After reading a few blog posts, I am reminded that while communication between yourself and the Gods is a process that can be utilized and maintained with a little practice and patience with many different methodologies, the intent of what is communicated is not always crystal clear. For example, I kept understanding some of the communication between myself and Crow to be of a “Be my Priest” nature, which it wasn’t. The largest issue was trying to understand the meaning of what was being conveyed without placing what was communicated into the paradigms that other Pagan folk I knew had with their own relationships with the Gods. I would never caution people away from communicating and working with any of the Gods and Goddesses, but I would warn folks not to place their communication and working into the same categories that others do. The assumption that everything is the same will trip you up, and you may find yourself in territory unfamiliar to what you thought or in a bargain you never intended.
I posted this leading paragraph to Facebook a few days ago, as a preview to this post. I sincerely fall into the perspective that sharing too much knowledge waters down the experience for the person receiving that knowledge. Sometimes; however, it is best to bring up some of the warning signs to help others from stepping into the marshy, boggy spots that can ensnare the unwary.
Finding accord with the Gods happens when you follow a polytheistic path, but that is not for everyone. Some folks never get that experience, despite their fervent belief. Others have a shallow belief in the Gods, and get slapped upside the head in the same vein as being beaten by the fishmonger’s wife in Asterix. Why? I certainly wish I had the answer to this question. But to be certain, piety alone is not going to bring that experience forward for you. My experience has been that patience, persistence, and some practice in meditative techniques and ritual forms are the most helpful tools.
Part of practice is doing the research into what meditative technique or what ritual format you are going to use. Study it. Learn about it. Know it inside and out. Practice it – alone, with others, in the daylight, in the dead of night, on a beautiful summer night, during a massive rain storm. Practice what you are going to do. And then do it. And continue to do it, whether you get results or not. If you are wanting to work with a specific God or Goddess, show your dedication to Them with this. Be prepared for silence. Also, be prepared for an answer.
Probably the most difficult part of trying to draw the attention of the Gods is being patient for an answer or some kind of flicker of attention. It might take seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, even years for something to happen. It might never happen. Learn patience. Realize that your technique may not feel “right” but try not to change it too much or too often. I am all for improvisation in ritual and meditative techniques, but changing these too frequently can make for a shaky time frame, at least from what I have experienced. Its a lot like trying to find a technique that pleases your lover, you are finally doing all the right things, and then you change everything at a moment’s notice, which kills that excited state that you just spent time building up to. Be patient with your technique. Be patient with the timing of everything. Remember, the Gods are not human beings. They react differently, They see things differently, They have a different concept of every aspect of the environment around us. Patience builds the rapport you will need to communicate with Them and work with Them.
Like I noted above, the Gods are not human beings. They see the world differently than we experience it. Sometimes, it can take a bit more time than you might be ready for to catch Their attention. My perspective is the try, try again mode. But that does not always work for everyone. If you need to, give yourself a time frame in which to work, and if things come to the end of that time frame, stop and evaluate what you’re doing. Let’s say you gave it a year to catch Aphrodite’s attention to work with Her. When the year is up, look back at what you have done, all the rituals and devotions you have worked with in Her name, all the meditations you have tried. Hopefully, you have kept a journal of all of this. Read through all of your experiences, objectively look at what you have tried. See if there’s any changes that you might need to try. Then decide if you are going to try, and give yourself another time deadline. or you might decide its no longer worth the try and move on. Remember, in the end, its your time. You decide how hard and how long you are going to try.
My Relationship is Not the Same As Yours
I know I am repeating myself for a third time here (I like threes), but the Gods are not human beings. They are Gods. They see the world differently. They also communicate differently. Back when I had seriously started working with Crow, I kept getting a message of working deeper, more intimately with Him. Several other Polytheists that I knew talked about their relationships as Priests and Priestesses with their Gods. After a time, I began to assume that this is what Crow meant by this tighter working together. Turned out, I was reading the relationships that others had into my relationship with Crow. Crow wasn’t pointing at my being a Priest or even a Shaman (which would be a weird role for me to take on). Crow was merely wanting me to work more closely in my own personal rituals, and in my approach to working with the world around me. It was one of the more awkward lessons I have had to learn. Be sure of what you are being asked. Ask if you are understanding correctly by using slightly different terminology. If you don’t comprehend what is being asked, seek clarification. Sometimes, working with the Gods is similar to being a lawyer. Understand every nuance of what is being asked. Otherwise, you can find yourself in a bargain you never intended.
The Gods are not trying to trick you into something. I work with a Trickster God (two, if you include Coyote). Their understanding of our world is a little different from our own. Remember, they are not human. They see our world through Their perspective. When we communicate with Them, do workings for Them, do devotionals in Their names – it is all done with our perspective of understanding. Our understanding of Their perspective is imperfect, just as Theirs is of us. Take your time, make sure of what you are reading/understanding, and be comfortable with what is being asked. If you are not comfortable….remember, you have the Free Will to walk away and say “no”. Before you do turn away, seek an alternative to what is being asked. That’s only fair to both you and the God in question.
Working with the Gods is like any deep relationship you have with someone else. There is work involved. There is communication that needs to be developed. Rapport will be found through trial and error, time and patience…its extremely rare to have an immediate hand-in-glove relationship – with the Gods or anyone else. Roll up your sleeves, be prepared to work, be prepared to have patience, practice what you do…and be prepared for an answer, as well as no answer at all. Remember, its a relationship…it will be work. There will be play-time too, but first you need to do the work.