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Switch to Forum Live View Does everyone have gods?
6 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2008 - 11:46PM #1
Jim46
Posts: 289
Maybe no one would claim to *know* if everyone has gods, but what's you're best guess? Do you imagine that every person has gods that would eventually contact her, if she were open to it?

Jim
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2008 - 1:23AM #2
John_T_Mainer
Posts: 1,658
[QUOTE=Jim46;389209]Maybe no one would claim to *know* if everyone has gods, but what's you're best guess? Do you imagine that every person has gods that would eventually contact her, if she were open to it?

Jim[/QUOTE]

The gods are our most ancient and sacred ancestors.  We are their mortal children.  If you live, then you have ancestors.  If you have ancestors, then at their most ancient roots you will find the gods of your tribe.  Unless your family is from some remote valley cut off from the rest of the world, you have the blood of a hundred tribes in you, and may feel the call of gods of many different tribes.

Its a bit like having grandparents, we all have them.  Wether you listen to them or not is up to you, and like most grandparents, they are always willing to talk to those who would listen to them.  Trying to figure out how to connect with them is another story.

In ancient times it was effortless, as all were raised in harmony with the ways of their people, and knew the rites and spirits of their own folk.  We still live in a world whose spirits speak to us, where our ancestors watch over us, and our gods answer us.  We just have hundreds of years of forgetting HOW between us, and where we once were.  Don't sweat the details, the gods understand that we are stumbling blind on paths grown wild and untended.  They make allowances.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2008 - 6:41AM #3
Jim46
Posts: 289
Thank you!
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2008 - 8:52AM #4
CreakyHedgewitch
Posts: 1,244
I do appreciate the assurance John has offered to you but as John practices a reconstructed ethnic faith, let me broaden the response(s) to your question, Jim.

We know very little about what happened in ancient times and that which comes down to us through ethnic oral traditions is edited and adapted based on the priorities and needs of each successive generation. Whenever such are frozen into writing, these again are adapted and edited by author(s) and reader(s). Neo-Paganism over the past 70+ years has been a prime example of how editing and adapting has been used to create ethnic frameworks no longer connected (or even relevant) to the original peoples, places and contexts.  And as we don’t know enough to contradict what ends up being customised to our modern priorities and needs, these sources can and do serve the purposes envisioned. Whether what we envision and claim as ‘ancient times’ truly has any relevance to what happened in the past may also be unimportant today with regards to actual spiritual practices. Well, except perhaps as a source of dismay for those seriously studying what little can be studied of history. :\

Given human kind’s profound need towards individuality combined with long held patterns of migration and wandering, I sincerely doubt that a blanket motherhood statement such as ‘all were raised in harmony….’ could ever have been universally accurate. Inspiring and comforting yes but the endless nitty-gritty of human history is rarely either of these. It can be said that all human beings obviously do have ethnic histories and family trees by necessity must have ethnic roots, often drawing from different cultures in the lands where Neo-Paganism flourishes. Many Neo-Pagans and their families don’t have much or any connection to their ancestral roots. This is one reason why Dianic or Feminist (Neo-) Paganism back in the 70’s began using an interchangeable and mixable global pantheon, albeit of goddesses only. A Dianic could choose based on her known ethnicity or just because she resonated to or liked certain goddesses. This is another prime example of that editing and adapting, by the way. Now those within Reconstructed faiths do have advantages such as linguistic, mythological and familial sources to draw upon but even they remain challenged by those layers of editorials by the intervening generations. It is also debated whether Reconstructionists should be identified as part of this modern Movement but that is another topic.

There is also this to consider. Understanding a localised or ethnic deity as originally meant to be understood depends profoundly on context. Context includes not only what led up to the ‘now’ but also the where, how, why, with whom and when one lived or lives that constitutes the ‘now’. If you change the ‘now’ – the context -  you are going to change and even negate your ability to comprehend and relate to a specific deity in the same way as in the original context. Does this negate viable and valid relationships to ethnic/ancestral gods? No, the gods continue as John pointed out. It does mean however that how we would relate to such deities will be based on our where, how, why, with whom and when that we live today. As modern folks not as our ancestors and this is far easier done within a Reconstructed framework than not where ancestral gods are concerned. Still, it can be argued that one simply can’t relate in the same way and also as someone living today, that one would not wish to do so. That relating to a deity must be and can only be done within one’s own context/now. That your context/now will in turn alter your understanding of a deity from that which ancient folks would have had and also from that found within the relevant surviving ethnic people alive today.

Many Neo-Pagans don’t have a Reconstructed framework to draw upon and often the accessible sources that they gravitate towards are edited and adapted to the point that historical credibility remains an ongoing issue. Yet so long as their relationships to these gods are based within their own contexts and on what works for that individual, such relationships can be viable and valid. Neo-Pagans can also  choose ancestral gods that have nothing to do with their own family heritage, especially when they don’t know much about their ancestry/family history or don’t care as ethnicity isn’t relevant to their lives today.

The mythological history that weaves its way through so many definitions of Neo-Paganism encourages selection of ancient gods but there are those who don’t choose ancestral gods at all. The range of definitions for the Divine within modern Neo-Paganism transcends just known/ancient deities. To use an example I am rather familiar with, I as a Dianic belong to the tradition whose definition of the Divine are modern goddesses with no ancestral connections at all. They are deities of the 'now' today in a modern context. Which is about all I can talk to re my Gods, the rest being oathbound. However, I will mention that by the 90's, the Dianic global pantheon of goddesses has been so edited, adapted and filtered through feminist priorities, it was felt that none of the ‘ancient/ethnic’ goddesses being named/claimed were the same deities as the originals.

Now I have no wish to detract from whatever assurances John has offered you, only that you should not close off possibilities for being contacted or as to how you perceive the Divine. No human being has or will ever fully apprehend the Divine or the Gods or however you wish to call such. No religion or belief system will be the only answer (not that John was doing so...in case anyone made that assumption) and each possibility speaks in its own language about hope, possibility and faith. You always have the choice to narrow down what you listen for but that might also mean that you end up ignoring the means by which 'your gods' are trying to make Themselves known.

C.H.
No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.
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6 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2008 - 12:20PM #5
Jim46
Posts: 289
[QUOTE=CreakyHedgewitch;389615]only that you should not close off possibilities for being contacted or as to how you perceive the Divine.[/QUOTE]

Rest assured, I won't do that!

Jim
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2008 - 11:09PM #6
BlackWingBlueSky
Posts: 386
[QUOTE=Jim46;389209]Maybe no one would claim to *know* if everyone has gods, but what's you're best guess? Do you imagine that every person has gods that would eventually contact her, if she were open to it?

Jim[/QUOTE]

My guess would be "no".  I think some people, such as myself, just aren't supernaturally inclined and while we may appreciate the symbolism and poetry of myths, actual belief in mythic beings is beyond us.  Of course, I also think a lot depends on how the word "god" is being defined.
Sandy

I've seen normal, and I'm not impressed.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 05, 2008 - 11:09PM #7
BlackWingBlueSky
Posts: 386
[QUOTE=Jim46;389209]Maybe no one would claim to *know* if everyone has gods, but what's you're best guess? Do you imagine that every person has gods that would eventually contact her, if she were open to it?

Jim[/QUOTE]

My guess would be "no".  I think some people, such as myself, just aren't supernaturally inclined and while we may appreciate the symbolism and poetry of myths, actual belief in mythic beings is beyond us.  Of course, I also think a lot depends on how the word "god" is being defined.
Sandy

I've seen normal, and I'm not impressed.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2008 - 6:39PM #8
Dromahair
Posts: 559
[QUOTE=BlackWingBlueSky;411435]My guess would be "no".  I think some people, such as myself, just aren't supernaturally inclined and while we may appreciate the symbolism and poetry of myths, actual belief in mythic beings is beyond us.[/QUOTE]

I would point out here that your answer has more to do with your state of mind (belief or non-belief) than in the actuality of the gods.  The last words in Jim's opening post "if she were open to it" speaks toward your point.

For my money, the gods are there.
They may choose to contact you or not at their discretion.
Being open to such contact is a good first step in that direction but does not guarantee anything.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 1:32AM #9
Zeus1
Posts: 8
I worship the mighty Zeus, but that dont mean I dont worship other gods and goddessses though.

why does people think that our "gods" are a myth? what about the christain god? does that count as a myth? if not then our gods and faith is a fact just like theres.

I read a bible wayyyy back then, but boy is it bloody and gore. if your a christain and reading this well i'm sorry but take it with grain of salt. thats my IMO.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 20, 2008 - 11:02AM #10
Gandalf_Parker
Posts: 1,188
Do I have a God?
Thats hard for me to answer because I tend to remain totally open. I dont try to define where anything is coming from. I use the word God to refer to that which is "above" me in any (or many) forms. Such as I will give thanks for my food by praying to God but I dont really try to pin down who that is. Im also open to spirits and "presences" with trying to define them further.

one of my sig lines...
I do not ask for proof of God. In all of the stories that comes off rather like an ant asking for proof of Man.
:: sad expression ::
That poor ant.

Gandalf  Parker
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