Today is an interesting one – I feel like the topic of deities could have 30 days all of its own!
It’s funny, I feel like I’ve been actively working with gods and goddesses for only a short part of my pagan life. When I first began practicing Wicca four years ago I found it very easy and natural (haha!) to begin working with Great Spirit, elementals and land spirits. I was, and still am, a very eclectic witch, and although I knew that lots of people worked with gods and goddesses, I never felt the need. I felt like my work was fulfilling and complete without them, and if you read my entry on cosmology you’ll know that I believe the gods are ways of understanding Great Spirit anyway.
It wasn’t until I was auditioning for my music course that I first worked with a goddess. I wanted to be in this course very badly – this creative spirit felt completely trapped in a science degree and I knew a music course was where I needed to be. I felt like I needed some extra support, someone to hold my hand in the audition room, and almost by accident I stumbled upon Brighid. I warmed to her straight away – two of her domains are creative inspiration and healing, and as someone who wants to be a music therapist, I saw similarities with myself. She was wonderfully supportive, wise and still continues to teach me a lot. She encouraged me to not be afraid of working with deities, and she was my first experience of their power.
Brighid is still a goddess I revere and work with regularly. And yes, I did get into that music course!
That was two years ago. It took me a while to put names on the deities I was working with, but I think unconsciously it was all part of my deep beliefs that I was still discovering. I spoke a bit about this in my Cosmology entry, but my beliefs are very pantheistic. I see the universe as a manifestation of Great Spirit, or “God”. Divinity is everywhere, within everything, the world is god. With those beliefs in mind, it’s not surprising that working with traditional deities was not high on my to-do list. I was already building relationships with spirits of the land, elementals, dryads and other nature spirits. I was already working with that divinity. I was just working with different parts of it and calling it different names.
I am still very eclectic, and the specific aspects of Great Spirit that I work with are many and varied. One day I may be revering Brighid, the next day I could be asking guidance from Dolphin, the day after trading energies with tree spirits. To me, though, these are all just aspects of Great Spirit. They are ways of understanding Great Spirit. We are human, and we love to categorize things. It makes sense that we find it much easier to work with little chunks of Great Spirit, than try to puzzle the whole universe out!
I believe that a lot can be learned by working with many different deities and benevolent spirits. They can be very different in practice than in books. If we are respectful there is a lot we can learn from each other, for they are of the same divine spark as we are.