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Thread: Greek Names?

  1. #1

    Greek Names?

    Is it disrespectful to call the gods by their Greek names? I've been getting involved with Djehuty, and I'm worried about accidentally slighting him by continuing to call him Thoth.

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    Cat Freak Gleb's Avatar
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    Re: Greek Names?

    I think it depends on the deity you deal with. Some of them probably don't mind and some of them... You know..
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  3. #3

    Re: Greek Names?

    Thank you. Since I first posted this, I did some meditation (I use it to talk to the gods and my inner self) and found that Thoth doesn't mind. It's safe to assume that deities like Sekhmet don't like being called by their Greek names.

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    Member Seax_Blade's Avatar
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    Re: Greek Names?

    I'd think that exact name doesn't matter so much as your true devotion and respect towards them--but it might depend. Looks like your meditation helped.

    On a side note, I never knew that "Thoth" was the Greek name--while studying the Greek astronomer Ptolemy, the calendar he was using was an Egyptian one and one of the months was named (after) Thoth. I figured since it was an Egyptian calendar--he was in Alexandria--that it was an Egyptian name. Guess I learned something today!

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    Newbie Nixis's Avatar
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    Re: Greek Names?

    Asking the Deity what they're okay with is always a good idea!

    I've also found that depending on what name you use for a deity, it can actually change the "flavor", so to speak, of the energy you connect to. Like in the case of Isis, if I want to tap into her aspect as a guide, I would call her by Isis Navigium, if I want to get a purely Egyptian form I might call her Iset or Auset, but if I want to contact a more Demeter-esque form of her than I would call her by Isis.

    So I guess depending on the deity's preference, and on what aspect of the deity you're trying to reach, you can call them by any of the names that are attributed to them.

    Hope this helps!

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: Greek Names?

    Personally I think it all depends upon which era your calling to. Consider i'd never call the 2nd dynasty Bastet as Artemis as she had not yet been conflated and their imagery was still quite different, ie one solar one lunar, one a war goddess, etc. Nor would I call the 22nd dynasty Pahket as Artemis even though she was conflated with her as confirmed by the Spiros De Artemis being the location of her temple complex.

    Though in truth I honestly think it says more about the practitioner than about the god / goddess by which name they utilize. Seems to me anyway, if you keep referring to the Hellenic or Romanized name then maybe you really do not know who the Kemetic (Egyptian) persona of the god / goddess is.
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    Re: Greek Names?

    I'm a bit late here, but then I've just joined.

    Firstly, there is no such Egyptian name as Djehuty. Over the years, Egyptologists developed a way of pronouncing strings of hieroglyphs (which were all consonants) which is a mixture of early mistakes and later conveniences. As Sir Alan Gardner wrote in his grammar, these bear little or no relation to anything that would have been uttered by an actual Egyptian.

    Secondly, over thousands of years, names naturally changed. One of the few we can reconstruct for all periods is Isis. She was Rusat in the Old Kingdom, Yusat in the Middle Kingdom, Usah for Tutankhamen, and Êsi for Cleopatra! If the Goddess could put up with that, she's not going to jib at Isis.

    Cleopatra would have said Thout. That's actually two syllables, stressed on the last: "T" like the te- in Teresa and "hout" to rhyme with stoat. Tutankhamen would have said Č’-ḥauti; we can't reconstruct the first vowel and few people are going to manage either č’ or ḥ.

    The only names we can rely on are the Greek and Coptic (Egyptian of the Roman period). One of my favourite examples is the Egyptologists' Wepwawet. The Greeks said Opois, from which we we can reconstruct a Coptic Upwoi!

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    Re: Greek Names?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
    I'm a bit late here, but then I've just joined.
    Welcome!




    Back on topic...
    Secondly, over thousands of years, names naturally changed. One of the few we can reconstruct for all periods is Isis. She was Rusat in the Old Kingdom, Yusat in the Middle Kingdom, Usah for Tutankhamen, and Êsi for Cleopatra! If the Goddess could put up with that, she's not going to jib at Isis.

    Cleopatra would have said Thout. That's actually two syllables, stressed on the last: "T" like the te- in Teresa and "hout" to rhyme with stoat. Tutankhamen would have said Č’-ḥauti; we can't reconstruct the first vowel and few people are going to manage either č’ or ḥ.
    This.

    So much this.

    In regard to the OP, Language changes naturally over time, even excluding events like cultural borrowing. Not only do the distinct meanings of words change over time to gain new meanings and loose old ones, but the sounds of the words themselves and how they are pronouned change over time as well (and they apparently change in a fairly predictable manner that is rather stable from one language with the same phonemes to the next).


    All this might matter if someone is a hard polytheist reconstructionist, but if you aren't, it probably won't. Likely the name (and the corresponding imagery and personality and symbolism, all of which are cultural...along with language) will change how you see the deity and therefor how you interact with him/her, but it doesn't make the experience itself any less authentic.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

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