The fertility stuff was what kept me from going back to Wicca when I was thoroughly disheartened by eliminating spirituality from my life and wanted to dive back in again. If I was going to reject everything I did before, how was I going to start over? Where was a place that I could call home?
I fell in love with the art first; the ancient sculpture of gods, spirits, kings and queens moved me in a way that I really hadn’t experienced before with art, let alone ancient art. I swooned over photos of hands delicately carved from shells, at earspools bedecked with snakes and flowers. And in my research, which I started for a very un-spiritual project, I delved further and further into the psycho-spacial theory, into the worldview, the folkways to try and make sense of the images I was seeing.
And so I found myself becoming a polytheist.
I was curious to see how a people so far removed from Indo-European understanding of the world would make sense of the seasons, of the Mystery of sprouting seeds, of death and rebirth. What I found hit me like a ton of lead. But at the same time, much of it was familiar in a bad way too. The moon is a goddess under almost all circumstances, and the sun a god, sometimes her consort. The earth is female (in some myths, the earth is the body of a dead goddess), and the seeds sown into it, male; or rather, the bones of the cosmic male, doomed to die and be resurrected every year. Sounded a lot like the stuff I was trying to get away from. But at least with polytheism, I didn’t have to worship that way. I didn’t have to honor them if I didn’t want to. I was going to make damn sure my personal religion didn’t turn into a fertility cult.
But then one evening in New York City, a thunderstorm passed overhead as I was walking through Union Square. It was literally overhead. Rain flooded the streets, thunder shook the ground beneath my feet, lightening lit up the sky above me, and sent the entire square running for cover, until I was one of the few people left standing out on the sidewalk. And I was certainly the only person who had actually stopped to marvel at the thing happening around me, not caring that my umbrella was providing barely any cover from the onslaught.
That was a powerful moment that changed me forever, really. Because that was the moment I discovered him.
The Rain Lord.
I’d been hesitant to approach him because he was just so old and so vast. He was the very roots of the culture that my ancestors were born in. He was (and in a few towns here and there, he still is) their lifeblood. It took me a few years to even begin to get a grasp on who he is, and what I found in my nights spent working visions and meditating blew me away.
My UPG for him is complex and fractal-like, just like he is I suppose. So to spare you the adoring details, I’ll say this: he has presented himself to me as a queer god. A god of liminal and dual-masculinity, a god to be found both in the dark, dripping recesses of the earth as well as in the sky. He is the third agent of creation– neither womb nor seed, but rather the spark of life itself, without which, neither male nor female reproductive capability means anything.
And just like that, I loved the rain. I loved him. And his vastness no longer terrifies me; in fact, the reality that I can find him almost anywhere in the world is a comfort now. A queer god runs this joint. How awesome is that?