the Lord and the Lady
The Lord and the Lady are the principal deities for all pagan believers. They are, however, different to different people. Here I will try to explain exactly what it is most witches and pagans believe in.
The All is everything and yet nothing. It exists in every religion as the one true source of everything in the universe. It is visualised differently and carries a different name in almost every religion. It could be a giant ball of energy, or maybe a spirit or a star - and then there is the Force in Star Wars. But everyone who is not an atheist believes in a Something, and this something is the All from which everything stems.
The Lord and The Lady
Personally I like the idea that Silver RavenWolf introduced in "To Ride a Silver Broomstick"; where she sees the pagan belief system like a family tree. There, the All is at the very top of the family tree. Down on the first two branches below the All are the God and the Goddess. These two are completely equal to one another and also balanced in every respect. Because witches believes firmly in a balance of opposites we are not content with for example the Christian view of a dominant God with no female opposite. In our eyes, the Lord and the Lady are equals and none could exist without the other. In an attempt to understand Christianity, some witches prefer to view the Christian God as we see the All - neither male or female, just the source of everything. But back to the tree. The Lord and the Lady don't have any names, they are only representations of all the qualities of the God and the Goddess.
The different names of the Gods and Goddesses belongs to the branches underneath the Lord and the Lady. Here we find the various pantheons. A pantheon is the name for the group of God/desses that a particular group of people beleve(d) in. Some examples are: Celtic, Scandinavian/Norse, Roman, Greek, Native American, and so on. There are so many aspects of the Lord and the Lady and this is why most pantheons have many Gods and Goddesses, each representing different things. Some are war god/desses, some are known to have powers of healing, protection, love, justice and so on to meet the needs of the people. Because humans find it easier to channel energy as directly as possible, most pagans ask a deity from their pantheon for help that is spot-on for that deity, instead of asking the Lord and the Lady. For example, if a friend needs healing, because I mostly work with the Celtic pantheon, I might ask Brigid to aid me, since healing is one of her special powers.
The Goddess stand for all female energy and all its aspects. She is Mother Earth, and we are all her children. She represents nurturing, wisdom, logic, creation, intellect, and motherly feelings. The symbols of the Goddess are the cauldron and the cup. It is from her sacred cauldron of creation that we all come from and return after life.
The Goddess is sometimes symbolised as a triad by the Maiden, Mother and Crone. The Maiden is, as the name implies, a young girl - though not necessary a virgin. She is blooming and signifies the spring, and the freshness of life and magick. She does not have a partner but is the catcher of many young men's eyes. Her colour is white or other light shades.
The Mother is the woman at the prime of life and at the peak of power. She stands for fertility, nurturing and motherhood, and usually has a partner. Her colours are strong and vivid such as green and red.
The Crone is the wise-woman that much of the witch stereotyping is based on. She has the wisdom of age, and is thus the caretaker of the younger ones. She is sometimes also Goddess of death. The colours are dark, most often black.
The Goddess is often associated with the moon. Women's menstrual cycle follows that of the 28 day moon cycle. Here, the waxing moon is the Maiden, the full is the Mother and the waning represents the Crone.
The God is the opposite of the Goddess. He represents strength, sexual passion, love of life, and the fruits of earth and its life. He is full of vitality and life. He is associated with the sun and its brilliance. Thus he is the warmth and light of the day, while the Goddess is the stillness of evening and the mystery of the shadier night. The God does not have a triad as pronounced as that of the Goddess. But of course the God is also both young and old, but most often he is thought of as in the prime of his years, full of strength and power. Thus he is not normally pictured in the same way as the Christian God - an old man sitting on a cloud with his son by his side - but more like a vital man with a zest or life, often hunting or prancing about in the woodland. He is the Green man of the forest, the King of animals and plants. He is sometimes called the King Stag as he is the leader of his flock, and the man who is in complete control and capable of fighting off any competition.
If you do not agree with what is written here, please remember that this is not meant to offend anyone, but only to inform people about our faith. Remember that we have a right to freedom of speech. Please read this if you do not feel comfortable with tolerance of other religions.
The webmistress would be happy to hear of your queries or comments.