Talking to the Gods

Yesterday, I wrote about the most common question that I tend to get from non-Pagans – ritual clothing or how a Pagan dresses. Its a fairly easy question to answer, since most Pagans dress like anyone else, though there’s some aspects that are different in relation to what is or isn’t “appropriate” for ritual dress. The second most common question I get usually takes some time to percolate in the minds of folks. Its not a question I get within the first five minutes of meeting someone. Nor is it something that I feel that would be useful or appropriate in the dreaded “elevator speech” that so many folks believe to be of great use.

The usual pattern for this question is that it will come from someone who has bothered to talk with me at great length over what I believe. And that they are trying to equate some understanding of my connection with the Gods, in whatever form they understand that to be. “How does one talk to the Gods?”

I am prone to flippant answers to some questions, this one included. “Simply open your mouth and mind,” is where I commonly start. But that’s not really much of an answer, though it is a correct perspective to take. Many people come from a background where speaking to those on a higher level than yourself is meant to take an air of flowery, nearly ritualistic language. Covered in Thee and Thou, and spoken downwards to the floor, so as not to make eye contact. Because eye contact equates you to being on the same level – an equation of equality.

Think about it. At work, if you are down on the daily operations level, you talk with your peers far differently than you would to a Vice President of the company or to a member of the company’s Board. You might speak on a language level close to mine, very open, somewhat coarse, and on a degree of familiarity with those you work with daily. After all, your peers are on your level. People outside your department would equate to a measure of respect and civility that you wouldn’t afford to your everyday peer. How we communicate with others provides levels of respect, equality, and dare I say it, rank. Would we not treat our Gods like They were greater than Kings, Queens, Nobility, corporate seniority, and the such? They are, after all, Beings that are beyond our comprehension. Or would we communicate with Them on a level of familiarity after a prolonged period of exposure to Them?

To be frank, I am much more open, and forthright with Crow and Coyote than I would be with say, The Morrigan. The difference in how I communicate with Them comes from a degree of familiarity more than a measure of equality. They are equally Gods. Respect is what I would afford Them in any case. But my communication style with Crow and Coyote would be far different than it would be with Her. I have no ties with Her, I have done no workings with Her, and I do not hear Her call. As such, we are unknown quantities to one another, I would certainly provide a much more courteous version of me than I do in conversations with Crow. But when I note that the best way to communicate with the Gods is to open your mouth and open your mind, I might be flippant, but I am being serious as well.

Moments like this, standing in front of the fire and thanking the Gods for the safe travels of all, used to frighten me. (Picture by John Beckett)

To be able to reach a connection with the Gods, in order to communicate, I need to open my mind to the existence of the Gods. Keeping a closed mind does not mean that the Gods won’t find a way to communicate with me, but it does mean that I would likely not understand or comprehend what was being stated to me. I grok the naysayers that point out that all of this would be within my mind. Well, of course it is. But just because its there doesn’t make it any less true or valid. The difference comes in opening one’s mind to the possibilities.

As for conversations, things can get rather contentious, particularly if you are bargaining with your chosen God or Goddess. And a conversation that is viewed from the outside, might seem to be madness. An example of this would be the seemingly one-sided conversation between Jesus and God, as depicted in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” in the scene entitled “Gethsemane”. Below is the video of Ted Neeley’s final performance as Jesus in New York City in 2006. I consider it to be one of the most moving versions of this scene, and an excellent depiction of communicating with one’s God at a very contentious moment.

Now I am not saying that every conversation with a God or Goddess can be as dramatic as this, but this is quite an excellent example of coming to grips with a task that has been given to you that you don’t want to do. I can definitely say, I have been here before and it is no picnic.

There are those that will note that they have been trying and trying and trying to get the Gods to communicate with them. That they have done everything short of shooting flares into the air and still have not managed to communicate with any of the Gods. Well, first off, be patient. Set yourself up with a daily devotional to the God or Goddess you are trying to attract. Make offerings that you believe will appease Them. Pay attention to the mythologies that They are a part of to find the actions, items, songs, poems, or what not that They like. Make those as offerings. And again, be patient. Keep trying. For how long? I don’t know. Until you think its futile to continue. If that means you stop after three tries or three-thousand, that’s up to you. You know your limits, I know mine.

Is it worthwhile to communicate with The Gods? Is it worthwhile to bond yourself to a God or Goddess? Well, that’s a personal thing. I would say “yes” and “yes” to the questions, but again that’s my own perspective. There are times that working with Crow and Coyote has been difficult, and other times it has been a true treasure in my life. But that’s me. Only you can answer for you.

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