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Thread: Creating A Mythology Reboot (For Any Pantheon).

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpukiKat75 View Post

    What do you think of this idea?
    It's a model that will work perfectly until you actually have to deal with them
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    Guys, I think I may have had an epiphany.

    I will write this in sort of a list form so I can make a clear argument & be fully understood.

    * I have been looking at deities and their morality through a morally dualistic, Abrahamic/Dharmic lens.
    * Pagan deities work on a different paradigm.
    * One must look through that latter paradigm to understand or "get" them.
    * Pagan deities embody both "good" & "evil". There's no deity of pure goodness & light or devils in Pagan pantheons.
    * We are a reflection of them....made in their image. Thus, if humans can be both "good" & "evil", deities can, too.
    * If you respect the Deities, they will respect you. If you want to bring out their "good" side, you must earn it. Many of the same laws of human interaction works with the Deities. Respect is earned.
    * The Deities don't need to change, there's a reason why they are the way they are & those attributes are essential.
    * If all is one and if I see myself as a Pantheist & Monist, then it makes sense that....as above, so below....applies to the hereafter, deities, whatever.
    * I should think in terms of "Positive" & "Negative" rather than "Good" & "Evil".
    * This is no license to think like a ruthless "Ragnar Redbeard", being "Positive" with "Positive" actions is just good common sense. Be kind to one another because it "feels good" & brings social & mental stability. That said, there's no threat of hellfire if you're a complete jerk or worse.
    * I need to get a "Pagan" brain....I need to un-learn some things & accept some things.
    Last edited by SpukiKat75; October 23rd, 2012 at 09:39 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpukiKat75 View Post
    Guys, I think I may have had an epiphany.

    I will write this in sort of a list form so I can make a clear argument & be fully understood.

    * I have been looking at deities and their morality through a morally dualistic, Abrahamic/Dharmic lens.
    Believe it or not that is actually a common situation for newly converted practitioners. Not the Dharmic aspect but the Abrahamic influence upon thier practices.

    * Pagan deities work on a different paradigm.
    That is pretty true. Though I think its more of a social construct of those times that is different in regards to how mankind viewed their divinities.

    * One must look through that latter paradigm to understand or "get" them.
    A great deal of research definately has to be done to get as clear a picture as possible of the ancient mindset and worldview.

    * Pagan deities embody both "good" & "evil". There's no deity of pure goodness & light or devils in Pagan pantheons.
    I don't think one can truly equate 'good' and 'bad' as part of the ancient world view. Especially given that many times 'good' and 'evil' where seen in the light of right practice and manners vice actions. The concept of devils and demons is vastly different than that which is found in most Christian world views yet deamons and similiar are very much a part of the world view of the ancients.

    * We are a reflection of them....made in their image. Thus, if humans can be both "good" & "evil", deities can, too.
    This one I truly do not know. It seem's very biblical to think we are cast in thier images and form. Espcially given the many anamorphic forms that the gods / goddesses are seen to take in the various stories and artistic representations that survive of them.

    * If you respect the Deities, they will respect you. If you want to bring out their "good" side, you must earn it. Many of the same laws of human interaction works with the Deities. Respect is earned.
    That one I tend to disagree with. In many ways I do not think the gods / goddesses care if you respect them as long as you practice in the right manner. I very much tend to think they do not respect us in the sense that most humans would think.

    * The Deities don't need to change, there's a reason why they are the way they are & those attributes are essential.
    I do agree with that since I consider them to be eternal. There for their atributes would be eternal not changed with each generation of humanity and our limited concepts of right and wrong which change frequently. If they changed as much as our own morality does then the cosmos would be in trouble all the time without order in my opinion.

    * I should think in terms of "Positive" & "Negative" rather than "Good" & "Evil".
    That is one I find to be useful. Good and evil tend to be measure's that change to frequently in how they are defined and qualified. What is good today is bad tomorrow and will be something entirley different a few years form now. Heck what is good and bad by description has changed quite a bit from when I was born in 1959 to what it is today.

    * I need to get a "Pagan" brain....I need to un-learn some things & accept some things.
    Ironically that is something that is to be found in many walks of life. It's not just a pagan mindset but a universal one when we try to move from one paradyn to another regardless of the changes or what is being changed. Sometimes I think it's not so much a matter of unlearning but in expanding the parameters of how we think, how we analyze things and how we determine what is what.

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    An additional though,

    One also has to consider what words mean now and what they meant then. You keep refering to Zeus and Rape yet the very word means something different today than it did then. Similar to how the word 'virginity' is defined differently today than in the past.

    Consider that Circe and Medea are both listed frequenlty as Witches today yet in antiquity they were an Enchantress and Sorcoress not witches. Medea as an Sorcoress was skilled in herbs and posions and used them to her advantage. Circe was a Enchantress who used other magical means as well as potions to do her bidding. Yet the word Witch simply became stamped over those capabilities thus they are known as witches. Yet the original word in Greek actually meant something like poisoner, same as the original biblical meaning of the word.

    Rape is another of those words that holds differing meanings. For instance to some the story of Demeter, Persphone and Hades is about rape as defined by the notion of a man taking to him a wife without the mother's permission, not about taking of a wife by force. To some it's about the flight of a child from the home of her mother to escape the demands placed upon her by said mother, again in part without the concent or permission of the mother. Then to some its about the modern defination of the word rape.

    Even the very story has to be evaluated to discover some of the truth. For instance in the early stories it's only Helios who hears and see's Hades take Persphone from the field. In later stories Hecate / Hekate is added as hearing her cries from within her cavern and guides Demeter to Helios to see who did it. In yet other stories it's the nymph Arethusa who has been transformed into a stream of water by Artemis and hears Persphone's cries as she passes through the underground. Coming to the surface she tell's Demeter of what she knows asking her not to punish mankind because of her grief and where to find Persphone. Yet in each Persphone is raped and taken by Hades though the purpose and manner of defining 'rape' is changed.

    Heck even the notion of civilized and uncivilized is different today than it was in antiquity. For instance according to Greek perspective civilized was Greece anything not Greece was uncivilized. Civilized was also the boundary of city and civilization and the wilderness which was undeveloped and pretty empty of humans. Even social order and placement was different in antiquity with regard to who was civilized and who was not.

    Simply to many changes and un-truths by looking at the past with today's definitions of what a word or concept means. One has to find out what it meant then and use that to evaluate the stories and legends.
    Last edited by monsnoleedra; October 24th, 2012 at 11:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
    An additional though,

    One also has to consider what words mean now and what they meant then. You keep refering to Zeus and Rape yet the very word means something different today than it did then. Similar to how the word 'virginity' is defined differently today than in the past.

    Consider that Circe and Medea are both listed frequenlty as Witches today yet in antiquity they were an Enchantress and Sorcoress not witches. Medea as an Sorcoress was skilled in herbs and posions and used them to her advantage. Circe was a Enchantress who used other magical means as well as potions to do her bidding. Yet the word Witch simply became stamped over those capabilities thus they are known as witches. Yet the original word in Greek actually meant something like poisoner, same as the original biblical meaning of the word.

    Rape is another of those words that holds differing meanings. For instance to some the story of Demeter, Persphone and Hades is about rape as defined by the notion of a man taking to him a wife without the mother's permission, not about taking of a wife by force. To some it's about the flight of a child from the home of her mother to escape the demands placed upon her by said mother, again in part without the concent or permission of the mother. Then to some its about the modern defination of the word rape.

    Even the very story has to be evaluated to discover some of the truth. For instance in the early stories it's only Helios who hears and see's Hades take Persphone from the field. In later stories Hecate / Hekate is added as hearing her cries from within her cavern and guides Demeter to Helios to see who did it. In yet other stories it's the nymph Arethusa who has been transformed into a stream of water by Artemis and hears Persphone's cries as she passes through the underground. Coming to the surface she tell's Demeter of what she knows asking her not to punish mankind because of her grief and where to find Persphone. Yet in each Persphone is raped and taken by Hades though the purpose and manner of defining 'rape' is changed.

    Heck even the notion of civilized and uncivilized is different today than it was in antiquity. For instance according to Greek perspective civilized was Greece anything not Greece was uncivilized. Civilized was also the boundary of city and civilization and the wilderness which was undeveloped and pretty empty of humans. Even social order and placement was different in antiquity with regard to who was civilized and who was not.

    Simply to many changes and un-truths by looking at the past with today's definitions of what a word or concept means. One has to find out what it meant then and use that to evaluate the stories and legends.
    True about the rape thing. In fact, at one time, "rape" meant simply "kidnapping" rather than a violent sexual assault. I also am thinking to myself, these are Deities, they probably have neat seductive powers that make non-consensual sex more pleasant rather than the horrid crime it is....sort of like Sevengali or Dracula's way of charming a woman into his bed or whatever. That said, these tales are often retold with different details & reflect the mindset & culture they came from. Heck, Hades was probably a sexy dark lord who seductively spirited away Persephone & she eventually got the hots for him & became a loving wife. Who knows?

    Instead of changing the stories, perhaps it's better to reinterpreted what's being described...alternate character interpretations.

    For one thing, why are Satyrs & Fauns always described as being butt-ugly? Why can't they be really hot-looking goat-men? They're red-hot slabs o' sex, right? What's the point of the fugliness? I prefer the idea of the big hunky, masculine, studmuffin bad-boy playa Satyrs & their cuter, sweeter, gentler, twinkier Faun counterparts....both wild, fuzzy but beautiful & sexy. I mean, keep them hairy, wild party-animal goat-men but make them pleasanter to look at.
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    If you want deities that reflect what you believe to be right/wrong, why not create your own? I never understood the idea of bastardizing mythos to make them "suite" a person better. I read many translations of my myths, see what I feel the meaning is, and then look to see what I can learn from it. I don't read it and go "oh, well, I wish Inanna had decided to poop rainbows instead of killing those people, so I'm gonna change it so I like it."

    If you don't like the myths, create your own stories with your own deities (considering your view on divine, I feel this is a perfectly valid option). You don't need to "fix" historical myths.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpukiKat75 View Post
    I come from the mindset that Deity & more of a nebulous thing and that various deities, pantheons & such are really metaphors & symbols that reflect the society that creates them. Deity makes Human in It's Image & Human makes Deity in it's own Image. I'm a Pantheist & a non-literalist. (...). Many are Polytheists & literally see the Deities are real literal beings living "out there".
    I've studied alot of cultures from around the world for quite some time, and it seems that nearly all of them intend the divinities to be actual divinities, and not simple metaphors and symbols. In my own view, these literal deities are all around us, as the divine "spirits" of what they embody.

    The word for god acrossed semitic cultures, for instance, is connected to the word "to praise". There is alot one might want to praise the Sun for, as well as the Goddess of Grain for, if you're living in an ancient culture depending on your crops. Hence why they'd praise those particular gods. It had nothing to do with what they symbolized.

    [/quote] I believe in the concept of "All Gods are One God & all Goddesses are One Goddess & together, They are One". [/quote]
    In the sense that all have evolved from one, I've got many reasons to suspect that there might be truth this. But outside that, not so much so. As cultures evolve, they have more myths and deities, and in some cases less. Furthermore, perhaps we just have more than one Sun God (for instance), because there actually is more then one.

    I disagree with this idea. They are distinct, individual, beings. Whether real or not (I believe they are real), one has to admit, they weren't meant to be seen as one. Especially not deities as diverse and different as the Islamic Allah and say... the Babylonian Ishtar.

    I believe that all pantheons share a deity or two with another, as well as other commonalities, but they're definitely not all the same.

    I can even accept the Pantheons as they are and see them as levels of Pantheons. Everything being emanations. The Higher Pantheon that is Universal & not culture-specific & the many Pantheons, Greco-Roman, Celtic, Canaanite, Yoruba, Aztec, etc. as a lower emanation (reflecting both the higher & baser aspects of humanity).
    I see this way of viewing older pantheons as condescending and shallow, despite it not being your intent.

    Every ancient society had its own views of the world, this in turn, shaped their views of their deities. The myths themselves aren't literal history, they range from allegory to embellished history. This doesn't mean that the deities are any less real. Do I really believe that Ishtar literally went with kings to the battlefield, and killed the enemy soldiers? In the sense that she is war... yes. In the sense that she is an anthropomorphic being in flesh and bones doing so? No.
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