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Thread: The Gods

  1. #1
    ...uhh Bjorn's Avatar
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    The Gods

    There are many of us here who have a fair grasp of the Greek and Roman gods and I was hoping that this thread could serve as a sounding board to better define the tales of these specific gods, what they're attributes are, and what ways we could use them in practices that may or may not be Hellenistic.

    Some gods I would love to touch on:
    Hermes
    Ares
    Aphrodite
    Hades
    Poseidon
    Hera
    Pan
    Apollo
    Demeter
    Hecate (but we already have a thread on her/them)
    Dionysus
    Hephaestus
    Artemis
    Athena
    Hestia

    Since I started the thread, I suppose I'll start us off!

    ARES or Mars

    God of war, violence, aggression, courage, action, righteous indignation, and forward momentum. Also a god of great passion, which was seen through the many, many children he had with Aphrodite (his sister, might I add), as well as other women -- I could use some help getting to know a bit more about his other consorts.

    I would call upon this energy if I were feeling meek, or trodden on, or wanted to become inspired to right a wrong since, though Ares was a reckless god at times, he was also rather swift at dealing punishment that was just, such as killing someone who raped one of his daughters.


    Help me brainstorm. Dazzle me with your knowledge!
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  2. #2
    Bronze Member LiadanWillows's Avatar
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    Re: The Gods

    Demeter's story always makes me sad

    Demeter was the Greek goddess of grain, the harvest, and possibly the grape and hence wine. Hades, god of the underworld, abducted her daughter Persephone. Demeter asked Zeus, a brother of Hades, to return Persephone. When Zeus refused, Demeter withheld the harvest from man until Zeus relented. He agreed to allow Persephone’s return if she had not eaten while with Hades. However, since Persephone had eaten 6 pomegranate seeds in the underworld, Zeus determined that she would spend 6 months with her mother and 6 months with Hades. This is the mythic origin of the six months of spring and summer when Persephone walks the earth with her mother and the 6 months of fall and winter when Persephone must return to the underworld. The pomegranate is still for many a potent symbol of death and renewal. The Elysian Mysteries were public celebrations of the myth of Demeter and Persephone.
    source from http://demetersgarden.net/demeter.html
    http://www.paganforum.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=87&dateline=133754480  9

  3. #3

    Re: The Gods

    are we doing this alphabetically? i dont really know why i bothered asking that since i will just charge on ahead and post anyway

    Eros

    greek god (associated with roman god cupid) 'Ἔρως' mening intimate love also known as 'amor' just love or occasionally "Eleutherios" the liberator
    similar to every other god in the Greco-roman tradition parantage is questionable bein either a primordial gods, spiringing from the chaos at the start
    of creation or being the child of numerous pairings such as Aphrodite and Ares, Aphodite and Hephaestus, Aphrodite and.. (are we seeing a pattern
    here???) also possibly Porus and Penia.

    Cebebrations on the fourth of ever month with his fellow love god and mother/sister/cousin/no relation Aphrodite, usually included feasts, sacrifices (rarely)
    and performances of the play "The Golden Ass" recounting a romance between Psyche and Eros. Also included are the obvious celebrations one would atribute ti the god of intimate love

    Eros is called on all matters of love (cupids arrows were both lead and gold for disinterest and interest respectivly) also being a god of love fertility and beauty often fall under his command being apart of the Greek view of love at the time.

    Sources
    Eros unveiled: Plato and the God of love, Catherine Osborne (2007)
    Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, William Smith (1842)
    The rampant god: Eros throughout the world, Nigel Davies (1984)
    And a website which im told is not allowed to be posted
    But mummy the other religions dont have to 'an it harm none'

  4. #4
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: The Gods

    there is actaully a bit about Hestia in this thread...
    “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

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

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  5. #5

    Re: The Gods

    ^ cool essay Thalassa, very indepth
    But mummy the other religions dont have to 'an it harm none'

  6. #6
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    Re: The Gods

    I don't know of many Pagans who have a thing for Hades.

    He is absolutely terrifying. Actually, the Greeks felt this way too. Worship to him was done out of fear, offering made to placate, because death was such a cold and somber thing for those peoples.

    He dominates, swallows you. There is no anger or malice in his disposition, he just.... his presence sucks the wind out of you. It's paralyzing.

    I'm absolutely hypnotized by it.
    Could be the season.

  7. #7

    Re: The Gods

    Oh man, I was a total Greek mythology nut when I was younger. It's so hard just to choose one. Hmmmm...

    Artemis (Diana)

    The goddess of the hunt, wilderness, wild animals, young women, virginity and childbirth, Artemis was later identified with the titan Selene and thus is considered a moon goddess. She is the twin sister of Apollo, often thought to be the daughter of Leto and Zeus. She is one of the virgin goddesses and is very protective of her virginity as well as that of her followers and young women. She is often depicted wearing a short tunic with a bow and arrow though occasionally she wields a spear and is sometimes depicted with a lyre as patron of maiden dances. When depicted as a moon goddess her robe is long and her head is crowned with a crescent moon. Her favored animals are deer, hunting dogs, boars, bears, guinea fowl, and buzzard hawk (though I was not familiar with the last two until I read the wikipedia article). The cypress and palm are associated with her as well as Amaranth and Asphodel.

    She is associated with childbirth because when she was born she immediately played midwife to her mother and helped to deliver Apollo. She is a zealous protector of the virginity of young women, her followers, and her own virginity going so far as to kill offenders. She even kills a man (Acteaon) who happens upon her when she is bathing by turning him into a stag so his own hunting dogs tear him apart. She also kills several people who boast to better than her and Artemis and Apollo both punish those who speak poorly of their mother. It is said that she once loved a man named Orion who was her hunting companion. In different versions he is killed by different people for different reasons but in many versions he is placed in the heavens as the constellation Orion. And for some weird reason people have a bad habit of trying to rape Artemis. The people are obviously not terribly bright and every one of them meets with a very unpleasant end (mind you she had a man torn apart just for seeing her naked.)

    I would call upon Artemis if needing help in hunting or in asking any favor as a woman, especially protection or the healing of an ailment (she has been known to strike young women with disease and to cure them). She can also be called on for aid in childbirth. I personally call on her whenever I feel I need to be strong in anyway, especially as a woman. I look to her when I need to harness my own personal strength as a strong and independent woman. I view her as a feminist goddess.

  8. #8
    Cannibal Rights Activist Ophidia's Avatar
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    Re: The Gods

    [quote author=Eglentyne link=topic=1211.msg23524#msg23524 date=1292788611]
    I don't know of many Pagans who have a thing for Hades.

    He is absolutely terrifying. Actually, the Greeks felt this way too. Worship to him was done out of fear, offering made to placate, because death was such a cold and somber thing for those peoples.

    He dominates, swallows you. There is no anger or malice in his disposition, he just.... his presence sucks the wind out of you. It's paralyzing.

    I'm absolutely hypnotized by it.
    Could be the season.
    [/quote]

    I've found my own relationship with Hades to be somewhat different. Hades has been much like a stern and emotionally distant father, but one Who has always steered me in the correct directions. There has never been any fear for me (as long as I do what I'm toldasked), only resignation in that my divine parents are not party-goers like everyone else's divine parents seem to be.
    The forum member formerly known as perzephone. Or Perze. I've shed a skin.

  9. #9
    Sr. Member Witcher's Avatar
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    Re: The Gods

    If no one minds I would like to do one! I had an obsession with the Greek myths as a child and when I practiced Paganism I had a monomaniacal devotion to the goddess Hera.

    HERA

    Hera was Zeus’ wife and sister, child of Chronus and Rhea (making her of the first generation of Olympians--birthed from the titans and displacing their rule after the titanomachy). She was queen of the gods and many Greek works speak of her in very differing ways. Many stories involving Hera show her a beneficent and beautiful, regal lady. An example of this strain of myth is the much beloved story of Jason and the Argonauts in which Hera is a protectress (more on her relationship with Argos later). Other works, particularly those of Homer, show her as vindictive, cold, cruel and malicious. Some historians believe this shows a shift in Greek attitudes from a more matrifocal society (not matriarchal, mind you) to a more logo-centric and masculine society. This of course is just a theory and many historians and anthropologists would disagree. I’m not sure where I stand on that because I am leery of anything that reeks of the pre-historical matriarchy myth.

    Hera was seduced by Zeus (some stories say she was tricked into being his consort) while he was in the form of a cuckoo bird. Because of these stories, cuckoo birds become symbols of the goddess Hera and she is shown with staffs holding the sacred birds in many examples of Greek pottery and religious art. Hera, as consort of Zeus, was the woman’s goddess in many ways and the protectress of marriage. Rites to her honor involved this concept of marriage and her many incarnations and titles display this. She was often called Hera the Matron or Hera the Wife of Zeuz. In some temples a different aspect of her was worshipped as madien or widowed woman (Chere in Greek, I think). All of these titles are related to her as the protector of the wedding bed and of traditional Greek values in married life. Older sources also connect her to the sky and the celestial realm, making her Zeus’ female counterpart as the divinity presiding over the heavens. Hera was one of the first deities in Greece to have actual temples with enclosed buildings built in her honor (a temple dedicated primarily to Hera is called a Heraion) and there were large festivals and games (sometimes conducted only by women) in her honor that followed cycles. Her worship was widespread in Greece and her temples large and impressive (some of the best extant examples of Greek temple architecture are temples to her).

    Hera is, as mentioned before, known for her wrath. There are countless stories of her punishing the consorts of Zeus. For example: she forbade Leto (the mother of the divine twins Apollo and Artemis) from giving birth on terra firma so Leto had to give birth on the then floating island of Delos. She convinces Semele, the mother of the god Dionysus, to force Zeus to swear by the river Styx to show his divine form, killing the woman. She sent Argus to watch over Io. These stories are commonplace when speaking of Hera. She also sided with the Greeks in the Trojan war because she was spurned in not receiving the golden apple of Eris. Hera’s wrath was said to even shake Zeus. There is a story where she and other Olympians chain Zeus and try to thwart him. Hera was punished by her huband by being hung from the heavens by great chains with heavy weights attached to her feet (what a marriage huh!?). One of the famous stories of her wrath is her abject hatred of Heracles (whose name means glory of Hera). Homer treats her a little differently and she comes off as weak, angry and spiteful.

    Hera gave birth to the goddess of youth, Hebe, who was given to Heracles as a wife when he came to Olympus. She is also the mother of Ares, the much disliked god of war. She birthed Hephaestus either with Zeus or, according to some myths, by herself in a sort of retaliation for Zeus having born Athena from his skull. One legend says that she was disgusted by Hephaestus’ ugliness and cast him from Olympus. He got revenge by trapping her in a chair which she could not leave. Dionysus got him drunk and he released Hera. She is also the mother of Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth. Some stories also list her as the mother of the Charites (which were often shown in her crown or flanking her in religious statuary and temple art). Some legends say that Hera bore all her children without the need of congress with Zeus by beating the earth with her hands or by eating lettuce.

    Hera says, according to Homer (I believe, hope I’ve not forgotten here) that her favorite cities are Sparta, Mycenae and Argos. She was particularly worshipped in Argos and Samos. One common title of Hera is Argive Hera (Hera of Argos). The story of Jason and his quest for the golden fleece is so common that I won’t repeat it here, but she is a matron and kind protector in this tale. Argos had a very keen devotion to Hera and the city comes up endlessly in her myths. It is said that Poseidon wanted to lay claim to Argos (as he did to Athens before Athena won that battle) but the river gods of the city conceded it to Hera.

    Symbols of Hera include the pomegranate (common to many Greek goddesses) and the cuckoo bird (see story above about her consort Zeus). She is also associated with cattle and one of her titles is “Hera-Cow-Eyed.” Her crown is usually the diadem of the city walls and she is often shown holding a regal sceptre. The peacock came to be associated with her in later myths of the hight of the Hellenistic period, but this association has been over-stated by Renaissance Neoclassicist artists and writers. She is often shown flanked by the Charites. Hera was worshipped primarily, as said before, in the role of goddess of marriage and consort to Zeus. She really is the only one of the Dodekatheon to be properly married. Athena, Hestia and Artemis are ever-virgin by most accounts. Aphrodite cheated on Hephaestus with Ares. Demeter had a child, Persephone, but the father in the story is unimportant (many stories say it was Zeus). Hera never cheated. She was the faithful wife who scorned her husband for being a philanderer. She was also the protector of women and of childbirth (with her daughter, goddess of childbirth). All in all, she represented the regal and noble ideal of a Greek woman, a sort of exemplar.

    I looked up a Homeric hymn to her to end my part:
    "I sing of golden-throned Hera whom Rhea bare. Queen of the Immortals is she, surpassing all in beauty : she is the sister and wife of loud-thundering Zeus,--the glorious one whom all the blessed throughout high Olympos reverence and honour even as Zeus who delights in thunder.”

    EDIT: I forgot the part about why I would call on her. Since I am no longer a practicing Pagan I will simply say how I called upon her when I was. I called upon Hera for strength and fortitude. She exemplified what it meant to be scorned and I thought she would understand the horrible feeling of being embarrassed or shamed publically. I also think she represented the strive to be a good family member and fulfill your roles that life gives out with dignity. But I also liked the fact that she didn’t take any sh*t and showed the all-too-human tendancy to get angry. Catharsis is good, I thought when I practiced that she would get that in a very real sense. I also looked to her a powerful female force, a goddess to be reckoned with.
    "For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft." -1 Samuel 15:23

    "Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman." -Terry Pratchett

  10. #10
    AlabasterBuffalo
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    Re: The Gods

    I must say I find no connections with Ares, just because he is a greek god does not mean he is a nice guy even Zeus has been quoted as saying that Ares is his least favorite. Where as Athena was the Goddess of Tactful war and was often seen with Nike in hand, Ares rode in a chariot pulled by terror and fear. Ares was also the only greek god tried for murder, you think Hades was a bad guy (well truthfully hades got the bad end of the stick and was actually a kind feller) Ares was pretty much a monster, I dont even think the Titans would have enjoyed chilling with him.

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