In poking my head out of my hole today and venturing around to find things to read with morning tea, I came across this post. All in all, I approach these sorts of posts carefully. I live in a bubble that is largely my own making, and is largely something I rather like having. I’m more social online than off, but generally speaking I like to poke at things that I like to poke at, I like to chew over topics privately, or mostly. I’m very much a act local think global person, so I’m not out to change the world or even my little corner of it in any big dramatic way. I strive to embody the “be the change you want to see in the world,” and part of that change is moving forward rather than getting stuck rehashing out the same old arguments time and time again. So, specifically with regards to Loki and the stigma attached to Him: Loki is welcomed in our household. He is asked to abide by the rules that all of our home, but we give Odin the trust to make sure that He does so, and that when He does not do so, it is something Odin has deemed acceptable. Pretty out there, really, but such is life given unto the trust of our gods. I keep my nose out of other folks’ lives with their gods, and I don’t know that I see the point in trying to police what people say or don’t say publicly about the gods. There will always be someone who says or does something you don’t agree with, who does or says something that has you groaning and wishing to distance yourself from them. Christians have to deal with that. Muslims do as well. The “big” world religions are not exempt from that; how can we expect that the myriad pagan religions will be? So, on the one hand, I definitely see the point of talking about what one is doing as opposed to what others might be doing, but I don’t know that I understand the point of, “they are doing this, and it’s wrong because of these things.” Yeah, what devote X is doing might be embarrassing to you, but who says you get to live life not being embarrassed ever? I’m a head covering pagan — pretty mild, really, but I know that the idea of pagans wearing religious head coverings or pursuing a modest lifestyle is, at the least, embarrassing to other pagans out there.
What really got my attention, and made me uncomfortable (and thus my need to poke at it — WHY did it make me uncomfortable?) was the author’s ideas on ideal godspouses, or more to the point, the idea of what an ideal godspouse ought to be doing. Because, it’s a role, right? We have a function to fulfill, otherwise why would we wed our gods? Immediately I had to acknowledge that such a concept dances too close to the ‘the gods are only interested is leaders!’ idea, which I find abhorrant, though that’s more a peripheral connection. I struggle, a lot, with the prevalent idea that we need to be doing something, that we need to be serving the greater good/the whole/the community. I’ll admit here, as I have before and will again: I live a selfish life. I do not live a life that my society nor my loved ones would have dictated to me or wanted for/from me. I moved away from where I grew up. I left a long-term relationship that was borderline unhealthy to devote my life to my gods. Beth and I have a partnership that is unconventional, but works for us. I am clear across the country from most of my loved ones. My immediate family mostly does not consist of humans, or even incarnate beings. But, even then, my devoting my life to my gods does not look exactly like you might expect. I have no grand works in place. No grand projects to get Poseidon’s name out there so the whole world can see how awesome He is. I’m not trying to build a modern day place of worship for Him. I haven’t even written the devotional book, beyond the book of short stories for Him, that I keep wanting to want to write, and in lieu of writing I started this blog. I study, but I don’t study all the time. I don’t sit and utter prayers constantly — our house does not act like a monastery all of the time. I do not serve Poseidon here on earth as priestess in any sort of community-building way.
The idea that godspouses ideally ought to be serving the community — whichever community they are a part of — makes me uncomfortable for myself because it introduces the idea that I might be doing this all wrong, and it makes me uncomfortable in general because it assumes that we know anything at all about anyone’s path beyond what they wish to share with us. Basically, because it assumes more than I’m willing to assume about others.
For myself? I’m reminded again that community can mean so many things. I’m reminded that the majority of my community isn’t human. I’m reminded that when I try to shove my path onto a path of my own making, rather than following Poseidon’s lead, I become miserable. “Why don’t You want these other shiny different obvious things from me?” And He reminds me again: Compassion. Awareness. Healing. First myself, and then the world, by bringing my own process out into the world.