D is for Deity/Divinity/Diversity

Yes, I’m still participating in the Pagan Blog Project; I have some catching up to do on my second “C” and first “D” posts, but I decided to post the current week and catch up later.

Deity, Divinity.

The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.

The unnamable is the eternally real.
Naming is the origin
of all particular things.

­-Lao Tzu

All gods are one god, and all goddesses are one goddess, and there is one initiator.

-Dion Fortune

I thought at first this would be an easy article to write: after all, I have a direct, personal relationship with many Deities, as well as the Universal Divine Principle (well, as personal a relationship as can be had, I guess). I believe that we all carry our own inherent, non-negotiable Divinity, through which we can perform magickal miracles, healing, divination, and other divine acts of compassion. I seek to celebrate all the diverse practices that honor the Divine/s. There are so many diverse views on the Gods and Goddesses, that it’s hard not to draw comparisons between different beliefs and point out ways in which I agree or disagree with those perspectives. I’ll try to stick with explaining my own beliefs and practices rather than making comparisons that risk sounding like I think others’ beliefs are wrong (’cause that’s just not true; I simply don’t share everyone else’s beliefs. That’s the point of diversity in paganism, after all, right?). I believe in the concept of Maya (reality as illusion). At the end of the day, I feel that everything we think we know is merely belief, and that we can truly know nothing for certain except what our own experiences tell us. You know?

The two quotes that open this article pretty much summarize my feelings of Deity; but as the Divine Principle is one, so is all of existence. We are all each other, on some level. We all break down to the same parts. To me, this idea does not negate the reality of each individual found within the community of Divine Beings. We are still unique, diverse, our own beings. To me, it is simply a reminder. We are all one. Everything that exists outside us, in the universe, exists within Us. There is no “them.” There is no external threat. We have no enemies. We are all together in this grand Spiral Dance of life, death, and rebirth.

I was raised in a rather evangelical Christian church that asserted that God was singular in His divinity, that we were wholly separate beings, as His creations, even though His Spirit (which, since it was a Trinitarian church, the Spirit was the same as God) resided within us (but that didn’t make us God). One Sunday when I was about ten, after an evening service where we had heard a sermon about how God is in everything, I turned to my mother and said, “So, we’re all God’s children, right? Every person who has ever lived?” My mother affirmed that statement, so I continued with, “Since we’re all made by God and God reaches out to us all, every god and goddess that has ever been worshipped, couldn’t they just all be expressions of God, and those people just didn’t know it?”

My mother laid a hand on my shoulder, and gave me a cold look. “No, Faye, that’s impossible, and you shouldn’t say things like that in church.” I feel blessed to have preserved this memory throughout all my other trials as a Child of Earth born into patriarchy.

Her statement left me feeling confused, wounding me and leaving a scab that I would keep picking at for seven years until I discovered the idea of Pantheism, that everything is divine, and Animism, that asserts that everything has its own spirit. I identified with those concepts as soon as I read about them.

Over the years, I have identified my ultimate spiritual goal. As believed by many Eastern Mystic and indigenous peoples traditions, I desire ultimately to reunite with the Universal Divine Principle that originates all life. To unify with that principle I must reach some kind of understanding of it, peace with it: I guess you could call it a personal Samadhi.

I work with deities for the same reason that I keep friendships. I can’t know the whole of the Universe without knowing and relating to its many facets. It occurred to me through a helpful friend that Deities are on their own learning and growing path; they are not infallible, they have not reached the ‘end of the road’ so to speak. They are also seeking Unification with the Divine Principle. My experiences have informed me that the deities of Compassion have reached Unification and have stayed behind to help others do the same.

Deities need us, just as we need them. Yes, they are the forces behind Nature, but they also need us to be their hands in the world, to be their voice, to enact their Love to others in the World. I have come across obscure deities over time, and they seem to have lost their strength of identity over the aeons, fading into oneness with the raw forces of nature they represent. Some cling to their identity with anger at being ignored for too long, craving the power of worship to restore their strength. I do not feel that the Deities made us in Their image to worship them, but that they sprang forth from the Divine Principle, and we sprang forth from them, and as we took on our human form, so they formed with us, and became the Named Beings we knew then, and know today. Kind of how, when we have children, they are in our image, but not because we willed that into being. There is always an element of chance that mixes up the DNA. As our children grow, we in turn are shaped by our interactions with them. This is how I have seen it happen with Deities. They are our Divine Parents in the sense that they ushered us forth into being, but they are not the grand orchestrators of the minutiae of our existence.

If you strongly disagree with this idea, that Deities need us as we need them, try asking your primary Goddess or God what their ultimate goal is, and with an open heart and open mind, try to really dig with them to get to the roots of their Desire. They just might surprise you.

You are Goddess.

You are God.

I am Goddess.

I am God.

We are Goddess.

We are God.

Blessed be.

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