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Traveling Altars Advice

Post  AgathonZante on Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:03 pm

At least three times a year, I go visit my family in another State, sometimes for a week or more. I don't like neglecting my religious practice just because I am away from my shrine at home, so I take a statue of my Patron and Matron Deities and materials for offerings to use in my hotel or residence I am staying in until I return home, then I put them back on my shrine. While away, you could say that I set up a temporary shrine. The statues I take are kind of spares in that my shrine has a statue of all the Olympians, but around it are other statues of Them and other Gods. In accordance with traditional practice, is this a practice that would be, how do you say, unusual?

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Agathon.
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Re: Traveling Altars Advice

Post  Erodius on Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:31 pm

AgathonZante wrote:At least three times a year, I go visit my family in another State, sometimes for a week or more. I don't like neglecting my religious practice just because I am away from my shrine at home, so I take a statue of my Patron and Matron Deities and materials for offerings to use in my hotel or residence I am staying in until I return home, then I put them back on my shrine. While away, you could say that I set up a temporary shrine. The statues I take are kind of spares in that my shrine has a statue of all the Olympians, but around it are other statues of Them and other Gods. In accordance with traditional practice, is this a practice that would be, how do you say, unusual?

Thanks,
Agathon.


That is not unusual. Small statues and religious objects would be carried by travelers on extended absences.

so I take a statue of my Patron and Matron Deities and materials for offerings to use in my hotel or residence I am staying in until I return home

This is an error that shows up often as a result of people's ignorance of the meaning of 'patronage.' Deities are patrons of cities, of professions, of regions, of natural forces, and other such things. These are things that are under the particular dominion of a certain deity.

You, however, have chosen to worship certain deities with particular veneration — this is perfectly acceptable, and has always been the norm, so long as no deity is unduly neglected — but this is not patronage. Claiming a deity as one's patron is the equivalent of claiming that you yourself are a personal chosen favorite of that deity (something that particularly egotistical kings and emperors would often claim), and is certainly an exceedingly arrogant and presumptuous claim.

What you mean, I imagine, is that X or Y are your favored, or preferred deities (Latin: dii dilecti, or culti; Greek: λεκτοί, or έπίλεκτοι). Although the deity might certainly be responding in kind to one's attention and proper favor, it is your own choice to favor the deity, coupled with the subconscious nature and qualities of your soul.

That doesn't mean that you do not have patrons, not at all, only that you do not choose your patrons. Under which deities' patronage you are depends on your life situation — things like your profession, place of residence, life stage, hobbies, and things like that, and you will, inevitably, have multiple deities under whose patronage you fall in terms of the various facets of your life — akin to the idea of patron saints in Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity.

PS- 'matron' is never used in this way. Although the words rhyme, a 'matron' is not a female 'patron'. 'Matron' comes from the Latin 'matrona', which means 'a married woman'. It is originally a synonym for 'marita' (wife). However, in later Latin, as well as in modern English and other modern languages, 'matron' has come to be a fairly derogatory word, meaning not simply a 'married woman' but a middle aged, unattractive, unappealing, usually unfriendly, older lady. Conversely, 'patron' comes from 'patronus', which does not mean 'married man' (that is 'maritus', or 'coniunx', which can be either male or female) — 'patronus' means 'guardian' or 'overseer'.

The only deity to whom the title 'matrona' is applied is, occasionally, Iuno/Ἥρα; coincidentally, the goddess of married women.

_________________
"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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Re: Traveling Altars Advice

Post  AgathonZante on Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:37 pm

I don't feel that I chose my Patron Gods and Goddesses, I feel that They have chosen me, but I don't mean it to be a declaration of special recognition for myself. It simply means that They are Gods I am most closely connected to. I feel as if They occupy a very special place in my life and have helped me through a lot. So that's what I mean by Patrons. I know there are many people today who think they have special privilege from Gods and that Gods have picked them as favorites over other people, but I do not see it that way at all. Perhaps you and I have a different definition of what we mean by Patrons.
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Re: Traveling Altars Advice

Post  Erodius on Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:55 pm

AgathonZante wrote:I don't feel that I chose my Patron Gods and Goddesses, I feel that They have chosen me, but I don't mean it to be a declaration of special recognition for myself. It simply means that They are Gods I am most closely connected to.

Yes, you favor and prefer those to whom you feel drawn and connected; perfectly understandable. But whether you feel it or not, it is presumptuous to claim to be 'chosen'. Why? For one thing, one does not know the thoughts of god, and for another, it does imply a declaration that you feel are divinely 'special'. Why is that? Because it implies that a deity has personally selected you, and cosmically intervened in your own favor. That isn't to say that that is impossible — however, even the greatest, noblest and most honorable women and men throughout history have lived their whole lives without such an experience.

I feel as if They occupy a very special place in my life and have helped me through a lot. So that's what I mean by Patrons. I know there are many people today who think they have special privilege from Gods and that Gods have picked them as favorites over other people, but I do not see it that way at all. Perhaps you and I have a different definition of what we mean by Patrons.

It is fine to feel that god has aided you, but it is selfish to claim that god has personally chosen you to attend to. Gods do not help in the manner of deus ex machina, but rather through our own actions and choices. Divinity assists, but does not do things 'for' you. The effort is still your own.

It is not an issue of 'different definitions', it is an issue of using words correctly. That is what I am trying to convey. There are terms for just what you describe, but 'patron' is not the correct term. It is a term that is used, but not in that way.

I imagine part of the confusion has to do with unfamiliarity in Western cultures with religious systems in which there are many divine powers to whom one can pray, and who might respond to prayers. Because of the understandable Judaeo-Christian conditioning most Westerners have, this manifests in the kneejerk impulse to say that, because a certain deity has responded to a prayer or entreaty in some way, that the deity has chosen to have a special relationship with you.

It is a wonderful blessing to have one's prayers answered, but it does not follow that the one who answered your prayer has selected you especially, or will continue to especially attend to you.

————

Am I making sense? I feel that I'm not. Forgive me if I am not. I've been grading quizzes all afternoon and more than half of the class did not pass, and so I am tired and my mind is out of focus.

_________________
"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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Re: Traveling Altars Advice

Post  AgathonZante on Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:14 pm

Then what shall I call the Gods whom I have described if not Patrons? What would be a more appropriate term?
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Re: Traveling Altars Advice

Post  Erodius on Sun Mar 02, 2014 11:22 pm

AgathonZante wrote:Then what shall I call the Gods whom I have described if not Patrons? What would be a more appropriate term?


To quote myself two posts ago  Wink :

Erodius wrote:What you mean, I imagine, is that X or Y are your favored, or preferred deities (Latin: dii dilecti, or culti; Greek: λεκτοί, or έπίλεκτοι). Although the deity might certainly be responding in kind to one's attention and proper favor, it is your own choice to favor the deity, coupled with the subconscious nature and qualities of your soul.

'Votive' would also be an appropriate word.

_________________
"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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Re: Traveling Altars Advice

Post  AgathonZante on Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:40 pm

Apollo and Aphrodite are like a father and mother in my life. I would say They are the Ones I feel the most close to, but there are others I am connected with as well.
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