A great many Pagans and Druids talk about serving the Gods, and doing what the Gods ask of them. I have a confession to make: I do not hear the voice of deity. I used to, years ago, but it went away. There may be reasons. I became too wrapped up in my pain. I become too weary to give – my acts of service went to the material realm, I had nothing to offer the Gods beyond that, and so, perhaps, they ceased bothering with me. Perhaps I have become spiritually deaf. Perhaps there is nothing they want from me right now and they have more important things to be doing. They are Gods, after all.
I have no trouble at all holding to the idea that Gods exist. But I’ve never been good at holding relationship with anything I couldn’t interact with. Belief without relationship doesn’t work for me, I don’t know how to do it. I love and respect the natural world, and the energies of human creativity. I pay a lot of attention to the things I encounter, to the reeds and the grebes, the sky, the earth. I have a sense of the sacredness in all that is around me, but based on previous experience, that’s not the same as a feeling of relationship with deity.
I could beat myself up over this. I have spent a lot of time wondering what changed, and why, and whether this is some judgement upon me, some proof of insufficiency and of not being a proper Druid after all. When the rain falls on me, I do not think it is a divine judgement on my shortcomings. I think it’s rain, falling. When something random and shitty happens in my life, I don’t tend to think “ah, the gods are pissed off with me again, better sacrifice a goat.” Shit happens, and it happens to everyone, and some of the best people I know have had some really hard things in their lives. So that can’t be it. That said, when unimaginable good fortune comes my way, I do tend to wonder if I have been smiled on by some benevolent force, and I express my gratitude.
There are people in my life I haven’t heard from in years. People on the folk scene, for example. The silence does not suggest to me that they no longer exist. It doesn’t make me think they hate me. Based on experience to date, when I next run into them, we’ll sit down somewhere and talk, and the intervening years won’t matter much at all, aside from the work of filling in the gaps. Why should I assume the gods are any less busy, and any less pleasant, than folk musicians? I don’t.
I’m saying this partly because it’s something I have made my peace with. Partly also in response to the many online pagans who are talking about their personal relationships with the divine. I would be prepared to bet I’m not the only one who doesn’t have that right now. Am I less of a human because of it? I don’t think so. Am I less of a Druid because of it? Well, maybe, but also maybe not. Perhaps the work I need to be doing right now is quietly inside myself, and the Gods are leaving me alone until I get straight enough to be useful again. I also don’t think of the Gods as being omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, I think they are finite entities and they may be busy elsewhere.
So if you’re one of the people who isn’t talking about what the gods ask you to do for them, I hope this comes at least as some kind of comfort.