I love my tumblr (http://answersfromvanaheim.tumblr.com/), sometimes I do not love tumblr itself, but I love my tumblr because many of the people I follow post links to things on their personal blogs that I probably wouldn’t see otherwise.
One of those things is the Kemetic Round Table, as the name might imply, it’s a “round table” type discussion on a particular topic related to Kemeticism that is then tackled by bloggers in that tradition. Not being Kemetic myself, I kind of just make note of the topics and read if it’s interesting enough.
However, on this round the topic is pantheon-mixing. In particular, I would like to draw your attention to Aubs Tea’s post on the subject at Mystical Bewilderment. Go and read it and come back.
There is much that I agree with in this post, and I’d particularly like to point out the bit on spiritual shopping. Not all of us are lucky enough to have a deity just come into our lives and be like “YOU! Yes you! You are to be my devotee/priest(ess)/whatever.” In fact, I would say that the vast majority of us go through a phase of spiritual growth where we hop from tradition to tradition, and, like trying on different outfits, trying to find one that “fits” for us.
I also agree that, yes, there is this perception that you will have one tradition For Life, For Richer or Poorer, ‘Til Death Do You Part (or not). You get to check off that one box that says “Wiccan” or “Kemetic” or “Hellenic” and be content with that one little box and that one pantheon.
Others, I would say, come in with the perception that they have found their OTP (One True Pantheon) and then “BAM!” a deity from another pantheon appears and is like “YOU! Yes you! Gimme’ some of those offerings!”
And that, to someone who believes that they have found their OTP, can be very flummoxing.
Anyways, back to the point about shopping. The fact is, I shopped around in several different traditions before I found the one that “fit” my beliefs. I decided to try Celtic-flavoured solitary eclectic Wicca because, well, everyone was doing it, but it didn’t feel right, and neither did the various Celtic traditions either. (Some of my co-religionists have a thing for Celtic things, I seem to be the odd one out). I continue to have a fascination with Sumerian and Canaanite polytheism and Vodou, but none of those paths are mine (and in the case of Vodou, I seriously do not have the money to go to Haiti to be initiated, assuming I could find a teacher).
Oh, and it was like Kemeticism had a big red neon sign saying “DON’T COME HERE, GEF!” so I just didn’t even bother from the very beginning.
My point is that yes, I shopped, I dabbled, I tried on a bunch of different outfits, and then I found a niche that fit. Some people may not ever find that OTP, or find that they need to cobble together their own OTP (One True Practice) out of bits and pieces of other practices.
I would also say that I think a distinction should be made from a shopper who is trying to find their niche, and someone like Trixie, who makes a serious commitment to a deity and then ditches them because they don’t talk to them every day. At the end of the day, I’m less concerned if someone is worshiping the Vanir in addition to a couple lwa and maybe Krishna drops in for the occasional visit than I am with someone who makes oaths to deities and then just decides to ditch them.
Oaths, you know, Serious Business.
I should say that I don’t think this means that people can’t or don’t mix pantheons in a ways that are perhaps….inadvisable….but TBH, if someone finds fulfillment in mainly worshiping one pantheon with one or two other deities on the side, how is that anyone else’s business but their own?
I don’t know, maybe this is more of a recon thing. I’m not recon so how the Hel should I know?