We need more support services for polytheist survivors of domestic violence. I’m just going to put that out there.
A friend recently asked me to serve as a priestess for a teenage kid who had been through some terrible traumas, including sexual violence from partners, and wanted some kind of cleansing ritual. It took some time to tease out the reason behind it, but eventually the kid described an experience that would be familiar to many within the polytheist and magical communities involving another entity. Anyone outside of those communities, however, most likely would have dismissed it as a creative imagination or an indication of mental illness. While the kid obviously does have some mental illness, likely caused by prolonged and repeated trauma from his not-too-distant past, what ultimately matters isn’t what the rest of us thinks should be real but the fact that this experience was very real for him and affected him deeply. Unfortunately, the manifestation of this kid’s trauma response and the way he chose to address it would be seen by many as the actual problem, not a symptom of something deeper.