So apparently the pagan Blog Project is up to the letter F, which means we should probably get to the letter D. The first D word that came to mind would have made a smashing article because let’s be honest about it, it’s absolutely not oathbound and is freely available. But because we can already name several Americans who would shit a British Traditional Brick™ and throw it at us, we’ve opted to err on the side of caution. But let it be known that we do not appreciate our own desire not to ruffle feathers. It’s not in our normal nature.
So today, D stands for Divinity. D could also stand for duotheism, since our venerable Wiccan Jesus (who is quite obviously alive and tweeting from a cottage in France: you should follow him) wrote that our Gods are the little Gods of our cult, or our tribe. He posits a rather henotheistic understanding that there are many Gods, but these two are the Gods of our people, who we venerate.
Divinity within Gardnerian Witchcraft is a very personal thing. We work with a God and a Goddess, but how we experience these Beings is unique to each witch. How we internalize our experience of these Beings is also unique to each witch. One may understand Them to be duotheistic deities, one may understand Them to be henotheistic deities and one may see Them to be Jungian archetypes in the collective unconscious of humanity after reading Vivianne Crowley’s wonderful book entitled “Wicca: The Old Religion in the New Millenium.” This is perhaps the chief reason why Gardnerians agree that Wicca is orthopraxic, meaning we all practice the same, but not orthodoxic, meaning we do not all believe the same. We don’t care if you’re any of the aforementioned terms, as long as you’re casting a circle, calling the appropriate beings in the appropriate directions, and maintaining a 2 drink minimum before ritual. That is how the Wicca do it 😉
Divinity within Wicca is seen as embodied within two Gods known as the Horned God of Death and Resurrection and the Goddess of the Moon. Gardner was very open-minded in that he drew many parallels between the Gods of the Wicca and other ancient British Gods. For instance, in The Meaning of Witchcraft, he writes, “Herne the Hunter, with his helmet crowned with stag’s antlers, his band of wild followers, his association with “fairies” [blogger note: Gardnerians associate with lots of faeries, let us tell you]… is the British example par excellence of a surviving tradition of the Old God of the witches.” He writes further about our Horned Lord, “The dual nature of the Old God will be noticed. He is the giver of fertility, both of the ground and of humans and animals; but he is also the Lord of the Gates of Death.” Our God has a specific name within traditional Wicca, which is bound by oath to never be spoken before those not initiated into His mysteries.
Our Goddess is commonly referred to as the Lady of the Moon. Gardner writes that She is “the Mother of Fertility in all its forms, whether it be the fertility of the earth, of cattle and human beings, or the material prosperity of some venture, or those more subtle forms of fertility which germinate in the mind and bring forth poetry and the arts.” Our Goddess has a specific name within traditional Wicca, which is bound by oath to never be spoken before those not initiated into Her mysteries.
The important thing to realize about divinity within traditional Wicca is that it is also seen as immanent within the world and within humanity, so that each witch, silently echoing the Indian greeting of ‘namaste,’ is able to recognize the divinity inherent within ourselves and each other. In witchcraft, life truly is divine.