Regarding Changes In My Higher Power

One of the big changes that I haven’t really touched on much yet is how Freya’s absence has affected my 12-step program. She was my strong foundation in every aspect of my life. Literally. As the 12-step program is at its heart a spiritual program that relies so heavily on an individual’s strong connection with a Higher Power, losing Her feels like it has undercut all of the trust and intimacy work that I’ve done to regain sanity through my program. Ironically, due to my move, I have a new sponsor who has asked me to work the Steps again, and I find myself now on Step Three: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to care of God as we understood Him. The is the lynch pin of any 12-step program. The question is, which God is my Higher Power now?

Lots of images and metaphors come to mind in describing how I feel about this. My connection with Freya was so strong that it was palpable for anyone sensitive enough to pick on on these things. She glows. Often I glowed with Her energy. I always visualized my connection to Her as a thick, golden line running from my head straight to Her wherever She was (usually in Vanaheim). One glowing line, bold and straight; nothing wavering or hesitant. Kinda like a spiritual expressway between Her place and mine. I could always rely on Her energy being there, and I could connect with Her directly pretty much any time I needed to.

Now, I don’t have it. Now, I try to send a “ping” up through its usual path up to Her, and it’s blocked. So my ping, like ants following a path that got interrupted, are milling about and not sure what to do. I used to laugh in a schadenfreude kind of way whenever I would see real-life ants in this situation. Being in a similar situation now, though, I begin to understand how much it sucks.

I’m stymied, and I hate it. I usually congratulate myself on how well I am able to adapt to new circumstances, but I just have not been able to let this old pattern go. Any attempts to figure out a new one haven’t been successful, either, perhaps because I’m still grieving the loss of my connection with my One True Higher Power (Freya), or I just haven’t let myself finally trust the other deities who are in my life. So now, still, whenever I try to “ping” my Higher Power for an answer or advice, or whatever, I get nothing,

Or, even worse, my pings turn into ants. Ants, confused and swarming, fuzzying up all of my spiritual connections. Not real helpful, I can assure you.

Exacerbating the situation is the fact that now I’m working with Odin. As in, working working–meditating and journeying with Him; carrying Him around with me; thinking like He does; learning from Him, etc. Odin, the One-Eyed Wanderer that I’ve successfully avoided for over a decade. The one god I swore I would never put myself in a situation to have to rely on, because He can’t be trusted to ensure my health and sanity. (Don’t believe me? Ask an Odinswoman. Though, likely they will argue that a relationship with Him is worth the risks involved.) My sanity and happiness should be my top priority, no? Freya certainly seemed to think so, and tried to support me in this.

The best I’ve been able to come up with is to conceptualize the Vanir, or the Norse pantheon, cumulatively, as being my “Higher Power”. However, the thought of All of Them being my HP freaks me out in no small amount. So many Gods! So many differing agendas and priorities (much less personalities)! How could anyone remain sane while relying on Them All? Luckily, from Them All a few Gods have stepped up to become point people, as it were. Freyr and Odin (obviously) plus Njord, Idunn, Nerthus. I haven’t worked with Idunn since I was a newbie Heathen. She was one of the first deities I ever connected with, and it’s really nice to have her back; my group of Gods really had way too much kingly male energy in it. So at the moment I’m trying to visualize my spiritual connection as if there’s several smaller lines connecting me to each of these deities instead of the one really strong line of energy going to one deity. (Which, I suppose, is what being a polytheist is all about. You know, pantheons of deities, instead of just one.)

And the leap of faith that I have to make now is less around trusting that one deity will have all of my answers and trusting instead that somehow there exists a kind of checks and balances system between Those who now have my reins. They are not bad gods. They are not out to harm me or screw me over somehow. In fact, they can be very loving and helpful and inspiring. And I am blessed to have Them. I just need to give Them the chance to prove it.

I asked Odin at some point in the last few days whether I’d have to call myself an Odinwoman now. He replied, “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” which I, for one, thought was hilarious. Not a bad idea, Odin! Let’s just take it “One Day at a Time”.

The reins have been thrown; the reins have been caught. Now the faith comes in in letting those who have them, lead. “Let Go and Let Gods”, and all that. Who’s to say that Freya’s not off on some island somewhere, sipping a fruity drink, checking in with the rest to make sure everything is still going according to Her plan? I wouldn’t put anything past Her.

5 thoughts on “Regarding Changes In My Higher Power

  1. I have a question, and I apologize if you have answered this elsewhere: What about the Disir and the Väter (or Alfar, or your preference for the powerful female and male Ancestors respectively) as being part of the Holy Powers to help you with the 12 step program? I haven’t read anything in regards to that on your blog yet, but I figured I would ask if this is something you’ve given thought to, been pushed towards, or considered but chose not to pursue.

    • HI Sarenth. No, you’re right, I haven’t discussed them much on the blog. I’ve been doing a lot of work to build relationships with both my Disir and Alfar, but aside from asking for their help in day-to-day issues, I hadn’t thought to reach out to them directly for help with this. I have experienced them to be a comforting, supportive presence and but I’m not entirely sure where they fit into my 12-step program. I’ll have to ponder that a bit. Thanks!

  2. *nods* No problem!
    To my mind, 12 step programs are part of everyday issues, since the challenges you’re facing through them gave the possibility to crop up every day. If this an Ancestor thing you’re working through, it might help to do a healing ritual like an Ancestor elevation or ask the Disir and Alfar for Their help in working through this. If you tackle it and others in your family have to face it, the empowering you do of your Ancestors and yourself can be of deep help, since you’ll have helped lay some foundation for healing and strength.

    • Nods, good points all. This actually has me asking myself why I’m not calling on the ancestors for a different and not entirely unrelated problem I’m having. Propensity for addictions and self-sabotaging behavior patterns are passed down through generations just as surely as hair and eye color are. Isn’t that part of one’s wyrd, I’d think? As such, they are perfect fodder for ancestor work, seeing as how it is likely that my ancestors have dealt with similar problems, or perhaps were even the ones who started these negative patterns to begin with.

      My sister and I are both in program (sometimes I wish the whole family was, let me tell you) and so we’ve been working on some of this recent ancestor stuff recently. When we visited Sweden earlier this year, we went with the intent of specifically trying to reconnect with ancestors and heal the wounds of that side of the family (my father’s father). We were able to do some pretty powerful things, such as find another 150 years’ worth of heretofore unknown family members, visit my grandfather’s house, and tend my beloved great-aunt’s grave, which has’t been tended since she died 35 years ago. So, some work has been done there. There’s still a lot to do, though, of course.

      I’ve always been very gods-focused, so this working-with-ancestors thing is actually still relatively new. But now I’m beginning to wonder if I haven’t been “going to the hardware store to buy bread”, as we say in program. Maybe there are things that the ancestors are just better suited for than are the Gods.

      And, thanks. 🙂 I appreciate your input on this. It’s rare that I get to interact with a pagan who is in recovery or who has even a vague understanding of how the 12-step programs work.

    • Also, I’m not entirely clear on what constitutes an “Ancestor elevation”. I’ve heard the term bandied about but I’m not sure what it is. Do you know of any good resources on the subject?

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