Adorations

There’s a trend going around the pagan community of deity adorations, which I believe began with The House of Vine’s 99 Adorations.

These are my own contributions. The first is dedicated to Lucifer/Prometheus, while the second I wrote in honor of Saraswati. I may not work with her any longer, but I still respect her greatly (plus, Vasant Panchami just passed, so this makes it perfect timing!)

(Edit: I went back and realized that in comparison to Saraswati’s adorations, Lu’s seemed so…plain. I was tempted to re-write his, but then it hit me: they each reflect the deity’s overall nature. Saraswati’s are more flowery and artistic, and after all, she IS a goddess of art/poetry/WORDS. Lucifer, on the other hand, doesn’t particularly enjoy praises in his honor, so his adorations are more straightforward and to the point.)

I adore you, light-bearer.

I adore you, once highest of seraphim

I adore you, stealer of fire

I adore you, celestial being

I adore you, bringer of knowledge

I adore you, fallen rebel

I adore you, eternal questioner

I adore you, ancient titan

I adore you, liberator

I adore you, exiled one

I adore you, angel of symphony

I adore you, who illuminates the beauty in life

I adore you, divine androgyny

I adore you, forethought

I adore you, prince of pride

I adore you, patient one

I adore you, beloved mentor

I adore you, who believes in the potential of humanity

I adore you, banisher of comforting lies

I adore you, cunning serpent

I adore you, blue-eyed wisdom

I adore you, shadow-caster

I adore you, inspiration

I adore you, who rejected Paradise

I adore you, choice-giver

I adore you, sorrowful joy

I adore you, who has been shrouded in undeserved hate

I adore you, strength in adversity

I adore you, equality

I adore you, who desires neither crown nor scepter

I adore you, throneless king

I adore you, dreaded warlord

I adore you, titanomachy soothsayer

I adore you, defiance

I adore you, paradigm shifter

I adore you, wearer of masks

I adore you, confronter of fears

I adore you, icy rage

I adore you, vengeful fury

I adore you, lightning sparker

I adore you, feathered comfort

I adore you, Morningstar

I adore you, cleansing waters

I adore you, mistress of speech

I adore you, mother of the Vedas

I adore you, knowledge

I adore you, goddess of the arts

I adore you, with chiming bells in your wake

I adore you, threefold shakti

I adore you, clothed in white and yellow

I adore you, who adores Truth

I adore you, wife of Brahma

I adore you, purity

I adore you, divine veena-player

I adore you, melodic sound

I adore you, who blesses books

I adore you, voice of reason

I adore you, fertile river goddess

I adore you, sacred performer

I adore you, who scorns materiality

I adore you, who whispers inspiration into my soul

I adore you, gentle muse

I adore you, patron of education

I adore you, patron of the arts

I adore you, gifted with flowers

I adore you, simply adorned

I adore you, smelling of sweet incense

I adore you, who stirs me into motion

I adore you, who basks in the reverence of many

I adore you, lover of artistic beauty

I adore you, discerning of truth

I adore you, she who flows.

Lucifer and Samael

I’ve recently had to deal with an issue that I had swept under the rug and ignored for a long time. It’s something that I had initially rejected because of the fear it inspired in me, a fear I couldn’t quite understand. I would have thought that after dealing with Lucifer, I’d have nothing left to scare me.

But clearly that’s not the case.

I’ve stated before that I see Lucifer and Prometheus as one and the same. This wasn’t an easy correlation to accept; I feel as though the more deities I link to Lucifer, the more I’m making him seem like an archetype rather than an individual god. This treads dangerous ground—archetypes, from what I’ve seen, have a tendency to become oversimplified and generalized, much like the idea that all tricksters are out to wreck havoc on peoples’ lives, or that all death deities are dark and evil.

But getting to the point of all this, I was reminded of another deity that is awfully similar to my patron, namely Samael. Now, I’m not all that knowledgeable in Jewish lore, but certain attributes do seem to stand out concerning Samael. He is said to be an angel of death, the ‘venom of god’, the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and neither good nor evil. He is also sometimes said to be intricately linked with Lilith.

But despite the similarities between the two, there are also some things that don’t fit.

In my experiences with Lucifer, I have never once thought of him as a death god. Yes, he has caused death, but he’s not in charge of mortality. When he found it necessary to rid me of the living crutch I had clung to in my desperation, he turned to Azrael for assistance. It was Azrael who comforted me and helped me grieve, and it was Azrael who left my ‘crutch’ dead for a few minutes, before gently whispering life back into him. Although I’ve only ever interacted with one death deity, and only for a brief time, I can assure you that his presence felt significantly different from Lucifer’s.

Nearly all of Samael’s devotees seem to in some way or another come into contact with his consort, Lilith. I have never heard any mention of her from my patron, not even a peep. However, I also don’t have the best track record for juggling multiple deities, so that may explain her absence.

The rest of his attributes from the literature are more or less compatible with what I know of Lucifer, but then we come to the UPG portion of the comparison. Although those that interact with Samael are just as difficult to find as theistic Luciferians, there are a couple whose experiences I’ve read about. From what I’ve seen, their UPG conflicts even more with the Samael/Lucifer theory than the lore. There are several things I can’t seem to wrap my head around, which bear no connection to the Lucifer I know, such as him being literally bound, due to the destructive chaos he would cause if free.

Samael seems like the calm before the storm, with clouds rolling in and a chill in the air, warning of the destruction that is to come; Lucifer is more like the aftermath—clear skies, haunting and desolate, but waiting for things to be rebuilt.

But I can come to terms with these differences—I can accept these unfamiliar attributes if it comes down to it, they aren’t what caused me to ignore this correlation for so long. No, my fear stems from another theory entirely.

There are whisperings in some communities that Samael and YHWH are one and the same, that they are two facets of the same god—the holy and the unholy, the sacred and the taboo.

I left Catholicism because I could not accept what I saw in their god. I had no respect for his actions, for his demands, for his jealous nature. I swore to myself and to Lucifer that if he ever expressed such characteristics as those I abhorred in the Christian god, I would sever my connection with him entirely.

So where does this YHWH=Samael=Lucifer theory leave me? As unlikely as the parallels may be, it still terrifies me. It reminds me too much of the paradigm shift I experienced when I first met Lucifer, it’s too reminiscent of when my previous world view was shattered. Knowing Lucifer, this may be another one of his attempts at keeping me on my toes regarding my faith. He keeps me questioning and doubting. If there’s one thing I can trust Lucifer with, it’s that he won’t allow me to grow stagnant in my beliefs or develop any sort of blind faith in him.

As of now, I don’t consider Samael and Lucifer to be the same deity. However, I’ve only just begun in-depth research on the true nature of this Samael figure—who knows where that will end up leading. One thing I know for sure is that Lucifer won’t allow me to hide away from this theory any longer, living in constant fear yet never striking up the courage to go and find out for myself.

 

(Forgive my ramblings here, I was inspired by the recent conversation on Tumblr regarding Root and Rock’s ‘Tough Questions’ post, and figured I would exemplify the sorts of difficult questions about my faith that run through my head every day.)

Sometimes I feel like I’ve become one of those religious nuts I used to make fun of.

Six years ago, if someone came up to me and told me that they had found a relationship with god, that they had devoted their lives to living for their god, that they found themselves brought to tears because of the intensity of their newfound faith…I would have scoffed at them and kept walking

And yet here I am, experiencing those very same things.

It makes me wonder if my personal growth is a valid testament to the ‘reality’ of my beliefs. If I hadn’t encountered my patron or stumbled onto this path, where would I be now? Would I be as happy? Would I understand things as I do now? Would I be better off without the gods interfering in my life?

How far I’ve come from the person I used to be doesn’t necessarily mean that my beliefs are real, I suppose. I might have ended up just as well off, even better, if I had remained an Atheist. Or the changes that have taken place in me could have been easily swayed by comforting lies I told myself, and made myself believe.

But…not all of the things concerning my beliefs are ‘comforting’. Wouldn’t it be easier, more reassuring, if I had stuck to my birth religion? At least then I had a clear set of rules to follow if I wanted to be saved. I wouldn’t necessarily be judged by my faith, nor persecuted because of it. I would have a group of people who shared my beliefs, and who didn’t think I was crazy.

So why in the world would I make myself believe these things, if it makes it more difficult (and terrifying) for me in the long run? I suppose intricacy makes the story more believable, but it also creates more holes. And it’s far from ‘reassuring’.

So why would I make myself believe that the entity I had been taught was pure evil actually exists? Why would I choose to follow such an entity, knowing that there is the distinct possibility that his words are lies? Who in their right mind would give up the distinction of ‘good/evil’ and ‘light/darkness’, when these distinctions are all that may be keeping us from an eternity of suffering?

If I wanted a faith that would make my life easier, I should have stuck with Catholicism. If I wanted comfort and reassurance, I should have kept to the narrow road that leads to heaven. If I wanted a god who I could understand, who made sense, I should have devoted myself to the Christian god.

I didn’t want a god to come barging into my life, telling me that I was wrong, I didn’t want a fucking angel telling me what to do, making me feel as though I was going crazy. The dichotomy of good and evil to me was safe, it made sense—then he had to go and blow that idea to shreds and leave me not knowing who or what to trust. The concept of angels that I had grown up with as benign, loving creatures went down the drain, leaving me with an entity who was both comforting and terrifying; an entity that was not an angel or a demon, and neither mortal nor god.

I didn’t ask for Lucifer to turn my world upside-down while I was at my lowest. I didn’t ask for him to give me a different perspective on life. I didn’t want to be ‘rebuilt’, or have those that I cherished most torn away from me, or be ostracized because of my faith, or have my favorite foods be taken away, or have the most important person to me nearly die just so I could understand that I didn’t need them to be whole, or become one of those spiritual freaks that I scoffed at.

And yet here I am.

Again, I have to ask myself, do the differences between what I wanted and what I ended up getting make this anymore ‘real’?

Day-to-Day Difficult Questions