Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
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
Days Up: 2,576
Times Read: 2,249
RSS Views: 75,212
Author: Lady Rain StarDragon (Teresa Garcia)
Posted: February 18th. 2007
Times Viewed: 2,249
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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