In most faiths, you worship the God or Gods of that faith. There is no choice. In Wicca, you choose which deities you are going to work with. And sometimes a deity chooses you! You can choose which aspect of the deity you are going to work with because all deities from all cultures are seen as facets of the All. In this guide, you’ll learn all about the deities in Wicca.
Before the creation of the earth, there was the All. The All existed in knowing, stillness, and silence. The All, a female spirit, was alone. She created her other half, the male spirit. They intertwined. Even though there were now two spirits, they were still one, two halves of a whole. Together they gave birth to the universe. Then they made the stars, moons, and planets. On Earth, they made water, land, plants, animals, and humans.
The All is both male and female. No one part is better than the other. The two parts are twins of equal form. From their union came the seeds of life. The God and Goddess chose physical symbols to remind us of their presence. The Goddess chose the Moon, radiant and calm, yet changeable. The God chose the Sun, fiery and bright. These celestial bodies remind us of the God and Goddess.
In witchcraft, you pay homage to both the God and Goddess, as manifestations of the All. Many Wiccans choose to focus primarily on the Goddess because she is nurturing and compassionate. In addition, many Wiccans make the Goddess their focus to make up for the hundreds of years of domination by male-centered religions.
The Lady is the female essence of the All. She is the nurturing part, the essence of motherhood. She is there to love us, shield us, help us to learn and to grow. She is the one you’d call on for female spirituality because she understands the pain of childbirth, nurtures our spirits and our bodies, and encourages growth and connection within the family.
The Goddess is immanent. In other words, the Goddess is in everything and is everywhere. She is not some force that looks down on us from above. The Goddess dwells in every single thing—in every tree, in every dog and cat, in every grain of sand and drop of rain, and inside you.
You work with, respect, and honor the Lady. You don’t beg for favors from her. You can see her as a Goddess from an ancient culture, or you can work with her as an abstraction. Many people feel more comfortable giving her a face and a personality. The Lady nurtures your growth. She is the abundance that the earth has to give. She has that hidden, inner knowledge, or sixth sense, that all women have. You can pull upon that part of her to guide you and help you grow. She will teach you, nurture you, and provide for you. In return, you give her your love. Out of that love, you do your best to take care of the earth that she has provided for you.
The Goddess’s three phases—Maiden, Mother, and Crone—represent the three stages of a woman’s life. The Maiden is an innocent young girl. To her everything is new. She is health, sweetness, and tenderness. As the Mother, she has matured. She is all-loving, protective, and nurturing. When humankind takes actions that hurt the earth, she can get angry. And yet she still loves us, however badly we behave. She sends us signs so we, her children, can learn from our mistakes. The Crone, an old woman, holds all the things we have learned throughout our lifetimes. She can be stern, but she is a great teacher. She takes us back into her, into the Goddess, in death. These three aspects of the Goddess correlate to the phases of the Moon—new, full, and waning.
The Enchantress is that part of the Goddess, and of all women, that seduces. She is that sexy playful spirit that we get from the All. She is both Maiden and Mother, and as such relates to the Moon when it is new, waxing (growing bigger in the sky), and full.
The Lord is the male essence of the All. He is the wild, playful, and lusty aspect of deity. He is there to protect us. He is the one you may want to call for if you suddenly need physical strength and agility. He can help you bear what life has thrust upon you by lending his speed, agility, and ability to adapt to change. Just as the Lady is, the Lord is immanent. He exists in everything.
You work with the Lord in the form of a God or as an abstraction. He is the essence of fatherhood. He is kind, gentle, and protective, but he can also show his wrath. You look to him with honor and respect and gain from him his guidance, wisdom, protection, and strength. You pull on this aspect of the All to protect and strengthen your life, in order to do what you need to do, so you in turn can protect your family. The Lord is also representative of the playfulness and heavy sexuality that we all have within us.
Just as the Goddess can be seen in three phases (Maiden, Mother, and Crone), the God has three phases as well. As Nature’s Royal Prince, he is a youth, full of wonder, curiosity, and playfulness. As the King, he has matured into a man—noble, protective, and just. And as the Elder he is an old man—wise, weathered, and strong.
Now that you know the Wiccan deities, you can choose which one you want to work with—unless they choose you!
From The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft, Third Edition, Denise Zimmermann and Katherine A. Gleason, revised with Miria Liguana