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Author Topic: New Gods?  (Read 5568 times)
Ghost Queen
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« Topic Start: January 05, 2009, 07:20:24 pm »

Something I was just randomly thinking about today:

Several of the ancient mythologies portray the gods and goddesses as being capable of procreating, and then their children grow up to be gods themselves. Since most of those stories are thousands of years old, it must be possible that more children have been born to various gods and goddesses.

So if any new gods and goddesses have come into being since then, how would we find out about them?  Which makes me wonder, how did the ancients first find out about the deities they worshipped?
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« Reply #1: January 05, 2009, 07:27:42 pm »

Something I was just randomly thinking about today:

Several of the ancient mythologies portray the gods and goddesses as being capable of procreating, and then their children grow up to be gods themselves. Since most of those stories are thousands of years old, it must be possible that more children have been born to various gods and goddesses.

So if any new gods and goddesses have come into being since then, how would we find out about them?  Which makes me wonder, how did the ancients first find out about the deities they worshipped?

Thats a good question! I can give my "VERY" Mediocre opinion lol.  Well nowadays most people will claim that the God or Godess came to them (in a dream or vision)  I would imagine when it comes to Children of the God's it would be much the same way. 

If I dont have my stuff wrong when it comes the deities and how they came to worship them, I think it originated in them trying to explain nature and such.
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« Reply #2: January 05, 2009, 07:48:38 pm »

Something I was just randomly thinking about today:

Several of the ancient mythologies portray the gods and goddesses as being capable of procreating, and then their children grow up to be gods themselves. Since most of those stories are thousands of years old, it must be possible that more children have been born to various gods and goddesses.

So if any new gods and goddesses have come into being since then, how would we find out about them?  Which makes me wonder, how did the ancients first find out about the deities they worshipped?

Well, my personal beliefs (for exactly what they're worth Wink ) is that gods need humans to give them form and shape.  They have EXISTENCE without us - they simply Are, like we Are, and no one needs to validate that.  But we give them shape to communicate with us.

So new gods would need us to give them shape, and without that, they wouldn't communicate.  That said, I suspect there are gods of things we just don't think of as gods. Wink  (after all, does the name matter, or the effect?)
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« Reply #3: January 05, 2009, 08:08:48 pm »

Well, my personal beliefs (for exactly what they're worth Wink ) is that gods need humans to give them form and shape.  They have EXISTENCE without us - they simply Are, like we Are, and no one needs to validate that.  But we give them shape to communicate with us.

So new gods would need us to give them shape, and without that, they wouldn't communicate.  That said, I suspect there are gods of things we just don't think of as gods. Wink  (after all, does the name matter, or the effect?)

Very interesting POV.  This makes a lot of sense, especially when you think about how different people see and/or experience the same deities.
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« Reply #4: January 06, 2009, 12:42:45 am »

Several of the ancient mythologies portray the gods and goddesses as being capable of procreating, and then their children grow up to be gods themselves. Since most of those stories are thousands of years old, it must be possible that more children have been born to various gods and goddesses.
So if any new gods and goddesses have come into being since then, how would we find out about them?  Which makes me wonder, how did the ancients first find out about the deities they worshipped?

The best way I can illustrate the way I see this situation is to use Bast as an example. She was sometimes depicted with her kittens.  Since she can be thought of as a goddess of music, dance, and perfume (among other things) I see each kitten as a representation of those aspects of her. There would be a music kitten, dance kitten and perfume kitten.

Now music kitten for example could be thought of as also having kittens, one to represent instruments, one for song, one for rhythm, and so on. Then each of those kittens would have kittens. So instrument kitten would have kittens for each instrument. These would be drum, harp, bells, and then more kittens would come along as new instruments were created. So today there would be an electric guitar kitten.  Cheesy

Basically, I see gods/goddesses as the energy of a thing. So if something is, then it has energy and that energy can change and grow and morph along with the world. I don't see the deities as being static because they are part of the world and the world isn't static.
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« Reply #5: January 06, 2009, 03:45:55 am »

electric guitar kitten
Cheesy I wonder what a statue of that one would look like.
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« Reply #6: January 06, 2009, 04:03:56 am »

The best way I can illustrate the way I see this situation is to use Bast as an example. She was sometimes depicted with her kittens.  Since she can be thought of as a goddess of music, dance, and perfume (among other things) I see each kitten as a representation of those aspects of her. There would be a music kitten, dance kitten and perfume kitten.

Now music kitten for example could be thought of as also having kittens, one to represent instruments, one for song, one for rhythm, and so on. Then each of those kittens would have kittens. So instrument kitten would have kittens for each instrument. These would be drum, harp, bells, and then more kittens would come along as new instruments were created. So today there would be an electric guitar kitten.  Cheesy

Basically, I see gods/goddesses as the energy of a thing. So if something is, then it has energy and that energy can change and grow and morph along with the world. I don't see the deities as being static because they are part of the world and the world isn't static.


You know, based on some Kemetic creation myths, that's basically the way the whole pantheon came into being; subdivisions of one original divine consciousness into various energetic extensions as creation radiated outward and branched off into increasing complexity and diversity. With each new entity acquiring a new identity separate from, but still part of, the original. (I can't remember if that was my impression of Meeks, Hornung, or someone else's take on the myths, but I'm pretty certain I heard something similar somewhere. Sounds a bit like a modern argument for Monolatry, so maybe I heard it at HON? )

Your post also gave me a distinct image of those Russian nesting dolls I used to have as a kid, and I thought to myself: hey, that's a really neat way to look at the divine. 

So, yeah, digressions aside, I agree.  Smiley
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« Reply #7: January 06, 2009, 04:18:22 am »

Quote
So today there would be an electric guitar kitten.  Cheesy
Cheesy I wonder what a statue of that one would look like.



(heh heh!)
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« Reply #8: January 06, 2009, 09:41:45 am »

So if any new gods and goddesses have come into being since then, how would we find out about them?  Which makes me wonder, how did the ancients first find out about the deities they worshipped?

 I suppose the new gods and goddesses would just have to pay you a mental visit. And as for the ancients discovery of deities it was probablly in an attempt to explain concepts or occurences they couldn't prove something else caused.

-Hannibal
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« Reply #9: January 10, 2009, 07:16:28 pm »

Cheesy I wonder what a statue of that one would look like.


Oh I  love it!!!!!   Cheesy
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Fagan_the_Pagan
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« Reply #10: January 17, 2009, 01:18:50 am »

Well, my personal beliefs (for exactly what they're worth Wink ) is that gods need humans to give them form and shape.  They have EXISTENCE without us - they simply Are, like we Are, and no one needs to validate that.  But we give them shape to communicate with us.

So new gods would need us to give them shape, and without that, they wouldn't communicate.  That said, I suspect there are gods of things we just don't think of as gods. Wink  (after all, does the name matter, or the effect?)
This is rather similar to what I have recently come to in my meditations on the subject and related subjects.  Basically my POV is that all the gods are, fundamentally, ideas.  People give power to ideas, pouring their faith, energy, belief, etc. into them, thus giving birth to the gods.  Perhaps they do not specifically need us to stick around, but they only have as much power as they are given by people (and animals and plants, potentially)  In this sense I am a "man created god in his image" person.  I don't want to be mistaken, as I think it is possible that the gods may come to develop a personality, given enough energy and made real enough by their adherents, and could be autonomous to a degree.  They become independent, in a sense.  Then, the gods can also serve as wellsprings of power for those who call upon them.  To return to the beginning, since gods are fundamentally IDEAS in my POV, it then follows that any strongly held belief is no different from a god.  In that sense, any new idea has the potential to become a new god.  We would know of them in the form of ideas already.  From there we'd just have to make the leap of understanding to classify them as gods.
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« Reply #11: January 22, 2009, 04:17:31 pm »

This is rather similar to what I have recently come to in my meditations on the subject and related subjects.  Basically my POV is that all the gods are, fundamentally, ideas.  People give power to ideas, pouring their faith, energy, belief, etc. into them, thus giving birth to the gods.  Perhaps they do not specifically need us to stick around, but they only have as much power as they are given by people (and animals and plants, potentially)  In this sense I am a "man created god in his image" person.  I don't want to be mistaken, as I think it is possible that the gods may come to develop a personality, given enough energy and made real enough by their adherents, and could be autonomous to a degree.  They become independent, in a sense.  Then, the gods can also serve as wellsprings of power for those who call upon them.  To return to the beginning, since gods are fundamentally IDEAS in my POV, it then follows that any strongly held belief is no different from a god.  In that sense, any new idea has the potential to become a new god.  We would know of them in the form of ideas already.  From there we'd just have to make the leap of understanding to classify them as gods.

this is really fascinating. thank you.
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« Reply #12: January 22, 2009, 06:45:16 pm »

You know, based on some Kemetic creation myths, that's basically the way the whole pantheon came into being; subdivisions of one original divine consciousness into various energetic extensions as creation radiated outward and branched off into increasing complexity and diversity. With each new entity acquiring a new identity separate from, but still part of, the original.

I've been nodding in agreement to a lot of what I've read in this thread, but the above in particular struck me, because it matches so closely with my understanding of my own gods. I didn't Kemetic gods were interpreted in this way (probably because I don't know Kemetic creation myths well).

To tackle the original question, I believe strongly that gods are inseparable from their myths. I know many modern pagans don't necessarily share this view; I think many understand deities in an almost stand-alone manner, where they have certain attributes and control over certain spheres, and that's sufficient. But for me, all those attributes and spheres of control are in the context of the stories they take part in: The myths define the attributes and areas of control.

So to my mind, new gods would take shape as new myths are told about them.
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« Reply #13: January 23, 2009, 06:48:55 pm »

So if any new gods and goddesses have come into being since then, how would we find out about them?  Which makes me wonder, how did the ancients first find out about the deities they worshipped?

Hmmm.  In my opinion the answer(s) to these questions would probably have to do with how modern paganism is different from the religions of the ancients.  The gods of the ancients developed along with and within the various cultures that acknowledged them.  The gods of most pantheons had/have attributes that reflect ideas and concepts that were important to the cultures that originated those pantheons.  Also, the ancients had the benefit of physical locations that were associated with the gods such as temples, certain mountains, rivers, and other bodies of water, etc.  These were tangible reminders of the gods that people encountered in their daily lives and which integrated the gods into the social/cultural fabric.

Today most forms of paganism aren't confined to a particular geographical location, culture, or people and most pagans don't have local access to sites that have long been associated with the gods.  Even the various forms of reconstructionism, which aim to create a modern religious practice that is informed by ancient customs, lore, etc., exist in majority non-pagan cultures.  So, in my opinion the question of how we would find out about new gods would be answered variously by various pagans and groups of pagans.  Today we lack overarching pagan societies within which concepts of the gods are evolving.  Instead paganism is competing within the market place of ideas, not within one culture, but across the globe.

Also, modern paganism is still a very new religious movement.  And that's assuming that you believe that the various pagan religions constitute a collective movement of some kind.  Either way, I think that pagans are still very much in the process of dealing with these kinds of questions as we seek to create religious practices that are informed by the past yet relevant to our modern lives.
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« Reply #14: January 24, 2009, 06:34:20 am »

Hmmm.  In my opinion the answer(s) to these questions would probably have to do with how modern paganism is different from the religions of the ancients....

These are all very good points.
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