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Author Topic: Starting over and re-finding my path  (Read 23469 times)
catherine
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« Reply #15: July 04, 2011, 12:54:22 pm »

I've thought about walking away from religion permanently as well but that doesn't work, because I have a continued interest in Paganism. And I want to follow something. I don't feel connected to the Egyptian pantheon at all, and I feel awkward at best praying to Zeus. Odin and his bunch don't seem to care either way.

Hi outlaw393,
Like many people here, I'm seeing a recurring theme in your posts. It's clear to me that you are really struggling with all of this, and I do sympathize. But, like many other people, I have to ask you exactly what you expect from the various deities that you've tried to contact. If I understood your expectations, I might be able to give you some useful advice.

You've said that you believe Odin and his bunch aren't interested in you. I don't know Odin at all, so I can't speak from direct experience, but it seems to me, saying that you don't believe in Him at all, but then turning around and saying that you do the next day (or week), then changing your mind repeatedly isn't really very conducive to building a relationship with Him.

I look at it a lot like any other relationship. Lets say, I meet someone I'd like to hang out with or get to know a little better. This person calls me one day, but I'm out. This person leaves a message, but I've been so busy (for whatever reason) that I haven't had a chance to call them back for a few days. Then, this person decides that because they didn't hear from me right away, I wasn't worth the time and energy to get to know. A few months go by and this person calls me up again and wants to hang out. I can't right then because I'm working or whatever. This person gets pissed and writes me off again. After this happens a few times, I would be really frustrated with this person and I'd probably tell them to stop calling me because I shouldn't be expected to be at the beck and call of someone I barely know.

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However, my altar has Zeus and Artemis on it, so I'll probably go that way again and be Hellenic.

Why? Just because you have images of Greek gods available to you, doesn't necessarily mean you should be Hellenic. It's like me saying that I'm going to be BFFs with my next door neighbor just because she's there. We have absolutely nothing in common with each other beyond the fact that we rent from the same landlady. No shared interests or life experiences that I'm aware of, nothing. We are friendly, we say hello and sometimes chat about the gardens or whatever, but we aren't friends and we never will be. However, even if we had felt any kind of connection when we met, it would have still taken time to build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship. It probably wouldn't have happened in the space of a few weeks, or even months. It's not that it couldn't happen that fast, but strong, intimate, connections usually take more time.

Even if we did become best friends, that could always change as we grow and develop new interests. Changing priorities, goals and needs can affect relationships as well.

I guess what I'm trying say is, if you do in fact want to have a meaningful relationship with a God/dess, pantheon or what have you, it takes time, understanding and commitment on your part. If you really don't know what direction you want to go in, then take your time figuring it out. Like many other people have said, this sort of thing can take years.

Personally, I think you're putting way to much pressure on yourself to believe in something and to fit into one religion or another. You've ended up bouncing all over the place without giving yourself an opportunity to explore anything in depth. You're getting frustrated by the lack of connection, when you haven't given any one thing enough time to actually make a real connection.

Now, you might think I'm being critical or unfriendly. If so, then all I can say is, like everyone else who's responded to these posts over the last week or so, I really am trying to help and I really do hope that you get it all sorted out.

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« Reply #16: July 04, 2011, 01:48:06 pm »

Recently I've decided to start back at square one when it comes to my pagan faith. I have stepped back and am looking at different pantheons
The Norse gods haven't (at least from what I've seen anyway) expressed any real interest in me

One more thing. I wasn't called to be heathen, the gods didn't show any interest in me. I had a philosophical experience that felt like Vidar, and I had been pathless for a good long while and so I just decided to take a serious look at heathenry. And it wound up being the path for me. It wasn't spiritually significant, the earth didn't shake, Odin's voice didn't boom down at me...I just made a choice. Wound up being a great one...so maybe just set a time limit for yourself- stick with a path for six months. Only read about that etc and see how you feel at the end.
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« Reply #17: July 04, 2011, 01:59:01 pm »

As I understand it Wicca is a mystery initiatory tradition. There are certainly types of religious witchcraft that are similar to Wicca (Neo-wicca) that are not so secretive etc, but, my concern is if you are 'settling' for Wicca you may doing yourself and whatever coven/group you're training with -assuming you are following Wicca/Neo-Wicca that requires such training - a disservice by merely dabbling. Jenett - as a member of an initiatory witchcraft tradition - could better articulate what I'm trying to say here, basically, my point is it's not something that will necessarily benefit you via casual dabbling.

First, about Wicca...
It is possible to be a solitary Wiccan. Haven't you read any of Cunningham's books?? To be Wiccan doesn't necessarily mean you're initiated into some secret tradition. Personally I think those are overplayed, and there's really no real advantage to being in a coven. At first I felt a need to be in a coven, but that faded away and I feel more comfortable being solitary. A few years ago, I studied Wicca for years, and practiced it easily. I prefer it now because I don't need to intensively study it. I already know enough to practice.

Second, about any and all deities...

Regarding the deities - I recently had a Greek demoness contact me through a dream. It took me a while to figure out who she was, but I did. It was Lamia. I'm not sure why she contacted me - to draw me back to the Greek gods or what. Honestly I've never felt any real connection to any goddess. I figure this is probably because I was raised Christian, and up until a couple of months ago, that's what I was. Obviously Christianity is a male dominated religion. They don't believe in female gods.

And yeah, I expect the gods to at least *attempt* to contact me. If they want me to follow them - they would come to me through a dream or some sort of sign. Obviously if I receive no signs, it's best to assume they aren't interested and continue along. It's like placing a phone call and leaving a message. Obviously if someone doesn't answer the phone, I either assume they're not there (which is impossible for a deity) or that they're not interested. But I leave a message anyways. Now if my phone call isn't returned, I move on. I'm mortal. I don't have all eternity to wait for them. It's like, I'm not going to be on this Earth forever. I want something meaningful now, before it's too late. Gods that don't want me, I feel like I wasted all this time on them. Time I can't get back.

Odin is a bit different because I felt he was my patron. I took his mark after years of careful thought and a nice ritual. When we first met, we had quite the connection. He seemed interested in me. He knew me. He was like an old family friend, but at first what creeped me out was the fact that he could look through me and know me intimately, though I knew nothing about him. But as the time passed he became more and more distant and right now doesn't seem to care either way. In my eyes - the ball is in his court - either he's interested or he isn't. And it's up to him to throw me a sign of some sort to let me know.

The Greek gods - I feel a slight connection to them. But nothing strong enough to start praying to them. And as I said in an earlier post - I feel awkward praying to Zeus.

The Egyptian gods - I feel no connection to them but sometimes I feel the need to do a ritual in their honor so once in a while I might. I have a lot of prayers to both the Greek and Egyptian deities in my book of shadows. Because both pantheons are/were an important part of my spirituality.

Honestly I feel there's no point in spending YEARS trying to "earn the attention of the divine". I think it would be easier in that case then to just walk away and be agnostic. I'm sick and tired of putting in work and study for YEARS and not getting any results out of it.

Being fed up tends to affect how I feel about spending even more time trying to court gods that don't seem to care either way. Those are years I can't get back.
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« Reply #18: July 04, 2011, 02:01:51 pm »

One more thing. I wasn't called to be heathen, the gods didn't show any interest in me. I had a philosophical experience that felt like Vidar, and I had been pathless for a good long while and so I just decided to take a serious look at heathenry. And it wound up being the path for me. It wasn't spiritually significant, the earth didn't shake, Odin's voice didn't boom down at me...I just made a choice. Wound up being a great one...so maybe just set a time limit for yourself- stick with a path for six months. Only read about that etc and see how you feel at the end.

Cool. I guess not everyone is called.

The six month thing sounds interesting. Smiley
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« Reply #19: July 04, 2011, 02:02:52 pm »

First, about Wicca...
It is possible to be a solitary Wiccan. Haven't you read any of Cunningham's books?? To be Wiccan doesn't necessarily mean you're initiated into some secret tradition. Personally I think those are overplayed, and there's really no real advantage to being in a coven. At first I felt a need to be in a coven, but that faded away and I feel more comfortable being solitary. A few years ago, I studied Wicca for years, and practiced it easily. I prefer it now because I don't need to intensively study it. I already know enough to practice.

It's possible to call yourself a solitary Wiccan, yes. However, the definition of Wicca can be a touchy thing. There is a HUGE difference between original Gardnerian Wicca - British Traditional Wicca/Witchcraft - and what Cunningham proposes. Many people use the terms BTW (British Traditional Wicca) and Neo-Wicca or eclectic Wicca to differentiate between the two. There is a big, big, big big difference in practices and beliefs between these two areas - someone with more experience can go into more detail, as I've only been part of eclectic Wiccan groups. This isn't to say that Cunningham's Wicca is bad, or lesser, but it is different and it's disrespectful to dismiss initiatory traditions as "overplayed." There's a reason they've kept initiations up, and there is a difference between initiatory Wicca and the variation you find on bookstore shelves.
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« Reply #20: July 04, 2011, 02:16:51 pm »



Odin isn't an Omni god. He can't simultaneously look into your soul while looking into mine and the rest of the world. (Totally ignoring heathen soul concept to express a point.) He may have noticed you, but he's a god. Maybe he's noted that you took an interest and is now back to, I dont know, doing god things. Gods in heathenry aren't your buddies. You want a close connection to the spiritual then turn to your ancestors and wights. Few times a year hold a ritual in honor of the gods, reconnect, visit, then go about living again. They'll go fight Jotnar and keep the natural laws of the universe in order and you'll build upon your families orlog. Need a big favor, teach out to them. Little favors, deal with the local spirits and your family.

It's not a lack if interest, its just the way they operate. And understanding how they operate and your relationship with them does change your world and does become spiritual.
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« Reply #21: July 04, 2011, 02:36:46 pm »

And yeah, I expect the gods to at least *attempt* to contact me. If they want me to follow them - they would come to me through a dream or some sort of sign. Obviously if I receive no signs, it's best to assume they aren't interested and continue along. It's like placing a phone call and leaving a message. Obviously if someone doesn't answer the phone, I either assume they're not there (which is impossible for a deity) or that they're not interested. But I leave a message anyways. Now if my phone call isn't returned, I move on. I'm mortal. I don't have all eternity to wait for them. It's like, I'm not going to be on this Earth forever. I want something meaningful now, before it's too late. Gods that don't want me, I feel like I wasted all this time on them. Time I can't get back.

Being fed up tends to affect how I feel about spending even more time trying to court gods that don't seem to care either way. Those are years I can't get back.

That seems dangerously close to hubris imo, what about you makes you different, special, or important enough for a deity to take the time and interest to directly contact you? IME a lot of folks that are 'thwapped' or directly contacted never know why an often weren't seeking that particular deity in the first place and further are NOT at all *common*.

Finally if you expect a response with only a few months effort put in and little consideration of worldview (thinking of Odin and Heathenry here) then I'm not sure what to tell you.
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« Reply #22: July 04, 2011, 03:26:46 pm »

First, about Wicca...
It is possible to be a solitary Wiccan. Haven't you read any of Cunningham's books?? To be Wiccan doesn't necessarily mean you're initiated into some secret tradition.

Depends on your definition of "Wicca".  Personally, I prefer a stricter one.

Quote
And yeah, I expect the gods to at least *attempt* to contact me. If they want me to follow them - they would come to me through a dream or some sort of sign.

That's a lousy way to get a date, let alone a relationship with a deity.
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« Reply #23: July 04, 2011, 03:28:57 pm »

That seems dangerously close to hubris imo, what about you makes you different, special, or important enough for a deity to take the time and interest to directly contact you? IME a lot of folks that are 'thwapped' or directly contacted never know why an often weren't seeking that particular deity in the first place and further are NOT at all *common*.

Finally if you expect a response with only a few months effort put in and little consideration of worldview (thinking of Odin and Heathenry here) then I'm not sure what to tell you.

Just wanted to note that by 'common' here I mean 'occurring frequently' rather than 'dull/boring/normal/et'
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« Reply #24: July 04, 2011, 04:02:51 pm »

Finally if you expect a response with only a few months effort put in and little consideration of worldview (thinking of Odin and Heathenry here) then I'm not sure what to tell you.

Honestly this wasn't a few months. I've been involved with Odin one way or another for over 3 years. And yes, I've put in effort. I've done rituals in honor of him. After he initially contacted me, I tried to get to know him. I tried. So honestly there is no "few months" and no "no effort put in". I've tried getting to know the other gods of the pantheon too - but with little if any luck.

It's more like, I was putting in effort and getting little if anything in return. The last time I got a sign from Odin was back in march or april. Other than that, nothing.

And in response to another poster, yes. Odin knows me intimately - because he's a GOD - not a man. Being Norse, I'm sure Odin has been with my family and ancestors for ages. Hence how he might know me.
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« Reply #25: July 04, 2011, 04:24:08 pm »

Honestly this wasn't a few months. I've been involved with Odin one way or another for over 3 years. And yes, I've put in effort. I've done rituals in honor of him. After he initially contacted me, I tried to get to know him. I tried. So honestly there is no "few months" and no "no effort put in". I've tried getting to know the other gods of the pantheon too - but with little if any luck.

It's more like, I was putting in effort and getting little if anything in return. The last time I got a sign from Odin was back in march or april. Other than that, nothing.

And in response to another poster, yes. Odin knows me intimately - because he's a GOD - not a man. Being Norse, I'm sure Odin has been with my family and ancestors for ages. Hence how he might know me.

A GOD in heathenry is just a title of position...it isn't a divine species. Odin is no different than the land vaettir outside your door- except he is in charge of more complex structures and concepts.

If you had done your reading on Odin, than you would know that he has a long history of seemingly abandoning and betraying those he had made oaths with. Its been recorded that his idols would be shattered when his tribes felt neglected and that often dead warriors were buried with armor and weaponry to either confront Odin or defend their back. Which makes your complaints silly but relevent. Silly because you believe you deserve more, relevent because it sounds like a typical form of relationship with Odin.

What you've done is assume that whatever feelings you have are personal and intimate. What you should be doing is investigating the history of aesir interaction and the germanic worldview to understand why you feel the way you do. If you want to follow the northern gods, that is.
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« Reply #26: July 04, 2011, 04:54:19 pm »

If you had done your reading on Odin, than you would know that he has a long history of seemingly abandoning and betraying those he had made oaths with. Its been recorded that his idols would be shattered when his tribes felt neglected and that often dead warriors were buried with armor and weaponry to either confront Odin or defend their back. Which makes your complaints silly but relevant. Silly because you believe you deserve more, relevant because it sounds like a typical form of relationship with Odin.

This is in light humor - no disrespect meant - but if he's such a jerk, why would anyone want to follow him? I've never seen him in such a light. He just seems to not really care about anyone but himself. He seems to have a "who cares" attitude toward any followers.

 Undecided

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« Reply #27: July 04, 2011, 05:10:07 pm »

It's more like, I was putting in effort and getting little if anything in return. The last time I got a sign from Odin was back in march or april. Other than that, nothing.

Dude, some gods are like that, they rarely give "signs."   Apollo's like that with me.  Sometimes I feel His presence closely, other times, not so much.   He's usually "there" for ritual, but it's rare when I get a "freak-you-out-mind-blowing-sign" from Him!   I'm talking months to years apart!  

Poseidon, now He's the opposite, very much in your face.  Now this might be because our relationship is still relatively new.  Apollo was more active when we just started out too.  Could also be Poseidon's personality - a bit more aggressive.  

I guess one could compare deity relationships to a human courtship - when you want to get the attention of the girl you like, you lavish her with flowers and gifts, and take her out etc.  But once you tie the knot, you don't do as much wooing.  Doesn't mean you love her less, just means you don't have to constantly prove that you do because she knows.  

That said, when it comes to deity relationships, a bit of faith is important.   Faith that you're good enough & worthy of  your god's attention & love.   After all, if you weren't He/She wouldn't have reached out to you!

Also, not everyone experiences the gods the same.  We're all individuals with different sensitives and perceptions... and problems.  
That is, in my opinion.
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« Reply #28: July 04, 2011, 05:14:23 pm »

This is in light humor - no disrespect meant - but if he's such a jerk, why would anyone want to follow him? I've never seen him in such a light. He just seems to not really care about anyone but himself. He seems to have a "who cares" attitude toward any followers.

 Undecided



He's not a jerk, his main concern is for the big picture and not the individual. If he needs to sacrifice a loyal individual for a larger scheme he will. Ultimately, Odin knows that the fate of everything is met at Ragnarok. Though the outcome is decided, he must lead others to their fate- every warrior meant to battle needs to led to his wyrd. Its even theorized by some that Odin was in cahoots with Loki to slay Balder so that his son could escaped Ragnarok and rise again from Hel.

And he wasn't as universally worshipped in the heathen era as we believe today. Thor ands Freyr were more popular and dealt with the every man, while Odin was more cultic.

And this doesn't even go into the details of whether or not Odin was really pan-germanic or if there were differences between Odin, Wodan, et al.
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« Reply #29: July 04, 2011, 05:19:30 pm »

It's like placing a phone call and leaving a message. Obviously if someone doesn't answer the phone, I either assume they're not there (which is impossible for a deity) or that they're not interested. But I leave a message anyways. Now if my phone call isn't returned, I move on.

Or, the machine screwed up, or they couldn't hear your number, or they had five million other things to do and only answer repeated calls.

I've done all of the above with phone & e-mail messages.  Roll Eyes

I don't know how you're trying to phone Odin, so to speak, but if you''re bound and determined for a personal relationship: have you tried a different method and seeing where that goes? I'm thinking a full evocation instead of prayers, or a guided meditation instead of dream work. Something more direct than offerings.


As an aside, I'd draw a distinction between being an agnostic Pagan and a not-working-with-gods Pagan - the former doesn't necessarily know what-all's going on with the universe (who created it, why gods exist, which gods exist, archetypes vs hard polytheism/separate gods, etc), while the latter has an idea and just doesn't work with deities.
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