Recently, a friend and I were discussing a post on Tumblr about a particular Pagan feeling that they were being called by a particular set of deities to use their voice to help make change – both for themselves and for others.
This happens pretty frequently, when you really think about it. Lots of us are driven by the gods to write, to create, to string letters together to form words and sentences and paragraphs that can challenge people’s way of worship, or to rally troops into doing more with their religious practice. For some of us, this means paddling boats, navigating islands or stirring pots.
For some of us, it means sticking our noses into things to try and make a difference. In this case, I am going to refer to it as being a voice for the gods. While it sounds great on the surface- speaking for a god, in all actuality, it can suck. Hard.
Speaking for a god isn’t something that is clear at first. Sometimes, you’ll be in a forum, typing a response to someone, and next thing you know, your fingers are flying across the keyboard and you’ve just typed out a paragraph of text and you’re not entirely sure where it came from. Or maybe you’ll be talking with someone, or see something occur, and you’ll get this swell of energy that overwhelms you, and the words just fly into your head and out of your mouth.
Or perhaps you realize that you see something that is wrong (against ma’at in this case) and you get this nagging sensation that you need to do something about it. You try to ignore it, but it fails horribly. You look to the source of the voice, and you realize it’s your pot stirring deity telling you to say something.
That’s how it seems to start when you speak for a god.
You come across issues, or something occurs that should be called out and corrected – and the god in question pops in and says “say something”. You tell them no, and yet, they persist. And persist. And persist.
So what do you do? How do you handle becoming a god’s mouthpiece?
Expect to work on yourself, first and foremost. If you’ve got short comings with anger or stress- get ready for a massive pile of shadow work to sort all of that out. Someone who shuts down easily under stress, or bites off more than they can chew regularly will not make a good mouth piece for the gods. You can’t stir pots or enact change if you’re busy screaming at the spoon, yelling at the cook book or some hapless newb who made a wrong turn and happened upon the scene. Only once you can properly keep your cool and speak clearly, will you likely get pushed to start talking to others and making waves in other locations.
Be ready to learn about discernment- because many times you might be thinking you’re talking for a god when, in fact, you’re talking for yourself under the guise of “well X said so!” You’ve got to learn where you end and the god/s begin. If you can’t keep your own agenda to yourself, and not conflate it with the god’s agenda, you will soon find yourself in a heap of trouble.
Get ready to learn about holding your tongue. Many times, our reaction to someone who says something we dislike is to lash out. That’s typically useless in the long run. You make no friends by telling everyone that they are a poopy head and when you make no friends, you make a lot of enemies- which can also be useless.
However, friendly as you may be, be prepared for people to dislike you. Be prepared to have enemies. Be prepared for a lot of crying- because that’s what using your voice does. You don’t get to choose when and where you use it- They do. They will tell you to stick your nose into places you’d just as soon steer clear of.
When Set finally sat down and talked to me about what it was I was actually doing, I was told that this wasn’t about me, but about saying what needed to be said- regardless of people’s kinship to me. This means that when you see a BNP being a jerk on a forum, you say something. This means that when you see an entire forum wrongly accusing a group of people of being something they are not- you speak up and state the facts. You speak up and you speak out politely, but firmly– which means people are going to get angry.
You remember that Kickstarter issue that happened a while back? That was a Set moment.
You know that whole KO Q&A thread I worked on a while back? I was nudged to do that because Set said it was important. It didn’t matter if I liked KO or not, it mattered that people were spreading misinformation.
People were not acting in ma’at. My feelings on it were irrelevant.
That also means that when I write a book review that was written by a fellow Kemetic, or read a post by one of my Kemetic friends, I don’t get the option to pretend it was great if I didn’t really think it was.
I’m not doing this for me; I’m doing it for Him. I’m doing it because I said I would.
That means I don’t get the option to take a day off or let my feelings get in the way.
It means sticking your neck out there and owning up to it- and that creates enemies, no matter how nicely you say something. And that is the true fact of life of being an enactor of change via words for a deity.
You can also expect to mess up a lot. We all start somewhere, and we all have to learn what our limits are and where our strengths lie. Even though I’ve been doing this for a while, I still mess up off and on. It’s because of this that a friend of mine gave me the Two Response Rule to utilize. Set supported my use of it, and I still utilize it (religiously) to this day.
Now, don’t get me wrong- it’s not all bad. There are ups to working on things like this. I can say that due to the words I’ve spun out on the internet, KO has a clearer name for things, that there are the beginnings of a good Kemetic community blossoming, and I’ve been able to see some interesting shifts in the Kemetic community- which I have been happy to be a part of.
But the fruits of the labor can be short lived, and not all of us are especially cut out for the work the gods might call us to.
So if you are sitting in shrine one day, and a god says “Hey, I want you to go out there and say stuff when I tell you to say stuff” but the above picture doesn’t sound like something you can handle, I urge you to say no. Or I urge you to barter on the terms from said deity- just in case this isn’t something you can hack. Speaking for the gods isn’t simple and it can be a very grueling, spoon eating adventure and it’s not something you can just drop once you’ve started. And because the gods often have their eyes on the bigger picture, and not necessarily your current stress level, sometimes it’s best if people don’t become mouthpieces for the gods- because they aren’t made to handle it.
Because like most anything that a god pushes us to do – its usually not about us, but about what the gods want.
Have you ever been asked to be a mouthpiece for a god (whether it be long term or short term)? Do you think you could handle being a mouthpiece for a deity? Would you want to be?