Places where the gods are NOT

So I was thinking about my wording in my post from the other day, about how my faith has helped me in difficult times:

In my faith I’m well aware that the gods are not omnipotent, nor omniscient. (Omnipresent? maybe, but not in the way it’s usually meant when speaking of any particular deity, I think.)

I wanted to expand on that (the bolded bit) a little bit.

To me the gods are both omnipresent and They’re not. They are, because I believe each person, each being, has a spark of divinity within them — not specific divinity, necessarily, not “there is a piece of Manannnan specifically in me” though that can also happen; more general divinity. This is because I also believe that there is a…source, I guess, to all of us. A great, completely unfathomable source that binds us all together, that is the source of our spirits and gods and land spirits and anything with life.

(And because we have part of that source that gives life to the universe within us, we are also capable of bringing life where there is none, or giving strength to that which lives through our faith. It is because of my belief in the source that I believe that our actions can affect the very existence of the gods, or the shape Their existence may take, just as Their actions can affect us. This is also the premise of one of my book series.)

So to that end, the source is everything, in everything, and everywhere, and because that same source binds me and the gods together, They are always with me.

Too, there’s the fact that I love Them — so They’re always with me in the same way anyone I love is always with me. They’re in my heart.

When it comes to how They’re not omnipresent, I’m talking about the spots They inhabit that are outside our own hearts, our own spirits. I see Manannan in the oceans, the rains, the mist; I see Brighid in the sun, in a hearthfire; the Morrigan in the forest, in a raven’s feather; the Ophelia in rivers…the list goes on. And often I feel Their presence, when I go to these places, encounter these things that mean something to Them.

There have been times when I haven’t. There have been times when my communication with them has been muted, or almost completely cut off, simply because of where I was.

I think there are places where the gods — the specific gods I know and love — are not.

Sometimes home to my Father...sometimes not.
Sometimes home to my Father…sometimes not.

The most recent and clear example I can give is my trip to Spring Mysteries Fest. It’s held at an old military fort that has since been turned into a camp, and it’s right on the ocean. I mean, right on it.

I got kinda excited, thinking, I can go take a look at the sea, say hello to Manannan.

Nope. I started walking with friends towards the cliff edge so we could get a look at the sea and I felt this intense pushback, making me almost physically sick, and it was very clear to me — not only is Manannan not here at all, this place belongs to His enemy.

Because SMF has been held in this same place for decades, that particular spot of ocean has become Poseidon’s.

Many times when I visit the sea, if I don’t get the sense that that particular spot belongs to Manannan, I get the feeling He’s sharing with another local deity or spirit, or maybe not local. I think gods share spaces all the time.

But there are certain gods who will not share with each other. Manannan and Poseidon are two such examples.

So if I go to that specific spot in Washington, I cannot go to the sea. Not because Manannan is not there (I am sure there are other places where He’s not for reasons other than His enemy occupies the area), but because Poseidon is, and it’s His territory. Not my Father’s.

Another thing is, there are places where the local deities have a very strong hold. So deities that have traveled, Diaspora deities, They might be there with you, but you might not be able to sense Them past the strength of the local deities. Hawai’i strikes me as such a place. The only god I had a good connection to in Hawai’i was Thoth, and even then, I didn’t feel Him as strongly as I would often feel the spirits of that land, or Pele, or Kamapua’a — even though I had no relationships with the Hawai’i’an pantheon (beyond the general, “I live here so I will pay You respect and offerings occasionally”).

I think if I had been worshipping another god or goddess connected to volcanoes I would not have been able to sense Them at all in Hawai’i. Possibly because Pele is not the sharing type, or just because She is so strong there, even if She were willing to let another god come hang out, you might not be able to hear Them over the roar of Her fires.

I have never been to the ancestral homes of my deities, so I don’t know if it’s the same for Them. Part of me wonders if it’s not; if the roar of Pele’s fires is not only because Hawai’i is Her stronghold, but also as a response to colonialism.

Of course, that leads me to wonder about the rest of N. America, and the gods and spirits of the indigenous peoples on the mainland. Is Hawai’i the outlier because it was more recently conquered, because it is an archipelago? Or is this the same in other places in Canada and the US, and I just haven’t yet encountered it?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I think it’s interesting to think about, to explore.

What I do know, is there are places where my gods are not. But regardless where I am, They’re always in my heart. 

~Morag

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