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Thread: How do you view mythology and how does this influence your view of deity or lack of?

  1. #1
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    How do you view mythology and how does this influence your view of deity or lack of?

    For a long time I've been confused about my view on deity to the point where even though I've been a part of the pagan community for years, I still feel like I know nothing.

    For the past few days I've been thinking about my view on mythology and how that might influence my current confusion on deity.

    In my opinion, mythology is nothing more than stories made up my ancient peoples to explain natural events, culture/heritage, and life lessons and excludes anything metaphysical from actually happening.

    This brings me to believe that deities are not omnipotent and less godly than how I viewed deity in my Christian years. So in my search for answers I was wondering how others here viewed myth and how that view influenced how they view deity as well or lack there-of.

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    I would have an alternate point of view on mythology.
    Mythology to me is a guide for how my people viewed the world around them and the deities that exist in their exoteric practice. I have no interest in paganism outside that form but I agree with you about this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sacredsin View Post
    This brings me to believe that deities are not omnipotent and less godly than how I viewed deity in my Christian years.
    They are not omnipotent in any way. They are spiritual entities that have existed and historically interacted with people and according to religions from a specific culture, folklore and original myths they exist on a higher plane then us that we might pass onto after death. I believe they exist regionally rather then globally my view on the christian god is he began regionally and then became blended into roman imperialism becoming a global god. People praying to that deity are only getting their local deities who are without a doubt baffled but honoured.

    I would never pray to a deity or use it in a spell, they were never human there is no telling what they would do. Would they understand the urgency of what you need? You could ask for money today and the twenty you foind on the floor could have gotten there because a deity impelled someone to rob or kill without understanding the need wasnt that urgent.

    Likewise never having a physical form like ours they could urge you to walk onto the road in a thoughtless moment in the understanding you will ultimately get compensation without understanding the concequences and immidiacy of pain.

    Deities have to be treated with caution and thats illustrated in the myths. Meddle with Gods and youre going to get caught up in things that wont be in your interests.
    Last edited by Nuadu; April 11th, 2009 at 03:33 PM.

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    I view Mythology as having many different meanings, not one is "better" than the other, I also view them as being Sacred. Like, on one level, when I read Mesopotamian Myths, like the Descent of Inanna, or Egyptian Myths, about Set, or Greek Myths, etc, I can recognise the literacy genius of them, I can recognise the creativity, etc that went into them, but, at, the same time, I also believe they do take us into other worlds, that they can give us glimpses of the divine realms, etc. I'm not saying that Inanna walked the earth and then descended to the Netherworld, or that the trial of Set happened on earth, or anything like that, but, I think they happened, just maybe not in this realm, that, through our creativity (which are extensions of our psyches/souls), it gives us glimpses into the divine realms. It's also why I view other creative pursuits as sacred, especially drama. Not sure if I explained that well.

    It's a good topic, though.

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    My main diety is Gaia.

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    My view on mythology is that it explains how/why something is done, or tells of divine ancestry/history. Thats about it, but Roman mythology never concerned the actual worship of the Gods, rather it commented on it often trying to explain why something was done. Roman mythology is fairly after the fact because it was things done that was important, and often the reasoning behind why those things were done was forgotten or fragmented over time.



    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    They are not omnipotent in any way.
    According to your opinion maybe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    Deities have to be treated with caution and thats illustrated in the myths. Meddle with Gods and youre going to get caught up in things that wont be in your interests.
    I disagree with this as well. The Gods must be approached with thoughtfulness and piety, not cautionary fear--thats a very Xena/Hercules-like view on the Gods; as in from the tv series.

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    If you dont like my opinion thats fine though if youre going to be that brash Id like to see a ref I could look up?

    Edited to remove ranting offendedness

    Its easter morning commemorating the 1916 rising when men went to fight with no hope of winning whos only thought was preserving tradition. Today is a bad day to question the validity of Irish Traditions for me.
    Last edited by Nuadu; April 12th, 2009 at 05:37 AM.

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    Deities have to be treated with caution and thats illustrated in the myths. Meddle with Gods and youre going to get caught up in things that wont be in your interests.
    I actually agree with this from the influence of the Celtic perspective. Many tales and stories I found in Scotland and read of in Irish literature made great points of they just might help or just might stick it to you, all at their whim or notion at the moment.

    I recall passing over a fairy bridge while in Scotland and seeing the fairy hole where they still throw a coin to the bridgeman. Heard from other's on base that didn't pay the toll and the problems they had on the trip back home.

    I disagree with this as well. The Gods must be approached with thoughtfulness and piety, not cautionary fear--thats a very Xena/Hercules-like view on the Gods; as in from the tv series.
    If he had cast it against a Med Basin backdrop then I might agree with this, being against a Celtic backdrop I fully agree with his position.

    I really can't explain it but the time I spent in Scotland I saw more back bone beliefs and influnces than I did in the Med. I suppose one might say the ghosts of the past were tied real strong to the population and places and alive today just as much as when the stories were conceived.

    I encountered more belief in the land spirits and wights than could ever be imagined. People that would not go out on certain nights or conditions because of the hunt or roving spirits. Saw more things I could not explain than I care to recall.

    Even had a person tell me a spirit of an ancestor watched over me from the moment I landed in Scotland. I probally wouldn't have given it much though except they described in detail a person I have know via dreams for years and a castle I have drawn as an old home. Yep my family is of Irish / Scotish ancestry on both sides.

    Some of that lore is carried into the mountain families of Virginia as many are composed of old Irish / Scotish families.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacredsin View Post
    .. I still feel like I know nothing.

    I'm 50 years old and still feel like that. Just when I think I understand something new is added that knocks me back to square one.

    For the past few days I've been thinking about my view on mythology and how that might influence my current confusion on deity.

    That is possible. There was a period I though that the Mythologies of the Dieties I choose would help me and did add to the confusion. For me it was the mythology may or maynot have supported what I felt.

    In my opinion, mythology is nothing more than stories made up my ancient peoples to explain natural events, culture/heritage, and life lessons and excludes anything metaphysical from actually happening.

    I agree to an extent. I think many times it gives us a small glimpse into the whole world mindset of that culture and time period. Yet it also gives a flicker of how they overcame some event.

    I disagree on the metaphysical though. Our word usuage and understading is driven by our social order. Today there are so many things that we simply do not know what it was though the words are there. We speculate on what but many times we run across something that seems as if anyone alive at the time would know what it was but we can not even begin to state other than it was.

    This brings me to believe that deities are not omnipotent and less godly than how I viewed deity in my Christian years.

    I think for me it depends upon the deity in question. Many show failure in thier actions but through failure do they advance at times. The problem for me is that how does one define what is or is not when so much is lost and all we have are occasional references are fragments of scrolls.

    To many it is not suprising that the Christian God would seem omnipotent as for the last 2000 years that has been the primary influence. Anything else was relagated to the notion of myths and or demonized. Even many stories of other gods and influences are stolen as they are re-recorded in the new gods name.

    The US is barely over 200 years old right now yet our own history from then is shrouded in great myth and falsehoods. We know more about feudal Europe than we know about many things dealing with the Rev War through documents.

    So in my search for answers I was wondering how others here viewed myth and how that view influenced how they view deity as well or lack there-of.
    For me I view mythology to be glimpses of how diety was interacted with and seen by our ancestors. It show's the poitive and negative sides but I also know history belongs to the victors.

    Some parts I view against our own US history and stories such as Paul Bunyon or Pecos Bill or even Johnny Appleseed. They tell tales of a growth and social time of great changes but also the need to believe in something larger than themselves. To some extent even the rise and fall of stories and lore of a people as one must give way before the new yet the old is longed for in a nostalgic position.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Goddess View Post
    I disagree with this as well. The Gods must be approached with thoughtfulness and piety, not cautionary fear--thats a very Xena/Hercules-like view on the Gods; as in from the tv series.
    It depends on the God(s), though, doesn't it?, yes, piety is important, but, for some Gods, you should tread with caution, apparantly, the Aztec Gods aren't to be treated lightly, and can mess with you, just for their own fun (I've never had any experiences with them, that just comes from what Aztec recons have said). For some Gods, fear is a sign of respect to them. It all depends on the God(s), IMO, they aren't all alike, so, how you approach them has to be different, unless you're just making a general offering to all the Gods or something like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
    I actually agree with this from the influence of the Celtic perspective. Many tales and stories I found in Scotland and read of in Irish literature made great points of they just might help or just might stick it to you, all at their whim or notion at the moment.

    I recall passing over a fairy bridge while in Scotland and seeing the fairy hole where they still throw a coin to the bridgeman. Heard from other's on base that didn't pay the toll and the problems they had on the trip back home.



    If he had cast it against a Med Basin backdrop then I might agree with this, being against a Celtic backdrop I fully agree with his position.

    I really can't explain it but the time I spent in Scotland I saw more back bone beliefs and influnces than I did in the Med. I suppose one might say the ghosts of the past were tied real strong to the population and places and alive today just as much as when the stories were conceived.

    I encountered more belief in the land spirits and wights than could ever be imagined. People that would not go out on certain nights or conditions because of the hunt or roving spirits. Saw more things I could not explain than I care to recall.
    While I do agree with your post to an extent, couldn't some of those customs be more superstition, like not going out on certain nights 'cause of the Hunt (it just seems it's local superstition that "on this night, a whole bunch of ghost and other beings are going to be riding about, so, stay inside", it seems like a way to control teens, just my opinion).

    I'm not saying the whole Hunt is just superstition, maybe it's based on fact, and that it does happen sometimes, but, maybe, a lot of the time, when people fear it, it's just local custom.

    BTW, quite cool experiences that you've had .

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