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Author Topic: Do pagans really believe in greek gods?  (Read 32802 times)
lauren6777
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« Topic Start: February 26, 2008, 09:40:19 am »

Do all pagans believe in the greek gods. I have been reading and studying about paganism, specifically wicca, and is really resonates with me. The greek gods are the one aspect that really confuses me. I am looking for an alternative to catholicism, not to replace one god for many gods. I get the whole goddess and god thing and yes it makes so much sense. But do pagan's really believe that Zeus is in the sky throwing lightning bolts- do they really believe that the seasons change based on a mother that misses her daughter? I first thought that these stories were just ideas or symbols to help focus your energy and intentions, which i could work with. BUT after reading "The outer temple of witchcraft", the author makes it very clear that he believes these gods are REAL.

Can someone explain?? Thanks!
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« Reply #1: February 26, 2008, 09:48:30 am »

Can someone explain?? Thanks!

You will find many pagans that not only believe in the Greek Gods but also worship them (myself included).  Most of us don't take the myths as gospel truth.  What you described was how the Ancient Greeks understood the world.  Today, we know what causes the seasons to change but the Greeks would never guess it because of their world view.
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« Reply #2: February 26, 2008, 09:49:03 am »

Do all pagans believe in the greek gods.

No, not all Pagans believe in the Greek gods.  Not all Pagans do much of anything.  However, many Pagans are hard polytheists.  That is to say, they believe that individual gods are truly individuals with personalities and plans of their own.  This doesn't mean that they literally believe all the myths about a given deity, in the same way that many Christians and Jews don't believe that Jonah literally spent 3 days in the belly of a whale.

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« Reply #3: February 26, 2008, 09:56:11 am »

Do all pagans believe in the greek gods. I have been reading and studying about paganism, specifically wicca, and is really resonates with me. The greek gods are the one aspect that really confuses me. I am looking for an alternative to catholicism, not to replace one god for many gods. I get the whole goddess and god thing and yes it makes so much sense. But do pagan's really believe that Zeus is in the sky throwing lightning bolts- do they really believe that the seasons change based on a mother that misses her daughter? I first thought that these stories were just ideas or symbols to help focus your energy and intentions, which i could work with. BUT after reading "The outer temple of witchcraft", the author makes it very clear that he believes these gods are REAL.

Can someone explain?? Thanks!

I can speak only for myself here; ask ten Pagans and you'll probably get twelve answers.

I believe that the Greek Gods are real.  I don't, however, believe that the myths about them are meant to be taken literally.  They're teaching stories; they tell us a truth about the world around us and how we should relate to the Gods, but they aren't historical fact.  I believe in the existence of Zeus, Demeter and Persephone.  I also know that lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity and that the seasons change based on the earth's tilt and the amount of sunlight a given location is recieving at a particular time of the year.

All that said, there's nothing that says you have to believe this in order to be Pagan.  The word "Pagan" covers a lot of ground and a lot of different beliefs.  If the god/goddess model works better for you than a whole pantheon, I say stick with what works.  *shrug*
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« Reply #4: February 26, 2008, 10:19:00 am »

Do all pagans believe in the greek gods.
Can someone explain?? Thanks!

          I can only speak for myself. However I am pagan and don't worship the greek gods. Thats not to say I don't believe there is a possibility of them existing as well as my own gods/Goddess', I just don't pray to them. If you like the idea of both belivieing and worshipping them then go ahead I won't stop you. Best of luck on your path.

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« Reply #5: February 26, 2008, 01:04:13 pm »

..BUT after reading "The outer temple of witchcraft", the author makes it very clear that he believes these gods are REAL.

Can someone explain?? Thanks!

If you keep reading books about a subjects like paganism, you will see that often the author expresses HIS view on the subject. Don't assume every writer speaks for the whole "pagan community" (if there even is something called "The Pagan Community"). Determine for yourself what the greek gods mean to you, and decide for yourself: what do these myths tell me? Can I use them or are they worth something in my life? What do the symbols in the myth mean? Could there be a hidden message/lesson/etc in the myth? Etc.

Good luck on your search,

Keriander
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« Reply #6: February 26, 2008, 01:07:43 pm »

The word "Pagan" covers a lot of ground and a lot of different beliefs.  If the god/goddess model works better for you than a whole pantheon, I say stick with what works.  *shrug*

I agree...although I'm sure there are as many gods as there are stars in the sky -counting all the religions, cultures and nationalities...you need to do what works for you.

Right now I am the goddess/god believer. That may change as I grow -and it may not.
It makes sense, it works for me and besides that I get confused easily and there are just too darn many to research. LOL One persons opinion may not be necessarily mine -although if it works for them -great.


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« Reply #7: February 26, 2008, 01:48:42 pm »

Do all pagans believe in the greek gods. I have been reading and studying about paganism, specifically wicca, and is really resonates with me. The greek gods are the one aspect that really confuses me. I am looking for an alternative to catholicism, not to replace one god for many gods. I get the whole goddess and god thing and yes it makes so much sense. But do pagan's really believe that Zeus is in the sky throwing lightning bolts- do they really believe that the seasons change based on a mother that misses her daughter? I first thought that these stories were just ideas or symbols to help focus your energy and intentions, which i could work with. BUT after reading "The outer temple of witchcraft", the author makes it very clear that he believes these gods are REAL.

Can someone explain?? Thanks!

Some of us do.  Some pagans have been called specifically by other gods, from multiple pantheons. 

I belong to an eclectic neo-pagan coven that is centered on the worship of the god and goddess.  I equate them with Ouranos and Ge, which are both part of the Greek pantheon.  I also am devoted to Dionysos, and have asked for (and received) support from other Greek gods.  But I would be happy to work with others in my group who are devoted to other gods. 

Different pagans have different levels of flexibility in how they practice their religious beliefs.  But for me, yes, the gods (from all over, even Yahweh) are real. 
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« Reply #8: February 26, 2008, 03:06:41 pm »

Do all pagans believe in the greek gods. I have been reading and studying about paganism, specifically wicca, and is really resonates with me. The greek gods are the one aspect that really confuses me. I am looking for an alternative to catholicism, not to replace one god for many gods. I get the whole goddess and god thing and yes it makes so much sense. But do pagan's really believe that Zeus is in the sky throwing lightning bolts- do they really believe that the seasons change based on a mother that misses her daughter? I first thought that these stories were just ideas or symbols to help focus your energy and intentions, which i could work with. BUT after reading "The outer temple of witchcraft", the author makes it very clear that he believes these gods are REAL.

Can someone explain?? Thanks!
As a Catholic, did you believe *everything* in the Bible as hard cold fact? Chances are (especially if you're looking at other religions...), probably not.

It's much the same with pagans. And why wouldn't it be? We're not any more crazy than any other person. I think the majority of pagans would say that the myths are just myths. We can still gain a lot of insight into them about other things besides science, however!

And you will probably find that most pagans are more apt to believe that all gods are "real" and valid. Do I believe in the Greek gods? Yes. Do I worship them? Nope.

And don't be intimidated by all the wishy washy "most pagans but not all" or "I can only speak for myself" stuff. Paganism encompasses a WIDE range of beliefs, so you'll be hard pressed to find something that ALL pagans believe as a rule. Smiley
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« Reply #9: February 26, 2008, 03:19:19 pm »

As a Catholic, did you believe *everything* in the Bible as hard cold fact? Chances are (especially if you're looking at other religions...), probably not.

It's much the same with pagans.

Even more so, because unlike the Christian Bible, the myths are not presented as the Word of God.  They are not scriptures.  They are definitely stories about the Gods told by humans, as far as I'm aware.

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And don't be intimidated by all the wishy washy "most pagans but not all" or "I can only speak for myself" stuff. Paganism encompasses a WIDE range of beliefs, so you'll be hard pressed to find something that ALL pagans believe as a rule. Smiley

I wasn't being wishy washy when I said that.  "Wishy washy" usually indicates not knowing where one stands, or an inability to choose a position and stick to it.  I know exactly where I stand and do not see myself doing otherwise in the future.  However, as you say, it's difficult (if not impossible) to find something that all Pagans believe, so I really can't answer for all Pagans and don't want to give the impression that I'm doing so.  It's not wishy washy, it's a statement of fact.
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« Reply #10: February 26, 2008, 05:01:19 pm »

Do all pagans believe in the greek gods.

Many do, but certainly not all. Some Pagans are monotheists, some duotheists, some polytheists, some pantheists, some even atheists

Quote
But do pagan's really believe that Zeus is in the sky throwing lightning bolts- do they really believe that the seasons change based on a mother that misses her daughter?

I am a Hellenic Pagan (note: completely separate set of beliefs and practices from Wicca).  I believe in the Greek Gods, but I don't believe the myths about them are literally true. They can (and I believe do) contain truths about the relationship between humans and the Gods without being factual descriptions of history or science.
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« Reply #11: February 27, 2008, 09:00:34 am »

Do all pagans believe in the greek gods. I have been reading and studying about paganism, specifically wicca, and is really resonates with me. The greek gods are the one aspect that really confuses me. I am looking for an alternative to catholicism, not to replace one god for many gods. I get the whole goddess and god thing and yes it makes so much sense. But do pagan's really believe that Zeus is in the sky throwing lightning bolts- do they really believe that the seasons change based on a mother that misses her daughter? I first thought that these stories were just ideas or symbols to help focus your energy and intentions, which i could work with. BUT after reading "The outer temple of witchcraft", the author makes it very clear that he believes these gods are REAL.

Can someone explain?? Thanks!

No, not all the pagans believe in the greek gods, and not all the pagans who believe in them worship them. There are a lot of different pantheons (greek, norse, celtic, egiptian, etc.), and there are a lot of pagans that worship those deities. There's also a lot of pagans who worship some particular deities out of those pantheons. There are pagans that believe/worship only the God and Goddess, and there are pagans who don't worship any deities. It's all about what YOU believe. If you feel fine just worshipping the wiccan God and Goddess, then do it. Usually, those pagans who believe in a lot of different gods (hard polytheists) are not wiccan.

Selegna.
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« Reply #12: February 27, 2008, 10:18:20 am »

No, not all the pagans believe in the greek gods, and not all the pagans who believe in them worship them. There are a lot of different pantheons (greek, norse, celtic, egiptian, etc.), and there are a lot of pagans that worship those deities. There's also a lot of pagans who worship some particular deities out of those pantheons. There are pagans that believe/worship only the God and Goddess, and there are pagans who don't worship any deities. It's all about what YOU believe. If you feel fine just worshipping the wiccan God and Goddess, then do it. Usually, those pagans who believe in a lot of different gods (hard polytheists) are not wiccan.

Selegna.

  You misspelled egyptian. Never a wrong time for a spelling lesson.

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« Reply #13: February 27, 2008, 10:21:59 am »

We're not any more crazy than any other person.

         Actuallly, I probablly am a tad crazier than the next guy in line. Grin I enjoy my insanity.  Grin Grin
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"Es mejor morir de pie que vivir de rodillas."-Emiliano Zapata Salazar. Translation-It is better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
 ego mos reperio a via vel ego mos planto unus Translation-I will find a way or I will make one
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« Reply #14: February 27, 2008, 10:23:15 am »

  You misspelled egyptian. Never a wrong time for a spelling lesson.

-Hannibal

Hannibal, we don't comment on someone's spelling unless it's so egregious that it's impossible to tell what the original word was.  Please go re-read the rules.  Thank you.

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