So. Initially, I was going to start writing down my thoughts and ideas that I’ve been gathering because of Drawing Down the Spirits: Traditions and Techniques of Spirit Possession by Kenaz Filan and Raven Kaldera. I’ve always been very intrigued in the whole possession thing (ZOMG EVIL SPIRITS YO!) and as someone who has had something along those lines happen to them without permission or preparation… Yeah. Damn straight: I was fucking fascinated.
Except that something else came up. And Sekhmet wants me to ramble on about this, as evidenced by the kyphi scent filling my apartment… Okay, Lady of the Boudoir: I’m on it.
“However, to more fully address the aforementioned fact that “consent” when dealing with the gods and spirits, is an ambiguous thing, we should briefly deal with the concept for the god-slave. This is yet another concept that the greater Neo-Pagan demographic is generally horrified when faced with, yet it is flourishing quietly in small corners among people who don’t speak much on the subject. The god-slave phenomenon is much more thorough than the usual idea of a “patron deity” who watches over you from afar, is kindly and benevolent and helpful, and may point out your path while not forcing you to tread it. The god-slave, in comparison, is very much the total servant of hir god/s, who may turn hir life upside down, strip away anything that does not service the spirit-worker purpose, and usher hir by force onto a specific path, not shrinking at punishments up to and including death if s/he rebels.
“While Western sensibilities may bridle at that idea, it’s not at all unfamiliar to tribal spirit-workers around the world. Many tribal shamans will say bluntly that their spirits will make them ill or even kill them if they quit or dishonor their job, or offend the spirits in some way. Some god-slaves volunteer for the duty out of love and reverence for their patron deity; others are grabbed up without their consent, much like the classic tribal shamans who are driven ill by their spirits until they accept the call, and must continue to do the work indefinitely or the illness will recur. While not all (or even most) god-slaves are natural horses (side note: in this book, the term “horse” is utilized to refer to someone who is able to offer their bodies up for the possession of god/dess) among their (admittedly tiny) numbers. This isn’t too surprising, considering that being able to physically carry a deity would be an advantage in a bound servant.
“Like many relationships arrangements, these are advantages and drawbacks to being a god-slave. One possible drawback is, obviously, about consent and how choices are taken away from you; They run your life, down to the details. This may include food, sex, clothing, human relationships, career, living location and standard, and anything else. The effect of this on a modern Western individual, used to independence, can well be imagined. The advantage may be that there is a certain amount of comfort in knowing you are being pushed to be the best that you can be, whether you like it or not; that you are a part of something larger; and that you are burning off karmic debts at a much faster rate than that of most people! (Indeed, a “bankruptcy-level” amount of karmic debt seems to be the most common reason why some people are taken as slaves by gods without their consent.) Yu also get a higher “security clearance” when it comes to getting pieces of cosmic information because your bosses know that They can gag you at any time.” – taken from pp 190-1 from Drawing Down the Spirits…
PHEW! LOTS OF TYPING! FINGERS STIFF!
Okay. So. I had to type that out because I had to get everyone (all two of you) who reads this to understand what the fuck I’m talking about when I start spouting off about “god slavery.” I don’t want to leave everything confused and aching in the brain pan. Okay. Normally, I wouldn’t give a flying fuck but Sekhmet says and I obey. Or, at least, most of the time that’s the case. Heh. Heh. Done joking. I’m done!
I have a patron deity who is Sekhmet. She had chosen me a very long time ago. Perhaps even when I was a child; I don’t know. Heck, she probably chose me in a previous life, for all I know. She wanted me, for whatever reason. Maybe it was the rage burning deep inside as a child or the simple fact that I sparked an interest in her for some reason. Whatever the reason, she chose me as hers a very long time ago. I’ve never even remotely questioned this at all and I’ve never thought about it, really. She chose me and after a lot of flailing about and ignorance and purposely ignoring and stumbling and confusion and yelling (me) and patience (her)… Yeah, after all of that, I finally got it.
She’s been teaching me a lot of things in a lot of different ways. She’s made a lot of… suggestions for things. She’s asked that I perform a daily rite and see how that went. It seemed okay, but silly. I didn’t really like it, but she wanted it. And I was encouraged by others that I met (via Interwebz–so cool) to keep up the practice. And I did. For a time. Around the same time, she brought in a newbie that I was vastly uncomfortable with because I’m not ready to deal with all of that: the whole reason Hwt-Hrw was brought in was specifically to help me heal from the repeated rapes and molestations in my past. Okay, fine. But, like I said, I’m not ready to deal with all of that at this moment in my life.
After that, I went off of the religious radar, but Sekhmet has always been there. She’s always been suggesting things. I know that I… hurt her when I stopped practicing anything religious. I think she thinks that I… that I was too fragile or that… that she was going to quickly with me. In either case, I stopped. And she was there, hurting. I said that I couldn’t hear her and that was true, but it wasn’t because of her that I couldn’t hear what she was saying. It was only after a half-joking conversation with a friend that I finally heard Sekhmet telling me clearly: vodou.
And I’ve been listening to her ever since.
When I started reading the above quoted passage, I was instantly drawn to everything that was written. It wasn’t just simply that it’s kind of weird and definitely neat. And. Well… slavery? In this day and age? But, the whole of that rang something inside of me: a bell, maybe. And it wasn’t like some tiny bell that you hit over and over again to get service at some shitty motel on the side of the road. It’s like a cowbell. (MOAR COWBELL!!11!ONE) This… this loud harsh sound that rang every little fibrous nerve ending in my body.
There was something inside of me that was saying THIS IS IT DUDE. THIS IS SOMETHING OF INTEREST. PAY THE FUCK ATTENTION.
So. Here I am. I’m paying attention and I’m… amenable to the idea. I think it would be better for me, religiously speaking, to become a god-slave to Sekhmet. I think it would help me a lot and I would like to think that in working so in my totality with no one and nothing but Sekhmet that it would help me… heal, I think, in a lot of ways that I need. In bringing in help, Sekhmet watched me walk away and push her away. So, maybe, she thinks that in my becoming a god-slave it would help me much better than simply in bringing in outsiders, right?
I agree. I think she’s right.
I think that I have to seriously consider this.
I just don’t know if I’m ready, at all. There’s a lot that comes in to play with all of this. In so binding myself to her, then I am leaving everything up to her. And I am a complete fucking control freak. I don’t like the fact that I am, but I am. I have to have plans and plans and plans. That’s why this… joblessness is kind of getting to me: THERE ARE NO PLANS. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. I mean, generally, I do: clean and take care of the kid. But, as in the WHAT COMES NEXT factor: I gots nuffin’! And that’s fucking terrifying to this control freak. (Thanks, Papa Legba. Seriously. …Sigh.)
I think that, out of all of this time and out of all of these experiences, Sekhmet was always planning on this slavery, this binding thing. Am I frightened about it? Shit, yeah. That’s… that’s a really fucking big deal. I don’t know if I can do it or if I’m anywhere near ready (in questioning it, probably not). I agree that, in theory, this is where I should head. I just. I just. I just.
I’m jut scared as shit.