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Author Topic: Divine Communication.  (Read 8289 times)

SatSekhem

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Divine Communication.
« on: October 26, 2011, 12:44:44 pm »
This morning, I was reading various pagan blogs when I came upon this post by Elizabeth at Twilight and Fire. In this particular entry, she maintains that divine communication is not as common as others would have us believe and that the gods pick and choose to whom they will communicate with.

Honestly, I've never thought about the types of communication (or lack thereof) that may or may not go on with other pagans. But, in reading the post, I felt a strong disagreement with her sentiments. I appreciate her opinion, but I don't think it's particularly true.

...I don't know. I could be wrong, of course, but I've never found that there are only a select few who communicate with the gods. Perhaps there are a select few who speak with particular deities at a given time, but I've come across too many pagans who have communicated, in some form or another, with their deities.

What's your take on all of this?
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Juniperberry

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2011, 10:28:53 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;27630
This morning, I was reading various pagan blogs when I came upon this post by Elizabeth at Twilight and Fire. In this particular entry, she maintains that divine communication is not as common as others would have us believe and that the gods pick and choose to whom they will communicate with.

Honestly, I've never thought about the types of communication (or lack thereof) that may or may not go on with other pagans. But, in reading the post, I felt a strong disagreement with her sentiments. I appreciate her opinion, but I don't think it's particularly true.

...I don't know. I could be wrong, of course, but I've never found that there are only a select few who communicate with the gods. Perhaps there are a select few who speak with particular deities at a given time, but I've come across too many pagans who have communicated, in some form or another, with their deities.

What's your take on all of this?


I think she writes an  occasionally decent statement but that overall? Its an incredibly simplified perspective of, at least, the Germanic system. It's a bit like explaining the Big Bang as just an explosion and now we have the Universe.

There's a complicated depth to the relationship of man and god and society and honestly, these ideas are in constant flux as we learn and expand our knowledge of our ancestors, our gods and our roles. Its complex.

I also don't think she quite understands the concept of wyrd. -

*shrug* That's my two cents anyway.
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Jenett

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2011, 10:52:22 am »
Quote from: SatSekhem;27630

...I don't know. I could be wrong, of course, but I've never found that there are only a select few who communicate with the gods. Perhaps there are a select few who speak with particular deities at a given time, but I've come across too many pagans who have communicated, in some form or another, with their deities.

What's your take on all of this?

 
I'm sort of two minds on this. Like you, I know a number of people who do have direct communication with their deities (which, y'know, is helped by working with traditions that do at least semi-regular Draw-Down type work.)

But on the other hand, I do agree with her that a lot of people make assumptions that can be problematic - and that there are a lot of people out there who get immensely frustrated that the Gods aren't talking to *them* (when, in reality, that may actually be more common, from a pure numbers perspective.)

I think back to my own group work, and I think I'm not unusual in saying that, yes, by some standards, there has been a lot of direct deity interaction going on in my life. But there have also been stretches - of weeks, of months, and most recently about a year and a bit - when that sense of direct interaction has been extremely quiet. (At most, the functional equivalent of a hand on the shoulder, which is nice, but not, y'know, very informative.)

I know lots of people who have intense moments of communication or insight, and then gaps of months or years without much direct interaction, and then maybe another blip, and another long gap. (During the gaps, there may be a sense of presence, or caring, or something like that, but not actual direct communication of more complex information/etc.) We talk about the high points, mostly, not all those gaps.

And I definitely think she's onto something by pointing out that the deity's priorities are not ours. Not in terms of how much contact someone gets, or how often, or of what kind.

(I would also add that a deity's sense of time can be very different from ours: what can feel like ages without a contact may be a "Oh, wasn't I just talking to you? What do you mean, that was years ago?" to them. I also know a number of deities - and not just those where seasonal changes are a big part of their myth and ritual practice - where seasonal changes make a big difference, and if you don't get them in the couple of weeks they're most likely to be chatty, it's unlikely to happen again until the next year.)

I do think people can do some things to improve their chances:

1) Service seems to get more commentary back than supplication: in other words "Dear [deity], please heal me" does not tend to lead to an ongoing conversation as much as "Dear [deity], I care about this thing you care about, and would like to figure out more ways to make Awesome Stuff happen that would also please you."

There's nothing wrong with asking for help (or with getting it, which does happen fairly often.) Just that, by itself, I think it's less likely to provoke ongoing two-way interaction.

(Of course, my professional life makes this make sense to me. I like helping people as a librarian. But most of those conversations are relatively routine. I need to click with someone on a level beyond 'helping them library' to have ongoing broader conversations or friendships with them.)

2) Some skills help, and while many people have some natural inclinations, the people who seem to get the most reliable communication over extended periods of time tend to be people who have a balanced set of skills on top of those natural inclinations.

Examples:
- Opening up to conversation at regular intervals, through things like trance, meditation, or specific ritual practices.

- Learning how to listen to what can be a subtle and confusing approach to communicating - balancing divination, ritual experience, etc. with a sense of reality. (Not every bird flying across your path is an omen.)

- Having clear boundaries about what kinds of communication are not okay at times it's inappropriate ("it is not okay to overwhelm my consciousness when I'm driving/at work/etc.") While this looks counterintuitive on the surface, it's the people with better boundaries around deity communication who seem to be able to sustain it for longer periods in my observed experience.

- Working to be an interesting being to interact with, with skills/interests/goals that are of interest to the relevant deity - able to offer something, not just ask for stuff. This is a big one, but complicated, because there are no easy answers or advice.

- Recognise that relationships change. The deities that were interested in us, and very communicative with us at one stage in our life may change, just as other relationships in our life change as we grow, try new things, etc. There are more and less graceful ways to handle that whole process, but fading out into silence is certainly a pretty common solution for humans.

- And there are certain ritual practices that - if available - really do amp up the degree of complex communication possible in a short period of time. Drawing Down, for example. However, those have other costs, complications, and implications.

3) A recognition that there are different kinds of relationships: some last a short time, some are very focused on a particular issue, others last longer, and range across many shared points of connection.

And likewise, the kinds of conversation and interaction that make sense in those different kinds of relationships may vary a lot - even when the same second party (deity in this case) is involved. (I do not interact with my friends just like *their* friends interact with them.)

Other thoughts
On the comment about the wyrd: speaking in more general terms, I do think that there are certainly periods in most people's lives when conversation - or even support - is not necessarily the thing that's actually helpful. I certainly recognise that in my friends, and I would assume the Gods recognise it too. Sometimes people need space to sort their own stuff out.

Or sometimes someone's fighting so hard against one issue in their life that it blocks out everything else - even the stuff they don't think is connected at all.

Either way, working those things out may result in temporary (which, with deity time scales, could mean years) radio silence for all sorts of reasons. Not always the most pleasant of experiences, of course - but that's the nature of complex relationships.

I do also think that there are people who, for whatever reason, are on trajectories in their life choices that reduce the chance of direct deity communication, some of which are conscious choices, and some of which aren't. I think at least some of these people can dismantle that, if they choose, but not everyone does (or cares to). Which is a perfectly fine life choice, honestly.
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SatSekhem

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2011, 01:24:34 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;27819
...

I think back to my own group work, and I think I'm not unusual in saying that, yes, by some standards, there has been a lot of direct deity interaction going on in my life. But there have also been stretches - of weeks, of months, and most recently about a year and a bit - when that sense of direct interaction has been extremely quiet. (At most, the functional equivalent of a hand on the shoulder, which is nice, but not, y'know, very informative.)

I know lots of people who have intense moments of communication or insight, and then gaps of months or years without much direct interaction, and then maybe another blip, and another long gap. (During the gaps, there may be a sense of presence, or caring, or something like that, but not actual direct communication of more complex information/etc.) We talk about the high points, mostly, not all those gaps.


Gods know that I completely understand this. For about two months, I was getting nothing but direct contact from Papa Legba. Everything and anything that he needed me to know or wanted and I learned of it/heard about it/was annoyed with anecdotal evidence/etc. Now, however, he seems to have tapered off, along with Sekhmet and Hwt-Hrw. I get a kind smile or, as you put it, a hand on the shoulder so that I know that they're still there. However, to say that the interaction is as intense as it has been... that would be false.

And as someone who has had these types of communiques with my spirits and deities, I can safely say that I don't think I could handle such intensity all of the time. Sure, when I don't feel that deep connection, I get very upset with everything and discouraged. However, after the fact, I am grateful for the break. I love my goddesses and the effects that they have in my life, but I don't think I could sustain my sanity (or as close to sanity as I've got :p) by constant back-and-forth.

And that is doubly true for Papa Legba. He is... a lot to handle at once. In more than one blog post, I mention that I had no idea what I was getting into when I said, "Sure, come on and join my family!" He kind of reminds me of a kid with ADHD--always off and running. I find it difficult to keep up. And I am doubly grateful for the break he has provided me.

Of course, I also know that in these 'fallow' times I need to make proper use of the solitude with reflection and working on things that -insert deity/lwa lessons to be learned here-. ...Of course, just because I know that, doesn't mean that I follow through... :ange:

Quote from: Jenett
And I definitely think she's onto something by pointing out that the deity's priorities are not ours. Not in terms of how much contact someone gets, or how often, or of what kind.

(I would also add that a deity's sense of time can be very different from ours: what can feel like ages without a contact may be a "Oh, wasn't I just talking to you? What do you mean, that was years ago?" to them. I also know a number of deities - and not just those where seasonal changes are a big part of their myth and ritual practice - where seasonal changes make a big difference, and if you don't get them in the couple of weeks they're most likely to be chatty, it's unlikely to happen again until the next year.)


I've never considered a lack of communication due to timing. I don't have deities that are specific to seasonal change, so perhaps that's it. However, I do find it more difficult to get a long-term conversation going with either Sekhmet or Hwt-Hrw in the winter time here as opposed to spring and summer. This, however, could also be due to my SAD. It negatively impacts everything. :mad:
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Jenett

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2011, 01:45:56 pm »
Quote from: SatSekhem;27859
Gods know that I completely understand this. For about two months, I was getting nothing but direct contact from Papa Legba. Everything and anything that he needed me to know or wanted and I learned of it/heard about it/was annoyed with anecdotal evidence/etc. Now, however, he seems to have tapered off, along with Sekhmet and Hwt-Hrw. I get a kind smile or, as you put it, a hand on the shoulder so that I know that they're still there. However, to say that the interaction is as intense as it has been... that would be false.


This is also one of those places where length of time gives some perspective.

There is, in the early part of new deity relationships, the same kind of New Relationship  Energy that happens in a new romantic relationship. (Or as my favorite term for it goes, "Carbonating Disney Hormones!") It's really easy for things to be hot, heavy, and intense for a period.

Thing is, though, that in a relationship that's going to last - whether it's a romance, a friendship, or a relationship with a deity - things generally don't keep going at that peak intensity. And really, can't - there's only so long our bodies and souls can sustain that kind of hyperfocus and have us stay functional in other ways.

(I've been thinking about this one a lot, recently, both because I've been doing Pagan stuff for a bit over 10 years now, and because I'm in my mid-30s, and have more and more friends who have been in substantial long-term relationships that are reaching the decade or more mark.)

Anyway, eventually, stuff starts to settle. You don't need to have major conversations as often, because you've covered more and more of the major things you need to discuss. More stuff settles into the background. You get on with having the relationship, not talking about it all the time. And I think in many ways, that's even more true with deities (who have a lot of other interests going at the same time.)

Quote

I've never considered a lack of communication due to timing. I don't have deities that are specific to seasonal change, so perhaps that's it. However, I do find it more difficult to get a long-term conversation going with either Sekhmet or Hwt-Hrw in the winter time here as opposed to spring and summer. This, however, could also be due to my SAD. It negatively impacts everything. :mad:

 
I've heard stuff of this kind from a number of people, but the example I was particularly thinking of are conversations with some Blue Star folks, who traditionally invited Mab as a Draw Down twice a year - once in the spring, once in the fall, near Samhain.

In the spring, she was chatty and charming and witty and very talkative. (That one, I was around for: they were kind enough to help me with some related work). In the fall, it's apparently hard to get more than a few very pointed words out of her on whatever topic - very taciturn and dry. I gather from talking to them that it didn't matter who was doing the Draw (either as the host or invoker), either, just a pretty persistent pattern for them over the course of several  years.

I've heard related stories from people doing work with Persephone, Demeter, and many of the Horned God or Green Man type gods - for what are probably obvious reasons (since it's so tied into the local flora and growing cycles.)
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Tamina

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2011, 02:41:12 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;27745
It's a bit like explaining the Big Bang as just an explosion and now we have the Universe.
.

That's exactly how I explain the Big Bang. But I understand what you mean.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2011, 02:41:25 pm by Tamina »

Juniperberry

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2011, 04:26:38 pm »
Quote from: Tamina;27871
That's exactly how I explain the Big Bang. But I understand what you mean.

 
Heh. :D

Quote from: Jenett;27819
I'm sort of two minds on this. Like you, I know a number of people who do have direct communication with their deities (which, y'know, is helped by working with traditions that do at least semi-regular Draw-Down type work.)


This is where I run into problems discussing these issues: Is Draw-Down work even compatible with heathenry? Normally I tend to avoid topics where its irrelevant and incompatible but in this case the blogger specifically mentions the Germanic gods and the traditions that draw from that.

And its also where I personally hit a wall of confusion. Its often stated that paganism is not a religion in itself but then there are topics like this where experience and relationships and interactions become a one size fits all phenomenon. Which isn't directed at you, Jenett, as I know you're only speaking from your perspective . But it is something I see the blogger doing.

Its generic. Religion and culture aren't generic. Just because an Egyptian god speaks to a follower doesn't mean that Thor is going to speak to you if you're talented wait, try, or gift long enough.

Quote
But on the other hand, I do agree with her that a lot of people make assumptions that can be problematic - and that there are a lot of people out there who get immensely frustrated that the Gods aren't talking to *them* (when, in reality, that may actually be more common, from a pure numbers perspective.)


I think the blogger could have gone a long way in avoiding these assumptions and clarifying these issues by explaining the nature of deity and how they relate to their followers, than in saying maybe its not the right time or maybe you just can't. This doesn't address the types of interactions that apply or work within  the culture of the gods. If she's answering like that to people who have asked her why Odin doesn't speak to them then she's doing them a disservice. She's neglecting to take into account who Odin is, the ways in which he interacts, the purpose of those interactions etc.

Her blog, to me, seems to imply that her answers apply to any god in any culture. Listen, Vidar will never speak to anyone. He's called the silent god for a reason. It has nothing to do with timing and wyrd and talent. Its who he is. And that's what bothers me about the blog in a nutshell. There may be a *thousand* different reasons gods don't speak to us based on that god and his mythology. The blogger can't just gloss over that all. Well, she can, but it irritates me. :p


Quote
I do think people can do some things to improve their chances:


The question for me is what does speaking to the gods do for someone?

Another question- *should* it be a goal to hear the gods? In the Germanic worldview what would achieving that goal provide?

These are the sort of things I think need to be discussed. And not because I think hearing the gods is impossible or pointless. But because there a things to take into consideration.

Why would Odin speak to me?

What would be Frigga's purpose for contacting me?

Why would the gods in my system *not* speak to me?

How will hearing the gods change or relate to the worldview they hold and what does that mean for me? How does it change my role?

Substance.  Whats the role  between worshipper and god? Spiritual growth isn't a big issue for most of the Northern gods, so not being spiritually ready is, IMO, a useless answer from the blogger to people attempting to develop relationships with those gods. You are who you are, you don't need to reach some ultimately wise and divine mindset. Why would they feel compelled to speak to you?

For example, if Odin spoke to me I would shit my pants. There's no good reason that he should speak to me other than the fact that I'm about to be a person manipulate by him for some big purpose- like igniting the next American Revolution. Heh, no thanks.

Frigga knows the Orlog of all men and women. If she talks to me it's going to be for some Big Deal. Or she's screwing Odin over. Again-- no, thank you.

 I think relationships with the northern gods are much more complicated than she's implying. I think anyone that's listening to the bloggers advice is missing out on the experience of discovering the dynamics of relationships with the gods- any gods- through understanding their mythology and culture. Which can be as satisfying and rewarding as hearing them speak to you. Sometimes having a framework that makes sense and that has limits and freedoms that tie into one another for a whole Truth to you is so much more valuable than some general spiritual answer. And that's all she provided.

Oh, look. I ranted and rambled again. :p
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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2011, 05:36:17 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;27878
Heh. :D
This is where I run into problems discussing these issues: Is Draw-Down work even compatible with heathenry? Normally I tend to avoid topics where its irrelevant and incompatible but in this case the blogger specifically mentions the Germanic gods and the traditions that draw from that.


Possession work shows up in a vast number of religious traditions both formally and informally: I know that seidr is controversial (in terms of its modern reconstruction) within heathenry, but the bits I've seen quoted from historical sources certainly suggest it at least wasn't a complete unknown, either.

Quote

Its generic. Religion and culture aren't generic. Just because an Egyptian god speaks to a follower doesn't mean that Thor is going to speak to you if you're talented wait, try, or gift long enough.


True. But I think we also need to be realistic about how much can go in any one work of writing - never mind something like a blog post, which tends to need to stand on its own as a readable chunk, even if it also fits into a larger context of work.

I haven't had a chance to read her blog archives (combo of other stuff on my plate this week, feeling mildly lousy, and stewarding my energy and time and focus for Samhain activities this weekend and the following week), but I never expect any single blog post to address all the stuff I'd like about a topic, or be able to go deeply into a variety of different aspects - that's just an unrealistic expectation of the form.

Quote

Her blog, to me, seems to imply that her answers apply to any god in any culture. Listen, Vidar will never speak to anyone. He's called the silent god for a reason. It has nothing to do with timing and wyrd and talent. Its who he is. And that's what bothers me about the blog in a nutshell. There may be a *thousand* different reasons gods don't speak to us based on that god and his mythology.


That's true. But I didn't see her saying or implying that gods do things for the same reasons. I read her as laying out some reasons some people might not be getting that kind of interaction - but certainly not saying those are the *only* reasons.

(Personally, if I were writing on the topic, I suspect I'd do something like her post, and deal with the internal cultural issues in a different post entirely: they're two different pieces of the same larger question.)

Quote
The question for me is what does speaking to the gods do for someone?

Another question- *should* it be a goal to hear the gods? In the Germanic worldview what would achieving that goal provide?


That's a good question. And bearing in mind that you're asking this in a general folder, not a heathen one....

In my view, and in the interactions with the Gods I've had: they tend to talk when they have reason. How they talk depends - like people, and as you yourself pointed out earlier - on their individual personality, interests, goals, and so on.

In the most direct interactions (via Draw Downs), I've gotten advice, suggestions, instructions, and "I'm giving this task to this other person, and it'd be good if you helped make it happen." Almost never comfort, though occasionally a "Well done with that thing."

But that doesn't mean I get the same thing from every deity: I've talked before on the forum about how every formal ritual interaction I've had with someone Drawing Brigid (and it's been four different people, in three not-closely-related religious witchcraft trads and a fourth sorta-related one), I get the equivalent of a blank look, and no comment. It's not that she dislikes me. It's just that she has nothing to say to me.

And that's okay. (I do have theories about why this happens, but mostly it amuses me a lot these days.)

I could take that as horribly insulting, or as a sign of deep flaw within myself. (The same way some people take job rejections or publishing rejections or dating rejections as a sign of something fundamental about themselves.)

Or I could be polite (always smart), and then get on with my life, and remember that it's not about me, it's about them and their needs, and how I fit with that, and that this one piece, this one interaction, does not drive my entire life, or self-worth, or identity.

Which is one of the things I liked about that blog post. Not getting communication isn't a deep fundamental flaw. It *may* be something you can adjust a bit for, if you wish (as I said in my first response: there's some stuff that seems to up the chances, some of which people can consciously control, and some of which they can't as much.)

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These are the sort of things I think need to be discussed. And not because I think hearing the gods is impossible or pointless. But because there a things to take into consideration.


Those are good questions. As someone who works outside of a single-pantheon model (though as someone who is reasonably attentive to the historical practice, given that), I go at it a little differently, but with the same basic idea.

My training had us do some very basic introductory work with a variety of deities (those the group and trad work with or honor at particular times, as well as a few, like Brigid, where it's helpful to be familiar with them because they are frequently invited guests at public ritual.)

Those were not earth-shattering experiences, mostly, though there are a number of pieces of that work I remember with great fondness. But doing a number of them (one a month, for a year) also gave us space to explore the ways that we might have different relationships with different deities, and that while one or two of those might be very clearly Important, that it was also okay to have others where the knowledge and general understanding was helpful, but we were not going to have a major ongoing relationship.

With M'Lady, with whom I have the longest and clearest interactions in some format, she talks to me because I can do things she values. (My relationship with her is very much trusted-assistant type: She wants stuff done, I get to propose how that might happen, and then do it.)

My interactions with Hecate, which have happened over a number of years, have ranged from proof-of-point to specific requests that were within the scope of, say, someone who was a valued colleague, but not my boss: the requests have been smaller in overall scope, things that could be put aside for a time if needed, or specific to other people who are much more tied to her. The interactions with Artemis have been largely rooted in very specific events or activities, generally one day at a time. Neither of them are a focus of my regular devotional practice, though there are times when I'll focus on them more for a period (weeks, a few months)

Some of this, of course, is partly about the job of being a priestess in a particular mode and in a tradition growing from a particular community in time and space.

(I'm not just talking my trad here, but the larger history of the midwestern US Pagan community development. One of the things I'm fascinated by after moving to New England is seeing the way in which some of the common things in Minnesota are apparently really not common here, and vice versa.)

Are there deities I would not want attention from? Absolutely. I do not, however, generally go looking for it, or go to rituals honoring them, or to rituals where I'm not reasonably convinced the people running them know enough of what they're doing.

In other words, I do not publish my email address for them to find, as it were, without some digging. And in general, they do not seem to go looking for it, and focus on people who are actually trying to get their attention.

Quote

Substance.  Whats the role  between worshipper and god? Spiritual growth isn't a big issue for most of the Northern gods, so not being spiritually ready is, IMO, a useless answer from the blogger to people attempting to develop relationships with those gods. You are who you are, you don't need to reach some ultimately wise and divine mindset. Why would they feel compelled to speak to you?


That's only one view of spiritual growth, though. Lots of deities don't particularly care about personal growth, in my experience and conversations - it's a sort of added side benefit for the humans.

But a lot of them do seem to care whether you can do the work they want of you without breaking (which usually involves some degree of self-awareness and growth on the part of the human), and they usually do seem to prefer people who have something attractive to them in the conversation. (As one of my favorite quotes says, "You are the tool, not the work. Expect to be valued accordingly.")

That does not map to spiritually wise, or sensible, or practical, or any number of other things. It just maps to "I have this thing that looks like a nail, and you look enough like a hammer, and you're not refusing or running away." (Those may also be options, but how well they work varies widely.)

And in fact, I suspect most of the people who've been around Pagan communities for more than 5-10 years can name any number of people who you'd *never* ask for practical advice, or whose lives teetered from ruin to crisis - but who have amazingly potent and amazing interactions with the Gods. The trick is learning the right lessons from those people, not the wrong ones.
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Asch

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2011, 05:41:30 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;27878


Oh, look. I ranted and rambled again. :p


Heh, no such thing. I have to say I've been reading along and really enjoy everyone's input especially the different perspectives offered by Jenett and JB. I don't have much to contribute except to note that as a noob communicating with deity etc I appreciate the conversation :)

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2011, 06:50:57 pm »
Quote
jenett

 
Drawdown work, from the sources I've seen, typically involve the dead (spirits) and was accompanied by nasal or anal entry ( signified by an intense itch). Even the gods, from the sources, have to petition the dead for answers. There aren't any references that I can think of to a god possessing an individual or entering them.

 So, that's another aspect that has to be explored more deeply before one considers who they want to hear from and for what purpose. It could be as simple as hearing a voice while doing the dishes, but I also think that it could be much more complicated.

The questions of why someone would want direct communication were mostly rhetorical, though I appreciate your insights. I agree with you (and the blogger) that not hearing the gods isn't a tragedy. I'll most likely go my whole life without hearing a voice, which is perfect for me, but that's not the only way to communicate. *Obviously* the gods have some influence and impact on our lives-- they're gods, I just don't think one needs to set their sights on verbal communication only. And if one does,  then they should be more fully aware of *why* they'll get an answer. And to reiterate my last post, that interactions with deity go much deeper than the surface of paganism memes.

To address any of your other points will take the topic too far off-topic and become heathenry vs other trads. It was a nice look into your viewpoint, though. :)
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I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Asch

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Divine Communication.
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2011, 02:37:55 pm »
Quote from: Asch;27883
I don't have much to contribute

*lied*

It occurred to me while stocking some stuff @ work, (incidentally where I still am -damn you slow delivery guy!) the the direct interaction with deity that many of us seek *puts up hand* may be a partial indirect result of a cultural bleed-through /carry over from the 'norm' where direct interaction/prayers with the Christian God/Saints is (sometimes/often?) accepted to result in direct communication. Know what I mean?
 
Or not. *ponders*

Asch

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Divine Communication.
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2011, 02:39:27 pm »
Quote from: Asch;28026

I'll elaborate when I have a comp/keyboard instead of my neurotic yet lovable phone

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2011, 02:44:01 pm »
Quote from: Asch;28026
*lied*

It occurred to me while stocking some stuff @ work, (incidentally where I still am -damn you slow delivery guy!) the the direct interaction with deity that many of us seek *puts up hand* may be a partial indirect result of a cultural bleed-through /carry over from the 'norm' where direct interaction/prayers with the Christian God/Saints is (sometimes/often?) accepted to result in direct communication. Know what I mean?
 
Or not. *ponders*

 
I know that in heathenry, at least, that the individual relationship/personal salvation with God was an entirely new concept. Or its the prevelant theory, anyway.
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2011, 12:18:54 am »
Quote from: Asch;28026
*lied*

It occurred to me while stocking some stuff @ work, (incidentally where I still am -damn you slow delivery guy!) the the direct interaction with deity that many of us seek *puts up hand* may be a partial indirect result of a cultural bleed-through /carry over from the 'norm' where direct interaction/prayers with the Christian God/Saints is (sometimes/often?) accepted to result in direct communication. Know what I mean?
 
Or not. *ponders*

 I was not raised Christian- but it was my understanding that if God talks to you, you're considered crazy. I know you're supposed to pray to God and possibly various other beings, and those things can bleed over, but I thought you weren't "supposed" to get the same response that some pagans get. I've seen at least one now-pagan who, when Christian, ignored the communication he did get because he must just be crazy if he thought God was talking to him and I haven't seen any Christians admit to having the relationship with that God I've seen pagans have with their deit[y/ies]

I really don't think the desire for communication with the deities I've had was inspired by Christianity, I think my hesitance was... But that's it.

Asch

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Re: Divine Communication.
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2011, 11:54:27 pm »
Quote from: Love of Lopt;28110
I was not raised Christian- but it was my understanding that if God talks to you, you're considered crazy. I know you're supposed to pray to God and possibly various other beings, and those things can bleed over, but I thought you weren't "supposed" to get the same response that some pagans get. I've seen at least one now-pagan who, when Christian, ignored the communication he did get because he must just be crazy if he thought God was talking to him and I haven't seen any Christians admit to having the relationship with that God I've seen pagans have with their deit[y/ies]

I really don't think the desire for communication with the deities I've had was inspired by Christianity, I think my hesitance was... But that's it.

 
*stretches hands on keyboard* ahhhh much better.

I think what I'm getting at is not necessarily direct communication so much as being pulled/guided by the holy spirit or filled with gods love etc. In the more charismatic churches/groups I have experience with people often and unselfconsciously spoke of being pulled or guided by the spirit, feeling the spirit etc. I think this direct interaction has become a sort of subconscious pulse in our (Western / American) culture regarding religion and deity in some respects. Perhaps it is this direct contact etc that leaves so many of us seeking the same from our deities now. If that makes sense.

Basically I think some of us trained into thinking we're special snowflakes by our culture regarding a loving omniscient omnipotent god that loves us individually without end. Whereas most pagan deities have their specific spheres of influence and while they probably don't wish us malice aren't necessarily interested in us to any extent unless we make an effort to be noticed (Sacrifice, prayer etc) and even then it seems to be/have been more purpose driven than the relationship with the Christian God.

Or I'm just rambling again... ;)

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