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Author Topic: Beginner Gods and Goddesses?  (Read 11640 times)
Journey
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« Reply #15: November 14, 2007, 04:24:09 pm »

There is one goddess who immediately came to mind when I read this.  A cookie for whoever can guess her.

The Virgin Mary?
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« Reply #16: November 14, 2007, 04:27:44 pm »

If you had a friend who had a tendency to be aggresive or expected complete commitment would you introduce them to someone who's never met another person? Or would you introduce that person to someone who's kinder and willing to be patient as long as it takes?

I don't rate my friends on personality traits.  I only have a few people I'd class as friends.  They aren't wastes of space, are interesting to talk to, and so forth.  One can be very loud, dominate conversation, and is fond of friendly social violence.  The other would, and has, happily pressed red buttons to see what would happen.  Again, I don't care whether they make good 'entry level' friends.  I would only bother introducing people I like to other people I like.


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However, I've had people ask me, who do you think I should worship? What do I tell them?

'Get your own brain, I'm using mine' perhaps?
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« Reply #17: November 14, 2007, 04:41:06 pm »

Would you introduce them to your own gods? Or find them one that agreed with their intrests? Are there any you would forbid them from messing around with?

I'd go about this the same way the group I work with goes about it with students, roughly.

The student side: they have a research project for a deity each month, covering both those we work with regularly, and some related ones who are either likely to come up, or let us talk about some things that might not otherwise get discussed. (There's six of the first category, and the six in the second vary somewhat depending on how things go and change.)

They're asked to produce a brief summary (about 1-2 pages at most) of that deity, major associations and myths, symbols, etc. with sources. They're also asked to do an artistic project of some kind (art, sculpture, photography. People have done creating scented lotion, or music, or poetry, and an herb garden. We haven't yet had interpretive dance, but we live in hope.) as a way of learning other ways to relate to that deity.

The kid side: If I were introducing a child to it, I'd probably start with a) a very general overview of the idea of pantheons and the idea of different cultures and their views on deity. And then b) talk about those deities I work with directly myself, and a little bit of why. And then there'd be a bunch of looking at different myths and stories, guided by where they felt most drawn.

It is not coincidence that this is more or less how I learned: my father was a specialist in ancient Greek theatre, so I grew up with him telling me Greek mythology from before I can remember. He was a devout Christian, but I know that at some level, he also believed that there were cores of the stories that held great truth. From that, I took away the ideas that deities I liked very much might also do not-nice things (handy when talking to people, too!) and the general model of what someone who is devoted to their religious life looks like. Both very handy, no matter what your end choices turn out to be.

Beyond that - lots of questions, many of them more or less the same I'd ask an adult, if we were in a position to have that conversation. (I don't do this much online. I can and have done it with group students I've worked with - not in a "I'm going to forbid you to do that" but in a "Why do you feel really called to X" way.)

Potential questions: Why this deity? What resonates for you? Are there aspects of this deity that don't resonate for you, but are common myths or symbols? What work have you done to get to know this deity better? What made sense to you from that? What confuses you about interacting with them, if anything? 

That line of discussion usually gets at whether someone's just vaguely interested (in which case, there might be some steering, to find a better fit) or whether they really feel called that direction (in which case broadening their scope might not be horrible, but won't distract them from  this particular place.)
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« Reply #18: November 14, 2007, 05:54:00 pm »



The kid side: If I were introducing a child to it, I'd probably start with a) a very general overview of the idea of pantheons and the idea of different cultures and their views on deity. And then b) talk about those deities I work with directly myself, and a little bit of why. And then there'd be a bunch of looking at different myths and stories, guided by where they felt most drawn.

It is not coincidence that this is more or less how I learned: my father was a specialist in ancient Greek theatre, so I grew up with him telling me Greek mythology from before I can remember. He was a devout Christian, but I know that at some level, he also believed that there were cores of the stories that held great truth. From that, I took away the ideas that deities I liked very much might also do not-nice things (handy when talking to people, too!) and the general model of what someone who is devoted to their religious life looks like. Both very handy, no matter what your end choices turn out to be.

Beyond that - lots of questions, many of them more or less the same I'd ask an adult, if we were in a position to have that conversation. (I don't do this much online. I can and have done it with group students I've worked with - not in a "I'm going to forbid you to do that" but in a "Why do you feel really called to X" way.)



Thanks for taking the time to write that out.  Your kid side summary was close to what we did with our own children.  It worked out well.  We had a difficult time with figuring out how to introduce spirituality to our kids without coming across with a message  like the one I was given as a child.  Jesus loves me etc.   Describing the Christmas celebration as mythology and getting our kids to let others enjoy their celebration was interesting to say the least.  But it's something you have to consider when you open these doors to kids.  It's tough being a kid to begin with, having a belief system that varies greatly from his/her peers makes it even tougher.

I'm glad I won't have to be going through the process again.   
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« Reply #19: November 14, 2007, 06:07:02 pm »

It's Aphrodite. Is the cookie chocolate chip or peanut butter?

*ding, ding, ding*

And Aionia's the winner!  I think you know me too well.  And it's chocolate chip fwiw.

*tosses Aionia her cookie*
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« Reply #20: November 14, 2007, 08:57:42 pm »

And Aionia's the winner!  I think you know me too well.  And it's chocolate chip fwiw.

It sounded very Aphrodite as well...
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« Reply #21: November 14, 2007, 10:57:17 pm »

'Get your own brain, I'm using mine' perhaps?

I've had a few Gwyddon students (now ex students of course) I've used that phrase with. Cheesy
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« Reply #22: November 15, 2007, 03:29:44 am »


Jennett said it really well.

I don't know that I'll be introducing my children to any 'set' deity or belief system, but I certainly will be introducing them to the mythology of ancient cultures, and (hopefully) giving them an appetite for reading. A lot. I'd also make myself open to answering questions as best I could, or helping my kids (yes, and any 'beginner' who asked) to find the answers themselves. When it came to actually wanting to devote themselves to a deity, I'd probably ask that they wait until they were of a reasonable age (16-18) prior to giving themselves over completely (ie, old enough to make a big decision without being as likely to regret it later). Up until that point, I wouldn't necessarily prevent them learning about or working with any particular deity form, but I would ensure they knew as many aspects of that deity as possible and knew about boundaries, etc. Hopefully they could come to me if they had a problem.

Forewarned is forearmed. Sometimes...  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #23: November 15, 2007, 01:04:02 pm »

If someone asks me "who do you think I should worship" My answer would be flat out "I cannot tell you who to worship." It's true. I CAN'T. I have no idea even where to begin. I wouldn't even try to answer that.

My response to that sort of thing -- which I have never gotten as an honest question, but only from people who want to provoke me into proselytisation -- is "I'm not Their goddamn pimp."
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« Reply #24: November 15, 2007, 01:59:44 pm »

When it came to actually wanting to devote themselves to a deity, I'd probably ask that they wait until they were of a reasonable age (16-18) prior to giving themselves over completely (ie, old enough to make a big decision without being as likely to regret it later).

Good point. I'd STILL make sure that they knew the good and bad about commitments to deities and about personal responsibility though. Just because you ASK them to wait, doesn't mean they WILL.
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« Reply #25: November 15, 2007, 02:00:32 pm »

My response to that sort of thing -- which I have never gotten as an honest question, but only from people who want to provoke me into proselytisation -- is "I'm not Their goddamn pimp."

*snorfle* Can I steal that one?
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« Reply #26: November 15, 2007, 08:21:10 pm »

It's Aphrodite. Is the cookie chocolate chip or peanut butter?
I was going to say Venus...but I'm an astrologer and that's astrology speak Grin
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« Reply #27: November 16, 2007, 12:02:55 am »

*snorfle* Can I steal that one?

Do feel free. Wink

The other one I use is for the bonus poly-related shock value:  "I don't want to get you in a relationship with my gods any more than I want to get you in a relationship with my husband.  You'll have to ask yourself and see if they're interested."
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« Reply #28: November 16, 2007, 10:53:42 pm »

Didn't do much in the way of religion with my kids. Just letting them find their own paths. I did have to set them straight on some of the odder Chirstian stuff they picked up from other kids though.

That is basically what I am doing with my son. He is still too young to think or care about religion at the moment, but we want him to discover his own path. If he has questions, we will answer them as nonbias as possible. Once he does chose his path, we will try to point him in the right direction or at least find someone to help him out.
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« Reply #29: November 17, 2007, 08:42:41 am »

    I was thinking again, always a dangerous past-time, and I thought about the children of pagans and how they were introduced to the worship of different deities. Would you introduce them to your own gods? Or find them one that agreed with their intrests? Are there any you would forbid them from messing around with?

Well I have children.   And my situation is a little different.  I am Christian with a heavy side of Celtic Wink

Basically, I have given my daughter the basic ideas of my beliefs, with the idea that it is okay to follow her own path.  I havent pushed Brighid or the Morrighan down her throat.  I mention Them,and discuss Them, but any developing of a relationship she has with them, is her/Their doing.  I fully believe she needs to find her own path, and realize that my Deities might not be right for her. 

The fact that Brighid is telling her she really shouldnt color her red hair black any more, and the Morrighan makes a habit of telling her where she left her cellphone in a sarcastic manner, is really none of my business Wink

I did teach her Christianity in her early years, but even then, it wasnt a total push push push.  Since my ideas of Divinity are different than most Christians, it is different.  I do let her know that I, personally truly love Christ, but I realize she isnt ready for that level of commitment, or even understanding frankly, plus she has some serious trust issues with the male side of the species in general.  Right now, she seems to be heading towards the direction of female Deities in general, but that may change as she gets older. 

She also has some serious "church" issues, as frankly our old church treated her badly after her father died.  The idea of organized religion is a total turn off for her.

I feel my job is to lay a good basic groundwork, and from that point on she has to let her own heart guide her in what direction she follows.  I certainly wouldnt just recommend she follow a certain Deity because that Deity is "easy". 

Basically it may all boil down to who thwacks her LOL.

I have a feeling there will eventually be a male Deity who restores her trust in men in general, but I suspect that will be a ways down the road.

Gina

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