Today's guest post was provided by Christian of Ponderosa Pagan. He is amazing and if you haven't dropped by his blog before now, you should!
WELCOMING THE GOD
As I am sitting down to write this post I discovered that I am not sure what I want to write about. Working with the God is not an easy task for me. As a “recovering” Catholic, as I call myself, I have many reservations about working with the God. I am constantly reminded that the reason I left the church is that “God” is a judgmental prick who’s followers are hypocritical and unkind. Now I do not want to rant because I do not entirely feel that way anymore. Yes I still believe many people in the church are judgmental but that doesn’t mean I should generalize.
So back to the reason I am writing for this blog party. I honestly feel like I turned my back on the God completely. I was assuming that if I worked with the God in my new spiritual path that it would be rekindling flames from the Catholic God. This is simply not true.
The beautiful thing about the pagan God is that he is ever transforming and does not show what it means to be a man by societal standards, rather he shows his masculinity in many different ways. As Starhawk says in her wonderful book The Spiral Dance
He is difficult to understand, because He does not fit into any of the expected stereotypes, neither those of the “macho” male nor the reverse-images of those who deliberately seek effeminacy. He is gentle, tender, and comforting, but He is also the Hunter. He is the dying God but His death is always in the service of the life force. He is the power of feeling, and the image of what men could be if they were liberated from the constraints of patriarchal culture. (1999)
This is what I imagine the God to be like. I do not fit the mold as to what it means to be a man in this society. However with paganism I feel I fit just fine. There is no need to try and impress anyone by being manlier because I am manly enough. The God is about finding the balance in this world. He is strong but he is loving and kind. He is the Hunter but he is also the Lover. Without him the Goddess would be lacking a partner. She could create life by herself but there needs to be the balance.
My mentor is a Dianic Witch and sometimes I worry that when I first started this path I was a God hater. I felt like there was no place for the God in my life. I expected him to be the Catholic God. I can safely say that after 3 years of being on my new spiritual path I am ready to work with the God. I started my work with him on the last summer solstice. Since then I have been open to the idea but have not fully explored it. The last activity I did with the God was during Imbolc while making a priapic wand. This wand is shaped like a penis shows the depth of the interconnectedness of the God and Goddess.
The wand is shaped like a penis because it is supposed to welcome the spring. The phallic shape is also linked to the growth of spring plants. If the goddess is the Earth then the God must use his seed to help the growth process happen on Earth. I never made the connection between the God and spring. I always just assumed that the spring was a Goddess activity. Yes Spring has a special place for the Goddess but the God is celebrated as the light returns. The days get longer which means he is getting closer and closer. For spring he is the young green man who is courting the maiden Goddess.
Learning of the God’s cycle in Paganism was very important in my understanding of the God. In spring he is the green youth, in Summer he and the Goddess are married marked by Maypoles and bonfires. At Lughnasad he is mourned for he has died, but what we learn is that he has not really died, he is on his way to the Goddess’s womb where he will grow and become a young soul again and guide others at Samhain, and finally he is reborn again at Winter Solstice when the days have little light and are waiting for him to grow strong again.
This cycle is why I have come to respect the God. His life is intertwined with the Goddess. I do not believe we should have one and ignore the other. In my life balance of energies is important and this cycle proves how important balance really is. Not only do the Goddess and the God find balance with each other but they find balance within themselves. The God finds the balance of masculinity and femininity in himself. This is the take home message. To be a man in Paganism is not related to being a man in society. Exploring the masculine sides of life does not mean you have to drink beer and watch football. To me it is about finding the balance in your life. The masculine side of life has many beautiful lessons to teach us.
As I was walking on a hike this weekend I was reminded that the God’s presence is ever growing. No matter what name you call him by he is there. I think one of my missions this summer will be to find a male deity I feel comfortable working with (One might be Apollo but I need to figure that out). As new leaves spring forth from plants I cannot help but think he has something to do with it. From now till Lughnasad I will be wielding my priapic wand in my circle. I think that in order to start working more with the God and learning more I need to just dedicate myself to a practice. This will be hard but it is my challenge to myself for this upcoming summer season. What will your challenge be? Is it to even just work with the God? To acknowledge him? Whatever you decide to do in this upcoming season remember that the God is all around just like the Goddess. Call on him in time of need and learn the secrets he has to teach us.
I will leave you all with a chant to call him near!
Repeating Chant to the God
SEED Sower GRAIN Reborn HORNED ONE COME!
BRIGHT Sun DARK Death Lord of the Winds COME
The SUN Child The Winter-Born King
IO! EVOHE IO! EVOHE
(Pronounced Yoh! Ay-VOH-hay!)