It is amazing to me how much human beings will disempower themselves when dealing with deities, spirits, and other such beings, simply because they are deities or spirits. Of course, those of us raised in the States, at least, where the dominant religious paradigm involves bowing before a parent-deity who is supposedly so great as to be unbeatable are already starting at a disadvantage, similar to women who are raised with the constant message that they should wilt before men. If one is to bow and worship, it should be by one's own choice, not by the idea that because we are only humans we are therefore only fit for such interaction.
And yet we are capable of so much more. In our own realm of reality, we have wrought countless changes--both for the better and for the worse--with our own collective hands. We have stretched beyond the bounds of our ancestors' biological limitations to increase our knowledge, our technology, and even our lifespans. To say that these things were only the will of the Gods is to disempower ourselves and our own creativity and ingenuity. Yes, Hermes may have adapted to the Internet, and Artemis may watch over feminists. But we are not only puppets of the deities, and they did not create computers or nonviolent protests or the atomic bomb or the printing press themselves.
Let's give ourselves more credit. It is not hubris or arrogance. It is acknowledging that we as a species are powerful in our own right. And as powerful beings in our own realm, we do not need to simply roll over for beings who are powerful in theirs. If I did that, I would have been destroyed in my first journeys into the spirit realm. Being strong does not mean being defiant. Just as we should respect other species of animals for the power they hold in their own bailiwicks, and plants in theirs, and the elements of weather in theirs, and deities in theirs, so should we respect ourselves and the power of our bailiwicks.That last bit of emphasis was mine, because I believe that respect can go a long way with with any being. That said, I don't think the Gods' power ends in their realm - I think it has significant carryover in our "own". I think the Gods are more powerful than us but, as I've said before, we've evolved past a point of fear (most of us, anyway) and the Gods are more interested in having our respect than our loathing or terror. We should be students/friends/lovers/partners/hosts and engage in a symbiotic relationship with deity.
Lupa's post does give me something to think about though. For example, Brighid is very much my muse and I credit a lot of my inspiration to her. To me, she is a power of inspiration incarnate. So how much of the ideas are mine? Do they become mine? Are they a blessing she gives to me and all that is required back is thanks and a job well done? Is the final piece my own or partly hers as well?
I recently read a biography about John Lennon. I loved reading about the origin of different songs. For example, "Beautiful Boy"is about his son Sean Lennon. In my own understanding, the original idea was inspired by his son. John turned the idea into his own creation by interpreting their relationship into his own words and images. When the song was finished and released, it was given back to Sean and to the world. In the end, it belongs to all three. Perhaps that is the same with muse-inspired art? Or anything involving the Kindreds? They give, we take. We give, they take. Everyone benefits in some way when the relationship is reciprocal and respectful.
If we aren't reciprocal and respectful to the Kindreds? Well, we only need to watch the news to see what's happening to the environment. Whatever the skeptics of global warming say, I firmly believe that we played a part and that we are greatly responsible for much of the death and destruction occurring around us. In the end, though, Mama Earth is capable of swallowing us whole without a thought, and the sun is capable of swallowing her. That's just the way it is, or at least the way we know it to be right now. If the Kindreds aren't respectful to us? Well... There's always this. ;)