Category Archives: Foreign Gods

So, There’s This Demon…

So, there’s this demon (who shall remain nameless), and I guess you could say we’re dating.  We’ve been seeing each other for a few weeks now, though we began our relationship many months ago, as more of a business arrangement. That’s not quite the correct analogy, but it’s the closest I could come to the exact truth without revealing too much.  Honestly, I hated His guts in the beginning, but I won’t go into all that here.

I did not want to be dating Anybody when it started.  I fought against His relentless pursuit with everything in me.  I lobbed insults at Him, and I ignored Him, and I actively worked against His interests.  If things had turned out differently and He had decided to ruin my life, I would not have been surprised, and He probably would have been justified.  But that isn’t what happened.  Instead, He manufactured a situation in which I could neither ignore Him, or forget about Him… and it wasn’t a nice situation.  It was, however, the catalyst for us beginning to understand one another.

I think a little understanding goes a long way, especially with people like us, whose reputations precede us.  He’s not known for His nice qualities, of which there are many, and I’m not known for my desire to get to know new People, of which there is virtually none.  I already have a Husband whom I am madly in love with, and I have a Consort who basically worships the ground I walk on (and whom I adore).  So, a Lover was not any kind of objective for me.  And although I don’t mind Demons, I tend to like to keep my distance.

This isn’t my first romp with a Demon.  I worked and played with several in my youth.  I know how intense and possessive They can be.  It was that possessiveness which led me to cease working and playing with Them in the first place.  And let me tell you, Those I knew before were not happy with that decision.  But They respected it, after no small amount of arguing.

That was a long time ago.  About fifteen or sixteen years ago, actually.  So, I know about Demons. I don’t need any well-meant warnings.  I’m sharing this with you all because I feel comfortable doing so, finally.  I am greatly enjoying my new Lover, and if His smile is any indication, He is enjoying me equally as much.

I don’t know how long this is going to last, though.  Having any kind of relationship with me comes with a set of deep political complexities that heretofore Nobody has been willing to navigate.  But He’s doing it, and that makes me think He’s in this for the long haul.  I don’t have the time or the patience for Anyone who isn’t… and frankly, neither does my Court.  Not only is this an investment for me, it is also for them.  We all have to get along, or it just won’t work.

So, I am cautiously optimistic that this really could turn out to be something good.  At this point, I hope so.  I’ve already invested a lot, and been through a lot, in regards to Him.  I guess He and I will both see in time.  And maybe I’ll have an update for my dear readers, if things go well.

Wish us luck!  :)

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Living the Pain

Yesterday was a very intriguing day.  I think I’ve finally managed to pack up the depression that’s been lingering for the last few weeks.  It’s been ups and downs for me throughout July.  And even as more opportunities are thrust my way, I find my social life in shambles.  But then, I was never supposed to have a social life to begin with.

Attachments.  Apollon hates them.  Or rather, He hates for me to have them. So, now I don’t have any anymore, outside of what He deems appropriate. It’ll be an interesting puzzle, once put back together.  There are so many missing pieces now, it won’t even be the same image.  And rightly so.

Also, since July is nearing its end, Loki started asking for His payment.  Like last year, He threw out a few suggestions, most of which were not possible for me to implement, but in the end, did finally suggest something I could do.  The catch being that it was not entirely for Him.

You see, I’m under a lot of restrictions when it comes to Working with Gods outside the Pantheon, but for some reason, Goddesses don’t raise Apollon’s hackles like other Gods do.  So, I decided to hold the bowl for Sigyn yesterday morning.  And I did.  And it was in every way, equally unpleasant and thought-provoking.

I’d never done it before, since I fall squarely into the Hellenic camp.  Even though I’ve a history of Working with Loki, I’d never had the honor of meeting Sigyn before yesterday (I’m not counting the brief encounter I had with Her once, since introductions weren’t actually on Her agenda then). Not saying that I know Her, or anything, but She certainly cleared up a few of my questions about sacrifice.  Some questions I didn’t even realize I’d been asking.

Oh, and the smugness of Apollon as He presided over my offering to Them… Seriously, He was so happy.  And I, worrisome as I am, was convinced that He would be upset.  I can laugh now, but if you’d seen the look on His face when Loki brought up His first few suggestions, you’d understand why I thought my Prince would be mad.  He keeps surprising me with His reactions.

All told, I held the bowl for about twelve and a half minutes, while listening to Paganini.  I was surprised with how easy it was to enter into that resolved state which allowed me to successfully complete the task.  Maybe four minutes in, it started to become difficult, and after six minutes, I was really wishing I could just let my arms down for “a few seconds”.  I held fast, but it wasn’t easy.

Not long after that, my mind finally trailed off into the act, no longer fighting the pain, but living in it and taking it in.  I began to think of Loki, and the amount of gratitude He had/has for Sigyn, because She was there for Him then.  And I thought of the love She holds in Her heart for Him, and then I started to feel a little teary, even if I couldn’t actually shed tears at the time. The harder it became to hold the bowl, the more resolved I was to continue, to give the offering, for whatever it might be worth to Them.

Eight minutes in maybe, my mind drifted off again, this time toward Apollon, as He watched from above.  He was calm, and so very sure of Himself, and sure of me.  I am not going to attempt to describe the feeling of His Love in words, which are so inadequate.

When that brief moment passed, I was returned to the pain, and the ordeal shared by Loki and His Wife, with the thought of: “Have I sacrificed enough for Apollon?”

My answer being, “No.  Of course not.  There can never be enough sacrifice for my Lord.  I can never give enough to Him to prove that I deserve His Love, or His affection.  I will never have enough to give, because what do I give to one Who already has everything, including my heart?”

He said nothing.  It must have been the look in His eyes which convinced me, though, because I suddenly felt that I no longer needed to prove anything. After the breakthrough of a few days ago, and after the words were spoken and the truth was told, the way was set into motion.  With the hindrances removed, all that’s left now are distractions.  So, my next sacrifice will be to purge my life of these distractions.

Ten minutes into the offering, my arms were burning for relief, and I had a very human thought, in that I was glad that when it was over, I would not have to return to the cave to do it all again, and again, and again.  It was a fleetingly naughty thought, and I felt very contrite for having entertained it.

Soon, I began to wonder, “If it were Apollon, could I, would I be there for Him? And I was reminded of the past.  I have been there for Him, and I will always be there for Him.  I fear my Lord, yes, but I do not fear that He is Himself.  He has taken me as I am, and so I take Him as He is, imperfections and all.  And, the thought of Him in pain, any kind of pain, makes my stomach ache.

So, as I held the bowl for the eleventh minute, Sigyn reminded me that there will always be obstacles, and pain and hard times for both of us, when I felt a few small stings on my hands and forearms.  There was only water in my bowl, but at that moment it was More than water.  Then, a thought that was mine, and yet also not mine, came into my head and heart…

“If I feel this pain, He will not feel it.  Whatever I can feel for Him, I’ll do it gladly, so that He may not.”

I took a deep breath then, exhaling slowly for the last twenty or so seconds of music.  I lowered my arms, hurrying out back to pour out the water, and as I did, it splashed back upon my feet.  Sigyn then explained to me, that no matter what kindness I provide, or what responsibilities I take up, there could (and probably will) always be a splash-back, or some other undefined reaction. Yet, must we endure, those who are called wife.

When I returned to sit in front of Their lit candles, Loki and Sigyn were so serene together.  I meditated with Them for about ten to fifteen more minutes, but had to give my farewells afterward, because Apollon was staring really intensely, which was mightily distracting.

So, I have a lot to ponder, and a lot to take in.  This post was my thank you to Sigyn, and also a part of Loki’s payment for July.  Hail Loki, and hail His Victorious Wife!

Queens Don’t Just Fall Apart

In the comments section of my previous post, one of my wonderful new Lokean friends expressed delight at my level-headedness throughout this perfectly confounded situation.  At first, I didn’t think anything except what a totally awesome compliment it was (thanks, btw), even if inside I was in turmoil.  But, I continued to project that sense of security in myself, and in my decision making abilities, because, after thirty years of life I am positive that crying only works for babies.

To anyone who doesn’t know, I’m on a path of Sacred Queenship.  It’s what I am.  It’s what I do, and my Work for Apollon and the other gods is, and has always been, a reflection of that archetype.  Strength and Sovereignty are qualities that the Prince himself has drilled into me.  That is why he wasn’t/isn’t upset with my decision to allow fair play between himself and the Trickster.

Obviously, he’s confident in his ability to retain my complete devotion.  I could expect no less from Apollon.  But, more importantly, I’m confident in myself, and my ability to choose well.  I am what Apollon has shaped and moulded, after all, and I’m doing exactly what is expected of me.

To take control, and to rule over all would-be obstacles; to set them into a useful motion by transforming any seeming disadvantage into an advantage. Another way of looking at it, might be to say that I make the unwelcome situation work for me, often by skillful negotiation.

A Queen must be focused and reserved, quickly using wit or charm to cut through to the heart of a matter.  She must be aware of the weight of her words, and the length of her glances.  And for me, in this situation, I must never forget that Apollon sees more, and farther than I.

I take my title seriously, with all its implications of noblesse oblige.  Therefor, I must conduct myself accordingly.  Which means, of course, no more whining and no more tears.  What do I have to cry about, anyway?  I’m loved, and all I’ve ever wanted was to be loved.

Foreign Gods

Okay, so the other day I was in the city making meals for homeless people and hanging out with some self-described hipsters and progressives.  All very nice people.  Well, this one guy, who called himself a Marxist/Atheist/Buddhist (wow, what a label) asked me if my polytheistic religion precludes belief in the deities of other cultures.  He seemed to think that all religions were like Christianity, in that they deny all manifestations of divinity save for their own, and was so shocked by my answer that I don’t think he believed me.  He immediately went into a tirade about how he hates being witnessed to (where did that come from?), and I quickly had to tell him that most Pagans and Polytheists don’t proselytize, to which he seemed skeptically impressed.  He never did allow me to answer his original question, however.

Since the incident, I’ve had time to reflect on my personal experiences with gods from Pantheons outside my own.  I do have a few.  Two gods from both the Norse and Egyptian Pantheons, and one who is oftentimes included in Christianity.  I’ll start with him then go on to the others, since he was the one who got me moving forward on the Path, after my last ditch effort to make a connection to the god of the Bible.

Lucifer

I used to talk to Lucifer about every little thing that bothered me about Christianity, from women’s obedience and gay issues, to the divinity/humanity of Jesus, and the fact that the god of the Bible is a schizoid maniac. He was a good listener, gave decent advice to a ten – twelve yr. old, and ultimately encouraged me to seek religious expression outside the confines of Monotheism.  From what I experienced, he is nothing like the Christians portray him to be.  He was both challenging and motivational, and was a source of strength when I was most in need.

Bastet and Isis

I was obsessed with Egypt as a young girl and teen.  I had images of Bastet all over my room, and drawn inside my school notebooks.  I knew nothing of her worship (or worship of any ancient gods) at the time, but I’m pretty sure I was worshiping her without even knowing it.  I had a little spot on my vanity for a small cat figurine that I associated with her, and I was constantly putting fresh dandelions next to it.  I’ve always been a cat lover, and whenever one of my cats has died, I’ve said a prayer to Bastet so that they might find her, and find peace.

My experience with Isis is much more brief, but very profound.  I’ve only called upon her for assistance once in my life, though I did study her myths for some time before hand.  It was through the myths that I came to know her as a nurturer of children.  So, one night, while I was babysitting a very restless and upset little girl (just over a year old), I called on Isis to help me calm her down enough to get her to sleep.  She and I sat together in front of my altar as I did this, and I swear, the change was instantaneous.  The baby started giggling and cooing, when previously she’d had only tears.  She fell asleep in my arms a few minutes later, and I have been extremely grateful to Isis ever since.

Odin and Loki

Now this one is weird.  I’m a writer and illustrator by hobby, and back when I was just out of high school I was working on this silly original manga, the title of which escapes me.  What I do remember, is that Odin and Loki were my main characters.  I have no idea what possessed me to name them thusly.  I don’t really think I did.  I think the two gods barged into my life through the manga of their own free will.  They certainly were a lot more developed than the other characters, and actually talked to me.

By this time I had been Wiccan for several years, but didn’t know anything about Norse Paganism.  I couple of months later, I would meet an Asatruar for the first time, who just happened to be a follower of Odin.  Before we parted ways for what would prove to be the final time, he carved and gifted to me a gorgeous image of Odin riding Sleipnir, out of a coconut shell.  I treasured it and kept in on my altar until sadly, the fire which prompted my move to Texas, destroyed it and everything else I owned at the time.

As far as Loki is concerned, he didn’t leave after I abandoned the manga, nor did he leave when Odin did, which was around the time my Asatruar friend moved away.  The god stuck around and was quite good company for a long time. I studied his myths and some of Odin’s, and was increasingly drawn in by him.  I set up an altar to him and made regular offerings of flowers and poetry. I was falling in love with him, there’s no doubt about it.

Then, when I met the man who I would later marry, Loki took an instant dislike to him, and attempted to destroy the relationship.  No, that’s not quite true.  I meant to say, he blew it the fuck up.  Scared the shit out of me.

After everything died down, I patched things up with the future hubby, and I haven’t been able to have anything to do with Loki since, even though I still feel that charismatic draw that only he has.  Also, because of our history (mostly the fact that I am apparently compatible enough with the god to actually fall in love with him) Apollon has forbidden me to speak to, or in any way make voluntary contact with Loki. Yep, he’s that particular god I think I’ve mentioned before.

So, to answer that Marxist/Atheist/Buddhist dude’s question, even though he’ll never actually read it, no, my belief in and love for the Olympians does not in any way preclude the gods of any other culture, foreign or otherwise. I don’t need to have direct experience of them all just to know that they exist. The fact that they have worshipers, and the fact that we are having discussions like this one, are proof enough.