When Worship Goes Wrong
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," dedicated to the notion that all deities are created equal, no matter how few or how many followers They have! Lob a name and human characteristics at them as you will. No matter. They're expressions of the Higher Power we can all feel around us, within us, in our bones and our brains and our hearts.
In the wake of my knee-jerk reaction to the DC40 malefic magick, I created a Facebook group called "Pagans Protecting Philadelphia from DC40." Quicker than you can shout, "Who loves the Dallas Cowboys?" the few members of the group began getting testy with one another. What the heck is it about Philly? I don't care what Ed Rendell says on national t.v.: Philadelphia is not a touchy-feely, hail-fellow-well-met kinda place. I guess all the good karma gets stored up all year long and is let loose on January 1, for the Mummer's Parade. Then we settle back into our hostility for another 365 days.
EXHIBIT A: WE START THEM YOUNG IN PHILLY
"Witch wars" are notorious, having occurred way before the Internet came along to supply extra vitriol. And they don't particularly bother me, because
1. I live in Philadelphia (see above), and
2. I was once a Methodist, and the worst witch war in the world can't match a Methodist war. Those Methodists know how to quarrel, let me tell you.
Anyway, I created the Facebook group to channel positive energy, and after three days it was doing everything but that. So I took it down. If DC40 thinks this is a win for them, well, they ain't been to Philly yet. It's just how we roll, yo.
What I found more disconcerting yesterday was my difficulties at worship in my usual place of devotion, the laundromat.
When all is right with the world, the laundromat is a fabulous place to connect with deity. Watching the clothes in the machines puts you into a trance state. Ecologically, you can take the secure thought that you are saving tons of energy by shoving three weeks' worth of dirty stuff into one 20-minute wash cycle. There's an orderly progression to the ritual, from hearing the metallic clink clink of the coin machine to pulling those warm, clean-smelling bath towels out of the big ol' dryer. Nobody bothers you unless you choose to strike up a conversation. Basically, you're free to pray and meditate while energy-efficient machinery scrubs your socks.
Yesterday, not so good. It was 95 degrees outside and about ten degrees hotter inside. The coin machines were grumpy, no doubt due to the heat. But by golly, with all that heat, would you believe that two out of the three giant dryers I used were tossing the clothes around with no hot air? So when I was finished my deep dialogue with Manannan MacLir, two-thirds of my clothes were still wet!
EXHIBIT B: THE BORED GOD MANANNAN MAC LIR
Well, the laundromat attendant made good on my loss of $3.00, and I put the clothes in different dryers. Having bid farewell to Mannanan, I started watching the local news, and the big story was a line of thunderstorms that kept getting bigger and stronger as they headed west-to-east, from Reading to Philly to the dear little Suds for Duds Laundromat and Worship Center in Westmont, New Jersey.
Just as my towels were finally crisp and dry, a whopping thunderstorm hit. The rain was slanting sideways, and the lightning and thunder just ripped right along. So I had to wait for that to pass (which reminded me to thank Thor for protecting my daughter The Heir). When the rain died down, I started carting my towels to the car, hit a snag in the parking lot, and ... down they went, onto the puddled pavement!
Well, the gods give, and the gods take, and yesterday just wasn't my day. Honestly, it wasn't a very good day for our nation either, so there you have it. Monday's in the archives.
On Wednesday, Spare, Mr. J and I are going to our annual summer destination, St. Michaels, Maryland. There I will set everything right by doing my Lughnasadh devotions to the Sacred Thunderbird. Please don't ask for details of this praise and worship unless you want to hear about double-thick Hefty bags, road kill, and radio towers.
EXHIBIT C: HOLY SACRED THUNDERBIRD
Heir comes home Friday! And what stories she will have to tell!
Image of Mannanan by the incomparable Thalia Took.