Recently I was asked for my opinion/explanation of how Deity fits into Wicca. It’s a question that many people, especially those new to the path, struggle with. Often it can be hard to reconcile the beliefs that we were brought up with and the beliefs that we are developing. Like many areas of Wicca and Paganism, there are no clear-cut answers to this question, and there may be people who disagree with me and that’s fine. We all must develop a relationship with deity that is our own.
In Wicca, there is no “big book” to tell us what to believe or what to think. We have a few general guidelines and texts we consider to be sacred, such as The Wiccan Rede and The Charge of the Goddess, but even from those, we must make our own determinations about what we believe and what is right for us.
Please know that what I write here is not meant to criticize or downplay anyone else’s beliefs, nor is it the absolute rule of Wicca. It is simply my personal system of belief, as well the belief of many Wiccans that I know and have learned from. Also, while many other Pagans may have similar beliefs and spiritual practices, this information is based on the practice of Wicca only.
One of the strongest underlying currents in Wicca is a belief in balance. We look for balance in the turning of the Wheel of the Year and in working with the elements. We strive for it in ourselves and in our practice.
Therefore, it would follow that we would seek out balance when it comes to Deity as well. Many of us have come from a monotheistic background where there is only one God. Many Wiccan practitioners felt a spiritual imbalance in this monotheistic belief system. This feeling of imbalance has lead many to search for something else, which led them to the practice of Wicca. In Wicca, we honor the duality of the God and the Goddess. They compliment and complete each other and provide balance to the universe.
When coming from a religion that is centered in the worship of God, it is easy to want to push Him completely aside because there is often a mental connection between the worship of God and the other negative feelings that they have associated with their previous religion. Often this means rejecting the God completely, and focusing only on the Goddess. But by rejecting the God, are we just creating the same kind of imbalance we experienced without the Goddess? Unfortunately, there is no simple way to reconcile this within your self. Each person must develop a level of comfort with this duality in their own time.
To me, it seems sometimes like a pendulum swinging. At first it swings very far to one side, then very far to the other. First believing in only the God, and then only the Goddess. But with time, the pendulum finds its way to the middle ground. It is the nature of balance. I believe that we are all like the pendulum, swinging this way and that until we find our center.
I do know, that for many people the word God holds the symbolism of their struggle, and for them it may be easier to consider using the terms “Mother” and “Father”, or refer to the Moon and the Sun, rather than God & Goddess. For others, who may struggle with the duality aspects, it may help to consider the Lord & Lady as two halves of a universal whole. Like the Yin and Yang of Eastern philosophy, only together do they complete the circle.
There is so much more that can be said about the God and Goddess and their place in Wicca, and most cannot be explained in a short article like this. Perhaps there will be other articles in the future, but until then feel free to stop into the forums and ask questions.
Much of what we learn must be experienced. If you are struggling with this, consider meditating on these questions in any way is most comfortable for you. Because in the end, who better to help you through a time of confusion than the Deity?