Personal gods

2 years 5 months ago #360711 by Skryym
Replied by Skryym on topic Personal gods
If you don’t mind me twisting my own interpretation into this topic, I think the Catholic veneration of saints fulfills some of the same functions as pantheonic Gods (which probably is why Catholics are so often branded as un-Christian by other Christians).

To that end, I’ve always have a fondness for Bernard of Menthon, who braved weather and isolation in the Swiss alps to keep pilgrims safe. That veneration came from a time in my life where I craved isolation and remote places. Now that I’m forced to work in them (but no longer crave or enjoy it) it takes on a new meaning: adverse circumstances can still cultivate a spiritual life. And wherever we are, we can still use our life to help other people reach their spiritual goals.

I wear a medal to St. Christopher, patron Saint of Travelers, whenever I am working remotely. It was given to me by my late grandmother, so I suppose this is something I do to stay close to her memory, rather than the saint.

Francis of Assisi is an important saint for all lovers of nature, simplicity, and service to others.

As far as actual personal gods go, there is a certain tree, a gnarled bur oak, larger than any other tree around her, that lives in the far reaches of the farm I grew up on. I feel safe beneath her, and every time I return home I make sure to visit her and touch her branches. I really do think of this tree as sort of the matriarch of the forests and hills around her.
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2 years 5 months ago #360712 by ChaotishRabe
Replied by ChaotishRabe on topic Personal gods
I never thought to realize that the Catholic veneration of saints was most likely influenced by Roman or Greek pantheonic gods.

When I was in college I would keep a St. Matthew the Evangelist, the patron saint of accountants, prayer card with me while taking exams.

Likewise when learning to weld, I had a St. Eligius, the patron saint of metal workers, prayer card in my pocket.

When I was with my catholic in-laws for the first time on Christmas, they gifted me a huge book of saints that had the histories and venerations of many saints.

As for personal gods, I'll have to get back to y'all on that.
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2 years 5 months ago #360718 by River
Replied by River on topic Personal gods
Oh yeah. I do have a string of saints medallions. And a Ganesh statue... and a bunch of art about various goddesses on my wall....
And also I believe the area around where I live is full of fae. I wouldn't say I worship them at all, but they're otherworldly and I give them little gifts and offerings, especially non celebration days.
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2 years 1 month ago - 2 years 1 month ago #363272 by Lykeios Little Raven
Replied by Lykeios Little Raven on topic Personal gods
Gods I follow. Well, all of the Greek Gods, with some exceptions I suppose. In terms of those I most *closely* follow, however?

1. Dionysos Eleuthereos/Lysios - The Liberator/Deliverer. To me, Dionysos (under any epithet) represents the freedom to be at home with who we really are. He frees us of the chains of assumption, repression (whether from without or within), and similar problems. He supports free-thinking and new ideas. Performance art. The freedom that comes from portraying another person before others. He is also, however, rather mysterious. The Dionysian mysteries are, though not perhaps so much as the Eleusinian, quite famous. He speaks to the hidden parts of our psyches that we hesitate (or even outright refuse) to reveal to others or ourselves. Also, as the God of madness and, conversely, sanity, he represents mental health. He reminds me that I am always only a step or two away from madness and that I should be careful with my mental health. Contrary to what many people think about the God (that he's a drunken idiot, or a fat old wino, or similar) I feel he represents a counterbalance. Liberation. Io Bakchos!

2. Apollon Lykeios - Obviously, the epithet is where I got my name here at the Temple. He was the first Greek God I felt "calling" to me when I was seeking. "Lykeios" can be translated to "of the wolf" or "wolf-like." Apollo is often seen as a gentle God. A poet. A dreamer. A philosopher. A diviner. He is also, however, the God of pestilence and retribution and vengeance (as are many other Gods). He wields his great golden bow as a warrior-son of Zeus when the need arises and fulfills all his duties well. His twin Sister, Artemis, though the two are quite different, also has a fondness for wolves and dogs (mostly as hunting animals). Apollo is the God of moderation. It is in his Delphic Maxims, after all, in which we find the world famous proscription "Moderation in All Things." In fact, this particular inscription was made right at the entrance to the religious installation at Delphos, meaning that it is very, very important. Apollo is often, in modern philosophical interpretation, seen as the counterpoint to Dionysos' wild abandon and freedom. Dionysian vs Apollonian is what they call it. I, however, think the "versus" is far too adversarial. I firmly believe that the two Gods are the best of friends (and would be an absolute delight at parties!). Apollo is also the God of medicine (though, he has parceled a lot of that responsibility out to his son, Asklepios) and is, as noted above, very important to me for many reasons due to that. Oh! And of course, he is the God of oracles and prophecy. This, however, is part of his duty as a great Son of Zeus and the deliverer of the words, wisdom, and prophecies of his Father.

3. Hermes Hermeneutes - Hermes! My man! He's a wily, silver-tongued kinda guy. God of language, diplomacy - communication. He is also, as I alluded to in the third sentence, the God of Deceptions and Thieves. He's the trickster, similar to Raven in Native American traditions or Loki in the Norse. He is also, however, another God of Divination, like Apollon. Hermes, however, is less "grand prophecy" such as would come from an oracle and more smaller things. Runes. The Tarot. Tossing the bones. Simple, daily sort of divination. There is even a link in this aspect of his to the Nymphs, who assist in giving his predictions. Knucklebones were frequently found in caves along with joint invocations or gifts for Hermes and the Nymphs. He makes me feel quick, witty, and skillful in matters of communication. Hermes reminds me of a good friend. Not so much in the "drinking buddy" sense as with Dionysos, or even Apollon, but more as the close friend that you share things with. Hermes is cool. In his capacity as Messenger of the Gods he reminds us that it is important to keep faithful contact with our "superiors" or "masters."

I also honor Zeus quite frequently, but idk that I'd include him in a top 3 list. I honor all of the Olympian Gods and most of their extended family. Hekate is particularly important to my family and, therefore, to me.

I worship and associate with a lot of Gods. I love and honor all the Athanatoi - the Deathless Ones.

Great question and something perhaps worthy of more contemplation around these parts.

Also, thanks to all of you for your responses to Edan's lovely question! Very interesting to hear about the perspectives of others on deity/divinity.
Last edit: 2 years 1 month ago by Lykeios Little Raven.
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2 years 1 month ago #363414 by
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In regards to personal Gods, I will begin by dreadfully over simplifying it. I believe, scientifically speaking, that if something created everything than it was the sun. So, I thank him for his gifts. He keeps us warm and brings us light, so that we may have vision. The earth gives me a home, so I thank her for that. She gives me friends, and food. I thank her for that.
Now, this is what I believe, everything from here on out I do for fun. Honestly, why would you believe it any other way. I don't like guilt, and I am perfectly capable of providing it for myself.
Now, you'll just have to forgive me for this, I like to give the essence I am speaking to an image. I usually am looking for guidance when working with deities. So, in a logical fashion, I speak to wisdom Gods the most. If you weren't aware tho, I'm Norwegian and prefer that aesthetic. Odin I see as an Old man's wisdom, coarse, emotionless, the perspective of a King. Freyja is lively "youthful" wisdom. She is the Earth Goddess, the Earth Mother. Both these Deities are wanderers.
Now Freyja, to me, is the Goddess of Adventure. She has been with me on many, albeit most by fantasy as I am often alone on these. Many of our interactions are far more likely just me working with my feminine side. As I already hold a man's opinion, I often prefer to hear a woman's. There have been times tho, where she has acted far outside the boundaries I have set in my mind. In a depressive episode I usually resent any concept of comfort.
There was one time, I was drunk and miserable (it's likely not a surprise to you). She often appears to me in green armor, but this time she strutted in stark naked. As provocative as possible, sat on my lap and whispered in my ear, "ooh tsk tsk. Is my little Raven brooding again." "Don't Mock me, Freyja." I snarled. "Oh I would never do that. I am sure it is all very troubling." "Why are you here, Witch?" I replied in almost a growl. "I just thought you would appreciate a woman's company, but it seems this is not the case. I guess I have no choice, but to grant you the prestigious honor of watching me walk away." "Catch you later, Gorgeous." I remarked. She smiled over her shoulder and responded, "Oh you don't have the Courage." As she began to fade out she shouted, "Oh and do try not to kill yourself while I'm gone. I've worked very hard on you, and the least you can do is respect my Gifts. Tata!"
I'm not sure, scientifically what to call that, but it worked.
I also, like a silly metaphor and I picture God as Crush from Finding Nemo. "Wizard man! --noggins-- life getting you down again?" "You gotta ride the current little bro." "Catch ya later wizard dude!" I like this more often these days. Just a flying surfer turtle coming in on some clutch wisdoms. It's silly, but God should be comforting right?

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2 years 1 month ago #363431 by
Replied by on topic Personal gods
I think that there is a lot to be said about emulating a particular god or goddess/archetype of energy. This sort of goes along with the topic of ritual and how certain cultures would reenact stories through dance and song. I think that there are concepts that we can really find appealing about certain gods and goddesses, that when we choose to emulate them it makes us so much more connected, as well as an overall probable better person. It does a lot for our psyche and helps bring out more positive aspects of ourselves.

Personally I follow Tyr and Thor, as I've made great connections to both of their archetypes in my life. Having been a soldier and deploying to Afghanistan, I really felt I needed that clear mind to know right from wrong, justice from injustice, and to be able to at all times be a warrior first for those around me. Not just a blood lusting warrior however, but one that is willing to do what is right and see past prejudice and blind hatred. Now since being home for quite some time, I utilize what Tyr stands for to help me continually stick to my oaths and be as honest and true as possible. Integrity is important after all.

Thor I've utilized every day, as he is the friend of man and the one who teaches great inner strength and gives us that gut check, to insure we have some serious intestinal fortitude when it comes to the hard stuff in life. I currently work in a prison, and so as a social worker there I like to emulate Thor to the best of my ability, as it gives me strength when things get tough, courage when things get scary, and helps me to throw my own hammer to crush the obstacles that are in my way for the day.

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