One of my biggest pet peeves, in the interfaith community and some parts of the pagan community, is this tendency to use vague terms in prayers and offerings: Oh Spirit, Great Lady, Oh Goddess… 🤦♂️
Be specific. Not only could you inadvertently be giving offerings and prayers to some entity you didn’t intend by being so vague, but it’s simply put an insult. Or did you want your prayer for a good wedding and happy, fruitful marital life to be answered by Sekhmet in bloodlust? Albeit that might explain Game of Thrones’ infamous red wedding… (yes I know the plot reason for that fictional scene, I’m making a point).
The spread of Christianity focused on stripping our Gods and Goddesses of their names to destroy their identities. Their idols were destroyed or defaced, their holy shrines destroyed, their worshippers killed, oppressed, and sometimes even enslaved.
We know in ancient cultures denying someone their name was to curse and destroy them. We see this often in the archaeological record in Egypt as just one example.
By refusing to be specific, you are an active participant in the undermining of these Ancient polytheistic traditions. You are in fact being a destroyer.
Words have power and meaning and nuance, and we know in many instances the words and meaning of name behind a deity showed that power too. When you lump sum deities as a vague unspecified group, you say they aren’t worthy of learning more about their individual uniqueness. You are saying, even unconsciously that they are less than.
These Gods and Goddesses had names. They were worshipped by Their names. People died in worship of Them, so use Their names.
And if you’re still resisting this concept let me ask you something:
How would you feel if for the rest of your life every family member, friend, lover, co worker, neighbor and stranger merely addressed you by : ‘hey you’, while everyone else was also called ‘hey you’.
Imagine if you ask ‘hey you’ to do something, it’ll probably get ignored because how does anyone know who the request was for?
Pour out your devotion to Sekhmet, Thor, Brigid or Dionysos, and whatever specific God(s) or Goddess(es) you feel pulled to worship. 🏺
So use Their Names. Be specific in your prayers.