Unrecorded Pantheon Round Table #1

@unrecorded-pantheon-roundtable’s Call for Submissions post [link]. (This will be crossposted on tumblr.)

#1: Who is your pantheon, and how did you come to them?

I don’t really have a pantheon so much as I have a loose amalgamation of People. The short version is that I’ve got a habit of peppering in P/pagan references into fiction, even if it’s slightly tweaking a deity or practice into a fictionalized version, and sometimes, They interact like They’re not so fictional. (Yes, even if it’s “just a fanfic”.)

My WIP “Kai” led to a particular alliance (SWA) [“Writing (or discovering) New Faces“] that’s much more noticeably based on deities the readers may have heard about. The universe of the fic allows for deities outside of the alliance to be referenced, which is how a particular Face of Loki wound up showing up [“Horsehair Lace“].

Several of my WIPs have deities that pagans would quite likely recognize as fictionalized versions. The Ancients in “Darkling” include Holly and Oak as a reference to the Holly King and Oak King and neopagan holiday references, and “Kintsugi” has a particular flavor of the Lord and Lady archetype that’s been tailored to that universe with references to other deities (honoring the land-spirit also forms part of the home and hearth centered practice). “BSL” and “Coven” share a universe with tree based titles for the fictionally tweaked deities, but they touch more on community recognized mourning rituals and edge into sacred endarkenment rather than getting into the specifics of deities per se (at least, in the current drafts).

I address it more directly in “Belief and Laity in (my) Fiction“, but there’s a noticeable component across these fics that the community level or individual level of cathartic rituals can be more relevant than whether the character actually believes in the deities in question. It really depends on the universe and what the main plot is, but in some of the fics, this is because there are outside temple/hof/grove structures with priests and priestesses, the character is an outsider being introduced to the system, and/or the cultural element is more important so deities have been synchronized or can be approached as conceptualizations of magical forces.

Quite frankly, the hodge-podge feel of these inter-pantheon collectives and allowances for other (potentially interfaith) religious beliefs with cultural interaction with these deities makes for a buffet of potential interaction. Karnon and Zisa have dropped by (“Kintsugi”), a Tawch holiday has sometimes been relevant (“Darkling”), and there’s been occasional interest in the details of who gets which tree title for what reason (that may one day turn into a pantheon or collective from “BSL”/”Coven”).

I’ve been more caught up in Death & Co (referenced previously on this blog), Who are not connected to any fictional stories, so I don’t really have a cohesive practice featuring any of these other potential People. I’m a bit resistant at times because of past misinterpretation issues, in which a previous foray into a highly individual path was later declared null and void, but I would like to note that one of The Ancients who’s currently seen more screen time in the story – Ouroboros (aka The Time-Keeper) – apparently made it into a reader’s dream [thread link]. While I’m aware this doesn’t make Ouroboros “more legitimate”, I definitely saw it as a nudge that I may not be repeating a miscommunication issue again.