I continued pondering and reading about different beliefs through my 30s, and up until now. Not that I’ve stopped, but I’ve recently begun to take a more active approach in addition to studying.
During the last few years I’ve been wondering: how do I find out which aspect/representation of the Divine to work with?
I’ve been fascinated by Ancient Egyptian gods and mythology since I was a kid. Bast was my favourite goddess – no surprise, me being a cat person.
In my late 20s, I also became drawn to Sekhmet, the lion headed warrior goddess.
I’m also fascinated by Greek mythology, but I’m not drawn to any of the gods in that pantheon.
Last year I read Neil Gaiman’s “American gods”, and that sparked an interest in reading about the old Norse gods again. The stories are far more interesting than I remembered them to be.
And I began to think, why look among other cultures’ pantheons, when I might find “my” deity in the religion of my ancestors?
Loki has always been my favourite of the Norse gods; fascinating, puzzling and unpredictable. He really stands out among the Norse gods. A jotun who’s a blood brother with an æsir. A shapeshifter and a trickster. Married to two wives, and both a father and mother, with human-looking and “monstrous” kids and an eight-legged horse.
When I re-read the stories from Norse mythology, I was drawn even stronger to Loki than before, and I wondered, maybe he’s my deity?
The next step was: how do I find out if Loki is my deity? How do you “get in touch with” gods?
Do you pray or meditate or what?
I tried googling, but couldn’t find any info on this. Then I remembered that, hey, I have a few LJ friends who are Pagan, maybe I can ask some of them, which I did.
I got the advice to try and meditate, and try to visualise feeling a hand on my shoulder, a presence as a first step.
I haven’t meditated in years, so I’m sorely lacking in discipline when it comes to making my brain shut up with its constant chatter.
I decided to try a combination of meditation and relaxation in bed before going to sleep, since it usually takes me a long time to fall asleep anyway.
I concentrated on my breathing, and relaxing my body. Then I imagining that there was a presence nearby, which I then addressed in my mind.
I’m not used to formal prayers, and I don’t know how other Pagans do this, so I just went: “Hi, this is me. So, are there any god or goddess there? If there is, who are you? I think I’d like to get in touch and work with Loki, is that possible? Are you there, Loki?”
The first thing that happened, immediately, was that I fell asleep within minutes, instead of after nearly an hour. Now, I’m used to doing breathing and relaxation exercises to try and fall asleep, without much success usually; my mind just won’t shut up. So, I found this rather amusing. It was like: oh, hai, deities, anyone listeni– *snore*
Then I thought, I almost always remember my dreams, and they usually make some kind of sense. People used to believe, and in some cultures still do, that the gods could speak to you through your dreams, right? Dreams as a means of communication. I’ve both solved problems and told myself things, given myself insight, in my dreams. Maybe I could try to use my dreams to communicate with the gods?
So, I pray-chatted to Loki and said I invited him to enter my dreams and talk to me, if he was interested. (This was in November, I think.)
And he immediately made a brief appearance in my dream that night. At least I was pretty certain in the dream that it was him. I asked him “are you Loki?”. He didn’t answer – he didn’t say anything at all that first time – he just gave me a lopsided smile, and wore an I-know-something-you-don’t expression.
As I mentioned in my personal LJ, the Loki I saw in that dream looked he was in his late 20s, slim, with longish ash-blond hair, clean-shaven and very handsome.
He’s appeared in my dreams briefly several times after that.