Youthemeus

Because there are few things we can be sure of….

Will the real Almighty please stand up?

Who's throne is it anyway?

When new friends find out that I follow a pagan path, their first comment is usually, “Oh! So, you don’t believe in God, then?” My answers tend to contain the familiar themes of “I believe in lots of gods and goddesses, some of which have names and faces”, or “it depends which gods you are talking about.” A discussion on the “Olde Ways” usually ensues and we may also talk about the ways that society was shaped by organised religions or how life is a constant battleground for those who choose to follow narrow doctrines. I find this particular exchange of ideas interesting and have learnt much over the years just by listening to other people discuss their belief systems.

However, if I were really open and honest, I would tell my friends that I actually DO believe in God*.

I just don’t like him.
Simple as that.

By making the preceding statement, I have probably caused offence to many who count themselves as “faithful”, “saved” or “chosen”. I would hope never to propagate a crisis of faith in anyone and would never attempt to change someone’s mind about their god; it is not my path with which to interfere. Nonetheless, I do feel it is appropriate to discuss the fact that God might be a nasty piece of work and that we should be able to say so without fear of censure.
God can be a bit of a brute, really. He is demanding, jealous, vengeful and angry (his words, not mine). He wants to be worshipped, followed and loved above all others. He demands utter devotion, faithfulness and (if necessary) the ultimate sacrifice. He gives and then he takes away again. He creates, only to destroy. He shows his love and confidence in someone by grinding their face into the dirt and then lifting them up by the hair to see if they still love him. He smites, saves, incinerates, heals, drowns, and visits plagues and pestilence on whole races of people. He tells us that there is no rock that he can’t look under, no depth that he can’t reach. In the middle of all of that hostile language, he also tells us that he loves us and can protect us. In any other circumstances, we would call this type of behaviour abusive.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with God. He does his thing (very well) and I do mine. I know that he exists, and therefore believe in him; but, as yet, I have not worked out his real name. He is really quite vague on that issue, and that in itself is suspicious. I don’t think his name will turn out to be one of those forbidden words, or the secret symbols that we are told represent him. He may just be called Cloud-Drizzle or Sparrowlegs. These are not really names that inspire awe – that may be why he’s keeping schtum. Who knows? Whatever he is called, God is a guileful character. Perhaps he did not expect the human race to play along with him to this extent and for such a long time. Maybe he just was looking for mischief and everybody got carried away, men grew their beards, slaughtered a load of goats and started stoning women to death in his name. (That’s another thing that I don’t like about him. Quite frankly, he has a dreadful attitude towards women.) After a few thousand years, it could be that he believes his own publicity and has become a self-fulfilling prophecy, a kind of circular theological argument. Again, who knows?

In contrast, the gods and goddesses that I spend time thinking about are energetic expressions of different elements, personalities and pathways. Some are easier to work with than others. All should be treated with respect and their individual aspects should be acknowledged. Occasionally, some of my pantheon can be quite demanding (Hecate, you know who I’m talking about). Conversely, some just love to drift in and out on a casual basis (like peripatetic deities, I suppose).

God is not like that, he is an all or nothing type of being. He seems to gain some pleasure from watching the “believers” argue over which of them are his favourites. Sadly for them, the answer is that he doesn’t much care for any of them. Again, as in many abusive relationships, these believers justify, excuse and ignore his bad behaviour. What is it that keeps them going back to him? Is it love or fear? I wonder if some of them can actually tell the difference. Luckily, I can judge when an energy is manipulative or intimidating. I stand firm in my own place of power and call him out to account for his actions. At time of writing, I have had no acceptable explanations. I’m still waiting. (Waiting for God-Oh!)

So, when you are able, take yourself to your own sacred space and gather your gods around you. It doesn’t matter whether your gods hail from Olympus, Asgard, Kirinyaga or even whether you find them in the rivers, rocks and trees.  In their (fascinatingly beautiful) differences and intricacies, you will find that they have all that you need for the rich spiritual tapestry of your life.

I will offer one word of caution, though; if you do find a jealous, petulant and controlling character along the way, make sure to ask him his name.

Just in case.

 
~ Youthemeus

 *I’m giving him a big “G”, just so we know who we are talking about.

 

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