This post started out as a reply to a comment sent to me about my "Being a Pagan Goth" post. For some weird reason, I got it as an e-mail, but the comment never actually showed up on the post. As I was replying to the e-mail, lots of things I never intended to say suddenly started spilling onto the screen. I decided that Someone was trying to tell me Something, and obviously wanted me to share it, so here is my attempt to do so.
The comment I was replying to was in regard to Dark deities, many of whom are considered to be evil by people who don't know anything about them, including fellow pagans who should know better. For example, Kali, Hekate, The Morrigan, and the "trickster" gods like Set, Loki and Coyote, are often considered to be evil deities who spread death, destruction and chaos wherever they go. However, this is not always the case.
The Dark deities are awesome, but they are NOT evil. They are part of the Balance, the ancient Egyptian concept of Ma'at, or Cosmic Order. I do believe that Evil exists, but anyone, Light or Dark, can do evil things, sometimes with the best of intentions. Even those gods who kill or destroy are not necessarily evil, but they ARE necessary, and we must learn to appreciate them in order to truly appreciate the deities of Light. Like us, they each have both Dark and Light inside of them, although one is usually found in greater measure than the other.
Hekate is one of my favorite and most honored matron deities; She has given me great advice and much comfort over the years. Others whom I honor are Sekhmet, Djehuti (Thoth), Anpu (Anubis), Odin, and Gaia. In the past I have also worked with Erishkegal (a goddess of death) and Oya (a guardian of cemeteries, among other things). Of all of these, only Gaia is not considered to be a Dark deity, yet in the past few decades we've all seen the destruction that Gaia or "Mother Nature" has unleashed across our planet. I'd definitely consider that to be Her "dark side", don't you?
I've often wondered why almost all of my patron/matron deities are those usually referred to as Dark. I think I'm drawn to them because I feel most comfortable with them, both because of my goth tendencies toward death and the shadow side of things, and also because these deities are so down to earth and in-your-face about the realities of life. They don't pull their punches, but they DO tell you the truth, both good and bad. I'm tired of all the "what you think about you bring about" and "you create your own reality" slogans that try to convince us that ignoring the shadows and the darkness will make them go away, and then our lives will be all rainbows and sunshine and fluffy bunnies. That is NOT how life works, and all the positive affirmations in the world will not change that. We as goths should understand that, and be glad of it! (Who wants all that horrible sun and those stupid fluffy bunnies around, anyway???) However, we can live with the shadows and the darkness AND the sunshine around us, as long as we understand that it's all part of the Circle of Life.
Just make sure to bring your parasol.