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Author Topic: The language you use  (Read 9519 times)
CrimsonSheep
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« Reply #15: August 05, 2008, 07:59:49 pm »

I have a question related to this, though I don't think it's important or extensive enough to give it its own thread.

Does the same apply (as in, deity understanding whatever language, accepting it, etc.) for more casual language? Such as, certain words that some people believe it is "inappropriate" to say?
For myself, I commonly use such words in everyday speech, and I think it would probably make whatever I was doing (be it spell, ritual, or whatnot) more personal to me if I wrote and performed it how I normally speak, but I'm not sure if that would be considered offensive or rude. Is it just hit-and-miss, or would the deity focus on understanding the point I was trying to get across rather than human constructed views of the words I was using?

(If anybody feels I should make a different thread for this, let me know and I will. I wasn't sure whether or not I should and I figured this is related and just a small question.)
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« Reply #16: August 05, 2008, 08:09:26 pm »

Do you find it important or useful to speak to your gods in the language of their original culture? For instance, sing a hymn to Bridget in Gaelic, or Hestia in Greek?

As others have said, I don' think it's necessary to address the Gods in a particular (or historical) language for a couple of reasons.

1)  If I were to learn Irish today, that would not be the same language as the ancient Irish used by the Iron Age Celts, plus, different groups of Celts used different languages.

2)  I personally believe that Brighid predates the Celts.  I think Brighid is one name for a more primordial Being, who was/is known by several names in different geographic areas.  So, if I'm trying to address Her in the language first used for Her, I would have no idea what that language was.  (I understand this view is no shared by everyone.)

3)  I am who I am.  And I'm someone who doesn't learn languages easily.  So, if Brighid wants me, She'll have to take me as I am.   Grin
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« Reply #17: August 06, 2008, 02:17:35 am »

I have a question related to this, though I don't think it's important or extensive enough to give it its own thread.

Does the same apply (as in, deity understanding whatever language, accepting it, etc.) for more casual language? Such as, certain words that some people believe it is "inappropriate" to say?
For myself, I commonly use such words in everyday speech, and I think it would probably make whatever I was doing (be it spell, ritual, or whatnot) more personal to me if I wrote and performed it how I normally speak, but I'm not sure if that would be considered offensive or rude. Is it just hit-and-miss, or would the deity focus on understanding the point I was trying to get across rather than human constructed views of the words I was using?

(If anybody feels I should make a different thread for this, let me know and I will. I wasn't sure whether or not I should and I figured this is related and just a small question.)

This, to me, falls in line with the OT.  It's a question about the language you use, and sometimes what we call the same language can be so different that it is nearly unrecognizable to one from a different are of the world, or even the same country.

As to whether or not I think the deities focus on the words, I already posted that, but I'll give the short version here.  No, I think we focus on the words, and that helps us to focus on the intent we have, which helps the gods to focus on the most important or the applicable intents we have for whatever reason we are calling on them.
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« Reply #18: August 06, 2008, 08:55:04 am »

Does the same apply (as in, deity understanding whatever language, accepting it, etc.) for more casual language? Such as, certain words that some people believe it is "inappropriate" to say?
For myself, I commonly use such words in everyday speech, and I think it would probably make whatever I was doing (be it spell, ritual, or whatnot) more personal to me if I wrote and performed it how I normally speak, but I'm not sure if that would be considered offensive or rude. Is it just hit-and-miss, or would the deity focus on understanding the point I was trying to get across rather than human constructed views of the words I was using?

I think that varies--just as it varies in human-to-human communication.  If you have an established relationship with the deity you're speaking to and it's a pretty relaxed sort of relationship where formality doesn't factor in as much, then sure, use whatever language you feel comfortable with.  A more formal relationship, though, or the lack of an existing relationship, I think calls for more...  "polite"?...  language.  It's like...  you wouldn't use the same sort of language in a business letter, or when talking to your parents, as you would when talking to your best friends.

In other words:  I do think word choice is important, because it's a part of the whole way you approach deity.  I think it's important to hit the right level of respect, and I think words are a big part of that respect.  What that right level is will depend entirely on what your relationship (or lack thereof) with said deity is like.
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« Reply #19: August 11, 2008, 05:27:33 pm »

Hello, I'm back after a long long time (3 months or so) with a question about language.

Do you find it important or useful to speak to your gods in the language of their original culture? For instance, sing a hymn to Bridget in Gaelic, or Hestia in Greek?

If you have learned a language that is related to gods you believe in do you feel you have benefited spiritually from it?

Often times, it is impossible to capture the entire meaning of a passage that has been translated from it's original language. Sometimes meaning are lost in translation, or something is left out on accident. If you know a language fluently enough, then I'd say that it's best to go with the original. So many things can be taken out of context if you don't. Not saying that translations won't work... Just not as well, I guess.
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« Reply #20: August 15, 2008, 10:40:51 am »

Do you find it important or useful to speak to your gods in the language of their original culture? For instance, sing a hymn to Bridget in Gaelic, or Hestia in Greek?

I seem to communicate with them just fine in English.  It would be ideal if I knew Irish (old or modern), but I don't think the results would be any different.
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« Reply #21: August 15, 2008, 10:43:49 am »

Does the same apply (as in, deity understanding whatever language, accepting it, etc.) for more casual language? Such as, certain words that some people believe it is "inappropriate" to say?

For me, it depends on the deity.  I swear like mad when communicating with Donn, but I wouldn't dream of it when communicating with The Dagda.
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« Reply #22: August 17, 2008, 10:40:32 am »

Do you find it important or useful to speak to your gods in the language of their original culture? For instance, sing a hymn to Bridget in Gaelic, or Hestia in Greek?

While I've never felt the insistent "push" to learn it, I know that my efforts of learning to speak and be literate in ancient Egyptian (which requires about three forms of written text, at least two separate dialects, and an understanding of ancient Greek and/or Latin to help ease things along in translating) have been appreciated by the Neteru. In my experience of studying the pre-translated texts, much of what I see doesn't feel right, especially Budge's works--which he's been proven to have just made up meanings for words he didn't know. As a result, I only am certain of a few words meanings, but... *shrugs* It's a start.

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If you have learned a language that is related to gods you believe in do you feel you have benefited spiritually from it?

As I said, I feel They appreciate my effort, and feeling the warm fuzzy feelings from that has certainly brought me closer to Them on a personal level. I think it's more a matter of applying to improve myself more than a matter of actually learning the language itself. They seem just as happy when I speak to Them in my very poor ancient Egyptian or my equally poor Japanese or Italian, as when I do in my thankfully-not-overtly-Southern American English.
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« Reply #23: September 04, 2008, 10:32:21 am »

I wouldn't dream of it when communicating with The Dagda.

Why?  What would he do if you swore in front of Him?
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« Reply #24: September 04, 2008, 12:39:45 pm »


All right, I know this is going to sound monumentally strange. BUT! To me it's also really cool.

I love languages, though I've forgotten most of what I ever learned. I used to translate for people in Mexico, now I have a hard time following soaps on the Spanish channel (which is ridiculous, since the plots are as unchanging as the bedrock beneath which all soap operas should really be buried). Mom used to speak French to us, so I have some of that too, and my gran spoke Welsh and Gaelic to us. And so on and so forth. But I'm not really fluent in anything but English at this point.

At the end of my initiation, I was waiting quietly for some sign of acceptance by the Goddess (Brighid in my case), as instructed; trying not to place too much importance on it since apparently it doesn't always come.

Spontaneously, almost before I knew I was going to, I sang a song in a language I do not know. It sounded like Gaelic, but I don't think it was. I wish I'd been able to write it down, musically as well as verbally, because it was a haunting sort of melody I can't remember now.

The same thing has happened a few times during rituals; not every time, and never when I came with an intense personal problem to speak to Her about. But when it does, it's an amazing experience, in part because I don't know what I'm saying although I have some idea intuitively.

I use different languages in my Book of Shadows sometimes too, depending what feels right.

What I love about different languages is the nuances and shades of meaning that are unique to each; some words in French or Hebrew or Gaelic just are not easily translatable to English, and vice-versa. So I think when we need to express something to the Gods, they will sometimes help by lending us the words that truly match what we need to say.

This is sort of the reverse of what some others have said, about the intent or emotion being what's conveyed regardless of words per se; but I think it can work both ways, depending in part on our own gifts and inclinations. (shrug)

Oh well, my two cents ... Smiley
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« Reply #25: September 04, 2008, 09:52:19 pm »

As I said, I feel They appreciate my effort, and feeling the warm fuzzy feelings from that has certainly brought me closer to Them on a personal level. I think it's more a matter of applying to improve myself more than a matter of actually learning the language itself. They seem just as happy when I speak to Them in my very poor ancient Egyptian or my equally poor Japanese or Italian, as when I do in my thankfully-not-overtly-Southern American English.

I agree that the effort is probably more appreciated than the actual words. Any time or effort put towards devotion to Them or your faith, I think, is what counts more than how elaborate or "acurate" a ritual is.
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« Reply #26: September 04, 2008, 09:55:41 pm »

Often times, it is impossible to capture the entire meaning of a passage that has been translated from it's original language. Sometimes meaning are lost in translation, or something is left out on accident. If you know a language fluently enough, then I'd say that it's best to go with the original. So many things can be taken out of context if you don't. Not saying that translations won't work... Just not as well, I guess.

I agree that translations often miss the intention of the author. I know enough Spanish to be slowly making my way through Harry Potter 3 in Spanish. I read with the English next to me, partly to check words I don't know, and partly to look at the differences in translation. The artistry of Jo Rowling's words and puns are quite often lost.

On the other hand, this would never affect my spiritual life because I would never use a translated prayer. I use all my own language because it means more to me.
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« Reply #27: September 09, 2008, 10:50:40 am »

Hello, I'm back after a long long time (3 months or so) with a question about language.

Do you find it important or useful to speak to your gods in the language of their original culture? For instance, sing a hymn to Bridget in Gaelic, or Hestia in Greek?

If you have learned a language that is related to gods you believe in do you feel you have benefited spiritually from it?

I use my native language with all my magickal works and also with the Gods or Goddesses. If could speak Greece I think I´d try to use when talking to Hermes or other Greekgod it but not becouse They would not understand me otherwise but to honor Them.
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« Reply #28: September 30, 2008, 01:15:26 pm »

I'd never thought of it before, especially because my path is still evolving, but I think learning a few words or a prayer in a different language might feel more intimate than your ordinary way of speaking. Just as I might use poetry or elaborate prose to set the tone, another language might be effective too. Hmm, something for the back of my mind...

 I like to put on old classical music from a chorus that I sing in,we've sung in a few different languages.
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« Reply #29: September 30, 2008, 11:45:14 pm »

I think that use of language helps us to clarify our intent within us, but I don't think that the language itself actually serves the gods any.  It sort of helps us to focus our own intent, sort of like what you were saying about the organization of thoughts.  I mean if you are scattered about what you want to impart to them, they may not know which idea to go with.  By saying these thoughts, voicing them, we set a priority on those things we want the deities to focus on

I completely agree with this.  I believe the gods know my thoughts, They know my heart.  When I speak, I'm bringing it to light for myself.  Personally, I come to my best realizations by talking the idea through.  Its not going to be "me" if I'm stumbling through in Gaelic or Greek and trying to remember words that have escaped my memory - nor would I hold off on prayer or ritual until I became "fluent enough" in whatever other language I felt I needed.

I spoke English and only English fluently when the gods claimed me - I don't feel the need to learn any other language for Them.
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