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Author Topic: Asatru/Heathenism: Finding my way later than expected or wanted  (Read 1175 times)

McThunder

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Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« on: December 17, 2020, 09:12:01 pm »
So, like a few other posts I've seen, the OP has mentioned past/current affiliation with a christian faith.

I too am at the point where I have "one foot in and one foot out" with my research on paganism (specifically Germanic/Anglo Saxon/Celtic heathenism). I am making progress, but it is slow going and I have yet to reach out to a deity, which I plan to soon.

As one who is raised in "one truth, one god, etc..." monotheistic religion literally all of my life, it is difficult to let go of the guilt mindset and the plurality of deities that I am discovering was where has been believed since the beginning of man.

My question is this: "How does one go about reaching out to a deity to see if there is a connection?"

With the christian god, one only has to pray and "accept him into your heart" but there is not much out there when it comes to the old gods.

Thank you for any and all advice anyone can provide.
Cheers!


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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2020, 09:36:53 pm »
My question is this: "How does one go about reaching out to a deity to see if there is a connection?"

With the christian god, one only has to pray and "accept him into your heart" but there is not much out there when it comes to the old gods.

I have articles about this! (Including a recently added one thanks to someone who asked me the same question in email. They link to some other resources you might also find useful.)

The answer historically is, well, it varies.

Sometimes you had a focus on the god or gods of wherever you were. (The classic example here is Athena in Athens, but there are many many others.)

Sometimes your family had a particular connection, and you at least started with that. Sometimes it had to do with your profession, or your particular stage of life, or some other thing that made sense.

Some of those reasons make less sense today, but others still work. If you're not sure where to start, beginning with some research, learning about deities that you think you might be interested in, and trying a moderate low-commitment practice and seeing what happens is a reasonable way to start.

(By 'low commitment', I mean limited in both time and scope: "I'll spend some time learning about you over the coming month and giving you small offerings every week". Don't promise to do something every day, or that takes lots of resources until you're really sure you can maintain it. Don't make long-term commitments to a deity until you've done shorter ones, ideally. I always recommend trying a month at a time for a few months. If that goes well, try three months a couple of times (a season), then six, then a year, and so on.)

In my tradition, we have students learn about a number of different deities without making a commitment to any of them (as well as doing rituals with multiple deities the tradition works with invited) so they get some sense of the range of possibilities. Those assignments involve both some learning/research (to produce a 2-3 page report that covers some basics in moderate detail) but also an artistic project of their choice (art, music poetry, whatever form they like), to help connect with that deity and their interests/energy. Unsurprisingly, while you need to do the research to give the art somewhere to go, a lot of people find they get a lot more out of the art portion, even if they're not technically skilled at the art form.

There are people who connect with a deity very quickly or thoroughly (with what feels like the deity expressing a strong interest in them, sometimes apparently out of the blue). Around here, you'll often see that referred to as 'thwapping'. It definitely happens to people, but it's not the most common way people build a relationship with a deity, and there is nothing wrong with you (or your practice) if it doesn't happen to you.

Think of it like building relationships with other people: sometimes you walk into a room and know someone's going to be a big deal in your life in some form. Other times, you get the amazing deep relationship only after a bunch of time and other things going on, and both of you getting distracted and doing something else for a bit. Neither relationship is 'better' than the other, but they have different development arcs.
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sevensons

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2020, 06:46:58 am »
My question is this: "How does one go about reaching out to a deity to see if there is a connection?"
Discovering a connection is about position of one self good or bad you must over come the bad to discover the good position of love.
Awaken myself alive and well loving to start learning today ahead a challenge set by the Gods. Haven't

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Darkhawk

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2020, 11:24:38 am »
My question is this: "How does one go about reaching out to a deity to see if there is a connection?"

It's also worth keeping in mind that the whole "personal connection with deity" thing is not how the majority of people in ancient cultures managed things; looking for a personal touch is a good way to be frustrated.

Right now, you're a freelancer, and you have a pick of which higher-ups you work for.  Look at who does the sort of thing you'd like to sign on to.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
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we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

McThunder

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2020, 04:21:52 pm »
It's also worth keeping in mind that the whole "personal connection with deity" thing is not how the majority of people in ancient cultures managed things; looking for a personal touch is a good way to be frustrated.

Right now, you're a freelancer, and you have a pick of which higher-ups you work for.  Look at who does the sort of thing you'd like to sign on to.

One thing I've noticed (it just hit me on the way back home today) is characteristics about me that stuck out in similar contrast to a certain deity.

I have one eye that is partially closed due to bell's palsy. The muscle never fully recovered and is a permanent half-droop (think Forest Whitaker).
Also I have an almost unhealthy thirst for knowledge (online and material, useful and irrelevant, but mostly useful).
I have stayed up waaaay past my bedtime for the better part of the past 15 years (which is when I developed the bell's palsy) doing this and count it as an obsession at this point.

It may just be coincidence, or it might be a revelation. I don't know right now.

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2020, 11:43:42 am »
It may just be coincidence, or it might be a revelation. I don't know right now.

Or it could be any of a rage of things in between. F'ex, Old One-Eye (what I think is an earlier/Continental form of him, not the Icelandic AllFather) was one of the first deities I 'met' and wondered if it was a 'thwap', but I got a distinct impression that, though he approved of my dedication to gaining knowledge, I was not his. I still honor him, as one of many deities I honor, but my patrons are Coyote and the Morrigan. I feel it was useful to me to learn about interacting with deities by having an interaction that wasn't a major commitment.

He's a excellent start point for you, since you and he clearly have some common ground; in that sense, it's more than 'just coincidence' already. But whether it amounts to more than 'suitable start point', only time (with appropriate actions on your part) will tell.

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McThunder

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2020, 02:23:23 pm »
Or it could be any of a rage of things in between. F'ex, Old One-Eye (what I think is an earlier/Continental form of him, not the Icelandic AllFather) was one of the first deities I 'met' and wondered if it was a 'thwap', but I got a distinct impression that, though he approved of my dedication to gaining knowledge, I was not his. I still honor him, as one of many deities I honor, but my patrons are Coyote and the Morrigan. I feel it was useful to me to learn about interacting with deities by having an interaction that wasn't a major commitment.

He's a excellent start point for you, since you and he clearly have some common ground; in that sense, it's more than 'just coincidence' already. But whether it amounts to more than 'suitable start point', only time (with appropriate actions on your part) will tell.

Sunflower

Very interesting. I’ve never heard of F’ex, but would like to know more about him. Do you have any sources? Many thanks.

Darkhawk

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2020, 02:25:26 pm »
Very interesting. I’ve never heard of F’ex, but would like to know more about him. Do you have any sources? Many thanks.

F'ex is an abbreviation of "for example". :}
as the water grinds the stone
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we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

McThunder

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2020, 04:47:33 pm »
F'ex is an abbreviation of "for example". :}

Ha! I feel dumb, lol

sevensons

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2020, 06:11:41 pm »
Ha! I feel dumb, lol
Dumb people don't learn. your quest to find a deity gotten any idea's.personally I try to get in a position of extasy each day.when I try and reach the summit I'm knocked down again.a war of words knowledge of power words magnificent game each time.
Awaken myself alive and well loving to start learning today ahead a challenge set by the Gods. Haven't

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McThunder

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2020, 06:57:22 pm »
Or it could be any of a rage of things in between. F'ex, Old One-Eye (what I think is an earlier/Continental form of him, not the Icelandic AllFather) was one of the first deities I 'met' and wondered if it was a 'thwap', but I got a distinct impression that, though he approved of my dedication to gaining knowledge, I was not his. I still honor him, as one of many deities I honor, but my patrons are Coyote and the Morrigan. I feel it was useful to me to learn about interacting with deities by having an interaction that wasn't a major commitment.

He's a excellent start point for you, since you and he clearly have some common ground; in that sense, it's more than 'just coincidence' already. But whether it amounts to more than 'suitable start point', only time (with appropriate actions on your part) will tell.

Sunflower

I am interested in learning more about Morrigan, but like ole one-eye, I am terrified on what I will encounter should/if we meet.

My brain tells me I should be prepared for the worst, but my heart tells me that I won’t be at peace unless I reach out, even if they don’t receive the good intention.

It is a healthy fear, I believe, as I’ve heard of others that had experiences with her saying she is a fierce presence, yet in command.

I have a ways to go before approaching them though.

sevensons

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2020, 07:50:57 pm »
I am interested in learning more about Morrigan
Morrigan attachments could be quite demeaning you could be like a muppet to start with best to stick with humans. have you noticed you see someone rather often its because you have an attachment to them. the soul of a human is highley intelligent we are always attached its best to form an understanding with a humans soul than go chasing deities.
Awaken myself alive and well loving to start learning today ahead a challenge set by the Gods. Haven't

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Uneryx

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2020, 08:22:22 pm »
I am interested in learning more about Morrigan, but like ole one-eye, I am terrified on what I will encounter should/if we meet.

My brain tells me I should be prepared for the worst, but my heart tells me that I won’t be at peace unless I reach out, even if they don’t receive the good intention.

It is a healthy fear, I believe, as I’ve heard of others that had experiences with her saying she is a fierce presence, yet in command.

I have a ways to go before approaching them though.

Hiya McThunder! As someone who went through the same thing you seem to be experiencing (the slow shedding of monotheistic christianity moving into polytheistic paganism), I wanna give you a fistbump of solidarity and also let you know that you can take it at your own pace. In my experience, spending some time without a god was good for unpacking some of the stitched-in worldviews I'd grown up with.

Knocking on doors and doing a visit, as Jennet suggested, is totally ok and no one is going to demand your exclusive worship immediately. TBH, that's probably a good sign to nope outta there.

The Morrigan can be a pretty tough person to deal with... I briefly circled Her in the early stages of my journey, and while she did help me through a very difficult Thanksgiving with my extended family (wrt asserting myself and not letting the clashing egos of the moms, aunts, cousins, grandmas and elder sisters give me an emotional breakdown), there was more of a... "okay, here you go, here's a thank you offering but I don't think your style and mine are going to work out."

Honestly it really is like finding an employer rather than the kind of all-involved domineering parent-child-best-friend-lover-everything relationship that American Protestant Christianity goes for. Which is healthier, IMO.

My advice is do your homework and then be patient! I'd also advise working on honing your intuition and discernment... sometimes it can be muddy to recognize if something is sychronicity, a deity or just apophenia. If you have a good toolset like divination or journeying to test what you are feeling, it makes it a little clearer.

Best of luck! Whether it's Odin or TM or Someone Else, I hope you find a God you enjoy working with.

McThunder

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Re: Finding my way later than expected or wanted
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2020, 10:57:26 pm »
Hiya McThunder! As someone who went through the same thing you seem to be experiencing (the slow shedding of monotheistic christianity moving into polytheistic paganism), I wanna give you a fistbump of solidarity and also let you know that you can take it at your own pace. In my experience, spending some time without a god was good for unpacking some of the stitched-in worldviews I'd grown up with.

Knocking on doors and doing a visit, as Jennet suggested, is totally ok and no one is going to demand your exclusive worship immediately. TBH, that's probably a good sign to nope outta there.

The Morrigan can be a pretty tough person to deal with... I briefly circled Her in the early stages of my journey, and while she did help me through a very difficult Thanksgiving with my extended family (wrt asserting myself and not letting the clashing egos of the moms, aunts, cousins, grandmas and elder sisters give me an emotional breakdown), there was more of a... "okay, here you go, here's a thank you offering but I don't think your style and mine are going to work out."

Honestly it really is like finding an employer rather than the kind of all-involved domineering parent-child-best-friend-lover-everything relationship that American Protestant Christianity goes for. Which is healthier, IMO.

My advice is do your homework and then be patient! I'd also advise working on honing your intuition and discernment... sometimes it can be muddy to recognize if something is sychronicity, a deity or just apophenia. If you have a good toolset like divination or journeying to test what you are feeling, it makes it a little clearer.

Best of luck! Whether it's Odin or TM or Someone Else, I hope you find a God you enjoy working with.

Thank you for the insight!
Good to hear from someone who has been on this path. The shedding is slow indeed, as I'm trying to figure out a myriad of things, both of myself and what I believe.

I would say that my interest is infatuation at this point and it may or may not be a relationship that will pan out, but I plan to approach both gods regardless.

I haven't used any divination techniques as of yet, but I find the aspect of runework fascinating. I plan on researching and diving into it soon.

I will be indeed be taking my time (albeit not sleeping or relaxing)in this new venture, as I see it as one of the most important things in my life right now. I really appreciate your support and encouraging words.

I'm flying solo in this, and having a "faceless friend" such as yourself is a blessing.
Merry Christmas and Happy Yule.

Tags: deity conversion faith 
 

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