When a god/dess calls your name

I can’t remember when I first heard of the Morrígan. All I know is that when I did, it sent a ripple of recognition down my spine, like a far-away memory of something long forgotten. I played a game of hide and seek with her for years. I would read something about her, see something that vaguely reminded me of her, or hear her name in hushed pieces of conversation within the pagan community. She seemed larger than life. Intimidating, scary, destructive, and yet I was incredibly drawn to her. Like a slow magnetic pull in a certain direction.

The Morrígan  by Valerie Herron

I avoided her gaze as long as I could. I had read she was intense and required deep commitment from those who served her. I wasn’t ready for that…I was still learning…what could she possibly want with me…it was all in my head, wasn’t it?

And then the nightmares and visions started. I saw her everywhere. Everytime I tried to meditate, my thoughts would be overcome with ebony wings…feathers…a hooded figure. During a guided vision quest at Templefest, it got so bad that I was visibly shaking for hours afterwards. It seemed like everytime I closed my eyes, I was being enveloped by this figure. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do. Nothing I had read had prepared me for this.

It was at this point, that I decided to accept the fact that she was, in fact, speaking to me. This was a huge step. Before then, I had just brushed off my feelings towards her as a mere circumstance. Acknowledging that, no, I wasn’t imagining things was very affirming. I was able to identify something real that I could work with but I was wary about entering into a relationship with her unprepared.

During Templefest, I had spoken with one of the priestesses of the Temple about what was happening to me. She gave me some very sage advice; be respectful, you are allowed to say no, and most importantly set boundaries. I made a commitment to the Morrígan that night, I would read two books about her and make a devotional shrine in her honor by Samhain. I am still in the process of finishing the second book about her, but have read one and built a shrine to her. The visions have eased up for the most part, but she is still always very present in any deep trance work that I do.

As I am sure you gathered, this whole process was unsettling and confusing for me. I wanted to write this post and offer some advice about what to do when a god or goddess is calling to you, based on my experience. So here are five steps you can take when you are feeling a divine pull:

Read: Start learning anything and everything you can about said god/dess. Cultural information, mythology, historical and archaeological records etc. All of this information is extremely beneficial in understanding and interpreting what is wanted from you. Since deciding to learn more about the Morrígan for example, I have been reading the mythological cycles of Ireland, historical accounts of the Celtic countries, Roman accounts of encounters with the Celts, and books written about her by modern practitioners.

Get some perspective: Talk to other people about what you are experiencing. If you are not out of the broom closet or don’t have any pagan friends, look online. There are loads of pagan resources out there, and I am sure other people have been called by the same god/dess. I have even connected with several friends on Instagram about our mutual experiences with the Morrígan. Just realizing you aren’t the only one going through something can change your whole outlook.

Dedicate sacred space: Setting up a shrine for a deity is an incredible offering but it also gives them a physical space to occupy. It sets up a sacred connection between god/dess and practitioner. Place items that remind you of that deity, such as a statue or a picture (print one from online if all else fails), things you have found from the natural world, candles, incense etc. Whatever you need to make that place feel special and create a sense of reverence.

Make offerings: One of the best ways to establish relationship is to make regular offerings. We know that our ancestors made libations (liquid offerings) to the gods, so it makes sense that we should do the same. Food also works great! Identify what you think would be a good offering for your god/dess and establish a regular time to make an offering (i.e. once a week). If you can’t afford to buy something, blessed water is always acceptable.

Start a devotional practice: If a god/dess is calling to you, that is their way of communicating that they want to open up a relationship with you. It could be a temporary one or it could blossom into a lifelong commitment and dedication. The only way to find out is by opening up a channel of communication. If you do not already, start a regular meditation practice. This doesn’t necessarily mean sitting down and chanting a mantra. I know people who take a walk every morning in a quiet, meditative state. The point is that your brain is a really busy place. When you are meditating, you are quieting those thoughts and leaving space for the gods to communicate with you.

*Keep in mind that a relationship is not a stagnant thing. It changes and evolves over time. Leave room for this evolution and don’t get hung up on the semantics. Just because one person does things one way, doesn’t mean that you do. Everyone has their own practice and individual beliefs. And the gods work in mysterious ways.

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