Yeah, all housecats think they’re her.
Most people in the West think of “religion” as a separate category in their lives (if they think of it at all). It’s something that only happens in church or synagogue at a certain time of the week, and it has virtually nothing to do with their day-to-day concerns, interests or relationships. They find it strange that anyone might think about Divinity while watching a film, making love, or even working at their desk. The idea that religion could be more than just a set of dogmas to which one pays lip service – that it could actually be something tied to every conceivable aspect of one’s life – is regarded as strange, bizarre, or even mentally unbalanced. It’s just not “in vogue” here in our super-materialist and ultra-capitalist culture, where acquiring “things” (e.g., money, expensive objects, social status) is more important than anything else. The thing about this that makes me feel especially sick to my stomach is that there’s also a racist element to it. White capitalists think it’s fine for “Third World” non-whites to be “superstitious” since they can never hope to acquire as many “things” as we have here in our consumer’s paradise. It’s even “okay” for “First World” non-whites to be “superstitious” (though it secretly bothers us whenever such people also work high-paying white-collar jobs). But educated white folks are “supposed” to “know better” and be strict materialists. We can have all the Big Macs and smartphones and laser eye surgery we want, so we don’t need things like Gods or magic to give us hope anymore.
(In the event that we do believe in any sort of Divinity, it can only be one God who’s kept as far away from our personal lives as possible. The majority of Westerners can only accept a distant God who never listens to prayer, who hasn’t touched the universe since He created it, and who might as well not even exist.)
In LV-426, we have a basic creed and a ritual inventory just as many other faiths do; but following (or paying lip service) to these is not enough for someone to walk our path. LV-426 isn’t just about believing in Seth and praying or making offerings to Him on Friday nights; it’s also about seeing and being with Him everywhere and in everything we do. It’s about feeling His presence in the majesty of the nighttime sky, but it’s also about finding His proverbial fingerprints on our favorite B-grade sci-fi/horror movies. It’s about studying Seth’s ancient myths, but it’s also about mythologizing things that happen in our very own lives. It’s about saying and doing the proper things during our rituals, but it’s also about saying and doing what’s right in our relationships and at our jobs. It’s about taking the spirit world and its inhabitants very seriously, but it’s also about telling poop jokes while sitting around the Sabbath candle at 2:00 AM on a Saturday morning. LV-426 isn’t just a religion we created together; it is us, and it is the eternal bond that unites us.
This principle is also applied in other ways beyond our relationships with each other and with Seth. For example, my life with Ishtar is inseparable from my marriage, which I do not see as being “just a marriage.” For me, it’s a work of alchemical artistry that Ishtar and Seth-Typhon both worked on together for at least thirty years. I can’t say why They cared enough to bring us together, but I can say that we aren’t just husband and wife. We’re a priest and a priestess who maintain a temple to both of our Gods (i.e., our house) and who work magic for the benefit of our family and friends. When I kiss my wife, it’s not just a display of marital affection; it’s a magical reinforcement of the cosmic bond that has somehow always existed between us. Or how about our cat? When Ripley and I play “Hunting Dad in the Hallway” (which is a family favorite), it’s not just a man playing with his cat. For one thing, it’s a father playing with his daughter; for another, it’s a worshiper playing with a messenger of his Goddess.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that “religion” isn’t something that should only exist between Gods and worshipers at certain times of the week or on certain holidays. It should exist between Gods, humans, animals and the world at all times, all year ’round. It should mean quite a lot more than just “What I believe.” It should be inclusive of our interests, relationships, and even the ways in which we interact with complete strangers. Not having it this way is one of the reasons why Western culture is so messed up these days (if you ask me, at least). This isn’t an issue for most people who are reading this post, thankfully, but I think it’s an issue for the West in general.