Q2. What does your tradition do to increase the power and flow of blessings?

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I would say the main thing in my tradition is living rightly according to the values of the gods you honor, and doing their work in the world. We all have different gods, and the gods have different values, so there isn’t one specific aspect of living rightly that is strictly mandatory of all people. I primarily honor Frey – he highly values the health of the land and the wholesomeness of the food we eat, so for me, eating in ways that I think Frey approves of opens me up to his blessings. One of Hela’s values is to never waste things, so when I repair something that I could more easily and cheaply replace, I open myself to her blessings. I know people who honor deities of certain crafts, and they open themselves to blessings by buying and appreciating finely crafted items that were made with skill and purpose.

By “doing their work in the world” I mean acting as they would or as they direct, being their hands in the world. An artist or craftsman honors the god of their craft when they practice and achieve greater skill, and when they create things of great beauty, value, or utility. To do Hela’s work in the world, you might volunteer in hospice. Frey is, among other things, a peacemaker, so I do his work in the world when I try to reconcile opposing sides of a disagreement within a group or community. If there is a type of social injustice that is particularly objectionable to a certain god, you do their work when you advocate against that injustice.

Writing this, I notice that in my mind this is framed as “opening yourself” to blessings, implying that our default state is to be closed. That is more my personal belief than something in my tradition. But I do think the gods “blessings” naturally radiate from them. They are given unconditionally.* If they are present with you, and you are receptive, then under ordinary circumstance you cannot fail to receive their blessings. (The exception being if they choose to interact with you while they are actively displeased with you, but for most people a god who is displeased with you will just withdraw from your life.) So really, anything that pleases them and invites them into your life increases the power and flow of their blessings toward you. My tradition emphasizes work and right living, but that is just one path.

Not everyone in my tradition has a strong relationship with specific gods, and the other practice we advocate is attuning yourself to natural cycles. Our seasonal ritual cycle is based on this, but there are more direct and personal ways of doing it.

There are countless variations possible, but they all basically involve finding some natural process (generally a cyclic process) that seems particularly meaningful to you, spending a bit of time each day directly engaging with that process. Not just thinking about it, but finding some way to both physically and mentally/emotionally engage with it. It can be a more mental engagement, involving learning about the mechanics of the process, or a more emotional engagement, if that is your inclination, but always with some manner of direct sensory involvement. 

So for example, mental engagement would not just be learning about the astronomical cycles of the sun and moon and stars, and then passively looking at the stars each evening. It would be learning the positions of certain stars at certain times (either in books or direct observation), developing a meaningful understanding of the cycles involved, and then looking at the stars and seeing the truth of your knowledge in action. Knowing where the sun rises on the equinox, and actually going to a certain place on the equinox morning and watching the sun rise in the exact position you knew it would.

You can attune to the weather, becoming intimately familiar with the color of the clouds and the smell of the air and the direction of the wind, feeling the tension of weather about to change, seeing the earth either thirsty for rain or overburdened with it. You can attune to a certain tree, seeing it change through the seasons, being aware of its health and the animals that live in and around it. Any natural process or cycle can work, so long as you can find a way to engage with it on a deep and tangible level.

As I understand it,  by “attuning” to natural processes in this way, you gain access to their power, and by moving in harmony with natural processes, you put yourself in position to benefit from things you would not otherwise have access to.


* There is another type of blessing – what you could call a conditional blessing, that is more of a direct gift, or a favor, or a reward of some kind.

Q1. What wealth have the divinities brought into your life?

Meaning and purpose, beyond anything else. I take it for granted, often, because it is so solidly in me that I can’t imagine being without it, but then I am occasionally reminded that most people don’t have a strong sense of what their life is about, and how they should best use their resources. It is such a blessing to me that I have that.

Even when things are really difficult, it gives me a strong foundation from which I can (sometimes) see those challenges in a positive context.

Also, I am a worrier, in general. I will go back and forth over the most trivial things, unsure of the best choice. So it is such an amazing gift that when it comes to the big decisions in life, I am confident I am on the right path, and that my life is being well-spent.

(From Galina Krasskova list of Devotional Polytheist Discussion Questions.)

Devotional Polytheism questions – Thank you, Galina!

Galina Krasskova recently posted a list of Devotional Polytheist Discussion Questions, and it inspired me to start a Pagan blog of my own. I’m putting the full list of questions here, for reference.

1. What wealth have the divinities brought into your life?

2. What does your tradition do to increase the power and flow of blessings?

3. How have the divinities helped you in times of adversity and violent upheaval?

4. What are some of the ways that you communicate with the divinities?

5. If you could travel anywhere on pilgrimage where would it be and what would you do?

6. What does it feel like when one receives inspiration from the divinities?

7. What offerings do you make in your tradition and why?

8. What methods of inducing altered states of conscious does your tradition have?

9. How does your tradition handle wrathful, savage and destructive divinities?

10. Have you encountered any obstacles as a result of your religion?

11. What blocks to devotion have you had to overcome?

12. What sort of festivals, memorials or seasonal observances do you keep throughout the year?

13. Have you ever found it difficult to uphold your end of a bargain with the divinities?

14. What role does mystery play in your tradition?

15. What methods does your tradition employ for protection and the warding off of malign influences?

16. What devotional goals have you set for yourself?

17. What qualities should a leader in your tradition possess?

18. What does fertility mean to you?

19. How do you incorporate movement into your worship?

20. Does your religion help you to be a better human being?

21. Have you ever had dreams or visions sent by the divinities?

22. What customs are associated with the home and family in your tradition?

23. When did it first dawn on you that the divinities are real?

24. What have you inherited from your ancestors?