My personal pantheon is definitely what you would call eclectic. I feel connected to the Goddess or God and don’t necessarily stick to a single tradition or region. When I was first studying Wicca and I could see where my love of ancient mythologies and traditions came from, namely a deeply rooted pagan nature, I saw that there were so many with so much to offer. I did more and more research and I learned more and more about Goddesses and Gods of areas I had never thought about before. I celebrate quite a few female deities and they all have one thing in common. An affinity for creativity and the darker aspects of life and death. None of them could be considered push-overs either. A trait I work toward every day. Below I’ve listed the female deities I work with and who have spoken to me directly. You’ll see a great many are from Greek and Celtic Mythology. I have always felt pulled to their stories and have been connected with them since childhood.
Hekate- The Goddess who I love so, she is the first part of my magickal name. She is the Greek goddess of the Underworld, Magick, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy. Per the most genuine traditions, she is an ancient Thracian divinity and a Titan. She, from the time of the Titans, ruled in heaven, on the earth, and in the sea. She bestowed mortals with wealth, victory, wisdom, good luck to sailors and hunters, and prosperity to youth and to the flocks of cattle. However, all these blessings might be withheld by her if mortals did not deserve them. She was the only one among the Titans who retained her power under the rule of Zeus. She was honored by all the immortal gods.
I personally felt her call to me right away. She was the first of the Goddesses that spoke to me when I began exploring paganism and Wicca. She always seemed to me to be the great Gatekeeper of Wisdom in Magick and a remarkable sorceress. She also helped me to learn the value of death and how the cycle always continues, a fact I had a hard time coming to terms with when I was young and still have my moments with today.
Nyx- The second part of my magickal name. Nyx is the Greek goddess of the night, one of the primordial gods who emerged as the dawn of creation. She is the child of Khaos (Chaos, Air). In some myths, she coupled with Erebos (Darkness) to produce Aither (Aether, Light) and Hemera (Day). Then, alone she spawned a brood of dark spirits including the three Fates, Sleep, Death, Strife and Pain. In other myths, it is said that without any husband she gave birth to Moros, the Keres, Thanatos, Hypnos, Dreams, Momus, Oizys, the Hesperides, Moerae, Nemesis, and similar beings. Nyx is an ancient deity typically envisaged as the very substance of the night, a veil of dark mists drawn across the sky to obscure the light of Aither, the shining blue of the heavens. Homer calls her the subduer of gods and men, and states that Zeus himself stood in awe of her.
Again, a darker, powerful Goddess, Nyx subtly called my name as she led me into the darkness. Not for punishment or suffering, though you do have to pass through those things to get to the heart of her, but for salvation. Giving me an understanding of the night, of the black, of the empty. From darkness, there is light, from black there is white, and something must first be empty to become full. I identify with her because she is the base, the root, in which the stars anchor themselves. She is the slate wiped clean, so we can begin again.
Kali- Our Dark Mother, who is so misunderstood. I’ve written an entire paper on her and still her mysteries are vast. My short blurb from a newsletter I wrote-
“Dark Mother,” Kali is the Hindu Triple Goddess of creation, preservation, and destruction. Though many only her of her Destroyer aspect, she is so much more. She was the consort of Shiva and is often depicted standing over his dead form. While her fearsome side is truly not to be forgotten, it is this strength and power that represent her Mother aspect. Birthing her children only to call them back home to her at the time of their deaths, then taking them in to use in future create. An embodiment of the life, death, life cycle. For her Tantric worshipers, they believe they had to welcome her curse of death and much as her blessings of life. For a coin does not have one side and life cannot exist without death. They are integral parts of the same wheel of time. In her Crone, or Kalika, aspect she rules all forms of death and destruction, but she too rules all forms of life in her Maiden and Mother aspects. Kali’s creative word is that which we have heard often, Om. This chant giving life to what we put our intentions into. Kali gave birth to the gods and would devour them again to be reborn when their time had come. Vishnu, who often said in writings that he brought the whole earth out of the abyss, said of Kali, “Material cause of all change, manifestation, and destruction…the whole Universe rests upon Her, rises our of Her and melts away into Her…She is both mother and grave…The gods themselves merely constructs out of Her maternal substance, which is both consciousness and potential joy.”- from E.A. Rawson. She tells us when the time to let a thing die has come and when to begin creating anew. The priestesses tended her temples the Yoginis or Shaktis as Maidens, the Matri as the Mothers, and the Dakinis as the Crones. These women were also known as the “Skywalkers” and they took care of the dying, managed funerary rites, and acted as angels of death. Kali has also been worshipped in different lands, as her great influence stretches far. As the Black Goddess, known in Finland as Kalma, the biblical tehom or Tiamat, Durga, Sati, Uma, Devata, Tara, Lakshmi, these are all her names. In cemeteries and cremation ground she was worshipped, where even Roman tombstones invoked her with “Mater genuit, Mater recepit”- meaning the Mother bore me, the Mother took me back. So remember her is times when tough love is needed. Hear Her Truth– The time has come to let go of what must die. Life cannot move forward without Death.”
I am connected to her so much. She shouts at me regularly to cut that sh*t out and do what needs to be done. I call on her in times of confusion and when I am scared to move forward, knowing that she’ll look me in the eye with that “are you serious?” face and get me into gear.
Morrighan- She’s dark, powerful, and misunderstood. I think I’m sensing a theme. Morrighan is a Celtic deity, often depicted as a Triple Goddess. She is in fact linked with several different Goddesses. A goddess of battle and death, sex and fertility, prophecy and wisdom. Her name means “Great Queen” or “Phantom Queen.” Queen of the Otherworld, the world of phantasms, faeries, and the dead. I have also studied her extensively and she is a beautiful mystery. Straight forward and fierce, proud and forgiving. The pains of life, the serenity of death, and the passion of sex.
She has also called to me most of my life. I remember learning of her because of an episode of Hercules and having to know more. She is still so shrouded but I feel she is guiding me down a path of wonder and painful knowing. I wouldn’t have it any other way. For more information, check out Feast of the Morrighan by Christopher Penczak.
Isis- Isis is a Great Mother Goddess. Isis, in Egyptian Aset or Eset , is one of the most important goddesses of ancient Egypt. Her name is the Greek translation of the ancient Egyptian word for throne. In mourning, she is a principal deity in rites for the dead. As a magical healer, she cured the sick and brought the dead to life. As a mother, she was a role model for all women. Isis had strong links with Egyptian kingship. She was most often seen as a beautiful woman wearing a sheath dress and either the hieroglyphic sign of the throne or a solar disk and cow’s horns worn on her head. In the Egyptian mythology, she follows a similar path to Inanna, descending to the Underworld to save her husband, Osiris, and then being reborn into the world. She is also connected to the Egyptian horoscope and I am born under her sign.
Another of my most favorite mythological traditions along with Greek and Celtic is Egyptian. I have always loved their stories and lessons. I even visited the Egyptian exhibit in the Natural History Museum in Chicago as a small child. I have been surrounded by books about their mythology all my life.
Now, not to leave out male deities. I do feel connected to one in particular and the aspect male energy tends to represent.
Cernnunos- Cernnunos, though mostly as a nature and fertility god of Celtic Mythology, has appeared in an array of forms and made himself known by several names to nearly every culture throughout time. He is best known in his Celtic aspects of the untamed Horned God of the Animals and the leaf-covered Green Man, Guardian of the Green World. However, He is much older. Cernnunos worked his magick when the first humans were coming into being.
This image of the wild Hunter has always appealed to me. I am most connected to this form of the God. I can see myself running alongside him in the forest not a care for material things or rules. I can feel the protective energy he radiates and the fierce determination to provide for his people. I call on him when the situation calls for a more masculine energy and when strength of body is needed. Not to say I only call on him then. In fact, I find the Gods and Goddesses work well together.
My pantheon. They fill me with hope, acceptance, trust, love, pride, esteem, wonder, and awe. With their sure hands guiding me I can become my best self.