Tonight at Sacred Harvest Festival I had a wonderful conversation with a very knowledgable and gifted woman named Spiral. Our conversation started at one end and went to another, it was an enjoyable and thought provoking experience all around for me.
It got me to really thinking about how we allow ourselves to choose spiritual means that feel comfortable and provide a sense of control within how we choose to relate to deity. So many people choose deities to work with based on stories and mythology and have this illusion that they can choose the deities that they are going to embrace as patrons and matrons of their spiritual work. Working with the African Diaspora, I have a distinctly different understanding of this concept.
Yemaya did not ask me what I thought or what I would be the most comfortable with. One day I was walking a path that I thought led to Cerridwen and the next day there were obvious signs being presented that I was now a daughter of Yemaya and that was just the way it is. In true Black woman fashion, Yemaya was not taking any bullshit and it did not matter that I didn’t know who she was; she knew who I was.
The self imposed notion that we have the ability to dictate to the Gods who we are willing to work with is craziness to me. This concept is one that I cannot culturally relate to within the confines of being an African American woman. Choice was and often is a luxury, it is not a given that we have choices just because we feel that we should. History has shown us that while some hold the power of free will and choice, others are the ones who are subjected to the choices that others make for them. This statement is not one of sensationalizing the victimization of Black people. Instead this statement is more one of historical fact that applies to many under privileged or minority culture or race.
So what does this mean? Do people actually think that the Gods are at the mercy of the individual people on earth to make decisions for who they can call to the priesthood? If we do not maintain a healthy fear of the immense power of the universe and the Gods, who are we exactly and why do we live lives of substandard living with all the power we have to dictate choices to the Gods?
I have a lot of questions about this as a Pagan who has been exposed to a culture that does not always allow for choice and has years of being built around surviving the many different variables of life as a minority.
I stand here today in complete confidence that my Gods chose me and they will lead me to the many different paths that I need to follow. And until that time presents where they no longer require service from me, I will be a child of Yemaya and serve the great, dark mother of the water and of all things within my world.