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Author Topic: Thwapped? Perhaps  (Read 962 times)

MeadowRae

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Thwapped? Perhaps
« on: February 23, 2016, 08:18:47 am »
I started seriously studying different forms of paganism on Samhain 2015. My intention was to learn as much as I could to see if this is truly my path.

I have been leaning towards Wicca, which I did not anticipate. I also didn't think I would select any patron deities, just refer to God and Goddess in general.

You know what they say, the best laid plans...

Anyway, a few months ago, I began seeing the Morrigan in meditation. It frightened me a bit, as I know she can be demanding as a patron. She seemed to convey a sense of strength to me. Then she was gone.

Lately, I have had a very strong pull toward Brighid. She seems to want to tell/teach me something, but I'm not sure what. I had one instance where I saw both the Morrigan and Brighid together. Brighid also looks decidedly different to me. She appeared ethereal and almost alien.

Since my year is no where near over, should I just wait and listen? Do you guys think I've been thwapped? I know that this is the arena of UPG, but any help would be much appreciated.

I also feel a little disheartened that I have not connected with any gods yet. If I have a patron goddess, I feel like a god would contact me too? Not that it's necessary, but it would be nice to have balance. I have been researching Lugh, so maybe in time. God and Goddess know better than I. :)
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Jenett

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Re: Thwapped? Perhaps...
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2016, 09:08:09 am »
Quote from: ViolaRae;187136

I also feel a little disheartened that I have not connected with any gods yet. If I have a patron goddess, I feel like a god would contact me too? Not that it's necessary, but it would be nice to have balance. I have been researching Lugh, so maybe in time. God and Goddess know better than I. :)

 
Having *any* deity express a strong specific interest is fairly unusual. Having them come in nice matched sets is even less common. Unless they already have an existing relationship.

Here's the thing: traditional Wicca works with a specific God and Goddess. Their names are kept private, but they're specific, unique beings. They have an existing relationship with each other - like any specific couple might have.

That said, they're two different beings, not the same person. They may have very different relationships with you. (Also, it's pretty common for a lot of people to have a stronger reaction to a Goddess than a God, or vice versa, depending on your own personal life history, orientation, model of relationships and interactions, and so on.)

I don't know about your life, but in mine, it's way more common that I have different relationships with people in a couple (or for that matter, other relationship configurations but I'm going with couple here for ease of writing) than that I have equally strong relationships with both people.

Sometimes that's because I've been friends with one of them for ages, and known the other less time. Sometimes it's because I've got specific things in common with one, and less in common with the other, or the stuff we have in common comes up less.

I work in my personal ritual work with two deities who are, in fact, a social unit, are lovers and beloved. I basically have a relationship with Him because I have a much stronger relationship with Her. (It's not a bad relationship! I ask Him for some specific things sometimes, and He's glad to help! But I have a much deeper and more explicitly committed and negotiated arrangement with Her that is much more far-reaching in my life.)

In short, it's very like some of my relationships with friends who are married, where I'll ask them for a lot of stuff, and I like their spouse, and we'll enjoy time together, and help each other out mutually, but it's usually mediated through the stronger relationship.

Anyway, in the case of Brigid, she is not commonly seen as in an ongoing relationship with a male deity in that way. (Different kinds of interactions, yes. Possibly of the kind where inviting them to the same ritual makes sense. But 'this is my spouse/consort/lover/we come as a social unit'? No.)

So, what do you do about this? If I were in your situation, I'd probably be looking at exploring the possibility of deepening a relationship with at least one of the two goddesses you mention, based on your own interests and desires (What things do you want to make more present in your life? How do you see and want to see yourself interacting? Do you have particular interests that fit more strongly with one or the other?)

I'd look at committing to spend a moderate period of time (3 months? 6 months) getting to know that deity, doing some simple ritual work, exploring some different ritual options or prayers or whatever else makes sense. (Both have substantial numbers of devotees who have produced lots of material, compared to many other deities out there!) Avoid making any long-term commitments: you're looking at the equivalent of dating, not getting married. It's a getting-to-know process.

At the end of that time, pause and evaluate where you are, how you feel about the interactions. You might decide then to make a longer-term commitment (six months or a year), you might decide to explore working with other deities, you might decide the ritual model you were using isn't working for you. Who knows! But you can keep going step by step, with enough time for some variation as your life changes, seasons change, you learn more, that you're not making rapid commitments.
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MeadowRae

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Re: Thwapped? Perhaps...
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2016, 09:43:08 am »
Quote from: Jenett;187137
Having *any* deity express a strong specific interest is fairly unusual. Having them come in nice matched sets is even less common. Unless they already have an existing relationship.

Here's the thing: traditional Wicca works with a specific God and Goddess. Their names are kept private, but they're specific, unique beings. They have an existing relationship with each other - like any specific couple might have.

That said, they're two different beings, not the same person. They may have very different relationships with you. (Also, it's pretty common for a lot of people to have a stronger reaction to a Goddess than a God, or vice versa, depending on your own personal life history, orientation, model of relationships and interactions, and so on.)

I don't know about your life, but in mine, it's way more common that I have different relationships with people in a couple (or for that matter, other relationship configurations but I'm going with couple here for ease of writing) than that I have equally strong relationships with both people.

Sometimes that's because I've been friends with one of them for ages, and known the other less time. Sometimes it's because I've got specific things in common with one, and less in common with the other, or the stuff we have in common comes up less.

I work in my personal ritual work with two deities who are, in fact, a social unit, are lovers and beloved. I basically have a relationship with Him because I have a much stronger relationship with Her. (It's not a bad relationship! I ask Him for some specific things sometimes, and He's glad to help! But I have a much deeper and more explicitly committed and negotiated arrangement with Her that is much more far-reaching in my life.)

In short, it's very like some of my relationships with friends who are married, where I'll ask them for a lot of stuff, and I like their spouse, and we'll enjoy time together, and help each other out mutually, but it's usually mediated through the stronger relationship.

Anyway, in the case of Brigid, she is not commonly seen as in an ongoing relationship with a male deity in that way. (Different kinds of interactions, yes. Possibly of the kind where inviting them to the same ritual makes sense. But 'this is my spouse/consort/lover/we come as a social unit'? No.)

So, what do you do about this? If I were in your situation, I'd probably be looking at exploring the possibility of deepening a relationship with at least one of the two goddesses you mention, based on your own interests and desires (What things do you want to make more present in your life? How do you see and want to see yourself interacting? Do you have particular interests that fit more strongly with one or the other?)

I'd look at committing to spend a moderate period of time (3 months? 6 months) getting to know that deity, doing some simple ritual work, exploring some different ritual options or prayers or whatever else makes sense. (Both have substantial numbers of devotees who have produced lots of material, compared to many other deities out there!) Avoid making any long-term commitments: you're looking at the equivalent of dating, not getting married. It's a getting-to-know process.

At the end of that time, pause and evaluate where you are, how you feel about the interactions. You might decide then to make a longer-term commitment (six months or a year), you might decide to explore working with other deities, you might decide the ritual model you were using isn't working for you. Who knows! But you can keep going step by step, with enough time for some variation as your life changes, seasons change, you learn more, that you're not making rapid commitments.

 
Thank you for the advice!

I guess I should be thanking Them for taking the interest in me.

I hadn't thought of it in terms of God and Goddess as a social unit. I am not sure why, but when individual deities are mentioned I see them as individual only, not as a part of a group. Your portrayal of them as a couple/social unit definitely changes my perspective on things. I do have a follow up question, tho. If you do not have a "pair" of deities, does that affect ritual and worship for certain Sabbats? The one that immediately springs to mind is Beltane, but the Goddess and God interact for other rituals too, I'm sure. Would you refer to a general God during ritual?

I believe I will take the 3-6 month timeframe to meditate and interact with Brighid through ritual. I feel that she is a stronger presence in my life right now and that I have something to learn from her. Thanks for the reminder that this is not something to rush through. I think I get overly excited and want to jump forward because this is all relatively new to me. The year of study was supposed to curb that, but then They appeared to me and I was like "Oooooh, a Goddess is calling me!" And I needed to center myself a bit. :)
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Jenett

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Re: Thwapped? Perhaps...
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2016, 11:16:55 am »
Quote from: ViolaRae;187138

I hadn't thought of it in terms of God and Goddess as a social unit. I am not sure why, but when individual deities are mentioned I see them as individual only, not as a part of a group. Your portrayal of them as a couple/social unit definitely changes my perspective on things.


That's why I thought it might help to break out the reminder that traditional Wicca honours and works with two specific deities who have a specific relationship with each other (okay, a bunch of specific relationships...) and that if you're using that model, those assumptions are built in in other ways.

(The Great Rite is, after all, an act of great ritual intimacy. I tend to assume deities don't necessarily want to do that with every other deity out there, just like people don't.)

I think that a lot of the rest of Wiccan-derived ritual can work fine for religious witchcraft (creating cleansed and prepared space, casting a circle to create a specific kind of sacred space, inviting different beings and entities like guardians, elements or elementals, ancestors, deities) where there are different kinds of relationships between the deities invited (or where you only invite one!)

But that you need to look at other pieces (the Great Rite, for example, but also sometimes things like how you cast circle, or how you align it, or what it's supposed to be doing or things like Drawing Down) carefully to make sure you're not making assumptions that don't actually work.

Quote

I do have a follow up question, tho. If you do not have a "pair" of deities, does that affect ritual and worship for certain Sabbats? The one that immediately springs to mind is Beltane, but the Goddess and God interact for other rituals too, I'm sure. Would you refer to a general God during ritual?


I personally find naming one and being very general about the other really weird? I've occasionally done it without having a *name*, and having only a description (an epithet, like "God of the Green Path" or something, where I have had images or visuals, but not a direct name or culture to reference? But that's different.

In my tradition, it's fairly common to invite deities who are not sexual partners or lovers or even necessarily amazingly emotionally intimate to a ritual - but it requires some adjustment in the framing and in how you approach some of the ritual acts. It also requires being really clear about what the goal of the ritual and the different parts of it are.

(In the group I trained in, we'd do the Great Rite, but it was often drawing as much off the creative and fertile tensions of the two *people* doing it as the deities. In my own group work, I've added some text that makes it more explicitly about different kinds of interactions where sex is one of the frames, but one among many, not the only one.)

And there's other options too: the ritual group I actually do things with at the moment (where none of us actually share the same religion) people invite the deities they wish to invite, and we can end up with two or three or five or more, depending. (We do a little conversation before ritual to make sure there aren't going to be any substantial conflicts.) I often don't invite any specific deities there, and do my ritual work relating to the deities I have personal relationships to at other times.

Again, very similar to 'how do you invite people to parties' and 'not everyone fits at the same party' and 'but you probably invite social units together'.

Anyway: for rituals, it'd depend on the ritual. Not every Beltane has to be overtly about sex. But if that's what you want to do, you design your ritual so that the deities you want to invite have that kind of relationship. Or you frame the ritual so that it's about different kinds of desires, and do not try to force deities into interactions they don't want. When I've done ritual planning of this kind, it usually was a process of a couple of weeks of thinking, meditation, reflection, talking it out with someone else to make sure I wasn't missing something.

But, for example, you could invite two deities who both care about passion and joy and connection, but aren't lovers, and frame it so they could encourage that or help teach you things in that ritual, without doing a Great Rite. You could invite two deities of healing who focus on healing different things. In a ritual about grief and mourning, you could invite two different psychopomps (who focus on that transition to death) who have different approaches.

(Why two and not three, or four, or whatever? Because two is a pretty manageable number, and if you're doing ritual by yourself, three or four gets unwieldy maybe. That's a lot of direct interactions to maintain. But there are traditions that call three deities out there, and I've been in larger group rituals that invited a dozen or so, with a priest or priestess focused on each one.)

If you just wanted to work with one deity, though, then you'd just figure out ways to make that ritually work for you. (This may mean using a model for Sabbats or 'when you do rituals' that steps away from agricultural models or fertility and does something else: my tradition uses one based on transformation over the course of a year where sex is relevant because it's part of life, but there is a lot of other stuff you can do at Beltane or Midsummer than be about romantic partnership.)

Quote

I think I get overly excited and want to jump forward because this is all relatively new to me. The year of study was supposed to curb that, but then They appeared to me and I was like "Oooooh, a Goddess is calling me!" And I needed to center myself a bit. :)

 
Common thing! But that doesn't mean you need to rush (and remember, 3 months or 6 months is no time at all - not in your life and certainly not in the life of a deity!) If you want a relationship that'll last, keeping that in proportion helps a lot.
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MeadowRae

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Re: Thwapped? Perhaps...
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2016, 04:24:09 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;187140
That's why I thought it might help to break out the reminder that traditional Wicca honours and works with two specific deities who have a specific relationship with each other (okay, a bunch of specific relationships...) and that if you're using that model, those assumptions are built in in other ways.

(The Great Rite is, after all, an act of great ritual intimacy. I tend to assume deities don't necessarily want to do that with every other deity out there, just like people don't.)

I think that a lot of the rest of Wiccan-derived ritual can work fine for religious witchcraft (creating cleansed and prepared space, casting a circle to create a specific kind of sacred space, inviting different beings and entities like guardians, elements or elementals, ancestors, deities) where there are different kinds of relationships between the deities invited (or where you only invite one!)

But that you need to look at other pieces (the Great Rite, for example, but also sometimes things like how you cast circle, or how you align it, or what it's supposed to be doing or things like Drawing Down) carefully to make sure you're not making assumptions that don't actually work.



I personally find naming one and being very general about the other really weird? I've occasionally done it without having a *name*, and having only a description (an epithet, like "God of the Green Path" or something, where I have had images or visuals, but not a direct name or culture to reference? But that's different.

In my tradition, it's fairly common to invite deities who are not sexual partners or lovers or even necessarily amazingly emotionally intimate to a ritual - but it requires some adjustment in the framing and in how you approach some of the ritual acts. It also requires being really clear about what the goal of the ritual and the different parts of it are.

(In the group I trained in, we'd do the Great Rite, but it was often drawing as much off the creative and fertile tensions of the two *people* doing it as the deities. In my own group work, I've added some text that makes it more explicitly about different kinds of interactions where sex is one of the frames, but one among many, not the only one.)

And there's other options too: the ritual group I actually do things with at the moment (where none of us actually share the same religion) people invite the deities they wish to invite, and we can end up with two or three or five or more, depending. (We do a little conversation before ritual to make sure there aren't going to be any substantial conflicts.) I often don't invite any specific deities there, and do my ritual work relating to the deities I have personal relationships to at other times.

Again, very similar to 'how do you invite people to parties' and 'not everyone fits at the same party' and 'but you probably invite social units together'.

Anyway: for rituals, it'd depend on the ritual. Not every Beltane has to be overtly about sex. But if that's what you want to do, you design your ritual so that the deities you want to invite have that kind of relationship. Or you frame the ritual so that it's about different kinds of desires, and do not try to force deities into interactions they don't want. When I've done ritual planning of this kind, it usually was a process of a couple of weeks of thinking, meditation, reflection, talking it out with someone else to make sure I wasn't missing something.

But, for example, you could invite two deities who both care about passion and joy and connection, but aren't lovers, and frame it so they could encourage that or help teach you things in that ritual, without doing a Great Rite. You could invite two deities of healing who focus on healing different things. In a ritual about grief and mourning, you could invite two different psychopomps (who focus on that transition to death) who have different approaches.

(Why two and not three, or four, or whatever? Because two is a pretty manageable number, and if you're doing ritual by yourself, three or four gets unwieldy maybe. That's a lot of direct interactions to maintain. But there are traditions that call three deities out there, and I've been in larger group rituals that invited a dozen or so, with a priest or priestess focused on each one.)

If you just wanted to work with one deity, though, then you'd just figure out ways to make that ritually work for you. (This may mean using a model for Sabbats or 'when you do rituals' that steps away from agricultural models or fertility and does something else: my tradition uses one based on transformation over the course of a year where sex is relevant because it's part of life, but there is a lot of other stuff you can do at Beltane or Midsummer than be about romantic partnership.)


 
Common thing! But that doesn't mean you need to rush (and remember, 3 months or 6 months is no time at all - not in your life and certainly not in the life of a deity!) If you want a relationship that'll last, keeping that in proportion helps a lot.


Thank you, again for the response! You have given me much to consider for ritual and practice.
The genderqueer witch your mother warned you about

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