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Author Topic: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?  (Read 2080 times)

ferretowner96

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How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« on: September 08, 2012, 04:43:34 pm »
How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?

Do you view them as mothers and fathers, friends, or just a
God or Goddess (controlling the universe and all that is in it)? I was reading the thread about people treating the Gods and Goddesses like vending machines, and it got me thinking. I used to be a Christian, and most of the people I went to church with treated/thought of Jesus as a friend and God as a father. So are the Gods and Goddesses supposed to be your friends, or like a mother or father?

Sorry if the question doesn't make sense. I am a beginner Wiccan and just do not want to be having the wrong mindset. Thanks.

Shine

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2012, 05:53:57 pm »
Quote from: ferretowner96;73002


How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?
 
Do you view them as mothers and fathers, friends, or just a
 God or Goddess (controlling the universe and all that is in it)? I was reading the thread about people treating the Gods and Goddesses like vending machines, and it got me thinking. I used to be a Christian, and most of the people I went to church with treated/thought of Jesus as a friend and God as a father. So are the Gods and Goddesses supposed to be your friends, or like a mother or father?

Sorry if the question doesn't make sense. I am a beginner Wiccan and just do not want to be having the wrong mindset. Thanks.

 
I'm not sure that deities are supposed to be our friends in the human sense of the word. It seems to work more in the sense of "loyal attendant/servant" and "just leader/master".

And some people do have motherly or fatherly interactions with their deities. It depends on the individual and the deity in question. Others have a rather "professional"--for lack of a better term--relationship with their deities.

It's also going to depend on what path you're walking. I don't know much about the theology of Wiccans, except many of them appear to be soft polytheists. Soft polytheists will have a different "right mindset" of deities than hard polytheists will.

To answer your question, I view all deities as separate entities who express themselves throughout creation, watching over different facets of it, with overlap (for example, the sun can be Atum-Ra, Amaterasu, Apollo, etc). They may watch over a particular place (like a desert) or anything else in the universe (stars, art, dreams, food, love, arguments, etc). There is no one image or description that can convey their richness. They can be kind, ferocious, shy, boisterous, tall, short, ugly, beautiful, and everything in between.
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crazyharry

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2012, 10:59:57 pm »
Quote from: ferretowner96;73002
How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?

Do you view them as mothers and fathers, friends, or just a
God or Goddess (controlling the universe and all that is in it)? I was reading the thread about people treating the Gods and Goddesses like vending machines, and it got me thinking. I used to be a Christian, and most of the people I went to church with treated/thought of Jesus as a friend and God as a father. So are the Gods and Goddesses supposed to be your friends, or like a mother or father?

 
This is a difficult one for me, because I have trouble with things I can't see. I tend to be more of the school of thought that they exist because we believe in them rather than they are eternal beings, but given that I can't see it, I don't know.

As far as relationships go, I don't have a lot of experience. The only deity I've been maintaining a relationship with since I left the Christian church is Gaia. For me, she is a mother figure, but a little bit distant. When I was still a Christian I had kind of a friendly relationship with Yahweh, or God, but it was still definitely more of a servant/master relationship.

As far as the right mindset goes, I'm not sure there is one. Mostly I figure that's for you and the gods to figure out. I would recommend discussing the issue with a more experienced Wiccan, because like Shine, I'm way out of my depth there.

Fireof9

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2012, 11:16:08 pm »
Quote from: ferretowner96;73002
How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?



Well I have a pretty solid connection with a few deity, 4 to more accurate. One is like a fatherly figure, stern and wise. One is like that uncle that knows all the secrets, has the best jokes, and can teach you whatever you need to know. One is like the older sister that loves you deeply but can lay down the law when mom ain't around. The other is like the very best friend you could ever hope for.

But I make no mistake that they are deity and are so much more than Father,Uncle, Sister, Friend.
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ccam

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2012, 12:03:02 am »
Quote from: Shine;73016
I'm not sure that deities are supposed to be our friends in the human sense of the word. It seems to work more in the sense of "loyal attendant/servant" and "just leader/master".

And some people do have motherly or fatherly interactions with their deities. It depends on the individual and the deity in question. Others have a rather "professional"--for lack of a better term--relationship with their deities.

It's also going to depend on what path you're walking. I don't know much about the theology of Wiccans, except many of them appear to be soft polytheists. Soft polytheists will have a different "right mindset" of deities than hard polytheists will.

 
I'm not a fan of being "buddies" with gods.  They're gods and deserve to be treated much better than the guy next door who you invite over for pizza on game night.  I have a more formal interaction with deity.  As the OP said above, some Wiccans  are soft polytheists (meaning they view Ra as an aspect of Zeus as an aspect of Jupiter as an aspect of Thor).  Some are hard polytheists (meaning they view each god as a distinct entity).  I'm a hard polytheist.  To me, treating one god as being the same as another god is almost as bad as treating them like vending machine.  You wouldn't treat all the nurses at a hospital as just aspects of each other.  But that's just my opinion and you may have a differing one.  There's no right way to see things in Wicca (at least eclectic Wicca).

Sharysa

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2012, 12:29:16 am »
Quote from: ferretowner96;73002
How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?

Do you view them as mothers and fathers, friends, or just a
God or Goddess (controlling the universe and all that is in it)?

[snip]

So are the Gods and Goddesses supposed to be your friends, or like a mother or father?


1) The Morrigan is VERY emphatically "not my mother." Partly because she's too young for it (she feels like she's somewhere in her thirties), but mostly because my own mother is a major factor in why I'm so messed up, and she doesn't want to be associated with it. She's more like a friend-plus-coworker that whacks me over the head if I need it.

Aengus Og is... complicated, since most of my time with him was seriously interfered with by the Fair Folk. He definitely gives off a strong "love" vibe, but it's not any SPECIFIC love that I can pin down.

Ogma is the first one who openly told me to consider him like a (grand)father--especially since he came to teach me after noticing the months of confusion/turmoil I was going through this year. But like with the Morrigan, he hesitates to call himself "MY father" because my dad was gone for eight years. In fact, one time Ogma exploded and went, "Because that's what a GOOD father does!" when I asked him why he bothers with all my questions, and... yeah. He had to give me some space for a couple of days.

2) Please keep in mind that I recognize they're completely different beings, and this is only what the gods themselves have or haven't told me--not from any of my assumptions. I still thank them for working with me, I don't expect them to solve my issues instantly, and I don't expect them to hover over me every single second.

Personally, I'm glad that they (usually) don't. That was why I left Catholicism in the first place. The idea of God being everywhere, seeing everything, and calling himself a father? No. Just NO.

I freaked out when Ogma said he'd been waiting HOURS for me to notice someone was in my meditation's main "room," and HE had the sense of humor to go "You can do things that take most people decades to learn, but you're still a twenty-two-year-old."
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Sobekemiti

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 01:58:36 am »
Quote from: ferretowner96;73002
How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?

Do you view them as mothers and fathers, friends, or just a
God or Goddess (controlling the universe and all that is in it)? I was reading the thread about people treating the Gods and Goddesses like vending machines, and it got me thinking. I used to be a Christian, and most of the people I went to church with treated/thought of Jesus as a friend and God as a father. So are the Gods and Goddesses supposed to be your friends, or like a mother or father?

Sorry if the question doesn't make sense. I am a beginner Wiccan and just do not want to be having the wrong mindset. Thanks.

 
It would probably be different for everyone, depending on how they conceive of, and interact with, Deity. Some Gods may want a parental type of relationship, others more like patronage, others still will be more impersonal. Some are more boss/worker or teacher/student than parent/child. Some don't have any of these kinds of relationships with Gods. It kind of really depends on you and your Gods.

I have my own set of Gods who I have close relationships with. The closest I've come to describing it is a God Clan, because They're not just parents, it's all of the Gods who I work closely with/have close relationships with, and not all of those are Parent/child relationships. So I do have a Father, and a Mother, but I also have teachers/guides, uncles, and companions, and others who are just there because They've always been there.

But these words are more for my benefit than anyone else's, I think. More like 'this is how I relate to God X', which is like shorthand, even though it's usually much more complicated than that. Because They are Gods, after all. It's more about defining relationships, to me, and what's expected of me within that relationship. My Father expects different things of me than Gods I am just 'companions' with, or those Gods where I am a student. It's a different role, with different expectations, none more worthy than the others.
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Jezebel

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2012, 03:18:08 am »
Quote from: ccam;73079
I'm not a fan of being "buddies" with gods.  They're gods and deserve to be treated much better than the guy next door who you invite over for pizza on game night.  I have a more formal interaction with deity.  As the OP said above, some Wiccans  are soft polytheists (meaning they view Ra as an aspect of Zeus as an aspect of Jupiter as an aspect of Thor).  Some are hard polytheists (meaning they view each god as a distinct entity).  I'm a hard polytheist.  To me, treating one god as being the same as another god is almost as bad as treating them like vending machine.  You wouldn't treat all the nurses at a hospital as just aspects of each other.  But that's just my opinion and you may have a differing one.  There's no right way to see things in Wicca (at least eclectic Wicca).


This. Though at the minute I sit on the fence between soft and hard polytheism.

I made a post on my blog recently about my thoughts on patron deities and I agree with ccam that I don't think you should treat deities like your BBF. They're gods, and though they may share traits with us, they are above our level.

Nachtigall

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2012, 04:48:07 am »
Quote from: ferretowner96;73002
How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?

Do you view them as mothers and fathers, friends, or just a
God or Goddess (controlling the universe and all that is in it)? I was reading the thread about people treating the Gods and Goddesses like vending machines, and it got me thinking. I used to be a Christian, and most of the people I went to church with treated/thought of Jesus as a friend and God as a father. So are the Gods and Goddesses supposed to be your friends, or like a mother or father?

Sorry if the question doesn't make sense. I am a beginner Wiccan and just do not want to be having the wrong mindset. Thanks.


As powers, vastly greater than ourselves. All human (or not-so-human) form we perceive Them in, all relationships in which we experience Them - a lover, a best friend, a spouse, a parent - these are only a tiny fraction of what the Gods really are. This is something one shouldn't forget.

crazyharry

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2012, 06:27:30 pm »
Quote from: cymrudraco;73094
It would probably be different for everyone, depending on how they conceive of, and interact with, Deity. Some Gods may want a parental type of relationship, others more like patronage, others still will be more impersonal. Some are more boss/worker or teacher/student than parent/child. Some don't have any of these kinds of relationships with Gods. It kind of really depends on you and your Gods.

I have my own set of Gods who I have close relationships with. The closest I've come to describing it is a God Clan, because They're not just parents, it's all of the Gods who I work closely with/have close relationships with, and not all of those are Parent/child relationships. So I do have a Father, and a Mother, but I also have teachers/guides, uncles, and companions, and others who are just there because They've always been there.

But these words are more for my benefit than anyone else's, I think. More like 'this is how I relate to God X', which is like shorthand, even though it's usually much more complicated than that. Because They are Gods, after all. It's more about defining relationships, to me, and what's expected of me within that relationship. My Father expects different things of me than Gods I am just 'companions' with, or those Gods where I am a student. It's a different role, with different expectations, none more worthy than the others.

 
I'm also going to have to agree with this. I think your relationship with your gods will be dictated by your personal worldview, as well as your needs. I think they recognize that in order for you to be a useful servant, they are going to have to see to you in various ways, and occasionally smack you on the back of the head when you stop listening. Because your needs are different than everyone else's, even if you worship the same god as someone else, that god could have a very different character for each of you.

I still believe that if you want to follow a specific path you should find someone farther along your chosen path to discuss this sort of thing with.

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2012, 08:47:59 pm »
Quote from: ferretowner96;73002
How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?

Do you view them as mothers and fathers, friends, or just a
God or Goddess (controlling the universe and all that is in it)? I was reading the thread about people treating the Gods and Goddesses like vending machines, and it got me thinking. I used to be a Christian, and most of the people I went to church with treated/thought of Jesus as a friend and God as a father. So are the Gods and Goddesses supposed to be your friends, or like a mother or father?

Sorry if the question doesn't make sense. I am a beginner Wiccan and just do not want to be having the wrong mindset. Thanks.


For me mother goddess, but in the end it's what inspires you that counts..if it's important to you, the gods will teach you
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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2012, 01:38:02 pm »
Quote from: ferretowner96;73002
How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?

Do you view them as mothers and fathers, friends, or just a
God or Goddess (controlling the universe and all that is in it)? I was reading the thread about people treating the Gods and Goddesses like vending machines, and it got me thinking. I used to be a Christian, and most of the people I went to church with treated/thought of Jesus as a friend and God as a father. So are the Gods and Goddesses supposed to be your friends, or like a mother or father?

Sorry if the question doesn't make sense. I am a beginner Wiccan and just do not want to be having the wrong mindset. Thanks.

 
Deities are like Superman, they don't have any existence outside our fantasies. They symbolize idealized traits we all aspire to. There's nothing to relate to, in the person-to-person way you are describing. Some non-theistic side of things for you.

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2012, 04:55:01 pm »
Quote from: ferretowner96;73002
How do you personally view the God and Goddesses?

Do you view them as mothers and fathers, friends, or just a
God or Goddess (controlling the universe and all that is in it)? I was reading the thread about people treating the Gods and Goddesses like vending machines, and it got me thinking. I used to be a Christian, and most of the people I went to church with treated/thought of Jesus as a friend and God as a father. So are the Gods and Goddesses supposed to be your friends, or like a mother or father?

Sorry if the question doesn't make sense. I am a beginner Wiccan and just do not want to be having the wrong mindset. Thanks.


Traditionally, ancient pagan cultures viewed the gods as higher beings to be respected and feared, not as friends or family. Some gods were more accessible than others, for example,  a person could have a closer personal relationship with the Agathos Daimon (Greek) or Bes (Egyptian), than with Zeus or Amun. There were exceptions, such as in the mystery cults like those of Dionysus, Demeter and Persephone, and Isis. Christianity and neo-pagan Witchcraft can also be considered mystery cults, which explains why the majority of people do think of themselves as having a personal relationship to deity, as that is the most common way of thinking.

As for myself, it depends on the context of the worship I offer. If I am honouring a specific Greek deity, it's more dutiful than intimate, but if I'm approaching the Great Mother in a witchy context, it is more personal. I hope that makes sense.

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Re: How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2012, 10:17:56 pm »
Quote from: Carnelian;76083
Traditionally, ancient pagan cultures viewed the gods as higher beings to be respected and feared, not as friends or family. Some gods were more accessible than others, for example,  a person could have a closer personal relationship with the Agathos Daimon (Greek) or Bes (Egyptian), than with Zeus or Amun.


Chiming in on the 'some are more accessible than others' thing.  My relationship with Sulis, for instance, is much 'closer' and safer-feeling than my encounters with The Morrigan, which still leave me quaking.

I wouldn't describe my relationship with any of the entities (for want of a better word) I've met or worked with as matey or casual.  There's always a very real sense that you're interacting with something Other, which requires respect and a certain formality, whether you're dealing with a goddess or a housewight.

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How do you view the Gods and Goddesses?
« Reply #14 on: October 08, 2012, 02:24:56 am »
Quote from: Sulischild;76102
Chiming in on the 'some are more accessible than others' thing.  My relationship with Sulis, for instance, is much 'closer' and safer-feeling than my encounters with The Morrigan, which still leave me quaking.

I wouldn't describe my relationship with any of the entities (for want of a better word) I've met or worked with as matey or casual.  There's always a very real sense that you're interacting with something Other, which requires respect and a certain formality, whether you're dealing with a goddess or a housewight.

Agreed. Brighid talks to me a lot less than Manannan mac Lir and several others. Suspect that's about who I'm more likely to respond to, and whose 'spheres of influence' I move in more. I can't relate to some of what people say about how certain deities leave them feeling. I think the gods approach people differently, and that everyone's mind filters god-communication differently.

I'm not too casual with any of my deities either - always have at least some ritual, light candles etc. If I call on them away from their shrines, there's still an echo of that formality. None of them is like a mother or father to me, since I had enough of that idea in my Christian years - and I get the impression that's not quite how most Irish gods want to be seen. Maybe it's the case with Zeus and other more father/mother-like deities that I don't have any experience of.
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