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Do you worship gods from different groups?

Discussion in 'European Mythology' started by Theweirdtophat, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. Theweirdtophat

    Theweirdtophat Well-Known Member

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    For example, there's celtic mythology but there's Welsh and Irish deities even though both belong to the celtic mythology and where many deities are comparable and are more or less the same but with different names? But do any of you stick to a certain group or do you mix it up? For instance, would you worship deities from both the Welsh and Irish tradition or just stick with one or the other?
     
  2. Rapha

    Rapha Active Member

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    Each entity in each mythology is the same entity with a different alias.

    Example: Zeus in Greek mythology is Thor is Nordic mythology. Look at the main weapon. Zeus uses lightning. Thor uses a Hammer of THUNDER Bolts.
     
  3. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Unless you're a reconstructionist, there's no reason for any polytheist to limit themselves to historically-constructed groupings of gods. Or if you do, it's strictly personal preference.

    As for whether or not you consider distinct deities "the same," that's up to you and your personal theology.
     
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  4. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    Besides from being mutually associated with lightning Zeus & Thor have very little in common. One is a patriarchal law-giving god; the other is a god of warriors & champions.
     
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  5. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Deus Lux Mea Est
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    No.

    Zeus is actually more like Tyr in terms of Indo-European religion. Both are sky and weather Gods, but Zeus is also focused on law-giving and justice which Tyr is associated with, as well. (Tyr was head of the Germanic pantheon, but Odin became head of the pantheon in Norse society. Tyr apparently remained head of the pantheon in the other Germanic societies.)
     
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  6. Theweirdtophat

    Theweirdtophat Well-Known Member

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    So basically if one is interested in the Celtic pantheon' they could worship deities from both the welsh and Irish tradition. Some I hear choose on or the other but others I hear might mix it up. I hear a druid might worship Don from the Welsh tradition, Ogma from the Irish tradition and cernunnos from the Gaulish tradition. Are there any Heathens that worship from both the Germanic and Norse tradition?
     
  7. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Deus Lux Mea Est
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    Norse is one subset of the Germanic peoples.
     
  8. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Of course. May I ask why you would be under the impression otherwise?
     
  9. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    To me, being polytheist implies a lack of limitation on who to worship, generally speaking.

    I'm a Heathen (Anglo-Saxon-esque), but I'm also a revivalist, not a reconstructionist. Therefore, I don't mind honoring Gods who are technically, say, Celtic, if they give me inspiration. Sirona comes to mind (made a thread about that a while back). If I'm ever in Greece, I'll definitely be attending some ceremony to the Olympioi.
     
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  10. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    There's no reason for a pagan to question other people's religious experiences, so no reason to question the existence of the gods they worship. In antiquity, a Greek who came to Britain might worship in a Celtic temple.

    Whether two gods are the same is a vexed question. The Greeks first thought Nabu might be Hermes (hence "star of Nabu" became "star of Hermes" and then our "Mercury"), but then they decided he was more like Apollo. As for the Carthaginian Bal Hamon, they could never make up their minds whether he was Zeus or Kronos.

    Generally there are enough gods in any pantheon to satisfy almost anyone, but sometimes gods have their own ideas on that. I've been reading the experiences of a Cuban woman who was raised in Santeria but chosen by Loki.
     
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  11. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    This isn't really true, at least from the hard polytheist perspective. For starters, as @Saint Frankenstein pointed out, Zeus and Þórr aren't the same God at all. Zeus' name is cognate with the Old Norse Týr, the Sanskrit Dyaus, along with the Latin word Deus and Irish Gaelic word Dia, the former of which once referred to Jupiter and both of which now refer to the Christian God. They are linguistically descended from the Proto-Indo-European *Dyēus ph2ter, literally "Sky Father", and the way I interpret this is that these individual Gods are, themselves, children of that God. Þórr, on the other hand, is linguistically connected to a different PIE God altogether, *Perkwunos, meaning "Striker" related to the Lithuanian God Perkunas, Slavic Perun, and the Greek word for thunderbolt, keraunós. It's worth pointing out that the Old English name for Þórr, which is Þunor, is also the word that would become the Modern English word thunder. In other words, Þórr doesn't use thunder; Thunder is Himself Thunder Earthson.

    When Tacitus tried describing the Gods of the Germani, he said that the worshiped Mercury "above all others", along with Mars and Hercules. Modern scholars think he may have been referring to the Gods known in Old Norse as, respectively, Oðinn, Týr, and Þórr, but we really can't be sure (after all, Tacitus is separated from the Vikings by roughly the same amount of time as we are: a thousand years, give or take a century or two). This highlights the primary problem with claiming all Gods as being "the same God under different names": there's so much variation in the Gods across cultures, in terms of personality and domain, that there's even some question as to whether Woden, Wotan, and Oðinn are the same God or not. It also ignores the possibility that these are simply names that got applied to indigenous Gods as Indo-European culture spread. These "names" are really more titles, after all. (Freyr and Freyja literally translate to Lord and Lady, respectively.

    This is all still within the Indo-European paradigm. We haven't even branched out into the rest of the world. Being the same archetype doesn't necessarily mean being the same God.
     
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  12. DavidMcCann

    DavidMcCann Well-Known Member

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    One thing to remember when comparing gods is that they are bigger and more complex than we are. We see certain aspects which they show us, but we cannot know their real nature when doing their own things.

    Take "gods of the sea". Neptune is a name meaning "Grandson". The Italians and Celts applied it to the sea god, but in Proto-Indo-European the Grandson of the Waters was the god of the Caucasian oil wells! Poseidon is a name meaning "Husband of Da" -- i..e of Da-mater or De-meter, so he was originally an earth god. He remained one in Arcadia, but most Greeks thought of him as a sea god and on one island he was a god of healing. No doubt he had plenty of other abilities of which they know nothing. The Japanese Umi No Kami is simply a description -- "God of the Sea", as is the Phoenician Bal Yom "Lord Sea", of a god who may well have had other interests. To assume Poseidon = Neptune = Umi No Kami would be a bit rash.
     
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  13. Maponos

    Maponos Kill V. Maim

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    It's possible, yes, but I'd restrict certain deities to their cultural contexts. If it's an overarching Indo-European deity, then cultural context could possibly be played with more loosely. For example, one of the primary deities I worship is Hekate. I'm of Celtic (pretty much pan-British in this case) origin and there is a goddess in Scottish mythology known as Nicnevin who is the same goddess as Hekate (right down to the cross roads), but I think the Greek interpretation of this goddess is more detailed and better formed, so I usually go by the Greek context (or Roman, in the case of Trivia, the name and guise the Romans knew this goddess).
     
  14. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Not so. Most Heathens, and I daresay Hellenics do not equate Zeus and Thor. Lightning is an effect of Thor's hammer, but it is not a weapon itself, as is Zeus's lightning bolt. Their personalities are polar opposites. The deities that may be the same as Thor, but seen through different cultural lenses are Perun, Perkūnas, Ukko and Taranis. I'm inclined to that view, but not to Thor=Zeus.
     
  15. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    To answer the original question, which apparently I never did, I won't say I worship them in an active way, but I pay reverence to the Hindu gods and Buddhist bodhisattvas (Green Tārā, Chenrezig aka Avalokiteshvara, Guan yin). I also give a nod to Taoist deities such as Guan Yu, the warrior god, Xuan wu and Sanxing (Fu Lu Shou). But first and foremost I am Heathen, Ásatrúar, and worship the Norse deities; Thor is my fultrui, "fully trusted".
     
  16. vaguelyhumanoid

    vaguelyhumanoid Active Member

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    Zeus is linguistically cognate to Tyr, but everybody gets hung up on the lightning thing...
     
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  17. Riverwolf

    Riverwolf Amateur Rambler / Proud Ergi
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    Just one of the effects of the whole "God of X" thing that's so popular in popular descriptions of the Gods...
     
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  18. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    A shared association with lightning & rain is where any similarity between Zeus and Thor ends. Other than that the two aren't similar. Thor is a protector god, a god of warriors, bringer of rains, protector of crops and friend to man. Zeus is primarily a lawgiver god who oversees universal order; and some believe(d) he is responsible for instituting the laws of hospitality in Greek society.
     
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  19. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Yep, also cognate with deva, deus, theos, daeva, dio, dios. I think iovis/jovis is in there too, giving us Jupiter via Jovispater (or a reasonable facsimile thereof).
     
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  20. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    I honour Bride the Celtic goddess of (among other things) hearth fire & smith's forge. She's remarkably similar to Hestia.
     
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