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Author Topic: The Importance of Equality with Deity  (Read 1890 times)
christyfl99
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« Topic Start: May 24, 2008, 04:04:33 pm »

I come from a God-centered religion, so I have this slight knee-jerk reaction to focus more on the Goddess part of worship.  This is not to say that I exclude the God totally, but I feel more comfortable, right now at least, praying more to her.  Do you think that, over time, I might return to a balanced way of worshipping both?  And along those lines, what importance do you place on praying before eating?  I'm not meaning in the traditional, Judeo-Christian sense, but more a thanking the Deity for the food and your life...Do you find this important in your own walk?  Do you find you benefit from it?  And if you do pray before meals, as mentioned above, do you thank the God?  The Goddess? or Deity in general?
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« Reply #1: May 24, 2008, 06:12:39 pm »

Do you think that, over time, I might return to a balanced way of worshipping both?

I think that's really up to you.  As time goes on, you'll find likely settle into a pattern of worship that's most comfortable to you.  If you're seeking a more dualistic approach, you can always start now to reincorporate a male deity back into your practices a bit at a time until you've found the balance you seek.

And along those lines, what importance do you place on praying before eating?  I'm not meaning in the traditional, Judeo-Christian sense, but more a thanking the Deity for the food and your life...Do you find this important in your own walk?  Do you find you benefit from it?  And if you do pray before meals, as mentioned above, do you thank the God?  The Goddess? or Deity in general?

To clarify, I'm polytheistic and don't view deity as "the God and the Goddess" but as many distinct gods and goddesses.  I am devoted to a single, specific goddess, but have interactions with several other deities as well.  When I pray, it is always to a specific, named deity or deities, rather than than the Divine or God/Goddess with a capital G.  That said...

Unless it is a special occasion, such as a family gathering or a holiday meal, I generally don't pray at mealtime.  When I do, my prayers are made to the specific goddess to which I'm devoted and are prayers of thanks for all gifts she has bestowed.  I can't say that these kinds of prayers necessarily benefit me, but they really aren't offered for that reason, either.  My sole purpose in this kind of prayer is to show my gratitude to Her. 

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« Reply #2: May 24, 2008, 07:20:41 pm »

I come from a God-centered religion, so I have this slight knee-jerk reaction to focus more on the Goddess part of worship.  This is not to say that I exclude the God totally, but I feel more comfortable, right now at least, praying more to her.  Do you think that, over time, I might return to a balanced way of worshipping both?
It depends on who you are and what you need.

This is how it worked for me.  One of the things that turned me away from my birth religion was that it didn't have any place for women - other than as wives and mothers.  I was originally very focused on the Goddess, though nominally duotheistic.  Eventually, I realized that most of the deities I felt any connection with were male.  (At the time I thought of it more as being drawn more to "god energy" than "goddess energy.")  That led me to a more balanced duotheism.

Now, years later, I'm a hard polytheist who doesn't care nearly as much about the gender of a deity as about their personality and other traits.

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And along those lines, what importance do you place on praying before eating?
I try to keep a sense of gratitude at all times, but don't specifically pray before meals. Though it is a practice I've been considering taking up.

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And if you do pray before meals, as mentioned above, do you thank the God?  The Goddess?
When I offer prayers of thanks, I pray to the deity who has given me whatever I'm thankful for.  If I'm not sure who that might be, I offer a prayer to all the gods, or to "the one who did x" without using names.  (Kind of a celestial "to whom it may concern," only I try to make it a bit more eloquent.)

Who do you feel is responsible for the food on your plate and for your family not going hungry?  No reason you can't pray to your Goddess and God at the same time.  Don't overthink it.
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Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
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« Reply #3: May 24, 2008, 08:51:17 pm »

My sole purpose in this kind of prayer is to show my gratitude to Her. 

That's something I didn't 'get' growing up.  My family only said grace on special days in my dad's religion, basically Christmas and Easter.  That was fine with me - those days were special.  When I would stay with friends or relatives who said grace three times a day it seemed to me that they were being really disrespectful to their god, trying to call his attention away from whatever big godly thing he was doing to say 'hey, look, we're eating'.  It seemed such an attention-seeking thing to do, and, as I said, disrespectful.

I didn't get the gratitude angle until I was much older, because as far as I could see the food was grown by humans and prepared by humans.  Agriculture and weather gods I might have thanked, but not so often that, if they were listening at all, they weren't getting any work done.

I also didn't understand my dad's god was omni-omni-omni for a long time, either, or was supposed to be able to pay attention to everything and everyone at once, and that, unlike my own gods, he wouldn't have to stop something else to pay attention.  The concept is still a bit foreign to me, although I no longer feel that daily grace must be annoying to him.

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« Reply #4: May 25, 2008, 03:22:53 pm »

When I would stay with friends or relatives who said grace three times a day it seemed to me that they were being really disrespectful to their god, trying to call his attention away from whatever big godly thing he was doing to say 'hey, look, we're eating'.  It seemed such an attention-seeking thing to do, and, as I said, disrespectful.

I didn't get the gratitude angle until I was much older, because as far as I could see the food was grown by humans and prepared by humans.

I had to laugh when I read this, because that was exactly my attitude toward prayer when I grew up.  To pray for anything personal seemed, to me, to be bothering God (raised Christian) with trivialities when there were so many bigger issues in the universe.  I wasn't seeing the gratitude aspect of it either in those days.  Funnily enough, I pray daily now both for the purpose of showing gratitude as well as communicating with deity.   My how the times change!

(Side note: Hmm... wonder if there's been a recent thread discussing the purpose or function prayer?)

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« Reply #5: May 25, 2008, 03:25:08 pm »

(Side note: Hmm... wonder if there's been a recent thread discussing the purpose or function prayer?)

There hasn't- I've been wanting to make one, but I can't seem to articulate myself well enough to post anything. Please do, though!
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