The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
July 02, 2020, 12:40:31 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 02, 2020, 12:40:31 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Animism and the Gods  (Read 8162 times)
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Topic Start: July 01, 2010, 09:12:25 am »

If the natural world (eg sun, moon, trees, etc.) is important in your spirituality, what relationship does it have with your Gods?

Are they connected - eg the sun's importance is due to connection with XYZ solar deity - or does the natural world have its own spiritual significance for you?

Is the natural world also spiritually sentient - eg tree spirits - and if so, do you regard or treat them any differently from your Gods?
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Ellen M.
Adept Member
*****
*
Last Login:February 17, 2013, 08:34:24 pm
United States United States

Religion: ADF - UU - eclectic Wiccan - devotee of Brighid
Posts: 2479

Go, then - there are other worlds than these.

Blog entries (0)

Ellen MacInnis lellenator
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1: July 01, 2010, 10:27:51 am »

If the natural world (eg sun, moon, trees, etc.) is important in your spirituality, what relationship does it have with your Gods?

Are they connected - eg the sun's importance is due to connection with XYZ solar deity - or does the natural world have its own spiritual significance for you?

Is the natural world also spiritually sentient - eg tree spirits - and if so, do you regard or treat them any differently from your Gods?

I view objects in our natural, physical world - trees, the sun, wind, and so forth - as very important and sources of inspiration. There may be a god or spirit behind them... or they might be "just" a tree, which is fine too. I don't quite believe that everything on the entire planet has a spirit, but I'm starting to warm up to the idea of there being some sort of land spirit associated with certain areas. (I've set up an altar in my garden to leave presents for whatever local spirits might like to help my peppers grow. Grin)

I see spirits and gods as being roughly the same thing, just gods having a fantastic PR department and managing to corral a bunch of folks into worship. The spirit of a garden is just as important as a larger god/dess who may watch over all gardens, and even more so because I'm more like to work with that particular garden spirit on a daily basis.
Logged

Sage and Starshine: My new Pagan blog about Druidry, witchcraft, Brighid, and everything in between. -- 14th post 6/1/11
Darkhawk
Chief Mux Wizard
Staff
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:January 20, 2020, 08:24:45 pm
United States United States

Religion: Kemetic Feri Discordian
Posts: 2485

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #2: July 01, 2010, 12:20:04 pm »


I'm not sure if I count as having "the natural world important in my spirituality" more than, y'know, the next guy, but my approach is twofold:

Almost any natural entity might currently be the manifestation of a god.  There are some that are always such - the sun disk is always a manifestation of Ra.  (The sun disc is also always the Aten, and thus always a god.)  I would expect the Tree Goddess (usually Hetharu, Aset, andor Nut, usually in Egypt seen as the sycamore fig) might choose to elect any fruiting tree as Her manifestation if that took Her fancy; while we don't currently have knowledge of any consistent bau of the gods in animal form (such as Hap or the Mnevis bull), They can also manifest through other ordinary animals.  Natural phenomena may also be manifestations of gods; I honor Set in thunderstorms.

These things are not gods themselves (barring funky special cases like the sun), more ... if you've read Flatland, they're the sort of cross-sections of divinity that are perceptible to us, like the sphere passing through the plane and appearing to the square as a variably sized circle.  Or perhaps the shadows of the gods on Plato's cave.  Neither of these is quite right, but they'll do for working approach.


Many of these things are also spirits of their own.  The ka of the Creator is manifest throughout creation.  THere are local spirits - spirits of cities, locations, regions; there are individual entities in individual forms.  When a god manifests through them, they share their inner space with the relevant god, much as a horse shares inner space when ridden by a god.  Some of those spirits are part of the host of servants and emanations of a specific god (the word 'netjeri' is... genitive, I think?  indicating that it means something like 'of the divine power' or 'from the divine power'); some aren't.
Logged

Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #3: July 01, 2010, 05:53:35 pm »

If the natural world (eg sun, moon, trees, etc.) is important in your spirituality, what relationship does it have with your Gods?

Are they connected - eg the sun's importance is due to connection with XYZ solar deity - or does the natural world have its own spiritual significance for you?

Is the natural world also spiritually sentient - eg tree spirits - and if so, do you regard or treat them any differently from your Gods?

The gods and the natural world are fairly seamless in my paganism. They're one and the same.

So they're definitely connected. Taking your example of the sun, in my religion it's the flaming right eye of my sky-god equivalent, which he plucked out and set in the heavens to watch over us, his children.

As for sentience, that's the wrong word, IMHO. But yeah, I see everything from rocks to rivers to trees to even (to a lesser extent) manmade things as invested with a spirit. They're differentiating parts of the one spirit that is manifest as this universe.
Logged

Firaza
Master Member
****
Last Login:July 04, 2011, 08:59:38 pm
United States United States

Religion: Modern Kemetic
Posts: 324


Soul to heaven, body to earth.

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #4: July 01, 2010, 06:48:04 pm »

If the natural world (eg sun, moon, trees, etc.) is important in your spirituality, what relationship does it have with your Gods?

Are they connected - eg the sun's importance is due to connection with XYZ solar deity - or does the natural world have its own spiritual significance for you?

Is the natural world also spiritually sentient - eg tree spirits - and if so, do you regard or treat them any differently from your Gods?

I feel the presence of the Gods within the natural world. The sun is Heru, Khepra, Ra, and Atum; the moon is Djehuty; the soft rain is Tefnut. To me, there is no difference between the wind and Shu, because to me, the wind is Shu.
Logged

treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #5: July 04, 2010, 07:19:59 am »

There may be a god or spirit behind them... or they might be "just" a tree, which is fine too.

How do you tell which things have a spirit and which don't? If it's a matter of intuition, how would you approach a situation where someone has a conflicting intuition? (eg it's "just" a tree to you, but the Tree of the Six-Nosed Caterpillar Spirit to your neighbour...)

Quote
I see spirits and gods as being roughly the same thing, just gods having a fantastic PR department and managing to corral a bunch of folks into worship.

HA.  Grin
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #6: July 04, 2010, 07:36:06 am »

These things are not gods themselves (barring funky special cases like the sun), more ... if you've read Flatland, they're the sort of cross-sections of divinity that are perceptible to us, like the sphere passing through the plane and appearing to the square as a variably sized circle. 

I never thought of it that way, but I like the image. Do you think that different cross-sections are linked in some way by being all part of the same divinity, so that engaging with one can affect others? For example, appealing to the moon to help with a rowdy baboon? (...that sounded more comical than I intended.)

After the full moon last week, which I associate with a particular godform, I was mulling over the sense I had that the moon was both part of that godform but also distinct. The image which has stayed with me is a string of prayer beads - tug at one bead, the moon, and you tug on the whole string of divinity. Maybe.
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #7: July 04, 2010, 07:37:48 am »

As for sentience, that's the wrong word, IMHO. But yeah, I see everything from rocks to rivers to trees to even (to a lesser extent) manmade things as invested with a spirit. They're differentiating parts of the one spirit that is manifest as this universe.

I have to ask - what do you see as 'sentience' and 'spirit' and the relationship between them? Is it that the entire spirit is sentient (somehow conscious), but the different bits of it aren't? If so, can you address the whole spirit by addressing just one bit of it?
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
treekisser
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:July 30, 2011, 05:18:30 pm
United Kingdom United Kingdom

Religion: Bajoran
Posts: 1200


Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #8: July 04, 2010, 07:39:32 am »

To me, there is no difference between the wind and Shu, because to me, the wind is Shu.

I'm going to ask the same question I posed to Darkhawk - granted Shu has other manifestations, do you see a relation between them apart from just being Shu?

Is Shu more than the sum of his manifestations in the natural world?
Logged

'Whatever such a mind sees is a flower, and whatever such a mind dreams of is the moon.' - Basho
Darkhawk
Chief Mux Wizard
Staff
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:January 20, 2020, 08:24:45 pm
United States United States

Religion: Kemetic Feri Discordian
Posts: 2485

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #9: July 04, 2010, 10:02:02 pm »

I never thought of it that way, but I like the image. Do you think that different cross-sections are linked in some way by being all part of the same divinity, so that engaging with one can affect others? For example, appealing to the moon to help with a rowdy baboon? (...that sounded more comical than I intended.)

I wish I could remember the technical terms I have from my reading, and unfortunately I'm some three thousand miles away from my reference books, heh.

I would say "Only if the god wants them to be".  It's like, to do a very poor metaphor: if you're talking with a hydra, just because you've discussed matters with one head doesn't necessarily have any influence on the head over there.  If you want to affect the whole creature, you have to interact with the body - the god - rather than just its bau and iru.
Logged

Ellen M.
Adept Member
*****
*
Last Login:February 17, 2013, 08:34:24 pm
United States United States

Religion: ADF - UU - eclectic Wiccan - devotee of Brighid
Posts: 2479

Go, then - there are other worlds than these.

Blog entries (0)

Ellen MacInnis lellenator
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #10: July 04, 2010, 10:08:56 pm »

How do you tell which things have a spirit and which don't? If it's a matter of intuition, how would you approach a situation where someone has a conflicting intuition? (eg it's "just" a tree to you, but the Tree of the Six-Nosed Caterpillar Spirit to your neighbour...)

I don't. Wink Sometimes I feel things intuitively, sometimes it's just a lot of static. Just because someone else honors something doesn't mean I need to honor it, but sometimes it's good to play on the safe side. For example, if one stump feels more mystical than another, they both might have spirits in them or they both might not, but I'd probably be more inclined to follow the mystical feelings and leave offerings at the first stump. However, just because the second stump doesn't feel all mystical doesn't give me license to use it as a trash depository.
Logged

Sage and Starshine: My new Pagan blog about Druidry, witchcraft, Brighid, and everything in between. -- 14th post 6/1/11
Darkhawk
Chief Mux Wizard
Staff
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:January 20, 2020, 08:24:45 pm
United States United States

Religion: Kemetic Feri Discordian
Posts: 2485

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #11: July 04, 2010, 10:10:50 pm »


Also, in many cases these forms are like clothes.  In that "do not mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon" kind of way, my shirt and my pants do not consult. Wink
Logged

Altair
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:December 18, 2012, 06:59:40 am
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan-ish pantheistic polytheist
Posts: 1942


Follow your star wherever it may lead

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #12: July 05, 2010, 11:27:55 am »

I have to ask - what do you see as 'sentience' and 'spirit' and the relationship between them?

Apparently I've been careless with my terms. I've always used "sentience" the way they do on Star Trek: a thinking thing that is self-aware. But at least according to Wikipedia, sentience is a lot more basic than that, and varies in Western vs. Eastern philosophy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentience

Anyway, I don't see the spirits of rocks, trees, insects, etc. as thinking things that are self-aware. What I mean by spirit is essence, an intangible, unquantifiable "something more" that all things possess.

For example, take a person. Each person is really a bunch of cells that are communicating and coordinating activities. But that collective activity translates into something much more than that, creating a functioning unit unto itself. That unit--a person--has a spirit.

Similarly a rock is more than a collection of molecules; it's a thing that can be thrown, skipped on a pond, used to grind something, etc.  My garden isn't just the plants I've put there, but has a life all it's own that flows through its boundaries.

Basically, if you can name it, it has a spirit.

I don't really see a relationship between having self-aware thoughts and having a spirit.

Is it that the entire spirit is sentient (somehow conscious), but the different bits of it aren't? If so, can you address the whole spirit by addressing just one bit of it?

I don't apply the terms "sentience" or "consciousness" to the Great Goddess, the one spirit that's manifest as this universe. Those terms are just too limited, the concepts of symbol-skilled primates that are probably as relevant to the Goddess as the electrochemical reactions inside bacteria are relevant to our thoughts. I don't know if or how She "thinks", except that we think and are part of Her.

(For the tiny part of Her that is this planet--the Earth goddess--I like to think that we humans are that goddess's brain cells, our cultures Her personality, our history Her memory. In which case, considering how we ruin and overrun this planet, I'd say She has brain cancer.)

I don't know if that clarifies things.
Logged

Ghost Dog
Apprentice
**
Last Login:July 11, 2010, 01:21:53 pm
United States United States

Religion: yes
Posts: 29

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #13: July 06, 2010, 12:27:45 pm »

If the natural world (eg sun, moon, trees, etc.) is important in your spirituality, what relationship does it have with your Gods?

Are they connected - eg the sun's importance is due to connection with XYZ solar deity - or does the natural world have its own spiritual significance for you?

Is the natural world also spiritually sentient - eg tree spirits - and if so, do you regard or treat them any differently from your Gods?

Hiya treekisser, nice name.

If I understand things, which is not to say I do, but if, then animism is a fundamental perception of the world that is available to anyone who eats directly from nature. (pagan crackpot alert) Anywhere and anywhen there have been human beings living in tribes and eating from nature as hunter-gatherers, those human beings spontaneously invent animism.

The animist lives in a world that is alive. Trees have faces, puffy clouds have elephants and bears.  The forest is just chock full of little sprites and lurking monsters. You see them every day and in your dreams at night.

Human beings did that for two hundred thousand years (or so) before we invented our first god. At some point in our history, human beings learned to farm and the world changed forever.

Instead of small tribal bands doing the tribal hunter gatherer thing, large populations became necessary to work the fields. Cities were born and armies were organized to protect them.

Agricultural societies always invent gods. Gods aren't like animistic spirits. Gods are more abstract and they're not so local. Gods are confused with animistic spirits because either one can invoke a feeling of worshipfull wholeness within a person... but they behave quite differently and exist in entirely different contexts.

Basically, if you wear a loincloth and live directly from nature, you see the world very differently than a suburban burrito eater. We SBEs just deal with abstract gods and we might talk about spirits, but they tend to be symbols for things... you know... like those spirit animal tarot cards where you find your animal guide.

...which is nothing a tribal animist could understand.

For me, the closest I can come to animism is to be worshipfull of everything. Absolutely everything. I try to worship small  trivial objects and huge abstract deities all pretty much equally.

.... the theory being that "worship" is a specialized sort of communication.

heh



Logged
Ellen M.
Adept Member
*****
*
Last Login:February 17, 2013, 08:34:24 pm
United States United States

Religion: ADF - UU - eclectic Wiccan - devotee of Brighid
Posts: 2479

Go, then - there are other worlds than these.

Blog entries (0)

Ellen MacInnis lellenator
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #14: July 06, 2010, 02:12:12 pm »

Human beings did that for two hundred thousand years (or so) before we invented our first god. At some point in our history, human beings learned to farm and the world changed forever.

How on earth do you have even the vaguest sort of date for when humans "invented our first god"?
Logged

Sage and Starshine: My new Pagan blog about Druidry, witchcraft, Brighid, and everything in between. -- 14th post 6/1/11

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Definitions of Animism « 1 2 3 »
Paganism For Beginners
Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED) 33 10520 Last post June 28, 2007, 01:18:34 pm
by Tana
Animism and fluffiness « 1 2 ... 5 6 »
Magic and the Occult for Beginners
gayars 81 17684 Last post May 17, 2008, 12:10:29 pm
by OmPom
Gods as Ideas vs Gods as Deities « 1 2 3 4 »
Paganism For Beginners
dartxni 45 20511 Last post October 14, 2009, 04:57:11 pm
by Lost-in-Translation
Homer's Gods, Plato's Gods. « 1 2 »
Ta Hiera Hellenic Polytheism SIG
Therapon 16 9547 Last post August 09, 2008, 08:24:49 pm
by thain
Worshipping non-gods as gods? « 1 2 »
Gods, Goddesses, and Mythology
Collinsky 16 7236 Last post March 04, 2010, 12:29:04 pm
by Collinsky
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.057 seconds with 51 queries.