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Author Topic: Questions about Deities, Rituals, and Adherence (Wiccan)  (Read 3895 times)
Icalasari
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« Topic Start: August 05, 2009, 12:22:31 am »

I tried skimming through the board, but all of the pages and how the advice seems to be more tailored to an individual (but still useful to others) is becoming a mishmash in my head. As such, I can't find anything that seemed to answer my questions. If it does end up that there was, then I am sorry for asking an answered question

When reading the book I got on Wicca, it told me a lot, but left more questions than were answered (Ah life, how you love to taunt people's thirst for knowledge). So I have a few questions. Please bear in mind that I was raised a Christian Catholic, so my knowledge about that religion and how it is structured will greatly impact how I understand. Also, I have a few disorders (Aspergers causing the most troubles), so if I don't understand right away, try wording it differently

I don't quite understand how the God and Goddess concept works. I get that they are considered in a yin and yang way and how one can have a personal relationship with them, but the book didn't explain their relationship with humans in general nor what their power exactly entails

When I think of a deity belonging to a monotheistic religion (for all intents and purposes, I am grouping Wicca in with that, despite it being a duotheistic (spelling?) religion when one only considers the God and Goddess, since two deities is a far cry from the many deities polytheistic religions and old cultures have), I think of an all powerful, all knowing being who can change the very fabric of reality with a single thought. Is this the same with the God and Goddess of Wicca, or are their powers more limited?

Are they known to get involved in human affairs often, or more or less just provide spiritual strength when asked? If they are all knowing, how does that exactly work with Free Will? (Christianity never exactly explained that, giving it one of the many strikes that eventually drove me away. After all, if you know all, then you also know the future, which means all actions are predetermined, in which case, why would a Hell even exist if we can't control what we do?) How do they view evil? If they are all good and have set views on what is evil and what is good, then why would they allow evil?



As for rituals, does one have to follow them to the letter, or is variance (and I mean more drastic variance, not, "Oh, that is allowed to be two inches shorter/oh, you can do that alone/in a group," style variance) allowed? If variance is allowed, how much is allowed? (E.G. is a circle needed for ones where, when talking about the ritual letter for letter, it says to prepare one? things like that) Also, how does one exactly FIND spells?



If one can also answer these questions for other Pagan religions (naturally changing the questions to suit the religion more), it would also be appreciated



Thank you to anybody who answers my questions
« Last Edit: August 05, 2009, 08:08:48 am by RandallS, Reason: Subject Changed » Logged

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TisiphoneSeraph
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« Reply #1: August 05, 2009, 03:03:14 am »

When I think of a deity belonging to a monotheistic religion (for all intents and purposes, I am grouping Wicca in with that, despite it being a duotheistic (spelling?) religion when one only considers the God and Goddess, since two deities is a far cry from the many deities polytheistic religions and old cultures have), I think of an all powerful, all knowing being who can change the very fabric of reality with a single thought. Is this the same with the God and Goddess of Wicca, or are their powers more limited?

First of all, I should point out that I'm not Wiccan and my reading in regards to it is lacking, but I will try answer you're questions to the best of my knowledge of it and if I mess something up, someone else will be kind enough to correct me.

The Wiccans I know generally don't think of their God and Goddess as limited, at least in the sense you seem to be describing. I think that it's generally thought that they possess the power to change the 'fabric of reality' as you call it but generally prefer to work within the framework they've set up. It not so much a matter of ability as it is a matter of preference.

Are they known to get involved in human affairs often, or more or less just provide spiritual strength when asked?

Your relationship with deities is deeply personal. While deities tend to have a way in they prefer to work, they don't necessarily work the same way with everyone. I think with the Wiccan God and Goddess varies even more so being that many Wiccans I've met claim that all gods and goddesses are merely faces of the God and the Goddess. If that's so, then you have a wide range of personalities and mediums they would work in.

Though it's worth mentioning that there are those who believe the God and the Goddess are separate from other gods and goddesses (if I remember correctly, those from the more traditional ceremonial circles of Wicca tend to hold this view) and as for that I cannot speak definitively on. Though I think most gods dabble in human affairs often enough.


If they are all knowing, how does that exactly work with Free Will? (Christianity never exactly explained that, giving it one of the many strikes that eventually drove me away. After all, if you know all, then you also know the future, which means all actions are predetermined, in which case, why would a Hell even exist if we can't control what we do?)

Not exactly sure of this from a Wiccan perspective except that there's no hell in Wicca so Free Will is a less painful burden to have or not have.

Personal perspective is that no god or goddess is completely all knowing. That they have a beginning and therefore an end, but that doesn't make them any less important or powerful. This all stems from my view of creation. If you want further explanation, just ask.


How do they view evil?

Most of the Wiccans I know personally are nondualistic which means they don't believe in the forces of good and evil. It varies among solitaries and I'm not sure of some of the well known groups' perspectives.

Personally I believe there is no good and evil. Everything just is.


If they are all good and have set views on what is evil and what is good, then why would they allow evil?

Again I think this goes back to the fact that they like to play by their own rules. Once they've set up the game they can only change it in so many ways. Bad things are only bad because of our perspective.


As for rituals, does one have to follow them to the letter, or is variance (and I mean more drastic variance, not, "Oh, that is allowed to be two inches shorter/oh, you can do that alone/in a group," style variance) allowed? If variance is allowed, how much is allowed? (E.G. is a circle needed for ones where, when talking about the ritual letter for letter, it says to prepare one? things like that)

With solitary, a lot of it is whatever feels right. Circles and Covens tend to make rule regarding those things. Personally, I think whatever feels the best is what you should do. I think there's more power in that than following per-constructed rules with little meaning to the performer.

Also, how does one exactly FIND spells?
The Spell Grimoire in the side bar is an excellent place to start.

Hope I didn't confuse you more. It is very late where I'm from.
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« Reply #2: August 05, 2009, 11:28:01 am »

When reading the book I got on Wicca, it told me a lot, but left more questions than were answered (Ah life, how you love to taunt people's thirst for knowledge). So I have a few questions.

Out of curiousity - what book? (It's often easier to explain questions if we know what you've been looking at, since there's a *huge* variance in books about Wicca)

The first thing I'll say here is that the term 'Wicca' is used in a widely varying set of ways. You might find a set of essays I wrote up as a personal introduction to my religious path useful in explaining some of that. The index is here: http://jenett.dreamwidth.org/899941.html and it's part 2 that's most relevant to most of your questions in this post.

Anyway, in brief, Wicca is used for everything from a initiatory mystery-focused priesthood tradition focused on very specific deities and with practices descended from a very specific location (this is usually referred to as traditional Wicca or British Traditional Wicca or BTW) to "Well, I like this idea of multiple deities and magic and doing stuff in a circle, but without a lot in common otherwise." Needless to say, this can make some conversations tricky.

I'm a priestess in an initiatory religious witchcraft tradition - for some specific reasons, I tend to think we're another branch of religious witchcraft (of which there are many besides Wicca) and not Wiccan, but we're still relatively close, all things considered. Just so you know where I'm coming from. (The details are in part 3 of that essay, for the curious.)

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I don't quite understand how the God and Goddess concept works. I get that they are considered in a yin and yang way and how one can have a personal relationship with them, but the book didn't explain their relationship with humans in general nor what their power exactly entails

Here's the reason I wanted to explain those different definitions up front. In BTW, the terms 'Lord' and 'Lady' (or God/Goddess) are standins used in public for specific names, because the names and other identifying infomation about those two deities are considered private within the tradition (or oathbound, as the agreement to keep them private is part of a ritual oath.)

I'm not from a BTW trad, so I don't know the details precisely of how they interact in that setting, but a number of public-use forms make note of the Lord and Lady going through a cycle of the God being born at Yule, growing up, becoming a young man/lover by Beltane, the Lord and Lady becoming lovers, the Lord being a willing sacrifice for the land at the harvest, and then becoming lord of the dead until he's reborn again. The Lady's role flows along with this, from mother to lover to grieving crone.

In other groups (and my trad is one of these) that are further away from BTW practice, the group may work with two specific deities who have a different mythology between them, or they may work with different deities at different rituals (so, for example, the group may honor Persephone and Hades at one ritual, and Isis and Osiris at another, depending on the ritual focus.) This can, in my opinion, be done very poorly (picking names out of a hat, or doing it very last minute) or very well (by developing a relationship with the deities involved months in advance of the planned ritual, or slowly over the course of years.)

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I think of an all powerful, all knowing being who can change the very fabric of reality with a single thought. Is this the same with the God and Goddess of Wicca, or are their powers more limited?

First, it's not so much that trad Wicca thinks there's only two deities in the universe - instead, it's focusing on those two, while recognising there are others. (And many BTW folks have relationships outside of their coven practice with other deities.)

The other thing to remember is that in polytheistic settings *many* deities aren't all powerful/all knowing. They have a great deal of power and influence in specific areas, but not necessarily everywhere. You can see this in Greek practice, for example: Zeus can make thunder and lightning bolts, and change form very easily, and all sorts of other things - but he's probably not the deity you most want on your side in a war, because his gift is not particularly tactics and strategy. Ares or Athena would be better fits for that. If you're doing work for prosperity and abundance in your house, you go talk to Demeter, not to Artemis. And so on.

(I sometimes think it's like talking to doctors: every doctor is presumably well-educated and very capable at what they do, and they put an intense amount of effort into those skills. However, they're not going to be top-notch at *every* kind of medicine, because it's a huge field, so you want to talk to the doctor who has the experience and training you need, not just the handiest doctor. And yet, in a pinch, they're probably more help for a number of things than someone without *any* medical training.)

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Are they known to get involved in human affairs often, or more or less just provide spiritual strength when asked?
Depends on the deity, and your relationship with them, honestly. Wicca does provide a particular form of interaction which can be extremely powerful and moving: Drawing Down the Godess or God into the priestess or priest. Through this ritual (which is effectively posessary, somewhat akin to similar practices in the Afro-Carribean traditions like Voudoun or Santeria), they can speak directly to the people in the ritual, and give guidance, commentary, etc.

However, it's very much a relationship, like a relationship you might have with a parent, a friend, a boss, etc. They'll suggest things, and you have the choice to go do something totally different. However, some of your choices may mean that you'll damage the relationship with that person, or step back from it (if you go do something that offends or hurts them, for example.)

Quote
How do they view evil? If they are all good and have set views on what is evil and what is good, then why would they allow evil?

The question of evil is also complex: Wiccan ethics has a big emphasis on self-responsibility and on what you do echoing back to you through the world, rather than a pure good/evil thing. In other words, if you are nasty to others, that nastiness will start showing up in your own life eventually. The good part is that you can make choices to change that.

Quote
As for rituals, does one have to follow them to the letter, or is variance (and I mean more drastic variance, not, "Oh, that is allowed to be two inches shorter/oh, you can do that alone/in a group," style variance) allowed? If variance is allowed, how much is allowed? (E.G. is a circle needed for ones where, when talking about the ritual letter for letter, it says to prepare one? things like that) Also, how does one exactly FIND spells?

It might be useful to think of a ritual like a recipe. There are tons of ways to make bread, or cookies, or pasta sauce, or whatever else you want to make. But there are also lots of places those processes can go wrong (and not work) if you miss a step.

Ritual structure often serves to provide a method that's been tested and found to work. However, as you get more experience, you can learn when you need the structure, and when you don't, and which bits change what. (Much like as you bake more, you learn which bits of the instructions actually matter, and which are personal preference.)  It's also a reminder to me that if I want to make pasta sauce, following a bread recipe probably won't be helpful. Yes, it'll get me food, but not the food I want, y'know?

My tradition uses a persistent structure for ritual, because it helps everyone in the group enter more solidly into the work of the ritual. Repeating the same steps over time helps our subconscious minds to more quickly and easily step out of our daily lives and into the work of the ritual. It's also, in a group, a good way to make sure everyone's in the  same place (mentally, etc.) when you start a working.

When I work on my own, I'm often a bit more flexible. I often do my tradition's ritual set-up because it's a good chance to keep in practice on the parts I don't normally do in group ritual (we divide them up by ritual role, so there are parts I never do in a group setting.) But there are also times I do something quick and simple to get me into sacred space, because I'm pressed for time or for some other reason. It all depends on what I'm doing and why I'm doing it.

As far as spells: there are a number of books that collect them, as well as the info on the Cauldron's site. Personally, I prefer to create my own, based on some basic folk magic techniques. (Knot magic, color magic, etc. etc.) rather than do a spell someone else designed. (This is the equivalent of saying "Ok, so I have this pasta, and I know other people have liked adding these things to it..." and going from there.)
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« Reply #3: August 05, 2009, 09:25:42 pm »

Out of curiousity - what book? (It's often easier to explain questions if we know what you've been looking at, since there's a *huge* variance in books about Wicca)

"The Wicca Bible," by Ann-Marie Gallagher. I was told that it is a bit of a difficult book after I got it from Chapters

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The first thing I'll say here is that the term 'Wicca' is used in a widely varying set of ways. You might find a set of essays I wrote up as a personal introduction to my religious path useful in explaining some of that. The index is here: http://jenett.dreamwidth.org/899941.html and it's part 2 that's most relevant to most of your questions in this post.

It answered a bit about the rituals, but not about the questions involving deities (unless I somehow missed that in part 2)

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Anyway, in brief, Wicca is used for everything from a initiatory mystery-focused priesthood tradition focused on very specific deities and with practices descended from a very specific location...

...(or oathbound, as the agreement to keep them private is part of a ritual oath.)

Alright. This is a little confusing, but I think I follow

Quote
I'm not from a BTW trad, so I don't know the details precisely of how they interact in that setting, but a number of public-use forms make note of the Lord and Lady going through a cycle of the God being born at Yule, growing up, becoming a young man/lover by Beltane, the Lord and Lady becoming lovers, the Lord being a willing sacrifice for the land at the harvest, and then becoming lord of the dead until he's reborn again. The Lady's role flows along with this, from mother to lover to grieving crone.

Ah, I remember that part from the book. It confused me a bit, however. I guess it is due to me being more used to a deity never dying and having to be reborn

Quote
In other groups (and my trad is one of these) that are further away from BTW practice, the group may work with two specific deities who have a different mythology between them, or they may work with different deities at different rituals (so, for example, the group may honor Persephone and Hades at one ritual, and Isis and Osiris at another, depending on the ritual focus.) This can, in my opinion, be done very poorly (picking names out of a hat, or doing it very last minute) or very well (by developing a relationship with the deities involved months in advance of the planned ritual, or slowly over the course of years.)

That was the most confusing part to me. When it said that they were different faces, well, I could understand that. But, when it said that one could also see them as separate, well, that confused me. After all, many deities from the religions and cultures they are borrowed from would conflict greatly, due to sharing the same roles or due to the very culture that they are from

Quote
First, it's not so much that trad Wicca thinks there's only two deities in the universe - instead, it's focusing on those two, while recognising there are others. (And many BTW folks have relationships outside of their coven practice with other deities.)

I'll respond to this at the end of the post

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The other thing to remember is that in polytheistic settings *many* deities aren't all powerful/all knowing...

...Through this ritual (which is effectively posessary, somewhat akin to similar practices in the Afro-Carribean traditions like Voudoun or Santeria), they can speak directly to the people in the ritual, and give guidance, commentary, etc.

I understand this. I was going for simplicity's sake by grouping Wicca more with monotheistic when asking my question, as I was more curious about how the God and Goddess works. I understand that, say, Poseidon would be great for issues involving the ocean, but one would want to talk to Anubis when dealing with the passage of the dead (I am sorry if I got their roles grossly wrong somehow. I have more of a basic level of understanding when it comes to the roles of each deity in polytheistic settings)

Quote
However, it's very much a relationship, like a relationship you might have with a parent, a friend, a boss, etc. They'll suggest things, and you have the choice to go do something totally different. However, some of your choices may mean that you'll damage the relationship with that person, or step back from it (if you go do something that offends or hurts them, for example.)

I'll respond to this at the end of the post

Quote
The question of evil is also complex: Wiccan ethics has a big emphasis on self-responsibility and on what you do echoing back to you through the world, rather than a pure good/evil thing. In other words, if you are nasty to others, that nastiness will start showing up in your own life eventually. The good part is that you can make choices to change that.

Once again, I'll respond at the end

Quote
It might be useful to think of a ritual like a recipe...

...(This is the equivalent of saying "Ok, so I have this pasta, and I know other people have liked adding these things to it..." and going from there.)

So spells and rituals are more like recipes in that one can go off of a set recipe, but as they get better, they can alter it to fit their style, leading to a more unique, more powerful spell/ritual in the end when applied by the person themself, thus meaning that the circle, candles, etc. may not actually be needed after one gets more skilled and can see what works and what doesn't work for them, correct? Or am I misunderstanding here?



As for the parts of the quotes I waited to respond to, I figured that they would go better together (also, it would be easier to see and pick out in this case):

So, if one sees the other deities as separate, then one could compare them more to, say, the angels of Jewish/Christian/Muslim/Mormon religions? Essentially, they each have separate levels of strength and ability, and as they go up in rank (e.g. Cupid would be lower than Zeus), they gain power, like how Arch Angels are not as strong as Angels, and do not have the same abilities, with the God and Goddess being at the top, like how YWH (I am almost certain I missed a letter there >.>) is at the top of the Judeo religions? (That always got me about them. They would all have to share the same name for God, if you think about it, since Judaism came first and the other ones were based off of it, yet they never do. It is kind of odd)

As for actions and how you treat a deity, it would be like how there are times in the Bible where people either treated an Angel well or badly, and the Angel reacted by thanking them and helping them, or scolding and punishing them, correct?

For the part about evil... So, the God and Goddess tend to remain neutral about that, then, allowing the person's actions to affect them in the end? Instead of a more, "I am all loving and powerful," figure, they take the role of, "We don't exactly care what you do, but we are warning you now that if you harm your fellow man, you are likely going to regret it"?

I'm not saying that I understand you as saying that they are apathetic, but more of that they will stand back and not have any set views on it, instead letting the universe dole out punishments and rewards



Once again, sorry if I am off with my understanding. It's just that, after being raised for so many years as a Christian, well, despite me no longer believing in said religion, it still greatly affects my understanding since it is the structure I am most familiar with
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« Reply #4: August 05, 2009, 11:41:28 pm »

"The Wicca Bible," by Ann-Marie Gallagher. I was told that it is a bit of a difficult book after I got it from Chapters

I haven't read that, but my impression from looking at the preview on Google Books is that there are lots of places that she's less than clear. (for example, she describes Wicca as polytheistic, but then says all Goddesses are faces of the one Goddess, which .. well, is not a model everyone uses, for starters.)

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It answered a bit about the rituals, but not about the questions involving deities (unless I somehow missed that in part 2)

The reason I referenced it is mostly to give you an idea of the *huge* range of different ways people use the terms 'Wicca'. The link to the Wiccan Church of Canada link in there does talk some about different approaches to deities.

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Ah, I remember that part from the book. It confused me a bit, however. I guess it is due to me being more used to a deity never dying and having to be reborn

Here's the thing, though (former Catholic here myself.) It's not that far a stretch from Christian practice: a God who is born into the world, who dies, and who returns (albeit not through rebirth, but through resurrection.)

That said, the mythology I described is one that a number of people find somewhat contrived for various reasons - that's why various traditions have gone off in other directions with it, and why other traditions make use of it but focus in ways that reduce the places that make it seem most contrived.

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That was the most confusing part to me. When it said that they were different faces, well, I could understand that. But, when it said that one could also see them as separate, well, that confused me. After all, many deities from the religions and cultures they are borrowed from would conflict greatly, due to sharing the same roles or due to the very culture that they are from

Well, yes. But that doesn't mean they're not still separate.

There's three different ways to look at this.

One is that all deities are faces of the same underlying God or Goddess. This, however, leaves deities who are some gender identifaction than (conventionally) male or female out of the picture - and those deities do show up in a number of pantheons.

One is the idea that all deities are totally separate - but that deities do share families and other communities and other connections. For example, Artemis and Apollo are siblings (and share some things) but are also connected to the 12 Olympians in a wide variations of relationships.

(One way I explain this one is that my brother, sister, and I all share some stuff in common - the same parents, the same basic values in our family, etc.) But we also have some differences (I am the youngest by 15 years, and grew up in a very different economic setting, especially in my early years, than they did, and so on. And if you try to get us all the same present for a special occasion, we're probably going to look at you funny, because we have different tastes and preferences, even though we have stuff in common. For example, we're all avid readers, but we prefer different genres.)

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I understand this. I was going for simplicity's sake by grouping Wicca more with monotheistic when asking my question, as I was more curious about how the God and Goddess works.

Makes sense. But while it's tempting to compare to what you know (and very human), I'd suggest it might be worth stepping back, and looking at Wicca (and other non-Abrahamic religions) from their own roots. Sometimes it's very easy to get tangled in comparisons that don't turn out to make sense.

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I understand that, say, Poseidon would be great for issues involving the ocean, but one would want to talk to Anubis when dealing with the passage of the dead (I am sorry if I got their roles grossly wrong somehow. I have more of a basic level of understanding when it comes to the roles of each deity in polytheistic settings)

Yep. But at the same time, there are hundreds of deities. So one model of interaction is that you form independent relationships with some of them (based on your interests, their interests, etc.) just as someone might have relations with a doctor, a librarian, a musician, a teacher, in all sorts of different parts of their life.

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So spells and rituals are more like recipes in that one can go off of a set recipe, but as they get better, they can alter it to fit their style, leading to a more unique, more powerful spell/ritual in the end when applied by the person themself, thus meaning that the circle, candles, etc. may not actually be needed after one gets more skilled and can see what works and what doesn't work for them, correct? Or am I misunderstanding here?

You're on the right track.

It's good to know *why* you're using your tools though. For example, I cast a circle not just because it makes my magic more effective (though it does, by helping to focus my intention from the very beginning, rather than diving into it quickly.) But I also do it because it's a space to welcome the deities I work with in my home, and because it helps me focus and direct the work I'm doing. Just because one of those reasons goes away, doesn't mean the circle is no longer useful to me.

But in principle yes. Once you know the method and are familiar with *why* the recipes work (and what changes will affect), then you can start experimenting.

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So, if one sees the other deities as separate, then one could compare them more to, say, the angels of Jewish/Christian/Muslim/Mormon religions?

Why so? Why can't they be deities in their own right? They're just not necessarily omnipotent or omniscent. (Honestly, I'm not sure how we tell whether deities are or not, regardless of the religion they spring from. I work on the theory that they have wisdom, scope, and perspective that goes far beyond mine, and that that is as much as I care about in practice.)

In other words, I can learn a lot from my boss or from my mentor at work, even though they are not omniscent or omnipotent - but they do have a great deal more experience and knowledge than I do in certain realms.

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As for actions and how you treat a deity, it would be like how there are times in the Bible where people either treated an Angel well or badly, and the Angel reacted by thanking them and helping them, or scolding and punishing them, correct?

I think of it very much like people. If you consistently treat another person badly, they're going to want to avoid you, at the least. They might go further than that, depending on them, and on what the issues are. At the same time, if you take time to build and nurture your relationship with them, they may be very happy to do a lot more for you than they would be for someone with whom they didn't have that depth of relationship.

Me, I tend to think thanking and respecting tend to work well whether I'm talking to a deity, to someone human who's 'above' me in rank, or to someone I've got responsibility for (like the students I work with.)

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For the part about evil... So, the God and Goddess tend to remain neutral about that, then, allowing the person's actions to affect them in the end? Instead of a more, "I am all loving and powerful," figure, they take the role of, "We don't exactly care what you do, but we are warning you now that if you harm your fellow man, you are likely going to regret it"?

In my experience, the individual deities don't do that. They do the "If you do X, *I* won't like it" or "If you do Y, there will be consequences." But it's not a 'stand on high and talk down' thing. It's a "If you do this, you'll damage our relationship."

For example, if I have a friend, and I constantly stand them up when we're supposed to get together, my friend will be annoyed, but we can probably fix that if I get my act together.

If I, say, break a major confidence with my friend, and hurt them very badly, I've damaged our relationship seriously, and there may be no coming back from that to what we had. In neither case is it a deity tsking and saying "Don't do that, it's bad'. It's all about my actions having repercussions and echos in the world.

My deities give me advice, perspective, wisdom - but they don't tell me what to do. They do (like my friends) tell me when something will cross a line they really care about.

I hope this gets some of it cleared up, and am glad to keep going around with questions...
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« Reply #5: August 05, 2009, 11:42:19 pm »

I don't quite understand how the God and Goddess concept works. I get that they are considered in a yin and yang way and how one can have a personal relationship with them, but the book didn't explain their relationship with humans in general nor what their power exactly entails

First off, I really can't address the generalized forms of Wicca that are rampant in the pagan community.  I've never participated in that, so I really don't understand it very well.  I am an initiated Gardnerian priestess, and the explanations I try to give are wholly based in that body of knowledge. 

The Lady and the Lord are lovers, not just opposing or complementary forces. They are Beings, with identity and personality.  They are responsible for the creation, through the act of love, of the physical universe we inhabit, and thus, of all that lives within it. Thus, they are correctly also styled Mother and Father.

A personal relationship with these Parents is as easy --and as complicated and difficult!-- as a relationship with one's own immediate parents. 

The Lady and Lord of British Traditional Wicca are not a divided form of the Ultimate Unity, That Which I usually refer to as The Ineffable One, or TIO.  I suspect that Reality may go on ad infinitum.  If we are Gods to dogs, for example, and we have deities to which we look up, Who knows if our Gods have Gods of Their Own?  and do Those Ones worship Others?  Who knows how far up that goes?  Probably only TIO.

When I think of a deity belonging to a monotheistic religion (for all intents and purposes, I am grouping Wicca in with that, despite it being a duotheistic (spelling?) religion when one only considers the God and Goddess, since two deities is a far cry from the many deities polytheistic religions and old cultures have), I think of an all powerful, all knowing being who can change the very fabric of reality with a single thought. Is this the same with the God and Goddess of Wicca, or are their powers more limited?

It's often hard to tell, and They don't tell us everything.  BTW clergy are sworn into holy orders, in direct service to Them.  They tell us what to do.  Like other deities that are primarily benificent, they don't ask us for more than we can accomplish... but that's not to say that it is always easy...!

Our Lady and Our Lord are not omnipotent; I don't have my texts handy just now, but Gerald Gardner called them little gods, tribal gods, not universal at all.  It's entirely possible that the reality They Create when They make love is just the reality in which exist Their people, Their tribe... those of us who are sworn to Their Service.  Don't ask me how that works; I can kind of ::feel:: it but I can't explain it.  I'm sorry; I'm usually good with words, but some things simply cannot be expressed in words.

Are they known to get involved in human affairs often, or more or less just provide spiritual strength when asked? If they are all knowing, how does that exactly work with Free Will? (Christianity never exactly explained that, giving it one of the many strikes that eventually drove me away. After all, if you know all, then you also know the future, which means all actions are predetermined, in which case, why would a Hell even exist if we can't control what we do?) How do they view evil? If they are all good and have set views on what is evil and what is good, then why would they allow evil?

We all have free will; our Gods, however, are perfectly capable of setting up circumstances to test our honor and sense of truth and justice.  They probably do it; I doubt we suspect Them often:  after all, They are Gods.  They can outthink us.  That being said, the same things may happen to Them, since they aren't omnipotent or omniscient or omnianything (the Christian concept of the omniscient and omnipotent Deity is really incomprehensible to me).  Our Gods aren't perfect. 

As for defining good and evil, that's really hard to do, and I'm not going to try to do it hear.  I believe that the honest person, with faith in Deity's aid, can search one's own soul and seek aid in prayer, to find the evil and work against it.  Close relationships with Deity make this a little easier.

As for rituals, does one have to follow them to the letter, or is variance (and I mean more drastic variance, not, "Oh, that is allowed to be two inches shorter/oh, you can do that alone/in a group," style variance) allowed? If variance is allowed, how much is allowed?  (E.G. is a circle needed for ones where, when talking about the ritual letter for letter, it says to prepare one? things like that) Also, how does one exactly FIND spells? 

In general, witchcraft is not as nitpickingly precise as High Ceremonial Magic can be; spellwork can be done on the spur of the moment, ritual can be creative.  But there is such a thing as magical momentum; the older and more often used a rite, the more power it has.  Within many magical lodges and orders, the same rites of worship and workings are used over and over at the ritually determined times.  Jenett explained part of the reason:  the more familiar all the participants are with the rite, the easier it is to do the consciousness shift.

If one can also answer these questions for other Pagan religions (naturally changing the questions to suit the religion more), it would also be appreciated
  Sorry; see the disclaimer at the top. 

Thank you to anybody who answers my questions

You're welcome.  Smiley
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