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Should You Mix or Match Pantheons
Should you mix or match pantheons during worship and in symbolic representation on your altar? This is a complicated question that delves at the heart of how you see the God and Goddess. It also depends upon how you have chosen, or been chosen by, your patron God or Goddess.
For example, I have always been drawn to the Norse god Odin All-Father above all gods. I have been researching him for as long as I can remember. His skills of magic, words, shamanism, and prophecy correspond to my own interests. My ancestors worshipped him. I was even born on Wednesday (Wotanís Day to us Anglo Saxons). But his feminine counterpart Frigge remains a mystery to me. I have not yet felt her presence or found any common ground between us.
So what am I supposed to do? Especially since paganism and Wicca are religions of profound dualism with the God and the Goddess having balanced roles in every sabbat on the Wheel of the Year? I canít exactly invite them both into my circle and then concentrate on Odin while ignoring Frigge. That would be as obnoxious as flirting with someoneís husband at a party. Nor can I make offerings of herbs and food and drink on my altar before Odin and have a neglected figurine of Frigge gathering dust. That would be discourteous.
Most of us come to one god or goddess long before starting a relationship with his or her counterpart. And many of us feel a strong connection with individual gods and goddesses from completely different pantheons. This is fine when we are interacting one-on-one with the gods, but it can lead to some unusual pairings in formal ritual or celebration of sabbats: Dionysus and Isis? Kwan Yin and Cernunnos? Does this feel right to you? Does it feel realistic? Do the gods themselves approve?
Meditation and prayer can open your heart to whether the gods approve. As for how you feel about it, consider how you see the God and Goddess. Specifically, do you believe that the God and Goddess are archetypes that contain all gods and all goddesses? Many pagans do. If so, you might feel comfortable mixing your pantheon and worshipping combinations of gods and goddesses from different cultural backgrounds. Maybe you believe that each god and goddess is a real, distinct individual as our ancestors did? Many Reconstructionist pagans hold this view. If this resonates with you, you may want to match your pantheon and stay within one cultural background even if you do not have a strong connection with all of those gods. With time and reflection and research, your relationship with the historical counterpart of your chosen god or goddesses will mutually strengthen. The gods reward patience and persistence.
What if you believe the gods are real individuals rather than archetypes, but you also feel you have been chosen by a god and a goddess from two different pantheons? You may have a strong relationship with each, but not know how to honor them on the same altar or in the same ceremony. For example, you might have a true connection with Dionysus as the God and Isis as the Goddess. You could place figures of one Lord and Lady (say, Dionysus and Ariadne) on one side of your altar, and figures of another pair (say, Isis and Osiris) on the opposite side. Or you could honor each pair at different times on your altar. You could alternate celebrating the sabbats with each pair, or choose the sabbat that seems most appropriate for the entity. For example, Osiris is a resurrected god and would fit the Samhain sabbat. Isis is a maternal goddess and would fit the Yule sabbat. Dionysus is a god of ecstasy and nature and would fit the Beltane and Midsummer sabbats. As in all things, listen to your heart and intuition to determine what to do.
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