Goddesses

Part of me thinks I was a pagan without knowing it when I was younger. The idea of goddesses must have had some appeal, or perhaps it is just what they were associated with.

For instance, when I was a kid, I was reading a book about volcanoes and earthquakes, and there was a few pages on mythological representations of these phenomenon. I noticed a Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes named Pele, and some time afterwards for some reason I tried praying to said goddess.

Then, when I entered my teen years (probably at about 14-15 years old), I became fascinated with earth mother goddesses, perhaps from a mixture of Shin Megami Tensei (these goddess were on the Chaos alignment, and I was a huge fan, and still am today) and because I thought many of them were beautiful. In particular, I had a great fascination with the goddess Gaia as a goddess of earth and a mother goddess. Keep in mind though, at that time my thought hadn’t really, shall we say, evolved to the way it is now. For similar reasons I liked goddesses Isis, Cybele, and Parvati/Shakti.

Today, goddesses still have value to me, mainly as representatives of female power, among various of things. And Shakti is very important to me as both a goddess and a concept.

Goddesses, the Virgin Mary, and the Black Madonna

A Black Madonna statue

Ever heard of the Black Madonna? It’s a depiction of the Virgin Mary with dark or brown skin rather than white. Though these suspicious black statues come directly from Christianity, Catholic Christianity to be precise, to my understanding, it’s roots are pagan, and the symbolism is there.

Before Christianity took over, people worshiped many gods, and there were a lot to choose from. Among the variety of deities were goddesses of earth, fertility, and agriculture, such as Isis of Egypt, Artemis of Ephesus, Diana of Rome, Ceres and Demeter of Greece, and Cybele of Phrygia. When Christianity took over, the temples to these goddesses were taken over and replaced with Christian establishments, and the goddess statues airbrushed to resemble the Virgin.

A key characteristic of Black Madonnas is obviously their dark or brown skin. The skin seems to be the color of the fertile earth, very suited for agriculture or the soil. It is also said that the images of the Black Madonnas originate with images of the goddess Isis holding baby Horus, which in turn echo an African archetypal mother figure.

Isis and baby Horus

Some say, and I may agree, that the Black Madonna in some way represents female power and sexuality, as opposed to the white Virgin Mary, who represents the more docile qualities of purity and obedience (especially obedience to “God”). And as we all know, female sexuality was not tolerated in the Christian world. But then, that makes me think, how are there Black Madonnas in Catholic churches?

An eclectic path of Chaos

As long as we’re talkin’ primordial…

This post has taken a lot of work to think about and a lot of effort to consider, hence the delay. Anyway…

You may remember what I said I believed about God. Well throughout the blog, I have gone on record talking about my belief in primal chaos as the prime and endless foundation and substance of all that is. After some thought, I can’t reconcile any overarching God of any sort with believing in Primal Chaos as the prime substance. I know I already said I was agnostic about God, but even if God was a force running through everything, that might as well be the same as primal chaos being the prime substance of all. In effect, you might say I’m atheist. But save it for now, you’d be missing out on the rest of what I have to say.

A serpent, classic symbol of primal chaos, and carnality.

I believe in Primal Chaos as the prime foundation and substance of all that is, and a prime mover of sorts. The play of creation, destruction, change, movement, sensation, and power. Order does not exist, not truly. That or chaos is the order. I’ve already covered order not existing.

While I don’t believe in God as a concept, the creator, destroyer, and governor of existence, the reason all is, the maker of order, the demiurge, you get the idea, I am still open minded about the existence of gods/deities, monsters, spirits, and demons. Besides, I love gods, monsters, and demons, they’re so cool. For the most part, I simply believe in an ungoverned universe. It moves and changes on its own, and the chaos is endless. We’re born in chaos, we live in chaos, and we pass through chaos, and I make no claims about what happens after death, you’ll have to find out yourself. All I’m certain of is that there’s more than what we see with our eyes. I distinguish God from gods by stating that God is the concept of a demiurgic governer of reality, while gods are spiritual beings of some description, but they are not better than us, morally speaking. They’re just powerful beings.

You could call me a Satanist because I consider Satan/Lucifer a symbol of rebellion against religious authority, represented by God, as well as, in a way, self-empowerment, and he himself is a celebration of rebellion. You might even say he’s an example of sorts to follow.

Speaking of Lightbringer…

My idea of spirituality heavily involves granting yourself spiritual power, self-empowerment, awareness of chaos, and the freedom of our sexuality. Find your own truth and be objective about yourself. That fits well with what I said about Satan. I’m all about unlocking the chthonic flame inside you, your spiritual and emotional power, and getting to know all that is primal; any way you can, and any way you want. I don’t believe in oneness with a higher being. I do believe there is potential in music for spiritual goals, such as what I previously said about heavy metal, and I’m open-minded about magic and occcultism so long as you can use it to achieve the goal of gaining spiritual power. I value living your life for yourself, and not solely for the sake other people, and certainly not for a god, or for any lofty utopian ideals.

Fire 1 by markopolio-stock on DeviantArt

I’m also thinking of incorporating pagan thought. And no, not Wicca, I find it a little too peacey. I’m scrolling through pagan ideas concerning human nature, or Man’s animal nature. I go to paganism mainly because, in ancient times, pagan societies were less repressive about sex, paganism itself was never repressive about sex. It just wouldn’t be pagan otherwise. Besides, I’m a huge fan of earth mothers, particularly the curvacious kind and of proven fertility and power. Earth Mother to me just screams Primal Chaos. But I am not a Luddite, and I’m not anti-technology. If I was, why would I be playing video games and listening to music on computer?

Ishtar, as depicted in Shin Megami Tensei II

I make it a point to incorporate Asian religions. You know: Hinduism, Buddhism, and to a lesser extent Shinto and the folk traditions of China and Japan, mainly for my love of Eastern religions. I admire the appreciation and respect given to sexuality in traditional Indian religious thought. I admire the divine imagery in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Tantric schools of both religions. Perhaps, the images of gods like Shiva, Kali, Durga, and similar Hindu gods, along with Buddhist warrior-like Tantric gods, can be used as part of meditating on personal and spiritual power and strength.

A wrathful deity, possibly Mahakala. I prefer to think of them as beings of power, energy, anger, and flame, ironic considering they are assigned to destroy passion.

Also, Hinduism has a concept of earth mother goddesses, and a concept of Shakti, which refers to both an earth mother and a primordial power and energy, which is responsible for creation and change. Shakti  seems to be a prime mover, much like Primal Chaos, and it can also be a metaphor for any kind of spiritual power, especially female. The Earth Mother also quite sexual in a way. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s not like the primal and the sexual aren’t related.

Shakti in beauty and power

It’s not as though I don’t believe in actions not having reactions. They always do. It’s part of chaos: one thing pushes another, the other pushes back, all part of the neverending movement of all. But this is not a law. A law is a decree that needs to be enforced by its agents, whereas this is a nature. You could say that’s Buddhist, however, I disagree with much of Buddhism’s actual teachings, including the non-existence of selfhood or the self, their devaluing of passion and desire, despite their sexual and passionate imagery in their deities, their concept of fetters (mainly what the fetters are, including sexual desire), and the Mahayana idea of bodhicitta.

I’m anti-religious and against organized religion, definitely, and there’s certainly a sense that my ideas are anti-Abrahamist and against the traditional spiritual/religious/philosophical ideas based around the notion of an orderly or governed universe. Also, have you ever noticed most religion want us to escape from chaos and our human nature? Christianity, Islam, even Buddhism seem to have a utopian vision of a world or just existence without sin or desire. We all know where that’s gonna go. Why run from chaos and the primal, when we can embrace it? And when we don’t, we end up becoming drones, or worse. Besides, primal isn’t all bad. We humans are animals, sure, but we have infinite potential, we are capable of brilliance and intelligence.

We are not as detached from the jungle as you might think. We are creatures of the jungle.

All in all, my core beliefs/values are Primal Chaos as the prime substance of all that is, an existence that is ungoverned, unlocking spiritual and emotional power, sexual freedom, and getting to know all that is primal, including the primal within Man. It’s about embracing Primal Chaos, rather than rejecting it, or fearing it. It’s about empowerment, the empowering of your self, not dissolving it into some higher consciousness. It’s about respecting sexuality not repressing it. It’s about knowing the primal, not running away from it. It’s about power, it’s about freedom. It’s about not surrendering yourself or your free will to anyone. It’s about not having any spiritual governance. If you’re worried that my spiritual path doesn’t have morals of it’s own, it’s not supposed to. I am not supposed to decide someone else’s morals for them, you are supposed to decide yourself.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to hear me out, if you did. This took a lot of work, so I hope you appreciate it. After this, I’m taking a break from posting for the weekend, because I feel like having a break after the effort I made to concieve this post.

A toast to the gods of chaos

A god of chaos is a mythological deity who represents not just classical chaos or primordial chaos, but also primal forces, and the link between chaos, the primal, the sensual, and creation and destruction. You may not believe some of the gods that I have elected as gods of chaos. Also, not all gods follow the same pattern. Also, I am aware that a there is a god called Khaos in Greek myth, but I do not count it because (a) that would be dumb, and (b) Chaos was more a concept in Greek myth anyway, just like the way I see it. Satan and Angra Mainyu don’t count either, because officially they are not gods.

Shiva

I swear I’ve said this three times now. Shiva’s intimate link to creation and destruction and primal forces and desires, for me, merits him his staus as a god of chaos, in some way. To add to his primality, he has a heavy association with the Aum, the primordial syllable of creation and the universe.

Set

He’s not here just because everyone else calls him a god of chaos.

Ah, the ancient Egyptians. They sure loved their order, and whenever it was disturbed, they described it in in pretty calamitous proportions. Set was a god of storms, chaos, and dark forces, and he was already a force to be feared, but he could also aid those who worship him, so, like the rest of the pantheon, he was an ambivalent force. Then, politics ruined his image. He became the victim of an Egyptian chaoskampf (“stuggle against chaos”) in which he is slain by Horus, and over time he effectively became an Egyptian Satan. Is it any wonder he became worshipped by theistic Satanists?

Tiamat and Apsu

A painting of Tiamat by Susannah Iles

Tiamat may have been a chaos monster, but she was also a goddess of the primordial chaos, the creatrix of the universe along with Apsu another primordial chaos god. Together they made sweet primeval love and Tiamat birth many gods, as well as dragons and serpents. She would later be slain by Marduk, and become the archetypal example of the Chaoskampf.

Aditi

Aditi is a creatrix mentioned in the Vedas as a mother of the gods and the goddess of both heaven and earth, in contrast to many traditions having a sky father and an earth mother. Her attributes are freedom, infinity, creation, and might, and she is often corresponded the primordial of many ancient mythologies. Unsurprisingly, this includes Chaos, but it also refers to the waters of space, or the deep, and primordial light. She is also associated with Lajja Gauri, the nude earthly goddess of fertility and abundance in folk Hinduism.

Kali

Statue of Kali Maa

Make no mistake, she’s a wild lady alright. Beautiful too. She is really violent and destructive ,but that ain’t the only side to her. In fact, I believe she is just as linked to creation and the primal as well as destruction as Shiva. She might just be a female image of Shiva, though Parvati/Uma and Durga are also the shakti of Shiva.

Tezcatlipoca

Jaguars aren’t his only deal.

Tezcatlipoca is a very diverse god, and a very dark one. He’s a god of war, strife, disorder, chaos, the sun (he did rule the sun a few times in Aztec lore), obsidian, beauty, the earth, the night, hurricanes, kings, temptation, and magic. His complexity is the main attribute that merits his status as a god of chaos.

Eris

Yeah, as long as we’re talking about gods of chaos, but just what’s so primal about her? Well I suppose she is the daughter of Nyx. You could say she’s the strife side of chaos. Then again, she’s the goddess of Discordianism, whose authors have written this about Eris in the Principia Discordia: “I am chaos. I am the substance from which your artists and scientists build rhythms. I am the spirit with which your children and clowns laugh in happy anarchy. I am chaos. I am alive, and I tell you that you are free.” I guess I can accept that.

Gaia

She looks beautiful in this modern artwork.

Gaia is extremely intimately linked to primordial chaos, having been directly born from chaos. She is primality. Since she is nature, or all things earthly, and chaos seeps into and is a huge part of the natural world. Chaos then is the blood of the natural world. By this logic, any earth mother can count as a beautiful and bountiful goddess of chaos, or at least most earth mothers.

Now, to raise a glass to these magnificent gods.