Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the WTF

(I was going to put a lovely image of Lilith that Unknown Binaries has drawn at the top of this entry... But... 'Eh. Another time if she's okay with it.)

The Good: Brotha B. has written two excellent blog entries this week that I feel deserve attention from anyone with interests that even remotely coincide with the subject matter: Channeling Diety vs. Regressive Trance, and Further Considerations on Godhead Assumption.

I have known younger Brit Trad Wiccans who have complained about some of the problems he brings up; and I personally encountered some similar issues with the eclectic coven that I occasionally discuss. I don't agree with all his thoughts, but it will be some time before I specifically form the thoughts around what I somewhat disagreed with. And I may honestly keep that to myself.

Jason's post about personality engineering is excellent. I loved it.

I discovered that one of my favorite artists, Unknown Binaries, is in a book on Lilith. Two things I like!

The Bad: Being the person that I am, that meant looking into the author... And I came across this interview. Now let me preface all of this: I am quite possibly the worst person, ever, to be saying this. When it comes to what some Neo-Pagans call “Unverifiable Personal Gnosis,” I just go... “Yeah, whatever.”

What you do? That's your business. If you have had a wonderfully Venusian experience as, say, a Dolphin while in a trance vision state? Okay, well, whatever. It's no skin off my back. And you're allowed to have whatever kinks you might have. And all that. Don't let me get in the way. Really.

I write about some of my more extreme practices only if:

  1. They are/were useful

  2. They are... shall we say, publicly acceptable on some level or another. If I keep something to myself, it's largely just because there is always a certain level of self-preservation you have to take into consideration. In this case, I'll just talk around a subject. Discuss it, say, historically or with narrative.

Furthermore, I hardly expect any of my blog readers to do anything I suggest as such unless they actually want to. If something squicks you? That's totally okay. I don't want to pressure you. I try very hard to avoid the whole “peer pressure” schtick because, for the most part, individuals are individuals and we all have different needs and different ways of processing things.

The WTF:

Being claimed by Odin happened very quickly, and a lot of it felt like it happened without my consent. (I have since learned that consent as a concept is much trickier–much more beside the point–than I understood at the time) Part of me felt that Odin was stealing me from Lilith, and this caused me to be somewhat outraged. As an unabashed feminist, who had left the patriarchal structures of Catholicism in my teens to embrace a Goddess-centered spirituality, being claimed by a male deity (much less as His wife) was just about the last thing I expected or thought I wanted. Considering Lilith’s history of unfair treatment at the hands of male gods, my love for Her made me feel as if She had been cheated yet again.

What I came to realize is that Lilith had negotiated this relationship with Odin, and She in no way needed my misplaced rage to protect Her. Speaking with Her one evening, by the light of a single candle, I learned that not only did She approve, but that I was getting what She had never had: a relationship with a god I loved. In the case of Her relationship with Yahweh, that had been denied Her. It was either Adam or exile.”

- Interview, Page 3.

And then I read this. And I... Maybe it's just way too close to home, and maybe I'm being closed minded.

But some part of me is squicked. In the worst possible way. And I'm not even sure I want to keep digging, because if what I suspect pops up? I'd probably be less than gentle with the subject.


Rufus Opus said...

ROFLMAO, she's all into being topped by a God!

Freaking gales of laughter.

Norma said...

Oh dear.

So long as nobody is getting hurt and all .... corporeal ... participants are willing and able to consent, I guess it's none of my business and let Yr Freak Flag Fly. But yah. That last link was more than enough for me.

Hieronimo said...

@Jack and Rufus: I love reading you guy's blogs.

That being said though, all ya'll, you're so ... whitebread!

Hieronimo said...

All smart-assedness aside, I'd love to know your suspicions regarding the, uh, Divine and Mortal couple.

Jack Faust said...

@Hieronimo: Well, the line: What I came to realize is that Lilith had negotiated this relationship with Odin sticks out at me.

And I'm fairly sure full on "God-slavery" is about to pop up. And you know what? There's always a choice. Always. So. Yeah.

And yeah. I'm pretty... whitebread. Sigh.

Hieronimo said...

Yeah, the demon lover when you're just starting out is one thing, they're usually a thought-form you created yourself anyway, probably not always, but "god-slave" doesn't seem right. I gotta wonder what it is that's really happening with shaman-sickness spreading like the common cold and perfectly sane people visiting Asgard and everybody sees it exactly the way Snorri wrote it. Maybe what's old is new again: but not this much of it.

But--like Mr. Jones in the Dylan song I "know that somethin's happenin but I don't know what it is." Weirdness is on the rise. Even my humble, scarcely magical self, when I go for my walks in the woods and meditate outside late at night things don't "look" or "feel" quite like they did just a year or two ago, less benign, and ... I don't know. Maybe I'm coming down with a meme. It's weird (but probably not Wyrd)...

Jack Faust said...

@Hieronimo: Well, the gods are well known for taking wives. I'd hardly object to that. It's more the way she's suggesting it went down; and somehow it also involves Loki, which... strikes my meter.

As for the weirdness in America: I happen to think it's due to the Decline of Empire. As structure itself deteriorates, more and more elements (psychic, social, environmental) become up-rooted. The last 20 years have seen Dysfunctional Families outweigh the so-called "functional" ones; the last 60 years have involved (at least at some level) the questioning of sexual mores, and so forth.

And then there's the normal trauma of life added to all that; which leads to more cracked individuals seeking for something to add meaning to their lives. No problem with that here.

Nonetheless... My main beef, returning to the original commentary, is still with the implications she's left about Lilith's actions and motives. I mean, her Primary Sin is Pride. This should make something very clear to anyone that works with her. She told Yahweh to straight up fuck off, and bailed on Adam and the Garden due to the demands made of her.

And the whole slaughtering Jewish babies bit that may or may not be true would be at least one indication that she didn't secretly desire to go back.

V.V.F. said...

I'm with Hieronimo. (Geronimo? ;) I think she's probably dealing with something very internal. The whole "dominating patriarch" thing, especially as it relates to God(s), is something that a lot of us women end up having with at some point. Her whole story about oscillating between Lilith and Odin, of all people, indicates to me that she's alternately rejected and desired a Big Daddy in her life.

And hell, I can relate. But - based on my own experience with this type of thing - I doubt this will end well for her if she never takes the time to examine it. He's your Father/Master/Lover/Husband? That's too many things. Contradictory things. It's suspicious. That's too much power for one being to have over you. Even if the source is divine, the effect is demonic. The result is not a god, but an incubus.

And again - happens to the best of us. Practically a rite of passage. We just have to remain critical of our experiences and remain aware of such psychological traps. When spirits start taking on the shape of our worst fears and most shameful desires, it's time to take a step back and ask what's really going on. Not that I don't think deities can help us deal with those things, but...damn, it's like walking a tightrope, y'know?

Nothing wrong with having a kink. But there are things inside your head and out that will use it to their advantage if they can.

Mr VI said...

I can't comment particularly - suffice to say that I and the Old Man have a relationship which doesn't like quantifying in words, because it's a thing that aint particularly made for language.

That said, the some gods can be tricky fuckers - hell, Odin's heiti as Bolwerk means 'Worker of Evil' - however...I'm British and hence this kinda shit is usually not talked about because we do *our* wonderfully perverted things in private ;)

Hieronimo said...

@Jack Faust: I get the Lilith beef you've got now, and your grievance makes perfect sense: the Lilith-the-grandmotherly-matchmaker story is embarassing. And contradicts the "lore". As for the weirdness, Amerika's a nasty place to what it was many, many years ago. It sucked, but it didn't suck ass. Still I'm left with this vague persistent notion--probably wrong and I hope I am--that weirdness is accelerating geometrically, or asymptotically...

@V-V-F: yeah, personal gnosis of spirits can mess a person up. I guess religion itself has always been my demon of choice. I think you're comparatively safe if you stick to a highly structured belief system--Catholicism, Atheism, Wicca, whatever, even Chaos Magick--"Nothing is true etc" is a delightful crutch: you can still feel clever because of the layered paradoxes and cool writers like William S. Burroughs. But Western pagans striving to resurrect dead faiths, and people who cannot settle but yearn to (Wistful Nihilists?), we have to be more careful. It's like we have signs stuck to our backs that say "FUCK WITH ME" to the asshole type spirits out there and we live in the bad part of Ghost Town... Crowley's advice to banish and go watch a comedy movie comes to mind. The LBRP may suck (unless you Believe In It!) but belly laughs never fail.

Sorry to take up so much space: a topic close to home perhaps. Also if I've given offense I apologize.

Miss Sugar said...

I've seen this happen a few times, but especially with Odin. I know some about Asatru but not a crazy amount so I'm always a bit perplexed about what it is about Him that inspires such frenzied devotion in apparently numerous wives.

I don't know, I agree about most people going through a point where they want some kind of . . .grandiose relationship with god/dess/es, I know I did. And I did go through a point where I wasn't sure what exactly my relationship was with a particular deity. Past schoolgirl crush and the usual mess of having someone else drawing this deity down, I realized personally that my relationship is . . .like my other relationships with deities, which makes sense. O hai, you are much bigger than me. I love you! Halp please! Ur awesome!

p.s. I'd be lying if I didn't say the whole Lilith thing as match maker didn't make me throw up in my mouth.

p.p.s My word verif was "preen", heh.

Lady Scylla said...

@ miss sugar - It is because Odin is one of the few gods commonly spoken of as being willing to fucking kill you at the drop of a hat. For people who require or seek out the "end all" experience, Odin is a "safe harbor" because he's a god.

You'll find a similar narrative in most vampire fiction, and you'll find an exact carbon copy of this woman's psychological "weirdness" between the pages of the Twilight Saga. Someone who is all things, including ultimate MURDERER to a woman.

Old, bearded Sky-father.
Convenient stand-in ("appearance") for Yaweh, the god she ran screaming from.
Pagan god thus allowing her to have her yaweh fetish while remaining pagan.
"He could kill me if he wants. But he won't ... GODS it makes the sex great!" - kink.
Goddess permits it, therefore a woman is still in ultimate control and has the reins to the "safe word".

Frankly, this would be a lot less creepy (and a lot more honest) if she just liked to get smacked around by large, hairy, men in leather gear.

Miss Sugar said...

@Lady Scylla - good call on the Twilight thing. Uuuuuuuuuuuugh, but really good call! ;p

I also totes agree with you w/r/t to it being more honest if she just found herself some kind of d-type who would reenact her fave Edward stalking scene.