Friday, August 17, 2018

Thoughtful Thursdays: Personal Pantheons

Thoughtful Thursdays Presents: Personal Pantheons

My Home Office 💞🙌
Hello, my lovely readers! You may have noticed that it has been a little while since I've written, and I apologize for my absence. I have been working on creating and launching Magical Musings Freelance Writing Services. There was A LOT more to starting a business than I expected! Freelance writing falls between the cracks as far as business classification (for lack of a better word), so that makes writing a business plan and obtaining funding a little tricky. (any advice is welcome! you can leave it in a comment or contact me directly). I set up a business phone, started brainstorming for branding, set up my 'office', but the bulk of my time has been spent on working on obtaining funding. Banks and investors tend to shy away from Freelancers because our business plans are not quite like those for a store or restaurant. (It doesn't help that my credit is so low it's not even funny thanks to student loans).

I have created a Go Fund Me fundraiser to obtain funds for the few things I need to get my business off the ground. Just a few dollars from you, your friend and their friend, and it's enough magic to levitate my business! If you would like to help me out,  please go to my GoFundMe page. If you can't donate, you could still help me by sharing that link with your friends and family.

Ok, so without further ado...

What is a personal pantheon?

Simply put, a pantheon is a group of gods and goddesses associated with a particular location or culture. The pantheons we know of today are most likely not exactly who the ancients were devoted to, as the deities often began as local variations, and over time they grew together. Often you will find that deities, especially Irish or Welsh Celtic, have a number of aspects and qualities.

personal pantheon is the group of gods and goddesses an individual works with. The reason I am bringing this up today is because there have been too many instances where influential authors will state that you should not choose deities from different pantheons. Are they like cats and dogs? Will they bicker and fight? My pantheon has deities from all over the place! The Morrigan from Ireland (click HERE to learn more about her), Akhilandeshvari from India (click HERE to learn more about her), Hekate is a Greek Titaness, Cerridwen who’s from Welsh tales, Lugh – another Irish Celt, and Cailleach – she has been ‘assigned’ to the “Celtic pantheon” but her history dates back far earlier than the Celtic societies. I know this from experience and from experts – Rev. Don, in First Degree Lessons in the Correllian Tradition, states
“Other people believe that you should never mix deities from one pantheon with deities from another pantheon; this is a superstition, and experience shows that it is simply not true.” (p. 152)


SIDE NOTE:
If you’re wondering about the “” around Celtic Pantheon, it’s because there really isn’t a Celtic Pantheon. The Celts lived in tribes all over Europe, so they didn’t all have the same deities, didn’t have the same customs – albeit similar but still different – anyways, if you want to learn more about this check out Morgan Daimlers blog.



Personal Pantheon Process...

So how does one come to create a personal pantheon? Establishing a personal pantheon is not as simple as picking deities out of a book. I learned this the hard way. When I became pagan I was excited at the idea of gods that could cross the Veil, that could-and did- make themselves known...and I didn’t understand that it wasn’t my choice- not fully anyway. Cerridwen was the goddess who called to me relentlessly until I finally let go of the faith of my family – I clung to it out of a sense of obligation more than anything. But anyways, excited about finally accepting that there are gods other than “the one and only,” I started going through the dozen or so books I had accumulated so far and started picking out deities I thought were interesting. No, not interesting. I’ll be honest. I picked deities I thought would make my life better. I’m not going to lie, when I began practicing witchcraft it was because my life was a mess and I was not much more than a shell of a person. I couldn’t see past my sons and my needs.

 So, when I performed rituals, I rigidly called to the deities I picked out. Sometimes they came, other times I just visualized them but they weren't present. What stands out in my mind is there was never any emotional reaction to their presence. When I first journeyed to meet Cerridwen, I wept and dropped to my knees I was so overwhelmed with emotions. It was the first time truly feeling the presence of a deity and that made me feel both sad and happy - happy right down to my soul. I felt immense gratitude and I could feel her power, her intensity. My physical body was trembling and tears streamed down my cheek. I cried the first several times I met the Morrigan - I manage to remain dry-eyed now. Even though I've interacted with the Morrigan hundreds of times, I still tremble slightly when I feel her near, still feel my heart flutter. My reactions were not as intense when I met the other deities in my pantheon but there were still intense emotions tied to the meetings. Emotions, or lack thereof, you feel in the presence of a deity will be a major indicator as to whether this god or goddess is meant to be in your life. 

Perpetual Motion...

It has been a year since I’ve been Pagan, and my personal pantheon is far from complete. I don’t know how many deities will join me, but I know that it will never be complete. Nothing in life is ever complete because everything in life is always changing, transforming, evolving.

If you have been practicing for 6 months or 6 years, don’t get your broom in a knot if your personal pantheon doesn’t feel right. If the gods you work with don’t help you improve yourself and the world around you, then scrap your list and start over. Witchcraft is about living harmoniously in nature- as a part of the world, not just a being on it to manipulate. You are just as much a part of nature as the trees outside your window.


I like to think of establishing a personal pantheon as a little like painting. I take my time deciding what I want to paint. Then I either find a collection of photos online to reference or I will sketch it in my art notebook. Next is preparing the canvas. I don’t know what it is about applying gesso, sanding it down, measuring off the canvas into sections so I get the proportions right, and so on that is so relaxing! So, fulfilling.

Closing Thoughts...

Take your time, think about what it is you want to do. What do you want to manifest - on the macro level. How do you want to influence the world around you? Keep in mind that life is like a pond and every action is a pebble thrown in. That pebble ripples outward and spreads out further than your immediate surroundings. IMO, the deities don't exist to serve us. They love us and will rain blood to defend us, but they have their own agendas. They don't ever request anything on a whim - they have a bigger plan. If your dreams, wishes, or potential can help their cause then expect a "knock on the door" - so to speak. Be patient with yourself and the deities, and you will establish a personal pantheon that suits you, your life, and has the potential to make a positive impact on the world.

References: 
Lewis-Highcorrell, R. D. (2008). Witchschool: First Degree Lessons in the Correllian Tradition. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.

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