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Author Topic: Dedication and Polytheism  (Read 6941 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Reply #15: March 14, 2008, 08:19:45 pm »

Care to expand and share an experience?

It's hard to put a finger on it.  It's just that I will *know things* that I then need to tell other people.  Sometimes that I'm CONVINCED they told me first.  F'ex, I knew who was poking Chabas when she didn't (and was convinced that she'd told me).

Usually it's more subtle than that - but I do get (or did, it seems to have calmed down for a while.  which is good.  I think) messages for other people.  I'm well aware that other gods exist.  They're just not needing my services, other than as relaying messages.  Apollo does need me on a more regular basis, and I am quite happy to serve.  (because I agree with what's being asked of me.  If I didn't, I wouldn't do it.)
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« Reply #16: March 17, 2008, 04:17:22 pm »

Does dedication to one deity defeat the purpose of polytheism? 

I don't think it "defeats the purpose", but I do think that the large proportion of polytheists that have sworn allegiance to/only work with a single deity reflects the influence of the dominant monotheism in most modern cultures.  I also think the expectation of an  intimate, personal relationship with the Divine is influenced by JCI heritage.  I know there are exceptions, but exclusive, personal dedication to a particular deity seems to be facet that is more common among modern polytheists I know, than ancient ones I've read about.

I don't think this is necessarily conscious borrowing from JCI faiths, but I do think that most folks developed a schema (or framework) for religion and deities when they were young and folks tend to organize their thoughts to fit within those original frameworks.

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« Reply #17: March 17, 2008, 06:13:10 pm »

I don't think this is necessarily conscious borrowing from JCI faiths, but I do think that most folks developed a schema (or framework) for religion and deities when they were young and folks tend to organize their thoughts to fit within those original frameworks.

I think you are probably right.
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« Reply #18: March 18, 2008, 06:06:12 pm »

I don't think it "defeats the purpose", but I do think that the large proportion of polytheists that have sworn allegiance to/only work with a single deity reflects the influence of the dominant monotheism in most modern cultures.  I also think the expectation of an  intimate, personal relationship with the Divine is influenced by JCI heritage.  I know there are exceptions, but exclusive, personal dedication to a particular deity seems to be facet that is more common among modern polytheists I know, than ancient ones I've read about.

Very interesting idea.

I certainly can't deny that I might be influence by all the Methodist teachings I absorbed as a child and teen -- it seems likely that I am.  And I agree that the dedication to a particular deity does seem to be a more modern phenomenon, although IIRC Celtic tribes were most likely to have a specific tribal patron deity that was not shared by other tribes (i.e., one tribe worshipped Brigantia while a different tribe worshipped Boann).  I think that might be a little different from how the Greeks or Romans approached things, for example.  So maybe that's more of a societal thing.

But on a personal level, I am dedicated to Brighid because She's the one who wanted me.  That's all.  It there had been others, things might be different for me.
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« Reply #19: March 18, 2008, 07:45:19 pm »


I don't think this is necessarily conscious borrowing from JCI faiths, but I do think that most folks developed a schema (or framework) for religion and deities when they were young and folks tend to organize their thoughts to fit within those original frameworks.

This is really a fascinating idea to me, because I was raised an atheist, although it never took.  I was sort of aware that my grandma went to church, and what church was, and that Mom didn't believe in God, and that people did, but my first real exposure to religion was when I was 5 and read/had read to me D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, which converted me to the worship of the Greek Gods for about three months at 6 when I re-read it.

I've since gone through agnostic, spiritual agnostic, eclectic Wiccan, and now pantheism, but I've never been a monotheist.  And I'm one of the people who is dedicated to more than one deity.  Interesting?
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