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

  1. #21
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    My response is mostly centered around the Kemetic gods as they're the ones I follow and have had the most experience with.

    I've never taken the myths as literally true or as the infallible words of the gods. They were written by the hands of humans and therefore subject to human bias. I also agree that they are mostly stories told to explain a certain phenomenon or to teach a lesson of some sort. To me the gods in the myths and the gods themselves are very different though I do think that these stories can be used to get a deeper understanding of the gods as they were viewed in ancient times and the ancient Kemetic people themselves. I have found in my experience that there is so much more to Their natures than the forms presented in the myths and that you have to look beyond the myths and talk to Them to really get to know Them.

    I'll give Set as an example. I have had many people ask me if (or sometimes tell me) He is the god of homosexuality because of the contendings myth where he has sexual relations with Heru-sa-Aset. My answer to them is no, He is not the god of homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality. He is sexuality in all its forms, the raw power of sex, as that is how I and many of my brothers and sisters have experienced Him. I feel that to only focus on that myth and that one event is to place Him in a very small, cramped box. The Set of that myth is bisexual but Set Himself is all sex.

    Sat Set her Djehuty, Meryt Ra her Heru-wer



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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    That in my assesment is Brash.
    Either way you will have to put your money where your mouth is and I want the refs for what you said. I would progress the discussion to say what is the difference between Mythology and Folklore? Is there a separation between the literary tradition and the native oral traditions.
    Firstly for those who have never watched the tv series Xena and/or Hercules, the attitude toward the Gods they express is that the Gods are petty, always fooling around with mortals, never help mankind, should be avoided at all costs, etc, etc, etc... This is intrinsically false when compared to what history tells us of ancient Greece and Rome.

    Pietas - an attitude of respectful duty to the Gods. Adkins & Adkins, Dictionary of Roman Religion.

    Mythology and folklore, in the Roman worldview, occupy the same seat; they hold no water over actual cult practice.

    In the instance of Son of Gods view of Religio Romana the famous folklore of the Tana che urla rejects his interpretation of deity and supports mine. The below is a famous cautionary folktale called the Screaming Hole.

    http://members.tripod.com/~DonAlfredo/tana.htm
    Ok, you would be right if fate were deities, but they aren't.

    The tale is about a young miner who sees a fairy and falls in love, becomes sick and is later healed by medicinal herbs that she brings him, and then has to choose between living with her forever stuck inside the cove or living his own life. He chose to live with her forever and no one ever saw him thereafter.

    Now, you need to stop being so brash yourself. I don't follow everybody around on here knowing what each person posts about and what path they follow, so my misinterpretation of what you said is much more your fault at assuming that everyone knew who/what you were talking about. You spoke with a generalization and never cared for clarification, I won't apologize for your mistake. Lose the attitude.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Goddess View Post
    Pietas - an attitude of respectful duty to the Gods. Adkins & Adkins, Dictionary of Roman Religion.
    Ok and the same applies to Piety in the christian church.Italian culture influenced christianity because constantine founded the holy roman empire on the back of it but that extract needs a pagan context to relate to pagan deities. I personally do not base my concept of deity on one line from a dictionary.

    Mythology and folklore, in the Roman worldview, occupy the same seat; they hold no water over actual cult practice.
    So as a reconstructionist your religion is not influenced by the pre christian secular record or the contemporary culture of Italy? I find that exceptionally hard to believe. Could you give me an example of that?

    The tale is about a young miner who sees a fairy and falls in love, becomes sick and is later healed by medicinal herbs that she brings him, and then has to choose between living with her forever stuck inside the cove or living his own life. He chose to live with her forever and no one ever saw him thereafter.
    Fairies in Italian culture as in irish culture are deities. The deity in question was restricted to the traditional cultural site, in this case a cave. The human courting the goddess who occupied that space (from time immemorial as in all folklore) nearly died, was only revived by machinations from the mortal world in the form of herbs growing outside the goddesses dwelling and at the end of the story is trapped inside the cave never to be seen again. A cave today called the screaming hole. That sounds like a cautionary tale about the sacred places and dealing with deities. Not too different to the stories about the cultural sites here.

    Now, you need to stop being so brash yourself. I don't follow everybody around on here knowing what each person posts about and what path they follow, so my misinterpretation of what you said is much more your fault at assuming that everyone knew who/what you were talking about. You spoke with a generalization and never cared for clarification, I won't apologize for your mistake. Lose the attitude.
    So its my fault you were wrong because you didnt bother to look to the left of the screen to see where I lived when I mentioned beliefs of 'my people'? :D

    I dont want any apology I just want you to support your point with something other then opinion, TV programs and an out of context dictionary reference that could refer to christianity. The reason for that is Fairness. If I was new to irish traditions Id have been sent on the wrong path because you were in a mood. All Im asking now is you justify the concept of deity you love so much that you would trample anyone who has a different opinion. You could have lead one of my people astray and all I want you to do is prove your opinion. Thats not asking a lot and you havent managed it so far
    Last edited by Nuadu; April 13th, 2009 at 02:31 PM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    Ok and the same applies to Piety in the christian church.Italian culture influenced christianity because constantine founded the holy roman empire on the back of it but that extract needs a pagan context to relate to pagan deities. I personally do not base my concept of deity on one line from a dictionary.
    Neither do I, but it was a quick reference I had at the time.

    And, unless Christianity is polytheistic and has "Gods", the example applies. Do you know why Christianity has so much in relation to Roman Religion? Because when Christianity was made legal by Constantine, the cult legally had to be made into a Roman context. Hence, why the concept of Pietas was carried over.

    What you were describing is what is called "superstitio" in the Roman context:

    The term 'superstition', as traditionally defined, referred to a whole set of religous attitudes in the widest sense. Suptertitious people thought that the gods were evil, jealous and tyrannical, and this distressed them. This 'ill-controlled fear' of the immortals drove them to all kinds of excesses, in particular to slavish forms of behaviour designed to win the favor of the gods. In contrast, the correct approach to religion involved believing that the gods were good and respected the social code of the city: so long as they were not gravely offended and the city institutions continued to function, the gods were not expected to take direct revenge or to heap disasters upon weak human beings. That was the gods' way of honoring the contract of respect and assisstance that they were commonly believed to have made with Rome.

    An Introcution to Roman Religion by John Scheid
    So as a reconstructionist your religion is not influenced by the pre christian secular record or the contemporary culture of Italy? I find that exceptionally hard to believe. Could you give me an example of that?
    The Religio Romana is not defined by mythology, it is defined by practice. Being that the Religio Romana did not survive into modern times the current culture of Italy doesn't have much to offer, however there are certain attitudes toward religion and the supernatural that remain the same.

    Fairies in Italian culture as in irish culture are deities.
    Oh...I had no idea Jesus cavorts around with fairies in the Italian Roman Catholic's worldview. I also didn't realize that Italian Roman Catholics are polytheists and pagans...I'll be sure to let my family and coworkers know about this, I bet they'll have a gay old time hearing that one!!! LOL!

    The deity in question was restricted to the traditional cultural site, in this case a cave. The human courting the goddess who occupied that space (from time immemorial as in all folklore) nearly died, was only revived by machinations from the mortal world in the form of herbs growing outside the goddesses dwelling and at the end of the story is trapped inside the cave never to be seen again. A cave today called the screaming hole. That sounds like a cautionary tale about the sacred places and dealing with deities. Not too different to the stories about the cultural sites here.
    Ok, yes. However, you are missing the difference between numina and Gods. What you are describing is a numen, a 'spirit' or 'power', something that is intimately bound to and by a particular place that it is the guardian of. All the Gods of Rome originated as numina, however through civilization and development, certain numina became more important and influential and were not always bound by location...these are Gods. The fate are numina, but they are not Gods.

    Also, if you had such a knowledge of Roman religion like you seemingly imply you do, you would know that the caution in this tale stems from the fact that the young man became emotionally involved with the fata. This is cause for concern on several levels. Firstly, he gave into excessive emotion which is not seen as virtuous in a man; this is still existent in cultures today a la "men don't cry", he essentially became a slave to the fata on his own will. Secondly, he selfishly left his obligations to family and society to occupy his own interests; which you should know that family comes first in Italy. Lastly, he broke the most important aspect of religious procedure according to Roman religion, he did not approach the fata with a legalistic mindset.

    The gods were to be approached like magistrates, when there was a matter to be settled. The formalism of words and gestures went hand in hand with a strict legalim. 'One could not be a good priest without a knowledge of civil law,' as P. Mucius Scaevola liked to reiterate. Roman religion was wrapped up with judiciary procedure. It was contractual: do ut des.

    The Gods of Ancient Rome by Robert Turcan
    The young man broke several taboos because he got swept up in the moment, not because of the fata's scheming. The fata aided him and gave him a choice, in the end he made the wrong choice because he did not regard his place in society.

    So its my fault you were wrong because you didnt bother to look to the left of the screen to see where I lived when I mentioned beliefs of 'my people'? :D
    And I'm from Western New York State, so if I said "my people" I could easily be mistaken for meaning the people of Western New York in stead of fellow Cultores Deorum Romanorum. Not all Irish people are Pagans, last I knew. Also...your location is on the right portion of your posts, not the left.
    Last edited by Son of Goddess; April 13th, 2009 at 04:21 PM.

  5. #25
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    Son Of Goddess wrote:

    Firstly for those who have never watched the tv series Xena and/or Hercules, the attitude toward the Gods they express is that the Gods are petty, always fooling around with mortals, never help mankind, should be avoided at all costs, etc, etc, etc... This is intrinsically false when compared to what history tells us of ancient Greece and Rome.
    That same sentiment is expressed in the movie Jason and the Argonauts. Specifically when Jason says the gods of Greece are cruel and petty. He even goes on to speak of the end of the gods. It has been a long time since I read Argonautica so I do not remember if that is in the story or if the playrights took creative authorship in the screenplay.

    I recall that movie came out in the late 60's I think it was.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrionNeb87 View Post
    My response is mostly centered around the Kemetic gods as they're the ones I follow and have had the most experience with.

    I've never taken the myths as literally true or as the infallible words of the gods. They were written by the hands of humans and therefore subject to human bias. I also agree that they are mostly stories told to explain a certain phenomenon or to teach a lesson of some sort. To me the gods in the myths and the gods themselves are very different though I do think that these stories can be used to get a deeper understanding of the gods as they were viewed in ancient times and the ancient Kemetic people themselves. I have found in my experience that there is so much more to Their natures than the forms presented in the myths and that you have to look beyond the myths and talk to Them to really get to know Them.

    I'll give Set as an example. I have had many people ask me if (or sometimes tell me) He is the god of homosexuality because of the contendings myth where he has sexual relations with Heru-sa-Aset. My answer to them is no, He is not the god of homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality. He is sexuality in all its forms, the raw power of sex, as that is how I and many of my brothers and sisters have experienced Him. I feel that to only focus on that myth and that one event is to place Him in a very small, cramped box. The Set of that myth is bisexual but Set Himself is all sex.
    Interesting ideas, and I agree, to an extent anyway, the Gods aren't their Myths, like there are a lot more to them, but, from a Mesopotamian POV anyway, the Myths do give us glimpses into the lives of the Gods, it helps us understand them (although, no God can ever truly be understand, as they are Gods, and we are mortals).

    I know Set isn't just associated with homosexuality, but, I've got to say, I love the line "how sweet your backside is" (or it went something like that, didn't it?), maybe, I'll try that one day next time I see a guy I want !.


    Quote Originally Posted by Nuadu View Post
    So as a reconstructionist your religion is not influenced by the pre christian secular record or the contemporary culture of Italy? I find that exceptionally hard to believe. Could you give me an example of that?
    I'm not Son of Goddess, but, I don't see why the contemporary Italian culture would influence a Roman recon, it might if the Roman religion had continued in some form down to the present day, but, it hasn't (unlike in Mexico, where there are still remains indigenious beliefs and practices of the Aztecs and Maya, so, modern ethnology is important for filling in the blanks for Aztec recons), I'm a Sumerian/Mesopotamian recon, but, it's unlikely I'm going to be influenced by modern Iraqi culture (unless it's something like the food or music, as I do like Middle Eastern food and some Arab music).



    Fairies in Italian culture as in irish culture are deities. The deity in question was restricted to the traditional cultural site, in this case a cave. The human courting the goddess who occupied that space (from time immemorial as in all folklore) nearly died, was only revived by machinations from the mortal world in the form of herbs growing outside the goddesses dwelling and at the end of the story is trapped inside the cave never to be seen again. A cave today called the screaming hole. That sounds like a cautionary tale about the sacred places and dealing with deities. Not too different to the stories about the cultural sites here.
    Are there even fairies in Italian mythology and folklore?.



    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Goddess View Post
    Oh...I had no idea Jesus cavorts around with fairies in the Italian Roman Catholic's worldview. I also didn't realize that Italian Roman Catholics are polytheists and pagans...I'll be sure to let my family and coworkers know about this, I bet they'll have a gay old time hearing that one!!! LOL!
    I now have an image of Jesus doing a dance with some fairies!.


    Ok, yes. However, you are missing the difference between numina and Gods. What you are describing is a numen, a 'spirit' or 'power', something that is intimately bound to and by a particular place that it is the guardian of. All the Gods of Rome originated as numina, however through civilization and development, certain numina became more important and influential and were not always bound by location...these are Gods. The fate are numina, but they are not Gods.
    I've heard of the concept of numen before, but, can I just ask, I've read that it was more the presence of a deity, or the "fingerprint" of a God, it's what a God imprinted on an area (like, for one example, from a Roman POV, would Jerusalem be a Holy spot 'cause YHWH put his numen/energy in it, etc) that made it Holy and Sacred, but, was it also a spirit, or was it both?.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by David19 View Post
    I've heard of the concept of numen before, but, can I just ask, I've read that it was more the presence of a deity, or the "fingerprint" of a God, it's what a God imprinted on an area (like, for one example, from a Roman POV, would Jerusalem be a Holy spot 'cause YHWH put his numen/energy in it, etc) that made it Holy and Sacred, but, was it also a spirit, or was it both?.
    The concept of the numina is both.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Goddess View Post
    The concept of the numina is both.
    Ok, thanks, so, it's considered both a conscious spirit and an energy/"fingerprint" as well?.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by David19 View Post
    Ok, thanks, so, it's considered both a conscious spirit and an energy/"fingerprint" as well?.
    Numen is variously described as 'divine power', 'presence', 'divine will', 'divine consent', 'nod', etc... Numen is, essentially, the presence of divine power. Academia, depending on the author, says that Roman religion began as a sort of animistic religion prior to civilization; other authors argue that such is not true, but in any event the concept of the numen is still present. Being that Roman religion did have a semi-animist view of the world, the concept of the numina is identified as a divine presence in/of something.

    When the Gods are worshipped, They either give consent or "nod" to the sacrifices or They do not, which means expiation and propitiation must occur.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Son of Goddess View Post
    Numen is variously described as 'divine power', 'presence', 'divine will', 'divine consent', 'nod', etc... Numen is, essentially, the presence of divine power. Academia, depending on the author, says that Roman religion began as a sort of animistic religion prior to civilization; other authors argue that such is not true, but in any event the concept of the numen is still present. Being that Roman religion did have a semi-animist view of the world, the concept of the numina is identified as a divine presence in/of something.

    When the Gods are worshipped, They either give consent or "nod" to the sacrifices or They do not, which means expiation and propitiation must occur.
    Thanks for explanation .

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