God Issues

I’ve been interested in Pagan deities since childhood. I’m deeply attracted to the stories, and early on I was much more of an active polytheist, seeking relationship with deity. The reasons that I fell out of that are many. I’ve no problem with the idea that gods exist and that people interact with them, it just doesn’t work for me.

I struggle with the feudal language that always comes up around deity. It’s funny because there’s a massive sub streak in my nature but most of the time I have no desire to be in a relationship with a being who is so much more powerful than me. My urge to serve doesn’t translate into an urge to serve a deity, and I have no idea why.

I struggle with the gendered language. It’s taken me a while to figure out anything much about the ways in which gender doesn’t do it for me. So much of the language we have is so very gendered when it comes to deity. Some days I find Goddess material difficult because while I have a (mal)functioning womb, my experience of being embodied just doesn’t chime with a lot of what other people seem to be doing around Goddess worship. I know there are gender complicated deities out there, but none of them really speak to me either.

I struggle with the whole notion of anthropomorphic Gods, a lot of the time. I think humans tend to favour picturing Gods as a lot like humans because for many people that helps. For me, it’s a bit of a barrier. I don’t actually want the spirit of the land to show up with a human face and talk to me in my own language. For me, that would feel like a loss of magic, not a more accessible manifestation of deity. If I want to talk to the land, I talk to the land, and I don’t expect any kind of reply.

Around all of this, I have an experimental and intermittent prayer practice. I’ve found that it works best for me just to address things to the universe, or to any bit of the universe that might be listening and interested. I listen, on the off-chance there’s anything out there that wants to talk to me – and mostly there isn’t, which is fine. Most days, there is no reason at all for anything out there to take interest in me, and most of the time I feel that this is far better for me anyway. I’m not sure it would be at all healthy for me. I have too much hunger around wanting to feel special and important, and I think that would make me a problematic worshipper, and an even more problematic priest. Better to work through those issues in my own time than load that onto a relationship with a deity and risk where that might take me.

About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, polyamourous animist, ant-fash, anti-capitalist, bisexual steampunk. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

6 responses to “God Issues

  • David Corrin

    Nimue Wrote:
    “I’ve found that it works best for me just to address things to the universe, or to any bit of the universe that might be listening and interested. ”

    That is why I tend to refer to Deity as The Universal Deity.

    3X3

  • River

    Likewise. I’ve survived the whole Catholic serving-a-god thing and it was hell. I’m not serving anyone anymore, thanks. Working with the spirits of land, sea and sky feels much more natural and eco-theological. Also as a queer trans person the whole goddess=womb god=phallus thing (which to be fair is mostly Wiccan) really squicks me out.

  • locksley2010

    It was the mystery of the Celtic gods that helped drive me towards Paganism, especially when place and river names linked to them: The river Don (Danu) for eg.

    As time has gone on, and I managed conversations with certain deities within visualisations, I was never really sure if it was them I was speaking with or parts of my psyche being attributed towards them.

    These days I wonder if our attraction to the gods is in fact seeing them as we would like to see ourselves. That we are attracted to certain deities because we are seeking for those qualities within us.

    Think you might have inspired my next post, Nimue!

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