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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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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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| Neither Poly- Nor Mono-theistic ||Oct 8th. at 5:30:19 pm EDT|
|Nature's Child (Fresno, CA) ||Age: 27 - Email - Web|
I know the title doesn't say much, so let me see if I can put this into words. Although I call myself Wiccan or Witch, I do not worship The Goddess and the God--I recognize the Unknown Power (which the Greeks called Chaos) as being the Beginning and Ending of All Things, & that this unknown power created "children" such as planets, moons, stars, etc.--each of which have a living soul. In the case of the Earth, it has dual souls--twin souls if you will--which is represented in our own mythology as the "Goddess" and the "God", or in my own tradition, the Sacred Mother & the Green Man. There are also other spirits, such as faeries, dryads, etc. who are the children of the Sacred Mother & the Green Man and who serve a similar function. As for humans, we too are the children of the Sacred Mother & the Green Man...we have just so separated ourselves from them that we do not remember.
| The Gaia Hypothesis ||Oct 8th. at 8:34:33 pm EDT|
|Siara (Annapolis, MD, USA) ||Age: 41 - Email |
I believe in the Gaia hypothesis (that all of nature functions as one living organism).
I've always believed this, as far back as I can remember. When I was young I had trouble articulating my beliefs, since I was raised in a very Christian household. It seemed like I was born with this ideology hardwired into my psyche and I actually wished that I could short circuit my brain and believe what everyone around me believed. I used to think of my spiritual beliefs as "My Rules" or "My Construct"... I couldn't even define them as spiritual beliefs since I was raised to think of God as a personality [a judgemental personality] who was external to ME and thought spiritual beliefs by definition involved God. Since I am not a contentious, rebel-type, I experienced my beliefs as being isolating and uncomfortable.
The first time I came across a reference to the Gaia Hypothesis (on the internet) it was like reality stood still for a minute. I'd felt so isolated for so long I couldn't believe anyone in the entire world believed what I believed.
I realize this makes me sound incredibly conformist, that relief I felt realizing I wasn't alone. But what can I say? If you're raised in a religious family and something inside you refuses to believe in the family's religion, it's stressful and depressing.
| All Are One ||Oct 8th. at 9:17:17 pm EDT|
|angel bonner (FL) ||Age: 29 - Email |
i believe that the god/ goddess are but one diety, kinda like the christians who divide god up into father/ son/ holy spirit. ours is just maiden/mother/ crone & green/ horned. BTW, i do believe that every other religions' god is the same diety that I worship, they just picture (define) him/her differently.
| Something Odd ||Oct 8th. at 9:31:32 pm EDT|
Although I am currently contemplating the exsistance of Goddess/God, I believe in something a little less common. I call it the Greater Circle, meaning the absolute balance of all things, (such as exsistance/nonexsistance at the same time.) I also believe in 6 elementals instead of 4 or 5. I've never met another person who thinks the way I do, so I can't claim to have learned this anywhere, it is just something I feel.
| Spirit ||Oct 8th. at 11:28:14 pm EDT|
I believe in God and Goddess, and see that they each have many forms yet they are still one God and one Goddess, and even between those two there is probably a greater source, which is partly reflected in the path ones takes (for me, Goddess). I think there is even a greater force that binds them together, the unmanifest, that is to say in the realm of spirit they are one, but we see them from a limited perspective of sorts. That most people's paths are attempts to find some sort of deeper connection, within or without, whether esoteric or exoteric
| All One Yet Separate ||Oct 9th. at 12:26:55 am EDT|
|Treasa (PA) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I think of it kind of like a prism. If you stand facing it in different directions, you see different manifestations of it. The deities come from the same energy source. All are distinct yet a part of the same whole. Personally, I see Them as Goddess and God. I feel most comfortable viewing the deities in a simple manner. This is just my personal opinion and experience as applies to me.
| All Are Just Faces Of The One ||Oct 9th. at 1:22:26 am EDT|
|Glenn Hall (Las Vegas) ||Age: 28 - Email |
I must concur with Teresa, that all the Gods are but different facets of the same God, He Who Dwells In The Beyond, which some call the prime creative source. Each is an individual, yet part of the whole.
| Dualist; All Are One ||Oct 9th. at 5:50:29 am EDT|
|Isis Juno (Japan) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I think no matter what name you give the universal energy that speaks to us all it is the same. I think that we all see it differently even if our verbal decription is the same. I think that the wheel is balanced, that there are equal protions of male and female. I think that the energy we all worship, in whatever way, is like a normal person just on a larger scale. My idea is that people, though in one body or being, have many different faces and embodiments. I feel that it is the same with the God and Goddess I worship.
| Polytheist ||Oct 9th. at 9:51:29 am EDT|
|Ayla (MI) ||Age: 15 - Email |
I beleive in many deities, because there is a main god and goddess, but there are many others, and each has a specific purpose.
| How I Picture The Divine ||Oct 9th. at 10:05:46 am EDT|
|Brigid (Idaho) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I thought long and hard about this question, and still haven't been able to answer it fully. I guess I could be considered a Pagan Monotheist, in the sense that I believe that all the Gods and Goddesses; Isis, Ra, Dagda, Dana, Brigid, Venus, Jesus, and a all others are one piece of Divine. I personally relate better to the Divine using one or more of the faces (Gods and Goddesses). I also believe that all the Faces (Gods and Goddesses) have seperate fully functional personalities. So I don't really know how you would classify me! LOL.
Clan of the Ancient Ways
| Polytheist And Monist ||Oct 9th. at 11:02:34 am EDT|
|DolphinSmile (Austin, TX) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I guess that is how you would describe me. I was raised agnostic, and I haven't been on this path for very long (about 3 years), so my beliefs are still evolving, but here is how I see it.
I believe in one force unifying everything. The One, the Oversoul, the Force, something like that. However, this is hard for my little human mind to comprehend, and no matter what I do or what happens it will always be there.
I also believe that all gods are part of this One, however they are also individuals, with their own personalities, just like I am part of the One, but I also have my own personality. These many gods, however, depend on us for their existance. Here is where I may offend some people. I think human perceptions of them affect how they are. I could be totally wrong, but seeing how gods change over time in history, I think this is the case. I think gods change and evolve with human societies, and sometimes new gods can appear, and I suppose if a god is forgotten and no longer worshiped or even thought about, that god can "die" in a way. They go back to the force they came from. (Also I have heard of some gods from different cultures that were so similar, they may actually be the same god just being worshipped by two different cultures. I think that's possible, but not common.)
I don't have a problem with mixing gods from different cultures, as long as you do it responsibly and with respect. I think if you want to work with a god, you have to understand that god as well as you can. Read more than just one sentence about them. Read myths about them. Learn about the culture they came from. Get to know them. And if you call more than one god, use your judgement to figure out if those gods will get along. Just like if you know two people, and you think they won't like each other, you don't invite them over to your house at the same time.
Mixing pantheons is not a new thing anyway, as someone else pointed out. I have seen a relief of Cernnunos with Apollo and Hermes standing on either side of him (if I remember correctly). True, some gods WON'T get along, and some of those are even in the same pantheon. For example, I don't think Set and Isis like each other very much.
I think the gods understand that this is a different time, and people have changed, and so I don't think they mind us using different rituals than our ancestors did. As long as it is done with respect. I think they are mainly glad just to be remembered at all.
Also, unlike some Wiccans who say they don't, I believe in the Judeo-Christian God and the Devil. Wiccans keep saying all gods are legitamate, then they say they don't believe in these two. That doesn't make sense. By my concept, they are just as valid as any other gods (unfortunately). In fact, Yahweh/Jehovah/Allah (definately different aliases for the same god) is the closest thing to an evil god I have seen! He is jealous of all other gods and wants people to only worship him (to the point of encouraging his people to kill others in his name). He tells his followers he loves them yet threatens them with eternal torture if they don't love him back. Satan is also worshipped or at least thought of and obsessed over enough by Fudementalists that I think he qualifies as a real god too.
There are a lot of nice Jews, Christians, and Muslims out there, but I think they are not actually worshipping the same god as the fundementalists. My conclusion from talking to such people and trying to understand them is that they are actually worshipping The One Force. That's perfectly fine with me, but like I said this force is too hard for me to understand. If someone else feels comfortable with working directly with it, I have no problem with that. Whatever you prefer. Everyone is different, and that's why there are different religions.
| Disco Ball-ism ||Oct 9th. at 1:15:37 pm EDT|
|Mothrae (Pennsy USA) ||Age: 37 - Email |
My beliefs are in the Deity of The Goddess and The God, equal halves of the Whole.
I see all religions in a concept I've come across many times...the mirrored disco ball. Many facets, many names, many faces, many concepts and interpretations, and all one ball.
The world's many faiths are too close to be really "different." They all seem to follow one basic Divine Outline. Coincidence? I doubt it. In many ways we are all the same. The interpretations cause the divisions.
Amazing how we practice the tolerance the other faiths teach.
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