My beliefs are a very integral part of who I am. I have learned all the rote answers to the typical questions I get from folks of other Paths. What is a Pagan? What is a Polytheist? What is Animist? What is a Druid? What kind of religious ceremonies do you have? Are you a Priest (a particularly tricksy question to handle from my personal perspective)? How long have you been a clergy member (I try really hard not to laugh through this one)? But eventually comes the one question that will have me blinking – how do you communicate with the Gods and Goddesses?
Its easy to formulate a quick response. I communicate with them through trance, meditation, and dreams. But that’s not a complete answer. In fact, I would almost call it skirting the question. There’s a lot more to it than trancing out, or meditating, or stumbling into a dream-state. And as I sit here and type this, I know that what I am describing is not correct for anyone else. So perhaps, I should start at the beginning for myself. With Coyote.
Coyotes are animals that I am drawn towards naturally. They work in groups, but can be very solitary creatures at the same time. I self-identify with that quite a bit. I work far better on my own, one of the many reasons that I approach my Spirituality from the perspective of a solo practitioner. Though I am not sure what I am practicing, most everything I do in my Spirituality is the real deal. Practice doesn’t come into it. But that’s a tangent for another time. I do work fairly well in groups, so long as I am not in a position of leadership. I am certainly – in my opinion – one of the worst leaders of magickal and ritual group work around. I know my hard limits, and that’s definitely one of the big ones. But my aspect of solo and group work identifies well with the common legend of the coyote as an animal.
Once that identification was held tight, I decided to spend time trying to approach Coyote through meditations and trances. It took a few months of continual and constant work, petition, and searching, but eventually I made contact through the meditative Path. At first I embraced Coyote outright, and was eventually set into a few situations where I was made to look very foolish – particular for my fervor in trying to accomplish the completely silly tasks set before me. Trickster God. Go figure. But this was one way that I realized I was being shown that I was in the right place. The third situation that was handed to me, I looked it over before denying that I would do what was asked. My first lesson. Learning to say no, no matter who was asking.
Crow was a little different. I didn’t ask for, or petition for Crow. In a manner of speaking I was introduced to Crow by Coyote during one trance session. I didn’t understand what was being asked of me, so I ignored Crow, treated him as a bystander. And then Crows started showing up everywhere. In the mornings, the Crows would be in the tree in the backyard, waiting for me to come outside for the greeting of the Sun. They would be at work, hopping through the manicured lawn of the college. They would line the rooftops of the local Wal-Mart, alongside the smaller Grackles that are a nearly constant sight. I knew Crow was vying for my attention when I saw Crows everywhere on a summer vacation in the Rockies. A trance session with my focus directly on Crow provided me with the second of the Trickster Gods that are a part of my daily Life.
Over time, I realized that it made sense. These are First Nations Gods, and I live right in the middle of old Comanche territory. The old Gods of this area of the world are here with me. Certainly, there are plenty of other Gods, including Celtic and Irish from the multitudes that practice those faiths here. But the First Nations Gods claimed me.
So, how does one attract the attentions of the Gods and Goddesses? Focus. Trance sessions, Meditations, Lucid dreaming. Petitioning them. And patience. It doesn’t happen in the first five minutes. Nor the first five days, and may not the first five weeks or the first five months. Show your dedication. Make offerings. And continue to be patient. And don’t get mad if the ones you petition don’t show up. Before Coyote, I had flirtations with Pan, and Tsuki no Kami – neither of which worked out after nearly two years of effort (Pan), and another year and a half of meditations and offerings. Perhaps, I may have had better luck by not offering to any particular God or Goddess, but that’s all into the Past now.
My third Spiritual companion has started to make her presence known, Floidhas – the Irish Goddess of the forests. Sort of strange for a guy with mostly German ancestry to have the flirtations of an Irish Goddess. Perhaps an Ancestry.com DNA kit may shed some better light in that direction. Hers came about with the horn of the Wild Hunt invading my dreams and mediations. I would focus on something, and eventually, the horn of the Wild Hunt would be sounded – and I would either break concentration or come fully awake. It took me a short time to catch the name of the young lady who stood by as the Wild Hunt passed along, and would then wink at me, and run off giggling and laughing. Flow-us. Took me even longer to figure out how it was spelled, much less that it was Irish.
Now, I am not going to sit here, hands typing at the keyboard and relate that this is the ONLY way to approach, communicate, and commune with the Gods and Goddesses. It is one way, and the way that works particularly well for me. All I can really pass along is that its a lot harder work than you may think. And that when the Gods that approach you have your ear – they will ask favors, provide tasks, and require devotional work from you. And it most definitely is WORK. Like with anything that happens between mortals and Gods, its not something that comes intuitively, nor is it something that comes easily. There will be some measure of sacrifice that comes. There will be a degree of hard work that is necessary to accomplish what is asked of you. And that is a measure of your commitment to their cause. It is a measure of dedication you have to who they are and what they stand for. You have the will to say “no.” You have the will to say “yes.” Think carefully before committing to one or the other.