Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Deified Mortals

I first grasped the title concept when reading Alan Moore's From Hell. Not the historical fiction itself, but the annotations at the end of the book that cited the extensive research he did into Victorian times, Jack the Ripper, Freemasonry, and Pagan mythology (he bemoans the lack of resources for a dragon goddess, Tiamat, outside of Dungeons & Dragons.) Moore mentioned something about the Greek gods, Apollo and Diana, that one researcher proposed to have been an otherwise ordinary prince-and-princess team from Minoan Crete who were deified as stories about them passed down through generations.

I don't mean to get into alternative history, however. I mean to focus on gods that are most popularly considered (though not agreed) to have maybe possibly have started out as ordinary human beings. There's a neat thread in these parts about Herne the Hunter, and this one of Brighid though the saint is portrayed as more of a vehicle for the goddess than a real person who had a similar name as a goddess and ascended to sainthood-- sadly no threads here for Antinous Farouche or Hymen (yet...? )

So, I wonder. Not in a very organized way, unfortunately, so please do just throw any thoughts in here. I wonder:

What would it mean, for your belief system, if your patron deity turned out to have been human?

How do demigods fit into this, in your opinion? Or those who claim godly lineage, notably from the Tuatha Dé Danann, or Amaterasu?

Do you believe that you, an ordinary mortal human being, can personally achieve godhood? If no, why not? If yes, then how (and what causes would you patronize? Feel free to have fun with this one.)

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