The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
June 22, 2021, 01:31:08 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
June 22, 2021, 01:31:08 pm

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Working on Behalf of the Gods?  (Read 10128 times)
Aster Breo
SIG Coordinator
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:January 29, 2013, 09:32:22 pm
United States United States

Religion: Feral Brighideach
TCN ID: Aster Breo
Posts: 5260


Avatar byJuni & Dania

Blog entries (0)


« Topic Start: February 28, 2009, 12:41:07 am »

Earlier today, I read an email from a friend who mentioned in passing the idea that, if we need the Gods, it might also be true that the Gods need *us*.  This comment was in response to my whining about feeling somewhat deserted by, or at least disconnected from Brighid lately because some things in my life have tanked (or it seems that way at the moment, anyway  Undecided ).

I've been thinking all evening about what She might need from me.  It doesn't seem like She particularly needs offerings (of food anyway -- although I think offerings in the form of donations or volunteer work for related causes might be a good thing). 

What do you think?  Do the gods need us, and if so, for what?  I know Shad, f'ex, has a theory that we are the eyes and hands of the gods.  What does that mean in practice?  Are there specific activities or things that you feel you are encouraged or even required to do for your god/dess(es)?  What happens if you don't do them?  How do you know what you're supposed to do?

For Cill members and others who have a relationship with Brighid:  Do you feel Brighid needs you/us to do specific things?  If so, what?  Are they *required* or just encouraged?
Logged

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  ~ George Bernard Shaw

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Matrinka
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:January 03, 2016, 12:36:32 pm
United States United States

Religion: Irish-Celtic witch
Posts: 1034


Níl aon tíntéan, mar do thíntéín féín.

Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #1: February 28, 2009, 09:28:53 am »

Earlier today, I read an email from a friend who mentioned in passing the idea that, if we need the Gods, it might also be true that the Gods need *us*.  This comment was in response to my whining about feeling somewhat deserted by, or at least disconnected from Brighid lately because some things in my life have tanked (or it seems that way at the moment, anyway  Undecided ). <snip>
For Cill members and others who have a relationship with Brighid:  Do you feel Brighid needs you/us to do specific things?  If so, what?  Are they *required* or just encouraged?

Bridget requires that I learn healing, physical and spiritual.  She requires that I write.  She insists I help heal the world in every way that I can.

And when I don't without a very good reason, when I lay down my responsibility and fail to fulfill my oaths to her, everything goes pear-shaped around me.  Devotion without action is hollow and meaningless prattle.  She expects action.

I've had a year or so of not acting nearly enough, and the results are all too clear to me.  As I've started back to action, I'm seeing things form up again, take their proper shape once more.  Allowing myself to wallow in self-inflicted depression and not doing my Job is simply unacceptable to her, and she lets me know that very definitely.
Logged

SunflowerP
Moderator
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:June 19, 2021, 03:02:41 am
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #2: February 28, 2009, 10:05:07 am »

What do you think?  Do the gods need us, and if so, for what?

Rin posted a link to a comic in a thread on a related topic not long ago that covers a chunk of how I feel about it:
Also, to the question of WHY they interact with us... I lead you to this comic. Smiley http://netjeru.comicgenesis.com/d/20070925.html

Quote
I know Shad, f'ex, has a theory that we are the eyes and hands of the gods.  What does that mean in practice?  Are there specific activities or things that you feel you are encouraged or even required to do for your god/dess(es)?  What happens if you don't do them?  How do you know what you're supposed to do?
That's another chunk of it, that it's not just a one-way street about them being able to do things we can't, there are things we can do that they can't.  This has come up in various forms over the years on TC, and I often don't have much to say, because it's really hard to express how it works for me - f'ex, yeah, there are things I do, that could be called "specific", but they're usually not so cut-and-dried-specific that I can describe them.  Well, here's an example that's articulable but gives an idea of why the others are harder to describe:  tM strongly encourages me to interact with and give support to others she is patron to, especially those new to working with her, because it helps them get past that "oo, scary lady!" bump and get to know her.  "Interact with and give support to" covers a lot of possible ground.

Another thing that makes it difficult to talk about is that there are several deity-type people I work with (some a lot, some only a little); the encouraged/required/what-if-I-don't varies by who's asking, what they have in mind (which I'm not always privy to - I can't remember who it is who talks about the idea that deities always have three reasons for what they do, but my UPG is similar), and, for all I know, the weather that day in the realm where they live.  About all I can summarize is that I nearly always have the right to refuse a particular thing, but it's necessary that I do so directly.

And anything I say about "how do I know" is really just metaphor to elaborate on "I just do, from years of practice at figuring it out".  I've used those metaphoric elaborations on TC on several occasions, but have never been really satisfied with them.

Quote
For Cill members and others who have a relationship with Brighid:  Do you feel Brighid needs you/us to do specific things?  If so, what?  Are they *required* or just encouraged?
It didn't come up in a really concrete form until lately, in the form of certain Cill mod duties.  The roster gets posted to the calendar and in the schedule thread each cycle on my shift day, because Brigid kicks my butt (or, to put it more nicely, gives me an extra spoon*) if need be.  Same thing happened with drafting that PM last shift, so I expect it'll apply to various things.  It's not absolutely required that I do 'em in my own person, but it's required that, once I've taken a particular Cill job on, I either do it or ask you or Finn if you can cover it for me.

*refers to The Spoon Theory - note that the article isn't readable online; click the link at the site for PDF.

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
catja6
Board Staff
Staff
Adept Member
***
Last Login:November 28, 2020, 08:41:38 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Hellenic Pagan
Posts: 1119


Blog entries (0)


« Reply #3: February 28, 2009, 11:45:30 am »



Interesting question.  I, too, have always been partial to Shad's conception of us as the "eyes and hands of the Divine."  I'm also more sympathetic than most to the idea -- which derives from certain African Traditional and African Diaspora Religions -- that gods get more powerful when they're paid attention to.  I have a sense that it's not, like, getting a jolt of actual zapping power in the Terry Pratchett sense (where the god literally gets bigger); but more, like... the more people paying attention, the more *opportunities* that god has to accomplish stuff -- more eyes, more hands.  And by "paying attention," I don't mean just active worship, but just... acknowledgment.  Recognition.  Awareness.  And not all gods seem to *want* that -- they're happy with the ones they have.  but.  I'm not explaining this very clearly.  Smiley     
Logged
Marilyn (ABSENTMINDED)
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
High Adept Member
****
Last Login:February 06, 2013, 08:12:28 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: free-flowing animist, Dudeist Priest
TCN ID: Absentminded
Posts: 2725


Blog entries (11)


« Reply #4: February 28, 2009, 01:37:14 pm »

What do you think?  Do the gods need us, and if so, for what?

I feel that there are actual physical things we can do that they have a hard time with, especially in this day and age.  Used to be that a strange but compelling young man could wander into a village, get everyone going in the same direction, then quietly disappear.  (this from legends - nobody would actually 'notice' notice him until he was gone, and then would either recognize him belatedly or not).  With the way information and backgrounds are automatically available now this is very difficult to impossible.

Instead, people get tapped to actually volunteer, speak out, or organise things that are in the god's plans/desires.  In my own case it's committees and groups to deal with wildlife relocation and governance.  I've wondered about the authorship of more anonymous things, like letters to editors that get printed without attribution, but actual physical presence at these meetings and actions requires a background and a history that can be checked, just because of the way the world works.  I'm not too active on the actual 'working' end these days, but I know most of the people I deal with on the planning end, even the ones I just know by reputation, in a fuller sense than the 'charismatic stranger wandering in' would allow.

In order to effect change involving people, a god would pretty much have to go the 'lifetime avatar' route these days to keep their identity private.  The consternation, publicity, and controversy involved in just being a god who shows up in person would totally derail and overwhelm their purpose.  Society is too large and inter-connected to allow for the kind of things they did in legends to work.  So, they deputise.

At any rate, that's how it works in my head, and why 'do it yourself, damn it!' doesn't get me out of my obligations.

Absent
Logged

"There's nothing wrong with you that reincarnation won't cure."
- Jack E. Leonard

Blessed are the cracked, for it is they who let in the light.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

L Cohen
Aster Breo
SIG Coordinator
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:January 29, 2013, 09:32:22 pm
United States United States

Religion: Feral Brighideach
TCN ID: Aster Breo
Posts: 5260


Avatar byJuni & Dania

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #5: February 28, 2009, 04:02:23 pm »

*refers to The Spoon Theory - note that the article isn't readable online; click the link at the site for PDF.

I'm still processing what people have said so far.  Some of it hit a nerve quite hard.  Tongue

But I really had to reply to this right away.  I haven't read the article yet (damn eyes) but, Sunflower, you just sent me to a site called "But You Don't Look Sick".  It's about "living life to the fullest with any disability, invisible disease, or chronic pain."  But I guess you knew that, didn't you.  Tongue

Put that together with the other responses and I think I'm beginning to understand why I've been feeling like I have and why I asked this question.

Damn it.
Logged

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  ~ George Bernard Shaw
rose
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:September 01, 2011, 10:16:28 pm
United States United States

Religion: Shakti Wiccan with Reclaiming leanings
TCN ID: rose
Posts: 2923

Blog entries (0)

rose shannon
WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6: February 28, 2009, 08:38:44 pm »

I'm still processing what people have said so far.  Some of it hit a nerve quite hard.  Tongue

But I really had to reply to this right away.  I haven't read the article yet (damn eyes) but, Sunflower, you just sent me to a site called "But You Don't Look Sick".  It's about "living life to the fullest with any disability, invisible disease, or chronic pain."  But I guess you knew that, didn't you.  Tongue

Put that together with the other responses and I think I'm beginning to understand why I've been feeling like I have and why I asked this question.

Damn it.

Your words make me think of this blog I read today http://www.magpie-girl.com/20090227/stepping-out-of-the-struggle/

I think I do work on behalf of the gods, or I am called to do so, at any rate; whether I get it together to do it or not, w/o lots of fussing and carrying on is another matter, of course. I don't think there is anything they can't do, per se, but I think the work they set us to tends to bring us closer to our own divinity, and so feeds them. I think they all want somewhat different things; or put another way, their energies access different abilities and qualities within me. Aphrodite and Yemaya bid me to love and be loved, and bring beauty to the world. Brigid bids me to teach, sing and create. Kuan Yin and Tara bid me to heal human beings, Gaia bids me to heal the earth. Maa bids me to do right in the world, defend and protect children, and tell the truth. I am not quite clear what Isis is after yet, but it seems to be something about balance and relationships and magic. I will note that the Gods don't call me to action the way that the Goddesses do.
Logged

Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.

http://rosejayadal.blogspot.com/
Aster Breo
SIG Coordinator
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:January 29, 2013, 09:32:22 pm
United States United States

Religion: Feral Brighideach
TCN ID: Aster Breo
Posts: 5260


Avatar byJuni & Dania

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #7: February 28, 2009, 11:43:54 pm »

Your words make me think of this blog I read today http://www.magpie-girl.com/20090227/stepping-out-of-the-struggle/

Thanks for this link, rose.  It seems like today is my day to be inundated with a particular message.  Even the ogam feda are all telling me the same thing.

I guess it's time to listen...
Logged

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  ~ George Bernard Shaw
Figment99
Master Member
****
Last Login:September 30, 2011, 05:02:26 pm
United States United States

Religion: Pagan with Green and Kitchen Witch leanings
Posts: 427


I'm trying to bloom

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #8: March 01, 2009, 12:01:00 am »

Earlier today, I read an email from a friend who mentioned in passing the idea that, if we need the Gods, it might also be true that the Gods need *us*.  This comment was in response to my whining about feeling somewhat deserted by, or at least disconnected from Brighid lately because some things in my life have tanked (or it seems that way at the moment, anyway  Undecided ).

I've been thinking all evening about what She might need from me.  It doesn't seem like She particularly needs offerings (of food anyway -- although I think offerings in the form of donations or volunteer work for related causes might be a good thing). 

What do you think?  Do the gods need us, and if so, for what?  I know Shad, f'ex, has a theory that we are the eyes and hands of the gods.  What does that mean in practice?  Are there specific activities or things that you feel you are encouraged or even required to do for your god/dess(es)?  What happens if you don't do them?  How do you know what you're supposed to do?
I often feel like the Divine has many things it wants me to do. Like others here, I feel that I am supposed to do something with healing and I also feel I am supposed to do something on level of working for or with the Earth, such as farming, gardening, or the like. My education is in the Earth sciences, so maybe I need to do something there. My biggest problem is how to do what I feel is wanted or needed of me.

I understand how you feel. I have been feeling disconnected myself. I have been trying to form and work on my relationship with Brighid for sometime now and I don't know if she wants me around or not. Although I did get a distinct feeling that Lug was near me today.

I am sure that you will be able to do whatever it is that Brighid wants of you. We all feel disconnect, bogged down, and drained from time to time and we do need time to recharge. Maybe Brighid is saying that you have had enough time now, its time to get up and do something useful.
Logged

True Greatness Shows Great Kindness

A Pagan Egroup -> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheInnerSanctuary/ <-Feel free to join
Aster Breo
SIG Coordinator
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:January 29, 2013, 09:32:22 pm
United States United States

Religion: Feral Brighideach
TCN ID: Aster Breo
Posts: 5260


Avatar byJuni & Dania

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #9: March 01, 2009, 12:48:59 am »

Maybe Brighid is saying that you have had enough time now, its time to get up and do something useful.

I think that's exactly it, although healing is also a large part of it.

I've been thinking about my own answers to the questions I posed.  Basically, I think the gods do require action of us, as others have said.  I'm not 100% sure if they *need* us.  I kind of agree with what Catja said about how the acknowledgment of humans contributes to the gods' power.  (I've always loved Pratchett's metaphor for this.  Small Gods is one of my all-time fave books.)  I think, though, that this also works both ways and between humans.  Very few people are truly self-sufficient -- at least, that's my observation.  I think we draw on the people around us to help us create ourselves.  I guess that's the "nurture" part of the nature/nurture question.

For me, personally, I have to say I've had a bit of an epiphany today as the result of reading these posts and links, and from a bit of my own thinking and divination (drawing the "healing/initiation" ogam feda was sort of the last piece of the puzzle today).  I haven't changed my understanding that my own "calling" -- so to speak -- is in some area of social justice.  I've just had the realization that I've allowed myself to get derailed by my own physical limitations.  My challenge for the immediate future is to figure out how to get out of this trap.  Baby steps, I'm sure.
Logged

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  ~ George Bernard Shaw
SunflowerP
Moderator
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:June 19, 2021, 03:02:41 am
Canada Canada

Religion: Eclectic Wicca-compatible religious Witch (Libertarian Witchcraft)
TCN ID: SunflowerP
Posts: 5485


Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #10: March 01, 2009, 01:07:25 am »

But I really had to reply to this right away.  I haven't read the article yet (damn eyes) but, Sunflower, you just sent me to a site called "But You Don't Look Sick".  It's about "living life to the fullest with any disability, invisible disease, or chronic pain."  But I guess you knew that, didn't you.  Tongue
I only thought about the surface of that - that the "Spoon Theory" article might well be useful to someone who clicked on it, possibly you (though for some unfathomable reason, I thought it might not correlate to your particular issues, which... is evidence my brain wasn't at full function at the time, I guess).  It never crossed my mind that it'd relate directly to what you were asking in this thread.

So to my original response, I have to add, sometimes I'm just doing something that seems like a natural thing to do, and have no idea I'm being the hands of deity.

Sunflower
Logged

Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs!
I do so have a life.  I just live part of it online.
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others
to live as one wishes to live.” - Oscar Wilde
My blog "If You Ain't Makin' Waves, You Ain't Kickin' Hard Enough", at Dreamwidth and LJ
Aster Breo
SIG Coordinator
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:January 29, 2013, 09:32:22 pm
United States United States

Religion: Feral Brighideach
TCN ID: Aster Breo
Posts: 5260


Avatar byJuni & Dania

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #11: March 01, 2009, 01:32:20 am »

It never crossed my mind that it'd relate directly to what you were asking in this thread.

It actually wasn't directly related to what I asked in my OP. 

But it was a direct hit on something I needed to hear.  I've often thought about how I have to "budget" my energy, and the Spoon Theory is a really tangible way of thinking about and explaining that.

And that concept is very related to how I should and can work for Brighid.  Which brings us back to my original questions.   Cheesy

So, thanks!
Logged

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  ~ George Bernard Shaw
Nyktipolos
Adept Member
*****
Last Login:August 29, 2014, 09:54:53 pm
Canada Canada

Religion: Path of the Nightwanderer (Polytheist)
Posts: 1581

Gravatar

"Language is like wine upon the lips."

Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #12: March 01, 2009, 03:18:36 am »

Rin posted a link to a comic in a thread on a related topic not long ago that covers a chunk of how I feel about it:

Well, crap. I guess I don't have to post!  Tongue

But otherwise, I have to pretty much agree with Sunflower here. I also think there are some things we can do that they can't either. But pretty much the comic sums up simply what I think on the topic. They don't need us, but as my boyfriend put it, it would be like living in a world without colour. It exists.. but its not exactly as beautiful as it could be. Smiley

(This is, of course, not a jab at those who are completely colour blind. Just a simile.)
Logged

The Night Wanderer's Path <3
“God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain,
but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.”
JamieG103
Apprentice
**
Last Login:May 26, 2009, 10:45:06 pm
United States United States

Religion: ADF - Neopagan Druidry
Posts: 26


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #13: March 01, 2009, 08:53:55 am »

What do you think?  Do the gods need us, and if so, for what? 

The word "need" is kind of a loaded one for me. I would be hard pressed to say I "need" the Gods and I just find it hard to believe they "need" us. But at the same time, the sacred relationship between the Folk and Kindreds (which is how we express the Deities and Spirits in my tradition) is something close to "need".

It is the old bargain, we take care of one another, love one another, offer to one another, in the knowledge that in doing so we are more fulfilled and better able to face our lives.
Logged

"... If we are few, it’s all the more reason for us to speak up with our lives." ~ Gordon McKeeman
Aster Breo
SIG Coordinator
Staff
Grand Adept Member
***
Last Login:January 29, 2013, 09:32:22 pm
United States United States

Religion: Feral Brighideach
TCN ID: Aster Breo
Posts: 5260


Avatar byJuni & Dania

Blog entries (0)


« Reply #14: March 01, 2009, 09:05:36 am »

It is the old bargain, we take care of one another, love one another, offer to one another, in the knowledge that in doing so we are more fulfilled and better able to face our lives.

That's an interesting perspective -- that the gods make offerings to us.  Can you expand on that a bit?
Logged

"The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place."  ~ George Bernard Shaw

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Working with the Gods on a daily basis... « 1 2 »
Faith in Everyday Life
AIONIA 15 4557 Last post July 29, 2007, 06:24:37 pm
by Lorraine
Gods as Ideas vs Gods as Deities « 1 2 3 4 »
Paganism For Beginners
dartxni 45 22404 Last post October 14, 2009, 04:57:11 pm
by Lost-in-Translation
How Do You Know It's Working?
Magic and the Occult for Beginners
MedusianProphecy 14 6655 Last post April 24, 2008, 10:21:43 pm
by MedusianProphecy
Homer's Gods, Plato's Gods. « 1 2 »
Ta Hiera Hellenic Polytheism SIG
Therapon 16 10439 Last post August 09, 2008, 08:24:49 pm
by thain
Not working with Gods.
Paganism For Beginners
whitedragon 4 1945 Last post December 21, 2010, 02:00:23 am
by Aster Breo
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.07 seconds with 56 queries.