Serving the Gods

December 8th, 2007

In Neo-Pagan religions, the divine law is to follow your own free will, not the will of another person or God. As a result, sin in Pagan religions is to act in a way that is not in accordance with your will. Cosette, from Pandora’s Bazaar wrote an interesting post about some Pagan practitioners’ devotion to serving one or more Gods. I am included in this group, devoted to serving 6 Gods and Goddesses. What does it mean to serve a God or Goddess while not suppressing your free will?

When you dedicate to serve a deity (as opposed to dedicating to worship and learn from Him or Her), you are offering yourself and your energy to that deity’s purpose. You become a connection between that deity and the physical earth plane. For example, if you are devoted to serving Aphrodite, you have offered yourself to expressing Love on earth as She wills.

Additionally, you must not lose sight of your own will nor suppress it. The way to ensure this is to choose carefully. There is nothing that says you must dedicate to serving any deity. Most Pagan practitioners do not dedicate to serve specific Gods at all. Dedicating yourself to worshiping one or more deities is something you should do only after long and careful contemplation.

I recommend dedicating to worshiping and learning from a God or Goddess if you feel a strong attraction to becoming closer to Them. This creates a strong bond without the obligation to serve. After being dedicated to worshiping Them for a while you would be in a better position to decide if you are being called by Them to serve.

If the call to service comes, you need to decide if it is in accordance with your will. Just because a deity calls you to serve (or even worship) does not mean that you are obligated to answer that call. If the deity who calls you rules over a domain you wish to make a part of yourself, then by all means, answer the call. But if that deity does not work in an area you wish to unite with, then you can respectfully decline. In fact, it would be a sin to not decline in this case because you would be suppressing your will for the deity’s.

Serving a God or Goddess is living a life of balance. You balance what the deity directs you to do with your will. You must always check your actions against your will because you cannot blame the deity if the action leads to undesired consequences. If you serve a God of war, for example, you might be directed to defend a particular side on an issue. You need to check that against your will to make sure it is also your will to defend that side. If you blindly perform the deity’s directive, you will have committed sin and you must own up to your actions and their consequences, even if it causes you great pain.

Unlike Christians, we cannot blame a “Satan” for our misdeeds. There is no “Satan” figure in any of the Pagan religions. We also cannot do as some fanatics, saying, “God made me do it!” That does not fly in the world of karma.

Declining a directive from a God also has consequences, but that is the price for offering yourself to serve Them. This is a big reason why you must choose carefully whether and whom you wish to offer your service.

If you choose wisely to serve a God or Goddess, when you are spiritually mature and ready, there should be little problem. The Gods will ask you on occasion to do things you might not be initially comfortable with, but They know your will. In addition, the close bond with Them created by your devotion increases the alignment between your will and Theirs. Doing what They ask as part of your service will help you to grow closer to the deities you are devoted to serve and you will grow in general.

Offering your dedication and devotion to serving any deity (or deities) is a significant commitment of yourself, and the rewards are significant as well. It is something not to be taken lightly and should only be done when you are absolutely sure you are ready. Most Pagans never make this level of commitment and that is okay. For those few who are called to live in service of a deity, it is a life of piety and growth, along with challenge and trial. It is a life of ministry, of enacting the works of their Patron or Matron on earth.

Are you devoted to serving any deity? If so, how did you come to this? Which deity? If not, what are your thoughts on this? Feel free to leave a comment.


13 Responses to “Serving the Gods”

  1. Tim Says:

    I agree with you on not blindly following a god or goddess or multiple ones unless you are mature and no how to deal with gods and goddesses of similar or different perspectives on life than you do. I know my will is very strong but it adapts to different things its not set in stone like the evangelical christians where you have to fit into this stereotype christian or you aren’t one.

  2. Morninghawk Says:

    It’s good you have a strong will. One thing to keep in mind with regard to will and serving deities is that you know the “Big Picture” of your will. It is like knowing what kind of person you wish to be and how you see yourself fitting into the world.

    With that in mind, your strong will is an excellent guide to all parts of your life, including which (if any) deities to serve.

    Thanks for the comment.

  3. Hawk Says:

    This are good words with which I agree. Well said…

  4. Morninghawk Says:

    Thanks. I’m glad you like it.

  5. Livia Says:

    You are quite right to point out that not everyone is called to serve as opposed to worship/receive instruction from. I am drawn to several deities but have not received a call to serve Them. I envision that I may feel this in a later stage in life but for now They know I can best benefit from learning lessons from Them. Very nice post, as always.

  6. Morninghawk Says:

    Everyone walks a different path, even if they are from the same tradition. For some, that path involves serving the Gods. For others, it does not. The Gods will let you know what your path entails as you walk it. The important thing is to keep in touch with your will, your path and your Gods.

    Thanks for the comment.

  7. Victoria Says:

    I am Catholic, but raised by a Baptist father. Modern witchcraft has been one of my interests as well, and based on love, I understand and get what you are trying to say. I wanted to share with you that my father, who has passed a few years back, came to me in a dream and said, “Yes, there are many gods, but remember only One died for you.”
    I woke up, had a hard cry of gratefulness and felt better about my path. I judge no one.
    I know very little. Just wanted to share my experience.
    Peace be with you always, and thank you for your work.

  8. Morninghawk Says:

    That is a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it.

  9. M. Ashley Says:

    This post, like all good reading, set my mind reeling with questions and possibilities. I started to wonder whether there is a right or wrong way to devote yourself to serving your gods. Should you say at the outset that you dedicate yourself to serving them as long as what they ask of you does not violate your own will, or should you seek to align your will with theirs? Does putting a caveat of that kind lessen the level of devotion to your gods or show your strength of spirit? Does the reaction from your Gods depend on the specific God with whom you are communing?

    Much to consider. Thank you truly for such a warm, wise and provocative post.

  10. Lady ElderCraft Says:

    wow… another excellent post!

    However, i would like to raise another P.O.V..

    While the common understanding of deitic forces is thought of as something above us, without us, or in a higher dominion than us, I would like to interject this veiw.

    Devotion to a deity and its attributions/personifications/expressions is a pratise of the ancient mage and wisewomen.

    It is a higher initiation that is birthed to you by your inner knowing, and it is a time when your spirit has chosen to delve deeper into the ‘becomming of you’ and who you are borned to be… the ultimate goal of any occultic path…

    “Become who you are born to be”.(think deeply about this)

    The path through deitic worship, is one that will lead you to embody and grow into what fate intends you to be. As deities pass into, and out of our lives, we inherit the personifications of that deity, through the honor and worship of these forces within ourselves.

    The lesson of deity is ultimate. It shows us our higher-selves and teaches us a higher consciousness that may NEVER EVER be abandoned regardless of any disallusion, lack of rationale, or disruptive emotion.(i.e;you are forever aware of your actions and their consequence)

    The path of deity will find you working toward finding and awakening deity within yourself.

    Deity, in the spiritual-mental sense, is our highest consciousness, embodied into examples. These examples are the beings we attribute the higher-consciousness to… the gods and goddesses of the worlds pantheons.

    Each of them represent a facet of humanity and/or nature and how they are tightly interwoven in the web of life.

    To understand deity, and to know deity within yourself, is to ultimately become deity, and personify your very own and unique deitic force.

    ElderCraftGuild

    http://www.eldercraftguild.com

  11. Morninghawk Says:

    M. Ashley:

    The Gods know what your will is. When you dedicate to serving a God or Goddess, you are not making yourself Their slave. They don’t ask you to do anything that is contradictory to your true will. Over time, however, your true will may change in alignment with the deities you serve. This is why it is important to choose which deity (if any) you serve.

    Additionally, you always retain the right (and responsibility) to refuse any request that is not in accordance with your will. This is true for requests by other people and from deities.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Lady ElderCraft:

    This is a good perspective. It is nice to hear from people with other perspectives.

    I have a question about one of your statements. You wrote, “The path through deitic worship, is one that will lead you to embody and grow into what fate intends you to be.” What do you see the nature of fate is in this case? Is it something that is an inherent, impersonal force in the universe? Or do you see it as some aspect of ourselves? What do you think the source of fate is?

    I tend to see fate as simply a series of impersonal consequences that result from our actions, inactions and choices. I get the sense you see it differently and would be interested in learning how you see it.

    Thanks for such a thoughtful comment.

  12. Lady ElderCraft Says:

    Oh yes..I can see how the statement maybe alittle general, what with all the personal understandings of what “fate” is and how it interacts with us, thank you for giving me the op to explain futher into this. I agree with you completely, that fate, or rather, a facet of fate is that which is conveyed into our lives and surroundings by what we decide, act and think.

    But I understand this as the smaller and more obvious interactions with fate in our lives.

    Its a curious and long winded subject, and deserves to be so, and i will try my best to explain my veiw of it here…

    I understand fate as you explained, in it being similar to the law of cause and effect.. the cause being our actions, thoughts and intended purpose, and the effect being ‘conceptual fate’ and/or consequencial result, that transforms as do we.

    But I understand also that mankind has an ultimate purpose, and that is to transcend spiritually by experiencing a physical reality as just one of the many levels of reality mankind will ‘spiritually endure’. The earth plane is simply one of them. And with the ultimate goal of ascendance at the heart of every spirituality, be it through mysticism or occultism, it may almost suggest a common working towards a goal, on nearly every spiritual level.

    That being said, I would suggest that my statement hints at the actuality that you may not be aware of what you were “effected”(what caused you) here on earth to do at this specific time and moment in accordance with the law of cause and effect and how it is a law that is prolonged and extends backwards into our anscetors generations and there actions, thoughts, and decisions. And with this better understanding of the interplay of the laws of cause and effect, your decisions, actions and thoughts will not always be incontrol of where your life leads you. Should your “effect” and anothers “effect” be intertwinded in this existance, or the next, due to the nature of the “effect”(think about the butterfly effect, and how anothers action in another time and place may effect you directly or in this case, indirectly.) part of the law, one could perceive that as fate, in the traditoinal and common sense of the term.

    Fate may also be perceived as the phenomenon between a twin-flame and soul-mate, who’s love or friendship or even hatred towards each other is ‘conceived’ in every life lived… and so maybe seen veiwed in the traditional and common understanding of what fate means.

    Fate can also be concepted through the understanding of reincarnation and karma, and the path to nirvana expressed through the mysticism of buddhism… And also the understanding of time and quatum physics, and how time is a continuum, regardless of our minimal concept of it.

    It has many facets, and faces, and dynamics that allow it to express to us in many ways. But in the understanding of common spiritual growth, and the work towards it both by us as spiritual beings, and by the spiritual beings that transcended consciousnes, that work to influence and inspire man toward higher spiritually.

    The actuality of it is, so many people are making decisions, taking actions and having thoughts that they all will eventually intertwine and become subject to the law of cause and effect.

    Ultimately we are the gods and goddesses of our universes… crafting it for ourselves and others(this is where the actualization of the group-mind or consciousness becomes evident)… and such is the reason of the law of three and the then the law of “do as ye wilt”.

    ElderCraftGuild

    http://www.eldercraftguild.com

  13. Morninghawk Says:

    So, as I understand it, “serving the Gods” to you is essentially performed through your journey toward enlightenment, or the Great Work as Hermeticists put it? If so, I can appreciate that.

    I would put forth that all actions toward serving one’s Gods (whichever They are, or however one perceives divinity) are steps along the path of enlightenment, as I believe that divinity wishes to help us along that path.

    This would lead me to believe that the two of us are not very dissimilar in this respect. The difference is in how we perceive divinity. I wrote an article in August about different ways Pagans see divinity. From what I gather, you perceive Gods as metaphor of various aspects of ourselves, along with an essential unity in the universe, as in monism or panentheism.

    If that assumption is correct, I can easily see your view on serving divinity.

    Thanks for the interesting comments.

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