Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Questioning Living Gods and Goddesses
Article ID: 11174
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Lady Rain StarDragon (Teresa Garcia)
Posted: February 18th. 2007
Times Viewed: 2,049
The worship of a deity is a personal thing. How much more personal does that become if the chosen deity is a living breathing entity?
What happens when one's vision of the Holy has a house, sits typing on a manuscript just about every day for at least an hour, sometimes is pulled down by a couple of rambunctious children, or lives an otherwise normal life?
Who wants to worship that, isn't is sort of boring?
What if one day you are minding your own business, perhaps feeling sick as a dog, and not feeling up to being a Teacher, much less able to focus on your connection to Goddess and God and then someone decides that you are their object of worship? Actually, it sort of sounds like the opening for a cheesy movie, and it's not a question that most people seem to ask.
There are those who say deity is present in everything: the sky, the rocks, the trees, the person on the other end of the phone, even the dog that just left a present where you could step on it in your front yard.
Others say that Deity is above the world around us, removed and watching from a distance. Still other people believe that we are each a flowering God or Goddess and other people believe in no gods at all.
Some call these beings other names, like Kami as an example. Personally, it is my belief that we are all Gods and Goddesses, all at different states of evolution. We are all Kami.
Taking the belief that everyone is a deity, it is then possible to worship another living being. If one believes that everyone is a deity though, why would anyone want to worship someone at all?
What is worship? Why do some people get all bent up about it?
What makes a dead person, a lake, the sun, or anything else different than a living breathing person?
Why do I feel my insides drop if asked the hypothetical question of what will you do if someone wants to worship you?
Webster-Merriam has this to say about the meaning of worship. As a noun it is “1 chiefly British: a person of importance -- used as a title for various officials (as magistrates and some mayors) 2: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also: an act of expressing such reverence 3: a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual 4: extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem.” As a verb, the online version of that dictionary has this to say: “transitive verb 1: to honor or reverence as a divine being or supernatural power 2: to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion intransitive verb: to perform or take part in worship or an act of worship.”
For me, worshiping an embodied soul smacks of a cult and I certainly don't like the idea of the things celebrities deal with. I am both a normal person and a very unusual person, with a history of things I have discovered that not even I am fully willing to believe at times.
In a distant past, for all I know, I too could have been one of those unfortunate enough to have a bunch of people following me around and such. It is a rather creepy thought personally; I've always been one to prefer solitude.
When worshiping something, you give away part of yourself to whatever it is, whether a tree, the Ultimate, or Uncle Bob. It is a question that I have begun to ponder again, the first time in a very long time and precipitated by an event. In order to answer the question for myself, I decided to try a thought experiment.
Kara worships the Goddess and, for her, Goddess is the great animating force. Let's say that Kara sees both male and female as necessary and that for a long time she worshiped only Goddess as that is what pertained to her life. This being and force was everywhere and in everything as she saw things.
To Kara, God was part of Goddess as well as separate, and the relationship between the three was good. Kara's metaphysical life flowed smoothly even when taking into account the rocks in the rapids she sometimes ended up navigating.
One day, let's say she notices that her energy is being affected strangely and something starts interfering with her when she meditates. When she ejects the uninvited presence, things return to normal again.
After a while, let's say that someone contacts Kara, wishing to become a student. Then, the bombshell comes; they want to learn not only the religion, but to become a personal acolyte and to worship her as Goddess.
In this scenario, she has had many students but there are things that she has not taught which had been directly revealed to her as the Goddess reveals different things to different people in many ways.
Kara is shocked and really doesn't know what to think. What should Kara say?
Now, let's say that her portable phone has a terrible battery and dies before she makes up her mind as to what to do.
A cult leader might have said, Yes. right off the bat. Kara wants nothing to do with cults. Sure, she could have used the money that was mentioned, but in her mind, it would not have been worth it.
What is a cult?
My trusty link to Merriam-Webster answered me thus “1: formal religious veneration: WORSHIP 2: a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also: its body of adherents 3: a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also: its body of adherents 4: a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator
5 a: great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially: such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b: the object of such devotion c: a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion.”
What is a Kami/God/Deity? What makes something worthy of being given worship?
I came up with the fact that something must give a sense of awe and majesty, and have some kind of power. Why worship the Great Mother, or Amaterasu, Lugh, a great storywriter, or a host of other beings? They have to do something, or at least it seems that way.
People pray to these for favors, whether it's light, companionship, the next novel, good health, or something else.
With this thought in mind, my experimental woman recoiled in horror, not wanting to be prayed to for favors. Is that how others have reacted? Is it how the Dalai Lama would have reacted, or Cerridwen, or even (to borrow a four letter string seen everywhere sometimes) Jesus?
Where is the line between an every day human and the Gods?
Is it at some great act, some grand contribution? What has Kara done, or me, or even Morihei Ueshiba (Ok, he founded Aikido and he passed in 1969).
My daughter noticed that I was deeply involved in thought by how long I had been sitting in front of our main shrine. As any curious child, she asked the words that sometimes come to often “Are you talking to the Kami again (She's set on going to a shrine someday and getting the training to be a Shinto Priestess), or are you just thinking?”
On hearing my answer she asked what I was thinking about. I was blown away by what she said.
Apparently she had always considered me a goddess because I “talk to spirits and help the plants green, and know just what to do to help something heal or make a picture look better.”
My mental experiment ultimately flopped dismally leaving me no more enlightened than I had been before. The idea of someone enshrining me still gives me the willies, even if they acknowledge I'm a human and prone to rather grandiose goof-ups. But I still believe that we are all Sacred, all Deity and Divine.
I still don't know what makes it okay to pray to Amaterasu or Tiamat and not to Kara or Bill, but I hope to understand better one day.
Lady Rain StarDragon (Teresa Garcia)
Location: McCloud, California
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