May 17, 2011

Fulltruis And Fulltruas

I recently bought and finished reading Fulltrui: Patrons In Asatru. I'd rather let the book speak for itself than attempt to provide to any sort of detailed review. It has some poignant insights, and I am very glad to see that the subject of patron Gods--of having a fulltrui or fulltrua, being a dedicant, or however one might attempt to quantify these amazingly intense relationships with a Divinity--is getting the wider attention it so richly deserves. I do wish that the discussion of giants had been saved for another volume, as that can be a rather specific and polarizing interest.

The book is very clear about the serious nature of having a lifetime bond with a God or Goddess. That said, a connection can happen very quickly, and you still might be entirely certain that you've met your God. For me, I felt like a had a choice at the beginning: Loki seemed quite willing to be my closest God. But at the same time, I found that I kept on returning to something as simple as a Wikipedia article on a God with hardly any lore to His name. Every time I reread it, something else seemed to click. And then, talking to that God....

I'll always remember the first time my God, Forseti, asked for a formal offering. It was a simple enough interaction, and didn't last very long, but I felt His presence. Looking back, I think some of these experiences start off short for a reason: there's no small amount of acclimation involved when you've never been in the company of a God or Goddess before. Over time--with patience and shared experiences--the process becomes much easier.

Early on, I made the natural enough inference that the connection was about "service." From other blogs, it seems other Heathens with a fulltrui or fulltrua have run into this as well. But no, this is about truly relating to the divine. It's about the heart, about--quite simply and most profoundly--love. I haven't experienced anything indicating that our Norse Gods want servants. New family, new friends, and the deepest and most meaningful connections you can imagine, yes. And, certainly, They will sometimes ask tough things of you once you are Theirs. But approaching our Gods in terms of "service" was a false path, one I was quickly redirected off of. Dedicating yourself to a God or Goddess, on the other hand... that is an entirely different matter, with an entirely different meaning.  
As mentioned above, in the beginning, I seemed to have a choice. And then--I'm not sure exactly when--I passed a sort of subtle point where there was only the joyful inevitability of it all. There was a sense of this is right... this is home. I've met other Gods and Goddesses and been thoroughly charmed by Them, but I know Whom I belong to. It's not even a question. That verdict's been delightfully rendered.

Being close to one God will bring you closer to others. Having a fulltrui or fulltrua does not mean you become a proxy monotheist, though at first it can feel that way, when you're caught up in getting to know your God or Goddess. Being a dedicant opens surprising doors: to grow closer to one God or Goddess is to grow closer to Asgard. However, this bond can and does change how you relate to other divinities, for it goes to where loyalties lie. Much as I'm a friend of Loki's, I can't put certain of his interests first; not the way a dedicant of His might.

Ultimately, though, I don't think the Gods work against each other. They have different priorities--sometimes strikingly different priorities!--but, in my opinion, They don't go about trying to undermine each other. Our Gods are good Gods, and all that this means. We can always look for the very best in Them. Likewise, we can trust Them to bring out the very best in us.

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