Wednesday, May 02, 2012

When Is a New Goddess Born?

As a birder, I'm in the midst of the spring songbird migration madness--my equivalent of a holy month of Ramadan. Probably because I'm in total birding immersion right now, on a lark (so to speak) I decided that birders need their own patron deity.

Thus, Avia, goddess of feathered bliss, was born! She's a bird-related goddess, yes, but more specifically she is the goddess of birdwatching: incredibly beautiful but sometimes cruel (as when we birders miss that sought-after sighting), and thus she must be appeased by human sacrifice (a nod to the common locution among us birders of referring to the guy who leaves right before the best bird appears as the "sacrificial birder").

What all this playful musing got me thinking is...when does a deity become a full-fledged deity? Is Avia "real"? Can she ever become "real"? I suspect the answer is going to hinge greatly on the hardness or softness of one's polytheism, but I'm curious to hear others' opinions.

My own thinking on this, as a Carvel polytheist (semi-soft, with a twist), is that right now there's potential in Avia...but she can't become a full-fledged (pun intended) goddess until she exists in story. Right now, she's kind of a placeholder; a loose metaphorical construction. She has to exist in a myth, her flesh filled out by her deeds and relationships, before she can fully take flight.

Your thoughts?

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