The Witches' God
The Evolution of Wiccan Gods
The Witches' God
, by Janet and Stewart Farrar, is an excellent introduction to the basic Wiccan god-archetypes.
The Farrars' research is strong and lucid, and their perspective refreshingly free of proselytizing. Yet it manages to be an easy read.
It kept me turning the pages, even though I wasn't planning to read the whole thing.
Although I different from the Farrars in my Wiccan practice and perspective, I consider The Witches' God
to be an essential part of any Witch's library.
And here's why....
The Wiccan God Archetypes
The book is divided into 3 sections, plus an appendix.
Part 1 of The Witches' God
explores the archetypal gods common to Wicca, and most other Pagan religions. For example,
- The Son/Lover
- The Sun God
- The Vegetation / Green God
- The Horned God
- The Oak King & the Holly King
- The Underworld God, etc.
Plus there are Recipes for the God, including incense, foods, and drink.
The Witches' God
offers an intriguing journey through the evolution of the gods,
in the context of the changing values of human history.
The Farrars demonstrate how the face of the divine to which we (as humans) relate, changes as the human community grows.
Other Wiccan Books by Janet & Stewart Farrar
Invoking the Gods
Part 2 of The Witches' God
focuses on specific Gods you are very likely to find in Wiccan rituals,
- Zeus, etc.
Each God here has his own chapter, and the Farrars include a ritual to each that a coven can perform.
I'm not sure how they chose certain Gods over others. Why Shiva and not Krishna, for instance? Why not Buddha or Adonis or Mercury? Interestingly, the Farrars overlook Mithra, a major Pagan deity who predated and strongly rivaled Christianity for centuries.
Even though The Witches' God
overlooks some of the more commonly seen Wiccan gods, the ones shown here are well-developed and useful.
Gods of the World... from AAH to ZU
Part 3 is perhaps the best part, and worth the price of the book all on its own. In 100 pages, The Witches' God
introduces Gods from around the world and throughout time.
By my estimate, there are close to 2000 gods in this deity directory,
with brief outlines of each.
It won't give you everything you need to know about all of the gods -- that kind of book would be an encyclopedia. But it gives a basic introduction, so you'll know who you'll want to research.
A Circle-Casting Ritual
The appendix of the book leads you through a sample of casting and banishing a Circle.
For those who are interested in a Gardnerian approach to Wicca, the given rituals and instructions will be appreciated.
Other Wiccans will value this book as an encyclopedic introduction to the Wiccan Gods.
Excerpts from The Witches' God
In the pagan cosmic view, the supreme creative polarity is that of the Goddess and God principles, for without polarity, from divinity downwards, there can be no manifestation.
These are the two complementary terminals of the cosmic battery at all levels; without their creative difference, no current flows.
…The main flaw in patriarchal thinking [is that] for Polarity it has substituted Dualism; for the creative complementarity of God and Goddess it has substituted the confrontation of God and Devil, of Good and Evil.
Even the God has suffered [under patriarchal domination], for without his complement he is emasculated, his image distorted and impoverished.
In the end we are all tuning into the same source. Magical or religious practice is a communion with the reality which lies behind such god-forms, which are tuning signals to aspects of that reality.
The Horned God was a vivid expression of the son/lover of Mother Earth -- swift-moving, wide-roaming, concupiscent, respectfully killed to feed her other creatures and yet eternally reappearing as strong and splendid as ever.
Agriculture and social complexity did not push him aside, because mankind knew instinctively that, without the raw force of Nature underlying them, crops and community alike would wither and die.
This instinctive attitude to horns as a symbol survived, for example, among the ancient Hebrews. Few people realize, till it is pointed out to them, that throughout the Old Testament horns are a symbol of God-given power.
-- The Witches' God: Lord of the Dance, Janet and Stewart Farrar. 1989, Phoenix Publishing (WA), ISBN 13: 978-0919345478, ISBN 10: 0919345476.
(All bold text, my emphasis.)
Rating for The Witches' God: Stars
With Brightest Blessings,
You May Also Enjoy These Related Articles . . .
New articles are always added; please subscribe to our RSS / Blog or
The Silver Chalice Wiccan E-zine to receive updates and exclusive articles!
A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle (Book Review)
"A New Earth" — how could this not be an excellent book for Wiccans? Aren't we all dreaming of and working for the day when the Earth is reborn? When humanity sees the Earth -- and each other -- with new eyes, with love and respect? While Tolle doesn't elaborate on this New Earth, he effectively illustrates how to get there...
The Spiral Dance, by Starhawk (Book Review)
Starhawk's classic Wiccan text, The Spiral Dance, is probably the best introduction to Wicca spiritual practice you can get on paper. It's a book for the conscious, adult Wiccan... someone who wants to develop the real Craft of being a Witch. There is a ...
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham (Book Review)
This book has been the classic introduction to Wicca for a whole generation of solitary Witches. Cunningham's unadorned style and clear instructions on the very basics of the Witchcraft are as useful today as when the book was written. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner offers simple rituals that a novice will have no difficulty following. It also includes an Author's Book of Shadows, to get you started....
Loving the Goddess Within: Sex Magick For Women, by Nan Hawthorne (Book Review)
Loving the Goddess Within: Sex Magick For Women reveals the sensual aspect of spiritual worship. "Love and sex are essential parts of magick...re-enactments of the Goddess's initiating and sustaining energy." The premise of Hawthorne's book is that sexuality and the passionate interplay of energies is integral to Wicca . . .
Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior, by David R. Hawkins (Book Review)
Power vs. Force explores the nature of true power, which is always of the spirit. As Hawkins demonstrates, force is only on the material level, and so is constantly needing to be justified and backed up with rhetoric. Power, on the other hand, never needs justification ... Own It
The Complete Book of Magical Names, by Phoenix McFarland (Book Review)
If you're interested in choosing a Wiccan name for yourself, your child, your pet, your business, or whatever,The Complete Book of Magical Names is a fabulous resource. It leaves others in the dust... Own It
The Witches' God Book Review
Silver Chalice E-Zine, June 2009