In some ways, I feel this is an odd thing to write about, as it isn’t something I do very often. I’m not just talking about mythology, either. I’m talking about new stories, mythological fanfiction, if you will. Because I feel it’s something I should do, in the sense of making new stories and making old stories more approachable. That, and Sobek hasn’t got a lot of mythology about Him, and I’d like to rectify that.
And now I feel really pompous for saying that, but I feel like it’s such a natural thing to do, to tell stories about the Gods to show what They’re like. That’s pretty much what mythology is.
In some ways, I feel like approaching this from a ‘fandom’ angle is kinda wrong, to turn my religion into fandom. But so much of this depends on how you approach it, though. I know I’ve submitted a few Egyptian mythology prompts to lgbtfest/queerfest over the years, as alternative versions of mythology and as ways of queering the stories of my Gods and my relationships with Them. I also want to do this for Wesir’s myth, to rewrite it and queer it. More on that in a few weeks, though.
I’ve been writing stories since I was twelve, but most of my writing isn’t about the Gods. Part of that is probably due to me not knowing It Was A Thing for most of my writing life, but another part is also being respectful to my Gods too. Not in the sense that I feel I can’t write anything about Them at all, but about being conscious about what I’m writing when I’m writing Them into my stories.
There’s always been a part of me that’s felt, IDK, inadequate with regards to devotional creative works. I’ve seen people paint and draw and sculpt amazing things for their Gods, with skills I don’t possess. I mean, I can do some forms of visual art, but I’ve never really considered myself an artist. I’m a writer. And I’m definitely not a poet. Prose is pretty much all I’m good at. And I’ve never particularly felt like there was any space for my kind of devotional work when it came to all the other kinds of devotional creative works within the Pagan community.
I still feel somewhat insecure about that, even though I’d love to write an epic story about Sobek and Heru-sa-Aset and their relationship, and how Heru would deal with choosing the androgynous Sobek as His consort when He was given Wesir’s throne. I want to write about Nit, the Great He-She, bringing up Hir son Sobek. I want to write Wesir as a trans* God, and rewrite His myth. Fuck it, I want to write about Sobek caring for Heru-pa-khered/Harpocrates when He and Aset were keeping Him hidden from Set. I want to write all the things, but there’s always a part of me that shies away from it, because I feel like it’s just me playing with ideas, and it’s not real mythology, and I’m sure someone somewhere would consider it blasphemous, insomuch as that has any kind of meaning in this context.
I think part of it is also because, well, no one does this sort of thing. I mean, I’ve seen a couple of Egyptian-ish fictionalised novels, but they’re more definitely in the fictional camp than quasi-mythological like what I want to do.
That, and I have no idea if anyone would even want to read them anyway, so why bother? I feel like it would just be seen as me slashing my Gods, and turning them into fanfic characters and nothing more. I’m sure someone would consider it disrespectful, even though I’m more interested in exploring relationships with my Gods and writing my own mythology.
I’m aware I’m probably being too precious with all this. I should just write it and be done with it, and then these ideas will stop bugging me. But I still worry about it. I feel like it’s the sort of thing I’d squirrel away on AO3, rather than post here, because I just don’t see this as a Thing within the online Pagan community, Avengers fandom notwithstanding.
There’s also a part of me that thinks that these myths I want to write are probably only relevant to me, and might not even be of interest to anyone else, that it’s just me trying to articulate UPG more than anything else. Then I think, fuck it, the world needs more queer mythology anyway. And then I wonder if I’m even up to the task and go write something that’s not this because I keep worrying I’ll fuck it up.
I mean, in some ways, I don’t see this as something odd. I mean, as far as I understand Kemetic mythology, telling stories about the Gods is how you understand Them and Their natures. It’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and sometimes I feel like, if I approach this as if I was a far-flung Sobek cult centre, I’d probably have my own versions of the myths, just like the other cult centres. Perhaps part of this priesting gig Sobek wants me to do is writing these new myths, to establish my own cult centre by having my own set of myths. (Though that sounds horribly pretentious and omg why am I even considering this? I’ll be over here, preparing my apocalyptic dystopian madness for NaNo instead, which is most definitely not mythology.)
I don’t know. I really don’t. It’s possible I’m totally overthinking this, and just worrying for no reason at all. But I am one of those insecure writerly types, particularly when it comes to writing about my Gods. I think I worry too much about getting it right, but this is one of those things I do want to get right when I do eventually give in and write them. If I’m going to write new myths, they’re going to be done properly. I just don’t think I’m up to that task just yet. Because who writes new myths about the Gods? No one, probably.
I mean, the way I see it, those old stories we look back to weren’t old stories once upon a time. I feel like we need to write our own stories about how we experience the Gods today, because we live in a different world, and They’re clearly willing to adapt. But I feel like I’m probably fighting a losing battle with that idea. No one writes new myths, because new myths are just UPG, and ~that doesn’t count~ because reasons.
…This might be why I’m not a reconstructionist, tbh.
Perhaps it’s not such a bad idea I had pencilled in UPG as a topic for next week, so I’ll probably ramble on about this topic some more then. I have Thinky Thoughts about Egyptian myths, and Greek versions of Egyptian myths, and how I relate to them as a not-purely-Egyptian syncretic bastard of a modern polytheist. For now, this will do.