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Author Topic: How do people choose their deities?  (Read 2956 times)

Sorcha

How do people choose their deities?
« on: June 04, 2016, 02:22:08 pm »
So i'm EXTREMELY new to paganism, haven't really definitely decided what's happening with that, but I'm curious as to how people figure out which deities they're going to honor/worship/believe in?

I ask this because I had an experience... I think?

I was looking into figures for my fledgeling sacred space/altar/shrine/meditation focal point I'm working on in my house, and I chose a lovely little figure of Ceridwen (the aspect of paganism that draws me most is druidry, but that wasn't a factor; I didn't realize she was important in druidry... as I said, VERY new at this) mainly because she is related to knowledge and wisdom, and I like that.

Anyway, I was doing some visualization work where I was trying to visualize an ancient druid just in general (idea from a book I'm reading), and what unexpectedly and rather decidedly appeared was a crone figure with a cauldron (I'd been preparing to do this particular visualization for a couple of days, and I really thought I was going to see more of a maiden figure).

I connected the two later when I realized that Ceridwen is a crone figure with a cauldron, and got this "whoaaaa" kind of a feeling that I don't really know what to do with.

So thoughts, ideas, etc., would be much appreciated. I don't want to make too much out of a coincidence.

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2016, 03:01:43 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;192234
So i'm EXTREMELY new to paganism, haven't really definitely decided what's happening with that, but I'm curious as to how people figure out which deities they're going to honor/worship/believe in?

I ask this because I had an experience... I think?

I was looking into figures for my fledgeling sacred space/altar/shrine/meditation focal point I'm working on in my house, and I chose a lovely little figure of Ceridwen (the aspect of paganism that draws me most is druidry, but that wasn't a factor; I didn't realize she was important in druidry... as I said, VERY new at this) mainly because she is related to knowledge and wisdom, and I like that.

Anyway, I was doing some visualization work where I was trying to visualize an ancient druid just in general (idea from a book I'm reading), and what unexpectedly and rather decidedly appeared was a crone figure with a cauldron (I'd been preparing to do this particular visualization for a couple of days, and I really thought I was going to see more of a maiden figure).

I connected the two later when I realized that Ceridwen is a crone figure with a cauldron, and got this "whoaaaa" kind of a feeling that I don't really know what to do with.

So thoughts, ideas, etc., would be much appreciated. I don't want to make too much out of a coincidence.



 
That sounds like a pretty common way to choose a deity with whom to have a relationship. Synchronicity is pretty normal in deity relationships, from what I understand.

Note that you don't have to "choose" a single deity or just a couple and that these relationships can change over time. Take the time to learn, ask questions, and feel comfortable before you make any commitments.

Druidry is lovely and I hope you find your path happy and fulfilling. I've been enjoying it very much. :)

Also, I've never noticed Ceridwen to be a crone type (I'm not overly familiar with the maiden/mother/crone ideology) I've had her pegged as a young woman with young children. But hey, deities appear as they will and often access what we already have in our minds.

As for how I found my gods--- well, lots and lots of synchronicity, dreams, visions and an awful ordeal that made me sit up and pay attention (or else!).

Sorcha

Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2016, 03:49:37 pm »
Quote from: Mountain Cat;192236
That sounds like a pretty common way to choose a deity with whom to have a relationship. Synchronicity is pretty normal in deity relationships, from what I understand.

Note that you don't have to "choose" a single deity or just a couple and that these relationships can change over time. Take the time to learn, ask questions, and feel comfortable before you make any commitments.

Druidry is lovely and I hope you find your path happy and fulfilling. I've been enjoying it very much. :)

Also, I've never noticed Ceridwen to be a crone type (I'm not overly familiar with the maiden/mother/crone ideology) I've had her pegged as a young woman with young children. But hey, deities appear as they will and often access what we already have in our minds.

As for how I found my gods--- well, lots and lots of synchronicity, dreams, visions and an awful ordeal that made me sit up and pay attention (or else!).

 
I saw her referred to as a shape-shifting crone and sort of gathered that she's (to me, anyway) safely seen as either a mother or crone. Maiden not so much since her children are so important to her story.

So far, I LOVE druidry; it really is a lovely spirituality and connects a lot of things that I've felt should connect but were refusing to when I was trying to shoehorn them into Christianity. I decided to look outside of Christianity and realized that I had choices beyond the "major world religions" of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism (Buddhism seemed the closest, but I don't feel *at all* drawn to the Buddha as a spiritual figure--the idea of having a Buddha figure on my altar seemed completely wrong somehow).

I can't wait for my Ceridwen figure to arrive. She's simple and lovely and I basically have a shrine/altar already set up for her. I'm not sure what her exact role is going to be but I'm pretty sure that at least honoring her is something that I'll be doing.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2016, 04:56:39 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;192238
So far, I LOVE druidry; it really is a lovely spirituality and connects a lot of things that I've felt should connect but were refusing to when I was trying to shoehorn them into Christianity. I decided to look outside of Christianity and realized that I had choices beyond the "major world religions" of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism


Remember that Druidry, which is the oldest one of the modern Pagan paths/spiritual philosophies within the Pagan scene (revived in 1740) is a big tent. Under the Druidry label you will find:
 
  • Fraternal orders interested in donating means to charitable purposes and eating dinners (They shun being called Pagan, and are basically like Freemasons with Celtic folk music)
  • Welsh, Cornish and Breton cultural academies (The Queen and former Archbishop of Canterbury are members. They sing Christian hymns at rituals)
  • Esoteric orders influenced by the 18th century Druid revival, Victorian Occultism, Latitudinarian Anglicanism, Welsh Unitarianism, British Universalism, American Transcendentalism and Welsh - to a lesser degree Irish and Gaulish - mythology, with members of many religious backgrounds (Among others: The Druid Order - An Druidh Uileach Braithreachas, OBOD, Universal Druid Order, Glastonbury Order of Druids and AODA all belong to this category, and, despite its quite different origin, it is probably possible to shoe-horn in RDNA here too, since RDNA doesn't define its Druidry as exclusively Pagan)
  • Druid organisations ostentatiously Polytheistic, self-identified Neo-Pagan, performing rituals sacrificial in nature (Among others: British Druid Order, Order of the Yew, ADF, Henge of Keltria, Druid Order of White Oak)

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2016, 05:03:10 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;192238
I saw her referred to as a shape-shifting crone and sort of gathered that she's (to me, anyway) safely seen as either a mother or crone. Maiden not so much since her children are so important to her story.

 


The mother/maiden/crone thing is largely the invention of Robert Graves and dates from the 1940s. It has no historical validity of which I'm aware.

Ceridwen appears as she wishes.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2016, 05:33:55 pm »
Quote from: Dynes Hysbys;192242
The mother/maiden/crone thing is largely the invention of Robert Graves and dates from the 1940s. It has no historical validity of which I'm aware.

Ceridwen appears as she wishes.

The ongoing creativity of the Druid Revival movement is something I appreciate, as long as modern beliefs and customs aren't supposed to have existed in pre-Christian times. I don't think Graves was a Druid, was he, but his book is floating around in the perpetually growing background lore of modern Druidry, at least the sort of Druidry I use to call Meso-Druidry.

Hu Hadarn and Ceridwen both began their careers as characters in Welsh fiction from the Middle Ages/Renaissance, but were believed to have been pre-Christian deities by Edward Davies, a modern Druid and Anglican clergyman in the early 19th century. Davies ideas stuck around. In the original tale she is just a Romano-British noblewoman (contemporary of King Arthur) with the ability to perform magic, just as Hu Gadarn initially is a mythological Emperor of Byzantium. Both of them have changed into many things in the meantime.

RDNA coined new Druidic deities as late as the 1960s: Dalon ap Landu and Beal. I don't know if the title THE Earth Mother was around in the English language before 1963? Aren't the titles Mother Earth and Mother Nature the preferred titles before 1963, without grammatical definiteness?
« Last Edit: June 04, 2016, 05:35:09 pm by RecycledBenedict »

Sorcha

Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2016, 06:06:33 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;192241
Remember that Druidry, which is the oldest one of the modern Pagan paths/spiritual philosophies within the Pagan scene (revived in 1740) is a big tent. Under the Druidry label you will find:
 
  • Fraternal orders interested in donating means to charitable purposes and eating dinners (They shun being called Pagan, and are basically like Freemasons with Celtic folk music)
  • Welsh, Cornish and Breton cultural academies (The Queen and former Archbishop of Canterbury are members. They sing Christian hymns at rituals)
  • Esoteric orders influenced by the 18th century Druid revival, Victorian Occultism, Latitudinarian Anglicanism, Welsh Unitarianism, British Universalism, American Transcendentalism and Welsh - to a lesser degree Irish and Gaulish - mythology, with members of many religious backgrounds (Among others: The Druid Order - An Druidh Uileach Braithreachas, OBOD, Universal Druid Order, Glastonbury Order of Druids and AODA all belong to this category, and, despite its quite different origin, it is probably possible to shoe-horn in RDNA here too, since RDNA doesn't define its Druidry as exclusively Pagan)
  • Druid organisations ostentatiously Polytheistic, self-identified Neo-Pagan, performing rituals sacrificial in nature (Among others: British Druid Order, Order of the Yew, ADF, Henge of Keltria, Druid Order of White Oak)

 
I'm realizing this, and it's part of the reason it is attractive. :) I'm leaning more toward the third option (I don't want a fraternal order or a society; I want a spirituality that is pagan-leaning with room for Christian practice if not exactly beliefs).

RecycledBenedict

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2016, 06:13:47 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;192247
I'm realizing this, and it's part of the reason it is attractive. :) I'm leaning more toward the third option (I don't want a fraternal order or a society; I want a spirituality that is pagan-leaning with room for Christian practice if not exactly beliefs).


Then we agree very much, on several accounts. I keep my three or four paths apart from each other, but I wouldn't be able to practice a type of Druidry, that would expect me to stop performing ceremonial magic (which is blatantly Christian, though not mainline).

Sorcha

Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2016, 06:25:03 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;192248
Then we agree very much, on several accounts. I keep my three or four paths apart from each other, but I wouldn't be able to practice a type of Druidry, that would expect me to stop performing ceremonial magic (which is blatantly Christian, though not mainline).

 
I've been gathering that we have some very similar thoughts. I'm definitely neither mainline nor orthodox. I'm sort of thinking that eventually I will heal enough to figure out where Christ fits in everything, because I do honor him and like his teachings and life.

Druidry is, at this point, comfortable, beautiful, and makes me want to hug it, if one can hug a spiritual system.

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2016, 06:34:28 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;192244


Hu Hadarn and Ceridwen both began their careers as characters in Welsh fiction from the Middle Ages/Renaissance, but were believed to have been pre-Christian deities by Edward Davies, a modern Druid and Anglican clergyman in the early 19th century. Davies ideas stuck around. In the original tale she is just a Romano-British noblewoman (contemporary of King Arthur) with the ability to perform magic, just as Hu Gadarn initially is a mythological Emperor of Byzantium. Both of them have changed into many things in the meantime.


I don't recall an Edward Davies? Do you mean Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg)?

Quote from: FraterBenedict;192244
RDNA coined new Druidic deities as late as the 1960s: Dalon ap Landu and Beal. I don't know if the title THE Earth Mother was around in the English language before 1963? Aren't the titles Mother Earth and Mother Nature the preferred titles before 1963, without grammatical definiteness?


No idea I'm afraid. I'm not a neo-druid although I was briefly (very briefly) a member of OBOD. I had to google RDNA and Dalon ap Landu... Where on earth did they get that name from!

Sorcha

Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2016, 07:21:10 pm »
Quote from: Dynes Hysbys;192251
I don't recall an Edward Davies? Do you mean Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg)?



No idea I'm afraid. I'm not a neo-druid although I was briefly (very briefly) a member of OBOD. I had to google RDNA and Dalon ap Landu... Where on earth did they get that name from!

 
I hope I don't offend anybody when I say that "Dalon ap Landu" sounds like a character from Star Wars.... I know "ap" is Welsh, but still. Ahem. As I said, I hope I don't offend anybody if that's their own personal deity. :/

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2016, 07:26:38 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;192253
I hope I don't offend anybody when I say that "Dalon ap Landu" sounds like a character from Star Wars.... I know "ap" is Welsh, but still. Ahem. As I said, I hope I don't offend anybody if that's their own personal deity. :/


 Ap means "son of" so it translates as "Dalon, son of Landu. Landu is not a Welsh word and Dalon  probably means talon in this context.

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 08:04:19 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;192238
I saw her referred to as a shape-shifting crone and sort of gathered that she's (to me, anyway) safely seen as either a mother or crone. Maiden not so much since her children are so important to her story.

So far, I LOVE druidry; it really is a lovely spirituality and connects a lot of things that I've felt should connect but were refusing to when I was trying to shoehorn them into Christianity. I decided to look outside of Christianity and realized that I had choices beyond the "major world religions" of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism (Buddhism seemed the closest, but I don't feel *at all* drawn to the Buddha as a spiritual figure--the idea of having a Buddha figure on my altar seemed completely wrong somehow).

I can't wait for my Ceridwen figure to arrive. She's simple and lovely and I basically have a shrine/altar already set up for her. I'm not sure what her exact role is going to be but I'm pretty sure that at least honoring her is something that I'll be doing.

 
Ceridwen is amazing and fascinating. :) I'm glad you are finding someone to connect to so early on.

I love Druidry, too. It's been a wonderful way to view the world and I've learned so much. There are a number of people around here who know lots about it, so ask lots of questions! :)

Enjoy your journey!

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 08:30:12 pm »
Quote from: Dynes Hysbys;192251
I don't recall an Edward Davies? Do you mean Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg)?


No, I mean the Druid and Welsh Anglican clergyman Edward Davies (1756-1831), who read Iolo's Myvyrian Archaiology, Hanes Taliesin, the Triads and Mabinogion, and tried to reconstruct pre-Christian Welsh belief out of that. Davies speculated, that Ced and/or Ceridwen could be a personification of the Moon, a personification of the Ark of Noah, and an apotheosis of the wife of Noah. Davies is very amusing reading.

Revival Druidry has become a path in its own right, regardless of the revaluation of Iolo's texts and different (hopefully historically more correct) reconstructions of pre-Christian Welsh religion that occurred in the inter-war era. As long as no-one today claims or believes, that 19th century Druidry, as a system, describes what pre-Christian Welshmen believed or did, it is a very useful system, transmitting useful spiritual tools to our time: The celebration of Equinoxes and Solstices, for instance.

Quote from: Dynes Hysbys;192251
No idea I'm afraid. I'm not a neo-druid although I was briefly (very briefly) a member of OBOD. I had to google RDNA and Dalon ap Landu... Where on earth did they get that name from!


Personal visions or intuitions, I guess, probably similar to the mytho-poetic states Iolo Morganwg and Robert Graves could have found themselves in (in Iolo's case, perhaps assisted by laudanum). I don't think we have any descriptions of the actual mystical states any of these authors may have experienced. Modern druidry is an living and evolving movement, adding new deities now and then. I saw Order of the Mithril Star worshipping the goddess Sequoia, which sounds like a reasonable addition on the other side of The Pond, as far as reverence for Nature goes. Not all Druids live in a Welsh climate or biotope.

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Re: How do people choose their deities?
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2016, 08:39:17 pm »
Quote from: Sorcha;192253
I hope I don't offend anybody when I say that "Dalon ap Landu" sounds like a character from Star Wars.... I know "ap" is Welsh, but still. Ahem. As I said, I hope I don't offend anybody if that's their own personal deity. :/


I haven't met any Druid 'of the Reform', as they often style themselves (though I gladly would like to), but from what I have read about - and by - them, they seem to have a great sense of humour and self-irony. I doubt they would be offended.

I commune with Dalon ap Landu and The Earth Mother eight times a year - i.e. to the degree it is possible without having someone ordained into The Reform around. The water i drink solitarily at the eight festivals is not blessed the Reform way. My personal guess, is that Dalon ap Landu is a thoughtform.

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