In the book that I've been reading, I've stumbled upon the phrase "god-slave" which both intrigued me and worried me and disgusted me and terrified me. From what I have gathered, the terminology is similar to that of having a patron deity, however, instead of merely having this divine parent, so to speak, loving you and offering you encouragement from afar, you have literally dedicated your every waking second to the patron that has chosen you.
Let me reiterate:
You have completely dedicated your entire life to this god/dess that has chosen you.
At least... I think. I think that's the reasoning behind that terminology.
The reason I stumbled upon all of this confusing morass was because of Galina Krasskova, free range tribalist heathen and the article written on patheos that I've linked here. Specifically, she says:
Spiritual commitment is a very complex thing. I think that many of us come to Paganism and Heathenry not realizing that the Gods are quite real, and that once we enter into the process of devotion, They can sometimes ask for a very daunting level of commitment. I've noticed that for some folks, the Gods are a nice idea but it's a totally different matter when one encounters what scholar of religion Rudolf Otto called the "numinous tremendens et fascinans." We're conditioned in many ways to assume that spirituality should make us feel good, should not inconvenience us, should be about what we want to do, not what might be necessary. Too many times we think that we can control the process.I was just wondering... how do you guys feel about all of this?
By consciously using the word "slave" (as Odin directed me to) it brings home the point that sometimes we don't get to do that. It's a troublesome term, but it implies a level of binding commitment more accurately than anything else I have come up with. Part of the problem that people have with the term stems from the terrible abuses inflicted by one group of people on another throughout history, but part of it comes from disrespect for service. I have seen the term "godservant" evoke almost as heated a response.
As to value and honor -- it is an honor to serve the Gods in whatever capacity They determine to be right and proper. There is immense value in knowing and accepting one's place, which in turn allows a person to truly shine. That is not something I think that we should be setting limits on. I think it's for the Gods to define the terms of the relationship and the terms of one's service. I am many things in my relationship to Odin and one of those things is His godatheow, perhaps the core note of my service. It is a very beautiful thing and terrifying and I wouldn't change it for the world, save to learn how to do it better.
Personally, I can see my relationship with Sekhmet heading in this direction. So far, she's been the distant parent coaxing me to live my life appropriately. So far, she's been there to pick me up when I'm down and to yell at me when I'm wrong and to give me encouragement when I need it most. That's where she is now: she's teaching me and letting me come to conclusions on my own and I think, at some point, she would enjoy having me become a god-slave.
Honestly, I don't think I'm at all ready for that level of commitment. All joking about commitment phobias aside, it's a really big step. It's ten times more serious, to me, than marrying the significant other that you love. It's thirty times more important than anything else that I could do on this plane of existence. To me, it's important, but I just... I can't even imagine giving of myself so completely to my Hubby. How can I get that way with Sekhmet?
If that is the direction that I am heading, and something inside of me is saying yes very clearly, then I think I have a long way to go before I get there. I'm excited at having something so clearly to look forward to but I'm also... leery. It's... so much. Just. So much.
- Message Board: Join in our discussion