U. P. G. ' s, however, are harder to place into the context of our religious beliefs. We cannot throw away established ideas and practices of our ancestor' s faith simply because one, or maybe even a few people, have been given a message or a vision by the Gods and Goddesses. On the other hand we should not totally dismiss U. P. G. ' s without at least hearing about the individuals experience first. We also have to take that information, not at face value, but as it pertains to the overall context of our religion. For instance: The Gods and Goddesses have never shown me a war - like, or violent nature in my contacts with them, but that does not mean that I should change my entire view of the Aesir - Vanir pantheon of Gods just because they do not come to me in the violent way that they are written about in the Eddas. Freyja is a good example for me to speak of because she has shown me only love, and has eased the pain I have carried within me, and opened my heart to others. Although I have never sensed a violent side to her I do sense that she is immensely powerful and not someone who is to be trifled with. She is easily as powerful as any of her counterparts in the Aesir. I guess what I am trying to point out is that the Gods and Goddesses come to different people in different ways, and one experience cannot be used as a blanket description for each God, and therefore cannot be used to determine the direction of an entire religion.
Having said that...... one thing we should all think long and hard about is this question : " What if the first few of our folk centuries ago either dismissed, or refused to share their religious experience, U. P. G. with others in their community ? " If this had happened our religion, our very faith would not exist my friends. A religion springs forth from the U. P. G. of the folk in the society, and spreads as an acceptable " fact " , usually an experience shared by more than one individual in the community, is then incorporated into the established religion as a TRU experience or factual occurrence . If all U.P.G. are dismissed then a religion cannot evolve and progress, and it becomes stagnant, and unfulfilling. The way that Christianity is slowly losing members because their religion does not speak to the youth of today is a prime example of this.
I am by no means saying that we should believe every instance of U. P. G. that is place before us, but I do feel that we need to be more tolerant, and at least listen to these individuals experiences with the Gods and Goddesses without criticizing or demeaning them. If enough of our folk have similar experiences, ( especially if they are from different parts of the world and have never had contact with each other ), then maybe that experience or insight into our Gods should be taken seriously and possibly included into our religious beliefs. It bothers me when some in our religion are so enthusiastic and willing to accept what others have written a thousand years ago, but reject anything that is written today. The Gods spoke to our ancestors and they still speak to us today. The question is will we accept what they teach us now ?
Go with Odin' s wisdom, Freyja' s love, and Thor's protection !