Do the Gods Need Our Devotion?

Do the Gods Need Our Devotion? March 23, 2018

Short Answer: No
Long Answer: Yes

The Gods are immortal. This much is clear from the lore. Not only do they have things like pigs that are alive the day after being eaten, and apples which provide youthfulness forever, but they also reappear in the myths after death. You just can’t get rid of them.

The Gods are beings like us, and therefore are on a scale of sentience and skill with all other beings. We’re all patterns in the cosmos who have attained a level of awareness and and agency. No patterns can be destroyed unless they are picked apart, disrupted in form and arrangement.

Our Devotion Does not Sustain the Existence of the Gods

Our Devotion doesn’t serve to give the gods food, form, or sustain their existence anymore than your best man’s toast at your wedding nourishes your actual body.

Worship has a long etymology involving many different kinds of praise and honor. Your best man at your wedding toast to your worth scipes, or your worthship(worthschipe in ME and weorþscipe in OE), your honor.

When we devote to the gods in ritual acts, we are enlivening the hearts of the gods.

Our Devotion Does Sustain the Hearts of Gods

If anything, the divine mirrors nature, and we have only to look right here and right now to determine what the world of the divine is like.

Offerings are burned and poured so their vitality can go where they need to go, upward toward the ordered celestial fires of heaven, outward to the nature spirits around us and to those of the otherworld, or downward to the chthonic realms below(sometimes the same thing as an otherworld).

Worship includes:

  • The condition of honoring.
  • Honoring through devotional acts
  • Honoring through ceremony
  • Honoring through repetition
  • General nods of respect
  • Toasts and Oaths to Deities
  • Contractual agreements with Deities

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