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Author Topic: Multiple Gods--Handling Relationships and Who Did What?  (Read 17466 times)
RootRealm
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« Reply #30: July 16, 2010, 08:22:11 pm »

(1) How have those of you who have relationships with other deities developed those relationships? I find it more difficult to have time to get to know these new goddesses. Do you have any techniques for doing so? What do you do for a deity who is a softer speaker than the other?

(2)I keep being afraid that my subconscious mind is making up personalities to deal with different issues of my own personality, rather than actually having a deity speak to me. Have you had this thought?

(3)And most importantly, when Something Happens-- either something you've asked for or something you just know  is out of the ordinary, how do you know who did what? Was it deity A, deity B, deity C, or All of the Above? Do you try and figure out which godly source did the Something, or do you thank them all?
 Huh


Your questions well address some complexities of issues with Deities. 

Question 2: I primarily have one deity I work with, the Great Mother, however, there are other "characters" who are important to me, and at least two of them, a Merlin or Hermes-like figure and a Baba Yaga or Dark MOther, could be regarded as functionally deities for me.  THen there is at least one other, a female child character or "deity."  I do not pray to the Merlin or the child, but the way I work with them could be in other senses seen as functionally similar to working with deities.  The way that I deal with this question you bring up, is that I don't feel that I need to know for sure whether the given Deity or Character lives entirely within me (as emergent from my own psyche), or without me, or both.  The whole JUngian theory of the Collective Unconscious (which did not suddenly come into existence with Jung, but existed always, and was only noticed and named by him) posits the interconnection of our individual psyches, with those of all other beings.  I see it as futile to try to "figure out" intellectually what's what in this realm.  I just work with whom I work with, call them what I call them (Deities or guides, what have you) and leave the rest alone and am happy it can be somewhat "unknown" and mysterious. 

Question 1: I try to arrange my path and practices so that they "cover" all the Deities or characters I work with.  I am constantly drawing connections between the deities or characters, and what aspect of personal growth or intentions they hold or represent to me.  I often use Tarot and the 4 elements to try to find the balances.  Each Deity corresponds with some aspect of myself, and a part of my growth or areas where I am challenged.  When I am aware of being in some challenged place, I am naturally drawn to the deity who has to do with that.  I don't believe in collecting deities as one would collect pretty stones.  To me, if I'm going to have them, they are there for a reason, and if there's a reason, then I intuitively have some knowledge of the type of relationship I have with them and when I am going to call on them.  For me, I tip the scales so that I value more of what of the deity emerges out of me as opposed to from a book.  I have a "Merlin" or Hermes deity for instance, and I have less interest in any facts about some historical figure or characteristics that mythology attributes to such a deity, and more interest in what I myself find out about him through relating to him.    Same with Baba Yaga. 

Question 3:  I follow a mythology/cosmology (similar to Hinduism )in which ONE Goddess, the Great Mother, gives birth to all the other deities.  She is greater than them all, they may hold secrets but she holds the most profound mysteries, and she is the mother of all.  So I tend to thank her for everything, even if I feel it was accomplished by some other "character" or deity, because all the others I see as basically emanations from her, her children as it were.  ANother way of saying it is that I can sense when I'm thanking her, that I'm thanking ALL deities at the same time. 
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« Reply #31: July 17, 2010, 03:40:07 pm »

Your questions well address some complexities of issues with Deities. 

Question 2: I primarily have one deity I work with, the Great Mother, however, there are other "characters" who are important to me, and at least two of them, a Merlin or Hermes-like figure and a Baba Yaga or Dark MOther, could be regarded as functionally deities for me.  THen there is at least one other, a female child character or "deity."  I do not pray to the Merlin or the child, but the way I work with them could be in other senses seen as functionally similar to working with deities.  The way that I deal with this question you bring up, is that I don't feel that I need to know for sure whether the given Deity or Character lives entirely within me (as emergent from my own psyche), or without me, or both.  The whole JUngian theory of the Collective Unconscious (which did not suddenly come into existence with Jung, but existed always, and was only noticed and named by him) posits the interconnection of our individual psyches, with those of all other beings.  I see it as futile to try to "figure out" intellectually what's what in this realm.  I just work with whom I work with, call them what I call them (Deities or guides, what have you) and leave the rest alone and am happy it can be somewhat "unknown" and mysterious. 

Question 1: I try to arrange my path and practices so that they "cover" all the Deities or characters I work with.  I am constantly drawing connections between the deities or characters, and what aspect of personal growth or intentions they hold or represent to me.  I often use Tarot and the 4 elements to try to find the balances.  Each Deity corresponds with some aspect of myself, and a part of my growth or areas where I am challenged.  When I am aware of being in some challenged place, I am naturally drawn to the deity who has to do with that.  I don't believe in collecting deities as one would collect pretty stones.  To me, if I'm going to have them, they are there for a reason, and if there's a reason, then I intuitively have some knowledge of the type of relationship I have with them and when I am going to call on them.  For me, I tip the scales so that I value more of what of the deity emerges out of me as opposed to from a book.  I have a "Merlin" or Hermes deity for instance, and I have less interest in any facts about some historical figure or characteristics that mythology attributes to such a deity, and more interest in what I myself find out about him through relating to him.    Same with Baba Yaga. 

Question 3:  I follow a mythology/cosmology (similar to Hinduism )in which ONE Goddess, the Great Mother, gives birth to all the other deities.  She is greater than them all, they may hold secrets but she holds the most profound mysteries, and she is the mother of all.  So I tend to thank her for everything, even if I feel it was accomplished by some other "character" or deity, because all the others I see as basically emanations from her, her children as it were.  ANother way of saying it is that I can sense when I'm thanking her, that I'm thanking ALL deities at the same time. 

Hey, thanks for your thoughtful input! I appreciate it.

Your answer to #2 is somewhat similar to what someone else said here... if it IS my subconscious, and it's doing good things for me, so be it! If it really is a deity, then so be it, as well. Smiley It's a good way to look at things.

For #1, I definitely don't feel like I'm "collecting them like pretty stones." I don't think you were accusing me of that, of course... but I absolutely do NOT just take on deities because they're cool, or to have lots on my side, etc.  I too, was trying to find a balance, and it turns out that two females responded, rather than the one that I mistakenly expected that I needed. I called out, and they responded, and like I said before, I think Sequana's been there a long time, just waiting until I was open enough to receive the fact that she is going to be part of my life.

You said (to double-quote) "To me, if I'm going to have them, they are there for a reason, and if there's a reason, then I intuitively have some knowledge of the type of relationship I have with them and when I am going to call on them."

Well, I have mine now, and I'm trying to find out what that means to me, for me, and about me.  My intuition about them seems not as good as yours is, as these deities are new to me (or rather, I know about them newly, they've probably and hopefully have known about me for some time now).  It's harder for me at this stage to find where I stand with them, who THEY are, and who I am with them.  I envy the fact that you seem to know your deities better where you are in your life than where I am in mine (save Hermes, of course, who I've devoted myself to for about 15 years or so, give or take).

And your answer to #3 to me is interesting! I know several people on here think of deities in the Aspect form, which I really can't do unless the deities themselves, throughout history, have been known to be tri-fold or Hindu-like in their aspects.  It's pretty impossible for me to think that way, so it's always interesting to read more about the mindset for those people who can. Smiley
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« Reply #32: July 18, 2010, 11:51:48 am »

Your answer to #2 is somewhat similar to what someone else said here... if it IS my subconscious, and it's doing good things for me, so be it! If it really is a deity, then so be it, as well. Smiley It's a good way to look at things.

For #1, I definitely don't feel like I'm "collecting them like pretty stones." I don't think you were accusing me of that, of course...
You said (to double-quote) "To me, if I'm going to have them, they are there for a reason, and if there's a reason, then I intuitively have some knowledge of the type of relationship I have with them and when I am going to call on them."

Well, I have mine now, and I'm trying to find out what that means to me, for me, and about me.  My intuition about them seems not as good as yours is, as these deities are new to me

And your answer to #3 to me is interesting! I know several people on here think of deities in the Aspect form, which I really can't do unless the deities themselves, throughout history, have been known to be tri-fold or Hindu-like in their aspects.  It's pretty impossible for me to think that way, so it's always interesting to read more about the mindset for those people who can. Smiley

Yes, I very much believe in the functionality aspect of the path and the deities. We do what we do, because it works.  If it doesn't work any more, we change to something else that works.  We don't need to spend a lot of time arguing about causes and origins and existences, but just focus on what works.

No, I think most Pagans are quite sincere and they are really drawn to their deities for good reasons.  I mention the collecting pretty stones because I am a pack rat and have some issues with collecting too much stuff.  I'm also aware at some level, that anything with archetypal resonance calls out to be accepted as a deity, insofar as all archetypes have a sacred numinosity.  Thus it is easy for me or anyone to keep finding gods everywhere, til there are too many to cope with.  I could, if I wanted to, make every one of my pretty stones a god or goddess, and every plant and animal into a god or goddess. 

I believe it is primarily my orientation to one main Goddess, that helps me stem an excessive proliferation of other gods and goddesses vying for my attention, everywhere...but there is some ambiguity because there are a good number of archetypes that call to my attention, as if soliciting me to make them all into gods.   I am in a continual exploratory process of how to "work" this situation, what type of "organization" to bring to this.  One reason I find the Tarot so helpful, is because it takes 22 major archetypes and holds them together into a system.  So it helps me organize these "gods" in a way that keeps them from vying too much for my attention.  The four elements (four suits of the Tarot) likewise provide a great deal of assistance. PErhaps every person needs to find their own unique "system" or way to "organize" their gods/goddesses and their relationships to them....
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« Reply #33: July 18, 2010, 12:40:15 pm »


Well, I have mine now, and I'm trying to find out what that means to me, for me, and about me.  My intuition about them seems not as good as yours is, as these deities are new to me (or rather, I know about them newly, they've probably and hopefully have known about me for some time now).  It's harder for me at this stage to find where I stand with them, who THEY are, and who I am with them. 

One other thought I've had about Paganism and deities, which seems relevant here, with what you mention about the difficulty of finding the meaning for you of the deities, is related to something a Buddhist friend of mine once said.  He was talking about Vipassana meditation and Theravada Buddhism, and he referred to Theravada and Vipassana as "the way without handrails," emphasizing the ostensible difficulty of a path which may not be as specific as some would like it to be.  It's been my view that varieties of Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft, specifically those which are rather solitary and self-developed, unique paths, is that we who walk those paths are really charged with the hardest task of all: to basically create a "religion" from scratch.  Few other paths are as difficult, since most offer clear doctrines, dogmas, teachings about what one is supposed to believe, and what attributes the deity/ies in question have.  But when we go at basically deciding upon our own pantheon, and creating our own practices and our own ways of doing magic, our own rituals, I think we all really deserve great praise, because we're doing something quite challenging where there are no "given" handrails! 
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« Reply #34: July 19, 2010, 08:08:47 am »

One other thought I've had about Paganism and deities, which seems relevant here, with what you mention about the difficulty of finding the meaning for you of the deities, is related to something a Buddhist friend of mine once said.  He was talking about Vipassana meditation and Theravada Buddhism, and he referred to Theravada and Vipassana as "the way without handrails," emphasizing the ostensible difficulty of a path which may not be as specific as some would like it to be.  It's been my view that varieties of Paganism, Wicca and Witchcraft, specifically those which are rather solitary and self-developed, unique paths, is that we who walk those paths are really charged with the hardest task of all: to basically create a "religion" from scratch.  Few other paths are as difficult, since most offer clear doctrines, dogmas, teachings about what one is supposed to believe, and what attributes the deity/ies in question have.  But when we go at basically deciding upon our own pantheon, and creating our own practices and our own ways of doing magic, our own rituals, I think we all really deserve great praise, because we're doing something quite challenging where there are no "given" handrails! 

Some choose to walk on the much-trodden roads amid many others.

Some know no road than that to which they have been led to by others.

Some fear all other roads even if they weary of the one that they now walk.

And some are drawn to the less travelled paths, content to meet others only at the crossroads.


Then there are those who are called to take that first step into the as yet untrodden forest.

To seek, to make and to mark a path that others may one day find.

Or to walk a path alone in that he or she may seek the depths and the heights that lie within each of us.


Throughout the journeying of our spiritual lives, there are those that will cross between the well-trodden roads to those less travelled.

It is far fewer that - with courage and curiosity, wonder and questioning - heed the call to venture into the unknown.

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« Reply #35: July 19, 2010, 03:11:17 pm »

<snipped to save space!> It is far fewer that - with courage and curiosity, wonder and questioning - heed the call to venture into the unknown.

I REALLY like this. Food for thought. Smiley
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« Reply #36: July 19, 2010, 03:24:45 pm »

"the way without handrails"

That has got to be the single most perfect description of how I feel right now.  I couldn't have thought of that or said it better myself.
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« Reply #37: September 30, 2010, 03:12:02 pm »

I use Egyptian Deities in my witchcraft and I've run into no problems.
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« Reply #38: September 30, 2010, 04:25:57 pm »

I use Egyptian Deities in my witchcraft and I've run into no problems.

I'm glad you have no problems.

I've sorted mine out for now... and me, personally, I don't do witchcraft. Smiley I'm not a witch/Wiccan, so... not entirely the same situation.
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« Reply #39: November 26, 2010, 05:55:07 pm »

I'm glad you have no problems.

I've sorted mine out for now... and me, personally, I don't do witchcraft. Smiley I'm not a witch/Wiccan, so... not entirely the same situation.

When I made that post I had just gotten back into witchcraft but soon I discovered that I didn't feel the connection anymore. It's sad, really. So what kind of practice I have posted is what I do. I still am having no problems even though I've got six statues now, two are open. Open statues mean that the gods are in them and they must receive daily offerings of food and drink. Sekhmet and Horus are two deities that demand a lot of attention.

Once I've done my offerings to them I wait until the incense has cleared and then I do another offering to whatever deity that's connected to that day. I usually do it during the afternoon. I have to also be careful because my brother works and he comes home and goes to bed. He would freak out if the smoke detector went off.

I don't dress Sekhmet and Horus because I don't know what to dress them in. So I just do the incense and the offerings along with washing them.
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« Reply #40: March 23, 2011, 07:22:23 pm »


For #1,... but I absolutely do NOT just take on deities because they're cool, or to have lots on my side, etc.  I too, was trying to find a balance, and it turns out that two females responded, rather than the one that I mistakenly expected that I needed.

You said (to double-quote) "To me, if I'm going to have them, they are there for a reason, and if there's a reason, then I intuitively have some knowledge of the type of relationship I have with them and when I am going to call on them."

Ah, you put my experience into words perfectly! I had already cultivated a wonderful relationship with my Goddess, and I really liked working with a female goddess, and I thought everything was running fairly smoothly. All of a sudden Cernunnos popped into my life, and then Apollo, and... well, it was a huge adjustment. It wasn't what I wanted at the time, but in hindsight, it was what I needed. Deities can see imbalances we can't/won't see, and intervene (or set up camp...) as appropriate.

Sometimes it's easy to see who affected what, and frequently I feel like I have two older brothers joining forces "for my own good" while a sympathetic sister leaves me to my lessons.  Wink

Has anyone had a preference for working with a certain gender, and had the complete opposite show up? Referring to deities, of course.
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« Reply #41: March 24, 2011, 11:58:04 am »


Sometimes it's easy to see who affected what, and frequently I feel like I have two older brothers joining forces "for my own good" while a sympathetic sister leaves me to my lessons.  Wink


That's actually what I get a bit of from Hermes at this point-- the stepping back from it all. So that's pretty succinct. 

I have a feeling there might be a thread around here about asking for one gender's help, and getting the opposite... but my brain is continually fuzzy.
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« Reply #42: March 31, 2011, 08:20:27 pm »

I have a feeling there might be a thread around here about asking for one gender's help, and getting the opposite... but my brain is continually fuzzy.

I think you're right, but I can't seem to find it either. I'll post the link if I do though!
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