This blog post by Heather gave me the push I needed to write a bit about something that’s been on my mind recently. Though deities associated strongly with love (Heather cites Freya in particular) are typically spoken of as having concern for romantic love above all, I’ve found that they can be powerful allies in a much broader range of emotional matters than we humans might give them credit for.
One good example of this concern for a variety of emotional concerns is found in Aphrodite’s extensive list of titles. These titles both celebrate Her as a distinctive and worthy entity but also address the many facets of affection and shades of love She is concerned with. (A nice list can be found here: http://www.theoi.com/Cult/AphroditeTitles.html)
Anyone who is familiar with Powers known generally as “God/desses of love” is well-aware (and no doubt tired of) the horny, pleasure-seeking Celestial surrounded by cartoon hearts. I’d like to think that my fellow polytheists are above such crass generalizations but if I’ve been guilty of it (and I have) than I know I’m not alone. Getting to know these Powers in the very small way I have has changed the way that I approach my emotional life, and my emotional relationships with the Powers closet to me.
Powers like Lalita Tripura Sundari, Babalon, and the feminine Loki are not Love Goddesses(TM) per se. Even Kamakhya is not a love goddess in the mold we might be familiar with (though Her blessing is petitioned in a range of love-related incantations and rituals). They are personalities concerned with power, especially the power expressed by and through pleasure, beauty, and attraction. Love is, in a way, an orientation, a kind of magnetic north of the soul that draws us towards the source of that magnetic emanation. Love is an active longing and evidence of desire. Our natural inclination towards emotional engagement can be pressed into the service of virtually any goal; that is, we can fall in love with whatever we choose to focus strongly on. This mysterious self-propulsion/drawing-us-toward is one manifestation of the power of Love Goddesses(TM).
We love what we are attracted to and we are attracted to what we love. It’s simple, right? Well, like many spiritual principles its simplicity manifests in excruciatingly complex ways. Getting ourselves strongly oriented towards the thing we really want to focus on is the work of a lifetime. These Powers can be very important allies in this work, even to people like me who end up surrounded almost entirely by Powers associated with death and chaos. But hey, at least my wagon of chaos n death is well-decorated these days.
2 thoughts on “Love and Deity”
“These Powers can be very important allies in this work, even to people like me who end up surrounded almost entirely by Powers associated with death and chaos.”
Wow, I know that scene well.
I’m far less familiar with Powers associated with love, in all its different incarnations — although I’ve met a goddess in recent weeks that reigns in that exact area. Your experience and reflection on the matter serves as a good reminder of the benefits of learning from Her. (Even if I’m somewhat nervous about it.)
Thank you for sharing. 🙂
I can relate to feeling nervous about getting to know these Powers. I’m used to some very different dynamics; instead I’m getting hit upside the head with BEAUTY! It’s something else, alright.