Mixing Pantheons: is it Possible?
Article ID: 4217
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,520
Times Read: 4,735
Author: Lori Dake [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: April 13th. 2002
Times Viewed: 4,735
A guilty pleasure of mine is professional wrestling: fine, there. I said it! I'm 28 and I like wrestling! Sometimes I really do enjoy watching "WWF RAW is War!" on TNN after a very stressful day at work. Some people, like my husband, like taking out their aggressions on violent video games, and others get a naughty thrill from scaring the heck out of Sunday morning door-knocking preachers. But as for me, I like wrestling. I don't admit this in public very often, but it's true!
I love the performances that occur before the actual match - the way the wrestlers give each other brutal tongue lashings. It's really quite humorous to hear these incredibly huge men lash out at each other in such an immature manner. They boast how much better they are in every aspect of their lives, especially in the ring. It reminds me so much of school children arguing in the sandbox of who's dad can beat up who. For those who don't watch professional wrestling (okay, be honest here!), this can go on for up to 15 minutes!
When the show finally does begin and the wrestlers enter the ring, everything goes totally nuts! Chairs go this way, people go that way, and it really does become an all-out war! Even though these guys do become very sore at the end of the night, everyone knows that it really is just an act, and generally people are safe.
In real life, mixing two or more completely different kinds of people together like this is not only inappropriate, but completely insane! One would only have to recall the infamous talkshow episode where the white supremist gave Geraldo Rivera a broken nose. People really need to sit back and wonder if the ratings were really worth it.
A more common example is the workplace. I have yet to see a mid-sized office staff where eveeryone is buddy-buddy with everyone else. An office would not be an office without gossip and catty remarks. There is no utopian work environment, even at the ACLU headquarters. Someone is going to disagree on something, and sometimes it can get brutal!
Why is it then that some Magickal folks think that it's okay to arbitrarily mix Dieties (and Pantheons in general to a lesser extent) from completely (or even not so completely!) different backgrounds? Because it fits the Holiday? Because one likes His/Her description in a book? Because that person thinks it's just fine, and he or she will just go ahead with the game plan, ignoring even blatant differences?
If one is to consider themselves Neo-Pagan, by which I mean practicing an Earth-centered religion in the modern era, then one would also be fully aware of the whole rule of cause and effect. With that in mind, one would also need to ask if slapping two Dieties together like a hamburger without considering the consequences really do Them any justice? To that, a lengthly answer is in order.
In my personal belief system, I quite often do pay homage to many Dieties. Yes, I do consider myself eclectic. Even though I am mostly fond of the Egyptian Pantheon and work with Egyptian Magick most often, I do give reverence to Brighid for Candlemas. She is the Holiday; without Her, there would be a huge loss in the Holiday itself. And, by being raised in a Catholic household, celebrating with Her is a warm nod to fond childhood memories I have of lighting candles in the beautiful churches my family and I used to attend.
However, if I were to invite Hades in the same Circle, I know that I would just be asking for trouble! One thing that strikes me right off the top of my head is that I don't think He would appreciate all the candles! Another thing is the light/dark scenario in general. Would He really be comfortable in such a setting? Why invite a Diety that would just wind up being pouty, or worse, highly upset? No one likes an irate God!
This is also true in the situation of having Hera anywhere near Aphrodite, like say for a Beltaine celebration! If I wanted to see some serious chair-throwing and hair-pulling, I might as well watch an episode of Jerry Springer; at least I have the reassurance of being in the safety of my own home, and not having to contend with the backlash!
Many Dieties can however share the same space for a particular purpose, because their personalities are similar, or can at least agree upon a certain cause. It is very acceptable to mix Bast with Demeter for a Blessing Way, because by welcoming both of Them into a Circle is nearly the same as getting any two moms together to discuss parenting issues over a cup of tea. They may or may not be from the same PTA group, or even really know each other, but the reason why it works is simple: they share a strong reverence for their children, and in the rearing of them.
But why is it okay to mix some Pantheons and not others? Since I do not follow a dualtheistic belief system as many Wiccans do, I do not consider all Gods to be the God and all Goddesses to be a representation of the Goddess. If you've read this much, you've probably already have guessed that I believe each Diety has His/Her own wants, needs, desires, experiences and ethics.
In fact, I jokingly refer to my belief system as the "Cosmic Party", or polytheism for the more studious folks. I sometimes imagine what a "Grand Mixer" would be like: would Loki be the guy spiking the punch? Would Thor be acting as the bouncer? Ra would probably be stuck driving everyone home, and I'm also quite certain that Dionysus would be getting cut off or just ends up passing out by the end of the night!
If one would consider the Gods' feelings in mundane situations, it would make things alot easier to put into perspective. It's a simple way of thinking, sure, but why would anyone want to have to suffer the consequences of putting two very different personalities together... in the same Circle no less! Yes, I believe They do have feelings! Therefore, just like plain, ordinary Joes like myself, the Gods and Goddesses have certain things They just aren't going to tolerate! And I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't want a front row seat to one of Their performances!
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Author's Profile: To learn more about Lori Dake - Click HERE
Bio: Lori Dake is an organizer for Pagan youth in the Chicagoland area. She is married to Ron (30) and mother to Ryan (10). She has lived in Chicago most of her life, but has family in rural Wisconsin, as well as San Jose, California. Besides working with children, she also writes online Pagan childrens stories and hosts a networking group. Lori works full-time as a paralegal for a small downtown collections firm, as well as handling general office duties. Her website is located at http://www.doomdiva.com
Other Articles: Lori Dake has posted 4 additional articles- View them?
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