Are the Gods and Goddess real?
That depends on how you define reality.
Do they live on Mount Olympus or Sinai ? Not likely. Just the same, they are as real as your Being right now as you read this.
Let me explain.
In Wicca, and Paganism in general, each of the Goddess and Gods represents an ideal, a human quality, something we as people can relate to, something to engender our passions.
Above the individual Gods and Goddesses are the overall principles of male
and female polarity. Nothing happens in the Universe without this
flow of Energy between polarities.
Above even this personification is the Universal Power. Itís very difficult to focus on this Power, however, so we invoke human-like deities to summon.
Know that in this way we are focusing on the Powers above all.
So by all means, use the persona of the Gods and Goddesses to facilitate your workings but know in the back of your head that you are actually directing a much higher Power. What matters is how you relate to the God or Goddesses persona. How he or she works with you, metaphorically speaking.*
Nor does it really matter which Gods and Goddesses we pick; a true Pagan will always be able to understand their personal God or Goddesses in the Gods and Goddesses of other Pagan peoples. This is as true today as it was a thousand years ago.
So. Without further adieu, here are the pictures of Goddesses with a brief bio. Followed by pictures of Gods. Each picture links to its full sized version.
Aphrodite Greek Goddess of
love and passion: sexual rapture.
Born from the sea daughter of the severed member of Uranus
Her counterparts are: Venus; Roman; Ishtar: Mesopotamia and Ashtart
of the Middle East. She is also known as Cytherea Passion: Pysical Passion
Aradia: Strega; Queen of the Witches, daughter of the Roman Goddess Diana and Lucifer. Call on her when you need protection. Takes the form of a cat. Passion: Fear and Security
Bast; Egyptian; Bast or Bastet is the Goddess of Protection, often taking the form of a cat. Passion: Beauty and Security
Ceres: Roman; Harvest God
Here pictured with Bacchus.
She turned a a man into a newt for mocking Her.
Perhaps for her tiny little head.
It's where the whole newt thing started.
Oops, shouldn't have said that.
She might turn me into a newtette! Passion: Security and Sustenance
Celtic and Roman; the Horse Goddess
Riannon in Britain and Macha in Erie
One of the only Celtic deity to have a
place in the Roman pantheon. Passion: Strength and Beauty Epona is especially significant to young women.
Goddess of Dawn: brother of Helios sister of Selene
mother of the Evening Star, Eosphorus.
Eostra to the Celts and Aurora to the Romans,
She is the Goddess of Passion and Desire, as many
gods and mortals sought her love including:
Orion, Cephalus, Astaeus, Tithonus, who she turned
into a grasshopper when she lost her desire for him Passion: Lust
Celtic; Goddess of War and Magyc.
In some versions she is mated with the Merlin,
others she is the Lady of the Lake, others the sister of Arthur
Collectively in the Triple Goddess as Morrigan or Morrigna with Badb and Macha Passion: Female Strength and Power
Goddess of Spring and Healing
Goddess of the Underworld her return to the earth
signifies the beginning of spring. In her underworld
role she advocates for the souls of the dead. Passion: Rebirth
And the Gods . . .
Notice how the male Gods represent male attributes as the female Goddesses represent the female ideal.
Cernunnos: Celtic and Roman; the Horned God of the Hunt Passion: the Hunt
Greek ; Bacchus: Roman;
God of Wine as a social catalyst,
civilization, harmony and justice. His divine groupies are the Maenads, wild women who pursued Dionysus dancing and carrying on, the first witches, eating the raw flesh of animals. You go grrrl! Passion: Celebration
Passion: Rebelliousness and Courage
I hope you enjoyed this brief presentation of many of the most popular Gods and Goddesses. In addition, it's been stated that an acolyte should avoid mixing pantheons. For instance a God from the Norse pantheon and a Goddess from a Greek or Roman pantheon. I don't know about that but it is important to understand the unique aspects of each God and Goddess. For instance, Diana might be invoked for a love spell that might fall flat unless you are aware that Diana always picks her lovers and does so on the sly, outwardly espousing chastity. Hera too is a Goddess to evoke carefully. While she is the patron of marriage, she is also a vengeful wife who punishes the illicit affairs of her husband Zeus in a horrific manner. Zeus often had her chained to Mount Olympus because she was so wrathful.
One final word regarding the images presented here and on the Spells and WitchCraft website in general. Images not created by our coven have been gathered from websites all over the world. Where possible artist's permission has been granted except where no information was available and no copyright information present. These orphan images are presented as fair use as part of our not-for-profit teaching mission but will be removed or credited as the artist desires. Also, right-click to save image has been disabled on all but our own images to discourage copyright infringement.
Also, it has been noted that the images selected of both women and men present an unrealistic ideal of real human bodies. Yes, they are, after all, Goddesses and Gods. As such, they present an ideal not necessarily obtainable in a given individual but rather something to strive for in each of us.
so may it be
*The difference between invoking the Powers and praying is that prayer is petitioning God for favors, literally prostrate oneself at the feet of God. We, as children of the Universe, have the right to influence reality in whatever way we choose. This is not to say we will always succeed. But we have the right to seek our own satisfaction.