Remembering that the vast majority of mankind believe there is only one God, followed very closely by those that believe there is no God, when someone comes to us filled with preconceived ideas and misinformation, we must ensure that we help them with finding the Gods that have called them.
Modern society is shallow, people are too busy and internally focussed to spend time learning about something that isn’t spoon fed to them. Money and power are king. Consumerism is plaguing the planet and the concept of hospitality is something people talk about but do not practice. As Emerson said “People will only see what they are prepared to see” and if it doesn’t benefit them, they will ‘leave it for the next person’.
Of late there have been many blog discussions regarding polytheistic religions being treated as “fad” religions – when a God or Goddess comes into ‘favour’ because they are foremost in people’s minds by way of pop culture. Thank Marvel comics and movies for a not too complimentary portrayal of Thor and Odin, Morrigan as a video game character, Hollywoodised Wicca, and the Druids as a social class in Dungeons & Dragons. This brings the deity into the forefront of the minds of people without them completely understanding who the deity is. A very small portion of them will research the deity and if they feel called, will delve deeper into the religion they are associated with.
How do we treat these fad followers? I believe it is not our place to admonish them, to turn our backs on them if they ask questions when they join the numerous pagan forums or ridicule them. Instead it is up to us to welcome them and help guide them through the labyrinth of information available. Those who are truly not interested will fall by the wayside, but for those that remain because of genuine interest or because they have felt the call of the deity, it is part of our responsibility as heathens to answer their questions respectfully and guide them.
Perhaps the easiest approach to take is to talk about what you do through meditation, prayer and study, and what brought you to your deity, about your devotion to your Gods, your appreciation of the natural world and how you honour your ancestors. Let them know how you bring the lessons they have taught into your daily life.
As polytheists, our lives are full of questions and learning. There are some who question whether the Gods are using social media and pop culture to make the world aware of them – personally, I hope not. The portrayal of the Gods in pop culture I find demeaning. However, there is a global Re-Awakening and more people are turning away from the existing monotheistic religions to the Old Gods. It is part of our obligations to our community, our frith, that we welcome people who are seeking knowledge and guide them.