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Author Topic: God and Goddess  (Read 696 times)

Bluerose31

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God and Goddess
« on: November 26, 2017, 06:19:05 pm »
Do you incorporate both God and Goddess into your practice or do you focus on one or the other?

Redfaery

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2017, 06:50:53 pm »
Do you incorporate both God and Goddess into your practice or do you focus on one or the other?

I'm a hard polytheist in theory, but a flexible henotheist in practice. I honor my patroness Saraswati Devi pretty much exclusively, though I've petitioned other deities in the past as needed.
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Bluerose31

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2017, 06:53:00 pm »
I'm a hard polytheist in theory, but a flexible henotheist in practice. I honor my patroness Saraswati Devi pretty much exclusively, though I've petitioned other deities in the past as needed.
Wonderful :) I was not familiar with your patroness and just looked her up on google. She is beautiful.

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2017, 07:48:11 pm »
Do you incorporate both God and Goddess into your practice or do you focus on one or the other?

I'm a polytheist, so many gods and goddesses, and also sometimes deities of more complex gender identity and label.

My tradition invites a god and goddess for rituals - however, these deities just need to have a compatible working relationship (for the purposes of the ritual), not be in the 'God and Goddess are mother/child, lovers, sacrifice/survivor model' that permeates some forms of Wiccanesque practice, so a wide variety of interactions are possible.

Common practice has been to work with a pair of deities for lunar rituals, two specific (different) deities for a few specific rituals (Samhain, initiations, a few other circumstances), and then deities who make sense for the specific ritual for other Sabbats.

People are also encouraged to build independent personal relationships with one or more other deities as part of their training and development, and a lot of people build multiple kinds of relationships (one or two closer ones, possibly a couple that are more situation/topic/goal focused, much like many people have a couple of close friends and then some friends they see at specific activities, or professionals they consult for specific things.)

How this plays out depends on the people and their practices, and how many interactions they feel they can maintain meaningfully at once, or sometimes stages in people's lives.

A lot of people I know find their practices change over time - that the New Relationship Energy of deity interactions settles down to something else, over time, or that they once were wrapped up with many different deities, and after a few years, their practice shifts to something else - more focused on one or two, or a different area of their life, or a specific goal or commitment.

In my current practice (since I'm working by myself), I honour the two deities I have a particular commitment to, plus occasional other interactions. I also have been exploring a couple of Planet-As-Archetype sort of interactions (expansion/potential/Jupiter and beauty/love/Venus) which are not deity interactions, in the sense of dealing with a personality, but engaging with the larger concepts.
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Emma Eldritch

Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2017, 07:57:19 pm »
I also have been exploring a couple of Planet-As-Archetype sort of interactions (expansion/potential/Jupiter and beauty/love/Venus) which are not deity interactions, in the sense of dealing with a personality, but engaging with the larger concepts.

So I read this book on monsters by John Michael Greer, and in the section on 'spirits' he uses an example of a planetary intelligence (if I recall correctly) and how it's quite inhuman and kinda mind blowing in scope. Is working with the planets as archetypes similar in the apparent "whooooaaaaa" factor?

Bluerose31

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2017, 08:28:07 pm »
I'm a polytheist, so many gods and goddesses, and also sometimes deities of more complex gender identity and label.

My tradition invites a god and goddess for rituals - however, these deities just need to have a compatible working relationship (for the purposes of the ritual), not be in the 'God and Goddess are mother/child, lovers, sacrifice/survivor model' that permeates some forms of Wiccanesque practice, so a wide variety of interactions are possible.

Common practice has been to work with a pair of deities for lunar rituals, two specific (different) deities for a few specific rituals (Samhain, initiations, a few other circumstances), and then deities who make sense for the specific ritual for other Sabbats.

People are also encouraged to build independent personal relationships with one or more other deities as part of their training and development, and a lot of people build multiple kinds of relationships (one or two closer ones, possibly a couple that are more situation/topic/goal focused, much like many people have a couple of close friends and then some friends they see at specific activities, or professionals they consult for specific things.)

How this plays out depends on the people and their practices, and how many interactions they feel they can maintain meaningfully at once, or sometimes stages in people's lives.

A lot of people I know find their practices change over time - that the New Relationship Energy of deity interactions settles down to something else, over time, or that they once were wrapped up with many different deities, and after a few years, their practice shifts to something else - more focused on one or two, or a different area of their life, or a specific goal or commitment.

In my current practice (since I'm working by myself), I honour the two deities I have a particular commitment to, plus occasional other interactions. I also have been exploring a couple of Planet-As-Archetype sort of interactions (expansion/potential/Jupiter and beauty/love/Venus) which are not deity interactions, in the sense of dealing with a personality, but engaging with the larger concepts.
You bring up some wonderful points. The connections with deities can shift along with time as the individual grows in their practice.

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2017, 08:40:41 pm »
So I read this book on monsters by John Michael Greer, and in the section on 'spirits' he uses an example of a planetary intelligence (if I recall correctly) and how it's quite inhuman and kinda mind blowing in scope. Is working with the planets as archetypes similar in the apparent "whooooaaaaa" factor?

I'm still fairly new to it, so a bit hard to answer. And also less consistent than I'd ideally like to be for practical reasons I'm still debugging.

But currently, I have two shrines, with different things on them - the Jupiter one has a bunch of slow-build prosperity stuff on it, but also a few other things.

(I'd already picked this year to have steady expansion be a thing: I did a background for my phone that has a Jupiter sigil on it, and suitable colours. I'm going to do the same thing next year, though probably Venus in some form.)

My Venus one has a selection of jewelry (not al of it, but the pieces most relevant to the working for various reasons) plus a selection of perfumes that I rotate through depending on mood (I sometimes use others in my stash, but I have the couple of bottles I am most likely to want out in a bowl) plus a few other things. Like you do.

Each week on the appropriate day (Thursday or Friday, respectively) I do a brief little thing where I push a little energy at the shrine, and spend a couple of moments reflecting. I don't get a sense of ... personality, so much? (More like that's a direction I could go if I wanted, but I'm not doing that right now). But the sense of personality I'm not doing anything with is, yes, Very Very, Very Big and Not At All HumanLike.

I do get a strong sense of what, for lack of a better term, I'm going to call melody -  sense of a certain kind of pattern that I can emulate or incorporate into the other sounds in my life. (I get most 'energy' data via sound impressions, which makes it a bit hard to describe without a whole lot of technical musical language and/or the ability to hum randomly at people.)

I also possibly blame this on having read an awful lot of Marsilio Ficino at an impressionable age. (He was a Renaissance Neo-Platonist who did a lot of stuff with music, philosophy, translation, magic, and theory of all of the above.)
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Sobekemiti

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2017, 08:58:00 pm »
Do you incorporate both God and Goddess into your practice or do you focus on one or the other?

I'm also a polytheist, and tend to treat gods as separate beings until/unless told otherwise. The primary gods of my practice are the Egyptian god Sobek, who comes before all others, then Hekate, and then Quanyin. There are always others fitting in around that for other bits and pieces of work I have to do, but those three are, right now, my primary focus.
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Emma Eldritch

Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2017, 09:22:54 pm »
I'm still fairly new to it, so a bit hard to answer. And also less consistent than I'd ideally like to be for practical reasons I'm still debugging.

It sounds like you've established a pretty sweet working practice to me!

Quote
I do get a strong sense of what, for lack of a better term, I'm going to call melody -  sense of a certain kind of pattern that I can emulate or incorporate into the other sounds in my life. (I get most 'energy' data via sound impressions, which makes it a bit hard to describe without a whole lot of technical musical language and/or the ability to hum randomly at people.)

I also possibly blame this on having read an awful lot of Marsilio Ficino at an impressionable age. (He was a Renaissance Neo-Platonist who did a lot of stuff with music, philosophy, translation, magic, and theory of all of the above.)

Dude, that is so cool. If you were at a tiki bar talking with a bunch of musicians, I think you'd inspire several of them to become magicians with that description.

Darkhawk

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2017, 10:36:03 pm »
Do you incorporate both God and Goddess into your practice or do you focus on one or the other?

I mean, it varies.  I try not to get hung up on gender; back when I did that it fucked me up pretty badly, so it's kind of a third rail of pagan spirituality for me.  The Powers are the Powers and some of them have gender-based preferences for approach sometimes.

Lately it's been... damn, what do I call the syncretics in my personal pantheon, because referring to them by either Feri, Kemetic, or other names is going to be incomplete.  Fuckit, I'll call him Heart's Desire, even if that's a reference to an unpublished story.  Him, a lot of the time.  I suspect that it'll shift when that's not what I need right now.

But the whole personal pantheon is, well.  I think I hit a full set of Major Arcana off it.  Which I probably need to revise for Saule, but that's... still in process.  And it's not like that's all of who I deal with or for that matter Powers I'm particularly close to, just the set that fits properly to that symbol system.

Mmph, I should systematize my system again.
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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2017, 10:53:09 pm »
Do you incorporate both God and Goddess into your practice or do you focus on one or the other?

My practice ultimately incorporates a lot more than just gods and goddesses (for instance, I sometimes work with the protagonists of the book Watership Down and their own religious/folk heroes), but I suppose the main Powers I worship could be seen as "both god and goddess."

While I do work with several loosely Hellenic deities (although my specific areas of focus are less overall Hellenismos and more pre-Hellenic Minoan Crete and later Ptolemaic Egypt), I primarily worship a syncretic trio of Powers modeled on a common proto-Hellenic motif of god, goddess, and ambiguously divine son. In the case of my practice, that's Dionysos, Aphrodite (as an aspect of Persephone), and a son named after Hermes who functions as the manifestation of both his divine parents.

All three of these Powers are already ambiguous and transgressive in how they deal with their gender, and they shift very fast between male and female (and everything in between that binary and sometimes beyond it) in my perceptions. I would probably not be able to exclusively worship a goddess or a god at this point simply because it's so rare for my Powers (especially the son) to define themselves as just one or the other.
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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #11 on: November 27, 2017, 11:20:09 am »
Do you incorporate both God and Goddess into your practice or do you focus on one or the other?

I believe that ultimately all gods and goddesses are different manifestations of Brahman, the only reality. For me Krishna is my "first favorite" form of God. Each god or goddess is a different personality or facet of one God, just as we humans have different facets and show them differently at different times. If I'm in need of help with studies I'd pray to Saraswati; if I need help with courage I might pray to Narasimha; if I need help with finances I'd pray to Lakshmi; and so on. God shows him/her/itself in a way meaningful to the devotee. In the Bhagavad Gita (which, I might add not all Hindus, though they revere it, use it as the basis for their particular sect) Krishna says that all prayers to all devas (deities) ultimately go to him, he is the sole grantor of requests. So, I think it's a semi-firm polytheism.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
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Bluerose31

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2017, 11:42:46 am »
I'm also a polytheist, and tend to treat gods as separate beings until/unless told otherwise. The primary gods of my practice are the Egyptian god Sobek, who comes before all others, then Hekate, and then Quanyin. There are always others fitting in around that for other bits and pieces of work I have to do, but those three are, right now, my primary focus.

Wonderful. My primary Goddess is Hecate. I have also worked with Quanyin who is very beautiful as well.

Bluerose31

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2017, 11:44:24 am »
I mean, it varies.  I try not to get hung up on gender; back when I did that it fucked me up pretty badly, so it's kind of a third rail of pagan spirituality for me.  The Powers are the Powers and some of them have gender-based preferences for approach sometimes.

Lately it's been... damn, what do I call the syncretics in my personal pantheon, because referring to them by either Feri, Kemetic, or other names is going to be incomplete.  Fuckit, I'll call him Heart's Desire, even if that's a reference to an unpublished story.  Him, a lot of the time.  I suspect that it'll shift when that's not what I need right now.

But the whole personal pantheon is, well.  I think I hit a full set of Major Arcana off it.  Which I probably need to revise for Saule, but that's... still in process.  And it's not like that's all of who I deal with or for that matter Powers I'm particularly close to, just the set that fits properly to that symbol system.

Mmph, I should systematize my system again.
It sounds like you have some great ideas in your practice :)

Bluerose31

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Re: God and Goddess
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2017, 11:46:45 am »
My practice ultimately incorporates a lot more than just gods and goddesses (for instance, I sometimes work with the protagonists of the book Watership Down and their own religious/folk heroes), but I suppose the main Powers I worship could be seen as "both god and goddess."

While I do work with several loosely Hellenic deities (although my specific areas of focus are less overall Hellenismos and more pre-Hellenic Minoan Crete and later Ptolemaic Egypt), I primarily worship a syncretic trio of Powers modeled on a common proto-Hellenic motif of god, goddess, and ambiguously divine son. In the case of my practice, that's Dionysos, Aphrodite (as an aspect of Persephone), and a son named after Hermes who functions as the manifestation of both his divine parents.

All three of these Powers are already ambiguous and transgressive in how they deal with their gender, and they shift very fast between male and female (and everything in between that binary and sometimes beyond it) in my perceptions. I would probably not be able to exclusively worship a goddess or a god at this point simply because it's so rare for my Powers (especially the son) to define themselves as just one or the other.
pre-Hellenic Minoan Crete and later Ptolemaic Egypt sounds wonderful!

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