King, Father, Counselor, Judge
Of all the forms of the God, this is the one with with most Wiccans have the greatest difficulty. Centuries of Christian rule have caused the identification of the King archetype with PATRIARCHAL domination, and the ruthless suppression of the weak by the strong. Distorted images of the "King of the Gods" capriciously interfering in human life, moving people around like chess figures, have left a sour taste in the Wiccan mouth. But these images have more to do with the Christian Jehovah than with any Pagan God.
In Pagan mythology the King is a positive figure, empowered not in His own right but by union with the Goddess. His wisdom and strength are an aid to Her and a blessing to us. He does not "rule" but rather works to advance His family and community, whose welfare are His responsibility. The God has sacrificed Himself at Summer Solstice, giving His life force for the greater good, and it is as King that He carries this out, pouring out His love for the world through constructive action.
The King is the God of the harvest. He is the Sun which has begun to dim, following the Summer Solstice, and Who in dimming nurtures the crops which ripen in fall. He is the spirit of the crops, literally sacrificing His life that others may live. The King is the God passed from warrior to leader, nurturing family and community rather than merely self. He is the father Who has given up the independent life of a child to be part of a family, given up. His separateness to help in the raising of His children and the running of the community.
The King is the protector of the people, the keeper of the peace. He is the God of honor and of law, of honesty and civility. He is the God of contracts and agreements, guardian of the SOCIAL CONTRACT -the agreed upon terms by which we live together in peace.
The King is a Judge, but His judgment is not the careless imposition of capricious will, but the willingness to tackle and resolve difficult situations, to abide by and uphold agreements, and to keep the peace. The King is the God of balance and justice, which makes it especially appropriate that His festival should be the Fall Equinox, when the Sun enters Libra the Scales.
The King is the temporal or outward aspect of the Old God, the Sorcerer being the spiritual or inward aspect. As such the King is the God of structure and form. The King puts the physical world to order and establishes solid forms and systems, while the Sorcerer overcomes the illusion of solid form through magic. Where the Hero is expansion and growth, the King is stability and prosperity -He makes the good things of life plentiful and sustainable by the application of organization.
He is the God Who turns the Goddess' spinning wheel, the WHEEL OF FATE, so that She may spin the thread of existence. He puts Her will into action, protects and upholds Her. He is Her stalwart supporter, champion and helpmeet. She has birthed the world, and He protects it with Her, even as the father bird protects the mother and the nestlings.
Below follow several examples of the King:
ATLAS -Atlas is one of the Titans, Gods of pre-classical Greece. A God of the sky, Atlas' consort is the Goddess Pleione, Whose daughters are the Pleiades. Atlas was associated with the West, and the Atlantic ocean is named for Him, as is Mt. Atlas. Most of Atlas' mythology is lost with the other Titans, but enough survives to draw some conclusions. Atlas is a God of cosmic order, Who separated Earth from Sky, and bore the Sky upon His shoulders -an act of self-sacrifice which enabled the Universe to assume its present form. He was a Patron of law and government, and a culture hero. According to Plato, Atlas was the founder of the Kingdom of Atlantis, creator of its culture and progenerator of its royal house. Atlas was the father of the Hesperides, the three Goddesses Who guarded the apples of immortality at the far western edge of the world.
JUPITER -Roman King of the Gods, Jupiter is related to and identified with the Greek Zeus, but is not identical to Him. Jupiter is above all a God of law and government, justice and wisdom. To the Romans Jupiter embodied all of the qualities of a good father, including sobriety and impartiality. Jupiter is associated with prosperity, expansion, and growth, self-confidence and optimism. Jupiter's consort was Juno (originally the Etruscan Moon Goddess Uni), and Their daughter the Goddess Minerva, also Etruscan in origin and identified with the Greek Athena. Long after the fall of Rome, Jupiter remained an important Deity in Alchemical, Astrological, and Hermetic systems.
NODENS -A God of the ancient Celts, much of Nodens' mythology is lost. He was King of the Gods, and is associated with prosperity and expansion. Nodens was a God of law, protection, and Patron of government. A God of water, offerings were made to Nodens by dropping them into His sacred wells. According to mythology Nodens was obliged to turn over the Divine Kingship to Lugus after losing an arm in battle. Nodens' lost arm was replaced with a silver arm, indicating a connection to the German Tyr. Nodens is also a God of healing and medicine.
RA -Falcon headed God of the Sun, Ra was considered chief among the Gods of Egypt for many centuries. Ra is the God Who maintains the cosmic order, reigning in the sky by day and under the Earth by night. Nightly overcoming the serpent Aapep (chaos), Ra embodied and maintained the cycles of existence. Ra is a God of justice and honor, civilization and law. According to one myth Ra created humankind from His tears of compassion. In another myth the great Goddess Isis won the deepest secret of magic from Ra by means of enchantment. A typically syncretic Egyptian Deity, Ra was identified with the creator God Temu, and with the great southern Deity Ammon. The center of Ra's worship was the city of An, called Heliopolis by the Greeks.
YU-HUANG-SHANG-TI -The "Supreme August Jade Emperor," Chinese King of Heaven, Who maintains the balance and order of the Universe and the eternal progress of its cycles. Patron of government and of law, Yu-Huang-Shang-Ti is God of justice and honor, duty and responsibility
LESSON XI - HERBS, OILS, AND
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