the god-collecting priest/ess

I just commented on how one of my pet peeves is that god-collecting priest/ess (now that I have laid a finger on an appropriate term to describe my pet peeve). These are the people who are not happy to be the priest/ess of a particular god that they adore to such great lengths to have a personal title of this magnitude, but seem to have some innate need to make every divine connection they have on this same scale. Now to clarify I think I need to address some points of my opinion. 1. I am talking from the modern priest/ess in which a personal commitment to said deity in which your life is devoted to following said deity, rather than a person in a temple. This is because we doing’t have working self sustaining temples for such folks to serve, but this is agiven that the magnitude of their relationship with their gods would have called them into official service at a temple if such a temple existed. 2. I don’t think that being a priest/ess means that you don’t have profound relationships with other gods, or even personal devotions to other gods…but rather these are secondary to their primary relationship which you have with the god you follow. I use the word follow in a very particular sense of which Plato described in his Phaedrus that each god has an “army” of divine beings and souls on the lowest levels, which follows them. But again this does not exclude the interaction of the soul with other gods since all the gods together are impacting our lives and spiritual being.

In this sense if we consider such high levels of devotion to a particular god, inspired by a great love/attraction (Eros) acting on your soul for the god in question, I see it as impossible for a person to be a “priest/ess” of more than one deity. I recognize the person who says that they are the priest/ess of god A, while being devoted to gods B and C. You can even serve to a great extent a god in a secondary nature a god whose cult is intricately connected to your god without being a priest/ess of that god (for instance the Pythia was a priestess of Apollon, but she also serves Dionysos). But I consider the height of ego for a person to say that they have this high personal relationship between their soul and multiple deities since not only does it fly in the face of logic, but also violates our understanding of what makes a person a priest/ess. It rather speaks of personal gradeur, or a highly inflated ego, in which they feel that they must be regarded as such, or perhaps a misunderstanding of how a person can have devotions and attraction to gods on various levels. In the former case, such a person may never be satisfied and may eventually declare themselves the priest/ess of half (if not all) the Olympians. In the other instance they may be depriving themselves of the intracies of having these diferent levels of personal devotion interacting with each other and their core relationship with the god that their soul is attracted to. To sum up…there is no need to be a god-collecting priest/ess, but rather treasure your different spiritual responses to the gods. And this doesn’t mean you cannot due equally thoughtful and committed work on behalf of the other gods either 🙂


6 thoughts on “the god-collecting priest/ess

  1. Plato described in his Phaedo that each god has an “army” of divine beings and souls on the lowest levels, which follows them

    That would be the Phaedrus, not the Phaedo.

  2. Greetings. Good post. I think it’s challenging enough to form a more than basic relationship with a single deity let alone something ‘deeper’ so to see folks claim that they are priest/esses of several deities has sometimes raised my brows. As you say, it’s not that folks can’t serve multiple deities (I mean, there’s a ‘poly’ in polytheism for a reason, no?) but I doubt all of their relationships would have the same quality of depth and experience. Blessings.

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