I have said before that the Theoi call who THEY want to call, and I still hold that belief. Sometimes that is difficult, however, when it is ME that a divinity calls and I have LITTLE TO NO IDEA on how to properly honor that divinity.
Part of my history includes having lived in New Orleans and through that having gotten a passing familiarity with the lwa/orishas/spirits of the African Traditional Religions (known variously as Vodou/Voudon/Voodoo/Santeria). I have known and become friends with priests and priestesses of these faiths and know that these are rich traditions that it takes years to properly learn.
It was almost ten years ago that I was given an all-white outfit by one of those priestesses — who KNOWING that I did not follow her tradition STILL named me priestess and gave me an outfit that was traditional ritual wear for a priestess in her faith. And yes, I still resisted claiming that title for myself until last year because I felt I hadn’t earned it through study and effort. I also feel that it is a title that is bestowed by community, not claimed willy-nilly.
How does all of this tie in to being called by a divinity that I have little to no idea of how to properly honor? For the past few months, I have felt a “pull” towards one of the shops in the city where I now live and couldn’t figure out the reason why. A few days ago, I finally was able to go there and as I was passing a shelf that had bronze resin statuettes of the African lwa/orishas/spirits and when looking at the statue of Yemaya — the lady of the Sea — I felt what could best be described as a “wave of power” washing through me, and the “pull” disappeared. I had found the reason.
Fortunately, one of the people at work in the shop when I was there was a practitioner of the African Traditional Religions who I was able to ASK for resources so that I can LEARN the appropriate way to approach Yemaya and interweave working for Her into working for the Hellenic Theoi. I got the strong feeling as I did this that Hestia, one of the main Goddesses I worship, approved of the way I was acting — because I was not approaching the question with an attitude of “being entitled to” the knowledge.
It is the WAY WE APPROACH the “other Gods” that truly determines if we are SERIOUS about our commitment to holding the gate open. If we cannot approach another’s pantheon with humility, we will not be worthy to open our doors to another person who seeks our Theoi with humility… no matter what the plans are…….