An article by Freya Aswynn
This subject is something I know about mainly from a Norse perspective, through my personal experience in the field. However before I get into depth, it may be helpful to clarify a few things. What is the Divine and how do you connect with it? The Divine can be best understood as the All That Is, Was, and Shall Be: a universal source of creative intelligence expressed in different facets for different peoples and different times. There are three different ways in which the seeker can connect and interact with this source: Magick, Mysticism and Occultism; Art, Religion, and Science, respectively.
Over the last ten years, I have observed a curious phenomenon. Everyone is ‘Horsing’ their god/dess. (I hate that term. It smacks of submissiveness rather than sharing consciousness and cooperating, I prefer the term ‘Hosting) The result of this is that the boundaries between Objective and Subjective have, in some cases, totally broken down, leading to psychosis and uncontrolled possession or obsession by a self created thought form mistakenly identified as Deity.
Now, there are only a few ways in which Deity can manifest on this plane. This manifestation occurs through mental telepathy, which is sometimes perceived as audio but is mostly just abstract ideas and thoughts, and through thought forms, in which the devotee builds up an image or thought form through the use of will and intent.
Be aware that the force, which is called down to inhabit the operator (or devotee) can be of no higher frequency than that of the recipient. Were it more than this, the vessel could become disturbed and even damaged. The force would not willingly inflict such harm on their innocent own. Furthermore, the force’s manifestation will be coloured by the recipient’s persona. The force being called down will only be of the same frequency of the mind and subconscious of the recipient. Hence you get sex- or war-obsessed people running projections on to their gods. No wonder Odin has had, and to a certain extent still has, such a dodgy reputation. Deity should be projected from the devotee towards the world as a worthy representative, of course with human shortcomings included but overall with a positive intent. Anything short of this represents a misuse of power.
As always, where there are false bank notes, so to speak, there must be real ones in the first place. The problem is there are no clear parameters for distinction between the two. The concept of U.P.G. (unsupported personal gnosis) covers a multitude of “sins”. Because it is personal, questioning its validity is often not encouraged. This can and has become a serious problem for beginners.
Part of my personal devotional discipline over my many years has been to practice a version of the Liber Astarte Vel Berelli, a ritual from Aleister Crowley’s Magick in Theory and Practice designed to create the opportunity for devotee to experience Unity with their deity. This long ritual discipline culminated in a celebration of my mystical marriage with Odin, which includes a lifelong vow of celibacy as part of the deal.
Now what craziness is this? Should we believe Pagans are copying? Not necessarily as this discipline was found in various forms in many pre-Christian pagan cultures. And it’s making a come back of sorts.
My point is that it can be very difficult to define your relationship with a spiritual entity of any name or pantheon. Those who enter into this relationship honestly find the experience too deeply personal for public viewing and would never think to use their relationship as a tool either impress others or advance themselves.
There have been people who indeed were in contact with a higher source probably comparable to what most pagans call a god, referred to as Elder Kin by most Norse Heathens. But these beings always take great care so as not to inflate their channel’s egos. Also, they often take fairly ordinary names, like Tom or Seth. Or even “The Philosopher”; The Chanceller” and “The Soldier” no Ego involved.
They rarely assume grand titles. The quality of the communication is found solely in the work produced and not a big name.
Neither will Divine inner plane souls ask for anything that is against the human conscious as they are accountable, real contacts. For instance, Dion Fortune experienced Socrates as one of her masters. I discovered that by reading the Cosmic Doctrine. I later verified this information by asking people involved in the Western Mysteries. At the time, the Master’s name was not given in the book so the material had to stand on its own validity. It still does, however the language is dated. Actually there is a wonderful update published by Samuel Weiser.
Equally interesting, Socrates only could express himself in the language of his or rather, Dion Fortune’s, Age. This applied to both material and terms discussed in the Cosmic Doctrine, i.e. “seed atom” as we would now best understand in terms of new physics. The point I make is that Gods and Masters, like computers, can only work with the software or rather “wet ware” available. In computer-speak “Gi Ga” or, “garbage in, garbage out”. The proof is in the pudding.
There have been interesting developments since the Harmonic Convergence. Has a merging of the dimensions occurred? Is that manifesting as a breaking-down of barriers between the worlds, making communication between gods and men possible once again? Perhaps the merging of dimensions also reflects the creation of a pseudo-world: cyberspace, where anything is possible; the ultimate expression of democracy and anarchy at the same time. In the past, only those that were trained to be wise and aware could gain entry through barriers towards union with the Divine.
Vehicle for the Divine
Before offering oneself as a vehicle for the expression of the consciousness of a god, a few vital things must be considered. The vehicle offered has to be in good repair: adequate to conduct the energies. This does not automatically exclude disabled people, who often compensate with the development of a replacement ability. No, it pertains to the balance of the subtle bodies in relationship to the physical vehicle.
Graceful, harmonious movement of the physical body whatever the shape and/or weight is an indication that at least some of the other subtle bodies are in alignment. Clumsy and awkward stumbling means that, in the absence of a physical disability, the misalignment of the subtle bodies and ‘hosting’ the consciousness of a deity has to involve all four bodies in sync at least for the duration of the experience. The impulse from on High will originate through the Spiritual or Monadic body and will then progress down.
An ability to maintain internal balance must exist. Your character must become sufficiently clarified so that use can be made of the connection. After all, if you don’t know who you are or how to use that information then you are indeed lost. It takes literally years of discipline, painful self-analysis, and a willingness to be tried-by-fire before anyone can know enough about themselves to even understand boundaries. Fake channels and teachers will instruct their students to break down all barriers between themselves and their ‘Beloved.’
Real teachers will share the value of barriers and boundaries with you. Your love, work and desire alone will pierce all barriers that stand between you and the one your heart loves. As I mentioned earlier, this dissolving of all boundaries between the subjective and objective worlds is dangerous and often leads to insanity. No genuine god would advocate such an approach. The love in this relationship is mutual and they would not jeopardize our health. What would the point of that be? It would render the individual useless to them.
‘The Path of the Search for the Beloved’ is a valid magical path, comparable with Bhakti Yoga in the East or the traditional monastic disciplines as practiced by some of the conventional religions. In the hands of the unworthy, who boast about such matters for their own self-aggrandizement, this is a path of delusion and self-destruction. Most of those who have chosen this path don’t make a big thing about it. Its beauty shines through to those sensitive enough to perceive it. For example, clairvoyant people can see sigils in the aura. Paths of a different nature come through to still others. Some few ego-enamored individuals can neither see relevance nor be persuaded to believe a path even exists.
This had to be said. But for those who still show interest, how do you go about establishing contact with your chosen god or any equivalent being of metaphysical origin? First you have to realize that this choice has to be mutual. For example in religions such as Santeria, there is a foolproof method by divination to check this. In other Pagan or Heathen Traditions, it’s a bit more complicated. Sometimes a deity takes the initiative to contact a person. I’ve heard that this only happens to those who have made such a contract with another Divine soul before they return.
When they do offer themselves to a person they may do so in many ways. These include: lucid dream, synchronistic events, episodes of clairvoyance or clairaudience. At times, they may make themselves known by becoming a sick or lonely child’s imaginary play friend. No matter how contact is made, the aspirant hast to be of a certain condition. They have to have an elevated -highly held- pure enough energy consciousness in order to even touch the hem of the Divine’s garment. Deity can only step down, lowering its energies to a point. Crap from the aspirant’s subconscious will impede and contaminate communications.
One of the objects of devotional ritual is identification and, where possible, possession by your deity. We can relate to the gods in three ways. The first is by identification, the second is by polarizing, and the third is magical ritual adoption. Identification is the easiest for those of the same gender as their deity but it is rarely possible for a deity of the opposite gender. The third is ritual adoption with magical name change. These aspects of relating when realized, one after the other, can lead to initiation in the classical occult meaning of the word.
For instance, if you are female and worship Thor, you would identify with his consort, Sif or his daughter Thrud, while a Odinskona (Odinn’s woman) would identify with a Valkyrie or Frigga. If you have a well-trained will, you may also be able to identify yourself with a deity of the opposite gender. However, if you do that there can be a heavy price to pay, in terms of taking on more attributes of the opposite sex than you might normally wish to aspire to. And sooner or later, you have to acknowledge the other polarity.
Personally, I was totally into Odin. Odin and absolutely no one else. That was twenty-two years ago. Although I can emanate Odin’s energies during workshops, I was unable to during one workshop in New York. Instead, I connected with a female power, something I really didn’t want to know. Since then I have been forced to accept the feminine as part of me as well. Going through menopause may have contributed to this realization. And I am okay with it. Gender matters less and less as I continue on my path.
To make identification easier, either with the deity or its consort, you examine the deity’s character and physical attributes. Are there any physical correspondences between you and your chosen deity? Odinn has a manky eye, so do I, Freya. Next, you look at the character of the god or goddess. How do they behave in a certain mythical situation? What would you do in this situation? Would you react more or less according to the same set of circumstances in the same manner? Are there any other correspondences, such as likes or dislikes?
You may also find it useful to examine your astrological birth chart. Mine is predominantly a combination of Scorpio and Gemini. One only has to read the myths about Odin to realize that these two signs pretty well describe his mythological persona. Of course, the real consciousness of Odin or any other god for that matter cannot be confined to a few aspects in a chart. Deities are so far beyond us in their evolution that any way we try to define them is, and can only be, an approximation of the reality of their being.
Seeking connection with Deity
So where to start seeking connection with Deity? First, you have to make sure to select the appropriate deity. You must decide and clarify what your aspirations are and what you are willing to sacrifice. Most people when introduced to a form of paganism, initially follow a particular tradition and its specific pantheon of deities. For example, in my case I entered a coven where, for the most part, the gods were Greek and Celtic. These gods were just names to me, representing certain powers or energies.
After about a year in that coven, I somehow became aware of the existence of Wodan as a ’Person’ not just a name representing a force. This was shortly after I was introduced to the Runes. In my article Odin the Initiator I describe how I adapted Liber Astarte vel Berelli. The working started in autumn of 1984 and culminated in a ceremony in 1993 that sealed this unity.
Connecting with the Divine is not only possible, it has been a desire of man since time immemorial. But true communion with the Divine comes only with respect and within the natural boundaries set. It is beyond ego needs and often takes years of work. Those that would encourage you to rush, bend and/or break boundaries; those who glory in sexual unions of lurid detail and wear their spiritually intimate experiences on their sleeves for all to see, just can’t be taken as safe associations.
When I became aware of Wodan in 1983, the first thing I did was read everything I could get my hands on: the Eddas, the Sagas, Teutonic Mythology But first of all, I read Runes by Elliott. I read Rúnatál from Hávamál for the first time and that struck a cord. Then I read all the modern fiction involving Odin, from Dennis Schmidt amongst others. Then I started to make a serious study of Odin based on the Eddas and I looked for correspondences with other Deities more known in the early eighties: Mercury, Mars, Pluto, Saturn, Uranus… the bloody lot!
Each time, something jumped out to my attention: an attribute or aspect which correlated with Odin in some manner or other and explained Him a bit more. Then I read Liber Astarte by Uncle Al and set up a working space. I did serious work for the next nine years to get where I am now. I offer you, the reader, some general guidelines that worked for me.
After you have selected a deity and have as much certainty as possible on this plane that this deity is up for it, you should read, study, and meditate on that deity. This is best done in a regular ritual fashion. Set aside a space that is not used for any other purpose. This can be a room or even a cupboard that can be closed when not active.
Create an image that represents your deity, or buy one ready made. Neutralize any energies from the shop and consecrate it as a focal point for your devotions. This consecration can be done in a sacred space, for example a Wiccan or Runic Circle. Wash the image in clean spring water and state your intent to cleanse this object in the form of a prayer to powers of water. Nordics may use the Laguz Chant. Smudge or cense the object, with an appropriate invocation to the powers of Air.
Prepare an altar for the object of your focus. Decorate it with objects connected with that deity, an altar cloth of appropriate colors, and anything else that resonates with the energy, attributes, lore of that deity. Read everything that you can about your deity: mythology, science fiction, sword and sorcery, etc. Find out what day, time, stone, herb, or drink is special to your deity. Create a little ceremony once a week and make an offering.
Then start looking for your deity’s energy signature in unexpected modern myths based on archetypes, for example fantasy and science fiction movies or television shows. Now, this is not to say that you have to accept the view that the gods are archetypes only. That would be a costly mistake. They are that and much more.
However, the archetypal imagery and lore can create a bridge of understanding. As part of a magical discipline, this can result in knowledge and conversation with a deity. All deities are in the past as recognized by us from were we are standing in time: the present. By modern methods and devotions by modern or perhaps post-modern people we carry their consciousness into the future. This is how lore esoteric and otherwise has been accumulated over time.
Obtain a magical or dream diary especially for your devotions. Keep this separate from other magical or dream diaries you may use. Before you start, write your objectives in this diary. Phrase that with a short poetic statement motto to be kept in mind for the duration of this working, bearing in mind that a working such as this can take years and years, or not. Perhaps it’s never finished. This is different for each individual.
The next stage is designing rituals, invocations, prayers, and setting a daily discipline. For instance in my correspondence course, students are asked to Heil Sunna at the four Times of the day. This is an adaptation from another ritual of Aleister Crowley’s named Liber Resh. Write your own daily ritual. Invoke your deity four times a day, as four different aspects fitting in with the times of the day: dawn, midday, dusk, and midnight. Work with the sun as much as possible. Look at the Western Mysteries and create a Runic Middle Pillar. Replace the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the pentagram with a Runic Version. Get your magical imagination going. Design your own magical curriculum and stick to it.
This could take years but it may not if the barriers between the worlds are truly thinning. As more and more people embark on this quest of Initiation and Liberation, a 100th monkey effect may occur sooner or alter in the collective psyche of the species. This will open more and easier pathways for those who wish to take this path.
When a contact has been made, you’ll know about it if you are observant to what goes on in your life. All sort of synchronicities will occur apparently at random: silly little pointers, such as finding the name of your deity as the answer to a question in a crossword puzzle from a newspaper left laying around in a very ordinary place. Animals strongly associated with your deity may manifest their presence in your area. For instance, you may begin to encounter ravens who haven’t been seen in a very long time. All sorts of little things will draw your attention and validate your endeavors.
Devotion is not only worshipping your deity. Worship still implies distance in terms of high and low, supplicant and deity. This does not attempt to incorporate the characteristics and attributes of the deity concerned, which is the true means by which it can realize itself on our plane of existence. The idea of the technique involved is that you infuses yourself with the energy of your god. You become that god. Then, when you are in what is called in Chaos Magic the paradigm (or assumed identity) of that deity, you can actually exert the power. For example, you can perform a magical act of intent or offer a statement of intent with a greater chance of success than if you did this as an ordinary human being.