|Posted by Jorja on February 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM|
From time to time I talk to people who are having a hard time with their personal paganism. People go through periods of time when they are just not feeling the presence of the Gods. I can relate to this in a very personal way, as I've been in this spot myself. Sometimes everyday life grinds us down, we get caught up in the daily grind of modern life, and the numinous can seem very far away.
Here is some advise I give people who are maybe not feeling their religion as much as they would like:
1) First be a friend to the Gods. Pagan Gods and Goddesses are more powerful versions of people, and I've always felt that the relationships that we have with them are like our relationships with close parents and/or good friends. Think of how we maintain friendships. If you never called or visited your friends, how long would they be friends? What if you never treated your friend to lunch or a gift for favors they had done for you? Think about paying attention to the Gods by praying daily at your shrine.
If you find yourself offering the same prayers everyday, try something new. While repetition can be useful in building energy, to much of it can result in rote recitation where we are just mouthing the words, now deprived of all meaning. Also, MAKE OFFERING, EVERY DAY. It doesn't have to be something big, I offer a stick of incense during morning ritual, and sometimes a cup of coffee. No matter how small, the offering is important.
The God/desses are ancient beings, and in ancient times a 'friend' wasn't just somebody you talked to on facebook, he or she was an ally somebody who you depended on in times of trouble. Since friendships were so important, it was expected that friends would exchange gifts. This was an important action of 'putting your money where your mouth is.' If somebody was willing to share their food, and their wealth with you, it was likely that you could count on them to fight mutual enemies, to help bring in crops, or for any important endeavor. The Gods and Goddessess give us many gifts, They maintain the order of the Cosmos, The Earth Mother and fertility God/desses give us the food that sustain us, it is right that we give in return.
Sometimes we should also give the Gods, and especially our patrons, an especially fine gift. We are not all people of means, (just look at my bank account towards the end of the pay period,) but a special gift doesn't have to be expensive. Compose and perform a praise poem to a Deity, or make an offering of something you have made. Recently, I carved a spoon to give to An Dagda over a week's time and burned it to send it to Him. When you participate in High Day rituals, you give the Gods your time.
2) Take a long walk in Nature. Try to find the most natural setting you can. Getting out in nature can refresh our spirits and get us back in touch with the many works of the Gods. When you see with a mindful eye and a clear mind, there are miracles all around us.
3) Look for miracles. It always amazes me how many of my prayers are answered. Usually they are answered in subtle small ways. You sometimes have to look for it. Sometimes you do get something dramatic. Once Odin The Wanderer answered a request of mine, and I got home on far less gas than I should have been able to. WILL yourself to believe, resist the urge to try to logically explain it when you get a boon from the Gods.
4) If you really don't feel as though the Gods are talking to you, try using divination to see if you can get an insight into what is going on. On a day to day basis the Gods talk to us through the veil in a whisper. Using divination can allow Them to speak to us more clearly. If you don't feel confident in your abilities in at least one divinitory method, get some help from someone who is more adept. Feel free to contact me if you need help.