I really put Kaye and Chase through their paces last night. Reading this article on reconstructionism in Heathenry forced me to confront some very deeply-held “understandings” of religion and what it means to interact with the divine. After having had the epiphany, it all seems so simple, so I’m going to have to work to reconstruct (lol) my thoughts before it happened to explain exactly what I learned.
So, grew up steeped in Judeo-Christian tradition, as established. This means that I have certain assumptions about what gods are and how They work. There are Places Where the Gods Are, and Places Where They Are Not. They’re basically bigger versions of people, with people-like thought processes. We’re all Made in His Image, are we not?
Well, not necessarily. The idea of the infinity of the gods is really difficult for me to wrap my mind around. Even more so the idea that They’re not just bigger versions of us, with similar mental patterns and perceptions of time. There was a bit in the middle of the conversation last night where I was struggling to deal with the fact that there is no “right” way to interact with the gods. Nothing in my life has prepared me to trust my own instincts with anything.
The gods as ever-presence is a slippery concept, but it comes down to the fact that we as a society have little training in discernment, and no way to really recognize the gods in the everyday. The mundane/spiritual divide is a false dichotomy that distracts us from the gut-wrenching awareness of Them in our everyday lives.
We are not separate from Them and They are not separate from us. We’re all tied together with the physicality of the world and made from the same materials. Despite this, I’m no closer to understanding the true motivation of the gods than I am the deepest desires of a supernova.
I don’t need to understand Them, though. I just need to know how to listen. How to identify that rushing, bursting joy that comes from contact with Them and use that as my compass for our interactions. When I stand outside in the snow and feel the flakes land on my eyelashes, I find Skadi there. I know Her and I feel that rush in my chest.
When I watch my friend holding her baby and I can’t breathe or look away and I never want to, there Frigga stands, with Her hand on my shoulder. When my husband makes me laugh until I pee a little, I feel the bond She shares with Odin and I know everything I need to know about the nature of the gods right now.