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If the Gods and Goddesses From Different Pagan Religions are Actually the Same God and Goddess, But With Different Names...

"different people...may have different names for these God(s) and Goddess(es)"

^I have heard the above quote many times IRL and on Cafemom, and it really did make sense to me...until I started thinking about Odin of the Norse religion.

If the gods and goddesses from different culture are actually the same god and goddess, but with different names, then why are the Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter both rulers of the gods and in control of thunder, but the Norse Thor is only in control of thunder while Odin is the king of the gods?

Can you help me understand?

 
flatlanderjenn

Asked by flatlanderjenn at 10:20 AM on Oct. 16, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 17 (4,354 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • Universalism is a neo-pagan idea, NOT a reconstructionist idea. Norse Heathenry is far too complex to just play matchy matchy with it and compare Odin to this Greek god or Thor to that Roman god. Also, Odin isn't really "the king of the gods", he's just as bound by rules as all the rest, and just as flawed as the rest (ok, not as flawed as Loki, but that's different). The hierarchy is far more intertwined and complicated than that. I've never once believed that my pantheon was just a renamed version of someone else's, or that you can play mix and match and take Odin and Freya from mine and then change their backstories to say on days starting with T, Freya really means Venus.

    So the short answer is, no, I can't help you understand, because **IMO** it's something done more for convenience than anything else.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 4:10 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • Because the names are different so the hierarchy can be too. The hierarchy doesn't have to be similar.
    purpleducky

    Answer by purpleducky at 10:28 AM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • anime mom619 I agree with you. I think ALL Gods and Goddesss are the same higher being. Funny because you don't find to many people who believe this and a part of me thinks if more people did believe this we would have less fighting in this world!
    cornflakegirl3

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 10:49 AM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • I agree with anime mom and cornflakegirl. I think if name were less important and we focused more on being nice to those around us the world would be a better place. As I have said before, religion is man's take on faith, not God's (or whatever name you use). People have just mucked up faith in my opinion.

    scout_mom

    Answer by scout_mom at 11:11 AM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • Well, my belief is that ALL gods and goddesses (including the Christian God) are the same higher being. So for me personally, that pretty much explains it. However, few people share my belief on that matter, so I'm not sure what other people think about it.
    anime_mom619

    Answer by anime_mom619 at 10:30 AM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • Well, first of all, not all Pagans believe that way. I surely don't. I believe all Gods & Goddesses are separate individual entities from one another. But, for those that do it's simply the idea that the God & Goddess have different faces, different personas - almost like they are acting the part... We each have different aspect of our personality, if you look at how you yourself act with your kids vs your husband vs your family vs your co workers - it's all different aspects of you. For those that see the God & Goddess in this way it's the same kind of thing, each incarnation has it's own personality, but they all make up a whole.
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 12:00 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • OK,

    I'm Kate...but I'm also Mama (to my daughter), SweetKate (to my husband), Kathryn (on Paper), Katie (to my family)...and I've been Smitty (at Camp), Katrine(in the SCA), and Katerina-Goddess of Polka (on the radio) in the past. (Oh, and there's more...too many to list.) All these are me. Different facets of me different rolls I play. The "Kate" I am at home is different that the "Kate" I am at work. At home I'm the Queen of my castle...supreme being to my 2 y/o...top of the heap. At work, I'm just another worker bee...bottom of the pyramid, last in the chain of command. But both are ME.

    Also, as Soft Polytheist, I see ALL gods as a manifestation of the Divine Masculine (likewise with all goddesses and the Divine Feminine.)
    MamaK88

    Answer by MamaK88 at 1:49 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • I agree with anime_mom and the rest. IMO there is one Divine, and many different ways of understanding/perceiving/relating to It. So all God/s, IMO, are really One God.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 12:21 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • And scout mom, I love what you said about religion being man's take on faith - I completely agree. Religion, IMO, is man's way of organizing and working out his faith. There are so many different religions because there are so many different understandings when it comes to working out faith and in organizing it in a tangible way that people can engage in.
    bandgeek521

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 12:23 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

  • This is not my beliefs about the Gods. I don't see them as interchangeable but as individuals, each with personalties far more complex than any archetype.

    But I think the idea of "All Gods are one God, All Goddesses are one Goddess" has it's roots in Jungian physiology and the the theory of archetypes and specifically touted by Dion Fortune. It's is soft polytheism and it reduces all the Gods to archetypes and personifications or just elemental forces like time, healing, wind, fire, home, bread.
    isabellalecour

    Answer by isabellalecour at 5:09 PM on Oct. 16, 2010

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