Apotheosis and Divinity

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I loathe the reblog box if I want to say anything about an entry at length because there’s no markup allowed, but I’d like to direct your attention to “Apotheosis: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About How Humans Become Greek Deities But Were Afraid To Ask,” by Thenea.


 

“Being 0% – 87% deity can leave a person with no actual divine status. Having no divine ancestry does not disqualify a mortal from apotheosis. Divine ancestry is not a consideration unless a person is born 100% divine with no ambiguous ancestry.

So, if you are going to say that a deity is to a human like a human is to an animal, or if you are going to argue that we can never be equal to the gods, because that would be similar to being equal to a volcano, you are going to have to explain away one basic fact: humans interbreed with deities, and that doesn’t necessarily make them gods. Or, they can cross over that line without any divine blood at all. If you aren’t following me, let’s get some help from Miriam Webster.

spe·cies

noun \ˈspē-(ˌ)shēz, -(ˌ)sēz\

biology : a group of animals or plants that are similar and can produce young animals or plants : a group of related animals or plants that is smaller than a genus

So, actually, Greek mythology is telling us that gods and humans are a single species. Oh, wait, I read something like that somewhere else. Hang on.

“Or if you will, I will sum you up another tale well and skilfully — and do you lay it up in your heart, — how the gods and mortal men sprang from one source.” — Works and Days, Hesiod, lines 106-108

And indeed, if gods and humans were so fundamentally different from us as some people would like to suppose, apotheosis, which is a thing that happens in many mythologies, would be impossible.”


This is incredibly important to me, because it sounds very much like what Loki says about the relationship between Gods and humans, which is essentially that we are made of the same stuff. I know some people reading this might think that this somehow lessens the greatness of the Gods, but that isn’t the point: the point is that human beings are amazing in their own right.

 

 

Another Girl’s Paradise

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I live in Paradise. Or at least, some people’s version of Paradise. I’m also a long-time Tori Amos fan, as I’m sure some of you gentle readers have already divined by the amount of her work on my blog. I love her for many reasons, among them that she’s unapologetic about her spirituality, her beauty, and her sexuality. And like me, she is also a rape survivor. In many ways, that in particular fascinates me because she seems less hindered by her assault than I am in terms of being willing or able to express desire. I had a lover ask me once what I wanted, and I was at a loss to express anything in particular, in no small part because asking for it seems Dangerous with a capital D.

And I’m not the only One aware of this problem – recently, Loki specifically asked me to tell Him what I wanted. Again, I don’t know. I’m always happy to try things, but I don’t ask or initiate, because I’ve been shamed into not wanting to express any sort of desire. Again, asking for it is, well, asking for it. Given the fact that I write romance, I’m sure that sound strange, but in essence, it’s Not Me enough to be Another Girl’s Paradise, and I can enjoy it, express myself.

I thought about putting the studio version of this song but Tori Amos is really meant to be enjoyed live. AGP is an older song by her, and it has been on many a Hidden Loki character playlist – sometimes His, sometimes a heroine, because it’s got a back and forth that reminds me of our relationship.

how could i resist? you are desire

when it all is said, said and done
who can love you and still be standing?

Loki leaves His mark, and He always has. “I love all of you. Not just the bits you think are acceptable to show to company. I know what’s in your closet.” (for reference, we were referring to that one closet where you have all the crap that you don’t know where it goes so it goes in there, in nothing that resembles any kind of order. That closet.) “I’m here to help you unpack it.”

“My closet’s a mess.”

“I know. I like messes. But seriously, Sweetheart, what do you want? You’re allowed to want things.”

And that’s a foreign concept to me. In fact, I’d say that’s not just me, but many women. We’re so primped and primed for the male gaze that we fake orgasms, dread lines appearing on our faces, grey hairs – things that make men “rugged” or “distinguished” make us “old” and “haggard” – please go reference any fucking commentary on Hilary Clinton’s appearance if you need an example. Because culturally speaking, our job is to be young, impressionable, and fuckable. Or, as Virginia Woolf once said, “Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man at twice its natural size.” A mature woman who has her own ideas and assertions is no looking glass; she is her own person. Actually, if you want to know a secret: even young women have their own ideas and assertions about life; the only difference between an older and younger woman is that the older one has had more experience in realizing that it is not the end of the world as we know it if she ventures an unpopular opinion.

Also, let me pause here and tell you that if you’re here to mansplain why these double standards are okay, that this blog is comment moderated and that your mansplaining will be deleted without a single fuck given. /moderator

Speaking of unpopular opinions, I am over the practice of slut shaming anyone who talks about godsex. Sex happens; sometimes people want to discuss it. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. People get all worried about looking crazy (way to go ableism) but you know what? This really isn’t a path for the sane. If sanity and mainstream normality are high on your personal priorities, prolonged contact with the numinous may not be for you, because it will change your mental map of the world. This is not limited to Loki or Lokeans; any deity is going to alter your comfort zone. That doesn’t necessarily mean privation, but it is change. Like me learning how to express desire.

And Loki’s other point about the expression of desire is that He doesn’t mean for it to be limited to speech; acting on desire is an expression of it just as much as speaking is.

you have come to discover what you want

“What do you want?”
I don’t know.
what i want is not to want what isn’t mine
but i am desire

“No, that’s not what you want. What you need is to want what you already have. Want the gifts that you are already given.”

when it all is said, said and done
who can love you and still be standing?
there’s Mary calling up a storm
can i take from you and not keep taking?
naked as day Gemma follows him
does it all come down to the thing
one girl fears in the night
is another girl’s paradise?

So I do indeed live in Paradise; not another girl’s, but my own, if only I can learn to appreciate it.

Regarding Personal Myth Cycles, or: when your understanding of what is, is out there.

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Heather Freysdottir:

Reblogging for the thinky thoughts in the original post and also for many excellent comments below.

Originally posted on Strip Me Back To The Bone:

So, by now, I can only imagine that readers of my blog know where I fall on the whole treating ‘the Lore’ as scripture topic. For those who have missed it: my understanding (and more importantly for this writing) of ‘the Lore’ – everything from the myths that have made it down to our times to the historical information we have regarding how a god or spirit was worshiped and what their cultus looked like – is that ‘the Lore’ is nothing but historical UPG with the weight of tradition behind it. Yes, even the big things like the Eleusinian Mysteries that attracted oh so many people in the ancient world. (I suppose this would become something like PCPG rather than UPG at this point, but you get my meaning, I hope.) I use “unverified’ in an empirical sense, in this understanding – at no point, in what survives, did…

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Do we need ritual tools? Do our gods need them?

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Heather Freysdottir:

This post reminds me of a conversation that I had recently at the Raven Faerie (my local Pagan shop) – we were chatting about magical tools and one of my friends adores making things. Another friend of ours pointed out that you don’t *have* to have tools – the power is within you. This is absolutely true, but as Beth points out, a good tool makes less work of the Working, as it were, and also that the act of making an item, or using a good one, puts more of your energy and focus into a Working. So really, support your Pagan artisans whenever you can. I have a list of some in the sidebar on my blog, if you don’t know where to start. And if you buy, I hope that you’ll approach your tools as a way to stimulate your own openness, creativity, your fetch. Magic can indeed be srs bznz, but it should also give you a sense of joy and wonder as well.

Originally posted on Wytch of the North:

First of all, let me note that yesterday morning, I posted three new prayer bead sets to the shop.  I didn’t have time to post about them here, and in the interim two of them have already sold still.  Still available is this pocket prayer bead set for Hekate:

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Hekate is the Greek/Hellenic Goddess of the underworld, the crossroads, sorcery. the night, the moon, entranceways, witchcraft, and necromancy.

Nine large golden obsidian beads (three sets of three, the number sacred to Hekate) are interposed with dark, silky patikan palm beads with spacers of pyrite and bronze hematite. There are three silvertone pendants, all symbols sacred to Hekate: a dog, a lantern, and a central skeleton key.

The beads are strung on 49-strand ultra-flexible Beadalon.

This compact set measures about 12 inches, with the side pendants measuring 1/2 inch and the skeleton key 2 inches. It is perfect for slipping…

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Freya as Goddess of Love

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Heather Freysdottir:

I adore and concur heartily with this post. Hail Freyja! <3

As an aside, I would also say that Freyr Himself is also a God of losing yourself to love – He was willing to give up His sword for Gerda. Restrain or moderation in love is not a Vanic value, in my experience.

Originally posted on Freya: The Gold Thread:

What do I mean when I say that Freya is a Goddess of Love?

First off, to me, Love encompasses Self-Love. Freya is obsessed with how much any of us love and value ourselves. And thank the Gods that She is, imho. Self-love is key; Self-Love is absolutely required. Self-Love is the goal. If we do not love ourselves, how can we attempt to love others? There’s none to share around if there’s none inside. As my program people put it—share from the Overflow, not the Mother Lode. If we try to love others without loving ourselves first–at least to a certain extent–then we get worn out pretty quickly. (And at what point does “loving” others become an unacceptable way of treating ourselves?

She rules over Romance. All aspects of it: how to get it, and what to do once you have it. Under this falls things like…

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Shauna Aura Knight and the Ethics of Sexual Initiation

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Shauna Aura Knight’s latest column at Pagan Activist discusses sexual ethics in regards to initiation experiences.

What is Consent?
By legal definition, a minor cannot consent to sex. Now–we can wrestle all day long about the issue of what age someone miraculously gains the ability to consent. Because that’s complicated, for today I’m just going to go with 18.

An adult who is drunk or otherwise incapacitated is also incapable of legally offering consent for sex.

Taken further, just because a seeker is an adult and is agreeing to a sexual initiation, doesn’t mean that this is being done with enthusiastic consent.Consent is not the lack of a no. Consent is an enthusiastic, informed, and sober “yes.”

If someone’s been groomed and pressured, is that consent?

Initiation and Rape
We’re really talking about several categories of problem here. There is a difference between a tradition that has in-depth experience around the mysteries of ecstasis and sexual initiation, and a creepy group leader who is making things up in order to get laid.

However, what we must acknowledge in both cases is how consent and pressuring can play a part.

And this begs another question. Because in almost every tradition using sexual initiation, the initiation is passed on from a teacher/mentor/priest/priestess/leader to a seeker/student, there is an inherent power dynamic.

Any time that someone has a position of power over someone else, can there ever be true consent? Are they agreeing to this because they are afraid they’ll lose their position or be kicked out? Are they agreeing to this because the leader is charismatic?

I do believe that there are scenarios where this can be handled ethically, but that is a lot of pristine boundaries and personal work, plus checks and balances, to make that happen.

…Let’s look at other established religious traditions. Arranged marriages. Child brides. Selling young women or men to be sex slaves at temples. Male and Female genital mutilation. Human sacrifice. Only men can be priests.

In other words, just because we have hundreds or thousands of years of established tradition, that  doesn’t mean those traditions should continue.”

There’s more, and the entire article is worth reading. If you’d like to hear more from Shauna on sexual ethics, she’s going to be speaking at the Pagan Activism Conference Online (PACO) which is being offered by the Pantheon Foundation. The webinar is $40 for the weekend, and $10 for individual panels. I’ll be attending with some friends, via web. I hope you will too.

I hate that I have to make this post.

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Heather Freysdottir:

“Nerthus is Mother Earth and Frey is God of the World and that is the whole earth, the whole world, not just the parts with WASPs.”

AMEN and HEL YEAH.

Originally posted on The Serpent's Labyrinth:

Let me start off by saying that in the years that I’ve identified as Vanatru and dealt with the Vanatru community, we are for the most part cool people and on the whole we have far fewer incidences of racism, homophobia, and other types of douchebaggery than in most other branches of heathenry.

But we are not exempt from this.

Because the Vanir are gods of nature, Vanatru seems to attract the occasional “doomer” who is preparing for the zombie apocalypse as Mother Nature’s grand solution to environmental problems. If the Unabomber had been pagan, he probably would have been attracted to Vanatru. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with wanting to be prepared in case of emergency, too many “doomer” types espouse conspiracy theories which tend to be some permutation of “omg teh j00z are takin over teh world!!1!!1!” Because nothing says “take my concerns about societal collapse seriously” quite…

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