Hi there, welcome to WiccaNow! You’ve come by because you have a keen interest in Wicca and want to know more? Recently I’ve been talking a lot about what Wicca actually is, I’ve written a post on how to become Wiccan, one about starting your own Book of Shadows and most recently a post about the difference between Wicca and Witchcraft. Today I want to talk about something that’s close to every Wiccan heart, namely the Wiccan Gods.
A History of the Wiccan Deities
Wicca is a relatively new religion which was introduced by Gerald Gardner in the 1950’s. He believed in the principles of duality and thought that there was a sacred balance between the genders. Male and Female were regarded as divine lovers who were polar opposites, meaning that they balanced each other out and one couldn’t exist without the other. Seems a bit harsh if you are inclined towards liking your own gender, who’s to say there isn’t a sacred balance between male/male or female/female or anything in between?
But back to topic, this belief in duality led to the worshipping of 2 deities, one male and one female. This duality is present in quite a lot of old mythology, for example; Odin and Frigg in Norse mythology or Isis and Osiris in Egyptian mythology. Other examples are the Taoist belief of Ying and Yang, the Maori belief in Ranginui and Papatūānuku (Sky father Rangi and Earth Mother Papa), or the Greek gods Zeus and Hera.
Theoretically, you could worship a god like Ometeotl, the Aztec god who is thought to be both male and female, called Ometecuhtli and Omecihuatl. These two aren’t represented in Aztec art very much, maybe because they were more of an abstract concept than an anthropomorphic being. They represent the essence from which all other gods got their power and energy, they were above all cares in the world with no interest in what might or would actually happen.
This fits particularly well with the idea that all Wiccan Gods and Goddesses are one being, and that this one being doesn’t have a form or a function but is just a divine power that all life stems from. Do we see hints of Christianity and it’s one god here? In Wicca, this being is often referred to as the “Spirit of the One”, “The Divine Spirit of the Universe” or simply “The Divine”.
Wiccans are polytheists, meaning that they aren’t actually bound to believing in any particular gods at all and can choose to worship a variety of gods, a non-specified god and goddess or any deity of their choosing.
This, combined with the fact that there isn’t actually a book stating the rules of Wicca, means the religion and its gods are really open to interpretation. You can choose who you believe in and worship whoever you want and it will all relate back to the Divine Spirit of the Universe since all are one and one is all anyway. Having said this, there are 2 deities that are most often referred to as the “Wiccan Gods”. These are the Triple Goddess and the Horned God.
The Wiccan Goddess
The Triple Goddess is the main goddess within Wicca. She’s also known as the Moon Goddess and is the primary representation of divine feminine power. She is closely associated with the earth and the moon.
As the Earth Mother, she represents physical energy that lets life grow. Makes sense right since women are the only ones capable of growing and birthing a child. The Earth Mother is associated with domesticated animals, fields and crops and her energy is seen as nurturing and tender. She can be seen in other religions, for example as the goddess Gaia in Greek mythology.
Her flexibility and willingness to adapt when she needs to means that she is the manifestation of all things that are changing. She is the mistress of the cycles of the earth in their constant flux of birth, growth, death and rebirth. She keeps the Wheel of the Year turning, getting rid of the old and constantly bringing in the new.
In her role as the Moon Goddess, she rules the night and the cycles of the tides. This ties in closely to the Earth Mother and her association with fertility as the tide cycles are said to mirror a woman’s monthly fertility cycle. The moon goddess is the mistress of emotion and intuition, she represents the wisdom that comes from our darker side and being able to explore one’s shadows in order to grow. The Moon Goddess has also taken many forms throughout history, just look at the two most common examples in the Greek goddesses Artemis and Diana.
The Triple Goddess
The Triple Goddess is the Moon Goddess and the Earth mother. She’s a triple deity who is portrayed either as a single goddess who changes in a yearly cycle or as one goddess with three distinct aspects. She represents the phases of the moon, waxing, full and waning which mirrors the stages a woman will go through in her life. It’s highly likely that the idea of a single goddess representing 3 different ideas originated with feminist Jane Harrison.
“[Harrison’s] work, both celebrated and controversial, posited the previous existence of a peaceful and intensely creative woman-centred civilization, in which humans, living in harmony with nature and their own emotions, worshipped a single female deity. The deity was regarded as representing the earth, and as having three aspects, of which the first two were Maiden and Mother; she did not name the third. … “Ronald Hutton, an English historian who specialises in contemporary Paganism
Although Gerald Gardner didn’t believe in the triple goddess, other Wiccan practitioners were drawn to her. Robert Cochrane, another coven founder who was active at around the same time as Gerald Gardner, was thought to how brought the triple goddess into the modern Wiccan movement. He died in 1966 and it was only during the 1970s that the Triple Goddess, as we know her now, came to be so firmly rooted in Wiccan worship. Now let’s talk a little about the 3 different forms of the goddess.
The Three Aspects of the Triple Goddess
The Maiden is associated with the crescent to waxing phase of the moon cycle. She represents youth, sexuality, enchantment and beginnings. She is also seen as the goddess of dawn, sunrises and of Spring. She is fresh-faced and full of potential, just like the new moon and its growth. She is seen as innocent, youthful, confident and intelligent. She loves to explore and discover new things while also representing creativity and the growth of new ideas.
She is the aspect of the goddess you would invoke if you wanted help with anything to do with a new beginning, be this a new relationship, a new job or a new project.
At full moon, the Mother aspect of the goddess comes to the fore. The Mother is the giver of life to all things on earth. She is the representation of fecund fertility, of responsibility, of adulthood and of the fullness of life. Her time of day is Midday and her season is Summer. She is the mistress of the lushest time of year when the fields are bursting with crops and the young animals are growing into adulthood. She is seen by some as the most powerful aspect of the goddess, because what can be more powerful than giving life?
She is the aspect of the goddess you would invoke if you need help with fertility, motherhood, protection, achievement of inner peace, intuition and stability.
The Crone, who has also been called the Hag (luckily not anymore), comes into her own during the waning of the moon. She is the representation of life after children, of ageing, of past lives and of death. The Crone is thought to be the least understood and liked aspect of the goddess. She makes us think about death, which is often associated with evil and malice.
This aspect of the goddess is seen as wise and is there to guide us into the next phase of our lives. She reminds us that death is a normal part of the cycle of life, that it’s just like the moon cycles, waning until it becomes nothing and then starting all over again as it waxes into fullness. Her seasons are Autumn and Winter and she rules over the sunsets and nights.
The crone is the aspect of the goddess you would invoke if you want spiritual guidance, help with an ending relationship or job, menopause, or strong protection.
All aspects of the Goddess represent the life cycle that we are all part of, and while you may associate with one form of her now, no doubt you will learn to love all her aspects as time goes on. I could certainly use the wisdom of the crone, the protection of the mother and the confidence of the maiden!
The Wiccan God
Now that I’ve covered the Wiccan Goddess, lets jump into the Wiccan god. As I mentioned earlier, there isn’t one god that you HAVE to worship if you choose to become Wiccan. There are so many options that you could choose any God that speaks to you. In saying this though, there is a god who is generally seen as ‘THE’ Wiccan god, namely the Horned God aka the Green God.
The Horned God
The Horned God represents the male side of the divine duality worshipped as the Wiccan God. He is
“the personification of the life force energy in animals and the wild”“Starhawk” in the News-Week On-faith 2006.
The Horned God is the representation of the sun, of hunting, of death and of magic. Gerald Gardner believed that there was an equal balance between the genders, however, some newer forms of Wicca, including Dianic Wiccans, elevate the goddess the highest spot of worship, while some more traditional Wiccans believe that the Horned God takes precedence.
The Wiccan god, like the goddess, has a dual nature. He is both the hunter and also the hunted. He is the Sun during the day, all-powerful and mighty, and also the sun during the night, blacked out and hidden. He’s also known as the Green Man, an ancient god of fertility whose motif is still a common architectural ornament around the world.
The Horned God is a nature deity, who is most commonly depicted with horns, hence his name. Horns are an ancient symbol of masculine virility and have been used since pagan times in depictions of their gods.
This Wiccan god is a symbol of the natural world, some seeing him as the soul of any hunted animal. He can be the sacrificial victim, the beast that is killed so that the collective tribe can live on, hence why he’s both the hunter and the hunted. Unfortunately, I think he would be pretty disgusted with the way we treat the natural world now, he represents harmony with nature, which is definitely not something that we’re doing right now!
The Horned God has been personified in the Greek god Pan. Pan is a ½ goat ½ human figure, sometimes with horns, sometimes without. Pan used to be worshipped ecstatically in celebrations which included plenty of wine and orgies. The Church hated this, so the Horned God was turned into the idea of the Devil, the Lord of Evil. The Church has long been quite clever about how they changed peoples ideas of religion. Rather than try and turn people away from one idea all-together, they just perverted that idea into something that suited their agenda more.
The fact that the Horned God is a God who helps to guide people into the afterlife doesn’t help his cause and mis-portrayal. Death is a natural part of life but the horned god, just like the Crone, is vilified for his help in guiding souls to the next phase of existence. He’s not a demon trying to drag souls to the depths of hell, he is a protector and father figure who revers nature and all-natural life. He’s definitely not that Lord of Evil that the Church tries to make him out to be.
The Relationship between the Horned God and the Triple Goddess
The duality of the Horned God, combined with the 3 aspects of the Triple Goddess, makes up the 5 points of the pentagram. The Horned God is in a cyclical relationship with the Triple Goddess. He dies when the harvests are taken in in the Autumn, is buried during the Winter, then is born again from the Triple Goddesses womb in the Spring when everything is fresh and green so that he can impregnate her and start the whole cycle again. This mirrors the cycle in the natural world of the 4 seasons.
There are many Wiccan gods and goddesses which we could worship, but as explained earlier they can all be put under an umbrella term of The Goddess, meaning all Goddesses, and The God, meaning all Gods. These two personifications of women and men are a portrayal of the equality that the natural world needs to survive. The two halves make a whole in order to combine into The One, the Divine Spirit from which everything in the universe stems. I’m going to leave you with a prayer to the Wiccan God and Goddess, which you can say every morning if you feel like it.
“Mother of All, Father of All:
As I go through the day
Keep my eyes open wide.
May I not miss beauty.
May I not miss joy.
May I not miss wonder.
Keep me awake and aware of the world.”
Do you have any questions about the Wiccan God and Goddess? Have we missed something? Just want to say hi? Let us know by sending us a DM on Instagram.
Until next time my loves and blessed be
Amaria Pollux xoxo
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- Lisa Chamberlain writes a lot of good literature about Wicca. Check out this book of hers on Wiccan Deities of your interested in knowing more. Click the link to view on Amazon https://amzn.to/2HBW2tA
- I’ve always been fascinated by ancient Mythology. “Timeless tales of Gods and Heroes” covers the Norse, Greek and Roman gods (plus obviously a few heroes in between). It’s a great book if you are interested in learning more about various gods. Check it out here https://amzn.to/2wsG0jy