Tag Archives: Odin

Gratitude Project 2017, Day 14 – Odin

Everyone, I’m in a very bad place right now.  I’ve been watching the news all day, and my social media feeds are full of the recent events and tragedies in Virginia.  And then I got the scare of my life, having heard that another white supremicist rally was being planned for a university in Texas.  Although it wasn’t going to be near to my city, there is a notable KKK and Nazi presence in my city, and the surrounding towns.  Even though the rally was ultimately cancelled, the very cancellation will only anger and embolden these far-right terrorists.

It won’t be safe for me and my children to be seen in public, so we won’t be going anywhere unless it is absolutely necessary, for the foreseeable future.  I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not taking any chances.

Many of these terrorists like to invoke the name of Odin, as if the All-Father were one to condone their hatred and xenophobia.  But Odin values and covets all the world’s knowledge, from the many peoples and cultures He has encountered.  My relationship with Odin is between the two of us, but I’ll say this– He has never made me feel unwelcome to learn from Him, because I lack a certain genetic heritage.  It is my understanding that all Gods call whom They will, including the Heathen Gods.

This business of declaring oneself superior, due to arbitrary and minuscule genetic differences, will only lead to the downfall of these terrorists, and all who support them, especially if they continue to slander Odin and other Gods in the process.  What do they think is going to happen, I wonder, when the Powers they invoke actually show up?  It’s not likely to be pretty, but it will be just.  And that is why tonight, and every night, I am grateful for Odin.

#GratitudeProject2017

When a God Tells You Something…

…Or, Little Syncretism Things…

Some of you may know that I have a budding relationship with Odin.  When He appeared in my life the first few times it did nothing but scare the crap out of me.  That has lessened, thankfully, and now I can concentrate on what I’m supposed to be learning from Him.  There are circumstances that He wants addressed, but other than that He has yet to suggest anything that I wasn’t already involved in, or anything that I didn’t already know needed fixing.  He and I have a pretty easy-going relationship, partly due to Zeus and Apollon keeping a watchful eye on my interactions with Him, and partly due to Him being incredibly understanding of my situation.

There are several things I work with Him on, but the most important thing He tries to teach me is how to be Sovereign; what that looks like in my life and with the spirits under my care, and what I need to do in order to project that Sovereignty without stepping on Apollon’s toes, and also how not to let Apollon walk all over me in the marriage.

As I’m sure you can guess, Apollon isn’t always pleased with the subject matter, but this education stems from an agreement between the two Kings, Zeus and Odin, and as much as He might not like it, He still has to abide by it, and so do I.  So, I listen and I watch, and I try to apply what I’ve heard and seen.

Now, as Hunt season has already begun (early, so I’ve heard) I’m in the position of being truly involved in my Court’s activities.  The Waiting Ones (which is the name they’ve called themselves since before I was finally given to them) are a host of dead fighting men and women, most of them previously human, some not so much, or at all.  After having spent so long just waiting for me to be born for them, they now get to act upon their extreme boredom.

Sometimes that means chasing terrified wildlife, sometimes it means giving me nightmares, and still other times it means merging with another long established Hunt during the darkening days of the year.  This is where Odin comes in again, though perhaps not in the way one might first expect.

I was told a story by Him, about two young Goddesses who once fled Their Homeland for reasons I am not at liberty to mention here.  They came to a place entwined with another Pantheon, and over the course of many, many years, were accepted into that Pantheon via personal human experience and established myth.  When looking back upon this, I’ve seen traces, though I claim it as nothing more than my personal doxa, even if I have spoken with the Goddesses in question about it, and even if They have vouched for the authenticity of Odin’s tale.

In the story, it was told that these Goddesses did not travel alone, but with a host of Their own– a Hunt, if you will, that remains loyal to Them to this day. It is this Hunt that my Court runs with during the darkening days, and their time with Them is soon to begin.

The Autumnal Equinox is, depending upon what calendar one uses, either tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow.  According to my calendar, it’ll be the day after.  As most Hellenic Polytheists I know of will perhaps be celebrating Persephone’s decent, I will be honoring Leto, and the riding of Her Hunt across the lands.

Of course, many also celebrate Apollon’s departure to Hyperborea on the Equinox, and this makes sense and is incorporated into my doxa, as Apollon and Artemis both will be riding in Their Mother’s Hunt, for at least the time between the Equinox and the end of Aegletia (the Treasury of Apollon’s October festival).  So, there is certainly a departure at the Equinox, but Apollon hasn’t gone completely from the world yet.  He remains on the outskirts of civilization, in our peripheral vision.

[And before anyone dares to tell me that this is “wrong”, please remember that Gods do not have to be in only one place at a single point in time.  If that is your reason for rejecting my doxa, fine, but don’t think to explain to a bride of Apollon, who regularly interacts with other brides of Apollon, that her God (or any God) can not be in more than one place at a time. Save your breath.]

So, Leto, the fair-haired and veiled Consort of Zeus, seems to have a lot more going on than the motherly demure that She is so often characterized by in what writings on Her that survive, which of course gives us very little information on how peoples of the past actually viewed Her.  In this, I rely on my doxa and on interactions with Her via dreams and symbolism.

When I see Leto, I do not see one who is tied down by conventional motherhood, though a large portion of our understanding of Her come from Her role as Mother of Artemis and Apollon.  I see a Goddess of liminality, of twilight, flanked by wolves, who takes no shit and doles out justice of the finest quality.  Leto suffers no insult lightly, either to Herself or to Her Children, and when She rides out on the darkening days, She does so unveiled, hair streaming behind her in awful glory.  This is the Goddess whom Niobe insulted– the Goddess whose honor was defended by Artemis and Apollon, and these traits are but a few inherited from Her, by Them.

When I look at Leto, I see a Whole Goddess, Someone who has a past, a history, a life that began long before the birth of Her Children, and in that I find common ground for the growth of our relationship, as well as for personal growth.  There is much I have (and have yet) to learn from Her in regard to keeping my own identity intact after becoming a mother.  In this culture, motherhood is so easily dismissed, yet it is also lauded as the highest pedestal a woman can be seated upon, to the detriment of society.

Leto, who is quiet, who is veiled, is the same Leto who does not flinch in the presence of Hera, or any Other.  She is the same Leto who throws off her veil to ride vigorously through the wilderness, and the same Leto who, for reasons of Her own, fled Her birthplace along with Her Sister and Their host to stake Her claim to the varied lands in ancient Hellas.  And She was well respected throughout.

So, as the days darken, my spirits will wander off to follow Her, as they have done in years past, while I will remain here preparing to receive Apollon and His Mother and Sister for the Aegletia.  And then They will leave to carry out Their various concerns for the Winter months.

It’s fascinating how so many of these revelations were brought about by a God with whom I never imagined I’d have anything to do with, directly.  It’s fascinating how Zeus arranged this.  And it’s fascinating how right it all feels… for me.

Foreign Gods

Okay, so the other day I was in the city making meals for homeless people and hanging out with some self-described hipsters and progressives.  All very nice people.  Well, this one guy, who called himself a Marxist/Atheist/Buddhist (wow, what a label) asked me if my polytheistic religion precludes belief in the deities of other cultures.  He seemed to think that all religions were like Christianity, in that they deny all manifestations of divinity save for their own, and was so shocked by my answer that I don’t think he believed me.  He immediately went into a tirade about how he hates being witnessed to (where did that come from?), and I quickly had to tell him that most Pagans and Polytheists don’t proselytize, to which he seemed skeptically impressed.  He never did allow me to answer his original question, however.

Since the incident, I’ve had time to reflect on my personal experiences with gods from Pantheons outside my own.  I do have a few.  Two gods from both the Norse and Egyptian Pantheons, and one who is oftentimes included in Christianity.  I’ll start with him then go on to the others, since he was the one who got me moving forward on the Path, after my last ditch effort to make a connection to the god of the Bible.

Lucifer

I used to talk to Lucifer about every little thing that bothered me about Christianity, from women’s obedience and gay issues, to the divinity/humanity of Jesus, and the fact that the god of the Bible is a schizoid maniac. He was a good listener, gave decent advice to a ten – twelve yr. old, and ultimately encouraged me to seek religious expression outside the confines of Monotheism.  From what I experienced, he is nothing like the Christians portray him to be.  He was both challenging and motivational, and was a source of strength when I was most in need.

Bastet and Isis

I was obsessed with Egypt as a young girl and teen.  I had images of Bastet all over my room, and drawn inside my school notebooks.  I knew nothing of her worship (or worship of any ancient gods) at the time, but I’m pretty sure I was worshiping her without even knowing it.  I had a little spot on my vanity for a small cat figurine that I associated with her, and I was constantly putting fresh dandelions next to it.  I’ve always been a cat lover, and whenever one of my cats has died, I’ve said a prayer to Bastet so that they might find her, and find peace.

My experience with Isis is much more brief, but very profound.  I’ve only called upon her for assistance once in my life, though I did study her myths for some time before hand.  It was through the myths that I came to know her as a nurturer of children.  So, one night, while I was babysitting a very restless and upset little girl (just over a year old), I called on Isis to help me calm her down enough to get her to sleep.  She and I sat together in front of my altar as I did this, and I swear, the change was instantaneous.  The baby started giggling and cooing, when previously she’d had only tears.  She fell asleep in my arms a few minutes later, and I have been extremely grateful to Isis ever since.

Odin and Loki

Now this one is weird.  I’m a writer and illustrator by hobby, and back when I was just out of high school I was working on this silly original manga, the title of which escapes me.  What I do remember, is that Odin and Loki were my main characters.  I have no idea what possessed me to name them thusly.  I don’t really think I did.  I think the two gods barged into my life through the manga of their own free will.  They certainly were a lot more developed than the other characters, and actually talked to me.

By this time I had been Wiccan for several years, but didn’t know anything about Norse Paganism.  I couple of months later, I would meet an Asatruar for the first time, who just happened to be a follower of Odin.  Before we parted ways for what would prove to be the final time, he carved and gifted to me a gorgeous image of Odin riding Sleipnir, out of a coconut shell.  I treasured it and kept in on my altar until sadly, the fire which prompted my move to Texas, destroyed it and everything else I owned at the time.

As far as Loki is concerned, he didn’t leave after I abandoned the manga, nor did he leave when Odin did, which was around the time my Asatruar friend moved away.  The god stuck around and was quite good company for a long time. I studied his myths and some of Odin’s, and was increasingly drawn in by him.  I set up an altar to him and made regular offerings of flowers and poetry. I was falling in love with him, there’s no doubt about it.

Then, when I met the man who I would later marry, Loki took an instant dislike to him, and attempted to destroy the relationship.  No, that’s not quite true.  I meant to say, he blew it the fuck up.  Scared the shit out of me.

After everything died down, I patched things up with the future hubby, and I haven’t been able to have anything to do with Loki since, even though I still feel that charismatic draw that only he has.  Also, because of our history (mostly the fact that I am apparently compatible enough with the god to actually fall in love with him) Apollon has forbidden me to speak to, or in any way make voluntary contact with Loki. Yep, he’s that particular god I think I’ve mentioned before.

So, to answer that Marxist/Atheist/Buddhist dude’s question, even though he’ll never actually read it, no, my belief in and love for the Olympians does not in any way preclude the gods of any other culture, foreign or otherwise. I don’t need to have direct experience of them all just to know that they exist. The fact that they have worshipers, and the fact that we are having discussions like this one, are proof enough.