A friend named Ingvi

Though I’m 30 years old, almost all of my best friends today are relationships no older than 8 years. There are reasons for that, the first being that I grew up in a small provincial city and eventually moved to Lisbon when I reached 18. As did my classmates and most of the people I grew up with, starting a new life in different parts of Portugal when we all got into college. And while I did go back home almost every weekend and made new and younger friends, even they left when their time came. Only a small part of the latter remain close, even if we don’t see each other too often. Interestingly, they’re all people I met when I was no younger than 22 years old.

The other reason why my closest relationships are so relatively young is, well… me! Until my last year in High School, I had the popularity of a Lisa Simpson. It was only when I reached my 20 years old that I started pondering on friendships and, in due time, actively shaping my mind and actions accordingly. Partly because of the break with my life in my home town, partly due to my religious curiosity, which lead me to Heathenry and the inclusion of Freyr in my already pagan practices. And that’s when He became one of the main influences in my life: either by learning about or experiencing Him, I came to realize the power and virtue in giving, nurturing, protecting, and self-sacrificing. He didn’t create those things in me, they were already there, mostly thanks to my mother, who taught me to care for others – humans and animals alike – and to take pleasure in the beauty of the natural world. Freyr simply fertilized those things and made them grow. It’s true what Noni once wrote, that He doesn’t turn a cactus into an apple tree; you are what you are. Ingvi just takes what’s already there and, like a gardener, He will prun and nurture it to allow the growth of something vibrant, rich and full of life.

Looking back, I realize that that’s what He did to me. Maybe not like an active teacher, at least not that I was aware of most of the times. He was more of a tangible presence who inspired and supported; He laid His hands over the seeds my mother sowed and made them grow under His light. And though I’m not a finished product – no one really ever is – and I make mistakes, I cannot deny that a lot of what I am today to my closest friends, caring, supporting and protecting them, I owe it to what I learned from Freyr.

*Image: Freyr, ©

9 thoughts on “A friend named Ingvi

  1. I need to re-post that essay to the new site, by the way, thank you for reminding me.

    Heh, I was very much like Lisa Simpson when I was in school, too. I’m still not great with people skills but I am measurably better than I was and I owe that to Frey. Mostly, I’m just happier due to His influence. 🙂

    -Noni

  2. Nice to see you’ve developed such a powerfull relationship with a specific God, and even nicer to see this did not lead to the sole worship of him, ignoring others 🙂

    And I think I was pretty much a Lisa Simpson as well when I was younger. Just like Noni I’m still not always that good with people skills, but I am better than before concerning that. Now I have many friends, although there are very few to whom I really feel close. I do my best however to help each and every one of them when they need it, and if I can provide the help they need at that moment. I also expect the same from them, which they usually do 🙂

      • Same with me. I just mentioned it because o so many neopagans and the like almost exclusively worship their “patron” Gods :-Q

      • I can imagine that it’s much easier to focus on a patron if He/She is the only deity one worships and there are records of such attitudes in the past (on the cult of Isis, for instance). But in some cases I’m left wondering if it’s not a monotheistic thing creeping in.

      • I think it would be a form of henotheism. Where one worships only one God, and ignores others but still acknowledges their existence. The other Gods are found unworthy of worship. This could be monotheism sneeking in, as in christian influence, in the case of the Empire-wide Isis-cult, but can also be an indigenous evolution. Like with the Assyrians, who over time focused their worship more and more on Aššur, first the patron God of the eponymous city of Aššur and later of the Assyrian Empire (even though the capital was moved several times until it became Ninua (Nininveh)). I also believe a similar thing may have occured for Judaism, with El becoming more and more prominent, and perhaps even being syncretised with other Gods of the ancient Israelite pantheon, until he finally became YHWH.

        Anyways… the ignoring of other deities other than some “favorites” is not something I consider Hellenic, or even at all appropriate in any context. It’s all right to be devoted to a few deities, but one should never ignore the other Gods of the pantheon. That would be hubris.

  3. This is beautiful. It touches me every time when a devotee talks from a personal point of view -and from the heart- about their cherished deities. Reading this made me feel a golden glow of respect and affection to the Golden Lord – even though I don’t have a close/er relationship with him – thank you.

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