FOLLOWING YOUR OWN PATH
You must discover for yourself a close and living connection to the Creative Spirit, the Goddess or the Gods of your chosen tradition. It is for this reason that there can’t be any Pagan or magical religious missionaries.
There is no one book, no set of rules, no gospel truth, no “thou shalt not” type of commandments, except what common sense and common decency suggest. Each individual on the path has to find their own Gods, discover their symbols, and invite them into their life.
One of the things that attracts many people to the old arts is a new approach to spirituality of a very personal sort. Many have become disillusioned by organized religions, their dogma and rules, and have sought a more individual and less regulated direction.
Some have discovered the new forms of paganism that are springing up all over the world. These new impulses do not try to negate established faiths, but rather discover an older current of belief and practice that runs below them.
GODS AND GODDESSES
Belief in Gods and Goddesses often originates from the pagan religions of ancient times which acknowledged a male and a female aspect of deity, often seen as the Sky Father and the Earth Mother.
In classical paganism these two energies were further divided into whole pantheons of Goddesses and Gods, each with their own powers and specialties.
In many traditions the Sun is a male of light, and the Moon a goddess with either three faces or phases with different names. These deities are encountered in many ancient religions, and those who are drawn to modern paganism are finding a wealth of images and ideas to contemplate.
No one is forced to become a pagan; it has to be a path found by each seeker, and each and each one has to understand it for themselves. All witches and wiccans are pagans; but not all pagans are witches or wiccans. It is possible to be a pagan druid, a pagan follower of the Norse gods and goddesses, or a pagan worshipper of the gods of Ancient Egypt, Greece or Rome, or of many of the ancient dieties of the lands around the globe.
One factor which is important to all workers of magic is the reality of a female force of equal power and worth to a male force. Most modern major religions, apart from Hinduism, pay little heed to female dieties and goddesses, yet modern people who are seeking a new spiritual direction have become aware of this lack, and are looking to the ancient world to fill the gap.
In mythology, goddesses do not go away, and unlike their male counterparts they do not die. The goddess lives on, with many names and faces, and it is her companion or lover or son who may die and be reborn.
The god is symbolized by the green of Nature, being born in the spring, growing to fullness at midsummer, waning in the autumn and dying, being reborn in winter.
It seems that from the very earliest moments of human history people have had a very special relationship with certain places on Earth and with the Sun, Moon and stars. In many lands, the most ancient monuments are not castles or places, but temples and sacred groves, caves, and places of burial.
Although it is easier to visit an outdoor site, with all it’s associations of ancient magic, the neglected hearts of cities and towns are just as important, and can offer healing and a new current of life-giving energy if they are located, cleared out, honoured and acknowledged.
Each magician or witch has their own personal awareness of the land and therefore of the places in harmony with it, consequently, there is no formula for finding sacred places. There has to be complete freedom so that everyone can come to terms with their own concepts of higher beings.
Much magical practice relies on the powers of the gods, Angels, spirit guides, Elemental beings and other kinds of spirits, who you will come to meet as you go along.
It will be necessary for you to meditate, consider and perhaps walk a path of imagination that will lead you to have some religious experiences of your own.
There can be no rights or wrongs in religious belief just as there aren’t in the life that you choose to lead or the career that you follow.
You must seriously consider the question in the light of your current knowledge, then read and meditate, and later experience things for yourself.
To the Goddess:
All watery and earthy flowers and seeds such as camellia, lily, water lily, willow stalks; those flowers used in Full Moon rituals: white or purple blooms such as hyacinth, magnolia, heather and lilac; sweet-scented herbs and flowers; those dedicated to Venus or to the Moon; rue, vervain and olive; or others which seem suitable.
To the God:
All fiery and airy herbs and flowers such as basil, chrysanthemum, snapdragon. clover, lavender, pine, strongly-scented, clean or citrusy herbs and flowers; those ruled by Mars or the Sun; yellow or red blooms such as sunflower, pine cones, seeds, cacti, thistles and stinging herbs; orange, heliotrope, cedar, juniper and so on.
OF THE SACRED HERBS OF THE GODDESS
GODDESS – HERBS
APHRODITE- olive, cinnamon, daisy, cypress, quince, orris(iris), apple myrtle
ARADIA- rue, vervain
ARTEMIS- silver fir, amaranth, cypress, cedar, hazel, myrtle, willow, daisy, mugwort, date palm
ASTARTE- alder. pine, cypress, myrtle, juniper
ATHENA- olive, apple
BAST- catnip, vervain
VARDEA- hawthorn, bean, artutus
CERES- oak, myrrh, pine
DEMETER- wheat, barley, pennyroyal, myrrh, rose, pomegranate, bean, poppy, all cultivated crops
DIANA- birch, willow, acacia, wormwood, dittany, hazel, beech, fir, apple, mugwort, plane, mulberry, rue
FREYA- cowslip, daisy, primrose, maidenhair, myrrh, strawberry, mistletoe
HATHOR- myrtle, sycamore, grape, mandrake, coriander, rose
HECATE- willow, henbane, aconite, yew, mandrake, cyclaen, mint, cypress, date palm, sesame, dandelion, garlic, oak, onion
HERA- apple, willow, orris, pomegranate, myrrh
HULDA- flax, rose, hellebore, elder
IRIS- wormwood, iris
ISHTAR- acacia, juniper, all grains
ISIS- fig, heather, wheat, wormwood, barley, myrrh, rose, palm, lotus, persea, onion, iris, vervain
JUNO- lily, crocus, ashpodel, quince, pomegranate, vervain, iris, lettuce, fig, mint
KERRIDWEN- vervain, acorns
MINERVA- olive, mulberry, thistle
NEPTHYS- myrrh, lily
PERSOPHONE- parsley, narcissus, willow, pomegranate,
RHEA- myrrh, oak
ROWEN- clover, oak
VENUS- cinnamon, daisy, elder, heather, anemone, apple, poppy, violet, marjoram, maidenhair fern, carnation, aster, vervain, myrtle, orchid, cedar, lily, istletoe, pine, quince
OF THE SARED HERBS OF THE GODS
GODS – HERBS
ADONIS- myrrh, corn, rose, fennel, lettace, white heather
AESCULAPILIS- bay, mustard
APOLLO- leek, hyacinth, heliotrope, cornel, bay, frankincense, date palm, cypress
ATTIS- pine, almond
BACCHUS- grape, ivy, fig, beech, tamarisk
BALDUR- St. Johns wort, daisy
BRAN- alder, all grains
CUPID- cypress, sugar, white violet, red rose
DIONYSUS- fig, apple, ivy, grape, pine, corn, pomegranate, toadstools, mushrooms, fennel, all wild and cultivated trees
EROS- red rose
HELIOS- sunflower, heliotrope
HORUS- sunflower, lotus, persea
JOVE- pine, cassia, houseleek, carnation, cypress
JUPITER- aloe, agrimony, sage, oak, mullein, acorn, beech, cypress, houseleek, datepalm, violet, gorse, ox-eye daisy, vervain
KERNUNNOS- heliotrope, bay, sunflower, oak, borage
MARS- ash, aloe, dogwood, buttercup, witch grass, vervain
MERCURY- cinnamon, mulberry, hazel, willow
MITHRAS- cypress, violet
NEPTUNE- ash, bladderwrack, all seaweeds
ODIN- mistletoe, elm
OSIRIS- acacia, grape, ivy, tamarisk, cedar, clover, date palm, all grains
PAN- fig, pine, reed, oak, fern, all meadow flowers
PLUTO- cypress, mint, pomegranate
POSEIDON- pine, ash, fig, bladderwrack, all seaweeds
RA- acacia, frankincense, myrrh, olive
SATURN- fig, blackberry
TAMMUZ- wheat, pomegranate, all grains
THOR- thistle, houseleek, vervain, hazel, ash, birch, rowan, oak, pomegranate, burdock, beech
ZEUS- oak, olive, pine, aloe, parsley, sage, wheat, fig
By Marian Green
By Scott Cunningham