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May 31st, 2006


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10:28 am - Deities of Love and Lust
I stood before my altar today, and I realized something in the middle of my daily ritual: there is no deity on my altar, nor has there ever been, who is associated with love. No one to appeal to, no one to ask for a helping hand in that arena. There is no one there who has the slightest association with sexuality or love to me.

I have written and collected a wide number of love spells in my life, but I've never used one: while I find them interesting and extremely fun to read, I cannot find a use in actually using one.

I found myself wondering if this omission was on purpose, or accidental. Did I mean to ignore deities of love and lust? Am I simply uncomfortable with them? Is it more basic than that? Can I not find these feelings within myself, and thus cannot find any divinity within them?

Is it possible that love, itself, is not something that I have ever really been interested in?

I don't think that's the case.

But my altar says differently.

I am not sure what to make of this little revelation. But fortunately for me, symbolism doesn't exist, and so nothing really can be made of the omission. It falls to the level of amusing curiosity.
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: curiouscurious
Current Music: "If the Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me", -JB
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(25 comments Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:whitmanschild
Date:May 31st, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
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Not that I think any of your previous altars were ugly, but I find your current incarnation particularly beautiful. I'm not sure I have a strong enough tie to ritualistic tradition to fully appreciate its funcitonality, but its aesthetic beauty is very appealing to me. Nice.

I am curious, though--you mentioned an outdoor altar. What exactly are you envisioning for that, AND, do you think that an outdoor location will affect its "presence" in your indoor life, particularly at night? Do you have any anxiety that it could cause lapses in your deity-mindfulness? Do you have ideas for upkeep of an outdoor altar with regard to the weather and elements?

And, when you have time, could you please explain what you meant by the following: "...fortunately for me, symbolism doesn't exist..."

Right. So I've bothered you enough for now. Have a good day.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 31st, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
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Haha.

1) Thanks. I really like a clean, functional altar. I've seen lots of crowded ones, and often I can only think: "Dude, how can you find your gods under all that crap?" Me, I know exactly where mine are, because the representations merely reflect their image within me and around me.

2) The outdoor altar comes and goes in fits and spurts. I have not been able to scrape together the captial to make it yet, though I constantly draw and think about what it will look like. I will keep both altars, though, the main one indoor and the main one outdoor. The indoor one will simply become my altar for morning and evening devotionals, and my outdoor one will be for when I need more than that. Regarding weather and elements, yeah: the statues, if I use them, will need to be of something that won't quickly erode (a number of my statues are from Ganges clay, and would erode outside), and I'll have to ensure proper drainage and waterflow as well.

3) symbolism, really, just doesn't do it for me. I don't really "get" symbolism in terms of something meaning something other than itself. I understand, for instance, my deity statues as focal points, but not as representations of deity. I grasp the fire as a connection to the deities, but not as a symbol of purification. Basically, I see things as concrete, as what they are not what they represent.

This is why I didn't do so hot in literature after a while. :) I don't really see symbolism in movies or fiction: I see a whale in Moby Dick, not a quest that could be any quest that a person might obsess over and eventually drown with.

It's also probably why I'm not a fan of Jung of Joeseph Campbell: both of them discuss religion as symbol sets, and I can't see them that way.

It's convoluted, I know :)
[User Picture]
From:whitmanschild
Date:May 31st, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
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Hmmm...I'm not sure I grasp exactly what you mean on the symbolism bit--primarily because I just can't fathom seeing things that way. The poet in me interacts with the world primarily in analogue, representation, metaphor and symbol, and most things are fraught with larger significance than they first appear to have. Maybe if you expand on the idea of "focal points" vs. "representation" and also your view of religion as something besides symbol sets, I can get some inkling of what you mean. As far as I'm concerned, nearly any form of worship/interaction between mortal and divine requires mental and spiritual analogues--due to our limited human capacities, if nothing else.

I must say, I really do look forward to a visit to Ohio where we can talk about things like this in person over a beverage of choice. (Mine will be dark, malty beer, I think.) I almost never tire of talking about things like this--especially with people who have different backgrounds and ideas than I do.

Nice.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 31st, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
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Nor can I, but it certainly does make me curious, no question.
[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:May 31st, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
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What would be a deity of love/lust? It's something I'm kind of ambivalent about too. My own altar is Celtic, and the Celts didn't have gods/goddesses of love necessarily, the only exception possibly being Angus/Mabon/Maponus. But even then, he's more than a god of love--god of music, god of the hunt, the youthful god delivered from the other/underworld. And yeah, I have a statue of Mabon* on my altar, but not as a god of love/lust.

Now, I'm working within a specific frame, where gods of love don't really exist. And maybe it's just not that important to me--I found my love, so I'm happy and don't really worry about it.


*Actually, it's a small bronze version of the Fedelino statue. For some reason, he reminded me of Mabon. And I had it lying around the house.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 31st, 2006 03:45 pm (UTC)
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It is entirely possible that this is exactly why I have no representation of such a deity: I can't find one. Perhaps there isn't one in my worldview, and so I had never thought about it before this morning, when I suddenly noticed its absence?
[User Picture]
From:qorinda
Date:May 31st, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)
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I can't find them either, and I have tried. The closest I have come is Aine - and again, that is more of a fertility reference - and Angus, as M mentions above.

I know why some consider Dagda - because of his "big club" - but I am not necessarily talking lust gods either.

It's been a mystery for me, especially since, when I was much younger, and thought that mythology was ONLY Greek and Roman, Venus and Aphrodite were my two favorites, romantic sap that I am.

Maybe love is more like air - something that just is, and not something that any particular god or goddess invokes.
[User Picture]
From:druid_medb
Date:June 3rd, 2006 12:36 am (UTC)
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Medb is a perfect Celtic goddess for lust and maybe even love. She's my patroness.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 12th, 2006 05:19 pm (UTC)
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*nods* Yes, she would. But that's right out for me. . . I'm Gaulish. Crazy :)

I like that icon, btw. Don't think I've said so before.
[User Picture]
From:druid_medb
Date:June 20th, 2006 11:51 pm (UTC)
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I like that icon, btw. Don't think I've said so before.

Thanks, I'm kinda partial to it too. My Grovie, Ben, made it for me from a pic from Starwood. He managed to cut someone out of it that I really didn't want in there anyway.

But that's right out for me. . . I'm Gaulish.

Didn't stop Eris did it? If you are meant to have a patron of love or lust they will claim you when they are ready for you and I doubt it will matter which pantheon you are.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 21st, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC)
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Eris breaks too many molds for me to count. It's what she does :)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:May 31st, 2006 03:48 pm (UTC)
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I have a statue of the Cerne Abbas Giant, but it has never sat on my altar (least, not as I recall; it used to sit under the altar, but never made it up. . . no pun intended). It just sits down in my basement.
[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:May 31st, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC)
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Uh.... The Dagda???? There are a lot of things I associate with the Dagda, but love isn't one of them. Or even lust, really--that seems a secondary characteristic.




On a different note: Am I the only one who pictures Falstaff when they think of the Dagda?
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:tlachtga
Date:May 31st, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC)
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I still say the lust element secondary. It's certainly related to his fertility aspect, but I can't imagine him as God of Lust.
From:weavingfire
Date:May 31st, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
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Well, honestly, I don't think you value love as a virtue or something to strive for.

I'm not saying you don't want or need love, just that it seems kinda...disconnected to your spiritual path.

Of course, I could be so incredibly wrong it's laughable...
[User Picture]
From:hearthstone
Date:May 31st, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC)
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Well, if you did want some help that way, you could most likely turn to one of the gods you do have a strong relationship with. They're not as specialized as some folks like to think (which I know you know, you were making a different point). My own thought is that there's really no reason why an altar should reflect your personal life in that way.

(But if you do go the symbolism route, the lack of "love gods" on your altar could just as easily indicate that this is an area where you are content and not seeking help outside yourself.)
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:May 31st, 2006 07:41 pm (UTC)

strong relationship

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"turn to one of the gods you do have a strong relationship with."

I don't know much about Esus, but the idea of Eris also being a goddess of romantic relationships, or at least of looking for them, does have a certain perverse appeal....
[User Picture]
From:whitmanschild
Date:May 31st, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC)
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But if you do go the symbolism route, the lack of "love gods" on your altar could just as easily indicate that this is an area where you are content and not seeking help outside yourself.

VERY good point.
[User Picture]
From:singingwren
Date:May 31st, 2006 08:09 pm (UTC)
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I am the same, actually. I have never had a deity associated with love, lust, sensuality, or even femininity. I don't think it means I'm not interested in those things, just that... I don't know. Perhaps I think I should find these things in myself and others around me before I go searching for their ideal version in the gods. Or perhaps I think they should NOT be idealized. Just savoured and suffered for what they are.
[User Picture]
From:ariansdreams
Date:May 31st, 2006 10:54 pm (UTC)
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Obviously, I cannot commiserate with you, being a devotee of Freyja. She is most definitely recognized as a diety of lust (and sometimes love). I do not generally focus on those aspects of Her worship, though. I just don't think I'm in a place in my life where I can do that. I'd like to someday, though. I tend to focus on Her magical/divinitory aspects. I'm all about divination, though. So I dunno.

Sorry, my comment wasn't very enlightening. Ha.
[User Picture]
From:ariansdreams
Date:June 1st, 2006 01:58 pm (UTC)
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I know that this is off-topic, kind of random, and also kind of mean seeing as you just stated that you don't get symbolism, however... I have a question to ask you:

What would it mean to you if you saw a picture of a woman holding a golden apple in her left hand, but the apple was upside-down (as in, the stem was in her hand, and the end of the apple was upright)? Nothing is otherwise strange about the apple.

I thought you might be the person to ask. You seem to know a bit about golden apples and...the stuff that goes with them.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 1st, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
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I'd say that Eris was trying to send me a message by tweaking the general image I have of Her. An upside down apple would certainly catch my eye.
[User Picture]
From:smithing_chick
Date:June 1st, 2006 05:01 am (UTC)
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Just an amusing side note-- not sure I've ever mentioned this to you or not but the night we met when you mentioned that you worshipped Eris, I mis-heard it as Eros. And then I saw the apple in your tent. ;-)

I don't have particular dieties for love on my altar, either- or money or healing, or anything particular like that. I talk to my usuals for what I need. Interestingly, I don't ask the Guys for much of anything other than techincal skill (Lugh the Many-Skilled & Goibthnu the Smith). I talk to Brighid & á Morrígan for dealing-with-life stuff. Guess it makes sense- my life is pretty well focused around my art, so my altar is too. :)
From:healing_coyote
Date:June 1st, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC)
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that's very interesting! perhaps you see love and lust as more human nature than divine nature? although we all have read very interesting stories of what the gods have done for love and lust... :)

I have a representation of Aphrodite on my altar, but she's mostly there to help out with issues of beauty and such, not really love. Funny enough, I actually have prayed to a dearly departed friend of mine (lost her in high school) that I used to talk about love issues with all the time.

this entry is very pertinent to me, as I am having a hell of a time with Love, so maybe I should do some exploring to help me get over stuff...
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:June 1st, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
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It's possible that I've just never felt that I should seek help from them in this arena. It seems like something I should be able to fix.

Or, of course, it's possible that I've just always felt hopeless when it came to issues of love. Dating is not, exactly a strong point of mine, nor is showing affection or even interest on occasion. And there's always the fact that I worry. . . a lot. . . about what the other person might think if I do X or Y.

Or, perhaps, the only love I'm after is that of the Gods. But I don't think that's the case.

Seems like you're home today, eh?

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