affectation, n.: an effort to appear to have a quality not really or fully possessed
Of pagans—the effort to appear like we have it all together. Like perhaps we don’t suffer from crises of faith, or fallow times, or moments when the urge to table-flip is nearly greater than our reluctance to clean up the shards afterwards.
We are, all of us, human in body and sapient in general. We are all fallible, evolving, beautifully imperfect creatures. Ain’t nobody got it 100% together, even when we try to display that smoothness of spirituality, that depth and consistency of personal practice. Everybody makes mistakes, lives through “off” days, and has knots to work through on their path.
I am incredibly grateful to read a large number of Kemetic bloggers who do not put on airs of superiority or perfectionism, but in the wider blogosphere, it is worthwhile to speak frankly of keepin’ it real—and to be a proponent of authenticity.
affectation, n.: (obsolete) a) strenuous pursuit, desire, or aspiration. b) affection; fondness.
Of gods—the pursuit, the aspiration, and the fondness that flows between gods and Their worshippers. I have mostly experienced this to be the affectations of devotees towards Their deities, but I have known more than a couple cases where gods have pursued mortals. Ma’ahes approached me first, and when I proved unperceptive, sent a message through my sister to get my attention and express His insistence on having some of my time. On a daily basis and in most times of turmoil, He is the first god I turn to, and I never have questioned if He cares for me (though I used to, and occasionally still do, wonder why).
I don’t know how many pagans and polytheists work with gods without at least some original desire to do so, without some fondness of the gods in question, but I think the majority of folks I know or read feel affection towards most of their deities. Some of us have that overwhelming, unthinking, inexplicable devotion-love—I would lay everything I am at Sekhmet’s feet without hesitation or reservation—and some of us have a less-consuming love that more resembles a balanced relationship, or perhaps the love of a witness for an enormous, once-in-a-lifetime natural spectacle.
For myself, my religion and spirituality is a labor of love—love for myself and my life, for this gorgeous and complex Earth, and for the gods Who chose me and Whom I chose—and a thing of hope, that we can make civilization out of darkness, peace out of primal strife, and joy out of pain.
“Affectation” definitions from Dictionary.com.