Friday, August 06, 2010

household gods

In the Hebrew scriptures there are a few passages that reference household gods - those little deities that are kept in the home and secure blessings for the inhabitants. When someone moves, they take the household gods along to keep the blessings coming. You make offerings, visit the high priest, do what you can to keep them happy and they perform their duties.

I think the closest thing we have today to a household god is a car. Think of it for a second... Before we can receive their blessings, we have to go through training and receive a certificate that tells everyone we have been initiated and know the rules of caring for and operating our little god. When we make use of them, we begin with a series of ritual movements, each of which must be performed in a specific way at specific times. If we do not follow the prescribed patterns, we are punished either by the god directly or by a special society of men and women wearing special clothing and carrying magical implements who watch to make sure we comply with the rules. Once a week we make an offering of the remains of dead animals and plants to them to keep them well fed. Every few weeks we perform personal rituals - washing them, checking fluids... and a few times a year, when they get cranky, we take them to visit the high priest who, for an offering of cash which often is significant, takes them back into the holy of holies where we cannot venture, waves magical implements, applies special ointments, and when finished, returns our household god back to us, happy and ready to serve.

Over the past few weeks both of our household gods - a 2002 VW GTI and a 2003 Honda Accord have been to visit the high priest. The GTI required a significant offering. Oh well. I love my GTI and it serves me well. (FWIW, that is not my car but looks exactly like it)

1 comment:

Salome Ellen said...

I love the parallel!