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Self-Created Deities
thetruthbetween
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Post: #1
Self-Created Deities
Total tl;dr warning for the first part. I'll put a break in and if you don't wanna read my entire spiritual history, just jump to the break.

Okay, so, I was born into a non-denominational, charismatic, fundamentalist Christian family. If you don't know what that means, basically, we believe in speaking in tongues, laying on of hands, miracles, signs and wonders, singing/clapping/dancing in church, prophesy, etc. The kind of Christians that freak people out in meetings, because we look like we're on drugs or some kind.

When I was 3, I became a Christian myself. I reaffirmed my belief when I was 11, due to being too young to remember the first time. From the time I was 4 onward, I've gone to church. I was baptized when I was 13 or so. (Having an aversion/fear of water, it took that long to scrounge up the courage.) I went to a Christian school from grade 1-8, and was home-schooled through said school for grade 9. I never had much of any social interaction with people who weren't Christian until I was to university at 18. In fact, when I was 9 and playing house with my new friend who lived next door, I went to pray over the "meal" and she didn't know what I was doing. That shocked me, that someone wouldn't know to pray before eating.

When I was 13, I realized that my sexuality wasn't heterosexual, and I began to feel a sort of pressure and awkwardness, knowing what my parents thought about homosexuality, that the Bible says it's a sin. So I buried it, although 3 years later, it decided it wasn't gonna hide in a corner anymore, and this time I wasn't able to deny it: I'm a lesbian. This freaked me out. Needing to confide in someone, I told my sisters, and they supported me, and suggested that, if I needed to talk with someone older, to go to my aunt, because she's totally open-minded and would never tell anyone. So a year later, on a trip to see family, my aunt and I were in the hot tub and I came out to her. Unfortunately, I didn't know it, but the living room window was open, and my mom overheard. A week later, she asked me about it, and I confirmed that yes, I like women. Cue months of suggestions as to the "reason" I'm gay, talk about how it's a sin, yadda yadda yadda.

I finally looked up the verses in the Bible that mention homosexuality, did some research, and found that, in fact, nowhere in the Bible does it even mention loving homosexual relationships, and the things it says are sinful have specific circumstances around them, or have had a shifting translation over the ages, because the original meaning has been lost. I came to feel comfortable with both my sexuality and my faith, certain that they weren't mutually exclusive. I told my mom what I'd learned, and she told me that it very well may be, but in her spirit, she knows it's sinful. What can you say to that?

One day, I was praying with my parents about a problem I was having, and somehow the subject of my sexuality came up. I don't remember the exact conversation. What I do know is that it led to my parents praying, in reference to my sexuality, that God would bring me back to the path He has for me. So I went back into the closet. Cut to a year and a half later, and my mom and I are having dinner and talking. Rather out of the blue, I say, "You realize I'm not straight, right?" Bye-bye closet. Although this time, I made my mom promise to stuff it with the theories. That was 3 and a half years ago.

About two years ago, I started developing an interest in "New Age" things. Crystals and stones, that sort of thing. I looked into the ideas behind it, and they make sense to me. Energy and resonance and all that. And I started thinking that maybe it didn't contradict God and the Bible like my parents have been saying. They talk about New Age as if it's some horrific brain wash experiment. I know that's not when I started doubting, I've gone through phases of doubting my whole life. But that's when it really became a niggling problem.

That niggling problem, recently, has started screaming in my ear. I've started researching some things in the Bible, asking questions. Why did God harden Pharaoh's heart, having him stand against Moses even in the face of the Plagues? The Bible says, flat-out and multiple times, "God hardened Pharaoh's heart." Where's the free will? That bothered me. I looked into the story of Jesus' birth, and found the Bible contradicting both itself and historical record. That made me wonder, can I believe anything the Bible says if there are obvious errors in it? I kept looking. I found the story of the destruction of one (two-ish) of the tribes of Israel. (Judges 19-21) That freaked the heck outta me. That the appropriate (and God-given!) answer to a group of men raping and killing a woman was to kill and burn the entire city it happened in. That's not just an eye for an eye. That's 'the death of you and all your family' for an eye.

I told my parents about my feelings today at dinner, and my dad brought up the story of Noah (yes, it was random) and how God told Noah that He regretted creating man. That brought up another question for me. If God exists outside of time, and the past, present and future are one to Him, as the Bible says, how can He regret anything? Before He even created the universe, He would have known that the entire world, save Noah and his family, would be wicked and corrupt, and yet He did it anyway. That doesn't jive with regret. Regret is a hindsight emotion, something you feel when you didn't know the (negative) outcome of your actions.

That brings me to now, and my realization that I can't, in good conscious (that would be the one that God gave me, according to my parents) follow a God who has this aspect of His personality. My mom suggested it was simply a 'facet' and that the stories may not be completely historically accurate. But if God is a fraction of how He is portrayed in the Bible, I can't accept that. And if He isn't like that at all? Then I can believe nothing the Bible says.

This doesn't leave me in a good place. I feel like I'm flailing around without anything to hold on to. I know there's a god/goddess/thing "up there." I've had experiences that leave me with no doubt at all that a higher power of some sort exists. It's the "some sort" that I'm having trouble working out.

And so I ask...



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Is there such a thing as self-created deities, and if so, do they have any power?

As I said in my tl;dr, I most certainly believe in a higher power. I'm simply not sure of the form it takes. I've always felt little to no actual connection to the Christian God. In fact, I feel more of a connection to a set of goddesses that randomly came to me one day. By that, I mean they just sort of... popped into my head. I don't heard them of anything, they're not walk-ins, I just have this knowledge of them that I can't explain. I've known of them for something like 4 years, I guess. I don't remember exactly when it happened. I didn't think anything about it at the time, except to find myself thinking of them at odd times. I think of Ashda when it snows, or Leruu when it rains. When the full moon is out, and it's so bright and beautiful and hypnotizing, I've caught myself, on occasion, thanking Amoran. And I don't know what this means.

Some have suggested that the Higher Power, Great Spirit, whatever you want to call it, is in fact numerous entities joined together or interacting together, and that they show themselves in different ways to different people. Some have told me that one's own will can bring these being into existence. I've been told that they are not "higher" but "different."

I suppose, what I'm wondering, is... could these goddesses I connect to so strongly, despite my best efforts, be real?

Note, where I've mentioned their names, I should let you know that those aren't their true names, but simply what I refer to them as. They came to me nameless, and I needed a way of distinction when I wrote about them.

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2011-02-23 5:51
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Post: #2
Re: Self-Created Deities
thetruthbetween Wrote:I suppose, what I'm wondering, is... could these goddesses I connect to so strongly, despite my best efforts, be real?

I don't see why not. I've heard of people being spontaneously contacted by a certain god/goddess which then resonated so strongly with them that the individual wondered how they could possibly have ignored that *ping* for so long. Perhaps these three goddesses are in fact real deities and were just waiting for the right time to come into your life? Or, if they're just figments of your imagination, if there's no harm from it, what's the problem in believing they're real anyway? Unfortunately, there's no way to tell either way.

And believe me, you're not the first Christian to take issues with the bible. I do too, so I believe in a higher power but not in the bible itself. It was written by humans after all so it's human-interpreted and very much out-dated. Good messages, but overall not something I trust as absolute truth.

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2011-02-23 17:23
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Post: #3
Re: Self-Created Deities
Elinox Wrote:I've heard of people being spontaneously contacted by a certain god/goddess which then resonated so strongly with them that the individual wondered how they could possibly have ignored that *ping* for so long. Perhaps these three goddesses are in fact real deities and were just waiting for the right time to come into your life?

Hm. That's certainly a thought, but it makes me wonder why they've waited to long, in that case. Plus, it brings up all sorts of questions. The three I mentioned aren't the only ones, those were just examples of things I've thought about them. There are three "sets" of goddesses. The existentials, of which there are 8, the elementals, of which there are 11, and the seasonals, of which there are 4. The reason I say it brings up questions, is because in the mythology that came with them, there are 7 races other than human, one born of each of the existential goddesses. This mythology, it's certainly not of earth. (Of course, my Kinside isn't of earth either, and fits the mythology as a mixblood of two of the races.)

Elinox Wrote:Or, if they're just figments of your imagination, if there's no harm from it, what's the problem in believing they're real anyway? Unfortunately, there's no way to tell either way.

Bah. LOL I don't like believing things that aren't true. Plus, I mean, when someone asks your religion, what are you going to say? "I believe in the goddesses that have created and rule a planet not unlike Earth, but not Earth"?

Elinox Wrote:And believe me, you're not the first Christian to take issues with the bible. I do too, so I believe in a higher power but not in the bible itself. It was written by humans after all so it's human-interpreted and very much out-dated. Good messages, but overall not something I trust as absolute truth.

Yeah that. I grew up being told that the Bible is infallible, etc. Needless to say, now that I'm challenging that, my parents aren't too happy with the questions I'm asking.

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2011-02-23 19:04
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Post: #4
Re: Self-Created Deities
Oooh, complex personal mythologies? I love it. ^_^
If you ever want to discuss/flesh out your interpretations of your goddesses, I'd be interested and delighted to hear more. If not, that's peachy, too. :]

The Bible is a gathering of writings by tribal leaders, politicians, and political enemies-of-the-state. I think of it in terms of "Jurassic Park": if Michael Crichton can mess up velociraptor so comprehensively, I sure as heck don't trust a millennia-old book to have a purely correct interpretation of deity.
I'm inclined to believe that deity in general is a mix of transcendent and immanent, and that it finds a way to reach each person [who pursues knowledge/understanding/communion of it] in a way that is specific and individual to that person.
I treat religion and faith as independent concepts- religion is accepting a set of beliefs as a way to gain group approval; it is deductive: you accept a portion of the beliefs as valid, and because those "work" and help you fit into the group, you go ahead and accept the others related to it to maintain group conformity. Faith is inductive and intrinsically-motivated, born from a desire within yourself to understand deity. You gather together the beliefs that "work" for you, leave out the ones you cannot personally accept, and go from there... regardless of group approval. Faith is personal; religion is communal. Faith is internal and self-directed; religion is externally-motivated and organized.

Way I see it, you've got faith, and religion needn't have any particular role in that faith.
In your shoes, I'd likely view this situation not as "I invented these deities," but instead as "this is how deity is/are finding a way to reach me personally, since he/she/it realizes that Biblical scripture is clearly not the ideal way to reach me."
Umn... I hope I'm making sense. XD

Regardless, good luck with your beliefs, however they choose to be organized. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

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2011-02-23 19:16
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Post: #5
Re: Self-Created Deities
thetruthbetween Wrote:This mythology, it's certainly not of earth. (Of course, my Kinside isn't of earth either, and fits the mythology as a mixblood of two of the races.)

Have you considered that it might then be memories of a religion of a past life as your 'kin type instead? Which, arguably is still hard to explain to someone who doesn't know about 'kin. But I'd tackle the big questions first and then figure out how to explain them/why/how/etc. <!-- sWink --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- sWink -->

thetruthbetween Wrote:Bah. LOL I don't like believing things that aren't true. Plus, I mean, when someone asks your religion, what are you going to say? "I believe in the goddesses that have created and rule a planet not unlike Earth, but not Earth"?

I agree with you, I don't like not knowing the truth either. Unfortunately, Otherkin is by it's very nature un-provable so we can't know 100% one way or the other if we're all what we claim to be or batshit crazy.

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2011-02-23 19:17
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thetruthbetween
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Post: #6
Re: Self-Created Deities
Estelore:

I'd love to tell you more about them <!-- sBig Grin --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- sBig Grin --> I rather <3 talking about them. PM? Or do you have IM of some sort?

Estelore Wrote:I'm inclined to believe that deity in general is a mix of transcendent and immanent, and that it finds a way to reach each person [who pursues knowledge/understanding/communion of it] in a way that is specific and individual to that person.
[...]
Way I see it, you've got faith, and religion needn't have any particular role in that faith.
In your shoes, I'd likely view this situation not as "I invented these deities," but instead as "this is how deity is/are finding a way to reach me personally, since he/she/it realizes that Biblical scripture is clearly not the ideal way to reach me."

That's kinda how I'm leaning. It's hard, tho, with living with my parents, and them now being aware of my questioning of the Bible. I'm letting them think that I still believe in The One True God, but yeah. I'm thinking more along the lines of The One Power, and how that Power touches us depends on how we need to be touched. Okay, that totally sounded dirty LOL But I guess I see it like... If it had a form, it would be rather like a spherical core with innumerable tendrils that reach out to us.

Elinox:

Elinox Wrote:Have you considered that it might then be memories of a religion of a past life as your 'kin type instead?

Actually, I hadn't. I've had... flashes, I suppose, of things that could be past life memories (I remember waiting for my husband to come home, standing outside a stone cottage with a thatched roof, near a barn, looking out over the field.) but I never really thought about it. Usually things like that come to me when I'm talking to my BFF about her past lives.

Elinox Wrote:I agree with you, I don't like not knowing the truth either. Unfortunately, Otherkin is by it's very nature un-provable so we can't know 100% one way or the other if we're all what we claim to be or batshit crazy.

Well... yeah. But I have a somewhat fluid definition of truth LOL Which sounds retarded, I know. But if I feel like I know something, I have this knowledge within me, nothing -- nothing -- can change my mind. For example, I believe in Creation, of some form. I'll accept the idea of evolution, given evidence, but only in the context of guided evolution. I know that all this *flails hand* didn't just happen. If other people feel that's not true, if they feel, in the same way as I do, that there was no guidance in evolution, that's fine. And I'll respect that. But, to me, that's not truth.

So yeah. I take my feelings on a subject into great consideration when it comes to find out the truth. To me, I am Otherkin. That's a truth. It doesn't matter to me the cause behind it, whether it's reincarnation, channeling an alien, or effed-up wiring in my head. Doesn't matter.

Also, on an entirely random side note... ever wonder why the expression is "batshit" crazy and not "guano" crazy...? *ponders odd things*

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2011-02-24 0:01
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Post: #7
Re: Self-Created Deities
PM is fine; I also have gtalk/MSN/AIM (all <!-- e --><a href="mailto:estelore@gmail.com">estelore@gmail.com</a><!-- e -->) and YIM (<!-- e --><a href="mailto:estelore@yahoo.com">estelore@yahoo.com</a><!-- e -->). IM to any of these is fine; I use digsby to consolidate them, so it's not like I have to manage twenty windows at once. XD

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2011-02-24 1:30
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Post: #8
Re: Self-Created Deities
thetruthbetween Wrote:Also, on an entirely random side note... ever wonder why the expression is "batshit" crazy and not "guano" crazy...? *ponders odd things*

In my case, would that make me "wolfshit" crazy then? <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

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2011-02-24 14:18
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Post: #9
Re: Self-Created Deities
I’ve been having similar troubles to some extent. Having once, unlike my fellow headmates, once identified as a Christian while still being gay; however I grew apart from it because of similar things that you have mentioned. I’m still struggling to find what I believe in anymore - I believe in other gods but I’m naturally more monotheistic prone while still having some kind of New Age and even pagan tendencies and desire for practices. I’m still trying to find my footing there.

No one can really know what truly is real and what has simply been created. Because of several of my headmates being interested in esoteric magic I have read some things over the wonder if gods either all or some have been created by man believing in that deity. That by and through their worshippers an entity is either created and gains power or an existing entity gains power and influence. As entities and gods worshipped loose believers as religious beliefs change so to do the deities with the most power and influence. I’m not sure of the exact thoughts behind it myself.

I know that Earth Listener reveres a entity/ the image of an old cave painting of a human-like figure with animal features. Sometimes EL wonders if this entity whom he/she works with is an old god from prehistory or simply just something he/she has created through that old image. Earth Listener is still not sure even after working with him for about two years more or less now.

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2011-02-24 15:28
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Post: #10
Re: Self-Created Deities
Chimera Wrote:I’m still struggling to find what I believe in anymore - I believe in other gods but I’m naturally more monotheistic prone while still having some kind of New Age and even pagan tendencies and desire for practices. I’m still trying to find my footing there.

Yeah, I'm trying to find what I believe. I think I'm more pantheistic prone. As far as New Age goes, I carry stones with me, but I haven't practiced much of anything. Still learning, I suppose.

Chimera Wrote:No one can really know what truly is real and what has simply been created. Because of several of my headmates being interested in esoteric magic I have read some things over the wonder if gods either all or some have been created by man believing in that deity. That by and through their worshippers an entity is either created and gains power or an existing entity gains power and influence. As entities and gods worshipped loose believers as religious beliefs change so to do the deities with the most power and influence. I’m not sure of the exact thoughts behind it myself.

I can see that. Not so much being created by worship, but definitely being strengthened by it. I definitely believe that whatever deity(ies) are out there, it/they have always been there. I don't believe we have the power to create something higher than ourselves.

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2011-02-28 4:46
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