Strange night at Roxy's café

Horus, Coyote, and Thor went to their favorite café one evening this week. Prometheus had planned to join them, but he went to bed early -- it's hard to get a good night's sleep when your liver is healing from being torn by an eagle all day long. They were all hoping to get a mega dose of magnificent mocha from Roxy, the star barista, but the café atmosphere was rather odd.

It's not that big a café, just a couple of rooms, and hardly busy at 10 at night, but Coyote was told he couldn't get in because he was already in. The same thing happened to Thor: He couldn't enter the café because he was already inside. How very odd! To be in, but not in. And too bad, because they'd both dressed up for the occasion. Coyote was in a fine black suit, and Thor sported a new helmet and armor obtained at the Nebula.

Horus was able to enter the café, but when he didn't see either of the other two there yet, he went off to the bathroom to change into a different aspect -- it's hard to sip coffee when you have a beak for a mouth. He chose his Harpokrates (Horus-the-child) look, an athletic youth with a fashionably long side lock and a touch of eyeliner to suggest the udjat eye.

"Blue is a nice change from my usual black eyeliner," thought Horus. (Photo by BrittneyBush)

Horus ordered a cup of mocha java from Roxy and then noticed the sign over the espresso machine: "Due to circumstances beyond our control, we have no fresh coffee. All the coffee is made from old beans, batch number 7. We had to destroy our most recent coffee shipments because they produced a hallucinatory brew that makes you feel like you're in, but not in."

Bewildered, the three friends exchanged text messages and confirmed that they were all indeed at the right café. (Fortunately, this didn't happen the night of the Blackberry blackout.) Horus found a private room that had a back door and opened it to let Thor in. Thor found another room and let Coyote in, but there was no way all three could be in the same room.

I asked Horus later why the three of them, with all their divine powers, couldn't have just opened a door between the private rooms. He said that even gods have limits, that they still have to play by the rules of the universe. The main difference between humans and gods, he explained, is that humans see only part of the rules, while gods know them all. What keeps the gods so aware of these universal truths is the way humans keep retelling creation stories, constantly adapting them to fit new surroundings and new cultures. It's like Marie-Louise von Franz wrote in Patterns of Creativity Mirrored in Creation Myths, "The unconscious re-tells part of the creation myth to restore conscious life and the conscious awareness of reality again." We humans aren't aware of what we're doing when we keep the gods alive in this way.