Okay, it has been more than a week since the Intro Lesson, but hey, I'm busy. This week (ahem!) is dedicated to the Goddess and God, in all Their forms and countless names, and to help you become accustomed with Them, and indeed to heighten your relationship with Them.
I won't pretend I know Them inside out, because I don't, but then I don't know many who do (most likely none). But they are unknowable in Their rightful form. Thus, we avoid the androgynous Higher Being that has been here before Time, and in its place we give more human characteristics and archetypes so that we can identify with Them.
The Correllian Tradition, of which I belong to, has given the perfect metaphor for how we look upon Them - a diamond. Each of us looks at the diamond, but we see a different facet of it, and thus we perceive it to be different, but it is still the same diamond. That is essentially why some call the Goddess the Lady of Many Names. Because of this theory, we cannot preach that we are the One True Way, or that our Gods and Goddesses are real and others are not. We are all human, and thus we perceive things differently. One of the main animosities we have against Christianity is their claim that they are the One True Way, whereas all paths lead to the same centre, the same Universal Deity that we all aspire to join.
But then a new question arises. Why do some Wiccans have a Goddess and God and others have many Goddesses and Gods. The reason? Taste. Some prefer just two to which they can identify (maybe disliking the idea of naming Them). But others like many to which different characteristics can be defined. This personalises Them and gives the practitioner much more control over a healing spell if they pray to a healing God/dess. You will no doubt find that even if you believe in just one Lady and one Lord, that in certain rituals you will name Them, and in other rituals They will take on different names again. This diversity can create a really personal approach to divinity. Perceive Them as best you can, not some ethereal force in the Heavens to which only a vague idea of white light or an old man can be adjoined. And do not be forced to acknowledge the existence of things you know not to be true. The individuality of Wicca is one of its strong points, and it would not be Wicca without it.
So now that we have covered the main elements of how the God and Goddess are perceived, we should cover what they symbolise, symbols for them, and anything else of importance.
If you were to set up an altar (and this is advised early on, so that you can pray and make daily devotions to Them on a regular basis) the Left side would be purely feminine, Goddess-oriented, and the Right would be purely masculine, God-oriented. Place a candle or symbol for Them in their respective areas and you will find it easier to identify with Them or pray to Them, instead of praying to some unknowable force held aloft in the sky. But on the same note, do not pray to the symbols. They are just symbols, which can be done without.
This brings us onto the Moon and the Sun. The Sun is a symbol of the God, the bringer of life, the protector and hunter, and the Moon is a symbol of the Goddess, the mother, the caring and protective lady. Take time to pray to Them while watching the Sun or Moon (avoid staring directly at the Sun please!) but remember that They are just symbols to help us identify with Them.
It is common belief and practice now for the Goddess to be revered as the Triple Goddess (remember that it's not worship in the usual sense of the word, but respect and honour). The Triple Goddess came about from the tree distinct phases of the Moon, the Waxing Moon (a symbol of the Maiden Goddess, the young and fresh vitality, a virgin, a beautiful, carefree essence), the Full Moon (a symbol of the Mother Goddess, her belly full with Her child, the God, a protective and caring force, also symbolised by the Earth), and the Waning Moon (a symbol of the Crone Goddess, or the famed Halloween Witch, bent and crooked, yet bearer of wisdom beyond comprehension.) Sometimes you will hear of myths where the Maiden goes to the Crone for advice, a symbol that She is consulting Her own Higher Self.
The Sun does not have such distinct phases, but is commonly seen in Four Forms, the Hero, champion and overcomer of all obstacles, embodying creativity, vitality, and self-expression; the Lover, consort of the Goddess, the dying and reborn God who embodies all virtues (the Sun); the King, the embodiment of justice and order; and the Sorcerer, the ruler of magick, prophecy and the Otherworld, often seen as the Horned God.
These forms and phases are open to debate of course, so you should explore all possible avenues to see which one suits you.
Now, I'll give you a little daily devotion to help your relationship with the Goddess and God grow:
O gracious Goddess of the night
Of the Moon and starlight
Guide me through the darkened hour
Bless my dreams with your power
Grant me rest and blissful sleep
Safe for all of mine please keep!
- To be said at night
O gracious God of the morning
Of the Sun and sky soaring
Guide me through the warmth of day
Protect my path with your rays
Grant me health and happy deeds
Help me reap and plant the seeds!
- To be said in the morning
Try to do this daily, but not in a learnt-off manner where you are not putting any thought or effort into it. Make sure you know what you are doing, and not doing it in some silly manner to receive the blessings of the God and Goddess. Ask them with sincerity and they will grant it. Believe me, it works. Better still, make your own daily devotions, or use some found in Scott Cunningham's books Wicca, and Living Wicca.
That ends this written lesson, though the learning never ends. You will find the God and Goddess in unsuspecting areas, in ponds and parks, in your garden and bedroom; even in the bathroom watching you shower! Find them and you will need no help from me in identifying with Them.
Next week (or later, knowing me) will be the next Lesson, regarding Magic and how it works. See you then,
Celtic SoulFire, Mentor, and Manager of Faith of the Old Ones!
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