Telling God Who's Boss

As many of you know, this past winter I experienced my own dark night of the soul. Thanks in part to being overly intellectual about my spiritual exploration, and going through one of the lower periods of the ebb and flow humans seem to have when surfing the tide of divine communion.
Recently, I had the privilege of speaking with Pagan author Dorothy Morrison, and she gave me this amazing 'Aha!' moment. It's been something I've mulled over ever since the conversation. Usually, what is on the podcast stays on the podcast, and what is on the blog is pretty exclusive to the blog. But, today, I felt a crossover was in order.

During our conversation, I asked Dorothy how she copes with those dark nights of the soul. She surprised me, because she admitted that even she - a person who makes a living from her spiritual teachings - goes through those periods of doubt, of feeling separated and unsure of the divine. You always think people you consider spiritual mentors have this perfectly seemless relationship with the divine, that they might just spend their days having tea with the Morrigan and shopping with Aphrodite.

What she told me, and I'm paraphrasing a bit here, is that if you feel disconnected from the divine, you need to stomp your feet and scream at the sky: GET YOUR ASS BACK DOWN HERE AND PAY ATTENTION TO ME!

And...this struck me. For a number of reasons, reasons that I grasped during our conversation, and reasons that I'm only just now comprehending.

See, what I've always assumed is that your relationship with the divine is like being the biggest nerd in school who also happens to be best friends with the head cheerleader. You know that film trope where one of the characters grew up pretty and well-adjusted and good at everything, and one of you grew up playing Magic the Gathering on the weekend and becoming a popcorn connoisseur because of all the nights spent in your bedroom watching old 80s movies? That's what I've always thought being in a relationship with the divine was like.

They're the popular one. They are beautiful and perfect and powerful and good at everything and you, inexplicably, get to be their buddy. Sure, you're not ever going to share the spotlight, but a little of their glow might tangentially rub off on you if you hang around them long enough. Heck, you might even pick up a few beauty tips and improve yourself by emulating them. But, you're definitely the Beta in the relationship.

The way Dorothy tells it, however, I have it all wrong. She explains that we've got just as much right to be in that relationship as they do. That it's a 50/50 thing. We seek the Divine, and the Divine should seek us right back. We have the spark of Divinity within us - we are all stardust, after all - and, because of that, we are every bit an Alpha in the relationship.

And, if we're seeking the Divine, but they're not there... Maybe we're not the ones with the problem. Maybe they checked out or left the room or whatever. Maybe there was a really happening party going on over on Pluto's premier beach resort. (Pluto is a planet, dammit.)

Perhaps we should be reminded that our relationship with the Divine is symbiotic. We learn and grown from them/It/Her/Him/whatever. But the Divine is supported by our experience in this life. We come from that place and will return to that place, and it only serves the purposes of the divine to be a part of our lives. How can we live full, spiritually fulfilled lives if tthe 'spirit' that's supposed to be fulfilling us isn't around?

Now, I realize there are flaws in this logic. Flaws that indicate the Divine is some sort of flighty teenager who zones out on occasion. Flaws that indicate the Divine isn't always there. Flaws that lead to more unanswered questions.

But, I think now I'm beginning to understand the concept of capital M Mysteries. There are things that seem to not work, to be disjointed, not quite connected, and it's all part of our lesson to ask more questions. To dig deeper.

For now, though, it's enough to know that sometimes you need your stomping boots ready for when the Divine is playing a game of Not That Into You.

Love and Lyte,

Fire Lyte

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  1. This falls right in line with the Classical Greek and Roman approach to religion. The latin term "Do et Dare" means give to get and it is the "why" behind their religion. We give to our deities so that we may get from our deities. It's a deal between you and the deities and it's only fair that they return the favor. If they disappear on you (as they so often do) it seems more than reasonable to remind them you are still willing to give if they are.

  2. I posted a long comment then Google went crazy... so I just want to say thanks for an amazing interview and awesome good for thought here. - Tywonna

  3. I was taught that the Gods need us, just as much as we need them. All the love and energy we put out into the universe helps to sustain them, and in return, they will help us as they can. I agree with the previous comment, in that Dorothy's way of thinking reminds me of "Aradia, The Gospel of the Witches", by Charles Leland. Many of the poems/spells not only call on Deity, but cajole, beg, and yes, even threaten Deity to help the Witch with the problem. As she said, for magic to work, be fully invested, and getting angry at the Gods may help to that end. As I just got around to listening to the podcast today, her words are still fresh in my head. Thank you for the wonderful interview!

  4. Yes, I agree with Dorothy. I have, more than a few times, raged against God. I have yelled and thrown things across the room in only the way a natural feisty redhead can do. I felt ignored, betrayed and unappreciated, by those I counted on in the spirit world. And you know what? They listened and they helped me. They worked with me on some pretty life changing magic. And then we swept the whole thing under the rug. Because it is a partnership. We work together. When I was a little girl born into a Catholic family, I sat obediently and listened to my first grade Sister advise us to do just this (in her own way , of course) - she said (and I quote) "If God doesn't hear your prayers, then you have to go tell his mother." :)


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