The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
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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| My Pair Is Inari, The Shinto God Of Rice, And Therefore Wealth... ||May 1st. at 11:31:14 pm EDT|
|Amanda (Providence, Rhode Island US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
My pair is Inari, the Shinto god of rice, and therefore wealth; and Athena, Roman goddess of wisdom, arts, justice, and skill. Athena speaks to me of all the things I should be, and I try hard to model myself after Her. Strong, but wise. Inari's messengers are the kitsune, or fox spirits in Japan... I identify strongly with them, so I feel like I serve Inari in that way.
I don't know if I've exactly been chosen by Them, so that probably means I haven't. Either way, though, I serve Them faithfully, and I feel as if They watch over me. In my opinion, They can change the course of events that seem beyond all control, and I think They would do so if I sorely needed it and there was no other way out. Otherwise, I believe the gods would prefer to not have to spoon feed us, and that we should find our own solutions, turning only to Them for help when there is nothing else to do.
| Mine Are The Greek Gods And Goddess I.e. Zeus, Athena, And Hestia... ||May 1st. at 8:25:24 pm EDT|
|John (Sparrowbush, New York US) ||Age: 14 - Email |
Mine are the Greek Gods and Goddess i.e. Zeus, Athena, and Hestia etc. Ever since I was little I read stories about them from different books. Basically when I just saw a Library book on the floor in the back of the Library where nobody goes (I still don't know why I was in that spot) and I just started reading. Then a couple years later I heard about Wicca and it just clicked. So in a mystical way I guess they chose me.
| The Great Goddess. She's Been With Me All Through Life, I Just... ||May 1st. at 7:27:33 pm EDT|
|Dan (Jackson, Michigan US) ||Age: 16 |
The Great Goddess. She's been with me all through life, I just didn't call her the Goddess, or Lady, untill recentely. Whether she's in one or another form that she sees fit, to me it does not matter, all that matters is that she is extremely important in my life. In all reality, I know that all Gods are One, and all Goddesses One, yet I choose to see that One as the Lady. She can be seen in thousands of different forms, millions of differeant species, and both sexes. It all depends on the eye of the beholder.
| This Is Just My View - I Don't Believe It Is "right" For... ||May 1st. at 6:53:12 pm EDT|
|Iko (Chicago, Illinois US) ||Age: 37 - Email |
This is just my view - I don't believe it is "right" for anybody but me. I respect all others views of the Divine, as I hope mine are respected.
We are all but drops of water in the vast ocean of being. The Divine holds the ocean, is the ocean and is the dark limitless abyss that surrounds the ocean. The Divine is in me, in you, in everything and at the same time is separate. We all come from the Divine, and we all return to the Divine. The Divine exists without us; we could not exist without the Divine. Just as we have been told the flapping of a butterfly's wings on the African continent can start the breeze that turns into a hurricane thousands of miles away that slams into the North American coast, the actions of one drop - your actions, my actions - in the ocean can effect all others and all outcomes. This is karma. All is connected. There is no predetermination of events, but there is always a price for any choice. And there always is choice. We can contact the Divine, as it resides in each of us and in everything around us. The mental images I have of the Goddess and God are just attempts my brain makes to grasp the ungraspable, the attributes I give to them are just attempts my mind makes to give limits to the limitless. Yet I do give the divine attributes, and do feel more connected to certain portrayals of Gods and Goddesses than to others. There are moments of clarity, moments of perception, moments when the "veils lift" at which time we can peek into what is not "real" on this our physical plain - and can look into but a fraction of an inch of the limitlessness of the Divine. This has happened to on rare occasions throughout my life. These are tremendously personal and profound experiences, each has been life altering. I have no idea why they happened when they happened other than to say I was ready to see something I had not seen before. I do not think the Divine decided when this time was to be, I think I reached a point where I was (subconsciously) open to the possibility of a different perspective and when I was ready I saw it.
Again, these are just my views - I would not ask anyone else to accept or embrace them.
| The Gods/goddesses That I Have Felt The Strongest Connection With Are... ||May 1st. at 4:22:09 pm EDT|
|Kaldor Kallindre (Springfield, Tennessee US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
The Gods/Goddesses that I have felt the strongest connection with are the strong Norse Gods/Goddesses: Thor, Odin, Sif, and Freyja. They are the directing forces in my life. They teach me to be as a mother wolf protecting her family. Families are very important, and I am lucky to have been given one to take care of. When I ask for something from Them, which is rare, it is usually worked hard for, and then the acheivement is attributed to my hard work, rather than Their intervention... usually by my family. They all seem to feel that the only deity that has ANY power over this world is their own, and that all other forms of divinity are evil incarnations of Satan. woo - hoo.The things I'm used to here in the southern bible belt. All of my prayers are answered at some time or other, of this I'm sure. Once when I was just sitting in the woods behind my mother's house, I felt and heard someone behind me. I would stop whatever I was doing and look around and see nothing and nobody. I called up a protective circle, and began to meditate, and saw that it was none other than Thor Himself walking in the woods behind me. I asked Him why he was there, and got only this, "Just checking on an investment.." I could get no further information from Him. I just took it at face value, smiled and thanked him, and went on with my day. In time, I searched and looked and finally settled on Thor, Sif, Odin, and Freyja as my Gods and Goddesses. They have guided me and protected me on my journey through this life. I can only hope their enjoyable company will be there for my next lives :)
| Truth Is One, And The Sages Call It By Different Names." Thus... ||May 1st. at 2:52:37 pm EDT|
|John (New Naumkeag) ||Age: 33 - Email |
"Truth is One, and the sages call It by different Names."
Thus teaches the Rig Veda (Hindu, i.e. pagan, scripture), and that is what I believe. The rest --the vast rest-- is the commentary, experiences, etc. of the sages about Truth.
Blessed Beltaine / Blessed Samhain.
| The Lord And Lady Have Each Chosen Unique And Interesting Ways To... ||May 1st. at 10:17:04 am EDT|
|Jade Woulf (Columbia, South Carolina US) ||Age: 20 |
The Lord and Lady have each chosen unique and interesting ways to reveal themselves to me.
The Lady first came to me right after I bought my first "Pagan" book. It was Celtic Myth & Magick by Edain McCoy (wonderful book by the way).
In one part of the book she gives an example of asking the God/Goddess for help in a time of need. The example she gave was calling on the Irish-Celtic Goddess Flidais (think of the Celtic equivalant to Diana) to aid in the help of healing a dog's broken leg. Well, less than a week after reading this section, my father accidentally ran over my dog (actually the dog owns me:)) and broke his leg. We rushed him to the vet and an X-Ray revealed that the bone had been turned around. The vet reccommended us to a specialist that could hopefully fix the leg.
Of course, I knew that this was NOT a coincidence. As soon as I got back home, I grabbed my book and re-read the section and ran out to the woods and performed the ritual to the best of my ability. This was the first ritual I had EVER done. Fortunately, Flidais didn't mind that it wasn't exactly the most perfect ceremony.
Despite the fact that my dog had to have both a pin and a plate put on his leg and the vet saying he may end up with a limp, he healed perfectly. The only time I think he suffered was not being able to go outside right away and play with his buddies. Other than that, he was running around and jumping as high as he could. No one has ever been able to notice that he had a broken leg without me informing them. Since then he and I have become closer and share a very strong bond. Whenever I come home from college to visit, he is the first one to greet me. I can not wait until this fall when he is able to move into my new apartment with me (I live on campus at the present).
The Lord chose a more humourous way to reveal Himself to me. In fact, it was only about a month ago He decided he was going to give me a name that I could call Him instead of always having to say "Lord." Flidais is usually pictured riding on a stag and was usually considered the consort of the Horned God.
I all ready knew the Lord showed himself to me with stag antlers on his head. A friend from a college group I had just joined suggested that it could be Cernunnos. I looked it up, but it still didn't feel right to call him Cernunnos. That very same night a few people had not been able to come to the group's meeting. It was four other girls and me. Five female Witches in a room is just begging for some male energy to balance us out. :)
The same friend who suggested Cernunnos brought along her CD of Pagan songs. I had never heard the CD before, but I loved it immediately. That played in the background while we all just talked about this and that. Of course, the conversation turned the mysteries of men and other subjects of female interest. At one point we were all sitting rather close together (later it was pointed it that we seemed to be sitting in the shape of a Pentagram), when a girl said that if we were interested she could read our auras if we turned out the light.
She read our auras (nothing too thrilling) and we talked for a few seconds more in the dark. A certain song came on and, as if on cue, we all started singing. I had only heard the song once or twice before that evening, but somehow I knew the words. By this time my eyes had adjusted to the dark when I looked next to this cabinet thing that's in the room and I thought I saw something.
I immediately could see the outline of a stag! I looked up to his antlers and ball shaped energy (like a small sun) shot into my face. It didn't scare me though. I was just feeling incredible energy we had raised in the room and I was enjoying the sight.
I didn't say anything at first (didn't want to be called nuts), but when I opened my mouth to mention it the girl who read our auras asked if anyone else saw the stag next to the cabinet. We all saw it! It was at this point that someone realized that we had not cast a circle and the lights came back on out of fear we could attract some unwanted energy. We thanked the God for showing himself to us (we were all in agreement that this was the Horned God) and I told one girl (who is a Priestess of Lugh) what I saw coming into my face. She raised her sleeve to reveal a tattoo and said, "Is this what you saw?" It was the exact same ball I had seen! I had never seen her tatto before! She told me, "Uh, Jade, you might just want to look into Lugh!"
We went outside and released a lot of energy, but each of us reported a stag follwed us home that night. We still laugh about Lugh's way of saying, "Hi!" to me. I still smile when I think about it. I have always been aware of the Lord and Lady's sense of humor, but this took the cake for me.
| At The Most Basic Level, I See "divinity" Simply As Two Powerful... ||May 1st. at 10:09:28 am EDT|
|Medea (Fort Wayne, Indiana US) ||Age: 40 - Email |
At the most basic level, I see "divinity" simply as two powerful forces of nature, male and female, opposing and balanced, infusing all things. However, these forces manifest themselves to me, personally, as goddess and god. Physically I am of Celtic and Germanic origin, but I have been powerfully drawn since early childhood to the pantheon of the Ancient Greeks. My patron goddess is Hekate, and she is a very powerful force in my daily life; I can't remember a time when I wasn't drawn to her, even before I knew there were such things as modern pagans. My patron gods are Hermes and Pan (they seem to do a good job of representing my dual Sagittarian nature). I honor my deities and seek their guidance, but I don't expect them to answer my prayers -- my life is my responsbility, whether I resort to magick or more mundane methods to achieve my goals. I do believe in Fate (and reincarnation), but since I cannot really know my destiny, I simply go with the flow and live my life the best I can with guidance from my deities.
| I Have To Admit That My Gods Are Nameless. (apologies For The... ||May 1st. at 7:39:30 am EDT|
|Dryad (Aberdeen, England UK) ||Age: 32 - Email |
I have to admit that my Gods are nameless. (apologies for the lack of periods, my keyboard is having troubles today) In my prayers I call them Lord and Lady, Sun and Moon. I do call on some of the Gods by names that I am comfortable with, aspects that I am comfortable with.. They have definitely chosen me...but I've chosen them, too. Personally I believe that we are all worshipping different aspects of the same thing - The Force, to put it in Jedi terms.
I can't say I believe in a strict interpretation of Karma - I think we choose whether or not we return to this earthly plane, using as a school to explore issues that we mauy or may not have had to deal with in a past life. But that doesn't mean returning to earth is a punishment, either. Yet, on the other leaf, I do believe in fate, and that in each moment what we choose has a great bearing on that fate. Eating organic yogurt today might mean I won't have yeast problems, or that there will be more organic farms which will in turn make more organic products then eaten by more people, making land mor sustainable, etc, etc, etc. Or maybe eating yogurt means that I won't get salmonella from a somewhat uncooked egg. Of course I pray to the Fates to do this or that, but I ultimately try to expect that things will turn out for the best - even when that means I don't get something I want, or things turn out differently than I expected.
My most powerful encounter with the Fates was actually in meeting my husband. We met online, neither of us expecting to fall in love or get married, in fact I can say for sure the very idea wasn't even in our heads! But had I not gotten in that chat room when I did, had he not quoted lyrics from my favorite musician, well....who knows where either of us would be now?
| I've Only Been A Practicing Eclectic Wiccan For Three Years, So I'm... ||Apr 30th. at 11:06:11 pm EDT|
|Bryony Ravenwillow (Kansas City, Missouri US) ||Age: 32 |
I've only been a practicing eclectic Wiccan for three years, so I'm still pretty new to my path. To me, all gods and goddesses are aspects of one Lord and one Lady, and that together they form a complementary whole, like a yin/yang symbol. So while I see the Lady and Lord as whole beings in themselves, I am still drawn to god/dess aspects. The first goddess aspect to find me was Hecate. Three years ago when I was still looking for "my" goddess, it seemed that every book I scanned or flipped through would mysteriously (some would say magickally) fall open to the page about Hecate. So when I finally did my first ritual, it was Hecate I invoked. I had no tools, no script, nothing. I wasn't even completely certain I was doing it right. I told her so, apologized for my lack of knowledge, and asked her to help show me the way. I was blessing my first deck of tarot cards that night, and I guess she was listening, because it soon became clear that while I was a complete neophyte in all things pagan, I could do a mean tarot reading! So Hecate will always occupy a special place in my heart for her willingness to help a new seeker find her path.
My god aspect isn't so clearly defined. I have an affinity towards Cernunnos and the Green Man. I'm currently wrestling with a personal difficulty, and yesterday I saw the Green Man in the trees. While I'm still concerned about how my difficulty will resolve, his appearance gave me great comfort at a time when I needed it. So I think it's safe to say that the Lady and Lord do answer prayers, even if they're unspoken.
| I Call Myself An Omnitheist, Meaning That I Worship All Of The... ||Apr 30th. at 10:55:31 pm EDT|
|redwulf25 (Muskegon (soon to be Denver), Michigan US) ||Age: 24 - Email |
I call myself an Omnitheist, meaning that I worship all of the gods, like most though I have one patron and he is the god I know as Trickster. HE was known by many names in many cultures, to the Native Americans he was Raven, or Cyote (ok so I can't spell cyote . . .), to the Greeks Prometheous, to the Noris he was Loki, etc. I have seen for myself my patron overturn laws of fate, and ocasionaly of nature at my request but my patron being who he is it's offten done in a way I did not expect, often in ways I suspect he finds amusing which ocasionaly invalidate the reason for the request. In keeping with Tricksters nature however there is alwayse a lesson to go with his pranks. Ocasionaly he takes it upon himself to have a little fun at my expence without my request, but again there is alwayse a lesson even if it seems to be only "Laugh at life, it's very amusing even when it seems like everythings going to s**t." And yes I've also found that the gods use me on ocasion, I've learned to flow with it and find my life works out better if I do. I get much less thrown my way when I let the gods have theirs, and ocasionaly they'll throw me a bonus.
| For Years, I Have Felt A Special Connection To The Goddess Artemis... ||Apr 30th. at 9:14:03 pm EDT|
|Misti Grimmett (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
For years, I have felt a special connection to the Goddess Artemis and many like her. Even while I still called myself a Christian, I looked to Her as a source of strength and courage. As I've grown older, I find myself still looking towards Her for the same reasons I did before, but now I am also exploring the facets of the Gods and Goddesses whose characterists/abilities suit my needs. I try to look for the Ones who will be able to help me in the long run as well as the Ones who could help me in the present. I suppose you could say that I chose Them, although the mere fact that I was searching for Them and found what I needed suggests to me that They were probably choosing to help me at the same time.
I believe that the Gods and Goddesses are higher beings with distinct personalities. When I have been in contact with them during ritual and prayer, I have felt the differences in the individual God or Goddess I have called. However, I also believe that all Gods and Goddesses, as we have perceived them since modern times, are facets of a single male Force and a single female Force. I don't see why these two beliefs cannot coexist in my mind, since they really do make sense to me side by side.
The Gods and Goddesses can intervene in our lives, perhaps affecting Fate in different ways. They can be subtle, or they can be as obvious as a hurricane that was miraculously driven off-course. I do not claim to know for certain why some prayers are answere while others are not. However, there are times when I am sure it is the Goddess and God's way of telling me I really didn't need what I thought I did, and They are almost always right on target with that. My belief is that we are given many lives so that the Gods' plans for our specific souls can be unraveled and perfected. I find that to be a very comforting thought that motivates me to help Them along.
My most powerful and meaningful encounter with Them was very early on in my pagan journey. I was trying to meditate for the first time, and it just wasn't working. I had run through the visualization practices, tried to calm my breathing, slow my heartbeat, but I wasn't getting the results I wanted. By chance, I'd been going through some rocks I'd collected earlier at the beach. It's one of my hobbies. I was holding a normal sandstone, small, gray, fitting the palm of my hand pretty much perfectly, when I decided to try meditation one last time. I sent up a prayer to the Goddess to help me, meanwhile clutching that rock, even though I wasn't aware of it.
Everything clicked then. I was meditating and I wasn't even trying hard. I saw Her, in my mind's eye. She was so beautiful, and She smiled at me and held out her arms. I went into them and laid my head on her shoulder.
I can't tell you how long I meditated. The candle beside me was a pool of wax and a lit wick by the time I came out of the trance. And the rock I was holding had turned black with the moisture and heat from my hand as I held it.
The rock never changed back to gray. I carried it with me for two years, and I lost it one day at a different beach than the one where I'd originally found it. I regret that, but I hope someone else finds it, and that they will use it as they see fit. As for me, I have felt closer to the Goddess ever since, and whenever I need help or comfort from some tragedy in my life, I close my eyes and let Her arms enfold me.
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