Stability versus Mutability

Our deities seem to be able to move with the times, change and learn, study us to see where we’re going so that they can relate to us.

I see it in the splinters of the deities who are attached to different persons. Each splinter seems to be crafted to suit the person’s maturity and concerns – a flighty person, a flighty splinter. A mature person, a mature splinter.

Wytch of the North calls hers ‘My Lord of Masks’, and talks about the deities swapping identities casually between themselves. Do they also swap offices? Realms of control? Has Ares ever swapped with Aphrodite, just for the education it would be?  Would Hermes and Apollon trade spheres of influence temporarily?

This kind of mutability is disturbing to most of us. We like stability. We like it so much that we’ll remain in a rut that’s harmful to us rather than risk changing. The idea that your god really isn’t your god, even when he IS your god, leaves us wondering about our terra really being firma.

I suspect this isn’t a problem with most because their contact with their deity isn’t on a basis where they’d really notice a difference. Most of us don’t have daily conversations with our deities. Most of us never hear their voice at all, and consider someone who has to be extremely fortunate, even if it was no more than a few words or a strong feeling. Most of us believe they are there, hope they are there, but we don’t KNOW that they are there. We don’t consciously work with our gods so we don’t notice.

But the few – ‘we few, we lucky few, we band of brothers’ – do notice and are often dismayed or confused by the sudden changes, whether it’s a change of name, a change of personality, or a change of any sort. Suddenly, we don’t know our own god, the god we’ve worked with for so long.  It’s got to be hard to accept. It’s got to make us question everything we knew.

And then there are those who never have to question because their deity never seems to change at all. Herne is always Herne. Loki is always Loki.  Ma’at is always Ma’at.  They work with the same face their entire lives.

One tries to understand, but perhaps understanding is beyond us. Perhaps we just have to accept, adapt, and overcome. Perhaps some of us have to learn to walk on earthquakes.

 

 

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Can Gods be held accountable for their Actions?

I only ask because I’ve run across more than one person who claims to have been abused or raped by a god. So I’m wondering, just what recourse do mortals have when gods break all civility and morals?

Is there a pecking order in a pantheon? If Odin rapes one of Loki’s people, can Loki demand weregild? Or is Loki SOL as much as the mortal?

What recourse, if any, does a mortal have?

Then others have spoken of times when the deity they had been working with simply bows out so that a different deity can enter, whether the mortal agrees to it or not. And the retreating deity won’t interfere, even when the new deity is abusive and the mortal is asking for help. Is there a hierarchy amongst the deities that says one outranks others, and that one can do as it wills until or unless one who outranks him shows up?

Can you refuse to work with a deity who abuses you? Can you banish a deity? Will wards and shields keep him out? If that doesn’t work, what does?

And how do you heal from abuse when your religion actively promotes and worships the deity who abused/raped you?

Are we pagans as bad as Christians in this respect? Yahweh did some horrible things to a lot of people but Christians ignore all of that and claim that he’s a ‘loving’ god. If Odin is a rapist, how do Odinists or Heathens or whatever reconcile that with their view of him? Do they simply ignore his bad side? Pretend it doesn’t exist, the way Christians pretend? Try to destroy the victim because she’s saying something they don’t want to face up to?

I suppose the idea that gods can do anything they want, because they’re gods, and what happens to us doesn’t matter, but I’ve never believed that crap. It makes the deities nothing but parasites. And it shows them to be petty, cruel, arbitrary, and unable to learn. Not what I’d call worship material.  Is the only recourse we have to stop being pagan entirely? Switch over to another pantheon in hopes that the deities there are more respectful of mortals and better behaved?

I’ve never been physically assaulted or raped by a deity, but if I were I’d want vengeance bigtime. I would cut my ties with that pantheon and those people, because they are aiding and abetting the behavior of the deity who did it.  If a group turns a blind eye to the cruelty of a deity, if a group excuses that behavior as ‘a test’ or ‘you deserve it’ or ‘shaman sickness’ or whatever other bullshit excuse they can come up with, then they’re enabling the actions of a deity who doesn’t deserve worship.

 

Joining A School, or How I went looking for Discipline and Ran Into Frustration.

A couple weeks ago I was nattering on with Glory, and we got to discussing the online Wiccan college she’s affiliated with and attending. I’m not Wiccan – I have some serious basic problems with some of the ideas Wicca claims – but I’ll go out of my way to garner knowledge. As they say, a muddy pool still reflects the sun. So I was wondering what such a school would help me with, and a Voice said ‘Discipline’.

Okay – I’ll be the first to admit that I am lacking in discipline. And without discipline, you really can’t get anywhere in magick, or in life for that matter.  Without discipline, Will and Focus and Intent are pretty much useless. So, taking the hint in the spirit of its intention, I signed up for the school, although not without misgivings.  But I resolved to give it an honest try.

My first concern was ‘are they going to force me to go back to basics I learned a half century ago?’. So far, not. I’ve done the Introductory Lesson, and Lesson 1, plus the Deity Focus.  It’s been mostly background and history, and basic tenets of the path. I’m not arguing with my poor teacher and mentor – just being careful about what I write. Well, mostly careful. When it came to wands I did point out that after a certain period one moves beyond the need for props.  And I’ve never seen anyone using a besom to sweep out negative energies. But, hey! If it works for you…

A couple things irk me about the school itself – the homework page doesn’t save, so unless you are ready to fill it out entirely and send it, you can’t use it. You have to make a separate page to save your work on and then copy/paste it to the lesson page. That’s annoying and a sign of not planning. But Glory assures me that they are working on fixing this problem with the platform.

And the insistence on forcing everyone, no matter their ability, to hold their pace to a year and a day, which means that lessons can’t be sent in faster than one per two weeks.  For someone actually just starting off this would be understandable.  For someone who’s done some work in other covens, this would be a hindrance. For me, it’s vastly irritating. But again, that’s how it’s set up and I suppose that discipline comes from learning to adapt to the circumstances around you.

Other than those niggling items, the college isn’t too bad so far.  Oh, wait – I forgot the damned journal they want you to keep. I dislike being told I have to open myself up to others on a regular basis. I write on this blog as the spirit moves me when I have something to say. Being told that I HAVE to write makes my ears go back and my spine stiffen.  I may end up writing garbage in the journal.  Especially since I’m writing here, and keeping a regular journal at home. One can have too many!

My first deity focus was for Danu. I did my ferreting on the net and found enough info to put into the correspondences they asked for, but the mediation brought nothing so I had nothing to write when they asked for a description of the ritual. I can’t be explicit when nothing happened.  Well, okay, I can say that, but it’s not what they want. I talked to Glory about it and she said I should try to do it again in the shower (running water being one of Danu’s things) or to sit outside with an offering of honey and talk to her. I took Door #2 and took my coffee and a dab of honey on a dish outside this morning. After setting the dish on the picnic table I sat down and drank my coffee, planted my bare feet on the ground, and talked to Danu.

I asked for a sign of her hearing me, of her accepting me as a student. I asked for a few bees to come for the honey. After sitting outside a good half hour, I got zilch. I mean, I didn’t even get a frickin’ fly! As Glory points out – sometimes silence is the answer. I think I got good and snubbed!

 

Cold Comfort

Today I got on Pantheos and read an article (which I should have written down the author and the title but didn’t, damn it) that said the following:

“Spirit mentors, like other mentors, lie and cajole and oversimplify to get you to do what needs to be done. They’ll tell you it’s the end of the world, that only you can save it. They’ll tell you that you’re special, and important, and necessary.

They’ll do it because it’s the only way to motivate the average person.

Remember, when a spirit tells you you’re special, it’s proof you aren’t! Spirits don’t offer money. Ideology is a human thing and they couldn’t care less. They’re not interested in compromise or negotiation. But hell do spirits ever know how to play an ego when they need someone to act!”

Okay, I admit it – I’m average. I know damn good and well that I’m not saving the bloody world. I know damn good and well that I can’t mend the rifts between planes (which don’t exist in the first place) and restore Dragonkind (if it ever needed restoring, which I don’t know).  But because Nammu stroked my ego with this farrago of nonsense she got me to do a few things that were inconsequential in my eyes (rescue a stuffed toy dragon for one).  I was a sucker. No two ways about it. And you know what bothers me the most? That she assumed that if she didn’t feed me this line of bullshit I wouldn’t do those things for her.

None of the things she asked for were or are onerous. Climbing down to another rv space to pick up a bedraggled stuffed toy didn’t cost me anything but the effort and a few minutes. Ditto the other things. None of them were things that at which the average helpful person would balk. Even writing this blog, which can sometimes be frantic because my life is so humdrum that I have nothing to write about, isn’t something onerous. Well, I don’t like having to nag my fellow bloggers to write, because unlike me they actually have lives filled with all sorts of activities. But you see my point.

I owed Nammu and I would have been happy to repay some of my debt by doing the things she sent me to do. The line of ‘you’re the only one who can do this!’ wasn’t necessary and was, frankly, insulting.  Most of my hesitation came from wanting confirmation of my feelings/impulses. Since none of our interaction was verbal, I wanted to be sure to differentiate between what I wanted to do and what she wanted me to do. Occasionally I got this, but often I didn’t.  Occasionally I got more than I wanted. But I would have done these things (albeit not without a bit of kicking and screaming about the blog)  just as readily if not more so had she just told me the truth.

‘See that purple and green thing down there? It’s a stuffed dragon that I want you to pick up and give to someone later. Please go get it.”

“I’m sending you this compulsion so that you’ll be able to recognize it later, should it happen to you.”

But because I’m average, I get lied to. Oh, underneath the stroking I had my doubts about what she said, but hey! I didn’t think she’d lie to me. There was no need. I already owed her and offered to her daily.

So if you are being told this line of bullshit from a spirit, take a step back and realize that you’re being lied to. Yes, it’s insulting. Yes, it shows that the spirit doesn’t respect you. Maybe it comes from millennia of dealing with people who had to be manipulated to do something that needed doing. I don’t know the reasons. You might want to have a talk with that spirit and gently tell it that it doesn’t need to do that.  I’m a pretty honest type of person, and I want honesty from those I deal with. I prefer to be a partner, not a puppet. I think that those of us who choose this path – or are chosen for it – prefer the same.

99.9% of us have no gods.

We live out our days without ever making a single offering. We attend – if we attend – a church or temple and listen without hearing, repeating by rote but not from the heart. We take away nothing in sustenance spiritually. A deity is invoked either as a curse or a vague invocation of doubted hope. No one pours a libation on the earth. No one does an act in the name of a god. We have no true belief in anything that we can’t see, touch, or smell. And this suits us.

It suits us because we don’t really want the gods to notice us. We feel uncomfortable with the thought that a deity might be watching us at any given moment. We fear that if a god should appear he would want something from us that we don’t want to give. We believe that everything is tit for tat, that no gifts come into our lives without an attached price tag, even if we can’t see it right then. We have no love for gods – we’re suspicious of their every action. We doubt their concern for us. We feel that there’s no place we can meet them safely.

And that makes each of us who do offer, who do invoke, very precious.

 

 

 

How do you find the answer when you don’t know the question?

Yesterday I was chatting with Glory and she put up a quote from a book she’d read – it was ” There is limited godly essence among the Gods. They aren’t overly fertile as a result”. (Glory here, it wasn’t really a direct quote, more a generalized quote from the book.  It really is interesting how much different popular movies and fiction novels can tap into truths now and then.) This led to a long conversation between her, Loki, and myself.

I read it and was immediately struck with a very strong and strange feeling in my solar plexus chakra. Proud of myself here – I didn’t deny it or run away as I usually do! Then I got a jolt of energy up the spine. As I pondered that line pressure began to build around my temples. (Even now, the day after, I get a shiver of energy through me thinking about it).

But why is it so important? I disregarded the last sentence as irrelevant – this came from a supernaturalish romance and so something of the sort has to be expected. It is the first sentence that matters.

This essence, this energy, is something the gods are born with, and it can be regenerated, but at an infinitesimal rate. This explains why there are so few miracles performed.  Mortals have this essence, I’m informed, but it was once more common than it is now, and diminishing amongst us.  (Glory again, not all mortals have it.  Some do, and it has dwindled greatly, as not nearly as many Deity touched, or potentially Deity touched walk the Earth as once did.)  It explains, also, the lack of interference in mortal affairs unless necessary. A limited resource won’t be spent on anything less than a major need.

“It suggests that the ‘why’ is the important part of the question (whatever the question is). Why it seems to be so much more limited now. And diluted. ‘There are many factors. It’s not an entirely finite source, but it isn’t growing exponentially at a fast pace anymore either. Which is weird. I guess at one point it may have…” Glory said.

Perhaps, Loki, even the gods have an expiration date. Is it analogous to the human cycle, wherein we age and our ability to heal ourselves, to regenerate cells, diminishes as time goes by?  (Glory with a bit of an assist…  The Gods themselves don’t necessarily have an expiration date, but every pantheon has their myths of Deities dying.  Baldr and the mistletoe.  Cronos is killed by Zeus.  Uranus killed by Cronos.  Osiris is killed a couple of times by is brother Set.  The examples are there.  Perhaps a sense of peace has increased longevity and put a halt to the pool of god-essence available.  A general lack of interest by human in Gods and Goddesses, being more content to focus on a singular God, has caused Gods and Goddesses to stop coming down to visit and walk among the general populace.  Do they instead reside in their otherworldly abodes and plan, but don’t act?)

Or perhaps the essence has a natural ebb and flow of its own, and you aren’t aware of its cycle. It must predate you, in order for you to have it.  In which case, it will come to a point where it’s at it’s lowest ebb, and then slowly begin to grow again.

So it isn’t that you don’t want to help us, it’s that you have limited resources right now, and until those resources increase the gods will guide, teach, and interact – but not intervene.

And then again, I could be off in left field somewhere, totally mistaken. What was the question again?

Okay, my turn.  Glory, that is.  Hope asked why I wasn’t chiming in with questions to find the answers with her while she was asking her questions.  My simple answer, I was so focused on listening for the answers, my mind wasn’t able to split and ask as well as answer.  That seems to be my Achilles heal at the moment.  If I’m channeling answers, I can’t ask questions as well.  I’m a one-way radio sharing the answers as they are presented. (Lol – my RIGHT ovary, Glory!)

Afterward, however, I had my own take on what I went back and read.  I think, at the core of it all, the explosion of human population led to the dilution of those who held the deitific essence.  Also, an inability to believe in anything beyond personal pleasure and what is presented immediately in front of them has created many of the blocks so many are feeling and frustrated by.

Turning to religions that focus on a singular Deity and relying on others to tell us how we should act, think, and connect with Deity instead of relying on our own intuition has also pulled us away from Deity and the connections that once existed.  Sitting inside a brick and mortar building relying on someone to tell them what to believe takes away the need to think, to question, to seek, and to grow.  How does this help with connecting to Deity?  It really doesn’t! (But there have always been temples and priests doing that same thing. I doubt if there’s that much difference between them. Hope)  Yes, but there were temples to multiple Deities and people had choices.  Almost everyone left offerings to more than one Deity for different situations and aspects of their lives.

Of course, it doesn’t help that those of us who do and can hear Deities are often castigated by the larger part of society as a whole and turn to ignoring our gifts, self-medicating to avoid those voices that we are told make us crazy.  Or any other number of issues.  So seeking the answers, and finding those who can hear them, becomes harder and harder.  Too many people, too few who actually trust that they are hearing.  And a fear of sharing those gifts for fear of reprisal and castigation.

The answers and the correct questions are there.  It’s figuring out exactly what we should be asking that becomes the challenge.  And finding the right person and Deity to give the answers the larger challenge!

Going back to your previous paragraph about the fear of sharing their gifts, there’s a huge interest and need out there for just that thing. Look at the number of people who are willing to do things like call a psychic hotline! Look at the people who go to psychic fairs! At Ren Faires the tents with tarot readers and fortune tellers have lines of people waiting. New Age bookstores offer classes and bookings for readings. Runes are becoming more popular as more people are exposed to the Norse pantheon, and there are women who would take up seidhr if they could find a teacher. A lot of people search for teachers – people brave enough to step out of line and be known.  Not all of them are student material but the fact that they’re looking indicates a need to belong and to find their spiritual homes.

I feel we’ve become too diffuse in this post. The original starting point was godly essence. Have we uncovered the question, and found the answer? Or is there more to it than that? (Glory, I’m pretty sure there is more to it than just that.  There almost always is.)  Is there a tie-in to the number of followers to the deities’ inclination to act? A tipping point that has to be reached before they will decide to reveal themselves unmistakably once again? Is it still tied to the amount of essence available and the amount of effort versus the possible gain or loss?

Where are my answers???

Questions!

Lots of questions! I’m not a follower of any particular pantheon but Nicodemus and I follow Loki , so I tend to look into the Norse mythos , along with the Celtic. What I want to know is:

  1. What kind of afterlife is there for those who aren’t blooded warriors? I know that the Asatru I’ve had dealings with seem to think that they’ll do nothing but feast, fight, and fuck in Valhalla, which seems rather dull to me but to each their own. What about the rest of the populace who venerate the Norse gods? Does each deity have a hall of his/her own? Or does everyone mill around in Odin’s hall, or Freya’s hall?
  2. This carries over into other pantheons as well. There’s so little gnosis, whether personal or not, about it that I wonder if the deities are putting the information out at all. And no one seems to be asking.
  3. How much of the mythos are we to take as truth? Should we believe them strictly as written? Is Zeus actually incapable of keeping it in his robes? Does Hera actually spend her time attacking the mortal women who can’t say no? Or do the myths only reveal a time and place in the distant past that no longer has relevance to us today?
  4. What about other sentient beings, like octopi? Do the gods limit themselves to humans or is anything with intelligence fair game?
  5. I seem to remember being told – or reading about – an alternate explanation of the whole Baldur/Loki story that everyone gets so worked up about. In it Baldur’s parents spoil him rotten because he’s so wonderful, and no one denies him anything he wants until he falls in love (lust?) with a woman who is already betrothed to another man. He falls into a depression because he can’t have her, and one of his parents – the one who does magick – works it so that the woman breaks her betrothal and runs off with Baldur. The ex-betrothed man comes to Valhalla and demands justice and vengeance.  Knowing that Odin can’t bear to kill his beloved son, and knowing that if Baldur isn’t sacrificed Odin’s life is forfeit, Loki takes on the burden of ensuring that Baldur dies. He has nothing against his nephew, but he can’t allow Odin to die.  Even knowing that he will earn the enmity of the other deities, he lays his plans and carries them out. Baldur dies and goes to keep Hel company. What I want to know is – which version comes closest to the truth? And just what IS the truth?
  6. Even if the deities are going for quality over quantity this time around, why aren’t they putting their stories out for their worshipers? Yes, I can understand why the people tasked to write these for the public would consider long and hard before putting their names on anything, with said public’s sad inclination to leap to eviscerate anyone who deviates from their own personal gnosis, if any, but that’s what a nom de plume is for. Some deities seem to think that dogma only restricts the ability of their worshipers to think, but seems like humans need some guidelines in order to even start the thought process.

 

I don’t think I’ll put any more down for the moment – eagerly awaiting answers. Not holding my breath, though.