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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Can Gods Die?
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Article ID: 14972
Age Group: Adult
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Times Read: 2,550
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Author: Thierry Blackwood
Posted: August 26th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,550
Can Gods die? This is a question that has been bothering me for some time. Of course, we believe that our deities are infallible. But if one truly follows the beliefs of the pantheon (s) that one has chosen deities from, chances are, there are at least a few stories of a deity’s death or demise.
I feel that I need to address this topic, though it may cause some controversy, because it is something that gets under my skin just a tad. Please note though, that I am not saying that my way is better than anyone else’s or that one should stop worshipping his/her deity if it is one of the aforementioned ‘deceased’. Above all, everything I am saying is purely theoretical and is only MY view. Everyone is entitled to his or her own thoughts.
The more that I become acquainted with the pagan and Wiccan communities, the more I see instances of people worshipping deities that are, according to the mythology of the pantheon that they originate from, dead.
Take Pan. I know; I know; I wish it wasn’t true myself, but the great nature God Pan is dead… at least according to the pantheon that Pan was birthed from. In the mythos, a man by the name of Thamus heard a godlike voice shout across the seas that the Great nature God Pan was dead. Living in an era where we dominate and destroy nature makes it is easier to believe this could be true.
So… this brings up the issue at hand: if Pan is dead, then just whom are all these people worshipping? Is it possible for a God to leave a ghost behind? One that is powerful enough to still be aware of what is going on, to hear the voices that call out to him? Since a ghost is essentially just a “picture” if you will (when someone dies) , and usually the stronger the death (through violence, trauma, or even sometimes long time practitioners) the stronger the ghost so to speak, it would make sense if his ghost - if one was created - to be a hell of a lot more powerful than the average ghost. That being said, are his followers now participating in a type of necromancy?
Yes, I know that necromancy is not the art of worshipping the dead, quite the contrary, it is usually using the dead for divination, or even working through them to get what you will done. I don’t know what else to call it though if someone is worshipping the ghost of a Deity. I am also by all means NOT saying that worshipping a deity that is dead (again, according to the lore of its pantheon of origin) is wrong. But in my opinion, if one is going to worship a god or goddess, one should know the history behind that deity and not just pick one because it sounds cool.
But if Gods can die, where does that leave them in the afterlife? As Pagans, we all know that every year the God ‘dies’ to ensure that the cycle continues, but it is not a death so to speak, as much as He moving to a different plane to rule for a time. He doesn’t really go anywhere; he can still hear our prayers, our voices. It is completely unlike the death that the Greek mythology says Pan encountered. So, do Gods reincarnate?
Everyone views his/her deities as completely infallible beings… that they can crack the world in two if they wish it, have the power to smite thousands who disobey them down, that they cannot die… but if people are already worshipping a dead deity, then how can they say that it cannot die? One should always be familiar with the histories behind one’s system of practice!
If you like to summon spirits, demons, or what have you, and you use the system that Solomon thought up, and you didn’t know the history of how he came across the seal of Solomon, you may not know what that one squiggle in the corner means. And if you forget what that one squiggle in the corner means, you may also forget that it is even supposed to be there when you are drawing it out on the ground. And if you forget to draw it out, then the next time you summon something into that circle, it’s going to laugh at you and have its way with you.
The point being, it is IMPORTANT to know the histories of whom you worship or what you believe in. You wouldn’t want to worship a Goddess who looks pretty, but the minute you invite Her into your circle demands pain as payment and initiation, now would you? (Unless, of course, you’re into that sort of thing, and then more power to you!)
But if deities are already at the tip of the pyramid, the highest forms of life, what happens when they die? Is it possible for deities to be reborn -- as say, a human -- and have to go through the dregs of life like the rest of us? If one is used to being able to form wherever one wants to, to hear as many thoughts and voices as one wishes, and to affect the planet and nature as a whole with your will, being confined to the meat sacks we know as bodies must seem like its own version of Hell!
I personally believe that when a deity dies, the energies recycle into the universal energies as a whole. Their essences go out and filter into the essence of the plants, the other deities, and throughout the universe. Maybe they are reborn as a star somewhere and a planet much like ours forms around them and eventually life emerges on it.
As much as I love debating with people, please research whom/what you’re worshipping. I will concede that I may be wrong -- and that Pan might not be dead -- but at least KNOW the fact that, according to the mythology, Pan did die. Everyone is entitled to his or her own beliefs, and the point of this article is to encourage different ways of thinking for everyone, not to convert anyone to my thought process. I don’t need anyone going insane now, do I?
Thank you all for reading. Blessed be and have a great life.
Location: Columbia, Missouri
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