Gods and Goddesses
Gender-Bending and the Divine
However, we are human, and we do really want an image to picture when we're talking to our God and Goddess. And, I think it's okay to do this. Because that is exactly who God is at the time. The Goddess is Frigg when you need her to be. She is also Aphrodite when your love life is down the drain, and, when you're feeling not so mellow, she is Parvati the Goddess of peace.
However, I tend not to call on the Gods or Goddesses by specific names. Instead, I'll ask the God of the soil or the Goddess of rain to assist when the garden isn't doing so well. Or, contrarily, I might ask the Goddess of the garden and the God of storms to do the same thing.
The nature of the God and Goddess is just that: nature. They are the personification of the forces that keep the world spinning and bopping along as it does. The process by which we give them these genders and personalities is called anthropomorphism. This word simply means giving human characteristics to an inhuman force.
Gods are not humans, so they do not operate on the same laws that humans do. They are not bound by the same constraints we are, and that's a good thing. I don't think that it would be as awe-inspiring or humbling to worship a deity that was ill-equipped to do the job of ruling the universe because she was having her monthly mood swings or he was too self-absorbed to ask for directions.
This article was first posted at Witchvox and is reprinted with permission.
Fire Lyte lives in Illinois and works in the court services system. He contributes frequently to Witchvox and blogs at Inciting a Riot.