Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Wiccan & Pagan Deities, Seasons & Elements



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Honoring The Deities, Seasons and Elements

On many occasions, my readers have asked specific questions regarding what Deities, Seasons, and Elements do most practicing Wiccans use in their spiritual and magical practice.  Below are specific to Wicca, however many other Pagan Paths, including Witches that are not Wiccan, also known as eclectic witches or pagans, also incorporate the same or parts of.

I reference the use of these deities, seasons and elements within a coven setting, but know that all solitary witches can also use the same basics that are included within this outline.  Acknowledging the Wiccan (and Pagan) deities, seasons and elements in your practice of rituals, magic and spells is a vital aspect of your spirituality.

Deities:
  • The Lady: The Lady is the Goddess and represents the three stages of womanhood.  She is often symbolized by the triple moon symbol, showing the waxing, full, and waning phases.  These three phases represent the Goddess in Her roles as the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone (an elderly wise woman.)  The maiden is youthful innocence and beauty, while the Mother is the creator of life.  In her aspect as the Crone, the Lady is typically a symbol of sagacity, intuition, and knowledge, and she is usually pictured with water and cups.
  • The Lord: Sometimes referred to only as the God, the Lord is the embodiment of the scared masculine.  He is seen as the young and virile Horned God, associated with the fertility of Spring.  At different times of the year, he can be the Oak King or the Holly King, or even seen as the Sun God.  He is associated with the sun itself, the fertility of the land, and with phallic symbols as horns, antlers, branches and wands.
  • The All: In some traditions of Wicca, there is another theological concept of the Divine known as the All or the One.  This is an omnipotent and impersonal Being that can never truly be known, only acknowledged.  A pantheistic divinity, the All is found in every aspect of Nature and is sometimes viewed as the life-creating force of the universe.
The Seasons:
  • Fall: During the harvest season, Wiccan rituals focus on reaping and what you have sown and gathering abundance.  This is the season of thankfulness and gratitude.  In addition, it’s the period in which the nights are growing longer and darker, and for Wiccans, it’s the season of the Witches’ New Year, the time in which the cycle of life, death, and rebirth begins anew.  The crops and fields are dying, and with them, the earth, but we know that despite the end of the harvest, life will return again in a few months. 
  • Winter:  For must of us, Winter is a fallow time.  It’s the coldest part of the year, the land is frozen, and the skies are dark and gloomy.  However, this is also a season of celebration, when we gather together with our loved ones.  We mark the return of light at the Winter Solstice, when the sun begins to move closer to the Earth, and the days gradually begin to get longer.
  • Spring:  During the Spring season, life is beginning anew in the fields and gardens.  Spring is a time of planting and fertility, and the rebirth of the land.  It’s a time of year when we feel revitalized, as life returns once more.  It’s the season we begin to start thinking about what we want to bring into our own lives as we plant seeds—both physical and spiritual—for our goals for the year.  We rejoice in the greening of the earth in Spring and recognize that this is a time of year when we can take advantage of the earth’s natural cycles to bring about our fruitfulness and creation in our lives.
  • Summer: In the Summer months, the theme is power and energy.  The sun is at its peak in the sky, and warmth and light are everywhere.  Focus your Summer celebrations on strength and power, drawing on the energy of the sun.  The days are long and warm, we’re outdoors more, and we’re staying up later.  This is the time of productivity and powerful energy.  It’s also the season in which our gardens are blooming and blossoming, and we can begin harvesting those crops—both physical and spiritual—that we began tending in the Spring.  Take some time during the Summer months to nourish your personal power, reconnect with the land, and embrace that which you have planted.
The Four Elements:
  • Earth: The element of Earth doesn’t just mean the planet itself; it also applies to all the planet’s attributes, such as stones, trees, and mountains.  Associated with the north, Earth is Feminine, fertile, and stable, like the Goddess herself, and tied to the endless cycle of birth, life, death, and final rebirth.  Earth is usually represented by the colors green and brown.
  • Air: The element of the east, Air is representative of the soul and the breath of life, as well as wisdom and the powers of the mind.  Air is the element of communication and can be used to rid the troublesome issues, carry them away on the breeze.  Air is connected to white and yellow in color magic.
  • Fire: The masculine, purifying energy of Fire is associated with the God and the south.  It’s tied to strong will, passion, and energy.  Fire both creates and destroys and can heal or harm.  For color magic, use red and orange for Fire associations.
  • Water:  Used for cleansing and purification, Water is related to the west, and to the Goddess.  Water is often associated with blessings, healing, and our emotions.  In many Wiccan covens, consecrated water is used to bless the sacred circle and any tools within it.  Water is associated with blue in color magic.
  • Spirit (the optional fifth element): Some Wiccans incorporate a fifth element into their practice, that of Spirit.  Although you certainly don’t have to, if you choose to work with Spirit, it is generally seen as the Aether, a universal inner space.  Spirit is associated with the color white in some Wiccan traditions, although others believe that Spirit has no color at all; it simply is.  This element is unlike the other four in that it is not connected to a specific direction but to the higher self, the Divine, and the wisdom that can be attained only as we grow and develop spiritually.
You can read more about the elements here: The Living Earth authored by myself.