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Author Topic: Seeking advice on finding gods and paths  (Read 15647 times)
moonlion
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« Reply #30: January 08, 2010, 08:47:23 am »

Has anyone else had this kind of experience? Being nagged at by gods who feel like playing hide and seek instead of being thwapped by them? Are there any ways for finding out who they are? Any tips on meditation would be nice, too, since I'm not very good at it.

IMHO finding a specific deity or path is somewhat secondary. For me, the most important thing is what and how you feel about your spirituality, inside yourself, and how you live your life, e.g. help others, live healthy, do what is right.

In my own experience, the rest will come along by itself.
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« Reply #31: January 08, 2010, 09:36:33 am »

I didn't know Rhiannon had horse associations, but I don't know much about her.

Actually, I don't know if Rhiannon has horse associations, but I remember seeing a picture of Her riding a white horse. I liked that picture so much that I made a copy of it and put it on my BOS. That's why I associate Her with horses.

...And searching a little, according to Encyclopedia Mythica, Rhiannon is "a version of the horse-goddess Epona".
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« Reply #32: January 09, 2010, 02:19:34 am »

IMHO finding a specific deity or path is somewhat secondary. For me, the most important thing is what and how you feel about your spirituality, inside yourself, and how you live your life, e.g. help others, live healthy, do what is right.

In my own experience, the rest will come along by itself.

For the most part, I feel like I've worked out this stage, and now I'm trying to put these things into practice in a way that make sense to me. I'm at the point where I feel in dire need to some specific direction.

I'm going to be in England over the summer, and I'm planning on going to Ireland to see Kildare for sure. Does anyone else know of any sites like this that are good to visit? I'm hoping it will help give me some sort of perspective.

Also, thanks to everyone who's helping me out. It's a relief to have people to discuss this with!

*Edit for me being tired and writing sentences that don't make sense...and for the thank you*
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« Reply #33: January 09, 2010, 10:11:16 pm »

I'm going to be in England over the summer, and I'm planning on going to Ireland to see Kildare for sure. Does anyone else know of any sites like this that are good to visit? I'm hoping it will help give me some sort of perspective.

I was lucky enough to visit England, Ireland, and Wales my freshman year of high school, and it was an absolutely spectacular adventure for me. I was still Christian at the time, but being in those countries immersed me in feelings and experiences that later drew me to Paganism, despite the fact that (until very recently!) I've never worked with any Celtic deities or religious systems.

Wherever you do travel in the British Isles, I suggest taking a camera and journal and take copious notes. I wrote over 70 pages in my journal over my 11-day trip, and I treasure that little book so much. Soak in the landscape. The same way I picture Athena (one of my deities) lounging about in a Classical temple, I see Cernunnos and company living in the misty, craggy, wild expanse of the Isles. (And yes, I know I'm painting a rather romantic picture of it, but I was fourteen when I got to visit, and everything seemed magical to my eyes.)

Another suggestion I have: feel free to talk or pray to your prospective deities if you're not comfortable starting a formal (or informal) ritual towards them. Be upfront, but polite. Introduce yourself, say that you're interested in learning more about them, and seeing if there's any interest in return. Pay attention, listen, and watch.

I don't know much about Cernunnos, but I know a bit about Tyr as I've had an on-again-off-again interest in Asatru (and Asatru was my first exposure to Paganism, so it holds a dear place in my heart). Tyr has always seemed like a solid, dependable guy in my head. I've never worked with him directly, but I'd like to think we'd have a respectful, if not friendly, relationship. He seems like a very calm, mitigating element to the Norse pantheon, which I appreciate.
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« Reply #34: January 10, 2010, 12:38:20 am »

Another suggestion I have: feel free to talk or pray to your prospective deities if you're not comfortable starting a formal (or informal) ritual towards them. Be upfront, but polite. Introduce yourself, say that you're interested in learning more about them, and seeing if there's any interest in return. Pay attention, listen, and watch.

This sounds like a great idea. I'm going to do this for sure at Kildare, since I feel something of a pull from Brighid. She feels very regal and calm to me, but she doesn't seem to have a lot of wildness to her. She has a sort of a noble regalness to her, though.

Quote
I don't know much about Cernunnos, but I know a bit about Tyr as I've had an on-again-off-again interest in Asatru (and Asatru was my first exposure to Paganism, so it holds a dear place in my heart). Tyr has always seemed like a solid, dependable guy in my head. I've never worked with him directly, but I'd like to think we'd have a respectful, if not friendly, relationship. He seems like a very calm, mitigating element to the Norse pantheon, which I appreciate.

Cernunnos is very untamed to me most of the time, but he can still be very stately and contemplative. Part of why I feel tied to Asatru is that I feel a deep appreciation for Tyr, too. He's the embodiment of the ideal soldier, I think, and like you said he really is the pensive mitigator for the rest of them.
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« Reply #35: January 10, 2010, 08:13:54 am »

This sounds like a great idea. I'm going to do this for sure at Kildare, since I feel something of a pull from Brighid. She feels very regal and calm to me, but she doesn't seem to have a lot of wildness to her. She has a sort of a noble regalness to her, though.

Brighid and I are on friendly terms, since she and Athena are somewhat congruous. I led my group's Imbolc ritual last year, honoring both Brighid and Athena (who is also my group's patron), and I'd like to think Brighid approved!

Quote
Cernunnos is very untamed to me most of the time, but he can still be very stately and contemplative. Part of why I feel tied to Asatru is that I feel a deep appreciation for Tyr, too. He's the embodiment of the ideal soldier, I think, and like you said he really is the pensive mitigator for the rest of them.

What I really appreciate about Tyr is the fact he willingly gave up his hand to bind the Fenris Wolf. Here you've got this giant monster that's going to go on a rampage, and none of the other gods are willing to make the needed sacrifice to keep it locked up (until Ragnarok, that is). Tyr represents a Norse ideal, I think - that there are horrific, terrible things out there, and if no one else in power is willing to go to the lengths to stop it, you've got a responsibility to do what you've got to do to make sure things turn out safely.

The first Pagan podcast I've ever listened to was Ravencast, which gave a pretty good overview of the different flavors and experiences of Asatru. I haven't listened for a few years, but I'm glad to see they're still going strong. They did an interview with a Tyrsman a while ago, where he talks about his relationship with Tyr and all that good stuff. (http://ravencast.podbean.com/2009/06/06/episode-34-tyr-with-david-carron/).
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« Reply #36: January 11, 2010, 11:20:33 pm »

The first Pagan podcast I've ever listened to was Ravencast, which gave a pretty good overview of the different flavors and experiences of Asatru. I haven't listened for a few years, but I'm glad to see they're still going strong. They did an interview with a Tyrsman a while ago, where he talks about his relationship with Tyr and all that good stuff. (http://ravencast.podbean.com/2009/06/06/episode-34-tyr-with-david-carron/).

I listened to this and some of their other ones, and I found them really quite helpful. I especially enjoyed Diana Paxon's retelling of her first interaction with Odin being something like "Oh shit...".   Cheesy I was a bit disappointed that they don't seem to have a podcast about Frejya, as I'd really like to know more about her and how those who work with her view her.
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« Reply #37: January 11, 2010, 11:39:56 pm »

I listened to this and some of their other ones, and I found them really quite helpful. I especially enjoyed Diana Paxon's retelling of her first interaction with Odin being something like "Oh shit...".   Cheesy I was a bit disappointed that they don't seem to have a podcast about Frejya, as I'd really like to know more about her and how those who work with her view her.

I enjoyed Paxon's Essential Asatru, so if you ever get the chance, definitely check it out.

I haven't worked with Freyja per se (not the way I have some of the Olympians), but I've gotten a bit of a sense of her. Granted, this sense has come through secondary (or even tertiary) sources and UPG. (I've just started skimming the Poetic Edda.) She's very... motherly, without being motherly, and I know that makes no sense. Like when I think of Great Mother Goddess, I've got Demeter and Gaia in my head. Maybe aunt-like was the relationship I was going for. An older female relative who's more than willing to guide you, gently, into this new path, but as soon as you're ready (or as soon as you ask - and you might not be ready!) she'll kick it up a notch or two dozen. She can be kind and gentle. Or, she can step up as a warrior goddess who gets half the slain soldiers from a battlefield. Or a powerfully erotic woman who is not afraid to use her sexuality to get what she wants. Or a deeply mysterious (and often confusing, unless you're in the right frame of mind) seer who can teach you all sorts of strange things. Or a goddess of fertility, and the land.

One of Freyja's titles is Vanadís. Vana comes from Vanir, the tribe to which she originally belonged. (If you're not familiar with Norse mythology, basically the Aesir and Vanir fought, came to a truce, and traded some gods as hostages to ensure peace. Freyja, her brother/husband Freyr, and Njord, were the Vanir who came to live in Asgard with Odin and Co.) Dís refers to the dísir, which are female ancestral spirits.

Freyja's also got a chariot pulled by cats. When I was way younger, for some reason I thought Bast pulled Freyja's chariot, and that they were secretly long-lost sisters. UPG from a seven-year-old, folks. Smiley
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« Reply #38: January 11, 2010, 11:41:10 pm »

her first interaction with Odin being something like "Oh shit..."

Odin does that. A lot. So does Loki. Guess who were the first two Norse deities I tried to contact. Smiley
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« Reply #39: January 15, 2010, 05:46:33 pm »

Freyja's also got a chariot pulled by cats. When I was way younger, for some reason I thought Bast pulled Freyja's chariot, and that they were secretly long-lost sisters. UPG from a seven-year-old, folks. Smiley

 Cheesy

ok....so I've spent some time just thinking about things this week. Not really intensely, just sort of contemplating, and I've come up with something a little more organized. With the exception of Cernunnos and Frejya, I feel closer to the men in the Norse pantheon, and the women in the Celtic. This seems weird to me.

Also, does anyone know about any Celtic gods who aren't Irish or Welsh?
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« Reply #40: January 15, 2010, 08:02:56 pm »

Also, does anyone know about any Celtic gods who aren't Irish or Welsh?

Are you looking for a particular geographic area?  Britain, Gaul, Germany, Turkey?
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« Reply #41: January 15, 2010, 08:07:06 pm »

Cheesy

ok....so I've spent some time just thinking about things this week. Not really intensely, just sort of contemplating, and I've come up with something a little more organized. With the exception of Cernunnos and Frejya, I feel closer to the men in the Norse pantheon, and the women in the Celtic. This seems weird to me.

It could be that, at least in the Norse pantheon, there's less known about the goddesses. Sure, we know a lot about Freyja and Frigga, and Idunna, Sif, and Skadhi make appearances of importance, but the knowledge base that remains definitely skews towards the men.
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« Reply #42: January 15, 2010, 09:25:53 pm »

Cheesy

Also, does anyone know about any Celtic gods who aren't Irish or Welsh?

Well to begin with, the god you mentioned, Cernunnos is Gaulish. Unfortunately Gaulish myth hasn't really survived, though we do have names of gods inscribed, statues and other archeological evidence from the Roman era. The Romans identified their gods with those of the Gauls, hence you see names like Sulis Minerva.
Trying to find a good website or two but for now, here's some names of gods, taken from a list I have. Sorry no sources, but here's a start for your research

Lugos- god of lightning, arts, warrior, cognate w/ Lugh, identified w/ Mercury
Epona- goddess of fate, land, earth, horse (identified w/ Irish Macha, Welsh Rhiannon)
Taranis- god of thunder, law, sky, law
Sulis- goddess of the sun
Ogmios- warrior god, cognate w/ Irish Oghma
Sucellus- god of rain, fertility, prosperity
Nodens- god of the sea
Belinus- god of healing
Grannus- god of light & healing, identified w/ Apollo
Brigantia- goddess of the hearth (Brigid)
Zirona/Sirona- goddess of wells, healing
Maponus- young god of summer, hunt, cognate w/ Welsh Mabon
Cernunnos- god of death, Otherworld, hunt (?)
Damona- goddess of moon (?)
Rosmerta- giver of sovereignty to kings
Nematona- Guardian of Sacred Groves, war (same root as nemeton)
Nantoswelta- fertility, rivers, wells



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« Reply #43: January 16, 2010, 12:48:33 am »

Are you looking for a particular geographic area?  Britain, Gaul, Germany, Turkey?

I'm thinking Britain. I just don't feel much from the Irish crowd.

 
It could be that, at least in the Norse pantheon, there's less known about the goddesses. Sure, we know a lot about Freyja and Frigga, and Idunna, Sif, and Skadhi make appearances of importance, but the knowledge base that remains definitely skews towards the men.

Well, my mix-matching is pretty specific. The only Celtic goddess I feel any real sense of connection to is Bridgid (Epona shows up every now and then, but I can't get a feel for her), but the Celtic deity I feel most strongly about is Cernunnos. On the Norse side of things, there's Frejya, and I think I had something of a nudge from Frigg, but it was small. As for the men, it started with Tyr, but I feel a slight connection to Vidar as well. As wrong as I know it is, I feel like the Celtic worldview lacks the ferocity that the Norse has, and that really is an integral part of my personality.

Is there a way to make both work without it seeming choosy?
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« Reply #44: January 16, 2010, 09:26:24 am »

As wrong as I know it is, I feel like the Celtic worldview lacks the ferocity that the Norse has, and that really is an integral part of my personality.

Nothing wrong with that. There's a reason why personal choice and desires comes into crafting your spiritual path. I identify each of the Aesir with war (except maybe Idunna, but she keeps the warriors young Cheesy) whereas I know there are specific war and battle deities of the Celts.

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Is there a way to make both work without it seeming choosy?

Yep. Smiley You never have to embrace every single deity of a pantheon. There are plenty of the Theoi I don't feel drawn to, a couple that I downright don't like. Likewise for the Aesir - I like all of them (except Thor >> sorry big guy!) but there's no way I could cultivate strong relationships with all of them right off the bat. Unless you feel obligated to choose Norse Paganism over Celtic (or vice versa), I say don't worry about it.  Freyja and Frigga have been, in my experiences, really chill about newbies.

~*~STORY TIME~*~

So one of the first rituals I did as a fledgling Pagan was devote myself to the Norse deities. Three years later, I'm mostly on a Hellenic bent and keep the Aesir in my heart, but otherwise don't follow that path. I get the feeling that if I had tried to devote myself to Zeus and company, I would have been devoted. Looking back on it, the deities who probably aren't laughing over my baby-Pagan pledge to the gods that I knew nothing about (Loki, Thor, any time you want to stop chuckling would be great) also seem to understand that I was a n00b and just following the impulses I did get. I don't feel any negative emotions from any of the gods about me, essentially, breaking my oath. Then again, perhaps they're waiting for the time I do eventually come back round. A Hellenic Asatruar? I'll betcha dime to dollar I'd have the audacity to try. XD

~*~END OF STORY TIME~*~

More UPG for you: while there are definite differences between the different types of Celtic and Norse religions (British vs. Irish and Germanic vs. Icelandic, f'ex), I've always felt that those two cultures were more compatible than, say, Norse and Egyptian. I'm also certain that I've come across various Wiccan and syncretic Pagan groups that have attempted to bring together aspects of both cultures under one religion. To the Google machine!
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