The other day, The Sister mentioned to me something from the book that she is reading. Apparently, the author mentioned that as a pagan, we should get to know other gods. Not, insomuch, that we should worship them along with the ones that we currently worship, but in a form of respect to other gods and their followers. Though this is an intriguing idea, I don’t think it’s very necessary or something I would particularly do, myself. From what I can say, about my personal path, I rejected the other gods for a reason and in so getting to know them, I risk the chance of them asking for my service.
Like I said, I rejected them for a reason…
The Greek gods are much too emotional and volatile as far as I am concerned. There’s no offense meant to those who do worship them, but I just can’t stomach all of that emotion! For example, let’s examine Hera. When you ask anyone what they think of her, almost invariably they’re bound to bring up the jealous housewife aspect. I’m not trying to pigeonhole this most august deity, but that’s the basic archetype that one is going to think of when Hera comes into conversation.
Some other examples… Zeus is often-times seen as a lustful, willful king. Apollo as the golden boy; the popular quarterback of the entire school. Hades as the uber-goth. Artemis as the virginal goody-goody. (Although, I always think of her as the “bitch-goddess” because of a series that I read.) And as the sister, herself, can attest: Aphrodite, the nymphomaniacal sex-kitten.
So, the Greeks are off-limits in this “getting to know others” kind of way. Just based on their archetypes, I would completely cross them off. I know and understand that they have more to themselves than just what has been painted in public schools, but the emotions they have always displayed puts me ill-at-ease. Well, that and (in my opinion) they corrupted my beloved Kemet! Serapis and Osiris and Seth and Isis and just… Greek-filled names everywhere! Ugh! Anyway, that’s another tangent for some other day in time.
Let’s move on.
We have the Celtic and Asatruar deities to “get to know.” In all honesty, I only know the very basics of these deities. I know that there is more to Woden than simply some old king and more to Thor than a hammer. I know that the Morrigan has three parts and that she is a warrior deity, but I know that there is more to her. I know that the Christians of early days converted some of the more prominent of both of these pantheons into saints to convert the pagans. So, I know very little about them, as a whole, but I know more about some and less about others.
Honestly? Both of these pantheons have always felt distinctly removed from me and both in the same way. I had briefly toyed with both of them when I first started onto this pagan thing, but they were never really something that I could get into. They were cold and removed. Even if I had wanted to venture so far north, the icy cold personas that I could feel emanating from them is quite enough to put me off.
Also, I have always felt them to be of a warrior spirit, which is just not my particular cup of tea. I’m not saying that every single deity in either pantheon are all about the fights and bloodshed, but it seems like a lot of them are. I’m all for a good fight, however the on-going battling… Ugh. It’s just not something that is remotely a part of me. Though, I have some serious respect for these gods and goddesses, they are not for me. And as much as I know now is enough to keep me for now.
Let’s not forget about the Roman gods, either. We can’t ignore them. In reality, the Roman gods honestly make me shudder. They’re basis, to me, is entirely founded and grounded in blood, just like Rome itself. Warfare and blood sacrifices and all of that. And, to me, the Roman gods have always seemed like they’re not quite human. I’m not trying to sound like they’re so much less, but I feel that they’re incredibly removed from humanity. It’s like they have the look and feel of a human, but they don’t share the emotions or desires that eternally guide us. They’re more like a reprint of a major work of art, let’s say, as opposed to seeing the real thing.
I know little of these gods, except that they are similar to the Greek ones. Since I have shown them little interest, they have reciprocated. And I am glad, honestly, that Roma Dea has left me be. I don’t think I could yoke myself under her stern, rigid desires.
I’d get into the other deities, like the Hindu and the Slavic, but I’m running out of steam on this subject. So, let me only say this: Though an intriguing idea that we should get to know other gods in a respectful way, if that was truly the case, wouldn’t we have already gotten to know them in an effort to worship them? Personally, I think that just getting to know the worshipers of those deities is enough of a respectful thing.