Looking at the history of a Goddess (or any deity for that matter) is an important part of connecting with that spirit. Knowing the myths, origins, and culture that Godd* was born into can provide a lot of information. And yet, if we focus only on history or what has been preserved in writings and story, we will miss so much.
Focusing on history, written word, and culture can only provide so much information. Plus, with our modern lens we can never fully grock the intent, vibe, or importance of any deity from any point in history. We may get an intellectual understanding, but that’s only a fraction of spiritual understanding. There are plenty of Godds that we name as Godds that might never have been worshiped that way. But over time their stories grew in mythic proportions and a Godd they became.
When working with deities their history is only part of the truth. We also have to take into consideration our personal experience. How have we encountered this entity? What is our modern experience of them? And even in saying that, our personal gnosis cannot be considered the full truth either. When we start paying attention to only personal gnosis we fall into the trap of the cult – following one person’s experience as sole truth. Even if we are that one person.
So what is more important – history or personal experience?
They both are and again, they are both only part of the puzzle. What about other people’s modern experiences? This question always brings Lilith to mind for me. Lilith is considered a Goddess in most modern Pagan circles. She is seen as a feminist, power house, sex Goddess, and symbol for equality. However, this is not the historical context of Lilith. If you go to her origins (at least the earliest writings we have) she was a demon. But over time, through human connection, and likely, her own evolution as an entity, she has become a powerful feminist Goddess.
Should we stop worshiping Lilith because her origin stories don’t match her modern mythology? No, absolutely not. Because her modern reality is actually more important to modern practitioners than her origin. Who she is now is much more important than who she was. Who she is now is what is being fed by our story telling, worship, devotion, and magick. If humans can evolve as singular beings and improve, why can’t the Godds?
When entering into relationship with a spirit, entity, Goddess, we have to ask what our modern lens tells us about that spirit right now. What are other practitioners experiences of that entity? Where are the similar threads of belief or worship that feel in alignment with your personal experience? That is where the power lies when it comes to relationship with the Godds.
As with all thing in life it is about balance, awareness, being open, and most importantly discernment.
*I use the spelling Godds as a more genderfull expression of deity.