I oath to continue growing and the be honest with myself.
That was the short, simple oath I used when performing the ritual set out in week two of The Dedicant’s Path Through the Wheel of the Year. And if I’m to live up to that honesty, I must admit I’m starting to have serious doubts. I’ve fallen in love with Heathenry, with Asatru, with all of it (well maybe not all, those nazitru are big meanies). And as I feel myself growing closer to the gods and religion of my ancestors I feel farther away from ADF. The visualizations, the emphasis on magick – it all just seems to me to be little different than what Wicca or eclecticism offer. Ceremonial Magick dressed in trappings of ancient indigenous religions, however more accurate those trappings may be, still just doesn’t appeal to me. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Ceremonial Magick, I imagine I might even incorporate some of it into my seidh-work as I explore that path. But seeing it incorporated as a fundamental part of my religion just rubs me the wrong way.
And can I say something about this blessings business? I do not believe the gods are great big ATMs in the sky. Put in an offering, get out a blessing! That’s just not how I see things. If Odin chooses to bless me, whatever that even means, then great. But I do not expect it from him, and I do not worship him because of it. I worship him because he is awe-inspiring, because he represents so much of what I believe is good and honorable in this world. And the idea of laying out a few tarot cards and then assuming that “[i]ndeed, the Powers [do] offer me blessings,” is presumptuous to me. What, because I laid out some tarot cards the elderkin must have blessed me? This seeming arrogance, combined with the idea of visualizing these blessings (so what, I should visualize some dollar signs or a heart maybe?) coming to me all just reminds me far too much of the prosperity gospel and its New Age variants.
I’m not giving up mind you. I’m struggling, and I’m not sure that this is for me, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t give it more of a chance than I have. Yet still, I have my doubts.