What is your relationship with the Divine? Is it Devotional? Collaborative? An agreement of reciprocity? How does this engagement flow into your mundane relationships? or Does it?
This week’s Pagan Experience topic asks us to elaborate on our relationship with Divine. I’ve talked about this subject in the past (links at the end), but thought I would use this time to explore how my own relationship with Deity has developed.
Many, many years ago I engaged in a series of email exchanges with a woman of Scottish ancestry who practised Spaewifery. A Spae Wife, for those not familiar with this term, is the Scottish term for fortune telling woman, or witch, in the Orkney Islands. The word itself originates from the Old Norse “spá”, meaning prophesize.
We exchanged services as well. I taught her Reiki and did her Level 1 and 2 attunements, she shared with me her knowledge on making Spirit Masks.
The Spae Wife
Hidden awa, in a neuk o’ the fair,
Slicht, an sleekit, an sly,
The spae wife sits, in the spae wife’s tent,
Watchin the fowk gaun by.
Hidden awa, in her lang-luggit lair,
Her skill, the gift o’ the gab,
The spae wife sits, in the spae wife’s tent,
A wyver, wyvin her wab.
Her een’s twa lichtit spunks o’ fire,
Her hair’s a corbie’s wing,
She’s steep’t till the core, in the Black, black airt
Her truth’s a birlin ring.
Fur Misery’s a mairket place,
That’s trade fur as the sizzens,
The spae wife kens, the fly auld jaad,
That Hope sells mair nur besoms.
Her Ace o’ Trumps is promises,
She’s skilled at the hinneyed lee,
Thoombin the cairds o’ Fortune
Tae ken fit weird ye’ll dree.
Fur fit’s afore, ye’ll nae win by,
Bit a nod’s as guid as a wink,
An some wid sup wi’ the Deil himsel,
The Ace o’ Spaads tae jink.
As iron boos i’ the blacksmith’s haun,
As meal mells wi the miller,
The lassie’s thochts on a pyock o’ dreams
The spae wife’s thochts on siller.
I found of most interest though her discussion on how she as a Spae wife interacted with Deity, because it very closely matched my own views, which had been developing intuitively over time.
Deity, God and Goddess, are not considered to be invisible forces dwelling in a far away inaccessible place. They are not ineffable beings which can only be reached through supplication and third-party intervention. The Gods can be conversed with as easily as I converse with my neighbours over the back fence. Perhaps more easily these days.
What is my relationship with Divine?
I see our relationship as being an equal partnership. We each bring something to it that the other cannot provide. I go to them seeking guidance and wisdom, and I have gone to them in the past asking for a shoulder to lean upon whilst I found my footing. They come to me for knowledge on what it is like to be in a human body.
I don’t worship Them. I did once in a conversation with Modron ask Her if She wanted me to worship Her. Her response was to laugh, and tell me that She neither wanted nor expected such from me. And if I were to try to worship Her, I wouldn’t be the person she had chosen to be Patron to.
When people start talking about how the Gods need our worship, I find myself thinking of a scene from a Star Trek movie. The one where everyone journeys to the edge of the universe and they find God. And God wants a space ship. Everyone else is all ready to hand over their spaceship to God, but Captain Kirk asks the one unasked question: Why does God need a spaceship?”
These are Gods, why do they need our worship? Unless the Gods are like the Deities from Terry Pratchett’s DiscWorld. The less people worship them, the smaller they become. Source: Small Gods
I don’t go through elaborate ritual or intermediaries to converse with Them. Oh, I have had conversations which certainly flowed more easily within a defined ritual space, but They are just as likely to show up for a quick chat when I am going about my mundane day. I mostly chat with Herne, Modron, and Brigid, but Others have come round on occasion; generally when they want me to pass a message on to someone else.
I don’t believe that anyone else needs an intermediary to converse with Deity, but it doesn’t always follow that the person is listening. That is when They tap on my shoulder and ask me to pass on messages. Once done, I step out and leave the two of them to continue the conversation, or not, without me.
What about Invoking the Gods? Simply put, I don’t. Not even when I do formal ritual. It is my thought that when I create a ritual space or a sacred healing space I am creating a pocket of sacredness that links the World with the Unseen World.
Lousy, unsubstantiated shoddy physics alert!
We, as humans live in a 3-dimensional universe. Everything we can see and routinely interact with exists in 3 dimensions. Now imagine, if you will, that superimposed upon this world is a world where everything exists in 2 dimensions, and within that a world where everything exists in 1 dimension.
This could be seen as a single sheet of paper. Beings existing in 1 dimension dwell on a single point on the horizontal or X-axis. They have neither depth, not width.
2-dimensional beings exist on the horizontal and vertical, or x- and y-axis.They have height and width, but not depth.
3-dimensional beings, like us, exist on the x-, y-, and z-axis.
Mathematically, “Thus a line has a dimension of one because only one coordinate is needed to specify a point on it – for example, the point at 5 on a number line. A surface such as a plane or the surface of a cylinder or sphere has a dimension of two because two coordinates are needed to specify a point on it – for example, both a latitude and longitude is required to locate a point on the surface of a sphere. The inside of a cube, a cylinder or a sphere is three-dimensional because three coordinates are needed to locate a point within these spaces.”
A being in the 1-dimensional universe cannot comprehend beings in 2-dimensional or higher universes. A being in the 2-dimensional universe can comprehend the existence of beings in a 1-dimensional universe, but not in a 3-dimensional or higher. A being in 3-dimensional universe can comprehend the existence of beings in the 1- and 2- dimension universes, but not in any higher dimensions. Indeed, there would be great discussion and debate and arguments at each level on whether or not these higher-numbered dimensions even exist.
Now, imagine for a moment that the number of possible dimensions is not limited to 3. What if what we call Gods or Angels or Guardian Spirits are beings that exist in a world of 4-dimensions, or 5, or more? While they would have a full overarching view of everything that goes on in my world of 3 dimensions, I would only be able to catch and partially comprehend tiny snippets of their world.
What’s all this got to do with invoking/not invoking Gods?
As I said before I got sidetracked, when I create sacred space I am forming a pocket that exists within this world and Other World space. I am setting up a working place in Their world. I wouldn’t walk into someone’s house, demand they drop everything and come see me in their lounge, and while they’re at it, take care of a few errands for me. That’d be rude, and more than a little bit presumptuous. So why would I do that to the Gods, Elemental Spirits, and other non-corporeal beings when I enter their world?
Instead of invoking, I invite. Instead of demanding (however nicely) They do something for me, I ask them to observe and offer guidance as I do the work.
We all get along quite well as a result.
More blog posts on this subject:
Meeting the Gods (and other spirit beings)