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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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| Monotheist, BUT......... ||Oct 7th. at 10:28:43 pm EDT|
|(Rev) Norm Vogel (New Jersey) ||Age: 50 - Email - Web|
Being a Witch/Wiccan, I worship a Goddess and God, and many people would consider that to be Dualistic. But, I perceive the God & Goddess to be 2 ASPECTS of the Eternal One. A Creator
that has Male/Female energies ("aspects"), for the Union of Male/Female creates life!
It's like the Yin/Yang Symbol, a Duality, but each contains the other, ad infinitum.......
A "single" Creator that is (for want of a better term) "bi-polar".
Link to More info related to this post -- HERE
| I Love Jewels ||Oct 7th. at 10:34:43 pm EDT|
|Mandy Moon (Newfoundland) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I would like to echo my agreement with the jewel analogy below. I love jewelry. The more colourful and "sparkly" the better. I am a pantheist and polytheist. The Divine is within ALL and can take many forms. It is through these forms that we are able to connect with the Divine; they are a means of understanding what we otherwise can not explain. I may have a Lady and Lord, but only because they are the form that I can identify with. They may change over the years as my needs change and a new Lord and Lady may be better suited. This is possible because they are all facets of that sparkling, beautiful, rainbow-hued jewel that I can not touch directly, and I wouldn't want to for fear of leaving a fingerprint or a smudge and thus dulling its brilliance.
| Atheist ||Oct 7th. at 11:26:46 pm EDT|
|Chirotic (Penn State) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I don't believe in any deities at all. I've tried, I just can't. Incorporating deities into my rituals has proven neither helpful nor harmful. I just "ain't got the faith" I guess.
I was raised in a fundamentalist Christian household, and so when I finally mustered the courage to admit to myself that I really didn't believe Christian mythology it was an incredible burden lifted. Trying to force myself to accept any deities is too much like that experience, its living a lie to me. Over time I eventually found the Tao te Ching, which remains my favorite holy book, and which describes life and existence in the same way I perceive it. I see life and existence as arising from the interplay between yin and yang, feminine and masculine. I turn to nature to see how these balance and how I can incorporate that balance into my life. I view everything in nature as being alive and participating in the incomprehensibly large Whole.
Paganism for me provides a way to consciously and meaningfully participate in that interplay. Observing the Holidays connects me to the Earth system cycles; observing Astrology connects me to the Solar system cycles; creating rituals and spells is my way of participating, and further is my right as a member of this ongoing spectacle. I don't view any of it as supernatural, but rather I recognize that human knowledge of nature is incredibly limited and that much which seems supernatural is actually perfectly normal.
The closest I come to believing in any deities is Jung's notion of "archetypes." From this point of view a deity is not a literal being but a metaphoric representation of whatever characteristics and personality traits the deity holds. So far as I can tell, calling on a deity is the same as calling on those characteristics which the deity represents, which lie dormant in a person's unconscious.
Hopefully that made sense. :)
| I'm Back ||Oct 8th. at 12:46:03 am EDT|
|Perrin (Hades) ||Age: 26 - Email |
I believe that there are two seperate entities that control the universe, one good and one evil, and that usually there is a balance between them. I follow the left handed path, and pay heed to Baphmisto, the black goat. There are obivously other paths, and perhaps one diety or the other decided that humanity would be more interesting if we had no clue of who to follow. I have thought about this very question for a long time, so far that is the best conclusion that I could come to, the other thoughts I have on this are a lot more disturbing, may be we are the Gods/Goddesses. I do not invoke any dieties in the spells I cast, as I think they would ignore me or respond in a way that would undermine my work.
| Dualist ||Oct 8th. at 3:32:24 am EDT|
|daniel (florida) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I'm a monotheist in the fact that I beleive the devine is both male and female. As for all the names given to the god/goddess, call them what you will, they all represent the same thing. I am somewhat of a dualist as well because I do view the god and goddess as seperate forces (for lack of a better term) but also one in the same. (If that makes any sence at all lol) In actuality I really beleive it doesn't matter how you view the devine. It's what it means to the individual that matters. (right?) If we all beleived in exactly the same ideas, how boring would that be?
| Oops ||Oct 8th. at 3:34:39 am EDT|
|daniel (florida) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I haven't the slightest idea why i posted that last one as a dualist. I meant monotheist.
| Maybe Right Maybe Wrong ||Oct 8th. at 9:47:14 am EDT|
|Ravenseye (Miami, Fl) ||Age: 15 - Email |
I'm not Wiccan, plain and simple, and I don't believe in random Deity choice. Wicca, to me, is far too "pick whatever I like" and not a serious religion, but if you believe that's your choice, it as beautiful belief systems anyhow I believe in the ancient Gods of Tamera, known now as Egypt. I know it seems a bit, well, unrealistic but I do believe in the literal and symbolic interpretations of the Gods. So if there's one God for the sun and one Goddess for the night, I take that literally. I feel it. There's hundreds of Gods and Goddesses in Tamera, so many I doubt we'll ever know them all by name since their names were lost when the great empire of Tamera died. But that doesn't mean they're all important, some are just minor and tempermental. Still, if you believe in another pantheon or in one Initiator or a Lord and Lady, I don't think you're wrong. I think we're all right. It's just, for me, these Gods are real and it's just not neccesary for me to justify myself with the "they're all the same Initiator" belief, because to me they aren't the same at all. They're different, with different symbolic looks and characteristics. Some are tempermental and get angry if we don't pay them due, some are benevolent and always help, and that's just like people I suppose. I think I've said too much, but oh well. If you want more imformation, I'm building a website on Tamera and the Gods and Goddessess, so email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interesting.
| Polytheist ||Oct 8th. at 10:29:25 am EDT|
|ForestDragon (Grand Rapids, MI) ||Age: 34 - Email |
I see different aspects of divinity in all things around me, and I connect better by visualizing different gods and goddesses.
| Monism -- Not Monotheism! ||Oct 8th. at 11:34:32 am EDT|
|Shekinah (Minneapolis) ||Age: 39 - Email |
I am, simultaneously, a Monist, a Polytheist, and a Pantheist. This may seem contradictory, on the surface, but it actually works quite well.
Monism is distinctly different from Monotheism, the belief that there is a single Deity, that this deity has a personality, and that it is distinct from the physical world and active in His creation. Monism would state that the physical world is part of the One, as are each of us.
The way I would put it, is that the Universe is One Organism, and we are all "cells" within its body.
This works well with Pantheism, of course. Just as everything is part of the One, everything is divine. Many pagans view nature as divine, and the modern world, like the city, as being somehow NOT. Human creation is relegated to a different category, somehow. But a Pantheist/Monist would say that everything is divine, including plastic, etc.
But what about Polytheism? Well, the Cosmic One is ultimate divinity, and we are all part of it, but one way that IT communicates and interracts with us is through smaller Gods. These deities are every bit as much a part of the One as we are -- manifestations of the Divine -- but they are individuals with distinct personalities, and through interaction with them, we can grow in wisdom and become more connected to the One, and come to a deeper realization of our own divinity.
| Physics ||Oct 8th. at 11:44:56 am EDT|
Those of a seriously religious point of view tend to ignore me when I bring
science into the mix. Physics has shown pretty clearly over the past 40
years or so that there is an underlying wholeness or oneness to everything.
At least that's my interpretation. Everything is connected at the quantum
level, and I really mean everything everwhere. This underlying connectedness
even allows Einstein's speed of light limit to be broken in certain circumstances.
I don't know whether there is one God or if there are many. I do know that
quantum physics is telling us that everything is connected in both space and time.
There are other religious views that hold the same idea. I think they're right.
The hindus for example have a pantheon but also believe that the pantheon is
just an expression of one thing, the dream of the sleeping God. When you dream of
other people, who are they? It's your dream. Are they aspects of you? If they
are then everything in your dream is really you. It's the same thing with the
Universe according to the sleeping God view. Maybe physics is begining to see
that kind of connectedness. On the other hand, my imagination has been known to
| Polythist ||Oct 8th. at 12:40:04 pm EDT|
|Christina (North Carolina) ||Age: 29 - Email |
I believe in the idea of several God/Goddesses. I take into account the idea that the many can become one. So, maybe I am mixed on that belief. I see the individual spirit that rest in all including the God/Goddesses. I also see how the many inner connect as a whole to create a universe.
| Enough Of The Mix And Match Deal ||Oct 8th. at 1:15:47 pm EDT|
|Joshua (Georgia) ||Age: 19 - Email |
Actually, I'm a little tired of this whole idea that Wicca is a pick and choose religion. The way I see it, the dieties of all the belief systems are real (probably with many exeptions, personal experience will have to decide.) So, in essence, I am not choosing which gods are real, just which ones I'll be affiliated with. Of course, it's more likley that it's the other way around (they choose which humans they are to be affiliated with). And if you think that the old pagan systems lived in isolation from one another, you are mistaken. Representations of Anubis have been found in Roman graves, and representations of Pan have been found in Egypt. For all those people who talk about "mix and match" religion, you should be aware that the old pagans are just as guilty as we.
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