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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Gods

We make our destinies by our choice of gods. -- Virgil

In my last post, I wrote about the danger of trivializing the gods.  In this post, I want to discuss the danger of trusting them.

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I am a Jungian Neo-Pagan, which means that, theologically speaking, I fall somewhere between atheist Pagans and devotional polytheists regarding the existence of the gods.  By placing my beliefs in the "middle" here I do not mean to privilege my beliefs, only to make the point that I both agree and disagree with both groups about different things.  One thing I agree with devotional polytheists about is that the gods should be taken seriously. 

I worry sometimes that we Neo-Pagans don't take our own gods seriously enough.  I disagree with devotional polytheists about the metaphysical nature of the gods, whether they are "real, independent, sentient beings" or real, independent semi-conscious archetypes. (Carl Jung called the archetypes "gods" and compared the psyche to an “Olympus full of deities who want to be propitiated, served, feared and worshipped”.)  But one thing I admire about them is the seriousness (the "piety" if you will) with which they approach the gods.  

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

In his old age, the poet Simonides went to live in the court of Dionysios, the tyrant of Syracuse.

One day, Dionysios asked him, “Simonides, what is a god?”

“Give me a day to think about it,” said Simonides.

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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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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In honor of the Winter Solstice and Christmas I offer this story of the birth of a god recorded by Jung. In this selection from his Red Book, Jung describes in symbolic language the consequences of the death of his god. Jung is overcome by how his god is made small, like an egg which he can keep in his pocket. He is left disoriented by the loss of his god. So Jung takes the egg containing his god, protects it, nurtures it, while it gestates into something new.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Every so often, I'll get asked about Gods and Goddesses. Who 'my' Goddess is, my patron, my chosen pantheon... you know the sort of thing.

I've pondered the deeper meanings of deity often, as I think you must if you are to travel a Pagan path at such a level. Does deity have existence outside of human belief? Are they just energy forms? Is it not presumptuous to just 'pick and choose'? (My answers, briefly, are 'Yes', 'Not exactly', and 'It depends who's doing the choosing'...)

But recently, the multifaceted nature of Goddess has been on my mind. From the sad passing of my oldest animal friend into the arms of Bast, to the focused dance of the Morrigan, via the peaceful mysteries of Kuan Yin, this week has seen many aspects of my Lady pass through my life.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Cat - congratulations on having a HUGE number of likes and reads on Facebook for this post. Our FB feed shows that over 11,000 rea
  • Cynthia Savage
    Cynthia Savage says #
    Hmmmm......I don't think I've ever been asked about deities.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Very nice knitting! As a Platonist, I have noticed that individual 'soft'/'hard' polytheist self-identification is one of the lar

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The Gods in Druidry

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Emily Mills
    Emily Mills says #
    This is something that I've been thinking about lately as I try to deepen my spirituality. I'm a member of OBOD, which has a lot o
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    I love the concept of The Mystery... x

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