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[personal profile] k_a_webb posting in [community profile] kawebbwriting
I am Hestia. Well, most of the time I am anyway, but that isn’t important right now. Our names never are, when we first make the decision to connect with someone, as we want to give them a chance to get to know us first, before they start learning something about who we aren’t. That is the major problem with the myths that surround us – they are more about who someone wanted us to be and less about the people we actually are, which is part of the reason we’ve chosen to be a part of this, because it would have been easy enough for us to walk away. For a while I was going to, thinking that it wasn’t possible for someone to really write down what I wanted them to, but so far this does seem to be working. It’s a nice surprise and I can feel how uncomfortable she is writing this.

Picking a writer is never an easy job. I never chose the original ones, that was down to Zeus, because of the position he’d taken. Actually I think that’s where I’ll start. The choices he made during that time have affected all of us, even him, although he wouldn’t admit it, and the stories that were written about us… the less said about them the better. My problem isn’t that they exist. If they didn’t exist people wouldn’t know about us now and if people didn’t know about is no one would be willing to write about us. No, my problem is that too many people pay too much attention to them. They assume that because they’re read Homer they know everything about us.

Understand this – if you’ve read anything by Homer you know nothing about us. You know who Homer wanted us to be, which is not who we are and never will be. We chose to become the Greek pantheon, Zeus chose Homer as one of the people to tell our stories, and we’ve regretted that ever since, because of what he wrote. Now we’re fighting what seems to be a losing battle to get someone to understand who we truly are, so I am more than grateful to have found someone who lets me write through her. She doesn’t channel us, not in the way you may think, but… finding the words to explain this is difficult, and as she doesn’t entirely understand what she’s doing it doesn’t help.

Her discomfort with writing about herself in this fashion doesn’t help either. Like others we have asked to write about us she’s embarrassed by what we say about her, but fortunately she’d not the sort of person to stop herself from posting something just because of the way she feels. She knows that getting our stories out is much more important, especially as there are many deities that have been born since, there are other races we’ve guided, and we have lives that no one knows about. Take Hephaestus, Aphrodite and Ares as an example – they are a triad and they have been for millennia, but for some reason that was turned into Aphrodite cheating on Hephaestus with Ares. I became someone who spurned the advances of Apollo and that made me the opposite of the goddess Aphrodite was, as the goddess of love.

Let me tell you know that I never spurned the advances of Apollo. We just made the decision that we weren’t going to make it permanent, the way Aphrodite did with her lovers. I’ve actually had two children by him, girl and boy. They’re both deities, after going through the same training we all went through when we were young, and have their own children. Sometimes that makes me realise how long I’ve been doing this job and I wonder why I still love it as much as I do, but it’s the connection I get to make with people that stops me from choosing to move on to another life, the way so many deities have done before me, including my parents. Although by the time they did make that decision they’d been deities for over ten millennia.

Is there a word for that? Give me a second… okay, I should know better than to do that, because it would be so easy for me to lose myself in myriads of web pages all filling my brain with information I didn’t know before and probably don’t need to know now. Plus it makes her dizzy and that’s no fun. From what I saw there is no word for ten millennia, although I did start looking up eons… I think that might just be too long a time, but I need to focus on this rather than focus on finding a word for something that doesn’t really need one. It’s just one of those things I like to do, because it simplifies things.

Anyway I was talking about my parents. I was their youngest daughter. After me they chose not to have any more together, but they did have some with other partners, so I have several younger half siblings. That really isn’t unusual for deities, because we live for so long. I personally have eight children, three grandchildren, and more nieces and nephews than I can possible keep track of, as I have more siblings than I can keep track of some days. Most of them were not a part of the Greek pantheon because they were doing other jobs in other places, because the multiverse does exist, although that is a story for another day, otherwise I’ll take up much more of my writers time today than I was planning on doing.

The one thing I’ve always appreciated about writers is how much they can write, how many characters they can write about, and the other jobs they do while they’re writing. I couldn’t do what they do, even though there have been times when I wished that I could, because I would love to have been able to write my own story. Unfortunately I just don’t have the ability to put the words down on paper the way some people do. So, here I am, telling you it in the only way I can and I know that by doing it this way I might find that less people believe what they’re reading. Well that’s up to you, but if you can accept Homer and his obsession with us all being family that slept with each other you should be able to accept this, although I will admit we do sometimes give people different stories. It’s a part of what we do.

Even though there’s only one of each of us we do know that we could have all been very different people and sometimes we like to see what might have happened if we were those people, so we send the spark out to see if anyone will take it. When they do we celebrate, because it’s so interesting to see the stories that they create, we send out other sparks, we do everything we can to remind the worlds that mean the most to us that we exist. It’s one of the hardest parts of our job, unfortunately, especially when it comes to certain worlds. Some are simpler though and we make the most of them, although it isn’t unusual for someone to see us in a different light to the one we are doing our best to shine.

Hades is one example of that. He is a death god, but that doesn’t mean he appreciates sacrifices. Numerous cults on hundreds of worlds have done just that, sacrificed different things to him and I remember the one he hated the most because he came to talk to me about it. You want to know why? Hades is my brother. He’s about three thousand years older than me, we have siblings between us, yet we’re still really close. I was so pleased when he married Sephy and they started their own family, which did admittedly start sooner than they expected when Kerberus had his first litter of puppies. Fortunately none of them had multiple heads, although some of the puppies borne by his children did have, so Sephy and Hades took them on in order to teach them how to cope with having three head.

I love doing this, because I keep surprising my writer. To be honest that doesn’t seem to be unusual, we all seem to do that, but she had no idea that Hades was my much older brother. Wait until I start talking about my other siblings, although most of them are people no one will ever have heard of because they’ve never been a part of an Earth pantheon, but my most recent lover was once as have several of my other lovers. A number of my children have Norse blood or Egyptian blood, due to who they were when they chose to work with the people of Earth, but for us it’s different. Unlike you we don’t think of ourselves in Earth pantheons, mostly because Earth was only one of the worlds we were connected with at the time. We work with people who need us and those people aren’t all on the same world.

Most if us don’t anyway. There are certain deities who still cling to a past that doesn’t exist any longer, due to the position that they were in. Of course it isn’t just the Earth pantheons that they cling to, but others as well – I just think it would be easier to talk about the ones you know, rather than trying to explain the others, because they are just as in depth as your pantheons. I think that’s part of the reason I’ve had conversations with numerous deities recently about getting our new writer to put together a family tree, which will show how the different pantheons work, on all of the worlds, to give anyone who’s interested a better understanding of who we are and how we work together. Especially as we do mix rather a lot more than people might realise.

Take Thear as an example. It’s a world I’ll talk about a lot, in the future, because I was once one of its deities and I will be again, but right now it’s up to Sephy to make things work as best she can. From the beginning there was a mix of us involved, thanks to Hekate. She knew that it was important to have the right deities involved, so she never worried about which pantheon they might have been from or whether certain deities might have been enemies on other worlds. Unfortunately something that happens regularly is writers assuming that we should have enemies, when it’s very hard for us to fall out. We understand each other too well most of the time for that to happen and when we do have arguments we don’t hold onto them, because there’s no point. Clinging onto the past has never made sense to most of us, as we have so much of it.

Anyway, Thear… it’s a difficult world. It always has been. You’ve only heard stories about a small part of it during a very limited time and they’ve been through a lot, even before they found themselves in the island they now think of as their whole world. They don’t know how they got there, although we do because we were the ones that guided them there, and, sadly, due to people who thought they knew best, they’ve lost a lot of their history, which means they don’t truly understand how they got to where they are now. It also isn’t something that’s particularly unusual – history, normally, is written by the victors, which can make it very hard to know what the truth is. People who do care go looking for it, but those people are the exception. Most people only know what they were taught when they were in school and that’s something that can affect how people understand their world.

For the Thearans it’s made more difficult by the way the races are now splitting apart, because they were once working together but now… I wish things hadn’t changed as much as they had, although we knew it was coming, thanks to Hekate. They like to blame it on the deities, make it seem as though we’re the ones who’ve forced our beliefs onto the priests and priestesses, when really it’s them who’ve been passing their beliefs onto their races. Each one of them believes they’re the one who should have control and due to their lost histories they don’t know how bad things got when that happened in the first place. Fortunately North Square exists, so the time will come when at least some of them will, and hopefully they’ll be able to pass it on to those who survive what’s coming outside of the city.

Whenever I take on a new world I get to know my fellow deities in another way. Every world is different and we all do different jobs, although there are some deities who specialise – like my brother, but then we always knew that was going to happen. Hades is… well, when we realised he’d inherited his death sense from Mum he changed. It was as though finding that out had put this weight on his shoulders that hadn’t been there, because it’s a very rare gift, and he felt like he had to use it to the best of his abilities. He didn’t listen to anyone when they told him he didn’t have to become a death god, not even Hekate, who he’d always listened to before, so in the end we gave up, but fortunately when he married Sephy he realised what he’d done to himself. Now he does his best to make sure that his children don’t do the same thing. Especially Callie.

I think Callie has it the hardest of all three of Hades’ children, because she’s inherited his death sense. She’s also inherited Sephy’s ability to use the vision pool and actually see the future, which is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone, so it’s been hard for the girl to decide what sort of deity she’s going to be. Both Sephy and Hades have told her that she doesn’t have the use her death sense or future sight if she doesn’t feel it’s right for her, but it’s hard. We’ve had plenty of conversations about how she feels like she’d be letting them down if she doesn’t specialise in either, even though they’ve told her they won’t be disappointed, because she’s still young and still learning how to deal with her own expectation of herself.

That’s what I honestly believe in the hardest for young deities. We know what we are, but we’re not entirely certain it’s what we want to be. Being born into a family of deities, no matter how big or small it is, is never easy, and I know that from experience. Although I wasn’t close to all of my siblings I did have support from them if I needed it and my parents were always there for me. They helped me to find the right mentor when it was time for me to start my training, when I asked them for guidance they’d give it to me, and that, some days, wasn’t enough, because there was this niggling doubt in the back of my mind that I would never be good enough. Callie, I know, deals with that as well, and it’s harder for her due to who her parents are.

Hades and Persephone, now that they’re together, are two of the deities that others turn to for advice, they’ve been asked to mentor numerous young deities, and they still both work with several different races on worlds I could never imagine connecting with anyone on. I think part of the reason is that they were both mentored by Hekate and, even though she doesn’t have the time she once did, she is viewed as someone to go to if you do need help. When I was younger I’d go to her after I talked with my parents, to get another point of view, and the thing I loved most about her was her bluntness. If she thought I was being an idiot she didn’t have a problem with telling me that. She told me it was unlikely she’d ever mentor another deity, but then Hades asked her to help Callie.

Callie always loved Hekate. She was always a part of their lives, from the time Archie was born, and that’s because she thought of Sephy as her soul daughter. Demeter, fortunately, has never had an issue sharing with Hekate, as the two of them have always got on well, and I know that they’ve been working on two worlds together for the last three millennia. They aren’t related, they aren’t lovers, they just have a wonderful friendship. I know when Hekate had her twins, a boy and a girl, Demeter was there to help raise them, because the father wasn’t around. Yes, sometimes we do have the same sort of issues as you do, but that’s a story I’ll let Hekate tell you, as it really isn’t mine to tell. The twins think of Demeter as their soul parent and they’re about three years older the Sephy. I think it was helping to raise them that made Demeter broody, actually.

Of course I’ve been there as well, because Callie is my niece, and it’s always been important for me to be there if she needs someone else to talk to, as it does help to have multiple view points to work from. I know that from experience. At the time I was going through training I had a number of close friends I’d talk to, who’d each spoken to their own mentors, so we’d share what we’re learnt before making whatever decision it was we were going to make, and the last time we did that it was when we were choosing our first world. That was the first time I worked with two of the people I thought of as my best friends and it wasn’t the last, because we decided that it was something that we enjoyed. Honestly, until it happened I had no idea how much I would enjoy my job, the job I’d been preparing for almost my whole life, as it as though I was almost being forced into it before it happened.

I remember a conversation we had, not long after our mentors were first chosen, when we talked about what it was like to be the child of a deity and know that your destiny was the same as theirs had been. None of us wanted it to be, not really, but there was nothing we could do to change it, unless we decided to move on before we’re really lived our true lives, which would have been a mistake. That didn’t stop some of my generation doing just that, even though we couldn’t know what it was like to be a deity until we’d tried it, but they were so certain that it wasn’t what they wanted… although I have no idea how. It wasn’t until I’d been in the position that I’d chosen for a full moon cycle that I actually came to understand what it meant to be a deity. All they did was give up a life they could never have understood and now will never have that chance again, because of the choice they made.

That isn’t the same for me, or for Hekate, or for any of the other deities. Not being able to incarnate as a deity is a punishment for the decision that they made and I didn’t know about it until I met one of my sisters, a sister who chose to walk away before her training. She told me that other souls would have the chance, but because of the decision she made it would never be possible for her again. Even though she was sad she did accept that it was a valid punishment, as she’d given up the chance to be a deity before she’d even tried, which was a mistake that she would always regret. I do feel sorry for her, because she will never know what it’s like to be one of us, but she made the decision and that makes it a punishment she deserves. At the same time I can’t help hoping that she might get another chance if she proves herself in the future. I hate the idea of punishing anyone for anything, but the universe doesn’t feel the same way I do, so when someone gets given the chance to be a deity they’ve been given it for a reason. Walking away without even trying irritates the universe, which is something I do understand.

Before I started this I never realised how easy it would be to go from one subject to another the way I have been. I thought I’d be able to start at the beginning I created for myself, telling the story I wanted to without going off on tangents, but apparently that’s impossible. No matter how hard I try I can’t keep myself from talking about everything that comes to mind, so I’m sorry if this is hard to follow. I have been doing my best, even though it might not seem that way, and I will try harder from not to tell every story that I can think of at the same time – especially as I’ve lived a very long life, so there are lots of stories to tell. Throughout the years I’ve made friends with immortals and mortals, said goodbye to almost all of the mortals more than once, and lost several of the immortals when they decided to move on. One of them was the other sister Hades and I were closest to.

That sister was the eldest of us all. I never thought I would get close to her, so our relationship took me by surprise, and then she agreed to be my mentor. Often it is family, or adopted family, who take on the job of mentoring a young deity, before asking their friends to help guide them. My sister had a lot of friends, in a number of the pantheons, so on the day she decided to move on we all gathered together to say goodbye to her. She’s someone I’ll talk about a lot, because of how important a part of my life she became, and losing her… it honestly was like losing a part of myself, even though I understand why she decided it was her time. I’m not sure that Hades has ever forgiven her, although I think the time will come when he will. Sephy was there for it, as it wasn’t long after the two of them got together, so she kept a tight hold on his hand, giving him the strength he needed to get through it. It was then I realised that they really were soulmates.

I helped to convince Hades that he should marry Sephy. He wasn’t sure he should, even though he loved her more than he’d ever loved anyone before, and I told him that if he really did feel that way then she deserved to be more than just a girlfriend. Normally, due to the way our relationships work, it wouldn’t, but for them it was something that made sense, because they were never going to move on to someone else. Before Sephy Hades hadn’t believed he could fall in love and when he did, with someone who I believe is at least a millennia his junior, it took him a long time to accept it, so he needed someone to give him a shove in the right direction. The one thing my brother has never been is spontaneous – he always has to think things through before he does them, in great depth, so it takes him a long time to make a decision. Thankfully, when it came to Sephy, it was the right decision. Now they think things through together, although she is the more spontaneous of the two of them.

Some days I wish my sister had stayed, to be here to see who I’ve become now, but she isn’t. I miss her most of those days, because I can’t talk to her any more, although she has, like all the other deities, gone on to live other lives. However moving on for a deity isn’t the same, most of the time – the only exception to this rule is if someone born a deity choses not to be one. That’s why the sister who chose not to become a deity still remembers who she was before and the sister who did… she doesn’t remember who I am. I remember everything about who she was, but she can’t, as it might effect the way she lives her new lives. Now I get to see who she’s becoming, how her soul is growing once more, and know that the time might come when she gets another chance to be a deity, although that does seem unlikely.

For those of you who’re interested there are a number of different afterlives, all connected to their worlds. Some have the races of more than one world enter them while others only have one, like the afterlife that’s connected to the Earth – the only race that enters that is the human race, although you do think of your different colours as making you different races. It doesn’t. Being from a different continent, being a different colour, doesn’t make someone something else. You’re all the same under the skin, no matter how hard that is for you all to accept. You’re actually quite close to the race that calls themselves the fae, because the only real difference between the two of you is that they can use magic and you can’t, but I would never suggest anyone uses the magic the way they do.

Even though Hekate told me I could talk about whatever I wanted I have this problem with you, as readers, accepting some of what I’m saying, so I want to remind you that the multiverse does exist. Magic exists, in numerous forms. The fae are real, in their many different forms, as are the Thearans… but if you don’t want to believe this I suggest you walk away now, because you’re reading a story written by someone who truly believes they have a connection with the deities and this story isn’t written by her, by written by me, with her help. I am Hestia, the Goddess of Hearth and Home, whether you want to accept that or not, and I will keep telling my story, as I truly think it’s important for you to know it.

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The Many Worlds of K. A. Webb

July 2017

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