Raven Radio

Episode 108 – What Is a God?

September 16th, 2012

In this episode, we discuss a recent article written by Bil that asks the question “What is a god?” and seeks to provide possible answers.

His original article and ensuing discussions can be found on Asatru Lore at the following URL:

What is a god – A workable model

One Response to “Episode 108 – What Is a God?”

  1. Ale Glad

    I found this show to be an interesting one because I recently had to deal with the same question. I came at it from a different angle, though, and I think there was a missed opportunity to discuss the concept of “god” as it related to our ancestors so that it can shed some light on how it might benefit us today. The linguistic consensus is that the Proto-Indo-European word is *ǵhu-tó-m and is based on the root *ǵhau(ə)-, meaning either “to call” or “to invoke.” This means that Proto-Germanic word *ǥuđan could mean “one who is called upon.” It is worth noting that the Germanic words for god were originally gender neutral, meaning that they applied to male and female supernatural beings equally.

    This gives us a bit of insight into how the Aesir and Vanir, as the mightiest of the gods, differ from local gods like river and lake gods or even the often ignored house-gods. With the conversion to Christianity, we lost some of this understanding because “god” became a name to relpace “El-” in Hebrew and the concept of supremacy was superimposed on the word. Smaller, regional gods, were “demoted” to “spirits” in a very Roman manner.

    I think this also gives us a way of looking at Amy’s question regarding mortals of high might and megin becoming “gods.” Given that we already view our ancestors as being involved in our lives after death, and the role of sacral kingship in our past, the spirit of a truly powerful and beneficial king might well be called upon for aid after death. When that holder of tribal luck comes through for his people time and again then he gets called upon more and more. He has, given the root of the word, become a god for his people.

    I’ve got a blog post regarding this sort of topic if anyone would like to read it. Thank you for addressing this topic. As we work to rebuild and revive our troth, I think this is one of the most important topics we can discuss. We need to get back to our understandings of gods rather than continue to work with a foreign model that doesn’t make any sense for us.


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