Some Things to Think About Before Dedicating Oneself to a God

Some Things to Think About Before Dedicating Oneself to a God

I ran into this post on Happily Heathen about dedicating oneself to a god or goddess.  It left me

feeling a bit hinky, but I understand why someone would want to dedicate themselves to a god or goddess.  I won’t lie when I say that I’m dedicated to Tyr, but it’s not the same type of dedication I’ve seen with other people. Or maybe it is, I just don’t look at it the same way.

My Experience with the Gods or Your Mileage May Vary

I’m taking a big breath as I write this as I try to put into words what kind of relationship I have with the god.  There was no contract and no ceremony.  I guess seeing the Deity Dedication Contract on that page on Happily Heathen made me concerned.  You see, Tyr is all about oaths and contracts.  You fuck it up and you’re screwed in a big way. He gets that we as humans make mistakes, but formalizing an oath is even stricter than a marriage vow.  You can get a divorce from a marriage vow, and it may be messy or in some warped cases, even deadly.  You fuck up with a god, and you’re screwed.  Big time.

Oath Takers and Oath Breakers

It has to do with oaths. Oathbreakers are considered the lowest of the low in ancient Norse culture, which I imagine we got from our gods. Those who break oaths — even gods like Tyr — pay heavy prices. This is why I look on oaths very solemnly.

Whether you believe in Nastrond, where Nidhoggr chews on oathbreakers, adulterers, and murderers, is immaterial.  The Eddas have a type of morality play where oathbreakers are indeed punished through fate or karma. To make an oath to a god is a very serious obligation and any promises you make to them, you need to keep.  These aren’t the Christian god who probably would forgive you if you promised something under duress. No, these are our primal gods who will take your promise seriously.

This is why as a person who follows Tyr, I am cautious about any oaths, or even everyday agreeing to things. This shit takes control real fast and you’ll soon find yourself overextended and over-pledged.  And taking oaths you can’t keep.

That being said, it’s good to understand the limits of what you’ll allow versus what you won’t if you dedicate yourself to a god.  Some gods are more respectful of limits than others. Others will ride roughshod over you, even if you say no.  Just because you say you don’t want X doesn’t mean they’ll respect it. I know there are other bloggers who will say so-and-so will respect any boundaries you set.  Some gods/goddesses will.  Others won’t.

These are gods, and they are not your whiny-ass bitches. (Whoa!  Where did that come from?  Did I just hear someone say that to me?)  Harsh, but very, very true. You are dealing with something far more powerful, and more elemental in this Universe than you’ve ever imagined. Don’t pretend there’s a safe word that will make everything all right.

A Great Big Bull’s-Eye

Once you’re of interest to one god, it’s like grabbing the attention of the entire family, so to speak. When Tyr and Thor entered my life, I didn’t expect attention from Loki, Odin, Freyja, or Freyr, but I’ve got it.  It’s weird to have an occasional god pop in and see what I’m up to.  Why do they do that?  Who in the Hel knows?

It can be annoying at times, and even disconcerting because, let’s face it, I’m a skeptic, and in fact, I’m still trying to keep the agnostic part.  But it’s hard to remain agnostic when the gods decide you’re worth paying attention to, for whatever fucking reason.  It’s weird, really.  I understand why, but it still surprises me that I’d attract attention.

No Skinriding, Please

I’ve heard the term skinriding as a type of possession some folks go through. It’s a weird experience

where you lose control as the god or goddess takes over.  This can happen when bears and wolves take over warriors as well, called beserkers and ulfhednar. I’m not even sure I believe in it.  That being said, there was a time when someone asked me for advice, and I swear Tyr was talking through me. I don’t now remember what I said exactly, but I do remember the feeling.  It was exhilarating and at the same time, disconcerting.  What he said I basically agreed with, but seriously?

I think it really depends on you and your personality and how it meshes with the god/goddess. For all I know, we all might be suffering from multiple personality disorders, which makes us in serious need of therapy. If there’s one thing that will have me check myself into the loony bin, it’ll be not being in control of myself.  So, absolutely no skinriding.  I know Tyr knows my rules and is okay with it.

If you go down the path of skinriding, be sure you can handle it.  And be sure it’s a god whom you trust.

So, Should You Dedicate Yourself to a God?

That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?  I don’t have an answer for you on that. Only you and your god(s) can tell you what is right for you.  All I can do is provide advice when it comes to what to think about.  You want to make oaths?  That’s your call.  You want to allow possession?  Again, that’s your call.  You want to formalize your oath with a contract?  Okey dokey.

Maybe I might be closer to Tyr if I did do those things, but that’s really not my nature, and he understands. I don’t think I’d be any closer to him.  The fact that I’m even writing about this is a stretch for me because I don’t like to really blab about these things in real life.  I’d keep it to myself in most cases, but I’ve heard from others who seem to confirm what I know from my interactions with the god. These folk have encouraged me to write about it. So, here it is.

If you are lucky (or unlucky) enough to draw a god’s attention, chances are you know what I’m talking about.  And maybe if you find yourself in this position, my words might actually make sense.  Do what you think is right, but also be cautious. Don’t agree to things you might regret later.  And once you do go down that rabbit hole, there’s no turning back.

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.” — Morpheus, The Matrix

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