"Lord", "Good Master"
Who is this strange, strong God of Gaul? Well, I have some good guesses.
I was called to the path of Druidism in the middle of the summer between my Sophomore and Junior years in High School. I was pretty young then, only 15.
The choice seemed simple to me. What I knew of Druids was a fraction of what I know now, and my knowledge of the Celts was only slightly better. To be honest, I'm not sure I knew that Ireland was a part of the Celtic world. The world of the Celts was, to me, limited to Gaul and northern Italy.
Being pretty sure I had no Irish blood, I never cared to study the Irish, who seemed to me to be a dull, boring people who are way too full of themselves. With this limited view of the Celtic world, I started down the path of Druidism.
It's only natural, I think, that I should have attracted the attention of a Patron Deity who was once worshipped by the Gauls.
Before I had started on the Dedicant's Program for ADF, I had no desire to seek out a Patron deity, and none ever seemed to seek me out. My religion grew and I started to study everything I could get my hands on about the ancient Celts, especially if it pertained to Gaul. I don't think I ever noticed that something was missing.
When I started with ADF, I wasn't very good about getting to rituals or even doing them myself. I was generally unimpressed with the Pagan rituals that were out there to do (especially since they're all carbon copies of Wiccan rituals), and I really didn't feel creative enough to make my own. Despite all this, I knew quite well what I didn't like in rituals, and I wasn't shy about sharing that opinion. Now that I think about it, perhaps I should have been.
After I joined 6th Night Grove, ADF, I started to understand what I'd been missing. Those of us drawn to Druidism also are likely to have a drawing toward community, and I think that may have been what I was missing. Add to this the factor of power (6th Night really knew how to raise it), and I was hooked. It's almost like a bad drug addiction, but it's good for you.
But even with 6th Night I wasn't able to get to rituals very often. Compounding my own inherent laziness was the fact that 6th Night is based in Dayton, OH, while I'm 90 miles away in Columbus. Here's where the Dedicant's work and the Patronage comes in.
I very quickly found my first Patron: Eris, Goddess of Chaos and Discord. I also found out very quickly that She isn't keen on ADF ritual. But there was someone else out there, and I could feel Him calling to me.
I tried accessing this Patron through meditation. If you've already read my meditation journal, you know that didn't work. It was a mistake to even try that, since the meditation was actually having a negative affect on the process, since (as it's described in the DP) you can't do anything active in it.
So I spent a lot of time building relationships with different Deities. I worked with the Dagda for a long time, but while He was an excellent friend, He had His own agenda, as well as not being approving of what I wanted to do with my worship (i.e. stay away from the Irish side of Celtic worship).
I considered Odin, but having read the sagas, Eddas, and poems, I knew him too well. His reputation preceded him, and he wasn't really someone I wanted to worship, and certainly not a figure I could trust.
I considered Thor and a few other Norse Gods, but I was unimpressed by them all, and none connected with me. There was also the obvious cultural problem.
About a year ago, I took a serious look at the Gaulish Deities. I looked at Cernunnos, Teutates, Taranis, and Esus, just to name a few. As I wandered through my studies of these Gods, I experienced a sort of connection. It's not really possible to explain what the connection was like. . . it was sort of ineffable. By this time I had accepted Eris as a Patron, and I really, really wanted someone who had a different effect.
When I finally stumbled across the three reliefs of Esus, I saw something I hadn't with all the other Gods. There was a calming mystery to Him, and He seemed to have much to offer me. I began a relationship with him at that point, and it just felt right. As time went on, I felt that he had accepted me.
Meditation had very little to do with finding Esus as a Patron. Active study and communication (prayers, works, etc.) all aided in my search. I started out looking in many places, and no one else worked with me the same way Esus had. It was for Him that I really started to participate in the Grove business of 6th Night, and for Him that I founded Three Cranes Protogrove, ADF. If you ask anyone in 6th Night, they can tell you that my extensive participation began about the time I decided I was ready to take my Dedicant's Oath.
How do I see Esus? I can answer that, but I have to warn that this is based on experience, not scholarship.
Esus is very calm, I think. He's a strong God, though. Very powerful.
My experiences with Him usually have Him as a dark figure, somewhat to how I might see Odin. I don't consider Him to be a treacherous God, as Odin is, but He's still a God I don't want to anger.
I also see Him very much as a father figure. He's someone you can talk to when things go wrong, and He'll always listen. Eris will make me deal with my own problems, and while Esus doesn't solve them for me, He can at least sit and listen to what I have to say, and He'll help talk me through a good course of action. He's extremely patient.
As far as the interplay between Eris and Esus, I thin that neither is terribly comfortable with the other. Eris knows that She picked me against my will, and Esus and I mutually agreed to patronage. This has caused some minor conflict in my life, since I think occasionally Eris thinks I'm not serious enough about Her (oh, those are fun conversations). There might be some jealousy going on, but Eris deals with the fact that She took me unwillingly, and I sought out Esus. And I'm always very, very careful never to slight Eris.
I see all my Gods in a human light, though. I've never considered them all-powerful, but more like really strong, big humans. Not that I can imagine a limit to their power, but I get the impression that they have emotions, just like we do.
So, who is Esus, according to scholarship? I don't have the time or the room to explain it on
this page. You'll have to visit my work in progress page on Him
View my process to finding Eris!
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