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Author Topic: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?  (Read 3837 times)

Faemon

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UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« on: November 28, 2014, 07:44:41 pm »
So, lately I've gotten some personal gnosis fueling experiences of an entity that I classify as a deity and gleaned the nature to be a syncretism of Hela and The Morrigan.

Of course that's not historical, at least not to my knowledge; and She's not every goddess, or even every death goddess, and I'm having trouble reconciling Hela as not-touching-the-warriors in Her mythology of origin whereas that very thing The Morrigan is on it. So, I'm open to this just being an entirely separate being, and maybe my sense of syncretism is just my own sense of being reminded of this, that, or the other goddess but not necessarily intuiting that She is.

Before I elaborate, though, I thought I'd get other people's opinions on modern syncretism.


*

On the other hand, I've also been working with an incorporeal someone, let's say is a God, but without name and mythology...and yet apparently...has...epithets.

Or, more than epithets, more like, how Nike in Greek mythology is sometimes considered an aspect of Athena but also a separate albeit minor goddess.

What do you call those? Because my God right now seems to be having some epithetical issues, or would be if I had epithets to classify He, Himself, and Him, but I don't because He doesn't have a mythology. I swear, my intuition is screaming that they're the same entity, but what I'm actually getting is that they resent each other and often appear as separate. More than confused, I am curious.

So, for that too: What do you think, in general?
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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2014, 08:00:10 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;166343

So, for that too: What do you think, in general?

 
Wish I had a wise and insightful thing to say, but frankly you were thwapped by a maybe syncretism of two of my favorite ancient deities, so all I can think is, "Go you!"

More constructively, when it comes to learning more about a deity when research in their myths won't help or details are unclear, I've always supported asking them, and then invokong an ecstatic state of some kind.

Best way to get answers: the source!

Meditate on your experiences so far before you sleep.

Walk in places symbolic to the two (battlefields if you can find any, crossroads, graveyards maybe) and open your mind and listen.

Etc.
"This is a sorrow-spider. Which end do you hold it by? TRICK QUESTION!"

Faemon

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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2014, 09:14:55 pm »
Quote from: Cuthwin Crowe;166350
when it comes to learning more about a deity when research in their myths won't help or details are unclear, I've always supported asking them, and then invoking an ecstatic state of some kind.


I consider myself having a fairly well-tuned godphone, but The Helrrigan doesn't say anything. She just shows up and hangs around. Sometimes she changes size. That's it. I attached a drawing I did of Her skeletal, somewhat dough-faced self :)

On the other hand, Epithets communicates far more extrovertedly, both of Him (or all...four, I think?) and none of what He's saying makes sense to me, so I just guessed that if I expanded my experience and reasoning then I would be able to make sense of what he's saying.



I've wondered if Loki, Apollo, and Lucifer had a syncretic presence for more than a few people. I never got thwapped by such a being, but when someone I was discussing this with mentioned their own UPG of it, I thought it was an interesting idea.
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Materialist

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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2014, 12:42:13 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;166343

So, for that too: What do you think, in general?


First and last impression of Helrrigan is that this is a new goddess who is using these images to try to explain what she's like to you. Modern syncretism....syncretism is inevitable, cultures always meld together. The issue for me is whether  something is completely ripped off wholesale from another culture opposed to using it to make something new.

Gods and epithets...I don't hurt myself trying sort it out. What is, is, when it is; and is not when it's not. I avoid getting more technical than that.

veggiewolf

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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 09:42:08 am »
Quote from: Faemon;166343
...
Before I elaborate, though, I thought I'd get other people's opinions on modern syncretism...

 
Historically, I had a really difficult time with syncretism until I started thinking of it in terms of how deities present to me.  If I am addressed by an individual, I treat them as an individual.  If I am addressed by a multiple, I treat them as a multiple.  This is why I call my polytheism over-hard: the gods are individual and separate beings until they aren't, and if I don't know, I ask.

Most of the gods I worship are netjeru, and there's a lot of syncretism/overlapping in the Kemetic pantheon.  To date, I can only think of one time that I addressed a deity in plural when it should've been singular, and when the mistake was pointed out I apologized.  No harm, no foul.

tl/dr - IME, deities are syncretized when it suits them to be, and I take my lead from what they want.
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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 10:57:09 am »
Quote from: Faemon;166343
So, for that too: What do you think, in general?

 
Syncretism is a lot like highways.

Thinking a lot about it is like having a really detailed GPS.  For a while it was hilarious to me when we got on a particular highway with the GPS going, because it would perkily say that we were getting on Route 128, Route 95, and the Yankee Division Highway.  (Nobody I know calls it the Yankee Division Highway.  I still think of it as the Circumfrential half the time, and apparently that usage is thoroughly deprecated.)

It gets better: The Yankee Division Highway is maybe synonymous with 128 proper, but there are things which are not actually technically 128 which get called 128.  (Which is probably the Circumfrential wearing the 128 hat.)  It's syncretised with either I-93 or I-95 most of its length, but of course those are much larger highways in the grand scheme of things, having only a local manifestation of 128....

Clear as mud?

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_Route_128 )

What powers appear as other powers is kind of like that: sometimes one name is synonymous with another name; sometimes one name is a local manifestation of a fraction of another name; sometimes one name is a hat that another name is wearing and not the same entity at all; all kinds of things like that.  That doesn't change if they're modern or ancient powers.  The names are at best things on the map.

(Am I cross-threading with the road theology thread?  Hee.)
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HarpingHawke

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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2014, 12:29:42 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;166620


(Am I cross-threading with the road theology thread?  Hee.)

 
Hey look, more digging for me to do! :D:

(Also, what veggie said).
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Faemon

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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2014, 07:43:11 pm »
Thanks everyone for weighing in!

Quote from: Materialist;166494
First and last impression of Helrrigan is that this is a new goddess who is using these images to try to explain what she's like to you. Modern syncretism....syncretism is inevitable, cultures always meld together. The issue for me is whether  something is completely ripped off wholesale from another culture opposed to using it to make something new.


So, would you say that modern syncretism would be like the same process as publishing fanfiction as original fiction because it gets different enough from the source material to be its own thing, but without the draw of the source material then people wouldn't have noticed it enough to make it out as belonging published?

Quote from: veggiewolf;166608
This is why I call my polytheism over-hard: the gods are individual and separate beings until they aren't, and if I don't know, I ask.


With Epithets, I wondered if it was Loki coming by again (because Epithets was tricksy, I figured that he would be that sort of archetype--and since meeting with and working with Loki I've taken care to check that not every deity/familiar that I come across is really Loki.) I actually got them in the same room and they have I guess a grudging respect for each other but are definitely not to be mistaken for one another.

When it came to Epiphet One and Epithet Two, it's Epithet shifting from one form/face to another. The signature, inasmuch as I could sense, was the same. Later, they were separate but not interacting with one another, and one said that it was because they were the same on different levels of consideration whereas the other (which carried the original face and its pop culture imagery) basically said that I was shifting too much attention away from him to somebody he didn't like. So, I asked the latter to shed the pop culture imagery so that I can get a better sense of his true form and face. Instead of revealing, they combined.

There's also a recurring presence that feels pretty one-dimensional like a fantasy, which I sense is a shard or outer shell of Epithets, and when I try to break out of the containment of that fantasy-textured world to directly engage with that manifestation as if he were real, it doesn't exactly work. This, I guess Epithets Three, just sort of stalls like an old computer with too many applications open, or stops running.

Quote from: Darkhawk;166620
What powers appear as other powers is kind of like that: sometimes one name is synonymous with another name; sometimes one name is a local manifestation of a fraction of another name; sometimes one name is a hat that another name is wearing and not the same entity at all; all kinds of things like that.  That doesn't change if they're modern or ancient powers.  The names are at best things on the map.


Well put.

I've also been looking back to this thread about deities transforming across cultures, which has helped somewhat.

Quote from: HarpingHawke;166803
Quote from: Darkhawk;166620
(Am I cross-threading with the road theology thread?  Hee.)
Hey look, more digging for me to do! :D:


As it's a contemporary spiritual landscape, I look forward to your findings along these lines! :)
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Materialist

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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2014, 04:30:05 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;166901

So, would you say that modern syncretism would be like the same process as publishing fanfiction as original fiction because it gets different enough from the source material to be its own thing, but without the draw of the source material then people wouldn't have noticed it enough to make it out as belonging published?


My experiences with fanfiction, limited though that may be, and in writing some myself, is that it is conservative and stays true to the original source. My idea of syncretism is more adapting things to local culture. So, for example, a pagan religion from another country makes new moon sacrifices, which is the first day of their lunar calendar, and they have a particular name for it. Instead of adopting the whole thing as is, one moves it to the first day of the month according to the calendar used in your area, calling it the "first day offering" in your language, using local, seasonal food. Making it entirely native.

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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2014, 04:52:07 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;167038
My experiences with fanfiction, limited though that may be, and in writing some myself, is that it is conservative and stays true to the original source.

You are reading the wrong fanfic, my friend.

Well, possibly the right fanfic for you, but the wrong fanfic for drawing conclusions.
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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2014, 04:59:52 pm »
Quote from: Jack;167039
You are reading the wrong fanfic, my friend.

Well, possibly the right fanfic for you, but the wrong fanfic for drawing conclusions.

 
Agreeing with Jack...right fanfic for you, but definitely not for drawing conclusions about fanfic or transformative works. (Which, interestingly, I consider my faith a sort of transformative work at times, so...there's that. I think the ~weirdness~ that can happen in fanfic, where things just go totally off the tracks canon-wise, can be useful in discussions of syncretism when it comes to gods going smoosh.)

Faemon

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Re: UPG: Modern Syncretism and...what is the opposite of syncretism?
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2014, 09:47:37 pm »
Quote from: Materialist;167038
My experiences with fanfiction, limited though that may be, and in writing some myself, is that it is conservative and stays true to the original source.

Quote from: Jack;167039
You are reading the wrong fanfic, my friend. Well, possibly the right fanfic for you, but the wrong fanfic for drawing conclusions.


I was thinking more along the lines of 50 Shades where Edward Cullen from Twilight isn't a vampire. Or, Mortal Instruments which is basically Harry Potter but got off the rails enough that nobody would recognize that version of "Hermione". Or even how official/professional creative works can be inspired by something in another official/professional creative work.

Quote from: ainellewellyn;167041
I think the ~weirdness~ that can happen in fanfic, where things just go totally off the tracks canon-wise, can be useful in discussions of syncretism when it comes to gods going smoosh.


This also got me thinking that it can work the opposite way, too: dissemination can result in some characters maybe going the opposite of smoosh?

Quote from: Materialist;167038
My idea of syncretism is more adapting things to local culture. So, for example, a pagan religion from another country makes new moon sacrifices, which is the first day of their lunar calendar, and they have a particular name for it.

Instead of adopting the whole thing as is, one moves it to the first day of the month according to the calendar used in your area, calling it the "first day offering" in your language, using local, seasonal food. Making it entirely native.


Transmission of faith across cultures is definitely fascinating. Would the syncretistic process have changed with modernity in any way? I imagine that maybe it would be more heady what with the information age, which might be why I'm in with Helrrigan and not, like, Kalizanami[/b] even though India's right there and Japan's right over here.

Or maybe the chemistry is just wrong for that sort of syncretism to happen, either in this area, or to me as an otherwise open-headed individual? Like maybe some paradigm combinations are like vinegar and wine (as in they can't easily be separated once mixed), others more like oil and water...others still, more like bleach and chlorine, or something more explosive.

I'd sort of felt crossovers between Norse and Celtic pantheons, and I thought that might be because, while each certainly distinguishes itself as a culture, there might be a (covalent) bond of "heroic legacy"?
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