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Angels of other religions
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Post: #1
Angels of other religions
So I'm skimming over the topics here in the Celestials forum and I'm noticing a pattern: Angels are created by a monothiestic deity, or the judeo-christian-islamic deity (judeo-christian doesn't cut it in my book, Islam is just as much a part of the group) or in other words, God God God God and God. Just God.

But there's angels in Hinduism, and angel-like beings in parts of Buddhism. Where are those angels? What about in Zoroastrianism, or even the Japanese ones?? Why must it be God only? Are there any angels out there that are from another pantheon?

And no, I'm not an angel/celestial myself, I'm just a fox lady with her butt planted firmly on the good ol' Earth. Which is why I'm asking all this, it's confusing me (*points to title* see, I'm a truth seeker!). Seriously, if there's other deities abound like Motley, then some other pantheons must surely exist, at the VERY least parts of them.

So what gives?
2008-07-07 2:37
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Seraphyna
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Post: #2
Re: Angels of other religions
I often wonder this myself. In my system of thought, God is god...no matter what you call him/her, what religion she/he is found in, it's the same deity by many names. Gods and goddesses are essentially all part of the Source...the Universal energy. So, I think that most angels simply feel the most comfortable with a judeo-christian take on things and a judeo-christian god.

Me? I'm a celestial and thus not affiliated with a specific religion or deity...I simply work for, report to, etc. the Source itself.

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"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost."-Tolkien
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."-Poe
2008-07-07 3:11
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Post: #3
Re: Angels of other religions
I'm right here.

I'll avoid discussing the monotheistic monopoly, and the "angels" from a lot of it (in the text).

The reason is in part, how we define Angel / Celestial. For the most part, English is a Christian dominated language, so Angel, by it's very connotation has an implication of YaHooWaHoo and His lot. Also, even if we take YaHooWaHoo (actually, curious יהוה just testing if my Hebrew works on phpbb or not) we tend to have a very narrow view of what an Angel is. Not to rehash the argument, but this whole Winged humanoid happy light thing only really started forming eight hundred years ago, what Angels were (and are) traditionally have a huge variety of appearances and purposes. Yet, when we think of Angels in the public sphere, it tends to be humanoid, wings, often long blond hair, all those cliches.

That notion is pretty recent, and doesn't appear in other religions. The Celestials in other religions may have similar original purposes, but a variety of forms, which make it almost nonsensical to try to co-opt a culturalized term, like Angel. I mean personally, I draw a line between Celestial and Angel (Angel being the YHWHic Celestials, Celestials being general), and wouldn't identify as an Angel, cause what I am has very little in common with an Angel, other than I'm a "servant" of my Goddess (who is from a polytheistic pantheon). So I stick with identifying myself by name, I am Rakshasa. Using a term like Angel or Celestial is too general, and often of little importance or interest to me, so I use Rakshasa, that's what I am. I know other people, who would be considered a Celestial of various Gods, but they don't use Angel or Celestial, because their kind already has their own names and titles, and most see no need to identify with or as an overarching umbrella, and unless other people have done the research, they wouldn't necessarily know they are Celestials.

Another factor may be cultural exposure. The majority of people in the Kin community, are from a YHWHic culture. So when you begin to have memories of something Celestial, or impressions of what you are, the most readily available cultural context for your concept, is the common public notion of Angels, and it wouldn't be too hard for someone clinging for an identity to pick up on that resonance, and run with it. Like how in the Therian community, some people theorize there are so many wolves, because someone realizes "I'm an animal" and the most popular human/animal hybrid in our cultural context, is the werewolf, so they identify as wolf, when they could be something else, as initially they grasp on the most common/visible thread for identity.

Also, I tend not to pipe up on a lot of Celestial topics here, cause they tend to be Angel heavy with the YHWH crowd. Even those who claim "My God isn't YHWH" but they recount poorly understood Islamic myth, or Milton adaption or such. So really, there is no point for me to pipe in. It's like trying to discuss what it is like being raised in one country, with a group of people from a foreign country. Sure, we're all people, but our place of origin makes us sufficiently different, that discussion on many topics, becomes difficult, especially when you have a large group from one place, who thinks what they experienced is the only way it can/did happen.

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2008-07-07 3:28
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Post: #4
Re: Angels of other religions
I think the main reason is that the definitive characteristic that separates or specifies Angels against the more broad category of Celestial beings is that Angels follow the deity most recognizable in the Abrahmic religions.

As far as the others, I actually believe that Ahura Mazda, Brahman and other deities from other religions are one and the same, just a different belief based off of different people's understanding, perspective and background culture. The concept of Angels is culturally universal and predates any religion known to mankind, I personally feel that the tales according to the Abrahmic religions are the most accurate to describe me, as well as many others, but I feel that the visions of YHWH is a limited view of a much greater being.

As far as other pantheons, Zoroastrianism forged the way by defining the lesser gods as "honorable immortals" which we see more accurately as Angels, in Buddhism the Angelic type beings are believed to be Humans who have achieved enlightenment but chosen to remain behind to help others in their journeys, many of the Shintoist Angels are more along the lines of spirits aligned with elements (if I recall correctly, my knowledge of Shintoism is admittedly abysmal).

The way I personally view God, whom I most usually refer to as "The Creator" as I feel it a more accurate term that supersedes the Judeo-Christian-Islamic terms, is actually more along the lines of Brahman. Brahman is a being that is beyond the understanding of man, totally and completely, however we can view and understand Brahman's many manifestations. I believe that YHWH is one manifestation of the Creator, Shiva is another, Ahura Mazda is yet one more... Same source, different interpretation.

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2008-07-07 4:02
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Post: #5
Re: Angels of other religions
I'm lazy and use the words I was brought up with rather than scouring the globe for different words which may or may not explain things better. My cultural upbringing probably did taint my interpretation of things while I was at it, but which things are tainted and which things aren't? Don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I also grew up listening to my Dad talk about Carl Sagan, so when someone mentions a celestial being, I immediately think of aliens.

I've played around with YHWH symbologies, who in this culture hasn't? Though many of the themes presented there can also be found in other cultures. So am I reading them from this culture? Did they originate in another? Or are they telling the same stories from distant viewpoints? If different people from different cultures saw the same strange being, how would they describe it? If that being told them a story, how would they relate that tale? You can bet they'd all put a different spin on it. Then of course there would be the retellings through various scribes and artists which would further differentiate them until you could hardly tell that they were the same thing.

If my other self showed up in ancient Egypt where the locals could see it, would they call it the same name as that other famous guy? Quite possibly. How would they know the difference if all the signposts were there? Have I ever/will be Him? I dunno. Maybe we're just relatives.

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"I inherited the spirit of the sun. I'll meet you when the day breaks through. It's time to shine and make all your dreams come true. Come on, wish upon a dog star!" -Hybrid
2008-07-07 6:23
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Post: #6
Re: Angels of other religions
While "non-Christian angels" are very much of interest to me, I long ago gave up posting with any energy about them on kin forums because the conversations are so completely dominated by Miltonkin.

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2008-07-07 19:36
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Post: #7
Re: Angels of other religions
So who's this Milton guy? I keep thinking of dairy cows when you all say the name.
2008-07-07 21:12
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Post: #8
Re: Angels of other religions
Milton....the author of Paradise Lost....tell me you're kidding...

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"All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost."-Tolkien
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."-Poe
2008-07-07 21:29
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Post: #9
Re: Angels of other religions
Yes, I live under a rock.

Edit: Nevermind, looked it up and saw it was a poem. I'm an odd one, I prefer dry academic writing to fiction works of old, so that's why I've never heard or or read it.

And no, I was not kidding. Is my credibility lowered now?
2008-07-07 21:37
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Post: #10
Re: Angels of other religions
I've never read it either.

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"I inherited the spirit of the sun. I'll meet you when the day breaks through. It's time to shine and make all your dreams come true. Come on, wish upon a dog star!" -Hybrid
2008-07-07 22:37
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