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Looking for Answers from the Gods About the Pandemic

Looking for Answers from the Gods About the Pandemic

As I sit and work day-to-day, I remember when I first heard about COVID-19 pandemic, Tyr told me that my job was now to stay safe and alive. So far, I’ve managed to do so. But it got me thinking about others who do not hear the gods, and I’d imagine they wonder the gods have to say when it comes to this already brutal year.

We Now Continue Our Year From Hell…

I intentionally used the Christian Hell, because I doubt strongly Lady Hel would treat humans this badly. 2021 is shaping up to be as awful as 2020 in a lot of respects. Sure it’s a new year, and we have the vaccine, but it’s going to take a shitload of inoculations before we can truly think this pandemic nightmare is finally over. Assuming the vaccine does what it’s supposed to do.

Our ancestors dealt with diseases all the time, and unfortunately they did not live long. You had a one in three chance of dying before you turned 21. If you were a woman back then, the chance of dying in childbirth was huge. Most people didn’t make it to 50. True. If you did, you were very old. It took courage and strength to survive in the Viking Era. Despite all the hardship, people did live their lives and lived as Heathens.

What the Gods Might Say to Us About the Pandemic

When it suits the gods, I sometimes hear from them. Despite my connection to them, I try very hard not to put words in their mouths. Different gods have different agendas. Even so, I do get impressions and feeling from them. And the message I get is to survive. Yes. Survive. You, me, …everyone. Use our brains to understand what is happening and listen to those who know more about it than we do. That means, listen to medical and health professionals who have more knowledge than your neighbor, your favorite politician, or your favorite conspiracy website. Even I don’t have the answers to everything, but I will tell you how I see it. Too many people are quick to go back to “normal” living when most of the population isn’t vaccinated, and we really don’t know how long the vaccine is effective.

As Heathens, we need to understand that the gods are not our bitches. They don’t run to us when we call. They don’t coddle us. They expect us to behave like the adults we are and face our problems head on. That may mean to show enough courage to wear a mask to protect the more susceptible people. To give up our parties and socializing for a while. And even to act like an adult when others aren’t.

Not Our First Pandemic: Our Ancestors had it Rough

I get it. It’s been a tough year sheltering in place. But guys, we have it easy comparatively speaking, to our ancestors. Our medical professionals tell us to wear masks, stay at home when not doing anything that is vitally essential, and social distance when we’re in places with other people. Yeah, the virus has screwed with our jobs and our livelihoods; I get that. Kids can’t socialize and play with others. Yeah, I get that too. Suddenly parents have had to become parents again and deal with their family on the full-time basis. Not always easy.

I look at how our ancestors had to cope with disease and hardship, and look at us today. Despite almost a half million dead in the United States alone—and yeah, I do know people who have had this terrible disease, or who work with patients who have it—we humans are better prepared than we have ever been to combat this disease. And what’s more, simple measures such as wearing a mask, handwashing, and maintaining a distance from others who are not in your immediate household can help prevent you from getting the virus and spreading it to others. When compared to what our ancestors had to deal with, our sacrifices for not spreading the disease seem minor.

Humanity hasn’t Changed, Much to My Chagrin

All that being said, I’ve been horrified that our behavior as a species hasn’t changed since the last pandemic. And how we haven’t changed that much since diseases such as the plague have ravaged our populations. Different accounts have shown that people’s behavior is still pretty much the same in a crisis. Despite all the progress in science we’ve made, people are still quick to trust in their god or gods that they will be spared despite our knowledge and education. Or they go about blaming conspiracies by certain mistrusted groups. Or they make shit up and try that to protect themselves.

In short, most people have never learned critical thinking. And honestly, that will be the downfall of humanity. Our own stupidity and ignorance will kill us faster than anything else because most are unwilling to understand the logic behind health professionals’ recommendations. You know, the guys with the fifty-pound heads who study diseases for a living? Who make recommendations from the current data they have? No, they’re not infallible. And no, they may change their recommendations as new data comes to light, but honestly, would you rather trust your neighbor who believes in chemtrails, or a seasoned medical professional with enough training and degrees, who has studied this disease, and has the latest information?

The Gods are Not Your Bitches

Look, if you’re looking for Odin, Thor, or whomever to keep yourself and your family safe from this pandemic, I’ve got news for you. The gods are not your bitches. They don’t come when we call them like some well-trained dog looking for a biscuit. Look, I’m on good relations with about a half-dozen gods and goddesses, and they don’t pop in most of the time when I talk to them. Sure, they listen. But whether they decide to talk with me is their decision; not mine. I get that.

Asking a god or goddess to protect you from COVID-19 while you’re still going to bars, not wearing masks, and not social distancing is insulting to our gods. They expect for us to use our brains and show foresight. They expect us to take the measures we can to protect ourselves from a pandemic. To expect them to keep you safe is ludicrous.

So, yeah, trust in the gods, but prepare yourselves. And don’t treat our gods like the Christians treat theirs.

The Gods are Not Your Bitches

The Gods are Not Your Bitches

It’s nice to see someone in the pagan community agree with me, even though they said it nicer than I did.  The gods, whether you think of them as people or metaphors, don’t necessarily jump when you ask them to jump.  They don’t necessarily do things because you whined at them.  And they certainly aren’t our bitches who show up because we called to them.

Connecting with Gods

Connecting with the gods is a personal thing, In My Not So Humble Opinion (IMNSHO), and each connection is as different as it is for each individual to be different.  How you related to one god isn’t necessarily how I relate to him.  I think it has to do with who we are and how we got to this point. Tyr, for example, doesn’t really pop in, raid the refrigerator, and open up a bottle of mead on the counter at my house.   If he does at your house, please tell me.  I’d be mighty curious about that.  I’d be surprised.  (Now, if it were Loki, I’d expect that.) Some folks claim to have real life experiences.  I’ve only had one, and that made me question my sanity.  (Meeting Odin on the street — seriously.)

It’s not my place to tell you how to connect with gods, but I might offer some advice: They aren’t your bitches, and most aren’t interested in you unless you bring something to the table.  Occasionally, a few of us hear the call and say “what the fuck?” That happened to me, but I realize that having such experiences can be uncommon, not the rule when it comes to the gods.

My Own (Limited) Experience

I think the gods tend to be a bit more mindful about our pasts when we “connect” with them. As a follower of Tyr, he’s my main go-to god for just about everything.  That being said, sometimes I realize that other gods are more suitable to my petitions, but I really don’t know them that well.

Tyr knows I have a lot of baggage from religion and childhood. If I have a fault, it is I lean pretty heavily on him from time to time. It’s mostly just moral support, but occasionally it’s a “I need this” kind of request.  Yeah, it comes from growing up Roman Catholic and being shoved into the “pray to god to help you” mentality.  Realistically, I know that Tyr is not the god for that sort of thing, but when I have shit raining down, he gets an earful.  Because I look at him like a friend.  Sometimes I just get a sympathetic ear and not much more. Sometimes I get help.  Sometimes another god pops into my life because he or she is better at helping me.  If anything, I now have five gods/goddesses that I offer blots and talk to.

That’s how I relate to the gods.  I wasn’t looking to go back to being a theist, so I kind of have the opinion that because they found me, they knew what kind of package they were picking up.  Lately, when I bemoaned not being able to talk to the wights with someone who actually does a fair amount of work with them, I learned some things and actually got some positive things happen.  Okay, so I’m a bit agnostic on them still, but they’re included.  And I get a more positive feeling from them.

Why We Demand Help

I often talk about Christianity, mainly because I can’t get away from my Christian upbringing.  If you were raised Heathen, Pagan, or with another religion that wasn’t derived from the Abrahamic religions, you probably don’t have the same reliance that many who have left those faiths have to their gods. We’ve been spoon fed a pack of lies since we could understand words. It’s not our parents’ faults, per se, they’ve been as brainwashed as we have since their childhood. There’s a good reason for them to teach us Christianity’s teachings, too. The fear of their hell and eternal torment makes even the toughest guy in the room quake.

So, we’re taught very early on that god will provide. That god will care for us. That everything will work out to god’s plan.  And when stuff goes our way, we praise god.  When shit happens — and it does happen to good people, and even the best followers of the Christian god — we tell ourselves that it was god’s plan, or maybe they weren’t really that good.  Because a kind and just god wouldn’t allow that to happen, would he?

So, we beg for good things to happen to us.  That we get that raise, get accepted to that school, get a job, find a significant other, heal someone or ourselves, or win the lottery. The reality is that unless we get off our butts and do something, it’s unlikely we’re going to see positive results.  That’s where that old saying “god helps those who help themselves” most likely got started.  Well, whether you should maybe claim it as a god’s victory is questionable.  I’d argue that every victory is your own, and if the gods help you out, you should be thankful for their aid, but you’re the one who really made it happen.

The Gods are Not Our Bitches

If we look at the gods as strictly archetypes or metaphors for the universe that surrounds us, we can pretty much deduce they don’t need us, although we’re already heavily reliant on them.  We rely on Sif and Freyr for growing things, Thor for our thunderstorms (i.e. rain), Sunna for our light, Mani for more than just a shining orb above us at night, but may have had to do with actual life, Tyr for our laws, both human made and natural, Odin for our creation, and so forth.  My point is we rely on them for a lot already, so calling them down to aid us, especially when we have no rapport with them, seems a little self centered.  If we consider them entities, so much more so.

If you have a relationship with a god or gods, chances are you already know your boundaries. If you’re looking for help and you only have relationship with one or two gods, maybe they’re the first should hear your plea and then see what they say.  Other gods most likely need some type of introduction and probably a pretty decent relationship before one can ask for things from them.

When we understand that they’re entities (or at least metaphors) with their own agendas, we can see that our gods aren’t the Christian vending machine that our society has come to expect.