How does being a godatheow affect your relationships with your family? partner? child? employment?
Being a godatheow puts my God at the top of my list. Given how most people feel about children, and how much I love my son, that is not an easy thing to admit. Mercifully, it is an understanding with Him that my partner understands, and much of my family at home understands. As for my employment, well, this is may sound odd, but I did not get regular employment until after I became a godatheow.
I had a temporary job in the drought of four years of unemployment. When I was laid off from that job after about two months, ironically while I was at Etinmoot, where I was told I by Odin that I was His godatheow, it was another year or so before another job so much as reared its head at me. I worked for the Great Golden Arches for a few months under a wonderful, understanding manager, and now work doing respite care and direct support. The pay and hours are better, and I am getting practical experience in my degree. So while there was upheaval in my life from the impact of becoming a godatheow, once I got with the program and started walk with the leash instead of against it, my life, and that of those around me, got easier by several degrees. I have a budget now, and by and large, have stuck to it.
So much is going right in my life since Odin took me under His leash. My relationship with my partner has never been better, to the point where she, along with our son, now live with me. My relationship with my Gods, Ancestors, spirits, and landvaettir has never been stronger, or so deep in my life. If anything, becoming His godatheow has been a stabilizing force in my life.
Where my being a godatheow may have the greatest impact is on potentials, such as where I might work, the next place I might live, relationships, and the like.
Odin owns me. Odin owns me.
If He dictates to me, in a manner I cannot mistake as anything other than a command from Him (and I would do goo-gobs of double-checking, discernment, divination, talking with elders, friends, etc. just to be sure) to leave everything behind and to start wandering I would do that. Not because I want to abandon my family, not because a roadtrip sure sounds swell, but because my God demanded it of me. Would I try to get out of such a command? No, but I might ask Him to delay that until, say, my son is out of school or we are in a better place financially. I would ask He lay that burden on me, but not upon my family. I cannot say whether He would accept such a request, but I know He loves His Sons and knows how deep I love mine. The Gods are not without mercy; He has not asked such a thing of me, yet.
Thinking about this is not easy. Not in the least. Let no one tell you being a godatheow is easy, because these kinds of choices can loom over you. I have to think down this line, and talk with my partner and loved ones about this because there is the possibility that someday I may be called to do something that society would deem ‘crazy’, like taking off for 9 days/weeks/months/years and then coming back. Is that written in stone? No, but then again I would be a fool not to look at that possibility, and at the least make people aware of it.
While being a godatheow has been one of the most stabilizing forces in my life, it also has the potential, at any given moment, to destabilize it. It makes me thankful, even if I am not always as vocal as I ought to be in that thanks, for the stability I do have, for what I may have in the future. It makes me treasure the moments where I have down time and I am not going here and there doing my God’s Work, or my other Gods’ Work for that matter. It pushes me to be thankful and treasure the moments I have to be a father and a lover. It makes me treasure the moments I have to relax. At any moment Odin can say “Time to go this way” and there I will go.
It is not easy to have this kind of relationship. It is far easier to brush it off, to self-sabotage, and say “I am not worthy” or “I cannot do this thing” and let the charge be. That said, it is hard to argue with a leash about your throat and feeling a supreme tugging this way or that. I will eventually get there, wherever He is leading me, but it is entirely incumbent upon me whether or not I make it harder.
Odin owns me, and in so doing, He has direct influence on my life. My life is my service, and my service is my life. In understanding this simple truth I have made my life a good deal easier. Do I still have autonomy? Yes, and choices in my life are plentiful, but this autonomy and these choices are within the larger context of what He gives me to choose from.
With my life being Odin’s, doing well everywhere I can in my life is an offering to Him. Parenting my son well, treating my partner with respect, love, and dignity, and doing well by my clients are all part and parcel of offering to Him. My work with the communities, great and small, are part of my Work with Him. There is no aspect of my life untouched by Him, no aspect of my life that cannot be offered to Him. While being His godatheow may present challenges to me, my loved ones, and my communities, it is also one of the greatest blessings He has given me.
Being a godatheow is not for everyone, nor am I any better than one who has never ‘heard’ their God. This is a wholly different way to live one’s life, to worship and to serve the Gods, a God or Goddess in particular. I do not expect everyone to be a godatheow to have a deep level of commitment to their God/Goddess, nor godspousery, nor even to ‘hear, see, taste’, etc. Each person’s relationship with their Gods is between them and their Gods, and while there may be community standards one needs to meet to be part of a community, this is not one of them in the Northern Tradition. You do not need to be a shaman, a priest, a godatheow, a godspouse, or anything ‘called’ to love your Gods with everything you have. You just need to give the Gods your time, attention, energy, and love wherever, whenever you can.