The title of this post is inspired by a song. The link to a decent quality version on YouTube can be found at the bottom. More than that though, this post is brought on by the recent changes in my spiritual learning.
I have talked before about how I generally lack what is normally called the ‘god phone’. I cannot speak to deity, it is just not one of my talents. Well, as I have been uncovering recently, this might just be on my end. Perhaps my “sending” doesn’t work, if that makes any sense. “Receiving” on the other hand, works alright. Perhaps the gods just have better service than I do. I can try to ‘call’ them all day, but never get through. On the other end, they seem to get through just fine. That being said, I rarely ever hear from them. As I have admitted previously, I have gotten clear, undeniable messages from deities like twice in my whole life, including the most recent instance.
Now, I’ve read a fair amount of priesting for deities, Gothi, god-spousing or what have you. Let me be the first to say that none of those are my relationship with Skadi. She has picked me up recently, and to be frank, it is more of an apprenticeship than anything else is at the moment. The power dynamic is fairly egalitarian, though this may seem count-intuitive. I would have thought differently, given it is me, a simple mortal, involved with a goddess in a very platonic way. It’s more like she is the mentor, and I am the student. The experienced teaching the much-less-so. I hope that makes sense. That is not to say it is not cruelty-free, because like any good teacher, she is quick to remind me when I am being a skxawng. (Na’vi = “moron”)
Yet, it is a tall order. She is not the kind I would call matronly. Yes, we can quibble about meaning, but she is compassionate in the “learn fast or die” kind of way. Yes, I also realize I am mixing in Avatar metaphors. Maybe it is because I rewatched it recently, but I would argue more towards that Skadi reminds me a little of how Neytiri is portrayed. Perhaps with a little more “hardcore” mixed in. Take out the “Eden” of a jungle, and switch it to a northern winter. Then you get Skadi.
In short, she has given me a metric shit-ton of homework. It will take me years to learn all that she wants me too, and the decade or so I already do have is little more than primer. It may just be a lifelong process, as there is plenty to do. A full list of hunters skills, leatherwork, wildcraft (edible plants, herb lore,foods, skills, magic, foraging stuff), butchery, metal work (knives, wood axes ect), woodwork, tracking, hunting, fishing, and so on and so forth. I already have some good solid experience in most of these areas, but she is asking me to turn it up even more. Specialize, practice, perfect, ect ect. There is even an exercise routine it would seem. I need to be able to keep up, and that involves a level of physical strength, in addition to mental discipline.
This all got me to thinking. If I were going about teaching those things that I understand to a student, I would select someone with an aptitude at least. I started to wonder if the gods do something similar? Depending on how literal you take the creation stories, it could be said we were made in their semblance. To me at least, gods are very human-like spirit beings that have a vested interest in our welfare.
A post I read recently by Galina Krasskova said this, in reference to Odin: “Using myself, patterned as I have been by the Old Man and in His service, while yes, I automatically and instinctually calculate usefulness when I meet someone, it does not mean that this is all I note. Just because someone is not particularly useful in the service to Odin, doesn’t mean that such a person lacks value. He or she may not be suited to *this*. There are many other things for which one might be very well suited that are outside of Odin’s interest.”
I find it worthy of a ponder. I would say, at least on a general level, that many of the gods seem to take an interest in people like themselves. The gods are individuals, and as such have their own skills and interests. When it comes to… picking mortal representatives, students, ect, I would comment that many of the people picked reflect the deity doing the picking. The Odin folk I have met… can be combative at times, in addition to other traits. The Lokeans (still not sure if they like that word), have more than a few of his qualities. I have been picked up by Skadi, and I don’t see that as much of a coincidence. Not saying that coincidences do not happen, because sometimes a spoon is just a spoon. But in this case, I don’t think so.
So where does this leave me? With a hell of a lot of work to do, first off. Also, there will probably be a handful of more Skadi posts going forward. There is certainly more to explore there. I’ll just leave it at that for now.
Fferyllt – Following Skadi (Pagan Folk Metal)
I highly recommend looking up the lyrics while you listen!