And no, I’m not talking about the boy-band from the nineties. We all have moments when we sense that we’re somehow out of step with the world around us. We’re late for appointments, lose things, have accidents that could easily have been avoided, miss opportunities, or sometimes just sleep late and miss the bus. On the other hand, all of us–especially those of us who consciously try to cultivate this type of thing (whether you want to call it luck or a state of blessedness)–have had moments and sometimes even days (or longer) when the reverse is true, when we just seem to be in the right place at the right time and the gods seem to conspire with the universe at large to drop blessings into our laps…or arrange for us to be the instrument for showering blessings on others. I like to think of these as times when we are “in synch”–so perfectly aligned with fate, Wyrd and the will of the gods that things can’t help but go right for us.
I had one of these moments yesterday. To give a bit of back story, recently my partner and I decided that we would each sleep better, as well as have more private space for communing with our respective gods, if we had separate bed rooms. We arranged the two available bedrooms in our rented home accordingly, with me taking the larger room. This gave me plenty of space to work on crafts for SubRosa, as well as a wonderful sleeping nook next to my Odin altar where I am surrounded by His imagery and by things that remind me of Him. It was a perfect set-up except for one thing: the only real bed was in the other bedroom, and since I have fibromyalgia, not having access to a comfortable mattress presented a real problem for me. We determined that we would need to spend money on a solution ( a foam topper or preferably an actual mattress) very soon.
And then yesterday, on our way home from a fruitless trip to a local flea market, we passed a yard sale. A young woman was moving to Seattle and obviously needed to sell her belongings both to raise money and to lug as little as possible along with her. We almost passed the sale by (I was looking for a wall hanging to decorate my new office at work, and there was clearly nothing suitable here). Then my partner spotted some Grolsch bottles that would be perfect for bottling my mead, and as I was paying for those we both noticed the full-sized mattress leaning against the side of the house. It was worn and stained on one side, but still a Sealy Posturepedic and in usable condition.
“How much for the mattress?” we asked. The answer, $5, told me right away that it was a gift from Odin. We hurriedly paid her and then prepared to heave the mattress between us and somehow haul it the remaining three blocks to the house. It was a struggle, and we both felt like ants trying to balance a too-large morsel of food on our backs; still we were elated with our find.
The story doesn’t end there, though. We had only labored for about a block when a car drew up alongside us and a gray-haired man (with a dog sitting beside him) leaned out. “Where are you headed?” he asked. When we told him, he said, “If you want to balance that on my roof, “you can get in the car and hold onto it through the windows, and I’ll drive you home.” We eagerly agreed, and he even got out of the car to help us lift the unwieldy mattress onto the roof of his car. He explained why he was doing this; something about having been in a similar situation himself when a stranger had stopped to help him. We got it–he was “paying it forwards”–but we didn’t much care about the reason. It had happened because we were “in synch” (at that moment, anyway) with the world at large–and, since he would have missed us if he’d driven by five minutes earlier or later, I’m guessing the driver who stopped to help us was, too.
From time to time people ask me about pagan prayer–both how to do it and why it seems to “work” at some times or for some people better than at or for others. I don’t think prayer is substantially different for pagans than it is for anyone else, but one thing to keep in mind about it is that it isn’t enough to just pray (or do a spell, or what have you) for a needed change in circumstances. We need to also create space and opportunity in our lives for that change to occur, and in order to do that we need to consciously work at being in step with the pattern of Wyrd or fate, instead of constantly struggling against it. This is something those of us who are spirit workers, mystics or witches strive for continually. Some call it cultivating luck; I like to call it being “in synch” with Wyrd. When we are, being in the right place at the right time follows naturally. It helps, also, to be willing to do things the hard way if necessary, as we were willing to haul the mattress home on our backs. This type of attitude (as opposed to grumbling about being inconvenienced) goes a long way towards persuading the gods to throw a little extra help our way. And finally, its important that we’re willing to be in the right place at the right time for someone else to receive a little extra help through our hands. This puts us into greater harmony with the gods and with Wyrd, so that “synching up” is easier when it’s our turn to be blessed. I would bet, for example, that the driver who stopped to help us went on to have a fantastic day.