Anonymous asked: I'm not quite sure how I'm to feel. Should I feel- well, bad, for seeing Thor as my Patron? I feel terrible, and as if I really am looked down on for having a love of comics- like Thor, and such from that all. I know the difference, certainly, but I almost feel ashamed for liking the comics after finding this. I just feel so silly and I don't know how to feel about it.
I don’t think you should feel bad about it at all, anon.
As far as I’m concerned, as long as you know the difference, you’re fine. As long as you’re not claiming story arcs from the comics as mythological canon, then I don’t see any reason you shouldn’t continue enjoying them.
And, perhaps it’s an unpopular opinion, but even if you do, that’s what UPG is for—we take our own interpretations, we make our own myths, and if the mythological canon of any religion has been built up over centuries and centuries of storytelling and translations and mistranslations, then I see no reason we shouldn’t continue in that tradition of finding our own stories to make our own truths. As far as I’m concerned, any spiritual path is about finding what’s right for you and you alone, not about conforming to anybody else’s standards or making anybody else happy. (There’s a reason I don’t particularly affiliate with Asatru—it’s far too rigid for my own beliefs, even if we follow the same pantheon.)
I was interested in all sorts of mythology when I was a kid. My brother and I had an encyclopaedia of various mythologies (namely Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Celtic, and Norse, all wonderfully simplified and condensed down, but it was enough to spark an interest). I was particularly drawn to the Norse myths and imagery. But since it’s so rarely discussed in our continuing education (not like the others mentioned, and even Celtic mythology is discussed in college lit classes), I sort of forgot about it while growing up. Then I got into Marvel comics, and a couple of years later, on a whim, went to see the Thor film. That’s when I remembered how much I’d liked Norse mythology as a kid, and that’s why I started looking back into it. I didn’t ask for Thor to be my patron (and that’s not even a particularly “Norse” thing—again, it’s my own path, not anybody else’s). In fact, after having done quite a lot of research, my first attempts at talking to any of the gods were to Odin, Bragi, Freyr, and even Loki. None of them responded. Thor did. He came to me, and he’s been quite the positive influence in my life since.
All this because I went to see a comic book movie.
The point of this is—whatever brought you to this path, whatever you enjoy outside of this path, and whatever ties the two may have, it’s all fine. And anyone who tells you otherwise is, in a word, wrong. You’ll run into a lot of people who think that Marvel’s terrible and who hate the Thor comics and movies, either because they “appropriated” the mythology (they didn’t) or because they bastardised it (that argument has a little more weight, but I still don’t agree) or because it brought in an influx of newbies to the myths and the paths surrounding them (and what’s the problem with that?). My advice? Ignore them. Do what makes you happy. Seek advice and listen and learn, but ultimately, if anyone tries to make you feel bad for liking comics and having Thor as your patron at the same time, they’re in the wrong, because your path is your own.
Best wishes, anon. And feel free to come talk to me more if you want or need to. <3
Tools of the trade:
These have become incredibly useful lately.
So I’ve talked before about the fact that Loki is an obnoxious intrusive fuck sometimes (and I think he takes this phrase as a compliment). My bedroom is off-limits, and he knows it. At any rate, that’s where I keep most of my tools and my makeshift altar to Thor, so he’s a bit disinclined to trespass.
His two favourite places in my house to visit me, though, are in the kitchen and in the bathroom. When I’m in the kitchen cooking, especially if I’m baking, he likes to show up and hang over my shoulder in a “what are you making and can I have some” sort of way. My experience with Loki has been that there’s no sure-fire offerings that work every time; you just kind of have to wait until he asks for something (or demands it) and do your best to provide.
When I’m in the shower, he likes to show up and chatter at me while sitting on the edge of the counter by the sink. For some reason, I have had more trouble getting rid of him there than at any other time. I think it’s because he has me cornered and can talk at me all he wants, because there’s really not much I can do about it (and Thor, who is usually good backup when Loki refuses to be dismissed, is not exactly modest but respects my privacy to the extent that he won’t come in to assist).
Bath crayons have been a blessing.
I can write on the shower walls with them, draw sigils and runic wards against intrusions, and I can have time to myself without worry about anybody barging in.
The first time I tried this, mind you, I was not very practiced at what I was trying to draw/write, and Loki proceeded to hang around and criticise my handwriting. It worked much better the second time, and I haven’t had a visit from him while I’m showering in a couple of weeks now.
Plus, I don’t know about you, but I think better when I’m in the shower or bath, because it gives me time to relax and reflect. I’ve been practicing runes lately, trying to memorise them, and so I spent my shower last night writing out as many as I could remember with their names and meanings. Productive use of shower time, I think.
And bath crayons wash off pretty cleanly. They don’t stain the walls, even the intense colours, at least not in my shower (I don’t know how they’d do on, say, tile or glass, but my shower is the prefab installed sort, and they’re great on that surface). You can do any scribblings or musings or whatever you want and then wipe it away to have a perfectly clean slate next time you need it. They’re a silly little thing, but they’ve become something of an indispensable tool for me.