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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 23,444,395  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 104

Lurker/Post Ratio: 315 to 1

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. Reverse Sort 

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

Merry Meet.
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.
Merry Part!
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.

Brightest Blessings


I Am A Greek Polytheist Oct 9th. at 2:54:19 pm EDT

Kyrene Ariadne (Boston, MA) Age: 24 - Email - Web

I am a Greek polytheistic reconstructionist, and I see no reason to say "the gods and goddesses" in place of simply "the gods." I've never really understand the purpose for that, as goddesses are gods, and I consider the term gods to be gender neutral, as do many people I know.

I also have no problems with people who have different views of deity, just as long as they realize that not all Pagans worship "the God and Goddess" and often they come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. :)

We Greek polytheists are out there and have our own organization, and we often interact with the community at large when we can so that we are one more voice in the crowd, if nothing else. If you want to know more about us, please see our website. Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

I Am A Polytheist Oct 9th. at 5:06:38 pm EDT

Justin Starkenburg (Raleigh, NC, USA) Age: 20 - Email - Web

As a Hellenic Pagan (Greek Reconstructionist) I am a polytheist in every sense of the word. I believe in many gods and goddesses, which exist as seperate and distinct personalities, sometimes cooperating and sometimes in conflict. I think this pluralistic view of deity gives the most accurate description of our Universe and the nature of our lot as humans. To say that all gods are one god or that all goddesses are one goddess dillutes the nature of each individual god and goddess to me.

I do not use the terms "Lord" or "Lady" and I define what I mean by "god" or "goddess" by naming the god I am referring to. Once it is obvious who I am referring to (Athena, for example) I will sometimes simply say "the goddess" or "the god" but only because it is clear that I am referring to that particular deity. If I am referring to multiple deities or to the godhead as a whole I will use the term "the gods," "deity" or "the divine" depending on the context. Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

Monotheist Oct 9th. at 5:15:59 pm EDT

Cirrus (New Orleans, LA) Age: 26 - Email

I am a monotheist. I believe in one God, referring to the creative and sustaining force of the universe. I also believe that God, which is neither male nor female, created many spirits, after creating humankind, to be intermediaries between us and God, which have become the many gods, goddesses, and spirits (different words, same concept) of the world's pantheons, because we are too unlike God to have direct communication with God. It is through the help of these spirits, including our ancestors, that we are able to have a line of communication with God and also ask for assitance in our daily lives.

Evolving Oct 9th. at 7:37:20 pm EDT

Greenvie (Tucson, AZ) Age: 48 - Email - Web

I hope not. When we begin to seriously define it, it becomes proprietary, then "ownership" follows. That's what got religion into a mess in the first place. I'm a monotheist, who believes God/Goddess has various aspects. I'm not going to quarrel with a polytheist whose spiritual worldview shows them otherwise. We'd be splitting hairs. What matters is a love for the divine, seeing the divine within, and respecting the elements that spawned and support us.

I was raised a monotheist, but my picture of God/Goddess is evolving as my understanding evolves.

You asked, "Does the term ‘Lord and Lady’ represent a specific Lord and/or Lady to you?" Although my understanding of the Deity and his/her aspects has become much more cosmic, I still feel close to anthropomorphic images. Being Christo-Pagan, Jesus and Mary are still very much representations of the Lord and Lady to me, but my understanding of those images and my interaction with them has grown by dimensions.

Our Attempts To Understand The Imcomprehensible Oct 9th. at 11:58:25 pm EDT

Morrighan (NC) Age: 24 - Email

Let me begin with a quote from Master Lao Tzu (The Tao Teh Ching).
"The Tao that can be talked about is not the eternal Tao."

Anyway...what I'm getting at is that this is such a personal question, its difficult for a concensus. How do we view the Divine? Ask fifty people, get fifty different answers.
Personally, I'm a polytheist/henotheist/pantheist. I believe that there are many Gods (polytheist), however, I primarily worship The Morrigu as the Divine center (henotheist). I believe that She and They exist in all things created, thought of, and not to be thought of yet (pantheist). I also believe in the omniverse.

Grasping the Divine is not an evolutionary process, its a process via experience and personal understanding. That seems contradictory, but bare with me. Its okay to change your mind, however its not okay to say that...(gawd, this is hard)...that reaching an ultimate conclusion is necessary and/or correct. Each person is going to realize things in different ways. For instance some one may live to be fifty thinking there is one God, and then upon reaching fifty-five, may have a major paradigm shift (through personal experience) and start believing that there are many Gods. Its just really personal. I believe its okay to have your own conclusions and equally all right, to have no conclusion at all. The Divine is elusive to say the least.

Sorry...I have a Bachelors in Religious Studies. This is right up my ally and I could go on and on.

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