The SSE (Sister Shaped Entity) wrote an interesting post about patron gods. It’s more focused on the the Asatru/Heathenry take on the subject, but it really could apply to just about anything Pagan. I have heard her full opinion on such stuff in person, so the article was familiar ground for me. While it didn’t add anything new to my knowledge base, it did trigger the desire to say something on the subject, because it did catalyst a few epiphanies that I had been working up to.
I don’t have a patron. I don’t have a fulltrui. Not amongst the Norse pantheon or any other, so far as I can tell. If I do, the party in question has been pretty damn quiet about it…so either it’s not time yet or it never will be time. Personally, I’ve stopped worrying about it. It took a little while to get there, and I realize one of of my hang ups was…well…other Heathens.
It was surprisingly difficult to be one of the people in the room that didn’t (allegedly) have some sort of connection to draw upon. People around me were talking about having a connection with the divine, and I wanted to touch on that as well; I still do. Not because all the cool kids were doing it, but because I wanted to understand this new vista. I wanted to do more then send a prayer forth like either either a plea to a parent for cash or like a thank you note to an aunt for a Christmas sweater. I wanted to speak to and thank the forces that I hold sacred, and I wanted to do it personally. Not out of some perception that there was a divine obligation that I was owed, but out of a desire to be truly respectful.
I am surrounded by people who actually get something out of spiritual traveling other then an accidental nap. I know multiple acquaintances who have inspiring or vivid dreams, where the last dream of note that I had was one where Mr. T showed me a selection of fishing equipment. These things are talked about often, and I feel like I am completely unequipped for the conversation because I feel unequipped for the playing field.
So I get why people push themselves to have connections that they don’t, in fact, have. It’s difficult feeling like the odd man out in a room full of black sheep, and it’s the sort of thing you end up searching for answers for. Failing finding the answers, you might end up creating answers of your own devising. It sort of makes sense that people would make themselves believe in something that has not, in fact, happened.
It’s still pretty dumb though.
At a recent event, the SSE suggested that perhaps what I wanted out of spirituality wasn’t what I was going to get; maybe it was beyond me, and that I shouldn’t feel like I was deficient for it. That I shouldn’t be a fish feeling stupid for being unable to climb a tree. While I’m not going to quit attempting to kiss the infinite (or, at least, snuggle with a particularly vast finite), I think there was a something she touched on that was quite poignant.
The SSE and her Ginger-Orc fiancee have come to their faith and spirituality through some pretty unique and challenging ways. The lady-pet has her own views, and while the path she walked was equally unique and rocky? I would say that it wasn’t even vaguely similar to the other two. Other people I’ve talked to have shown me widely divergent paths as well. I haven’t found the one that works for me yet, but that’s the key word: yet. I’m still looking. If I never find anything, I intend to be seeking something until the day I die.
I have looked upon the face of faith and smiled. With great difficulty, I’ve done things I once thought I’d never be able to do. I have seen my intuition sharpen dramatically over the last year or so. There is a path for me to walk, just as there is a path for everyone. The only way that someone would be truly incapable is if they decided they should be so. If they walk away from that path purposefully.
This is where that pressure makes some people fall short I think; they go so desperate to be any sort of special that they’ll take up the first special they come across and just say “me too!” and not realize they’ve just made themselves as bland as paste. You might think that a fireman is pretty special, but if you just grab their helmet and wear it all the damn time for no bloody reason other then trying to be special like a fireman? You’re actually just ending up as part of the scenery. You’ve opted to trade whatever might be amazing about you some day for what is amazing about someone else today.
It won’t fit. No matter how dapper you think you look in that helmet? You’re not a fireman. Don’t try to be one. Be you.
(If you actually are a fireman, please disregard the preceding metaphor. Especially if my house is on fire then…shit…for the love of all that is holy BE A FIREMAN)
Edited on 1/24/2012: Edited due to numerous typos and for clarity.