VI Other Deities or Entities Related to Poseidon
For this entry I’m going to have to further come clean about some things, some things that I’m not sure I’ve blogged about publicly, and some things that may not seem like a big deal at all, but definitely feel . . . argh. The older I get, and the more compassion as a way of interacting with the world and, more to the point, with humanity, becomes instilled within me, I have a difficult time saying things like: I hate humans. I don’t, actually, and that’s a feat to place squarely upon Poseidon’s shoulders, because oh boy, did I have a hate on for humanity. Not people, not specific people, but our species, collectively. One thing that made Poseidon Someone I could relate to is His lack of preferential regard to humanity. He is this maddening blend of cold indifference and aloof distance, and curiosity and delight, and outright pessimism. Mortality, physicality – these things fascinate Him, in all the forms they take, and that’s part of where the seeming aloofness comes into play. I may get into that during another topic. I bring it up now only to show maybe how my understanding has come about for these other relationships Poseidon has, and to show a bit how and why I also don’t hold humanity as some pinnacle to be achieved and to be lauded.
There’s this layering to Poseidon. We know that attributing the sea to Poseidon came rather late in history, that before that and far from the sea He has other realms of influence, right? You see some of that survive in the tales about Neptune, for example, where the fresh water aspects are played up a bit more, and where the cornucopia is one of His symbols. I won’t deny – I can’t deny – that Poseidon embraced this role as a sea god. I met Him at the water’s edge. Every time I go to the ocean it’s all Him, all the time. I know there are other spirits there, and I honor them as well, but they are trickle compared to His enormity. His role as a King of the Sea is built into the foundation of o/Our relationship, even as He sent me upon the task to find Him everywhere. I don’t yet get to even live by the sea; I rarely manage to make it to the coast. It’s okay. It’s even necessary. But I can’t deny that connection He has. So when I speak of these other connections, I’m not trying to dismiss this one connection, and when I speak of the association to the sea coming late, I’m not trying to diminish or discount it.
Aside from the Family that Poseidon brought in with Him eventually, aside from Those that might show up on classical family trees, Poseidon also brought with Him a connection to the water spirits. It’s this second tribe of which He is very much a part. It almost seems like a secret society at times. They are spirits of all sorts of water, and throughout the world water spirits have a reputation for being . . . cold, at best. Think of kelpies, of sirens, of selkies – and those aren’t the worst examples. We tend to see them as amoral or even evil, though I believe that “evil” is a moral designation that we only be applying to our own species at best (and I think we misuse it far too often, or that we allow the designation excuse us from addressing actual issues; that is I think the evil we visit upon one another is a sympton rather than a disease.) There’s a range to the ability to interact in a way that is meaningful to humanity, among the water spirits; some will never do anything more than see us as prey. That’s as should be, and I don’t deem them “evil.”
Still, I can’t deny there is a kinship between these beings and Poseidon, and I feel this connection in the moments when my God is the most removed from humanity that I experience Him. This is the Earth-Shaker that I know, who is as much about the liquid fire below the earth’s crust, who is an initiate into Ge’s deepest mysteries, mysteries we will never, ever be privy to, mysteries that began long before carbon based life was born and will continue to exist after our species is extinct. I glimpse Him even as He grieves for the agony suffered by those torn apart as the ground moves as liquid, utterly alien, so alien as to render the word meaningless.
And that’s another connection, too – because at a certain point, the depths of the sea, the depths of the earth, what difference is there? There’s a common language between these “classes” of Beings, and Poseidon is, if you’ll forgive the pun, fluent in this language.
I don’t speak about it much, but there is kinship between Him and the various Other Powers of these realms. I see them as cousins to one another, and He’s close to some, less close to others. It’s hard to talk about, it’s hard to name, and it’s really not my place to do so. This is one of those things that I think you either come to know or you don’t, and either way is just fine.
I feel the need to talk about other things, too – like how I’ve suspected for a long while that there are other beings, other mortal beings, that He has relationships with. I know that His interest in mortality is not relegated to the human realm alone. In the story I tell myself about how things are, He has other devotees in various physical, non-human, mortal form. Can I prove it? Nope. Do I want to? Nope. Those aren’t my stories to tell. Which makes makes talking about them difficult, but I mention them only to bring up the possibility that they might be true. What does that mean for us, in how we treat the world, if our gods are also reaching out to other mortal creatures? What could that mean, and shouldn’t we consider its possibility?