Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Importance of Worship

Worship, as defined in Wikipedia is "an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informal or formal group, or by a designated leader."

In the Philippines, being a predominantly Christian country, expresses worship in colorful, festive and sometimes painful way. There are a lot of festivals that honors specific saints in different parts of the country and these usually include eating, dancing and merry making. Most of the festivals that we are celebrating however, hides the real history and background of the celebration. Most of the festivals we have here in the country, be it a celebration of harvest or of tribes, stemmed from a more animistic celebration that were masked by a mantle of Catholicism. These festivals are accepted religious feasts and people often forget that these are centered in nature worship and as such, are Pagan.

There are a lot of Pagans in the country that I have known, met and talked to who are religious. Most however, are practical Pagans. Now what is a practical Pagan?

For me, a practical Pagan is a person who follows Paganism, uses spells and incantations for practical, day to day use. These are people who view Paganism as a practice and would use magick to bring about changes the way they see fit. They may call on the assistance of any Divine being they see useful for a specific spell, or ritual. Most of these Pagans are Duotheistic and would view all the Gods/Goddess as the same being regardless of the Pantheon or Mythos they came from. In this kind of belief system, they would call to Aphrodite for a love spells, Ceres for bounty, Hekate for Power, etc. Most of them would worship the Goddess or the God in all Their forms and that gives an impression sometimes that they are being less religious.

The other Pagan profile that I noticed in the country are those Pagans who devote themselves to a specific God or Goddess. Some even devote themselves to a couple or more specific Gods or Goddess. Most of these types of Pagans are either Polytheistic and believe that different Gods and Goddesses are individual entities that needs worship and veneration. They would work and grow with these Divine Beings and they would devote a lot of time and effort just to be close with Them.

What is the importance of worship? Worship is an integral part of a Pagan's life. Devoting your life and time to the Divine being who calls you creates very strong connection. An intimate connection with a specific Divine being would most of the time makes working with Them easier. I always view the Divine as a member of the family (a Sister, Mother, Grandmother, brother, Father or Grandfather). Unlike working with the deity that you haven't connected with, the Goddess and God that is familiar with you would easily respond to you once you ask for help. Calling a being that you haven't worked with yet, or you're unfamiliar with is like knocking on the door of a house, asking to come in. If you have not been working with the specific God or Goddess whose door who are knocking on, what do you think will be the response?

Worship is very important in the practice of the Craft. It strengthens the connection of the witch to the Divine and it makes the rites and the rituals easier. As a Priest or Priestess of a specific Divine being, the protection of the Gods extend to you. You will become an extension of that God's power.

How is your connection with the Divine? How are you as a witch and a priest/priestess?

Religion by Charles Sprague Pearce (1896)

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