Since “God Sex” has been a hugely popular post here on Sex, Gods, and Rock Stars, I thought I might start blogging about other aspects of spirit work that I am frequently asked about. It falls in line with a serious desire of mine – to leave behind some of the wisdom I’ve gained through my own processess – so I’ll dive into another subject that many people wonder aloud about.
As my mom puts it, I hear the voice of God(s).
However, it’s usually not as cut and dry as those words make it seem. Rarely do I actually hear words that come from an obviously external source. It does happen, but when it does, They’re usually pretty succinct. I may get a word or three, even more rarely a sentence, that I hear with my actual ears as though someone else in the room has said them. A recent experience was when I heard laughter, so loud and so obvious that I walked around the house looking for the source before I realized (quite rightly) that it was Loki, laughing at something I had just read.
For the record, my mom hears the voice of God as well, and for her it is also only rarely in the experience of an external sound.
I think this is what trips up a lot of people; when a spirit worker or other spiritual person says, “Odin told me such and so”, there’s an internal assumption that the communication was an external voice stating things plainly so that the listener immediately understood. As most spirit workers will attest, this is usually not the case.
So if that’s true, then how do we interpret the voice of Gods?
I can only speak from my personal experience, and the experiences of those I have discussed this topic with. I invite those who have different experiences to add them to the comments, so that people who come to this page looking for information can get a wide range of points of view.
Primarily, when Gods communicate to me, I get a strong sense of intution. I’ll be walking through a store, say, and all of a sudden I find myself making a beeline for the yo-yos for no apparent reason. I usually stand there, dazed for a moment, trying to figure out what the heck is happening. Because I’ve had this happen before, I know to take a moment and breathe, and then relax my senses so I can better attune to that intuitive sense. I’ll start taking various yo-yos off of the shelf, maybe asking aloud (or more often, under my breath) “Is this what you want?” “Would the yellow one be more appropriate?”
You might think I’m joking, but this actually happened to me when I was off buying gifts to leave in Jon’s grave. People had been invited to leave offerings for him, and I had gone out with friends to figure out what we wanted to get. To this day, I have no idea if Jon had a thing for yo-yos, but nevertheless, he got a bright yellow one for his use in the afterlife. (I can’t wait for archeologists hundreds of years from now to dig up Cauldron Farm and find a bright yellow yo-yo, buried beneath a tombstone. Let ’em wonder!)
Sometimes it’s even subtler than that. I’ll be having a random conversation with someone and all of a sudden I’ll get this internal “ding” that makes me sit up and pay attention. It’s not like the person I’m talking to is suddenly passing along a message, per se, as much as it’s just that the Gods have taken this coincidence to make an impression. It won’t be until later on that I’ll figure out that the conversation had an extra layer to it – that Someone was trying to make a point by setting off that internal alarm – but my brain will definitely feel stuck on the situation until I’ve gleaned whatever it is I’m meant to understand.
This is how I came to understand myself as a spirit worker. I had met Raven Kaldera because he came to a workshop of mine on sacred body modification, and we felt drawn to each other. We had many conversations over the next few days, and at one point he was pontificating on the nature of “spirit work” – a phrase I had never heard before – and something in my heart told me to stop and pay attention, because This Was Important. It wasn’t until many months later, when he sent me an invitation to a gathering of spirit workers, that it all fell into place for me. When I tell that story now, sometimes I tell the Raven version, but sometimes I’ll shorthand it to “Loki told me I was a spirit worker, and I had to meet with others who were doing similar work to learn what that meant.”
Dreams are also an important vehicle for divine communication. Granted, I, too, have those wacky dreams where you’re back in high school, naked, except you’re 35, and they just figured out that you failed to meet a qualification to get your diploma, so you have to sit through a class that makes no sense to you and take some sort of test to prove that you’re actually a graduate. Oh, is that just me? But other times, I will have either very direct vision of a Deity speaking directly to me, or taking me on some sort of symbolic journey, or showing me something I need to know.
I admit, these don’t happen to me as often as they happen to other people I know. Sleep is a weird thing for me; I suffer from chronic insomnia followed by periods of sleeping 18 hours a day, and I tend to take medicines that facilitate sleeping; those usually end up messing with your dreams.
Another way I communicate with Gods is through visions. I do have a pretty strict meditation regimen – I meditate for at least an hour a day, often more than once. It takes me that long because I let my brain prattle on for the first fifteen minutes or so, and then it runs out of things to say and I can get into a deeper trance state. Often, again, it’s not an external voice I hear, but more like what my mother calls an illumination; I will come out of the session just knowing something as sure as I know my own name, something I didn’t know or understand before. I might get visual images that lead me to this revelation, or go through a series of emotions that lead me to an insight. Again, I might speak or write about these experiences with the words, “The Lady told me I need to focus on more death work”, which makes it sound like a conversation, when in fact it was more of a moment of discovery.
Like many spiritual people, I also rely on divination. I try not to read for myself, since I’m incredibly biased towards the outcome I’m hoping for, but sometimes the randomization of the tools I use (runes, cards, and google – don’t knock googlemancy, it works really well) help show me a trend that I might not have noticed otherwise. If I feel like my life is falling apart, and I draw the Tower, I might take that as confirmation that yes, in fact, what I feel is accurate. If I am still unsure, I may ask someone else to do a short reading for me – I frequently ask for yes/no divinations, or will assign codes to my options, “Should I choose the blue, the red, or the orange?” – in order to gain a little clarity. I do this especially when I’ve experienced some of the other forms of communication but I’m still wary of getting the message wrong.
I frequently encourage people to look for signs and omens. As part of my magical training, I spent two weeks assuming every single thing I saw, heard, or experienced was a communication from Someone. If nothing else, it definitely taught me to pay attention to things like repeating patterns (seeing the same kind of animal everywhere you go, or hearing the same song on the radio every time you get in the car),significant numbers (knowing an important date, and then seeing those numbers come up in other formats), or odd occurrances (doors shutting behind you, a book falling off a shelf for no reason, a single Tarot card falling from the deck when you pull it out). I tend to ask the Gods for signs and omens in a series of 3 or 9, so I don’t just go around assigning spiritual signficance to every single thing that happens – that way lies madness and self-centeredness – but I can then notice when something keeps happening over and over again.
I’d be amiss if I left out “Hearing something from a God during a possession”, but that seems pretty straightforward, and not everyone has access to someone skilled in possessory work, but it’s here for those who experience it.
I mentioned hearing the same song repeatedly earlier, and media is another way the Gods have learned to communicate. I remember clearly when Loki was trying to tell me about something he wanted me to stop eating, but he didn’t know the right word for it. I just knew, intutivitely, that He was working on getting me on a diet that would make me a better spiritual channel, because of yet another form of communication I’ll get to in a moment, and then a commercial came on the television where children were dressed up as various fruits and vegetables. The end of the commercial was a child wearing a grey, lumpy suit proclaiming, “I’m high fructose corn syrup.” It was like bells and whistles went off in my head – like if you hear a song with your name in it – and I knew that there was no more HFCS for me. (I still struggle with that one, but I’m doing much better than I was.)
When the Gods want me to do a certain thing, I’ll find that when I do it of my own accord, I get tangible rewards that outweigh the action itself. With the diet thing, I found that certain foods just started tasting strange, or off, or spoiled, or started affecting me in ways I did not enjoy. For example, I used to be a pretty bad caffeine junkie – I’d happily down a four-shot espresso twice a day and not blink, and I was one of those people who could have coffee and then go right to bed – and then one day at a camping event, Rave made me coffee to drink during a class I was teaching, and I felt so bad I needed to stop and take a benzodiazapine in order to get myself under control. I later repeated the experiment to see if that was the case, and yup – once again, I felt horrible and couldn’t wait for the stuff to leave my system. I love coffee, and I find that I can rarely have a cup of decaf without much effect, but for the most part it’s now completely off-limits.
This sort of communication happens in other ways. I have a gaes (a spiritual thing I have to do) where if someone looks me in the eyes and asks me for money earnestly, I have to give it to them. Now, don’t think this means you can just walk up to me and say, “Give me money” and I’ll fork it over. The best way I’ve come to understand it is if there’s any legitimacy behind the request – the person is homeless, hungry, or has a real need of some sort – I have to fork it over. This makes walking through cities potentially difficult. I learned my lesson about carrying around large bills when a homeless man asked me for a dollar, and all I had was a hundred dollar bill. I took it out, and touched him on the shoulder, looking deep into his eyes, and said, “Use this wisely. I won’t tell you not to buy drugs or alcohol, but the least I can do it tell you to make it last, to at least apply this to something that will keep you safe.” Luckily, I don’t have to do this if I don’t have any cash in my pocket, or if someone asks me for something I just can’t give – if I need the $20 to get home by bus, I don’t have to fork it over – but if it’s just mad money, even the people who beg on the highways can get to me from time to time.
How do I know about this? When I do it, I feel peaceful, and good things happen to me. A friend will unexpectedly send me a gift, or I’ll find myself knee deep in divination-for-pay work. If I’m on my way to a class, it will go well and be well attended. However, if I ignore the request, or try to rules-lawyer my way around it (“They didn’t look me in the eyes” or “I don’t think they really need it”), I find the opposite to also be true. I’ll lose my wallet, or money will go missing, or I’ll have an unexpected expense that I have to scrimp in order to meet. Experience over time has made it clear to me that it’s in my better interest to do what I’m supposed to.
Could this be a case of only noticing the outcome when it fits the pattern? Maybe. I won’t say that if I tell you elephants are magic signs that you will win the lottery, that you won’t start noticing elephantine signs everywhere. It’s how the human brain works – you tell it to look for a pattern, and it will do its damndest to find it. However, I have found that there is a marked difference between looking for a pattern, and having a pattern appear. It would be a different story if you’d already seen four different elephant things today, and then I mention the significance. That could be something important.
And no one is always right. Let me say that again, because it’s really effing important. Sometimes we think we’ve received a divine message, and we’re wrong. If someone tells you that they have 100% accurate signal clarity, they’re either lying or they aren’t actually doing it right. Every spirit worker I trust can tell you stories when they made decisions based on what they thought was direct from the Universe, only to find out it was the sock puppets living in their head.
That’s the other part of all of this – sock puppets. There are a lot of people who desperately want to believe that they are channeling divine inspiration, and they can fool themselves into believing that the inner voices we all experience – that craving for ice cream, or that feeling of satisfaction when you finish a project, for instance – may have some greater meaning. I don’t make life-altering decisions – you know, like declaring myself married to a God, for example – without checking my thoughts with someone who has absolutely no idea what I’m talking about.
Another personal example: At one point, I was absolutely convinced that my medical struggles were somehow a punishment from Loki for not doing something he had asked me to do. I beat myself up for months, because the thing I thought I was supposed to do was just outside of my skill set, and no amount of trying led to any success. Finally, I reached out to a group of spirit workers and just asked, “Am I really being punished?” All of them came back with a resounding “No.” And as time has bourne out, my chronic illness is a spiritual thing, but has absolutely nothing to do with the thing Loki wanted me to do . (I still haven’t done it, but I explained to him that I just can’t make a quilt on my own, and I have yet to find the right person to hire to do it for me.)
I consider myself a fairly experienced spirit-worker, and yet I still got a message wrong. It happens. Especially when the message feels personal – we all desperately want to be special snowflakes, and so it’s very easy to convince ourselves of something we want (or secretly think) to be true, even if it isn’t. It doesn’t help if you turn to someone inclined to agree with you – like asking another Odin’s wife if Odin is proposing to you – which is why I find it absolutely necessary to keep the company (or at least have the contact information for) people whose practice is radically different than your own. When it comes to my Norse stuff, I have Egyptian spirit workers I can ask for advice; when it comes to death shaman stuff, I have Lokean nuns to converse with, and when it comes to ordeal stuff, I have spirit worker friends who don’t work in that paradigm. I admit, I’m kind of lucky in that I’ve collected such a menagerie, but I’ve also been known to ask a stranger from the internet, based on a blog post or a facebook status, to check my signal clarity on something.
When all is said and done, all these communcations become UPG, which stands for Unverified Personal Gnosis. This, in and of itself, is a controversial subject among Pagans. Some believe that it is proof of the immenence of Deity, whereas others want proof in either historical documents or “the lore” before they’ll lend credence to something you claim the Gods told you. My own personal practice is highly steeped in UPG, which makes me a very controversial person in the greater Pagan community – and I am frequently attacked for my practices and beliefs. However, there is a feeling I get in my heart and head when I receive and understand a message from the Gods that no human can take away from me, and therefore I’m at peace with those who feel the need to call me a pervert, freak, charlatan, or nithing. In the same way I know eating HFCS makes me ill, and refusing to fork over a dollar to the guy on the highway leads to misfortune, I know with full surety that when I die, I will have regretted nothing I did in my spiritual life.
Again, if you experience communication from Deity in a different way, or have personal experiences to share, please feel free to do so in the comments. I do not claim that this is exhaustive (I can think of a few other examples, but this is already five pages long.)
I also encourage people who have questions about their own experiences to contact me – if the comments feel too public, you can email me at awesome.del at gmail.com and I will do my best to answer.
Also, if there is another topic you’d like me to tackle, I’m open to suggestion. I’m thinking the next thing I will write about is how to talk to the Gods, especially if you don’t have a way to know that they’ve heard you.
Reblogged this on When Death Calls and commented:
This is a very well written piece that breaks down exactly how we encounter the Gods in our daily lives.
I’m sitting here, reading this and thinking “Did I write that?” not everything you say is exactly how it pans out for myself, but a lot of it is similar. Particularly the signs and omens you mention as a form of divination. That’s my most common divination technique and it’s called “cryptomancy,” apparently. (Plus, that’s just a nice fun word to say aloud.)
But at the beginning, you discuss “hearing the gods” and having it be an intuition-based process. Again, I find myself wondering how you plucked these exact thoughts from my mind. Teo Bishop over at Patheos recently wrote a post called “How Do You Know It’s the Gods You’re Listening To?” and I voiced my thoughts on the matter in the comments. You can find them here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bishopinthegrove/2012/09/how-do-you-know-its-the-gods-youre-listening-to/
Even so, it’s…”comforting” is the wrong word, but the best I can come up with just now, to know that it’s not just me who “hears” things, but I didn’t realize it wasn’t something everyone experienced until relatively recently.
The only thing I disagree with you on is that “everyone” experiences this. Like many other aspects of spirit work, I find that desire alone is not always enough in developing skills such as these (or other things, like possessory work). There is nothing inherently wrong with someone if they never experience direct communication – it’s my working theory as to why the Gods create spirit workers to begin with, so we can offer our skills to the greater community – but unlike other skills, I do believe this is something that can be developed over time if you have the innate talents for it.
A person I know frequently laments, “I talk to the ceiling but it never talks back.” I believe that perhaps they aren’t trained to notice signs and omens, but it’s also possible that maybe hearing the Gods is not part of their path.
Faith takes residence in those cracks inbetween; sometimes even we who do hear need to work on faith alone. When clients come to me because their Gods haven’t spelled out every aspect of their spiritual life, and answers from other humans aren’t forthcoming, it may be a place where the Gods are asking us to trust our own sense of faith. After all, if everything was explained in clear, concise language, then there would be nothing to “believe” in.
I had to go back and re-read everything I wrote to see what spawned your thoughts on “everyone” – which is what I normally have to do anyway because I have a shoddy memory sometimes and I always forget what I originally wrote – before realizing that my original comment wasn’t clear.
My original belief, coming into the greater Pagan world, was that everyone did hear the gods, because that was what I experienced. I thought everyone experienced that.
I realize now, though, like you, that everyone doesn’t experience that, only some.
Your comments on faith are perfect. It’s something I struggle with quite often between the belief-side of my mind and the logic-side. They tend to be at-odds quite often. Sometimes, though, you just gotta put your hands up and trust in your faith.
I realized, while I was reading this, how long it’s been since I got a “go to that aisle NOW” kind of message … and felt rather sad. Perhaps you — or some other readers — will understand the irony of that, given how bloody infuriating it can be when those sorts of messages are, to my perceptions, holding me back from accomplishing something I need to do quickly. I also know that the last time I felt this kind of nudge I fought it and reasoned it away. Hmm, connection here?
More generally, yeah, all of these messages of communication sound incredibly familiar. I would comment on one thing that you wrote. Though UPG may be controversial among Pagans, it’s a wholly accepted thing among those of other faiths — such as Quakers. What’s a leading — whether to speak during Meeting or to pursue a particular path in life — if not UPG? Now, those of you who are familiar with Quakers — currently or in history — you’ll know that theirs has not been an easy path. A lot Quakers have been arrested over the years for protesting against various government (or other) policies and practices.
Here’s the thing, though: whether or not other Quakers have agreed with the persecuted Quaker and what she or he did, whether or not they felt accord with the persecuted Quaker’s leading, they still supported the persecuted Quaker as following her/his leading. In general, Quakers recognize the value of leadings, they value a person’s commitment to follow one. They recognize that the divine can speak to each person and that not everyone gets the same message. Though, I think most would say, it’s important to listen to another’s message because we can all learn something — whatever that might be — from it.
There are many ways in which I wish Pagans could learn from Quakers, and this is one.
I’ve been thinking about this a bit, and I wonder if the difference between how the Quakers view “leadings” and Pagans view UPG is because the Quaker’s view of God is much broader than a typical Pagan’s is of one particular God.
I know, for example, that many Odinists simply cannot understand how the Odin they experience and know would condone or encourage ordeal work done in His name. It messes with their sense of the Odin they worship, and think in some way it means that if someone doing research on Odin finds, say, Galina’s blog, that someone will assume that all Odinists either do or at least condone ordeal work.
I don’t see it personally. I think the Gods are all bigger and deeper and wider and higher than the human brainmeats is capable of understanding, and the Loki I experience and the one Elizabeth does are the same deity in two very different faces.
When one has to mix all of those aspects into one Deity, it may be a little easier to say “Well, God may tell Joe to own guns and also tell me that guns are bad, and both messages are from God, just meant for different people.”
When I was talking to my mom about this subject, we spoke at length about how many Christian sects there are, based on what Pagans would call UPG. It was Martin Luther’s UPG that led to him nailing some thoughts on a door, which then lead to all sorts of Protestantism. However, Pagans in an odd way both accept that there are such a variety of practices that we can’t be ruled by a single body, but at the same time expect our Gods to be predictable in the ways we expect them to behave.
I dunno. I try hard when I read about Gods I’ve experienced doing things that I feel would be wildly out of character for them, to give the devotee the benefit of the doubt. If it turns out that they show a long line of bad signal clarity, that’s one thing, but if people time and again are willing to state that they are channeling things that hold meaning to them, I don’t see why we can’t accept that maybe the Gods are bigger than mere archetypes.
I experienced another way too – which actuallybecame the most frequent way spirit comunication happens with me over time, especially since I got committed to my oracular work.
It starts like a pressure between my eyes and forehead, which is my first idicator of ‘somebody is knocking with something to say’ and I respond setting my brain in a sort of ‘receiving mode’. I focus on accepting the ‘inflow’ of thoughts/feelings, abstaining from thinking ‘actively’ . It’s easier if I write it down, like someone was dictating the words, as I can turn off my rational filters more easily that way and avoid that my personal feelings or thoughts get in the way of the comunication.
Now, this can be pretty awkward if I was not seeking contact with any of my deities beforehand because I have to figure out who the sender it was. More frequently tough, there’s a distinctive tone that carries out in the message – a signature energy that can feel quite like a voice, but it’s not really sound. Hekate has a sort of … stillness and sharpness about Her, whereas, for example, LaSirene would make Herself known with an almost wave-like movement of energy against my forehead, or a sense of coolness surrounding my body, even fleetingly.
With dreams, I find that overtime there are patterns and markers that help to identify whether a dream is deity induced and if it is, from which source it comes. None of my deities or spirits is fond of appearing directly in my dreams, but Hekate will always send very vivid images of animal omens I will have try to decrypt and Apollon so far like to have bunchs of faceless people talking between themselves, mentioning Him indirectly, and then distractedly handing off some information I was wondering about in relation to this or that dealing with Him.
Any message I receive regardless of the way always gets crosschecked through divination, usually multiple times.
I’m not a spirit worker, but what you say makes sense to me and accords with my (limited) experience. Thank you for this.
Reblogged this on Twilight and Fire and commented:
An excellent post on signal clarity, UPG, and sock puppets. If you are at all interested in the concept of hearing the voices of the gods, or if you think you might be one of those people who does, read this post!
What kind of quilt are you looking for? My mother is a quilter – she’s made some fantastic stuff – though she rarely does commissions or takes money for her work in general. She might be able to point you in the directions of learning resources and local quilting groups who might do comissions. Apprently, its a big community – she’s gone to quilting retreats at places similar to Ramblewood!
We made a quilt together for my goddaughter, and it was *hard*! At least for me – I can’t quilt for shit, but can needlepoint like a mofo. My mother can’t cross stitch to save her life, but can quilt anything. Go figure. 🙂
So the quilt needs to be a map of the land of crazy. I can’t hire someone who might be negatively affected from working on such a project, and I can’t hire someone who doesn’t at least have some level of foo. I seem to only find quliters who are either too subseptible or have no foo at all. If you know someone who might fit the bill, I’m all ears.
The best I could do is probably get some how to info and quilting groups – my mother is in no way woo and way too crazy to be of help here; but I imagine some basic sewing (if you sew at all) and some good solid quilting information could put you in a place to work on some of it.
Excellent post – going to have to go reblog it now! You said pretty much everything I would say about the topic, especially explaining how “[God] told me such and such” can be shorthand for a variety of means of communication, not necessarily an elaborate verbal conversation.
Sometimes we think we’ve received a divine message, and we’re wrong.
I would also add that sometimes, we DID receive a divine message, and it STILL doesn’t work out, because the gods and spirits are not omnipotent, and can steer us in the right directions but not necessarily guarantee results.
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Very well worded…I will defnitely reblog this myself:
Nicely worded; in Dream conversations tend to happen and I take that as direction, but not all woo is visualisation or words. R Kaldera calls that “The Disney Ride” and it’s nice and affirming and good for people who want something to believe it. There’s nothing wrong with it. But what I call Going Deep is a lot different; and even then, questions tend to come of up with me of “Did I really hear/see/experience/feel that?” I was given a communication via one of my last rites which I use to be able to affirm what I do, see, or experience which helps me be able to tell whether what I’ve been through is crystal clear, whether it’s clouded by emotion, by fear, or whether I’ve managed to get the whole message totally wrong. It’s just extra backup so I can not get hung up on persistently questioning what I’ve Seen (which is my primarily problem – I spend so much time second-guessing what I’ve seen that I never act on it in the first place).
True, although I did go into sock puppets, I didn’t really go deep into the concept of The Disney Ride, but I think that’s partially because although I understand the point Raven is trying to make, I find the language a little insulting and demeaning. Maybe I will find a better metaphor and write something on it at a later date.
I think either way it’s said, sockpuppets/Disney ride is all going to sound demeaning to people who feel that’s a perfectly good way to practice. True, it needs another metaphor perhaps but I often want to bash my head in with a brick with the sheer amount of time I spend trying to find nice metaphors for a word when I could be…well, doing my practice. The pain.
Still, carry on with and I salute you!
Wonderful post, the more I read the more I felt myself grinning (possibly maniacally…apparently my smile can be wolfish at times). I cannot think of a time when I actually heard a voice but I have heard laughter, loud and clear. Otherwise it’s more of a feeling. My own personal experiences mirror yours almost completely, I suppose I should look into spirit work and see what comes up. Will definitely be reblogging this, I love it. Feel free to contact me regarding the quilt, I humbly offer my services free of charge (donations for shipping are greatly appreciated!), hopefully I can help you out.
Just this morning, I was lamenting to some Lokeans I know that “He doesn’t speak to me the way He does to you” and feeling awfully inadequate as a result.
Then this shows up in my inbox, via two blogs I follow reblogging it.
Damn, hit reply before I was done.
The rest of my comment is just this: Thanks. A hell of a lot. I think I needed to hear that, today.
Thanks for this. I’m a Christian who occasionally hears the voice of my God. I *do* think that most people are capable, but choose not to listen for incoming communication. It’s either too scary, or weird, or they’re afraid people would think they’re nuts, etcetera. I’m sure many of my fellow Christians would find me blasphemous. But the first experiences you’ve described are quite familiar to me. 🙂
I grew up in a very isolated rural area. There weren’t many others to talk with, so why not start a conversation with God? It seemed natural as a young child, and it kind of became a habit.
I have managed to reach to point where I can reliably have visions as part of my boxing meditations but I have never felt them to be divinely inspired. I tend to see them as internal.
I guess I see an internally inspired vision being valid, for me. It seems to reflect a strong intuition.
Really the only omens I have dealt with have been very few and far between. You were involved in one of those.
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You can make a quilt.
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Hello came by way of House of Vines. I was one of the posters at the fraud site – yes I am outing myself. I am the Snorks person. I walked into a trap set by someone who later I found out is in some sort of grudge match. I wanted a discussion on shamanism and what is and it isn’t. And there were concepts in RK’s books (Yes I purchased 6 of them, and slowly read each one.), that I wanted to explore further as to what was what. I had been taken in by a false shaman early on, and wanted further clarification. I did not want a discussion on that so and so eats puppies for breakfast.
Because of my traumatic brain injury, I have trying to piece my experiences with the Divine in a sane manner. For the record, I am a Roman Pagan (Religio Romana). As a recon, these experiences are outside of my experience, but I have had them. I have been exploring your site, though most postings are not my cup of tea, They do help in my understanding of messages from the Divine.
Basically in ritual, I have had the electric current from Neptune (Neptunus Pater). Not a voice saying blab, blab, blab, but more of a current. Summanus (the God of the Night Thunder) does something similar. Still puzzling out whether it is a damaged brain doing its thing or the real deal. Which is why I started to read Kaldera’s books in the first place since they do tackle the subject. I guess I am now a regular reader here too trying to fathom out UPG in a Roman context. (Which of course as the crusty Roman that I am, offends my sense of order. Sigh, I will just have to get used to it.)
There are some bloggers on the web who are probably better suited for questions related to UPG and Roman worship. The one that springs to mind quickly is Sannion at The House of Vines (thehouseofvines.wordpress.com) who is a devotee of Dionysios.
I think I will be writing further on the basics of what I (and those I talk to) call “spirit work”, and some of that will deal with UPG related things. I hope you find the blog useful and interesting.
I don’t care where you came from. As I tell my fellow spirit workers who are frequently maligned and attacked on the Internet – all press is good press, because even if someone is going on about what a terrible, awful person you are, *someone* is going to read it and think, “…but that’s what I was thinking, too.”
Duh. I apologize. you clearly state that you found this link from Sannion, so of course you’re already reading his blog. Duh. I should stop responding to comments when I first wake up. 😦
Actually that is how I ended up reading Kaldera’s books. I wondered what the fuss was all about, and checked out his site. Reading about UPG etc, there lead me to purchase and read the books.
I guess there is no middle space about UPG and shamanism in some groups. I guess I will continue to sift through and see what makes sense to me. I have expanded my blogs on UPG etc to try to get an understanding about what is happening in my life.
“Spirit work” is confusing to me. I don’t understand it. I have had the current thing with the two Gods, and make offerings. I make a lot of offerings to a lot of Gods, such as the Door and the Pantry. I do have conversations with animals. And quite by accident got “horsed” by Hekate Trivia. All these unnerving experiences have lead me here and other places. I guess I am a mystic of sorts.
I did find a lot of useful things here and in Kaldera’s books that helped me to test what is going on. I gather there are protocals for these things, so we can figure what is us and what is not us.
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Reblogged this on A Linguagem dos Passaros and commented:
First let me say, being pagan in Portugal is lonely business. More than that, if you are even mildly serious in your endevours and tend more to the recon and/or the folk-trad side of things, then its almost a desertscape. So far I’ve only found one Portuguese recon in the blogosphere that I actually respect and I’ve been searching.
Because of this I tend to lurk around international waters and peek/browse/follow a myriad of mostly american and british blogs on pagan trads and paths that are of some absolute interest to what I dream of becoming some day. If you want to know what interests me then, by all means, follow the crumble path of links available in this blog.
As for this post title, divine communication has been a theme of interest for the last week on the international blogosphere: To speak to the gods, to see omens, to be an oracle or only to recieve a very clear message now and then by divine intervention. Is this possible? Is it like hearing a person speak? If you are godbothered* do you see the gods and if you’re not does this mean you are of no interest to your gods? How do you know its a god/ess and not your inner voice?
These are all questions that arise more and more often and for me the answer is: should it matter? does it matter? Where does this need to have divine communication comes from? This need of permanent reassurance that you are doing what you should be doing inside your choosen path.
My view is: divine communication (as in god-speak) is only important if you are a spirit-worker, hedge-witch, shaman or oracle. Any of these paths will assume the skill to interact with other entities beyond the human (gods or otherwise). If you are a pagan following any other path, even if you’re devoted or sworn to a specific god/dess, then, sorry but I don’t see why your patron or patroness should be giving you daily pats on the back. Expecting them to do so is – in my view – disrespectfull.
Other than that, as you can infer by my previous statement, yes I do believe divine communication is possible, I just don’t think it works like if you have a direct phone line to deity. But this blog post can say it way better than I could ever elaborate.
Have I ever experienced divine communication or deity thwapping? I believe so, yes.
Have I done anything with said messages/thwappings? Nope. I’m still scared to move on it.
And I think it should scare people. Having gods interfering in your business for no apparent reason can have trully scary consequences. Just read any mythology book.
So while feeling flattered is a perfectly normal and natural reaction to these happenings, starting to behave like gods are your personal pokemons isn’t.
Please bear that in mind.
Got here through Sannion, and I’ll be buying a lottery ticket tomorrow. Moving on…
I’m not a spirit worker, but I do have my own version of hearing the gods; it comes in the form of a compulsion. It’s a feeling that certain information is wrong, and another piece is correct. It’s a feeling similar enough to the compulsion of my really really mild ocd. Most of the time, it only comes in response to a formalized request/question that I ‘listen’ for the answer to. (The listening I liken to trying to remember something.)
The only exception to the asking I can think of is when I learned that Ganesha wanted a place at my shrine. All the other random animals I had acquired were just animals, but the elephant was Ganesha. I placed the tiger, I placed the dove, I placed the Ganesha.
ps. (Oh, look, another elephant. Noticed when I proofread.)
I echo both the thanks for the brain-noodling post, and the offers for helping with the Loki-quilt, should you care to take me up on it ^_^ If not, your post is still awesome, as are you, good person.
Just a small correction on one minor point: your spiritual injunction to give money to those who look you in the eye is a geis (in Old Irish, plural gessi), or a geas in Modern Irish (plural geasa).
I appreciate the correction. I don’t use the word often, and have mostly run into it in spoken form. But thank you. When I get a chance, I will edit accordingly.
Just wanted to let you know that I totally get those stupid dreams where I’m still in high school taking a test, and I’ve never been able to figure out what the Hel they mean. Though luckily I’m never naked in mine, I think because given my background that would push the dream from uncomfortable and embarrassing over into pure freak-out territory.
Oh, and that I was going to comment on this post but it threatened to get kinda long; so I wrote a post of my own about my experience communicating with spirits and Deities on my blog, here: http://hagtesse.blogspot.com/2012/10/listening.html
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How long did it take you to make sense of these impulses/communiques/intuitions? I’ve been feeling like there’s something poking me–very painfully–but it’s also muddled up with depersonalization-style panic attacks so it’s hard to sort them out. I’m getting therapy for the anxiety and that’s helping, so I am addressing the mental health issues but still feel like there’s something big lurking around the corner. Although not in a bad way, just in a “change is scary” way.
The answer is not as straightforward as one might think. It’s a process, of choosing one of those impulses to follow and see if it turns out to be useful or harmful or just plain wrong. I found as the further along I got in my journey of devotion and faith in my Gods, the more I was able to both discern the difference between my own sockpuppets and the Gods. Also, seeking out independant verification can help a lot, too. Ask someone who knows nothing about this situation to give you a reading, or even just see what their own intuition tells them. People who know you well are usually better equipped to see the difference between, say, wish fufillment (“I really want to believe that Odin wants to marry me, so I am choosing to interpret everything in my life as a sign of His love and devotion”), and something that might actually be a message from an outside source. Good luck, and don’t hesitate to email me if you want/need to talk about this further.
Dreams and mental images that bombard my thoughts are how I get a good chunk of the communication.
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