A few days ago on 29 October I ordered a book called “Dealing with Deities: Practical Polytheistic Theologies“. On Saturday 4th November the package arrived and I opened it up with a certain amount of excitement only to see something that appeared to be very different…
A book called tainted love apparently. So as you might expect I start to prepare the complaint. I was tired so I didn’t do much that evening and tried to sort it the following morning. The first time I tried to complete the complaint form I was using my kindle and the photos I had taken wouldn’t upload to the complaint form. So a bit later I got out my laptop and completed the form on that. At that stage though I thought I’d better just check the inside of the book in case that looked damaged in some way. Imagine my surprise when the first page I saw inside the cover said “Dealing with Deities”. As I looked further the contents of the book seemed to be exactly what I had ordered!
“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover!”
How many times have I heard that saying? How many times have I used it? Although that thought has only just occurred to me as I write this. what came to my mind yesterday as I saw the inside of the book was that someone had played a trick on me. My first thoughts went to Loki because in my experiences he has a talent for playing with electronic equipment. And the book arrived on a Saturday which is the day I devote to him.
Next thoughts were the juxtaposition of the words “Tainted Love” with “Dealing with Deities”. I’m not sure what to make of that. Initially I laughed.
Today though I’m thinking about the word “tainted” and how that means something that has been corrupted or fouled in some way. It occurs to me that the love we have when dealing with deities is often corrupted by our own wants and desires. And then there’s the fact that those of us that are polytheists are also reconnecting links that long past ancestors shattered for various reasons. Our efforts to make those connections again are tainted by what has happened in the past of our societies. Some of these things we can do something about, we can do our best to love our deities without clouding maters with wants and desires. I don’t mean we never ask for help but if we do so we do with respect and never taking such help for granted. There’s not a great deal we can do about taints left from the actions of previous generations long gone into the mists of time. We can acknowledge them. We can do our best as we re-forge broken connections but the scars will be there for a long time. And if we do our best then hopefully over time as we and those to come build on what we do now those connections will become stronger and clearer.
And sometimes after we first see a “taint” we find that it actually helps us develop something new and wonderful.