The Gjallgard Kindred

Asatru/Northern Tradition Paganism

Spiritual Relationships

Here's a transcript of the brief talk I gave for the Celebration Centre and Metaphysical Society this morning:

I’m going to start out with a little foundational work. It may not seem, at first, to have much to do with relationships, but bear with me and we’ll get where we’re going.

We are blessed to be Metaphysical Spiritualists. As it says in our brochure, “Metaphysics is a branch of Philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world that encompasses it.” In other words, we do our best to try to understand things.

I believe that the single greatest philosophical proposition ever is from René Descartes - “I think, therefore I am.” (“Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences” 1637)

Descartes proposed that that is the only thing that we can be certain of. We think, and to do that we must exist. Beyond that one fact we can’t be certain of anything. When something is revealed to us by our senses, sight, sound, touch, smell and taste, we assume that it is real, but we cannot be certain. All that we have to distinguish illusion from reality is a mind that is susceptible to illusion. For those of you who sometimes have a little trouble relying on faith, just think for a moment on that. You have no way of knowing that the universe in which you exist actually exists. Your only true reality is that you exist. Beyond that, it’s all a matter of faith, a matter of what you believe.


I would like you all to think of something currently in your life that you are unhappy with. Something that is going on now. A problem with your car, a bill that you don’t know how you are going to pay, a leaky faucet, a physical illness or pain, relationship troubles, anything at all that you are not happy with.

Focus on that hurtful or annoying situation. Hold it in your mind.

Close your eyes. Ask yourself, “Why is this happening to me?”. “How am I ever going to deal with this?”. “What did I do to deserve this?”. “Why does there always have to be some crises to deal with?”

Let yourself feel the emotion.

Now let that emotion go. It does not belong to here and now.

Breath deep. Know that for this moment you are alright. Live in this moment. Clear your mind.

Now, think again on the problem and ask yourself these questions: “Why is this happening FOR me?”What am I learning now?”. “What gains are brought through this loss?”. “In what way am I growing now, in this uncomfortable situation?” “What gifts are wrapped in this problem?”

Breath deep. Let yourself feel the emotion.

You have just experienced a shift in consciousness.

The first set of questions do not belong to here and now. They express fear. They express a fear of results, a fear of things not yet complete.

The second set of questions are an expression of now.

When you quit living in fear and live in the here and now, life is a different colour.


And that brings us to relationships. What makes a relationship work is the same thing that makes a relationship fail. That thing is most often not circumstance. There are always good times and bad times. During the bad times, living in fear or living in the now can make all the difference.

It is the perspectives, the beliefs, of those involved that make a relationship work, or fail, and those are a matter of choice. Your choice. What makes a relationship work, or fail, is in how we choose to perceive that relationship and in our consequent reactions to that perception.

The thing to remember in a relationship is that if the choice is one-sided, things are not going to work out. It takes two. Or more.

At the beginning of the month during our panel discussion I feel we went a little off track, talking about relationships with spirits. In my experience, relationships with spirits can be, but more often are not, what you might think of as Spiritual Relationships.

There are many kinds of spiritual relationships. What seems to come to mind most often when we talk of spiritual relationships is the romantic kind. But a friendship can also be a spiritual relationship. Any relationship can be a spiritual relationship, but sometimes it is not recognized as such because of the phase it is in, or the circumstance.

Spiritual relationships involve “karmic” connections, both old and new, both good and bad. When you like someone the moment you become aware of them, it is because you have a karmic connection. That’s where “Love at first sight” comes from. That recognition comes from a past life. When you dislike someone the moment you become aware of them, that is also a karmic connection. It is a past-life connection in a bad phase and eventually, perhaps over several lifetimes, it will need to be worked out.

A “good” spiritual relationship is one that enhances and promotes spiritual growth for those involved. It is a relationship in which the parties involved feel wholeness and completeness together. It is a relationship based in awareness, perception, perspective, giving, and gratitude.

It exists beyond the physical, and beyond mental processes. It excludes preconceptions. It excludes what you might think about the other person, or persons, in that relationship. It isn’t about your wants or needs, though you will find that it fulfills them.

It exists in the eternal moment. It is about your awareness of now, about what you are giving to the relationship here and now, and about the gratitude that you are feeling, now.

It is about giving and not about receiving. The receiving happens just the same, with giving it has to, but receiving is not the driving force of the relationship for either party.

Any relationship can only be a win-win situation if it is a give-give situation. No working relationship, spiritual or otherwise, is one-sided. No good relationship is driven by need, dependence, or co-dependence.

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