Many people in the pagan realm have stated that they have a problem with the phrase “working with gods”. Most of them seem to feel that this is demoting the god to that of a hammer or screwdriver- it is something you pick up to do a job with, and once you’re done, you put the tool back in the tool box. That it turns the gods into tools for us to ‘use’ and simply put away again.
I happen to like the term ‘working with gods’, and I wanted to go into why that is. That way, when you see me use the phrase, you understand what I mean by it.
When I say that I work with Set or Asar, the image that comes to mind is a strong handshake. We are joining together to do work, to create something bigger and better. We are coworkers and peers. Teachers and students- setting out to ‘get some work done’ – together – and to accomplish something. There is no imagery of tools, hammers, nails, etc. It’s just me and them coming together cooperatively to get stuff done.
I know the second most common phrase out there would be worship. I “worship X god”. I don’t particularly care for this phrase, myself. Because worship, in Devo-land, means that you’re a doormat, you are star struck and you follow X entity in whatever it is they say or request. “I worship the ground that she walks on” kind of thing. And while I know that that might not necessarily be the case for all of you, it is the imagery that pops up for me. And because of that, I tend to steer clear of the term ‘worship’. Set is no-nonsense, for sure. But I do have the ability to tell him no (or worse). And for me, worship implies that I couldn’t or wouldn’t ever disagree with what he has in mind. And that just isn’t the case.
I also believe that the phrase ‘working with’ implies that we are on somewhat equal terms (as opposed to the term ‘worship’). Or that there is respect on both sides. We are working in harmony, creating something more, together.
So when you see me use the phrase ‘working with gods’, don’t think of tools, think instead of the picture below: people and deities connected together, and working together to make the world better.
What types of terms do you use to describe your relationship with your god/s? Are there certain terms that you are not comfortable with using?