Sitting in Catholic school as a young child was a fascinating experience for me. The world of Saints, the Virgin Mary, the sacrifice of the Christ, and sacred Trinity unfolded before me like a vast map. It might sound funny that someone who heavily entrenched in Paganism would fondly remember their enforced Catholic upbringing as being a guide post into a much larger spiritual path – yet it’s true! Much of Catholicism incorporated themes from Paganism because it had to be relevant for the people it was trying to convert. One concept that plagued me during the entire experience, however, was the intangibility of God. People around me felt that God was an invisible presence in our lives. I felt exactly the opposite as I observed first hand, the Christian God working through people for better or worse depending on their individual circumstances.
There is one lesson we can take back from the Catholics and incorporate into the tapestry of modern Paganism. Believe it or not, the concept of canonized believers, such as Saint Brigid of Ireland (who be the way, is one of ours) is a valuable commodity to Paganism in terms of having our Gods become more tangible in our lives. Whereas Catholicism and Christianity are monotheistic and purport that there is only one God and one Savior to mankind, there are a litany of relatable Saints that do the same job as the multi-faceted view of Divinity in Paganism. Could this be one of the missing links that was lost to Paganism during the slow disintegration of our Path in ancient times?
How could the Catholic approach of Saints and other venerated individuals play a part in a spiritual path so uniquely different? Our ancestors were a clever and industrious people who took their wisdom from the world around them. Many of our Gods have very distinctly human traits. It is possible in some areas of thought, that the Gods that seem so distant from us are actually closer than we may think. Like many (but not all) of the Catholic Saints, it is possible that they were actual people with a lineage. Does this take away from Divinity to be equated with humanity? I think a healthy Pagan ego allows for our Gods to be nearer to us in their defeats as well as their victories so that They provide a path of learning for Their devotee. These individuals may well be related to you by a very real and scientific discovery known as genetics!
The area of genetic memory and genetic mapping has become a subject of intense debate and an adventure in the odyssey of humanity. As many Pagans subscribe to “As above, so below” and the “Spiral Path” which is the journey from the inner worlds to the outer worlds (and vice versa), so Scientists have taken exploration of the stars and turned inward to understand the mystery of our origins through our DNA. We have discovered that our genetics are much more than meet the eye and can unravel a new level of self-realization that was otherwise unknown to us. So what does this have to do with our Gods?
In the future, after we are deceased, our children will look back at our deeds. They will decide for themselves if we were a fair and just society or terrible monsters. This is the normal human progression and should not be ignored. Is it possible that modern Pagans in this present age are looking back at individuals and deciding if their deeds are worthy of Godhead or if they should be considered the true villains of history. How do you see Gandhi? Were his deeds similar to that of Krishna or another God? How do you perceive Hitler? Based on available literature and historical knowledge, does this individual with their acts fall into a category that is Godlike? Not all Gods in the Pagan pantheon are benevolent and so we have to consider that these historical characters from our past, which we share genetics with, are part of ourselves.
So genetics links us. There’s debate in the works if Odin was a real person and regardless if that’s fact, we can agree that the concept of Odin and His deeds were dreamed up by one of our ancestors. Divinity is within us and our Gods are as tangible as we are and within our reach. For those struggling with depression, illness, or any other malady that occurs from living in modern society – take heart. You are a richly diverse collection of ancestors who not only had the will to survive, also the will to create epic Gods who are based on the deeds of others.
Next time you are feeling apart from the Gods or the world, stop and think for a moment. You are from that divergent mixture of dreams, genetics, science and theology. You are the Divine Spark of the Gods and there is nothing preventing you from changing anything in your life that has you down. Blessed Be!