I believe that the Gods are real. I cannot prove this, I accept it on faith, but that faith is based on personal observation and experience. I believe that they are persons as you and I are persons. Not human persons but complicated, complex individuals with names and histories and stories and culture and family and heritage. They are Persons with unique personality and talents and differentiation from other persons. I believe that the Gods are not interchangeable. They are not just names in some ancient book of mythology. They are not simple abstractions or perfect archetypes. They have stories that are full of “mistakes” and some very questionable behavior. But the ones worth knowing are more highly evolved that us and if we care to learn from them they can help us to grow, learn and evolve.
They can also guide us, comfort us, enchant us and lend us their gifts so that we can, with their help, become more than we are. They can help us to hear our own inner voice. They can speak through us and act through us and help us to be of greater service to others as well as to ourselves.
One of the things I love best about my religion is that my Gods are people and as people they are prone to relationships. Relationship is very important to me. It is the way in which I interact with, learn from and impact my world. My path began with, and indeed is defined by, my relationship with my Gods. I call upon the Gods because I have a relationship with them. I do not simply transact with them, I relate to them. There are times when I have to work with a God with whom I have no previous relationship; that to me is simply an opportunity to build a new relationship and to broaden my experience and perspective. I research their stories, culture and images. I spend time learning about who they are. I devote time to finding the place that they resonate with in me. I spend time getting to know them, listening to them, sharing myself with them. Even if I never have cause to collaborate with them again, I have relationship with them and I have grown as a result of that relationship and the work we have accomplished together. (Although I have realized recently that they may choose to continue the work in my life that is needed for my own growth.) Again I am blessed by my relationship with Deity.
Relationship with Deity, indeed all of my relationships, enrich my life and enchant my path.
But, what constitutes a relationship? What is the nature of relationship? What is required to build a relationship?
I believe a relationship is the mutual understanding and exchange between two individuals. It is not limited to individuals who are of similar nature but, preferably involves individuals who share a mutual trust and respect, knowledge of each other and affection for each other. I believe that every relationship is unique to the two individuals involved. I believe in most relationships, negotiation is required. And I believe that in the very best relationships, intimacy is possible.
My own relationships with my Gods range from beneficial collaborations to familial relationships that will last my entire lifetime and, perhaps more than one lifetime. I have relationship with my own Patrons, with my coven’s Patrons, and with other Gods from whom I have learned or with whom I have worked. My Patrons and some others are a part of my daily life. Others I have been very close to and worked intimately with at various times in my life. Some relationships are incredibly intense and extremely intimate for a specific time and then change to a congenial familiarity but, the relationship persists in an ongoing and evolving way. Not every relationship has to be all-consuming for-ever. Relationships are always changing, evolving, growing or shifting according to the needs of the individuals involved as well as their level of commitment and the time and energy they have available to devote to nurturing it.
My Gods have never abandoned me, but I do not expect nor do I need their constant attention. They have other things to do. When one of my Gods, who is not a part of my daily life, requires my attention, they let me know. I try to be open and listening, and to respond with the proper respect due the relationship that we share. At the same time, if I am in need of their guidance or assistance in some way, I respectfully ask. Understanding that if I am simply being lazy, they may tell me, in not so many words, to go jump in the lake. They are Beings of higher stature than I, more evolved, older, wiser and responsible for much more important work. They are NOT at my beck and call. That being said, they do not require frivolous duty from me. They do understand that as a human being living in the mundane world in a very physical plane of existence I am responsible for keeping body and soul together which requires that I earn a living to shelter and feed myself and my companion and that I must sleep in order to tend to the health of the body for which I am responsible. They do however require that I live my life with honor and courage. That my magick be ethical and that I do not allow myself to live a life devoid of joy.