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Author Topic: Polytheism and Archetypal Deities  (Read 11950 times)
RandallS
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« Reply #15: May 09, 2008, 05:24:59 pm »

However, would you say these deities exist BEYOND being mere archetypes?  That they actually in some way or form exist? 

Yes and yes.
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Lusiphelia
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« Reply #16: May 09, 2008, 06:55:23 pm »

I come back from work and this topic has exploded!!! What fun!  Grin


I have a hard time with the idea of worshipping or directly working with an archetype in a religious setting (I have no issues at all with it in a meditative working, or in terms of personal growth, but I don't think archetypes are deities, or deities are archetypes: I think deities are independent entities with their own sentience, brains, and desires.)

Right. This is using archetypes in a psychological framework, which, IMO, is the purpose of them (to some degree or another).  Frankly, I really can't wrap my head around the idea that some people think archetypes are deities, or vica versa.  It's like saying ... I can't even think of a good comparison, but I have a hard time understanding this frame of mind.

Quote
I also think that in some cases, we've lost names - that's likely true for the primary deities I work with on a personal level (best guess is a local British water-related Goddess and her consort: I have 'use-names' for both, but they don't match any research I've come up with so far: there's a lot of 'sorta right' but nothing that's clicked. That's ok.) In some of these cases, we do have known epithets for them, and the epithets work beautifully, honestly.

I think of it this way: if someone comes up to me and says "Ms. Librarian, please, can you help me?" I may take a moment to say "Oh, yeah, that's me they mean." But I'm not going to be possibly offended or put off, like I might if they called me by someone else's name entirely. (At work, I'd not be too offended - but I'm not likely to develop a close ongoing relationship outside of pure necessity with someone who persistently gets my name wrong.)

I'm currently going through something related with the shiny new coven: we've been exploring two specific deity relationships. We've only been doing this since February, and we're still in the epithet stage, because we want to make sure we've got the *right* names, before we start using them (and because of some other stuff, researching the direction we seem to be leading in to make sure we're dealing with some aspects appropriately before committing to that.) And yet, there's some stuff that makes the epithets *very* appropriate and very much a possible thing to call them that is polite, respectful, and fairly directly identifiably hitting the same entity consistently in this context.

I love your example; you make a really good point.

If I may ask, how did you and/or your coven come to establish a relationship with these deities?  Was it just a feeling of "Hmm, someone is trying to get my attention, better listen ..." or ... ?
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« Reply #17: May 09, 2008, 06:58:40 pm »

Yes and no. I believe the (example) Horned God exists and even that there might be a number of different deities willing to answer when someone calls on the "Horned God." Do I believe that all Gods are the Horned God because some people do? No, I believe that they are simply wrong in their belief that all Gods are really their Horned God. This is similar to what I believe about the JCI God, he certainly exists but those who believe that he is the only deity who actually exists are wrong with repect to that belief about that deity.

(bolding mine)

I love that you mention this.  It seems (in my experience at least) in Paganism of not merely respecting others' beliefs but providing lip service regardless of whether or not they have any sort of sense or validity behind them.  And this is probably what encourages so much fluff and nonsense, which is a shame really.
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« Reply #18: May 09, 2008, 07:59:27 pm »

Actually, no, I don't "have to" make a determination.  That's like saying I "have to" see that Jesus is my Lord and Saviour.  I can easily spend the rest of my life being agnostic and still be very spiritual.

It's not at all like saying you have to see Jesus. Faith is about trusting the process whether you believe  it or not; it's believing in the act of believing, acting as if it could be possible. But even going that far is makinig a determination of belief. You can certainly be agnostic and be spiritual, but I do think it's faith that makes stuff really happen, it's true. That's my experience.
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
rose
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« Reply #19: May 09, 2008, 08:05:33 pm »

Why would one have to do that?  What benefits does it provide to do so?  Does the action of the divine get better if one decides that it's certain?

(Not that I'm likely to be able to do any of this anyway, I appear to be missing a lot of the 'belief' wiring....)

The action of the divine is Divine, so it's more of a constant-it's just there, whether I care, believe, have faith, don't have faith, whatever. My ability to connect with it is greatly enhanced by my faith in it's being there though, yes.
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #20: May 10, 2008, 10:30:57 am »

Do you believe they exist?  If so, in what context? Do they have specific names or only these titles?

I'm a polytheist over medium and I'm not sure what I think about the archetypes you mentioned.  I will say that I think the God and Goddess I called on when I started in Eclectic/NeoWicca (and am coming back to now) *are* separate deities.  (This one's just UPG.  I don't think They're the same as the Gods of the Wica *at all*, but in my experience They're deities in their own right.)

(And the part where I get really heretical?  I think They might be manifestations of the Divine Twins.  But that's just me.)
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« Reply #21: May 10, 2008, 12:27:33 pm »

I'm a polytheist over medium

That gave me a smile. I guess that would make me hardboiled polytheistic. Wink
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« Reply #22: May 10, 2008, 08:20:22 pm »

It's not at all like saying you have to see Jesus. Faith is about trusting the process whether you believe  it or not; it's believing in the act of believing, acting as if it could be possible. But even going that far is makinig a determination of belief. You can certainly be agnostic and be spiritual, but I do think it's faith that makes stuff really happen, it's true. That's my experience.

I feel like we're talking about two different things here. I'm going to go back to the original post, and then my response and see where it went wrong.  Because at this stage, it *sounds* like you're telling me (because you did quote me) that I "have to" pick one or the other and that *your* version of what faith is would be the right one, while mine is wrong.  And since I don't want to think that that is what you're telling me, I'm going to go back and read again to see where the disconnect is.
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« Reply #23: May 10, 2008, 10:47:41 pm »

I feel like we're talking about two different things here. I'm going to go back to the original post, and then my response and see where it went wrong.  Because at this stage, it *sounds* like you're telling me (because you did quote me) that I "have to" pick one or the other and that *your* version of what faith is would be the right one, while mine is wrong.  And since I don't want to think that that is what you're telling me, I'm going to go back and read again to see where the disconnect is.

oh no, I don't care at all what you believe. I'm talking about how it works for me, only. I have no idea how it works for you. I didn't mean to imply that you or I have any answers that are even meaningful for anyone else, let alone the right or wrong way. I was just pointing out that there are myriad ways of looking at this.
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #24: May 11, 2008, 01:41:42 am »

I know many of you are hard polytheists and was wondering ** what you think about the various archetypal deities worshipped by Wiccans and others.
I'm talking about deities such as the Green Man & Woman, the Oak and Holly Kings, the Earth Mother, the Horned God, so forth and so on ad nauseum.

Do you believe they exist?  If so, in what context? Do they have specific names or only these titles?
As a more-hard-than-not polytheist who also sometimes, hmm, "works with" might be closest, some of those archetypes, I feel like I should put my two cents in, but it's a bit tricky as I'm not sure I have the vocabulary to convey it well.

I don't see the archetypes as deities or actual beings; more like ideas, or the pools of energy that have accumulated around the ideas, and I definitely don't worship them.  (I don't usually consider "worship" a very good word for how I interact with the deities I work with, either, but it's more accurate in that case.)

Basically, it's the difference between recognizing, honoring, and making use of the (possibly purely psychological) effect of an idea, and honoring, respecting, and collaborating with an individual (deity-type) person.

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« Reply #25: May 11, 2008, 08:47:05 am »

Basically, it's the difference between recognizing, honoring, and making use of the (possibly purely psychological) effect of an idea, and honoring, respecting, and collaborating with an individual (deity-type) person.

I think this is why, despite my intense interest in archetypes (in literature, psychology, mythology, etc.), and the implications thereof with regard to polytheism, I still consider myself a hard polytheist. Nicely put.  Cheesy
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« Reply #26: May 11, 2008, 08:50:43 am »


However, would you say these deities exist BEYOND being mere archetypes?  That they actually in some way or form exist? 

Yes, absolutely. An archetype is simply an ideal symbol, idea or model, not a living entity or deity. "Mother Earth" and "Land Goddess" are archetypes but Aine Gaia, and Ceres are goddesses who would belong beneath that archetype. It's a model for classification, not an actual goddess.
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« Reply #27: May 11, 2008, 04:21:00 pm »

Basically, it's the difference between recognizing, honoring, and making use of the (possibly purely psychological) effect of an idea, and honoring, respecting, and collaborating with an individual (deity-type) person.

Am so borrowing that for the thread on the Gwyddon board -- if you don't mind!
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« Reply #28: May 11, 2008, 05:42:56 pm »


Rose,

Sadly, your vase of flowers avatar is too large. From the Avatar rules: "External avatars may be no larger than 100 pixels wide and 200 pixels high and must be 8k or under in file size."
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« Reply #29: May 11, 2008, 08:05:33 pm »

Rose,

Sadly, your vase of flowers avatar is too large. From the Avatar rules: "External avatars may be no larger than 100 pixels wide and 200 pixels high and must be 8k or under in file size."

really? I've had it on here for weeks and never knew, I thought it was in the 100x200. But I'll change it, it's time for a change...
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Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/

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