How would you classify this?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2004
How would you classify this?
6
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 2:52am
I'm still in the "figuring out exactly what I believe" stage of my journey. So, of course that comes with a lot of soul-searching. And some of what I've come up with seems to contradict itself. I seem to be drawn to Wicca. Could be because it's what I'm most familiar with, but at the bookstore, I keep being drawn to the books about Wicca. There is, however, one aspect that I'm not quite "there" with - the idea that there is ONE God and ONE Goddess. I'm definitely polytheistic. I believe that there are several Gods and Goddesses. I think I can make those two work, together, though. The rest of my beliefs on the subject of the Gods and Goddesses, though, gets a bit confusing. I actually believe that the Universe as a whole is a Deity, and that all of the Gods and Goddesses are actually different aspects of this "main" Deity. A concept that I'm probably not explaining well. But, this begs the question: am I polytheistic with pantheistic leanings, or pantheistic with polytheistic leanings? And how does that relate to ANY religion - or should I just call myself an eclectic and work out my own path? Quite a bit about what I'm reading about Wicca does speak to me - and I intend to follow the Rede no matter what path I'm on - it's just this one aspect that has me confused. Is it possible to be a polytheistic/pantheistic/eclectic Wiccan?
jennyjellybean



jennyjellybean
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 3:34am
Wiccans follow many different paths when it comes to the deities. Some are monotheistic, following one Goddess. This arose during the women's movement in the 1970s when women were breaking away from the patriarchy of God the Father. These groups are usually called Dianics, for the Goddess Diana.

There are duotheistic Wiccans, who follow one God and one Goddess. Sometimes They are named after specific deities, other times They are called the Lord and the Lady or the God and the Goddess.



Some Wiccans are pantheistic, seeing the divine in everything, with one Godhead (in the Judaic sense of an unknowable God). These Wiccans sometimes see the "deity" that they follow as the universe itself.



Other Wiccans are polytheistic, following many God/desses. They see each God/dess as having His/Her own stories, legends and lore, personalities, etc.



It's not necessary to put a label on yourself, but if you feel the need to, I would say that you are pantheistic. You can call upon different deities for specific needs, but They are just aspects of the universe. For example, say your cat is ill and you call upon Bastet or Freyja, who are both Goddesses of cats. It makes it more personal to call upon a specific deity than to simply pray to the universe. Of course, you can do that as well, if that makes you more comfortable.



I myself am a polytheist and I was one when I was a Wiccan as well.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2004
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 12:43pm
Thank you for your response. Good to know that my beliefs don't ACTUALLY contradict each other - even if they seem to on paper. I don't know why I get so hung up on labels. Maybe it comes from not knowing the answer whenever I was asked what religion I was growing up. Despite going to church every Sunday, beyond the fact that I was Christian (or at least called myself that because it was easier than arguing with my parents), I had no clue. I have no idea what exact denomination I was CONFIRMED in. I spent my whole life with no REAL answer to the question "what religion are you?" I guess I just like to have an answer now - even if I'm nowhere near ready to share that answer with anyone outside of the Pagan community. Does that make sense?
jennyjellybean



jennyjellybean
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-03-2008
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 1:02pm
Yes, it does make sense, and I understand the need to have labels. I have that need as well. I think for me it's important so that people within the Pagan community know where my beliefs are coming from. I used to just call myself a Pagan, but that covers a lot of territory. Being able to call myself a Druid brings with it a long line of history, a set of certain beliefs and responsibilities, a certain set of rituals, a certain pantheon of God/desses, etc. I tell others that I'm a Druid and they know what I am, or at least, have a sense of what it means to be a Druid. Does this make sense?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-09-2001
Mon, 02-01-2010 - 1:03pm
Hello. :) I am an Eclectic Wiccan and have been for many years now. I combine a number of practices on my path. What I have come to believe as to the Goddess and God, is that each is an "archetype" and that there are many *names* and *qualities* or *characteristics* or *faces* of both the Goddess and God. Different cultures and Pagan traditions, such as Egyptians, the Celts and so on, have many names for both, with different characteristics of both, and reasons to call up that face of the God or Goddess or both, when doing Magick or ritual. For me, all these different names and characteristics are faces of the God and Goddess, in all their splendor and power. We can focus on one face at a time, as suits us, and our needs at any particular time. I don't think there is any one way to believe or relate to the Goddess and God. That is up to you, and They may call to you in their different guises or faces. This is what I have come to believe on my Wiccan path. Blessings to you on your journey! :)) Wicca is a highly individualized path, and very personal. Follow your inner guidance and insight and intuition. <:P My favorite books for "common sense" Wicca (IMO) are the two books for Solitaries by Scott Cunningham, if you haven't read them. Starhawk's "Spiral Dance" is a great beginning read, also, although she emphasizes just the Goddess in a Goddess worship focus. Some Wiccans do that, also, and are called "Dianic Wicca" to the exclusion of the God as a major deity.


Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



Photobucket



Strong like a mountain,

Flowing like a river."

~~Tai Chi Chih



Photobucket





Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photobucket



Mika Dog




"All things share the same breath;

the beast, the tree, the man.

The Air shares its spirit with

all the life it supports."

--Chief Seattle



"If there are no dogs in Heaven,

then when I die I want to go where they went."

~Will Rogers



"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress

can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

~~Mahatma Gandhi





Photobucket Photobucket






Blessings,

Gypsy

)O(



iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2004
Wed, 02-03-2010 - 3:08am
I know exactly what you mean. I'll still need to explain what it all means when I'm ready to come out of the broom closet. But, when talking to another Pagan I can say "I am a pantheistic Wiccan" and not have to explain that it means that I worship the Universe itself and I follow the Wiccan Rede. Which, of course, is a total over-simplification. But It's hard to put everything else that it means into words. Which is actually why I like having the label. I don't HAVE to put the rest into words. This is one case where having a label actually feels rather freeing.
jennyjellybean



jennyjellybean
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2004
Wed, 02-03-2010 - 3:26am
Thanks for that explanation of your beliefs. They seem pretty close to my own. Except I take it one step further - not only are the Gods and Goddesses each just different "names" and "faces" for the God and Goddess archetypes - but the God and Goddess archetypes are, in turn, just the two side of one whole - the Universe itself. Somehow, something that would probably have most of my Christian family scratching their heads (and my ex's born-again Cristian father and stepmother trying to get me committed) makes perfect sense to me. I've actually realized that this is what I've ALWAYS believed. I was born a pantheistic Wiccan, I just didn't know there was a word for what I believed.
jennyjellybean



jennyjellybean