I’ve noticed that there are quite a number of books out there, such as the Farrar’s books “The Witches’ God: Lord of the Dance“ and “The Witches’ Goddess: The Feminine Principle of Divinity“, that often suggest just plopping down and introducing yourself to random Gods and Goddesses – just to get to know them. While these are both great books for getting to know more about the various attributes that a particular God or Goddess can exhibit, the idea of just calling on a particular God or Goddess out of the blue, is disconcerting to say the least. I fully admit I about fell out of my chair, in the chapter about Loki, when they made such a suggestion.
While I understand completely that Loki is not the “evil” God that many make him out to be, he is still one not to be taken lightly, and it’s generally not a good idea to bring oneself (purposefully) to his attention, unless one is prepared to deal with the bits of chaos he is likely to bring along with him. This is something that is true for any number of Gods and Goddesses, even ones that are generally considered benign. So I just can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that so many authors seem to think that it is ok to advise new practitioners to just jump right in like that – well before they have had any opportunity to understand the potential consequences of such an action.
Recently, as mentioned in my previous post, I was preparing to introduce myself to Odinn. To be fair it didn’t go nearly as bad as I thought it would, but the potential was there. Which is why it is important to know and understand who you are introducing yourself to. Just randomly showing up on someone’s doorstep, and saying “hey… wanna hang for a bit?”, not always going to go over very well. I don’t know about anyone else, but I really dislike it when people just drop by, especially people that I don’t know.
So what should you do if you feel that you are ready to get to know a particular God or Goddess on more intimate terms?
- The first thing is research – read all (or as much of) the available myths/lore as possible. Find out if there are particular items or foods/drinks associated with said deity, so that when it comes time, you can properly represent them, and have an offering that you know they might like. Make sure that you have a good idea of the customs that are appropriate to said deity as well, – such as purity standards (like the ones required within Kemeticism).
- Once you feel you have exhausted the academic route, take some time to really think about the potential consequences of bringing yourself to the attention of a God. In many cases one may do an intro ritual (for lack of a better word, though it may not necessarily be that formal), and not much will happen – in other cases it can have profound, life changing consequences. Be absolutely sure that you are ready whichever occurs – as each can be just as devastating, if unprepared. Being unexpectedly claimed by a God or Goddess can be a scary thing, however the same is true if one attempts contact and said deity ignores you completely. It can leave you wondering about your path, and how to move on, especially if one truly felt that there was a connection to be made.
Once you are ready, the process itself is fairly simply – though you can make it as formal or informal as you like. Some will go with more of a guided meditation type exercise, and others will have a full on ritual. The choice is entirely personal, and really it’s whatever feels most comfortable to you. For me it was a matter of a candle, a chant and a bottle of mead to share. For others it may be more involved, the key is that it comes from your heart, and is sincere. You don’t want to approach the Gods under false pretenses, or with a lack of humility, or humbleness, for in doing so you would definitely be starting out on the wrong foot. And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be having to look over my shoulder for the rest of my life, for showing such a lack of respect to the Gods – and if ever there was a time for making a good “first impression”, this is it!
Yeah, those deity books lost me a lot of respect for the Farrars. Putting Loki on trial isn’t a good idea. *I’m* offended, and I’m not the one you have to worry about.
Wonderful post, I often wonder about the lack of information some authors offer about approaching the Gods.
I’ve never formally introduced myself. I just go about it as I do when I meet new people. I’m a very open, social being, and I haven’t had any bad reactions from the other side.
I’ve never formally introduced myself. I just go about it the same whay I do when meeting new people. Being formal wouldn’t be ‘me’. It would feel fake.