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Author Topic: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions  (Read 3865 times)

Redfaery

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For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« on: May 27, 2014, 11:35:54 am »
Hello All, I hope you had a happy Memorial Day, if you were in the US. Or...if elsewhere, just a happy day.

I want to ask if the Gods you deal with have ever pushed you places in your life - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, even physically - you didn't expect to go. How did they get you there? Was it difficult to handle, or did it make your life better - or both, since the two are not always (or...honestly, even usually, when we deal with big choices ;)) mutually exclusive?

I'm asking because Sarasvati has been prodding me towards Buddhism for a long time, and I finally got the hint. I would describe myself as still being very eclectic. Although the umbrella of the Paganism label no longer fits over me so well, I can still squeeze under it at the very edge. I feel more connection with the broader Pagan community than with the modern Buddhist community, likely because the main resources available in the West are Theravada and Zen, followed with a bit of Tibetan Tantrism.

Therefore, I am still mostly walking alone, guided by Sarasvati, and trying to reconstruct my path from primary sources and scholarly writings. I am, I should mention, a follower of Mahayana Buddhism. I have spoken to a family friend (one of my mother's students), who is of Vietnamese descent and a Theravada Buddhist. It is wonderful to talk with him about the core of Buddhist teachings. He feels (and I agree) that even what seem like major doctrinal differences between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism are actually quite minor, given what the religion ultimately means in practice.

I'm probably going to visit some Buddhist Temples in Japan if I am able. I'd love to visit Nara and Kyoto, and see the ancient Shingon and Tendai centers. I rely heavily on Japanese Mahayana sources, especially hagiographical and didactic stories from the Heian period and the early Kamakura period, when Mahayana Buddhism permeated everyday life. I also know I should look for information on T'ian Tai Buddhism in China, but I'm not sure where to start (hmmm...JSTOR seems the obvious choice.)

So...I'm Buddhist. This is an Unexpected Direction. Let me hear yours!
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CailinRua

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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2014, 12:03:37 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;148646
Hello All, I hope you had a happy Memorial Day, if you were in the US. Or...if elsewhere, just a happy day.

I want to ask if the Gods you deal with have ever pushed you places in your life - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, even physically - you didn't expect to go. How did they get you there? Was it difficult to handle, or did it make your life better - or both, since the two are not always (or...honestly, even usually, when we deal with big choices ;)) mutually exclusive?



Absolutely! Last summer I went through the most painful and confusing relationship i have ever had. I was in love with a narcissist/possible sociopath. He was highly intelligent and highly manipulative and highly hypocritical. I was so in love with who i thought he was. In august it ended and i have never been so ruined by another person in my life.

 However, i am SO SO SO grateful for the experience. A couple month after it was over, i started journaling, i had a huge period of growth and waking up. I realized what all the signs were i missed, i learned so much about myself and about my boundaries and about self respect. The miserable bastard has tried to weedle back into my life a few times since, and has been patently ignored each time. I feel stronger for going through it, although i would never like to experience anything like that again.
 
Another result of this experience is got me doing LOTS of dream work, as i couldnt rid myself of dreams of him for several months, which has also granted me deeper understanding of myself and how to heal myself. There is so much i could write on this, but without getting too verbose, in the end i was empowered by it, and i now have a lovely reciprocal relationship with a wonderful and genuine man.

catloverkid

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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2014, 09:20:35 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;148646

This is an Unexpected Direction. Let me hear yours!

 
I've been pushed in a few Unexpected Directions, heh.

The most major one would be the gut punch I was dealt to deal with built up crap in my life, which I'm now working on and feeling better about now I'm trying.

I guess you could call an Unexpected Direction my divination and budding magical work- I swore I'd never do either because "eww the Bible says it's wrong" even after I converted to paganism, and now.

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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2014, 11:30:39 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;148646

I want to ask if the Gods you deal with have ever pushed you places in your life - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, even physically - you didn't expect to go. How did they get you there? Was it difficult to handle, or did it make your life better - or both, since the two are not always (or...honestly, even usually, when we deal with big choices ;)) mutually exclusive?

 
Yeah, Sobek is prone to this, at least with me. I feel like my whole life with Sobek has been like a meandering river, and He just shows me interesting things now and then to see if I find them interesting too. He got me into heavy metal, though, which was a plan that spanned many, many years of my life, since I was a kid. Crocodiles are patient buggers. Like, really patient buggers. He plays the long game, and I never really know what's around the bend. Sometimes, I can't really make sense of things until after it's all over, and I can suddenly see where it all fits together. It's usually all for my benefit, and it's always been things that have enhanced my practice, but it can be frustrating when I find myself suddenly preoccupied with something and I can't figure out why.

The current thing Sobek's pushing me towards is bookbinding and making prayer beads and scribal things and setting up a business to do the work He wants me to do for Him as His scribe. So that's a little terrifying, because I have no real business sense, and I am terrible at selling myself in job interviews; I doubt I will be much better running a little business all on my own. But since I've been prodded about this by Sobek, Hekate, Artemis, and Woden, I guess this isn't something I can just not do. So. Acquiring supplies and learning how to do things and setting up bank accounts and all those other business-y things.

I don't know if it's weirder than Sobek fostering me off to Hekate for a year, though. Yes, Hekate. Because that happened, back in 2012. Honest to the gods, I did not see that coming. But it's been a very beneficial relationship, and I wouldn't go back now if I had a choice. Hekate then introduced me to Artemis earlier this year, so I'm still at the early stages of where that's all going.

Woden turning up out of nowhere was also an unexpected thing. I actually don't know if anyone sent Him, or if He just decided to turn up? I mean, I wouldn't put it past Him to just turn up. He does seem the type. But anyway. I met Him because of that TV show Vikings. See, late last year, I was watching I think the second last ep of Vikings s1, when they're at the temple, and suddenly, there were the Norse gods. I finally felt Their presence at last. And lo, Woden hung about, and told me He wanted a shrine, and showed me where to build it and what it would look like. And so, I built Him a shrine, even if it took longer than I thought. So He's happy now. He's been teaching me runes, and I think He's here to help me reconnect with my Anglo-Saxon ancestry, which is why He's Woden, and not Odin. I've only just now started doing rites for Him, and for Thunor, and for Kernunnos, who wanted to tag along. So we'll see where that all goes.
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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2014, 11:40:33 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;148646
I want to ask if the Gods you deal with have ever pushed you places in your life - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, even physically - you didn't expect to go. How did they get you there? Was it difficult to handle, or did it make your life better - or both, since the two are not always (or...honestly, even usually, when we deal with big choices ;)) mutually exclusive?

 
Veles seems to be doing this with me. I've found that while things are moving forward and getting better for me in my life, they seem to come in ways unexpected that seem to give me the push I need. I've just kinda accepted that things probably will work out, but I won't be able to predict it. Which is hard for me because I often try to plan ahead extensively.

Because of it, I'm in a much better position than I was a year ago and honestly if you told me I'd be where I am right now a year ago, I would either not believe you or laugh in amazement. I'm pretty sure he had a hand in it though. Not sure what's all going to happen after this, but knowing how things are, it will probably be an adventure, even if it's stressful at times.

Danyarose

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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 12:38:27 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;148646
Hello All, I hope you had a happy Memorial Day, if you were in the US. Or...if elsewhere, just a happy day.

I want to ask if the Gods you deal with have ever pushed you places in your life - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, even physically - you didn't expect to go. How did they get you there? Was it difficult to handle, or did it make your life better - or both, since the two are not always (or...honestly, even usually, when we deal with big choices ;)) mutually exclusive?

So...I'm Buddhist. This is an Unexpected Direction. Let me hear yours!

 
Well, my beloved Shakas and I have been shaken up by the Morrigan. Twenty-three years ago we were best friends who were too young and dumb to see what we were to one another so he went on to University and I stayed and wound up becoming a runaway and making a mess of things. Flash forward... now we're in our mid-forties and one day I am hunting for an old girlfriend on Facebook. When I click on her picture up pops Shakas' profile. One look and the air went out of my lungs. I remembered him and really really felt my intuition say I just had to talk with him. So I sent the friend request and my whole life changed.

As a follower of the Morrigan, I am accustomed to some of Her more mercurial moods and the constant presence of the raven that lives nearby was a big clue. He was sitting on the fence right outside the window of my Sunroom staring in at me when I received the response and he sat there for hours as we spoke over Messenger.
We have both felt the entire time as if our souls were missing half and have dealt with some real terrible things. Our time apart was filled with issues and we both often found ourselves wishing for each other. In fact, in my journals there are references to dreams and divinations that correspond directly to traumatic events in his life. The divinations were ones that totally confused me at the time because they were the only ones that were completely off base for the question I was asking.

Over the next few weeks of talking we learned that we are Twin Flames (soul mates) and that we no longer felt as if we are broken. We are meant to be together and the Goddess is behind this change. On top of that Shakas was an atheist with a heavy background in Science and rationality. Or so he thought. Discovering Celtic paganism has changed all of that. The final straw in this bundle is the fact that we are falling in love and are both married to other people. In my case I have been married for more than twenty years and find myself learning that my marriage is toxic.

I would say Morrigan is behind these sweeping life changes as we are both being shadowed by ravens and crows. My powers of divination and my spells are more powerful too. So in my mind this is a good thing/bad thing deal. We are no longer alone and in pain, but we have huge hurdles to overcome and a new life to build.

Shakas

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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 02:23:42 am »
Quote from: Danyarose;148764
Well, my beloved Shakas and I have been shaken up by the Morrigan. Twenty-three years ago we were best friends who were too young and dumb to see what we were to one another so he went on to University and I stayed and wound up becoming a runaway and making a mess of things. Flash forward... now we're in our mid-forties and one day I am hunting for an old girlfriend on Facebook. When I click on her picture up pops Shakas' profile. One look and the air went out of my lungs. I remembered him and really really felt my intuition say I just had to talk with him. So I sent the friend request and my whole life changed.


Indeed.  We in California refer to an event like this as a "nine-pointer," which is a reference to the most powerful earthquakes every recorded.  I was just tooling along my solitary atheist-cum-generic-metaphysics life last month, getting ready for another day tied into the corporate machine from my home office, when up popped Danyarose on my social media inbox.  And I thought, is that her?  I figured we would chat for a half-hour or so, play some catch-up, and then I'd go back to my technical writing project and we'd chat a couple times a week.

14 hours of continuous chatting later, existing on pizza delivery and nuked nachos so as not to have to stop talking with Danyarose, I knew this was something very different.  When you have over a thousand Facebook friends and in one day your total message count with someone goes from zero to ranking the 5th highest, that speaks volumes.  After the first week, our total messages exceeded the totals of my top 5 friends.

By this time, I had already dusted off my mental copy of Richard Bach's Bridge Across Forever, and realized that this scenario--finding the one person who is your soulmate, the one you are meant for--was in fact happening to me, and that person was none other than Danyarose.

There would be more, very much more.  We researched it and read about Twin Flames, and realized that was us.  She talked with me about paganism and Goddess-worship...how The Morrigan had helped her and taken Danyarose under Her wing early on.  And I came to realize that pagan ideals were in fact my ideals, and had always been so--only I hadn't realized it.  I had never known a pagan, never taken off all masks and pretenses and spoke with one so openly.  

It was then that The Morrigan came onto the scene for us both.  Laid out the purpose for reuniting me with my Twin Flame.  It was a purpose, freighted with a mission that would require a major change in my life's trajectory.  I was presented with this knowledge and the choice to accept it or reject it.  Rejecting it would mean I would go on with my life and regard my Twin Flame as just another long-lost friend so I could go about my existence unchanged.  Accepting this knowledge meant I would embrace my Twin Flame, and join her in a greater purpose, in the service of The Morrigan.

Me, serve a Celtic battle-goddess?  Even three months ago, I'd have told anyone who said that to me that they were crazy or high.  I'd been a Christian for a span, long ago, and was glad to be free of that religion.  I was an atheist, proud of it.  Serving Deities was not in Shakas' job description.

Until it was...because that's the choice I made.  I said "yes" to The Morrigan and Danyarose.  Because the scientist in me could not reject knowledge, even if it ran counter to what I'd "always known" was "truth."  I couldn't deceive myself and pretend this hadn't happened.  And my heart could not say no to love like only a soulmate can give.  The Morrigan let me choose, but my choice was preordained.  Now I'm on a long, strange trip that I wouldn't trade for anything.

stephyjh

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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 02:51:56 am »
Quote from: Shakas;148765
Indeed.  We in California refer to an event like this as a "nine-pointer," which is a reference to the most powerful earthquakes every recorded.  I was just tooling along my solitary atheist-cum-generic-metaphysics life last month, getting ready for another day tied into the corporate machine from my home office, when up popped Danyarose on my social media inbox.  And I thought, is that her?  I figured we would chat for a half-hour or so, play some catch-up, and then I'd go back to my technical writing project and we'd chat a couple times a week.

14 hours of continuous chatting later, existing on pizza delivery and nuked nachos so as not to have to stop talking with Danyarose, I knew this was something very different.  When you have over a thousand Facebook friends and in one day your total message count with someone goes from zero to ranking the 5th highest, that speaks volumes.  After the first week, our total messages exceeded the totals of my top 5 friends.

By this time, I had already dusted off my mental copy of Richard Bach's Bridge Across Forever, and realized that this scenario--finding the one person who is your soulmate, the one you are meant for--was in fact happening to me, and that person was none other than Danyarose.

There would be more, very much more.  We researched it and read about Twin Flames, and realized that was us.  She talked with me about paganism and Goddess-worship...how The Morrigan had helped her and taken Danyarose under Her wing early on.  And I came to realize that pagan ideals were in fact my ideals, and had always been so--only I hadn't realized it.  I had never known a pagan, never taken off all masks and pretenses and spoke with one so openly.  

It was then that The Morrigan came onto the scene for us both.  Laid out the purpose for reuniting me with my Twin Flame.  It was a purpose, freighted with a mission that would require a major change in my life's trajectory.  I was presented with this knowledge and the choice to accept it or reject it.  Rejecting it would mean I would go on with my life and regard my Twin Flame as just another long-lost friend so I could go about my existence unchanged.  Accepting this knowledge meant I would embrace my Twin Flame, and join her in a greater purpose, in the service of The Morrigan.

Me, serve a Celtic battle-goddess?  Even three months ago, I'd have told anyone who said that to me that they were crazy or high.  I'd been a Christian for a span, long ago, and was glad to be free of that religion.  I was an atheist, proud of it.  Serving Deities was not in Shakas' job description.

Until it was...because that's the choice I made.  I said "yes" to The Morrigan and Danyarose.  Because the scientist in me could not reject knowledge, even if it ran counter to what I'd "always known" was "truth."  I couldn't deceive myself and pretend this hadn't happened.  And my heart could not say no to love like only a soulmate can give.  The Morrigan let me choose, but my choice was preordained.  Now I'm on a long, strange trip that I wouldn't trade for anything.

 
Have y'all considered making a big shiny wiki entry? That way you don't have to retype the story every time you log in.
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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2014, 03:02:03 am »
Quote from: Danyarose;148764
The final straw in this bundle is the fact that we are falling in love and are both married to other people. In my case I have been married for more than twenty years and find myself learning that my marriage is toxic.

 
I've heard a lot of stories of people who were snatched up by the gods - usually but not limited to godspouses - who then ended up either being told to leave or finding their long term relationships falling apart because it highlighted the problems in the relationship. I think it's actually the one I've heard the most? Though 'lost my job' and 'major illness' are close behind if they're not equal. I find it fascinating and sort of terrifying.

There was a discussion in the ceremonial magic blogging community a year or so ago about the dangers of summoning your HGA that suggested similar side effects, too.
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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 09:26:25 am »
Quote from: Jack;148768
I've heard a lot of stories of people who were snatched up by the gods - usually but not limited to godspouses - who then ended up either being told to leave or finding their long term relationships falling apart because it highlighted the problems in the relationship. I think it's actually the one I've heard the most? Though 'lost my job' and 'major illness' are close behind if they're not equal. I find it fascinating and sort of terrifying.


It's also widely true in initiatory traditions: in my experience, anything you do that is reshaping your life toward a particular goal (whether that's serving a particular deity, or making a longterm major commitment) tends to shake everything else out, and particularly the things that already weren't working well.

(Besides 'lost my job', I also know a number of people who looked at their existing jobs, decided they were miserable, and did substantial retraining to get ones in different fields.)
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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2014, 10:38:22 am »
Quote from: Redfaery;148646
...

I want to ask if the Gods you deal with have ever pushed you places in your life - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, even physically - you didn't expect to go.


Yes.  Yes, yes, yes, and yes.

Quote
How did they get you there?


How long do you have?

It depends on the deity, really.  Here are some examples:

Neb.y tends to present things to me and require I make a choice.  The choice can be whatever I want it to be – even choosing to do nothing is acceptable, provided that I actually choose.  I usually end up deciding to move toward growth and improvement and this often leads to being tossed down a rabbit hole and, eventually, to transformation of some kind.

Sekhmet pushes me toward justice; as a result, I find myself speaking out against all sorts of things and (in general) being very much more outspoken and demanding than I used to be.  It’s gotten hairy at times because, really, what’s more fun than telling someone that the word they’ve used all their life is actually a slur?

Ganesha opened a majorly important door for me at a time that I didn’t really think I was ready.  The fact that he intervened is what made me willing to walk through.

All of the above have changed me, and my life, in profound ways.

Quote
Was it difficult to handle, or did it make your life better - or both, since the two are not always (or...honestly, even usually, when we deal with big choices ;)) mutually exclusive?


Having my life turned upside down is always difficult to handle, and I’ve never gotten used to it.  When the earworms start (yes, I hear specific songs in my head when there’s something I need to do), I generally think, “Oh shit.”

The ends usually justify the means, though.
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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2014, 10:41:41 am »
Quote from: Jack;148768
I've heard a lot of stories of people who were snatched up by the gods - usually but not limited to godspouses - who then ended up either being told to leave or finding their long term relationships falling apart because it highlighted the problems in the relationship. I think it's actually the one I've heard the most? Though 'lost my job' and 'major illness' are close behind if they're not equal. I find it fascinating and sort of terrifying.

There was a discussion in the ceremonial magic blogging community a year or so ago about the dangers of summoning your HGA that suggested similar side effects, too.

 
Yeah.  Based on some chat (and other) discussions, I'm wondering if my job loss was one of these...and I don't know how I feel about that.  I do love my new job...and I could have really done without worrying about survival for six fracking months.

Bitter?  Who, me???
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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2014, 10:44:35 am »
Quote from: Jenett;148780
It's also widely true in initiatory traditions: in my experience, anything you do that is reshaping your life toward a particular goal (whether that's serving a particular deity, or making a longterm major commitment) tends to shake everything else out, and particularly the things that already weren't working well.

 
Other things that are known to have this kind of effect are "grad school" and "children".
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2014, 08:44:27 pm »
Quote from: stephyjh;148766
Have y'all considered making a big shiny wiki entry? That way you don't have to retype the story every time you log in.


Thanks for the suggestion.  This is actually something Danyarose and I are pondering; as soon as I am between projects, a blog of our journey is on the agenda.

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Re: For the Godbothered: Unexpected Directions
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2014, 09:55:49 pm »
Quote from: Redfaery;148646
Hello All, I hope you had a happy Memorial Day, if you were in the US. Or...if elsewhere, just a happy day.

I want to ask if the Gods you deal with have ever pushed you places in your life - spiritually, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, even physically - you didn't expect to go. How did they get you there? Was it difficult to handle, or did it make your life better - or both, since the two are not always (or...honestly, even usually, when we deal with big choices ;)) mutually exclusive?

I'm asking because Sarasvati has been prodding me towards Buddhism for a long time, and I finally got the hint. I would describe myself as still being very eclectic. Although the umbrella of the Paganism label no longer fits over me so well, I can still squeeze under it at the very edge. I feel more connection with the broader Pagan community than with the modern Buddhist community, likely because the main resources available in the West are Theravada and Zen, followed with a bit of Tibetan Tantrism.

Therefore, I am still mostly walking alone, guided by Sarasvati, and trying to reconstruct my path from primary sources and scholarly writings. I am, I should mention, a follower of Mahayana Buddhism. I have spoken to a family friend (one of my mother's students), who is of Vietnamese descent and a Theravada Buddhist. It is wonderful to talk with him about the core of Buddhist teachings. He feels (and I agree) that even what seem like major doctrinal differences between Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism are actually quite minor, given what the religion ultimately means in practice.

I'm probably going to visit some Buddhist Temples in Japan if I am able. I'd love to visit Nara and Kyoto, and see the ancient Shingon and Tendai centers. I rely heavily on Japanese Mahayana sources, especially hagiographical and didactic stories from the Heian period and the early Kamakura period, when Mahayana Buddhism permeated everyday life. I also know I should look for information on T'ian Tai Buddhism in China, but I'm not sure where to start (hmmm...JSTOR seems the obvious choice.)

So...I'm Buddhist. This is an Unexpected Direction. Let me hear yours!

The Morrigan is pushing me to be myself, and that means going deeper into Traditional Witchcraft to the chagrin of my family. I also feel like I'm being guided to working with the dead via necromancy. The signs have been there; I just didn't recognize them. I believe Anpu is coaching me in perusing this, and The Morrigan is cool with it. Now, it's just taking that first step to do it instead of just reading about it :)

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