Cold Comfort

Today I got on Pantheos and read an article (which I should have written down the author and the title but didn’t, damn it) that said the following:

“Spirit mentors, like other mentors, lie and cajole and oversimplify to get you to do what needs to be done. They’ll tell you it’s the end of the world, that only you can save it. They’ll tell you that you’re special, and important, and necessary.

They’ll do it because it’s the only way to motivate the average person.

Remember, when a spirit tells you you’re special, it’s proof you aren’t! Spirits don’t offer money. Ideology is a human thing and they couldn’t care less. They’re not interested in compromise or negotiation. But hell do spirits ever know how to play an ego when they need someone to act!”

Okay, I admit it – I’m average. I know damn good and well that I’m not saving the bloody world. I know damn good and well that I can’t mend the rifts between planes (which don’t exist in the first place) and restore Dragonkind (if it ever needed restoring, which I don’t know).  But because Nammu stroked my ego with this farrago of nonsense she got me to do a few things that were inconsequential in my eyes (rescue a stuffed toy dragon for one).  I was a sucker. No two ways about it. And you know what bothers me the most? That she assumed that if she didn’t feed me this line of bullshit I wouldn’t do those things for her.

None of the things she asked for were or are onerous. Climbing down to another rv space to pick up a bedraggled stuffed toy didn’t cost me anything but the effort and a few minutes. Ditto the other things. None of them were things that at which the average helpful person would balk. Even writing this blog, which can sometimes be frantic because my life is so humdrum that I have nothing to write about, isn’t something onerous. Well, I don’t like having to nag my fellow bloggers to write, because unlike me they actually have lives filled with all sorts of activities. But you see my point.

I owed Nammu and I would have been happy to repay some of my debt by doing the things she sent me to do. The line of ‘you’re the only one who can do this!’ wasn’t necessary and was, frankly, insulting.  Most of my hesitation came from wanting confirmation of my feelings/impulses. Since none of our interaction was verbal, I wanted to be sure to differentiate between what I wanted to do and what she wanted me to do. Occasionally I got this, but often I didn’t.  Occasionally I got more than I wanted. But I would have done these things (albeit not without a bit of kicking and screaming about the blog)  just as readily if not more so had she just told me the truth.

‘See that purple and green thing down there? It’s a stuffed dragon that I want you to pick up and give to someone later. Please go get it.”

“I’m sending you this compulsion so that you’ll be able to recognize it later, should it happen to you.”

But because I’m average, I get lied to. Oh, underneath the stroking I had my doubts about what she said, but hey! I didn’t think she’d lie to me. There was no need. I already owed her and offered to her daily.

So if you are being told this line of bullshit from a spirit, take a step back and realize that you’re being lied to. Yes, it’s insulting. Yes, it shows that the spirit doesn’t respect you. Maybe it comes from millennia of dealing with people who had to be manipulated to do something that needed doing. I don’t know the reasons. You might want to have a talk with that spirit and gently tell it that it doesn’t need to do that.  I’m a pretty honest type of person, and I want honesty from those I deal with. I prefer to be a partner, not a puppet. I think that those of us who choose this path – or are chosen for it – prefer the same.

99.9% of us have no gods.

We live out our days without ever making a single offering. We attend – if we attend – a church or temple and listen without hearing, repeating by rote but not from the heart. We take away nothing in sustenance spiritually. A deity is invoked either as a curse or a vague invocation of doubted hope. No one pours a libation on the earth. No one does an act in the name of a god. We have no true belief in anything that we can’t see, touch, or smell. And this suits us.

It suits us because we don’t really want the gods to notice us. We feel uncomfortable with the thought that a deity might be watching us at any given moment. We fear that if a god should appear he would want something from us that we don’t want to give. We believe that everything is tit for tat, that no gifts come into our lives without an attached price tag, even if we can’t see it right then. We have no love for gods – we’re suspicious of their every action. We doubt their concern for us. We feel that there’s no place we can meet them safely.

And that makes each of us who do offer, who do invoke, very precious.

 

 

 

How do you find the answer when you don’t know the question?

Yesterday I was chatting with Glory and she put up a quote from a book she’d read – it was ” There is limited godly essence among the Gods. They aren’t overly fertile as a result”. (Glory here, it wasn’t really a direct quote, more a generalized quote from the book.  It really is interesting how much different popular movies and fiction novels can tap into truths now and then.) This led to a long conversation between her, Loki, and myself.

I read it and was immediately struck with a very strong and strange feeling in my solar plexus chakra. Proud of myself here – I didn’t deny it or run away as I usually do! Then I got a jolt of energy up the spine. As I pondered that line pressure began to build around my temples. (Even now, the day after, I get a shiver of energy through me thinking about it).

But why is it so important? I disregarded the last sentence as irrelevant – this came from a supernaturalish romance and so something of the sort has to be expected. It is the first sentence that matters.

This essence, this energy, is something the gods are born with, and it can be regenerated, but at an infinitesimal rate. This explains why there are so few miracles performed.  Mortals have this essence, I’m informed, but it was once more common than it is now, and diminishing amongst us.  (Glory again, not all mortals have it.  Some do, and it has dwindled greatly, as not nearly as many Deity touched, or potentially Deity touched walk the Earth as once did.)  It explains, also, the lack of interference in mortal affairs unless necessary. A limited resource won’t be spent on anything less than a major need.

“It suggests that the ‘why’ is the important part of the question (whatever the question is). Why it seems to be so much more limited now. And diluted. ‘There are many factors. It’s not an entirely finite source, but it isn’t growing exponentially at a fast pace anymore either. Which is weird. I guess at one point it may have…” Glory said.

Perhaps, Loki, even the gods have an expiration date. Is it analogous to the human cycle, wherein we age and our ability to heal ourselves, to regenerate cells, diminishes as time goes by?  (Glory with a bit of an assist…  The Gods themselves don’t necessarily have an expiration date, but every pantheon has their myths of Deities dying.  Baldr and the mistletoe.  Cronos is killed by Zeus.  Uranus killed by Cronos.  Osiris is killed a couple of times by is brother Set.  The examples are there.  Perhaps a sense of peace has increased longevity and put a halt to the pool of god-essence available.  A general lack of interest by human in Gods and Goddesses, being more content to focus on a singular God, has caused Gods and Goddesses to stop coming down to visit and walk among the general populace.  Do they instead reside in their otherworldly abodes and plan, but don’t act?)

Or perhaps the essence has a natural ebb and flow of its own, and you aren’t aware of its cycle. It must predate you, in order for you to have it.  In which case, it will come to a point where it’s at it’s lowest ebb, and then slowly begin to grow again.

So it isn’t that you don’t want to help us, it’s that you have limited resources right now, and until those resources increase the gods will guide, teach, and interact – but not intervene.

And then again, I could be off in left field somewhere, totally mistaken. What was the question again?

Okay, my turn.  Glory, that is.  Hope asked why I wasn’t chiming in with questions to find the answers with her while she was asking her questions.  My simple answer, I was so focused on listening for the answers, my mind wasn’t able to split and ask as well as answer.  That seems to be my Achilles heal at the moment.  If I’m channeling answers, I can’t ask questions as well.  I’m a one-way radio sharing the answers as they are presented. (Lol – my RIGHT ovary, Glory!)

Afterward, however, I had my own take on what I went back and read.  I think, at the core of it all, the explosion of human population led to the dilution of those who held the deitific essence.  Also, an inability to believe in anything beyond personal pleasure and what is presented immediately in front of them has created many of the blocks so many are feeling and frustrated by.

Turning to religions that focus on a singular Deity and relying on others to tell us how we should act, think, and connect with Deity instead of relying on our own intuition has also pulled us away from Deity and the connections that once existed.  Sitting inside a brick and mortar building relying on someone to tell them what to believe takes away the need to think, to question, to seek, and to grow.  How does this help with connecting to Deity?  It really doesn’t! (But there have always been temples and priests doing that same thing. I doubt if there’s that much difference between them. Hope)  Yes, but there were temples to multiple Deities and people had choices.  Almost everyone left offerings to more than one Deity for different situations and aspects of their lives.

Of course, it doesn’t help that those of us who do and can hear Deities are often castigated by the larger part of society as a whole and turn to ignoring our gifts, self-medicating to avoid those voices that we are told make us crazy.  Or any other number of issues.  So seeking the answers, and finding those who can hear them, becomes harder and harder.  Too many people, too few who actually trust that they are hearing.  And a fear of sharing those gifts for fear of reprisal and castigation.

The answers and the correct questions are there.  It’s figuring out exactly what we should be asking that becomes the challenge.  And finding the right person and Deity to give the answers the larger challenge!

Going back to your previous paragraph about the fear of sharing their gifts, there’s a huge interest and need out there for just that thing. Look at the number of people who are willing to do things like call a psychic hotline! Look at the people who go to psychic fairs! At Ren Faires the tents with tarot readers and fortune tellers have lines of people waiting. New Age bookstores offer classes and bookings for readings. Runes are becoming more popular as more people are exposed to the Norse pantheon, and there are women who would take up seidhr if they could find a teacher. A lot of people search for teachers – people brave enough to step out of line and be known.  Not all of them are student material but the fact that they’re looking indicates a need to belong and to find their spiritual homes.

I feel we’ve become too diffuse in this post. The original starting point was godly essence. Have we uncovered the question, and found the answer? Or is there more to it than that? (Glory, I’m pretty sure there is more to it than just that.  There almost always is.)  Is there a tie-in to the number of followers to the deities’ inclination to act? A tipping point that has to be reached before they will decide to reveal themselves unmistakably once again? Is it still tied to the amount of essence available and the amount of effort versus the possible gain or loss?

Where are my answers???

Questions!

Lots of questions! I’m not a follower of any particular pantheon but Nicodemus and I follow Loki , so I tend to look into the Norse mythos , along with the Celtic. What I want to know is:

  1. What kind of afterlife is there for those who aren’t blooded warriors? I know that the Asatru I’ve had dealings with seem to think that they’ll do nothing but feast, fight, and fuck in Valhalla, which seems rather dull to me but to each their own. What about the rest of the populace who venerate the Norse gods? Does each deity have a hall of his/her own? Or does everyone mill around in Odin’s hall, or Freya’s hall?
  2. This carries over into other pantheons as well. There’s so little gnosis, whether personal or not, about it that I wonder if the deities are putting the information out at all. And no one seems to be asking.
  3. How much of the mythos are we to take as truth? Should we believe them strictly as written? Is Zeus actually incapable of keeping it in his robes? Does Hera actually spend her time attacking the mortal women who can’t say no? Or do the myths only reveal a time and place in the distant past that no longer has relevance to us today?
  4. What about other sentient beings, like octopi? Do the gods limit themselves to humans or is anything with intelligence fair game?
  5. I seem to remember being told – or reading about – an alternate explanation of the whole Baldur/Loki story that everyone gets so worked up about. In it Baldur’s parents spoil him rotten because he’s so wonderful, and no one denies him anything he wants until he falls in love (lust?) with a woman who is already betrothed to another man. He falls into a depression because he can’t have her, and one of his parents – the one who does magick – works it so that the woman breaks her betrothal and runs off with Baldur. The ex-betrothed man comes to Valhalla and demands justice and vengeance.  Knowing that Odin can’t bear to kill his beloved son, and knowing that if Baldur isn’t sacrificed Odin’s life is forfeit, Loki takes on the burden of ensuring that Baldur dies. He has nothing against his nephew, but he can’t allow Odin to die.  Even knowing that he will earn the enmity of the other deities, he lays his plans and carries them out. Baldur dies and goes to keep Hel company. What I want to know is – which version comes closest to the truth? And just what IS the truth?
  6. Even if the deities are going for quality over quantity this time around, why aren’t they putting their stories out for their worshipers? Yes, I can understand why the people tasked to write these for the public would consider long and hard before putting their names on anything, with said public’s sad inclination to leap to eviscerate anyone who deviates from their own personal gnosis, if any, but that’s what a nom de plume is for. Some deities seem to think that dogma only restricts the ability of their worshipers to think, but seems like humans need some guidelines in order to even start the thought process.

 

I don’t think I’ll put any more down for the moment – eagerly awaiting answers. Not holding my breath, though.

What being ‘let go’ means to me

I’ve been considering this post ever since it happened, but I wanted enough time to pass so that I could avoid the pity party and have a little distance from it as well. I think I can write about it now without falling prey to self pity or anger.

I’ve considered Nammu my goddess for quite some time now, over a decade. She helped me with several problems, and I regularly offered to her and tried to communicate with her. I talked verbally and used a pendulum. The communication was never with words on her part – emotions, nudges, or dreams were her preferred methods. I saw the wooden statue of a dragon that she wanted on the altar in a dream. I felt a nudge when I saw a purple and green something on the campsite beside us, which turned out to be a stuffed dragon. I suffered through a deeply unsettling few days of obsession because she said I needed to know what it felt like in case it was used on me.

I grew to trust her, which took many long months because I don’t trust easily. I turned to her with questions and problems, and for the most part she helped me out when I really needed it. When I was having problems with the fae she intervened and got them off my back. It wasn’t the relationship of my dreams, but it was a relationship and I thought that because she was sleeping so much that this was as good as it got. Oh, true, other people had better communication and got training, but I lived in hope that sooner or later I would be one of them.

Then Nammu stopped communicating completely. I shrugged it off – she’s sleeping, she’s busy, she has a lot to do – but the silence persisted and the months turned into years.  Finally, I got a reading to clarify the relationship between us (Beth at Wytch of the North did mine) and the truth came out: it was over.

She had terminated the relationship and told me nothing.

It was painful. I felt betrayed. I felt my trust had been given and not prized. I felt unwanted and cast out. I immediately went into retreat-to-a-cave-and-lick-my-wounds mode. I sent all my Nammu stuff – the statue, the incense, the oil, the pendulum, etc – to someone who wanted it. I gave my statue of Saraswati to another friend who can use it. I wanted to send the rock that a black dragon hitched a ride on back to the person who so kindly gave it to me but damn if it didn’t disappear from the ottoman before I got the box (and she told me that he wanted to hang around a little longer).  I cleaned off my altar and told myself it was better to just take the hint and stay away from deities.

I have a really bad habit of going to extremes. It’s all or nothing with me. And I scare easily. I’m enthusiastic and then I become afraid. I expect rejection. And trusting just doesn’t come easy. Not much to recommend me to a deity. I was hoping to learn how to control and use my powers, and to have real conversations, to get some of my questions answered. None of that happened.

I am grateful to Nammu, for all the things she did for me. I’m disappointed that she decided not to continue with me. But a one-sided relationship isn’t going anywhere.

At one time Danu indicated that she was interested in working with me. I turned once again to Beth for a reading on how that would work out – doing a reading for myself doesn’t work well. Beth said that Danu is still interested and that the relationship would be very beneficial to me. So now I’m torn. I don’t want anything to do with Sidhe/fae. I don’t have a good track record with them. But I see Danu as a creator goddess with a strong agricultural bent, and I’m pretty good with growing things. Do I want to go through the whole learning-to-trust thing again, with the chance that it will be thrown back in the future? Do I let that fear keep me from maybe finally getting the training I want and need?

I bought a pot of gebera daisies to use for meditation. I’ll take a chance and see what happens. Poised to run away, I’ll try to contact her and reach out tentatively. It might work.

Changes

Something rather interesting and not totally unexpected occurred. Nammu is no longer my patron deity.

Oh, she’s been silent for some time now – days, weeks, months, years – but I’ve kept up with the offerings and the talk, despite the feelings of distance. What else can you do? She’s always been remote, asleep more than awake.

But she’s made it official now – I need to disengage and find a new patron. Which is something I’ve never done. So I’ve made a short list of what I want/need in a patron.

a. Communication! I don’t need it constantly or even daily, but far more frequently than I’ve had with Nammu.

b. Someone willing to teach me how to use my powers. I had hoped that Nammu would do that, but She had no interest in doing so.

c. Patience. He/She has to have patience. But he/she also  has to know when to nag and when to push. I’m experienced in running away, refusing, being suspicious, and checking for traps. Especially in the beginning when trust will be minimal.

I don’t know what I have to offer a deity to make it worth their while to be my patron, but I suppose if anyone chooses to accept me they will have already checked into that and decided that I’m a good investment.

I am grateful to Nammu – She was always ready to help when I asked, and even when I didn’t ask if I needed intervention She was there for me.  I am sorry that our relationship has to end. But clinging to Her would be counter-productive, and I have to move on. Figuring out how to find a new Patron will be interesting. Does one put out an advertisement? Is it like on-line dating? If anyone has any ideas I’d be happy to hear them!

Wednesday at the Library

I had a conversation with a few of my fellow pagans the other day – we met at the library and drank tea while recommending books for each other – and it was really amusing to see how varied our beliefs are.

Some accept without a blink another pagan’s claim to having dragons constantly in his vicinity, without the slightest bit of proof, but argue adamantly that anyone who claims to be a god spouse is delusional.

Others roll their eyes at the dragon claim, but stubbornly cling to the idea of ‘free will’, without taking into consideration that beings who have existed for millennia could be able to maneuver mortals into situations they wanted regardless of what said mortals want.

Some think that the deities are pure good and love who would never hurt a mortal for any reason whatsoever – and others think that deities are capable of emotions and actions that could conceivably harm mortals, including their worshipers.

Most people find it difficult to make concrete plans for longer than a week – too many variables pop up to derail those plans. Longer periods of time? Forget it! Rare indeed is the person wise enough to be able to take the possibilities into consideration and come up with a plan that works. We don’t think in long terms. Most of us look back and are amazed at how far from our first life plans we have gone. I once aspired to live in Maine, be a writer, raise Maine Coon cats and Appaloosas. Assuredly I do none of the above now, and never set foot in Maine for more than an afternoon.

We ascribe our inability to make long term plans to the Powers, and that’s a mistake, in my mind. We can’t imagine what their end game looks like. We can’t conceive of the maneuvering that has gone on and continues to go on, the alliances formed, the  positioning of mortals who agree to serve them and the mortals who don’t even know they exist. What are their goals? Who knows? Certainly not us, pieces on the board that we are.

One of them said that he was a mortal son of a deity, that that was his UPG, and that no one could contradict him. Yet when asked for proof of his claim, he simply repeated that his god told him this and that was the end of it. He also claimed to have children on the Astral Plane. I suppose it’s a measure of our gullibility (or our acceptance) that we just nod and move along when one of us makes a claim like that. I myself prefer some sort of proof – sometimes even a shared gnosis will do – but proof is scarce on the ground for pagans. I suppose it is for any religion.

Which camels do you swallow without hesitation, dear readers? And at which gnats do you strain?