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Using Gods in Spellwork


Wexler

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I could swear that there was already a thread on this but I did my damnedest to find it and it disappeared on me. I will try to summarize some of the arguments I have heard regarding using gods in spellwork. To me, this means invoking the name of a god to give a spell certain energies, direction, power, or force.

 

Amongst witches, there seem to be a lot of very varied beliefs when it comes to gods, ranging from "they don't exist" to "gods are real and literal." When it comes to using gods as elements of spells, I think it really comes down to the witch's personal beliefs. That being said, I do not believe all of the following arguments are valid and it is my opinion that some of them could lead to larger issues down the road.

 

Some people do not believe gods are actually conscious spirits. Rather, gods are an "idea" or a "personification" of a specific energy force. These people might say that Thor is not a conscious spirit, Thor is just the name we give to thunder and storm energy. People who hold this belief would probably see using any old god in spellwork as being no big deal - gods are just another energy source at our disposal, like earth or moon energy. From this point of view, no relationship is needed to use gods, you can pull any one of them out of a hat and use them as necessary.

 

Some people believe that there is a single divine spirit who has many faces. I believe this is called "soft polytheism". There is only one god who manifests as every other god. So Nyx, Thor, Loki, Allah, Hekate, and so on, are actually just one god who manifests with different aspects. Soft polytheists agree that there is an actual conscious divine spirit, so now working with gods means you are not playing alone. I believe that when considering whether or not to use gods in spellwork, if you are a soft polytheist, you have to decide whether or not the One God is find with you using his forms. If you believe that the One God is dandy with you using his many aspects on call, then there would be no issue with researching any god and using them in a spell without having a personal relationship with it. On the other hand, being a soft polytheist may mean that if you need a relationship with gods to use them, you only have to get to know the One God and then every other god is open to you. Or I could be totally wrong, so take all this with a grain of salt.

 

Some people are hard polytheists (or just 'polytheists'). They believe that gods and goddesses are real, discrete divine beings. From what I have seen (and my experience is by no means exhaustive), hard polytheists typically do not pick and choose gods and goddesses to throw in to their spellwork. But plenty probably do. Choosing gods to use in spellwork, as a polytheist, probably depends on how you think of gods and how personal you believe they are. For example,

 

There are likely a big bunch of polytheists who believe that gods and goddesses are very distanced from humanity and don't much care what we humans do. If a human funnels a little god energy one way or another to use in a spell, that god probably wouldn't even notice or care. From this perspective, a person could call on whatever god they wanted to add energy or direction to a working with little or no concern that the god will take offense.

 

From an opposing perspective, some people believe that gods actually do care who is bothering them and may take a pointed interest in whomever is channeling their energy. If you believe that gods actually take notice when they are called upon, it would make sense that you therefore only call upon a god if you know he will work with you or be willing to help. From this point of view it would make sense to ensure the god or goddess that is called upon will agree with what is being done and is a deity who traditionally is willing to lend a helping hand for good or bane.

 

From a harsher perspective, some gods may take real offense to being called upon and "used". It seems that many crone goddesses and entities such as Lilith do not take kindly to being used as a part of a spell if you don't already have a good relationship with them. I would be very wary to call upon some of the more vile entities, especially those who usually don't care to work with just any old person. Or, once you give a god a foothold in your spell, they could have the potential to stop it, cause it to backfire, or skew the results to something very undesirable.

 

Even for those who believe in gods and work with them, some may only choose to magically work with their patron deity. I think things can also get a little complicated here; is it okay to call upon an enemy of your patron just to add some kick to a spell? I really don't know.

 

Even for those who believe in gods and work with them, some people never use gods in their spells. They may believe that it is unnecessary or it is just not their way of working. Or, they may believe the price to pay is too high.

 

Some people believe that when you call upon a god in a spell, and that god helps you, there will be a high price to pay. You asked for help and received it, and now you have to pay for services rendered, so to speak. In this aspect once you call on a god they may demand something from you in return, perhaps especially if they played a large part in the spellwork. So suppose you write up a love spell and say something like "by the power of Eros my will is done." And it happens that Eros was having a slow day and decides to actively intervene and get your spell done for you. Now that Eros has helped you, he may expect something from you in return. It would be in the lore of some gods to take that payment by force if necessary.

 

Ultimately, unless you believe all gods are false, when you call upon them you are inviting another conscious spirit in to your work and they have the opportunity to change it as they see fit. This is what would make me thing long and hard before calling on a god to help empower/improve/energize/direct my work. I think a hell of a lot could go wrong unless you really know the god you are working with, and in many cases I suspect it may be more trouble than it is worth.

 

I also think that even if you believe gods are only ideas or names given to energy, those names have a long and detailed history attached to them. When you call on Thor, you aren't only calling on thunder and storms, you are calling on the mythology and lore attached to the name Thor. And knowing that lore is, in my opinion, pretty darned important. Or if you believe gods are real, you stand the chance of pissing one of them off, attracting their attention in unwanted ways, or paying the price for using them in a spell. So it is my opinion that using gods in spells is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly - unless someone's belief is "all gods are one god and that one god loves us and would not punish us for using his energy even if I get the details a little off." In that case I can't really see any danger. (Unless, of course, it turns out that belief is incorrect.)

 

Now I really don't know much about gods, so I expect there may be a whole lot of corrections :smile: But this is my current understanding of the different sides of this argument.

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Wexler, this is an excellent summary, and from someone who claims not to know much. You are obviously very observant and intuitive! Voted up.

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Guest monsnoleedra

Not sure exactly what your trying to discover here.  Your definitions seem to apply to how we view and relate to the gods / goddesses not how we call upon them to aid us.

 

Consider if I ask for a god / goddess to aid me in cursing / hexing a person then I would create a Defixiones (curse tablet) with the name of the person, what I would like done to them and the name of the god / goddess I am calling upon.  Depending upon which god / goddess I call upon would affect / effect where I placed them.  Hekate is probably the most renouned for being connected to them but is not the only one.  Nor are the listed gods / goddesses always chthonic in nature that are called upon.  If I am calling upon Hekate and the restless dead then such a tablet would be placed in a graveyard, crossroads, etc where the restless dead are presumed to be and Hekate's presence would also be presumed to exist for example.

 

Curse Tablets and Binding Spells From the Ancient World by John G Gager, Oxford University Press, 1992, ISBN 0-19-506226-4 or ISBN 0-19-513482-6 (Pbk.)

 

Then you can go the other direction and call upon a divine presence to bless or empower charms, pendants, etc for protection for instance.  

 

You could also look into many votive type offerings that were made to the gods / goddesses and how they were used.  It's like DIana and Artemis are connected to healing so there are voitive offerings made to them that represent images of the part of the body needing healing or something.  Many of them anatomically correct or depicting a specific part.  Votive offerings may also be in the form of masks, figurines, etc.  So one calls upon the divine for any number of reasons and asks for their energy, touch, presence, etc to be directed towards them for some given purpose or transition of life.

 

But as I stated your opening seems to be more about how we view and relate to the divine not how we interact with and call upon them. 

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...Some people do not believe gods are actually conscious spirits. Rather, gods are an "idea" or a "personification" of a specific energy force. These people might say that Thor is not a conscious spirit, Thor is just the name we give to thunder and storm energy...

 

 

What if the personification wasn't a "name", but the way humans related to something non-human and beyond our knowledge level? If all spirit is energy - then our personal personalities are the "personifications" we each project of the energy that is our spirit/soul, physically manifested in our bodies.  My soul isn't conscious on the level that my personality is, and my soul/spirit - the energy that enlivens me -  is what will be left when my personality is gone... so Michele is the name given to the personification of my energy (spirit/soul), but Michele still has consciousness.

 

And perhaps it is the personification that has an ego, for it fears death on a level the energy/spirit doesn't... It's the consciousness that fears its own loss...

 

M

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Thank you Solanaceae!

 

MonSno, you are correct. I was mostly thinking of the reasoning behind why people choose to call on gods and not how it actually can be done. A lot of witches seem to use gods/goddesses in their spellwork, sometimes as part of a close relationship and other times just calling on them for their power. I thought it would be useful to explore some of the reasons why people might make those choices.

 

I think in it's most simplest form calling on a god could just be a statement like "Mars, I call on your powers of strife to make my enemies fight each other," but more elaborately the entire working could be focused around channeling/calling/using the god for their powers. To me, it is a bit rude to throw a god on top of a spell like Bacon Bits to give it some flavor. And if a spell is totally focused on a god or goddess, I think it would be very important to know that entity well and be able to follow its preferences and rituals. Either way I personally do not think it is a good idea to use gods casually in spells, even if a person believes gods are not real entities but actually just names given to a type of energy. Here is why:

 

I believe that names carry a lot with them. Suppose I was crafting a spell that involved the ocean. I could call on the ocean, and with that would come different aspects. If I tapped in to the forces of a stormy ocean I could get destruction, storms, breaking apart, violent movement, drowning, turmoil, and so on. But let's say I don't call on the ocean itself, but rather Poseidon. That could come with aspects of rulership, horses, earthquakes, domain, and saving people in the middle of a storm. Let's pretend my spell is a hex and it goes like this (I don't rhyme so go easy on me :tongue:):

 

Raging ocean that tears safeholds apart and throws men to the sharks, consume my enemy. Destroy the foundation that keeps him afloat so that he can drown in the depths of his own life. Throw him in to the waters of his own making so that he can choke on his decisions.

 

In this spell I am assuming the following: That the powers I call on will gradually but forcefully dissolve my enemy's foundation so that he loses control of his life and will be overwhelmed by everything he has so far kept at bay so his life will be ruined. That's what a stormy ocean does, it tears ships apart and drowns people. But suppose I changed it to,

 

Poseidon, ruler of the sea, I call upon you to consume my enemy. Destroy the foundation that keeps him afloat so that he can drown in the depths of his own life. Throw him in to the waters of his own making so that he can choke on his decisions.

 

In my mind, the following elements have changed: My enemy's foundation could be suddenly and radically be broken (as by an earthquake) instead of gradually dissolving - this may ruin my other plans and spells involving this person. And since Poseidon is generally a benevolent god who likes to save and rescue people, I may have just written in the ability for my enemy to be saved if he redeems himself. And there could be a lot of other things going on that I haven't considered since I don't know Poseidon's mythology. The differences may be slight but they are important.

 

This is assuming that Poseidon is a name for energy and not a sentient being; that name still carries with it many connotations that must be considered. These gods are thousands of years old and I believe they have powerful egregores surrounding their names. Now I know that was not a super example (I didn't spend a lot of time thinking it through), but it basically follows my belief system. If we assume that gods are sentient and Poseidon is a conscious deity, a whole lot of other issues arise, the biggest one to me being "what is Poseidon going to want in return if I ask him to help me." Coming up second is, "what if I offend Poseidon by asking him to get involved," either because my request is petty, because I was not invited by him to work with him, or because I do not know how to properly work with him according to his rituals.

 

So to me there are a lot of important things to consider when working with gods, the first being "do I know everything I can know about the force I am about to call upon?" and the second being "what is going to be the consequence of involving a conscious, powerful, unknown [if I do not have a personal relationship with that god] entity in my spellwork?" For me the answers are typically "no" and "probably more serious that I want to deal with". But this is only what I believe; other people have different understanding of gods that does not involve payment or unintended consequences.

 

As a disclaimer, I do not work with gods spiritually or magically, and I think the above is a good explanation as to why. Gods are too "big" for me, I do not want to go meddling there unless it is absolutely necessary.

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What if the personification wasn't a "name", but the way humans related to something non-human and beyond our knowledge level? If all spirit is energy - then our personal personalities are the "personifications" we each project of the energy that is our spirit/soul, physically manifested in our bodies.  My soul isn't conscious on the level that my personality is, and my soul/spirit - the energy that enlivens me -  is what will be left when my personality is gone... so Michele is the name given to the personification of my energy (spirit/soul), but Michele still has consciousness.

 

And perhaps it is the personification that has an ego, for it fears death on a level the energy/spirit doesn't... It's the consciousness that fears its own loss...

 

M

I admit I do not spend a lot of time thinking about gods. But I think I understand what you mean.

 

I am a polytheist, but I do not believe gods are like mythical superhumans walking around. I think we view deities through a human lens that allows us to understand them. I do not think Thor is literally a muscular white man walking around the clouds with a hammer, but I do believe he is a discrete, conscious entity. But since it is rather hard (or perhaps impossible) to comprehend Thor in his real state, it is much easier to use the muscular white man as intellectual shorthand for who and what Thor is.

 

In retrospect, in the original post I made it sound like a personification could not be conscious or alive. But I think you have some good points about all of us just being personifications. It is good food for thought :)

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It's a complex issue and one of those issues that has a huge impact on discussions in the Pagan community (though I use discussions loosely, from what I've seen on the internet, blood bath might be more accurate). Personally, I think the gods are real due to an experience I had, however I don't work with them nor identify with any particular one. They have no place in my practice. That aside, when it comes to even the mythology of the Gods, I tend to adhere to the 'where there's smoke, there's fire' adage. 

 

Perhaps they were once people who were elevated to God status in the eyes of their societies, perhaps they are really divine beings who had their time and moved beyond this realm. The world is an old and ancient place and what we know of it is hardly a millionth of what is probably out there. Maybe once upon a time the Deities did rule we've just not found evidence to prove it. I don't use them in spellwork because, as most lore suggests, the Gods don't do something for nothing, and sometimes what they want is beyond what you can give. So for that reason, and because I am an animist, I prefer to work with the spirits around me than reach for something that may end up being very uncomfortable in the long run.

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Ultimately, unless you believe all gods are false, when you call upon them you are inviting another conscious spirit in to your work and they have the opportunity to change it as they see fit. This is what would make me thing long and hard before calling on a god to help empower/improve/energize/direct my work. I think a hell of a lot could go wrong unless you really know the god you are working with, and in many cases I suspect it may be more trouble than it is worth.

 

 

 

I can see your point here Wexler. I personally get around this by leaving it up to the Gods as to whether or not  they wish to get involved. I do work with deity and will often make the request that the Gods add their energies to my work. However I would make a differentiation here between using the energies of something I have summoned and have power over and using the energies of the Gods who can decided for themselves if they do/don't wish to be a part of what I am doing. I'm not playing with forces beyond my command to control, I'm making the offer to forces that I wouldn't even begin to consider trying to control!

 

For some spells (the less moral generally) I don't call upon deity at all. If I instinctively feel my work is something they will not want to help with, I don't ask.

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Wexler said:

 

So to me there are a lot of important things to consider when working with gods, the first being "do I know everything I can know about the force I am about to call upon?" and the second being "what is going to be the consequence of involving a conscious, powerful, unknown [if I do not have a personal relationship with that god] entity in my spellwork?" For me the answers are typically "no" and "probably more serious that I want to deal with". But this is only what I believe; other people have different understanding of gods that does not involve payment or unintended consequences.

 

As a disclaimer, I do not work with gods spiritually or magically, and I think the above is a good explanation as to why. Gods are too "big" for me, I do not want to go meddling there unless it is absolutely necessary.

 

 

 

 

 

Wex:  This is how I feel.  I've heard too many people speak about how they've pissed off a God and suffered the consequences.  Or maybe they did not appease the God in the correct manner and suffered because of it.  (I ain't gonna be messin' with that.)

 

Because of my upbringing, I feel like if I'm going to be calling on a God in my practice, I may as well call on the one I grew up with.  (Not that I always have, as I still have my reservations based on my Christian brainwashing.)

 

I supposed it all depends on what each person is comfortable with and what experiences and results they've had.  Maybe it is as individual as the person who is casting.

 

It really doesn't matter to me what Gods other people call on.  If it works for them, then it works.  Who am I to say otherwise?  I know what works for me so I'll just stick with what I know.  And what I know, changes from time to time, so with that said, I am constantly changing my opinion and perspective on it.  I learn and grow.  What I believed last week, year or decade is always subject to change.

 

 

BTW:  I remember that thread you are talking about.  I posted a rather lengthy reply in it, myself, last year, which if I could find and read, it would probably be a whole different reply than the one I am posting today.

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... I posted a rather lengthy reply in it, myself, last year, which if I could find and read, it would probably be a whole different reply than the one I am posting today.

 

lol lol lol - that happens to me all the time...

 

M

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This is somewhat of a tangent question, but it does touch upon Wexler's original (and wonderfully thought-provoking) original post: is it possible to unintentionally evoke a deity or spirit?

The reason I ask is that I've been developing a relationship with Sedna, a local sea goddess, for a few months.  It was never my original intention to use her in any magical context; I guess you could say ours is a compensatory, reciprocal relationship.  I clean up the beach and pluck trash from her waters, and she gives me beautiful natural items I can harvest and use for my art.  The only time I've remotely utilized anything for a working was during the last lunar eclipse, when I reconstituted some sea salt I had made from ocean water I'd harvested, and incorporated it into a scrying session that yielded the most intense scrying experience I've had to date.  At that time, I was well aware of and communicating with a solitary female spirit associated with the ocean, but simply thought it was the spirit of the sea itself.  After learning specifically of Sedna (connecting the dots, so I thought) and leaving some very personal offerings recently upon the shore, the useful-to-me gifts from the sea continue to increase exponentially.  I'm finding water (often saline) to be an inexplicably more common element in my daily life now.  Although I haven't been doing as many workings lately as I normally do, I've nonetheless noticed a subconscious aversion to using tools fashioned from foraged beach items, and still have two gallons of raw sea water I'm curiously hesitant to reduce to down to crystallized salt.

 

So, even though I didn't know her name, but readily sensed her and had been actively working to develop a relationship, is it possible I've inadvertently invited Sedna into my workings without specifically calling her name/formally invoking her?  If so, it's something I would have expected at one time or another, as I do have aspirations of becoming a full-fledged sea witch.  I just want to go about attaining those skills deliberately and carefully!

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Guest monsnoleedra

ArcticWitch,

 

I think one can develop a relationship with a local divinity type spirit or god / goddess without actually calling upon or pledging oneself to them.  I've heard many a person claim that when they went to Hawaii they immediately felt Pele when they got off the plane.  Felt it so much so that those who started to work on the islands began to connect to her and incorporate earth / fire aspects into things that normally didn't have them.  I think many times proximity is everything.

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I don't know about evoke, per se, but.... you were helping out her domain, her territory, cleaning up, etc. So you were being friendly, helpful. You may have made a friend, who was simply returning the help you'd started. And that leaves the door open to deepen the relationship, IMO, should you wish to do so.

 

M

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I just want to go about attaining those skills deliberately and carefully!

 

 

 

Yeah, good luck with that.  It doesn't always work out that way - no matter how hard we try.

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Yeah, good luck with that.  It doesn't always work out that way - no matter how hard we try.

 

Are you implying that the will of a deity regarding a witch's Path somehow trumps his or her own will?  I presume it's a generally-accepted tenet around here that we, as witches, recognize our power of choice in allowing which spirits/entities/etc we allow to remain connected to our respective lives.  How are deities any different?  That being said, I know full well that if I were to formally invite Sedna into my life, then reject her if I later changed my mind, she has the power to make all aspects of my mundane and magical life into a living hell.  But if she's simply aware of me- and I of her- what power does she have to change my approach of caution and discretion regarding my Path?  Perhaps putting deities on the same level as an "average" spirit or entity is foolhardy, but unless I intentionally evoke a deity, they (like any other entity) simply do not have my permission to deeply root themselves into my Path or life, no matter how much they make their presence known.  Maybe it's just lack of experience, but my perspective is that a deity can select someone to- figuratively- open a door for, and it's ultimately completely up to the person whether they walk through it or not: consequences and all.

 

[Edited for clarity]

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Guest monsnoleedra

I don't know about evoke, per se, but.... you were helping out her domain, her territory, cleaning up, etc. So you were being friendly, helpful. You may have made a friend, who was simply returning the help you'd started. And that leaves the door open to deepen the relationship, IMO, should you wish to do so.

 

M

 

 

I think there you got to define invoke / evoke and how they are used.  To invoke the goddess into oneself and become one with them is quite different than Invoking or calling them before you.  Many times Evoking is a formatted and dedicated thing where invoking can be due to any number of chance reasons. Depending upon what ArcticWitch was doing on the seashore via offerings or actions could be seen as invoking and making a dedication to a given goddess in this instance.  Some are really formal in making bindings to them, others could be as simple as calling their name or making a gift to them.

 

Sort of like buying a lottery ticket and winning though you had no choice in what the winning ticket was going to give to you.  Human greed alone is going to stop you from throwing away that winning ticket regardless of what it was simply because you won something which stroked the ego.

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I think there you got to define invoke / evoke and how they are used.  

 

It was a typo on my part- my medical issues have been flaring and my post was at 5am after a sleepless night.  Thanks for reiterating the important difference between invoking and evoking.  :)  I've never invoked, nor do I see any appeal in doing so except in very extreme situations.  I've evoked during trances and travelling to form relationships, but never during casting or other intentional crafting.

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Guest monsnoleedra

It was a typo on my part- my medical issues have been flaring and my post was at 5am after a sleepless night.  Thanks for reiterating the important difference between invoking and evoking.   :smile:  I've never invoked, nor do I see any appeal in doing so except in very extreme situations.  I've evoked during trances and travelling to form relationships, but never during casting or other intentional crafting.

 

 

It definitely can be a game changer.  I try to remember the I = inside and the E = external.  Though I also use the ceremonial sense that Invoke is to place that called in the circle while evoke is to place it outside the protection at times.

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RoseRed:   Yeah, good luck with that.  It doesn't always work out that way - no matter how hard we try.

 

 

Are you implying that the will of a deity regarding a witch's Path somehow trumps his or her own will?  I presume it's a generally-accepted tenet around here that we, as witches, recognize our power of choice in allowing which spirits/entities/etc we allow to remain connected to our respective lives.  How are deities any different?  That being said, I know full well that if I were to formally invite Sedna into my life, then reject her if I later changed my mind, she has the power to make all aspects of my mundane and magical life into a living hell.  But if she's simply aware of me- and I of her- what power does she have to change my approach of caution and discretion regarding my Path?  Perhaps putting deities on the same level as an "average" spirit or entity is foolhardy, but unless I intentionally evoke a deity, they (like any other entity) simply do not have my permission to deeply root themselves into my Path or life, no matter how much they make their presence known.  Maybe it's just lack of experience, but my perspective is that a deity can select someone to- figuratively- open a door for, and it's ultimately completely up to the person whether they walk through it or not: consequences and all.

 

[Edited for clarity]

 

 

Are you implying that the will of a deity regarding a witch's Path somehow trumps his or her own will?  

Yes.

 

The situations that arise, the choices we are given that we must decide between, the things that are thrown into our path (obstacles or gifts), etc.  There are many things that are outside of the control of our Will.  Our force of will cannot stop the sun from rising or the moon from setting. 

 

I presume it's a generally-accepted tenet around here that we, as witches, recognize our power of choice in allowing which spirits/entities/etc we allow to remain connected to our respective lives.  How are deities any different? 

There are spirits and entities that are more powerful than us mere mortals.  I think that the vast majority of the time we don't really run into them.  Deities are gods.  They're different.  They have the power of the gods. 

 

That being said, I know full well that if I were to formally invite Sedna into my life

But what if She formally invites you?

 

But if she's simply aware of me- and I of her- what power does she have to change my approach of caution and discretion regarding my Path?  Perhaps putting deities on the same level as an "average" spirit or entity is foolhardy, but unless I intentionally evoke a deity, they (like any other entity) simply do not have my permission to deeply root themselves into my Path or life, no matter how much they make their presence known.

The Gods don't require your permission.

 

If you're Called or Claimed by a God or Goddess  - you do have the choice to not answer or to tell them that you're not interested.  I would suggest re-reading MonSno's post on 'The Cost of Avoidance.'  That cost can be very high as can be the consequences.  It took a long time for me to answer that Call and I paid dearly for it.

 

We've talked a lot about Hecate here recently.  She acts according to her whim and does not tolerate being questioned - for the most part.

 

People either believe that the gods have the power of the gods or they don't.  This conversation gets away from practical magic and into the realms of religious areas and faith. 

 

Perhaps putting deities on the same level as an "average" spirit or entity is foolhardy

It is my belief that it is foolhardy to do so.   This is a belief based upon my personal experiences and faith.  Others may believe differently and they have the right to do so. 

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I believe the Gods are real and some of them do care about us. Others only care about their own kind and some even hate us. To me they are simply a very powerful kind of creature that gains power or control as it is worshipped. Just like our celebrities have some kind of control over other people. Of course gods are much more powerful and have the ability to do things most of us can't even imagine.
It's never wise to use a god or goddes you don't know in spellwork but sadly, that's what many neo-wiccans do because "everybody else does it and he sound like a nice god!" *facepalm*
I don't use Loki in my spellwork, but I do sometimes ask him to help me with certain things. It's usually personal things I know he would be willing to help me with, because I feel like I would be "using" him if I asked him to do something I should take care of myself with my own spellwork and power.

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I think there you got to define invoke / evoke and how they are used.  To invoke the goddess into oneself and become one with them is quite different than Invoking or calling them before you.  Many times Evoking is a formatted and dedicated thing where invoking can be due to any number of chance reasons. Depending upon what ArcticWitch was doing on the seashore via offerings or actions could be seen as invoking and making a dedication to a given goddess in this instance.  Some are really formal in making bindings to them, others could be as simple as calling their name or making a gift to them.

 

Sort of like buying a lottery ticket and winning though you had no choice in what the winning ticket was going to give to you.  Human greed alone is going to stop you from throwing away that winning ticket regardless of what it was simply because you won something which stroked the ego.

 

I define evocation as external to the person, and invocation as internal to the person.

 

M

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@ArcticWitch, I read your post a couple of days ago re. the sea goddess. When you said you want to gain those skills deliberately and carefully, my primary thought wasn't that the sea goddess could claim you and demand service or anything like that. But rather, if a person starts working with powerful entities, it may be necessary to follow their schedule in order to keep them interested.

 

For people who request the aid of gods and goddesses during spellwork, do you prefer to focus the entire Working around that god, or do you prefer to introduce the god's influence in a more limited role?

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The Gods don't require your permission.

 

If you're Called or Claimed by a God or Goddess  - you do have the choice to not answer or to tell them that you're not interested.  I would suggest re-reading MonSno's post on 'The Cost of Avoidance.'  That cost can be very high as can be the consequences.  It took a long time for me to answer that Call and I paid dearly for it.

 

I hear you. The Morrigan once had a message for me, she wanted me to write it down and share it. For three days I refused, thought 'I'll write it down when I get time'. I ended up with a migraine for three days straight, she would not let me be until I wrote it down and shared it in a newsletter I was writing for. Only then did she leave me alone. I've never had any other contact from her since - or any other God, but not doing it right away when it was expected ended up being quite painful.

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I hate when shit like that happens.  And the thing is - you know - down to your marrow - where it's coming from.

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Ahhh, I am finally getting a chance to reply to this topic.  Wexler, thank you so much for your very informative and stimulating post.  I think this was posted in response to my question the other week and I thank you for your insight, and everyone else also.  Great discussions.  I had asked if anyone had ever used a specific Deity for a hex/curse.  I know alot of witches do not call on Deities for their spells, rituals, etc., and spellwork/crafting is based on our own energy, and this is true.  However, if you have been called on by a specific Deity, for example, I was called on by Diana at a very young age and have always been connected to her, than I don't see the harm in asking for help for something specific.  She is my patron and the one I always go to for help in any situation, she gives me strength when I need it.  She apparently had chosen me to be hers and I can't help but feel that she is offering her power to me to make me stronger.  Just as we as humans have different aspects of our personalities, I believe She does also and when I ask for help from another in a spell, it is really, to me, just another aspect of Her, whether it be light or dark.  This obviously is just my own view and I have never had a situation that made me think otherwise.  I have never had something backfire or I asked someone to join me to aid me in a spell and ended up with another spirit coming to me.  I of course do my research to make sure the one I am asking for help from is not any benevolent spirit that will get pissed.... If in the future this happens than perhaps my views will change.  I do not ever call or demand someone to aid me, i will make an offering, invite them to be with me and ask for their help.  I think that is much different than calling on someone to do what I ask...that is just disrespectful, to anyone.  Again, just my view.  I know we all have our own and what works for one may not work for another.   

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