On July 10, 2016, Gaia Community will hold its 14th annual God Auction. Our patron will be chosen from Dionysus, Freyr, and Hermes. See you there!
In 2003, Gaia Community experimented with a "Pagan Traditions of the World" format to our rituals, with several cycles of rituals from different traditions: British Traditional Wicca, Hellenic Paganism, Druidry, and Kemetic (Egyptian) Paganism, among others. The Egyptian Chapter introduced us to an ancient/modern concept of a "God Auction", whereby temples of a city would collect donations of food and goods to discern who would be the patron of the city. That temple (and its deity) was then given a place of prominence for the coming year, as well as having additional responsibilities to distribute that wealth and food to the needy.
After the first auction (which was a vigorous success as a fundraiser for the community), we made some changes to the format, to better reflect the eclectic tastes of our community:
- Since 2004, contenders come from different pantheons, owing to the diverse nature of our members' beliefs;
- Final-three contenders from the previous year and recent winners may not make an appearance in the next auction, to give other candidates a fair chance;
- Several rounds of questions will take place, with an opportunity to make donations after each question (tiebreaker rounds are possible if time permits and the outcome is close);
- Each contender generally provides a gift of some sort to their highest individual bidder; in addition, there is a "Gods' Gifts" basket of goods for the highest overall monetary donor;
- Since 2006, a "penny auction" has been held in the spring to narrow a field of candidates down to the final three contenders; only coins are accepted for this "pre-selection", but any denomination is acceptable.
- June 2003: Bast, Hathor, Osiris and Thoth; Osiris won.
- July 2004: Arianrhod, Athena, Faunus and Kuan Yin; Arianrhod won.
- July 2005: Eris, Lugh, Odin and Venus; Lugh won.
- July 2006: Bast, Ganesh, Hestia, and Oghma; Hestia won.
- July 2007: Apollo, Brigid, Freya, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster; Brigid won.
- July 2008: Artemis, the Green Man, Persephone, and Thor; Thor won.
- July 2009: Eris, Hermes, Isis, and Thoth; Thoth won.
- July 2010: Artemis, Cai-Shen, Grandmother Spider, and Quetzalcoatl; Quetzalcoatl won.
- July 2011: Athena, Freyr, James T. Kirk, and Rabbit; Athena won
- July 2012: Hephaestus, Lugh, Nehalennia, North American Beaver; Lugh won.
- July 2013: Cerridwen, Hermes, Oshun; Oshun won.
- July 2014: Antinous, Danu, and Quan Yin; Danu won
- July 2015: Brigid, Columbia, and Hephaestos; Brigid won.