On July 10, 2016, Gaia Community held its 14th annual God Auction. Our new patron is Dionysus!
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.
- July 2016: Dionysus, Freyr, and Hermes; Dionysus won.