Well, I ordered my hard copy (it's also available for purchase as a download) and it should be here tomorrow or Thursday. It's a brand-new book containing various writings about, and devotionals to, the Horned God of the Witches. Several online pals have contributed to it, and as I know their writing is amazing I'm sure I'm in for a real treat.
The God, for whatever reason, tends to be badly mistreated by many modern NeoPagans. Why, I don't know for certain, though I have a few ideas. One of them, I'm sad to say, is a kind of reverse sexism. So many people flee the patriarchal religions of their childhood (Christianity is the number one offender, though some branches have gotten much better about acknowledging the Divine Feminine) and embrace Wicca and related traditions because it's got a Goddess. However, though the God is part of official belief, sometimes He's either unintentionally, or even deliberately, ignored in a misguided attempt to "get back at" the previous religion. "You didn't believe in a Goddess," they say, "Well, I'm going to ignore ALL male deities! SO THERE!" Needless to say, this is a terrible way of thinking. Whatever the faults of the monotheistic religions, they don't have a Goddess and ignore Her on purpose, they simply don't have one as part of their pantheon. This is vastly different than having a belief in one, and then intentionally pushing Her to the side to make some kind of political statement (obviously, though, some branches of Witchcraft are henotheistic, or worship only a Goddess as She's the sole patron deity, and this doesn't apply to them.)
Another reason might be that He does look, let's face it, like the scary Devil many of us grew up being threatened with. It can be very, very hard to get the messages used to keep us in line ("If you dare question your religion, the Devil will get you and take you to HELL!") out of our psyche, and though we might know intellectually that the God isn't Satan (I personally don't believe there's any such thing as the "source of all evil") it can still be a hard fear to overcome, which I guess is why it's instilled in the first place. Also, so many of us have had terrible experiences with male Gods, or with the men in our life, and perhaps assume that this God might be as cruel, vindictive, and hateful as the one we grew up with. Only time and experience, in my opinion, can demonstrate that this is not the case. No, He's not a fluffy Santa Claus who exists solely to get us parking spaces and "forgive" us (whatever that might mean) when we screw up, but neither is He a kind of cosmic hall monitor who keeps points on us and punishes/rewards us if we're nice or naughty.
Anyway, I hope you'll forgive my little tangent there. I really am excited about the new book, and can't wait to have it here so I can read it in person. In other news, I also got in the mail the Forest Smoke I ordered from Sarah Lawless, The Witch of Forest Grove. It smells like bee pollen, balsam, pine, and I don't know what else kind of amazing botanicals. This was the first thing I've ordered from her, but it certainly won't be the last. I just wish I'd snapped up some of the Raven Smoke she had before it got all sold out.
I'll report back more when I get the book!
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