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The God & Goddess

The Pantheons
As with any spiritual practice, it is important to define your intent, set your goal and prepare your ritual space with the appropriate tools and equipment. Religious practices all over the world call upon a deity or spiritual being of some type to assist in the practice or ritual at hand. Buddha, Jesus, God and Archangels are often thought of as the most common examples of spiritual deities. From a Metaphysical perspective, a practioner may also attempt to contact an animal guide or spirit guide to help add a measure of concentration and energy to the work being performed.

Many traditions within the religion of Witchcraft are no different from these other forms of practice. An alternate definition of "spiritual deity" might be thought of, but basically the concepts are the same. One of the common principals of Witchcraft is the definition of the God/Goddess. That which is "God" is the masculine essence of divine energy or the divine forces, or the all that is; pick a label you prefer. That which is "Goddess" is thereby the feminine essence of the same divine energy or force. But even amongst Witchcraft practioners, this definition exists with many others.

While many traditions of Witchcraft choose a group of pantheons to work with, not all do. Some traditions do not work with a God or Goddess, but rather see the Divine as a whole of which they are part of. I alone am not the Goddess, you alone are not the God. But you and I and all things seen and unseen make up the Great Spirits, the Divine Consciousness, The Divine Spirit or just the Divine Being. It has many names and labels, but it is the creation of all things through out the multiverse.

The Greek philosopher Xenophanes (480 B.C.), pointed out a profound truth when he observed that the gods men worship very closely resemble the worshippers. In the words of this ancient sage: “Each man represents the gods as he himself is. The Ethiopian as black and flat-nosed the Thracian as red-haired and blue-eyed; and if horses and oxen could paint, they would no doubt depict the gods as horses and oxen.”

When you ponder the research of 'God' or 'Goddess', one thing you should do is delve into the historical origin and evolution of not only the diety, but the pantheon they are associated with.

No one can truly answer the question "Which God is God?" This philosophical question is as old as the dawn of time and it will never be answered to the satisfaction of all the inhabitants of earth. So don't waste your time debating the issue; no definition is right or wrong, only what "feels" right to the practioner. What you believe in your heart. Metaphysics and Witchcraft teach that thought is form. Even Einstein theorized that "Thought is energy, to create it, use your imagination." He also theorized that "Energy is matter and can be used to affect change".

So whether the definition of a God or Goddess is accurate or real doesn't matter. What matters is the thought, and energy you put into your personal understanding and belief. If you chose to call upon the Archangel Michael for your pantheon, then you'll be joining your energy with the essence of Michael. The leader of the Archangels, a fair and just angel who has compassion for the wounded, downtrodden and meek. But who also has the strength and skill to combat even the darkest of deadly forces in the universe and win.

Choosing A Pantheon
What is a pantheon anyway? This is actually an easy one to answer. As humans we often need form and substance by which to work with. Especially something that's based in belief or spiritual concepts. So very often, people will assign a symbol to what they view as God/Goddess. An easy example, there are no known images of Jesus Christ. Yet all over Christianity you'll see representations of him. So that Christians can honor, and work with their view of God and his divine Son.
A pantheon is a group of Gods/Goddesses based on a regional area or culture. Greek Gods/Goddesses are one Pantheon group. Roman Gods/Goddesses would be another and so on.
The pantheon of deities is a representation of the Divine. A god for the masculine energy of the divine, and a goddess for the feminine energy. Depending on your need and view, you might work with many Gods, each representing a different aspect or characteristic of the masculine energy of the Divine. And same thing for the Goddess. For instance, in the Greek Pantheons, Artemis the Goddess of Mountains and Forests is a huntress. A Goddess who travels alone, protects nature and is strong, independent and self reliant. Venus, the Goddess of Love, she represents another aspect of the feminine divine spirit. She is seen from motherly to a seductive wench. Tempting and nurturing. Depending on what work you're doing, will depend on which Goddess you work with, if you have chosen to work with the Greek Pantheons.
But you don't have to chose a God or Goddess to work with during your own rituals. Many Witches chose to work with the Lord (the "whole" concept of the God essence) or the Lady (the "whole" concept of the Goddess essence) exclusively. However, others like to be a little more specific and they may chose a God and/or Goddess that represents the "energy" they want to invoke during a particular ritual or casting. Again, there's no one way to approaching the work with the Divine.

If you choose to work with a Pantheon group, you want to do a little studying first. Checkout the characteristics of the God/Goddess, review the stories of their lives, what they accomplished and what their general attitude was. When you find a God/Goddess that you feel a connection with, perform a meditation and ask this Pantheon to come to you.

Keep the following questions in mind when researching the pantheons.

  1. In what historical period was this pantheon at it's height? What was the geographic location and where was the birth of this belief? How long was this pantheon generally accepted?
  2. Approximately how many deities were involved with the pantheon? Which were considered the most important?
  3. How did the government of the time affect the religion? How did the religious leaders treat the people? How did the religion affect the every day lives of the people?
  4. What were the special symbols of the pantheon? Was there an alphabet or magikal language associated with this pantheon?

When trying to chose your personal pantheon, keep these questions in mind.

  1. What pantheon or magikal system does this deity belong to?
  2. What was their ranking in the pantheon and why?
  3. Describe any physical characteristics of the deity and describe the personality type. What tools does this deity use?
  4. Does this deity have a male or female counterpart?
  5. What holidays does this deity relate to? (Mark your calendars if you wish to honor your Pantheon during one of their holidays).
Mythological Pantheons
Many ancient religions had what may seem to be a contradictory belief in one Supreme Being who governed all the other gods of the world. This apparent contradiction was resolved in different ways. Among some primitive peoples it was believed that the Supreme Being created the world and humanity but soon abandoned the creation and withdrew to the heavens. The lesser gods were in charge of the world thereafter. In other cases it was believed that the many gods were simply manifestations of the One. This is the case, for example, in Hinduism and some suggest Witchcraft as well.

The mythologies associated with polytheism (belief in many gods) varied among the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, and Teutonic regions. There were gods for every aspect of nature and of human life. Especially interesting were myths about young gods, such as Osiris and Adonis, who were murdered but came back to life. From such mythologies developed the mystery religions of Greece and Rome.

One thing you don't want to do is mix pantheons during rituals and ceremonies. If you're choosing Egyptian Gods/Goddess, don't call upon Celtic deities as well. Mixing mythologies can be both confusing and contradictory to your workings.

Now your pantheon does not have to be human. You can also see the Divine as a trilogy. Some traditions see the divine as - The God, The Goddess, when bonded together, their union creates the whole of the trilogy and whole of the Divine Spirit. This is called the Divine, The GreatSpirits, emphasis on the plural aspect. But when working with the God/Goddess, an animal can provide the representations instead of people. For instance, when working with the God for protection, we might call upon the Great Grizzly in male form. When working with aspect of the mother, we call upon the Deer and so on. This view can provide a nature/human bond for us as physical beings with that of the spiritual nature of the Divine.

An Introduction To Your Pantheon
First do the research and study about the pantheons you wish to work with. There are many research sites on the web, encyclopedias and you can find a boat load of resources at Don't forget to look at the evolution of the people who honored those gods and goddesses. And it might even be a good idea to do a little research about the origins of mankind and the evolution and migration of people out of Africa to the four corners of the world. You may find some surprising things about the idealized deities you feel drawn to as you discover the historical facts about those dieties.  Take a look at other articles on the subect as well and read other perspectives that might not agree with your views; but may open a few avenues of thinking about what you thought you knew. One such article that I recommend reading is from the "Rastafarian Views on Life, Politics and Social Issues" - The Origins of Civilization - Part 4. I will not attest to the accuracy of this article, you can review the sources and research yourself. But I do recommend reviewing the article. 
When you think you know which Pantheon you'd like to call upon; try a meditation to contact them. Introduce yourself and explain what you would like of their service and how you would like to work with their essence. You can try using the special meditation How To Meet Your Spirit Guide to meet and greet your pantheon. Simply change the SpiritGuide to your chosen God/Goddess.

Once you have identified and met your personal God/Goddess, stick with them as you go through the process of learning the craft. Mixing pantheons during your learning process may create a too much of a flux or indecisiveness in your magik. Unless you really feel as if you have chosen the wrong alliance, stick it out. There's a reason for everything in this world, and there maybe a valuable lesson in this union that you're to learn and overcome before you're ready to move on.

Source: 1, m1, m4, m5, m7, m8, m9, m10, m13, m14, m16, m18, m19, m23, m24, m25, m36
Created:  04.8.1999 Updated: 06.02.2008


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