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When the Other Gods Call to You

When the Other Gods Call to You

You’ve been in a religion for some time.  Or perhaps you’ve not been in a religion at all.  Maybe it is Christianity; maybe it is another pagan religion.  Perhaps you’ve been agnostic or even atheist.  Or maybe you’re a Heathen like I am.  Regardless, now you’re looking at a calling and…it’s not a god or goddess you follow.  What do you do?

Getting Beyond the Shock

If you’re a Christian or someone who have been in the Abrahamic religions, this is often a complete shock.  Same goes for atheists, who are more likely to think they’ve gone crazy hearing from a god or goddess.  Depending on your religious upbringing, you may think the deity is some form of demon coming to tempt you away from the “One True God.”  If you fall for the Yahweh argument, you’ll never get anywhere with this.  Instead, you’ll turn down a potential positive and more personal relationship with the gods than you ever had with the god of the monotheistic cults.

If you’re a pagan, chances are you’re probably open to it.  But there are pantheons and there are pantheons.  For example, if you’re Heathen like I am, and you’re called by someone like the Morrigan, you’ll be arguing with yourself over whether you’ve just become “Wiccatru” and not on the straight and narrow path of Asatru.  Well, maybe, maybe not.

Who is Doing the Calling?

The first step is to understand who is contacting you.  Most of the time, as I understand it, the calls are pretty subtle.  Mine was sudden and intense.  If it’s a Heathen calling, it could be a god or goddess, it could be an ancestor of yours, or it could be a spirit of the land.  If you think it’s another god or spirit from a different pantheon, it could be one of the many manifestations of a Heathen god or spirit.  You see, many of the pagan religions came from a singular Indo-European source and the Heathen gods are often their gods, but just different names and manifestations.

Some gods and goddesses are specific to a religion, in which case, I recommend talking to someone more knowledgeable in that religion to understand what is happening.  It might be their deity or it might be something else. Without having a clear knowledge of who is calling, you just might not be speaking with the deity you think you’re speaking with.

Do You Really Want to Deal with this God or Goddess?

Once you establish who you’re dealing with, it’s up to you to decide if the god or goddess is someone you want to talk to.  Some deities have some pretty nasty reputations and they can be nothing but trouble, even if they’re from the Norse pantheon.  Then  again, depending on the god, you may or may not have a good relationship with them.

If it becomes obvious that the god you’re speaking with isn’t the god you think it is, it’s up to you to decide if you really want to deal with them. Some gods and goddesses aren’t trustworthy, and just because you’ve heard of them doesn’t mean they’re the right deity for you.  Pagan deities are like people–they have their positives and negatives.  Even my own god, Tyr, has pitfalls, although I tend to downplay those negatives because of all the positives.

My point is that as someone who is being called, it’s up to you to decide whether you should answer it.

When Not to Work with a God or Goddess

You’ve gotten a call from a deity.  Before you get all starry-eyed, think about what you’re committing yourself to.  Is this god or goddess asking you to do something against your morals or against the law?  Are they looking at having you harm someone or yourself?  If the answer is yes, then say no and walk away.  Take the high road here.  Don’t be like Abraham who was asked to sacrifice his only son as a burnt offering because apparently Yahweh gets his rocks off watching humans squirm, even though he is supposedly omniscient and omnipotent.  What was the purpose of THAT mindfuck?  Tell me that.  Don’t say to prove loyalty, because an omniscient and omnipotent god would already know the outcome.

Look, sometimes what a god wants and what you want isn’t in your best interest.  Don’t fall for the “god’s greater plan” bullshit.  If it’s a good plan, then there should be a quid pro quo.  Yeah, it’s a god, and you can still say no.  Can they fuck up your life for saying no?  Sure.  But then, they’ve shown you their true colors anyway.  Do you really want to work with a vindictive and dangerous god who is likely to harm you more than help you?

The Upshot of Dealing with Deities

Dealing with gods aren’t always sunshine and light.  If you get a call from a god or goddess, study the Hel out of them and get a good feeling for who they are.  Talk to priests or priestesses of that religion and get their take on your contact.  Be aware that you may not have been contacted by a god, but by an ancestor, a wight, or some other denizen looking to make contact.  When you do finally establish contact, find out what they want.  If what they want isn’t against your moral code or the law, then you have to decide if you want them in your life. (If it is against your moral code or the law, run like Hel.)  Above all, keep your head when this all occurs.  You may have to step gracefully out of the relationship.  Lastly, even if the god or goddess isn’t from your pantheon, you should still accept the contact if it is a favorable one.  After all, the deity thought enough about you to visit.

The Gods and Goddesses of Autumn

The Gods and Goddesses of Autumn

Now that the Equinox has passed, you can feel the changing of the guard, especially if you live in the northern states. This year, it’s almost as if the gods and goddesses have had enough of the fires out here.  It is as though we’ve gone from summer to winter in one day and then the actual fall settles in.

A Time of Change

Autumn is a time of change.  It heralds the coming of winter and the urgent need to prepare for it. For those of you who buy foods from the grocery stores, chances are the changes you’ll see is more pumpkin spice lattes and Halloween candy.  For me, it’s a time to search for upland birds, can my harvest, and run my dehydrator 24/7. I’m looking at my livestock and wondering who I’ll be slaughtering so I can have more meat in my freezer.  I’m considering how I’m going to keep the fresh stuff preserved so that I can enjoy it when it is cold and snowy.  And I’m waiting for general hunting season where I can hunt deer and elk.

I truly feel that our gods and goddesses are linked to the seasons. This makes a lot of sense because our planet is governed by the laws of physics — even at the tiniest level. This makes a lot of sense if you’ve ever contemplated the overall nature of the universe.

The Gods and Goddesses of Autumn

I did some basic research, and I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t a lot written about what Northern gods go with what season. We can make obvious guesses for winter and spring, but fall may be a little bit questionable simply because it is a time of transition. Even so, I’m going to share with you my insights, and hopefully you have some insights as well.

Skadi

Probably the biggest goddess of autumn (and also of winter) is Skadi, the Norse goddess of the hunt and of winter. She’s the one I pretty much go to when it comes to hunting, and I feel more in tuned with her every year. She is not an easy goddess to deal with, but she is honorable and very powerful. The story about Skadi seeking retribution for her father’s death is a story which shows how far she is willing to go if you fail to heed her.

Ullr

 

Ullr is the god of hunting, of snow and skiing, and of snowshoes. Ullr was considered an important god among the Scandinavians, no doubt since snow plays a major part in their weather. I’ve read various claims that Ullr is Skadi’s second husband after Njord. The story goes that Skadi could not abide Njord’s home near the sea, and he could not accept the high

mountain tops and snow, so they divorced and Skadi married Ullr.

Tyr

 

Tyr is the god of laws, justice, and the sky. While it seems odd to associate Tyr with a season, I believe he has power over the solstices and equinoxes, given his role as the sky god and lawmaker. It has been my experience (and you can take this as an unverified personal gnosis) that Tyr governs the laws of physics. When we deal with the movements of our planet in relation to the sun, it is really all physics.

I also ran across an interesting point that in some heathen segments Ullr may be an aspect of Tyr. It seems far-fetched, but apparently Ullr was invoked during duels, which was often used to determine who was right and who was wrong. Furthermore, there is an episode in the Atlakviða which has the swearing of an oath on Ullr’s ring. I can sort of see how this might fit together, but unless I have another UPG, it’s unlikely, at least in my own mind that Ullr is Tyr.

Freyr

 

Although it seems somewhat out of place, I’m putting Freyr as one of the autumn gods. The reason I am putting him in the autumn gods is quite obvious: he is the god of the harvest. The final harvest usually occurs sometime around the equinox, or maybe just a little later. Sometime in the fall farmers tended to slaughter livestock that they were not keeping over the winter, and preserving them. It makes sense that Freyr would preside over all of this.

 

Frigg

 

It may seem to be another stretch to put Frigg as a goddess of autumn, but I don’t think so. Frigg is a goddess of the hearth and home, of the distaff, and the wife of Odin. She has ties to Frau Holle and appears to be important in all manners of the home. To me, it makes sense that as the weather gets cooler, people are more inclined to stay indoors. So, I’m likely to think that preserving food and caring for the home falls right into Frigg’s domain.

I hope you enjoyed this piece. No doubt, you can think of some other gods and goddesses of autumn. I’d be interested to hear what you have to say and who you would recommend.