Things I Wish I’d Listened To.

When I started all of this, I wish I had been able to hear the warnings I was given. Alas, I was too stubborn and headstrong to listen to those who had lots of experience. These are things I wish I’d been able to internalize before I was dropped into the deep end of the pool and expected to tread water sufficiently. This is by no means exhaustive and it’s based on my experienced and my observations of other people who are god-touched. This was totally spawned by StagKingsWife forthcoming post on why people should not want to be godspouses.

It’s dangerous. It is not the safest thing in the world to be dealing with Deities. Not all of Them are honest. Not all of Them are forthcoming with Their plans—in fact, I’ve gotten more ‘you don’t get to know’ more often than I’ve been told what’s going to happen. You could potentially, like me, find yourself backed into a corner by Someone you have no desire to deal with. You are essentially using your life as a poker chip and that has ramifications, good and bad.

In that vein, it’s challenging. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything harder than be involved with Mr. Mister. Our relationship pushes all my buttons and all my boundaries and, while that’s a good thing for me, it’s fucking HARD. I have to put aside my shit and function which, some days, is pretty damn difficult. It’s not always an easy task to be actively involved in my spiritual life and..

It’s work. It’s not called spirit-work by chance. You actually have to do something for the Gods and you have to your best to do it well. Even if you are not called to spirit-work, it’s still work to feed and maintain a relationship with something greater than yourself. Learning new skills, sorting through your personal ‘stuff’, confronting your flaws, confronting your mistakes, and, if your called to do so, serving a community can be wearing, but there often is no break. I definitely do not get to say to Mr. Mister ‘time out, I’m having a bad day and I can’t do XYZ’. That’s liable to get me an Eyebrow and an admonition that I need to work smarter, as well as harder.

It takes time, both in terms of development and devotion. First, it takes time to develop as a person who relates to Gods/Spirits. No one I know has ever woken up one day and been 100% ready to do their Job or have their relationship with Deity built. Most of the people I know have taken years and years to train, learn the skill necessary, and prepare for their Work, whatever that might be. A lot of effort goes into building a spirit-worker or devotee.

Second, it takes time to learn your God/Spirit. Learning what they want of you can take a lifetime and that’s okay. But, it doesn’t happen in an instant. It’s as much about the process as it is about the destination, if there even is one. I believe the Gods/Spirits are individuals with personalities, preferences, and histories. It takes time to absorb all of that, even for the most devout researcher. Sometimes we have sources to rely on, but sometimes, at least in my case, it’s almost all UPG that I sometimes get input on from others. I think, and I know I thought this at one point, that it’s a common misconception that if you seek a relationship with Deity, it will magically manifest just how you want it. In my experience, that’s not so. Just like you have to put work into human relationships, you have to put work into divine relationships, maybe doubly so because you have to refine your cosmic hearing if you have that gift.

It requires faith. This has become one of the areas I lack in and struggle with. Having faith is a cornerstone to a divine relationship. After all, we often can’t see them and they often are not embodied for us. How do we trust something we cannot always put our hands on and see with our physical eyes? I don’t have the answer to that [and if you do, pipe up!], but I do know that faith is a process that is never perfected. If I have no faith in Mr. Mister, how can I ever be open to all He has in store for me?

Faith is also an action and, in the absence of belief, I can act as if I have that faith—fake it ’til you make it in the spotlight. Faith is also not without doubt. I don’t think faith can exist without doubt or, at least, I don’t want it to. The important part of faith is to act even in the face of doubt or proof otherwise. Boyfriend asked me once if it would matter if none of this was real and it was all a grand delusion. I can say that it wouldn’t, but there is also a part of me that actively wonders if that’s how I would react when presented with evidence contrary to my beliefs. My faith right now is easy to shake, but at least I have something that I can call faith.

Sometimes it’s lonely. I know that in my day-to-day life, I am surrounded by people who don’t believe as I do. My roommates aren’t spooky and don’t know about my spiritual life and neither do the people I work with. I am lucky that Boyfriend and I speak the same language a lot of the time, but my circle of friends who understand my life as-is can be really small.

For me, it’s also lonely because my God has no pantheon and no known-to-me other followers. It’s a very real possibility to end up with a Deity or Spirit who is not connected to Others. I know of one other group of people who are in a similar situation and they at least have each other. A lot of times I feel isolated because I don’t have many people who can automatically relate to Mr. Mister as He is without context.

It comes with expectations or, possibly, rules. I haven’t yet met a spirit-worker or devotee who doesn’t have some kind of expectations or rules to follow in regards to their Deity or Spirit. I suppose I might have not run across them yet, but I find that doubtful. We have to things to do. We have things to live up to. We have things we can’t do. I know that I cannot put anyone or anything above Mr. Mister. I know that certain parts of my body are off-limits because of Him. I know that I have to do what He asks with an appropriate attitude. One of my rules that amuses me somewhat is that I am not allowed to permanently remove any of my body hair, as much as I might like to. I am also not allowed to marry or have children. I know people who have much stricter expectations than I do, from food restrictions to restrictions about being in relationships with humans. In essence, this some kind of exchange no matter how this manifests and with an exchange comes boundaries. I don’t think anyone gets away without that.

It requires sacrifice. We sometimes have to give up or let go of some things to move forward and I have found this doubly true for dealing with Deity. I know that, for me, everything that I held as important got ripped away from me, including the ability to work for awhile and a chosen family that was very important to me. I was angry for quite awhile over that and it took a long time to come to a place of acceptance where I was able to realize that those things weren’t necessarily serving me, or Him. It’s important to note that our sacrifice may not always be on our terms. I didn’t get to choose what I gave up. I know a few people who have had a choice, but often it’s a decision that’s made for us or is a decision that we are strongly compelled into.

It takes the ability to face scrutiny. I have been lucky that, so far, I have no had to defend my beliefs and practices to anyone, but I know people who have and, from where I sit, it wasn’t a fun process for them. Whether it involved the loss of friends/acquaintances or very public arguments or rumor-mongering, it hasn’t been overwhelmingly wonderful. I’ve seen at least one instance where defending one’s beliefs has resolved in a positive matter, but it doesn’t always end up like that. I know, for me, that I am dreading the day where I have to tell my mother about my spiritual practices. She is an ardent follower of the Hebrew God and is a minister in her church and it will absolutely break her heart that I have turned to pagan practices and that will be difficult to deal with.

One of the things that is hardest for me to resolve is that there is no destination, only the journey. Nothing is ever finished. For me, a goal once was to find Who my Patron was. Well, I did but that doesn’t mean anything is over; it just means more work. It’s hard to measure success sometimes. Is it that I’ve begun to hear Him more clearly? Is it that I managed to put my life back together after having is dismantled? Is it that I learned to negotiate for what I needed and what I wanted? All of those things are good things, but they are not the finish line. It’s small successes and moving forward that make the journey. I don’t even know what the destination might be. Maybe death, where I will hopefully join Him where ever He might be, and that’s if I am not sent back to continue Working.

So those are my long-winded thoughts. I’m interested in what other people think are things people should know before getting involved with Deities/Spirits.

ETA: This blog has had almost 70 hits just today, which is like a bazillion times more than I usually get. I know I’ve started following a bunch of blogs, but still.. Say hi!

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~ by Alex on July 12, 2012.

3 Responses to “Things I Wish I’d Listened To.”

  1. I am not a Godspouse – no… I just got picked, which I’m not sure which one is better or worse… But it still happened. It’s work, tears, sacrifice, and scrutiny by many Pagans and Occultists. A kind of bitterness because they didn’t get picked, etc., maybe – I don’t know. Saying hello – and raising a toast.

    • I’m not really a godspouse, either. Consort is probably the closest word that fits, but that’s still not right. I was picked, too, but had the ability to choose yes or no and I chose yes.

      I think there’s jealousy among those who aren’t picked or don’t have the ability, but, in my world, it’s complicated to have gifts and abilities. It’s certainly not for everyone.

      Thanks for your comment!

      • I agree with that. It isn’t for everyone, and I still wonder why I got picked. It’s not all roses and violins when you do – and you’ll be the only schmo against many other minds that have a different world in which they live.. It’s hard, but as a spirit worker for Arta I’ve grown in ways I couldn’t have if left to my own devices. Maybe I DID need a swift kick in the ass? ROFL

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