We’ve all seen it. Some one pops up on the net claiming to be a high priest or priestess, be this fantastical being, a demonic demigod, what have you. Big claims from unknown people, and just about as soon as they open their mouths…they’re being told to shut up, we all go through that phase, you just need to mature.
And, essentially, to stop putting on airs.
Usually, after enough chastisement, most of these people “mature” and give up their fancy titles and positions and then start in on the next round of high priests/priestesses, other high ranking newbies, and so forth.
Here’s the thing though. What if all these people aren’t putting on airs. Most of those I’ve run into like that (myself included) typically come out with such titles because a Deity has come to us personally and given us this title. I’ve talked before about rankings of faith vs influence in the world.
So what if all these people are, in fact, telling the truth? Frankly, I find this believable. The old gods return and they want as much influence as they can get as fast as they can get it. So of course you’re going to find people with talent and you’re going to put them in a position of authority. And the reason so many newbies are the ones popping up is because those who are older or been doing it longer…matured.
Now there’s a few regards to what this “maturity” entails. Experience is the primary one. You realize just how important and big your new position is. It’s so much work, so much power, and you are expected to do things at times and places that aren’t always convenient. When I was just starting my service to Hel, I had to join in with her army in order to repel an invasion of creatures capable of taking over minds which ranged from the size of mice to mountains. This frankly would be terrifying to anyone, but worst of it came during while I was working at a call center and didn’t have time to fight. Jobs and lives demand from us our time and attention at the same times the Gods and our duties do. But the divine doesn’t physically place the bread on our tables, so many put aside spiritual power for comfort. But they remember what they were, and they resent, and they do not want to see those who take their places succeed.
And we go out on the net, and we find those who may have come before us directly, or been like us in other places, and their envy and jealousy make them strike out. They put aside their divine duties and do not think of the need of powerful, highly ranked warriors fighting for our Gods, they see only those with the pride and power they turned aside. So they attack and strip of confidence those who claim titles of power. They sow doubts and fear, because humans want to belong, and by ostracizing they make these fresh souls cave in and give up their positions and titles.
Honestly, I’m not surprised so many start out fresh with fancy titles and suddenly drop them with “maturity.” It’s tempting, with the social ostracism within the pagan community (often directed at those they disagree with), the inconvenience and expenses of high level religious practice, and the monsters and battles you can face. While the first two haven’t been a real trial for me (never cared much for what people thought, and I got thrifty) I know all to well the wounds and wars. No one gets a 100% success rate and even a few losses can prove costly.
But the next time you see someone claiming some grand title…don’t doubt them. The Gods need the Faithful, and the best way to gain Faithful is leaders. So they make leaders, dozens of them, hundreds of them, because out of those a few might survive, succeed, keep their position or gain newer, higher ones, and bring the Gods back more and more into our world. Do not knock the new, fresh, and titled. Support them. There’s enough out there to kill them without you striking a blow.
Because they might be telling the truth, they might be backed by a God or Goddess or Pantheon, and their backers might just decide to take their time to punish you for breaking one of their tools.