The Gods Use Whatever Language They Have To

03 Sep

Once upon a time, I wrote a little bit about how sometimes weird visuals and random “junk” in your head can actually be the gods trying to communicate with you, or push you into places you might not normally go. And after seeing Tess Dawson’s post called “Back Away From the Tarot Cards!” I wanted to elaborate on this a bit more.

In this post, Dawson discusses how practitioners of Natib Qadish should “think twice before bothering with Tarot cards and other prevalent Western European forms of divination”. According to her post, this is because “the deities of the culture are better able and more comfortable communicating in an oracle compatible with their cultural metaphors”.

I would like to contest this concept with the simple notion that “the gods use whatever language they have to to get our attention.”

Now, I want to start this off by saying that I do agree that knowing the symbolism of your religion and your particular god’s culture can be useful. Knowing what scarabs and ankhs and djed pillars mean can certainly help you to decipher visions and messages from Kemetic gods.

Except when it doesn’t.

Let’s take a look at this right here:

This is a vision given to me by Osiris sometime earlier this year. I was stressed and worried and he threw me in the river and showed me this, and apparently it’s the “answer” to whatever my problems are.

Let’s break this down- you’ve got the was, a symbol of Set and dominion over chaos. You’ve got double wings- often shown on heka statues. And… you’ve got someone that is standing authoritatively with colors that are commonly used in Egyptian art with their own meanings.

All of the symbolism in the world and I still don’t know what the hell this vision is trying to tell me (which is why we say that Osiris speaks in “wingdings”).

The point I’m trying to illustrate here is that if the gods want you to understand something, they will ensure that they use a language that you understand. Even though I know quite a bit about Egyptian symbolism, the gods know how to mask the point behind symbols- foreign (Kemetic in this case) or otherwise (modern, Western). This is further reinforced by the fact that many of us are called to specific deities before we even know a lick about that deity’s culture, religion, or symbolism.

When the gods are trying to communicate with us and they actually want us to get the point (sometimes gods are purposely vague for a variety of reasons), they will ensure that their messages are in a language that we get. This is easily seen by how Set communicates with me- he picks symbols that I understand. Symbols that come from someone who lives in modern Western culture, but also understands and works with Japanese culture as well. Both Set and Osiris use symbols that are unique to myself, and only myself. Using a symbol that is important to someone entirely different will mean nothing- because they are talking to me.

Dreams and visions and communication are all very personal. The language that the gods choose to speak to you in will be personal. To believe that you can’t utilize a divination device that is “foreign” to your religious culture seems folly. The gods will use whatever means they need to to get through to you, regardless of its point of origin. And if the system you’re using isn’t working for you, that’s not the fault of you or the system- it just means that you might benefit from experimenting with other methods.

And why wouldn’t they communicate in a variety of ways and languages? They want something from you- so it stands to reason that they would make sure that you understand what they mean. Otherwise, their offering plates could go empty for a while, or they have to invest more time and effort into getting what they want out of you. At that point, the only one “suffering” from you not getting the picture is them.

And if you don’t get it the first time, they’ll progressively “dumb it down” for you until you do. So maybe the ring of flour made no sense, so perhaps they’ll try a ring of salt. An SPN person might get that, but maybe you don’t, so instead they’ll send you a picture of a dead bolt, or an alarm system – all trying to warn you about protecting yourself. And if the pictures and dreams no longer make sense, they may just send another unwitting person to suddenly bring up the topic of “hey, you ever consider working on protection spells?”

Gods aren’t dumb and we shouldn’t underestimate their capacity to express concepts to us. They are gods after all. And they’ll use whatever language they need to get through to you.


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8 responses to “The Gods Use Whatever Language They Have To

  1. shezep

    September 3, 2013 at 8:13 am

    I use for my quickie tarot readings all the time. My gods seem to have no problems with this at all, in fact I’ve noticed that the type of reading will change based on who I ask. Djehuty likes the full scale Celtic Cross, or some other spread with lots of cards. He’s very verbose and likes to cover as many angles as possible. Heru on the other hand, knows that if he says too much, I have this habit of picking things apart, so he’s more into “need to know” and will give me only a one or three card spread.

    They’re also not above hijacking the shuffle feature on my music playlists or on Pandora radio.

  2. ladyimbrium

    September 3, 2013 at 9:53 am

    I’ve noticed that the Reaper does this very easily- perhaps more so than any other being I’ve ever interacted with. He really speaks not just our language but my specific language. It’s almost scary to realize that they know us on THAT deep a level.

  3. briarrose44

    September 3, 2013 at 9:58 am

    *is nodding in agreement*

    I find that the Gods speaks to me through music. More specially, They take over my iPod’s shuffle function. Try getting “Lonesome Valley,” “Many Miles,” and “Return (Coming Home)” right after asking about shadow work…

  4. Sarduriur

    September 3, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Montu has appeared to me in at least one of my dreams as a 14th century French knight with some determinative Egyptian features/symbols on His livery and armor. Not simply because He felt like it, I’m sure, but because I have a good deal of Medieval historical content in my head, having studied that at Uni for a few years to the point where it’s been pretty thoroughly beaten into my brain (I’ve also spent some formal time on ANE Studies, so that’s quite beaten into my gray matter as well). Additionally, within the Western mind, there is a visceral, immediate understanding of what a knight “means” — you look at a knight, and you say to yourself, “okay: honor, courtoisie, valor, vassalage, fidelity. Gotcha.” Immediate or near-immediate understanding, minimal analysis required. And that had very much to do with what Montu was visiting me about, what He wanted to convey to me regarding a personal matter.

    As familiar as I am with Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East, those aren’t the only things I am familiar with. Those aren’t the only things the Gods are familiar with, either. It’s not like the Gods have been shut away in boxes for thousands of years and have only been released again, shouting “OMG WHAT ARE CRAYONS? AND GERMANY IS A FUNCTIONAL, INDEPENDENT POLITY WITH A CENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT MORE ADVANCED THAN ROME, AND A LEGITIMATE ECONOMY THAT ISN’T A GIFT OR SLAVE ECONOMY? AND EVERYONE HAS INDOOR PLUMBING AND BATHES ALMOST EVERY DAY? WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?”

    It suited Montu’s purpose then. I’ve had plenty of Egyptian-flavored dreams in my time. And I’ve had the Gods throw some pretty “out of left field” dreams at me that were far more Early Modern and Modern-looking than a 14th century French knight. Hint: Heru-sa-Aset seems to like the Mannerist, Baroque, and Rococo aesthetics. Too much. Way too much.

    If a person’s head is filled with nothing but Spiderman and Britney Spears, the Gods are going to use that to get through to that person — or, if that tactic fails, throw something at that person so far out of left field that the person cannot ignore it.

    By the same token, echoing what you have already said, Devo: if a method of divination renders consistent, accurate results for a person, partly because of their familiarity with the methods and symbols involved, the Gods and other entities will speak to that person through that method and those symbols.

    I mean, shit, They don’t speak to us in anything but the languages we understand. If Pazuzu and Ea and Their Divine associates spoke in Akkadian exclusively, everyone except the dwindling minority of ANE Studies experts fluent in that exceptionally difficult Ancient language would be completely confused and/or in serious trouble.

    Yes, context is important. Yes, one should understand the culture their Gods and religion(s) come from, absolutely. But last I checked, Egyptian and Mesopotamian and Levantine “Pagans” didn’t appoint a “Near Easter Pope,” and if any of us did, I doubt most of us would have chosen Tess Dawson to tell us what to say and do and believe. We will ultimately use methods that have proven effective, and are readily available to us (and yeah, there are a number of Babylonian/general Mesopotamian-themed decks out there, and countless Egyptian tarot decks, so her point on “OMG BUT CULTURE-SPECIFIC SYMBOLS” is null and void — I don’t think there are any Canaanite-themed ones, but there’s no reason why one cannot make something of their own that is accessible AND is built upon the language of Canaanite symbolism. I’m surprised she’s not jumping on that opportunity to monopolize Canaanite religion further!).

    Extispicy rituals are inexpedient and antiquated and aren’t going to be treated with respect by society at large — kill an animal and examine its liver and intestines for omens (granted that you even know how to do ANY of that to begin with — Seth F. C. Richardson in an Oriental Institute seminar text [No. 6] edited by Amar Annus, “Divination and Interpretation of Signs in the Ancient World,” states in his article that there is no information on method or procedure within many Mesopotamian [specifically Sumerian and Akkadian] primary source documents that mention it because it was a “memorized craft,” and that the wording of these sources is so vague that many scholars have interpolated the references incorrectly and have assumed extispicy when other methods were actually being referred to), you’re going to have a gaggle of angry neighbors at your door unless you live on a remote farm. One has to be pragmatic about such things. Likewise, unless you possess the requisite knowledge of both Modern Astronomy AND Ancient Sidereal Astrology (and live in a climate where the skies are fairly visible at any given time and not cloudy as fuck), you’re not going to be able to divine celestial phenomena worth a damn as specific classes of Ancient Mesopotamian priests often did. Not to mention that most of us aren’t anywhere near the Tigris/Euphrates river system, so, the position and timing of a number of apparent “movements/risings/settings” in the heavens might be a bit off for the rest of us, which may have some impact on readings of omens. We Kemetics certainly know how that plays out, regarding the heliacal rising of Sirius (Sopdet) and how that effects the entire calendar, varying from geographical location to location and from religious sect to religious sect!

    I don’t have a problem with Tess or anyone else saying that they don’t like Medieval and Modern and “foreign” divination systems and don’t want to use them because reasons. That’s fine. They may do as they like. But when it comes to divination methods, those that have rendered consistently accurate predictions and divining of omens, long-established divination traditions or no, Tess & Co. have no right nor expertise to dictate what the rest of us may use.

  5. Narda Fenrirsson

    July 23, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Reblogged this on Keeper of my Keys.


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