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Practical Pagan > Incompatible Old Gods...

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message 1: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Dec 30, 2012 01:44PM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Having recently read some old classical texts I was struck by the generally shitty way many of the deities behave...rape, beastiality, starting wars for giggles, turning folk into trees , demanding blood sacrifices etc.
How does a modern pagan square this with their more modern world view?
I don't know anyone butchering 100 white bulls these days.
There is a part of me that thinks that modern paganism tends to ignore the more uncomfortable "old ways" as most modern xtians tend to ignore Leviticus and some of the more unsavory un-PC parts of the gospels.
Any thoughts?


message 2: by Bryn (last edited Dec 30, 2012 11:27PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 252 comments It's why I like old gods. They are true to life. Excuse the generalisations to follow. They were about what the world is -- not about how to behave. They had a deeper truth. They were our observations on the world and our insights. I find them more scientific in spirit. In that they weren't about ethics or human behaviour, they were about What Is. Thus I go to Dionysus and get a grasp on the universe as she is. I go to the new God and see instruction on how to live my life. Can't be more different in purpose. -- The Old Testament was more about old gods than new gods, if you ask me. You can see this transition from Old Testament to New.


message 3: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Bryn wrote: "Thus I go to Dionysius and get a grasp on the universe as she is..."

...and Orpheus's head is torn off and floats away in the river...


message 4: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments In Vino Veritas, In Cervesio Felicitas...


message 5: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 252 comments Old-Barbarossa wrote: "In Vino Veritas, In Cervesio Felicitas..."

I'm not in either, though you might think so from my talkativenes.

The old gods cuddle up to tragedy, sadness, atrocity, shabbiness -- the whole universe, or existence as we know her. The new gods try to make the universe the perfect thing she ain't. Again, truth in the old.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I think Jehovah has had the most blood spilt in his name.


message 7: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Dec 30, 2012 03:55PM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Georgina wrote: "I think Jehovah has had the most blood spilt in his name."

Aye...in his (or her) name.
But going purely on the texts and myths there's a fair pile of carnage the Olympians are involved in...the feckin' Trojan war...10 years...makes that Jericho thing look like a picnic. And all over an apple ;)...
Zeus caused his own flood and raped anything with a good arse...
And you can't read a book of Homer without livestock being sacrificed en masse for one thing or another.
Now this is just the Olympians...we've not even got to northern wickerman territory or looked at Uppsala yet...
I think many of the old rites were about appeasement rather than worship though.


message 8: by Bryn (last edited Dec 30, 2012 04:03PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 252 comments I hope they were about worship, Old Barb. Even though we have Ygg, the Terrible. Part of life is terrible. Part of the truth is terrible. I can feel worship for Ygg.

But I shall never give rites from fear. I'd be torn apart by wild beasts first.


message 9: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Bryn wrote: "I hope they were about worship, Old Barb. Even though we have Ygg, the Terrible. Part of life is terrible. Part of the truth is terrible. I can feel worship for Ygg.

But I shall never give rites f..."


I don't know. I think many of the old rites have a flavour of "take this and not me" about them...feeding the beast so it isn't hungry for you.
Throwing a spear over your enemy in battle to dedicate them to your god, to feed the god's power so they help in the fight...it's like putting the berserk in the front of the shield wall and not behind you. Point the rage somewhere else...appease it if you will.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, I think the old Gods were a rowdy bunch. I follow Dionysus and we all know what his maenads got up to. Zeus had sex addiction problems and Hera liked to curse those poor souls who unwittingly managed to attract his horny eye. They were jealous, vain, blood thirsty, and all too real. The golden apple 'To the Fairest' is a good example. But really Paris was a fop, and Helen wasn't much better. Beautiful but brainless, is how I've always seen those two. Poor Hector lost everything for the sake of his brother's ego.

I think you're right about the sacrifices being more for appeasement, rather than worship too.

And wasn't Orpheus also the first to say that the altars should not be stained with blood?


message 11: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 252 comments It's a deep question. What I do think is, when you read the books -- not original material, but modern books upon them -- people use the words 'appeasement, propitiation' far too easily, as if that explains everything. I don't think they understand. It's an assumption that misses stuff. So I've come to dislike those words.


message 12: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Dec 30, 2012 04:19PM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Georgina wrote: "I follow Dionysus and we all know what his maenads got up to..."

Ah, this is what I was aiming at...
What makes you (I assume you haven't torn any children/livestock or poets apart recently?) follow the old Jakey in a more civilised manner?
Do they old gods demand less wild tribute now?
Is the blood now symbolic? (The wedding at Cana was in an area where Dionysus was popular, the area was all kinds of Greek in them there days...the water into wine may have won over the home crowd.) Is the wine/blood thing bordering on the xtian now?
I am suddenly reminded of a Burns poem:

There was three kings into the east,
Three kings both great and high,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn should die.
They took a plough and plough'd him down,
Put clods upon his head,
And they hae sworn a solemn oath
John Barleycorn was dead.
But the cheerful Spring came kindly on'
And show'rs began to fall;
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surpris'd them all.
The sultry suns of Summer came,
And he grew thick and strong:
His head weel arm'd wi pointed spears,
That no one should him wrong.
The sober Autumn enter'd mild,
When he grew wan and pale;
His bendin joints and drooping head
Show'd he began to fail.
His colour sicken'd more and more,
He faded into age;
And then his enemies began
To show their deadly rage.
They've taen a weapon, long and sharp,
And cut him by the knee;
They ty'd him fast upon a cart,
Like a rogue for forgerie.
They laid him down upon his back,
And cudgell'd him full sore.
They hung him up before the storm,
And turn'd him o'er and o'er.
They filled up a darksome pit
With water to the brim,
They heav'd in John Barleycorn-
There, let him sink or swim!
They laid him upon the floor,
To work him farther woe;
And still, as signs of life appear'd,
They toss'd him to and fro.
They wasted o'er a scorching flame
The marrow of his bones;
But a miller us'd him worst of all,
For he crush'd him between two atones.
And they hae taen his very hero blood
And drank it round and round;
And still the more and more they drank,
Their joy did more abound.
John Barleycorn was a hero bold,
Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
'Twill make your courage rise.
'Twill make a man forget his woe;
'Twill heighten all his joy:
'Twill make the widow's heart to sing,
Tho the tear were in her eye.
Then let us toast John Barleycorn,
Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne'er fail in old Scotland!


message 13: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) My view on it is that as life became easier, the perception of the gods became easier. When life is short, brutal and nasty, the gods tend to be brutal and nasty, because that is the limit of human perception. As we grew, our gods grew with us.


message 14: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Margaret wrote: "As we grew, our gods grew with us..."

Maybe some did...but YHVH is still used to justify all sorts of crazy.
So what you seem to be saying is that the more modern we are becoming in our lifstyle, the easier lifestyle, the less demanding our gods are?
So are they really the same gods?
Is there a pagan version (not textually obviously, but in practical terms) of the Old/New Testament divide?


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm not sure I can rationalise following Dionysus. Hey, I don't even like wine, and as for madness, well, I'll pass. I'm a hippy vegetarian too, (although I wouldn't call myself a pacifist anymore), with no urges to rend and tear living flesh :). But I know all too well what happens to those that then decide to follow Apollo instead...

I also agree with Margaret, I think our Gods evolve with us. All things change.

Great poem by the way.


message 16: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) Old-Barbarossa wrote: "Margaret wrote: "As we grew, our gods grew with us..."

Maybe some did...but YHVH is still used to justify all sorts of crazy.
So what you seem to be saying is that the more modern we are becoming ..."

Not exactly. The gods always existed, but our perceptions of them changed, as our lives and civilizations changed. Witness say the difference between the Anglican Jesus, and the Evangistical version of Jesus. You'd be forgiven thinking you were dealing with two different gods.


message 17: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) Georgina wrote: "I'm not sure I can rationalise following Dionysus. Hey, I don't even like wine, and as for madness, well, I'll pass. I'm a hippy vegetarian too, (although I wouldn't call myself a pacifist anymore)..."
Interestingly, Dionysus is also a healer god, He was called upon to help with mental disorders. Drunkeness or "the little madness" was considered a safety valve preventing "the greater madness" or true insanity.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Lovely! Thank you, Margaret! :):)


message 19: by Bryn (last edited Dec 30, 2012 05:17PM) (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 252 comments I'll hit you with a poem too. Ezra Pound, The Cantos, Canto XXX:

Compleynt, compleynt I hearde upon a day,
Artemis singing, Artemis, Artemis
Agaynst Pity lifted her wail:
Pity causeth the forests to fail,
Pity slayeth my nymphs,
Pity spareth so many an evil thing.
Pity befouleth April,
Pity is the root and the spring.
Now if no fayre creature followeth me
It is on account of Pity,
It is on account that Pity forbideth them slaye.
All things are made foul in this season,
This is the reason, none may seek purity
Having for foulnesse pity
And things growne awry;
No more do my shaftes fly
To slay. Nothing is now cleane slayne
But rotteth away.


Of course, this is Ezra Pound's commentary on the matter, circa whenever he lived.

I'm more into Algernon Charles Swinburne's laments for paganism.


message 20: by Aaron, Moderator (new)

Aaron Carson | 1216 comments My personal believe is that how you honour the Gods depends on your approach. I think if you simply love the Gods and want to express your appreciation, then any offering is enough.

If you want something from the Gods, if your worship is something akin to a proposal for exchange, a transaction, then the price is higher. Blood, livestock, money, sweat, tears. It's gotta be something that matters.


message 21: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Aaron wrote: "... If you want something from the Gods, if your worship is something akin to a proposal for exchange, a transaction, then the price is higher. Blood, livestock, money, sweat, tears. It's gotta be something that matters. "

And, in a world where many are desensitized to violence, and life seems to have been cheapened, perhaps it is appropriate that the price is something expensive in monetary terms, such as a prized piece of jewellery, the finest single dram of malt that one can afford?

As to the behaviour of the old gods, I always understood that (not completely unlike the bible) the myths were cautionary tales; tales to remind us mortals to live a better, more honourable life.


message 22: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Jan 17, 2013 01:10PM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Ancestral wrote: "And, in a world where many are desensitized to violence, and life seems to have been cheapened, perhaps it is appropriate that the price is something expensive in monetary terms, such as a prized piece of jewellery, the finest single dram of malt that one can afford?"

I think that we in the west are fairly insulated from violence rather than desensitised to it...I mean real violence, not TV/movie or videogame violence.
When life was short and brutal and death by violence and disease was common-place there was a higher level of blood sacrifice. I think actual killing desensitises (amongst other things) more than virtual killing, it becomes part of everyday life.
OK there were votive offerings in lakes etc but there was Achilles killing Trojan youths; the whole "9 deaths" thing at Uppsala; plenty goats and assorted livestock.

In antiquity most meat eaten by the masses tended to be as a result of sacrifice. It was a rare part of the diet (apart from fish or the occasional game). Maybe the ready availability of farmed animals takes away one of the driving factors from the blood sacrifice.
Also, there is a less intimate connection between us and our beasts (most of us are a few steps removed from them), we don't need to keep them, we don't depend on them for milk/wool etc, so they are not a sacrifice as they are meaningless in some way.

...and no deity is getting their hands on my Ardmore...you have to draw a line somewhere.


message 23: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 17, 2013 04:31PM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa wrote: "Ancestral wrote: "And, in a world where many are desensitized to violence, and life seems to have been cheapened, perhaps it is appropriate that the price is something expensive in monetary terms, ..."

Old-Barbarossa, you are so full of it. I absolutely disagree most venomously with your post....


message 24: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Georgina wrote: "Love this reply. Spot on..."

Arse...then I have failed...
You're not supposed to agree with me...I'm off back to my cave...


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Oops. It's o.k, I'm back off to mine too...


message 26: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Old-Barbarossa wrote: "In antiquity most meat eaten by the masses tended to be as a result of sacrifice. It was a rare part of the diet (apart from fish or the occasional game). Maybe the ready availability of farmed animals takes away one of the driving factors from the blood sacrifice.

Also, there is a less intimate connection between us and our beasts (most of us are a few steps removed from them), we don't need to keep them, we don't depend on them for milk/wool etc, so they are not a sacrifice as they are meaningless in some way. ..."


In some places meat, red and even game, is quite expensive and so might make an appropriate sacrifice/payment. It's blood in the old sense of the word, and also quite expensive these days especially if you choose organic. Don't most of us opt for more expensive options, luxury goods at times of feasting, now, too? Goose, turkey, beef, boar, etc. during the winter festivals, and don't some offer a portion up to the gods and/or ancestors?

I have two bottles of single malt: one for medicinal purposes (mine), and one for others (gifted). I like to share. ;-D


message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 17, 2013 05:12PM) (new)

Firstly I'll make amends with Old-Barbarossa by going back and editing my post...

Right that's done.

I think it was the blood letting, not the meat itself that was the core of the sacrifice: the release of energy through the death throes. The offering up of meat, grain, or a dram of your best is different though. To me it is the idea of respect shown through gifted harvests.

I also love Orpheus's take on it: you should not stain the altars of the Gods with blood. Interestingly, the Church of Satan believes this too. Animals are carnal creatures (not sure it's the word I'm looking for, but close enough) and therefore held in highest regard. Animal sacrifices are out.

Came back to add a link for anyone who is not aware of the Orphic movement. It is the closest I come to following a religion:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orphism_...


message 28: by Old-Barbarossa (last edited Jan 17, 2013 11:42PM) (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Ancestral wrote: "I have two bottles of single malt: one for medicinal purposes (mine), and one for others (gifted). I like to share. ;-D..."

Aye, we must all keep a bottle of decoy whisky, cooking whisky if you will...and at least one of the good stuff...for personal use and for sharing with those that know where the bodies are buried.

Ancestral: Out of curiosity what are the drams of the moment with yourself? Currently Ardmore (a peated malt from Grampian) and an 18 year old Highland Park (Orkadian and possibly made for Odin's table)...cooking whiskey would be the Jameson (Irish blended, believe it's made in Cork).


message 29: by Aaron, Moderator (new)

Aaron Carson | 1216 comments But for me personally, I find the veneration of the deity for it's own sake, fulfilling in itself. I usually only ask for help in dire need, and in those cases, I just admit to my God, (Goddess) that I'm lost, and I put myself in their hands.

The rest of my worship is basically comparable to fan mail. Very elaborate fan mail.

I must admit that I consider the idea of animal sacrifice to be slightly profane, and counterproductive to the idea of sacrifice itself. If you take into account that the animals, are themselves the creations of the Gods, then by slaughtering them, you are in essence, stealing from the Gods, as they don't belong to you in the first place.

I do think the Gods can be impressed, if you relinquish something you hold dear, in order to honour them though.


message 30: by Aaron, Moderator (new)

Aaron Carson | 1216 comments Old-Barbarossa wrote: ".I'm off back to my cave..."

Georgina wrote: " I'm back off to mine too..."

I love that you both have a cave. My own room as rather cave like. My windows look out into a rock jutting out from the side of the mountain about a half a foot away. You can't tell if it's day or night in my room, and people who come here lose track of time. I love my cave.

When my friends and I say, "I'm in the cave." It means we've withdrawn from the field of gain and loss.


message 31: by [deleted user] (new)

Aaron wrote: "But for me personally, I find the veneration of the deity for it's own sake, fulfilling in itself. I usually only ask for help in dire need, and in those cases, I just admit to my God, (Goddess) th..."

Now I think your post is spot on (hope I don't offend you too, Aaron!) I agree about animal sacrifice being counterproductive. We are animals too, and we all trace our origins back to blue-green algae and bacteria. There is no separation.

Our little house in our valley is my cave (we built it ourselves). I'm a recluse. I seldom venture into town. I'll admit I don't like people very much. Individuals are o.k, it's large numbers of them that short-circuit me.

Love your "I'm in the cave". :):)


message 32: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Georgina wrote: "Firstly I'll make amends with Old-Barbarossa by going back and editing my post..."

;)


message 33: by Ancestral (last edited Jan 18, 2013 06:12PM) (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) Old-Barbarossa wrote: "Ancestral: Out of curiosity what are the drams of the moment with yourself? Currently Ardmore (a peated malt from Grampian) and an 18 year old Highland Park (Orkadian and possibly made for Odin's table)...cooking whiskey would be the Jameson (Irish blended, believe it's made in Cork). "

Ah, well it's 15 y.o. Dalwhinnie for me, and offerings, and, like you, Jameson's for cooking, and blending into hot toddies for medicinal use.


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

And Athol Brose, yumm...


message 35: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 252 comments I like a Laphroaig. A Talisker. Ah, single malts of the past. I am without them at the moment.


message 36: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Bryn wrote: "I like a Laphroaig..."

It's the one Islay I can't take...think it tastes like TCP.
I do enjoy the Talisker though, made a Gae Bolga's throw from where Scáthach tutored the wee hound of Ulster.


message 37: by Bryn (new)

Bryn Hammond (brynhammond) | 252 comments The truth is, I pick the bottles with the funniest names. I know I'll swoon over any of them.


message 38: by Neill (new)

Neill Smith | 2 comments Balvenie or Lagavulin in addition to the Laphroaig Quarter Cask or the Talisker? Spelling is probably terrible - I'm too lazy to go to the cabinet. Oh - and Aardberg - even with its taste of creosote.


message 39: by Old-Barbarossa (new)

Old-Barbarossa | 591 comments Just watched the Uppsala episode of the MGM tv series "Vikings". Thought it was well done.
Anyone else been watching it?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2306299/?...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_a...


message 40: by Nell (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments No, but thanks for the link.


message 41: by Ancestral (new)

Ancestral Gaidheal (gaidheal) It's not been released in the UK - yet.


message 42: by Little (new)

Little Miss Esoteric (littlemissesoteric) | 1116 comments I'm coming back to OBs thread as this subject has been on my mind lately. Here's my take on it now. I think so much has been romanticised or whitewashed, the gods included. The Age of Reason shone 'a candle in the dark', and gave rational answers that gradually overrode superstition. But in the process, that very rationality blinkered us. If it couldn't be seen or tested, it didn't exist.

Then the Romantic movement of the Industrial Revolution era, well, it romanticised pretty much bloody everything: poor rural living, squalor, dying of consumption, going mad, and the gods, including Pan.

This coincided with the rising Spiritualist movement and the invention of the Ouija board as a 'parlor game'. Another romanticisation of communication with the spirit world, as a fun and frivolous past time. (Which was in turn taken up as channeling, by the New Age movement.)

Re the gods and the Romantic movement, Pan is an interesting example. To the Romantics he was a gentle woodland god, when in all actuality he was a horny bastard, who inspired panic and madness, and would root you, as soon as look at you (excuse my frankness :)). He was constantly raping the unwary.

But do the ancient gods actually change, just because we have? Just because we prefer not to dwell on a god's bloody past aren't we still praying and sending energy into all that deity encompasses? I love animals probably more than humans. And yet I've followed Dionysus/Bacchus since I was a child. How could I justify the ritualistic slaying and sacrifices? The Amanita muscaria fueled frenzies, the eating of raw flesh, giving oneself over to the god? How could I take what I wanted from my god, and ignore the rest?

To me the same goes for the Christian god of vengeance, hell, smiting and what not. Not interested in that bloke either, no matter how much more pleasant his demeanor is nowadays, he is still the same inside.

So, I reckon it's all been romanticised, we have lost our fear, our belief, but therefore also our caution. The pink Ouija board by Hasbro summed it up for me.

Excuse the rambling thoughts...:)


message 43: by Nell (last edited Aug 18, 2013 06:14AM) (new)

Nell Grey (nellgrey) | 1682 comments I think you've just about summed up the evolution of the gods, Gina. Yet it would be odd if the gods were the exception to what seems to be the rule that nothing remains the same - that everything evolves and adapts to changing location and circumstances.

The most ancient gods were presumably personifications of natural forces - this may have made them easier to relate to and thus placate in ages when the science wasn't even guessed at, let alone understood.

In another thread OB quoted AC:

“In this book it is spoken of the Sephiroth and the Paths; of Spirits and Conjurations; of Gods, Spheres, Planes, and many other things which may or may not exist. It is immaterial whether these exist or not. By doing certain things certain results will follow; students are most earnestly warned against attributing objective reality or philosophic validity to any of them.”
― Aleister Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice"


And I guess it depends how much truth one invests in this statement, which applies to gods as well as anything else invoked or conjured up.

I know it's another thread, but your post must surely relate to the Hungry Ghosts discussion. Are you saying that if hungry ghosts have an objective non-material reality (oxymoron?) they could easily impersonate anything anyone might invoke including those ancient gods?

If the gods have evolved for a new age and to meet new needs (or if they've been recreated in a more appropriate image whilst retaining the most recent version of their names), surely the intent and belief of the practitioner (for want of a better word) must have an influence on whatever is at work here (whether within or without).

As for the pink Ouija board... *~*


message 44: by Little (last edited Aug 18, 2013 05:09PM) (new)

Little Miss Esoteric (littlemissesoteric) | 1116 comments I suppose I'm wondering about the whole gamut now: gods, devas, demigods, demons, discarnate spirits, etc.

I reckon Crowley was a wise man, despite his showman ways. Belief/worship/prayer = energy. Pratchett gets it in his book: Small Gods

I know I said in the Hungry Ghosts thread that I thought the behaviour of the gods was more in keeping with people, or hungry ghosts, than gods. But if I take the idea of the gods or devas from the Buddhist perspective, the behaviour fits:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deva_(Bu...

And the realms in relation the Tibetan Wheel of Life: http://www.goodreads.com/photo/group/...
http://www.goodreads.com/photo/group/...

The Buddhists say Enlightenment cannot be reached through the deva realm, only through the human. I may be godless now, but it's not because I don't believe in them, it's because I am unsure who, or what, I have been directing my energy towards. I'm trying to sidestep them on my journey, ditto the demons and hungry ghosts.

Also, I do question whether the gods have evolved. As far as I know, worship of the Greek Titans is far less prevalent than of the younger Olympians (&co). As we evolved new, younger gods, rose up to take the place of the old.

I also suppose I'm saying that if we are going to worship a particular deity, we should be aware of all that that deity encompasses--past and present. If my god of choice had sacrifices of newborn infants, or ritual torture, or immolation, dedicated in his, or her name, then that is part of that deity. I may not wish to dwell on such aspects, but that's beside the point. Of course many of the gods and goddesses are benevolent, but if you worship Ares, for instance, you get the War God in his entirety: bloodthirsty, arrogant and full of anger.

Mind you I'm thinking aloud here, and you can see by my earlier replies to this thread, that my stance has changed a lot.

Re hungry ghosts and gods, I think that discarnates have long used divination and mediumship for their own purposes. For instance, the Pentecostals, who speak in tongues. Looks more like straight out possession, than anything godlike to me...

Nell wrote: " for the pink Ouija board... *~* " Yes. There is a naivety present nowadays that I find very unsettling :/


message 45: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (margyw) Oh my, and here was me thinking I was the only one who viewed pentacostal "speaking in tongues" like that. Any time I've raised the subject I have got very weird looks indeed.


message 46: by Little (new)

Little Miss Esoteric (littlemissesoteric) | 1116 comments Margaret wrote: "Oh my, and here was me thinking I was the only one who viewed pentacostal "speaking in tongues" like that. Any time I've raised the subject I have got very weird looks indeed."

I'm with you all the way on this one. It creeps me out. But they are offering an open invitation for 'the spirit' to possess them. Anyone can answer that call. I would think if I was a discarnate or hungry ghost unable to pass on, it would be a hoot...


message 47: by Sara (new)

Sara Little wrote: "I suppose I'm wondering about the whole gamut now: gods, devas, demigods, demons, discarnate spirits, etc.

I reckon Crowley was a wise man, despite his showman ways. Belief/worship/prayer = energ..."


I agree that it is important to know as much as one can about the deities one invokes. My only caveat to this is to make sure that what you "know" is an accurate reflection of the archeological and historical record rather than only the "mythological" or heresay record.

Sekhmet, for example, is misunderstood by many as a bloodthirsty killer of humankind, and a goddess of war. Without the context, one might assume this is all there is to her. What's often neglected is the healing side of her. Her priests were known for their healing skills. She is, like so many deities, a duality. It's how one invokes and uses these attributes that matters. There is destruction in healing. . .what does an antibiotic do, for example, but destroy microbes, also a living organism, though harmful to a human.

I'm wandering a bit. . . .I suppose my point is that we shouldn't dismiss the old gods/goddesses out of hand. We should study and learn.


message 48: by Little (new)

Little Miss Esoteric (littlemissesoteric) | 1116 comments Sara wrote: "Little wrote: "I suppose I'm wondering about the whole gamut now: gods, devas, demigods, demons, discarnate spirits, etc.

I reckon Crowley was a wise man, despite his showman ways. Belief/worship..."


Good points, Sara, especially about the duality. I can see that in Hecate, as a bringer of death: a goddess feared by some, but to others, especially those who are suffering, she is the deliverer of a much welcome release.


message 49: by Sara (new)

Sara Precisely,Gina.


message 50: by Little (new)

Little Miss Esoteric (littlemissesoteric) | 1116 comments After a period of intense questioning of both my belief structures, and the pantheon of twelve, I've reaffirmed what I originally appreciated about the polytheistic faith. To me, just like the light spectrum is comprised of all colors, the pantheon expresses the whole. All facets of life, human and animal behaviour, the good, bad and the ugly are part of it. The gods remind us of this. We look to the aspects of the deity we wish to learn from, be inspired by, or emulate. We also acknowledge the darker sides to existence: the pain and suffering that flows through life, blah de blah, that the divinity also encapsulates, and we seek to placate, or ward off those influences.

I feel that monotheism forces everything--seen and unseen--into B&W, light or lack of it, good or evil. Its didactic approach steals all the colour. It also forces people and things into a fixed and rigid status and outlook: good or evil. It doesn't allow for anything in between. That in turn fosters fear and guilt. Anyway such are my thoughts as I reluctantly go to battle the dishes this morning. Can you tell I'm procrastinating? :)


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