During a chat with a close friend, I found myself pointing out that Pagan Gods are famous for making mistakes. It’s always been one of the most attractive points about Paganism to have deities that are not only powerful but also relatable. Unlike in Christian mythos, Pagan tales are filled with lover’s quarrels, thievery, murder and a slew of other misdeeds that all teach the reader some very important lessons not only about the Gods but about themselves. Mainstream Christianity will adhere that their God and the conduit to that higher power, Jesus Christ are without sin or flaw but even reading in between the lines of the bible, people can easily pick out some inconsistencies.
This is not to say that our Gods are not dynamic beings with awe-inspiring tales that can elicit every emotion from tears to cringes. Pagan folklore, our worldly collection of culture and history is splattered with divine ups and downs. It can be overwhelming to see the Gods as less than perfect but it also makes them more real to us. I want you to consider the following thought and perhaps meditate on it. Who made the first mistakes? Who originally lost everything only to recover in some form and transform? What are the lessons we can take from these misadventures?
It’s very likely that much of humanity’s struggle directly emulates the struggle of the Gods. To embrace these deities fully, we must accept all sides of their personalities, from their greatest victories to their downfalls. It not only teaches us to accept ourselves for our failings but also gives us a path to proactively change our lives for the better. Let’s take a closer look at some of those stories and see what we can learn from them, shall we?
When we first peer into introductory Greek mythology, we are met with a humbling scene of the Titaness Rhea giving birth to the six elder Olympian Gods (Hestia, Hades, Demeter, Poseidon and Hera) only to have the first five consumed by Her jealous mate, Cronus. The clever Rhea, not wanting to lose Her sixth child to the monstrous lord, disguised a rock in a swaddling cloth and fed it to Him as She hid the baby Zeus. This is the first divine mistake of Greek mythology! From this tale, we see the arrogance and cruelty issued by Cronus as He devours His children to keep His claim on the heavenly throne and ensure the loyalty of the earth, sky and the elements. We also see how a Mother’s determination to save Her child can yield some pretty clever tactics!
Now when we interact with our Gods, it’s important to view them as they are and we can do this by reading about Their struggles and victories. It’s not about seeing Them as all-powerful and perfect beings that sit statically upon a mountain top staring down upon humanity with the burning gaze of judgement. No, to enjoy a more intimate connection with your Gods, see Them as teachers. See Them as the ones who came first and battled not only external forces but the much scarier enemy that lies within us all. As Pagans, nothing is static about our beliefs, relationships or our views. Just as we try emulate the Gods in our daily lives, we also take in nature and it’s ever changing whims with each breath. Pagans are evolutionists who are moving towards not only changing themselves for the better, but tempering themselves as steel within the fire to become stronger warriors of spirit and body.
It’s important to read about our Gods but it’s more important to have Them speak to you through these tales. Many of you know about my deep connection with the Goddess Kali and how I can sometimes emulate the best and worst of Her attributes. The way I honor Her best is by seeing these extremes within myself and taking a moment to walk in balance. Reaching out to a broader pantheon as I do gives me the unique opportunity to learn different lessons through the divine challenges set before my Gods. There is so much to take in when reading that can be readily applied to our own lives that we can sometimes miss the lessons being repeatedly shoved in our faces. Ignoring those lessons can have dire consequences so it’s important not to shy away when presented with hard facts.
Listen to the Gods. If you’ve failed in some aspect of your life and want to attone for it – then acknowledge the issue and work towards repairing that damage. If it’s something that can’t be fixed, then move forward to make what changes are necessary to not repeat the same errors and accrue more negative energy. Your mistakes, like the Gods, can become divine mistakes to read about and be taught to friends, family and tribe. Remember, the Gods are not as far away as some of us feel. They are walking right beside us and showing us great and terrible things! Stand with courage and see the truth in your own life and let the lessons taught to us by the ancients send ripples to the present and future. Blessed Be!