Stories the Gods Tell Me

I have dreams.  I’ve always had dreams that were intense and clearly not just dreams.  For a few years after a car accident, I stopped dreaming completely at night.  I’d only dream if I napped.  That went on for quite some time until one day Odin arrived in a dream I still don’t completely remember, and I slowly started to ease into the idea of working with Him.  I knew things would change.

I started dreaming again last summer, after the doctors got the pressure down in my skull.  It started again almost immediately.  Gods showing up and dropping breadcrumbs for me to follow.  I travel to places over and over again, places with names like Chicago, Memphis, Omaha, and Colorado, but they aren’t those places at all.  Sometimes I dream about places I’ve never been, and then later I find out they actually exist.

And then sometimes I experience things in my dreams that are so deeply symbolic that they leave me wondering exactly where the path ahead of me is going…  Even if I know, and I simply don’t want to admit it.

This started a dream.  I woke up with words in my mind that wouldn’t leave.  I could hear my God whispering, “This is a story I need to tell you.  This is a story you must write.”

I ignored it, because I’m too busy being serious and attempting to be a scholar (which, honestly, I am rather dubious about it being one of my talents).  I have spring cleaning to do.  I have tomato starts to water and even more essays to write…  I have mom stuff to do.  Um, I have to wash my hair…

And then I’ll feel a heavy sigh, and somewhere beyond the edge of the physical there’s an eye roll.  He’s patient with me.  I guess it’s worth the wait.

I’ll think I’ve gotten passed the pressure of it.  I’ll sit down to start writing a promised write-up for a student on Ritus Romanus, because she wants to learn the proper way of going about things.  All I find myself able to type is the story He’s been trying to tell me.

By the time I’m done, I’ve written 3 pages and feel exhausted.  All I can do is laugh, and I feel thankful those who know me tend to put up with my eccentricities and tendency to get distracted by these moments.

Then He tells me to share it, and all I can do is hide my face and hit publish.  So, here we go…

New myths for old nameless Gods…


In the beginning there was little. She would dip her fingers into the running water, whispering, “Mother, I want more. I see the potential. I see the spiraling of the stars in each breath of the wind, and I feel, Mother. I feel it all. There is more. There must be more.”

And she desired, though she did not know what it was she desired. She only knew that there was an ache. A calling of some tiny voices singing a cacophony of rioting chaos, which was her song but more. Beyond that there was something greater than the Mother stretched underneath her, ripped and pulled to give the World to the world. There was more. If only she could grasp what this more was.

She would lie with the trees, and they would fall. She would kiss the creatures, and they too would fall to the ground. Their flesh would melt from their bones into the ground. Slowly, slowly, the seconds would pass into eternity, and from their embrace she would birth the mushrooms.

In the beginning there was little and need for more, twirling in the chaos that threatened to burst from the seams of the air. Everywhere she went there was moistness of snow falling under her bare feet as she walked and walked, searching for something she could not grasp.

It was so dark. It was so cold.

She needed warmth.

She needed softness that wasn’t threatened by the crackling of leaves when her body truly settled to the ground. She cursed the mud that stuck to her skin and caked around her ankles as she tried to move freely, to dance in the world around her.

She was alone in the darkness.

So she called to the Waves. She eased into the Ocean and she said, “Come into me, and be my love. We shall embrace. We shall find something beyond this world of nothing and dark.”

And though the Ocean embraced her as she asked, she was not satisfied.

Her belly swelled, fat with potential, but out came the mushrooms and rot. She could sense the secrets she had learned within their smooth flesh, and there was longing there. The longing for something more. Something else. Potential in the chaos of the dark, trembling just beyond her reach.

So she went to the Storm. She laid on a hill one day when it rolled through the sky, marveling in the lightning that licked the plains. The grass blazed. She felt at home, thinking perhaps finally she had found where she could claim completeness.

She called to the Storm, spreading wide for it in offering. The grass crackled in the heat; it moved at first faintly green, then yellow, brown, and finally it was black. Her bare shoulder brushed against a long blade, causing it to crumble into powder on the ground.

She looked about at the destruction as the rain fell, lost to the moment of release as the darkness returned. She was not satisfied.

Around her there were mushrooms crying to her that she was their mother. She gathered them in her skirts and ran. She ran back to the forest that she called home. Her face was wet and hot with tears, which turned cold against the wind. There she stayed, tending to her children, though she longed for them to have arms to wrap about her and lips to kiss her cheeks.

They called her the Mother of Mushrooms.

They called her the Mother of Rot.

She wove those names into a crown. She placed it upon her own head. It was who she became.

And though she loved her children, she still felt swept away by the current of desire for more. Whatever it was clinging to the edges of her reality that she could not touch with her fingers.

There was so little. She simply wanted more.

Her mushroom children were well behaved. They asked for little more than the snow, the rot, and air around them. But she was sure that even they could be more somehow.

She knew there had to be more. Now there was grief, for she was certain she would never find the answer to this undying need. This longing. This anxiety as thin as a knife’s edge that seemed to sit close to her skin but never cut.

Thinking she could take no more, she bound herself. Too tired to wander, wishing to keep herself where she could keep an eye on her children, but compelled to continue in her search, she looped vines about her wrists to hold herself in place. She imprisoned herself, so that she would not roam.

She took a thousand lovers, any who passed by and wished to end their own loneliness. And though they tried, she was not satisfied.

The days and nights were not yet settled. There was only eternity. It stretched out like her Mother’s skin underneath her. She cried as her Mother once did, because perhaps that was what all women were meant to do – Weep and grind down their teeth in longing for something more than what was around them.

She tucked her hope away.

She would not yield to her own desires.

One day a bright light came filtering through the trees. It grew so bright, she was forced to shut her eyes to it. Her curiosity grew, and soon she cracked open one eye to see what this light was.

A man stood there in front of her. His hair was golden, falling in tangles about his ears and moving over his chin. It reminded her of the grass of the plains, dried but not yet burnt away. His blue eyes were peering at her thoughtfully. She felt the warmth radiating from him, felt the snow under her cold feet melt away. She looked down to see grass springing from the dark earth where nothing had ever grown before.

“Who are you?” she whispered, struck suddenly with a longing so great that it scared her.

With gentle hands he reached behind her, untangling her wrists from the vines and pulling her free. He smiled, and she knew warmth. Not the exhausting blaze of fire, but something comforting and lingering. His voice was soothing to the rawness she hadn’t realized she felt as he simply said, “I am the Sun. I am Freedom. I am the Prince who shall be King.”

She did not invite him to take her. Instead she sought out his lips to press against hers. Her arms wrapped about him to pull his body against hers, closing the gap of infinity that awareness had brought about. They became a tangle of limbs as they fell to the forest floor.

She felt pleasure. With each movement she knew that her destiny was spiraling forth. She cried out against the fading chaos as he spilled into her. She was satisfied as they slumped into the soft moss that had grown in their shadows. Their hearts beating in time together, their breath one as they both tried to catch it.

She looked at the world around her, suddenly green and vibrant. Her children safe in the shadows, but hiding amongst plants and blooming flowers that she had never seen before.

She blinked, sitting up to look more, as she asked, “But how did this happen? Who created this?”

His laugh was delighted, that lingering warmth raising goosebumps on her flesh only to be pressed down by his fingertips against it. He kissed her shoulder, whispering, “You did, my Love.”

And she was satisfied.

A Polytheistic Dark Night of the Soul

In my soul I feel just that terrible pain of loss of God not wanting me — of God not being God — of God not existing. – from Saint Teresa of Calcutta’s journal, 1959

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m in period of what the Christian mystics refer to as the dark night of the soul. For a monotheist, this turns into a period of what appears to be at the very least atheist leanings, as expressed in the quote above from St Teresa of Calcutta (Love her or leave her). For a polytheist mystic, I guess this is taking on a little bit of a weird turn I didn’t see coming…

I believe in the Gods without a doubt. I even believe in Apollon.

This is where it takes a turn and perhaps get a little weird…

While I believe in Apollon, I’m not exactly sure the God I honor and have been married to for years is Apollon. Seven years later and after a vow renewal, I find myself going “I don’t know who You are.”

This has been playing out for months now. Save for 1 or 2 posts, it’s been playing out almost silently except to a few close, patient friends that I’m entirely too thankful for.

Am I married or divorced from this God? Who is He?

Is this God Apollon? Yes/no.

Is this God Odin? Yes/no.

Is this God Freyr? Yes/no.

Is this God Dionysos? Yes/no.

Dis? Yes/no.

Soranus? Yes/no…

This God isn’t an archtype, but He is all of these Gods and none of Them at the same time… That’s what He tells me.

This isn’t a case of an awkward attempt at syncretism. This is a God coming forth to step out of the shadows, which has left me feeling all too raw and wobbly. Who the fuck am I to think a God is talking to me? Who the fuck am I to think some newborn/forgotten God is messing with my brain?

Am I sure I’m not simply unstable?

This, my friends, is decidedly a dark night of the soul. I never thought I’d find myself doubting my faith in my own beliefs, nor did I think that it would play out as a space of doubting every part of myself at the same time. This is deeper than an existential crisis. This darkness is something that I feel down to my bones, and I find myself too choked by the grim reality of it all to put into perfect words. This alone frustrates me. I’m never for a lack of written word.

I’m not alone with this God. I know there are others out there who are experiencing Him, who have even experienced this change and shift.  I know, because of the delightful moments of getting personal gnosis confirmed.  This space where one God ends and Another begins, I’m not the only one who has experienced it. But is He a God I know? Or am I off in the recesses of my own mind working through some liminality issue that I wasn’t completely aware I had?  Perhaps looking for synchronicity of experience and finding it simply because I’m looking for it.

It’s been a strange, painful experience. One of the first lessons this God taught me, as Apollon, was to stop doubting myself. Stop doubting His voice. Just say what it was He was telling me, and slowly over the course of a year I discovered that He was using me as a bit of a mouth piece.

This was a decade ago. This was when I started to listen to the information I was getting constantly, because if I didn’t I was in danger of stepping into the void and never coming back if I didn’t get it under control. A marriage of 7 years was had, and I don’t believe it’s over…

But it was with Apollon.  Despite what everyone keeps telling me, I’m not sure this God wants to be called Apollon anymore.  Not by me, at least.  I’m no longer married to Apollon.

Which seems to not only be throwing people off when I say this, but it seems like my own discernment and judgment of the situation is wrong.  Do I trust myself, which is what He taught me to do?  Or do I listen to literally everyone else I’ve talked to about this?

I say “Apollon left me.”

I hear from others, who I trust hear Him, say, “He would never leave you, and He wants you to understand that.”

And the words that keep falling into my mind, like leaves from a tree, say, “When the Romans took Apollo’s hand, He swallowed a dozen Gods as he moved through the known world. He became Them. They became Him. But that is never truly the case.”

Syncretism is something a lot of people are talking about these days… And here I am, over in my corner, feeling as if I’m on the brink of un-syncretizing Apollon.

He told me a few years ago to go north. Now He tells me to carve Him from the side of the rocks.

Now I’m slowly getting comfortable with the thought that perhaps this is Something new and different to us. I’ve said for years that He is wanting me to build a new tradition for him, a new cult. I glean images and symbols. I find a way to explain something. I doubt. I distrust. I feel like my insides are filled with glass, and I can’t tell if it’s Truth or not.

That’s hard to understand if you’ve not been there. I hear, over and over again, that I should stop worrying about who He is…

As He whispers in my ear Find me. Create me. Birth me, my bride.

Three evenings ago, on the front of a cold spring rain, He returned into my world in the form I’ve known as Apollon. At first it was a mere hint as I was cooking dinner. I felt the vibration in my lumbar spine that I usually feel when He’s trying to get my attention, a place aligned with the solar plexus (or I’ve been told the Gaster in Plato’s work, though I’ve yet to dig into this). As I cleaned up, He started to talk to me. By bedtime, mid-conversation with a friend online, I had to stop to meditate. I wrote a lot of stuff down that He wanted me to understand and spent some time sitting with the visions I was getting.

I’d been so happy, so relieved He was home that I found myself crying. But His return only brought me more questions and no answers…

I’m admittedly terrified of what stands before me. Not the God, but the implications of what I believe my future holds if I’m on the right track. The weight. The responsibility. It was all there before, but for some reason it was easier when He was Apollon. Safer, somehow…

So I have sent out questions to others who are God-touched. Am I on the right path? Can they untangle what I can only describe as a God-knot?

And underneath it all is this alienation, both from Him and others, who both understand and don’t understand at the same time.

This place is ambiguous and uncomfortable, liminal and immense.

My God is ambiguous and uncomfortable, liminal and immense.

I feel moved to talk about it here if only for the hope that someday this journey will help someone else thrown onto this path.

Welcome home, my Love, welcome home… Whoever You are.  Welcome home.  I’m angry, but I’m sure we’ll get through this eventually together.  (I hope.)