HOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND DEITY?

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How do you conceive of Deity?

I try to avoid having any conception
13
8%
Monotheistic
6
4%
Duotheistic
6
4%
Polytheistic
28
16%
Pantheistic
64
37%
Other (please post description)
54
32%
 
Total votes: 171

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The Isle Witch
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Post by The Isle Witch » 01 Nov 2004, 14:43

The way I voted is Duotheistic. The best way for me to explain it is, in order for something to be conceived, you need two beings(?).

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Kaya-Nita
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Post by Kaya-Nita » 02 Nov 2004, 00:29

i view as there are many. the Creator and Great Spirits as well as the Gods and Goddesses. Ok let me explain this.
Creator who as his/her name quite well explains created us and the universes. The Great Spirits and Godds and Goddesses i view more like you would for lack of better terms Angels or his/her's assistants. Or even past ancestores. These are our guides. They are the ones who help assist the greater diety Creator. Haveing wittnessed Angelic beings as a child and look through the archives for the story the Angery spirit and the Angel. Being saved by one i can't quite argue they don't exsist. Now i did not see wings as you would think of on a Angel but he was a strong possitive being.
But all work hand in hand for us and we work for them and with as well. One hand feeds the other. We are a part of a larger whole and our deities are just as much a part of this balanceing act. But do they hold the powers and abilities we would like to think they do? i'm not so sure at times on this one. We use the power of prayer...but this is us doing it.
We heal one and other...there are so many wonders of the human brain and we have yet to tap into it completely. But the Great Spirits do guide us and help us to discover the hidden sides of our selves as well as others.

Some believe and i no different that our spirits do go on. Near death has shown me this as well. And the return of family members who have passed on. Smells of a mothers perfume or the smell of an Aunts favorite flower (Which does not grow around here). Sounds of Children singing when none are present in the physical form. We live in appartment that use to be a Native school. It has not mattered day or night we hear childrens laughter and foot steps and singing. We hear adult foot steps we see their shadows on the walls and streaks of lights zoom through rooms and in our bedroom many nights have passed where a light so very small and green will apear just above our bed. In our bedroom there are no windows so natural lights can not come in.

There is a larger part to us then just us. There are guiding forces whether you choose to see animals as your guides or passed on beings we call spirits or ghost.

Either way you believe we are never really alone. :brnbear: :awen:

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Chris Raines
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Post by Chris Raines » 02 Nov 2004, 00:44

I voted Duotheistic. At this point in my journey that is where I am, and see a God and a Goddess, however I see their divinity permeating through-out all of creation. I see all other dieties as a reflection of the same God and Goddess.

Peace :coad:

Chris :glbt:

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Post by Willowhawk » 02 Nov 2004, 01:33

I haven't read the responses (promise I will tomorrow!), and I don't have time to go into detail, but I sum up my view of Deity in one word: Panentheism. God/dess is ALL. All is God/dess. In and around and throughout everything that is and was and ever shall be... :)
Peace over anger. Honour over hate. Strength over fear.

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Willowhawk
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Post by Willowhawk » 02 Nov 2004, 01:43

Well, ppbthtpbthtb!!! :razz: ;) :wall:

After reading several responses... I have to say I pretty much agree with everyone! That is... I see everybody else's point, and agree that it's well-taken. Maybe I'm a monotheistic polypanentheist??

Or shall I just say "I don't know, you're hurting my head!!!" and call myself an agnostic?

This is what I *personally* know: I feel best, happiest, most at peace, communing with Deity in the form of my dear Bright Goddess. Her existence isn't up to me to determine... my perceptions of Her existence are real enough. :)

Blessings, all!
Peace over anger. Honour over hate. Strength over fear.

Philip
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Post by Philip » 02 Nov 2004, 04:32

Hi!
Wonderful to read everyone's posts. I've found these two definitions which might be helpful:
from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pantheism/
There are probably more (grass-root) pantheists than Protestants, or theists in general, and pantheism continues to be the traditional religious alternative to theism for those who reject the classical theistic notion of God. Not only is pantheism not antithetical to religion, but certain religions are better understood as pantheistic rather than theistic when their doctrines are examined. Philosophical Taoism is the most pantheistic, but Advaita Vedanta, certain forms of Buddhism and some mystical strands in monotheistic traditions are also pantheistic. But even apart from any religious tradition many people profess pantheistic beliefs-though somewhat obscurely.

From the main Pantheist site:

Panentheists and pantheists share the view that the universe and every natural thing in it is in some sense numinous.
However, pan-en-theos means "all-in-God" - that is, the universe is contained within God, not God in the universe. Panentheists believe in a God who is present in everything but also extends beyond the universe. In other words, God is greater than the universe. Often they also believe that this God has a mind, created the universe, and cares about each of us personally.
Pantheists believe that the universe itself is the prime focus for reverence. They do not believe in personal or creator gods.


:mracorn:

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Merlyn
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Definition

Post by Merlyn » 02 Nov 2004, 15:17

Thanks Philip
For such a deep and defined explanation of Pantheism and more. I truly see that many people use the word in a very loose way by comparison.
The different religions are often referred to as pantheons, but in fact they do not fit the definition well at all.

I get my feeling of insight from the "love of all existences" and I can connect with and even pray to Jesus, Allah, Odin or Thor and respect them as real, true and vital to the culture they are gods of. I feel this as much and as deeply as I do the green man, Merlin, Neptune or any of the "half human" gods as well. I see more, spirits of the elemental realms, Gods in a very different existence. I am "interdependent" to all of them as they are to me and that their existence is just as valid (though in a different plane of existence) as mine and understood with that respect.
I do not see them as "the many faces of god" but as separate and valid and an existence in our time, or of a time long past as well. I see the earth as a fertile seedbed, yet a mother god to the plant realm, as example, as well as a god to me, and just as much my creator mother.

By the careful definitions you show here I feel I "fit" more as a poly-theist" but not to the exact definition.

Your thoughts? I still struggle with this a bit, and agree my feelings have matured over time. There was a time I felt more like a monotheist, and thought everything was only the many faces of god. But after deep insightful practice and lots of exploring, I no longer feel this way at all.
I feel much more at peace inside, knowing I have this love of all existences as a way of accepting and being accepted. It has reached me from a very deep level, one that showed me and taught me many things.

I still have the deepest identification with the Celtic spirituality, but also now have a very strong connection with the land I live in, and the American Indian spirits who are "earth mother" to this land. And that is a journey all of it's own.

Peace in existence
Merlyn /|\
Image :emerit:
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

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Post by Nimue » 02 Nov 2004, 17:43

Hello Philip!

I have struggled with this for a while, trying to get a clear idea of what it is I actually believe. I suppose I would have to say I think that there are many gods and goddesses but they are all representative of the one great God/Goddess/Spirit. Does that make sense? What category does that put me in??
...."for proud and wanton Vivian had been, with soul that dwelt alone!"

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Loosh
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Post by Loosh » 02 Nov 2004, 20:00

Now I don't want to start thinking like one of the ugly sisters in Cinderella who chop off toes and slice up their heels to fit the glass slipper (one of the definitions). OR Should I just wait for the return of Prince Charming (messiah)?

We need something new here. The old categories and definitions don't fit real people anymore. Or do I chop off the heads of Lord and Lady to fit one of the other categories? I really don't want to mutilate myself over this!
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Merlyn
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Loosh

Post by Merlyn » 02 Nov 2004, 20:51

he he...
No please do not chop off toes to fit definition slippers :o
That's why we have new definitions like "poly-pantheism" :D

So how about all-existenceism...
or Poly-Druidic
or Mono-Druidic

Or Poly-panDruiddistic :grin: (Kind of welsh with two ds)
Image :emerit:
Dyro, Dduw, dy nawdd;
ac yn nawdd, nerth;
ac yn nerth, ddeall;
ac yn neall, gwybod;
ac o wybod, gwybod yn gyfiawn;
ac o wybod yn gyfiawn ei garu;
ac o garu, caru Duw.
Duw a phob daioni.

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CelticDao
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Re: Loosh

Post by CelticDao » 02 Nov 2004, 21:14

Merlyn wrote:Or Poly-panDruiddistic :grin: (Kind of welsh with two ds)
Hey, that's not funny! I lost a friend to that, in school. What a horrible disfiguring disease of the trans-thoracic hyperlimbic sacroilium!

:razz:
Namasté Y'all.
BrightWind

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2005 IL . 2008 IL

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Post by astrocelt » 03 Nov 2004, 00:55

Greeting Phillip,

On the concept of deity the options presented doesn’t fit my understanding, so one has to vote for the other. I also see a description is required, the best way to describe this is with “Nothing,” yet from this nothing emerged “something.” The labelling of this “something” receives an existence and a reality within the human mind. Communication between one human being to another presents abstract ideas and relationships of understanding the lived in world. Thus chaos becomes tamed through association of its perceived dwelt in spaces. Subsequently natural phenomena perceived and experience associated to seasonal rhythms within space and time, links the underworld to the earth, and the sky in a multi-universe.

Associated cultural deity assists in explaining cultural schemas' with concepts of ordered and associated “magic.” Considering the options presented one “sees” the development of the human mind. Specifically when a linear line is formed of “mental perception” which progresses as concepts of deity develops, from one definition to another along the journey.

Blessing and Peace
Astrocelt. :D

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pobble
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Post by pobble » 03 Nov 2004, 10:01

Hi Philip,

I think that I mostly fit into the well-described "poly-pan" category as well, and so have voted "other".

Interestingly, I am finding during ritual work that at different times I spontaneously feel that different words are appropriate for the form of Spirit I am engaging with at that time. For example, I have three times recently found myself addressing "the Goddess", without having a definite named Goddess in mind - but this is something I would never have expected to do, as it doesn't fit with any of my previous experiences of the divine. I suspect that I am being taught, and will come to a deeper understanding in due course. Maybe the divine is one of those things whose knowledge is a process rather than a more static concept.

Daniel

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How do you understand deity?

Post by rhobert » 04 Nov 2004, 00:21

Greetings Philip

philosophically my understanding and use of a term for deity continues to flow and ebb like a rain shower, then a brook, then a stream, then a river flowing into the ocean. this awareness of my connective ness and the acknowledgement of that perception could be likened to a droplet of water birthed from the ocean. it’s existence is created by the actions of all and it’s actions of existence creates all. consequently, for me all are deity, for without the droplet of water there would be no ocean.

spiritually, though similar to a pantheists concept, this sense that the actions of all creates deity opens me to the divinity and purpose of all existences.

Rhobert

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Post by Lizzy » 04 Nov 2004, 10:44

Greetings Philip,

I would have to say polytheistic for me. I believe there is a God or Goddess for everyone, so if you're a Christian for example, you will answer to the Christian God.

In the end, they are probably all the same, but that doesn't really matter for me. I think a God or Goddess will manifest itself to our understanding, well, always food for thought, something like this. :thinking:

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Why other

Post by Ginnette » 05 Nov 2004, 08:04

I have read everyone's posts with great interest, as all of this is new to me. Having followed the Christian path for many years, I found, after a time, that religion is an institution of laws, not a haven for spirituality. The bible tells us that we are the temple, that we are not to defile it with anything unclean. However, we are humans, and if this is truly the way, we have been set up to fail.

I believe in one spirit tying us all together, breaking itself off into forms we can feel and understand, yet binding humanity. I see the world as our mother, the female part of the spirit. The sun is our father, warming and sending life giving light to the mother for rebirth.

I think life is beyond anything linear, or even circular. Rather, I see it as spherical. A 3-D kind of existance that pulls everything together. There is no such thing as coincidence, we are set upon a path from birth in order to accomplish whatever goal the spirit sets for us. If we do not, we return to complete it. There is one spirit with many faces that brings us those things we need to be blessed and happy.

We are the temples by which this spirit manifests itself, giving itself the many faces. And for each of us, there is another part, the guide.

I cannot think of any other way to explain myself, and I hope this makes sense.

Bright blessings,

Gin

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Post by Soliwo » 06 Nov 2004, 10:59

I'am a pantheist. The intire universe/world is united, bounded together. A life-web like that one of a spider. Different gods are ways to percieve the concept of life (and death).
I belief in a lifeweb where everything is connected with echaother, but I also belief in an inspirational force, life spirit, awen, wich shows itself differently in every being. It is the Awen that are the threads of the web that connects us. It is deity that forms the intere web.

For me the life web is personified in Dana. Dana as lifeweb and world itself, and Dana as lifeforce and inspiration, as the fires in my heart twich opens my eyes for the beauty of the life-web, wich includes, the beautiful earth, the heavenly stars in the sky and the flowing waters.

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Post by wolf_spirit » 07 Nov 2004, 20:50

Philip wrote:Pantheists believe that the universe itself is the prime focus for reverence. They do not believe in personal or creator gods.
OK, that makes me a pantheist. I simply don't believe in different gods and goddesses, I like reading about the Celtic and Norse gods but I read them as literature, not as realities for me.
I believe in one universal nature force and various nature spirits, totems and guardian angels but they are not deities, they are part of that one great nature force.
I'm glad you posted that definition, that made it a lot easier for me to say what I mean :) :)

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Post by Midori Greenleaf » 08 Nov 2004, 00:47

Hmmmm, not sure quite how to vote in this one.

In my view of things, the Earth is my Ultimate Mother, and all things and beings are my relatives, as all the molecules that make Me have formerly been parts of plants and animals, and will be so again when I am no longer using them.

As the Earth would be barren without the warmth of the Sun, it becomes the Ultimate Father, the fertilising influence.

Even so, the solar system is but a child of the Universe, which may well be an infinitesimal speck in some even vaster Reality (at which point it gets too big for me to even contemplate!)

to sum up, everything is sacred, although I don't have any Deity archetypes as such.

BB Midori Greenleaf

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Post by SidheAingeal » 08 Nov 2004, 08:26

I see Deity like a family tree. At the top you have the source of all the Gods, the pure energy that created them. Then form there, the different pantheons and Gods form different branches on the treee. they are not aspects of each other, they ar emore like brothers and sisters, cousins and aunts and uncles. They all share the same source but they are not the same entities.

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