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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 20,880,224  

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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. Reverse Sort 

Like So Many Other Parts Of Wicca, There Are Quite A Few... May 2nd. at 9:51:07 pm EDT

Nexy Jo (saddle brook, New Jersey US) Age: 45 - Email

Like so many other parts of Wicca, there are quite a few different views and beliefs of divinity. When I was growing up, I was taught what I believe to be the traditional perception of god – an old man with a long white beard, sitting on a throne in heaven, handing out justice and judgment, and watching all and in control of the universe. This image never sat well with me.

I believe that the universe itself, and everything in it, makes up god. All the galaxies, suns, planets, everything on earth, including us, is all a part of and makes up god, with the whole being greater than the sum of it’s parts. With this in mind, we are all made of “god stuff”, along with everything else. This ties in well with the concept of love and respect for everything, since everything is a part of god, and worthy of love and respect. In this view, there is one god. Just as all the cells in our bodies, while alive in and of themselves, together make up a human being, all the “things” in the universe together make up god. And in both cases, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Since my view of god is so unimaginable, so infinite, and encompasses so much, everything in fact, I choose to celebrate god in two aspects. A goddess and a god. So many things seem to take the form of “polarities” or opposites in the universe, i.e. light and dark, male and female, wet and dry, hot and cold, that this works quite well for me. Another common saying in Wicca is “as above, so below”. This refers to the apparent similarities between god and everything on the physical plane of existence. Even the bible would seem to incorporate this view to some degree with its statement that “man was created in the image of god”. Of course, since in my view, god is the universe, this is an obvious conclusion. So knowing about the things in this earth, nature and the like, can give us insight into the nature of god, bringing us closer to divinity.

I purposely used the word “celebrate”, and not “worship”. To me, “worship” conjures images of unworthy subjects groveling at the feet of those much more important – and in my view, all of life and the universe is “worthy” of respect. “Celebrate”, on the other hand, brings images of dancing, and love, and enjoyable times – things that sit much better with me when I think of divinity.

I don’t see the goddess and the god as two separate beings. Instead, I see them as aspects, or representations, of a part of divinity. The goddess is the female aspect, though not necessarily in the sense of gender. Female attributes include receptiveness, as opposed to projectiveness, soft as opposed to hard, black as opposed to white, and so on.

Some Wiccans see them as separate beings, and some also celebrate a pantheon of goddesses and gods, either as separate beings, or aspects of the two. I find the two aspects of divinity, the goddess and the god, to work perfectly for me.

I don’t see divinity as a guiding force, controlling or directing the happenings in the universe. Instead, if anything, divinity sparked the “big bang”, set up the “rules”, and let the cards fall as they may. In this view, free will rules, and we all have some control over our own destiny. Additionally, we all must take responsibility for our actions. There’s no devil to blame when we act inappropriately. We sent out evil and hate, and that’s what comes back to us, or we send out good and love, and that’s what comes back to us. If we are unsatisfied with our lives, we must take positive action to make a change for the better. In this way, prayer, or spells for that matter, simply helps with our motivation to make this change – there’s no “divine intervention” to save us from ourselves.

In spite of the apparent passive role that the previous paragraph indicates about divinity, the ability to celebrate from pretty much anywhere, one’s home, in nature, and even while sitting in traffic, without a rabbi or priest acting as an intermediary, and outside the trappings of a temple or church, allows for a closer relationship with divinity, at least for me. In effect, all Wiccans are priestesses and priests, and the whole world is a temple.

Because of god's passive role, one must live with whatever the laws of karma, fate, and/or destiny have in store for you. Reincarnation is in my belief system, so it's very possible to carry karma, or the results of the law of returns from one life to another. God won't interfere with that - only we have the power to do that.

All prayers are answered. Sometimes however, the answer is no. Prayer is a focus of will, toward a desired change. Sometimes, our will is strong enough to cause that change, either directly or indirectly. Sometimes it's not, or someone else's will is simply stronger than ours. Or, in cases of karma and the law of returns, sometimes even will cannot stop those forces of nature.

There are times when i feel like a pawn in a plan for the greater good. I suppose i don't like it, but hey, it's like like you can argue. Well, I could complain, but I don't think she takes to kindly to too many complaints...

Finding my spirituality - finding god, was my most meaningful experience. It seemed everything just fell into place after that. Don't get me wrong - things still go wrong, and I still suffer, and feel pain, but at least now, there is meaning.

Mm! I'll Get Right To It. I Believe In The Goddess, The... May 2nd. at 10:56:59 pm EDT

Jen (Whitefeather) (Soo, Ont, Ontario CA) Age: 16 - Email

MM! I'll get right to it. I believe in the Goddess, the God and a Supreme Higher Up who is part of everyone and everything, like a big Oneness of the universe. I also believe in other (but not lesser) gods or goddesses. Artemis is the goddess I feel the closest too, along with Isis, Iris and Hecate. There aren't many gods I feel close to, except Pan. Zues is fun to tease, but not during a rain storm, I learned that a couple of years ago. lol Do I believe that these god/desses will overturn Karma and save my butt? Probably not, unless it's not ordained already. Whatever happens to me, it's in the cards. I believe they can do whatever they want, whenever, but are still subject to the Laws of Karma and the Laws of Nature.
Well, there it is, my views on the Powers that Be. Thanks for reading! email me at, I love to exchange ideas and have conversation with other pagans! Also, my Yahoo!Messanger name is ladyangelwings2000. Blessings and Light! Whitefeather

Bless Be All, I See A Universe The Is A Wonderful And... May 3rd. at 12:41:36 am EDT

Riki Crosado (Christchurch, New Zealand) Age: 34 - Email

Bless be all,
I see a universe the is a wonderful and amazing 'life'. We are children of this wonderful 'all'. I see at the top of this 'all' something that is so everything and so nothing, that I can not even think about giving it a name. It is the turning universe and the rolling waves of the sea. Below this I see a body of both male and female energy. I think the best symbol I have ever seen to represent this is the 'Yin-Yang'. Below this thier is a spilt. One line has the 'god' at its head, and the other has the 'Goddess'. below this I see the two ever meeting and changing thier names. The names that we know the gods by. This is so we can understand them. I myself have herne around my neck, but I spend a lot of time thinking about gaia..

My Patron Goddess Is Hecate, And I Have No Dominant Male Figurehead... May 3rd. at 1:38:54 am EDT

Hec8e (Brisbane, Queensland AU) Age: 19

My patron Goddess is Hecate, and I have no dominant male figurehead. She chose me and although I don't know how far her power stretches I know that I always feel safe because of her. At times she has 'taken over' my body and I feel like a totally differant person. I am strong and invincible and can feel power in me that I know the human body couldnt hold or control. I love and respect her and I think that she watches over me.

When I First Began Reading About The Craft, The First Goddess I... May 3rd. at 12:56:17 pm EDT

Monique (Chicago, Illinois US) Age: 16

When I first began reading about the Craft, the first Goddess I felt closest to was the Strega Aradia, both because of my Italian ancestory and that I admired how skillfully she went about helping pesants discover the beauty of the Old Religion. Through her, I found Diana & Lucifer. Their stories spoke to my heart, and I've worshipped them as the Mother and Father ever since. Every morning when I see the Sun, I feel the healing rays of Lucifer shining down upon me, and whenever I so much as set eyes upon the gorgeous Moon, it is non other than Diana's face I see as I whisper a blessing.

I call on this pair for my everyday needs, but when it comes to health emergencies with my loved ones, the Cat Goddess, Bast, has never failed me. Last year my 5-yr-old cat, who is the love of my life, got terribly sick- she wouldn't eat or show any affection. I lit candles & placed her fur & claw clippings at the foot of a statue of Bast. For days I prayed to her that my cat would be healed, and gradually she began to eat again. I feel that Bast lives inside the hearts of all animals, and that she never neglects us when we call upon her.

As far as how the gods influence our fate, I believe they use us to accomplish whatever they feel our souls can handle. I actually believe that we do not have much part in destiny; that what happens is usually inevitable. But I do not think the gods are cruel in their choices, and if a burden is too big for us to carry, I believe they will intervene.

There Is A Hindu Aphorism That Goes Something Like This: There Are... May 3rd. at 1:23:35 pm EDT

Hill Dwelling Pete (Boston, Massachusetts US) Age: 34 - Email

There is a Hindu aphorism that goes something like this: there are 4 million gods, there is one god, there is no god. My interpretation of this saying: the 4 million gods are the many distinct deities from the different historical pantheons (Greek gods, Aesir, Loa, Celtic gods, etc.), while the one god is the divine energy of which all these gods are manifestations. Saying there is no god in this context means that nothing is really separate from the ultimate totality of the universe. God, the universe, humans, animals, inanimate matter, etc. are all really one thing. It's all a matter of perspective.

Personally, I am most drawn to the Olympian gods, because these are the gods I was most exposed to when I was a kid, although I am also drawn to Herne, Holda and the Green Man. I honestly can't say if they have a separate reality from my own consciousness, are part of my mind, or are part of some Ultimate Oneness. It's all a matter of perspective, and my perspective changes all the time.

When I Started On This Journey, I Took Some Advice And Meditated... May 3rd. at 3:25:01 pm EDT

Turtlefeather (somewhere, North Carolina US) Age: 32 - Email

When I started on this journey, I took some advice and meditated on my personal god/goddess and symbol. I found myself on the top of the atmosphere looking out at the universe, the stars a brilliant dome all around. A wonderful jolly crone appeared and led me to meet my god/goddess. A young, androdgenous person dressed in white, stood before me in space with arms out to me in an offering. From Her/His hands a silver altar pentacle and a white scarf floated to me. I asked for a name and a beautiful voice said "Kor." Not having done any research on the subject of gods & goddesses, I thought I'd heard wrong. "How is it spelled?" I asked. "K-o-r, pronounced like the center of all things, core." Later I found out that Kore is also known as Persephone, the Spirit of Grain and daughter of Demeter. I was floored! It really worked! I was hooked.

I beleive that we are all connected and that our higher selves are manifest in what our imagination can conjure. Gods/Goddesses are not seperate from us humans - we are them and they are us - therefore only we can make things change, with our conscious and subconcious beings. We are on this planet to learn, grow and become better for the trip.

Blessed be and may it be for my highest good, and for the highest good of all life everywhere.

The Divine In My Life Just {is}! I Do Not Think Of... May 3rd. at 5:18:01 pm EDT

Samantha (Lawrenceville, Georgia US) Age: 29 - Email

The Divine in my life just {is}!
I do not think of merely male or female; my God-dess is both. The names and forms of Gods and Goddesses that I call into my life are "personality traits" of my one Supreme God-dess. I feel that even as complex as human communication is, Humanity cannot describe God-dess within the limitations of our language. We therefore assign human appearance and qualities to different aspects of God-dess so that we may worship/ honor within our own limitations.

My God-dess does show me a non-human form. There is a thin ribbon of possibility that balances between order and chaos. S/he runs through every particle in the universe. As the ribbon teeters, life and matter is created and destroyed. The energy which is the ribbon retains information of every creation. (Do you see how human language limits description?) As that ribbon teetered through the particles that became me, every creation before me became a part of me. My God-dess is always running through me; I have a symbiotic relationship with that ribbon. Everything I do, eat, breathe, create and destroy leaves its mark on that ribbon. When my body dies, the ribbon has teetered the other way (there is always a duality, isn't there?). The part of the ribbon that has been me will become something or someone else, complete with the information of every creation before it.

This is my most life altering encounter (thoughts that occur more often when eating a cheeseburger than when meditating!). It's made me think more often and in deeper ways about where I've been, where I am, and where I going.

I Have Been Given To Understand That I Have A Sort Of... May 3rd. at 5:20:04 pm EDT

Nelli (Carmel Valley, California US) Age: 24 - Email

I have been given to understand that I have a sort of unorthodox view of deity, for a witch. This is because I practice some zen buddhism, and am also a scientist; so my spiritual understandings/theories/beliefs are are heaviliy influenced by scientific and zen ways of thinking. that being said...
I define divinity as, well, everything. I believe that the universe is infinite (no beginning, no end, encompasses EVERYTHING that is, was and is yet to be), and that the fabric of this infinite existence - the energy, power, force, whatever - is divinity. And that fabric, of course, makes up everything in existence. I think that the concept of The Force as described in Star Wars is a helpfukl model for my idea of divinity.
As both a scientist and a witch, the law of return is key for me. As is discussed on TWV homepage this week, the universe balances itself. I believe that anything that seems like fate is simply the universe restoring balance.
I believe that prayer is directed energy, only different from a spell in that a Deity is used as a medium or intermediary through which that energy is channeled. Spells and prayers sometimes work and sometimes don't, because in the end, there's a lot more going on than just our need or desire - other forces from other individuals, from past present and future, all come into play. It is only when there are no significant overwhelming opposing forces that spells and prayers work - and I would submit that this is on a continuum, so that the probablility of a successful spell or prayer is inversely proportional to the amount of opposing force. And this is a huge conversation, so I think I'll stop - anyone who is curious about more detail is welcome to email me.
I believe that Gods/Goddesses are thoughtforms that are created, sustained and strengthened by their followers. I am ambivalent about whether these thoughtforms might take on an identity separate from their creators. I also see Gods/Goddesses as archetypes that can help my focus my energy, or give me comfort or something to contemplate.
My most powerful encounter with divinity was rather simple, in retrospect - I was at a local beach just after a huge winter storm. Most of the sand on the beach had been washed away, exposing these enormous sediment formations; and the waves were still very high and strong, and the sky was stormy. As I sat there, I suddenly realized both the vast size and the incredible age of our planet, which has seen waves crashing and storms raging for over 4 billion years, and will continue to witness these global events long after our species has passed from the earth. I was filled with an incredible sense of awe, reverence, and love for the universe, for all of existence, in all it's intricacy, vastness and chaos. I saw how small I am, and how small all human existence is, and yet I also saw that we are an inextricable part of this grand, ongoing, infinite symphony of existence. Each of us contain oceans, and storms, and planets, and galaxies, just as our earth and our galaxy contains us. I had discovered anew my sense of wonder.
And boy, can I babble on and on about it! :) sorry I ran on so long...
If anyone has any questions, polite comments, or any other polite communication, you are more than welcome to email me.
Blessings, and happy Beltaine!!

I Feel That Every Form Of Divinity On This Earth Is Right... May 4th. at 12:37:09 pm EDT

D.J. Bitter (Covington, Kentucky US) Age: 17

I feel that every form of Divinity on this earth is right, for the simple fact that the rituals and prayers and beliefs are the same. I am a (this is my own term) CathloPagBuddhist. I know I believe in Jesus because I love his light. I
love the Goddess Cerridwen because she was my mother. I also understan the Buddha's way of life. So I believe in every deity; Goddess, Jesus, Buddha, Allah and SHiva

I Worship The Goddess Ashera And The God Yahavah. They Are The... May 4th. at 1:36:07 pm EDT

Dovid (Amherst, Massachusetts US) Age: 29

I worship the Goddess Ashera and the God Yahavah. They are the ancient gods of the Hebrew people. I can safely say they called me. I "met" my God when I was young, He revealed himself in suttle ways and since the modern collective religion of the Hebrew people focuses basically entirely on Him I got to know Him pretty well. We have had a good relationship for many, many years. The Goddess however was a mystery to me. I knew only as Mother and Goddess until recently. I discovered Her name at a Beltain ritual and also saw a pendant. When I purchased the pendant our bond was almost instaneous. It is wonderful to have the connection with her and I am getting to fully know her. In the "traditional" observance, we focused on the female aspect of God on Friday nights, under the name Schinah. I now have the proper name to attach to that more abstract one. In the faith of the Hebrews, the masculine God surrounds the world, perhaps like the Father Sky; the feminine God(dess) dwells in the world, rather like Mother Earth or Mother Nature.
I do consider both to be united as one in a way not fully comprehendable by humans and I do consider them to be "higher beings" who were never human. I don't quite perceive them as All Powerful Rulers but rather as guides and co-creators with us. Traditional Judaism does teach that God works with humans to create our lives and the universe but that God does have a kind of veto power and can step in when things really get out of hand. Sometimes what we consider out of hand they may not. Also, our belief structure does seem to indicate that God (or the God and Goddess) learn. Indeed, we have a tradition that this is the second creation because God broke the first one by accident!
Concerning using me, I do beleive they do because I've asked them to. I don't think they would normally use someone without permission but that in extreme cases they do step in.
I can't say that I've had a life altering encounter other than to say that as I grow to know them more it has a profound impact on my life and I am really happy to have met both the God AND the Goddess of the Jewish/Hebrew people. I hope more of my people and the world at large also get to know them.
I should also say that I do believe the Gods and Goddesses to be one but they relate and exist in different ways concerning the names and our personal understandings behind them. I wouldn't say someone should consider that my understanding of the Divine Ones is exactly the same as thier understanding but I do think that as below so above, meaning I beleive all life is interconnected and it the deepest level we are all one.

My Gods... I Believe That There Are So Many Gods Out There... May 4th. at 2:33:55 pm EDT

Nick Taylor (Robins AFB, Georgia US) Age: 16 - Email

My Gods...
I believe that there are so many Gods out there, as many as there are stars in the heavens. But I also believe that the Gods who have ultimate power over you are the one to whom you devote yourself to. My Gods are that way. When they speak to me, it is only because they know that I long for their Graces and Time. The main Gods I worship are the Divine Creator, which is a sexless being who, like many pagans know, is the mix, and origin of the Goddess, and the God. I don't view the Goddess and the God as Seperate polarities, but as different types of wavelengths that resonate to gether in harmony, but yet at different, but fitting, frequencies. It is safe to say that the Goddess, and God are only names for additional sexless (Or androgynous) entities who represent the same things in the world that the Goddess and the God do.
To me, everything is a wave, and a consciousness, and the Divine Creator is the wave at which all things resonate. hat is why It is Harmony... Along with those of course are the Gods of Egypt, and Greece. They too, are waves, and consciences that resonate.

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