There has been a misconception with some people that Lord Shiva is a fierce One. This misconception stems from the portrayals that He is the god of destruction, He is adorned with the skulls and snakes, the ways of worship are quite strict and yogic in nature. A more closer look into the Shaivism would clarify these.
First of all the word shiva itself means auspicious and perfection(1). Can there be a more auspicious thing than the Auspicious ?! This great God who is adorned with skulls and snakes, is the one the great devas worship. Because those great divines realise this Supreme's potence and glorious qualities.(2) Saluting this Lord, who goes on alms as if He has nothing but in reality made the kubhEra the king of wealth, all the divines get their greatness and prosperity. This Supreme, who could not be explored by even the great devas, get very easily pleased and showers on the devotee with boons. It is said when one wants even hard to get boons, worship of Lord shiva would be the way. Very naturally our Lord is called ashutosha (fast pleased) and bholenath(innocent Lord) !!
When one evolves in the worship of Lord shiva to be a devotee, the worship is more out of love than a fear for a supernatural power. When the devotee experiances the Glorious qualities of the Lord the love blooms and this love, knowledge and experiance paves way for the spiritual success and not the fear. (This is in fact the speciality of Hinduism not compelling the follower to fear for a super natural power but to know, experiance and be in It). The disciplined paths of worshiping the Lord may appear difficult but sure to bring lots of marvel in return. Also not all the worship paths are so strict. If this God would get pleased only for highly strict rituals what would one have to say about kaNNappa ?(3)
Lord Shiva is not the the god of destruction, but is the Supreme who plays the five activites of Creation, Protection, Destruction, Concealing and Blessing. The God shiva who is known as parashiva (the Supreme Shiva) plays these actions that run the Universe through Its forms and powers but is above all these specific deeds.(4) But like an owner of a firm who also works with the people he employed, the Supreme Shiva in spite of being the Master of all these great deeds also enacts as the doer of some deeds like the destruction, Concealing and Blessing.
Various forms of the Lord Shiva show Him Ash smeared with skulls and snakes dancing in the cemetries. But it should be understood that these are the glories of the Supreme that It is adorned with nature since It is beyond the human ornations.(5) It is this Lord the wise worship when they want the most auspicious boons.
O, Giver of the Boons, the bull, the parts of a cot, chisel, the elephant-skin, Ashes, the serpent, the skull : these are the articles of your house-hold. And yet gods get all their riches merely by the movement of your eye-brows. Really, false desires for worldly things do not deceive ( mislead ) one who is always is absorbed in his soul
Love and shivam, there exist two things, say the fools.
Love is shivam, that nobody understands.
When everybody realise that Love is shivam,
they sit in love as shivam.
Lord shiva, the Supreme Potent and Yogeshwara is also the absolute Auspicious One the devoted mind loves in extremity.