33 and most of my classes are online, but anxiety doesn't care about that.

 
I have a lot of anxiety and trauma in my history, so that does make it harder, yes, but to be honest, I don't think I'm the problem.

I am a member of quite a few clubs. I have two wonderful jobs, and I'm a mentor on the side. I love my major, and I've performed a couple of internships. I've gone on some dates, I've even (forcibly) thrown myself into a party (which didn't go so well).

I think people at my college are fake. I know fake people are out there, but it's like they were all gathered here to go to my school. When I interact, I feel like I'm talking to somebody through a wall. Although my intuition can sometimes be led astray by my other emotions (like my social anxiety telling me I'm not worth people's time), their fakeness is so strong it's like I'm inhailing it. It's like I can't be authentic with /anybody/ - sure, I can have a great intellectual discussion with them, but that's not the same as having a heart-to-heart. I've never had this problem before, either, so it's compounding my frustration. My online friends can only do so much - physical intimacy is something I've been needing from time to time, something they can't give me.

I'm going to try and keep some optimism, though. New faces coming in this year, I got a really good job, best classes so far, and I'm going to really work on my spells. Here's to hoping I net something.

(I have to admit though, having some sort of sultry one-night thing with a demon is still kind of appealing. Perhaps it's something I can still do without having to become a demonolater, or try and force the ideology into my primary work as a sea witch and empath).
"be careful, you are not in Wonderland. i\'ve heard the strange madness long growing in your soul, in your isolation."

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2014, 05:53:11 am »
Quote from: Kahina;153417
I have a lot of anxiety and trauma in my history, so that does make it harder, yes, but to be honest, I don't think I'm the problem.

I am a member of quite a few clubs. I have two wonderful jobs, and I'm a mentor on the side. I love my major, and I've performed a couple of internships. I've gone on some dates, I've even (forcibly) thrown myself into a party (which didn't go so well).

I think people at my college are fake. I know fake people are out there, but it's like they were all gathered here to go to my school. When I interact, I feel like I'm talking to somebody through a wall. Although my intuition can sometimes be led astray by my other emotions (like my social anxiety telling me I'm not worth people's time), their fakeness is so strong it's like I'm inhailing it. It's like I can't be authentic with /anybody/ - sure, I can have a great intellectual discussion with them, but that's not the same as having a heart-to-heart. I've never had this problem before, either, so it's compounding my frustration. My online friends can only do so much - physical intimacy is something I've been needing from time to time, something they can't give me.

I'm going to try and keep some optimism, though. New faces coming in this year, I got a really good job, best classes so far, and I'm going to really work on my spells. Here's to hoping I net something.

(I have to admit though, having some sort of sultry one-night thing with a demon is still kind of appealing. Perhaps it's something I can still do without having to become a demonolater, or try and force the ideology into my primary work as a sea witch and empath).

 
Sorry I went "mom" on you. I let my momma-bear instincts take over way too much. I deal with social anxiety and basic awkwardness every day. I'm starting to feel the August freak out already. I had a baby very young so I missed out on living by myself and going to parties. Campus life got very difficult when I was eight months pregnant; frat boy=evil. My boyfriend wanted to go out every Friday night, he didn't understand why I hated seeing those people. I hated how they looked at me and treated me. After I had the baby and recovered I transferred to a different school. That baby is about to turn eleven. I haven't been in school for eleven years; I've taken off several years for work and family.

My school has more people my own age many of us are married with families so the drama is realistic.

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Re: reconciling different pantheons of deities.
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2014, 11:41:17 pm »
Quote from: Freesia;153508
Sorry I went "mom" on you. I let my momma-bear instincts take over way too much. I deal with social anxiety and basic awkwardness every day. I'm starting to feel the August freak out already. I had a baby very young so I missed out on living by myself and going to parties. Campus life got very difficult when I was eight months pregnant; frat boy=evil. My boyfriend wanted to go out every Friday night, he didn't understand why I hated seeing those people. I hated how they looked at me and treated me. After I had the baby and recovered I transferred to a different school. That baby is about to turn eleven. I haven't been in school for eleven years; I've taken off several years for work and family.

My school has more people my own age many of us are married with families so the drama is realistic.

 
It's okay! I appreciate your advice, and it's great to hear your insight.
"be careful, you are not in Wonderland. i\'ve heard the strange madness long growing in your soul, in your isolation."

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