Hearing the Gods

I see a lot of posts from people who desperately struggle to make contact with the Gods, and I’ve seen people completely turn away from Pagan paths out of frustration.

I understand that frustration because I spent ten years unable to properly connect with a pantheon. When the Norse Gods came into my life, it was a disruptive storm. Which makes sense, considering the Norse pantheon is pretty violent overall.

I think that a lot of people have been contacted by the Gods, but that those people don’t realize that the Gods are communicating with them.

A lot of people will dismiss dreams where the Gods are featured, assuming that it’s just their imagination or extreme desire to connect with the Gods creating those dreams.

To be fair, sometimes, that may be true. In my experience, dreams are where the Gods can communicate most clearly. And a dream featuring a true connection with a deity tends to leave me exhausted upon waking.

The dreams from the Gods almost never make sense. I have witnessed Odin and Loki communicating with each other as birds. Most of the dreams where Odin is featured tend to be Him revealing past lives to me. I once witnessed Thor nearly break down Loki’s door to drag Him giant hunting.

While the dreams are interesting, they aren’t the only way the Gods communicate. Each God embodies a certain type of energy. Loki is the easiest example – His energy is fiery, mischievous, and fun. He tends to delight in throwing signs of His presence out at people.

As an example, I was doodling in my notebook during class, and I was writing Loki’s name in word art, and I looked up at my teacher’s hat and the hat had the joker on the bill.

Now, it could be easy to write that off as coincidence, but the Gods love to communicate in subtle, unmistakable ways. Words are too easy to wrongly attribute.

A problem I see people have is that they attempt to approach a God thinking He or She is the one they need to work with. There are tons of people who approach Odin who are unsuited to His path due to temperament incompatibility.

It’s better to approach a God that you can easily see parts of yourself within, as They will be the easiest for you to hear. And you may be surprised at who you end up being most compatible with.

Part of the problem is that there is this desire to be patroned by the most powerful Gods, and some people aren’t suited to those paths.

Nearly every Heathen works with Thor to some degree, but the most interaction I have really had with Him is the conversation where we agreed to respect each other. I’m not suited to His path, and it would be disrespectful for me to force my way onto His path.

The thing that people forget is that a God is a God, and even the most minor Gods are far more powerful than we tend to assume. Look at Ullr, an ancient God of winter that kept Himself relevant by becoming the patron of skiers. Most people would consider Him a minor God, as there is next to no lore about Him, but He is one of the eldest Gods of the Norse pantheon.

A person doesn’t need a patron God, but most Pagans desire one and eventually end up with one. I’m in a unique situation where Odin is my patron, but He doesn’t spend much time talking to me. When He does communicate with me, it’s always important. I’m sworn to Odin, but I’m not close to Him. That’s the role He requires of me.

That’s the other mistake people make. Patrons aren’t necessarily going to be your friend – They choose you because you can fulfill a role They need filled. It’s more like a business partnership.

Now, I have relationships with other Gods, but none of Them are patrons. Loki and Sigyn take on more of a familial role, while Tyr is the one who gives me advice from time to time. Freyja helps me learn magic, and Ullr acts as a guide between worlds.

Each of the Gods I mentioned communicate with me in different ways, but I have to be willing to be open to those communications. Since there is a spark of divinity within humanity, the Gods can communicate with us, but like any spark, that connection must be nursed to life.

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5 comments on “Hearing the Gods

  1. My “hearing” godphone is getting better, I think (e.g. see my latest post), but yeah, I mostly just sense their energies when they’re around. To me, Loki is warm, fuzzy, and tingly. Sigyn is soft and calm and soothing (her energy can be very subtle and difficult to “pick up on” sometimes if I’m not paying attention). Freyr’s energy is rather hard to describe, but if it were an emoticon it would probably be 😀 (actually Freyr’s energy feels a lot like Loki’s when the latter gets really excited about something, which actually led to a bit of misidentification a few nights ago :p )

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    • Yeah, Loki and Freyr can definitely feel similar. Freyr’s path seems to mostly consist of just enjoying life as it comes. His energy seems a bit more regal to me than Loki’s, if I had to pinpoint a difference.

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  2. I have to agree, I really didn’t get a ‘pull’ until I started working with the Norse. Until then, a lot of my work was done with general names, such as “Lord of Light” and “Goddess of the Moon”, or “Lady of all”.

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  3. Each relationship an individual has with each and every God is different, and unique to them. Some lessons are better suited to learning from deity A versus deity B, but another person’s mileage will vary. A pianist may connect better with bragi than odin.

    I like to tell people to think if it this way, in our lives there are many relationships. Some are friends, others work colleagues, others neighbors, or family. We have unique personalities and you’re not going to have a perfect connection with everyone.

    I think the greatest harm we do is enter with preconceptions of how it should be, or we try to force the Gods into our concept of Their role. That’s like telling someone ‘hey you can be my girlfriend, but only if you always wear all black chanel outfits’

    Also sometimes we’re so distracted we don’t notice Them trying to connect with us either.

    I also think there’s a misperception about those relationships. The majority if believers simply do not talk about such spiritual matters. That leaves you with a small, albeit very vocal minority that dies, which tends more to the unusual than the average. Not everyone us a godspouse, shaman, etc. Many folks see people talking about very special relationships and are envious, and hurt that they don’t connect in the same way. Then it becomes ‘why do you love them, but hate me?’

    I know of one instance when someone was convinced the other person was lying about their experiences simply because the Gods didn’t interact with them in that way. We each have our own talents and skills, and the wyrd and orlog of our life has given rise to each of us having our own unique situations and lifestory. Some of us are more socially adept, others more mechanically minded, etc. There’s a reason teachers are taught how to instruct students who learn in a wide array of ways, a reason our doctors may prescription different medicines and treatment plans for the same ailment. We’re different, some things will work better for us than others.

    I think it’s important for others to understand there’s a range of ways people interact with our Gods, but I think we have a duty to share our stories responsibly. Just as one person can be a prodigy pianist at 4, someone else may just be a great artist, or have a good way if putting people at their ease. We have to when not only sharing our truths, make sure to remind others there’s a multiplicity if diversity.

    Also, make sure we’re sharing for the right reasons, in the past I’ve encountered a few folks who shared stories for purely selfish reasons, to aggrandize themselves, or a couple who out right lied because they wanted to be special, in the way it seems so many want in the wider paganism the title of priestess for the prestige and not because they feel called to it or duty bound to serve their Gods and community.

    I also think the prevalence with Thor has less to do with everyone feels called to Him, and more to do that he’s one of a handful of the dozens upon dozens of deities in our tradition that we actually have a lot of surviving information about. People shy from the unknown, and embrace what they know better. I used to keep special tokens and hand them out after rites had concluded whenever someone hailed a lesser known deity, or said something more heartfelt than ‘ hail name of deity here’ or I felt nudged to do so by the Gods.

    I also think within the Northern Tradition umbrella, there’s a lot if annoying asshat who will thump lore at you who trap our Gods existence to the safety of what happens between the front and back cover of the Eddas. Newcomers are ridiculed and shamed by the ‘they think they know it all jerks’

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    • I’ve seen many newcomers chased away from Heathenry because of those lore fiends, and instead of being respectful and admitting their wrongdoing, those lore fiends tend to react by saying things like “if their interest was strong enough, it wouldn’t matter” and “you need a thick skin to survive as a heathen.”

      While both of those things are true to a point, it’s a type of exclusivity and that can breed hatred. Instead of being welcoming to new heathens, I’ve seen many groups treat them like outsiders and with open suspicion.

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