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Last New Moon, we explored the spirit-filled world of the polytheistic Celtic-speaking tribes. Of course, this is the same spirit-filled world we inhabit today, whether we currently live in one of the modern Celtic nations or are the far-flung biological or spiritual descendants of the ancient Celts, living in many other countries around the world. The call of these ancient traditions runs deep, as attested by the more than 22,000 people who viewed The Three Cauldrons blog last month!

Think about it... all of those people, on some level, are your tribe. In the wake of the industrial revolution and the information age, we enjoy many conveniences, but also suffer tremendously from a lack of connection. We hunger for community, tribe, elders, and connection with nature and spirit. This hunger for connection boils down to one word: Relationship. Why else are we on the internet looking for like-minded souls? Seeking peers, friends and colleagues, looking for common ground, support and inspiration, we reach out into the etheric web, and are sometimes rewarded with connection.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
My Journey to the Goddess Deities
 "Yeah, I'd break bread and wine. If there was a church I could receive in." Sometimes Bono just totally gets me. I love ceremony and I love truth and happily, I can find both almost anywhere. What I can't find almost anywhere, however, is a sense of complete belonging. In most religious houses I can't shake the sense that I'm not truly welcome there. This isn't to say that I'm not welcomed on the surface, I don't go into religious houses with a great big pentacle around my neck or a vile of Moon blood to offer the Virgin Mary, they aren't aware that I'm a Goddess loving Priestess upon my entrance, but there is the sense that if they truly knew how I worshipped they'd probably rather that I just turn away and find the nearest crop to worship in and be done with my heathen soul. Oh they've tried to 'save' me, but apparently the 'spirit of witchcraft and lust' just wouldn't budge.
 
I'm fine with this sense of not belonging in the religious houses for the most part now. Yet when my call to become a Priestess first beckoned me, it was the pain of being rejected by the religious folks, the so-called faith filled ones that came up to be healed. Because while I don't fit into any of the major religions, despite my great thirst for a devoted and surrendered life, I also didn't feel I truly fit into any pagan, wiccan, Goddess or any other ancient or alternative circle either. I was a bit of a spiritual misfit, an orphan of sorts with no home that I could find on Earth.
 
Where my lack of belief in a Devil, a male God living on a cloud and my refusal to conform to the idea that I as a women am to play a supporting, subordinate role in this drama of life counts me out of the religious world, I feared that my lack of a belief in many deities or the necessity rather then the desire to worship in a circle or a prescribed fashion,  along with my personal choice not to try to manifest or use magic to make a situation unfold in my desired direction counted me out of all other potential spiritual circles. This made the first half of my spiritual journey a solo one, I just didn't care to explain my renegade brand of beliefs to anyone anymore after the run ins that I had found in the fellowship of the churches. I had been disillusioned to find that nobody was actually interested in hearing why I didn't believe in a Devil, rather they were waiting for me to finish speaking so that I could be corrected and saved. This rang true for the many names but same Source conversation, or the pointing out of Bible verses where Jesus urges His followers not to proselyte, or discussing the misogynistic writings and practices of Paul, deemed St. Paul, none of these were discussions to be had, they were misbeliefs to be corrected and if not corrected then I was a lost soul to be prayed for and turned away from. I wasn't about to face another rejection from a group of spiritually practicing women and men if I could avoid it.
 
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  • Candise
    Candise says #
    What beautifully, raw feedback Jason. Thank you for relating and sharing your similar jaunt aping this rainbow path Home. Many
  • Jason Leslie Rogers
    Jason Leslie Rogers says #
    Candise, Thank you for taking the time to write this. It spoke to and encouraged me. I can particularly relate (right now, at le

My religious practice is mostly Wiccan.  Were I practicing a Heathen, Celtic Reconstructionist, or some other NeoPagan tradition, my examples would differ but I think my point would remain the same. 

Wiccans have a primary pantheon of two major deities, the Lord and Lady. We also have a number of mythologies describing these deities’ relationships. Taken literally they are not consistent with one another.  In some but not all Wiccan traditions She is viewed as having three guises: Mother, Maid, and Crone.  Sometimes She will have three dimensions but not as mother, maid, and crone, as with Hekate.  Sometimes She is treated as a single goddess.  The Horned Lord is sometimes seen as the Oak King and the Holly King.  At the solstices they engage in ritual combat, dying to be reborn.  In other Wiccan contexts and traditions He is treated as a single deity, and sometimes as an aspect of a more inclusive deity. 

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I have been focused on the art of surrender lately – I am deeply interested in what it takes for your average modern person to consciously live the Will of the Gods, what the difference is between partial and complete surrender (I have the sinking suspicion the latter feels like sitting between two stools, while the other feels like connected bliss) and what a contemporary mystic’s journey can be like…and in this case, how that journey begins.

When I was first exploring paganism and Reclaiming witchcraft (later coming to the Feri Tradition through Reclaiming) I hand-picked the Goddesses and Gods that I wanted to work with, calling to the energies which sparkled and sparked outside of me, just within the reach of my imagination. I found it intensely powerful to strike up my first Goddess relationship with Brighid, keeper of the forge of my heart. Over the years, I have worked with many Goddesses, as I have felt called…but the deepest relationships I have experienced with the Divine have emerged when I have trusted the Divine to choose me.

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  • Heather Freysdottir
    Heather Freysdottir says #
    I was god-stalked by Loki. Before He made His Holy Presence known, I wasn't heathen or familiar with Him (that I was aware of). He

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Invoking Deities with Tarot

One of the most powerful aspects of ritual work is invocation. To invoke an element, a spirit or a deity is to bring their energy to your circle, and to bring their healing magickal power to yourself.

Many Pagans use statues, images and altar tools to help with the process of invocation. To have the image of a deity on your altar not only honors the deity, it assists in invoking the energy of that deity.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Last year, there was a tumultuous discussion over Brendan Myers' article on the Wild Hunt.  A comment by Sannion hit me like a load of bricks:

My rituals are done to please the gods. Therefore, if you do not acknowledge the existence of those gods then there is absolutely no reason to be in attendance at the rites because — and I know this will come as a shock to some — true worship isn’t about us and what we get out of the experience however much one may, indeed, get out of it.  (emphasis Sannion's)

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  • Editor B
    Editor B says #
    Very thought-provoking. I hope this article garners some comments because I would be interested in hearing reactions. All I can sa
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Thanks, B. Yes, ritual is all over secular life as well. It may often get called "ceremony" but it's there in spades.
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    This is a really good. I think the idea that worshiping the gods serves the culture as well as the individual practitioners is ve
  • B. T. Newberg
    B. T. Newberg says #
    Several good points, John. > the idea that worshiping the gods serves the culture as well... a flip side to that also: worship m
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    "But then, from a naturalistic perspective, there's also surrender to *reality*: the recognition that reality is as it is whether

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Which Voices?

The God/dess/es do not care about your rice krispies nor are their messages to be found in the snap, crackle, and pop. I have had what I believe to be genuine communication with the beings that I consider to be Deities and have experienced a number of forms of divine embodiment, or divine possession if you prefer. As such I do believe and have personal experiences that deepen the belief that the Great Ones do directly affect our lives. However, I regularly encounter people who report a chatty, friendly, rapport with the God/dess/es that they work with and/or worship. I have puzzled about this and in many cases it seems very sincere, but I doubt that beings whose scale of perception and consciousness are large enough to be considered Deities engage in small talk. I will warrant that this may simply be a limitation of my imagination and sensibilities, but I have another thought. 

 

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  • Diana Todd
    Diana Todd says #
    “I do whatever my rice krispies tell me to do” Is humorous, but it is also unsettling for how true it is for some. Discernment is

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