I didn’t write about this the first time because it was such a new experience. I’m still processing it, a bit. The whole idea of aspecting is something relatively new to me since joining group rituals with my current church, something I read about but never really practiced. When I was solitary, I communed with Deity, but I did not seek to allow it to speak through me…mostly because, really, who would it be speaking to?
Aspecting, or invoking, is a step beyond communing, an attempt to assume the persona of Deity or one of Its faces, allowing it to speak through me. I see this as primarily a tool of group ritual and worship, a way for a priest/ess to facilitate communing with Deity for another. I might aspect the Goddess and deliver the memorized Charge (which could also suddenly morph on delivery!), or I might aspect a specific god/dess in order to provide advice or another viewpoint someone. My high priests frequently present a workshop on aspecting for various festivals to teach the concept of aspecting and give attendees an opportunity to try it for themselves. Ideally, during this workshop they learn to feel the energy of the deity they invoke, and often they will deliver messages or answer questions for others while invoked.
I have now invoked multiple deities in various circumstances, so I am becoming a little more familiar with the process and how it feels. For me, it is a feeling of energy flow rather than of energy touching, and it definitely consumes energy when I do it. I’ve learned to make sure I am reasonably well-fed before attempting to invoke, lest my blood sugar crash midway! When I seek to pray or commune with a deity, I am interacting with something external, seeking to touch a force outside myself. When I invoke, I am bringing some of that force into myself and allowing it to flow through me. It is like pulling a filter over my thoughts, so that what I think and say is colored and changed by that energy flow. I may have rehearsed or memorized particular lines that I intend to say for a prescribed ritual, but those words might be altered in the moment as that filter of energy is applied that perhaps wasn’t fully present when those words were written. If someone asks me a question, thoughts and words may come to mind that I might not have considered before.
I have invoked Loki twice now, both times in the workshop setting. Both times, I was hesitant to speak, but I could feel His energy pushing me forward, and I eventually went with it. Both times, I had some questions regarding my relationship with Him, and both times I got some kind of answer. The second time was pretty memorable, for me. Just before the workshop started, I had been chatting about how I’d been feeling “poked” at again, with little things constantly going wrong, spills and breaks and mishaps ever since I’d left for the festival. I acknowledged Loki’s presence with me in that spiritual space of festival, and I went into the invocation with a rather open question of, “Why are you poking me?” I was one of the last to go in that workshop, and everybody else had sort of made the rounds of the circle, speaking a few words to each of us while invoked. The whole time, I felt His energy pushing me, humor bubbling behind it. When I finally took my turn and drew Him down, I felt Him look around, roll his eyes, and refuse to participate, telling me on the side that He was poking me because it was fun and He felt like it.
Which resulted in a bit of an irreverent salute from me as I devoked, which I felt was well-earned.
Oddly enough, though, I did feel more at peace and comfortable with the poking afterward. Rather than feeling pushed to look for a reason for the poking, as I had the past two times it happened at festival, it felt more like a comfortable presence, an acknowledgement that I am one of His own, teased because I am loved like a child or sibling.
While I do try to commune with Him on a regular basis alone, I have not felt comfortable attempting to invoke while alone. I have preferred to stick with the interaction I know, to commune and pray, to seek answers from divination when they do not come in meditation. It has been nice to feel His energy more directly those two times, though, and I do hope I get more opportunities.