I would love to hear peoples’ personal opinions about the difference between, say, Ares, Mars the deity, and Mars the planet (etc). Or do you think they are the same? Please share your thoughts!
In Plato’s ‘Timaeus’, the Planet Mercury is referred to as ‘The Star Sacred to Hermes’, rather than being Hermes himself. However, as I understand it, not all the Greeks and Romans saw the Planets as being different from the Gods. Some did see them as the same, which was more of an influence from some Middle-Eastern cultures. (But, I don’t have a source for this and them viewing them as the same right now). Others saw them as distinct.
Personally, I don’t believe they are the same. I believe the Gods such as Zeus, Ares, Aphordite, as well as Odin, Thor, Freyr, etc. Are above the Celestial World. I believe they are in a way connected to the Stars and Planets, the Stars and Planets being a visible manifestation of them (Just like the world!), and part of their body (Just as everything is contained with God, and composed of God. See Agrippa’s explanation of the Number ‘1’ in Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Book II).
God and the Gods do cause change in the world through the Celestial World, so calling upon them under certain auspicious celestial arrangements is still favorable, however, but I don’t see them the same. I’m not well versed on Greek Mythology and such, but at least regarding the Norse Gods, if we read Voluspa, it’s clear that many of the Gods predate the creation of the Cosmos, and the Planets (Being directly created by the Divine Gods, and given their course in the cosmos).
I also wish to explain, my view, influenced by Platonism, is that these Divine Gods who are above the Celestial World, were of course there before the creation of the entire material world. They were there before time and space were created. They are not quite seperate from one another, they don’t look like anything. So, to be clear, they are not anthropomorphic like in the Myths. Socrates rejected the anthropomorphic view of the Gods.
I once had a beautiful dream visit from Freya. We were in a snowy cabin, and she offered to show me her realm. We began to meditate, and I was astounded when the scenery shifted not to some grand pagan mead hall, but an infinite reddish (but not red) cosmos. It was a profound honour. Hail Freya!
@ReyCuervo may I ask for your thoughts on the matter?
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experience. Definitely, light and colour is closer to the Gods, being more abstract (And it is appropriate to the Planets as well, since from our perspective they are simply bright Lights in the Sky, with a range of colour. This points to their exalted and more “abstract” state of being).
This reminds me, although this is a bit off topic, about the nature of Gods and Spirits that we spoke of some time ago. As in, I believe these Gods have always been there, they were not created by us, we simply became aware of them. They are the intelligences and beings within and behind various things in the cosmos.
With Freya, as far as I understand, she does not appear in the older Germanic mythology. Her name means “Lady”, she’s a Valkyrie, like the Divine Mother and Queen of the Cosmos, Frigg, and her husband’s name is like a shortened form of Odin’s name, and her husband also often travels… indeed, it seems even the Icelanders at times confused Freya with Frigg. So, it seems clear, that at one point, Freya and Frigg were one and the same. There was only some separation over time, but they bear a great resemblance to one another.
But, I don’t believe that we separated them, I believe Freya and Frigg were always distinct from one another (Separate is a funny word…), but we simply became aware of Freya, as a Goddess who inspires strong passion and love (Vinculum quippe vinculorum amor est…), and has a slightly less strong association with family than does Frigg. There may be infinite Deities, Angels, and Spirits in the Cosmos, everything has a Deity who creates it and rules over it. The 6 paths of the Sun, Venus as both Morning Star and Evening Star (The “Aztec” peoples had two Deities for these two aspects of Venus), and so on and so forth. We simply become aware of them.
And one case against the whole Egregore idea, is that would mean that these Gods were empowered by us, like some sort of battery, and they would be weakened when not worshipped. That works in fantasy fiction (The “dead” deity returning with the worship of their secret worshippers, etc.), but in reality, when we worship Gods who have not been worshipped for millenia, we find they are as strong as ever, their strength never waned, and we may worship Gods who were never worshipped before, and find they too are as strong as any other.
I have read that Freya can be likened to the vitalility and passion of fire, while Frigg can be likened to the welcoming fire of the hearth. The woman who wrote this noted that she worked with them both and they felt quite distinct from one another.
I will say, one of the first times I prayed to Frigg, I sensed her presence as pure, potent, full love. She is sometimes these days depicted as a well-aged woman (To my knowledge, there’s no surviving pre-Modern depiction of her, aside from one potential 12th Century depiction from a Christian church. But at least the 19th and 20th Century depictions do not depict her in that way), but what I sensed from her was not at all appropriate to the symbolism of old age, but rather there was a great youthfulness to it, as I recall it.
I understand why the Romans saw her as the equivalent of Venus, and why the Germanic peoples named Venus’ Day after her.
I do like the comparison of Freya to the vitality and passion of the Fire, however. But I would say, perhaps Frigg is both the vitality and passion of the fire, as well as the warmth of the hearth fire. Just some thoughts on it.
My thoughts are a bit shallow.
I think some spirits have many things in common and are usually grouped as “currents”, but I do not believe they’re linked by more than roles that may outright be the result of their own personal interests.
Due to some working I’ve done with @Dankquanicus I’ve learn that many things have spirits associated to them, including planets and stars