(Bear with me with this post. I have a gazillion things I want to talk about, and they keep getting jumbled in my head, in regards to this.)
A quirky fact about my history with my gods: Poseidon showed up first and took up a prominent place in my religious life years before any of the others did, but I was calling Thor Uncle before I deigned to have anything at all to do with Poseidon’s family.
Partially this was because I was not going to be dual-faith (and that is a rant for another day, and possibly another place entirely) but largely this was due to my private nature.
I come from something of a small family. My maternal grandparents both had a large number of siblings and so my mother grew up with oodles of first cousins. My paternal grandparents I’m actually unsure about; I knew them, briefly, but I have no idea what their families were like. My parents both had two siblings each, and we weren’t all that involved with my father’s family. My aunt and uncle on my mother’s side are childless. Our family functions often never included more than 14 or so people, unless we were getting together with my grandmother’s people. People I hardly knew and had little in common with.
Perhaps because of this, and perhaps because of my early childhood, I don’t and never have felt the need to be close to, to care about people simply because of genetics. It’s fine as a starting point, but it can’t be the sum of the reasons why. Some of my family is made up of people I’m related to by blood, but that’s really a small part of my family.
So, when Poseidon initially started making noise about me getting to know some of His Family members, I balked. Why would I? Just because They’re His Family? That wasn’t enough of a reason for me. He persisted, because apparently, it was enough of a reason fo Him. These days, there are a number of gods and spirits I count as family, and a large number of Them are included because of Their relationship to Poseidon.
Who, then, do I count as part of my Family, because of Poseidon’s influence? Zeus and Hades, because there is something to the three of Them that I can’t even hope to get into words. Hera. Aphrodite, Savior of Marriages, who helped me to start healing pieces of myself I never would have approached otherwise. Dionysos. Apollo. Hekate.
I’m finding, over time, that it’s a lot like any other sort of family. There are family members I have and love dearly, who I talk to every few months, and others I hear from weekly. There are furry members of my immediately family I spend exchanging attention, and others I exchange pleasantries with and little else, during the course of most days. It’s not a jump for me to consider spirits family, and while this may smack of disrespect for some, I truly can’t think of any other way to be. There is love and respect and warmth, and really, that is what should make family, isn’t it?