Mar 23, 2013

Daily Devotions

In this post, I would like to share some thoughts on cultivating daily devotionals. This is a new part of my spiritual practice. I think that there is value to taking things slowly and to figuring out what works for you individually. Devotions are, of course, for the Gods and for the devotee. What breathes sweet life into one person’s journey might be pure poison for someone else.

The use of the word “cultivate” is quite intentional. A daily devotional practice must be the right sort of plant for its particular soil. Don’t ask a cactus to live, much less blossom, in a swamp. Don’t plant a tropical species in a harsh, dry climate.

In my own life, my work hours rotate steadily and frequently: night shifts one round, day shifts another, and so on. My own daily devotional practice has to fit into that framework. It is very human to try to bite off as much (or more than) we can readily chew, but my nontraditional schedule does serve the useful purpose of reminding me to keep things simple.

For me, I organize my daily devotions around the names of the days of the week, but with some modification. If you speak, say, Russian and have days named after numbers and not Gods, there is still room to get creative.

This is one person’s opinion, but I really think that if you are at a point where you have certain relationships established with particular Gods and Goddesses, it makes sense to focus on the connections that resonate most. This is not to say you can’t add in some variety, but well… here is an example:

Tuesday is named for Tyr. However, He is not a God I interact with particularly often. My focus on Tuesdays tends to be on Heimdall, as there are some definite similarities between Him and Tyr. Both make profound sacrifices to defend Their realm, and both are extremely honorable and dutiful. An observation might be a simple prayer (I much prefer to do this in silence, myself) or a lit candle. I find it easiest to pray in terms of thanks and remembering the uplifting qualities of a God or Goddess. It is good to place oneself in the moment as much as one can and to be as sincere as possible. I’ve found that I may feel heavy before starting the prayer, but that the act itself, when done attentively and with authenticity, does energize me. This does not mean I feel a response from a God or Goddess each and every time. Regardless of whether we sense Them or not, They do hear us and appreciate the attention we send Their way. They might surprise you, though. Give things time to grow. We don’t berate a sapling for maturing into a tree at its own pace, nor should we rain hard thoughts on ourselves or on our Gods.

There can be room for variation within your individual daily devotional practice. For me, Thursdays may involve a prayer to Thor or Thrud: sometimes both, sometimes one or another, or sometimes others in Their family. Saturdays are most often for Loki, but every once and a while, I will feel more of a pull towards Sigyn that day. Offerings also vary. If I am off on a Saturday, Loki might get coffee or some alcohol. But if I have to work, a candle or a short prayer definitely suffices. Our Gods are good and wise: leave convoluted and burdensome procedures to the human sphere. The Gods and Goddesses do not “nickel and dime” us to death. They have a heart and a generosity about Them that can be startling for those of us who came in with a more miserly understanding of what “the Divine” is supposed to be.

What if you have a fulltrui or fulltrua? I’ll share a personal experience here. It may or may not prove helpful, but I offer it as one potential approach. When I finally did decide on a devotional schedule that felt right, one particular absence stood out painfully and glaringly: Forseti was not on it. I took His immediate advice to go ahead with the daily practice anyways and to honor Him as the inspiration struck, as I’d been doing with Him before. That didn’t last long, however. I felt a yearning to regularly honor Him in a more “formal” way. The solution, as it turned out, has been that I briefly pray at His altar every day, hailing an aspect of Him that has some overlap with the other Gods or Goddesses I am focusing on. The key is to find a connection that makes sense to you. For example, on Mondays I pray to Njord. I recall His lordship over the tides, which are also ruled by the moon. This is not to say that I do not hold Mani in esteem, but offering to Mani during specific lunar events simply resonates much more deeply for me than a weekly prayer would. In any case, Mondays have become a good time to remember Forseti's ties to the sea and the legend of how He gave the Frisians their law. As a bit of UPG, He and Njord seem to be quite close. Much of my appreciation for Njord (and the ocean) has come through Forseti: left to my own devices, I’m a mountain and forest person. Both of Them are preservers of frith who often show gentle, quiet demeanors.

I hope that some of these thoughts may be of use to others who feel called toward a scheduled devotional practice. I’ll note here that it took me a number of years to decide to do daily devotions. Nothing needs to be rushed or forced. Of course, less frequent observances are always a good option, e.g., honoring Odin every Wednesday if He is a God you feel particularly drawn to. Again, this is an act of cultivation, of gentle tending and ongoing attention. Nurture the practices and relationships that are truest for you. It can be a great joy to invite the Gods and Goddesses into our lives this way.


  1. Thank you for sharing! A big part of my path right now is figuring out what daily devotions I can an should fold into my daily life. Its been a slow process, but I figure if I slowly add things in, they start to stick! And it warms my heart to see other people working their way through the same process in different ways.

    I particularly like your idea of honoring your fulltrui daily by honoring an aspect of him that meshes with your perception of the other Gods; that makes a lot of sense to me, and I've realized one of my weekly practices is somewhat similar. I currently do not have a fulltrui, but I have a particular affinity with Odin. On Tyrs day, Tuesday, I have been fasting (well, learning to fast. Its a process!) along with being a personal sacrifice, its a an exercise in self control something I feel They would both approve of.

  2. Thank you very much for commenting! I had been getting quite the "nudge" to write on this subject, so it is wonderful to see that it is resonating for others. On fasting: I had not quite thought of it this way until seeing your comment, but I am actually finding it quite helpful to take breaks from computer usage at home for a few days at a time--a fast of sorts in its own way. Thank you again. Be well.

    1. Anytime! As for comptuer fasting - its become a bit of a thing among my friends to take 'EMF' and social media fasts periodically. Over New Years even, when I had some intense work to do, I took a silence fast. For two days, I avoided social media, electronics, etc. It was *hard*, but put me in a good headspace. I've been debating doing that monthly, but I think its best saved for when I have the time to devote to it in my home. Its always interesting to see these things popping up outside the usual suspects.

      In this day and age, for many of us, giving up our phones or computers even for a short time I a big deal; and something I think we should work on. I still get twitchy if I forget my phone at home...

  3. Great ideas here! Thanks for this post. I've been dealing with my issues (of which you are aware ♥) and have really fallen out of daily practice. Getting back into it will be a bit difficult I think but you've given me some ideas I'd love to try. Thanks!

  4. You are most welcome! Thank you for taking the time to write. I am very glad that this was of help.