Sunday, June 16, 2013

Worship - It doesn't mean what you think it means

It seems that some people feel that “worship” means bowing and scraping ones forehead on the ground in some slavish humiliation to the gods.

It does not.

From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

1 chiefly British : a person of importance —used as a title for various officials (as magistrates and some mayors)
2 reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also: an act of expressing such reverence
3 a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual
4 extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem

And reverence, from the same source:

1 honor or respect felt or shown : deference; especially : profound adoring awed respect
2 a gesture of respect (as a bow)
3 the state of being revered
4 one held in reverence —used as a title for a clergyman

See? There's nothing in there about bowing and scraping, chanting “We're not Worthy”, humiliating yourself, or slitting a goat's throat.

I think some folks in the pagan world see the word “worship” and flash back to something in their Christian past that made them feel less than great, and the word gets a bad rap. Personally, I treat my gods like friends and family (the ones you like) and dedicate acts of kindness and charity to them.

Some hard-core reconstructionists probably won't agree with me, but that's OK. I'm not telling anyone they have to do things my way, or live in accordance with my will. I'm just sharing what works for me, because it works so very well for me.

Worship is a word. A perfectly reasonable word. If you have negative associations with the word, go do some Shadow work, write some spells to help you get over it in your journal, and move on. Just think, when you're done getting over this issue, you have one less thing that pisses you off. Won't that be nice?

Peace out, Witches.


  1. The word worship is as misunderstood as the word witch. I am a Witch who worships words, books, life, and other things...

    There are groups who have bastardized many words. How many times has someone asked you, "Why would you call yourself a Witch? That's such an ugly word."

    This post goes right along with your post about validation. There are individuals who haven't moved past their non-Pagan religious beginnings, and who seem not to be able to give words their own meaning.

  2. I've been told I'm not *allowed* to call myself a Witch, since I have a penis. Screw those people. I was initiated as "priest and witch" more than 25 years ago. I don't have to defend the way I self-identify to people who weren't alive when I made those choices.

    Getting older means being Sassy!