Discovering Your Wiccan God and Goddess Pantheon
Many people who come home to Wicca discover that the Wicca is all about connecting with the God and Goddess, within and all around us. It's true that many women and men who were raised in Christian homes and churches come to Wicca with somewhat of a fear, as they feel that if they worship and practice something other than Christianity, that they will go to Hell. To clear things up a bit, Wiccans believe that there is two parts to God or the universal being, if you will. There is a female part and a male part, and they work together to form a higher power. Did it seem like having a male God and no female part to God just didn't make sense to you? Maybe that's why you came home to Wicca and the old ways, things just didn't add up or you just never connected with God in the way you were told to.
That's okay! Here's the thing, even if you want to hold onto the idea and notion of who God is as you were taught, you can do that in Wicca. There aren't any restrictions as to what God or Goddess you connect with. If you want to worship God and Mary as the Mother Goddess, maybe this would fit more for you if you were raised Catholic. Wicca is an open religion and does not wish to force anyone to convert to its practice. It is merely around for people to come home to, if they so wish and if it is the correct path for them.
As far as Gods and Goddesses go, Wiccans believe in a huge range of deities. Some (including myself) don't give their deities a name or an association, as they feel this limits and inhibits a connection. However, many others do find a particular deity or deities to connect with that furthers them along their spiritual journey. In this hub, I will introduce just a few of the many Wiccan Gods and Goddesses waiting to be discovered and tapped into.
Wiccan Goddess Pictures
One cornerstone of the Wiccan religion is a unified belief in the Goddess. The idea of a Mother Goddess and Goddesses in general dates back thousands of years, to the very beginnings of the human race. In fact, these statues are generally known as "Venuses" and include a very well-known, full-figured female figurine without a face known as the "Venus of Willendorf" (pictured to the right). These Venuses have been discovered in recent times and have been dated as far back as 35,000 years ago. The stifling in the belief of a Mother Goddess took presidency with the rise of Christianity and Islam, both of which focus majorly on male Gods inadvertently denying the existence of a female aspect of God.
Now that you know a little bit of history concerning the belief in the Goddess and Goddesses, let's talk about some of the many Wiccan Goddesses to choose from in the Wicca.
∞ Celtic Wiccan Goddesses ∞
Many of the Wiccan Goddesses celebrated and worshiped in Wicca stem from the ancient Celtic peoples' beliefs.
Brighid, a goddess of fertility and healing, is one of the most well-known Irish Celtic Goddesses, as she was passed along from a Goddess into Christianity as a Saint. Catholics still recognize Brighid as a Saint, but many Wiccans worship her as a Wiccan Goddess in her original, natural Pagan form. She is also said to be a Wiccan Goddess of protection and poetry. Interestingly, Brighid was a triune Goddess, which means that she formed one part of a Trinity (sound familiar?). Her three parts consisted of Brighid the Physician, Brighid the smith, and Brighid the poetess. Read more about her story in books or online.
Rhiannon is another Celtic Wiccan Goddess, but lesser known and worshiped. She was the Welsh Celtic Goddess of the hunt, of horses, of strength, and of the moon. Her name was derived from the meaning "Queen of the Fairies", as she was first a princess in the realm of the fay but gave up her fairy existence in order to become the wife of a human prince. Her story is a very inspiring one, which can be read in my hub about Rhiannon (posted in the links at the end of this hub). She is usually depicted as a beautiful red-haired woman with a horse and birds surrounding her. For awhile I had a statue of Rhiannon on my altar, and she brought me great strength in some of my lowest times.
Also on the Celtic Wiccan Goddess list is Morrigan, Arianrhod, Shannon, Cailleach, Danu, Brigantia, and the list continues.
∞ Egyptian Wiccan Goddesses ∞
Have you had a connection with Ancient Egyptian lore and culture? Maybe you'd be more inept to following an Egyptian Wiccan Goddess pantheon. Many Wiccans look to the likes of Isis, Ma'at, and Sekhmet for inspiration and guidance in their rituals and everyday lives.
Isis is the Great Mother Goddess of Egyptian culture, considered to be the mother of nature and all things magical. She carries an ankh in her hand and is said to also be the Goddess of children and ritual.
Ma'at is the Egyptian Wiccan Goddess known to be the ruler and aid of justice and truth. She brings about order and balance to the world, both spiritual and mundane realms. Weighing the souls of the dead in the underworld, Ma'at would determine whether the dead's souls were worthy enough to continue on in the afterlife.
In addition to these Egyptian Wiccan Goddesses, you could look into Sekhmet, Bastet, Hathor, Nut, and Nekhbet.
∞ Ancient Greek & Ancient Roman Wiccan Goddesses ∞
Before Rome was turned into a Christian state by Constantine, the ancient Romans were Pagan and worshiped many Goddesses. The ancient Greeks also had their own line of Goddesses, which eventually sort of merged or meshed along with the Roman Goddesses at one point.
Diana is an ancient Roman Goddess who is now worshiped by a type of Wiccans known as Dianic Wiccans. She was the Goddess of the moon and of the hunt and was a fierce warrior. Diana is associated with oak trees and virginity, and represents the strong feminine aspect of life.
Hecate is known to be one scary Goddess; however, there is dark and good in nature and Hecate is also both dark and light. A Greco-Roman Goddess, some Wiccans on the more Gothic side tend to follow Hecate as their Wiccan Goddess. She is the Wiccan Goddess of the crossroads (between life and death), magic, and witchcraft.
Astarte is another well known and followed ancient Greek Wiccan Goddess, and also Demeter.
In addition to Egyptian, Celtic, Roman & Greek Wiccan Goddesses to connect with, more and more Wiccans are joining the Wicca and taking up a connection with Goddesses of the Native American beliefs (Spider Woman and Sedna), Polynesian Wiccan Goddesses (Hina and Whaitiri), Hindu Goddesses such as Kali, and also Christian Goddesses.
Wait...Christian Goddesses, you say? Yes, why not? If Catholics can pray to Mary the Mother of God, why can't Wiccans pray to the same woman but consider her at the same level of God himself? She would then be elevated to her appropriate place, as Mother Goddess. A resurgence of Mary Magdalene connections have also been made in recent times among Pagans and Wiccans alike.
As amazing and liberating as it is for new Wiccans to be able to celebrate the Mother Goddess, the female form of God in all her previously-hidden glory, we must not forget that there is always a balance in nature. The Goddess wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the God.
It's intriguing to note that the image of the ancient Pagan Gods has been distorted into a more modern version of what Christians refer to as "Satan". If you read back in history, and if you've ever picked up a Bible, nowhere in the Bible does it say that Satan has two horns, a tail, and cloven hooves. Where did this image of Satan stem from? From the church's push to convert the remaining Pagans throughout Europe; the Celtic God Cernunnos was a God of the Hunt, bearing horns and in some depictions cloven hooves. Ancient Pagans worshiped such Gods, but the idea of the God of the Hunt was turned into Satan and anyone who worshiped a horned God was known as a devil-worshiper or heathen and must be converted or condemned. Since the renewal of ancient Pagan ways, with the rising of Wicca and other nature religions in the twentieth century, the ancient images of the ancient pagan gods are being worshiped and revered by Wiccans and Pagans once more.
In addition to Cernunnos, there are many other Celtic Wiccan Gods such as Ogma, Macnannan Mac Lir, Nodens, etc.
Many Wiccans who choose one type of Wiccan Goddess will choose a God to somewhat match their Goddess. If you go with a Celtic Wiccan Goddess, you might be inclined to choose a Celtic God; however, there are no limitations. You could choose Demeter as your Wiccan Goddess and then choose Maui (who is a Polynesian/Hawaiian God) as your Wiccan God. Native American deities are open to choose from, and there are many Hindu gods to choose from, as well. Obviously this would be a mix of Wicca and Hindu, but that's what Wicca is all about, my friend! You could even include Buddha as a part of your chosen Wiccan pantheon. The limits do not exist within Wicca.
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© 2011 Nicole Canfield