So, in my post about darker gods, I went on about how Sutekh, Sekhmet, and Loki are “pretty evil.” I also was pretty damn sure that I only ended up writing about how “dark” they are using quotations. (I know I didn’t 100% of the time, but I tried to.) I was trying to convey a point with those quotations, but I apparently didn’t get that point across as fluidly as I had desired. The quotes didn’t stop someone from asking me something that I realized I never actually touched upon. The comment in question is from an FB group that I frequent, a Lokean stronghold so to speak. The person in question asked me, Why would you consider Loki to be a “Darker God”? It seems kinda emo to worship Loki as the Dark God of Heathenry, and gives merit to the fundies view of Lokeans. I gave a small response, but realized that I should probably start talking about this stuff in more detail. I can inform on a smaller basis, but what’s the point? I like informing on a bigger basis. So, here goes it.
When I talk about “dark” and “evil” gods, I don’t actually think that they are either “dark” or “evil.” I use those particular words because they’re the best bet to get the point across to those who see these gods as such. There are loads of people, both pagan and otherwise, who view trickster gods in a darker light, who view destroyer gods in a darker light, and who view gods of death in a darker light. I am not one of those people. I don’t think I ever have been. If nothing else, my long-long journey with Sekhmet would have turned me off to that. As far as I am concerned, these gods are more like shades of gray (as I mentioned in that post) than anything else. They have good facets and they have bad facets, but too often people focus on the negative associations, so when I talk about them, I have to try to appeal to those particular people. I want to get the word out there and the only way to do so, honestly, is to use words that they would understand. Words that reflect how they feel.
I have never really considered the gods as shoved into a particular corner like that. For a while, when I first started exploring this whole thing and I found myself drawn to both Kali and Sekhmet, I did some research. I had people who were hyper-focusing on the destruction aspects. Neither one of those goddesses are all about just destroying the world. They have other hemispheres of influence, but they’re not as largely discussed for whatever reason. In the case of Sekhmet, I honestly couldn’t say why people seem to think of her as either the Big Bad Destroyer goddess or feel the need to fluffify her with how motherly she is. (This is a rant for another day.) In the case of Kali, she is a demon slayer. People focus too much on the fact that she became drunk on the blood lust of battle, but she slayed the demon first. She is also seen as a mother (more so than Sekhmet, by the way) when she picks up the squalling infant, Shiva, and suckles him at her breast. They are in a realm of gray that makes them able to heal and aid, as well as kill if the need arises.
When it comes to deities of death, I don’t think of them as dark at all, either. Death is one of those parts of life that is pretty major, but it’s something that happens to all of us. And yes, there is a certain fear of death that most people have within them. I’ll be honest here: I’m pretty scared to die, but not because I worry about what’s on the other side and how I’ll be remembered after my death, but because I don’t know how my family would go on without me if I were to die. (Yeah. See how vain I am?) Who would take care of my son for me? How would the Sister be able to move on without me? Would I have to haunt TH for the rest of eternity just to make sure he never moves on? These are the reasons why death scares me and I don’t harbor this fear in relation to the gods who hold dominion over it. Just as we have gods of fertility, so too do we have gods of death. And neither god can be easily contained in the hemisphere of “dark” or “evil.” They are as natural as death. Again, this is a realm that I refer to as shades of gray. It is as natural as breathing and the fears we have should relate more to the people we leave behind as opposed to the gods that hold sway over it.
And of course, we have all of those trickster deities out there that are considered “evil” and “dark” for whatever reasons. To me, it seems that more often than not this particular heading is derived from an inability to see that their moral code is, again, shades of grey. Sutekh is seen as an “evil” god because he’s chaotic and we all know that chaos is so “bad.” But the thing is that when we draw the Tower card when we do a Tarot reading, we don’t always sit there and say about how “evil” this particular card is. It means sweeping, fundamental changes that, in the end, can be a pain in the ass while going through but are for the basic good of the person asking the questions. From what I’ve gathered from Sutekh kids, this is Sutekh’s main big goal when it comes to entering others’ lives. Devo is constantly telling me that he’s more likely to throw you over the cliff, for your own good, than listen to your reasons why you can’t make the jump yourself. Yes, it sucks when you’re in the middle of all that shit, but that doesn’t make him any more evil than warfare or disease. Yep. Both of those examples also suck and the reasons behind them – such as biological warfare or causing a war based on eugenics – may be evil but those two examples are not inherently evil.
Neither are the gods that cause those things. Neither are the gods that have moral codes that we can’t possibly rap our minds around because we’re so focused on the two-dimensional world we create for ourselves instead of seeing things as three-dimensional. Shades. Of. Gray. People. They are, as I have said before, MULTI-FACETED and in seeing them in a single context is really doing a severe injustice to us, as their followers, and to them, as our gods.
NOTE I don’t actually discuss Loki’s role in this particular post because I don’t feel that I am able to make big huge commentaries on him, as a god. I don’t know enough, I feel, to make anymore sweeping generalizations than I already have.