Go read the exquisite Sarah on the nature of gods.
“I worship Dionysos. A name for something feral and wild. My God….madness, intoxication, fermentation, dancing, poetry, blood, freedom, the vine. His name is as much a fabrication as the images of his face, as the coat he wears in my dreams of him, running through the deep wood, shouts and fire. But he is real. And how do I know that? Because I have been drunk. Because I have seen madness. Because I have written poetry, and have danced, and have picked ripe grapes from dark vines. Because I have blood. And all those things are him – the rest is storytelling and music and poetry and human invention. Yet these things too are meaningful, gorgeous, greater than we could imagine. Because Dionysos is also the Mystery in those things, the wonderment, the vague unease, the terror. So he is a Power greater than what we can understand, and blissful and awful, and so he is God.”
The nature of the gods is clearly beyond words, but Sarah has managed to capture some of what many of us mean when we speak of Deity.
An encapsulation. Dionysos is the very essence of dancing, drunkenness and madness. We may all have these experiences, and here is Dionysos to represent the totality of all the Worlds’ experiences of these states of Being.
This applies just as clearly to the demiurge Jehovah. The personification of wrath, jealousy and vengefulness. You bet.
So, I’ve been thinking a little on the deities I’ve chosen to associate most closely with these past decades – Hecate and Anubis.
Hecate is the distillation, to me, of Magic in the World. Also the Essence of the Witch. And wild animals becoming domesticated, or else the domesticated becoming wild. Mistress of the dark unconscious, She waits at the crossroads for the lone passer by, to ensnare or enchant her and to open the road to Self.
Anubis I have jokingly referred to as ‘a dog’, but in effect he’s a Jackal – or not quite a Jackal, but partly a man, as well. In his human hands he bears implements – the Ankh and the Opener of the Mouth. Symbolic tools for enlightenment of the spirit.
And I notice how both these aspects of deity with whom I have chosen to ally are threshold mixtures of the civilised and the wild. Both standing in the liminal space between the human and the nonhuman, the ordered and the chaotic. A choice of ways to travel is represented by the Hecate and Anubis of my altars, of my trances.The untamed carrying tools.
May we see ourselves always as potentially translators between the culture and the immanence of all the Worlds.
Postscript: As if to underscore my thoughts, five minutes after I wrote this, the local sparrows, in exchange for a bit of bread and tomato and basil, brought me a gift of dandelions – Hecate’s flower.