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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 80 - 10/6/2002
Polytheist, Monotheist, Dualist or Other?
Are you a die-hard Polytheist who believes that the many Gods/Goddesses are distinct and individual entities? Are you a Pagan Monotheist? Pantheist? Do you believe that “All Gods/Goddesses are One God/Goddess”? Does the term ‘Lord and Lady’ represent a specific Lord and/or Lady to you or is it a term used most often to simply denote the concept of a male and/or a female deity? Do you think that all of these terms are interchangeable? Can you see where and when the need to define what YOU mean by ‘Gods/Goddesses’ might be necessary? What do you think about ‘Choose one from column A and one from Column B’ pantheon building?
| Reponses: There are 104 responses posted to this question.
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| Many And One ||Oct 6th. at 8:40:56 pm EDT|
|Skye Silverstar (Granisle, B.C) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I believe that there are a great number of gods and goddesses out there, because we need them to be. At the begginning of it all is the One, and below the One is the Lord and the Lady.
The Lord and the Lady are split into many parts, because we need to see them that way. Each part contains an aspect or attribute that we may need to believe, while excluding the ones we don't want. Like Aphrodite contains the aspects of love, Demeter has the aspects of earth harvest, and Artemis has the aspects of a hunter moon.
They may be all the same thing, but it's our energy that splits them into the forms we need to feel comfortable.
There's a quote I especially liked from Robert Heinlien's Lazarus Long series, it's from a christian perspective, but I liked the concept:
God split himself into a myriad of parts so that he may have friends; it may not be true, but it sounds nice and it's no sillier than anything else I've heard.
This probably isn't the exact wording, it's been awhile since I read the book, but that's the basic idea.
| Polytheist ||Oct 6th. at 8:49:26 pm EDT|
|Storm's Feather (Russellville, Arkansas) ||Age: 16 - Email |
Ok, because i'm a Reconstructionalist, i value many, many gods and goddesses. I don't see all gods and goddesses as one god and goddess, but i do see them as having the same parental higher deities, Lady and Lord, and their higher deity being Spirit. When i say God, i usually mean the Christian's God, a god i consider the spoiled, untrained brat sibling of the ancient gods. When i say Goddess, i mean Lady, Mother Deity. I don't use Lord by himself, usually it's "Lord and Lady". I don't see the pantheon idea of one god, one goddess very realistic. After all, the ancient people had a great many gods and goddesses, and they did well. But, again, i'm a Reconstructionalist.
| Nature And The Sky ||Oct 6th. at 9:24:31 pm EDT|
|tdbark (Wayne, MI) ||Age: 41 - Email |
If there is one thing that I am strongly opinionated about, it is this question. I feel that all is one with the spirits, the earth and sky... christian, islam, buddah, shinto, etc. It is all in how you wish to express your relationship to the spirits.... They don't mind as long as you recognize their existence in some way. I am very druidic in my belief system, as I see all in nature as interconnected, with the Lord and Lady as overseers of harmony. As long as we see, recognize, and give homage to the divinity of nature and the cosmos, they will aid us in our lives.
| What's My Theism? ||Oct 6th. at 9:50:42 pm EDT|
|Rebecca (Iowa) ||Age: 24 - Email |
As of right now I am a Pantheist. In the mythologies I have studied, dieties do change their forms and attributes when the need is there. Though ecclectic, I swing very closely to reconstructionist paths, so my pantheism is tempered by polytheism; my belief that there are many gods and godesses for a reason. As a Christian I could not really identify with one big all-encompassing diety, I feel more comfortable calling upon a healer if healing is needed, a protector for protection, etc. There are some dieties I am inescapably drawn to, I think they chose me because there are aspects in me that are also aspects unique to them. I have a problem with "choose one from column A and one from column B" pantheon building if the person does not do independent research (i.e, read about them in mythology and archaeology books, not just new age ones,) into the dieties/pantheons/cultures they are using. You tend to get odd dieties with attributes they did not originally have, and to me, changing the attributes is changing the diety. I have seen this happen in a tendency to "fluffify" some of the less maternal goddesses. To me this is like banging a square peg into a round hole. I'm sure many will disagree with me, but this is my theism. -Rebecca.
| Miyatake Oyacin ||Oct 6th. at 10:37:10 pm EDT|
|Dark Moon Panther (Glen Gardner, NJ) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I'm a pantheist. As with Starhawk, my usual response to the question, "Do you believe in the gods?" is "Do you believe in rocks?" The gods and goddesses are there, immanent and perceivable, to all who would look with an open mind. Nature is full of spirits, gods, and goddesses: all beings, all atmospheric and geophysical phenomena, have their attendant spirits (okay, call me a Platonist if you like). Gods and goddesses also represent the essences of human characteristics and pursuits in an archetypal form that no human could achieve and remain sane (yes, I happily confess to being a Jungian as well). "Life" is great web, in my opinion, but each being within the web, while linked to the whole, is distinguishable from its surroundings. I generally do not use the terms "Lord" and "Lady". In choosing which specific names to honor, I feel there is no substitute for thorough knowledge of the mythologies from which the names spring. That is because these names have been shaped by the minds of others, and to invoke them without knowledge may be to bring in influences that one did not intend (the "nice-ifying" of certain dark aspect deities comes to mind here. For example, Dionysus is the god of wine and drunkenness: while there are fun aspects in this, there are also the destructive aspects of drunkenness to consider, like Maenads tearing things limb from limb in their ecstatic state).
| Evolving With Skepticism ||Oct 7th. at 12:21:28 am EDT|
|Brighid (Jackson) ||Age: 35 - Email |
What I believe is ever changing and evolving, towards what I learn and see..as I change and grow. I do believe in a Supreme being, although I feel free to address the Love as God/Goddess or with particular names.s
Coming from a christian background, it is hard to use the word or title god. I also believe that Deity is in everything!
| A Henotheist ||Oct 7th. at 12:54:17 am EDT|
|Stacey Michael (New Orleans) ||Age: 34 - Email - Web|
A Theurgist in the Sabaean Religious Order out of Chicago, (featured in Margot Adler’s ‘Drawing Down the Moon’ as well as several books by Hans Holtzer). Coming from a small Middle America town, lovingly referred to by the author as ‘Corn County’ was drawn by the Dead to move to the big city to fulfil a destiny. One, which was elusive, yet tangible, powerful, yet passive, knowledgeable, and yet unknown, to become an adept into a ‘Mystery Religion’, called Sabaeanism.
A tradition of the Luccume of West Africa’s Yoruba country, yet, with a way of life of the Stoic’s of ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, by following a Henothiestic philosophy of worshipping one deity without the exclusion of others. Respecting the individual for who they were, rather than who they should be, moving through life trying to achieve excellence, yet not passing judgment on those who do not.
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| One Great Mother ||Oct 7th. at 12:55:00 am EDT|
|Curly Willow (NC, USA) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I was raised Mormon, and have only recently been able to shake off the (for me) ill-fitting coat of those beliefs and explore new ones. My feelings may at some point change, but for the moment I find myself unable to visualize any deity other than Our Great Mother Earth, as I call her. I don't see her as a threefold goddess, or as a human form at all, but as the ever-changing and all-encompassing spirit of our world.
| Duotheism ||Oct 7th. at 1:07:55 am EDT|
|Sgeir (Scotland) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I believe that there is one God, and one Goddess, and not that they are one Divine Being, nor that there are tons of them either. Just the two, which is why I call myself a duotheist.
I do, however, believe that the Gods and Goddesses of various traditions are the responses and visions of the human mind of one God and one Goddess - in essence that the Gods and Goddesses we know are avatars of one God and one Goddesss. Maybe that sounds a little confused, maybe I still am a little confused, but it makes sense to me.
| When You Start Subtracting... ||Oct 7th. at 1:44:58 am EDT|
|Azi Vajravai (Oakland, CA) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I have been struggling with this for a while.
When I have researched the history of monotheism, I saw that monotheism is an intellectual costruct. This is often used to control people, when left to their own devices in ancient times - they usually turned to polytheism and idolatry. I wrote this in a resturaunt when I was musing on this topic: "The fallacy of Monotheism is attributing a personality to Ayin/Chaos/Dao, and if you "eliminate" the real gods - then you are left with No Thing.
Gods, Angels, Demons, Fairies, Spirits, Jotnir, Alfar, Dwarves, Humans, Monkeys, and Trees (and so much more) are all independent spritual entities. Gods may be evolved forms of the others - who knows? Ascended Masters?
| Agnostic Pantheist ||Oct 7th. at 1:54:57 am EDT|
|Arinnadia (South East Coast, USA) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Of all the theories out there concerning how and why life exists I prefer Pantheism but having been raised by an agnostic mother I learned early not to get to arrogant or sure of any one theory of existence. If my mom were here she would point out that the chaos of life may be more easily explained by competition among equally powerful and seperate spiritual forces at work. Then again you could say that the idea of pantheism also supports this since all of creation inherents the same powerful spiritual force and competes and or co-operates in the world. Boy it sure is confusing having the "voice" of an agnostic pop up in your head every time you think you have the world all figured out. But it sure does keep you on your toes. :)
That's where faith comes in. I have faith that even if I've got it all wrong, the power/s that be will love me anyway. I guess I also learned that from my Mom. Thanks Mom.
| All Gods Are One Are All ||Oct 7th. at 3:15:20 am EDT|
|Alumenios (Ocala, FL) ||Age: 27 - Email |
I took the time to read everyone's post before I posted my own... but here I go. I believe in all gods. Any deity that has ever been conceived of, I acknowledge. I believe that deities gain their power from the amount of conscious thought that is given to them, which (IMHO) is a better measure of their influence than the $$$ amount that is given to them in the name of society.
The way I figure it, everyone see's one small slice of the overall divine pie, and we only get a full view of that pie when we put everyone's views together, whether they be pagan, christian, atheist, what have you, as long as it doesn't negate someone else's point of view... wisdom is wisdom, whatever the source. The universe is too infinite not to have room for everybody, as long as they're not hating on someone else.
So BELIEVE! Your belief can make the difference!
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