Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Polytheism and Faith Questionnaire, Part 3

Have you had experiences that confirmed for you that the Gods and Goddesses are real- that they exist and want us to know Them?

I’ve actually had many and continue to have them all the time. I have always known there were beings other than us out there. I have been “filled with the Holy Spirit,” “drawn down the moon” and “channeled” my fair share of them. The striking thing about asking the Gods and Goddesses to show you they are real is that they all will do this if you ask them. The problem is not that they don’t want to know us or won’t reveal themselves to us. All too often, the problem is we are not able to hear them when they call.

Since you probably want something anecdotal, I will tell you a bit about my first encounter with Persephone. It was not long after I had decided to create a home shrine of sorts for doing habitual work. I had been calling out to the Gods in general and asking if there was any among them who were interested in a more personal relationship, a patron relationship. I got out my tarot cards, because I have always been a bad listener, and waited. I sang for a few moments, and then I felt that familiar heaviness that always comes just before a Deity enters. As the room grew thick and still, my candle flames even shrinking in the weight, I reached out as if in slow motion and pulled three cards, the Two of Swords, the blank card, and the Hermit. The imagery of this particular deck portrays Persephone in her Underworld guise, cut off from the Upperworld. I immediately was drawn to tears, and I knew her to be with me and wanting to relate with me. I realize that not everyone will find this to be proof that Persephone exists, nor that she wants to have a relationship with the likes of me, but this is about what I hold to be true, where my beliefs lie and in what I put my faith. I have faith that Persephone is my patron and that she cares about me, helps me and guides me as I walk the mortal realm.

How would you describe your relationship(s) with your Goddesses/Gods?

Most of them are very similar to the relationships other folks have with their Deities. I meet them in prayer with reverence and respect, and they meet me in like fashion at my hearth or wherever I happen to be when I call to them. Our relationships are defined by *ghosti, a reconstructed Proto-Indo-European word that embodies the guest-host relationship. The spirit of *ghosti, the word from which the English words “guest” and “host” have both evolved, is one of reciprocity. We give offerings, whether tangible ones such as incense, poured libations or oils, or non-material, such as honor and praise, song, poetry, etc., fully expecting those gifts to be returned to us in the form of blessings in our lives. I fully believe this to be true and approach the Kindred with the expectation that I will be met with the same love and devotion that I give to them manifest as wisdom and blessings in my life. So far, I have yet to be disappointed!

Are there any questions about polytheism that you personally grapple with?

We all have our own doubts that plague us along our paths. Mine revolve around whether or not I am heard. Why would a God or Goddess want to interact with me? What makes me significant enough to obtain their attention? What could I possibly offer in return? My best answer is fragility. Just as a tiny baby or a precious artifact is delicate and fragile and must be handled with care, so, too, do humans appear to the Gods. We are fragile and because of this, we are more precious. The fact that we are vulnerable to the world in which we live and yet survive so brilliantly is potentially an impressive feat to one who may have grown to take the longevity of their existence for granted. But, I digress. I may not know the why’s, but I do not that for whatever reason, it is real and it works.

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