Enthusiasmos

My lover Ember and I have decided to go through Galina Krasskova’s Devotional Polytheist Meme questions together, over the next several months. We encourage our friends to follow along, and welcome links to other people’s answers in our comments, as well as your thoughts on our answers.

What does it feel like when one recieves inspiration from the divinities?

Unpleasant, most of the time. It’s a flood of images, a rush of sounds that I can barely keep up with, suffused with the anxiety that I’m not going to get it all down on paper our out of my mouth before I lose the contact. It’s a quiet, demanding pressure on the back of my tongue combined with the certainty that I’m going to screw it up and fail the gods. It’s the terror that my own self will be washed away in the flood of alien sensation. Worse, it’s a subtle dread that there are no gods and no voices and this is all something broken inside me, and I’m lying to myself when I call it divine.

Sadly, it’s all too often the resentment that this was all a message for someone else, that the gods would jump on my head to talk to the person standing next to me, but be oddly silent most of the time I try and talk with them. Oh, I can conjure visions of them. Most of the time, these feel like real contact, but the sense of presence is quiet and inconstant. And that second-guessing is strong, and I lose some content to the brain weasel who insists that I’m making it all up and I’d be much better off if I just washed the dishes or did something practical with my energy.

It isn’t always like that. On my last birthday, I woke at three in the morning for some reason, and had a hard time getting back to sleep. So, I started writing ritual in my mind. Just playing with ideas for a Dionysian feast, to get my brain to wind down. It didn’t wind down, though. Soon that rush of sounds and images started, but this time it was directed at me. I was shown the signs and words of a Mystery, what is to be the climax of a mystery initiation. I haven’t worked out what all it entails, yet, but it definitely felt as if I were taking dictation from Dionysos. This time, it still felt like there was too much, too fast. I recall saying out loud, “Slow down, give me time to grab a pen…”

I still have that written down. The details of the rest of the initiation rite are something I’m still working on.

My god gave me a Mystery for my birthday. That makes up for the pain that usually accompanies the rest of it.

Ember’s answer can be found at her blog, Embervoices.

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About Lon Sarver

Lon Sarver is a polytheist priest of Dionysos, living in the San Francisco Bay Area and contemplating (with a healthy amount of dread) making a second attempt at a career in Marriage and Family Therapy. View all posts by Lon Sarver

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