Daily Devotions [Ask Me About Odin]

Lilly Rose wrote: “I am curious as to what your daily devotional rites to/for Him are.  I’ve been trying to think of ways to up my devotional practice to Him, and am curious to see what others do.”

Well, because I am Married to Odin, some of the daily devotional rites I do for/with Him are private, and fall into the same category as would “alone time” with a mortal spouse.  But that’s probably not the kind of thing you mean. ;P

In the realm of things I can talk about on my blog, the number one devotional request He has made of me, as I have mentioned in other posts recently,  is “Take care of  My wife,” which is so open-ended that it can encompass everything from getting to bed in time for my 10:00 pm “curfew” to spending the money I had earmarked for a religious tattoo on insulated and waterproof winter boots instead, because that’s the offering He decides He would rather have.  In fact, the reason I have fought this particular directive so hard–and why it has been the most consistent cause of conflict between us–is that it seems so utterly me-centered.  On the surface of things,  it doesn’t seem (to me, anyway) to have much to do with honoring Him at all, and there have been plenty of times when I’ve been tempted to dismiss it as a cop-out, an excuse for not staying up until the wee hours to get that last bit of writing done, or not wringing out every last bit of strength and endurance I have in order to visit three cemeteries instead of two in a single day. (And, ahem, sometimes I do the aforementioned things regardless, usually to His displeasure.)

But the reality is that I have fibromyalgia, and the symptoms of it–not only pain and fatigue, but also loss of cognitive ability and mental acuity, difficulty concentrating and focusing, sleep problems, stomach upset, and a whole constellation of other issues–become markedly more severe when sleep deprivation is coupled with my own personal brand of misguided workaholic mania.  This catastrophic brew, which has recurred in a fairly predictable pattern for over ten years now, is what led to my epic fight with Him of two weeks or so ago, during which He finally put His foot down in regard to it because–also predictably–being in this kind of exhausted, sleep-starved state does not leave me at my best for performing any of the tasks that normally comprise my Work, whether divination, oracular seidhr, magic, writing, spinning, pathwalking or trance journeying, my sacred queenship duties, simply being a wife, or what have you.  Basically, driving myself into the ground renders me a not-so-useful tool.

So, “Take care of My wife” (aka “Treat yourself as you would treat Me”) is the number one, set-in-stone commandment, and after that my daily devotional practice for Him varies, though there are a few regular patterns I have set in place that I find add structure to my day by beginning and ending it centered and rooted in Him.

In the morning, as soon as I have begun to recognize that I am awake, I make an effort to remember my dreams, and write them down in a little notebook.  (A lot of the time, dreams are simply mental regurgitation of the preceding day’s events and worries; however, for a seidhr practitioner, sometimes they are more than that, and it is the “more than that” aspect I am always on the lookout for, and why it is important to try to remember them.)  Then I reach out for Him and spend a few quiet minutes with Him, usually Over There, in our home in the Otherworlds; since He is not native to my realm, He appreciates it if I make an effort on a daily basis to spend at least some time in His.  After I have risen, I gather a few tea lights on a plate and head for the bathroom, where I shower by candlelight, both for warmth (the fan in our bathroom is chilly) and because the steam and candlelight creates an optimal environment for spending even more time with Him.  When I dress, I listen for His input on what He wishes for me to wear that day, not only in terms of appearance but also what is appropriate for the weather and my physical state (taking care of His wife, again).  Before breakfast I light a candle and, if there is time, some incense at His shrine.  On the weekends I also brew some of the wonderful organic, Fair Trade gourmet coffee we enjoy in abundance here in the Pacific Northwest (although my stomach cannot take drinking it every day), and I share some with Him in a hand-thrown teacup I purchased for Him.  (He only drinks it black–which I cannot tolerate the bitterness of beyond the initial sip I take from His cup.)  Regardless of what day of the week it is or whether or not we are sharing coffee, I settle myself in front of His shrine for a few minutes of uti seta (deep, rhythmic breath-centered meditation), as well as a specific drawing in of His essence with my breath, followed by my morning grounding, centering and shielding routine,  and usually also some galdr (sung/chanted/intoned incantations involving runes and other charms).  Sometimes there is chakra work as well, in which I cleanse my chakras of any muck that has accumulated and infuse them with His energy and protection.

On most days, He will get a portion of at least one of my meals (placed in the offering bowl on His shrine), but it is not always breakfast.  After breakfast, on weekdays, I head off to work, and during my commute I listen to music either relevant to Him or to my other deities or spirits, threshold states/the Work in general.  On my bus ride to the day job, I usually pull out my rune bag and ask Him for runes to guide me through the day ahead, after which I take out the set of all-Odin prayer beads I made for Him.  I haven’t yet written a formalized set of prayers to go with the beads, but there are three beads each for nine different categories into which I have sorted His many, many heiti (by-names).  Your mileage may vary but for my own purposes the categories I’ve settled on for now are: Lover, Mage, Warlord, Shaman, King, Healer, Draugrdrottin (Lord of Ghosts), Lord of Inspiration, and Mad One.  My meditations on the beads tend to vary from one day to the next, sometimes manifesting as prayers for assistance in bringing out His various qualities in myself in some way, sometimes asking Him to take what assistance or energy He may need from me in His various undertakings, and sometimes merely thanking or praising Him for Who and What He is.

At work, I have a mini Odin shrine next to my desk, and I frequently reach over in the course of the day to pick up and handle the handcrafted figurine representing Him; along with any religious jewelry I happen to be wearing that day, this gives me a physical link to the “real me” to touch base with throughout my workday.  I listen to Odin-themed music again on my commute home, and sometimes also do some pathwalking, and as soon as I get home, I light a candle and some incense at His shrine and get Him a drink for us to share.  After that, evening activities vary greatly depending on whether there is a household festival that day and what day of the month or week it is (we have some recurring devotional activities that are determined by the day of the week or the moon phase, and some evenings are primarily for writing or crafting, too).  Regardless, as the evening wears on, it is very important to Him that I wrap things up in order to get to bed on time, and I try to manage my time so that my last block of time before bed is spent at His altar.  Sometimes there will be some gentle yoga, other times I will just sit and do more uti seta, or meditate on some of His names/aspects, or do a trance journey, or maybe a divination for the following day.  Sometimes I will read aloud to Him one of the poems I’ve written for Him, or jot down a few lines for a new one, or just write down any messages or guidance He has for me that I want to make sure I won’t forget.  And then I go off to bed, and spend my last few wakeful moments (assuming that it isn’t one of the nights I have trouble falling asleep due to fibro issues) in our place in the Otherworlds with Him.

I’m not sure, on reflection, how useful this daily devotional schedule of mine will be for those of you who are not also Married to Him, but this is a pretty accurate sketch of the bare minimum of what I do on a daily basis (minus the more private elements, of course).  There are also lots of devotional activities I do that are not necessarily daily, such as cooking special meals for Him, brewing mead, making candles, oils or other little gifts for Him, and deeper trancework.  (I do some trancework that is more devotional and relationship-oriented, and some that is more Work-oriented–to the extent that it’s possible to make such a division, anyway.)  But those are all more involved topics for other posts.

About these ads

15 thoughts on “Daily Devotions [Ask Me About Odin]

    • Thank you! :) I came really close to deleting this post because it seems too personal and not all that helpful to others, but I may just do a follow-up post instead on what I think are the important things to keep in mind when putting together your own daily practice.

      • I’d be interested in reading such a thing :D

        Also, I did actually find this helpful. I’ve been doing the candle thing for awhile as well, but really like the idea of poetry (which I sometimes write for Him as it is). I do have a follow up question though: what kind of “Odin themed music” do you listen to? Music is such an important thing to me and I’ve been wanting to find some of that myself, but so far have been unsuccessful :( I have only a few pieces on youtube found. Would definitely be interested in hearing about more.

        Also also, yay for Odin prayer beads! I have a set created, too, but also have yet to assign specific prayers to the different beads :P

        • A lot of the songs on my Odin playlist have personal meaning to our specific relationship, rather than being necessarily “Odin-themed,” but I’ll consider posting some of them.

  1. This is a great post. For all that people talk about doing devotional work, it isn’t nearly as common for people to post what that looks like, and I love when they do. Obviously, I don’t need *you* to post about it to see what a lot of your devotional activities look like, but that doesn’t mean other people won’t find it useful. I like, too, seeing just how it could be different, depending on the devotion is question. These are valuable insights into valuable practices. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I’m glad you posted it, because it also serves as a reminder to others (like me) of the necessity and quality of devotional time. And quality as in “just because it seems light/quick/easy does not mean it’s not have an effect.”

    • I think it’s misleading though because although it may sound “light and quick,” it really isn’t. I am not a “high church” type of pagan, and I especially don’t approach Odin with a lot of formal ceremony (most of the time, anyway). The key to my own devotional routine is consistency and the amount of energy I put into it (which is probably the key, period, no matter the precise actions involved).

      • Exactly. What might seem like it falls into that category for you now might have taken a lot of training to come to and be able to do as well as you do. Perhaps my terminology isn’t the best for this. Might be like what I have been learning with bellydance. The moves which look very flashy and full of flair can be very simple to learn, and that “easy” stuff is the hardest to do well.

        • I see what you mean. I think your terminology was fine, but my first read of your comment was a bit affected by the current Mercury retro, at the same time as I’m feeling self-conscious and exposed as a result of revealing so much about my practices–albeit only the blueprint outlines of them. :)

      • I can understand that since I have had similar reactions to some of my own postings online. Also I liked seeing your post about this on PaganSquare this morning.

  3. Hi, Beth, I just read this blog via the link you posted in your follow-up blog on PaganSquare. I’d like to tell you that both posts are really informative, and that this post doesn’t read like a laundry list of things you do with and for Odin. There’s just simply no way to adequately express to others the love you feel in your heart for him, and that’s why you think it reads like a laundry list. As someone who is new on her path (not even sure what my path is), you hit home the most important lesson: devotion. So, thank you. Your posts were well-done.

    • Thank you, Jen! :) I have had a lot of people approach me asking how they can have the kind of relationship I have with Him, and it isn’t something you can achieve overnight; I have been working at it for ten years. But it starts with devotion; that is the building block for everything. One block may not look so impressive all by itself, but they are what you use to build your spiritual house.

  4. I meant to comment on this weeks ago, but life got in the way. ANYWAY.

    I wanted to thank you for this, and for the other more general post on daily devotional practice. One of the first things I read was the importance of maintaining some kind of daily practice, to help when things get hard or quiet. It strikes me now that it’s also a sort of mindfulness practice, that once you have established those habits, remembering those is also remembering and thinking of Whoever it is you are doing it for. And it adds up.

    I’ve had similar “dry laundry list” feelings when I’ve described to people some of the things I do, but reading your post – it does not at all come across as dry or devoid of feeling, even if it is a really basic factual description of some of what you do. The few times I’ve listed a few things I do – braid my hair, spend time before the altar – it’s both felt horribly devoid of feeling and also way too personal to bring up. But I’ve also been really curious what other people in consort/spouse roles do, in terms of a daily routine, so I appreciate you putting this out here.

    Most of your routine isn’t like mine at all (no big surprise), though I spend time in meditation, time in front of His altar, and share meals; I’ve also used my mp3 player and a public-transit commute as a way to spend time with my Significant Other, combining listening for messages with light meditation to connect – which made the sardine-can experience something I actually looked forward to.

    • Thank you! I like hearing about the basic daily routines other people do, too; I think it’s just the fact that it was mine that made me sensitive and self-conscious about posting it. I probably wouldn’t have thought it looked like a laundry list if someone else had posted it. :)

Comments are closed.