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Thread: Help a newbie.

  1. #1
    Biker Doc_Holliday's Avatar
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    Help a newbie.

    Sorry if I start a lot of threads on the forum. I'm new to actual paganism, I've been looking it up for a few months but only recently have I had the courage to mentally dedicate to it. I'd like some help with connecting to a god/goddess

    Yesterday I made a tiny altar. Consisting of a candle, and a few pictures of different pagan symbols/deities that I liked. I was doing a general "Prayer" to all gods and goddesses. Kind of like a "Hi you may know me, I'm new to this but nice to meet you all." sort of thing. And although I didn't feel much, I'm sure they heard me. Now my question is, how do I properly begin a relationship with a deity? I know I'm not supposed to just jump up and say "Give me gifts! Be my patron god!" I know it takes time for a deity to get comfortable with a mortal and want to speak to them. But I just need help starting this path. This whole magic/altar world is new to me. Its a foreign language, despite having looked it up for months and months. I just feel unsure, because I know there are tricksters/bad spirits out there and I dont want to attract any of them by mucking something up.

    So, when you first connected with a god/goddess, how did you do it?

  2. #2
    306 Maria de Luna's Avatar
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    Re: Help a newbie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Holliday View Post
    Sorry if I start a lot of threads on the forum. I'm new to actual paganism, I've been looking it up for a few months but only recently have I had the courage to mentally dedicate to it. I'd like some help with connecting to a god/goddess
    Well it's ok, we are a forum, starting threads is totally ok, learning is important and not many people will begrudge you knowledge around here!

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc_Holliday View Post
    Yesterday I made a tiny altar. Consisting of a candle, and a few pictures of different pagan symbols/deities that I liked. I was doing a general "Prayer" to all gods and goddesses. Kind of like a "Hi you may know me, I'm new to this but nice to meet you all." sort of thing. And although I didn't feel much, I'm sure they heard me. Now my question is, how do I properly begin a relationship with a deity? I know I'm not supposed to just jump up and say "Give me gifts! Be my patron god!" I know it takes time for a deity to get comfortable with a mortal and want to speak to them. But I just need help starting this path. This whole magic/altar world is new to me. Its a foreign language, despite having looked it up for months and months. I just feel unsure, because I know there are tricksters/bad spirits out there and I dont want to attract any of them by mucking something up.

    So, when you first connected with a god/goddess, how did you do it?
    When I started out I picked a god and goddess because I thought I was supposed to, I found it very hard to connect to them. I tried picking different pantheons, or even abolishing the whole pantheon god goddess thing and working strictly with spirits, but none of it felt right. When I finally connected to the divine, it just sort of fit, I knew that I needed to get to know this deity. It was not what I expected or how I expected, or even from a pantheon I thought I was interrested in, it just happened. From what I can tell though, this is not the case for everyone, sometimes it is ok to pick a deity that you feel speaks to you, or just a pantheon, and do what you can to worship and learn. Learning seems like a great way to worship many deities, and if one feels the need to get closer to you, then let it.
    That's the best advice I can give.
    http://catcrowsnow.blogspot.com/

    But they were doughnuts of darkness. Evil damned doughnuts, tainted by the spawn of darkness.... Which could obviously only be redeemed by passing through the fiery inferno of my digestive tract.
    ~Jim Butcher

  3. #3
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Help a newbie.

    Don't get worked up about tricksters. Unless you go looking for them, they'll show up when appropriate (by their lights, not yours) and you'll learn what you need to (after an extensive amount of cursing). Evil or malevolent Powers? Shrug, live honorably, pay attention to the details of who you're calling on and don't be an ass to the divine without just cause. There are Powers that might be considered malevolent but they don't suddenly gain absolute control of your life over mistakes in rituals that they were never invited* to take part in.

    * if you call up Ahriman to bargain with then I strongly advise you not to make mistakes but most people don't see a need to call him since he's decidedly not a nice guy.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  4. #4
    306 Maria de Luna's Avatar
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    Re: Help a newbie.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaskedOne View Post
    Don't get worked up about tricksters. Unless you go looking for them, they'll show up when appropriate (by their lights, not yours) and you'll learn what you need to (after an extensive amount of cursing). Evil or malevolent Powers? Shrug, live honorably, pay attention to the details of who you're calling on and don't be an ass to the divine without just cause. There are Powers that might be considered malevolent but they don't suddenly gain absolute control of your life over mistakes in rituals that they were never invited* to take part in.

    * if you call up Ahriman to bargain with then I strongly advise you not to make mistakes but most people don't see a need to call him since he's decidedly not a nice guy.
    Leave it to Masked to make the best points!
    http://catcrowsnow.blogspot.com/

    But they were doughnuts of darkness. Evil damned doughnuts, tainted by the spawn of darkness.... Which could obviously only be redeemed by passing through the fiery inferno of my digestive tract.
    ~Jim Butcher

  5. #5
    sea witch thalassa's Avatar
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    Re: Help a newbie.

    Honestly...I don't have a patron deity. I have a number of deities that I work with, but no main squeeze, ya know? And I don't want one either. It has been my experience (and I've run the gamut of Pagan belief in deity from duotheism to pantheism to soft polytheism* over the past 20 years) that what I do is enough for me. My advice, regardless of where you would like your path to go, is to work on the basics--work on developing a daily practice (or at least regular practice of devotion) to those deities that you feel an affinity to (which may or may not include offerings, I would recommend them personally, but YMMV), develop a regular meditation practice and work on incorporating mindfulness into your daily life, go outside and spend time in the world away from technology and hone your ability to observe and be really present in the moment, and read mythology and history and anthropology and biology and earth science (watch documentaries, etc) to broaden your knowledge base and your perspectives. And remember that this is a practice--key word, practice. If something isn't working and you've tried it a number of times and it still feels unnatural (awkward is ok, wrong is not...awkward just means you aren't used to it), try something else. If and when a deity decides that it is interested in you, you will have developed the skills to experience it fully...and if not, you will have made yourself a better and more knowledge person anyhow.
    “You have never answered but you did not need to. If I stand at the ocean I can hear you with your thousand voices. Sometimes you shout, hilarious laughter that taunts all questions. Other nights you are silent as death, a mirror in which the stars show themselves. Then I think you want to tell me something, but you never do. Of course I know I have written letters to no-one. But what if I find a trident tomorrow?" ~~Letters to Poseidon, Cees Nooteboom

    “We still carry this primal relationship to the Earth within our consciousness, even if we have long forgotten it. It is a primal recognition of the wonder, beauty, and divine nature of the Earth. It is a felt reverence for all that exists. Once we bring this foundational quality into our consciousness, we will be able to respond to our present man-made crisis from a place of balance, in which our actions will be grounded in an attitude of respect for all of life. This is the nature of real sustainability.”
    ~~Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

    "We are the offspring of history, and must establish our own paths in this most diverse and interesting of conceivable universes--one indifferent to our suffering, and therefore offering us maximal freedom to thrive, or to fail, in our own chosen way."
    ~~Stephen Jay Gould, Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History

    "Humans are not rational creatures. Now, logic and rationality are very helpful tools, but there’s also a place for embracing our subjectivity and thinking symbolically. Sometimes what our so-called higher thinking can’t or won’t see, our older, more primitive intuition will." John Beckett

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  6. #6
    PF Ordo Hereticus MaskedOne's Avatar
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    Re: Help a newbie.

    Mostly common sense, the easiest way to avoid evil is not to seek it. If it's already in your life either through no fault of your own or due to past errors then additional action becomes necessary but a lot of people don't have that problem so for them, it's best to start with "don't go looking for it". Tricksters by contrast provide a useful kick in the ass occasionally and if the universe decides that you need one of those then you're about to get kicked, sorry. The only distinction that comes with specific trickster gods is methodology and how much entertainment they get. The Lord of Hosts is not generally considered a trickster god, this is due to a PR campaign by his followers. When he decides you need to get moving, he will kick you in the ass with a malevolent glee*. He isn't the only one that keeps a trickster hat in the closet for special occasions either.

    * Though that may also have been down to me yelling at him for bad manners earlier that week. Something to the effect of, "If you're gonna bitch at me for my internal affairs then I'm gonna meddle in yours."

    EDIT: Really should use quotes more often. This post is in response to Maria.
    "It is not simply enough to know the light…a Jedi must feel the tension between the two sides of the Force…in himself and in the universe."
    ―Thon

    "When to the Force you truly give yourself, all you do expresses the truth of who you are,"

    Yoda

    Yoda told stories, and ate, and cried, and laughed: and the Padawans saw that life itself was a lightsaber in his hands; even in the face of treachery and death and hopes gone cold, he burned like a candle in the darkness. Like a star shining in the black eternity of space.

    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

    "But those men who know anything at all about the Light also know that there is a fierceness to its power, like the bare sword of the law, or the white burning of the sun." Suddenly his voice sounded to Will very strong, and very Welsh. "At the very heart, that is. Other things, like humanity, and mercy, and charity, that most good men hold more precious than all else, they do not come first for the Light. Oh, sometimes they are there; often, indeed. But in the very long run the concern of you people is with the absolute good, ahead of all else..."

    John Rowlands, The Grey King by Susan Cooper

    "You come from the Lord Adam and the Lady Eve", said Aslan. "And that is both honour enough to erect the head of the poorest beggar, and shame enough to bow the shoulders of the greatest emperor on earth; be content."

    Aslan, Prince Caspian by CS Lewis



  7. #7
    Copper Member Ula's Avatar
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    Re: Help a newbie.

    Basically started like you did. Set up my altar as general as possible and starting reading everything I could. You have already felt drawn to Odin in another post so I would start with him. Daily or weekly offerings are good to. Once I started doing offerings to my ancestors things took off there. Don't worry your not moving fast enough or doing something wrong. Follow your gut and read up on various paths and gods.

  8. #8
    Biker Doc_Holliday's Avatar
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    Re: Help a newbie.

    What types of things could I use as offerings?

  9. #9
    Copper Member Ula's Avatar
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    Re: Help a newbie.

    Alcohol of any kind. Food. Coffee or tea. Chocolate or sweets. I have offered my plate of food and then waited to eat. Vodka. Milk with honey. I once used M & M's for Freya cause it's all I had. Fruit is good too.

  10. #10
    Biker Doc_Holliday's Avatar
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    Re: Help a newbie.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ula View Post
    Alcohol of any kind. Food. Coffee or tea. Chocolate or sweets. I have offered my plate of food and then waited to eat. Vodka. Milk with honey. I once used M & M's for Freya cause it's all I had. Fruit is good too.
    Would burning the offering be a good way? Or how do I give it to the god?

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