First it was Wicca and Witchcraft, now the Norse Gods... When I first started learning about Paganism (specifically Wicca), it was gaining popularity in the entertainment industry. The Craft, Harry Potter, Buffy, Charmed, etc. were "all the rage," and I was accused of being drawn to it only because it was becoming so prominent in movies, TV and books. Sure, all those movies and shows and books were tons of fun (I'm still a self-proclaimed PotterHead), but let's face it, they're not realistic. We saw snippets of truth in some of them, but we real Pagans and Witches know we're not going to twitch our hands and freeze time, or wave a wand and float someone ten feet off the ground.
Even when I was a kid I knew that wasn't anywhere near reality. I had a fantastic imagination and spent tons of time pretending just like other kids do, but I took my studies seriously and that included my religious studies. When I sat down with a book about Wicca, I was ready to learn about real Witches and an alternative belief system that felt right for me. Eventually I "outgrew" Wicca (which isn't to say that it isn't a legitimate religion, but for me it was just a stepping stone to finding my own path) now here I am today, feeling pulled towards a new path yet again. And now I'm facing the same issues I faced when I started learning about Witchcraft and Wicca.
A little more back story before I dive into this any more:
When other kids were oohing and ahing over Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology (not that I didn't, so some degree), I was drawn in by Celtic and Norse myths. Maybe it's an ancestral thing, who knows? Anyway, I remember being around 10/11ish years old, still very new to the Pagan/Wiccan ways, and realizing that how I had always pictured God was more along the lines of Odin, Thor, Cernunnos, etc. Not just the picture I conjured in my head, but attributes as well. These Deities felt right to me, particularly Thor and Odin. When I prayed (yes, some Pagan pray), I prayed to Odin and Thor, usually without realizing it was Them I was talking to. When I started learning about the Norse Gods, things "clicked" for me, much the same way they clicked when I first discovered Paganism. It just felt right.
Then I went through that awful teenage stage of "Who am I?" "What do I believe?" "I should try to be a Christian like my family wants me to be, even if it feels wrong...right?" and somewhere during that phase, I lost a part of myself. I lost my connection to the Divine and I began to develop weird fears about things that had always been natural for me. I stopped being able to sense things as easily, and I just felt totally disconnected from everything. It was rough and it really only started getting better recently, but that's another story that's sort of covered in other posts.
Now, I'm feeling the pull towards the Norse Gods stronger than I have since my childhood. I've felt it for years, but I ignored it (think I mentioned that before). But, of course, this pull became most noticeable after Thor and The Avengers came out, so now I have people going on about how I'm just doing it because it's "cool," and how the stories from the movies weren't accurate. No! Really? You mean the spin that Hollywood put on the Norse Gods wasn't perfectly accurate and true?! (Sarcasm)
When I saw Thor, I was that annoying person sitting there critiquing everything about it and how it was such BS. I've lost count of the number of times my husband has had to shush me and remind me things like that are just movies, meant solely for entertainment. I know they're just for fun, but I still couldn't stop myself from going off about it and even feeling like the movies were disrespectful to the Norse Gods to some degree. No other show or movie has gotten to me quite that badly before lol. Usually I rant for a minute, then I'm good and can enjoy the movie.
Basically this has been a totally pointless post, and I just really wanted to say that just because something is popular and people become drawn to the concept, do not automatically assume they're doing it JUST because it's something new and fun. Sometimes it takes a work of fiction that piques someone's interest to get them on the path to finding their own truth. Of course there will be people who do it just to be "cool," but remember that everyone has to be introduced to their spiritual path somehow, and sometimes that begins with fiction.