I’ve been worshiping Odin since the summer of 2013 when I decided to learn the runes.
(cw: extended yet vague talk of mental illness. No details of what the illness is are given.)
From 2014-2017, I was seriously mentally ill. My religion became unfortunately very mixed up in my praxis. I remember trying to be married to Odin, even though I had no omens or signals from him that this was desired. I read a very advanced series of pagan blogs about Ordeals written by Kaldera and Krasskova (I won’t link the blog as I don’t think it’s a safe or wise resource), and started to explore kink for myself (Kaldera is an awful starting point for kink 101. 0 out of 10, do not recommend). I then decided that I wanted a Master/servant bond with him. I also had no omens or clues that he wanted this. Looking back, I feel Odin was certainly present in my life, and used my false claims on him to be generally protective to me. He never took advantage of me, even though he could have.
A part of my return to health was untangling and destroying all these bizarre claims, promises, and contracts I had tried to make with various deities. I had tried to leap into the deep side of spiritual devotion without forming the basics first. I had to learn discernment between mental illness, gnosis, reality, and religion. It was a deeply difficult and painful process for me.
I was married to Queen Guinevere from 2014-2016 (with consent from her and mixed consent from me) and then again from 2018-2019. I will detail this more in a future post. The marriage failed because some of my illness was triggered due to a very particular series of images/omens she tried to send me. Additionally, my daily practice was incredibly inconsistent. I didn’t quite realize that I could just… change what I wanted to do with my practice. I thought I had Failed at Being a Pagan by not having a daily practice. So, at Queen Guinevere’s loving suggestion, we divorced. It was the right thing for me to do at the time.
2020 was largely a spiritual fallow time for me, as it was for most people. I felt mad at the gods because I couldn’t figure out a consistent working spiritual practice. I had never had any teachers, and felt that if I had had teachers, a lot of my troubles could have been avoided. So, I tried taking some online classes by Lara Veleda Vesta, a witch and rune teacher. Without Lara’s intention, the first class I took in April 2020 pitched me into spiritual burnout. The second class I took at the end of the year gave me some small success at connecting with ancestor, exploring visualization, and journeying. At the waning of the year, I also began joining more pagan and Heathen Discord servers which inspired me to try to develop a working spiritual schedule (and I succeeded! Yay!).
In January 2021, Odin proposed to me. I spent most of that year anxiously freaking out about his proposal. I even tried to quit being his devotee, but even in the moment of an August goodbye ritual, I realized I was trying to run away from something I wanted. That was a turning point. Something about the godspouse path was clearly desirous to me, so I started considering the proposal more calmly with long-term plans in mind. By winter’s arrival, I accepted what I wanted–Him.
In October, I got a tarot reading about our future and was bowled over by an offer I never expected: a chance to study necromancy with Odin Draugadrottin and Hel, the Norse goddess of death. I was thrilled. I never thought the gods would offer me this. After reading that tarot reading in the morning, I think I was walking on air all day. While I already had an ancestor veneration practice, I made it more explicit. I intentionally started acquiring resources on necromancy, death witchcraft, and the dead. (Tangent: I just picked up Claude Lecouteux’s The Return of the Dead at an occult shop and I am very excited.)
I spent 2022 writing and rewriting my marriage vow to Odin. I also wrote him a lot of love poems. We had some rocky moments when Hel and I decided to get together (this will be a future post!). I had trouble figuring out a balanced polyamory. With the support of online friends, I got some good advice. I’ll admit, sometimes it’s helpful not to get advice sometimes too, and just let the issues play themselves out without posting about them immediately on the Internet! Now, I’d say things are well-balanced between the two deities, although it’s still a puzzle sometimes how to manage Aesir and Jotnar tensions! (That might deserve its own post too.)
After ten years of solitary Heathenry, I attended my very first Heathen festival, Hail and Horn, in July. I had trouble planning my work/vacation schedule and pledged to Bragi that I would read a poem at his godpole if he got me to camp! He did and so I fulfilled my oath at the group ritual. I had an incredible time. I made new friends, attended group sumbel, saw a fantastic planned performance of a flyting (a Norse rap insult battle), participated in several rituals, ate boar for the first time, got to help carry Bragi’s godpole (which was a deed for the ages), and introduced a dear friend to Heathenry’s basic practices. I was over the moon with happiness and have agreed with my friend to return every year.
Two days after the fest, Odin basically sat me down and said: “Look. You’re ready. The oath is ready. You have the wedding mead. Let’s get married right now. Don’t worry about fancy food offerings. Let’s marry!”
And we did! Haha! I got out of trance, changed into some nice clothes, poured the mead, and said my oath!
It was such a pleasure to marry him properly. It feels like this role has been coming for a long time and I am so happy to embrace it. It’s also really nice to feel like I can practice godspousery in a safe and sane way. What a relief!
In reflecting on my path with Odin, I feel really grateful for: my longtime pagan friends who witnessed me struggle, Beth Wytch of the North‘s Odin-oriented blog, the Troth, therapy, medication, my online kindred, my Discord communities, and my non-pagan friends who listened to me ramble about pagan stuff, even if they had no idea what was going on.
I want to give an extra shout-out to Beth. Beth has always been kind and encouraging to me. If you’ve read this far, please consider donating to Beth’s household. She and her wife are sick with COVID and are struggling to make ends meet. Please donate or signal boost this post.