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A Shrine To All

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A Shrine To All

Post  AgathonZante on Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:04 pm

I know that traditionally, it is custom to create a shrine for one deity or for the Olympians as a whole. But my family home shrine is dedicated to all the Gods and Goddesses of Hellas. Would this be a conflict in practice today?
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Re: A Shrine To All

Post  Erodius on Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:16 pm

AgathonZante wrote:I know that traditionally, it is custom to create a shrine for one deity or for the Olympians as a whole. But my  home shrine is  dedicated to all the gods and goddesses. Would this be a conflict in practice today?

Sacrificial altars are dedicated either to one single deity, a group addressed as a singular (i.e. Fates, Graces, Hours, etc.), or to 'all divinities'.

A shrine is dedicated to the worship of whatever divinities are 'installed' there. Home shrines almost always housed the worship of several divinities, and were not by any means restricted to the worship of the Dodecatheon/Di Consentes. Home shrines housed, for instance, death masks, or symbolic stand-in images, of one's ancestral family members, and the worship of deity forms from private cults and Mystery religions (if the person was a member thereof) as well as other divinities, not part of the Olympic Host, who were popular in private worship. Fortune/Tyche, is one such example (she was one of the most popular deities of all for much of the Hellenistic and Roman eras, all across the Graeco-Roman world), as is Asclepius, and Concord, Health, and the Sun. Although it may seem odd for many today, individuals would very commonly (from the Hellenistic era onward) worship and have images of deified emperors, saint-philosophers, and public figures.

Emperor Alexander Severus of Rome, for example, in addition to the divinities, worshipped and kept images of Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Alexander the Great, and Orpheus in his shrine.

"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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