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Author Topic: Did you choose a God(s), Goddess, or were they already a part of your path?  (Read 3487 times)

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Nicodemus

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Hello All
Did you choose a specific God/Goddess (plural/singular) yourself and/or adapt them to your needs or were they pre-subscribed i.e. a part of a path or tradition which you chose?

I am just curious, because I have trouble 'choosing' the name/form of my Divine at times. I find more doubts as I continue to do my research. This is one of the reasons I am attracted to Paganism, as I believe there is some liberty in how you go about it yourself. Have you had a lot doubt, and how did you overcome it if so?

Thanks.
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BronwynWolf

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I firmly believe WE do NOT chose our gods, THEY chose US. I am on my Path because of the gods who claimed me.
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Neither. I agree exactly with what BronwynWolf said, and I will add this: I don't understand how one can "adapt" a god to his/her/its own path. This may depend on your conception of the Divine; people who view them as archetypes or metaphores might have an easier time doing this, whereas people who view them the way I do are likely to find this very difficult.

Not everyone has a patron deity, although I'm not sure how rare those people are. The gods really do choose us, and sometimes it can take years for us to realize our connection; other times, we'll be "claimed"; sometimes it's a mixture. I have a thread on here* that I used to help learn about Set--to be honest, I'm a bit embarrassed at how little I knew about him, especially since I'd felt the connection before and didn't explore it. It is what it is, though. What that thread doesn't say is that a few weeks later (after quite a bit of research and some prayer and contemplation) I was "claimed." I am having a very enriching experience.

*Here's the thread: http://www.paganjourneys.com/index.php?topic=1652.0
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dragonspring

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We are definitely claimed by Gods and Goddesses, not the other way around.  I think when one realizes that they have been claimed, our paths naturally change focus a bit.  However, most people honor other Gods and Goddesses as the need arises even after they are claimed.   
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I agree with what has already been said, my own slant is that part of the spiritual path is discovering who you are, there are specific energies that are part of who you are. They laid claim upon you as a race horse is claimed by the need to run, a bird to fly, a hound to hunt, a piano to be played. To give lip service to dieties you feel no connection to is religion, to connect is spirituality, it is the expansion of the soul into something greater then yourself. There I go with trying pretty words again but in short they chose you in a very basic way, they chose you for who you are. There is no panic if you feel no connection for our souls are on a lifetime journey and if you believe as I do, the journey of many lifetimes.
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FairyQueen

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Eh, I think it is a little bit of both. And even those who believe that Deities are archetypes can be "chosen" by a particular deity. I know that sounds odd, but let me explain by giving you my personal example: I believe that Divinity is the energy that is in everything and everyone. I guess that makes me more pantheistic; however, I like to assign this belief to a personality because it helps me "focus" better. I have always been drawn to "Mother Earth" figures and so was doing a lot of research on Gaia. I came across a website about the Slavic pantheon and read the name "Mokosh." The feeling I got was like a slap in the face and a warm embrace all at once. Like "Thank goodness you're here, why the hell did it take so effing long?!"

Clear as mud, right?

Regardless, I guess it depends on what you believe Divinity is. Once you figure that out, you'll figure out who/what to talk to.
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I had a similar experience to FairyQueen,viewing the deities as archetypal and honoring them as such but then having an encounter with Demeter out of the blue. I still honor deities primarily as archetypes and have added a number of different deity figures-- they are the ones I identify with more for one reason or another. I haven't heard of anyone having predetermined deities based on their path-- though I surmise that might be the case for traditional Gardnerian Wiccans, who have the names of their deities revealed to them in their coven training. Somebody correct me if I am wrong-- I don't really know much about that path but it seems I picked that idea up somewhere.

If you are solitary, I would go with honoring whomever/whatever feels right. You will be corrected if/when you need to be. ;)
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RedheadedAries

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I was working with the god Ares. I felt a connection toward him. Then one day I had a dream about the Egyptian god Ra which I thought was so strange because I had no knowledge of any of the Egyptian gods! I didn't knOw he was the sun god but in my dream I did! Then i started seeing him pop up in other areas of my life. He definitely chose me!
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Tirya

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I don't think you "adapt the Gods to your needs" - for example, I don't think you can take Anpu and turn him into an obedient puppy dog because you like the "Ooh! Puppy!" aspect but don't have any stomach for the fact that he is the god of the Underworld. But if you are needing guidance or assistance in something like a legal matter, for example, petitioning Ma'at for her guidance would be something to consider.

As for me, I started out in paganism by studying the Norse gods. I am Norwegian by heritage and was looking for a connection to the Divine after I lost my faith in Christianity. I enjoyed the myths and stories, but didn't feel a deep connection to them. For the longest time I just viewed Divinity in the archetypical "God and Goddess" without envisioning specific aspects or names or entities. When I ended up in a group that honored the Egyptian gods and felt like I had "come home". I have had some deep connections with Bast, and while my self-esteem isn't strong enough to say she has "claimed" me (because I don't feel worthy of being claimed, but that's another issue), I do honor her as my Matron Goddess. Even when I left the group and turned my back on paganism for several years, I was still aware of Bast and missed that connection. I tried researching the Greek pantheon and looked for a connection there, but never really felt one. And when I returned to learning about the Egyptian pantheon again, I again had the sense of "coming home"...even though it was around ten years after I left the group.

My advice? Don't force it. If there's a culture or pantheon that seems interesting to you, read about. Or them. Learn about the Gods and Goddesses, but if you don't feel a strong draw to any one in particular yet, it's okay to address The Lord and The Lady, IMHO. It may take a while.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 10:11:09 PM by Tirya »
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We are definitely claimed by Gods and Goddesses, not the other way around.  I think when one realizes that they have been claimed, our paths naturally change focus a bit.  However, most people honor other Gods and Goddesses as the need arises even after they are claimed.   
I firmly believe WE do NOT chose our gods, THEY chose US. I am on my Path because of the gods who claimed me.
:yeahthat:
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Claude

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Dionysus definitely picked me and no there was no sort of eclecticism adaptation etc in the process. He accepted me as I am and I accepted Him as He is. 
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Nicodemus

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I firmly believe WE do NOT chose our gods, THEY chose US. I am on my Path because of the gods who claimed me.
Do you think that there are things, not directly the Gods as such, but other things which lead us to them but in retrospect can be seen to have been the Gods calling in a way? For example, you enter a book shop and buy a book on history, in the book you find info abouts and that leads you to find your God.

I couldn't find any good links on what Bon Droi is, could you send me a link if you have one please so I can end my ignorance. :)

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Nicodemus

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Neither. I agree exactly with what BronwynWolf said, and I will add this: I don't understand how one can "adapt" a god to his/her/its own path. This may depend on your conception of the Divine; people who view them as archetypes or metaphores might have an easier time doing this, whereas people who view them the way I do are likely to find this very difficult.

Not everyone has a patron deity, although I'm not sure how rare those people are. The gods really do choose us, and sometimes it can take years for us to realize our connection; other times, we'll be "claimed"; sometimes it's a mixture. I have a thread on here* that I used to help learn about Set--to be honest, I'm a bit embarrassed at how little I knew about him, especially since I'd felt the connection before and didn't explore it. It is what it is, though. What that thread doesn't say is that a few weeks later (after quite a bit of research and some prayer and contemplation) I was "claimed." I am having a very enriching experience.

*Here's the thread: http://www.paganjourneys.com/index.php?topic=1652.0
Thanks for the link and reply. It is useful to know you agree that it is chosen. One little issue I have is that the Goddess which I felt 'chose me' holds a minor role to her consort/husband and that tended to cause me to consider having to adapt my focus (perhaps more than the Goddess) so that I can see her as a major in the pantheon. Did you find it helpful to follow a well defined God i.e. Set, as He has a lot of history I imagine? (I will read you post).
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 04:26:51 AM by Nicodemus »
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Nicodemus

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We are definitely claimed by Gods and Goddesses, not the other way around.  I think when one realizes that they have been claimed, our paths naturally change focus a bit.  However, most people honor other Gods and Goddesses as the need arises even after they are claimed.
Hi Dragonspring
I am answering the posts one by one, but you touch on the issue that I mentioned above, it seems I will have to honour other gods/goddesses. :) Thanks for the reply.
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Nicodemus

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I agree with what has already been said, my own slant is that part of the spiritual path is discovering who you are, there are specific energies that are part of who you are. They laid claim upon you as a race horse is claimed by the need to run, a bird to fly, a hound to hunt, a piano to be played. To give lip service to dieties you feel no connection to is religion, to connect is spirituality, it is the expansion of the soul into something greater then yourself. There I go with trying pretty words again but in short they chose you in a very basic way, they chose you for who you are. There is no panic if you feel no connection for our souls are on a lifetime journey and if you believe as I do, the journey of many lifetimes.
Hi Vordan
I have also noticed this as my spirituality evolves, that the soul is the centre and my source and connection with the Divine. So I have found that ideas and forms of Gods have played a lesser role in my worship than my soul, which has become more of connection which is with me 24 hours 7 days a week. It is useful to hear that you feel the soul has an important role, thanks for sharing. :)
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Nicodemus

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Eh, I think it is a little bit of both. And even those who believe that Deities are archetypes can be "chosen" by a particular deity. I know that sounds odd, but let me explain by giving you my personal example: I believe that Divinity is the energy that is in everything and everyone. I guess that makes me more pantheistic; however, I like to assign this belief to a personality because it helps me "focus" better. I have always been drawn to "Mother Earth" figures and so was doing a lot of research on Gaia. I came across a website about the Slavic pantheon and read the name "Mokosh." The feeling I got was like a slap in the face and a warm embrace all at once. Like "Thank goodness you're here, why the hell did it take so effing long?!"

Clear as mud, right?

Regardless, I guess it depends on what you believe Divinity is. Once you figure that out, you'll figure out who/what to talk to.
Hi FairyQueen
Exactly, focus is perhaps what I am asking for in my questions! :) I feel that it is easy to overcomplicate things, in a way I had a slap in the face but time has past since and I am again looking for a reminder. Thanks!
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Nicodemus

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I had a similar experience to FairyQueen,viewing the deities as archetypal and honoring them as such but then having an encounter with Demeter out of the blue. I still honor deities primarily as archetypes and have added a number of different deity figures-- they are the ones I identify with more for one reason or another. I haven't heard of anyone having predetermined deities based on their path-- though I surmise that might be the case for traditional Gardnerian Wiccans, who have the names of their deities revealed to them in their coven training. Somebody correct me if I am wrong-- I don't really know much about that path but it seems I picked that idea up somewhere.

If you are solitary, I would go with honoring whomever/whatever feels right. You will be corrected if/when you need to be. ;)
Hi Earthmuffin
I am far from being well read in Paganism, but be pre-defined, I perhaps mean Roman Gods for example, who are names and well known, if one were to follow them then the Gods have their roles already defined. I am not following them, but I wonder what it is like for people attracted to them already you see.

I am solitary, for various reasons, so that is where the questions on adapting comes in. Ultimately there is no one to say I shouldn't due to some scripture or history and I am wondering if that is going to work for me... time and investigation will tell. Thanks. :)
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Nicodemus

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I was working with the god Ares. I felt a connection toward him. Then one day I had a dream about the Egyptian god Ra which I thought was so strange because I had no knowledge of any of the Egyptian gods! I didn't knOw he was the sun god but in my dream I did! Then i started seeing him pop up in other areas of my life. He definitely chose me!
Wow, that's a strong sign. Does Ares still play a role or has the role diminished now?
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Nicodemus

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I don't think you "adapt the Gods to your needs" - for example, I don't think you can take Anpu and turn him into an obedient puppy dog because you like the "Ooh! Puppy!" aspect but don't have any stomach for the fact that he is the god of the Underworld. But if you are needing guidance or assistance in something like a legal matter, for example, petitioning Ma'at for her guidance would be something to consider.

As for me, I started out in paganism by studying the Norse gods. I am Norwegian by heritage and was looking for a connection to the Divine after I lost my faith in Christianity. I enjoyed the myths and stories, but didn't feel a deep connection to them. For the longest time I just viewed Divinity in the archetypical "God and Goddess" without envisioning specific aspects or names or entities. When I ended up in a group that honored the Egyptian gods and felt like I had "come home". I have had some deep connections with Bast, and while my self-esteem isn't strong enough to say she has "claimed" me (because I don't feel worthy of being claimed, but that's another issue), I do honor her as my Matron Goddess. Even when I left the group and turned my back on paganism for several years, I was still aware of Bast and missed that connection. I tried researching the Greek pantheon and looked for a connection there, but never really felt one. And when I returned to learning about the Egyptian pantheon again, I again had the sense of "coming home"...even though it was around ten years after I left the group.

My advice? Don't force it. If there's a culture or pantheon that seems interesting to you, read about. Or them. Learn about the Gods and Goddesses, but if you don't feel a strong draw to any one in particular yet, it's okay to address The Lord and The Lady, IMHO. It may take a while.
"
Hi Tirya, thanks for sharing your search, I can related to it. I explained above my idea of adaptation is to focus perhaps on one Goddess (or God) as a major although she/he holds a minor role normally. I will take your advice and let it come without forcing it. It is interesting that you felt such a strong connection to the Egyptian pantheon, I assume that is where you remain today?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 05:30:40 AM by Nicodemus »
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Nicodemus

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Dionysus definitely picked me and no there was no sort of eclecticism adaptation etc in the process. He accepted me as I am and I accepted Him as He is.
Hi Claude, it has been that fluid for you, that is great. Were the next steps as easy, such as worship, finding a group etc, or are you still working on evolving that?
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BronwynWolf

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I firmly believe WE do NOT chose our gods, THEY chose US. I am on my Path because of the gods who claimed me.
Do you think that there are things, not directly the Gods as such, but other things which lead us to them but in retrospect can be seen to have been the Gods calling in a way? For example, you enter a book shop and buy a book on history, in the book you find info abouts and that leads you to find your God.

I couldn't find any good links on what Bon Droi is, could you send me a link if you have one please so I can end my ignorance. :)

Yes, other things can lead us to our gods. Of course they can! When you are on a road trip, you need a map; road signs and references to get where you're going. My spiritual path is a road trip that never ends.  :D In my case, it started when I was a little girl, and more interested in the myths and legends of the British Isles than "classic" mythology, although I certainly always enjoyed that as well.

"Ban Droi"... you will not find an on-line site or book that even mentions it. When I was evolving from Wiccan beyond, it was a term Brid (Bridget) told me to use as a title to distinguish what I was learning versus other Paths that have evolved. The closest you would find is Ban Drui, which is, literally, Woman Druid. I am not a Druid, although much of what I follow is very similar. It is a woman's path, although I do mesh fairly well with my husband's path. (He is a British Traditional Witch)
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Nicodemus

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Thanks for elaborating BronwynWolf,
I have had 'signs' or events which have stood out as showing the way, so it is useful that you and others do too.
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Tirya

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I do still follow the Egyptian Gods, and there have been several signs over the past several years that have reinforced my belief that this is where I belong. It took a long time and a lot of fighting on my part to realize it, accept it, and embrace it, though.
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Nicodemus

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I do still follow the Egyptian Gods, and there have been several signs over the past several years that have reinforced my belief that this is where I belong. It took a long time and a lot of fighting on my part to realize it, accept it, and embrace it, though.
I am going through a struggle to accept it at the moment, when I give in it feels good but sometimes I tend to talk myself out of it. I have started to think that it is like "falling from the path" and when I do life becomes troublesome (philosophically at least) until I stumble back on to it. Just a thought to share in response to your last point :)
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