I’m in the process of creating a section on my blog about Dedication: ideas, opinions, and my own experiences with it. All I really have to share are my experiences; but it’s really cool to see what other people have gone through as well, and their thoughts on it. In doing so, I came across the controversy over Morpheus’s broken ankle.
Last October, a big thread went around the pagan blogosphere about how dedication and/or working with the Gods can change one’s life. The discussion was kicked off by Morpheus in her Shieldmaiden blog, here, and was added to by many others. (I’ll link or paraphrase as many as I can in the dedication section itself, once it’s completed.) Her post came down to this: She promised to write a book for her Goddess, and she had been given a deadline by which to complete it. Though she was actively working on it, she was also participating in other groups and duties. It came to pass that while she was in the middle of one of her other activities, she busted up her ankle pretty badly. This injury ended up keeping her off of her feet–at home, writing the book–until the deadline of her book had passed. (Literally. Her deadline was December 31, and I think she gets rid of her boot and off of one crutch this week.)
The response from members of her group, and many of us in the larger community, was pretty straightforward. You promised your Goddess a Thing, and She helped you get it done on schedule. Not, perhaps, in a friendly or easy way; but then again, perhaps, a nicer way wouldn’t have been as effective. To me, it was as clear-cut a case of deity intervention as I’ve seen, and I took it in stride. I thought most other people had, too. What caught me off guard was all of the hoopla in response to it.
I mean, look. I believe in the deities. I’ve experienced them as real, and I’m dedicated to one. My Goddess–and most of the Norse Gods, in my experience–are right there, ready to participate in people’s lives. Active and available and looking for newcomers. You dedicate to one, and their power over your life becomes even more apparent. What’s the big deal? If I had dedicated to a deity and nothing had happened–if they didn’t show much interest in or influence over my life– then I’d be concerned. If I didn’t want to be in a relationship with a God who talks back, I’d have never dedicated to one in the first place. (But then, I’m not one of the people who were unceremoniously knocked out of their previous life and into a Gods-bothered one; I was enticed and managed, and had some semblance of choice in the matter.)
I often joke with people in my 12 Step program that my Higher Power is not subtle. They laugh in sympathy. In the program, through, it’s a given that our Higher Powers, collectively and individually, do this kind of thing all of the time. It’s written directly into the steps–Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. (“As we understood Him” being the key words here.) And later on: Step 11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to [insert your drug of choice here], and to practice these principles in all our affairs. I mean, that’s as clear as you can make it. Connect with a God of your choice, let Him or Her lead you.
Our HPs are actively involved in our lives, and we specifically ask them to do so. At meetings, all everyone is really talking about is what their Higher Power did to help them out that week or what kind of challenges their Higher Power presented them with. We commiserate with each other–I get it. My Higher Power does that, too. My Higher Power just seems to do it with more regularity and with less subtlety than most. But that’s how I like it.
The Gods are real. Work with them, and they’ll likely take an active interest in your life. It might not be as dramatic or as painful as Morpheus’ experience; but then again, it might. Personally, my Goddess has made possible a huge amount of changes in my life and given me gifts that I could not have received even if I had planned them out and tried really hard. Currently, I am 2000 miles away and own 80% less stuff than I had back when I dedicated to Freya in April. I’m also relaxing, bonding with my family, learning, growing, reading, meeting new people, and planning a trip to Scandinavia this summer–none of which would have happened with out Her intervention and support.
I really have no clue what She has in store for me next, but I have faith that it will be even better than what She has gifted me with today.