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Sacrifice

There’s been an uptick in my network of colleagues; people who range from being mildly worried to furiously angry when they ask “How do I get a Godphone/hear the Gods better/develop Sight/become a God’s spouse?”

I feel for them. I know what it’s like to sit in the darkened silence, praying, knowing that a single word, touch, or even omen-like coincidence would be all the assurance I needed in the world. Yes, I am saying that even though I do experience messages from the Gods and have a reciprocal relationship with some of my patrons, there are also times when I sit in the darkened silence as well.

It makes you feel like it’s all in vain; maintaining the altars, studying the Lore, keeping up with your spiritual practice, and sometimes merely calling yourself a devotee of a specific God or even just a Pagan. Many of us set out on these tasks with the hope that someday, any day, we too might have the assurance we read about on so many blogs and websites and books, having our faith validated in some way. We long for it deep in our souls. In fact, in some ways, it’s what attracted us to polytheism to begin with – that there is the possibility of actual divine intervention and gnosis, in ways that our limited senses can experience.

It seems terribly unfair. You can’t throw a stone in Tumblr-land without landing on some person’s account of having a cute date night with Loki, or sharing a life changing message they’ve had from Persephone, or reading about someone’s prayers being answered in a tangible way. And yet, there you are, just wanting a small taste, a drop of wine on the lips, to be assured that all this time you’re spending in devotional work means something, is being received and found acceptable. Sometimes it even manifests as downright fear that Ur Doin It Rong, and perhaps the silence is either that you aren’t using the right tools/practices, or that you’re being rejected.

You’ve heard it a million times from a million different spirit workers and shamans, but it still doesn’t help you – “It is a minority of people who experience any sort of direct gnosis (communication or knowledge of Gods); although there seems to be a lot of people on the Internet who claim to have godphones or personal visitations, it really is not the experience of the majority of polytheists.” So you’re in the majority, but that doesn’t comfort you in times of trouble, of loneliness, of despair. It just feels like that much more unfair; that more people feel like you do rather than have the ability to grasp at something that says “This is all real.”

I’ve spoken to many colleagues about this recently, and the part I think most people don’t see, the part that really scares them to contemplate, is that most people who have these abilities gave up something vitally important in their lives in order to receive them. This is bigger and broader than “you can’t be a shaman unless you’ve had a shamanic crisis” – it applies to most Godspouses and consorts, spirit workers, and even some priests and devotees of Gods. Galina Krasskova was a gifted dancer in her youth; dancing was her entire world. Her back suffered irreparable damage in order to set her on Odin’s path. Wintersong and Fireheart Tashlin desperately want to live in an urban center, but their Gods have made that impossible for them. Alex Bettencourt touched a string enchanted to put him on his spiritual path, and was immediately fired from his job and spent over two years unemployed, living in poverty and only by the grace of others, because his God wanted him to study spiritual things full time. I had to move away and give up everyone who mattered to me in order to be where I am, and now I am no longer allowed to have a spouse, which hurts me deep inside. Everywhere I look in my community of God-touched folk, I see the remnants of dreams and desires, lying in tatters.

Frequently, when devotees of Gods come to me asking me if or when they’ll be able to learn how to hear the Gods, or become a vessel for possession, or some other spiritual skill, they think I am being mean or harsh when I tell them they’ll have to give up something they love in order to obtain it. I have had clients refuse their Deity’s requests to alter their hairstyle, wear different clothing, or abstain from certain substances (illegal drugs, caffeine, sugar, meat, etc); and yet the rail and complain about how unfair it is that they weren’t merely born with these abilities intact. Now, I would be dishonest if I did not disclose that I feel some people are born with certain neurological and biochemical anomalies that predispose them to these abilities; it has been noticed more than a few times that those who are able to carry Deity in possession have a much higher rate of neurological disorders than the mainstream (and if they weren’t born with them, they develop them quickly as they progress in possessory activity).

But I can’t help but wish I could show them how much dancing meant to Galina, or how lonely Elizabeth gets her in tiny room on a rural farm far away from her friends and family, and so on. I wish I could convey to them the enormous weight of sacrifices, one after the other, I’ve been asked to make on my journey towards gnosis. Because at the minimum, being given these abilities comes with the imperative that you share them far and wide, and that may sound glamorous and socially advantageous, but you’re failing to see that the imperative goes further than just the sorts of people who are used to random strangers on the Internet telling them that there are Real Gods and they have Real Messages for them. I frequently have to pass on messages to Christians, Atheists and Anti-Theists, Jews and Muslims, people who think I am absolutely nutters to believe that Gods talk into my head and tell me to do and say certain things to them. And yet, I have to. I can’t just decide that, in this or that circumstance, it may get me a punch to the face or cause me to break the law (I’ve been arrested, but not charged or convicted, of “Corrupting the mores of a minor” for talking to a 16 year old about Paganism, which started with me passing on a God message.) You are probably only seeing and experiencing situations where these abilities seem fun, as well as bringing that sort of comfort in personally knowing that the Gods do exist, They do care about you and what you do, and that you have some Purpose in Their greater schemes and intentions for humanity on the planet. You likely miss when I am subject to a hate crime due to my gender expression (something Loki asked me to change and maintain), or when someone is hospitalized due to degeneration of their CNS from running too much God energy through their system (which the doctors don’t exactly have a diagnosis for, so they just scratch their heads and try all sorts of medical remedies, most of which have little to no effect.)

And if that isn’t enough, I’ve also seen the aftermath of people giving up things that they dearly wanted or needed, in hopes that the Gods would accept their sacrifice, only to face more silence. It’s not everyone’s job or purpose to serve humanity as a spirit worker; the Gods need architects and retail people and trash collectors and fast food employees, too, and sometimes that’s the even harder path. To accept that what you’re doing right now in your life, absent of any tangible omens or messages, is exactly what the Gods want you to be doing, and that it isn’t going to change in the foreseeable future. I frequently refer people to the writings of St. Theresa of the Little Flowers on this subject, as her title comes from her ardent philosophy that all of us have the same significance to God as a single wildflower in a field of blooms; no more special or different than the flowers that surround it, with no more purpose than to be the best, brightest flower that you can, and by doing that alone you’re fulfilling God’s will.

That’s the part where you will find the most sanity and love, truly. Just going about your daily life as though every action, mundane as it may seem, is a direct and blessed offering to the Gods you love and serve. Driving within the speed limit, or paying your taxes, or helping a friend move, or being there for someone in need; these things that we see as the most logistical and mundane activities can sometimes be the most important, because in the end it’s not how we feel about them that matters, but how They feel about them.

About Del

A shaman who writes about spiritual things, but not in that namby-pamby "everything is light and fluffy" sort of way.

37 responses to “Sacrifice

  1. Shine

    This post is relevant to what I’m going through right now. I can just feel it in my bones.

    Thank you very much for this post. You’re a good writer. 🙂

    • Del

      Thank you. I have only recently come to accept that I’m not just rambling into the darkness. Even after being published in other people’s work (I have yet to buckle down and finish something all my own) I still wonder if I’m not just a hack. Every time I press “publish” on WP, for a moment it shows me all the grammatical changes it thinks I should make, and I cringe. But for me, it’s more important to be evocative than grammatically correct. 🙂

  2. Alex

    Reblogged this on Rock of Eye and commented:
    I like this blog entry a lot and not just because I’m in it. I like it because it reminds me that I didn’t go through two plus years of hell for nothing; that me losing my job and literally counting quarters to go food shopping and going crazy and losing everything that was important to me had, and has, meaning. I don’t often couch those two plus years as a sacrifice. Instead, I often talk about it being just how things fell out for me, but that’s selling myself short. That particular series of sacrifices left me strong and spiritually lean and provided a solid foundation to be built upon, which is the process I’m in now.

    I also think it’s important to note that sacrifice on a spiritual path is very rarely a one-shot deal. For me, I sacrifice every time I bend to His will. At His word, I will have no mortal spouse, no children, and a whole host of other things that I chose to go along with. It isn’t easy and it hurts a lot..but it’s not a sacrifice if it easy and painless.

    This blog entry came at a perfect time for me and has bolstered my faith in where my feet lay just enough to get me through a very difficult day.

  3. Elizabeth ⋅

    Thank you for saying this better than I could.

  4. Elizabeth ⋅

    Reblogged this on Twilight and Fire and commented:
    If you’ve read and possibly been enraged or upset by my post “The Inequality of Divine Communication,” then by all means, read this. It provides a much-needed perspective on what it really means to live with a gift that many envy and desperately desire.

  5. Pingback: Sacrifice « Story of a Godslave

  6. Nyx ⋅

    Thank you for this piece of uncomfortable truth. There is a bittersweetness to having one’s losses and sacrifices noticed.

  7. Pingback: Sacrifice | Sex, Gods, and Rock Stars | Loki's Bruid

  8. Heather S

    Reblogged, and thank you for saying this, because I’ve never been able to figure out how to talk about it without sounding like Darth Whiney Pants.

  9. Eric S ⋅

    I need to work on a post from the opposite point of view along with several related ones. I am actually quite happy to be closer to the other end. 😉

  10. Renee ⋅

    I may have said this before; if I have, I apologize. There are times when I miss being, and wistfully reflect upon when I felt, more (spiritually) connected. These are usually when I read something that a friend or acquaintance has written, something about a sudden feeling of connection, or insight, or spark of understanding. I feel joy for that friend, think of how wonderful something similar felt and am genuinely glad that sie is experiencing that.

    But then there are times when I almost embrace the peace. I’m not a spirit worker, but I’ve probably been more connected than many — with all that came with. I don’t miss knowing that painful/horrible things are coming for someone and knowing that there’s nothing I can do to change it. I don’t miss feeling practically compelled to do something that would be incredibly inconvenient (including costly) at the moment. I don’t miss feeling, at times, like a body/vessel that’s there for others’ amusement.

    And then, at times … like right now … the world seems so incredibly silent and … unalive. And then I remember that it’s this silence that’s permitting to do the other stuff that I need to be focusing on right now — stuff that I feel I was divinely guided to do (with occasional bits of connection/feedback to encourage me along the way). And I try to be content.

    I wish there were a way for those who wish for a stronger connection to deity/The Universe to understand — really, truly, deep in their cells understand — how horrible and/or frustrating the experiences I described in my 2d paragraph are. I’m not sure it’s possible to understand them without experiencing them, just like I don’t think it’s possible to understand what it’s like to have a body part cut off without having experienced it. And yes, I’m talking about an *added* thing being like having something cut off … but that feels right, somehow, because (for me at least) sometimes there’s a sense of loss in knowing. Counterintuitive, perhaps, but there it is.

    So … thank you for writing about this again. I suspect it’s a topic that can’t be written about enough.

    • Eric S ⋅

      Good point Renee. I suspect I have had even less than you and I am not looking to find more, really. I will admit that there was a bit of a hunger there to keep pushing the envelope but readings and advice have caused me to reconsider. My plate is already quite full.

    • EVCelt

      About the loss in knowing… Mother Theresa had only one direct communication. The hardest part of her life and mission after that, she said, was enduring “the silence of God”.

  11. I needed this right now. Thank you. It will generate my own post in due time but I wanted just to say thank you for it now.

  12. EVCelt

    A very good and important post. You already know about my smack upside the head relevant to these matters 😉 so it’s not a surprise I agree with you.

    Like Eric S. I’m more at the other end, but I’ve found there are degrees to everything, even this. I don’t have a godphone, I don’t think I’m wired to have one, and I don’t *want* one. But there are more subtle promptings and pokings that still can come through. Dreams, inspirations, feelings; the occasional tiny certainty, the spark that lights the fire. They’re much more equivocal, and I’m willing to say that some/most of them come from the “hand puppets” (as Josh so aptly put it), the images of my gods that lie in my deeper self. But so what? As long as they *worK*, as long as they lead me to honor my gods and enrich lives, I try to keep from second-guessing where they come from.

    And even those subtler communications require sacrifice. If nothing else, time and attention; laying down an exciting novel to write a poem or losing sleep to send an email with important information about a recent divination is just as much a sacrifice as pouring out expensive whisky as an offering, or enduring hours of pain painting the basement stairwell with devotional art…

  13. EVERY single point you’ve made has gone through my head, especially in the beginning. And I’ve realized that too, that even the mundane things make a difference. I’ve got to remember I’m doing this for Them. I’ve gone from being enthralled that a God called me, to intense raging jealousy of what I thought was unfair actions/feelings/favoritism towards others and rejection of me, to now realizing I am loved no less, to actively participating in Their plans. I am more valuable to Them than I thought and also had to make a sacrifice of my boyfriend(which Loki took care of personally by physically removing him to a distant location where I cannot see or talk to him) so I could nurture my relationship with Loki. I now wonder why all this didn’t happen years ago. That I could have avoided so much crap and drama and heartache. It’s a small sacrifice in comparison to the joy and benefits of having a higher purpose.

  14. Debbie ⋅

    Thank you for letting me see through your eyes. I have seen some of your struggles and sacrifices, and sometimes have trouble seeing the worth behind them.

    In my path, I have been drawn to what I call “ground crew”. One who cares for those who are Godphones or spirit workers. I may never hear Their voices or feel Their touch directly. Perhaps that is not in my cards for this Walk on The Wheel. But I can be there to support those who do Hear Them and Feel Them.

    Peace to you, Brother of My Heart.

    • Del

      And I think it’s important to know, deep in your heart, that being ground crew is a holy job as well. It is no more or less important than being the one who experiences direct communication. We rely upon each other, and without one the other cannot exist. It may not seem as glamorous, being the Holy Stage Manager rather than the Holy Lead, but without either there’s no play.

      • Leikin

        This comment and reply reminds me of somethign i learned in a sweat lodge last year. The Fire Keeper is equally important to the water bearer (paraphrased) without both of them dedicated to their purpose, neither works.

  15. Vinnie ⋅

    ” I have had clients refuse their Deity’s requests to alter their hairstyle, wear different clothing, or abstain from certain substances (illegal drugs, caffeine, sugar, meat, etc); and yet the rail and complain about how unfair it is that they weren’t merely born with these abilities intact.”

    okay, I changed my mind about having nothing to say to add to the conversation as a whole (as opposed to my meanderings about what it’s meant my own life) — This is arrogance. This is wanting to play an instrument, or dance, or have knowledge, with out practice and study. This is going to the famous person and saying “I want your time and energy because you’re famous, not because I really care about what you do, or what you’re about, or what you care about, but just because everyone knows your name and I want some of that to rub off on me.”

    Feh. That’s all.

    • Del

      I’m actually hoping that essays like this one, and the responses to it, will begin to peel away the veil that tends to obscure these transactions. Someone who meets me for the first time and learns that I have the ability to carry Deity in possession has no idea, no concept at all that the ability came at great cost and/or extensive training; this is furthered by the concept in Paganism that there is no barrier to entry – in Wicca, the predominant and most well known flank of Paganism, the idea that you do not need a clergy person to interact with the Gods is fundamental. Add to that a well known book that offers you a self-dedication ritual that supposedly grants you the right to call yourself clergy, but the author completely fails to mention that clergy have responsibilities and need specific skills, and if you call yourself “High Priestess Moonbeam McAthame”, someone at some point is going to assume you are ready for )hose responsibilities and have those skills. I did it. I was rushed through the ordination process of the British Traditional Wicca coven I was a member of because there was a need to create a new coven, and although I got a lot of spiritual training, the hived coven failed because I was never taught (or really even told about) all the administrative skills I would need to herd Wiccan cats.

      It is wildly unpopular for polytheists or Pagans to say or even insinuate that there are skills and abilities that are not universally obtainable. I can’t count how many times I try to explain to someone using the descriptor “shaman” that only in very rare circumstances is that a title one chooses for one’s self; it is a title taken after a certain set of divinely-ignited circumstances occur. You may be in love with any or all aspects of what you perceive shamanism to be, but without those experiences, you just can’t be one. (And yes, I am fully aware that there is a prominent “shaman” who not only disagrees, but holds weekend-long seminars after which you get a lovely piece of paper declaring you a shaman. I don’t care. The chickens come home to roost when clients expect them to be able to perform certain tasks, and it takes way longer than a weekend, and more training than just talking to some animal spirit, to be able to fulfill the role.)

      In our society, we’re trained to believe that if a sacrifice is needed, we get to dictate the terms of that sacrifice. If I need to lose weight for medical reasons, I can equally choose Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, the Grapefruit Diet, or to only eat ice cream. As long as it looks like I’m giving something up, then no one questions my desire to lose weight. And there are thousands of reasons why the AMA will never say “This is the One True Way to lose weight” (although they have come close), but one of them is because we Americans love our power to choose. So when the Gods demand a specific sacrifice, and it’s not one we were prepared to make, it is our gut reaction to negotiate. To offer something else instead. To see if there is wiggle room in the terms. Heck, I recently posted that Loki wanted me to get a tattoo on my face, and within moments there was the comment I was waiting for, “Can you convince Loki to ask for something else?” It’s not that I doggedly give Him whatever He asks for all of the time, but if He makes a request and I can physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially do it, then who am I to argue? I do think if the Gods ask for something that is truly impossible – like, say, asking me to run a marathon – you can explore their reasoning and find some way of meeting the need. But even just providing that example gives hope to those who are just *afraid* to sacrifice what they love the most – they can’t imagine life without it, so therefore it *feels* impossible. But I’m here to tell you, it’s possible to live without a 9-5 job, without human relationships, without wearing a certain kind of clothing or keeping your hair a certain length, without physical health, without the amount of money you assume you need to live on, without family ties, without a car, without children, without a certain group of friends…many of the things we *think* of as being foundational to our lives are actually just nice to have. (I assume, knowing what I know about some of your history, you understand this point, but I’m more making it for those reading along.)

      After a conversation last night, I am planning a somewhat-related post about whether or not austerity is necessary for spiritual growth or development. The preview is that I think it has its benefits and detriments, but it seems to be a constant through several different spiritual traditions, so it either has some divinely-inspired meaning, or it’s something in the human psyche.

      • Renee ⋅

        “And yes, I am fully aware that there is a prominent “shaman” who not only disagrees, but holds weekend-long seminars after which you get a lovely piece of paper declaring you a shaman. I don’t care.”

        I wish that we could take a time machine and go back to the 1960s and find a way to put a *different* name to those practices that are, today, considered “shamanic” (essentially, put a name to them before Mircea Eliade calls those *techniques* “shamanism). Then, perhaps, someone who is studying those techniques would not even think that they were a “shaman” — they would think of their skill set in some other terms. And then the word “shaman” would only refer to what it had been used to refer to for centuries — the person in the community who fills certain roles, one of which is being a divine intermediary.

        In a post-Eliade world — especially one in which relatively few people are exact about their language to begin with — trying to differentiate between someone who uses shamanistic techniques from someone who is actively working in their community as a shaman is … challenging at best. Maybe in time we can clarify how these two people are markedly different (even if they share *some* of the same skills), but for now I feel like it’s a matter of educating one person (or a few people) at a time and hoping that, in time, they’ll get it and maybe even help another person (or a few people) get it, too. And trying not to hit our heads against the wall too often.

      • Eric S ⋅

        To be the countervoice, there are traditions and points of view that all aspects of dealing with the divine have some level of negotiation. I had to translate for that once. Also, even when you have very little leverage in life, you can always try to negotiate.

        I do understand, however, that there are some things we cannot change. I was reminded of this helping a friend last night.

      • EVCelt

        I agree with Eric S about negotiation, although I think it’s likely that one’s wiggle room varies based on the nature of the connection… and the conditions laid out by the Power in question when the deal was made.

  16. volkwitch ⋅

    Great post. I have had many dark nights of the soul where I questioned the existence of any divine force in the universe. When I realized I was drawn to the Norse pantheon and that there was a modern spiritual tradition that also venerated these northern gods, I felt like I had come home. I also became increasingly sensitive to the fact that the gods must use whatever resources are available to communicate with devotees. Recently, I have been considering a move to Boston, but feared I would be unable to handle the weather. A storm named Freyr promptly blew into that city. The god of fertility and fair weather used media and a perverse sense of humor to give me the belief that I can handle whatever Boston throws at me in terms of weather. Now I could have dismissed that storm as coincidence and I am not disputing that it has a mundane explanation applicable to many people. I am saying that my devotions to the gods have made me aware of the ways in which they use mundane means to deliver divine messages. I think we hear from the gods a lot more than we think we do. Sometimes we need to open our ears and eyes to the language of coincidence, dreams, and allusions to recognize their messages.

    • Elizabeth ⋅

      I agree. Even people with working godphones get these sorts of messages some of the time. In a way, these can be more reassuring because there may be far less question of whether one is “sockpuppeting” or otherwise internally putting a spin on what one hears.

  17. C ⋅

    Hello,

    As someone who receives zero tangible spiritual communication, impressions, or what have you – but wishes to – I have a few questions:

    1) Many, if not most, of us who are now polytheistic or polytheistically inclined have come from a Christian background.  One of the reasons a lot of ppl leave that path is precisely because they do not feel heard, acknowledged, or cared for.  Paganism, at large, has held out the image or idea that these other Deities are more tangible and responsive, more imminent in our daily affairs.  However, it sounds like you, and many of your colleagues, are saying that the Gods are, or can be to most of us, just as remote and apparently non-responsive as the Christianity deities ever were.   So how does Paganism/polytheism offer anything preferable, or as many assert, superior to the Christian paradigm?  

    2) Given that apparently only a limited number of ppl appear to be able to hear and communicate meaningfully with the Deities, how does someone, such as myself, who’s tried their entire lives to make contact, not come to the conclusion that ALL of this isn’t simply fantasy wish fulfillment?

    3) If, as is taught by some, the Gods are our Elder Kin, why should they be so recalcitrant about speaking to us?  Do any of you who do receive communication ever ask the Gods point blank why they deign to speak to so few or at the very least make their presence felt?  To expect or desire or in any way accept the heart felt pleas, prayers, cries, devotions, adorations, etc. of untold multitudes of souls w/o so much as a breath of recognition and response of any sort sounds quite cruel and capricious!

    Which brings me to:

    4) If They are indeed as capricious as what it sounds like you’re saying and as it appears, what makes Them worthy of our love and efforts at all!?  If I’m going to get all the response I would from a bit of concrete, then why don’t I just call some random piece of concrete my deity and pray to it?

    5) Not to in any way demean, belittle, or question the trauma of your sacrifices or any those of any of the ppl you’ve mentioned, but MANY of us out here have gone through horrific sacrifices as well.  My own include job loses, poverty, deaths of many loved ones, debilitating health problems, having my life threatened, and more.  But regardless, there’s still no response from the Spirit world or the Gods, no matter how I implore them.  So to say that there’s some kind of dividing line – involving sacrifice – between who receives communication and who doesn’t, seems arbitrary and unwarranted.  It also sounds suspiciously like that old gem that crops up in everything from diet to religion, “you’re just not doing it right!”

    Please do not feel affronted by my questions or in any way put off by any apparently adversarial tone I may convey.  I have tremendous respect for a lot of the ppl you mention, particularly Galina.  (This is my first time reading your blog – I came here via a link from Galina.)

    However I think my questions are very relevant to this topic and I hope you might have the time and inclination to engage them.  

    Best regards,

    C

    • Del

      C,
      In case you didn’t notice, instead of answering your questions here, I created a new post specifically answering them, because I believe they are incredibly important and relevent to the topic at hand, and deserved a thoroughness that a comment reply would lack. The entry is here: http://www.sexgodsrockstars.wordpress.com/answers-to-sacrifice

      Thanks for inspiring my brainmeats and giving me the opportunity to answer questions I’m sure many people who read this post have in their hearts; and thank you for the courage and forthrightness it took to ask them in the first place.

      Del

      • C ⋅

        Hi Del,

        No I didn’t see the new post and I was starting to fret that my questions weren’t going to be posted at all, do thank you SO MUCH for responding and directing my attention to your reply. I’m extremely excited to go read it.

        Best regards,

        C 🙂

  18. Pingback: Sacrifice, godphones, spiritwork, and a message | The Divine Twins

  19. My snarky reply would be: Have a wall fall on you, get a traumatic brain injury.

    My serious reply would be continual close contact with any God can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. I have a paternalistic relationship with Father Neptune. I do ritual and make offerings and He sends little nudges. The one time that He decided to contact me full on — I ended up with 1000s of volts of electricity going through me causing my hair to stand on end. Enough of that will burn anyone out.

    I take the Roman pov of silence. Sometimes, the God (s) rather not be bothered and figure that you can take care of it yourself. If it is important to Them, they will contact you. Otherwise make offerings, do ritual, and know that They see that as piety.

    I personally believe that separating religion from spirituality has done people a disservice. Religion keeps you sustained when you go through the dry spells. The constant seeking of spirituality to me like like going from high to high or experience to experience. Religion for me is deepening the relationship.

    I don’t understand why people feel the need for a Godphone and why the rage. I know lots of folks who are satisfied with just being ordinary. Of course, this is all from a Roman pov, and we are notorious for our contractual relations with Gods.

  20. Leikin

    Reblogged this on The Ravens Breath and commented:
    The importance of this powerful post cannot be underemphasized enough.

    Those of us that do this work – and I do count myself among them having realized that the things I have gone through and the choices I have made have indeed been sacrifices to this Service – have been powerfully important to the Service. Service ALWAYS involves Sacrifice. It is our choice to make it often, but more often the sacrifices (IME) are taken first with explanations given later.

    I encourage everyone from the n00b to the expereinced spirit worker to read and seriously consider everything in this repost and ALL of the comments attached to it

  21. Melissa

    These are good things to say, thank you for saying them. I do think that there is a middle ground though. Things are rarely either/or. There are lots of techniques that people can do to feel the presence of the Gods. At the same time to have a really intense experience of a deity is something you really only can do when you are ready for it and not before. So I think you are right and I think you are wrong too. Either way, good post.

    • Del

      Maybe I am missing the nuance, but I don’t see where we disagree. In Hearing the Gods, I outlined many techniques one may use to open themselves up to being more aware of their God’s presence, and in this entry I make the point that it may be possible to receive communication without any specific rewiring, as long as you learn how to attune yourself to being in a receptive state (see the paragraph on modern distractions and silence, for example.) So I do agree that the everyman can and sometimes does receive messages from their Gods, just that it may be hard to see or hear if one doesn’t have the skills or the personal practice. I also reblogged a great primer of exercises people can do to become more aware of the God’s touch a while back. So maybe the issue is that you’re judging my point of view from this entry alone, and perhaps you overlooked parts of this entry that spoke to what the everyman can do.

      Either way, thanks for stopping by and sharing your observations!

  22. Pingback: Choices | Gods and Mirrors

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