Author Topic: The problem with the old gods  (Read 1035 times)

Ringtail

  • Posts: 158
    • View Profile
The problem with the old gods
« on: March 20, 2017, 11:10:50 pm »
“Your new gods can’t stand up to something that’s received dedicated worship for thousands of years! Lives have been sacrificed to empower X!”
 
And this is a real problem. Pretty much every religion in history has been heavily interwoven with defense of the status quo and the justification of authority. Many gods that modern pagans/witches/occultists/whatthefuckever work with have attributes that explicitly enforce outdated values. Odin? He’s a king. Artemis? Made a big deal about virginity and punished one of her followers for being raped. Sekhmet? Murderous rampage against anyone who contested the “divine” rulership. Many people claim these gods as meaningful allies, but how can we trust a being that has such a record? Beyond that, how can we forgive them?

The way I see it, there are a few solutions:
 
1. Don’t work with gods, period. Deal only with lesser entities that you can keep a tight reign on, or don’t depend on spirits at all. This is a credible way to practice, but it’s not everyone’s style.
 
2. Only work with entities that have no track record of such abuses. They’re hard to find, and if you go with something obscure then there’s always the possibility that the myths that indicate such allegiance have been lost. This solution tends to fall into three categories:
a. Beings that were understood by their culture of origin an adversary to all that is right. These might be worked with following the framework of Satanism, Setianism, and others of the type, where the being is treated as an embodiment of the chaotic good. The issue here is that while ancient moral codes were fucky in some ways, they weren’t pure evil either. So much of what they attributed to their culture’s devil really was rejected for a reason. This is how you get reactionary codes saying that things like greed and envy are virtues (yes, they can be, in moderation. That wasn’t the point that Christians were making, however. See option number 3).
b. Tricksters and amoral, primordial things. Can certainly be good allies when they’re not doing something legitimately cruel. One option is to treat all magical entities in this way, and trust no one, especially not the things that pretend to be trustworthy. That’s easy to say, but in practice, everyone I see working with spirits who’s not binding them like a goetic mage is exhibiting some level of trust. Usually rather a lot of trust.
c. Totally new gods, demi-gods, egregores or other things that have arisen very recently. This runs into the argument at the top of this post, where they may be comparatively weak. Without a historical grounding, their personality might shift rapidly, which may or may not be a good thing. Many of them are also tricksters, owing to being created/discovered by chaotes.
 
3. Reinterpretation. This is basically saying that the major body of worshipers were wrong, and the characteristics of the deity in question actually meant something more esoteric. Divine authority means transcendent truth, not mortal dictatorship. Virginity actually means some other kind of purity, male and female are more like yin and yang qualities than a reference to physical sex, and so on. The only issue here is that, if we are to consider gods as real, independent beings who are influenced at all by our vision of them, they might not agree to changing their values to match the times. Especially those that were honored as guardians of tradition in any way. If the whole body of modern practitioners refuses to deal with them in an aspect that we don’t agree with, we’re essentially giving them an ultimatum: change your ways, or be forgotten. But even if the deity is successfully modernized in this way, the myths and words used to describe them still carry the poison of their old interpretation – the implication that there is One Right Way.
 
All of this applies equally well to religions that are still alive, like Hinduism and the Abrahamic faiths. Gnosticism has some of its own history at least, but it still falls under category three, an interpretation that conflicts with that empowered by the mainstream.
 
Anyone is welcome to comment, but I especially want to hear the perspective of those who work with such entities and paradigms.


You have no idea how many Jesuses I are.

Nes

  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: The problem with the old gods
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2017, 03:46:26 pm »
I will say this. The actual gods are far more complex. than you or I could ever comprehend. There is a good possibility that Apollo is also Abaddon. That should say something. I have a close connection to Choronzon, and he can present himself as an angel of ligh, so much so, I though he was an actual angel. I work very closely with the Draconian gods, with Lilith and Choronzon as my main patrons.
I can sympathize with your view of the gods. Remember that Odin is a very dark trickster just like Loki, as well as a king. Simple human stories won't give you a clear picture of any god. Though, I still am averse to light gods/order gods. But, order is just another facet of chaos.
From what I learned, atleast with dark gods, if you act like weak prey, you get treated like prey. Your view of cruelty means nothing to any god, because, in the full scheme of things, we are insignificant. Be amoral. Be wrathful. Don't show fear to them. That's what they teach. Their "cruelty" teaches and breakers down personal barriers in our lives. This toll me a while to get, because I'm a gnostic at heart. Shit, I love Lilith and Choronzon. They are like family to me. But they test me constantly not to blindly trust anyone, including them. They've taught me how to trust myself. They tore me the fuck apart when my path first started.
Become a god, but remember where you are now. Fear, weakness, and human arrogance will get no one anywhere. There are things far bigger than you could ever imagine going on out there.

JayONI

  • Posts: 12
    • View Profile
Re: The problem with the old gods
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2017, 01:06:34 am »
I like dealing with gods and spirits. I often merge with various gods and god like entities.

I would say that all gods are more complicated than you probably are thinking. Every god as most know it typically has various forms however past that I feel they are all just masks to a creature so complex it can easily be the force being every elder god, god, & daemon.

And as we muddle are way into it all most don't really give it much thought staying focused on maybe a handful. I like dealing with things on this primal level behind the masks. And this may not be for some, but I feel it is often the quickest and perhaps easiest way to achieve ones goal. u