This post will contain several more answers. I am editing the questions a bit for clarity.
“when I[am in] alignment its said to be effortless, yet when facing a … fear of intimacy, or any fear really, it doesn’t feel effortless. How do you know if it’s the fear of intimacy that’s making you want to run or your intuition telling you this may not be a fit for you?”
Fear is the projection of the memory of or imagining of a future occurrence that is the same or similar to a remembered past event. It can also be the same type of imagination that includes something you have seen or that has been described to you. The intuitive knowing of the outcome of a possible action is just that. It is a knowing. It may cause a sort of discomfort, but the feeling will not be the same as a fear. It is entirely possible to have a fear of something that you know is exactly what you need to do. And you might fear it for a number of reasons. You will almost always find your fears to be baseless. And that will been based on an imagined worst scenario. Almost all of you can thin of countless examples of that very type of thing in your pasts. Fear will cause a definite feeling in a very definite part of the body. Intuition will not. One must learn oneself. However, it is possible to learn this from your memories. You can ‘time travel’ through your own lives to do this.
“I am curious as to the origins of the beings once classified as gods (Norse legend, Greek mythology, etc.) Were they the same beings just described differently? What can we learn from them at this time?”
You are quite correct that what we call gods of the past were based upon observable functions of the world around the peoples of differing societies. Thus, there were definite parallels between a god of one name in Greece and of another with a different name in Egypt. Most of the educated people of ancient cultures understood this very well. Your current my god/your god ideas were not at all prevalent in those times. Alexander, for instance had no problem at all going to a shrine in a conquered land. You congratulate yourselves for having ‘grown past’ these ideas, but you should perhaps think of how much better mankind treated nature that he respected then than he treats the nature that he seeks to dominate now.
“I have always been wondering if prayer and meditation are necessary to us. Does our happiness and peace depend on these daily techniques? Do we really need them? Is it wrong if we don’t do them? Do we miss something important for our ascension? Is there anything else we could do instead? Sometimes I don’t feel like praying or meditating and I would like to know if I put an obstacle to my spiritual evolution…”
All of the things that you mention are nothing but methods, methods that were meant to further one’s learning to meet and know self. But you have collectively been taught that you can do these things right or do them wrong. Please give up these ideas. You can do them more successfully or less successfully. But you are the one keeping the scorecard. That big bearded guy on the cloud exists only in the imagination. And he ran out of thunderbolts a long time ago. You may find some of these things to be helpful to you. You may not. You may find a totally different way that works better for you. But, you are collectively wired to make the search sooner or later. What you need to do at some point is to quit measuring yourselves by some long dead person’s idea of what you ‘should’ do. Compare yourselves only to your best feelings about yourself. All of the rest is baggage. What do you want to be like? And why do you want to be like that? How do you feel about yourself? Why? If you are peaceful and happy in a religious building, go there. If you are more peaceful and happy in a forest or at the beach, go there. And do not let a learned judgment deter you. You are the judge. You are the only one responsible for your life. Period.