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Wicca - Developing a Rapport
by Fire_Opal

To develop a rapport with the Goddess and God, a necessity for those who desire to practice Wicca, you might wish to follow these simple rituals. At night, stand or sit facing the Moon, if it is visible. If not, imagine the fullest Moon you've ever seen glowing silver-white in the inky blackness, directly above and before you.

Feel the soft lunar light streaming onto your skin. Sense it touching and mixing with your own energies, commingling and forming new patterns. See the Goddess in any form that you will. Call to Her, chanting old names if you wish: Diana, Lucina, Selena (pronouncing them as: Dee-AH-nah, Loo-CHEE-nah, Say-LEE-nah). Open your heart and mind to the aspect of Goddess energy manifested in the Moon's light. Repeat this daily for one week, preferably at the same time each night.

Concurrently with this exercise, attune with the God. Upon rising in the morning, no matter how late it is, stand before the Sun (through a window if necessary; outside if possible) and soak in the energies. Think about the God. Visualize Him as you wish. It might be as a mighty warrior rippling with muscles, or a spear upraised in on hand, the other cradling a child or a bunch of dew-dripping grapes. You may want to chant God names, such as Kernunnos, Osiris, Apollo (Care-NOON-nos, Oh-SIGH-rus, Ah-PALL-low) as with the Goddess. If you don't wish to visualize the God (for visualization can impose limitations), simply attune to the energies pouring down from the Sun. Even if clouds fill the sky, the God's energies will still reach you. Feel them with all your magickal imagination. Let no thought but those of the God disturb your reverie. Reach out with your feelings; open your awareness to higher things. Call upon the God in any words. Express your desire to attune with Him.

Practice these exercises daily for one week. If you wish to explore the concepts of the Goddess and God, read books on mythology from any country in the world. Read the myths but look for their underlying themes. The more you read, the more information you'll have at your fingertips; eventually it will merge into a non structured but extremely complex knowledge bank concerning the deities. In other words, you'll begin to know them. If after seven days you feel the need (or the desire), continue these exercises until you feel comfortable with the Goddess and God. They've been in us and around us all the time; we need only open ourselves to this awareness. This is one of the secrets of Wicca - Deity dwells within.

In your quest to know the Gods, take long walks beneath trees. Study flowers and plants. Visit wild, natural places and feel the energies of the Goddess and God directly - through the rush of a steam, the pulse of energy from an old oak's trunk, the heat of a Sun-warmed rock. Familiarizing yourself with the existence of the Deities comes more easily through actual contact with such power sources. Next, when you've achieved this state, you may wish to set up a temporary or permanent shrine or altar to the Goddess and God. This needn't be more than a small table, two candles, and incense burner and a plate or bowl to hold offerings of flowers, fruit, grain, seed, wine or milk.

Layout of the Shrine

Place the two candles in their holders to the rear of the shrine. The candle on the left represents the Goddess; that on the right the God. Colors are often used to distinguish between the two; a red candle for the God and a green on to honor the Goddess. This ties in with the nature association of Wicca, for green and red are ancient magickal colors linked with life and death. Other colors can be used - yellow or gold to honor the God, and white or silver for the Goddess. Before and between these candles place the incense burner, and in front of this the plate or offering bowl. A vase of seasonal flowers can also be added, as can any personal power objects such as crystals, fossils and dried herbs.

To begin a simple ritual to the Gods at your shrine, stand before it with an offering of some kind in your hand. Light the candles and incense, place the offering in the bowl or plate, and say such words as these:

Lady of the Moon, of the restless sea and verdant Earth,
Lord of the Sun and the wild creatures,
Accept this offering I place here in Your honor.
Grant me the wisdom to see Your presence in all nature, O Great Ones!

Afterward, sit or stand for a few minutes in contemplation of the deities and of your growing relationship with them. Feel them inside and around you. Then quench the flames (use your fingers, a candle snuffer, or a knife blade. Blowing them out is and affront to the element of Fire). Allow the incense to burn itself out, and continue on with your day or night. If you wish, go before the shrine once a day at a prescribed time. This may be upon rising, just before sleep, or after lunch. Light the candles, attune and commune with the Goddess and God. This isn't necessary, but the steady rhythm set up by this cycle is beneficial and will improve your relationship with the deities. Return the offerings left on the shrine to the Earth at the end of each day, or when you bring more to leave.

If you cannot erect a permanent shrine, set it up each time you feel the need to use it, then store the articles away. Make the placing of the objects on the shrine a part of the ritual. This simple rite belies its powers. The Goddess and God are real, viable entities, possessing the force that created the universe. Attuning with them changes us forever. It also sparks new hope for our planet and for our continued existence upon it.

If this rite is too formalized for you, change it or write your own. Do it your way, not my way or anyone else's way if it does not suite you. There's no one true right and only way in Wicca; that thinking belongs to monotheistic religions which have largely become political and business institutions.

Discovering the deities of Wicca is a never ending experience. They constantly reveal themselves. As the shamans say, "Be attentive." All nature is singing to us of Her secrets. The Goddess constantly draws aside Her veil; the God lights us up with inspiration and illumination. We simply don't notice. Don't worry what others might think if they knew you were attuning with a 20,000 year old Goddess. Their feelings and thoughts concerning your religion are of no consequence. If you feel the need to shelter your experiences from others do so, not out of fear or embarrassment, but because we're truly all on separate paths. Everyone isn't suited to Wicca.

There are some who say that we (and anyone else who won't follow their rituals or embrace their theology) are worshipping Satan. Not that we know it, of course; Satan is too tricky for that, according to these experts. Such people can't believe that any religion but their own can be meaningful, fulfilling and true to its adherent. So if we worship the God and Goddess, they say, we're denying all good and are worshipping Satan, the embodiment of all negativity and evil.

Wiccans aren't so close minded. Perhaps it's the greatest of all human vanities to assume that one's religion is the only way to Deity. Such beliefs have caused incalculable bloodshed and the rise of the hideous concept of holy wars. The basis of this misconception seems to be the concept of a pristine, pure, positive being - God. If this deity is the sum of all good, worshippers believe that there must be an equally negative one as well. Thus, Satan. The Wicca don't accept such ideas. We acknowledge the dark aspects of the Goddess and the God as well as the bright. All nature is composed of opposites, and this polarity is also resident within ourselves. The darkest human traits as well as the brightest are locked within our unconsciousness. It is only our ability to rise above destructive urges, to channel such energies into positive thoughts and actions, that separates us from mass murderers and sociopaths.

Yes, the God and Goddess have dark aspects, but this needn't scare us off. Look at some of the manifestations of Their powers. From a ravaging flood comes rich soil in which new plants thrive. Death brings a deeper appreciation of life to the living and rest for the transcended one. "Good" and "evil" are often identical in nature, depending on one's viewpoint. Additionally, out of ever evil some good is eventually born.

Any and all religions are real, the genuine article, to their practitioners. There can never be one religion, prophet or savior that will satisfy all five billion humans. Each of us must find our ideal way to attune with Deity. For some, it's Wicca. Wiccans emphasize the bright aspects of the deities because this gives us purpose to grow and evolve to the highest realm of existence. When death, destruction, hurt, pain and anger appear in our lives (as they must), we can turn to the Goddess and God and know that this is a part of them too. We needn't blame a devil on these natural aspects of life and call upon a pure white God to fend them off.

In truly understanding the Goddess and God, one comes to understand life, for the two are inextricably entwined. Live your earthly life fully, but try to see the spiritual aspects of your activities as well. Remember - the physical and spiritual are but reflections of each other. The Goddess and God are of nature, both the delightful and the dark. We don't worship nature as such; some Wiccans probably wouldn't even say they worship the Goddess and God. We don't bow down to the deities; we work with Them to create a better world. This is what makes Wicca a truly participatory religion.