Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

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Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby Alys-RaccoonReadings » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:00 am

I had thought about putting this in Ash's "IMMORTAL WORK - WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?" thread (topic69933.html), but the two weren't really talking about the same thing exactly. This article is more along religious/theological lines than magickal ones.

Yes. I did, in fact, excerpt almost the entire post. XD I just really thought there was a lot of great stuff to think through and digest.

Different Pagans have different ideas about how to form and maintain relationships with the Gods.

Some worship Them with a reverence that approaches fear and with a deference that can only be described as obedience. Some tell each other “thou art God” – a phrase that entered Paganism through the Church of All Worlds, who got it from science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein. Others invoke and entreat Them like They’re vending machines – enter the right code and They’ll give you whatever you want. And of course, some Pagans actively avoid the Gods, either because they don’t trust Them or because they think They don’t exist.

An approach that sometimes causes confusion and consternation is “I work with the Gods....”

Some (especially polytheists) find this phrase insufficiently reverent: “you don’t work with a God, you worship a God!” Others find it too deferential: “I do my own thing for my own reasons.” Still others struggle with the concept: “how can you work with a being who’s farther above you than you are above a cat?”

Regardless of how you feel about “working with” the Gods, I think it’s worthwhile to examine this phrase and its theological implications.

Many Pagans have an aversion to worship
Let’s start with the obvious – many Pagans don’t like the idea of worshipping anyone or anything. Most of this is a reaction to the errors and excesses of Christianity (or at least, certain forms of Christianity) which teaches that their God is great and pure and holy and humans are worthless sinful scum. And so they throw the baby of worship out with the dirty bathwater of toxic monotheism.

Then, when they begin to form relationships with deities and those relationships go well, they struggle to find an acceptable word to describe their prayers, meditations, and offerings. And so while most people would say they’re worshipping the deity in question, they say they’re working with Them. My experience with many deities is that if They get what They want, They don’t much care what you call it....

It would help if we understood that worship is not self-debasement. Rather, it’s declaring and celebrating what we find most worthy. Done right, worship honors the Gods and helps us become more God-like in the process.

But there’s more to working with the Gods than worshipping Them without using the w-word.

Doing Their work in this world
We work with the Gods when we do Their work in this world.

Sometimes this means embodying Their virtues and supporting Their values....

I often say I work “with and for” the Morrigan. I talk about my experiences with Her and I encourage people to respond to Her calls. But I also do things She tells me to do in Her mystical, God-phone, UPG way. “Give this message to this person.” “Do this ritual in this way.” “That person needs your help – go talk to them.”

Anyone can do the first things. You need only know the virtues and values of a deity to begin working with Them. But the second things require a deeper, more intimate relationship… and a willingness to do what They want done, even when it’s difficult.

Different persons working at different levels toward the same goals
I sometimes say I work with the Morrigan like I work with the President of the company where I’m employed. We’re both on the same team, we know each other, and we speak if we run into each other in the halls. But we do very different work at very different levels. I’m not invited to his staff meetings (thankfully!) or strategy sessions. He doesn’t tell me how to do my job. He sets the high-level goals – my job is to find ways to achieve them, within the scope of my skills and responsibilities.

This is not to compare corporate executives to Gods… although some of them think they’re Gods. The point is that different persons in different stations and situations often work on the same projects and toward the same goals....

The theological implications of working with
The fact that we can work with the Gods tells us something about the Gods: They are not so far above us that our only option is submission, as conservative monotheists claim for their God. We may not be able to fully understand Them, but we can relate to Them and form relationships with Them.

Some argue it would be better to say we serve the Gods instead of saying we work with Them. Certainly what I and many other polytheists do is service, and I sometimes describe it as such. But I do not serve or even worship the Gods simply because They’re Gods. I serve and worship Them because They are worthy of that service and worship. And they are worthy of this because of what They do, not because of what They are.

My service and worship also comes from a sense of reciprocity. As I said in the earlier quote, They’ve been good to me.

But when I say I work with the Gods, that implies a free choice....

Am I Their equal? No. I’m not a God, and while apotheosis is a real thing, I cannot reach it in this life. But I am a person with my own sovereignty and agency....

Working with the Gods is a commitment
Signing on to work with a deity is usually a free choice, though occasionally it’s not. Conditions, length of service, and other terms can be negotiated – again, usually. I’ve told Gods “no” in the past and it worked out fine, though in one case it helped to have assistance from Someone to whom I was already promised.

But once you say “yes” changing your mind can be difficult. Or more likely, impossible....

Do not promise what you will not do, or what you cannot do.

Many Gods, many ways
Any discussion of “the Gods” is necessarily general and incomplete. The Gods are many, not one. They each have Their own sovereignty and agency, which They exercise as They see fit. Further, from my observations, They approach different people in different ways. If your Gods have told you to worship and serve Them and to never question what They tell you, I suggest you do it. They have Their reasons, which are almost certainly good reasons even if you or I can’t understand them. If They seem satisfied for you to work with them, that’s also good.

As for me, I worship the Gods.

And I serve the Gods.

And I work with the Gods.


https://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbecke ... -gods.html



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Re: Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby denanna123 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:17 am

Love this article! It sums up fairly well my own view of the Gods and how I choose to interact with them. Thanks for posting Alys!


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Re: Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby Alys-RaccoonReadings » Thu Feb 14, 2019 5:35 am

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Re: Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby Lewk » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:23 pm

So I guess I'm the sort of person who 'works with' the Gods then.

I've also 'worked with' Gods in multiple ways, ie not just one approach:

- With Odin as a part of rune rituals (one way);
- with the Greek Olympian pantheon, in a form of mind magic, playing the role of a hero, with one deity as my tutelary deity;
- with Celtic & Egyptian deities, either 'grokking' them , to use another Robert Heinlein concept, ie tuning into their energy fields, getting to know their nature energetically; doing minor rituals or help requests with them;
- with Atlantean deities, in virtually religious ways;
- as archetypes, through research.

So I've accessed their help for:

* practical purposes
* spiritual development
* to increase my knowledge of their nature and
* in an almost religious way

...but never worship or service. (I had enough of service after a decade of dedication to a Guru, where both was required.) My attitude is always one of respect and gratitude though.

Bindings versus direct contact

I now have an Immortal binding from CH of Aphrodite, WA, as a Master Spirit. I work with Her on the basis on which the binding has been made - ie as a Master Spirit. It's quite a personal 1 to 1 thing.

But my relationship with Aphrodite is completely different in the mind magick system I would use to access her as Goddess - does that make sense?

It's quite compartmentalised. The Master Spirit binding of Aphrodite to me is a different creature to Aphrodite the Goddess energy field and intelligence I contact via mind magick…complex and counterintuitive though it may seem.



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Re: Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby Alys-RaccoonReadings » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:02 pm

Lewk wrote:So I guess I'm the sort of person who 'works with' the Gods then.

I've also 'worked with' Gods in multiple ways, ie not just one approach:

- With Odin as a part of rune rituals (one way);
- with the Greek Olympian pantheon, in a form of mind magic, playing the role of a hero, with one deity as my tutelary deity;
- with Celtic & Egyptian deities, either 'grokking' them , to use another Robert Heinlein concept, ie tuning into their energy fields, getting to know their nature energetically; doing minor rituals or help requests with them;
- with Atlantean deities, in virtually religious ways;
- as archetypes, through research.

So I've accessed their help for:

* practical purposes
* spiritual development
* to increase my knowledge of their nature and
* in an almost religious way

...but never worship or service. (I had enough of service after a decade of dedication to a Guru, where both was required.) My attitude is always one of respect and gratitude though.

Bindings versus direct contact

I now have an Immortal binding from CH of Aphrodite, WA, as a Master Spirit. I work with Her on the basis on which the binding has been made - ie as a Master Spirit. It's quite a personal 1 to 1 thing.

But my relationship with Aphrodite is completely different in the mind magick system I would use to access her as Goddess - does that make sense?

It's quite compartmentalised. The Master Spirit binding of Aphrodite to me is a different creature to Aphrodite the Goddess energy field and intelligence I contact via mind magick…complex and counterintuitive though it may seem.


I super love this whole post!

Would you mind telling us more about the Atlantean Deities? I had never even considered the concept.

And, yes, it makes perfect sense to me that working with Them in magick would be different from accessing Them as Deities. That's an excellent way of distilling why I opted not to post this in Ash's thread. It felt entirely separate to me.



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Re: Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby Lewk » Thu Feb 14, 2019 8:47 pm

I'm glad you asked. Here goes...

The Atlantean Deities are in Murry Hope's Practical Atlantean Magic, still in print on Amazon at a remainder price. (A newer edition is called The Ancient Wisdom of Atlantis but it hasn't got the same nice artwork of an Atlantean deity on the front.)

She was a British pagan, occultist and psychic who in 1957 co-founded the Atlanteans Society with Tony Neate, a healing and spiritual group at Malvern Hills, England, that aimed to treat issues such as exorcism and mental disorders. She has a Wikipedia entry.

The book draws on her psychic experiences as well as known Atlantean history and lore. It's well written & researched, comprehensive and well worth reading. The deities of the Atlantean religion, along with their attributes, provinces or powers, and associations (crystals, colours etc) are listed at page 122 in the first edition, as:

Helio (male aspect of the solar deity)
Heliona (female aspect of the solar deity)
Ta-khu (Lord of Time and Space)
Khe-ta (Consort of Ta-khu)
Khiet-sin (Leonin goddess of protection and retribution)
Danuih (Earth Goddess)
Philaeia (Goddess of wisdom, philosophy, science and architecture)
Akhantuih (Negotiator of Chaos and alien energy fields)

Her other books include: Practical Greek Magic, Practical Egyptian Magic, Practical Celtic Magic. They all follow the same format of running through historical, archaelogical and cultural knowledge in the first part then turning to the magical theory and practice in the second half. Very light natured/white arts. Highly spiritual and psychic approach.

I haven't done the prayers recently but I remember fondly the beautiful energies they connected me with. There is the Dance of the Rising Sun, the Hymn to the High Sun, and the Prayer to the Setting Sun. Plus other lessons, exercises, prayers and rites. And unsurprisingly some of the symbols of Atlantean magic she describes are thought to predate their appearance in Egypt. It's a wonderfully detailed book that opens a window onto a little known world.



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Re: Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby Regholdain » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:40 pm

A very interesting set of views on the subject of Deity relationships. I have been a bit curious about this lately, so the article is well-timed for me. I have much more past life digging and discovery to do before I consider relationships with Deities. I feel like I should know how I may have connected with them in prior lives before I attempt new relationships either with the same or others. Moving beyond those past connections may also be necessary and I don't feel like repeating the same relationships in this life if it doesn't help me continue to grow and evolve. We'll see how things go, but I do enjoy the article's explanations and the experiences you all have shared.



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Re: Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby Alys-RaccoonReadings » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:11 am

Lewk wrote:I'm glad you asked. Here goes...

The Atlantean Deities are in Murry Hope's Practical Atlantean Magic, still in print on Amazon at a remainder price. (A newer edition is called The Ancient Wisdom of Atlantis but it hasn't got the same nice artwork of an Atlantean deity on the front.)

She was a British pagan, occultist and psychic who in 1957 co-founded the Atlanteans Society with Tony Neate, a healing and spiritual group at Malvern Hills, England, that aimed to treat issues such as exorcism and mental disorders. She has a Wikipedia entry.

The book draws on her psychic experiences as well as known Atlantean history and lore. It's well written & researched, comprehensive and well worth reading. The deities of the Atlantean religion, along with their attributes, provinces or powers, and associations (crystals, colours etc) are listed at page 122 in the first edition, as:

Helio (male aspect of the solar deity)
Heliona (female aspect of the solar deity)
Ta-khu (Lord of Time and Space)
Khe-ta (Consort of Ta-khu)
Khiet-sin (Leonin goddess of protection and retribution)
Danuih (Earth Goddess)
Philaeia (Goddess of wisdom, philosophy, science and architecture)
Akhantuih (Negotiator of Chaos and alien energy fields)

Her other books include: Practical Greek Magic, Practical Egyptian Magic, Practical Celtic Magic. They all follow the same format of running through historical, archaelogical and cultural knowledge in the first part then turning to the magical theory and practice in the second half. Very light natured/white arts. Highly spiritual and psychic approach.

I haven't done the prayers recently but I remember fondly the beautiful energies they connected me with. There is the Dance of the Rising Sun, the Hymn to the High Sun, and the Prayer to the Setting Sun. Plus other lessons, exercises, prayers and rites. And unsurprisingly some of the symbols of Atlantean magic she describes are thought to predate their appearance in Egypt. It's a wonderfully detailed book that opens a window onto a little known world.


OMG! This is the best jumping off point for a reading list that I've gotten in a long time! Thank you so much!!!



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Re: Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby Lewk » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:45 am

Alys-RaccoonReadings wrote:OMG! This is the best jumping off point for a reading list that I've gotten in a long time! Thank you so much!!!


1ey Great.

If her works resonates, her systems are really worth investigating. She was a great practitioner and teacher, up there with the best imho. She died just a couple of years ago.



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Re: Article - What It Means To Work With The Gods

Postby Dreamerunknown » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:37 pm

By Leonin you mean a feline being, right?


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