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Author Topic: Mixing Pantheism and Polytheism  (Read 4499 times)

Aeto

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Mixing Pantheism and Polytheism
« on: December 09, 2011, 09:02:29 pm »
I've heard some people describe themselves as a "Celtic Pantheist", "Norse Pantheist", "Hellenic Pantheist" or a "Kemetic Pantheist" for example. I've always felt Pantheism spoke to me, as does Polytheism. How is it possible to be a Polytheist and a Pantheist at the same time? Pantheists dont believe in any deities and see the universe as synonymous with God yet Polytheists believe in many deities. How is it possible to mix the two together?

Miss

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Re: Mixing Pantheism and Polytheism
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2011, 11:02:21 pm »
Quote from: Aeto;34112
I've heard some people describe themselves as a "Celtic Pantheist", "Norse Pantheist", "Hellenic Pantheist" or a "Kemetic Pantheist" for example. I've always felt Pantheism spoke to me, as does Polytheism. How is it possible to be a Polytheist and a Pantheist at the same time? Pantheists dont believe in any deities and see the universe as synonymous with God yet Polytheists believe in many deities. How is it possible to mix the two together?

 
There's a decent essay on Witchvox about a woman who calls her belief poly-pantheism. She's hard polytheistic,too. I'd recommend searching for it.

Also, there's soft polytheism, and the gods are archetypes. In the case of pantheism I'd assume it's different facets of the single energy source.

SunflowerP

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Re: Mixing Pantheism and Polytheism
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2011, 03:36:54 am »
Quote from: Aeto;34112
I've heard some people describe themselves as a "Celtic Pantheist", "Norse Pantheist", "Hellenic Pantheist" or a "Kemetic Pantheist" for example. I've always felt Pantheism spoke to me, as does Polytheism. How is it possible to be a Polytheist and a Pantheist at the same time? Pantheists dont believe in any deities and see the universe as synonymous with God yet Polytheists believe in many deities. How is it possible to mix the two together?

 
False conundrum - just because pantheists see the universe as divine doesn't preclude belief in those beings to whom the term "deities" is usually applied.

Particular sorts of pantheists - f'ex, naturalistic pantheists (that's the stuff Richard Dawkins has described as "sexed-up atheism") - don't believe in any deities, but that's not the only sort there is.

One of the sticking points about this, often, is what one means by "god".  If a being must be omnipresent/omniscient/omnipotent to count as a god, then the beings honored by polytheists aren't gods, but that's no less the case with ancient polytheisms than with modern polytheisms - yet people still speak meaningfully of "the Greek gods" or "the Egyptian gods", so clearly "omni this-that-and-the-other" isn't the only possible definition.  What naturalistic pantheists mean by the adjective "naturalistic" is that they don't believe in supernatural deities - but to many, perhaps most, polytheistic pantheists, that's a meaningless distinction; if our deities were supernatural, outside nature, we wouldn't be pantheists, we'd be panentheists.

Sunflower
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Fagan_the_Pagan

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Re: Mixing Pantheism and Polytheism
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2011, 10:03:04 pm »
Quote from: Aeto;34112
I've heard some people describe themselves as a "Celtic Pantheist", "Norse Pantheist", "Hellenic Pantheist" or a "Kemetic Pantheist" for example. I've always felt Pantheism spoke to me, as does Polytheism. How is it possible to be a Polytheist and a Pantheist at the same time? Pantheists dont believe in any deities and see the universe as synonymous with God yet Polytheists believe in many deities. How is it possible to mix the two together?

 
It is possible to mix polytheism and pantheism by having at least 2 different kinds of "gods."  You have a number of gods that you can worship, love, hate, honor, fight, be ambivalent toward, etc.  This is 1 kind of god.  These are all, however, are a part of the big picture: these gods are all a part of one greater god that is made up of everything in existence.  This is the second kind of god.
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SunflowerP

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Re: Mixing Pantheism and Polytheism
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2011, 08:16:21 pm »
Quote from: Fagan_the_Pagan;35185
It is possible to mix polytheism and pantheism by having at least 2 different kinds of "gods."  You have a number of gods that you can worship, love, hate, honor, fight, be ambivalent toward, etc.  This is 1 kind of god.  These are all, however, are a part of the big picture: these gods are all a part of one greater god that is made up of everything in existence.  This is the second kind of god.

 
I'd go farther and say that the second one needn't be seen as (a) God.  While a lot of people will, as a quick and simple way of explaining pantheism, say, "The universe is G/god," it's more accurate to say that, for pantheists, everything/the universe is divine, which includes the pantheists that do consider it a deity without excluding the pantheists who don't.  I find that phrasing it as, "the universe is G/god," is mostly useful only when talking to people who can't wrap their heads around religion that doesn't involve a capital-G God.

Sunflower
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