When the Gods tell you to do the work, I’ve found it’s best not to ask why and just do the work. My dealings with Odin began with his guise of Runatyr and when he tells you to use the runes, use the runes. You learn by doing, by implementing, and if you are like me and reluctant to use magic on the regular, I found myself handed situations where Odin knew I’d use them, usually in darker circumstances. And you really don’t want to get to that point honestly. So I’ve been practicing galdr nearly everyday, its exhilarating and exhausting, but I’ve been told you either use it or lose it. It you want to know the runes, you have to absorb them into your being. You have to be able to draw upon them at will. It’s difficult work but worthwhile. If your Gods ask you to do the work, do the work, whatever it is, even if you don’t know the why of it at the moment. I have to agree with Byron Ballard on this right now, we are in the time of Towers. I’ve dreamed about the Tower crashing….now is the time to do the work and begin to prepare. For what and to what end….only the Gods know.
I added some additional artwork to my devotional space. Not explicitly characterized as Odin, but strongly how I see him. Thank the Gods for Etsy and the astounding artists there.
I loved you from my first breath
A gift you gave
And I shall love you when I take my last.
“Be discerning….and wise.”
This is the message I hear from the Allfather. I think it is necessary in these troubled times. Do not be so quick to vilify those who have a different opinion than you do, even if you find it loathsome, something is to be learned. Something may be gained. We may find strange allies in these difficult times, those we previously may have counted as allies and friends, may bear false witness against us.
“Be discerning…and wise.”
Open ourselves and ask why in all things. If it feels wrong or corrupt, it probably is. If the crowd tries to tell you blue is red do not agree, even if it makes you popular. Use your good judgement. Learn to thrive in troubled times. Take lessons from your surroundings. Nature can show us. Give us wisdom. Teach us to thrive in the most hostile environment.
I received the directive from the Old Man to learn all I could about the things that mattered most to me, so I’ve been reading a plenty. Mostly things on polytheism as a theology, but I’ve also dug into The Hebrew Goddess by Patai as well. I’d not heard anything from the Old Man since December but did hear this a few weeks ago:
“So I see you’re out making friends.”
I took that and the amused tone that went with it to mean that he approved of my learning about other deities, specifically female ones. For so long I’ve had difficulties connecting to the feminine Divine, and often if a goddess is reaching out, I have trouble seeing it. Patriarchal belief is hard to shake off despite its toxicity.
I’ll be honest some of his theories concerning the Shekinah I find a bit of a stretch, however the chapter on Asherah was brilliant, and I’m sure quite groundbreaking at the time. As a child I started questioning the idea of a male only god pretty early, and for monotheists who insist their god is sexless/genderless refer to Yahweh/Allah as She and watch their reaction. It will probably be one of disgust and anger. Because in the Judeo/Christian/Islamic mindset women are dirty. We are other and incapable of being a reflection of the Divine. Our only true value in the three faiths is that of child bearing mother. And even those children are not truly our own, but one more possession of the father.
There was a time in my life where I sought a monotheistic compromise and chose what I thought to be the lesser of three evils. Indeed, Islam does at least place an equal blame on Adam and Eve and regards women as spiritual equals. However, many other prohibitions on women still remain. We are unclean during our periods and for forty days after childbirth unable to approach god. Rendered unclean by the bugaboo of patriarchal men who say god made all things perfect- except women of course. By their logic we were deficient from the beginning. I’m not necessarily saying that if the cult of Asherah had persisted patriarchy wouldn’t have persisted, I think the toxic patriarchy present in polytheistic India disproves that, however at least women would have had something to revere in the sacred that was a reflection of themselves.
I haven’t blogged anything for ages, mostly because of laziness, or lack of anything meaningful to say. Or maybe too much to say and most of it political. I’ve finally burned out watching the political chaos of America, and have decided, while still very important, I need to return to my devotional practice and magical work. When I encountered Odin in 2014, it was as Runatyr, the God of Runes, and he set me on a path of self discovery and betterment. I am grateful, and humbled. Loving and honoring Odin these past few years has had an overwhelmingly positive effect on my life, and saw a maturation of my personality. No longer am I the weak little girl seeking the constant approval of others, now I feel fully a woman, devoted to my children and family, strong in my convictions, joyful in being alive.
The past year has seen me neglect my Runic studies and I have returned to near daily meditation (due to some external coaxing), with the knowledge given that I can’t effectively use the runes unless I know their meanings and depth inside and out. It’s exhausting. I have no idea why his call has suddenly grown so strong within me after a relatively quiet year, or where this seeking of knowledge will take me, I only comply, eager to learn, even if I do not know the reasoning behind this sudden push to immerse myself into the runes. Who am I to question the urgings of a God?
The wise and the strong
You destroy me and remake me
Firm footed and large
I stand at my destiny and accept my path
I flee from you no more
I am yours
And the fear I bring now is one of ecstasy, love and devotion
In all the current chaos we pagans must not let our devotional practices suffer. We give praise to our Gods in various ways, I write poetry and song, muse on the traits of the Wise Ones…..may a grain of such wisdom be imparted on me. I was going through many various google docs and came across some poetry I am pleased with. I may be sharing some over the coming days. We need our Gods presence in the world. We need an alternative to the current order. We need a better way.
One for Odin
The one who whispers
With bold tenderness into a woman’s heart
Who finds you laid bare
Skin and bones
And applies the healing balm
Knowledge and fury
Breath and calm
Loving life with newfound might
A determination never known
He waits for you on the mountaintop
The rune master
Sit beside him and hear his words
Let his breath fill your spirit
Let your souls be cleansed and bared.