One of the most basic challenges I’ve faced as I started 12 Step Spirituality has been in selecting which higher power to work with. Being a polytheist, I work with various higher powers: deities, dæmons, heroes, saints (of an uncommon kind) elemental spirits, guardian spirits, and spirit allies, to name a few categories. So, I have a lot of higher powers to choose from. But there’s another issue, too. Paganism can often be an ecstatic religion, with practices designed to be pleasing to the senses. Which of my gods and guardians could I turn to for help with moderation? Even Jesus was known to engage in wanton celebration now and then.
My first thought was Lucifer (Seriously, is there anyone who knows me who’s surprised by this?). He is both the Adversary and the Light-bringer. The compulsive behaviors I’m striving against could be seen as adversities, and I could surrender to his illumination to see what’s going wrong in my life. This has served me well in other areas of my life. But somehow, Lucifer didn’t seem the best choice.
My second instinct was Antinoüs the Healer. Again, this probably isn’t too much of a surprise to those who know me. These days it seems my personal Trinity is Antinoüs, Lucifer, and Melek Ta’us. In spite of Antinoüs’ role as a healer, he didn’t feel like the right choice either. What about Paneris All-Strife, the fifth being of the Tetrad++, or the Tetrad++ as a whole? No, that didn’t feel right either. How about Walwarwat, the guardian dæmon I scryed (more on that in another post)? While Walwarwat is a dæmon of protection, e still didn’t feel like the right choice.
Buer is a great president of hell and, among other things, a healing spirit and is probably the Goetic dæmon of my coven, the Circle of Cerridwen.
Yes, the word “god” can be used as a variable in 12-step work. In fact, I usually use the word “GOD” in all capital letters to mean the whole of creation. So, was it really necessary for me to have a named being to work with for my higher power? No. Do I feel I derive some benefit from having a being I can name and visualize during my prayers and meditations? Yes.
And so, Buer will be my higher power as I work these Twelve Dæmonic Steps to manage my compulsion rather than being managed by it.
Amen, and Blessed Be.