It is funny how some things crop up at the same time; I am in the process of writing a piece for the Brython website on my personal pantheon of sorts and I find the same theme cropping up in blogs and websites too. I figured I would post here what I will post on the website and also the kind of thing I would answer on some of the blogs.
I am a polytheist; I believe the gods are many and am comfortable with the idea that they all exist in some form or other. Some have a place in my life, others do not as yet. I am quite happy knowing most of the gods known to man will never be known to me or be part of my practice. My view of gods is that, primarily, they arise out of the landscape and environment and are shaped by it and by our interactions with them. As such, the gods with whom I am fostering a relationship are rooted largely in the lands that form the British Isles. Names and titles may be from other lands but are addressed to that deity here and now in the absence of a surviving name with which to address them.
There are a handful of gods I have hymns for, make offerings to and make libations to:
Rigantona: she is the land, an embodiment of the landscape we live on and our relationship with it. Our place in the land is assured by her and our sovereignty comes from her. She is the great Queen, the Grey Mare on the hill.
Mokkonos: not a deity attested to in myth or inscription. He is the Wild Boar, the spirit of winter that crushes all before him, whose breath is the winter fog and whose sweat lies on the land as frost. He is the killing blow of the cold and the shadow that consumes in the depths of winter. For all of this, he turns over the land, clears back the dead and dying and paves the way for the spring and all the promise it brings.
Ambactonos: the divine ploughman, not just a god of agriculture, but one who knows the movements of the heavens. It is to him I offer hymns and libations when I am working the land. I am still in the early stages or my relationship with him.
Briganti: the Flame in my hearth, the one who tends the fires of the gods and whose flames give our words and offerings to the gods. She is the first to be addressed, the first to receive offerings and it through her contact is made with the other gods. She is the warmth in my home and the light on my altar. There are many associations with her and healing and crafts, these are sides of her I am only just beginning to explore.
Rosmerta: another god who I am beginning to get on with. She has associations with sovereignty and its relationship with people. Here are connections there between Her and Rigantona and the conferring of sovereignty. She is often portrayed with a cornucopia andi am beginning to think this has something to do with the fruits of the land that come in a proper relationship with the land itself; a triad of people – Rigantona – Rosmerta. Part of me wants to think in - crude - terms of her as interecessionary with Rigantona.
The Horned God – this is a weird one, he doesn’t have any name or title beyond this. Perhaps he is something akin to Silvanus in that to me he represents the wild energy and space of those parts of the land outside of man and his influences. If you took the spirit of the wild landscape, it’s beasts and plants; the nursing deer, the snagging thorns, the bloodlust of predators and the brutally protective mother caring for her young and rolled it into a single ungod – this would be him. That mythical Wildwood we know of from our first forays with paganisms, he is that Wildwood. He is that energy that claws back the landscape if left alone and untended. He is all this and far, far more.