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Thread: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

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    Time Lord Apostle Malflick's Avatar
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    dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    Okay, learning time for Malflick once again.

    I've had this explained before, but I didn't quite get it at the time, and I've quite forgotten the explanation honestly, so what is the significance of the term "working with deities"?

    Obviously I'm coming from a very different worldview, and it just strikes me as signifying a very different world view and way of dealing with God(ess)(es). So question for everybody: why do you say you work with deities as opposed to another term?

    Thanks for tolerating my ignorance <3

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    Personally I do not work with my gods / goddesses. I am not equal to them nor can I perform the same things they are capable of, hence I am not in a position to work with them. To work with them seems to suggest a certain degree of equality between humanity and the divine which I do not think exists. That is not to say I do not honor, revere and pray to them. I may represent them to the best of my ability upon the material plain we call Earth, perhaps even be called a priest of theirs though I do not consider myself as such within the current usage of the word "Priest" or "Clergy".

    I dislike the term myself for it suggests that either the person has elevated themselves higher or wishes to see the god / goddess as little more than a big brother / sister. Potentially even as nothing more than a mother / father figure they have a one on one relationship with which goes back to Christianity not most archaic pagan / heathen cults and religions. In my opinion only a very limited few might gain so close a relationship to the divine that they could be elevated to the level of Demi-God / Goddess but that as I suggest is a very limited minority and not your average practitioner.

    I also tend to find most that claim to "Work with their god / goddess" have degenerated their god / goddess into a very loving, friendly type persona which also does not match most if any historical / mythological accounts of the gods / goddesses. The darker aspects often downplayed or out and out omitted / ignored in order to create the relationship they desire.

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    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    I'll use the phrase occasionally because there are several Powers floating around that I don't specifically follow but if I think something I intend to meddle in is within their purview then I may seek them out before using my normal methods. It tends to happen when I'm dealing with various flavors of Christian. Requesting that the LoH take a hand in matters directly related to his faithful always seems more polite to me than just straight out acting without any input from him.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
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    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

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    Re: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    I say I worship AND work with deities. I say I work with Them because They will sometimes give me a task to complete and help me out with it if I get too stuck. It works within the context of Kemeticism, although I guess in other traditions the idea of working with deities might be seen as a little or a lot hubristic.

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    Supporter Jembru's Avatar
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    Re: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    I'm the same as Satu, I will say I worship particular deities, but usually I prefer the terms 'work with', and also 'honour' when describing the relationship I have with deities. I don't feel so much that these terms conflict to be honest. There are deities I acknowledge and I guess 'honour', especially at particular times of year, or when I visit certain places, but in a similar way to what MaskedOne was saying, I wouldn't say I work with these beings, as I wouldn't say, speak to them during meditation or request their blessing or assistance during a spell or ritual. I honour the gods I work with too of course, by giving them offerings, observing their special days and so on, but I can honour a god without the need to work with them.

    I think all of the above, at least to me, are acts of worship so long as I have respect, gratitude and awe in my heart when I approach these deities.

    I feel a little different from monsno_leedra, in that to me, I believe an equal working partnership can be achieved between individuals of different status, so saying I work with my gods, needn't belittle them or devalue them as divine beings. As an analogy, I think of my time when I was a teacher. I had higher status than my students. I was in a position of power in that I held the information they needed, I designed the lessons and so controlled the fate of those students while in my classroom, just as my gods do for me. While my students had free will to ignore my lesson plan or drift off course, forcing me to adapt to their requests and needs, including making the material harder or easier if I felt I'd miss-judged their capabilities, ultimately, I was in the driving seat. However, my students had to cooperate too, I couldn't just teach, they needed to engage with the material and use what I was teaching them, otherwise both my time and their time was wasted. I think this was working together towards a joint goal. They gained advancement in English and in turn, I gained a smart salary at the end of the month (and okay, I got a good feeling inside when I watched my students progress). I don't know exactly what it is the gods get from us, but I do think there IS something in it for them. I don't think they'd have any interest in us otherwise. Yes I adore my gods, yes I honour them and work with them, but no.. I don't think they are selfless and benevolent. Maybe they want to be, but I don't think they're in a position to be. So at least from where I am standing on my path right now, I DO think an equal relationship can exist between beings of different power/status.

    Eh, get me all talking about gods and stuff.. who'd have thought I was drifting faithlessly not so long ago. ^^
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    Quote Originally Posted by Jembru View Post
    .. I feel a little different from monsno_leedra, in that to me, I believe an equal working partnership can be achieved between individuals of different status, so saying I work with my gods, needn't belittle them or devalue them as divine beings. As an analogy, I think of my time when I was a teacher. I had higher status than my students. I was in a position of power in that I held the information they needed, I designed the lessons and so controlled the fate of those students while in my classroom, just as my gods do for me. While my students had free will to ignore my lesson plan or drift off course, forcing me to adapt to their requests and needs, including making the material harder or easier if I felt I'd miss-judged their capabilities, ultimately, I was in the driving seat. However, my students had to cooperate too, I couldn't just teach, they needed to engage with the material and use what I was teaching them, otherwise both my time and their time was wasted. I think this was working together towards a joint goal. They gained advancement in English and in turn, I gained a smart salary at the end of the month (and okay, I got a good feeling inside when I watched my students progress). I don't know exactly what it is the gods get from us, but I do think there IS something in it for them. I don't think they'd have any interest in us otherwise. Yes I adore my gods, yes I honour them and work with them, but no.. I don't think they are selfless and benevolent. Maybe they want to be, but I don't think they're in a position to be. So at least from where I am standing on my path right now, I DO think an equal relationship can exist between beings of different power/status.

    Eh, get me all talking about gods and stuff.. who'd have thought I was drifting faithlessly not so long ago. ^^
    For me that analogy would be you work for the school system who are the gods so to speak and determine what is required of you by them. Your students are like an acolyte who needs to be trained but you don't work with them as much as gear your approach and methods to their capabilities. If lucky you may have the ability to change your presentations to such a degree that they learn and come away inspired by it. Yet your guidance and directives of what has to be taught and to what degree still originates from someone or something higher than yourself and dictates regardless of what your personal desires or ethics is. They may seek input from you but in the end your voice is not that of an equal but of a person who exists to follow out their plans, procedures and requirements. One might go so far as to equate the school administration to the lessor gods / goddess of a pantheon, the School board to the higher gods / goddesses and the state / federal Board of Education as the leaders of your educational pantheon.

    Unless you were tied to an awards and merit system even your pay was determined by the school system not the results of your students progress. So ultimately your gods (school system) drives and determines what you have to do in their name but not as equals. Your students benefit from your actions and your capacity to change your approach but the end result requirements are still not yours to establish.

    It's a top to bottom scheme of rewards and responsibilities. You work for the upper level and act in the capacity they set forth and fulfilling the needs or requirements they place upon you. Yes there maybe limited two way conversations but the ability to mandate or change lies in the downward movement not that of the upward movement. Even the ultimate purpose and reason for doing something only revealed to the extent you need to know in order to preform your specific tasks not so you can change the larger purpose or scope of reason.

    But people still like to say they work with _____ for it makes them believe they have more of a say in what unfolds about them and their interaction with the spiritual and physical world about them. It creates a more caring and loving world view when they believe they have greater worth, influence or purpose I believe. Not that it's true in the greater scope of things but still gives a warm fuzzy feeling.

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    Re: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    Hmm, but in Germany I was freelance, so there WAS no school.. I know what you mean though. I think it is because we have a different concept of deity that we view things differently. If you believe that deity IS the universe and all it's governing laws, then of course, the gods would be the school and not the teachers, I guess making me a spirit guide of sorts, in my analogy. I've had a lot of conflict with my beliefs over the past few years and recently it came to head when I was forced, as so many are, to face the darkness that exists in this world. It stopped me caring for my gods (never stopped me believing, but I'd lost my faith; which also taught me that faith and belief are not the same thing). The only way I was able to reconcile this conflict and return to my gods, was to change my perception and consider that there are governing laws in the universe that even the gods themselves have no power over. It's a conclusion I needed to come to and it's how I am able to face my gods once more and love them.. because if they WERE all powerful, then there is no way I could worship or feel anything but disdain for a being who CAN stop the severe suffering that happens in the world, yet chooses not to, for whatever agenda. There is absolutely nothing holy or passionate, about sitting back and letting children have their legs blown off, or forcing a devoted farther to bury his whole family... basically, either there is a force that even the gods cannot change, or they do not deserve my reverence. The only reason to worship then, would be to try to stop them choosing YOU as their next victim... and fear is no basis on which to form a religion.
    Last edited by Jembru; 19 Aug 2013 at 08:35.
    夕方に急なにわか雨は「夕立」と呼ばれるなら、なぜ朝ににわか雨は「朝立ち」と呼ばれないの? ^^If a sudden rain shower in the evening is referred to as an 'evening stand', then why isn't a shower in the morning called 'morning stand'?

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    Silver Member monsno_leedra's Avatar
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    Re: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    Quote Originally Posted by Jembru View Post
    ..There is absolutely nothing holy or passionate, about sitting back and letting children have their legs blown off, or forcing a devoted farther to bury his whole family... basically, either there is a force that even the gods cannot change, or they do not deserve my reverence. The only reason to worship then, would be to try to stop them choosing YOU as their next victim... and fear is no basis on which to form a religion.
    For me there is nothing if one hopes for the gods / goddesses to save their world and spirit. If you place all blame upon the gods / goddesses not acting then to me that simply means you remove yourself from the equation and what you as an individual and humanity can or should do to better things. Heck even the defining of what makes something better or worse adn how it is good or bad for humanity as a whole or as an individual. That is free will and self determination that allows us to move forward and better ourselves or sit back and feel pity that the gods / goddesses have not come down and stopped hunger, death, etc upon the planet. If the gods / goddesses intervene in all the affairs of mankind then we are nothing more than puppets with no sense of free will nor the capability to try and better ourselves.

    That's not to say the gods / goddesses are not infallible themselves nor unwilling to turn a blank eye upon mankind for a moment or a year. Like a parent to a child one has to have periods where it is left up to the child to learn or grow with all the mistakes and hardship that indicates as part of progress. Figure the gods / goddesses are not the ones sitting back its humanity as a whole that sits back and ignores or justifies why it is right to do something or not do it. To take away that right to self determine our own future and course of our lives or humanities should be in my opinion the last thing we'd want the gods / goddesses to do for us.

    Sorry I personally do not want a Big Brother is watching you in the form of a god / goddess who is going to solve everything and allow nothing to occur because another might question it. Then I am not Christian so do not fear my gods / goddesses as choosing me as their next victim regardless of who it might play out.

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    Re: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    Quote Originally Posted by Malflick View Post
    Okay, learning time for Malflick once again.

    I've had this explained before, but I didn't quite get it at the time, and I've quite forgotten the explanation honestly, so what is the significance of the term "working with deities"?

    Obviously I'm coming from a very different worldview, and it just strikes me as signifying a very different world view and way of dealing with God(ess)(es). So question for everybody: why do you say you work with deities as opposed to another term?

    Thanks for tolerating my ignorance <3
    I use the phrase "work with deities/spirits/etc." as it best describes my practice. I "honour" my gods, but I do not like the term "worship" as, for myself personally, it implies prostration and grovelling before a "superior being".

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    Newbie Little Baal's Avatar
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    Re: dumb newb question: Working with Deities

    I don't think i have ever used the term working with deities. I revere them and worship them, and i do not fear them, for the most part. I believe that the Gods are high above us and that they do there divine work on there own often times without us even knowing. I believe that we can draw close to them through prayer and meditation but as mortals we will never truly understand them. I suppose the term working with deities is foreign to me as I don't believe I have ever used it before.

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