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Author Topic: Reconciling with two different pantheons  (Read 6418 times)

Valdi

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Reconciling with two different pantheons
« on: October 09, 2011, 07:08:08 am »
How do you reconcile when you have two pantheons, who control similar things?

For example, let's say someone here is Hellenic and Ásatrúar: who is the "king of the gods"? Are they king of their pantheon of gods, or is one supreme, or something else?

How do you know to offer thanks to Thor, as opposed to Zeus, for example, if you honour both?

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 08:17:40 am »
Quote from: Valdi;24578
How do you reconcile when you have two pantheons, who control similar things?

I'm not sure one really can -- at least not in all cases. Depending on how close the two pantheons' deities overlap, perhaps not even most cases.

Other the other hand, how important is it that you reconcile them? If you are trying to combine their worship, I guess it would be pretty important. However, if one is worshiping them separately, would it be very important?
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Valdi

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 08:25:08 am »
Quote from: RandallS;24579
However, if one is worshiping them separately, would it be very important?

 
I think it may still be.

For example, does one thank Zeus or Thor for the thunderstorm, or ask for Sarasvatī or Minerva to bless them in their pursuit of knowledge, or Kāma or Venus for help one's love-life? Or both whenever one does?

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2011, 08:51:19 am »
Quote from: Valdi;24580
I think it may still be.

For example, does one thank Zeus or Thor for the thunderstorm, or ask for Sarasvatī or Minerva to bless them in their pursuit of knowledge, or Kāma or Venus for help one's love-life? Or both whenever one does?

 
Which one do you have a relationship with?

I know lots of librarians, lots of computer geeks, and lots of really good cooks. From time to time, I ask most of them questions.

Which one I ask depends on my relationship with them (I will ask bigger favors of closer friends, generally), on their particular interest in what I'm trying to do (if they have a particular expertise or interest in a specific aspect, that might trump a closer relationship), or sometimes on who happens to be available (especially if there's more than just me involved.)

In deity work, I have some deities I have ongoing relationships with (in my case, from multiple pantheons), who I tend to turn to first, regardless of specialty. There are some deities where I don't honor them as regularly, but would prefer to start there for specialty work, rather than other deities interested in more or less the same general area (for example, I have an existing relationship with Artemis, but not so much with Diana).

And there are some times when the practices of my tradition, or the fact I'm working with a group have suggested honoring/working with a particular deity together, and I'll go with that even if I might have made a different choice working solely on my own, usually because someone involved has a strong practice working with a particular deity, or because there's group history involved.  

If I come across a random thunderstorm, or a gorgeous moment at a beach, or something like that, I'm as likely to give thanks in general (all gods and goddesses of the sky/storm or ocean) as pick one, unless I have specific work in mind with one of them at that moment.
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RandallS

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 08:51:31 am »
Quote from: Valdi;24580
For example, does one thank Zeus or Thor for the thunderstorm, or ask for Sarasvatī or Minerva to bless them in their pursuit of knowledge, or Kāma or Venus for help one's love-life? Or both whenever one does?

I don't really have much to say about the first case, but for the other two one might ask the deity that seems most appropriate for the specific request based on their myths. While deities in different pantheons may be similar, they are seldom identical. Even Athena (Greek) and Minerva (Roman) aren't truly identical. In many cases, what specific knowledge one is pursuing might suggest which deity to to call on, etc. This is just off the top of my head, however.
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Nyktelios

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2011, 10:31:45 am »
Quote from: Valdi;24578
How do you reconcile when you have two pantheons, who control similar things?

For example, let's say someone here is Hellenic and Ásatrúar: who is the "king of the gods"? Are they king of their pantheon of gods, or is one supreme, or something else?

How do you know to offer thanks to Thor, as opposed to Zeus, for example, if you honour both?

 
As a follower of Greek, Egyptian and Feri gods, I've also struggled with this kind of thing. For me, I'm more of a universalist, as I mainly view the gods as the same universal divinity manifesting in different forms, so I don't see much contradiction on honouring gods of different pantheons. I consider Isis to be the same as Aphrodite, who is the same as the Great Goddess of Feri. Conforming to a singular paradigm is Abrahamic in nature, not pagan, so you can interpret the gods through different cultural lenses if that's how you make sense of the universe.

Regarding which god you should honour for overlapping spheres of influence, I don't think it matters very much, and depends on the context.This is why I'm not a "hard" polytheist to the extreme, as I don't think there can be multiple deities ruling over the same things. If you want to honour the god of storms in a Greek way, honour Zeus, if you feel more in tune with Asatru at that time, honour Thor. If you want to honour both, do it, although you don't necessarily have to. You could also combine them into a syncretic deity, and honour Zeus-Thor that way. I don't believe there needs to be a historical precedent for syncretism if there is a modern need.

I think you're just over-thinking it, and just need to relax and honour the gods as the spirit moves you.

Valdi

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2011, 10:37:58 am »
Quote from: Jenett;24582
Which one do you have a relationship with?

At the moment, none unfortunately.

I'm mostly attracted to Heathenry (primarily Anglo-Saxon Fyrnsidu), but I also have an interest in Hellenic and Roman. I'll always have a soft spot for Hindu (both Vedic and non-Vedic) deities, and an interest, but maybe not worship, of Shinto, Shenist (Chinese folk religion) and Celtic gods.

I asked primarily out of curiosity - and because I expect I will end up with multiple paths. I'm awkward that way.

Valdi

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 10:41:47 am »
Quote from: Carnelian;24588
I think you're just over-thinking it, and just need to relax and honour the gods as the spirit moves you.

 
I probably am. I over-think everything, always have.

Probably the cause of most of my spiritual issues - but I can't not do that for some reason, y'know?

Nyktelios

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 11:56:05 am »
Quote from: Valdi;24590
I probably am. I over-think everything, always have.

Probably the cause of most of my spiritual issues - but I can't not do that for some reason, y'know?

 
I know the feeling :)

Pain and Light

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 04:17:51 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;24578
How do you reconcile when you have two pantheons, who control similar things?


I don't really think there's a need.

Quote from: Valdi;24578
For example, let's say someone here is Hellenic and Ásatrúar: who is the "king of the gods"? Are they king of their pantheon of gods, or is one supreme, or something else?


The pantheons,I believe, are much like tribes of people. Zeus being the big cheese of his tribe doesn't affect Iupiter from being head honcho of his.

Quote from: Valdi;24578
How do you know to offer thanks to Thor, as opposed to Zeus, for example, if you honour both?

 
Well, if you're giving thanks for something of which you don't know if one or both had something to do with, then why not give thanks to both? If you asked one or the other in particular for something and you got it, then I would say you give thanks to the one specifically asked.

SatAset

Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 06:42:11 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;24578
How do you reconcile when you have two pantheons, who control similar things?

For example, let's say someone here is Hellenic and Ásatrúar: who is the "king of the gods"? Are they king of their pantheon of gods, or is one supreme, or something else?

How do you know to offer thanks to Thor, as opposed to Zeus, for example, if you honour both?


This would depend on the deities you honor.  If you are closer to Thor than Zeus, than thank Thor.  If one of the deities in one pantheon did something for you than thank that deity.  You could also just thank them both for a thunderstorm in general.  

Who you worship and are closest to may dictate you else you worship.  Even in the same pantheon some deities do not get along with one another or may not want you to worship another deity in their pantheon for whatever reason.  This may be the same for other pantheons as well.  One deity in one pantheon may not want you to worship another deity from a different pantheon.  Who you do or don't worship depends upon the deities you are closest to.
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Valdi

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 05:13:50 am »
Quote from: Pain and Light;24603


               

Quote from: SatAset;24616
This would depend on the deities you honor.  If you are closer to Thor than Zeus, than thank Thor.  If one of the deities in one pantheon did something for you than thank that deity.  You could also just thank them both for a thunderstorm in general.  

This appears to be the general consensus, then: honour whom you feel closer to, and to whom you owe the blessing depends on if you asked help for one of them, I guess?

Quote
Even in the same pantheon some deities do not get along with one another or may not want you to worship another deity in their pantheon for whatever reason.  This may be the same for other pantheons as well.  One deity in one pantheon may not want you to worship another deity from a different pantheon.

Interesting. Why would certain deities not want you to worship other deities from their, or other, pantheons, I wonder?

Quote
Who you do or don't worship depends upon the deities you are closest to.

Can you please expand upon this?

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2011, 10:03:54 am »
Quote from: Valdi;24656
Interesting. Why would certain deities not want you to worship other deities from their, or other, pantheons, I wonder?

 
Same reason someone in any other relationship would prefer you not have relationships with others.

Some people want monogamy.
Some people want you to spend time with their family and not the families of others.
Some people really don't want you to spend time with their family.
Some people expect that when they have a close relationship, their friends become your friends and vice versa.
Some people are concerned that if you spend too much time with people who are "just like them" they might be supplanted in your affections.
Some people think certain other people are just bad news and advise folks in general to stay away from them.

All kinds of reasons.  Which ones are in play depend on the people - and on their relationship.
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Nomad of Nowhere

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2011, 09:15:12 pm »
Quote from: Valdi;24578
How do you reconcile when you have two pantheons, who control similar things?

For example, let's say someone here is Hellenic and Ásatrúar: who is the "king of the gods"? Are they king of their pantheon of gods, or is one supreme, or something else?

How do you know to offer thanks to Thor, as opposed to Zeus, for example, if you honour both?

 
I did attempt this at one time, back when I was syncretic. However, I still hold more or less the same outlook I did then: I think God's from different pantheons exist, or that in some cases, they may be the same deity. However, it's very hard to tell which. I think the relationship between pantheons is a bit of a mystery, so you should exercise caution trying to fulfill the requirements of both practices. Personally, though I regard Perun as the supreme deity in my pantheon, I believe there are other "King" Gods who are supreme in their own kingdom- just like with human rulers of the past. However, when it comes to Perun, I think he has a lot of overlap with some other deities, so Zeus may just be a different culture's perception of Perun. A view I think the ancient Hellenes themselves would not have been opposed to, seeing how they tended to identify foreign Gods with their own.

Valdi

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Re: Reconciling with two different pantheons
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2011, 03:21:29 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;24666
All kinds of reasons.  Which ones are in play depend on the people - and on their relationship.

 
Makes sense, thank you.



Quote from: Nomad of Nowhere;24772
However, when it comes to Perun, I think he has a lot of overlap with some other deities, so Zeus may just be a different culture's perception of Perun.

Sounds like my wife. She mentioned the other day that she thinks it's most probable that the majority of polytheistic groups worship their own interpretation of the same deities. I quite like that idea.

Is there a term for this? It's not quite soft polytheism, and hard polytheism I'm not sure  cuts it - unless I'm mistaking polytheism for omnitheism or something.

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