Personal gods

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07 Jun 2021 18:06 #360693 by Edan
Personal gods was created by Edan
Some of us here hold belief systems that include gods, or the use of them. It's not something we talk about at TOTJO very much though.

Although I am not a theist of any kind, I find gods useful aids for trying to embody qualities I seek. As you might have guessed from my profile picture, the main god that I look for inspiration in is the Egyptian god Set/Sutekh.

What gods do you follow?

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07 Jun 2021 19:17 - 07 Jun 2021 19:28 #360695 by dwagoonie
Replied by dwagoonie on topic Personal gods
I work with the archetypes Tyr and Azrael the closest. The other archetypes I work with are Thor, Green Tara, Kali, and Ganesha.

Being somewhat of an activist, Tyr helps with supporting justice for those who are unjustly treated. BLM, LGBTQ, and human trafficking are my main focuses. Azrael is my alert system when I am not taking care of my health, or when I need someone to point out when a real threat is coming my way. He also helped me overcome my unrealistic fear of death.

I am not a theist either, but I have felt the presence of all of the archetypes above in whatever form I associate them with. It can be odd sometimes, especially when I feel love from my heart towards Tyr, and true friendship towards the Azrael archetype. Perhaps I have come to terms with these aspects within myself enough to have these feelings. I'm not sure how that works.


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Last edit: 07 Jun 2021 19:28 by dwagoonie.
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07 Jun 2021 19:54 - 07 Jun 2021 20:27 #360697 by Edan
Replied by Edan on topic Personal gods

I am not a theist either, but I have felt the presence of all of the archetypes above in whatever form I associate them with. It can be odd sometimes, especially when I feel love from my heart towards Tyr, and true friendship towards the Azrael archetype. Perhaps I have come to terms with these aspects within myself enough to have these feelings. I'm not sure how that works


I think I understand, I've felt similarly for Set. Sometimes I just decide that I'm going to believe even though I know I don't. It feels like it make sense in a way.

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Last edit: 07 Jun 2021 20:27 by Edan.
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07 Jun 2021 20:40 #360698 by River
Replied by River on topic Personal gods
I suppose the divine aspects that most resonate for me are the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. I appreciate the sense of progress and cycle that they bring. Kwan Yin is important to me too, especially because of her trait of compassion. I'm keen on nature as well, and I sometimes feel drawn to and taught by a particular tree or animal or something. I tend to be fairly fluid with my personal gods, as I see it all as just varying faces of the one divine, but these are the ones that I've been drawn to for the past few years at least.

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07 Jun 2021 20:52 #360699 by dwagoonie
Replied by dwagoonie on topic Personal gods
That is similar to how I see divine - facets of the same gem. Each facet a reflection of an aspect of life. The 'different' gods being based on culture. So the facets would be the fundamental archetypes, and the specific gods would be relevant for a specific culture.


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07 Jun 2021 21:02 #360700 by Edan
Replied by Edan on topic Personal gods

dwagoonie wrote: That is similar to how I see divine - facets of the same gem. Each facet a reflection of an aspect of life. The 'different' gods being based on culture. So the facets would be the fundamental archetypes, and the specific gods would be relevant for a specific culture.


This reads similary to one definition of syncretism, which is basically that the gods of each culture are just the same gods with different names (although in our case it's archetype, rather than actual supernatural being).

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08 Jun 2021 11:04 #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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08 Jun 2021 11:47 #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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08 Jun 2021 14:50 #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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10 Oct 2021 18:48 - 10 Oct 2021 18:56 #363272 by Lykeios
Replied by Lykeios 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.

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Last edit: 10 Oct 2021 18:56 by Lykeios.
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