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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: 19,143,992  

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 

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.

Correllian Nativist Tradition Of Wicca Oct 10th. at 7:29:01 am EDT

Rev. Wendy Eversen (Whyalla, South Australia, Australia) Age: 34 - Email - Web

As there are many different pagan origins/paths here in Australia which include some of the most familiar, Dianic, Hermetic, Druidism, Shamanism, etc. There is a new wave slowly growing in Australia. The Correllian Nativist Tradition of Wicca. Its roots are from America, but gradually spreading all over the world, with many new branches emerging, it is expected that this path will be very popular in years to come. I am a little biased as I am a ordained member of the Correllian Clergy, and also a Correllian Mentor, and I see the statistics of just how fast this new path is growing here in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.

The Correllian Tradition is a syncretic and highly philosophical Tradition of Wicca, which stresses the inherent unity of all Pagan traditions and the synchronicity of all spiritual paths. We believe that Deity is in all things, therefore all paths can lead to Deity.

The Correllian Tradition is based around the idea that inner truth is universal in nature, but is expressed through many outer forms. Correllianism teaches that Deity comes to the person in the way that is best for that person, and which is unique to them.

Correllians believe that all things which live have a spirit, just as we humans do, and that all things which exist live. We believe in the concept of a living, spiritually sentient Earth, of which all of the Earth's eco-systems and creatures are components. We believe in the concept of a living, spiritually sentient galaxy, of which the Earth and other planets and stars are components. And the concept of a living, spiritually sentient Universe, of which all galaxies are components. In short that all of existence is living, and spiritually sentient, with the souls evolving from sub-atomic particles to galaxies and beyond, with our present human form as one step in this chain.

Oh! And definitely Polytheist... Link to More info related to this post -- HERE

The One And The Many Oct 10th. at 8:14:20 am EDT

Auralia L.V.X Interna (Sweden) Age: 28 - Email

It is my belief that Godforms are created by a coalition between humanity and the invisible forces of nature. Nature provides the force...a current of power with a particular energetic signature; humanity creates the anthropomorphized vessel to contain and embody said force. Thus we comprehend the unnameable. All things emanate from the divine source, but all are holy in their infinite variation. As above, so below.
We are all Magicians. We have the creative impulse, be it known or unknown. We empower the gods with adoration and devotion. We forge connections.
I have been blessed by many Gods and Goddesses...Isis the Mighty Mother, Queen of Heaven...Nepthys, Her Dark Sister...Hermes Trismegistus, Thrice Great Lord of Magick...Aprodite, Lady of Universal Beauty...Hecate, Mother of Witches...Maat, Lady of Balance and Adjustment...Kwan Yin (Avalokiteshvara)...Divine Bodihsattva and Lady of Infinite Compassion.
I hope to be blessed by many more...

"The One is as adorable to the Many as the One is to the Many.
This is the Love of These; creation-parturition is the Bliss of the One;
coition-dissolution is the Bliss of the Many.
The All, thus interwoven of These, is Bliss.
Naught is Beyond Bliss."

`Maun Polytheism! Oct 10th. at 10:40:08 am EDT

Neil Rhind (Edinburgh) Age: 21 - Email

Hmmm... The question of poly Vs. Mono theism basically rests on what constitutes a Diety (a "the"?) . I dont give a name, or any defining characteristics to whatever ultimate force is there, and approach it only through other forms - nbut many of them. If theres an unformed force counts as a worshipped diety, then Im monotheistic. But that might get me confused with people who deny all other forms - so I generally say I`m poly. This allows me to hold that god a is like this, Goddess b is like that etc. when these traits might contradict each other, because I use them as seperate entities which are both part of the divine. Basically, I see them all as one when I think about them, but as seperate when I work with them. Thats the difference between theology and religionh.

Personally... Oct 10th. at 6:31:00 pm EDT

Morgan Anara (bennington,vt) Age: 14 - Email

I think the best way to define my belief is like a jawbreaker. There's LOTS of candy on the outside, but on the inside, there's a softer, easier to chew candy. :) you can tell i'm a teenager. I'm comparing religion to food. But really, I think it isn't so simple as there being a 'god' or 'goddess', or many gods at once. I think there is one Being, but since one Being is hard to grasp, the Being wears many faces and outfits, like one big masquerade party. sometimes the Being is male, sometimes female. Sometimes the Being identifies with the Egyptians, other times the Greeks. Do you see what I'm saying? The Being can belong to everybody, but sometimes the nongenderspecific Being is wearing a different costume when it appears to different people(s). Yes, I will call upon a specific god or goddess in ritual based on which is needed, i suppose( I did NOT mean to make God and Goddess sound like tools in a big metaphysical toolbox... sorry). But I believe that behind the cloaks of gender and appearance, there is one Being whom we all serve in many ways. blessed be, all.

Monotheist Oct 10th. at 7:02:15 pm EDT

Starfish (Muskegon, MI) Age: 39 - Email

I believe in One god with many personalities. Each giving me what I need, when I need it.

Monotheist Oct 10th. at 7:44:29 pm EDT

Starfish (muskegon, Mi) Age: 39 - Email

I'm not very good at postings, I don't do this very often. I usually stay silent and just read the what everyone person posts.

I do admit to making a mistake in my post. I do believe in one being, but i wrote the word god instead. I've been studying for 15 years, you would think i would know better

note to self: no more posts. :)

Wicca Oct 10th. at 9:11:55 pm EDT

Rowan (Washington) Age: 16 - Email

I am polytheist who recognizes the Great Goddess in all her forms and the Great God in all of his forms. I also recognizes dieties from Ancient Greece and Wales, such a Rhiannon, Cerridwen, Artemis and Apollo.

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