I've gotten a few now, but this one was a tad different. Typically I hear the call, get up and sit out for a bit. When They've said what They need to say, when what needs to be done is done I go to bed. But this time I got up and wandered into the living room, grabbing a blanket as it was cold. I looked out the window and, as sometimes happens when I am seeing like this, it was bright as day outside and Hela was standing under the maple tree. She almost had Her back turned to me, just the bare glimpse of Her face could be seen. Her clothing was more tattered than usual but sometimes the looks change. She barely twitched a finger, didn't look back at all but I knew I was beckoned.
Outside I went. With her cold presence She barely looked at me. She twitched a hand pointing around the property and with barely a word I knew what She wanted. Shrubbery. Out of all the Gods, and I say this with the greatest of respect, She is the one most likely to make me swear. Even Loki doesn't, minute for minute, make me curse as much as Hela. And I like her, I do! It is just as I have mentioned previously, I need to make friends with, adjust to Verdandi now but Hela wants me to meet and acknowledge Skuld. So dammit I went out and got the hedging going- hundreds of feet of hedging. Oh I already knew, had already started. But that was my doing, Our Lady of Death hadn't come and given me a royal kick in the behind to get moving on it. Maybe She makes me curse more because She hits the pocket book hardest, makes more blisters than the other Gods do.
This brings us to this God-slave nonsense. Called Godatheow by Galina Krasskova. I found Galina's writings even before I had figured out Loki's correct name but I didn't like what she wrote, it made me uncomfortable hitting far too close, so I walked away from her site for several months. I, as most people from the industrial world are, am too damn proud to say I'm some slave for the Gods- willing or otherwise.
Yet here I am wearing tokens, making reminder objects, lighting candles, getting out of bed, getting into bed, reading this, writing that, emailing this person, not emailing that one, planting shrubs, meditating on such, offering this, not offering that, taking hermitages at appointed times, taking baths, planting shrubs, driving here, giving Nerthus an apple core for Christ's sake and all because They ask. [ok, yeah, mixed pantheons in the name of common language usage- get over it].
I find it very easy to say I serve because They ask. They ask reasonable things so those duties are reasonable to do. Really? Why in my ever loving mind would I ever have been braiding yarn, eating this not that, or binding my wrists on a normal 'pre-God' day? But the Gods are convincing and it seems so reasonable. And oh yeah, let's not talk about the pressure when you do decide to buck the system, try to circumvent a tidy outlined path. Just as adults can never convince a four year old that the shots are good for them 'so sit still', the Gods often have a hard time convincing me that what needs to be done is truly for the best. So They hold me tight and then it is done and They say, 'Now that wasn't so hard' and it wasn't. Truly, every uncomfortable moment has ultimately become a blessing; the works have become gifts for service is sacred and the Gods have Their own generosity.
And why do I keep saying They and not just Loki? Why 'on call' for several Gods/Goddesses? Because Loki has asked me to be. See, I had a talk with Loki. 'I'm my own person. I love you but I make my own decisions! I'm no servant, I'm no slave.' He laughed, He always looks so beautiful when He laughs in that kind way and then He said something like, 'That's fine. You can call yourself what you want. But if you don't do what I say you will have to face the consequences.' Well Loki, I guess if you put it that way...
But really, what devotee would actually flat out say no to their God? There is alot of criticism and angst over the godetheow concept but let's think about it. There are plenty of things Loki, Heimdallr, Hela and others have 'requested.' Plenty of them were fine, but others just weren't/aren't feasible. Honest conversation usually fixes the whole issue, I haven't found the Gods to be cruel or unreasonable. If you, reader, have sneered at the God slave concept I do ask you to consider this- if your God asked you to build a small shrine for Them or asked you to fast for a day in order to get closer to Them would you really say no? Would you refuse your God?
So believe me, as I was out planting my 30th shrub with plenty more to go I was heavily considering this. I'm thinking about that prime spot in the yard She is putting dibs on for something else, wondering if She'll agree to it being in another spot, a better spot for me. She has been flexible before. I still don't call myself a godatheow but I often can't tell if I'm serving through choice, respect, or just because I have to. I don't want to worry about that right now though. For right now, while I make friends with Verdandi I'll just figure Hela likes gardening and let the future be the future. Jera comes and goes but Kenaz is now and I think I'll worry about just that for the moment.
Serving the Gods or Suck it Up, Buttercup- an article that took me months to work up the courage to read but ultimately explains things quite nicely.
Godathegn and Godatheow- I put the link to this blog here as the author and contributing comments discuss not needing to be a godatheow to provide service to the Gods. Very important to remember.