I am a college student, a member of the WWU Pagans (or as Bella and Dusty call us the Woo! Woo! Pagans). I am currently studying abroad in Florence Italy at a museum as well as attending classes. I want to share with you some of my thoughts on deity in Europe.
The most interesting thing that I have found thus far in Europe is the prevalence of Poseidon. Admittedly I have only been in London and Tuscany but I have felt his presence strongly in both places. Neptune is not a God I have ever worked with before; but while on a bus tour around London I felt his presence for the first time. We passed a pillar with a Statue of the magnificent deity and I knew that he knew me and it was a very powerful experience. I have never before felt the presence of deity without first contacting them myself.
I thought on the strangeness of the event, but then quickly forgot about it in the whirlwind of travel. That all changed when I entered the Mediterranean Sea. I was greeted emphatically by the Great God of the Sea and I was welcomed and vehemently ushered deeper and deeper. It was an overwhelmingly welcoming experience. I left an offering – a piece of myself – for the God at the beach of Pietrasanta, so that a piece of me will always be there.
At the hotel on the coast I stayed at, there was a painting of King Triton. Last monday in class we read about La Fontuna di Neptunno (The Fountain of Neptune) in Bologna, Italy. It is certainly interesting that once you notice something about the world you suddenly encounter it everywhere you go. In the span of a single week I was confronted with three images of the deity, as well as the God himself twice.
And while I have felt the presence of other deities, the absolute prevalence and the reverence of Poseidon is simply spectacular, especially in the way that the concept of a Sea Deity has been carried over in art all over Tuscany.