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Author Topic: Patron Gods  (Read 2874 times)

Exequiae

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Patron Gods
« on: October 09, 2012, 01:33:31 pm »
How do you know who is your patron god?  For example, there are more than 200 Celtic deities - how do you know that one of them will be yours?

Also, on a more Judeo-Christian footing (don't shoot me down on this one, I am not a Christian, but I've been thinking . . .) how do you know it really is the god and not (as a Christian may say) Satan?

Gilbride

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 01:49:07 pm »
Quote from: Exequiae;76217
How do you know who is your patron god?


"Patron god" isn't really the right term- historically, gods patronize cities or crafts or tribes, but not individual people. It would be correct to describe yourself as the devotee of a particular god, but you don't pick one from a list. Many pagans are not devotees of any specific god. Some pagans have had personal spiritual experiences with particular gods and have decided to devote themselves to that god (or gods). If it happens to you, you'll know. If it doesn't, don't worry about it, as it's perfectly normal and valid to just worship all the gods equally rather than becoming a devotee of one.

veggiewolf

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 01:59:54 pm »
Quote from: Exequiae;76217
How do you know who is your patron god?  For example, there are more than 200 Celtic deities - how do you know that one of them will be yours?


You don't.  Some people get there, and some don't.  It is perfectly normal and acceptable to have some sort of pagan religious practice without having a patron god.

Quote
Also, on a more Judeo-Christian footing (don't shoot me down on this one, I am not a Christian, but I've been thinking . . .) how do you know it really is the god and not (as a Christian may say) Satan?


Practice. ;)

On a more serious note, Satan isn't of concern to me as I don't practice a faith that includes that concept.
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Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
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veggiewolf

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 02:02:48 pm »
Quote from: Gilbride;76220
"Patron god" isn't really the right term- historically, gods patronize cities or crafts or tribes, but not individual people.


That's a misconception.  Some people do have a patron deity.  Others do not.

Quote
It would be correct to describe yourself as the devotee of a particular god, but you don't pick one from a list.


Actually, picking from a list is an acceptable way to start learning about particular deities.  I wouldn't recommend randomly picking a deity to worship without learning about it first, however.

Quote
Many pagans are not devotees of any specific god. Some pagans have had personal spiritual experiences with particular gods and have decided to devote themselves to that god (or gods). If it happens to you, you'll know. If it doesn't, don't worry about it, as it's perfectly normal and valid to just worship all the gods equally rather than becoming a devotee of one.

 
Yep.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

Nachtigall

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 02:15:41 pm »
Quote from: Gilbride;76220
It would be correct to describe yourself as the devotee of a particular god, but you don't pick one from a list.

 
It may be done for right reasons as well - for example, choosing a deity that oversees your occupation (a good idea in any case - f.ex. for someone who works in commerce having a good relationship with Hermes wouldn't hurt), or the one that represents the principles you hold important. As long as one is being respectful and doesn't expect immediate answer from a deity, I don't see anything wrong with that.

Gilbride

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2012, 02:43:12 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;76222
That's a misconception.  Some people do have a patron deity.  Others do not.


My point was that the term "patron god" historically always applied to the patron god of a city or a craft or a nation, never to individual deity-worshiper relationships. I fully acknowledge the validity of the relationship, just not the term used to describe it by some folks. For instance, I'm a devotee of Brighid but I don't call Brighid my "patron god" just because I don't think it's a historically accurate term. It would be accurate to say that she is the patron of my craft, which is poetry.

Sarkana-night

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2012, 03:08:24 pm »
Quote from: Exequiae;76217
How do you know who is your patron god?

 

I don't know, since I do not have a patron deity. I just think it is something you know, when gods are your patrons. I've heard about some cases where the gods have told people about their patronage in dreams, and a few other things, but you don't actually need to have a patron. Many people don't have one. I don't

sassafras

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2012, 03:59:53 pm »
Quote from: Exequiae;76217

Also, on a more Judeo-Christian footing (don't shoot me down on this one, I am not a Christian, but I've been thinking . . .) how do you know it really is the god and not (as a Christian may say) Satan?


Christianity is one of the few religions that views their god as an absolute good, meaning by necessity there has to exist an absolute evil, otherwise there wouldn't be anything to blame all the bad stuff on (and scare you into being good). Pagan deities seem to be more like us--they have good aspects and bad aspects. Just on a larger scale. Since they aren't an absolute good, there isn't an absolute evil. I'm pretty new to all this too, though, so correct me if I'm wrong.

iulla

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2012, 08:36:40 pm »
Quote from: Gilbride;76228
My point was that the term "patron god" historically always applied to the patron god of a city or a craft or a nation, never to individual deity-worshiper relationships. I fully acknowledge the validity of the relationship, just not the term used to describe it by some folks. For instance, I'm a devotee of Brighid but I don't call Brighid my "patron god" just because I don't think it's a historically accurate term. It would be accurate to say that she is the patron of my craft, which is poetry.


That's what I used to think as well, but lately I haven't been so sure.

When we're talking about ancient sources, a real problem that we have is bias.  I know for the case of ancient Rome, f'ex, most things that we have are written by the very upper crust of the society - something like a whopping 2%.  So we really don't have a good idea of what the common man/woman would have believed - and there are inscriptions to deities that have nothing to do with an occupation, but are referred to as the "patron" of so-and-so.

With that said, for the most part my patron deities are related to occupation and tradition.  Mercurius for language/travel, Minerva for learning, etc.  However...I'm working on figuring out who someone else is, who fairly recently showed up during a meditation and I'm pretty certain had no occupational reason to be there.
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Laveth

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2012, 10:19:09 pm »
Quote from: Exequiae;76217
How do you know who is your patron god?  For example, there are more than 200 Celtic deities - how do you know that one of them will be yours?

Also, on a more Judeo-Christian footing (don't shoot me down on this one, I am not a Christian, but I've been thinking . . .) how do you know it really is the god and not (as a Christian may say) Satan?

 

Did you know that Lucifer used to be the name of the planet Venus, i.e. the morning star, i.e. the lightbringer?

To answer your question, I follow the Slavic pantheon (Slovene, in particular), which has its own different perspective on what "deities" are. But I knew my place and my path and how it hinged into my entire existence all at the same exact moment many years ago and I haven't been the same since. To put it simply (and possibly a bit cryptically), I just knew, and thus became, and couldn't be anything else with any other 'soul.'

Yeah I know, I'm probably a crazy person and that was probably pretty cryptic, best I can do. :)

Gilbride

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2012, 09:31:26 am »
Quote from: iulla;76255
and there are inscriptions to deities that have nothing to do with an occupation, but are referred to as the "patron" of so-and-so.


Do you know where I could find more info on those inscriptions? Thanks!

Maps

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2012, 11:44:31 am »
Quote from: Gilbride;76228
My point was that the term "patron god" historically always applied to the patron god of a city or a craft or a nation, never to individual deity-worshiper relationships. I fully acknowledge the validity of the relationship, just not the term used to describe it by some folks. For instance, I'm a devotee of Brighid but I don't call Brighid my "patron god" just because I don't think it's a historically accurate term. It would be accurate to say that she is the patron of my craft, which is poetry.


Yeah I think it's important to note also that it's possible to have a strong relationship with a god as a devotee, with intercommunication and everything, without that god being a patron in either the neo-pagan or more traditional/occupational sense.

iulla

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2012, 12:31:43 pm »
Quote from: Gilbride;76283
Do you know where I could find more info on those inscriptions? Thanks!


A good deal of scholarly works on cult deities exist that have sections on inscriptions and votive offerings.  I just finished reading a book that was focused on the worship of Bona Dea, and it had a good hundred or so pages focused on just those things - not to mention the other several hundred pages on letters and writings from contemporaries.  

I can't think of any exact sources, per se, but if you can find scholarly works on cult deities (in the Roman sense maybe the deities Bacchus, Isis, Cybele/Magna Mater, and Bona Dea), you should be set!  Most things are available at libraries and universities, if you have one near you, but you might be able to find sections online (like on Google Books or Scribd).
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TonupGael

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2012, 04:38:46 pm »
Quote from: Exequiae;76217
How do you know who is your patron god?  For example, there are more than 200 Celtic deities - how do you know that one of them will be yours?

Also, on a more Judeo-Christian footing (don't shoot me down on this one, I am not a Christian, but I've been thinking . . .) how do you know it really is the god and not (as a Christian may say) Satan?


I don't think there's any evidence that the Celts had any Patron Deities. When ever I think of Patron I think of the Catholic ideology of Saints being Patron of worshippers. Until its been proven its hard to say if the Celts and any other Pagan societies had a concept of Patron. The only concept I can think of that is similar is certain Gods being friends with specific peoples like smiths, farmers..ect...Not sure if Patron is akin to being a friend though....

Ma'atemhat

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Re: Patron Gods
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2012, 12:55:58 am »
Quote from: Laveth;76266
To put it simply (and possibly a bit cryptically), I just knew, and thus became, and couldn't be anything else with any other 'soul.'


Yeah. That's pretty much how you know. Sometimes it hits you like a bolt of lightening, sometimes it takes time, but in the end, you'll just know. But until that happens, just research the gods that sound appealing to you, and get to know them by giving offerings and prayers. Also, I think it's possible to have more than one patron.
Exploring spirituality somewhere between the Emerald Isle and the Black Land: http://emeraldandblack.blogspot.com/

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