Deity and the Divine - The Pagan Experience Week 3

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This post is for Monday Musings Week 3 on The Pagan Experience.  The topic is Deity and the Divine.


http://ofools.deviantart.com/art/Gods-Almighty-Everyone-act-natural-335608096

Gods Almighty: Everyone act natural by OFools

Until fairly recently, I didn't have much of a relationship with the Divine.  (I still don't by some people's reckoning, but I am working to change that.)  As a polytheist, I believe that the Gods and Goddesses of my personal pantheon are distinct individuals, rather than archetypes; they are not "aspects" of a greater whole.  (I think that it is likely that there is some overlap amongst groups that share common ancestry, though I don't believe that overlap extends outside of cultural relation.) 

Until fairly recently, my views were more those of a soft polytheist, so the devotional aspect of my own personal polytheism is in its infancy. My hearth culture and its associated pantheon of gods is Anglo-Saxon.  While I do not have a relationship of patronage with any of them, there are two (and perhaps a third) who are often in my thoughts, and the subjects of my efforts at devotional practice.

http://numen-lab.deviantart.com/art/Frigg-404707307

Frigg by Numen-lab

Frige/Frigg

Frige ("FREE-yeh") is the goddess who first drew me toward Northern tradition paganism.  I felt compelled to learn more about Her, even though I only knew her by name and as the consort of Woden. 

As All-Mother and Lady of Osgeard, Frige's sphere of influence is that of the household.  She is peacekeeper and frith-weaver, patroness of the household arts, a goddess of childbirth, and a protector of women and children.  As a homemaker, mother and wife, it is obvious to me why I might hear Her voice. I offer Frige my devotion as Keeper of the Hearth.


 


http://valerianoddity.deviantart.com/art/Freya-109796703

Freya by Sedeptra

Freo/Freya/Freyja

There is a bit of a blurred line between Frige and Freo ("FRAY-oh") in Anglo-Saxon lore; some believe Freo was only another name for Frige.  I choose to see Her as separate and complimentary; the reverse side of the same coin, so to speak.

If Frige offers me the support I need as a wife and mother, then Freo is the goddess who reminds me that I am still a woman with my own needs and wants, independent and sovereign over my own destiny.  Any mother can attest how difficult it can be to retain one's sense of self when your every waking moment is spent caring for the needs of others.  Freo helps me remember that my own needs are important, and that I cannot take care of others if I don't first take care of myself.  She is both warrior and priestess, lover and fighter, and She helps me reconnect to those aspects of my own self, when I forget.

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