So it’s been three years since Odin made himself known to me again. I say again, because many years ago when my interest in paganism was first sparked, long before my conversion to Islam, Odin was the first of the old Gods that intrigued me. At eighteen, long before the Internet was widespread, I scoured the shelves of my local library for information on various mythologies. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that just a few years after that I would take my shahadah and become a Muslim for the next 15 years. I was certainly not devout the entire length of time, and would probably gauge the beginning of my discontent at about two years in, doggedly however, I hung on and persisted in the delusion.
In 2012, I left my abusive marriage and struck out on my own. It was both liberating, terrible, and terrifying. And disillusioning. Everything I believed in was called into question, and the Tower came crashing down. I almost immediately went back to practicing magic like I had in my youth, I began celebrating the cycle of the seasons and they greeted me like old friends. I did not however believe in a god. I felt very much like an atheistic pagan.
I was searching. Yearning. My life was in a place of terrible stagnation and I felt hamstrung by years of hurts and oppression. I was scared, unemployed and felt still very much under the thumb of my ex-husband. In 2014 I lost my father. It was expected with a long term illness, but devastating nonetheless. My mother continued on for almost a year before she joined him, a shadow living out her days, wishing often for the end to come soon. It was with this backdrop that Odin came back into my life. I remember that spring being so beautiful, so at odds with the reality of my father’s passing, not realizing at the time that despite the pain my life was entering a new phase.
One night in early summer I crossed the hedge, and was giving a vision of Odin on Sleipnir and the Great Tree, lit up and almost luminescent in the night. Then the rune Othala appeared to me, and with that rune I begin to learn what really mattered in my life. Family and strength were pushed to the forefront and I was no longer content to live in sorrow. I grew stronger, fearless, and with hard work, moved my life in a more positive direction.
And my connection to the Allfather grew. I gained wisdom, insight into myself and others and experienced a true transition into womanhood. I was finally my own person, free, and standing on my own two feet.
I don’t know where my path will lead me anymore, especially in these uncertain times, however I feel I’ve been headed here my whole life.
I don’t draw much on pop culture in my practice, but as a pagan we often lack good spiritual music. Sometimes the most unlikely songs or bands will remind you of the gods. So the other day I was listening to Jethro Tull’s Sweet Dream. So much of it reminds me of my journey back then.
You’ll hear me calling in your sweet dream,
Can’t hear your daddy’s warning cry.
You’re going back to be all the things you want to be
While in sweet dreams you softly sigh.
You hear my voice is calling to be mine again,
Live the rest of your life in a day.
That’s a bit what it has been like, living my life in a day. The Odinic experience can be intense. A yearning for your whole soul to be set on fire, that no matter how much you drink of knowledge, you will still thirst. It’s a wild hunger you hope never ends.