Laying down the gauntlet

November 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm (Spiritual) (, , , , )

Most of the time when someone needs something, they hear the phrase “ask and ye shall receive”. I feel this is a very selfish way of looking at the world. and yet many pagans I know have this attitude towards their Gods. Whether it’s a spell, or a ritual, or a prayer; we act as though our Gods are a cosmic Santa Claus just waiting to hear what we need/want and judging us either naughty or nice. Then we have this false justification as to why we receive or do not receive that which we ask for — either we were naughty, either through some Judeo-Christian concept of sin or through our own guilt ridden associations with not enough devotional work; or we were nice and got what we asked for.

For  me, there is a great deal of discernment that I go through before I involve the Gods  in my needs and wants. Heck, I go through a great deal of discernment before I involve other people. The first thing that I do is I dig deep. If I really need something, and that need is strong enough, I do everything within my power to fill that need by myself. It sounds a lot easier than it is — some days this looks like me debating whether or not I can make it up a flight of stairs to prepare myself a meal or if my need for food is weak enough that I can live until Ninja gets home to get it for me. (One day we will live in a house where the kitchen and the master bedroom or on the same floor!)

When I decide to involve other people, I am keenly aware that a debt is being created. Even if the other person swears up, down, and sideways that they are doing something out of the kindness of their heart and they do not recognize the debt; my Norse philosophies says “a gift for a gift”. Hospitality, one of the nine Noble virtues, is incredibly important to me and the way that I move throughout the world. Maybe this is because I have found that a single “thank you” can be enough of a gift  to make up for volunteering for hours for an event, and yet so often that single act of kindness is overlooked.

Maybe you can see where this is going. When I turned to my Gods and ask them for something, boy howdy am I aware that I am incurring a Debt. And unlike human beings, “thank you” is not enough to repay a debt to the Gods; that is just an acknowledgment that what you have asked for has come to pass. More often than not, I will find myself years later asked to take on a new client,or do some strange task, or something I can’t even imagine that pushes my boundaries in ways I am not ready to have been pushed. When I look up to the sky and wonder why my Gods would want such a thing from me, I am gently reminded of my debt. Unlike with humans, usually this repayment is not something I can negotiate. I don’t know how much of this is tied up in me being a shaman or if it happens to just anyone who asks favors of the Gods. (I’d like to hear from you if this happens to you as well.)

But when all other avenues have been exhausted, I do turn to my Gods. When it comes to needs that I had to do the Work that they want me to do, I see it more like laying down the gauntlet and less like asking for a favor. Maybe this is flavored by the Gods that I work with; Norse deities like followers with spunk. I see this need as an obstacle rather than a desire; I think this outlook also changes the way I approach my request.

This is an awful long way to explain that I am now using Dragon to write this post. My hands are in such pain that interaction over the Internet was becoming an impossibility. When I typed my entry yesterday I cried afterward. (And that was only 277 words!) I prayed to Baphomet and told Him that if he wanted me to continue this blog he would find a way to make Dragon work for me. I guess I got His attention — I had several offers of real help that ended with Ninja being able to install the copy I had been given onto my machine. And as a backup, He also sent me someone who is willing to buy me a copy as a gift.

I guess this means that Baphomet wants me to write this blog after all. I had reached the place where I had dug deep and could only produce 277 words; there was no way that I could produce blog entries on a regular basis I asking people to come over and take dictation; so He was my only hope.

But now, I Have a Debt. I don’t know what it is, but I know it won’t be pleasant.



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