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Caroline Voclain

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Gods And Goddesses - I can already see some people thinking 'not this subject again


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What I was alluding to was this: take three different people in the same town. One a fisherman, the other a school teacher and third owns a guesthouse. Now from my perspective each is likely to call on different deities becasue each has slightly different needs in their lives, even though a single God may have originally called on all three.

 

Well, from my POV, they may indeed chose to call on different gods but that's not to say the god they chose will bother with them. :P

 

There have been times, in the past, where I've tried to have a relationship with someone and it just hasn't worked - the god/dess in question wasn't at all responsive.

 

On the other hand, the ones in my life decided (for whatever reason! :blink: ) to be part of my life. And all are different. and the main ones aside, I also have had an intermittent relationship with others, or even a constant relationship with one who later made way for another. And one of those who stays around, though mostly in the background, is Ganesh, though he is not part of my religion.

 

What I was inferring is that my own feelings are that your own personal pantheon should reflect yourself and what you feel/believe rather than a rigid doctrine based on culture, ethnicity, geography, etc; and should compliment the God or Gods that came looking for you.

 

Hmmm.... I look at my most constant gods and wonder what on earth having a relationship with them says about me... :o_roflmao:

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I think an academic thesis is very different from UPG ;)

 

Yes it is. But it wasn't me that posted the link, and I just mentioned it because it seems to support the UPG you reported. I don't think it makes any difference to the question I asked anyway, unless you're saying that everyone's UPG is different so no general answer is possible?

 

I have quite a bit of my own UPG but not for gods whose name I know except for one recent occurrence, and I'm still trying to absorb that. So I'm sorting out issues here, and wondering if we are talking about named deities, should we be able to share some agreement on who they are?

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Yes it is. But it wasn't me that posted the link, and I just mentioned it because it seems to support the UPG you reported. I don't think it makes any difference to the question I asked anyway, unless you're saying that everyone's UPG is different so no general answer is possible?

 

No, that's fair enough. I wasn't certain how much critical analysis you were happy with, so I restrained myself to superficial comments. :)

 

As I Heathen, I'm part of a community that does have boundaries to what is acceptable withint the religion and what is considered "not Heathen". These boundaries differ between the community as a whole and what is outside, and also differe between different communities that are acknowledged to be within Heathenry. This seems fairly common for any religious community. Very broadly, the axis that determines attitudes within Heathenry (and most other recon communities) is that of lore/evidence v UPG. Everyone positions themselves somewhere along this axis. Those to the right of one's own position will accuse those to the left of over-active imaginations and a lack of stringency. The accusation against those to the right is of dogmatic hardening that is deaf, dumb and blind to what the gods say to us.

 

In general, in the UK we are less fundamentalist in outlook than in the States. and that applies across the board in paganisms - not just for the recon religions. ;)

 

My own stance is somewhere around the middle of the spectrum. I regard the texts and archaeological evidence as important, but not the final word. I regard UPG as vital, but there has to be analysis that aids one to distinguish between UPG and personal imagination. It's never going to be perfect, but by testing myself against the evidence and sharing with friends I trust to be honest and who I have seen relate to the gods for myself, I try to keep relatively sane. And, within that narrow spectrum I find comfortable (and even beyond it), I have seen, over and over, UPG demonstrated between individuals in circumstances where there was no contamination from person to person about something. so either telepathy exists to a far greater extent than science has ever managed to record, or the gods communicate with us and make their views known to people - even where individual information is not written down in the lore.

 

So, for example, Pomona's gods have told me what they want me to do for an offering where I had no idea that was what normally happened between that god and Pomona. she had the same experience - or two - about my gods.

 

I have quite a bit of my own UPG but not for gods whose name I know except for one recent occurrence, and I'm still trying to absorb that. So I'm sorting out issues here, and wondering if we are talking about named deities, should we be able to share some agreement on who they are?

 

The gods I have had experiences with, or about, are primarily Herne/Cernunnos (and other names), Loki and Freya; though I have also had contact with Odhinn, Tiw, Thor, Idhunna, Ganesh, Athena, the Morrigan, Hernes, Aphrodite and various others.

 

 

Would people say Wodan and Woden are the same god? Or did he change when he came to Britain?

 

In my experience, they are the same. :)

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. :)

 

As I Heathen, I'm part of a community that does have boundaries to what is acceptable withint the religion and what is considered "not Heathen". These boundaries differ between the community as a whole and what is outside, and also differe between different communities that are acknowledged to be within Heathenry. This seems fairly common for any religious community. Very broadly, the axis that determines attitudes within Heathenry (and most other recon communities) is that of lore/evidence v UPG. Everyone positions themselves somewhere along this axis. Those to the right of one's own position will accuse those to the left of over-active imaginations and a lack of stringency. The accusation against those to the right is of dogmatic hardening that is deaf, dumb and blind to what the gods say to us.

 

In general, in the UK we are less fundamentalist in outlook than in the States. and that applies across the board in paganisms - not just for the recon religions. ;)

 

My own stance is somewhere around the middle of the spectrum. I regard the texts and archaeological evidence as important, but not the final word. I regard UPG as vital, but there has to be analysis that aids one to distinguish between UPG and personal imagination. It's never going to be perfect, but by testing myself against the evidence and sharing with friends I trust to be honest and who I have seen relate to the gods for myself, I try to keep relatively sane. And, within that narrow spectrum I find comfortable (and even beyond it), I have seen, over and over, UPG demonstrated between individuals in circumstances where there was no contamination from person to person about something. so either telepathy exists to a far greater extent than science has ever managed to record, or the gods communicate with us and make their views known to people - even where individual information is not written down in the lore.

 

So, for example, Pomona's gods have told me what they want me to do for an offering where I had no idea that was what normally happened between that god and Pomona. she had the same experience - or two - about my gods.

 

 

Thank you. That is very helpful.

 

 

The gods I have had experiences with, or about, are primarily Herne/Cernunnos (and other names), Loki and Freya; though I have also had contact with Odhinn, Tiw, Thor, Idhunna, Ganesh, Athena, the Morrigan, Hernes, Aphrodite and various others.

That's an impressive list :) Actually I must have asked that question badly. I wasn't asking for the names of gods you had experienced, but just asking how, if two or more people refer to a particular god by name, they are sure that they are referring to the same deity. But you've probably said enough above to give as clear an answer as is possible to that question.

 

Would people say Wodan and Woden are the same god? Or did he change when he came to Britain?

In my experience, they are the same. :)

 

:)

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That's an impressive list :) Actually I must have asked that question badly. I wasn't asking for the names of gods you had experienced, but just asking how, if two or more people refer to a particular god by name, they are sure that they are referring to the same deity.

 

It's a valid question. OK, I'll give you one example: Loki. When he first turned up in my life I didn't recognise him. As time has gone on, nearly everyone I know who has met him knows he has dark red hair. that isn't in the texts. It's not the same shade as the Rackham images for the ring cycle.

 

More importantly than that - which is very superficial - I can mention something or the other about his personality and another person who has net him will say "oh, yes - been there with him." Again, it's things that are not explicit in the texts.

 

the same thing happens with Odhinn. I have several friends who know him well. And the same thing again with Cernunnos. Everything about him is UPG, as there are no texts. But there is the idea that is common to many pagans - and there is the person behind that idea, who is often not discussed as openly as he does not suit the idea most people have of him. most people I know who do know him don't openly share their UPG. You have to coax them, often in person. But that, again, is part of the god.

 

Now I have said far more than I intended and I am looking at my post wondering whether to erase that last paragraph. but i will let it stand. It makes my uneasy to write about him, though he is amused by that.

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That's an impressive list :) Actually I must have asked that question badly. I wasn't asking for the names of gods you had experienced, but just asking how, if two or more people refer to a particular god by name, they are sure that they are referring to the same deity.

 

It's a valid question. OK, I'll give you one example: Loki. When he first turned up in my life I didn't recognise him. As time has gone on, nearly everyone I know who has met him knows he has dark red hair. that isn't in the texts. It's not the same shade as the Rackham images for the ring cycle.

 

More importantly than that - which is very superficial - I can mention something or the other about his personality and another person who has net him will say "oh, yes - been there with him." Again, it's things that are not explicit in the texts.

 

the same thing happens with Odhinn. I have several friends who know him well. And the same thing again with Cernunnos. Everything about him is UPG, as there are no texts. But there is the idea that is common to many pagans - and there is the person behind that idea, who is often not discussed as openly as he does not suit the idea most people have of him. most people I know who do know him don't openly share their UPG. You have to coax them, often in person. But that, again, is part of the god.

 

Now I have said far more than I intended and I am looking at my post wondering whether to erase that last paragraph. but i will let it stand. It makes my uneasy to write about him, though he is amused by that.

 

 

That's very interesting, and appreciated. Cernnunos is getting near to my own feelings, I understand about you being reluctant to reveal details. I've often felt like that myself and I've only recently started to share some of my experiences with others.

 

I've often felt that what I have experienced might be a god that people name (or do the gods name themselves?). Pan and Cernnunos have both occurred to me. But I have never felt a specific name attached to these experiences. The nearest I can come to it is that I have met a faun, more than once, in some woodland where I often go just to sit and be alone with the trees. Not sure how much to say here, but I go to the woods quite often and hardly every see another person once I get far enough away from the road. I’ve had some deep experiences there, not always as specific as the faun, and sometimes nothing at all. Similar things have happened in other places but not so often. But they all seem to be special to those places.

 

The exception is that I used some words that were put up on the Brython forum and they were going to use them at the same time but in different places for Winternights. They were addressed to Rigantona to mark her passing into the Otherworld, and felt like good words to me so I joined in. Well I got a very powerful response which was very real. This was in the dark in the field behind my garden rather than in the woods, and the feeling of her presence stayed with rather than being part of a place. All Winter I have felt the 'Dark One' as I think of her sometimes as strong as a darker shadow in the darkness. But not malevolent. She has faded as the Spring took over from Winter. But I still feel something, though it now feels different. And I’m finding it difficult to put it into a context to fully understand it, though in some way I don’t feel I need to. Do I need a name, an explanation? I don't know.

 

After typing that I’m still not sure I want to post it, but here goes…

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. Do I need a name, an explanation? I don't know.

 

After Cernunnos grabbed me forcibly by the collar and started ordering me around I concluded we were going to have to sort out what I called him. I refused, point blank, to call him by names that most people used to refer to a god who wasn't quite like ...this. I was on the way home a couple of days after meeting him, and we had the conversation in a place he wouldn't normally bother to be in. A long argument (long in terms of discussions with a god) about names. Most discussions with gods don't shape themselves into words very easily, but that's another one of his differences. At least for me.

 

so it's up to you. Perhaps you don't need a name at all. And, if do, and you are given one, it's up to you whether to use it. ;)

 

After typing that I’m still not sure I want to post it, but here goes…

 

:lol: Yes.

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