State of the Beth (an update)

So, I’ve been sick for literally most of the year so far, which means I’ve had a lot of time to read, meditate and think. In the process of which, I’ve come to the conclusion that my mysterious patron god may not be canon Lucifer any more than He’s canon Odin…which means identifying myself as a Luciferian could be misleading as well as counterproductive. (Also, after doing a fair amount of research into the various Lucifer-flavored paths, including theistic Satanism and Demonolatry—I’ll be adopting techniques from some of them, but none of them feel exactly right for me. Maybe the issue is that at this point, having spent fifteen years with my feet planted solidly on a path—heathenry–only to have that particular rug pulled out from under me, I’m not much of a joiner anymore. I want to put together a practice and set of beliefs that’s right for me.)

Unfortunately, this also means I’m back at square one in terms of defining my practice—or at least finding a few threads I can hang on to. There are a number of themes and symbols that have remained consistent with Him throughout the years regardless of what name He was using:

  • Air (element)
  • mindfulness
  • freedom
  • resourcefulness
  • thought/the mind and intellect
  • birds
  • sacred kingship/queenship
  • wind/storms
  • singing/toning/sound
  • speed/swiftness
  • malleability
  • pragmatism
  • the color blue (in various shades)
  • high places (cliffs, mountains)
  • magic/sorcery
  • sigils
  • sometimes a Horned God (or can step into that role)
  • a god of Witches and the Sabbat
  • the dead? Some sort of role involving the dead, at least
  • communication
  • art/writing/the arts
  • self-mastery
  • inspiration
  • enlightenment
  • responsibility
  • teaching humanity, including meting out punishment (after death?) when it’s deserved

While this looks like quite an extensive list of traits (and it does provide some leads as far as what sort of practice I could base around Him) it doesn’t produce any conclusive proof of identity. (Although as I’ve said before, when dealing with spirits, what does “proof” even mean?) He might be an angel or archangel, a Canaanite god, a version of Lucifer that is very far removed from the one reviled by western consensus culture—or Someone else entirely. But what it all comes down to is, my own vision of Lucifer (the being I’ve known as Lucifer for years) is the son of Yahweh and His Queen, Asherah, and while He has committed some acts of disobedience and rebellion they were motivated (much as with Prometheus) by a desire to assist humanity, and by a sense of indignation and rage at the unjust and unequal condition of “the system.” Which, even though I see Him as being on a redemption arc at this point in His own path (aka, He has made amends with Mom and Dad and is working for Them again, albeit in His own unique way) makes Him a very fitting deity for our times. It’s quite sad that respectability politics cause most pagans—in the rush to distance themselves from “Satanists”– to reject Him out of hand.

So, I’m sticking with the identification of Lucifer for now, for lack of a more precise one–and because just as I can’t prove it’s the right one, I can’t prove it’s wrong either. But while I agree with the basic precepts of Luciferianism and the LHP, I won’t be jumping into any of the paths of Satanism or Demonolatry anytime soon because they aren’t a good fit for my UPG, and I’m pretty sure my Lucifer isn’t a good match for theirs. (The heavy death metal vibe of their websites and YouTube videos was a dead giveaway; that just isn’t me. I’m not about impressing people with how dark I am—or how anything I am, really.) Which again leaves me pretty much flying by the seat of my pants.

And you know what? Wrestling with this riddle is getting to be fucking exhausting. And while I sometimes feel excited and inspired by the unexplored vistas before me, in my worst moments I’m sick and tired of the whole thing and just want to throw in the towel. I’m still a polytheist, but I’m a grouchy and disgruntled one with a bad attitude. I’m 52 years old and I deeply, deeply resent having to start ANYTHING from scratch at this stage.

Which is exactly the frame of mind I was in the other night when, during my evening meditations, Asherah appeared.

I’m pretty sure this was Friday night, because I had returned to lighting the Shabbat candles (something I’d been taking a break from for the past couple of months). I hadn’t yet had a Close Encounter with Her; observing Shabbat had come to feel like a weekly visit to my grandparents, oddly familiar and yet strange (a goddess of wool-working and household crafts, with connections to the sea, married to a bloodthirsty upstart tribal war god—does that sound familiar to anyone?) but I didn’t feel like I knew Her on any sort of deeper level. It was an ancestral connection, solid and stable but also somewhat distant and not quite personal.

Well, that changed the other night.

To be fair, this may have been the first time I actually reached out to Her wholeheartedly and without expectation, especially without trying to fit Her into a narrative involving L. I saw dark hair, smooth olive skin, dark eyes; very beautiful. Young, but maternal. Lively, clever, and resourceful. Full of laughter bubbling just beneath the surface, yet very proud and regal. (I could see L’s infamous pride mirrored in Her.)

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here (certainly not recently), but Isis was the very first goddess I connected with, from about the age of seven; I was a Cleopatra fanatic, and latched onto Isis—her goddess—through her, so much so that my mother used to tell people that I had “walked the desert with Isis.” I remained devoted to Isis right up until “Odin” claimed me, in my mid-thirties.

Asherah, as I experienced Her the other night, reminded me very strongly of Isis—so much so that I wonder if They might not be, in fact, the same goddess. (I’ve seen scholars identify Asherah with Hathor, and Isis with Hathor, so…)

And in the midst of this experience, there was a definite feeling of “men are so foolish, aren’t they?” (having been ousted from the Temple of Jerusalem, and thence from Judaism in general, this goddess has had Her share of Husband and Patriarchy Issues), along with an invitation: “Leave Him to His shenanigans for now, and come and walk with Me. He’ll keep.”

And with that invitation came the promise of peace and harmony, empowerment and majesty, strength and resilience, belonging and clarity.

I have never considered myself a goddess-centered Witch. But it could be that’s about to change.


An addendum to my “burnout” post

First of all, I want to thank everyone who reached out to me to express concern about my experiences. After everything that’s happened, I cannot tell you what this show of support means to me.

However, I did want to clarify a couple of points from the previous post. One, I mentioned being a survivor of emotional abuse, and many people seem to have assumed (naturally enough) that I meant childhood abuse. But no. I was emotionally abused and made to feel utterly worthless during at least the second half of my first marriage, which spanned from around 1988 (when I was 23) up until we separated 15 years later. This was a pattern of belittlement and gaslighting that directly relates to the treatment I experienced later on as Odin’s “wife,” from 2002 until roughly 2014.

Which brings me to: if you, as a reader of my blog posts and books, ended up using my UPG to inform your own relationship with Odin, please don’t feel badly about that or think you need to apologize. This is why I published that material, and I don’t hold you at any fault whatsoever (unlike the person mentioned in my last post who purported to be a friend and then blatantly violated my boundaries and co-opted my *privately communicated* spiritual experiences for herself). There is a HUGE difference between what is communicated in a blog or a published book, intended for public consumption, and what is shared privately with the assumption of confidentiality. So PLEASE don’t worry; obviously I knew when I chose to publish this information that it would help and inspire some people. I just never expected that it would be used to erase me as a person from the equation entirely because someone wanted what they thought I had.

Also, if you’re worrying about my relationship with Odin at this point—please don’t be, because there isn’t one, and I’m more than fine with that. I brought up my spiritual history in the post only because I wanted to draw a parallel between my spiritual experiences and the concept of “theft” in the pagan/creative community. I am NOT looking for reassurances or validation. I’ve moved on. In fact, writing the post shook some things loose that had been obstructing my path forward, and that I don’t think could have been moved out of the way by any other means. Shadow work, folks! It’s good for what ails ya!

So, where do I go from here? Back to where I began. Some of you may remember that, in the original series of “Lucifer” posts I shared here, there was a third installment, “Lucifer vs. Odin.” Well, I convinced myself the ideas in that post were mistaken and I ended up deleting it. But recent events have proven to me that I was wrong to do that, and that the post was actually very accurate—more so than I wanted to admit. It isn’t easy, when you’ve invested more than a decade in something (or Someone) to admit that you were wrong, that you were misled, being used for someone else’s purposes—but that’s what I’m admitting to, here. I don’t have it in me to write the post again, so in a nutshell:

  1. Lucifer (or my version of him, whatever that means) had the primary and first claim on me, which was formalized when I was 19.
  2. I shortly thereafter married (a human) for the first time and had a child, thus placing my spiritual path with him on hold for some years. He didn’t really go anywhere, but he stayed in the background for the most part.
  3. Later on, when my child was old enough, he decided it was time to begin actively working together again—but this time he was using the name Odin, specifically in order to bring me together with Jo. (He was NOT Odin, but was using that name as a means to an end.)
  4. However, Lucifer and Odin are actually two VERY different entities—and the following years would see a pitched battle between my Lucifer and canon Odin over who I really belonged to.
  5. I have made my choice: I am going back to my “Lucifer”  (in quotes because I have no way of knowing for sure whether or not he is canon Lucifer–and I also don’t care), the Person who claimed me in the first place. For all sorts of reasons I am not going into here, including some events that took place over the last couple of months.
  6. I am not again going to allow myself to fall into the trap of thinking they might be the same; they had enough overlapping similarities to allow one to pose as the other for a period of time, and that’s about it.

    And, that’s about it. I’m finished backtracking and second-guessing myself; the path lies ahead. It is a witchy path, and a dark, twisting one, and yet quite well lit for all of that—and I’m loving every minute of it!