I hear this a lot, I’ve talked about it before in other posts, but there’s this idea among certain groups that (to put it bluntly) deities don’t care about you. I don’t mean “care” as in “every deity loves every single person” because I don’t think that’s true, I’m talking about the attitude that “unless you are an Important Person (like a king or whatnot” deities don’t care about you, they’re too busy doing important deity things, like maintaining order in the cosmos. Go to your ancestors or land spirits if you want help, otherwise you’re S.O.L.”
And I just have to wonder what’s the point of laying out offerings and doing rituals and whatnot, what’s the point of even having deities in the first place? After all, if my ancestors and my land spirits give me all I could ever want, why would I waste time praying to deities who just don’t care? After all, they don’t care, right? So it really makes no difference if I do something for them at Midsummer (or whenever). They don’t care, too busy maintaining cosmic order, etc. etc. I mean, it just doesn’t make sense.
What really bugs me about people who pull the “you’re not important enough” card always mock those who (sometimes without any exposure to the myths in question) claim to talk to these deities, because it’s clearly unpossible. They can’t accept the fact that a deity (who they, as hard polytheists, presumably believe in) could ever have their own agenda, or could ever *gasp* change with the times! No, no, deities are static entities, they don’t change, ever. To quote the show Touched by an Angel (which I used to watch a lot when I was younger) “Why is it when you talk to God you’re praying, but when God talks to you you’re crazy?” (substitute the name of your favourite deity).
I also have to wonder why the heck we have a deity who is specifically called a “god of the common folk” if he doesn’t talk to the common folk he’s supposed to be representing. It seems very counter-intuitive to me. “Oh, yeah, I’m supposed to be watching these farmers, but kings have more money.” All this despite evidence that regular people did pray to deities and get something out of it. Maybe deities have selective hearing? Or maybe this is what happens when we take as Gospel sources that (at best) represent a fraction of the ways people actually practiced, written by outsiders to that religion centuries after the time that those people were actually practicing.