Is the Green Man/Horned God a loving God?

“Hello, I’m just starting to learn about paganism. I’ve only ever been to one winter solstice event and it was lovely. One question that’s been nagging me for a while: (and I honestly mean no offense, i’m only curious) Is the greenman/horned god a loving god? When i say loving….how do i put it? It’s just that our society has turned that image into the devil for so long, not that i believe it, but….i’m a particularly shy individual who is tentative to worship “masculine” energy because i’ve had a lot of emotional trama with men from a young age. I’m still thinking about what exactly i wish to worship. I had an experience with him once, though, i think. Sorry if it’s really personal- I was “thinking” about sexual things one day alone, and worries were coming up about being treated well. But somehow i got to thinking about the image of pan and stopped fussing. i ended up thinking or feeling about everything but nothing at the same time and well, it went well. Are there people you know of who see him as fatherly and a healthy thing, not just a negative¬†stereotype¬†of aggressive males? It’s hard for me to not worry about things like that. But i’d like to believe people want to believe in deities of god things and love. Thank you, Allie”

Your question resonates with me. I grew up in a family full of women, a matriarchy de facto as men failed to stick around for family making; my own father was Army, so he was never around to be a father figure. I also experienced sexual abuse at the hands of a trusted boyfriend as a teenager. That said, I have *always* had an issue with masculinity and God.

However, I can tell you this: God, be he horned or green, is awe-inspiring. The Horned God is actually the Wiccan view of masculine divinity; he is all gods in one representation, like a diamond with many different facets. He is a god of the Sun, the hunt, harvest, wildness, and fertility. As the Horned God, he is seen with antlers as many prey animals would have; meanwhile, as the Greenman he has a face and body made of or covered in leaves, showing his interconnection with nature and growth. In both cases, the God is seen as dying in the form of plants and animals as a sacrifice to feed us and keep us alive.

In a less Wiccan-focused view, God is what he is. Not all men are aggressive or hyper-sexual beings; neither are all gods the same. I worship within the Greek pantheon, and I see all gods and goddess as individuals (as opposed to the facets of a diamond). That means that I recognize Zeus’ tendency to take what he wanted from women, while understanding his constant attempts to keep mankind safe. Apollo was a woman chaser, but he was usually spurned or accepted gladly (i.e. he didn’t rape as Zeus often did); Apollo also remained strongly protective of his twin Artemis and his mother Leto, as well as watching over the sick as both giver and remover of diseases. The mythology is complex, just as humankind is; no god is always loving or always violent, not even Ares as the god of war.

Essentially, you need to research and reflect for yourself on God. Who do you connect to him? Who is he to you? When you find those answers, you’ll know where your worship will focus.

 

Larissa Lee
Guest Writer

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How do you find your gods? I think it would be strange for me to get involved with deities of other cultures.

“Hey! How do you find your gods? I think it would be strange for me to get involved with deities of other cultures. I’m unsure about deities worshiped by my far- flung ancestors too because, again, different culture! I just have this need to belong I think.”

Blessings,

Finding a deity is a personal experience. Why wouldn’t you want to get involved with deities of other cultures? Are you from an American culture? Do you know any American deities? That’s right, there are none. If you were raised Christian, Jesus would been considered your deity and he wasn’t of your culture. There’s always SOMETHING in our everyday lives that isn’t from or apart of our culture; whether it be the place you live, school you go to, car you drive, food you eat – everything is from somewhere that isn’t from where you are.

Even if you did find a deity of your culture, if it isn’t American, what makes you think that’ll give you a sense of belonging? If you do find a deity of your culture, you might not be able to connect with them on a spiritual or emotional path. Just because two things are the same, doesn’t mean they’re compatible.

Many people that practice the Craft and worship a personal deity are almost always from different cultures and pantheons. Egyptian and Greek being the most popular. You can research several different pantheons and Gods/Goddesses and see if anyone sparks your interest. If so, start a circle and being ritual to call them to join you. This is your chance to “get to know them” and see what feelings, thoughts, emotions, etc. come up, and if they even like you. Often a sense of getting the chills occur when they “arrive” and sometimes when answering questions.

Another way to find your deity is through meditation. While meditating and going to your special place, you can send out an energy call for a deity to come to you. The same way you would call out for your spirit guide, but this time for a God. Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get a visual or a name, or any other indication of who they are.

 

Blessed Be
Sage

I have been really attracted to pathworking lately. I tried it a couple of times and have had some really amazing, eye-opening results. I want to delve a little further into it and see if I’m getting the basics down correctly. Any good literature or books to help me advance?

“Hello! I have been really attracted to pathworking lately. I tried it a couple of times and have had some really amazing, eye-opening results. I want to delve a little further into it and see if I’m getting the basics down correctly. Can you suggest any literature that would be good for this? I’m also very intrigued with the Egyptain Pantheon, so do you perhaps know any books that specifically involves pathworking and the Egyptain Gods and Goddesses? Thanks! ūüôā

-justlikeanopenbook”

Dear justlikeanopenbook,

The key to advance pathworking, or a guided meditation, is to go deeper and deeper into your conciseness. I call it deep meditation, and with deep meditation there are many things you can do and discover; your spirit guide, past life, connecting and aligning your energies, connecting with the Gods, etc. Deep meditation is tricky and it takes time and patience to master it to get in and out of it without first being guided into it, but with time and practice, it can be done.

As far as books go, a book I have in my library is Magical Pathworking: Techniques of Active Imagination. It’s a great read and it includes very useful chapters and¬†exercises, and it definitely belongs in every witch’s library. For your Egyptian interest, Pathworking with the Egyptian Gods.¬†Though to pathwork with any God or pantheon, you simply need to “enter their world.” For example, with the Egyptian pantheon, take yourself to Egypt; to the pyramids, ceremonial sites,¬†temples, etc. and try to call and connect with them by calling out to them or simply just concentrating and seeing who answers your call. This can also be a way to find your deity or spirit guide.

Pathworking can be extremely helpful to opening up your spiritual mind and go beyond our everyday normal¬†consciousness, but it can also be dangerous. Pathworking can also be a means to be able to change our psyche. In a way, you’re hypnotizing yourself for something. It can help us get over fears, phobias, stop spending, smoking or drinking, etc. But if you’re just trying to explore the realm of pathworking, then there’s no need to go in into your psyche and change anything.

You can, however, and this is mentioned in the Magical Pathworking book, is creating your own kingdom or world. Just like when we were kids making up our own little worlds, this is basically the same idea for grown ups. Except in a meditative state. A place where you can escape the world, its stresses, problems, pains, etc. This “kingdom” can be anywhere and anything. An old house, a mall, a forest, a castle, or even a botanical garden. In this place, it’s the perfect place to find answers to questions, cleanse your mind, body and soul (auras and chakras), release stress and frustration, and help you discover yourself and your path.

Blessed Be
Sage

I’ve decided that Wicca is the path I want to take. I have told some of my friends, but I’m afraid that people will confront me about taking the wrong path. Should I brush off what people say and just take the negativity?

“I am a girl of 15 and i had decided that Wicca is the religion that i am going to take. i’m willing to search a lot of facts and backgrounds about it, and i’m willing to save up for the tools that i will need. but although some of my closest friends know my plans, i’m afraid that a lot of people around me will say that i had taken the wrong path. i knew that i must trust myself regarding my own beliefs but i think that the reaction of the others will make me doubt myself. should i disregard it?”

Blessings,

My first word of advice to you is, don’t feel like you have to tell people! Matter of fact, you shouldn’t be telling people! You should never tell, only answer when they ask! In many Wiccan 101 books, you’ll probably see the phrase, “To know, to dare, to will, to keep silent.” This apart of the “Witches’ Pyramid.” It doesn’t so much mean that you have to stay quiet about who you are, but more to keep quiet of the magick and what you are doing.

You are a very young girl, with more information than you can imagine to learn. Don’t make yourself feel like you have to rush to learn, to come out to people, and be publish of who you are and what you believe in. Religion, especially Wicca, is a very personal religion. It will do you worse if you TELL people what you’re religion is, than just answering questions if THEY ask what you’re religion is.

For now, you should study, read, and learn everything you can get your hands on. As for tools, they are almost unnecessary. You can create your own tools and crafts – creating your own stuff will actually enhance its power for you! Because you are so young, many people won’t take you seriously or respect the decisions you’ve made, like choosing Wicca for a religion. You don’t have to hide yourself completely from who you are, but certainly don’t make it obvious. For now until you’re older, you can tell people you’re “exploring Wicca,” instead of saying “I practice Wicca.” That will most likely be less intimidating, especially to family members.

Don’t ever doubt yourself. I can already tell you’re a strong soul by the fact that you’ve already told people. But as long as you’re practicing Wicca for the right reasons and not because “it’s cool,” or “I like magic,” or “I like the attention,” then the Universe will eventually work in your favor.

Blessed Be,
Sage

Wicca appeals strongly to me and it’s comfortable, but I don’t believe in the Gods and Goddesses as actual Gods. Is it right to practice Wicca while essentially being atheist?

“Hi! I’ve returned to the path several times over in my life, and it appeals strongly to me and it’s comfortable, but I can’t get myself to believe in the Gods and Goddesses as actual Gods and Goddesses- more like spirits like any others. Does it make sense for me to practice while being essentially atheist? I want to make a serious commitment this time since I’m older, but my view on Gods/Goddesses makes me feel out of place. Thank you in advance! – August”

Dear August,

The Ancient Pagans, and many other ancient “heathen” religions, never actually worshiped a physical God or Goddess. Paganism in its essence, is an earth-based, nature religion. Worshiping nature, life, death, the solstices, and magick. Gods and Goddesses, at the time – some were physical persons whom people believed to be powerful, mysterious people with supernatural powers that could control nature, the weather, crops and harvest, etc. And some were merely fictional. Gods and Goddesses are simply called upon and invoked to help, guide, protect, etc.

Believing in Gods and Goddesses, by any means a necessity in Paganism. Even today, all Gods and Goddesses, even the Wiccan Lord (Sun) and Lady (Moon) are spiritual creatures – they just happen to have physical representations; the sun and moon. So to agree with your opinion of them being spirits, they are. When you invoke them, there’s not going to be a physical God or Goddess knocking on your door asking you what you want, but their spirit and essence.

As mentioned, Gods and Goddesses are historical figures, both based off of real persons and fictional characters. They are apart of religion because of the spiritual aspect and faith. What makes the Christian God real? Faith. What makes magick in Witchcraft and Wicca real? Faith. So it’s really not essential that you have to make yourself believe in them. If you do, that’s cool. If you don’t, that’s cooler. Paganism and Wicca are eclectic – it is what you make of it. If you need to call upon or invoke a “God” or “Goddess” during ritual, then don’t refer them to that. Instead, just replace the word “God” or “Goddess” for “Spirit.”

You don’t have to follow Wicca by-the-book. And Paganism, according to research, were worshipers of life, death, and nature, with no records (from other cultures and religions) of worshiping an ancient deity (God or Goddess). You don’t even have to call yourself Wiccan if you don’t feel comfortable with it because of the disbelief in Gods and Goddesses. Simply go with Witch, Spiritualist, Magician, Heathen, or whatever you feel comfortable with. Or nothing at all.

Don’t be afraid to create and symbolize your own personal religion.

Blessed Be,
Sage