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Original Post:
by: ThRaginPagan on Oct 10, 2017

As of late there's been a growing tendency within the Online Heathen Community that in essence attempts to shut down prayers made to the gods. People are told that they shouldn't go to a god they don't have a standing relationship with, that it's like asking a complete stranger for things. I've even seen devotionals and offerings treated with this manner of scorn.
I think this is quite negative, and ignores a great many things that are central to Heathenry. Recently I received two requests that made me think about this more in-depth, so I will use them as example first.
My morning began with a text message, asking if I could cover a 5-hour shift that very day, not an hour after getting this text. A bribe of $10 was even offered. Later I got a call from another coworker, asking if I could cover a 3-hour shift two days from now. Now, to be frank, I don't really like either coworker. The first is manipulative and abusive towards other coworkers, and has not given anyone good reason to like her. The second coworker is a pain, whines often, but doesn't rock the boat too much.
Coworker A annoys me far more, and I didn't see much in her offer for me; $10, yes, but also having to shake off the effects of NyQuil, get myself sorted for the day, and rush in to work on time. Coworker B's offer was much more accommodating, so that's the one that I took.
A second example that comes to mind is the way in which we treat musicians. They're often seen as gods among men; listening to their music is tantamount to worship, and we all entertain flights of fancy with what we would do should we meet them. Some bands are much more down-to-earth, sharing drinks with their fans after the show and mingling among us. (I've met Heidevolk in this manner). Others reply eagerly on social media - I've had replies by Troll Bends Fir (and even Felicia Day) in this manner - yet they still remain above us as icons of our fandom or musical taste. Interactions are fleeting, formal while fun, but certainly not scarce.
Some bands are detached to a degree, but very appreciative of their fanbase. The Russian band Arkona doesn't often meet with fans, doesn't speak the languages of many of their fans, but still manage to appreciate fan art, gifts, and recognize fans who win contests (I've received several of these sort of acknowledgements from them.) On the negative end, there are also bands - like Tyr - who don't much care for their fanbase, and even stoop so low as to mock them in interviews and their song material.
So how does this relate to the gods?
Far from never daring to bother a god because "we don't have a relationship", we ought to go out on that limb. In Heathenry, our deeds speak and our gods are not often known to be vengeful or spiteful. As the example given with several bands, if you make enough noise and make things that they enjoy and appreciate, the gods will extend a hand to you. Even if you're found to be annoying, if your offer is good enough and convenient enough, help may very well be given to you.
Our gods are not detached, judgmental beings. They move among us, and some - like Odin - quite enjoy taking part in human affairs. Gods like Thor, who even if he's not present for a "concert" still puts out thunderstorms for us to enjoy and worship him through. We all have relationships with the gods by our very calling of faith, and we all have the opportunity and the will to push that relationship past simply listening to CD's and going to concerts, and to start getting Instagram likes or autographs (to use the metaphor).
The best way to do that, though, is through effort. Make things for the gods, give offerings to the gods; live a life that is honorable, reputable, and interesting to get the attention of not only your community but the gods themselves. Build yourself to be someone they wouldn't mind helping here and there, knowing that your actions in their name will also bring them honor.