In a monotheistic mindset, all of these things can easily be credited to God. And when I say easily, I really mean it: if there’s only one deity who’s all-powerful and all-knowing, then everything that happens can only have something to do with him, directly or not. Even when there’s a (popular) belief in a fate, it’s often assumed that God is ultimately in control. And I sometimes wonder how far this Abraamic mental structure have been imported to modern polytheism: the Gods had a hand in it, be it a blessing, a trick, a lesson to be learned, penalty or providence; whatever the “weird” situation, They did it. And I’m not throwing rocks as if I’m above a fault, as sometimes I find myself following that same reasoning, unaware of its origin, crediting a deity with a particular event without considering other options.
The thing with polytheism, however, is that there are a lot more players in the game, so to speak. It’ not just you and a god, it’s also different deities with different agendas, wights with different behaviours towards humans, ancestors and Fate itself. Some of them may be helping you, others working against you; some are neutral, but may step forward for your benefit or not for some circumstantial reason, or maybe a particular motive may cause some to switch sides. Perhaps it’s just Fate at work or even you, out of your own free will, with no intentional divine hand in it.
Now I’m not saying the Gods don’t intervene in our lives. It is my belief that They do and sometimes in unexpected ways, with mutual benefit – the forwarding of Their agendas and our growth. My point is that by our strong devotions, the influence of a monotheistic mindset or maybe both, we run the risk of overlooking other players, namely our ancestors, land or even housewights. They’re there too, pulling strings, whispering, stretching out a helping hand or a tricking leg; out of Their own initiative or working together with the Gods. Maybe the smaller accidents that happened along the way to work one morning were the wights’ way of keeping you out of a greater accident, which you fortunately missed precisely because smaller things belated you. Or perhaps you keep running into someone because your ancestors want you to meet and get along with that person – a lost family member or a human relationship your deceased recommend.
“Who did it” is a question we should ask ourselves often, even if the answers aren’t easily found. Instead of just assuming beneficial or detrimental godly intervention, one should consider the part played by our ancestors and land or housewights in those everyday events that seem to shape our lives (even if the final answer still points to the Powers). To some if not most of us, however, this calls for some mental work that breaks with the monotheistic “thank God” habit, so well embedded even in our daily speech. But it’s worth the effort, if anything because it allows us to recover the kind of worldview the pre-Christian Europeans had, with a universe populated by a multitude of wights, all of which could be players in our lives (and us in Theirs).