Re: Imposters

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This morning, while brushing my teeth, I heard the following dialogue.

Spirit: (at me) “God, I really hate you.”

Hermes: ?! “Who the hell are you?”

Spirit: “I’m Hebe.”

Hermes: “Uh, no. I’m pretty sure that you aren’t.”

Spirit: “Isn’t it a matter of opinion? To some people, I’m Hebe.”

Hermes: “I’m Hermes. I know Hebe. And you, little one, are not Hebe.”

Spirit: “How do I know that you are Hermes? What evidence do you have?”

Hermes: “If you were Hebe, you’d know for certain whether I was or not.”

Spirit: “I think not.”

Hermes: “Welp. You know what they say. Shoot ’em all and let Persephone sort ’em out. Down we go!”

Spirit: (Begins screeching)

Hermes: “Yeah, that? That never works. Come along.”

He extends his chlamys, raising the golden wand, and they both vanish

The following struck me about this brief interchange:

“God, I hate you.” — Hate, as I like to say, generally boils down to fear. Even when it boils down to envy, envy is a manifestation of insecurity. Insecurity, in turn, is fear that a person isn’t good enough. Spirits who are consumed by hate are generally bottom feeders. 

“Isn’t it a matter of opinion?” — Well, isn’t it? We certainly treat it like it is. We have no community standards for manifestation that we can agree upon, really. If they drain you and you suffer as a result, some will call that Shaman Sickness, so having their own energy isn’t a universal criteria. If they are cruel, some will say that mythology supports an interpretation of cruel gods, so they don’t really need to be spiritually evolved, and they don’t need to have dealt with their own shit. If they fail to give us blessings, some will say that the gods aren’t obligated to help us, so they don’t really need to be able to wield the forces they claim to rule over. If they create spiritual problems, or set us back spiritually, some will say that “the gods aren’t safe.” So they don’t really need to possess any particular wisdom, or know anything about building relationships with humans.

She’s right. It’s a matter of opinion. Any spirit whatsoever can pass themselves off as a deity in our current environment. It will be valid to someone. And just one or two someones is all a spirit needs, really.

“Uh, no.” — Hellenic gods, on the other hand, never have and never will accept pretenders in their presence. I cannot speak for other pantheons, but I would assume that we could expect something similar, regardless of where we went.

I believe anyway, prayers are always heard by the deities to whom they are addressed. I hardly ever pray to “you.” Excessive use of the deity’s names assures that whatever the working, the deity is at least aware of it. And if there is an interloper, they’ll be dealt with.

“Shoot ’em all and let Persephone sort ’em out” — If you question a manifestation, it’s useful to have a good relationship with some several psychopomps. That way, whatever spirits might be hanging around can be escorted to where they belong.

This really sort of cements my conviction that I don’t want to be doing any mystical work without Hermes and Hekate nearby.

“Yeah, that? That never works.” — Spirits put up a fuss when you try to move them along to the afterlife. Probably, if I am calling Hermes and/or Hekate for this work in particular, I really ought to give them something nicer than if I’m calling them for help with magic or money or something else which doesn’t involve screaming, tantrum-having dead people.



  1. Lol wouldn’t the first hint have been that first word? Or do the deities call upon a generic god at times? As for the rest of it, I think that our independent stance of ‘everything goes and everything is valid ‘ has a lot of holes in it.

    1. Yeah, that spirit had clearly been a monotheist in life. Though Hermes, as a god of language and rustic folk, aggressively uses whatever turns of phrase are commonly used by the community in question. Sometimes saying “God” or even “Jesus” denotes a belief system. Other times it’s a generic American English swearword.

      1. And a god wouldn’t say ‘god’ generically! Or would they? Hanging around a Ren Faire he might latch on to ‘God’s Teeth!’ or something similar.

  2. A god might. Depends on the god. And some gods are not as vehemently against the notion of a single supreme being asyou might imagine. Apollon has said that he can see it argued either way, and has seen evidence to suggest neither position (though he finds certain specific Christian suppositions to be ludicrous).

  3. Related but not really on topic: I’ll be beginning research, study, and communion with Persephone soon. I’m going to be doing a year and a day studies on various deities, and I’m starting with her.

  4. I enjoy your blog in general, but I especially enjoyed this post. I also 200% agree with your discernment process regarding imposters – I have been disturbed when I see people expecting cruelty, savagery, incompetence or selfishness from their patron deities. And yes, from my experience the Hindu deities also promptly kick out imposters who try to answer for them. I actually relaxed my extra-vigilant warding habits when one of my deities said, “If you keep Me in your heart and chant My mantra with devotion and surrender, no imposter spirit will be allowed in your presence.” It’s nice to see validation of my UPG on that point!

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