The Theology of my household Pantheon

As a multi-cultural syncretist, I am more interested in the gods than a hierarchy of the gods, the theogamy (or familial lineage which is always subject to change from place to place even in a specific culture) or how the cultures ordered the gods (although I try to make myself familiar with such orders as it informs me on how the gods were further seen and their roles within the context of the culture), but more over, as I address in a previous post, the syncretic nature of my religion in which some gods are recognized to be the same whereas others are worshiped independently is an important part of how the multi-cultural household pantheon ends up looking like.

This is because I recognize that there are several gods who are, more or less, what I would consider universal divine beings that can be found in numerous cultures across the world. These are what I call the core gods of the household and cosmos who order and fundamentally influence on the highest level the functioning of the oikos. Again multi-cultural expressions of these divine beings means that they are not going to appear in the same way and in some ways may take on a form, given their cultural context, which makes enough of a distinction to make syncretic worship uncomfortable in practice even if it works on theoretic levels for some people.

For instance there are some people who have a very negative experience in pairing the Hellenic goddess Aphrodite and the Yoruba Orisha Oshun, even though as far as I can tell they are fairly identical. But there are those who say that they have too different of a feel and that even shrine sharing has been problematic in a working religious atmosphere. I have not had any issues in regards to conceiving of them in the same headspace, but I do recognize a significant ethnic difference in the way the goddess manifests which is quite pronounced. This is a bit different from the more fluid cross cultural manifestation of Aphrodite in Hellenes and Rati (also apparently believed to be Radha by some in India, who is of course an aspect of Lakshmi whom I see as Demeter. But then this expresses the close relationship in my mind between Demeter, Persephone and Aphrodite in a mystic sense that doesn’t phase me at all) the goddess of love, sexuality, desire and passion.

At this moment my household is largely duo-religious between Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) and Hellenismos (Greek polytheism), however a few Orishas have been around for a few years that I am starting to shrine build to. The difference here is that as I don’t have the financial means at this time to be brought into that spiritual life I can’t claim it as part of my household religion, even with shrines to Oshun, Yemaya (whom I equate with Artemis) and Obatala (whom I equate with Apollon) present.. Even though in the case of Yemaya and Obatala there appears to be more given a lack of objection seemingly to be included into my syncretic shrine I am hesitant to do so at this time. It took me a few years to fully integrate Siv-Apollon into a singular shrine of worship. It may never get there. There may always be a pronounced culturally divide that keeps the worship area quite distinct, even if in the same general area as the shrine for Siv-Apollon and Parvati-Artemis. Even though I can see a more fluid cultural merger in these cases, especially with Obatala and Apollon-Siva, as lord of the white cloth and clarity of the mind/self, I do not feel it is something that can be forced.

Because of this, and the fluctuating way that gods may make an appearance into my household, things are always changing and growing. The primary gods of my household may show their faces in more multiplying ways through other cultures, or they may not. Other individual gods may make a presence and be honored thereafter. This is a spiritual life. It is not carved into stone. Each of the gods who find a way into my household are beloved and honored by me.

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2 thoughts on “The Theology of my household Pantheon

  1. Lykeia — I “think” I understand your POV. For me it is the exact opposite. I feel each God’s difference in their very energies. I enjoy reading your blog for this difference in POV. BTW, I do also honour 2 Kemetic goddesses: Bast and Sehkmet. In addition, Shinto has just elevated Tara to he level of a goddess, so she will be on my shrine as well. (She was an extraordinary Calico who saved an entire railway line.)

    • I can certainly understand that point of the view. Even deities that I consider the same syncretically, do not always feel 100% identical…there is always a slight variation. Over time then it is a matter of whether not this difference is harmonic to the whole to be addressed in a unified fashion, or if the difference in feel is not similar enough to join that particular melody in a unified sense. I am not sure if that made any sense at all the way I am trying put this into words lol. Shintoism is awesome btw so that is great 🙂

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