This is my second F post for the Pagan Blog Project.
I wanted to write about fornication, but I think that to say it’s too loaded would be understating it. Then again, since I finally got time to actually read my email (life with a two year old and helping to form a new spiritual group, wow) I got an email about a sex seminar:
I think the Powers are trying to tell me something. Instead, however, I’m going to talk about fathers, which is related.
I have a very close relationship with only one Father God: Odin is the most prominent. I was raised Christian, but visibly descend from Teutonic stock. I know others, but am not close to any particular one of them the way that I am with Odin. My other major patron is Gwyn ap Nydd, King of the Realm of Faery, and I think of him as a father, but he’s not classified as a paternal deity, as far as archetypes go.
With YHWH, I feel as though that entity is a raw life force, relatively unpersonified, but concentrated, like the square root of All Fathering. When I think of encounters with the Elohim, I come up with memories of engulfing yawning distance and severity, an Across the Universe kind of far, and not very personal experiences. Father deities who I might develop a closer relationship with are the Dagda and Obatala, but they feel more like guardians than parents. When I look at Odin, I see my Father. I know that He has been there, throughout my life, as the one who comforted me when I fell; the one who let me cry on my shoulder when I was sent to my room for crying in front of my (step)dad. I only have just translated the signs that were there my whole life. I was born on a Wednesday. Corvids have always spoken to me (and according to one source, it’s my Native American birth totem).
When I was 10, I played the part of a valkyrie in an abridged coreographed depiction of Wagner’s The Ring of the Nibelung for this drama program (yes, that one); I was also cast as a river nymph. Then, a personal crisis occurred and I lost my connection to that theatre program and my familiarity with Odin. I was not afforded an opportunity to spend as much time in libraries as I would have liked to, for research into his stories. Somewhere along the way I lost the connection, only to have it restored about ten years later.
Sacrifice, redemption, strong boundaries, and wisdom attained at a price have all been themes for me, this incarnation. I know that Odin has my highest and best in His consideration, and my pledge to him is only dangerous if I break it. I have found that even then, the consequences could always be worse. He has shown me mercy.
I held a personal dedication to him, in 2003. I had just read The Wolf and the Raven by Diana Paxson and felt that some kind of pledge was called for. I had only my intuition to go on. I kept it completely to myself because I was afraid that others might think me careless or uninformed and naive. A friend’s words of caution about Odin went unheeded. My mother already thought I was going to Hell, so I figured, I may as well dedicate to whom I felt the most comfortable.
My work with Odin is not such that I need to hold elaborate rituals for Him to please Him. He works with familiarity that I’m not certain people experience frequently. I’m not saying he’s all laughter and rainbows, it’s more like the relationship Terry Pratchett wrote about with the characters Death and Susan – I have been reluctant at times to have the God of Wisdom and War as my Father. I call, He listens. Sometimes He shows up when I don’t call, but when I need Him and don’t know it – sometimes He makes a request from me, and other time he urges me. I have not found that he uses me merely for selfish ends, but that when I perform something for Him, that He makes sure I am taken care of.
I believe His most significant work with me so far has been to help me to find the myriad Goddess within myself. My childhood, like many women in this culture, did not teach me to honor my female-ness. I had to learn that, and Odin guided the way back to Erda, Gaia, the root Mother of All.
This is a bunch of UPG, but that’s the best I have. Diana Paxson can speak more eloquently about his lore, which she does in Drumming With the Witches.
The Fathers of the World are going to be taking on a new level of responsibility, this year. The next generation, I’m talking about our children, are not going to take any crap. I can see it already, in my daughter and her peers, and she’s only had two years out in the open!
Hail the All-Father,
Hail the Steadying Hand,
Hail the Speaker of Wisdom who reaches out
When the Womb of Earth remains silent.
Thank You for keeping me close to Cosmic Mother
Thank You for Your Poetry: wind blowing through rocks,
River running over mossy stones.
Thank You for Your Wisdom: the scars of war healing into compassion.
Guard my dreams, lend me Your sight,
for I show You my best Honor.
All Hail, Father!