How To Begin
Honestly, this is incredibly personal. Also, some people are not wired to journey, to see/hear/feel things at all. Some people will only hear things. Some people may only be able to hear and not actually have conversations. Some may only be able to sense presences, or emotions. Some may see flashes of images. Some, again, may not sense anything at all. There is no better situation than another. I can only speculate on the why of being able to experience the Gods and Otherworlds, and why some can experience these things, and some cannot.
With that said, the how of it really depends on you. If you like things elaborate, create a specific ritual that will get you in that headspace to be open to the Gods and being with Them. If you like to keep it simple, like me, try it in a very simple setting.
It’s good to have a foundation in being able to visualize easily if you want to journey. I think it’s about letting your brain be able to interpret what you experience over there, to have practice in seeing entire landscapes or minute details with your mind’s eye. Try remembering scents, sounds, how it feels to run your fingers through grass, the smell of your favourite flower. Here where memory works again for you, if you can pull up those memories easily, it becomes easier for your brain to pull upon your memory to flesh out your journeying experiences.
I think the only important thing I can say is ensure you are warded if you feel you need to, and to just try, just let it happen. Be open to it happening, be open to it being real. Be open to second guessing yourself, to thinking you’re crazy.
Be open to it being real.
What about brain-weasles?
Yes, the “am I crazy?!”, “did that actually happen?!” “Is that what my God/s want/s?”. Talking and journeying with non-corporeal beings may make you qestion your sanity, I know I did in the first year or so. Many times. When past that, it becomes a matter of wondering if I’m just making it all up. Here’s where discernment and divination comes into play.
At first, you will not know the “flavour” of your Gods yet, of the way in which your brain picks up on things. Even if divination is the only way in which you find you can communicate with your Gods, there is a “flavour” to the answers depending on Who you’re talking to. Baldr doesn’t want me to be using my cards to talk to Him unless it is important, so I’ll get very contradictory answers to my questions, or a blunt “no” when asking if He can answer me through a deck. He wants me to listen for Him, or go to Him. Odinn usually gives straightforward answers, albeit, I often feel there is more to the answer than I am getting through the cards, and often, I’ve had Him refuse to elaborate. Frija doesn’t mind elaborating, Her answers so far have been at the same time gentle and firm when needed. She’s fairly straightforward as well, but with less edge. And this is what Their personalities are like with me, simply through divination.
When I think-talk to Them, I often get sensations, or an image of touch as Their different flavour. Baldr is usually a soft caress on my cheek. Odinn’s conversations usually come with the image and feeling of standing side by side and looking out over the land, the wind whipping around u/Us. When I talk with Frija, I feel warm, I feel like I’m in a close space filled with the smoky incense of resins.
When you begin to know Who you are dealing with with more sureity, picking up on Their patterns, it becomes easier to pick up on when one of Them wants to talk to you, or that They actually are answering back when you talk with Them.
I think it’s quite interesting the ways in which the experience of Them happens in a way that the sensations are all tied together, that I can know Who I’m talking to by how I feel, and the images that may not even include Them I see flashing in my mind as words are exchanged.
That all aside, you can see that there are ways in which They let us know Who They are, Who we are talking to. It takes time to get to know these things, and I find they get a little more elaborate the longer I’ve known Them and talked with Them over the years. It’s just like getting to know anyone in the physical world, we learn the sound of voices, easily recognizing them from others’ in time, the scent of their favourite perfume or cologne, even their favourite laundry soap, the feel of their hand on our arm as they’re talking to us.
Even with being able to recognize Them further along in your practices and communications, doubt will always find a way to seep in every once in a while. On those days, I just put it all down. I will focus on other things. I will also divine to see that what happened, or what was said, was what really happened or was really said. I may still feel as though I can’t trust the divination, and when that happens, sometimes I will ask someone else to divine for me. I usually get bigger check-up readings from someone other than me a few times a year to make sure that I am on the right track. Sometimes I have someone else read for me because I just need a little confirmation.
I don’t think the doubt ever goes away. We are dealing with People who many humans have been taught, for far too long, to simply think of as myths, Who don’t exist in any real way. We live in a time where empirical knowledge and fact is held high above all else. When you get involved with the currently inexplicable mystical, you’re thought of as bananas. We simply cannot explain what is happening between us and Gods with facts and data at this point. That doesn’t mean our experiences are invalid. That doesn’t mean it is not real. It’s hard when you move against the grain of cultural/societal beliefs.
JUST DO EET.
Write down your experiences so you can remember more easily, and you can look over it all and begin to pick up on patterns. Don’t be disheartened if it’s fuzzy at first. If you can only travel for a few minutes. It takes time, and like everything else, some people are more naturally able to do it than others. It doesn’t make anyone better than anyone else. The Gods want to work with us, to be friends with us and love us (not every single one of us, because who has time to love everyone, or even like everyone?!). If we just put in some effort to regain what abilities to communicate and be with the Gods that we’ve likely lost as indigenous religions were replaced, we can build up a base of knowledge, a base of acceptance, a strong foundation for future polytheists to continue our hard work. To bring our Gods more fully into our world once more.