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  1. #21
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    Re: Building a relationship & connection with the Gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcha View Post
    Honestly, this is the most helpful thing I've ever read on energy. It makes total sense. I've kind of not bothered with energy work because I'd never heard it explained well, but this was a major aha. Thanks!
    So glad it helped! A lot of it is stuff that has been rattling around in my head for a while, but took a bit to come out in a way that might make sense to other people.

    (If you like this approach, I'd actually also recommend Ivo Dominguez on the topic: some of this crystallising for me came from hearing a couple of presentations of his that talked about energy work. I think of his books, Spirit Speak and the circle casting ones are the two most relevant ones.)
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  2. #22
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    Re: Building a relationship & connection with the Gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenett View Post
    So glad it helped! A lot of it is stuff that has been rattling around in my head for a while, but took a bit to come out in a way that might make sense to other people.

    (If you like this approach, I'd actually also recommend Ivo Dominguez on the topic: some of this crystallising for me came from hearing a couple of presentations of his that talked about energy work. I think of his books, Spirit Speak and the circle casting ones are the two most relevant ones.)
    Ooooh book recommendations! I shall add them to my extensive wishlist, lol.


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  3. #23
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    Re: Building a relationship & connection with the Gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenett View Post
    So glad it helped! A lot of it is stuff that has been rattling around in my head for a while, but took a bit to come out in a way that might make sense to other people.

    (If you like this approach, I'd actually also recommend Ivo Dominguez on the topic: some of this crystallising for me came from hearing a couple of presentations of his that talked about energy work. I think of his books, Spirit Speak and the circle casting ones are the two most relevant ones.)
    Your advice has been really helpful so far Jenett, and everyone who's taken the time to write back thank you so much for doing so. If you have any other insights please feel free to reply. I'm loving that everyone is so helpful.

    I will say that I'm not sure about the relationship with a deity part. It's been just that something about it has been not sitting right. I'm sorry if that isn't very helpful, but I know the idea of going to all the different cultures is particularly unsettling to me for whatever reason.

    I do want to give a little bit of an update though:

    I was outside and pretending to read at a table while in all honesty I was meditating for a good half hour to forty-five minutes. Mostly focusing on breathing, and as I was doing this I took some of the advice and was taking mental check-ups on how and what I was feeling. I also took into account my physical senses. I then got the idea to kind of noting everything about the location I was in. The smell of the trees and Earth, the small sounds that showed life in the area. Stuff like that.

    Something definitely ressonated with me throughout the process, although it was, I suppose in typical Animist fashion, not with only one thing or the other, but also with pretty much everything. Almost as if everything was...there...but not there like I was in the physical reality, but with a sense of something else entirely separate with it. Kind of like there was an entire new...life...to everything, if I might say that.

    I also experienced a much higher sense of awareness of my place in my local area. I was simultaneously aware of the inside of the building I was in, but also the greater area around me and felt myself as a part of that greater world (while normally I'm only aware of my immediate area like the room I'm in).

    It was really freaking surreal, and any input would greatly appreciated. Overall, I feel like this is definitely a good first step. Definitely a good bit of progress for one night, eh? Thank you again, for what help you've all provided thusfar. It was using your ideas that I even got that experience.
    Last edited by LunarRainbow; 18 Feb 2017 at 11:52 PM. Reason: Clarification added

  4. #24
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    Re: Building a relationship & connection with the Gods.

    First, it sounds like what you've been trying has been good for you! If you haven't already done some exploring of the idea of 'spirits of place', sometimes also called locus genii, you might find that useful to you.

    (Some people also find it really rewarding to pick an outdoor place they can get to easily and stop in there regularly - daily, every few days, once a week - and build that into their practice, noticing the small changes that happen over the seasons.)

    Quote Originally Posted by LunarRainbow View Post
    I will say that I'm not sure about the relationship with a deity part. It's been just that something about it has been not sitting right. I'm sorry if that isn't very helpful, but I know the idea of going to all the different cultures is particularly unsettling to me for whatever reason.
    There's nothing that says you have to do things with deities, fortunately. There are plenty of animists out there in the Pagan community, and while they can be a little harder to find, a fair number of atheist Pagans too.

    That said, if someone has a strong discomfort with something that is a fairly common practice for reasons they can't make sense of, poking at that discomfort to understand more about it sometimes worth doing. We sometimes carry baggage with us from our previous religious experiences or non-religious experience that turns out not to be helpful to us moving forward.

    So even if deity focused work isn't something you want to do, figuring out more about why you have that discomfort could be really informative and helpful in other parts of your path.

    For example, if the thing you're getting stuck on is the idea of relationship with something you can't see, that might affect your interactions with nature, but if your discomfort comes from a (quite admirable) desire to avoid cultural appropriation, there's different possible solutions to that.

    The exercises people have suggested here are roughly equivalent to meeting someone interesting in a new setting, and chatting to them briefly. There's certainly rude ways to do that, but there's also a bunch of polite ways that indicate interest and curiousity.

    Just reading about different Pagan pantheons isn't going to offend a deity, and while there's tons of lousy sources out there, there are also plenty of well-done ones. Likewise, the exercises I suggested (that are part of my own training) can certainly be done in a strongly devotional context (creating a work honoring a deity) but they're also things that artists and writers of many kinds and many religious persuasions have done over millenia.

    They're unlikely to be offensive so long as you're doing it sincerely and not committing to things you're not wanting to commit to (i.e. Don't create anything with explicit oaths or commitments)

    If it helps you to focus on a particular culture first, that's also something a lot of people find easier.

    Picking a culture is something a lot of people struggle with. A common suggestion is to start with one that's part of your own background, but if that doesn't make sense, you can also look at others that appeal.

    (Some cultures were very much about expanding and showing off what they were good at and having other people find out how awesome they were - there are reasons that people are still fascinated by Greek or Roman or Egyptian myths today. The idea that someone would avoid learning about Roman deities because it might be rude is something your average Roman resident would have found totally baffling.)
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  5. #25
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    Re: Building a relationship & connection with the Gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenett View Post
    First, it sounds like what you've been trying has been good for you! If you haven't already done some exploring of the idea of 'spirits of place', sometimes also called locus genii, you might find that useful to you.

    (Some people also find it really rewarding to pick an outdoor place they can get to easily and stop in there regularly - daily, every few days, once a week - and build that into their practice, noticing the small changes that happen over the seasons.)

    There's nothing that says you have to do things with deities, fortunately. There are plenty of animists out there in the Pagan community, and while they can be a little harder to find, a fair number of atheist Pagans too.

    That said, if someone has a strong discomfort with something that is a fairly common practice for reasons they can't make sense of, poking at that discomfort to understand more about it sometimes worth doing. We sometimes carry baggage with us from our previous religious experiences or non-religious experience that turns out not to be helpful to us moving forward.

    ...

    Picking a culture is something a lot of people struggle with. A common suggestion is to start with one that's part of your own background, but if that doesn't make sense, you can also look at others that appeal.
    I don't have an issue with an idea of a relationship with a deity, at least I don't think that I do, but maybe its more the nature of the relationship I'm seeking? Hmmm...I need to think about this a lot more. I guess...In all honesty I'm just not altogether sure where my discomfort comes from, but I feel like just something isn't clicking.

    I will say I've had negative experiences with cultural appropriation when I was a practicioner of Shinto. Could also, to be honest, I just don't see myself as a part of any distinctive culture or heritage, so I don't really have anything to build it off of as far as that part is concerned.

    Could be a lot of things, but I think a big thing is that I really have no experience with spirtitual relationships, so I'm kind of blind when it comes to really knowing, what I'm looking for. Sorry if I'm at all being a bother.

  6. #26
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    Re: Building a relationship & connection with the Gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by LunarRainbow View Post
    Could be a lot of things, but I think a big thing is that I really have no experience with spirtitual relationships, so I'm kind of blind when it comes to really knowing, what I'm looking for. Sorry if I'm at all being a bother.
    Not a bother! Questions are pretty much what the forum is for, right?

    If you want to dig at it some more, what I'd recommend is spending some quality time with Darkhawk's post on different ways people see relationships with deities or powers. I'd sit down and think about each one, and whether it's something you find interesting/attractive/intriguing/engaging (positively about), something you find abhorrent or repulsive for you personally (negatively about), and then the stuff that you're not sure about, that's in that sometimes uncomfortable undefined middle of "not sure what I think about this or if I want it"

    (I'd probably go through the list a couple of times, over at least a couple of weeks and see if anything changes as you have more time to think about it and have time to look for interactions in other parts of your life.)

    I think an activity like that might help you get a grasp on what kinds of interactions you might be open to or interested (if there are some, and because you keep cycling back to sort of wanting an interaction, I think there might well be), and if it turns out you don't want any of that extremely varied list of interactions, you will know you've thought about it thoroughly.

    And then you can poke further at whatever results you have, and that may well give you guidance on either cultures to explore further where that would be appropriate, or specific deities (since different deities - like people - have some tendencies and common patterns in their habits and relationships)
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  7. #27
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    Re: Building a relationship & connection with the Gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenett View Post
    (I'd probably go through the list a couple of times, over at least a couple of weeks and see if anything changes as you have more time to think about it and have time to look for interactions in other parts of your life.)
    I was going through the list, and went through, narrowing it down one by one. In the end I was able to narrow it down to three of them. There's also one that's popped to me every time I've looked. Kind of clicked every time I see it over the past two days. That's #1 on the list. However they're not more than the other. They're co-equal on the list.

    1. God as mother
    2. God as spiritual kin
    3. God as raw magical force
    Last edited by LunarRainbow; 20 Feb 2017 at 08:17 PM. Reason: time clarification

  8. #28
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    Re: Building a relationship & connection with the Gods.

    Quote Originally Posted by LunarRainbow View Post
    I actually already identify as an animist, so you're right on the money there! Yay! : D

    I was in a very ritualistic path before, and that really didn't help at all to me I'd want to focus more about incorporating spirituality into my day-to-day life and activities. Not have to do them only separate from that, and the rest of my life. I don't think spirituality and life are separate, so I left and only recently started identifying solely as animist.

    I think that's the main block I'm running into. Nothing...resonates, as you said, with me. That or I'm just blind to whatever resonates with me. Even if I did know then I wouldn't know how to act or strengthen that resonance.

    I think that's the first time I've heard talking to trees and rocks used in a respectful and helpful way. If I knew how I probably would, but I don't. xD
    One thing I do find helps (and it seems a bit silly at first) is just to talk to whatever deity you want to commune with, if you're going about your daily business, doing the dishes, talk to the bush outside your kitchen window.

    Personally, I'm not a naturally very reverent person most of the time (follower of Baubo that I am) so I talk pretty casually to deities, I joke around and say stuff "yeah, but like why did you make that guy so annoying? Do you regret giving him free will? Yeah I thought so."

    Talk to them about the weather, talk to them about what you're doing, talk to them about anything and everything, it opens up lines of communication and allows for a personal relationship

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