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.