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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in communication

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Recently there was a discussion in the Asatru Facebook Forum that evolved a subthread about Godan, the name of Odin among the Lombards. I received some gnosis, and so, since this blog is Gnosis Diary, I'm going to tell you all about it.

As background to the Godan discussion: The main thread had been affirming the original poster's exploration of Asatru as a possible path, which grew into discussion of Unitarian-Universalist style religion, which eventually branched into the Godan discussion. It was pointed out that the name Godan was the origin of the English name God for the Christian God. This led to a question of whether they were the same god.

At this point Odin spoke in my head. (Which is not unusual for me at all, as you see if you read the past few years' blog posts, and we had just been communicating during my daily morning coffee ritual a few minutes before, so this was not a remarkable occurrence except that he had a message he wanted conveyed.) "I am not the same god."

Since the original post was a new seeker's intro post, when Odin joined the conversation in my head I wanted to be sure to express it in a way that would not be received as argumentative or unwelcoming. I remember very well how people reacted to my first few reports of messages from the gods, like "Don't poison the Earth," which I had to completely recast as "Love nature and care for her" before people found the message acceptable, when I first started receiving this type of gnosis a few years ago when I was opened to the gods by writing fiction. So with that in mind, I crafted my comment.

Additional background: the comment to which I was responding also mentioned the "chosen people" thing, which I why I included a reference to it in my answer. One of the differences between Odin and YHVH is that Odin doesn't have a chosen people. Some of the heathen gods were patrons or ancestors of species tribes or nations in historical times-- the Lore specifically says the Langobards were named by Frigga who favored them in a war, for example-- but they never said other people couldn't worship them. So the comment to which I was responding started off by commenting about the name Godan being borrowed for the name of xian God, and also included a reference to YHVH having a chosen people.

So here is the comment I created to convey my gnosis in a way that other Asatruers would find unobjectionable:

True. So if people want to reclaim the name God / Godan for Odin that's fine. The being most people mean by the name God is someone else entirely, who may or may not be still the same god whose name was taboo; since that god did have a chosen people and most modern day xians are not from that people it begs the question who that guy really is anymore, but that's beyond the scope of a study of heathenry so I have no answers there. One thing I do know, well two things, firstly that all outlooks from atheist to unitarian-universalist to soft polytheist to hard polytheist are part of modern Asatru and are welcome here, and secondly that Odin is not YHVH because he told me so. That's another thing that is welcome here: gnosis. Because the gods are here now.

(comment finished with smiley face emojis.)

So, here is my opinion about what it's like to have gnosis like this: it's easy to communicate with the gods. What's hard is figuring out how to talk about communicating with the gods in a way that other people won't knee-jerk want to argue with. I think there are probably lots of people who have gnosis like this and just don't talk about it because it's so hard to talk about. That's one of the things I want to help with by writing this blog and also by running the forum: to normalize talking about gnosis so it will be easier in the future.

I know I succeeded in crafting my response correctly because my comment led to a nice discussion of the other person's gnosis and opinions. Which led to the related but distinct discussion of how different is Odin from Godan from Wodan, and how different is one person's Odin from another person's Odin. I think Odin, Godan, and Wodan are simultaneously different and the same. And for the second question, I like the metaphor of the godphone, where everyone has a distinct phone number and might get the wrong voicemails if they dial in from someone else's. When I receive gnosis I always know if it's just for me or intended to be conveyed to other people. The very few messages I receive to convey are such a small percentage of the conversations I have in my mind with my gods that they stand out like a red tree among yellow and green trees. Like looking a hillside full of trees in autumn and there is only one maple tree in the whole forest. Usually the only time I can just directly relay a message without trying to craft a way to say it nicely is when I'm giving a rune reading, in which case people already expect and want a message. This is a skill it took me years to learn, and I'm not sure I'd really say I've mastered it yet; if I had, perhaps it would be easy. lol.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dreaming of the Dead


There is a belief that we can communicate with loved ones when they have left this earthly plane. They may come to us in the form of a bird, the sudden smell of roses in a room they enjoyed or visit us in a dream. This is the ideal moment, when the veil is the thinnest, to make contact, to enjoy their company, to listen to the messages that they may wish to impart.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Communicating With Crystal

This week we're going to talk about communicating with crystal.

In the last blog post I hinted at what was to come. Namely, learning to determine when and how the crystal “speaks” to you based on your particular “clair”.

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Good Witch v. Bad Witch: Discord in the Workplace


I'm having ongoing conflicts with a coworker. She doesn't think I'm doing my job properly (even though she doesn't know how to do my job) and she's constantly correcting the way I'm doing things because it's not the way she would do it. She gets angry and unreasonable if there's a mistake. She's always asking me if I'm doing something when it doesn't pertain to her in any way.

When there is a legitimate error with something, she over-explains the situation and repeats herself and then gets angry that "I'm not listening to her" when I've figured out the problem and begin to work on it while she's still talking. The last time a situation like this arose, she blew it out of proportion.

She got two calls from people who said they didn't get their welcome letters for joining our organization, and she assumed that meant I didn't send them. There is evidence to show I did, but she won't listen to me when I try to explain it to her. She always cuts me off when I try to speak, then she says I don't listen to her. As a result, she doesn't know the explanation for why things happened or were done a certain way and believes mistakes are being made all the time.

I've been going with the flow and trying to let things go, but then she went to my boss about my "mistakes" earlier this week. I spent an hour talking to my boss about it, and thankfully, she DOES listen to explanations and realizes my coworker is wrong. Today, my coworker is giving me the cold shoulder, and I'm completely okay with that.

I only work with three other people (including my boss), so when there are conflicts, it changes the atmosphere. Is there anything I can do magically or spiritually to make myself feel more peaceful at work and redirect my coworker's hostilities in another direction?"

Co-Worker in Columbia

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • bukatony
    bukatony says #
    If possible, take your breaks outside. Walk around for a few minutes outside your building. Breathe some fresh(er) air. Look at a
  • Ember Moon
    Ember Moon says #
    I will vote for bad witch's answer on this one as that was exactly what i was thinking as well. You need to talk to her and do it

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
What Are You Communicating?


I overhear a lot of conversations that become arguments, and I just want to smack my head because, as an outside observer, it's so clear to me why the two parties are having a difficult time communicating. Why, in fact, a pretty benign topic can become a full on argument. Often it really boils down to intention. What's your intention? What are you trying to communicate? What's your goal? What do you want to get out of this communication/interaction?

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Unsolicited Advice

There's a plague out there. Unsolicited advice--or, advice you didn't ask for--is often the first thing that comes out of someone's mouth when you talk about anything bad going on with you. And here's the thing--you probably do it too; I sure know that I do, and I struggle not to. It's an issue of leadership because it's an issue of communication and boundaries, and it also crosses over into pastoral counseling as well. It's certainly an issue that can impact how we function together within communities.

Unasked-for advice happens on autopilot, and here's how it usually plays out. 

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Rick
    Rick says #
    So why do people offer unsolicited advice? One reason that you missed, IMO, is probably gender-linked. If you start lamenting abo

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Here we go again | A tale of two paganisms

The Pagan net has been abuzz after beloved and noted elder, Luisah Teish said some not so polite things about the trans-community on Tuesday. Some took offense, others defense, while those who took no side were in for quite the show. In the end it wrought in its wake a lot of old discussions and old wounds. Before I knew it I was left feeling like we (the community) dropped the ball and that we failed to protect our own.


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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks for your even-handed approach to this sensitive subject, Devin. I wrote a longish response and then lost it. Blessings, M
  • Tia Ryan
    Tia Ryan says #
    Ifa isn't Paganism.
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Tia, I didn't see anything referencing Ifa in this post. Are you referencing another post or ...?
  • Wendilyn Emrys
    Wendilyn Emrys says #
    Even among Pagans there is fear of the other and the unknown. For me, the body is a meat puppet, what matters is the person insid
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Macha (Aline) posted the following on her Facebook page about an hour ago. "Recently I thoughtlessly signed an online petition at

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