Knowing the Gods

Author: Layla Talora Eshe

When I first began my journey into Witchcraft, there was much to learn: history, myths and the proper way to perform spells and rituals. All kinds of new things awaited me. I eagerly delved into any books I could get my hands on and talked to anyone that would listen. I bought book, candles, oils, herbs, wands, bells, cards and anything I could get! And so my knowledge (and witchy stock!) grew.

Throughout the coming year I faithfully did rituals each Full and Dark Moon and celebrated on Sabbats. I performed spells and various other rituals in between. Taking time to research, plan and execute all my workings. I set out the proper tools and said the proper words, and was faithful to my workings. And so my practical experience grew.

What did not grow however, was my relationship with the Gods. I realized that just by simply calling myself Witch or Pagan did not give me that relationship. By doing rituals and spells and reading also did not give me that relationship. This, just like anything else would also require work. I knew that this would not be an easy task, but it was something I felt strongly about. That is what I loved about this path, the fact that I could have a close relationship with my Gods, free from restraint and restriction. I was not about to let this pass me by.

So I set out to know my Gods better, to really understand them and their place in my life. I decided to create daily devotion times to connect with my Gods. In the morning I rise and greet the new day, light a yellow candle and sit near the window as the sun rises, and speak to them.

What I say does not matter, it is not scripted or planned out; it comes simply from the heart. Some days my words are filled with hope and happiness, and some they are filled with sadness and despair. But either way I feel the Gods around me, supporting me, and giving me hope. They are there to comfort me when I need it, but also there to celebrate and be happy as well. I get whatever I need, just by simply asking, and then I can start my day with a fresh perspective.

At noon, I take a few minutes to myself to speak to them once more, discussing my morning, plans hopes and feelings, anything I like. It’s a nice break in my mundane day to reconnect with the Gods, and to take a few minutes out of the rush of jobs and housework to concentrate on my spiritual side and myself. It revitalizes me so that I can tackle the rest of my day.

Before I sleep each night I light a candle and sit near my altar and give thanks for the blessings I have, and sit in quiet reflection of the day, and plan for the next. I get ready for sleep, and wind down from the stresses of the day, this is my time to sit and talk with my Gods. While I do love the talking part I also must remember to stop and to listen to what they are trying to say to me in return.

I think at times we all, myself included, are so wrapped up in the talking and planning and thinking of the days, we forget to simply listen and to be aware of what is around us. Many messages I have received when I finally stop and listen to what the Gods are telling me. For they speak to us in many ways, through dreams and visions, in our minds and our hearts, but most of all we can see them all around us, out in nature.

They are the sun on our face, warming our souls. They are the wind at our backs, pushing us to move forward and look ahead. They are the green on the trees and in the Earth, reminding us to stay focused and grounded. And they are the rivers and oceans, reminding us to always be compassionate and hopeful throughout our lives.

But most of all they are inside of us, giving us strength, hope, love and determination. They never leave our side, even if we stray away from them for awhile, they are always there waiting for us to return to them again. Never judging us for our imperfections, but loving us despite them. The Gods love us unconditionally and without wavering, as we should all love ourselves and those around us.

I guess my point is that just because you belong to a particular faith (Wiccan, pagan, Christian, Muslim, or otherwise) does not mean you automatically get an in-depth personal relationship with the Divine. This takes work, devotion and most of all, love. This is a relationship that you will continue to nurture and grow throughout your entire life. It is important that you tend to it just as you would your garden, your pets, or any family or friendship. A relationship cannot exist without both sides working for it. The Gods are doing their share, now how about you?

To begin to have a relationship with your Gods you must go to them not only with an open heart and open mind, but also with complete, unconditional love. For this is the same way they look upon us. I think it also important to not only seek them out for help with problems, but also to seek them out for celebrations and happy times as well, to give thanks for the blessings that they bestow upon us.

Yes, it’s true; sometimes it feels like the Gods have given up on us; hen the world is black and dreary. And while we know they will not give us more then we can handle, sometimes we wish they would not trust us so much. But deep down we know that with their strength and love, we have all the tools we need to get through anything life hands us, if we just ask.