Most of us who are pagans or polytheists in the modern world did not grow up with our present religions, which often makes relationships with parents strained, difficult, or sometimes (sadly) unsustainable, particularly where religious matters are concerned. While I’ve been luckier than many as far as my own parents go, in a variety of different respects, there are still some gaps and quite likely a lack of full understanding on many matters, which could very well change in time. In the good category, I can certainly talk about, for example, Sigillaria at my dad’s house last year, or all the times my mother has gone to the Shinto shrine with me for various seasonal celebrations, as well as for her own ceremonies on various matters. Both my mom and my dad have copies of many of my books, and I know my mom has read at least one or two of them, in whole or in part. But, she’s not much of a “book discusser” a lot of the time.
So, when I was finishing up my latest book, A Serpent Path Primer, this last weekend, with the help of my sister, mom was going in and out of the room quite a bit, and she no doubt heard us talking about the title, which my sister kept insisting on calling “PRY-mer,” with the emphasis on a long “i” rather than a short “i,” and I explained that if it were pronounced her way, you’d use Serpent Path Primer to pre-paint and seal your fences and decks, rather than it being an introductory book on a particular subject. Anyway…
Which brings us to yesterday, when I was driving around with my mom after doing some errands. She said “What’s your latest book about?” I sort of scrambled to figure out how to explain it in a way that would make sense (which took all of two seconds, but it seemed much longer than that!), and I said “Have you heard of kabbalah?” She said, “Yes, I think so.” I wanted to make sure, however, that we were on the same page, and so I followed up with, “Okay, what do you understand of kabbalah?” She said “Isn’t it that sea monster, who’s kind of like Godzilla?” I was completely baffled and confused at this, and thus said “Huh?!?” She said, “You know, that one that you like…” It took me a few more seconds to figure out what she was talking about.
“OH! You’re thinking of Cthulhu!”
Well, much hilarity ensued for me over this, and luckily she thought it was pretty funny too. I then went on to explain what kabbalah is, why it’s important to modern occultists in particular, and a great many pagans as well, and then why it’s not appropriate to polytheism in many respects (at least in my view, and that of many of my associates), and thus why the Serpent Path was engineered as an alternative to it for a specific Antinous-based spiritual context.
Later, we were watching America’s Got Talent, and there was a performance painting act called David Garibaldi and his CMYKs. I knew that the C, M, and Y in that stood for cyan, magenta, and yellow, but couldn’t figure out what the K stood for (and I’ve since learned, it’s “blacK,” which makes no sense to me…I mean, should I go around giving my initials as SSSS now? Seriously…?!?). I said to her, “I know that it’s Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, but what do you think the ‘K’ is for?”
She said, “Maybe it’s ‘Kabbalah’?”
It’s also my mom’s birthday today, so we’ll be having some festivities in a short while. Thank you to my own parents for bringing me into this world, for teaching me so much, and for being a constant source of amusement for me in a billion different (and very good!) ways!
And, in honor of a Sanctus of the day, who would have been 66 today (and was poking about my consciousness the last few days)…
Ignis Corporis Infirmat; Ignis sed Animae Perstat!