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Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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Question of the Week: 39 - 4/30/2001
Who Are Your Gods?
Who are your Gods/Old Ones/Ancestors? Did you choose Them or did They choose you? Do you believe/perceive Them as merely evolved Beings-or are They indeed the all-powerful Masters of the Universe? Do you believe/perceive that Gods/Goddesses/Ancestors/Old Ones are extensions of your higher self, separate and distinct Beings of personality or 'all Gods and Goddesses are One'? In your times of need, do you believe that They can overturn the Laws of Karma/The Fates/The Norns for you? Why do you suppose that some prayers/pleas/invocations are seemingly ignored while others may be answered? Do you feel that the Gods/Ancestors/Old Ones may sometimes 'use' you to accomplish some greater plan than you may be humanly aware of? How do you feel about that? What has been your most powerful, meaningful or life-altering encounter with Them?
| Reponses: There are 55 responses posted to this question.
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| I've Been Pondering This Question Lately. And The Only Answer I Can... ||Apr 29th. at 9:42:18 pm UTC|
|L. (New York, New York US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I've been pondering this question lately. And the only answer I can come up with is that my deity is an androgynous One. This sounds monotheistic and I am a bit worried about that sometimes, but I find the polarization of supposedly "male" and supposedly "female" energies and deities just as troubling. I would like to work towards working with a pair of androgynous beings, or perhaps to be able to somehow "fragment" that One and work with its many facets, but I'm not there yet. I used to use "Lord" and "Lady, " as opposed to any specific deity names, but even that has become too gender-oriented for this young queer feminist witch. :-) There are many ways to bring the energy we call "spirit" or "deity" or "God/dess" into your rituals and into your life. I simply haven't found the exactly right way yet. I'm getting there, but because I can't accept the way we tend to define "male" and "female" I can't take the distinction in my works. There are different energies out there, but there are more than two, and they reside in all of us.
| Generally, One Can Have A Particular God Or Goddess Who Seems To... ||Apr 29th. at 10:53:14 pm UTC|
|Tarostar (Toronto, Ontario CA) ||Age: 59 - Email |
Generally, one can have a particular God or Goddess who seems to embody one's own ideals and attitudes. That Deity is the one who seems to push him or herself into your waking consciousness all through your life at various times.
Mine is Athena. I approach Witchcraft/Magic/Paganism through a cerebral
mode of action and understanding.
I honor the Olympians as archetypes of a healthy Pagan community, but I do not "worship" in the sense most seem to apply from an xtian Past.
Gods need no worship for being Gods; doing their job.
I would rather apply my own mind and occult abilities in the Universe for problems than ask the Gods for help. A Witch should be able to work the warp and woof of metaphysical Time and Space on his/her own, not so?
| My Gods Are All The Gods (except For A Few Who I... ||Apr 29th. at 11:28:45 pm UTC|
|suicidal angel (Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand) ||Age: 13 - Email |
My gods are all the gods (except for a few who I really find evil), but I have a few that I dedicate myself to regularly, sometimes in a sub-consious way. They are Venus, Persephone, and although many pagans may disagree on whether or not she is a godess also Eve, the mother of humanity. As you can see I tend to favour the female's over the males. For a while I tried being both sexes, but It really wasn't working because I seemed to connect far better to the females.
As for whether they chose me or the other way around, neither. I believe that the god/ess that we worship are already within us. All of them are, but some are stronger than others. It really boils down to who you are inside, and whether who you are inside connects more toward one diety or another. I beleive that the gods are not the supreme rulers of the universe, but the embodiements of our belief. The different energies that we have created ourselves. The outward manifestations of daily life.
Some prayers and invocations are ignored most likely because that is the best thing to happen right then. It may be that when the prayer was offered it wasn't offered from the depths of the heart & soul, or that the intentions weren't altogether *good* even if they outwardly appeared so. The hidden concious grabs the prayer and doesn't release it. The other reason may be that the diety you call upon may have a tendency to ignore plea's. If the god/ess is said to do just that it may well have decided to remind us that he/she isn't here just for us.
The Lord and the Lady are both equall to me, but I tend to connect with the godess more because Im female. The Lord however is still strong within me in my spirit, for I am a warrior at heart, and that is a *generally* masculine thing.
The gods are different for everyone, so we each need to look within ourselves to find them before we can find them outside.
| I'm Still Searching Myself For The Answer, I Have Been For About... ||Apr 30th. at 12:35:10 am UTC|
|Amanda S. (Anoka, Minnesota US) ||Age: 16 |
I'm still searching myself for the answer, I have been for about a year now. I have come to the conclusion, and stayed with the belief that there is an all. In this great mass, which is the universe itself, there is the masculine, and the feminine. The God and the Goddess. I believe they themselves are a greater force, rather than simple deities. We see the Goddess in each of us, in the moon above our heads, in the grass beneath our feet. We see the God in all men..and yes, women too, the Sun above, and the wind that sweeps by us. (Don't ask why, I've always seen the wind as a masculine force) THrough the ages, different cultures have taken portions of the Lord and the Lady, and broken them down into separate deities. And, it has always seemed to me, easier to ask of a small part of the Lord or the Lady, a smaller deity, such as Bast or Apollo. I identify most with the goddess Bast, if I must choose a deity. For years, she's captivated me, I never quite knew the reason. But, I feel dedicated to her, and Her statue sits on my small, rather unused altar. ^^
| I Have Had An Experience Recently That Makes Me Believe That Gods... ||Apr 30th. at 2:42:28 am UTC|
|Coyotegirl (Quad Cities, Illinois US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
I have had an experience recently that makes me believe that gods can choose you, that is, appear in the form you most need. It might sound flaky, but this is what happened. I was entering a really transitional peroid in my life and was looking for something to kickstart my future. It just so happened that there was a "Women of Egypt" exhibit at our local museum, and being fascinated with all things ancient egyptian, I went the day before it closed. It was an egyptian pagan's delight, but I was particularly mesmerized with the statues of Sekhmet, goddess of war and healing. I felt a presence come to me, and on the way home I got a strong desire to look into the military as a career. For a couple months I researched and turned the idea over in my head. I am now in the process of joining the National Guard and I feel a very strong closeness with Sekhmet who I believe came to lead me in a positive direction just as my life was becoming the most unstable.
| I Belive That Deity Is Within As Well As Without. We All... ||Apr 30th. at 3:32:08 am UTC|
|Angela McMullen (Montoursville, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 22 - Email |
I belive that deity is within as well as without. We all have a little bit of divinity within us after all in my belief system They created us. I believe that everything has a spirit. The animals, the trees, the rocks. But I also think that deities are also beings all their own. I had a dream once about the God/dess and in that dream They gave me the name that I use when I speak with Them. It was very vivid and enlightening. The goddess whom I am most drawn to is Diana. I had dreams about Her. I tried studying other pantheons but for some reason she kept calling me back. So in a way They do choose you. I beleive that there is an All and that the gods and goddesses come from that All. Kind of like the All is the parent and the gods and goddesses are the children. This is just my personal belief system and spirituality.
| I've Recently Done Some Soul Searching, And Realized That I Recognize No... ||Apr 30th. at 9:30:30 am UTC|
|Artemis Moonshadow (Kfar Saba, Israel) ||Age: 15 - Email |
I've recently done some soul searching, and realized that I recognize no Deity.
I'm an Atheist. Nature herself puts me in Awe, I see the Earth as my home and sacred place. I don't believe any one needs a deity if one truly believes in oneself.
I don't see the Forces of nature and diving, they're just the forces of nature and they're powerful and should be respected, but worshiped, I don't think so.
Everything has a soul or spirit and we are all unifies in the oness of the Universe, but the universe is not God.
As I Witch, I recognize the flowings and movements of nature herself and I use those movements for my own workings. But now when I do rituals I realize I don't need to invite Deity because there is no Deity and all you need are the elements and your own mind in the words of Granny Weatherwax "Headology".
Many Pagans would disagree with me and that's fine, I would probably disagree with many other Pagans.
Any way the way I view my path in life is as an Atheist Witch, I'm probably still considered Pagan because of going according to the movements of Nature.
As for Karma, my life motto has always been whatever goes around comes around equally.
| In Reality, I Do Not Believe In Diety So Much As In... ||Apr 30th. at 11:01:23 am UTC|
|Juana Bruja (Saint Cloud, Florida US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
In reality, I do not believe in diety so much as in the living energy of the universe. However, I'm only human, and as a human I benefit from having symbolic representations upon which I can focus. In my instance as a practitioner of Brujeria, I have two main figures, Mayahuel and Guadelupe. Mayahuel came to me in a dream. She is the Aztec goddess of the maguey planet and of the fermented beverages it produces (such as tequila). What I really found in her was the heart of a people, the way her sacred plant lies at the heart of Mexican culture and its gifts the lifeblood of a people. Guadelupe is sometimes controversial among Pagans who do not understand her unifying significance. In one sense, Guadelupe is the Virgin Mary. But in a much greater sense, Guadelupe represents the Great Mother of what we call the New World (which is not new at all). While Mayahuel gives me strength and ability, I call upon Guadelupe for guidance. The best example I have had of her power recently was before, during, and after I had my wisdom teeth extracted. Both Mayahuel and Guadelupe, plus myself, the bruja, make up a feminine trio which is virtually unbeatable.
| I Believe In Jesus, Allah, Buddha, And The Goddess. I Feel That... ||Apr 30th. at 12:53:52 pm UTC|
|JourneyWalker (Covington, Kentucky US) ||Age: 17 |
I believe in Jesus, Allah, Buddha, and the Goddess. I feel that there is one being but just different names.
| Greetings All! My Name Is Heidi, Iam A 35 Year Old Heathen... ||Apr 30th. at 1:01:20 pm UTC|
|heidi (stump city) ||Age: 35 |
Greetings all! My name is Heidi, Iam a 35 year old heathen, of Germanic, Slavic and Celtic decent. I wanted to share two of my dreams, as they were most important to me in knowing the Gods of my path. Yes, I feel in my bones and heart the Gods and Goddesses are real. They make the Cosmos "go". They manifest in many forms and ways, they help, they hinder, they just sit back and don't care. Sometimes they give, or take. These dreams all manifested at times of spiritual need, the first when I was newly exposed to the traditions of my Germanic ancestors, and the second when life was harder than it is now for me. I consider them gifts, and all the subsequent dreams They send. Once I dreamnt about walking down a mountain trail, high snow capped mountains around me, soft new spring greenery was everywhere, and the trail was bordered with flowers, larkspur, daisies, lupines.As I walked I busily picked up eagles feathers from the trail, my arms were full of them. Over head a huge , beautiful eagle, soared into the branches of the biggest oak tree I have ever seen. It perched on top, and gazed down at me, watching as I gathered it's feathers. Now in this dream I was lucid, meaning I knew conciously that this was not a dream induced by my dinner, no, this was a "special" dream, and it was important. I looked up at the eagle, and behind it a huge thunderhead boiled and rolled, the wind kicked up and a massive bolt of lightnening slashed across the skylike a golden net. Where there should have been a thunder clap to shake my bones, the eagle looked me in the eyes and opened it's golden beak saying "I AM WODAN!!!!" It's voice boomed out over the mountains, shook the earth, and brought me to tears of joy. It gazed on me with such strong love and power that I knew I was in the right place. I was not scared, but I knew that I was seeing the Gods Wodan and Donnar. I woke up abruptly, and thanked the Gods for their message. This was how I came to know Wodan/Odin and Donnar /Thor. Many months later, when my life was full of turmoil, I dreamnt of standing alone on the Ukrainian steppe. The wind howled in my ears, and when I looked down at my feet I saw I wore soft leather boots. My tunic was fine linen, my pants of wool, dyed red and silk embriodered. My long hair was braided in ornate coils. Over my tunic I wore a mail shirt of fine gold. I stood and gazed out across the wind tossed field. It was midsummer, and Saule, the Queen Sun, was high in the sky. I saw in the distance a rider, and he was dressed in golden armor, in the manner of the old russian warriors. His horse was white and splendid. The rider came to me and told me He was Perun, the God of my ancestors, and that there were other Gods who watched out for me. With that he pointed to the four directions and other riders appeared. They rode up, and each was dressed in the old manner, beared and in in glorious armor. They spent the dream telling me many magical things and when I awoke I wept. It was this dream that helped me to be strong, to have courage, to be brave. My life improved, and I began to actively honor the Gods/Goddesses of my Slavic and Germanic ancestors. During a summer thunder storm I dedicated myself to Donnar /Perun, the lightening crashing and flashing as I stood barefoot in pouring rain, spinning and singing. Pouring out dark stout ale to Him, My clothes drenched, legs muddied, I laughed with joy. I asked for a sighn, and the sky flashed with white hot brilliance, Thor's hammer split the sky.. I built household altars, and in the local park I found a fresh water spring, hidden from the main trail. I would go there and leave offerings and such.Pray, sing, ask Nerthus/Mokosh for Her blessings and thank Her for all that She has done. She answered. When I went there and cried out my sorrows over a lostlove, She helped me to find center again. I brought mead, bread and honey to a thicket of wild roses and raspberries that grew over a large boulder. I poured out the honey to Freya, and broke the bread for Her there. I poured out a bottle of mead, well, I did drink some of it too:) Mead sweet and sticky ran golden over the smooth stone, and honey bees came to lap it up. I don't always ask for personal help or boons to be granted by Freya. (or any of the Gods) I honor them with offerings, art, songs, good dinners, toast in their honor, and ritual. But a year ago when I had had enough of being a bachelorette I asked for my log term mate to be made know to me. I had a list of particulars about him. I lit a fire, I burned herbs, I hopped up and down and wailed about my plight.
Freya heard my plea for a loving devoted wonderful mate, and She has blessed me with love, friendship, and prosperity in many ways. I thank Her.
Sometimes The Gods/Goddesses help us, sometimes They trip us, and sometimes They say "time to come home now, back to the Summerlands.." I have wondered many times why the Gods did not stop the xtians from destroying Their holy places, why people turned away from their traditions. I wonder too why The Goddesses allow women to remain objects of abuse or scorn in many parts of the world. Why we are allowed to go on destroying the earth, I wonder on many things like this. I don't have the answers.
I don't get to know all that until I too cross over, and even then maybe I still won't know. I do know that i feel the Gods manifest in my world, in this
walk through life. I honor them as best I can, and am pleased that this is my path.
In friendship and joy, heidi the smith "
| My Gods Were The Father, Mary And Jesus -- Not Because They Had... ||Apr 30th. at 1:23:20 pm UTC|
|Kerry Marie McGrath - Christo Pagan in Training (Warren, New Jersey US) ||Age: 33 |
My Gods were The Father, Mary and Jesus -- not because They had to be; they just WERE. In fact, I can't say that they're not now. But I'm sure that the human race wasn't a bunch of savage maniacs before Christ either. Being raised as a Roman Catholic by a non-practicing Roman Catholic mom (that I lost 10 years ago and miss her like it was yesterday), I grew up really believing in Heaven because that's where my father "lived.' You see, I lost my father two months shy of my 5th birthday. Every night, I would say an Our Father (aka the Lord), a Hail Mary (aka the Lady), and then I would pray for all of my relatives. "God bless Mommy; God Bless Daddy -- in Heaven, " etc. So I grew up believing in Heaven because that's where my Daddy was living since he didn't live with me and my Mommy anymore. Then we would have to pray for the souls in "pugatory." "What does that mean Mommy?" "Those are the people that didn't get a chance to tell God they were sorry for what they did wrong, so if we pray for them, we help them get to God, Jesus and Mary in Heaven." We NEVER talked about hell (unless she was telling me to actually go there when she was POed at me when I got older!) I went to Roman Catholic school from the third grade straight through to senior year (managed to get thrown out of an all girls school in the process -- those nuns were nasty!) I went to Mass almost every Saturday night or Sunday with my sister. I found a lot of comfort in going to Church - the whole ritual with the Body and Blood of Christ, sharing the Host with the congregation. I was never forced into going to confession; Mom always said it was OK to pray at home and that God would forgive me if I did something wrong. It didn't have to be "that way." When Mom died, she died in April, and I found more comfort in attending Mass during Holy Week than ever. Death and resurrection; death and life after death.
Then I had my times of need. I met my ex-husband. He was married before. He is also Roman Catholic. The Roman Catholic Church permitted his four month pregnant ex-wife to be wed there. However, if I wanted to marry in the Church I practically lived in (the school was actually connected to that Church), then we would have to have a very, very messy annulment. Trying to be unselfish, I explained to my ex-husband that I knew his divorce was long and painful, and that I would be willing to marry elsewhere. Gee, my very own brother-in-law was a minister, how nice it would be to be married by someone that I've known my entire lifetime? Nope, couldn't do that. "You don't belong to our Church." I seriously thought I would end up getting married by the captain of the local fire department since the Mayor was on vacation. But I didn't want a civil ceremony. I wanted to be married in the eyes of God. We married in the Episcopal Church -- ex-hubby's uncle was best friends with their pastor. I'm certain that if that weren't the case that we would have been out of luck there too. We still wanted to attend Mass at our Roman Catholic Church but my ex-husband could not "receive" because remarrying "ex-communicated" him.
I researched other Christian religions so my husband could be a part of this. That's when the frustration came in. The other Christian religions were cold, selective, and basically unforgiving. So I led my life with no center.
My husband and I separated last July. I expected the support of my family. But since "I" decided to separate, I had to hear "God hates divorce, " from most of my family that converted from Roman Catholicism to some born again non-demoninational group. I'm sure God does hate divorce -- it's painful! I don't care for it myself.
Then I finally realized something that I always knew but never really paid attention to: Jesus never wrote a Gospel.
Why am I following this book to the letter? Wouldn't God want me to be happy?
I stumbled upon the Modern Pagan Community through my best friend's brother's wife's (whew!) Pagan parenting site. I was curious. I did some more surfing; then I started to study. Every book that I've read (thus far) has told me that I do not have to abandon my faith completely to embrace a Pagan path. True, a lot of people are going to think that I want to have my cake and eat it too, BUT, as I wrote above, I'm certain that there was a force that led, and still leads, us all. Christ just happened to be human. But He was born of a Virgin birth, and to me, that makes Mary a Goddess.
In addition, being very interested in my paternal Irish heritage since I never knew my father, I started to read about the Celts. I learned that there are more Churches in Ireland named after Bridget than there are after Mary! She's also recognized as a Roman Catholic Saint! So I guess I'm drawn to Brigid as Goddess, and Cernunnos as one of the Gods. And Jesus Christ.
However, I must note that I now feel some peace in my life in my studies. I get confused, and I haven't even gotten started with practicing anything, so I'm sure I'll screw up left and right, but I don't think I need to abandon my believe in the Man nor the Lord and the Lady of the Universe.
| My Gods Are Infinite, Everything, Deity, Gaia And The Cosmos. To Be... ||Apr 30th. at 2:27:02 pm UTC|
|Ben (Leeds, England UK) ||Age: 27 |
My Gods are infinite, everything, Deity, Gaia and the cosmos. To be touched by Them is to know that They are so old and cover everything here that was, is, and will be.
I think that They have to have touched you for you to come to Them, its a kind of calling I guess. It doesn't matter when or at what stage of your life you're at, They will pick you up for reasons only known to them.
They guide and protect us like children and we repay that with the smallest tokens. Why us? It is not something I feel that I will ever know but I draw so much strength and comfort from Them. The feelings I get when They are with me are all the proof I need of Their omnipotent presence. They can alter karma, They can deal fate, nothing is outside Their bounds, its just that we are so small and easily hurt that They choose to treat us gently. We can't try to pidgeon hole these most wonderous and magickal ones. We shouldn't try too hard to pin Them down and make Them easy to understand because They are not. When you feel Them near you for the first time, most of the teachings become just a background noise.
My Goddess and God are everything and whatever my calling is, I just hope I live up to it.
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