Quite a few months ago I provided this update on the litanies to many gods challenge. Perhaps only the four entrants and myself have noticed nary a peep from me since on the subject, but it’s been on my mind.
Turns out there are indeed many gods. I knew I’d get some entries which included deities to whom I do not pay cult, and likely some with which I am entirely unfamiliar, but I wasn’t expecting that more than half of them would be unknown. I also wasn’t expecting that the prospect of writing prayers for them would be intimidating.
In Hellenic tradition, foreign gods are honored in Hellenic fashion: purification, procession, offerings of barley and other things appropriate, hymns. That’s what I was prepared to do, but the sheer percentage of foreign deities (mostly Kemetic) gives me pause. My ancestors would have syncretized without a second thought, but I live in a time when cultural appropriation is a topic of conversation.
While I don’t think gods can be appropriated without their consent, but prayers also have a human audience, and some of those humans might feel otherwise. What can certainly be appropriated are religious practices, which is why I am hesitant to simply research traditional forms of prayer to these deities. Possibly none of this was an issue when the world was fluidly polytheistic, but that’s not the world in which I live.
All these thoughts have resulted in a spiritual stop on choosing a winner. Maybe I should just mail some cookies to all the entrants and be done with it. the project concept has also evolved in the ensuing months, and I am excited with what is taking shape.
Feedback on my misgivings is welcome.