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David19
May 6th, 2010, 09:16 PM
I wasn't exactly sure where to put this, or even what to call the thread, so, if you want to move it, please do :).

Today, in an Esoteric shop, I was reading a bit of 'Drawing Down The Spirits: The Traditions and Techniques of Spirit Possession' by Kenaz Filan and Raven Kaldera (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/159477269X/chainreadin04-20), I read one section which talked about knowing who you were contacting, drawing down, and that even Gods with the same name may not necessarily be the same being, the authors bring up examples like the Apollo of one city may be different to the Apollo of another (kind of like family - related, but, not the same). Now, I didn't buy it today (I'll try and get it next week or something), so, I can't quote it word for word (and, hopefully Kenaz may be able to correct me on anything I've misinterpreted, if they see this post), but, I was wondering, do you think there's a difference between Gods, even with the same name (I know in Kemetic beliefs, there's Heru the Elder, and Heru the Younger (son of Aset and Wesir) who are different beings)?.

Also, something else the book brought up that I found interesting is how do you tell the difference between spirits and Gods, like, what, in your opinion, seperates something from being "just a" spirit to a God, what defines a God, for you?.

For myself, I tend to see a difference between Gods and spirits, I know some don't, but, I believe Gods are, kind of, a different species to spirits (or, to use another metaphor, spirits are one layer of an onion, then you get Gods, and maybe even higher beings).

Anyway, hope this post made some sense :).

Herumetem
May 7th, 2010, 11:10 AM
I'd say that Gods are the ones in charge of the universe, and spirits are not. I don't think of Gods as being 'farther up on the heirarchy' than spirits because they're different things. Gods can give orders. They are more powerful, and are immortal. I don't think of spirits in that way.
I also personally believe (against a lot of opposition) that both Horuses are the same God performing a different task, in the way that Sekhmet and Hathor are both different Goddesses AND the same Goddess in different roles.

Gaudior
May 7th, 2010, 11:15 AM
I basically see the Gods as beings more powerful than us *shrug* Spirits included. I don't really distinguish. :p

Shaedema
May 7th, 2010, 03:34 PM
I see them separate beings, but I couldn't even begin to tell you how the division makes sense outside of my Path. :weirdsmil Inside my Tradition the division is sometimes based on the number of followers (a tricky count), sometimes on the beings' strength when it appears, and sometimes the division is based on what writings I can find.

Each one is taken on an individual basis.

Tobias
May 7th, 2010, 08:39 PM
...and that even Gods with the same name may not necessarily be the same being, the authors bring up examples like the Apollo of one city may be different to the Apollo of another (kind of like family - related, but, not the same).

Interesting David. These are my thoughts on the matter almost exactly!

I'm not sure we need to be concerned about it, but it does make sense that there could be many deities that all share the same name and mythology. The Greeks had a habit of going through and identifying all head deities (for example) as Zeus. The variations from city to city were noted, and that is why you would have the various epitaphs to identify exactly which Zeus you were talking about!

When the Romans came around, they took the same mythos and applied it to their Gods. Instead of changing Jupiter's name to Zeus, they simply kept the same name but adopted the persona. Are Zeus and Jupiter the exact same God? Some would say yes, others no. I say we get the deity that chooses to answer us. We may pray to Zeus and get Jupiter instead. Or to Jesus and get Apollon!

Which is where my theory here really gains momentum. During the Hellenistic era the Greeks tried to identify their Gods in all of the pantheons worshiped in the nations around them. They compared Zeus with Thor in the north, and I think it was with Ra or Amon in Egypt. They tried to simplify things. Instead of having thousands of different temples to the thousands of different Gods, they combined them into just a handful of responsibilities.

Enter Christianity, and things got ever so much more simpler. One God, one temple/church. Most people believe that all the thousands of different God suddenly vanished, making room for the one. But who's to say that They ever listen to what we humans want? If many different gods were ok with answering the "Zeus", or to "Apollo", why would it bother them so much to answer to "Jesus"? Or to "God the Father", or any of the goddesses to "Mary"?

It's not like any of the pagan myths are accurate descriptions of the particular God's actions. They merely spell out some of the particular details about what to expect when you encounter them. Something the Gods themselves probably know we expect, and simply play along with to gain our trust.

I'm sure most every Christian would freak out at the idea of pagan gods answering their prayers. :hairred: lol But then again, they are really no more pagan than they are Christian, if indeed they have been answering to the name Jesus for the past few thousand years! The only issue then is to separate between benevolent spirits/Gods, and ones that don't have your best interest in mind.

David19
May 7th, 2010, 10:03 PM
Interesting David. These are my thoughts on the matter almost exactly!

I'm not sure we need to be concerned about it, but it does make sense that there could be many deities that all share the same name and mythology. The Greeks had a habit of going through and identifying all head deities (for example) as Zeus. The variations from city to city were noted, and that is why you would have the various epitaphs to identify exactly which Zeus you were talking about!

When the Romans came around, they took the same mythos and applied it to their Gods. Instead of changing Jupiter's name to Zeus, they simply kept the same name but adopted the persona. Are Zeus and Jupiter the exact same God? Some would say yes, others no. I say we get the deity that chooses to answer us. We may pray to Zeus and get Jupiter instead. Or to Jesus and get Apollon!

Which is where my theory here really gains momentum. During the Hellenistic era the Greeks tried to identify their Gods in all of the pantheons worshiped in the nations around them. They compared Zeus with Thor in the north, and I think it was with Ra or Amon in Egypt. They tried to simplify things. Instead of having thousands of different temples to the thousands of different Gods, they combined them into just a handful of responsibilities.

Enter Christianity, and things got ever so much more simpler. One God, one temple/church. Most people believe that all the thousands of different God suddenly vanished, making room for the one. But who's to say that They ever listen to what we humans want? If many different gods were ok with answering the "Zeus", or to "Apollo", why would it bother them so much to answer to "Jesus"? Or to "God the Father", or any of the goddesses to "Mary"?

It's not like any of the pagan myths are accurate descriptions of the particular God's actions. They merely spell out some of the particular details about what to expect when you encounter them. Something the Gods themselves probably know we expect, and simply play along with to gain our trust.

I'm sure most every Christian would freak out at the idea of pagan gods answering their prayers. :hairred: lol But then again, they are really no more pagan than they are Christian, if indeed they have been answering to the name Jesus for the past few thousand years! The only issue then is to separate between benevolent spirits/Gods, and ones that don't have your best interest in mind.

Those are interesting ideas, Tobias, thanks for sharing :). I'm not sure if I believe the Beings that Christians pray to are actually the Gods of other cultures (when I'm in a Polytheistic mood, and not a Non-Theistic one, I tend to see the Gods as being seperate, e.g. Zeus is seperate to Thor, who's seperate to YHWH, who's not the same as Ra, who's different to Ares, etc). Although, you may be right about asking the Gods themselves, if they feel like telling you that is (and some of them might not, something I've learnt from Raven Kaldera's (http://www.ravenkaldera.org/) writings is that they do have their own lives, in their own realms).

Thanks again for your reply :).

David19
May 7th, 2010, 10:04 PM
I see them separate beings, but I couldn't even begin to tell you how the division makes sense outside of my Path. :weirdsmil Inside my Tradition the division is sometimes based on the number of followers (a tricky count), sometimes on the beings' strength when it appears, and sometimes the division is based on what writings I can find.

Each one is taken on an individual basis.

That's a good attitude to have, IMO :).

Also, thanks to everyone else who posted too :).

Tobias
May 8th, 2010, 12:40 AM
Those are interesting ideas, Tobias, thanks for sharing :). I'm not sure if I believe the Beings that Christians pray to are actually the Gods of other cultures (when I'm in a Polytheistic mood, and not a Non-Theistic one, I tend to see the Gods as being seperate, e.g. Zeus is seperate to Thor, who's seperate to YHWH, who's not the same as Ra, who's different to Ares, etc). Although, you may be right about asking the Gods themselves, if they feel like telling you that is (and some of them might not, something I've learnt from Raven Kaldera's (http://www.ravenkaldera.org/) writings is that they do have their own lives, in their own realms).

Thanks again for your reply :).


Well yeah, it's a theory anyway. :thumbsup:

rawrTigress
May 8th, 2010, 12:40 AM
I believe it has to do with the perspective of the individual. When it comes down to it. Zeus is Zeus ... Thor is Thor ..and so on. I believe the Gods are infinite by nature. They are multifaceted. Therefore one person may relate to a certain aspect of a Goddess in one way while another person is reaching another aspect of the same Goddess.

I keep this in mind and try to stay really open when working with different Gods so I can access which ever aspect they feel would be most helpful to me in the moment.

Whitewolfcry
May 15th, 2010, 02:22 PM
I'd say that Gods are the ones in charge of the universe, and spirits are not. I don't think of Gods as being 'farther up on the heirarchy' than spirits because they're different things. Gods can give orders. They are more powerful, and are immortal. I don't think of spirits in that way.
I also personally believe (against a lot of opposition) that both Horuses are the same God performing a different task, in the way that Sekhmet and Hathor are both different Goddesses AND the same Goddess in different roles.



in the voodoo tradition the spirits are the delegators between the god and the mortals. they give the "orders" of god and reply with the "wishes" of the humans. we as humans made religion and thats the truth other beings on this planet do not have religion and we created the gods we worship. some of us make the gods greater than ourselves which is fine because how else are they to help us when we seemingly can not help ourselves. but in truth deities are us and part of us spirit and god are the same thing and should both be given equal respect.

rawrTigress
May 16th, 2010, 03:08 AM
I agree.

PhoenixRevival
May 17th, 2010, 08:53 AM
My views on the powers that be starts simple and then starts to boggle my own brain.

Above everything I believe there is a true divine presence in this reality so vast and unknowable that it's presence dwarfs our existence as much as the width and breath of the universe dwarfs the existence of this mud ball we're spinning on.

From this presence though our will shapes minute parts of this divine into more relatable forms; the gods. The gods our born from our ideas, actions, thoughts, and imaginations and from this soup relate to one specific ideal or purpose and that is their divine personification. Everything else (imho) is fluff. Their name, how we perceive them, even their behavior is all just a reflection of how our minds wish to believe they are. That doesn’t make them make-believe or any less real. They simply reflect what we believe them to be and the more we define them in our mind, the more individualist they become in our encounters with them and the more specific their range to help us would be.

Spirits are no different in their ability to take a specific form, just their source. They are comprised of those who came before them. The stronger spirits maintain some form of individuality while less willful become a part of the "collective spirit". That collective is what people call on when they seek a specific animal aspect, or when they seek guidance from their "ancestors". Even a persons power animal or guardian spirit come from this.

Hope this contributes to the discussion. ^_^