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.