After writing Monday’s post, a discussion with a friend made it clear to me that my definition of ‘god-bothered’ may be quite different from many other people’s definition of it.
When I say being god-bothered isn’t that common, I am not saying it’s not common to have a close and personal relationship with a deity. I think that’s actually fairly common in pagandom.
To me, God-bothered means serious thwappage. I mean when a deity comes in, smacks you upside the head, and says “You’re mine now and that’s final. Deal.” Or something similar.
This happened to me with Morrigan, Brighid, and Hecate. Manannan did reach out to me, but I wouldn’t classify it a thwap. More a gentle tap on the shoulder, saying “Hey, I’m here if you need me.”
In 2007, Morrigan swooped down from a tree branch in crow form and then transformed into a terrifying vision of vaguely humanoid stature before landing in front of quaking, shivering me. (This was in trance.) I believe I stammered out “Are y-you t-the M-m-morrigan?” and didn’t even get to finish my question before She said “Well, DUHHHHHH. Also you’re mine now. Do these things.”
(For the record, I was quaking in shock, not terror. And possibly low blood sugar. She was a terrifying vision, yes — She usually is — but what I mainly felt was shock that She would even look twice at me. Celebrity-shock, let’s call it. I thought She was way too cool to hang out with me.)
Brighid moved in far more subtly just a month later, but I begged Her to come back later because Morrigan had just thwapped me and I didn’t think I could handle Them both right away. She came back in January 2010, right in time for me to celebrate Imbolc for Her. I joined the Cill on TC very quickly and did group Flamekeeping with them for that holiday. When She came back it was very clear She wasn’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer: “Ok, I gave you space. Now. Join the Cill, keep the flame, and celebrate Imbolc for me. Also maybe knit a scarf. And write. Write a lot. Do it. Now.” And that Imbolc I had this spontaneous, deep healing experience during sex with my then-boyfriend. (Yes, you can start singing that silly song if you want; I certainly did.)
Then, when I was at Spring Mysteries Fest, I went to see Hecate’s shrine the day before the shrines opened to petitioners. When I turned to leave I was stopped by this invisible force; I literally couldn’t move. I heard, very distinctly, “Mine.” I quickly said “Yes, Yours!” and then I was allowed to move again.
Those are thwaps. Out of the blue, mystic clue-by-fours from deities who want you to do shit and do it now. I call it being god-bothered because, well, the gods are the ones coming to bother you.
So I am not referring to all close and personal relationships with gods. Just the ones where They come to you, out of the blue, and give you the One Paw Thwap. (This is the name for a method huskies use to hunt mice. The other method is the Perpendicular Bounce.)