A Month for Baldr – XIV – Worship Changes

The question is basically “how has worship of this Deity changed in modern times?”. Welp, we really have no evidence that He was actively worshiped way in the way back.

However, all worship, or working with, of Deities has most definitely changed over the millennia, there’s no doubt about it. Much has to do with the obvious attempt to wipe out all of the Gods and put in Their place “One True God” with Christianity, and that, unfortunately has given us a big break in the active knowledge and active participation in our ancestors’ practices and relationships with Them.

There isn’t anything quite specific I can say about how people interacted with Him then versus now. What I know is that now, with Him, as with many other Gods, people are forging their own paths with the Gods, many relying upon very personal interactions to guide them to do what the Gods would like and need and what we would like and need. I can’t imagine it being terribly different than back in the days of yore, except now we have our communities largely online instead of tied to a specific piece of land.

Pagan Blog Project – P is for Prayer

prayer

noun

1.

a devout petition to God or an object of worship.
2.

a spiritual communion with God or an object of worship, as in supplication, thanksgiving, adoration, or confession.
3.

the act or practice of praying to God or an object of worship.
4.

a formula or sequence of words used in or appointed for praying: the Lord’s Prayer.
5.

prayers, a religious observance, either public or private, consisting wholly or mainly of prayer.
The above was copied from dictionary.com
Obviously the meanings that are written above are written in a more Christian fashion, seeing as apparently other Gods are “objects of worship”. However, that’s not what this post is about.
What I wanted to talk about is why prayer is important for me. Every night before I go to sleep, I thank Them and my ancestors for all that has been provided for me during that day, because I am incredibly grateful that I have a home, and food, and family and friends who are amazing and provide me with lots of love. I want Them to know that I appreciate the life I’ve been given and the relative ease with which I am living it. I clearly have some issues with things, as all of us do, but I am taken care of, and have the things that are really important.
I did at one point try to use nightly prayers based on old poems and hymns written for Them, it seems that doesn’t work for me as my mind wanders as I read the words. I understand that having the words said over and over provides power to those words, weaves energy within them, but I don’t think that’s where I’m at yet. I have a short prayer I made up that allows me to focus and really put meaning into it, instead of mindlessly reading words that are holding no meaning for me because again, my brain wanders.
I have written a few songs to use as prayers, in fact, I forgot that I had until now, lol. I shall sing them. Obviously as a singer, there is magic in that for me, the power of my voice, and the words I wrote myself. The melody, the intervals of the notes… “Music is the ritual” that’s what They keep whispering into my heart, and I know it’s true. This is one of my truths. And now this post turns into self-revelation. Not a bad thing.
Back to praying… I like that it ties my days together, and that if I don’t end up really interacting with Them, at the end of my day, I get to focus on Them for at least a few moments before sleep. I do worship Them after all, and prayer is an integral part of worship.

Pagan Blog Project – I is for Intuition

"Intuition" - Bente Hansen

“Intuition” – Bente Hansen

I’m not talking about intuition when it comes to divination, although I’m sure some of what will follow will be related.

No, what I’m talking about here is the intuition that is needed when you have relationships with deities, ancestors, and spirits in general. When you first begin on this path, no matter what path you call it, it can seem disheartening when you don’t receive straightforward answers, or even an answer at all from the Gods you worship, or the ancestors you honour. Ours is not the easy path.

For myself, I believe that for a long time, I had been blocking off communication, in both the ways of not allowing it to penetrate whatever walls I had put up, and in ignoring it when I did fleetingly have it come through. I think a lot of us do this, until we cannot possibly ignore the things our Gods and spirits are trying to tell us. And I think many of us do this because we are not yet ready for the kind of experiences and relationships that are in store for us if we bide our time in becoming the spiritual person we hope to be.

Another reason why I will say I know why people can’t connect as readily is because we live in the age of information. There are so many blogs and books out there giving us information that applies to ONE PERSON, or at the very least is regurgitated, and still applies to that original person who wrote the base material. We are all different, our minds work in different ways, we learn things differently than others… why would the Gods and spirits come to us in the exact same manners and interact in the exact same fashions as with every other worshiper? When we do eventually sit down to practice what we’ve read extensively (and too much) about, all we can do is allow our minds to impose these specific ideas of how this is supposed to happen.

While I will not discredit research and reading others’ blogs and talking to others on a similar path to yours for the sake of community and that lovely feeling of validation that what we do is very real, that it’s not wrong (or insert whatever obstacle that’s been in your way concerning your spirituality), sometimes we need to just be silent.

Do not take in more information about other peoples’ experiences, and experience it for yourself. I can say be prepared for appearances that will very much take you off guard, but there is no real way to prepare for that. Also, if the Gods choose not to answer you, then that is ok too. You can be a devotee, emanating the values and traits that drew you to your Gods; not all of us are meant to work directly with Them. But this is a topic for another time.

Back on topic, I can’t stress enough how important it is to meditate. Ritual purification has always been important, but it’s not just physical purification that is required. We need to clean out the cobwebs in our minds. We need to be able to either maintain a very clear of thought mind space, or at least be able to not pay attention to thoughts that happen. If we are constantly full of our thoughts, our questions, our doubts, our expectations, then there is not enough room for what They would have us know. This skill takes time. Some of us are more naturally able to clear out our minds, others are not, and that is ok. What we do is not meant for everyone to be able to do. Not all wish to devote much of their time to this. Ours is not the easy path.

When you feel you have received some sort of communication with a Deity, it’s ok to ask for some clarification from others, but I would suggest pondering upon it yourself, do not reveal all the details as this message was for you, and other people’s views of things could blur what the truth of the message is. Other people will find meanings in the imagery that are connected to their own life experiences and spiritual experiences. You need to apply your own experiences and meanings to your message yourself to really understand what They would have you know.

Intuition is a powerful tool in regards to communicating with all spirits and Deities. It may take quite some time to develop the skills, and in most cases, we’re really not ready when we really want to be. We must work hard, and realize that for some, we’re not meant for that type of devotion, and it is OK.

Would you like another drink?

Well hello there! It’s been a while. Well, come on in and let’s chat!

There are some changes on the wind… my man and I are going to be starting a YouTube news channel!! I’ll be updating links and such when we begin, which is hopefully next week. Unfortunately, it won’t really be pagan bent, but that’s what I have this blog for!

In other news, I am getting over a cold… yes, a cold… in July. Oh well! I have the luxury of resting and staying home as home is where I work from! 😉 I am on the mend now, feeling better and less cloudy in the head.

In more magical news… I was reading Sarah’s latest blog post… and I had a realization of my own. I’ve written about this before, but it hasn’t been as clear to me as when I read her blog… Alcohol, nummy, nummy alcohol is my key to connection with the divine. I’m not talking about being incredibly, senselessly drunk… I’m talking about two or three glasses… a warm, happy, and almost always, spiritual tipsy-ness.
I find I struggle with the “doing” bit of this path. I’m a very internal, constantly thinking, observing, analyzing type of person. I do create physical things when inspired… I find that other than the ritual with my coven and trad, the same set up of ritual doesn’t work for me when I’m alone. I suppose some of that has to do with the fact that it’s obviously about the HPs & HP and the group working together to raise up the energies, creating circle. For me though, my energies, my circle is up as soon as I start feeling tipsy. Everything is sacred in that time… the time spent with friends, the time spent with my man, getting frisky. (Considering who my patron Deities are, the friskiness is not a huge surprise!).

Since beginning to make alcohol as well, I feel even more connected to this substance. My home-made meads and ciders make me feel a lot different from what buying the alcohols at the liquor store make me feel. When I buy the liquor, I feel slow, fuzzy; kind of like the lights in my brain are being turned off until it’s empty. With my own alcohol, all the things that worry me fall away, I’m inquisitive, sharp, feel connected to my true inner self and my Gods. I feel as though I am a conduit for Their inspirations to fill and affect the world around me. I offer Dionysus and my Gods my drinks, I burn incense, have deep conversations with my love, weaving the magic that bonds us together.

I am inspired on alcohol, I will usually feel like I need to have ritual, although when I do end up having ritual, it’s still not right. I realize now that for me alone, ritual is not what works for me. I do not feel connected to my Gods when I do it, so why do I keep trying to make it work? Because that’s what I think I’m supposed to do. Even though I am participating in a Wiccan tradition, my personal practice is not so structured, and dare I say, Wiccan. My beliefs generally follow along with Wiccan beliefs, but I cannot pretend that outside of group ritual, the practice of that kind of ritual (mainly) works for me.
I’m not entirely sure spells are my bag either. That’s not the way I make magic. The only spell that’s ever really worked has been the love spell I cast which brought my love and me together. Perhaps then, I realize now, love is where my magic lies. Which, if I think about it, makes too much sense. I wouldn’t say I’m a hopeless romantic, but love, for me, is the greatest purpose.

So there it is… I’m a bit of a Maenad (though definitely not as crazy and drunk, and I won’t be ripping any bulls apart with my hands), structured ritual isn’t my personal bag, and my magic is love.