Naming the Unnamable — Wytch of the North

Oh, so much this! All of this!

I’ve had a problem calling my Gods by Their names since I began working with Them. I also see in hindsight how much those specific names have kept me narrowly on a path to know who They really are, sometimes keeping me from actually knowing Them outside of the names we have for Them.

It’s good to be able to research, but for me at least, I know this all works out much better when I allow Them to show who They are, to listen to my intuition.

Love, love, love.

So, you’ve probably noticed the general lack of content posts around here after this one went live. I do intend to keep posting more than just shop promotion here, when I have time, but in the wake of what were some pretty big changes in my path, I’ve needed some time to sort out what […]

via Naming the Unnamable — Wytch of the North

YouTube Pagan Challenge – Week 4

Yes, I understand, I haven’t done an altar video, I’m not entirely sure if I will or not. Who knows! But in this video, I chat about how I celebrate holidays as a pagan/polytheist 🙂

Some Pop Culture Paganism

Alright guys! Despite some quiet times spiritually for me (except for Yule night proper), there has been some major feels brought to me by a couple things over the holidays.

***WARNING, SPOILERS AHEAD ***
Concerning Star Wars and Sense8

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First was Star Wars. Oh yes, dear gentle readers, that film really hit me in the feels, the way the Force worked, how it was once again a much more spiritual thing (I’ll just pretend the prequels never happened). The way it was almost tangible, for example: when Kylo confronts Rey in the woods the first time, and stops her in her tracks… Good Gods! I swear I could feel it, it was so powerful, so immediate.

And here’s where it gets spoilery for those who have not seen the movie yet: Rey. Fucking REY!!!! Her grasping her own power so quickly never felt out of place. She just accepted her ability, organically, without even much thought or mulling over it. Yes, there are likely heritage reasons for the Force being so strong in her, and a need for the Force to be balanced, so it would make sense why she was so powerful so quickly.

BUT… here’s where it becomes paganism, if you couldn’t already see where this was going… that complete acceptance of the power that laid within her, seemingly untouched for her whole life up to that point, was just so much yes.
You see, over the past few years, with my relationships with the Gods, and especially with my relationship with magick, or will, I’ve been contemplating and am ever aware of the thought that I just need to accept my own abilities, my own experiences, my own power in order for it to be the most effective. It has nothing to do with believing in it, nothing to do with learning about it. It is what it is.

What I say with intent, with force and will, shall come. It’s the acceptance of it that requires nothing more than myself. No outside tool, no outside revelations. This is raw, this is instinct, this is the molten core of my very being.

And Rey simply knowing, simply doing what she innately knew she already could, what she was always connected to, this is where it hit home for me that this vein running through me, this whatever you want to call it, energy, will, magick; it is most simply part of me, there is no separation between me and it, it is me. And it is bigger than me. It is connected to everything outside of what I consider me.

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And secondly, there is Sense8. It’s a show about, you guessed it, eight people, around the world who are connected to one another, individual, yet intertwined and one with each other. Able to speak telepathically, even visit one another, feel each others’ emotions, touch each other (there definitely was a sex scene, wow! lol).

Just the way they were connected to each other reminded me so much of how connected we can be with our Gods as polytheists. It really brought to light that my Gods are People in the Otherworlds, and that w/We are connected, much like the characters from this show, who are again, rarely with each other physically as they all live all over the world.

Now obviously in the show, the connection is an evolutionary thing, viewed more scientifically especially because it is between humans, not human and spirit or other beings. But for myself, it was like a normalization of what I do, what I experience, that there is so much more to connection with someone/Someone than just what we can see and experience tangibly, and in our own world.

There were so many moments of emotion, unspoken, just emotion, in the show, and it reminded me so much of some of the intense experiences that have been deeply spiritual for me, that are so rich in simple emotion, in just being.

And don’t even get me started on the way the show used music to express the emotions of the interactions the characters had with each other. I’ve realized in the last few years just how much music affects me, and the way the instrumentals worked with those intense scenes was fantastic. It made me think of times I would reach out to my Gods and somehow the perfect song pops up in my earbuds.

I can’t recommend this show enough, you should definitely check it out if you can! It’s amazing how much I relate shows that have nothing to do with spirituality to my own spirituality. I think spirituality has become more of an unspoken thing in our media lately, usually involving some sort of evolution explanation. It’s not defined, but there’s something there that just speaks so much to our innate need for spirituality, for magic, for that something bigger than us.

 

So Much

It is busy! But in a very happy way! I’m grateful for those who have bought my teas, I’m so excited to be making them, and excited to share things that are nom! I absolutely love tea, and making teas for my Gods and sharing with Them has been quite the experience. I can definitely say that the process has brought me closer to Them, made Them more tangible and present, as physical things are wont to do. And with tea, I ingest it, take it into myself, I share it with Them… it is an interesting and lovely experience, I must say!

Which is why it makes me excited to be doing this, to have thought to offer the same experience to others with their Gods/Spirits. I’m just super happy to be doing this… if you couldn’t already tell!

Now, the process of figuring out how best to ship has been an interesting journey, one I’ve hopefully figured out, at least for now and with the packaging I currently have for my teas. Also… let me say I hate that I can send something to the US for cheaper than within Canada. Ugh, I hate our Postal system. Thankfully I am able to send things quite cheaply here, but still. Makes no sense. Is anger making.

So besides all the tea-induced delirium, there’s lots of Yule preparations happening. I have my list of goodies I am making this year, as well as making teas for friends whom I did not have time to cross stitch something for. Also teas for family… teas for everyone! 😉
I’m hoping this year after all the festivities are over, I’m not going to get sick  three times in close succession afterwards… that was… not fun. Hopefully my system will be able to handle all the social interactions and sick people better! Fingers crossed!

And lastly, a few weeks ago was time for a revelation in a dream. I haven’t shared about it because it had hit me right in the feels. I’m not going to go into much detail because I’m still processing this, as well as still figuring out what it means for me and my relationships with my Gods. Not to worry, I think it was a good thing to have seen, though not necessarily the happiest. Tears happened.
I don’t often dream about my Gods, though I have of Baldr the most this past year; and this dream was so very impactful, showed the connections that go beyond this life I live. And there was so much love. And I can’t even express how awed and grateful I am to Him for the experience of it, for sharing it with me.
It’s things like that that set me aright time and again, that let me know this is where I’m supposed to be.

How I Talk With Gods – Pt. 4

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.

Final Thoughts
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.

How I Talk With Gods – Pt. 3

Memories
This aspect is rather important for me. Though it has become increasingly easier to completely immerse myself, and leave doubts behind, in the Otherworld and my experiences over There, my memories help solidify things in an interesting (to me) way.
When I am over There, I often feel like things progress in a wobbly way time-wise. Sometimes things take a while to move forward from one thing to another, it doesn’t feel natural to me, and this would bring about the doubts that it was actually happening, and quite effectively, at least at first, bring me out of the journey.  When I was first journeying, I would eventually think about what had happened a day or two after the actual journey, and realized that when I thought of it again, the memories came as though it was a memory of events that have happened in my physical world, the time lag between actions/events would no longer be there, though I knew they had happened. In fact, sometimes the act of remembering a journey makes it more vivid, more real.
I also realized that I could re-experience it again. This explanation kind of sounds just like what a memory can be like of a physical world expereince, but when I remember some of the first times I went off with Odinn, I’m there again, that moment exists once more for me, the place, the landscape, the trees, the buildings, the wind. I don’t change anything, though I believe I could, but I am there. My memories of phsyical world events never feel like that, and perhaps that is because those are memories of things that happened physically, places and circumstances that cannot happen a second time because we live in a realm where time is much more linear. Spirit worlds are different, and time does not work the same over There. So effectively, my remembering of my journeys makes them real once more, makes them occur again for me.

Thinking of my travels also helps to cut out some of the lag that happens, as I said above, seaming it together into a more natural flow of events, at least for my human sensitivity of timing. I can also step back and see the whole of it, it’s story, whilst still being able to feel everything again, to see all the details again.

What I have found interesting too, is that as I look back on some of my past travels, I can notice new details if I poke around, getting a slightly different perspective since time has passed, and I am not the same person I was when I first experienced the journey.

What does the journeying experience look/sound/feel like?

What I see:
When I go over, I see Baldr first, then wherever we happen to be (again, often forests). There is a moment to see what my spirit eyes can take in of the place, the wall of trees, the depth of the forest and the fading of it the further in the distance I look, or the more trees there are to block my view. Essentially, it’s almost like seeing any given place in real life. You take in the whole of it, then notice details. I notice the kind of trees, the colour of the soil, what time of day it is by looking at the sky, the weather.  Then my focus usually goes solely onto Him as would physical world senses when you are with someone in any given place. I notice what He’s wearing, what His mood seems to be through body language and facial expressions.

Now, as far as facial expressions go. I believe because I don’t have one specific face for Them, I can’t really see Their faces clearly as a whole. I can see the outline of bones, but each facial feature is revealed as the experience progresses, as things happen. I’ll get the image of eyes winking, of a mouth grinning, the wrinkles at the corner of an eye as They laugh, the pull of muscles that round out cheeks, the raising of an eyebrow.  It’s like watching a person in our physical world as you’re talking to them, you notice kind of passively individual movements, individual expressions, individual pieces of a face, pieces of a body as they express what the person is trying to put forth. But, at least for Their faces, instead of those making part of a whole image in your memory you have of the person, all I have are these pieces. And they change as They change Their faces. Sometimes I can see a face more solidly as a whole, other times, it’s just those bits and pieces of expression that don’t want to make a whole.

As far as seeing Their bodies, those are much more anchored, and have basically been the same since meeting Them. They are usually always wearing something different as suits Their moods, but Odinn is tall, muscular yet not body-builder muscular. He can hide it well when He wants, but He usually appears the same size for me. Frija is also tall, long-limbed, Her skin always glows like gold. Baldr is tall, slimmer than His Father, but muscular, and He glows with a whiter, sun-like light. Their hair is always changing along with Their faces. This makes sense as I find that hair is a very important expression of individuality and personality.

I am always aware of the place I am in, though I may not be aware of details again until I look around and focus. It’s rather like memories of moments in our physical world, it is made up of what we remember of who we are with, some of those facial expressions, body language, as well as some innoccuous details like your cat jumping up on the couch, sunlight filtering through very green leaves, or the patter of rain.

I will add here that I am also a product of the time I live in. A lot of the time, I watch myself with Them, in whatever environments, at least usually for the first while. We have so much film and television, and that takes an effect on how we think of ourselves, how we view ourselves in our minds. Even when I think on things that have happened in my physical life, it’s like I’m watching it from the over the shoulder angle filmakers employ all the time. Once I am fairly situated in the Otherworld, I slowly return to first person view, though sometimes I zoom out.

What does it sound like?
Again, I don’t talk much when I’m journeying, so voices don’t factor in much. I hear ambient noises if I focus, just like what I described of focusing on what I see around me above. The sound of the breeze rustling leaves, animals and insects filling the night with their calls.   Despite not much in the word department, there can be non-verbal noises. When I first walked through a group of my female ancestors, there was a sense of humming, of harmonies, dissonances, no real melody, just the buzz of so many voices sounding together..There was even drumming somewhere in the din.

What does it feel like?
Yes! There are definitely almost physical sensations that can happen when journeying for me, even when not journeying (such as hanging out in your living room and it just so happens Baldr’s sitting beside you). Touch is very interesting when we’re talking about touching the Gods, and interacting with the Otherworlds. When I think on it, i believe it is akin to how we feel things here in the physical world, we are never actually touching anything, but with a certain amount of force, molecules next to one another, some from my hand, some from the mug I’m holding, I can feel that pressure in my palm, my fingers, that information sent through my nervous system to my brain. The heat of the mug is fast moving waves, telling me that I should grab the handle. The pressure from the mug lets me know how much tea is left without having o look at it.
I think when it comes to being in a place that isn’t based on what we think of as physical, tangible, hard, it’s like our physics, our motion, but it is energy that is more easily manipulated. We are spirits too, inhabiting fleshly bodies. When we go to a non-physical world, our spirit can experience what our brains interpret as physical sensations.  When I feel something over there, it is almost a combination of the memory of touching something like it with my physical body, but everything also has a different sensation than that of our physical world, there’s a tingling to it… everything vibrates, and everything feels more a part of my spirit body as I interact with it, or with Someone.
It’s kind of like the idea that everythign is connected, yet when I’m over there, that notion is so much more real, tangible and observable; that I am truly connected to everything. Every object or Person flows into me, and I flow into it/Them. Even the places I find myself in. I can feel my own energy reaching out from my feet into the ground, and I can feel the earth reaching into me. I am part of the wind as I feel it caress my skin, swirling my energy around in it, as it moves through me and into me. My spirit body remaining fairly solid, but it acts more as an anchor; my spirit’s energy so fluid, easily combining, sharing with everything and Everyone. That sensation is actually very freeing… perhaps the “muscle memory” of what it is like to not be so solid in everyday life.
In the final installment of this series of posts, I’ll share what it is like dealing with doubts, brain-weasles, learning to trust oneself and the Gods. Along with that, some encouragement to begin your own communication/journeying practices.

How I Talk With Gods – Pt. 2

My Method
Ok, so I’m going to divide this into the talking/hearing communications, and the journeying communications.

Talking With Them
As I said, most of my conversations with what my brain interprets most easily as words, happens when I don’t have enough focus or energy to journey to Them. When I think-talk to Them, I usually have to be in a position where I’m generally not worried or fussing with a physical world thing, such as making dinner, or having to talk with other humans. It is often when I am already deep in reflection about one thing or another. In that state of mind, I am closed off and isolated from humanly contact and interaction.  It’s not hard to think of listening for Them because I’m always thinking about Them anyway.
Now, that being said, there have been times when Baldr will keep on talking to me as my partner speaks to me, commenting on what he says, or continuing what He was saying to me before my partner spoke. I find as time goes on, it’s easier to hear Them with more external stimulation.

My usual course of action, or of relaxation, is as follows to hear Their words and talk with Them:

– no pressing obligations I have to worry about in the next few hours  – do something that does not require too much thought: knitting, cross-stitching, walking, gardening, observing nature, etc.

– ensure the household is comfortable and doesn’t want to interact with me (but this is easily negated if it’s midday, or after everyone is in bed for me)

– music. Now, this may seem a strange one to some, as I am trying to listen, as it were, to the Gods. It’s usually lyric music I know so well that I don’t pay attention to the words anymore, or orchestral/instrumental music I still know fairly well to not be engrossed by it. Music, especially specific artists or genres, puts me in a trance, light, but trance nonetheless, very easily.  Music highly affects my state of mind, always has, as I’m sure it does many people, but I really can lose myself and open up to the infinite when I listen to music… for that matter, even when I sing. But singing doesn’t work so well for this purpose unless I know the music so well, and have been singing for quite a while that I’m lost in it in a physical capacity as well. This takes longer, but it’s definitely more powerful.  When simply listening, sometimes lyrics will pop out at me that I take as what They want me to hear from Them.

– I simply call to Them in my mind, usually waiting a moment or two to feel Their presence before beginning

– I have found it successful to just think-talk with Them. Speaking aloud definitely helps to cement what you are saying, to keep trains of thoughts a little more coherent, and usually when it is very important, I will speak aloud.

Sometimes I don’t hear anything, and I don’t feel any presence. Usually when I want to talk to Baldr, He is around. In fact, I’m not sure He is ever not there… 🙂 Though, sometimes, He doesn’t want to talk. And that’s fine. Often when this happens, it’s because it’s something I don’t need to worry about.

What do Their voices sound like?
For me, it depends on two things.

The first is whether or not I have a lot of mental energy. If I’m really tired, it sounds like my own thoughts’ voice, though the answers are still immediate and complete, and use language the way They individually do.
When the answers come when I am tired, sometimes my own mind likes to try and tack on more than what They say. When that happens, I end up thinking of what else could be added to Their answers, and I catch myself and remember that I’m not supposed to be answering myself, that if I have to think of how to answer it, then I’m making some of it up myself. I swiftly stop the train of thought. When They are answering, the answers are swift and complete and don’t require me to think of the answer; in fact, the answer comes before I can think of what I would imagine the answer would be. Remember, this is only my own experience.
As an aside, it’s weird having conversations in your head when Their words are in your mind’s voice, it’s hard to tell what’s you and what’s Them. It’s also easier to think you’re just crazy and have invented a new person to talk to in your head. This is where music can sometimes help, as lyrics will pop out and confirm something They’ve just said. You can always confirm with your divination tool of choice.

When I do have a lot of mental energy, I can usually hear Their distinct voice. There’s a caveat here, and I’ll explain that next.

The second thing this all depends on is what Face Whoever I’m talking to is deciding to wear. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m “seeing” Them. What this means is that Their faces for the entirety I’ve been hanging out or talking with Them, have collectively never had a permanent visual that stays in my mind of what They look like. It’s always changing. It’s not that it’s because of what role They employ that They want me to focus on, it’s just Their looks, They are always changing. Along with changing faces, is constantly changing voices.

Baldr’s voice has been a smooth tenor to a gruff baritone, and variations thereof. Odinn has morphed in and out of looks, demeanors and voices so many times for me, that there’s too many voices and faces to count. Frija is much the same, though when I just talk with Her, I feel emotions or little glimpses of things more than words.

I’m not sure if the looks/voices fluidity is because I’ve often told Them that even though They could use a face or voice I know, I would like for Them to present Who They really are. I have a thought that this is either Their selves unfolding from what my brain wants to substitute in as more easily recognizable; it could be that the changing is peeling back all my own inputs, for the eventual goal of having one solid visual/sound. Or, I have the feeling it could also be that They are simply fluid in those respects. At least with me. I always know Who I’m with anyhow, though for a while, I believe Odinn was changing how He presented Himself to overlap with Baldr, easing me into meeting Him.

Journeying
And what about journeying? When I’m over There, it’s a much more sensual experience than language. Sight, touch, occasionally smell, and ambient sound. It’s very intimate and personal when I can visit Them instead of just talk, as though They are part of me, or flow through me. It is still very intimate in a different way when I’m actually adventuring a bit with Them. The experiences themselves seem almost an entity in and of themselves, and I am intimate with those experiences, those stories of my own adventures with Them that become every much a part of me and my memories as my physical life’s experiences innately are, and often even more so.

As for my journeying methods, they are much the same as what is stated above, though I am adding a few more points for a more intense/fully in the Otherworld instead of straddling both situation.

– darkness, or little visual stimulation (a lot of this more intense journeying happens before bed)

– music still plays a big role, in fact, it usually plays a bigger role since verbal communication isn’t as important to my journeying as the experience; I become awash and filled with the sounds, the harmonies, the emotions of the music, which helps to take my mind off the physical quite a bit, and usually helps to connect me to wherever it is I’m going

– I do not do anything physical, as touch is a very good way to keep one grounded in our physical world, and lessen the almost physical sensations I can experience in the Otherworlds

– if I am journeying in the middle of the day, I will light incense, but if it’s when people are going to bed, I won’t shock everyone’s noses and keeping them awake, that’s just rude!

– to travel to the otherworld, I used to visualize the world tree, and travel along its wide trunk, finding a door that would take me where I wanted to go (usually to Whoever I wanted to visit so long as it was good with Them). This isn’t necessary anymore for me, it doesn’t take much for me to get where I want to be, I reach up and Baldr reaches down to pull me up to Him almost as soon as I can think that I want to be with Him. It’s almost like being pulled up by the hands out of a pool by someone standing on the edge. Except it looks like I’m coming up from the soil.

There’s not much more required other than that. I usually don’t make too much of a hullabaloo about it because my Gods have been very personal, not formal, with me from the get-go. I do weekly offerings to each of Them anyway, but on special journeying occasions, I will set up circle, or make offerings beforehand.

For the next part, I will be discussing the role that memory plays in my journeying and communications with my Gods, as well as what journeying feels/looks/sounds like for me.

How I Talk With Gods – Pt. 1

I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while, though it always seems strange talking about things that are quite personal. But really, I’ve given up on caring what the nay-sayers will say. I’d rather talk about these things and discuss them with those who want to, and perhaps put out there some things that others may be wondering about, letting us all feel a little less lonely, that we’re not as crazy as we like to think we are sometimes. Though I will grant you, talking to Gods and spirits can definitely make it seem like you are going crazy.

I will put the caveat out there that this is only my experience. This is not the only way you can communicate with Gods or spirits, in fact there are likely thousands of different ways through which we can experience Them and communicate with Them.

My Journey

The Beginning
Now, it’s only been nearly four years since I began truly interacting and communicating with any God or spirit. Odinn came in a flash to me one night as I walked from my kitchen to the living room. It was just an image in my head of Him, in armour, hair blowing in the stormy winds, looking right into me. I knew immediately it was Him, though He had two eyes, one embellished by a scar on the lids.

What I kind of marvel at, looking back on it now, was that I immediately knew it was Odinn. I have mentioned before on the blog that preceding this Odinn moment, I had not had much inclination towards the Northern Gods, and I suppose Skyrim likely opened that door for me. Yes, a video game, gotta love pop culture paganism! The Gods use ALL THE TOOLS at Their disposal. The game really allowed me to love the strength in the Northern culture, especially the stories of strong-willed women. Skyrim definitely has its share of strong-willed Nord women, that’s for sure!

At the time, I was dealing with the not so nice thing that was happening which led me into a pretty terrible depression for the next year and a half, perhaps more. It’s a little hazy. This was also the time I had decided I was no longer interested or had enough energy to continue pursuing a degree in music. It was a pretty difficult time because a lot of things were dying for me. And through that whole situation, a very big personal transformation was under way from that point onwards in terms of who I am, and what is important to me. It’s strange-looking back before this point and realizing how different I was.

I think He came to usher it all in, the change in me, and even the way my brain worked (I became very forgetful, which necessitated me doing things RIGHT THIS MINUTE, lest I end up doing nothing ever again). It has actually gotten quite a bit better over this summer (I began writing this post in early June, and there has been a marked improvement since then) which I am very thankful for!

Since then, I had been visiting with Odinn, working through depression and my issues with death, getting to see the connection to my ancestors, and the cultures they were part of. I am so grateful to Him for helping me through this time, as it was definitely a particularly shitty time in my life.  As I believe I’ve mentioned earlier this year, He has taken a step back as Baldr has become number one, so o/Our visits have become less frequent.

With Frija, the communications and experiences have been fewer, but much-needed when I was working through the reality of being female in our current, very misogynistic, culture. This came shortly after depression hit, by a few months or so.  There wasn’t so much adventuring with Her as it was more of a tutelage, discovering the great strength of being a woman, that it is no less than that of any man. I admit that I never really had much reason to either fear death, or feel so helpless or weak as a woman. My mother is the pants-wearer in my immediate family. I never heard from anyone in my life that I couldn’t do what I set my mind to because of being female. Before I realized I was a good singer, I wanted to be a doctor or marine biologist, and that was encouraged. It’s strange the things that put us in a tailspin with no true cause.  It has all definitely made me much more aware of the fact we have a long way to go when it comes to women’s equality and rights in society, not just in law, but in the daily, small, seemingly inconsequential misogyny that happens, that is inherently taught without thought as to its effects.

But that is a topic for another time.  Frija pops in when I need Her, or when there’s something pertinent She wants me to know. I can always look to Her to help me see my worth.

Baldr came when I had already been communicating with His Parents for a while, so it didn’t seem much different. Though somehow I cut myself off for a few months in the spring, thinking I was not ready for some reason, that I had to wait. Interesting that… and strange in retrospect. Baldr has  been the easiest of my relationships with the Gods. Things have been so very comfortable, there doesn’t seem to be anything in particular w/We need to do, as Odinn helped me connect with my Ancestors, as Frija helped me connect with my own power. We just hang out, w/We enjoy each other’s company, laugh at silly things, and generally just have a very relaxed time together.

The Initial Communications

Ok, so what about the communication part of this?

When I finally got around to accepting that I could communicate with Odinn on my own (more because I wasn’t exactly sure what the Hel to do or that I would be fumbling terribly), it took a while to figure out what was going to work for me, and how I would experience it.

First was honing my meditation skills once more, creating a ritual around it in order to get in that proper head space conducive to being open to Them, well, Him. If I hadn’t meditated in a while, it usually took up to a week to get into the meditation groove of being able to focus on emptying everything out that isn’t helpful, and connect with Them.

When I connected with Odinn, it just happened that I end up journeying to Him. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you why this happened fairly quickly for me, but it just did. Perhaps within the first few times of trying to be open to hear Him, I ended up on some interesting adventures with Odinn.

I happen to have a very vivid imagination, very vivid dreams as well, so I suppose that helped. I was also already doing my own inner journey work before Odinn came along, which is where w/We adventured a bit. He was working with the landscape I had already created, creating openings and doorways to what He wanted to show me. I still had the safety of being somewhere, or close to somewhere, that I was already familiar with.

It seems now, I don’t often travel to that first landscape much anymore. I remember quite vividly what has happened there, and I do think of it once in a while, enjoying the views behind my eyelids. I made it, so of course it is somewhere I think is beautiful! Now, my journeys seem to be in a lot of sunlit, starlit, or lantern-lit boreal forests. I don’t think these new places are my own invention any more.

The bulk of my communicating and interacting takes place when I have the solitude to journey, whether it’s before sleep, or while I’m making something (as of writing this, it is my Yule gifts which are coming along quite well!), or out biking or walking. Often I slip into the Otherworld, where I can see Them, and straddle both worlds.

Other times, if too much of my focus is in my mundane world, I will hear Them and feel Their presence. Words seem to come more when I can’t be in the Otherworld, which also happens to be the times I need to talk to Them anyway, to hear words and get more difinitive answers.

In the next post, I will be talking about how I talk to and visit the Gods.

Agency, Authority, and Obligation

So many of my thoughts articulated! Thank you, Ember!

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

Devotional Polytheism is built around a few fairly consistent beliefs:

1: The Gods are many.
2: The Gods are real, distinct entities with agency.
3: We can form two-way, personal relationships with Them.

Within that scope there’s still room for a lot of variation in our beliefs and perceptions around what the Gods are, and the nature of the cosmos in which we and these gods interact, much less how we should go about interacting with Them collectively or individually.

Reading, listening, and discussing this topic with fellow Polytheists, I’m encountering a strong dichotomy between two specific positions, neither of which I agree with, both of which seem to be wrestling with the same fundamental problem: How much control do we have, and what are we responsible for controlling?

Granted, in my frustration with this false dichotomy, these are deliberately skewed towards straw figures, but here are the most extreme…

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A Month (or two) for Baldr – XXX – Suggestions

So, what would I suggest to you, who may be interested in getting to know Baldr, and haven’t previously done so?

If you’re like me, you can do your reading, as I’ve said time and again, there isn’t much lore about Him, but it does give you a glimpse into His character, what has made Him Who He is.

But really… just talk to Him. Offer Him some incense, or tea (He enjoys sharing a cup with me of chamomile with milk and honey, but see if He wants His own cup 😉 ), He also appreciates some beer, I haven’t met many Norse Gods Who don’t appreciate a good beer! In fact… I haven’t met any at all Who have refused a beer… 😀

Tell Him why you’re interested in Him. Or that you just want to say hello, and offer something to Him.

I’m all about the simplicity and organic nature of relationships. You see someone that piques your interest, you observe them, say hi, take them for a coffee, and get to know them. If it’s mutual, you can have a pretty awesome relationship (in whatever capacity) ahead of you. Honestly, He’s pretty easy going and laid back (at least with me), so give it a whirl if you’re interested, it couldn’t hurt. At least I hope not 😉

So that concludes the two months and almost a half, I guess, of the written devotion to Baldr! I really enjoyed this blogging project, and I’ll likely continue writing about u/Us in the future, because, well, what is this blog for if not to share the awesomeness that is Baldr (as well as Frija and Odinn, and Whoever else decides to show up… I’m looking at you, Thor 😉 )?