Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Still trying to find my way

My back problem has been interfering with my progress although you would think it gave me time to sit down and do a lot of reading.  In reality what it gave me was time to play video games because they take my mind off the pain.  Reading only gives me more time to whine about it.

But while I was online yesterday I came across a blog title (although I didn't read the article) about how you treat the gods.  I can't remember exactly how it went but it was along the lines of either worshiping the gods or using them for when you need something.  It's a problem I've struggled with for years, including the time I was a Christian.  I don't get the need to beg for favors and keep begging in order for the deity to deign to look down from on high and reach out to help us.  On the other hand, in any relationship there must be some give and take.  But in my dealings with my gods, I tend not to ask for anything because I am uncomfortable doing that.  I know that some gods require a sacrifice for the favors they bestow.  Others seem to expect you to do all you can before they will intervene.  Still others will send their strength or energy to enable you to take care of the problem yourself.  I just know what I'm comfortable with and that's not with asking for help in every little thing. 

Sure, I called upon Hermes when I was stranded out of town.  It was an instinctive thing and I offered a libation to him the next day in return for the help he gave.  But as a rule, I don't ask for favors much.  I had problems as a Christian in feeling like I was bossing Yahweh around with all my requests, as if I was entitled to the solutions I expected of him.  So now all I do is offer up, in my daily rituals, resolutions for what I hope to accomplish or who I hope to be.  As in...May I be productive and centered today as I go about my work.  Instead of ...Help me to be productive and centered today as I go about my work.  For one thing, I believe the gods expect us to grow without their holding our hands and dragging us through our rough spots.  I could be wrong, but the whole notion of not being able to do anything without a god's help makes me feel weak and helpless.

But maybe, again, that's just me and I could be wrong.  I just know that while I'm not there yet, I'm in much better shape emotionally and stronger spiritually than I was when I was required to lean on a god's strength, not trusting my own.

This morning, I lit my hearth candle (a shelf next to my sink) invoking Brighid, who I must admit I've had a hard time connecting to.  After my morning prayer, I told her that I wasn't comfortable asking for healing help as I've had such a hard time feeling a connection with her and felt like it was too much like "using" her to do that.  For the first time, I felt that inner glow.  I feel it frequently with Danu, but never have with Brighid.  I came away from the experience feeling much loved and connected with her, but not healed.  Although the pain is much less than it was before and I'm glad to give her credit for it because the pain has been very distracting.  If she has chosen to lighten my load a bit, I am truly grateful.  Even moreso for not having begged for help.  And I'll be glad to give her credit.

For me it's like when my husband does something for me without being asked.  It always feels more sincere and loving than when I have to ask or plead with him to do something for me.  Then again...if you don't ask, you don't usually get.  Still, doesn't it feel better to help someone out of love rather than out of obligation?

But then again, I might be totally full of shit.  LOL  I'm still learning who the gods are, after all.



  1. I'm with you. My prayer life has changed drastically. I don't even like to refer to it as "prayer" because of all the baggage. I just can't ask anyone to help someone else out. Someone needs help? Then I better get off my ass and help them! Or, if I can't, I send energy to that person and their environment and maintain hope that help will come in one form or another. I guess I don't ask so much as I expect. But I don't expect in an entitled way, if that makes sense. Everything is a lesson. If something happens in a different way than I had hoped for, well, that's how it went down! Nothing I can do about that. Might as well learn the lesson, most of the time it's: go with the flow.

  2. Exactly, Tana. I'm the same about referring to it as prayer. It doesn't reflect what I think I'm doing but explaining it takes too long so I generally just tell people I will pray for them if I think they'll get squicked out by me lighting a candle for them.

    I wonder sometimes if asking has more connotations with having felt like such a mooch every time I asked for something within the Christian community. As well as the outrageous attitudes in fundie-ville toward people who have needs, you know.

  3. LOL! Yes, they are a very needy lot, those fundies. That's hilarious. And yes! Once again with the double-talk: You're not good enough for God to love without his having to kill his only son, but please! do go ahead and ask him to supply all your needs! Uh..... WTF? Oh, it's okay so long as you tell God that you believe he's an evil overlord who would sacrifice his own son on behalf of a people he can't stand. Uh....

    Yeah, it's a real head-scratcher why prayer is so complicated.

  4. Yeah, but it's okay for them to be needy. Just not you. You being needy is you being selfish and lazy. Them being needy is relying on God to provide for them even if it means popping out babies every year and living on welfare. Because that's how God takes care of them. But heaven forbid they extend that compassion to anyone else. Because, of course, they're lazy. I keep thinking of a fundie we both know and loathe from youknowwhere who believes much like the Duggers that they should have as many babies as possible even if they can't afford them.

    And I'm so with you on the evil overlord thing. Absolutely!!!!

  5. I don't feel like I'm begging when I pray to The Goddess. I feel as though She is our Mother and is here to help us all on our journey. The good, the bad and the ugly. I always offer thanks and appreciation just as I would if I asked a friend for something and they helped me.

    You deserve help. Your words, at least to me, sound like you are feeling as though you are not worthy of the time and energy. We are ALL Mother's children. There are no favorites.

    Our practices are very different, and I don't have the former Christian crap you have to deal with.

    If you are reaching out to a Goddess and don't feel a connection. Keep on walking. I had a friend who kept telling me to go to Bast. There were crickets. I respect and love her, but there wasn't that connection. No big thang, there are thousands of others out there who will show their faces to me when I am ready to see them.

    Enough of me taking up your entire comments with my wordy crap.

    I hope your back feels better soon girl.

  6. Actually I don't think I feel unworthy. It's the whole bullshit about having to ask for help that gets to me. And it's not that I won't ask for help, it's just that I don't want that to be the basis for my relationship with the gods. I mean, when you love someone, you want to help them and make them happy. You don't sit up on a throne and make them beg for it...you know?

    I mean, I did ask Hermes for help as that was the god who came to mind when I was in trouble. And it's not like he's one of the gods I regularly worship.

    As far as not feeling a connection, it's weird but no matter how often I appeal to other hearth goddesses, I keep coming back to Brighid. I know part of the problem I have with her is her connection with Christianity (as the Christians turned her into a Saint because the Pagans wouldn't give her up), which is not her fault at all but is still one of those hurdles for me. I finally feel like that last hurdle has been jumped though and finally feel that connection. She is the Pagan Goddess and not the Saint, never was the Saint and never will be the Saint for me.

  7. And I have nearly caught up! This is an interesting post. I have a very different view of Divinity than you do, but I think some things may be universal among those of us who have shed the chains of formal religion. I've been thinking more along the lines of: I will do what I can, will You help me with the rest?