Mommas, don’t let your temples grow up to be cages…
I was supposed to be posting about shrines today, but that post would not come together. Last week, before my vacation, I kept thinking about an old dream. The dream was years ago, before I was consciously Kemetic. I didn’t have time to write about it last week, so here it is.
I was walking outside in the country. There were fields on all sides, and I could see people working in them. I carried a hawk on my arm, but the hawk seemed weak. It could barely hold itself upright. I worried about it. I placed the hawk on a perch next to the front door of a church and I went inside.
The church was made of stone. It was cool and dark. I looked around and saw that it was full of gods of all kinds. A magician-priest had trapped them all inside. I knew this was why my hawk was faltering. I felt this was very wrong. The gods needed to be outside with the people who worked in the fields.
I knew that the magic that sealed the gods inside might be broken if I brought down the chandelier. I looked up and saw the four screws holding it up to the ceiling. Using telekinesis, I unscrewed one of them, and then started on the second one. One of the goddesses spoke up and said that what I was doing was unnatural. It seemed like she objected not to what I was doing, but to how I was doing it. I explained to her that it was already partly done, and if I left it like that, the whole thing could crash down on someone’s head without warning. If I kept going, we might get it done safely. Hearing no other objections, I turned my gaze back up to the remaining screws. Then I woke up.
When I first had the dream, I thought it was a commentary about Christianity stifling the pagan gods. Now I’m not so sure. Magician-priest? That sounds a little too familiar for comfort, doesn’t it? Separating the gods from the common people, that sounds familiar too. The “bad guy” in the dream may have been Kemetic. I say I’m not a Reconstructionist, because there are some things that really should not be reconstructed. The gods need to be out there, among the people who need them, not locked up where only the privileged few may interact with them. It’s not good for the people, and it’s not good for the gods either.
Whenever I see people today, building walls between the “aristocracy” and the commoners, it does make me angry. It is the height of arrogance to try to dictate to others what the gods will or won’t do. That’s only the barest step away from claiming to control the gods, to putting them in a cage. How could that even happen? It can happen by convincing the people that your way is the only way, by shutting them out, building a wall with them outside, and you and the gods on the inside. It cuts off the conduit. Can people and gods work around that? Sure they can, but it becomes harder and harder to do over time. The priests grabbed way too much control. They elevated the gods to the point where they were “too important” which raised the importance of priests by association. Let’s not do that again, shall we? The gods are for everyone who hears them, and who are we to tell the gods what they can say or who they can talk to?
Then this weekend, there was another dream. I was talking to a young woman, but I don’t think she could hear me. I told her I was sorry, but I just couldn’t do this. I did feel genuinely sorry. I was wearing an expensive suit. Around me on all sides were animals in cages. I remember seeing a crocodile. I turned away from the woman and started walking. I had to leave the zoo. I looked around and saw other people walking towards the exit too. We walked away from the animals and their cages.
I was supposed to write a post about shrines today. I have nothing against shrines. I have one, but I don’t use it often. My statues are not “open” and they probably never will be. I recently made the decision to keep the curtains open all the time. I like having the family portraits out where I can see them. Maybe I’ll get to the shrine post later when I’m in a better mood to write one.