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Posted: Nov. 17, 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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| 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 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.
| 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.
| 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..
| 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 email@example.com, I love to exchange ideas and have conversation with other pagans! Also, my Yahoo!Messanger name is ladyangelwings2000. Blessings and Light! Whitefeather
| 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.
| My Gods/goddesses For The Most Part Have Chosen Me And In... ||May 2nd. at 6:41:36 pm EDT|
|Bridget Blackwater (Santa Barbara, California US) ||Age: 22 |
My Gods/Goddesses for the most part have chosen me and in oddly demanding ways as well. To me, they are guides, companions and teachers. For instance, Rhiannon, when she comes to call, likes to almost literally knock me around with her chosen method, and I end up with very real bruises in the morning. She also guides me through the "otherworld", because there I have no "eyes" if you will. Other goddesses come in touch with me as well, Kwan Yin and Brigid are both mothering type goddesses, and come to me when I need them the most.
I don't believe anything can turn over Karma or the Fates, what will happen will happen. The believe strongly that higher powers know us well enough to know what we truly desire and what is spur of the moment.
In general, my experiance with the higher powers have a tendancy to be more enlightening that frightening, and more relaxed than formal. This echoes the way I practice my rituals, and the way I hold my values to me. I believe we are all here for some purpose, we just don't always know where, when and what it will be.
| I Don't Know If I Chose My Gods Or If They Chose... ||May 2nd. at 1:45:20 pm EDT|
|suzin roberts (dundee, England UK) ||Age: 14 - Email |
I don't know if I chose my gods or if they chose me, I've always been to drawn to certain ones. Aradia is my goddess and Pan my god. I do go to other deities but these are my main ones. I don't know why and I guess I never will but I have a feeling that they somehow chose me.
| My Goddess Is Sekhmet. She Chose Me. She Is My Mother. Krishna... ||May 2nd. at 7:31:48 am EDT|
|Shepsut (columbus, Ohio US) ||Age: 30 |
my Goddess is Sekhmet. she chose me. she is my mother. Krishna is my God. He also chose me.
| I Read A Lot Of Books About Greek And Egyptain Mythology When... ||May 2nd. at 4:45:18 am EDT|
|Alanna (Rockingham, Western Australia AU) ||Age: 22 |
I read a lot of books about Greek and Egyptain mythology when I was younger, and once or twice I can remeber praying to Athena and Maa't. Then on holiday in Queensland I was given a book on the Celts. My favourite part was on their religion. It made the biggest impression of my 8 year old life. When I got older, all these gods and goddess's made more sence then being a Christain did. So I began with Hecate, Athena, Isis, Maa't and The Morrigan. I see Them as an distant, yet here with me beings. Their biggest impact was when I was 13. It was Samhain, and I was depressed as anything. I heard a soft, gentle voice, but like the winds rolling through the tops of the trees. They (i'm not sure who) spoke to me, and told me the answer was in my heart. It was and still is, and I am more happier whenever I think of that moment, then I ever have been
| Who Are My Gods/ancestors? The Primary Spirits With Whom I Associate... ||May 2nd. at 2:20:12 am EDT|
|the ShadowDancer (Tucson, Arizona US) ||Age: 47 - Email |
WHO ARE MY GODS/ANCESTORS? The primary spirits with whom I associate myself certainly have been called Gods/Goddesses over time. They are seven in number. Old testament type Hebrews called them Elohim, and one of their number became EL, the old testament "GOD". Prior to that (by 1000's of years) proto-hindu shamans thought that they lived on top of a sacred mountain to the north of India. Prior to that Siberian shamans associated them with the seven stars in Ursa Major. To me they are agents of a greater Unity, responsible for certain matters on and around this planet-- humanity, in particular. My realtionship to them is that of student to teacher-- I learn from them, they require certain tasks of me in this middle world. (My ancestors are a different matter entirely, though my association is similar).
INITIALLY, they chose me, but it is my responsibility to seek them out. They are pretty busy, and I doubt that I have ever had the attention of all 7 at once.
They are DISTINCT BEINGS for sure, however not exactly distinct personalities. (It seems presumptous to assume that beings of pure spirit manifest in such mundane psychological typologies as personalities). They do differ as to what tasks they are responsible for. Some are male, some female.
THE FATES/NORNS/WEIRDS refer generally to our destiny in THIS LIFETIME. That destiny can certainly be altered by adhering to a spiritual path, following a particular "God/Goddess", etc. It is exceedingly rare, however, that they will do it for you, generally it must be a choice made and followed by your own free will. Random events are part of the variance (Chaos!) of fate, this cannot be emphasised enough. (Is it real or is it Memorex, only your hairdresser knows for sure!!)
KARMA has to do with how soon you will reach the ULTIMATE DESTINY of you soul-- a matter strictly between you and your higher self. This is not really the domain of the "Gods/Goddesses", unless you bring it to them.
PRAYER works, but not outside the bounds of Destiny.
INVOCATION is outside the bounds of my personal practices, so I won't comment.
YES, I AM AWARE that the spirits use me. It is fine with me, I am glad to be of service to the greater good of humanity. By my free choice, I am a servant of the "Light", though I am well acquainted with the "Dark".
My life was transformed 20 years ago from one of complete hedonistic pursuit, selfishness, and despair to one of spiritual awareness, service, and hope. I am not complaining.
| I Once Read Somewhere That The Great Divine Forces Are Limitless In... ||May 2nd. at 1:56:21 am EDT|
|Nick (Shakopee, Minnesota US) ||Age: 20 - Email |
I once read somewhere that the great divine forces are limitless in all aspects. There are no oposites or duallities to the divine else there would be limits set upon the divine. Since the human mind sees everything in oposites (black, white; up, down; male, female; ect.) something of this magnatude is beond human comprehention. So inorder to compensate for our mind's lack of scope, we have to put these limitations upon the divine to help us understand it better. This is why many pagans worship both a God and a Goddess. It is very difficult to explain to anyone how something can be both masculin and femmenin but at the same time be niether. This is also why many Christians believe in both god and the devil. Try to explain to them that God is both good and evil, yet neither too.
This all is someone elses theory written in my own words. I can't remember where I read it but it stuck in my head cause it made sence to me. It helped me to understand how all religions can be right when they say that the God/dess that they worship is THE God/dess. It's just that they call their God/dess by a different name.
The form of the divine that I worship depends on the ceremony, problem, or whatever else I may need. If I can place a name of a god to the problem than I refer to that name. Otherwise I just don't use a name and refer to him/her as god/dess.
I don't actualy believe that the divine forces actualy awnser prayers, but it is us that awnser our own prayers at a subconcious level. Well since I see the divine as nature, and we are a part of nature, I guess that in a since it is the divine that awnsers us but more importantly it is that piece of divine that is inside of us.
Many of you may understand what I'm saying wile others may be totaly confused. Don't worry. All this stuff blows my mind away just trying to comprehend it all. I'm not even gonna try to say that I understand everything that falls under this theory. Like it says above, The divine is beyond human comprehention.
PS... I would love to give creddit to the person who thought up this theory but I don't have a name to give. I can't even remember where I heard it from. If anyone can tell me who it was or what book to find it in than please let me know. I would love to read more about it but I haven't stumbled across it again yet.
Nick (self proclaimed fluffy bunny pagan)
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