The Pagan Religions Influence On Modern (ish) Religions
What we didn’t understand, we related to what we knew best… other humans. It is windy outside, lacking an understanding of atmospheric pressures and what causes wind, it was assumed that there was a giant man in the sky blowing on the earth.
Please note: these beliefs are generally held in Paganism but because Paganism consists of many religions and is so individualistic, beliefs vary. The beliefs summed up here are by no means the only beliefs there are and some Pagans that may have different views than these. And much of the logic follows based on my deductions and reasoning, not necessarily fact.
This is the Pagan religion as far as I understand it, it is polytheistic meaning that the belief is that there is more then one god, as apposed to religions such as Christianity, or Islam, which are monotheistic (believe in one God.) And the different God’s continue quite logically, each God represents a different element of life that some of the earliest humans could not explain.
There are litterally thousands of Pagan gods or deities, but here are few examples; Bil- Goddess of the moon, Dagr- God of the day, Nott- Goddess of the night, Thor- God of thunder. It goes on and on, ranging from mighty gods such as these, to seemingly less important Gods such as Idunn- God of apples.
Though the recurring theme seems to be that these God’s take the place of scientific understanding, the innate human urge to comprehend our surroundings and events that takes place makes the development of myths based around these wonderful gods incredibly logical.
And by worshipping these God’s humans would attempt have some input into their fates For example if there was a sickness going around a certain area, prayers would be made to whatever the local areas God of health was, there where lightening storms causing destruction, prayers would be made to the god of thunder, etc etc.
Likely the way these religions stories and Gods would have developed is in each small village and civilisation, which, until developments in transport and communications where made, the villages would have been their world. Their parents would tell stories of mighty Gods who control each aspect of their lives, and these stories would have been told to them by their parents, etc, until you arrive at some sort of village elder/ruler/wise man of some kind who would have had a religious experience and infered, due to his lack of understanding (or greater understanding, don’t mean to link religion and lack of knowledge), that a mighty God was behind it.
And therefore each town and village would have had its own Gods. Which could most likely explain the fact that there are thousands of recorded pagan Gods.
Furthermore there are many different branches of pagan religion in all different countries, and totally different mythologies and Gods, such as Anglo Saxon, Greek, Norse, German, Roman, Egyptian, Japanese, Armenian etc etc. Each with vastly different stories and Gods. And each countries Gods and stories are based deeply on the areas culture, and geography. Such as mighty Nordic gods of mountains, thunder, war, and barley. As apposed to Egyptian gods ranging from Gods of the Nile, Gods of cats, all the way to Sobek, the God of crocodiles.
This information can be interpreted differently, but to me it shows that our lack of understanding of the world around us, led to our assuming the causer was a supernatural, omnipotent being.
Though this can still be noticed in todays most prominent religions, most of which would have been profoundly influenced, and where most likely founded upon the oldest forms of Pagan religion.
Our lack of understanding as to what causes certain events, mixed with our overwhelming curiosity and desire to understand everything, leads man to assume, and hope a greater being/or beings where behind out creation. When things are bad, we pray to the almighty omnipotent God, we who suppose is controlling everything, and ask for help or forgiveness.
Though as science develops, and our lack of understanding is filled with proven scientific theory our need for a being floating above us creating and controlling begins to dissipate. (at least in my case)
This post’s purpose is more to put my ideas out and receive feedback and kindle a debate, then to educate.
Thanks for reading.