How do you reconcile Odin as portrayed in the lore with Odin as He presents Himself to you today? Here are some wise words from Jo; it’s a long post, but since this is a problem that seems to be cropping up for a lot of people right now (in connection with the current discussion about forming a culture of consent in polytheism), I highly, highly recommend reading it. Although I am not an advocate of throwing out the lore entirely (as portions of it actually are very accurate, with regards to Him), I DO advocate digesting it with a large amount of salt; as Jo points out, the people who wrote it down were not worshipers of our gods or even friendly towards Them. Also, our gods grow and change, even as we do, and Odin now is not Odin from 1,000 years ago when the Havamal was written.
I will also say that the most sane reaction to Odin if you do NOT have a history with Him that has built trust is NOT to trust Him just because He’s Odin. Trust must be earned; He has more than earned mine, but that does not mean I go around advising people that He is going to be trustworthy in their particular situation, because that may not be the case. Odin is very much a Power who does what needs doing, and in your case that may not always be something you like. But as Jo writes, it may be something you need, and even something you have given consent to on some level.
(Originally this was to be a response to a comment, but, er, well, it sort of took on a life of its own, and viola, a blog post was born. Thank you, Poppy, for the inspiration. Also note: the you in all this is general you, and I’m using Odin as an example both because He’s one of the two I’m involved with and because He is one of the ones whose name comes up a lot re: abusive gods)
What makes navigating these waters so difficult, at least to my thinking is: how do we judge Them? Do we judge Them as human, in terms of the boundaries we set up and defend, in terms of the cultural mores that we apply to Them or demand They stick to, in terms of the very language we use when talking about our experiences with Them? Ultimately, this is a decision…
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