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Let me start by saying, first of all, that I am a (fairly) hard polytheist. I won't go so far as to say that every single deity name that comes up in mythology is, in fact, a separtate and individual deity. I think that some of them are alternate names for some gods, or that some of them are shades of another god.

For a bit more clarity on that last thought, I'll paste a comment that I made to A blog post on the subject

I get what you’re saying here. It sounds like you’re trying to say in much deeper terms that all of the gods are some of the gods, no?

I also agree that in many cases, a god will appear across pantheons, in different names but that not all gods that appear similar are the same. Most of what I believe about specific deities is pretty much limited to Greek and Roman/Pre-Roman Italic because that’s what I know best and even then, most of it is based only on what I’ve read of mythology, history and religion and based on that, what I’ve decided makes sense to me- though I hope this is a little better than just pulling it out of my ass. I believe that the Greek Apollo and the Roman Apollo are the same god while Artemis and Diana are not the same goddess and Leto and Latona might be the same but I don’t know. I don’t think that Ares and Mars are the same god, or that Aphrodite and Venus are the same goddess. I also don’t think that Apollo is Soranus or Veiovis or Bellenos or Lugh or most of the other gods of which people frequently say he is a cognate- and I am absolutely certain that he is not Helios or Aesklepios though I’m pretty sure that he is Paeon (and to make it more confusing, that Aesklepios might also be), but I think they are all related in varying degrees of closeness. I also think he’s related in some manner to Heimdall and- at least in my extremely limited knowledge- Bragi.

So...there are many separatre, disstinct gods- it's just that not every single name ever is a distinct god. Many, maybe even most are, some aren't.

I am also a panentheist. I believe that the divine is within everything. When I say that I believe the Divine is within everything, I mean that I believe that there is some "stuff" that I call "The Divine" of which there is a little bit in everything. I also believe that this is the basic building block of life for the gods, other non-corporeal beings, and probably for the souls/spirits of such things that have souls or spirits (I'm not an animist, I think I'm semi-animistic, but as far as what exact things I beieve to have spirits versus what doesn't, I haven't exactly made up my mind. Some thing are obvious, others..not so much- but that's wandering a little off-topic here, so maybe some other time.) Please don't misunderstand me- I'm not an emanationist. I don't believe in "The One" or "The all" or whatever you want to call the idea of a single, supreme entity even beyond the gods from which they, uh, emanate. When I say that I believe The Divine is "the basic buildig block of life" for the gods, I mean it in the same sense that carbon is called "the basic building block of life" for physical life. I don't believe that the gods emanate from this one source any more than I believe that plants and adnimals emanate from a cloud of carbon.

I believe in their literal existence. The gods are not "energies" or "thoughtforms" or "archetypes"- this one drives me crazy. the gods are not archetypes. A specific deity may fulfil an archetype, but that's different. An archetype is not a specific example, but a general idea, a stock character. "Love Goddess" and Thunder God" are archetypes. Aphrodite and Zeus are examples which fulfill the archetype.

I said in my last post that I believe that the gods are the supreme beings, I could just copy and paste my second to last paragraph from that post here...but you've probably already read it if you're reading this and if not, if you care to read the bit I elebotrated on that, you can just go back and look.

I don't know if the gods are necissarily male or female, "young" or "old", or each other's mothers and fathers and sons and daughters but I don't think it's not possible that these things are true of them. I also don't think that it's wrong to ascribe human wants, needs and emotions to them. These may be human traits, but I don't think that the gods would reveal themselves in this way if there were no meaning and purpose to it. Of course, I also think it's very possible that humans got all of these traits from the gods themselves.

I believe that the gods are above us, they are to be worshipped and respected and loved. They are not our equals, they are not below us. They can be worked with, but they are not to be used.

This is where I get ranty. As I frequent a number of online pagan forums, I see a lot of things that annoy me. One of the big ones is how people treat the gods. People saying "I dno't worship the gods because I don't bow down to anyone" or "I useed Aphrodite for my Beltane spell last week" or "Hey, I don't know anything about them, butI think it would be a brilliant idea to call Hathor and Quetzalcoal for my Equinox ritual, wanns join in?" all just make me want to bang my head against the most covenient brick wall- and then grab them and do the same to them. Seriously...learn what words mean and learn a little respect for the gods. And learn a thing or two about them while you're at it. Because nothing says clueless like "Apollo's my favorite god because I'm gay and he's gay!" or "Apollo and Artemis go together so they're like the perfect Wiccan lord and lady!!!"

Okay, it looks like I managed to keep the rant pretty short. Tay me.

Da List )


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Memories of Pain and Light

July 2013

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