Out of Curiosity

What do you all find resonates most strongly with your deities, or what are some strange things that remind you of them?

For me, it’s a combination of:

  1. Lightning

The first time I heard of Lucifer being associated with lightning by another of his devotees, I scoffed and blew it off as being utter nonsense. I thought it was just something the person had come up with to make him sound more powerful or cool or whatever. That same night, I was woken up by one of the most intense thunder storms I’ve ever experienced, complete with lightning that lit up the room as though it were midday. There had been no warning of any incoming storms in that area beforehand.

I was shaken enough to go back and do some proper research before disregarding the UPG completely. And wouldn’t you know it, there’s some (speculative) basis of this connection in the gospel of Luke:

“And he [Jesus] said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (10:18)

 I used to love watching lightning strikes, and being completely in awe of how a single strike could illuminate even the darkest of nights. But I was also acutely aware of how destructive lightning could be, and was always nervous when it got too close for comfort. It was stunning and awe-inspiring, but dangerous all the same, much like a certain angel I know.

 I’ve also mentioned how sometimes I get a buzzing sort of sensation in my left shoulder blade when Lu is around—almost like the buildup of static charge from a storm.

 

2.  Freshly fallen snow

This doesn’t have anything in scripture to back it up (I don’t think so, anyways), but the bite and even the scent of cold air after a snowfall reminds me of him. It has a certain kick to it that snaps me awake and keeps me alert, not unlike Lu tends to do. The cold chill makes me sharply aware of everything, from the icy kisses on the tip of my nose to the whisper of the winter wind at the back of my neck.

And the stillness and silence, where everyone seems to be too afraid to draw in a breath lest they disturb the tranquility, reminds me of him too. More often than not, he is quiet and hesitant to influence my choices unless necessary.

And looking back on these things now, I find myself rather amused that they have something in common—in both instances, they involve something falling from the heavens to the earth. 

Bearer of Light

I have a really hard time putting Lu’s Lightbearer aspect into words. Part of me feels silly for being so emotional over it, for the ache in my chest, and his goddamn ability to make me burst into tears by simply allowing me to catch a glimpse of that aspect. I feel silly because I shouldn’t be so scared or overwhelmed of ‘light’, right?

I find it near impossible to accurately describe how gorgeous and fragile and breathtaking he makes the world appear, and how hard it is to remember to breathe when you’re lost within the depths of life itself, as if seeing things for the very first time. I can’t entirely explain how it feels like to be simultaneously loving and grieving and feeling like a star just supernova’d in your soul.

And then, just when I think I can’t take anymore without my heart bursting, I’m left utterly empty and trying to piece together what little sanity he’s left me with.

It’s so much easier to talk about the aspects of his make me want to pull my hair out in frustration. It’s easier to talk about his ‘darker’ aspects than it is to contemplate his role as the Lightbearer, because of how terrifying and exhilarating bliss can be.

We tend to forget, or maybe we’re just too scared to admit, that light can be even more cruel and terrifying than darkness.

A Rant, More Or Less

I was originally going to write this yesterday, but I realized that I was way too frustrated to get the message across without being potentially offensive and abrasive. So here’s the refined version.

First off, I’m noticing that a lot of the newer pagans (the large influx of Lokeans in particular) are quick to jump to conclusions regarding everyday things. While I won’t argue that sometimes the gods do interfere with our day to day lives, we have to remember that it’s far more likely a mundane cause-and-effect situation—nothing to do with gods or spirits. Be logical guys; think within the plane of existence we live in first and foremost. Lost keys don’t have to have a divine explanation.

I also have a few issues regarding a certain attitude some pagans seem to have regarding their gods or any gods in general. I’ve found that excuses are made for their behavior, or the behavior is disregarded entirely as being too extreme to possibly be the god’s doing. When this behavior crosses the line into abuse, and goes unheeded, I snap. It is my personal belief that anyone, deity or otherwise, should be held accountable for their actions. If that means that another person, devotee or not, needs to call them out on it, then so be it.

“Sure deity x has done some bad things, but they’d never go that far.”

“That’s too cruel, it must not be a god—maybe a violent spirit of some sort”

“Deity y has never acted in such a manner with me, it must be a lie”

Excuse me, where in any scripture or lore does it say that the gods have a perfect sense or morality? Because I must not be reading the same literature you are—from what I’ve read, the gods are not above being petty and cruel just because they feel like it. They’re not above rape, or genocide, or driving mortals insane.

There was a conversation a while back ago here on Tumblr where many pagans argued that a god would never tell you to do certain things, such as commit suicide. While I agree that the first thing one should do in such a case is get medically evaluated and look for causes outside the divine, I don’t agree with the idea that gods are above such things. There is a Mayan goddess of suicide who may very well tell someone that suicide is an honorable death, without any remorse.

I understand wanting to defend your god—heck, I probably understand it better than most, since my god is the scapegoat of all scapegoats. I get that it’s a scary and uncomfortable thing to have your god be vilified, and yes—my gut instinct would be to defend Lu, but jumping to their defense or making excuses for them without critically analyzing the behavior in question is a reflex born out of our own desires for what we want our gods to represent. Consciously or not, we’re trying to make them more ‘socially acceptable’.

This doesn’t mean we should regard everything bad that’s said about a god as being factual and true. But neither should we ignore the possibility that it might be. Sometimes we find truths in the most unexpected places.

 I personally make it a point to listen and evaluate the accusations that I’m so often confronted with concerning Lucifer. And guess what? A lot of the time, they’re pretty accurate.  He has blood on his hands, he’s manipulative, he can and will use your fears against you, he can definitely be a force of destruction if necessary, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s whispered doubts into someone’s ear to the point of insanity. I don’t justify these actions, but neither will I cover them up, because people—especially potential devotees, have a right to know what they might be getting themselves into.

We have to remember that our gods aren’t, and shouldn’t, be solely defined by their misdeeds or heroics. YHVH may have committed atrocities I’m not comfortable with, but he is still a father to his devotees. Lucifer may have given mankind the gift of knowledge, but he still butchered his kin in the rebellion. If you as an individual cannot follow a deity who rapes or murders, even though you admire some other quality of theirs—then don’t. You absolutely have that choice.  But don’t go around ignoring that particular aspect and telling others that your god would never do such things, and putting potential devotees at risk should they choose to follow that deity.

This is why it is so important for potential devotees to do all their research before committing themselves to a deity—and even then, one must realize that there will always be surprises along the way. I wouldn’t ever presume to know Lu well enough to predict his actions, or his intentions for that matter, which brings me to another point. This one-sided view of gods tends to make devotees think that their gods always have their best interests in mind. Consequentially, they’re led to believe that abusive behavior shown by their gods is for their own benefit. This includes emotional, verbal, and possibly even physical abuse.

There’s a difference between going through emotional turmoil for development of the self, and because deity just wants to see if you can live through it. There’s a difference between being threatening and letting you know what you’re getting yourself into. Don’t assume deity knows best, or that they’re doing the best thing for you. You have as much a say in these things as deity, even more so considering it’s your life, your body, your mind, etc. I’d encourage people to be highly critical of their gods, especially those you are devoted to.

 

TL;DR,

  1. Look towards mundane factors. Don’t assume that everything is due to divine interference.
  2. View the situation with an unbiased eye—is there scripture that backs up the accusations made of a deity? Have there been other similar accusations made by others? Do not project your own feelings about the situation onto scripture—murder is murder, rape is rape, even with a ‘just cause’.
  3. Examine your own UPG—evaluate whether or not your experiences with said deity substantiate the claim in any way. Look beneath the surface, question your deity’s intentions.
  4. Ask the difficult questions. Has the emotional, mental, and physical pain caused by working with your deity been worth the end result? Do they really care about your wellbeing?
  5. Don’t tolerate abuse, especially from gods. We are not their playthings.

Using Society’s Fear to Your Advantage

So, I’m not naïve enough to think that a little blog like mine is going to make a big difference in changing the general consensus out there regarding how my faith is perceived. No matter how much time or effort I put into correcting the tons of misinformation out there, the fact remains that most people aren’t interested in listening to what the more boring, normal members of a faith have to say—they’re too busy watching the few idiots who go around murdering people and spewing hatred and violence in the name of a faith they clearly have no understanding of, much less hold a claim to. But I keep it up because it’s part of my Work, and because the optimistic side of me wants to think that it does make a difference, no matter how small.

But as much as I would love to be able to be more open about my faith without fear of backlash and bigotry, I have to admit that there are some upsides to being misrepresented too. Just as doubt and skepticism have their uses, so too does popular opinion. Playing the victim all the time isn’t going to get you very far, and if people aren’t going to listen to you anyways, might as well use it to one’s own advantage.

You know all those pagans bitching about how the pentagram was originally a sign of protection when shown ‘right-side up’?

Oh hon, it still is.

I recently read a thread on a Luciferian forum about a young woman who wears an inverted pentagram necklace when commuting by herself because, get this, the local gang members are terrified of it and what they think it represents. Forget the pepper spray and taser gun, this tiny little necklace sends muggers and rapists running the other way, in the fear that the ‘evil devil-worshipper’ will sacrifice them. It doesn’t matter that this woman probably has never killed a person, nor sacrificed anything to any spirit or god, nor has demon minions at her beck and call—her attackers see that symbol and imagine the worst, with themselves as the potential victims. They are forced to think twice about even looking at her the wrong way.

I’ve got major respect for this woman for willing to put up with the crap she undoubtedly receives from those that vilify anything remotely ‘dark’, and using that societal fear and misrepresentation to her advantage.

 You know what? I’d take that kind of protection over proper media representation any day.