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My Daily Devotions and Meditations to Honor the God and Goddess

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Merry meet and good morning! Today I’d like to share my process for daily devotions and meditations to honor the God and Goddess widely recognized in many Wiccan paths.

Disclaimer: It’s become evident this month that a few folks don’t like my methods or operations. Please remember that no one individual honors their god(s) or goddess(es) in the exact same way. That said, there are certain norms one might expect throughout Wiccan traditions that I am slowly learning about and will try and honor. By the same token, don’t get your undies in a twist simply because I don’t pivot two inches this way or speak the prescribed incantation exactly as you do. Not everyone expresses identical spiritual proclivities. My Mentor has taught me enough to give me breathing room for exploration. I am thankful for that.  My practice this month–just as in every other–will grow with time and experience. The journey is the destination, as they say. If you ever think you are done growing, you have that much further to go.

Let’s get started.

Most Wiccans recognize a polarity in the universe of light and darkness, God and Goddess. The central ideal here is balance between the two. Some traditions might honor one above the other (Dianic Wiccans for example place more emphasis on the Goddess), however the other “face” of the divine is still recognized in most cases.

My practice, Fey Wicca honors the God and the Goddess as well as the Fey with whom we share this world. The ritual is simple yet meaningful for me, however will adapt and grow as I learn more over the month. The following images provide a glimpse into how I honor the God and Goddess and pay my respects to the Fey.

1) A simple hello. Here, I approach the altar in a white shirt, linen pants, and a simple robe set aside only for worship, ritual, and meditation for the God and Goddess. I make a simple supplication, announcing my intention to honor the God and Goddess. This bears great personal meaning, as I am basically reintroducing myself each time I approach the altar, because as I grow, I am ever changing.

2) When meeting the divine or fellow humans, a gift or offering is always appropriate. Today I decided on a few red grapes. In many traditions wine is usually poured into the chalice (notice the glass at the top left). I’m currently a little dry, so I figured the fruit of the vine would do the job. I go from left to right while placing the offering, as the Goddess and her represented elements (earth and water) occupy the left side of the altar, and the God with his elements (air and fire) occupy the right. Ladies first! It should be noted that tradition dictates in most cases that one’s altar should face north.

3) Casting the circle. The circle is a specific, sacred space where ritual takes place. Note that circles are cast for specific rituals, but not simple daily devotions, so I won’t do this every day. In most cases, a circle is cast or “cut” with the athame. Different traditions have different incantations they might recite when performing this operation. I simply state my intention with the following statement as I cast the circle: “I hereby consecrate this space as a place of worship to honor the God and the Goddess.” I’m sure there are other things I could say, and encourage you to share your own in the comment section! The circle is closed at the end of the ritual by reversing the direction it was “cut.”

4) Let there be light! After casting the circle, I light four candles on the altar: First, I light a candle for the Goddess (ladies first!), next I light one for the God, next I light a candle for the element of fire, and finally I light a candle at the top point of the pentagram which represents spirit. Again, this is a process I’ve adopted with the freedom of exploration given me by my Mentor. Techniques are likely to adapt over time. I’d love to hear about yours!

Special note: In many traditions within Wicca, a wand (you can see mine, a corkscrew willow branch, in the picture above, right next to my hand) may be used to invoke the guardian spirits of the four directions (sometimes there are six or even eight) for protection or watch over the ritual. I’m not yet comfortable with this invocation, so until I receive more guidance (from you and my Mentor), I simply face each direction with my head bowed and hands held out, acknowledging the spirits and beings of that direction.

5) Incense is a near-universal tool for worship across many traditions. Within Wicca, incense can be used as an offering or represent the element of air. It’s ribbons of smoke may also represent our prayers and meditations rising to the ether. What does it mean for you? How do you use incense in your ritual? Here, I use incense as both an offering and to remind me that our prayers and meditations emanate from our consciousness and flow into our world.

6) Meditation. My Mentor’s first lesson this month was meditation. I figured, “I’ve got that down from my other months!” but remember, every faith and tradition has something to teach us. We never stop growing. Turns out, I had work to do. My Mentor asked me to envision the energy of my body–of every cell and atom–flowing through me. This was foreign because in all my other meditations, I usually focused on something outside of myself or simply erased myself all together. Perhaps that comes later, but she wanted me to understand that much of Wicca is about recognizing the energies in the universe, both light and dark, and that we have the power to participate and even bend those energies. The first lesson though, is becoming familiar with and mastering one’s own energy. Here I sit with a simple cloak–not to look or feel mysterious–but to create that space within a space where focus is increased. To illustrate the balance between light and dark energy, I typically meditate in the dark with only light from the candles on the altar.

At the ritual’s conclusion, it is proper to thank the spirits, the God, and the Goddess for their time and blessings.

 That’s my ritual practice at the altar. Again, it might not be identical to yours, but this is the place to share our experiences, not argue over whose is better. My impression of Wicca in general thus far is two-fold: 1) It’s about honoring the God and Goddess as the balance of polarity–the light and dark–of our universe, and honestly, I believe they care more about our sincerity than our form. 2) Understanding that we have the power to bend these energies and therefore the universe in our environment. The energy that flows through us is identical to the energy of the sun and the deepest, darkest corners of space. If we can master our own energy, anything is possible.

What is your ritual and meditation like?



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Comments read comments(25)
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abowen

posted November 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm


Mdawn,

Thanks for checking out the site!



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Mdawn

posted November 24, 2011 at 7:01 pm


Its fascinating to watch an outsider (I’ve been Wiccan for 10 years) come to understand our faith. I look forward to reading the rest of the articles.



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Nicholas

posted October 17, 2011 at 12:04 am


I personally find the God and Goddess, though they be separate entities, they are basically two sides of the same coin, not necessarily polar opposites. Think of the taoist Yin Yang symbol and how both sides have a little of the other and are both part of a larger thing.



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abowen

posted October 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm


Iris,

Don’t worry, things will get much more simple as I go and settle into my groove. I just wanted to show how one might perform a circle. I like you morning routine!



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abowen

posted October 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm


Anne Johnson,

Hair-splitting is a sad, sad illness that plagues many faiths and philosophies.



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abowen

posted October 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm


Marco,

My understanding is that directions are important for the energies and spirits they represent. I think you’re on to something with the Tao.



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abowen

posted October 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm


Helen/Hawk,

Your last sentence resonates with a similar ideal in the Zarathushti Faith as well. The idea that we are partners with the divine to reach a state of frashokereti “Making wonderful.” Nice, huh?



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abowen

posted October 10, 2011 at 12:26 pm


Robert,

Good eye. The ritual part certainly feels like puja felt. Again, as my month with Hinduism wore on, my ritual become more and more simple until I was just caught up in meditation for much of the day.



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abowen

posted October 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm


Robert,

Really digging the visuals there. Might be just what I need.



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abowen

posted October 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm


Aine,

Thanks for sharing your methods. I like that you bring up posture for energy flow!



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Iris

posted October 9, 2011 at 11:32 pm


Wow! I have never had the drive to cast circle each day for the invitation that the Goddess and God be with me throughout the day. I commend you on the tenacity!

For me, I do something simple.. each morning after I wake I take myself and my coffee cup to the porch, face the sun and do a banishing and then an invoking pentagram upon myself. During this time I thank the Goddess and God for their guidance, wisdom and request that they lend to me their love, power and protection.

Then I can drink my coffee and listen to the trees, spirits and anything else outside in quiet contemplation.

Your mileage may vary.



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anne johnson

posted October 9, 2011 at 7:49 pm


Having seen a Mennonite community split into two groups that would not speak to one another, over the matter of using print fabrics as opposed to plain colors, I’d say that the way Wiccans get along is average.

Please, since this is Samhain month, you should get some pumpkins and carve some jack-o-lanterns. Just like when you were a kid.



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Marco

posted October 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm


Thank you Andrew, it’s really nice to get to know more about the wicca and your progress within this path.
- but i didn’t get why the altar should face north?
- i have a feeling that there is some common ground between wicca and Taoism/ particularly the concept of Yin Yang (God & Goddess)



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Helen/Hawk

posted October 8, 2011 at 9:00 am


As I understand it, one of the reasons for the meditation is that Goddess & God are both in us and outside of us. (as well as in & outside everything else as well) Hence some of the reason for learning to recognize “the energy of my body–of every cell and atom–flowing through me”. That is not to say that there aren’t individual Goddesses & Gods as well. We co-create the Universe.



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betsy

posted October 8, 2011 at 1:56 am


Dan, you seem to be exactly the sort of friend a guy like Andrew might need to get through this project. I am enjoying watch you support your friend with a little humor and a lot of care.



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Robert

posted October 8, 2011 at 12:20 am


Also just thought that while those images are great for connecting to the elements during ritual, I wouldn’t use them for daily devotions. I don’t feel the need to cast a circle for that part of my day. A simple moment to connect to the Divine and say hello to the Lord and Lady seems appropriate, becoming mindful of their presence during your day.

I wonder how much of your approach here connects to Puja?



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Robert

posted October 7, 2011 at 11:53 pm


I haven’t been comfortable with the ‘guardians’ of the four directions and my tradition (inclusive wicca) doesn’t call them but refers instead to the elements directly.

I still struggled with this and ‘connecting’ to the elements so I use a structure created by Marion Green in “A Witch Alone” as a basis for my practice which might help you with the elements.

I start facing East and imagine the rising sun just peeping over the horizon. The cool fresh breeze that heralds its coming gently rushes around me and my circle. I welcome the element of Air.

I turn to the South and imagine the noonday sun blazing in the sky above. The warmth of its fire envelops me and my circle. I welcome the element of Fire.

I turn to the West and imagine the setting sun just dipping to the horizon across the ocean. The water of the ocean swells to rush around me and my circle. I welcome the element of Water.

I turn to the North and imagine the dark of night with stars in the sky. There is a mountain, strong and solid. The ground under my feet connects me to it and I feel the vitality of the Earth surge beneath me and around the circle. I welcome the element of Earth.

I hope that helps a little and gives you another option.



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Aine Llewellyn

posted October 7, 2011 at 11:38 pm


I don’t cast circles, have never been fond of it (just because it’s not my cup of tea).

My daily devotions are pretty simple: wake in the morning, quick Ha breath, quick prayer to align my soul bodies, then burning incense to the gods and reading prayers from Serith’s ‘A Book of Pagan Prayer’. Cleansing shower, then I check on my online Pagan group and make sure things are running smoothly. Pretty nice way to start the day.

I also do energy work, affirmations, mobile grounding, and a few other little tidbits. Currently I’m working on my posture, so that the energy can flow smoothly through my body.



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abowen

posted October 7, 2011 at 7:36 pm


Dr. Cort,

You bet!



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Andrew Cort

posted October 7, 2011 at 7:33 pm


Hi Andrew,
Glad to see you’re still at it. Fantastic project!



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abowen

posted October 7, 2011 at 7:03 pm


Trevor,

Thanks!



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Erik

posted October 7, 2011 at 5:23 pm


Andrew,
Well, you’ve now experienced one of the most hallowed traditions of the online Pagan community – the flame war. :(



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Trevor Wentworth

posted October 7, 2011 at 2:32 pm


This was a great post — thanks! I think you did a great job representing the basics of Wiccan ritual. I also appreciate your talking about the differences between different traditions of meditation — I started by learning Wiccan meditation, and then was surprised when people familiar with Buddhist meditation meant something completely different than I did when they used that word.

Thank you also, for persevering despite the many contrary opinions that you’ve been inundated with. The Wiccan community and the wider Pagan community can be quite a fractious lot sometimes.

In my tradition (Asatru, or Heathenry) we have rituals that are structured very differently than Wiccan ritual. We do not cast circles or call quarters at all. Instead we often go straight to invoking the deities, pouring out libations in their honor and drinking toasts in their names. Offerings to various spirits and deities seem to be one of the more common elements across the pagan religions; we tend to want to give back to the spirits who have given so much to us.



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abowen

posted October 7, 2011 at 1:11 pm


Dan:

You are hinting at ol’ Fravashi, aren’t you? She’ll come up soon, brother. Soon…



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Dan Jensen

posted October 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm


Regarding wands, the subject of the staff (walking stick) has come up before. Do staffs have a place in Fey Wicca? This could be a BIG selling point. ;-)



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