What "tradition" do you follow?

Discussion in 'Paganism' started by know1nozme, May 17, 2004.

  1. know1nozme

    know1nozme High Plains Drifter

    When you think of God and Goddess (or Gods) how do you visualize them? What names/masks/archetypes do you associate with Deity when you ritualize? Are they always the same or do they vary depending upon what you are doing?

    For instance, when you think of Goddess is She a single or triple aspected deity? What about the Dark Goddess? What cultural references do you prefer?

    The reason I ask is this: I am drawn aesthetically to the Celtic tradition - I find this approach beautiful archetecturally, poetically, musically - it speaks to me on a transcendent level, but I have trouble finding the mask(s)/name(s) which fit my mental/emotional/spiritual constructs of Deity in the Celtic tradition. There are many aspects of the Norse traditions which also call to me for many of the same reasons and of course the mythic datum is more accessable to me than the Celtic, better documented and more translations to English (for some reason, I get the feeling that the Celtic loses a lot in translation). Now, despite all of this, the mask(s)/name(s) I most strongly identify with are a "multi-cultural" hodge-podge. My Goddesses change faces on me, sometimes in the middle of ritual, from the above traditions I feel the strongest connections to Brigit and Freija, but I get the Norns and the Fates (of Greek tradition) as interchangeble and then there are moments when the mask/name becomes Ishtar, Athena, Minerva, Persphone (well, you get the picture). What is more, nearly every God I feel connection with comes from the Greek tradition (Dionysus & Pan mostly, but occasionally Prometheus or Apollo). I feel strong resonances in the duality of Frei/Freija and also Apollo/Artemis, but these deities have very different outlooks, mythically.

    Perhaps I have studied the historical mythic traditions and (more importantly), the symbols associated with them too much? Their background cultures grate against each other in my head and refuse to mix well. Although I have repeatedly tried to do so, I cannot seem to meld my concepts of Deities in their mythic/historical context (with all of their attendant symbols) with my spiritual understanding of modern Pagan/Heathen/Wiccan ritual practice.

    What is more, though I love ritual, I'm not much for spells. I work my ART through Art (most especially the Theatre) and I can feel the God(s) with me more palpably on the stage than in the circle (which might account for my need to associate with the Greek mythic tradition and symbols more often - I am an expert on ancient Greek theatre, especially the tragic form - and I feel strong magic in it).

    How about you? What is your approach to the spirituality you practice?
     
  2. cerridwen

    cerridwen in stitches

    I don't think I've ever really thought of picturing how gods and goddesses... in my mind they're just an energy as opposed to some physical form...
     
  3. know1nozme

    know1nozme High Plains Drifter

    I don't consider them in/as a physical form either. However, for me, each name/mask has a different amplitude or vibration, unique to itself. This is defined largely by the cultural and mythic context which surrounds it.

    Ishtar has an energy which is different from, say, Brigit. I might invoke or feel the presence of Brigit when doing work which deals with the fires of artistic creation, especially if it deals with words, Ishtar's creative energy is more raw and harder to control, better suited for fertility or raw passion than fine artistry. Freija even more so when passion and beauty (libido/lust) are the focus of my work (for some reason Aphrodite never seems to manifest, despit my predeliction with ancient Greek myth). Isis is most associated with motherhood, for me, yet another deviation from any particular cultural paradigm. I suppose that in this respect I am ecclectic, but it is hard for me to invoke the powers from one tradition while using the cultural tools most associated with another, it just doesn't "feel right." Though ultimately, they are all Goddess, the same basic energy, She just wears different masks at different times.

    Dionysus is a unique energy manifestation and deals more with opening oneself up to viewing reality from different perspectives. Dionysus is a God of altered stated of perception. Theatre, drugs and insanity are his purview and his fertility aspect moves in this direction as well. When I want to undertake a spiritual journey through the material world, tingeing my ability to experience reality rather than divorcing myself from it, it is Dionysus whom I am most likely to invoke.

    I feel a need to differentiate between each name/mask of Deity depending upon what type of energies I'm dealing with. Sometimes they aren't cooperative and manifest with masks (amplitudes/frequencies/what-you-will) which I am not expecting. This seems to happen most often when I'm doing work during a new moon, when the energy seems to be most difficult to sustain, though sometimes it happens at other times.

    Is there a particular cultural tradition which you are most strongly drawn to, or are you ecclectic, simply throwing it all together without regard to any particular name/mask?

    When you call the corners, do you use mythic symbols associated with any particular culture or tradition? Do you "wing it?" Or do you "stick to the script?" What set of symbols most influences your work?
     
  4. ForestNymphe

    ForestNymphe Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Merry Meet know1.

    I too follow mostly a Celtic path, calling the quarters in that tradition and calling upon Celtic gods and goddesses most often when in rit or when doing the occasional spellwork. I have learned from so many sources over the years it cannot help but be incorporated into my spiritual practice. I guess it's an eclectic mishmosh. *lol* I studied shamanism for years, from all different parts of the world and like to use a little bit of all of it in my practice. I enjoy working with the elements in the manner of aboriginal shaman and using South American visulaizations and meditations for empowerment and for peace. I enjoy simple ceremony that does not require much save for what I have available here in the forest. No two rits are ever the same, what ever feels right in my heart is what happens. An' it harm done do what ye will. ;)

    May the power of three be a part of your journey. )0(
     
  5. blugirrl1

    blugirrl1 Member

    I consider myself to be a kitchen witch. to me the earth mother manifest as energy.
     
  6. scrap_rat

    scrap_rat Member

    I am Hellenic Pagan. At the heart of everything I don't believe in anthropomorphic deities either but on the surface I think of 'em as the Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece, one loud, never boring in your face extended family.
     
  7. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    Well I'm only just starting out. But seem to be drawn towards the Celtic and Greek mythology.

    It always confuses me when people talk about the goddess, then say about all the diffrent ones.
    Is there just the one, or lots, or what?

    I always think of them as seperate and would worship particular ones depending on the occasion.
    To be honest I'm not really sure about it, as it's early days.

    TTFN
    Sage
     
  8. I was raised a Celtic Pagan, I also practice Folk magic. My younger brother now 18 is studying Druidism. He feels he is more connected to that path. I guess we all vere off once in a while.

    December

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