To Embrace The Gods
When we talk about a hug we all know what it implies. We surround a person completely with our arms. To Embrace is an intimate act that also implies surrender and acceptance.
That said, we are going to talk about devotion.
When we offer ourselves to the deity, either as devotees or as their Priestesses or Priests we have to be very aware of who are we embracing. I know that there are deities that seem to be in fashion, who have been gaining popularity among modern pagans and other groups for some years. We have in this case, people who, so to speak, embrace the deity without really knowing it in depth, who read information via google from questionable sources and feel they are ready to dedicate themselves to the deity.
Then we have another group, those who embraced only part of the deity.
Can you embrace a deity partially? For some, apparently yes, or too many do. I have met priestesses who even sweeten the deities. What I try to say is that they choose, so to speak, only work with their most gentle side, denying in some ways the darker aspects of the deity. By the way, if we have a shadow, why deny the shadow of the deity? Some sweeten the Gods, even manipulate their image to justify why to serve them and make them cooler, even a bit more pink. I'm sorry but I think that you can't change a deity or embrace it only partially, I'm sorry, it's disrespectful and it certainly says little about your true dedication to the Gods.
If you have read the definition I have tried to give about what it is to embrace, you cannot deny a deity as a whole. It is true that a deity that has many aspects gives us the opportunity to work with each one of them, or with those that we personally resonate the most. But that is one thing and another, as I say, is to proclaim/pretend that everything is good. That is not true. Especially when we serve very ancient or primordial deities and we study them, (study seriously, don't read a blog entry and that's it), some come across as quite destructive, myths are full of lights and shadows, some of these shadows are absolutely terrible.
If as a serious devotee you are not able to embrace your deity as a whole, why bother to worship it? It is easier to buy a barbie or a unicorn to put on your bed. Sekhmet is not the queen of empowerment or personal growth, she does not encourage you by shaking pompoms to reach your goal, what are you talking about? Sekhmet is also destructive, it is disease, it is uncontrolled fury, even Hekate who is so fashionable has dark aspects, for example Brimo (terrifying), Androphonos (murderer of men), Charopos (fierce), Mormo (monstrous) and also Sarkophagos ( flesh eater) and Thanategos (the one who brings death). Another example, I also invoke her father, the Titan Perses through her to connect with the root of her destroying aspect. She is very popular and everything you want, but she is not a cotton candy Goddess. If you embrace her, you embrace all she is, in the case of Sekhmet and especially Hekate, they have quite a few titles. I do mention them as I could mention some others, such as Morrigan, Ram, Hel or Kali, deities with accentuated shadows, of course not all of them are female, Poseidon, Susanoo, Perses that I have already mentioned, Marduk or Loki. And I am mentioning deities somehow more humanized, Perses is closer to the primordial chaos in this sense and to the forces of nature as a Titan.
You cannot look at these types of deities through rose-colored glasses, no way! You have to look at them or approach them with the respect you would have for a hurricane, although perhaps your instinct would to run the other way if you see a tornado approaching. Perhaps for this very reason there are not actually so many devotees of primordial deities. In this sense, we tend to worship deities with whom we identify in one way or another. If I am a Priestess of Sekhmet, among other things, it is because somehow we are connected by some of her aspects and I recognize my shadow in hers.
You can read this and laugh, even be offended. It is my opinion after all, but I hope that some will read this and rethink their way of approaching the Gods a bit. If you are not prepared to embrace all, do not bother to approach them, that is my advice, do not approach with fear, approach with respect, it is different, it is not bad to walk slowly towards the Gods, run towards them and you will end up hitting a wall . They are the ones who choose, the path is to surrender to what is for you and because something is popular does not mean it is for you or you need to surf with the flow. Immerse yourself in books, learn everything you can about the Gods, open up to them to teach you, there are ways.
Once you put on the invisible sandals that take you to the liminal spaces there is no turning back, it is like taking the blue pill that opens the door to the matrix.
If you choose to listen don't cover your ears. You fool yourself more than you fool others.
*Note: Of course Deities will direct us to certain places, people, in a way they might point us to certain enterprises and support us but they are not Cheerleaders! You know what I meant!