Upir Lichy (opalblack) wrote,
Upir Lichy

30 Days of Paganism: 7. Beliefs – Patronage and other deeper relationships

I touched lightly on this in my last post. I think prayer is tightly bound to patronage. Patron is such a gendered word. Even Patronne is a feminised diminutive of a masculine noun. Matron would be the feminine, but it's seldom used with the same meaning.

Patronage is something bigger and odder than affinity. I fnd a lot of polytheists have many affinities, though mistaking them all for patronage is a bit of a common derp. There's a whole lot of presences out there, some of them you never meet, some you barely know, some are your buddies, some are your absolute besties, some are patrons. The difference is one of scale, as with all friendships. And as with all friendships, I think they can go badly if one party exploits or manipulates another. Some presences, like some people, are predatory or parasitic. Some presences, like some people, are vulnerable to predatory or parasitic acquaintance.

The story of the imprisoned muse forced to inspire a writer is clearly not an example of patronage. The story of the Leanan Sidhe inflicting poets with inspiration and longing, til in a madness of wild words and pining for her they expire, is clearly not an example of patronage. These are abusive relationships between humans and presences.

Patronage I think is different from the close friendship I talked about in the Prayer post. It's a kind of marking with fate. The patron (or Matron) will step in to ensure the continuance of their marked beneficiary and her capacity to do whatever damn thing it is they want done. Whether that is a monarch or a merchant paying a stipend to a wizard or an artist, or a presence intervening in the affairs of a human who will build them temples or write them books, it's a relationship of transaction.

If you've seen the film The Ninth Gate or read the book The Dumas Club, there's a great example there. The green-eyed woman protects the bookseller only when her own interests in him are compromised. She isn't there to protect him at all times and from all threats, only his unravelling of the Nine Doors puzzle concerns her. When he gets tangled up in other shit that threatens to destroy him, she stands by and lets him deal with it himself. Her interest is only in helping him finish the puzzle, and if something unrelated stops him, well that's out of her hands. Actually I think that aspect of their relationship is better explained in the book. Anyway, it's a good depiction of patronage by a presence.

There's all kinds of relationships one can have with presences, deep and otherwise. Presences can be lovers, spouses, besties, business partners, bosses, drinking buddies, whatever. It is what it is.

30 Days of Paganism
Tags: 30 days of paganism

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