Another Good Reader Question

V.M. Asks: “Would you be so kind and write on how to strive to be more and more generous on our relationship and offerings to the Gods?”

I think learning how to prioritize the Gods and being in an open, loving, proper devotional relationship with Them takes ongoing time and consistent attention. In many respects, we learn as we go. I know for myself, I often wantto be generous with my Gods but then the little kid inside of me cries ‘no, that’s mine” usually when the offering in question involves part of something sweet. Lol. This is not a bad thing though because it provides us with the opportunity to consciously choose to make those offerings, to be generous, to give to our Gods. It allows for greater mindfulness and for consciously cultivating a generous character in our devotions. We’re all works in progress and developing a generous devotional heart is a matter of conscious cultivation.

If this is a significant issue in your devotional life, I would suggest really meditating on why you find it difficult to be generous with Them. Often a lack of generosity in our hearts indicates a sense of want or loss or not having enough in our lives. The willingness to share one’s bounty is a statement that we ourselves are nourished enough, have enough, and do not want. We should not feel a sense of loss when we give to our Gods. That sometimes this is the case is heart-breaking. In those cases pray to Them. Ask Them for help. Trust Them to be patient.

I find that sometimes starting small with offerings is very helpful. If there is something that one wishes to give the Gods, but one meets with internal resistance, then perhaps half the offering. Give half and keep half. It sounds simplistic, but when the heart is hurting, or bound by insecurity, such simple measures can be useful stepping stones in developing a habit of generous and joyful gifting. Most of all, don’t beat oneself up about these struggles. We are all learning and it’s normal to hit what I liked to call devotional speed bumps. Some days will be better than others, but the important thing is the ongoing commitment to becoming better, fuller, and more devoted to our Gods and ancestors.

In the end, it comes down to learning to make good choices, learning, little by little, to make the decision to give. It’s like developing a habit – it’s a matter of practice and consistently forcing yourself to do the right thing. The good thing, the grace about all of this is that we can ask our Gods and ancestors for help. They will provide it. We’re not alone in our spiritual struggles.

 

Now, for no reason whatsoever save that she is awesome, is a picture of my cat Elena catching some sunrays on the stairs. ^_^

catching some rays

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About ganglerisgrove

Free-range tribalist Heathen, Galina Krasskova, has been a priest of Odin and Loki since the early nineties. Originally ordained in the Fellowship of Isis in 1995, Ms. Krasskova also attended the oldest interfaith seminary in the U.S.- the New Seminary where she was ordained in 2000 and where she later worked as Dean of Second Year Students for the Academic year of 2011-2012. She has even given the opening prayer at the United Nations Conference “Women and Indigeny”. Beyond this, she took vows as a Heathen gythia in 1996 and again in 2004, She is the head of Comitatus pilae cruentae and a member of the Starry Bull tradition. She has been a member of numerous groups through the years including the American Academy of Religion. She has also served previously as a state government contracted expert on the Asatru faith, and been a regular contributor to various print and online publications geared towards modern pagans and polytheists, and for a time had her own radio program: Wyrd Ways Radio Live. Ms. Krasskova holds diplomas from The New Seminary (2000), a B.A. in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Religious Studies from Empire State College (2007), and an M.A. in Religious Studies from New York University (2009). She has completed extensive graduate coursework in Classics (2010-2016) and is pursuing a Masters in Medieval Studies at Fordham University (expected graduation 2019) with the intention of eventually doing a PhD in theology. She has also been teaching University classes in Greek and Latin. As part of her academic career Ms. Krasskova has written a number of academic articles, and also presented at various academic conferences including Harvard University, Claremont University, Fordham University, Ohio State University, Western Michigan University, Villanova University, and the City University of New York. An experienced diviner and ordeal master, her primary interest is in devotional work and the reconstruction of Northern Tradition shamanism. Her very first book, The Whisperings of Woden was the landmark first devotional text to be written in modern Heathenry. Ms. Krasskova has a variety of published books available running the gamut from introductory texts on the Northern Tradition, as well as books on shamanism, runes, prayer, and devotional practices. She is also the managing editor of “Walking the Worlds,” a peer-reviewed academic style journal focusing on contemporary polytheism and spirit work and the first journal of polytheology. While very busy with teaching and school, she does also occasionally lecture around the country on topics of interest to contemporary Heathenry and polytheisms. A passionate supporter of the arts Ms. Krasskova enjoys going to the opera, theater, and ballet. Her affection for the arts began early as she discovered dance, which she pursued professionally becoming a ballet dancer: first with a regional company in Maryland, then in New York City. After suffering career ending injuries, she would find new forms of expression in the visual arts. For a few years Ms. Krasskova co-owned an art gallery in the Hudson River Valley of New York, and over a course of numerous years she has studied a multitude of art mediums: glassblowing, watercolor, acrylic, photography and more! She is now an avid collage artist, acrylic painter and watercolorist and has even enjoyed placement in international artist-in-residencies programs in New York, New Mexico, and Poland. Her work has been exhibited globally from New York to Paris. She has taken her passion for the arts and polytheistic devotion, to create the Prayer Card Project. Since so much religious iconography has been destroyed, or defaced in the course of human history, she is actively making new religious prayers and iconography available to the various modern polytheistic communities to support those who are building their religious communities, building their devotional practices, and hungering for art that represents their religious faith. All while also supporting the artists within these burgeoning communities.

Posted on August 2, 2018, in devotional work, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. It can also be helpful to have a “quality over quantity” mindset when struggling with joyful offering. Small, finely made offerings can be great ways to get started on the right path. For example, a small amount of high quality chocolate given in offering can be more meaningful and less stressful to offer than pounds of generic candy bars. Maybe not the best example, but I hope it illustrates the concept I’m trying to convey.

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  2. thetinfoilhatsociety

    Many many Pagan religions are quite stingy with their offerings – it’s a token rather than an offering, which I suspect comes, again, from the presupposition that the Gods are not actually completely real, they’re archetypes and therefore don’t even notice the size of the offering. “It’s the idea that counts.” “They don’t need our food/drink/fillintheblank.”

    And then we get to the over culture which is Christian in setup but most definitely atheist in outlook. I think it may have something to do with that niggling voice in the back of one’s mind that says “what if they’re not real? then you’re just wasting it!”

    We’ve not been taught that we should be as generous with the Gods as we are with our friends – or even more so.

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  3. What a wonderful cat you have!

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  4. I sometimes struggle, especially with food offerings. It’s because I have a strong fear of not having enough, and also of my husband disapproving (even though he never has, makes offerings himself and went halves with me to buy a silver bracelet for Hel lol) Things have become much easier over the years, as time has shown me that things will be ok…I’ve found that the Gods are very patient when I’m honest with them about my problems.
    P.S. Your cat is beautiful!

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  5. Thank you for another very helpful essay, and to VM for putting forward the question.

    It was lovely to see a picture of your fluffy tortie friend there. She’s gorgeous!

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  6. Wonderful thoughts as always!
    I have a specific question I wonder if you would mind answering?

    I also have a lot of guilt calling on my ancestors because I know that I’m not going to have children. I’m not going to continue their bloodline, because I’d be a horrible parent and I have no wish to risk continuing the cycle of abuse. My brother very much wants to get married and have a family, so in a way I am relieved that carrying on the line will not be my responsibility. I’m not sure if it’s my own fear of my ancestors being upset about this attitude that is blocking my ability to do ancestor work, or if it’s a legitimate concern of theirs. Do you have any thoughts on this subject?
    Also, I have a strong urge to work with a specific, long-deceased relative that I have never met. However, most of my other family members do not remember him favorably, and some claim he was downright abusive. But you know some of the details of my family – my living family members are sooo abusive and messed up that I dont know if their perceptions are trustworthy, and when they die, there is NO CHANCE AT ALL that I will honor their names or work with them. But I’m quite impressed by things that my great-grandfather accomplishrd; he was the son of immigrants, worked on sawmills and farms from a young age to support his mother, sisters, and eventually wife and children; and created and grew several businesses from NOTHING. I feel like I could benefit from a relationship with him, but I am so hesitant because of other stories that I have heard that paint him in a less than flattering light.

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  7. Hello, thank you for you wonderful answer. I´ve been thinking a lot about this. Yes, I sometimes feel that sense of loss when I offer to the Gods, yes, it is heartbreaking both for Them (as They have shown me) and for me. It is not a lack of gratitude… no… it is this fear of the future… This fear, this insecurity of not having enough. I know it sounds weird. .. I don´t think this is a lack of faith in Them (I do believe in Them), I think it does have to do with my insecurity in my own spiritual practice and my own means to strive in this world… I think that ultimately the most profund fear I am facing is that struggle inside me: that fear of not being my one´s best before Them. Thank you, again.

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