The Goddess & God in Wicca
The Goddess and God are worshiped in many aspects in Wicca. First let’s look at some of the basic beliefs in how these two Deities are viewed. Many believe that the Goddess is a single entity and that all of the different goddesses within the different pantheons are just different aspects of the one Goddess. Same with the God. (By the way, a pantheon is a cultural group of Deities like say Celtic). This is called duotheistic. This seems to be a view point unique to some Wicca and even a few Pagans. In this belief system, the various aspects of the Deities are not viewed as being lesser than the One Goddess or One God. They are still very important and powerful. They are simply different powerful aspects of the One Goddess and One God. On the other hand, many more believe that each of the different goddesses of the different pantheons are individual entities in and of Themselves. Again, same for the individual gods of the different pantheons. This is called polytheistic. This second belief seems to be more prevalent with not only the Wicca community but the Pagan community as a whole.
There are some Deities that you will see labeled with the word triune. This simply means that that particular deity has three different aspects. Normally the different aspects of that deity have different names. However, there are exceptions, such as Brigid. She is known in all three aspects by the same name. Also, in many modern Pagan paths, many believe in the Triple Goddess as in the Maiden, Mother and Crone; and They are represented by the phases of the Moon, New Moon, Full Moon and Dark Moon.
The God however, doesn't seem to be seen as often as a Triune Deity. Though, He is sometimes recognized as having three basic phases as seen with His birth at Yule and as he matures throughout the year to finally pass to the underworld at Samhain to be reborn again at Yule. Most pantheons have different gods that seems to represent His different aspects at different times of the year.
This Triple Deity concept however, seems to be found primarily in Indo-European cultures. The historian Will Durant suggests that the Egyptians originated the concept of the Triple Deity and that it was later adopted by other religions. The concept of the Maiden/Mother/Crone of the Goddess seems to have come from Robert Graves' book "The White Goddess", in which he wrote that the ancient peoples worshiped a triple goddess. However, his work has been questioned over time. None the less, the idea caught on and is now very prevalent in many Pagan traditions.
What more is there to say about the Triple Goddess? Well, the Maiden is seen as being sometimes virginal. Also, She is seen as being a young woman or girl. She is all about new beginnings, enthusiasm, and young ideas. Her symbol is the New Moon and can be called on during the waxing Moon and late winter and early spring are her times. The Mother is more mature and seen as being all about fertility, love and sex. She is about abundance and growth. She encourages the gaining of knowledge and fulfillment in the social and emotional. Her symbol is the Full Moon and her time of the year is late spring and summer. She is sometimes seen as being pregnant with the God who will be reborn on Yule. The Crone is of course a much more mature woman, sometimes seen as being a hag. She is seen as the wise woman and the bringer of death. Thus, She is about endings, wisdom and compassion. Her symbol is the Dark Moon and her time of the year is autumn and winter.
The Goddess is many times seen as the Moon Goddess or Great Mother and is connected to the Moon, stars, Earth and the sea. She gives regeneration and rebirth to souls of the dead and love to the living. The God is seen often as the Horned God since He is many times seen as Lord of the forest and the wild animals as well as over death and magic. He is connected to the Sun which is seen as His symbol. The two Deities are viewed in Wicca to be equal in importance but having separate significance; neither being over the other. However, there are some Wiccans who worship only the Goddess or give a lesser emphasis to the God. This is thought to be a reaction to all the emphasis that the current major religions have put on an all-powerful god that has traditionally suppressed women's right to equality with men and the total lack of a goddess within their belief systems.
There are those however, that are both duotheistic and polytheistic. They will work with the many different Deities of the different pantheons but saves their actual worship for the One Goddess and Horned God whom they see as being the supreme Deities. The Goddess and God are also sometimes called the Lord and Lady.
What else can be said about the Goddess and God? First in their individual aspects they each rule over various aspects of our lives and of nature. Like Aphrodite is the goddess of Love and Mars is the god of war. However, if you are viewing the Goddess and God as the All in One aspect then there is a different kind of division of what they rule over.
The Goddess has under Her power things like the Earth, Water and most domestic animals. She is generally considered to be over the cultivated fields; where the God has under His power things like the forest and other wild places and most of the wild animals. Most, when they think of nature, they think of Mother Nature and will recognize that She controls the weather. However, the God has both Fire and Air as His domain.
But where did the Goddess and God come from? What is Their origin? One belief is that in the beginning there was the One. The One was ever changing, all-powerful, everywhere and all-wise. Then, the One created the Goddess and God. This belief of the creation of the Goddess and God seems to be mainly a Wicca belief. It is more prevalent with those that believe that all gods and goddesses are the One God and One Goddess. Though not all Wicca believe in it. Some Pagans might believe it but not all.
But this isn't the only belief as to the origins of the Goddess and God. There are two others. First is that the Goddess and God, in all Their forms, have always been here and that they reveled Themselves to us as we needed them. The second is that we actually created Them with our thoughts as we sought ways to explain what was going on around us and to explain nature and our own physical needs. These two beliefs are applied to both the duotheistic belief system as well as to the polytheistic belief system.
As you can see, there are more than one belief system of the Goddess and God. Like all other aspects of Wicca, what you wish to believe personally is up to you. Try them all out to see which works best within you.
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