I think the heart of this is figuring out whether I believe the deity(ies) actually hold sway in my life. It's a question I've ignored since leaving my play with Wicca. How much do they mess with the events in my life? Are they hands off, watching me like a tv? Are they free range parents (hurt like hell, didn't it? what have we learned?) Are they helicopter parents, hovering and watching and having their hands all over everything? I like the parent idea, that rings true. I'm just not sure if they-re neglectful or helicopter, or that perfect balance for the wayward, bullheaded spawn.
The more I meditate on it, the more I see them as free range parents, the originators of unschooling. They let me run headlong, learning and doing and experimenting, but yanking me back to safety if I'm about to dive off a cliff of death instead of a staircase. They help, invisibly, when I'm not yelling and hollering "let me do it, I can do it!" Maybe most of my requests have been akin to the child asking for a candy bar at the checkout. Begging, pleading, occasionally throwing a fit, for something that I either shouldn't have at all or need to wait until a better time to have. I also know that if I try and give them complete control over my life, they just smile and say "nice try, get back to what you were doing."
I guess it's time to acknowledge, fully, the pantheon I have believed in since straying from Wicca.
There is the Mother, Mother Earth and Moon. She keeps you going when things fail. She will always listen, but will ignore a temper tantrum. She's always there for a hug, even when the rest of the world has turned it's back on me. She has never abandoned me; she has never used emotions as a weapon. She will calm you and ground you, but only after you have let loose your rage.
There is the Father, Father Time. He will pick you up and set your wounds healing. He will hold the bike steady when you learn something new. He will protect you, but indulge when you day you can do it yourself. He is a great teacher, and a great warrior. He is aloof and distant, yet there the instant you need him and can say as much. He hears the rage and fury and grief and wildfires of emotion, and cures it as only he can.
Then there are the Godparents, the advisers for the Mother and Father. They are the old spirits of the old ways.
Water, son of the south, is about patience, continuance, and never giving up. The Grand Canyon was not carved in a day and the Gulf will one day swallow Galveston for good. He counsels love and patience, but knows a storm is occasionally required. He can be a furious hurricane or a gentle babbling brook, and counsels the ability to shape to your situation and eventually wear it to your will.
Earth, daughter of the west, is steadfastness, eventuality, and growth. She is solid and wide, a connecting force between most everything. She counsels to wait and see, rather than constantly dashing yourself against the mountains. She is steadfast, constant, and thoroughly loyal. She also advocates the wild upheaval to release stress, but as a once and done thing, not a constant action.
Air is Earth's counterpart, the brother of the north. He is change, growth, and extreme actions. Air can be as calm as a gentle western breeze or the fury of a tornado. He relentlessly presses for change and the new and different. He is unstoppable, and advocates constant movement and thought, taking in the environment and adjusting your plans and thought to accommodate reality. He brings tidings, both good and bad, and will help you whip yourself into a rage or take that rage and channel it away from you on the wind, as you let him.
Fire is the counterpart of water, the sister of the east. She is hungry, always hungry. She will shed light on any situation, if only to watch it burn in her hands. She can be cleansing rage and depression, clearing a choked forest, or a furious housefire, leaving nothing but pain where it once stood. She counsels movement, always gathering more food for the possible flame, and embracing wildfire emotions as they come and go just as quickly.
To listen to any one of the Godparents alone invites trouble. You must gather counsel from each and determine a true course of action, consulting the Mother and Father when necessary.
As to my own faith and my own issues, it is obvious I have not been heeding the warnings of the Parents and been listening too closely to only one or two Godparents. I have acted the wayward toddler, refusing help on pouring the milk and spilling it in the process, time and again. I can see the Mother over my shoulder sitting on her haunches, waiting for me to acknowledge that maybe the jug is too heavy. Hmmm...