This is mostly from a discussion group I'm on, and I wanted to post about it here to make sure that my thoughts on the subject are saved, partly for my own future reference, since this seems to be something I keep forgetting.
The concept that poetry and prophecy both spring from the same source had come up; I very much agree with this idea, and for me, of course, they are both wrapped up in Odhr or Wod, Odin's gift of inspiration. (I also see Gunnlod, who I believe to be not only the Guardian but also the Brewer of the Mead of Inspiration, as a Seeress as well as a Maker; and She is the mother of Bragi, the Lord of all poets.)
I don't talk about this a lot, but when I began my oracular seidhr practice it wasn't primarily for the purpose of passing messages along to other people; the line of thought that if you can hear the gods you are obligated to help them reach people who can't has never been a driving force in my Work. It is not something Odin has required of me. He did strongly encourage me to begin practicing oracular seidhr, but with a different goal entirely: in my seidhr sessions, I intentionally pull the worlds closer together so that part of Asgard overlaps with part of our physical Midgard (because I am a sacred queen and have the key to that world and physically live in this one, this is something I am able to do). This is part of my Work of being a bridge between the worlds, and if I do it often enough that connection becomes more solid. This is the real reason why I increased the number of seidhr sessions I am offering this year.
But I have been struggling, in the past couple of years, with the fact that my primary Work is that of a Maker, of pulling things from the spirit world and giving them form in this one, and that includes my spinning, writing, and anything else creative I do. I thought for a long time that this was not significant because it wasn't as flashy as the Work so many other spirit workers are doing, and I kept trying to steer myself towards more community-oriented things, but Odin has been very firm that being deeply involved with human community is NOT my main path. Apparently, this type of Making also makes the bridge between the worlds more solid, and that is at the core of my real Work--at least, during the time left to me when I still walk in both worlds.
I also thought it might be useful to post this to make the point yet again that one can be as close to their god as is possible during a human lifetime and still need not be a shaman, ordeal master, or other type of practitioner who is heavily involved with many other gods, several different magical traditions, a large client base, community rituals, and dangerous ordeals. Ordeals and destruction are part of Odin's path as well, and I certainly would be the last person to deny that. Every day I destroy things in order to create something new, I break things down and recombine them; making is a form of alchemy—solve et coagula. Odin too has done this, of course, when He slew the primeval giant Ymir and used the parts of His body to craft the worlds.
But I have heard from a few people who think that they cannot be a godspouse because they aren't a shaman or a sex worker, or they have no right calling themselves a spirit worker at all because their Work is quieter, more subtle, and not people-focused. I am wed to Odin and I am a sacred queen, which has very little to do with other humans and primarily to do with the group of spirits I serve. And I am an artist, crafter, and Maker; this is my Work, this is what enables me to bridge the worlds. During seidhr, it also enables me to bring back bits of useful information for other people, snippets of messages from their gods, as I work at weaving together the worlds. But it is not flashy, it involves long periods of solitude with only my gods and spirits for company, and (except for satisfied customers and seidhr clients) it does not result in my having a huge following of admiring fans. And you know what? I wouldn't want it any other way.
I have said it before and will say it again: follow your own path, your own inspiration, and the voices (or inner promptings) of your own gods and spirits. Do not look to others for validation or approval; you need no one's permission, other than that of your gods. Be who you were meant to be. And don't allow the prevailing “trends” in the spirit work community—or any other, for that matter—to make you feel inadequate or somehow lesser. As long as you are truly striving, truly following your gods, and truly pushing yourself further on your own path—whatever that may be—you are not "doing it wrong".