I shudder to think what certain people will throw at me after reading this, haha! In our online forum, we’ve had heated discussions on the subject, and it turned out that almost everyone had a different view of what the Divine is, whether or not gods exist, and if yes, in which form. Well, here’s my hagish take on it.
First of all, everything is energy. Even so-called solid objects, or our own bodies, are on some level whirling energies because every atom consists of perpetually moving particles (I’m aware I’m probably not describing this in the scientifically correct terminology, but I hope you know what I mean).
Depending on the density of the energy, we can either see and feel something, like objects, or only feel them, like air when we move around in it, or they have so little density that most people cannot perceive them at all, at least not with their physical senses.
Many people nowadays know that we create our own reality by attracting that which we most often think about, or feel passionate about (don’t believe it? Watch The Secret, on http://www.thesecret.tv). Science is beginning to learn how to measure thought and emotional energy, as well as trace the processes of repeated and strong thoughts and feelings manifesting in the “real” world. Of course, magicians, religious and spiritual people have had this knowledge for ages. Magic works by focusing energy and projecting it to a specific purpose.
There are those who say that people created the gods. Others insist that the gods have always been there. I think there are two sides to the story: the way we perceive the gods is shaped by our reality and that which we are capable of perceiving. Certain themes have always been present in human life, like motherhood, love, struggle, fights, art… It’s no coincidence that most of the gods from ancient pantheons take on one specific purpose, they are gods of war, love etc. I believe that prevalent themes and emotions accumulate in energy fields of higher densities, and because they aren’t visible to the physical eye, the only way people can relate to them is by giving them the shape and name of a goddess or god, accessorising them with attire, weapons, and features appropriate to the people’s own culture. Now once a culture had identified and named a certain deity, regular worship began, myths and legends were told around the god or goddess, and so, as more and more energy by more and more people was fed into this particular accumulation of energy, it got increasingly dense, increasingly “real”. Most of the ancient deities have endured over centuries or millennia, and they still have worshippers today.
Now that’s the human part in “creating” the gods, but I don’t think it ends there. The divine energies, which I prefer to call the “powers that be”, extend far beyond human reach or grasp. It would be rather megalomaniac of us to think that we can perceive and understand all that is, don’t you think? It is this glimpse of “more than you can fathom” that makes deities so irresistible to humans. And no, it doesn’t have to be because people want to look up to a higher power. I don’t see the powers that be as “higher” at all, I see them as different from myself, extending to more spheres of being. They act in their own ways, as all life does. In no way do they alleviate my responsibility – on the contrary. It’s helpful if I align myself with those powers as much as possible, because that makes my own life easier and enables me to create the part of my reality which is in my power.
I don’t have a romanticised view of the powers that be, or life – life simply exists, it isn’t good or benevolent – but neither is it bad. It gives and it takes, sometimes for no reason a human being could understand. Our purpose, in my opinion, is not to understand, it is to perceive and open ourselves to the flow of life. Life is anyway, with or without me, but as I align my energies to the positive and joyful, I will attract like energy from the world around. This is how I create my life, in accordance with the powers that be. And when people worship a deity, or sacrifice to them in order to win their goodwill, what they are really doing is bring their own energies into alignment with the specific deity or what it stands for, so it becomes more likely that this area of the worshipper’s life will improve or keep going well.
Personally, I don’t often look at the Divine as individual deities, although it can be useful at times and help a tiny human mind a lot. On one occasion, at a time when I was learning about the Heathen ways, I had Freya gate-crashing one of my rituals in quite a powerful way. It was unmistakably her, and there was nothing I could do about it – nobody asked me whether I’m into “personalised-deities worship” or not.
I say, handle it the way it suits you. If you choose to work with existing deities, do so with the appropriate caution and common sense. I know that more than one naive new magician has called upon dark goddesses like Kali and lived (if at all) to regret it. If you want my advice, it’ll be along the lines of: Be aware that things are usually not as simple as they may seem, and if you think you’ve figured something out, that’s usually the point when you are in for a big surprise…
Written in 2006