Sunday, February 10, 2013

Lesson 2- 479-336 BCE Classical Age

1. How important is it for you to understand such things as "the nature of the Immortals"? Is it enough for us to merely understand what the Immortals define as an ethical life? And how does this choice impact both worship and daily life?

2. How do you view the nature of the relationship between God and man?  Do the Gods deserve worship simply because They are Gods? Or is there a deeper relationship?

3. Is your practice focused on all of the Gods, or only some? When you perform ritual or make offering, do you try to balance your practice among all of the Gods, or merely focus on those you feel closest to?

4. Choose one God and examine the various epithets associated with that God.  How do the different epithets have an impact on worship of that God? How would you approach this issue?  Would you try to worship that God in all of His or Her identities, or do you focus on one or two aspects of the God/ess as you major focus?

1) Ah, a favorite question of mine, one that I wish I could know, yet I don't
believe I ever will. How can we ever hope to know the nature of the immortals?
We can speculate and make theories and guesses based upon our observations and
experiences, but we will never know the true nature of the immortals. I do think
it is beneficial to think about how the immortals may function and act if you
plan to present your faith to the public as you must have a decent handle and a
solid stance in order to not look "foolish". If you say simply say "I just
believe" you look like a blind sheep just believing, figuring out why and how
the Gods make sense to you is important from a social perspective, but from a
religious perspective I have sincere doubts that it makes any difference. As a
person who is strongly oriented towards orthopraxy, it doesn't, unless one
adopts a philosophy which puts the Gods at a distance and encourages you to not
worship them.

2) I view our relationship as complicated, and purely speculative on my part.
From my experiences I would certainly say that the Gods care about those who
worship them to some degree, but despite their cares they still have standards
to abide by. I think the relationship can be adequately expressed with a
teacher-student model. A teacher has his or her own goals, their own reasons for
teaching, and their own things that go on in addition to teaching. You may love
a student to death, but if they aren't doing the work you can't just give them
an A. The teacher will guide the student and teach them, impart their
knowledge. The student and teacher may even develop a friendship which extends
outside the teacher-student boundary, but a good teacher has their teaching
duties first. I of course, do not mean to imply that the Gods relationship with
us is exactly like that, but I do feel they are similar. I think this is
expressed well with the myth of Artemis and Hippolytus. As much as Artemis would
have liked to save Hippolytus, there are certain standards which must be obeyed
and abided by, and Artemis for all her wanting otherwise, could not violate
those standards.

3) My practice is to all the Gods, but I hold Athena, Hermes, Dionysus,
Aphrodite, Apollo, Hestia, Helios, Eos, and Demeter all in fairly high regard.
On offerings, I usually don't make offerings to the same God two days in a row if I'm just doing
it for gratitude, but if I am going through a challenge, ordeal, or hard time I
may make offerings to the pertinent God or Goddess every day. I try not to
ignore any of the twelve though as I feel that doing that is ignoring big parts
of being human, and I also try to remember the Gods who aren't part of the
Dodekatheon or the Underworld, deities like Nike, Eros, Tyche, Nemesis, Gaea,
and Pan.

4) I selected Athena. After reviewing her epithets, I am certain that I don't
worship her in all of her identities since I am not a warrior (though I am
willing to fight for a good reason.) Many of them also referred to her as the
protector of the city (Athens, I assume) and I am not a city, hence I have
little need to worship her in that aspect. I mainly focus on her role as Goddess
of Wisdom, and of the various home crafts (cooking and sewing), and her role as
patron of students.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews

About Me

My photo
A young man living in North Texas. He is an actor, a Hellenistos, and a proud member of Hellenion.