Monday, August 5, 2013

Appreciating the Darker Deities

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.

10 comments:

  1. Good point! A world filled with nothing but "rainbows and sunshine and fluffy bunnies" sounds very dull! It's the light AND shade that makes things interesting... even if interesting isn't always easy!

    About the comment that didn't show up on the post... have you checked your spam folder? Blogger occasionally takes a perfectly unspammy comment and files it under spam. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. VERY dull indeed! ;-) We can't truly appreciate the light OR the dark if it's the only thing there is. I'm not sure I'd use the word 'interesting', though. I have a terror of that Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."! But I have a feeling we're already doing that.

      Yes, I've checked my spam folder, thanks for asking! I have absolutely NO idea why it showed up as an e-mail but not as a comment; you'd think it would be the other way round, wouldn't you?? Oh well...

      Delete
  2. Very interesting to read! I would love to read more posts about your pagan culture. I don't know much about it.
    I spend much of my time in the forest, garden, in the nature. One thing I have picked up is, that it is full of energy, life and death. The life part couldn't exist if it wasn't for the death part, that how life is in general.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! And I agree, nature is all about balancing the two. Since we ARE part of nature (no matter how much we deny it), it would be smart to accept it.

      I'll be posting other pagan stuff, I'm sure. I just don't want to put too much out there that's not somehow goth-related. But if you have any questions, feel free to ask! :-)

      Delete
  3. Quite a while back I used to attend the occasional Pagan gathering as well as participate in rituals with people locally. Like you, I got tired of all the lovey dovey associated with many so-called witches. I remember catching criticism for expressing my thoughts about hanging ghouls from tree branches around my place. One local witch I know thought it unethical.

    "Why is it unethical to use ghouls to keep thieves and dangerous people away from my house?" I asked. "Who am I hurting? If someone intends to rob me and is deterred because my strategically placed ghoulish guardians unnerve them...well good!"

    She of course, uttered something about it being black magick. I just let it drop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a shame! I've also walked away from groups (and individuals) like that. We both know how miserable it can be to get involved in those "white magick/black magick" debates, because no one ever wins, people just get angry, and they serve no useful purpose. While I certainly don't run around throwing hexes and curses and nasty energy at people, I see nothing wrong with putting up "keep-away" spells or charms as protection, just in case. I don't see it as bad if it ONLY works on people who approach with bad intentions.

      Delete
  4. i completely agree with you. these entities do not exist to harm us. in fact they can help us in ways the deities of light cannot. i am quite fond of the black isis myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just wish more people would understand this. Then maybe we wouldn't have so many terrified fundamentalists of ANY religious path, and people really could live in peace with each others' different beliefs.

      Delete
  5. Life is about balance, light and dark. Light does not necessarily equal good...nor does dark necessarily equal bad.
    We all struggle with what we perceive as good and bad. We can have dark thoughts, feelings and even actions, but as long as they are true to who we are, and what we feel, and do not harm, then they are not bad. Anger, fear and sadness are NOT bad. They are just as normal as happiness, gratefulness and love.
    We can not have light without dark. Some of us just identify with one more than the other! It is more important to be kind, and true, and that particular emotion HAS no color...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for posting this. I like your comments VERY much, especially the last one! :-)

      Delete