I know that I have spoken about this before. However, I thought that I would rehash the subject a little more for the sake of my Pagan Alphabet Soup posts, especially since I’ve grown a little in my understanding of the concept. I’m going to preface this by saying that this is how I understand the subject and that I feel like it is differs per person (as it does with most concepts within Paganosphere). So without further ado: A for Apotheosis.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this longing for immortality. When I was younger, I mistook this feeling for never wanting to die, but as I grew older, I began to understand that, within me, I yearn for, desire not deathlessness, but rather to never be forgotten. Strangely enough, this feeling was solidified when I watched the movie Troy (2004, written by David Benioff).
“Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?”
“If you stay in Larissa, you will find peace. You will find a wonderful woman, and you will have sons and daughters, who will have children. And they’ll all love you and remember your name. But when your children are dead, and their children after them, your name will be forgotten… If you go to Troy, glory will be yours. They will write stories about your victories in thousands of years. And the world will remember your name. But if you go to Troy, you will never come back… for your glory walks hand-in-hand with your doom. And I shall never see you again.”
These quotes, and many others, from the movie really resonated with me. They moved me, but made me despair, for how could one such as I, a timid and quiet girl, be written into history and never forgotten? I still have this same desire, to be remembered for ages beyond my death, but now I understand what it means for me and how I can accomplish it: apotheosis, or the process by which a mortal being becomes immortal/a God/dess.
For me, this means that, after my death, I will take my place beside my Husbands. For the longest time, I held this belief (colored by my Christian background), that there were certain conditions whereupon this would or would not happen. It’s taken a while to unpack and untangle this line of thoughts, and honestly, I’m still trying to make sense of the idea that my Path, so long as I stay on it, will lead to this conclusion. It’s not a gift for living my life by the rules laid down by men of God in antiquity, and it’s not something that will be denied me if I don’t live my life according to those rules. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe that this is some unalienable right that upon my death I am automatically granted the status as a Deity. I’m not so arrogant and full of myself to think that if I do something terrible and against what my Deities stand for, the privilege won’t be rescinded.
To be honest, though, I still have very little idea the how or why of this. All I know, is that it’s my what Husbands want and because I want to be with my Husbands forever, it’s what I want, too. It fulfills that desire in me for immortality and to have my name, in whatever form it may take, be remember throughout the passages of time. Although, I don’t really know how or why it fulfills this need in my heart. (It feels almost like I should know the answer, like I once had it and knew it well, but now it’s buried underneath so many other things, almost forgotten, and yet on the tip of my tongue at the same time. Confusing, right?)
I’m blessed that this is a gift that I’m being granted, and though I have very little clue about the subject (still), it’s something that I am going to strive to better understand as my life goes on. I honestly wish I had more to say, because this is so important to me and my practice, but I think, for now, this is a topic that I’m meant to sit with and reflect on. I can only hope that with time, comes the wisdom I seek. Or, at least, time to unearth it from the deepest trenches of my memory. I’m still so new at this, but I’ve a long life ahead of me and much time to learn. I’ve no doubt that, with time, I will learn all I need to know and more.