Often we relegate things like love and lust, rage and compassion, anger and fear into emotions. If we think of them as just emotions, we may not work with them on a level that is appropriate. In fact, if we do not give them the respect that they deserve, they can sneak up on us when we least expect it and give us a good kick up the arse.
My teacher, Bobcat told us students many years ago that we should regard them as gods. It took me a while to understand what she meant, and only after the experience of years since does it all seem clear to me now. We often have to stumble and fall before we actually pay attention to the ground we are walking upon. The idea of the gods of human tides took a good few years to sink in, but they now sit comfortably within my framework of ethics, living in honourable relationship.
Gods often demand respect. Not because they are seeking power over us and have something to prove, but rather that if we do not respect them we could be swept away on their currents of energy. It is often said that in Druidry we do not sublimate to the gods, but rather work to create a relationship with them that is rich and sustainable, as we do with all things.
The gods of the human tides are treated with the same respect as the gods of thunder and lightning, the sea and sun, the winter’s howling and the spring’s blooming. We must look carefully into our anger, our lust, our greed, our compassion, our generosity in order to understand the intention behind them better. If we are not careful, we can get swept away with them all too quickly. If we do not stand our ground we can jeopardise our entire existence, all that we have worked for, all our dreams and schemes, our morals and our ethics.
It requires a willingness to be soul naked and bare, to look inside the self and see the constructs of it in order to better understand why it works the way it does. It requires utter honesty. How many of us are completely honest with ourselves? Very few, if any.
I am not an exception. I have fallen before the gods of humanity, swept away on various currents and seeing the destruction that is wrought by the giving in to their powerful surge. It has led me to look deeper within myself to find the root causes of why I allowed that to happen, and in doing so ensuring that it doesn’t happen in the future. Creating a relationship with these gods means that I understand them better, and myself more, therefore acting with intention instead of simple reaction. Great doubt and insecurity, great fear and anger all lie within our souls. Facing these requires great courage and strength, great faith in ourselves and in the world around us.
None of us are perfect. But we learn from our mistakes, the tripping up awakening us, making us pay attention to the footsteps we take along life’s journey. Then each step is walked with honour, respect and integrity. Do not dwell on past mistakes, but do not let them happen again. Awake and aware, we walk forward, deeper into the heart of the forest and the wisdom of the oak.