by Nuit-Hilaria and Mer-Amun
The Wicca’s approach to the Gods is unique. Probably the most striking fact is that there seem to be two deities as opposed to the One, or the basic pantheon of 360 gods found in other religions. The truth is illustrated in an old saying of the Wicca: “All Gods are One God, and all Goddesses are One Goddess, and both are One.” In other words, the Witch recognizes that the One Universal Organism has many different aspects, or modes, or moods; but that all are really variations of two main archetypes, Male and Female. So you can see that a Witch’s ideas about monotheism are neither in contradiction nor in complete agreement with other religions.
Another unique aspect of the Wiccan Gods is that there really is no traditional iconography as in other religions. The Witch, in looking to her Gods sees no fixed traditional image, but instead looks to what is around or inside her at any given moment. The Witch is constantly aware that the very ground she steps upon, the wind that blows through her hair, and the warmth of the Sun are all very much alive and as aware of her as she is of them. When a Witch prays to her gods, she speaks not with faith to some vaguely imagined and remote idea of what God must be like; she speaks with certainty to that Ancient Presence she feels and sees everywhere, in everything. To the Witch, all the same ordinary everyday things we take so much for-granted are the Gods. The Witch knows what to look for.
To most people in this day and age, it seems strange to behold such devotion to seemingly imaginary ideas as Gods and Magic. To put it as one man did, “How can you worship the Moon in a day when Man has been there and walked upon it and sees it for what it is?” Aside from the ignorance of the fact that Witches no more worship the Moon than a Catholic does a crucifix, the question illustrates the general superstition and lack of understanding that most people have of “Gods” and “worship.”
To begin with, the Wicca call their Gods, “The Old Gods.” Again, apart from the historical implications, this implies the root or basic ideas upon which, and from which all gods came to be.
Now, regardless of any logical approach to the reality of the Gods you may wish to take, in a sense the Gods are at least far more real than you or I, since we might hope to last eighty years on the earth if we are lucky, but the Gods have been here most obviously in the minds of men for thousands of years past and to come. They have influenced men’s thoughts, and actions, his politics, society and mental growth from the beginning of time with far more power than any single human being would wield. So the Gods are a reality on earth whether we like it or not, whether in the way we think or not.
If you must resort to a psychological explanation of the idea of gods, you will come to the persistent character in human nature that tends to objectify, and personify that which it fails to comprehend, about itself and its environment. Human nature tends to worship what it would most like to be, and in the act of worship, learns to be like it.
If you really think about it, if you sit back and stop reading for a minute and just listen to all that’s happening around you; if you look at the fascinating spectacle before your eyes, and try to see it all as One Big “Thing”; you will find you cannot escape the feeling that IT is all alive somehow, that there is intelligence and purpose behind it all, and most important, a feeling of multiplicity of lives and happenings and places and things. Somehow, you can’t get rid of the feeling that there is an over-all pattern behind everything – the way everything in nature seems to have the quality of duality, for example. A single day has its night and day aspects. There is sleeping and waking, wanting and not-wanting, seen and un-seen, earth and space, pleasant and unpleasant. This patter is like a presence, an Omnipotent, Omnipresent reality that we just cannot deny or even ignore.
You see, the Gods of the Wicca are not merely symbols of Hunting and Agriculture. To think so would be ignorant and even superstitious; and it may seem surprising to some, but superstition has no place in the mind of a Witch, especially when dealing with matters of the Craft. No, to the Witch it is the other way around. Hunting and Agriculture are only two very primal symbols for the Gods. With the proper perspective we can take a more sane and exact approach to an understanding of the Gods by asking ourselves what the Ancient Huntsmen and Farmers meant by saying that He is a lot like hunting and She a lot like farming.
In fact, we can do even better than that by simply acknowledging the fact that any God is a living embodiment, or personification if you wish, of an Ideal. It follows that the Gods of the Wicca are the living fact, the omnipresent, omnipotent living reality of the system that is Wicca; the patterns and laws, the love and intelligence that make up all things. Indeed, they are the Ancient Parents and authors of all things, the living Organism that is everything. When we see these truths as they appear in humanity, we say the Gods are “human-like” in qualities and so describe them. When we see these truths in Nature, we say they are the Gods of Nature and when we see these truths in the cosmos, we say the Gods are Cosmic.
To worship a god, then, is to devote time and effort to an ideal. In this perspective, a Witch is someone who has devoted, or consecrated her whole life to living out and being the human-like embodiment of the ethics and laws, the love and intelligence that make up all things. A Witch is someone who has totally dedicated herself to the loving service of all around her, of every person, of every thing. She has sacrificed her life to her Gods.
So the Gods are the living embodiment of a religion, and to worship them is to take on a particular way of life. This is true of all religions. It is the nature of Man to be religious, and to choose his own God, in his own way; and there are many to choose from. Some have chosen to worship Fame, others Fortune or Power. Most have chosen “ME” and “MINE.” Few choose and the Wicca choose: Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.