There is a line dividing the Polytheist community. There are those among us who believe that humans, consent, and the personal sovereignty of human beings is sacred, and there are those who do not.
At Pantheacon, I had the misfortune of being a medium wedged between Hermes, and one of those Polytheists who do not.
It was supposed to be fun. It was supposed to be Aphrodite and Hermes making dick jokes. And there was some of that.
But Diana Paxson’s husband happened in, and that is when everything went sideways.
I’m not a Heathen and I don’t read about anything going on in Heathenry. I want to respect my Norse friends, and keeping tabs on what Norse pundits are writing makes that really hard. So I didn’t, at that time, know about the women coming forward in Hrafnar. I heard later.
So here is what happened and I want to be clear — there were no victims.
This guy (he’s 70ish) starts fondling a 20-something who is carrying Aphrodite.
Hermes, while I’m carrying him, asks, “Hey, did you check to see if the medium was ok with that?”
Aphrodite starts to say that the medium is ok with it, and Hermes is in the middle of saying “OK, cool” but the train never leaves the station, because this asshat interrupted to say:
“What the medium wants isn’t important. Aphrodite is here now.”
Let me say a thing right here: Hermes is a happy go lucky god, which makes his anger surprising and terrifying.
My memory is hazy, even though I usually don’t check out during trance (for strongly held philosophical reasons), mostly because there was so much passionate anger that staying with the situation was a challenge. But the gist was this:
“Now look here, you little shit. People in your community got hurt because of attitudes like that. People are getting hurt. People’s consent has been violated. This is not okay. DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I AM SAYING TO YOU?! Tell them. Tell all of them. Tell your wife. WE HAVE HAD IT.”
Dude bolted out of there like a bat out of hell.
I was told later that Hermes told the warder that said individual was not welcome back.
And then this guy went around saying that I was dangerous, and my Hermes wasn’t the real Hermes.
Because whether my Hermes is the real Hermes is so much more important than respecting hospitality, or a medium’s right to be consulted before fondling of her body occurs.
I’m not one to name names. But that line I talked about? He’s on the wrong side of it.
It’s not about the medium carrying Aphrodite. Thankfully, she was fine. It was the problematic attitude expressed by this man. I fully believe that under other circumstances, had no one stopped to check, had Aphrodite not been respectful and on point, had it been someone’s conception of a Love Goddess that didn’t actually care about human sovereignty and wellbeing, this could have ended very differently.
So go ahead, old man, call the being who told you that humans matter a demon. Based on where you come from (a certain Pan Polytheist community north of SF Bay), how can I be surprised?