Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wiccan Cosmology: The Wiccan View of the Divine

All religions are based upon a reverence or worship of a divine being, and Wicca is no exception. Wicca acknowledges an ultimate divine power from which the universe originally came. However, Wiccans believe that this ultimate divine is so far beyond human comprehension that any connection to it has been nearly lost, simply because of the difficulty in relating to it. If one cannot relate to deity, it is very difficult to have a personal relationship with it, and Wicca depends on a very individual relationship with the divine. So, Wiccans link with this divine power through deities, and just like all else in nature, the divine can be divided into two basic entities: the Goddess and the God.

Every god or goddess that has ever received worship upon the planet, at any point in history, exists with the Goddess and the God. The many different gods and goddesses that exist within each pantheon are simply aspects of the Goddess and the God. In other words, every goddess exists within the Goddess, and every god exists within the God.

Honoring the Goddess and the God

The twin deities, masculine and feminine, are a direct result of Wicca's close link with nature. Since most of nature is divided into gender, it makes sense that the deities would follow a similar pattern. In the very early days of Shamanism, when the Goddess and the God were as real as the earth and the sky, rituals and other rites of worship were unstructured and spontaneous. Later, rituals began to follow the course of the sun throughout the year, as well as the moon through its monthly cycle.

Today, these or similar rites are observed by Wiccans. The regular performance of these rituals is one of the ways in which modern practitioners can create a strong connection to the divine and all the powers associated with the Goddess and the God. Keep in mind, however, that it is not necessary to wait for these rituals to be reminded of the presence of the divine. Everything in nature is a part of the divine, and so connection to the divine is all around and within every living thing. Living in harmony with nature makes every moment a part of a grand ritual.

For many Wiccans, simply watching the sun or moon rise or set is its own ritual. Observing anything in nature can be considered a ritual to one who lives Wiccan ideals. Because of this, many Wiccans are involved in ecology to some extent, whether it be saving the earth from destruction or simply by recycling. Honoring the planet is one of the many ways in which the Goddess and the God can be honored.

Wiccan Theology on the Goddess and God

According the Wiccan theology, the Goddess and the God, and their many incarnations, did not exist until those living in ancient times conceived of them. However, their energies certainly existed, since it was these energies that created life as it exists today.

The earliest worshipers personified these forces as the Goddess and the God in an attempt to understand and relate to them. Once they were worshiped in these forms, the Goddess and the God endured. They did not vanish with the rise of Christianity. Though most of the rites have been lost to time, Wicca and other Pagan religions are alive and well.

When the Goddess and the God are envisioned, what is seen will reflect the experiences of the individual involved. Many Wiccans see them as familiar deities from ancient traditions, such as Diana, Isis, Cerridwen, Bridget, or Artemis for the Goddess, and Pan, Osiris, Lugh, Thoth, or Apollo for the God. Most of these deities have rich histories and mythologies, and this serves to enhance the experience of connecting to the divine for many Wiccans.

Some may feel more comfortable relating to a nameless being, and so worship a generic Goddess and God, instead of a specific incarnation. Either approach is correct, depending greatly upon personal preference. The divine will take whatever form is needed, whatever form we can be most easily related to.

For those completely new to polytheistic religions, it can be difficult to accept the fact that the divine exists as both masculine and feminine. More than that, they are considered equal; neither is higher than the other. Though some Wiccan traditions focus so much on the Goddess that they seem to forget the God completely, this is a reaction to centuries of male-dominated religions. However, religion based solely on the worship of the feminine is just as unbalanced and unnatural as one which focuses totally on the masculine. The ideal is a perfect balance between both male and female — the Goddess and the God.

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