I’ve mentioned this many times regarding Herne, but he’s amazing. His sense of humour never fails to make me laugh, He will whoop my ass when we both know I needed it, but when I’m in the depths of unhappiness, pain or despair, He’s there to help me out and will wait by my side while I battle or succumb to whatever ails.
If you have read my not-so-Pagan recent posts, my Poppy (paternal grandfather) crossed the veil two weeks ago. I didn’t handle it well. It is incredibly safe to say that I was in denial up until I sat at the grave site holding my Nanna’s hand and I heard his cries. The funeral service was beautiful, the last salute from the CFA was heart wrenching (55 years of service and Life Member), and yes I did choke up while reading the final verse of the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
I change, but I cannot die.
Yesterday I spoke to Poppy again in the car to tell him that I’m here when he needs someone to talk to, because I heard him that day. This is me entering the “acceptance” stage of grief.
Two people have been by my side helping me through it all. Oma, my maternal great-grandmother, whose embrace I felt as soon as I got the phone call from my brother, and of course Herne. He lent me strength to get through the day, to get out of bed in the morning, to compartmentalise so I could do what needed to be done before taking three days off work to drive interstate to say one final physical good-bye.
Last night, Herne had the perfect idea. He showed me the two port glasses I have in the cupboard, and a toast of the honey mead I won as ‘Bard of Beltane’ in October. So that’s what we’ll be doing tonight.
My relationship with my Patron is both devotional and collaborative. It’s everything the question assigned with this month’s The Pagan Experience asks – it is Devotional, it is Collaborative, it is an agreement of reciprocity. Yes, He is the one Deity that I honour above all others, but He is also my teacher and friend. He is someone I look to, and look up to. I honour him as He is who He is, and I respect him and acknowledge that He is Deity. But our relationship is that of Deity-Devotee, of Teacher-Student, of Father-Daughter, and of two Friends who give each other shit from time to time.
My relationship with Herne isn’t one of, “I will honour you because I like you and you’re Deity, and I know I’ll never get anything in return.” When you honour Herne and you show him respect, he will show respect in return.
He’s teaching me about the Wild Hunt. On occasion we pay each other out. He lets me cry into his chest when I just can’t deal with reality. He is the essence of strength and determination, He has a magnificent stubborn streak that matches my own, and He cares and looks out for those individuals who honour him.
Like every being, everyone’s relationship with individual Deity will differ.
I am so thankful for the relationship I have with Herne, and for just having Him in my life. And yes, this is something I tell him often.