This is a cute little story, meant to inspire more of a laugh than a deep thought. Think of it more as… Divine Fan Fiction… rather than anything else.
So my last post was not the best example of comprehensible writing I have ever produced. It left a lot to be desired in terms of editing for grammar and over all clarity of message. Kinda what happens when I write from a bit of an emotional place.
All that poor writing threw at least one person off and provoked the conclusion that I had in someway turned on Polytheism in general, abandoned the Gods who’ve been looking out for me, and become a Christian again. So I looked back and… yeah that last post was that poorly written. It is entirely possible for someone to have gathered that conclusion, so this post is to help clear some of that up.
The last post was written largely for my own benefit as a means of breaking away from elements I had begun to identify as hindering my relationship with Odin and the other Gods I’m gradually growing closer too. People who believe that somehow their service to the Gods makes them ‘elite‘, would go so far as to suggest those who disagree as to the specifics of practice might be suicidal in passive aggressive terms, etc. etc. (I could seriously dig up stuff like this all night, but who has the time), are not people I need to be associating with if I’m going to dedicate myself to Odin the way He wants me too. Partly because as one friend of mine put it: such behavior is only needed by those insecure in their beliefs. If I truly am secure in my choose path, then it should not matter to me so much that the paths of others differ. Nor should I wish to lash out at them for it.
Several years ago when I was a brash young teenager looking to take and give offense at every little slight that’s exactly what I did. All the time. Odin was the one who stopped me and said “No. This bs you’re spewing? I won’t stand for it. It isn’t useful to Me, to you, or anyone else, and you really ought to know better by now.” So as part of staying on that path, I’ve decided to make my break with those are so quick to give and take offense where none is called for.
Which is really sad all things considered. Both Galina and Sannion were people that early on reached out to me with hands of encouragement on my path and both have done a great deal of work, writing and otherwise, towards bringing the Gods of the Norse and Greek traditions to people that otherwise might never have thought to look. However wonderful all that may be though, I can’t let it cause me to turn a blind eye to matters of basic decency and consideration for other people of Faith as I have done up till now.
Also, more on how I meant about “The Wolf Howling Alone” that I feel like right now: previously it was my desire for a group that led me to censor some of my own ideas and be more forgiving of issues that I feel I ought not to have been. Being who and what I am, I don’t have a place in much of any religious gathering and had I continued to turn a deaf ear to thoughts in my head as simple as “this is not how He wants me to treat others,” I may very well have had a place. But I never would have been true to myself, much less to Him. So now for now, I’ll wander on my own again, for the very same reason that wolves of the four footed variety occasionally strike out alone from the pack: to find or build a new pack.
Ok… that’s quite enough of semi drama ish posts for now. Now to get to work on something I’ve been meaning to do for sometime, and start writing about the Old Man and the things I see in Him that others don’t as often see. Starting with a post about the Grimnirsol, and a discussion about just how patient a God Odin can be. Hopefully later on tonight or tomorrow.
In my last post I hope I’ve done a fairly good job of explaining some of my own history, and thus established a context for where it has led me. From that, and other explorations that I have not described here but may at a later time, I have come to stand by several principles. A few of the ones I feel are more important and wish to share now are:
- There are Beings known as Gods in the world, who I perceive to have individual natures, personalities, preferences, ambitions and histories, as well as personal influence and agency.
- Gods tend to wield a subtle positive influence on the world, primarily though not solely through Their human devotees. Various forms of veneration, devotion, prayer, offerings and personal dedication to the Gods are ways in which mortals can show their appreciation for this. The continued exchange of mortal veneration and Divine guidance is of benefit to both Gods and humans.
- There are some individuals, Mystics, who find by various means that they are able to more easily perceive the Gods. By doing so Mystics sometimes find themselves in conversations of varying degrees of clarity with the Gods, and thus a continued and evolving dialog between Gods and humans is maintained.
Those three are probably the least controversial points. Controversial perhaps to some, but still not all that new. From here, things get a bit hairier.
- The reality and exact nature of the Gods is not a thing that humans, even Mystics, are capable of knowing by empirical means at this time. Knowledge of the Gods exists primarily in personal perceptions and we are limited in our ability to relay those perceptions. Unlike a glass falling from a table and breaking that two people may observe at the same time and through repeated experimentation come to an agreement that similar glasses dropped from the same position tend to break, most frequently the perception of a God occurs in some way within the individual and cannot be simultaneously observed by another. That being the case experiences of the Gods, whether recent gnosis written about in modern times or ancient lore, can not be validated in the same way as scientific principles (such as gravity and the fragility of glass). Because of this principle, any relationship with a God must first begin with a human individual’s active choice to believe in the God.
- Mysticism is a useful but imperfect tool. Discernment is necessary to determine actual conversation with another Being from self delusion born of desire which is a natural part of human nature. Also, Mysticism is imperfect because the communication of a mystical experience is reliant on the shared belief of the origin and the recipient in the validity of the experience.
And now… some people are likely to be particularly pissed off at me. That’s fine. As long as a certain Flame Haired Bastard eases up a little bit on me for keeping my mouth shut for so long, I’m ok with that.
- The Gods are as concerned with Their personal devotees, as They are with humanity as a whole. Their vision is long, and Their plans broader in scope than a single individual can comprehend. Even an Atheist may be a person of value in the eyes of a God that the individual denies the existence of.
- Some messages from the Gods are meant for the individual, however many more are broader principles meant to be shared with as wide an audience as possible. It is not necessary for one to be a Mystic, or even to accept the reality of the Gods as fact, to benefit from the myriad of these lessons the Gods wish humans to benefit from.
- Subtle means; parable, metaphor, fiction, even slightly more overt action taken by those who interact with the Gods in the form of activism and even simply providing one’s self as an example of conduct, are all means by which one human, Mystic or otherwise, can become a conduit for the Gods and aid in sharing Their messages with those who otherwise would not hear Them.
Now for some real fun.
- The path of growing to know the Gods is a long one that each individual must take at its own pace, if at all. Some will progress farther on the path in a single lifetime and others will not. There is no shame nor pride to be found in progress or the lack of it, so far as humans should be concerned.
- The Gods are aware of the differing capacity of different humans and ask more or less of an individual depending on the extent of progress made towards understanding Them and other variables. They may at times push an individual who is capable of more for greater devotion and work while being content with the present relation with others. A calling to a greater degree or lesser degree of devotion is not a measure of ones worth before the Gods, nor is it a truth that can be fully known outside of the personal relationship between God and devotee.
That should be a mouthful for some to chew on for now. Later on as I’m able there is more I wish to share. Especially how a particular tale, the Grimnismol, influences my understanding of how the Gods share Themselves with us, and how we may share Them with others. Also as some will be apt to notice anyway, several of the principles that I have now stated to hold to stand somewhat in conflict with many positions now loudly proclaimed among those who call themselves Polytheists. That I do intend to address as well, in time as I feel able to do so.
I’ve been pretty quiet lately for two reasons. The first, because undiagnosed chronic pain issues suck and make it hard to focus on anything else. The second, because in following a lot of stuff that’s been flying around, I’ve found myself forced to think hard about my place in the Polytheist community, what it is, and what I want it to be. As part of that, I’ve been thinking back on how I got to where I am now and I feel it may be useful to share that story with others now. Continue reading
I can’t have been a day over ten years old, maybe even younger. My family was one of those that actually made a point of having someone, usually Mom, read to my siblings and I every night. There was the usual mix of Mother Goose and Brothers Grimm and stories from the Bible, but mixed in with all that my mother used to love to read to us about ancient Gods and Hero’s.
At first it was mostly Greek, my earliest memories being learning about Hercules, Perseus, Theseus and Bellerophon. Later on though she picked up a book, Norse Gods & Giants by Ingri d’Aulaire and began to read to us from that as well. From there I first learned about the thundering God Thor who battled giants and monsters, Loki the trickster who was more often than not in the stories for making Thor’s life interesting. Those two, with their constant back and forth like a comedy duo and heroic quests, were the ones I most easily latched on to as a small boy.
One little snippet from there latched on at that time and never let me go though. In the descriptions of Odin the book talked about how sometimes He would disguise Himself and walk among men. Testing their hospitality and sharing wisdom with those He deemed worthy. That image is the one of the Old Man that has stuck with me the longest: The quiet stealthy God who doesn’t always warn you He’s coming. The one who leaves you always wondering if He might be the one outside the door, waiting with wisdom that might just be worth hearing.
Costel Hidlr of The Infinite Battle and I have been talking over the last few months about a shared experience we both have and we’re not sure how many, if any others might have similar experiences. So we decided we’d both write about it and at least then a few more people would know where we’re coming from.
Both of us identify to some degree as being “wolf” and find that animal aspect of ourselves is a strong component of how we interact with our Gods. Costel’s post went up earlier this afternoon and can be found here and here I’ll share my own personal journey and perspective on this. This will also explain a little of why I call this blog Grim’s Wolf.
The moon was (is, at the time of writing this) very full and bright tonight. The sky was clear, the air just crisp with the promise of a coming fall and as per my usual hour of going out at night to go before one God or another there was fresh cool dew already on the grass. A little too cool for bare feet unfortunately, as I found by foolishly attempting to go out as such. I ended up slipping back in a little giddy and laughing at myself to fetch shoes before properly heading out. Continue reading
This… should be a little different. I apologize for the rambling course this piece will take, but I’ve a feeling that really is just the best way to tackle this issue. Hopefully I can help myself and maybe a few others wrestling with this issue by writing it all down. Continue reading
I was originally holding this piece back until such time as a friend of mine could have a look at it first, but as wyrd or whatever happenstance would have it I’m not sure just now if I’ll ever have the chance to talk to that friend again. Such is the way of things sometimes, for good or for ill. Still, there are promises that remain and need to be kept. I had made one to Vali the Son of Loki, to do something for Him. To tell a story that follows after what has been written. Continue reading