Moon Phase: Waning Snow Moon
Weather: Cold, recovering from a pair of snow storms; strong winds, with sub-zero wind chill
This was a bit of a discussion question on a pagan forum that I've decided to poke my head in at from time to time again. I've thought about it and I decided that I should cross post my reply to here, because I believe it is relevant and interesting to anyone who may be reading this blog.
Hmm... Submission. It's such an interesting word. It can be used in so many different ways and contexts, even with respect to deities. I suppose I should address this in as complete of a way as I can, because I may manage to bungle what I'm trying to express if I leave something out. Please bear with me as I put my thoughts to paper (electrons??), because this is being written as the thoughts occur to me.
Submission is something that can not happen with out one choosing that position, in my opinion. When one is forced into a position that could be described as submissive, one is subjugated, which is an act of violence and one is then held in thralldom. Submission, on the other hand, one chooses it and can choose to leave the position as well. The distinction is made in the mind. Sure, a submissive may be in some form of bondage, but their bonds rest far lighter then those of a thrall because the submissive accepts their bonds. A thrall will resist them and when tired out from the active resistance will resent them, which is a passive resistance.
Now, putting this into the context of dealing with gods, it is my opinion that when ever one chooses to act as a vessel to convey a portion of the godhead into the world, one is submitting to the god in question. Each time a Wiccan High Priestess Draws Down the Moon or a Wiccan High Priest Draws Down the Sun, they are submitting to the associated gods. The same can be held true for any oracle who consents to serve as a mouthpiece for a deity.
I think that the popular opinion that when one subsumes their will in the face of divine will is an accurate description for submission to the divine, as well. I don't believe, however, that this is the entirety of it. When one is dealing with a person who is clearly under the influence of a deity to the extent that their personality is subsumed (I call that state god-ridden.) then choosing to place yourself into a position of subservience to the person who is god-ridden is also submission to a deity.
I believe that this last form of submission to a god is the most challenging because of the fact that it requires for the person who is engaged in submitting to the god-ridden person to have a high amount of knowledge about the person who is god-ridden and a high amount of knowledge of the deity in question. Also, it requires an enormous amount of trust.
While I am willing to engage in the first two forms as I feel appropriate, I have to say that I've only encountered a handful of occurrences that I am willing to engage in the third form of submission. I don't generally trust people enough not to fake being god-ridden for the sake of a quick power-trip. I've also encountered quite a few people who will do just that.
Now, all of this is coming from the perspective of someone who is a BDSM aficionado, preferring the Sub role most of the time.