I’ve been putting off writing this post for weeks now. It just didn’t seem like the right time. Tonight, though, I got a nudge and felt that it was time to write this post.
There are a few stigmas in the Pagan and polytheistic communities about god-collecting. It can often be seen as childish, lackadaisical, or some other word that I haven’t thought of; many folks like to equate it to eclectics and claim it as part of the reason why their “kind” is flaky, being uncommitted to any path. While I have my own issues with the term “eclectic,” this isn’t one of them.
You see, I work with and worship many gods. Yes, I finally admit to worshiping, though that word hasn’t sat well with me for years. Even so, it’s the most appropriate. Regardless, back to my point: I work with and worship many gods from several pantheons: Anubis of the Kemetic; Hekate of the Hellenic; Odin and Thor from the Norse; and The Morrigan from the Celtic. Sometimes Loki decides to pop in, too, and there’s still the Horned One that may or may not be Artemis.
Does this mean I’m flaky like pie crust? I don’t think so.
A few years ago, I got to reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. While I don’t have the quote in front of me just now, much of the book relies on the premise of human worship equaling divine presence: the stronger and more numerous the worshipers, the stronger the deity. In the midst of rereading the Tamora Pierce books these days, I noticed a similar premise in the Daughter of the Lioness books with Kyprioth and why he was thrown from his place in the Copper Isles.
Now, this idea has stuck with me over the years and I find it to be appealing; it’s something I subscribe to as I see no reason not to and it makes sense to me.
So a few years ago, thinking on this, I thought that one day in the future I might want to have a temple space where I can worship, give offerings to, and work with as many gods as I can. I’d like to keep it open to others as well, a place where folks may come and worship their various gods. I feared that without at least one person working with them and worshiping them as best as they could, they would slowly fade away. This is a legitimate and strong fear I have: I am terrified of this world losing the old gods. But having the experiences I do, I knew it would be a better idea to keep this desire to myself than to voice it aloud. Once voiced aloud, I knew the gods would try to take me on my word.
So the weeks passed into months and the months into years. From time to time, I would recall this desire and fantasize about this temple space, lighting candles and incense while murmuring prayers to the various gods.
And then I made the mistake of saying it out loud.
I don’t know when it happened, but I know it did. I think I just muttered it aloud to myself while planning my own working space in the bedroom here in Virginia. But once it was said, it was done.
And now I feel a god-nudge happening again.
It started last fall. Pomegranates came back into season and I can remember feeling a strong draw to them. The Boyfriend and I decided to pick a few up from time to time, taking advantage of the in-season fruit. As I cut them and popped out the seeds, I would think to myself about Persephone and her myths and connection to the fruit.
And then the imagery started popping up.
It was slow at first. A pomegranate fruit here, a ring design of a pomegranate there. A tumblr user by the name of PersephoneHazard came onto my radar. A few weeks would pass, then I saw a photograph of Gemma Arterton at the Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters premiere that reminded me quite strongly of Persephone Kthonia, the goddess and queen of the Underworld. It’s the leafy golden circlet that made me gasp, reminding me of a crown fit for a goddess of spring.
And with the coming of spring, she has begun to appear more often. The Hellenics and others that I follow here and on tumblr have begun posting more and more imagery and lore about her.
Yet I resist.
I already have seven gods on my plate; this is much to handle as it is.
Persephone, I would love to work with you and honor you. I’ve been fond of you for years. But today is not that day.
Tomorrow may be different.