I do not “worship” the gods.

el-salvador-337441_1920To worship a being means to deeply respect and revere that being. That basic definition is powerful and meaningful for me personally because by that definition I worship all beings – deities, humans, animals, plants, rocks, you name it. However, when most people use the term worship, it is understood to mean that one not only respects and reveres a being but also submits to and defers to that being. That understanding of worship centers hierarchy and the logics of domination in my opinion, which is not really my bag.

statue-250819_1920I honor the “Powers That Be”, I praise them, I edify their holy names, but I do not worship them in the sense that they are better than or more important or more holy. The worlds gain nothing by asserting the worth of one class of beings over another. Do the gods have power and influence beyond my own? Hell yes they do. So much so that it scares me sometimes. But there are human folk who fit this description to a degree too. Honestly, President Obama has more power and influence than lots of people, but he’s not worshiped. I think that’s because his worth is obviously equal to other people’s. In my view my worth and every other person’s worth is equal to the worth of the gods, pandas, slugs, herb plants, river rocks, and the host of other beings in our universe.Β The gods have great worth and so do I. The gods have great value and so do I. I appreciate the gods influence in the worlds and their power to effect change, but they are not better than anyone or anything, and neither am I.

statue-1405539_1920I prefer ecological models of relationship to hierarchical ones. Hierarchies obscure the ways that we are utterly interdependent and interconnected. We are side by side, not one above or below the other. If any one group of beings is removed from the ecology, the entire system shifts for all beings involved.

Honoring a deity takes strength of spirit. Worship is what we are often encouraged to do in relation to “higher” powers. From my experience of worship it easily gives way to obligation and bondage. The soul caliber required to choose a deity and be chosen by them and to continually choose one another and the Work that you both value for it’s impact on the world shapes many aspects of my spiritual journey and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have come to believe that power, value, and worth are really best figured horizontally rather than vertically, ecologically rather than hierarchically.

8 thoughts on “I do not “worship” the gods.

  1. My God…I could have written this! I totally agree with you about worshipping the gods! I have recently been contacted by a couple of Orishas, and although I have been asking for their help, I do not intend to have any kind of worshipful relationship with them. They aren’t demanding it either. I think people’s need to worship deities is more a function of their own personal self-worth. They need to have beings above them, as authority figures or something. I don’t get it, but everyone’s different I guess. I’m glad to see we’re on the same wavelength though! πŸ™‚

      • Chango was the first one to appear in a dream, and I have had several dreams with him now. He introduced me to Papa Legba, who I’ve had a falling out with over a prank, and Oya appeared in another dream to tell me not to deal with him! Oya has been appearing to me by sending me dragonflies and fireflies…which I never see! I think I may be a daughter of Oya. And lastly, Oshun has been helping me with my curly hair issues. She hasn’t appeared in any dreams though, but she does speak to me. My link to her isn’t as strong…we’re not a lot alike. 😦 Chango by far has been the most interactive though! He’s not like a lot of the images and stories I’ve read…he’s been very charming and warm with me. πŸ™‚

      • It sounds like you’ve had lots of personally rich, meaningful encounters with the Orisha πŸ™‚ May the Orisha continue to bless you on your journey!

      • yes…I was most surprised when they showed up, for I am a 53 year old white woman! LOL I’m pagan, but I’ve only recently heard of the Orishas, but once Chango showed up, I got curious and have been researching them. They seem to like me for some reason! LOL I am very happy and excited to get some new spirit guides! And thank you! Do you deal with them too?

      • My experiences are primarily with Eleggua and Oya though I’ve had some contact with Chango, Yemaya, Oshun, and Orunmila. I am not an initiate of any ATR (African Traditional Religions), but the Orisha do choose to communicate with me for various reasons from time to time.

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