THE PATH OF INSPIRATION
Once again, I return to my theme of the gap between the mystic/UPG/faith based side of heathenry/Teutonic practice and the more reconstructionist side which began here: https://facingthefireswithin.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/map-and-compass-versus-invisible-stars/
In this case, it is about our relationship to the gods and goddesses and how to work and worship when you have faith but no feeling of direct connection. I call this Inspiration. I came to heathenry from atheism, as have many. When I started, I was as likely to toast an Ideal (in an almost Platonic sense) rather than a deity until I came to a better understanding of the Aesir, Vanir, et cetera. While I now have strong devotional relationships with at least four deities, that took a very long time and my actual mystical experience is limited to an intense visceral experience with little to no information and a long and rather amazing answer to a prayer that came with some tremendous pain at the start. I have never felt a deity spoke to me directly or gave me messages. I never expect that to happen and, to be brutally honest, I do not want it to. Those who see themselves as god touched walk paths I do not wish to follow. I am happy where I am.
But, what does one do in these situations? How does one move forward? For me (and others), the method is to look to the stories, myths and legends that we do have. See how the deities are portrayed and their deeds and prices they paid. Meditate on this for as long as you need and do not try to force the situation or assume it will resolve itself overnight. Work to be patient. If you are praying (or using Blot, or whatever you do), ask for inspiration. Frequently, that is all I ask deity for, unless it is a prayer about health or surgery and even then I ask for inspiration for the surgeons. In time, you will find that new answers will come to you. You can argue that this is merely internal reflection, and I would not disagree. I honestly do not think it matters. This is what I call the Path of Inspiration.
For example, when I started I was concentrating most on Heimdall. For me, the story was not the powers and abilities he had as a god but the price he paid to get them. The sacrifice of being the Watchman and being apart and “on duty” until Ragnarok was what really inspired me. For a time, that became the focus of my practice, until I learned my limits as a man to try to mimic deity. Perhaps that WAS the lesson I needed. I now find that I do this with the various deities I have devotional relationships with. I pray, meditate, consult others and reflect. In time, you will find the inspiration comes more easily. Of course, remember that spiritual truths are rarely one size fits all and that what works for you may not work for others.
It is not a fault that you do not hear gods speaking in your ear. Few do, and you will notice that those who do live very different lives. I do not see anyone as right or wrong in this. It is what it is. I have had people come to me because they felt there was something wrong with them for NOT hearing deity. That is hardly the case. It takes all kinds to make a faith or spiritual path. For me, Inspiration is my most common tool. Try it, and see if it works for you. If it does not, talk to others and try something else.