Happy Yule Folks! I hope you’re having a wonderful Yule season.
I’ve talked about being bitch-slapped by the gods and being chosen. Apparently there are a couple of posts that talk about toxic relationships with deities and how one shouldn’t call it chosen, but called.
So, let’s talk about what I think is happening, as one who got a rather loud and sudden cho…ahem, calling.
My Own Experience (tl;dr: If you know the story, skip to the next section)
I was a deist/agnostic going on atheist. I am a skeptic, which made the following story a bit hard to deal with. I had rune sets before I became Heathen (long story, that), have had dreams that have come true, and have an unnatural power with animals. (My husband swears that 500 years ago I would’ve been burned at the stake.)
So, one night several years ago I was casting runes (okay, yeah, it seems odd that an agnostic would do this) and after getting an answer, asked who was telling me this. The first rune I pulled out was Tyr’s: ᛏ. Then, I pulled out three more. They spelled: ᚦᛟᚱ.
I was stunned. I knew all about the Norse gods and goddesses from my study of the myths and legends, but have not one, but two talk to me? Seriously? That night I did some soul searching. Was this a joke? Did I read into something that didn’t really happen? I felt confused. Then, I started hearing Tyr in my mediations and dreams. Boy, howdy, did that confuse me even more. Eventually I turned to other Heathens who were able to help me sort it out.
When You Don’t Pick Up the Phone When a God Calls You
My experience with the gods wasn’t something that I was particularly looking for. (Although someone might successfully argue why I was asking who was sending me messages, let alone playing with runes.) I now recognize that I received “callings” in the past, but I was too clueless to recognize them. And even if I had, at certain parts of my life when I was younger I was a serious Roman Catholic.
When a god or goddess really wants you, calling just might not be enough. Humans are notoriously dense sometimes and sometimes it takes one grabbing the person by the scruff of the neck, picking him or her up, and shouting “look at me!” If you’ve had that experience, after you’ve changed your pants, you know the god or goddess has chosen you. You’ve maybe received “calls,” but apparently you’ve never made the connection.
Abusive, or Something Else?
Those of us who do have gods who have laid claim to them can probably attest to the suddenness of the encounter. In some cases, the gods are bullies and should be avoided at all costs, but in many cases, that isn’t the situation at all. It’s not that the god or goddess is abusive or bullying, it’s just that they haven’t gotten that person’s attention, for whatever reason, aka cluelessness. So, being deities, they do things in big ways when the small ways don’t work.
That being said, I never advocate entering a relationship with a god or goddess until you understand what they want from you and figure out how they’re going to treat you. I set ground rules with Tyr from the get-go and he was fine with them. I understand that it reduces my contact with him, but at the same time, it is a safe relationship.
Ground Rules for Dealing with Relationships with Deities (and
- Never enter into a relationship with an abusive being (deity, human, or supernatural)
- If a deity tells you to do something against your morals, something that harms you or other people, or something that puts you or others in peril, don’t do it and break off communication.
- If a deity tells you to do something against the law, don’t do it and break off communication.
- If the deity hurts you physically, spiritually, or emotionally, get out of that relationship.
- If a deity bullies you, get out of the relationship.
- Set ground rules immediately. Don’t get yourself lost in a relationship with a god/goddess.
Obviously there might be exceptions, but these are good guidelines. For one thing, you might not be talking to a deity but may be dealing with a mental illness. In this case, seek psychiatric help. Even if the deity lays claim to you, you can refuse the claim and get out. Sometimes seeking another, more benevolent deity who is willing to intercede on your behalf will protect you.
My point to all this is that just because a deity chooses you, it doesn’t necessarily make it a toxic relationship. What I’ve found is that quite often being chosen is simply a way for the god or goddess to make themselves known. You have to choose back, too.
For years I didn’t understand/trust Skadi. I knew her as a dangerous goddess. But I didn’t understand that for as dangerous as she is, she is also kind in her own way. We have a bond that goes back decades (gods, I just admitted I’m old) but it took work to establish a — dare I say it? — friendship. Tyr and I are closer because of my very nature, but Skadi is becoming a goddess I speak to more and more.
I hope this helps anyone chosen by a god or goddess. Let me know about your own encounters.