Conversations

Have you ever been part of a conversation wondering how you got there and where this all started? Hope and I were chatting a few days ago and we had one of these conversations. We had been chatting with an old friend. We will call him Lahmu. He, Lahmu was sharing with us an epiphany in his studies of Nammu/Tiamat and Apsu

  “Tiamat and Apsu are not distinct emanations of a godhead. They are in fact, the same being, where one aspect represents potential, and the other represents creation.”

Hope asked me my thoughts and here is our conversation

Nettle: While it does conflict with my game mechanics of gods being separate beings, all independent with hierarchy with immortals above god to the one creator of a universe I’m not sure that is how it works in real life. I do feel and understand that perhaps much like Hinduism the gods we know are just part of a greater whole larger than what we as humans can understand.

 Side note – really, it’s pertinent Hope, Glory, Coyvere and I have played in a D&D game run but Nicodemus for years. In the game, there are the individual deities’ powers unto themselves separate with their own identity with their own pantheons etc. I have on more than one occasions use something that happened while gaming to explain something that has happened magically. Terribly geeky I know but it works because it is a system of symbolism we all jointly understand     

Hope: (always looking out for our readers) That would make an interesting post.

Nettle:  Maybe. (Not always willing to go out on a limb for someone named Hope. I do like to play things safe and close to the chest.) Many pagans disagree with me vehemently. We want our gods to be independent and free not one uncomprehending glob.

Hope: Well, when you look at the distinct personalities the deities exhibit, it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that they’re all separate entities.

Nettle: Sure.

Hope: Saying that Hestia is Ares is Frigg is Bast appears to fly in the face of reality.

Nettle: Yep, most would agree with you, and yet there are archetypes found in all religions that link deities together.

Hope: It’s all a primordial soup? The archetypes are the same because people are the same.

Nettle:  Perhaps it is better to say that if there is one creator or source of power that we can only see or understand or even comprehend small tiny insignificant part of the greater whole.

Hope:  If cats have deities they look nothing like Bast or Freya.

Nettle: Gods take on the personalities of their worshipers and the society they live in more often than not it is the societies rules that become the rule of the god(s).

Hope: If they (the gods) want to be relevant they have to. I personally would hope that the gods would not choose to perpetuate a rape culture and that they would try to lift us up rather than indulge our worst instincts. If there’s a mirror effect wherein gods reflect society and society reflect gods, then I think gods have an obligation to distort the mirror and hold us to higher standards. Being so much older and presumably wiser, they must have an ultimate vision of humanity.  If this vision is that men are all powerful and women are subservient then gods can go to their own hells because they don’t deserve our worship. My own opinion is that Creator deities seem to have one function, and when that is accomplished they relinquish control and interest to the deities who arise or to whom they give birth.

Nettle: Not the other way around?

Hope: There’s nothing relevant about a dragon. And notice that Ymir had to die in order for creation to happen.

Nettle: Is that truth or human myth?

Hope: Lol finding your Absolutes? Can we know the truth? Does a seed of it lie in myth?

While we at Moonlit Path have been neglectful in posting to the blog, that doesn’t mean we’ve been sitting on our laurels playing solitaire. (okay maybe the solitaire) One of my favorite Facebook group pages is Patheos Pagan a collection of pagan blogs. They shared and article a few weeks ago about defining your beliefs and practice. What are your non-negotiable for your religion Fantastic article below is the link.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/2017/03/non-negotiables-religion.html?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=socialnetwork

I loved that idea and thought wow! I can do that should be easy peasy. HA – that is the sound of the universe laughing at me to say this is a work in progress would be an understatement. Hence all the solitaire.      

Nettle: I don’t think we can know truth, nor can we claim to even begin to understand the truth we only understand what is happening through the filters of a human brain.

When I was in my early teens I stumbled across some Deist writing way back in my agnostic/ atheist phase. At the time, it struck a chord with me and I find it pops up often when I try to explain or define my beliefs. The things that stick with you.

Hope: We can only handle so much and each person has their own limits.

Nettle: I want to believe that love is more powerful than hate. I think that is one of my absolutes/non-negotiable

Hope: That depends on your definitions and measurements. It may be totally subjective. And yours won’t be everybody’s. Love, like hate, is often in the eye of the beholder.

Nettle: I knew you would say that!

Hope: Lol of course you did! Cliches R Us!

Nettle: Perhaps love is too subjective for you perhaps compassion.

Hope: It’s still filtered through individual perceptions.

Nettle: It is MY absolutes, not yours, you can’t argue for or against my absolutes because they are mine Go forth and make your own absolutes and non-negotiable, Hope!

Hope: In any case, it doesn’t prevent you from honoring Hestia or Gaia as separate entities.

Nettle:  No it doesn’t, but they may be one part of a greater whole. What are your absolutes?

Hope:  I haven’t given it any thought. I just do whatever I feel is right at the time. Does it feel right to put some honey in a saucer and say that this is for Danu? If so, I do it.

Nettle: So, you trust your intuition.

Hope: Whether it’s all one conglomeration of conscious energy or separate entities is immaterial. I deal with the separate ones, just as you do.

Nettle: A separate part or a facet of the larger whole.

Hope: We break it down into manageable pieces. It could be either or it could be something I can’t begin to fathom. I deal with what deals with me. To me, in the end, it doesn’t matter.

Nettle: The part you can comprehend.

Hope:  You may be right. The others may be right. Does it matter? Not really. Hard to work with something you can’t begin to comprehend. How can you connect?

Nettle: You connect with the small bit of intelligence that resonates with you.

Hope: Yes. I am finite. Even dealing with the small bit can be overwhelming.

From here our conversation devolved into the mundane of what we were going to make for dinner and how hot it was outside.

What being ‘let go’ means to me

I’ve been considering this post ever since it happened, but I wanted enough time to pass so that I could avoid the pity party and have a little distance from it as well. I think I can write about it now without falling prey to self pity or anger.

I’ve considered Nammu my goddess for quite some time now, over a decade. She helped me with several problems, and I regularly offered to her and tried to communicate with her. I talked verbally and used a pendulum. The communication was never with words on her part – emotions, nudges, or dreams were her preferred methods. I saw the wooden statue of a dragon that she wanted on the altar in a dream. I felt a nudge when I saw a purple and green something on the campsite beside us, which turned out to be a stuffed dragon. I suffered through a deeply unsettling few days of obsession because she said I needed to know what it felt like in case it was used on me.

I grew to trust her, which took many long months because I don’t trust easily. I turned to her with questions and problems, and for the most part she helped me out when I really needed it. When I was having problems with the fae she intervened and got them off my back. It wasn’t the relationship of my dreams, but it was a relationship and I thought that because she was sleeping so much that this was as good as it got. Oh, true, other people had better communication and got training, but I lived in hope that sooner or later I would be one of them.

Then Nammu stopped communicating completely. I shrugged it off – she’s sleeping, she’s busy, she has a lot to do – but the silence persisted and the months turned into years.  Finally, I got a reading to clarify the relationship between us (Beth at Wytch of the North did mine) and the truth came out: it was over.

She had terminated the relationship and told me nothing.

It was painful. I felt betrayed. I felt my trust had been given and not prized. I felt unwanted and cast out. I immediately went into retreat-to-a-cave-and-lick-my-wounds mode. I sent all my Nammu stuff – the statue, the incense, the oil, the pendulum, etc – to someone who wanted it. I gave my statue of Saraswati to another friend who can use it. I wanted to send the rock that a black dragon hitched a ride on back to the person who so kindly gave it to me but damn if it didn’t disappear from the ottoman before I got the box (and she told me that he wanted to hang around a little longer).  I cleaned off my altar and told myself it was better to just take the hint and stay away from deities.

I have a really bad habit of going to extremes. It’s all or nothing with me. And I scare easily. I’m enthusiastic and then I become afraid. I expect rejection. And trusting just doesn’t come easy. Not much to recommend me to a deity. I was hoping to learn how to control and use my powers, and to have real conversations, to get some of my questions answered. None of that happened.

I am grateful to Nammu, for all the things she did for me. I’m disappointed that she decided not to continue with me. But a one-sided relationship isn’t going anywhere.

At one time Danu indicated that she was interested in working with me. I turned once again to Beth for a reading on how that would work out – doing a reading for myself doesn’t work well. Beth said that Danu is still interested and that the relationship would be very beneficial to me. So now I’m torn. I don’t want anything to do with Sidhe/fae. I don’t have a good track record with them. But I see Danu as a creator goddess with a strong agricultural bent, and I’m pretty good with growing things. Do I want to go through the whole learning-to-trust thing again, with the chance that it will be thrown back in the future? Do I let that fear keep me from maybe finally getting the training I want and need?

I bought a pot of gebera daisies to use for meditation. I’ll take a chance and see what happens. Poised to run away, I’ll try to contact her and reach out tentatively. It might work.