This is in response to this refreshing post on the gods.
I have often come across posts, comments, conversations with people who have told me that the gods are all-loving, and kind, and love us no matter what, and are always going to help us out of some sticky situation, often it is by people who themselves are not hard polytheists, who often work with the Archetypes as their gods eg: The Great Mother Moon Goddess and The Horned God, the triple goddess. There is nothing wrong with this and I defend to the death their right to worship, work with and honour them, it just never worked for me, and the reason was that I had already been branded by two large black canines, I just hadn’t realised it then.
People may say that it is because I’m most often called to work with “dark” gods and I’m devotee to two “very dark” gods that I see darkness in Them, because They are dark.
I call bull on that because I’ve often had to explain to people that Hekate does in fact have a compassionate side, in fact, to me She is compassion, you cannot be a goddess of ghosts, and a psychopomp without having compassion, but She is a goddess of terror, ghosts, the crossroads and witchcraft, She is no meek lady and She doesn’t take kindly to disrespect, She is tough and She has sliced me up bit by bit with a glistening blood-stained sword.
The same goes for Anubis, He guides the dead to the Duat, He is a very humourous, compassionate god, one that has been likened to Christ by the authors of the Anubis Oracle. And I agree with them. But… He is a jackal headed god too, and one experience, when I was going through a tough time, I was actually looking out from inside of his gaping blood-dripping maw, I was terrified, my heart was beating hard, and fast, as I had been swallowed by Him, I was devoured, eaten alive, chomped up like I was a doggy biscuit. It’s the first time that I’ve experienced this, so it was quite frightening. It was intense. I could feel my throat closing up, and my head spinning.
This is one of my most treasured experiences with Anubis, you may recall me being mummified by Him not too long ago, in that aspect He was Surgeon, Caregiver, Mummifier, Nurturer of the dead, the Gentle One. In this latter experience He was Devourer, He who eats flesh, He who crushes bone with his bone-white teeth.
He wasn’t feeling quite so sweet that night, and he has challenged me harshly, He is the challenger, and has been noted as such by Ellen Cannon Reed in her book Circle of Isis. He is opener of the way, as He became when Wepwawet was absorbed into him, but He can also block your path, and challenge you, I know this well because I was being digested in His stomach when I asked for help. Instead of the usual soft touch of His fur, I was eaten.
Last year after the first move I bought some dark red wine for Hekate and my boyfriend (non pagan/agnostic-atheistic) asked me why I wanted to because he noted that Hekate had not been very kind to me, after all a lot of shit went down last year, all in the midst of me completing my thesis, it was hell.
I told my boyfriend that it was because I love Her, and that She was challenging me, She was showing me that She wasn’t always compassionate, and that She indeed is Frightening, and that She earned Her reputation, that it wasn’t merely a marketing tactic, that She indeed is Queen of Hell. When I dedicated to Her, I felt mostly Her compassion, I still had an inkling of fear but it was Her Compassion that she was showing me because She wanted to. Since dedication, she has shown me both Compassion, and Harshness.
Baba Yaga has poisoned me, Thoth made University look like a preschool, Ma’at made the truth appear and thus made things both more clear and more painful. I wanted to bring this into a post about Cursing but I think this is more relevant here, Sekhmet or Hathor’s incredibly Dark, scary and wrathful dark side, went on a rampage as the Eye of Ra and killed people, she was so bloodthirsty that beer had to be stained red, for her to get drunk so that she would stop, much like Kali had to see she was dancing on the body of Shiva for her to stop her own bloodthirsty rage. Most of these gods may be considered Dark Gods, but as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, even the so-called lighter gods have a dark side, and aren’t all sweet and hippy-dippy. They too, challenge and break down their devotees through painful experiences and not so kind treatment.
Have I been granted everything I wanted from my gods? No. Have I been spared difficult experiences? No. Have I been treated with kindness all the time? No. Have I been challenged, sliced into pieces, devoured, scarred, exhausted, beaten down? Yes. Have I been loved, shown compassion, put back together, strengthened? Yes.
These are our Gods. They are multifaceted, and some of those facets may seem contradictory, but I love Them, for all that They are.
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