What to do with the past deities
Initiation is a big part of Wicca. Traditionally, one had to be initiated into a coven to be considered Wicca, but in this day of Internet searches and multitudes of books, anyone can perform a self-dedication ritual. The validity of the self-dedication is sometimes called into question, though realistically it shouldn’t be. If you need a coven to feel you’ve fully become a Wiccan, then find a coven. If you can commune with the Goddess and God solo, then follow that path. They all lead to the same mountaintop.
Regardless of which path you choose though, initiation is a big step. Most of us coming to Wicca today are coming from other faiths, predominantly Christianity. Coming completely into Wicca, without the fear of damnation and evil instilled by Western faiths, is hard and sometimes takes many years to overcome. One of the things new initiatives struggle with is what to do with their past religious lives, and past deities.
Christianity teaches that there is one and only one god, and all others are idols to be cast out. When coming into Wicca, new initiates often feel that this idea ought to work in reverse as well, that now that you follow the Goddess, there is no room for that god. Even if your feelings are not that black and white, it is still hard to reconcile such opposites. What do you do with god? Do you just put him aside, hide him in a box in the back of your mind and move forward? Or should you try to mesh him with the Goddess? Obviously the answer will differ with each individual, but you can see the dilemma being faced.
The start of my own journey dealt with this somewhat, though by the time I realize the Mother existed, I had already drifted far enough from god that he weighed very little in my mind. For the first few weeks of secret reading, I did wait to be smite for my unfaithfulness, but I persevered and followed my heart. And I found that when I become truly comfortable with a female deity, the god I had been brought up to revere just sort of fell away. He’s still out there, but he leaves me alone as long as I give no reason for offense. I am the Goddess’s child now, and he will not cross Her.
If you are struggling with the transition, essentially what you must remember is that embracing the Goddess and the God doesn’t mean you must cast out the god(s) you believed in before, though it often feels that way. Once you reach a place where you are confidant in your faith in the Goddess, other pieces will fall into place. You should never seek to destroy or discredit whatever god you came from, for not only is that an honorable part of your past, but to do so would incur negative karma. Let sleeping beasts lie; acknowledge that you believed that way once, but it is now in the past, and that is where it belongs. You have taken forward the lessons you needed to learn, the knowledge you needed to acquire and now you followed the Mother.