I am an artist, an intuitive Rune interpreter, a Reiki master, Mesa carrier, and student of the soul. Personally, my best answers to the question of life have come from my relationships, Nature, the Gurdjieff work, and a practical meditative/prayer life. Currently I am writing a book on my experiences with the Norns, Scandinavian goddesses of Destiny, and Hela, called Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty: Called to the Well of Being.
When I was a child on Christmas night I would linger under the tree, lights lit in the darkened living room, listening to the bustling sounds of Mom and Dad putting the day away. My sister was in the play room watching television, but for me, alone under the Christmas tree, was a special moment. A feeling of peace would come over me. In the quiet and utter stillness was the living presence of peace.
Between young adulthood and middle age, I lost this feeling in the cares of the world, making my way. But after divorce, and raising my son apart from my former spouse, a light broke into my heart again. His dad had come to pick him up for the weekend, and I was sitting alone in my home, enjoying the moment of peace and quiet before exhaustion drove me up to bed. The lights were out, because I was preparing myself to go up to bed, but I had just sat down for the moment, and two ribbons of light, one red and one green began dancing around the living room. I extended my senses, and I experienced a feeling of love. Two days later, I visited a store that sold new age art prints, and someone had painted angels that way, as ribbons of colored light.
Cares and time weighed me down again for a few more years, but this year just past, in 2017, I have reconnected. My second husband is a Jewish man. When we first met, he asked his sister to teach me the song to light the Sabbath candles. It began slowly, but in August I first noticed that by the Sabbath candles I felt again the way I had felt under the Christmas tree as a child. The more I noticed its presence, the more I began to feel in touch with my inner child.
With this presence I feel calm, happy, and joyful. The more I bask in its presence, the more in touch I become with my inner child. The presence comes now when I work with fire. It comes when I need reminding to be a light. There is evil in the world, there are greedy people without love. To be a light in the world has meant I often have to face my own shadows; as my hatred or rage gets hooked by the mistreatment and disrespect of women, the rape of our environment (Mother Earth), the often unnerving hostilities perpetuated against innocents, I can remember the Light and find my inner balance.
I call this Light my Christmas Angel, the Sabbath Angel, or my Golden Child. 2017 was the year I met my inner Golden Child. I know that I AM a light in the world, but together, humanity together – WE ARE the Light of the World. We are to hold everyone in the Light of the World, even the GOP Administration as they expose the shadows inherent in their greed and their narcissism. We are to hold in potential, without judgment, for ALL of us are creating the conditions of this time, as we move forward into 2018. May it be the best of years!
Another great video interview from Renee Baribeau. Stephanie Gunning is a talented writer who talks herein about therapeutic writing to bring opposing points of view together in yourself for transending the paradox.
Renee Baribeau, the Practical Shaman, has lined up an amazing group of shamans for her Winter Solstice celebration and celebratory release of her upcoming book Winds of Spirit, from Hay House in February 2018.
Everywhere people struggle. They struggle to get by, they struggle to find happiness, they struggle within family struggles. Comfort, individuation, the need to stay fed and keep a roof overhead are some of the reasons. Whatever the reasons, we often find ourselves imprisoned by our beliefs, our needs for the very things we think that we need. To get by, we take on more than we bargained for or feel we get less than we deserve. All of these perceptions, good and bad, right or wrong, block the actual flow of the reality of events. All of these things block us from the vision of our spirit. To get hale, to get hearty, we need to find our way home.
We have a choice, and the choice is very simple. To stop… Right here… Right now… Take that breath, release that tension, let go of all the imagined… What you are supposed to do, how you are supposed to be doing it. These are someone else’s words, not your own. This is your programming, not your true self. So stop, right here, right now, take that breath, release that tension, and turn inward, quietly, center yourself, and listen. There is a still small voice within that will inform you and guide you so that when you turn outward to the world again, you can bring with you more integrity of yourself.
Vision, and in visioning dare to dream. Dream yourself awake to the reality of who you are and how you came to be here. Each one’s story is unique, but within the stories are common bonds that will unite you with others. Ours is the common human experience. Ours to find the way home.
You have a body. You have a body that unites your spirit to Earth experience. While you are here in your body, Earth is home. What we can imagine without conditioned thought is a positive imagination that can bring to us the stuff of life that we need for survival. No worries and no fears. What we imagine with conditioned thought is terrifying and so is the world that generations of humans have created with conditioned thought. This is the world of Armageddon, wars, ravished by disease, and every other ill – but we do not see that we have collectively created this world by agreeing to see the world in the same way everyone else around us sees the world.
The shamanic viewpoint is different. It has to be. A shaman correlates the world of the spirits she sees with the world of matter that she sees. A shaman sees that spirit animates all of matter. She also sees that most people lack shamanic vision. What is needed is a new way of seeing the world, or maybe a new “old” way of seeing the world. If you see that everything has life and you respect life within you, maybe you will take better care of that life. The Peruvians say, “Ayni” – Today for me, tomorrow for you: Reciprocity.
To reach this stage, we need a beginning point. For today, the beginning point can be a moment. So stop. Right now… Right here… Take that breath. Go within. Listen for that still small voice. Louder voices may override it, but be patient. Let them go like the clouds flowing overhead. The wind of Spirit will blow them away, and the still small voice will make itself heard, loudly, in the Silence that follows.
Hela, Norse Goddess of Death, summoned me prior to my night’s rest. I sat down in the Meditation Room, and began, as is my habit, to thank the Creator and my guiding spirits for the day, its blessings, and its challenges. Once I was receptive to what she had to say, Hela asked me to encourage people to meditate upon their death, which they can use toward a fuller life.
The ultimate passage from this world awaits all of us. Death spurs us to live fully, love totally, and to work on self actively. Let no moment go by unfulfilled. Death is an ending and a beginning. Every day, many moments of small deaths occur unnoticed: the end of one breath and the beginning of the next; the end of one task and the beginning of the next; and the flow of one movement into the next.
Awareness becomes the disciplined practice of giving attention to life. Work on self might include that stuff we do not like to do – a goal for my self, if I finish cleaning my kitchen, then I can return to my artwork without further thoughts nagging upon this task. Work on self becomes also an awareness of the stuff that we do like to do, but deny ourselves. In this mood I finally completed that intricate puzzle I kept putting off due to imagined time constraints. Now it hangs on my wall where I can look at it to enjoy the sense of accomplishment and achievement it continually gives me.
To meditate upon death is to loosen the fear it can have over me. Conditioned Mind might grab me with fears of death, but I cannot “see” my final hour. To make meditation upon my personal death a regular practice offers me the chance to struggle with Conditioned Mind to loose its hold over me, including those anxieties that rob me of a peaceful night’s sleep!
My son was born on the first morning of spring. I sat with him in the hospital window on one of those rare sunny days that promise an early season, but don’t deliver more than a couple of nice days before winter comes back as rain and mud. I watched the clouds scuttling overhead, and I looked down into my son’s eyes that could not quite focus on anything yet. His eyes reflected back to me those passing clouds: Something passing and gone more quickly than I could grasp hold of. Conditioned Mind is like that. Thoughts constantly arising and passing away grab my attention, one moment slips away into the next before a moment of wakefulness comes, and I realize an hour has passed and I have not remembered myself.
Anticipation of my death pushes me to the struggle for conscious being. I have today to breathe, live and move. With death everything will stop. My body will be stiff and unresponsive. If I have trained my spirit, the other side of life will welcome me. If I have not, I will be heavy with remorse for all I have left undone. Have I said, “I love you” often, and meant it? Have I remembered to practice kindness, an act of compassion? Have I remembered to feed the dog, feed the cats, feed the horses, and give adequate care to those I am responsible for? My son? My husband? My co-workers? Have I had love? Or has my time on earth been spent in bitterness and jealous longing for greater material wealth?
Death makes me consider what I can take with me when I die and what I can’t. I can’t bring my material wealth, but I can bring my spiritual accomplishments. I have my memories. I can practice mindfulness, enjoy peace of mind, and be excited by the next adventure. I can bring my love, my good will, and my trust in the Creator, because isn’t the Creator the Great Mystery at the end of the journey, even as at the beginning?
Hela has been a great teacher to me. Death is not a new experience for me; I have been recalling unfinished past lifetimes since I hit puberty. What I needed to remember was repressed in my unconscious mind – the scars of this life that had remained unhealed. I had to uncover these to begin the process of dying to myself, which even though the Norse were training me is akin to what Jesus talked to Nicodemus about dying to self to be born of the Spirit. The hold of the Conditioned Mind, or ego self, must pass away before we can open to the Wholeness of Spirit that we are.
When Hela first came to me, I had answered the call to Northern tradition shamanism, a renewal of all the indigenous traditions lost to the Scandinavian peoples via the event of the spread of Christianity. I had begun to study the Runes and learn from the Norns. My first experience with Hela came as a test that occurred during my daily physical exercises.
I was rolling my head gently around on my neck to loosen habitual tension, when suddenly I found myself hanging from a noose! After a moment’s time to react, my thought was, “Okay! This is old stuff!” (Salem, MA, August 19, 1692 where I believe myself to have been John Proctor). Next I found myself lying flat on my back being disemboweled and dismembered on the battlefield. Valkyries flew overhead, and there was the smoke and the stink of carnage. My next thought was, “Okay! So this is what it is like to die by the sword!” I saw living skeletons dancing around me. My spirit took in all that was happening. I had been reading about Hela online at Raven Kaldera’s website, so I asked, “Are you Hela?” She nodded, and said, “You are not fearful!” I replied, “I am not! I have died many times before.” That exchange sparked a dialog with Hela on death and dying, rebirth, and living between states of awareness.
It is as possible to be dead while you are alive as it is to be alive when you are dead. This statement seems like a contradiction, but I consider the example from Christianity when Jesus admonished his apostles to let the dead bury the dead. An enlightened consciousness is vaster than what passes for waking consciousness, but is totally unknown to those who have not experienced it; a state of sleep in life is akin to death, because we have been separated from an innate connection to Spirit, which should be our birthright. It is possible to find ways to live mindfully with intention and awareness. We can learn by seeking the commonalities among world religions to overcome our own inherent religious bias. Carolyn Myss, author of Anatomy of the Spirit, said Christ is the great teacher of the Heart, as Buddha is the great teacher of the Mind. The Koran acknowledges the other teachers from God that came before Mohammed. Is this something fundamentalist Christians (who seem to hate Moslems on principle) are even aware of?
To be mindfully alive in full knowledge that death will eventually claim me spurs my efforts to have meaning and purpose. I can sense the life forces in all things around me and I want to continue in spirit in relationship with those beings that I love. I make the best use of this precious life. I will not lay it down without struggle.
Expanded soul awareness informs me of what is important to my life. The tasks necessary to survival must be met, but beyond this, to partake in the dream of the world is to lose my inner peace. Witness the wealthy and the famous who emphatically pursue unvirtuous lifestyles just because they can: the Donald Trumps, Roy Moores, and Anthony Wieners of this world turn my stomach with their denigration of women, the natural environment, the poor, and the physically challenged. To seek the collective wellbeing via acts of service is its own reward: to clothe the orphans and feed the hungry, visit the sick and tenderly administer to the dying, to birth babies and help the new mothers toward a satisfying relationship with their children. To honor the values of the spirit is to raise our awareness to the less tangible wealth that we can take with us when we pass.
I am coming into a deeper awareness of what it means to walk my talk and live my values. To hone my truth is to speak it and to stand by it with my life if necessary. This is what I stand for. This is my foundation. And as I take on more of the mantle of the shaman, I even more dedicate my remaining years to the wellbeing of others and stewardship for the earth. And this is how meditation on my own death has helped me: I waste less time on useless pursuits and spend more time on those things that have meaning to my task.
I had thought this work finished, but Hela called me into conversation this morning and wanted me to add to this piece the reminder that the death of the physical body is not the death of the spiritual body. This body temple that houses our soul for this particular life on earth will pass into stench and decay that will feed the soils and become living matter for plants. Our soul is a different matter entirely.
There is a planetary wide call today to awaken consciously as never before. The actions that homo sapiens have taken to make life easier for itself has led to too much reliance on fossil fuels, and generated more waste and garbage than the planet can handle. We are called to a new style of life that leaves a softer footprint where we walk on the earth home during our time here. These are conclusions we must reach individually, gained through our own experience, because nobody else can do our inner work for us.
Our spirit, after our physical death, will be stronger or weaker for the time we have invested in working on learning and practicing the lessons we came into life to learn. Work on self is essential for the growth and evolution of our spirit. Our spirit can be in a state of “death” that is akin to deep sleep from which we lack the energy to awaken. Or, our spirit can be loving and conscious and strong. The choice is up to us.
I do not say this because I wish to scare any one, but the time is growing shorter. The true power in time is Now. The Present Moment holds all of our power in life. My suggestion to anyone reading this who has a sincere wish to work on them selves would be to form groups of like-minded people. Discuss ideas, discuss solutions, take advantage of your ability to be politically proactive and get representatives in government who are as sincere as you are about creating the world you want to live in. If you wish to communicate with me, please do. My email is email@example.com. If you wish a Rune reading, to form a Rune study group, or join a summer drumming group if you live local to me, please email me at the above email address, call (518) 947-0645, or PM me on FB.
This morning I woke up with the phrase: If “God” is Awareness, and I am aware, then through my awareness I am partaking of the Awareness of my Source, aka God. This supports the idea of all Creation myths, even that of Genesis, that the Creator gave Beings life through Divine Breath. If you are Christian, you will believe in the Holy Spirit. “Spirit” comes from the Latin word “spiritus,” meaning Breath. Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit as the Comforter. Other words for the Divine Breath are Ruach (Hebrew), Ond (Norse), and Reiki, meaning Universal Life Force Energy. Jehovah and Odin are Creator Gods within their own mythologies and there are many others, as Renee Baribeau talks about in her Hay House Book, Winds of Spirit.
The people who insist on monotheism are missing some vital points on the Nature of God. There is a oneness of God if you realize that it is the awareness beyond the form of life which grants collective conscious participation within life. Every living being is a part of that! Myself, my husband, my dog, the trees in my backyard, you, your family, your pets, that pesky squirrel that broke into your attic, ad infinitum. My Gurdjieff teacher, Donald V. Petacchi, used to say that consciousness is the unity within the diversity of all life.
God has as many faces as there are living beings to conceive of God. Whether we call God, “God,” or “Allah,” or “Jesus,” or “Odin,” most of us imagine God as the ideas of what we believe God should be. It takes a special effort to sort all of that out and surrender to what the divine actually is. In the Gurdjieff work I learned that I was created in the image of God as a three-brained being possessing the attributes of body, emotion, and intellect. When I hold my attention on self-remembering, these three forces are unified within myself in a special way wherein I am more conscious.
My Facebook friend and Wind-teacher Renee Baribeau has discovered the Creator Gods in the Wind throughout the many Creation myths of the world. To say one is literally true at the expense of the rest, seems to me couched in insanity when I consider all the religious wars such ideas led to. When I woke up this morning with the above mentioned phrase playing through my mind, I understood that we are all equally partakers in the Awareness that lives beyond the form of the world. What we form from that, or whether we ever totally access that which lives beyond the form of the world depends on the questions we ask or the experience we seek from our lives.
To get research for my own book, I read Lucid Dreaming by Robert Waggoner. At one point he chooses to seek the awareness beyond the dream, and what made itself so richly known to him through his experience was a clear blue light, which he equated with the Clear Light meditations he had done through a Buddhist meditative practice. This seemed to me very beautiful and connected to what Donald Petacchi used to say about the diversity within the unity. How many who talk about the oneness of everything have really experienced it in this way? Or is this another justification to push for monotheism?
Another person whose ideas I follow published a very well written post on her blog this morning on prayer, which practice connects us to the Gods. You can find Galina Krosskova’s post here: https://krasskova.wordpress.com/2017/11/21/on-prayer-2/
I return to my original point, that life partakes of the awareness of the collective consciousness, and this thought is supported by my Christian friend John Naughton who writes so well of the hidden applications of Revelations. I met John in Oneonta, NY where we were both working as psychic healers. His message tied in exactly with something I had read by Edgar Caye, the Sleeping Prophet, who channeled from the Akashic records that The Revelations of Saint John is not a book about the end times, but a book on healing. John Naughton publishes his book Revelations under the author name of Phoenix, and you can purchase it from him online if you are interested. Revelations relates to the end times insofar as it relates to our own living and our own dying. It is at birth that life begins for us and at our death that it ends.
I may have a lot more to say on this subject eventually, so if you are interested, please subscribe to my blog at nornirscorner.com
One of the things I have always been is a student of the divine. A few years ago while I was still a Lay Speaker for the Methodist Church, I wanted to meet God, so I went up on the mountain and prayed. My answer was immediate. The wind came up on a still day into the pines where I sat, and I saw a face of God. I believe God is in all things, in all Nature, as an aspect of the Creator gave breath to all Life. The Wind or Holy Spirit/Holy Breath/Ruach/Ond flows through all times and all spaces. So now I know that God has many faces, many names, and all may call upon Him at any time. Not any one religion is the right one, polytheism is just as valid a form of worshiping God as monotheism or even atheism. I no longer judge.
Since I received this understanding, I met online a shaman who is teaching work with the winds and has a book coming out on Hay House next February. I joined her facebook page, the Wind Clan, and I highly recommend anyone who is interested in the things that interest me to check out what she has to offer. Her name is Renee Baribeau. With her teachings many of us are emptying our closets of old emotional junk and finding our own Wind Voice.
The Runes and Norse Goddesses with whom I now work are also energetic beings of this type. They have facilitated deep inner healing and have been teaching me ways to facilitate that. I am interested in forming a local community who is interested in working with the Winds and the Runes. If you are interested, please call me at (518) 947-0645, PM me on FB, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been asked how one can recognize their animal totems and spirit guides. One might begin with any animal you feel drawn to work with, watching and learning from that animal’s characteristics and behaviors what it has to teach you. I certainly have learned from the horses, dogs, cats, cattle, and other farm animals things about patience, reading body language, and trust. Many positives can be said for these domestic animals, but there are qualities they have lost in years of domestication. Wild animals will have more to teach about survival and life in the wilderness, but watching these creatures will be harder to access for those who live in urban or suburban areas.
One of the things to consider whether an animal, bird, insect, or other being may carry a spiritual message or teaching for me is the frequency with which I sight it. It does not have to be in physical life – it might be the circumstance of receiving a post card, a movie, receiving a gift from a friend, or seeing it in a dream. One of the most telling things is that you keep seeing it. And whether the animal is to be a longtime guide or companion for you or has a message that is point to the moment is relevent too. An animal totem might also be sought by questing for a vision or you might have someone to drum for one for you while you go into trance.
My husband, who learned a ceremony for drumming for an animal totem by a Pomo trained shaman, believes that ceremony should be done once, and that the animal that comes to you is yours for life. Whether this is true for you will depend on your life circumstance. I have a couple of animal guides that have been with me for life: Hawk appeared because of my love for it, and Heron flew over my head in a figure-eight when I was young. I only figured her lessons out by looking at the patterns of my life, my independent and solitary nature, and the capacity to do multiple jobs well. Hawk helps me to stay on top of the details.
I obtained Barn Swallow in ceremony and she has taught me a lot about how I nurture my loved ones. I think too many people miss important opportunities for an applicable totem because they think the animal is too small or too unimportant, but all animals are important, and all have something special to teach. A biker I knew got Chipmunk, but he was too unimpressed with his totem to listen to its teachings about storing up to meet the needs of life. I knew one gal who had a Snail. Snail taught her to slow down and be in the moment.
Horses taught me about strength, trust, freedom, communication, and what I am capable of. Dogs, too. You come to understand the ways in which an animal thinks and behaves, and you can imitate its own body language in ordert to communicate with it. Ancient peoples from hunting cultures would have known these things about wild animals that they shared their world with. Even today you can go out and study the wild birds, imitate their whistles and songs, and have a kind of communication with them that way. Some people learn to be so still that they can induce these small creatures to come feed from their hands, with the incentive of a little bird seed.
Animals may appear with a message of the moment. How do you know? There are a couple of reference books that I like to use: Animal Speak by Ted Andrews and one by Stephen Farmer. Look up the animal and see whether the message is relevent for you. I dreamed one night that Odin was letting me pick a spirit animal, and Cougar ran by the tree we were standing behind. He had a message for me that I needed to act on at the moment. I did, and it solved a few problems before they happened.
If you have any questions about animal totems or spirit guides that I haven’t addressed, please contact me at email@example.com.
I sit with the Norns today, when the energy from the solar eclipse is still with me. We relax around Urdrbrunnr, women talking as we work together and discussing round robin the small common things that women talk about when they work together. We discuss family; we discuss our worries, concerns, and brag about our children. We learn who has a new baby and who has passed back over into the Realm of the Great Beyond. With the Norns, the talk is more metaphysical: Who is looking to take on a new lifetime and How Someone Else is considering what they want to explore while in human flesh. Urdrbrunnr sits nearby the upper root of Yggdrasil where it comes out in Asgard by the Aesir Thing-meet. Today the Aesir weren’t there, just women taking care of women’s tasks.
The Norns in the Old Norse Lore are the three maiden sisters responsible for the fate and destiny of human beings. Since they have “taken me up” I have learned that there are other nornir, those like me who are interested in helping with the tremendous amount of work the Norns oversee. Those of us who are still in flesh visit their realm in Dream or Waking Vision. Both methods work to learn from Them and of Them.
Last month I began dreaming of the Tree, the great Tree Yggdrasil which serves as Odin’s horse and which also, like the other Trees of Life from Creation myths around the Earth, serves to hold awareness of the Cosmos for human beings. The first three nights of dreaming I was journeying around the Tree guided by Freyr or Hela. Some people might not think Hela leaves her realm, Helheim, but She does, usually disguised, so that She can keep in touch with humanity. I do not remember the totality of these dreams, but I knew we were traveling by boat, rowing, stopping at certain points to drag the boat on to rocky shores where we went foraging into the woods or to meet and greet people before traveling on again. Everyone that I was introduced to was most polite, and I greatly appreciated the wild country we traveled through without benefit of road or highway. This countryside touched my soul in deep ways, and I always awoke refreshed and ready to carry on with my day’s tasks.
I was told that bringing all the content of my dreams into waking consciousness was not important; that the information I had received would make itself apparent at my need. The energy of our Subconscious will rise up with this need and provide that information. This works by being open to the messages of emotion, imagination, and daydream, which can clarify the truth inherent in our lives and in our souls: the practice of intuition. (For those less skilled at this practice, the discipline of regular meditation and prayer will strengthen skills that anyone can do).
The Tree, standing as it does for the awareness of men and Gods, serves to tie together loose aspects of self. Through it we can understand the waking consciousness and the sleeping/dreaming consciousness inherent within our being. According to contemporary psychological thought regarding “consciousness,” there is the waking consciousness, which is assumed to be the full sum of “consciousness,” and there is the Subconscious that includes both the “Superconscious” and the Unconscious which consists of every memory or every emotion we have ever repressed. However, according to meta-philosophical thinkers like G.I. Gurdjieff, the Subconscious more properly ought to be the conscious mind. Those who have developed their intuition as suggested above will probably understand this.
I think that lumping the “Superconscious” mind into the Subconscious category was a mistake on the part of scientists who really did not know the properties of the soul too well. In my experience, this part of myself resides alongside the waking consciousness, but it is not needed for the common tasks of life, but for the tasks of life which require making choices helped by the powers of insight. I consider these holy; they involve full communication with the part of myself regarded as the “Higher Self.” It is my soul, my fetch, my muse, my true self that infuses me, advises me, and sets me on the twin path of self discovery and self recovery.
The Norns work within all of this structure with their fleecing, spinning, weaving, and cutting of threads. One day Urdr sent me a Vision of herself spinning threads from clouds. I was able to understand from this Vision and the esoteric correlation of water with emotion that Urdr was spinning threads from desire, want, longing, and needs. Those familiar with the second Aett of the Elder Futhark will have an understanding of the forces the Norns work with. Water is the shape-shifter of the Elements. Modern science knows that water can be a solid – ISA, a liquid – LAGUZ, or air – ANSUZ. Water is therefore a good metaphor for emotions, because we know our emotions are always changing. Hel’s Aett, or octave, represents the forces of change and how we proceed through the dynamics inherent within change in sequence from HAGALAZ to SOWILO.
Urdr spins from the clouds water vapor that descends from the Realm of the Gods – Asgardr – and descends as rain or snow upon the Nine Worlds. Rain collects into larger bodies of water, becoming the “Serpent’s Bath,” where the Serpent protectively encircles Midgardh where the humans dwell. The Serpent represents both the protective and destructive forces of Kundalini, which is the divine energy provided for our lives by the Creator Gods Odin, Hoenir, and Lodhur, aka Woden, Vili, and Ve, and is passed on to us as essence in our DNA. The shape shifting aspects of water within us cover the course of Divine Inspiration (water vapor – ANSUZ), the emotions continually shifting within us (LAGUZ), and those that we have frozen (repressed) until we can process them (ISA).
Urdr’s threads form the basis of our Past – desires we had but did not act on, choices that we made and acted on (with positive or negative outcomes), and potentials we have not even realized (personal talents and hidden desires). Verdandi is continually weaving these threads together into a great tapestry that not only concerns individuals, but the patterns of our families, tribes, countries, and even the world. The choices humans make collectively have far reaching patterns that are difficult to see individually. At the end of our physical life, Skuld will cut the threads where they are. Whatever we have left undone, will be left undone. Whatever we had hoped to take with us will remain where it lies. This is why the ancient Ancestors placed such emphasis on having a good name, a reputation that can succeed you after you are no longer walking this earth in a physical body. I believe this tapestry of the Norns is equivalent to the Akashic Book of Records that Edgar Cayce, the “Sleeping Prophet,” was able to access.
Choice and desire and action have consequences. In the Norse religion we have Oorlog (I do not have access to the O with the line through it, so I have borrowed the Dutch word), akin to the concept of Karma, wherein our actions have consequences. Science phrases it this way: “Any action will have an equal and opposite reaction.” Many of us act from feelings, the needs of the moment, or from reactive behavior patterns that have arisen with us from childhood into adulthood. The Buddhists call this conditioned arising and they have their teachings and practices of mindfulness to rise above all that. Christians who are true followers of their Rabbi Jesus practice forgiveness of wrongs done to them.
Odin offers us the path of the Runes. His sacrifice on Yggdrasil of him self to him self made it possible for the rest of us to access the Runic powers to rise through conditioned awareness to full awakening. Taking up the Runes, then, is taking up the opportunity for conscious being, a disciplined meter of work on self toward that aim – sacrifice of self to self. There are many fragmented selves living within us, parts of self that have been disowned and not recovered. A child self could act up, for example, and create a scene on the job that embarrasses one’s professional life. Odin offers us the Ravens, Huginn and Muninn, or Thought and Memory, toward this discipline.
In another Vision, Urdr called me to meet, and set me upon on her whirling spindle. I was twirled down to a cave on Jotunheim where Mengloth sat silent and handed me a mirror. When I looked into this mirror, I saw not one reflection of myself, but many self fragments that had not been incorporated into my larger sense of self. I almost lost my awareness to these self fragments, but a great effort of centering saved me. Mengloth silently braided a cord, attached it to the mirror, and gave it to me. Although she never spoke, she made it clear that I had to do the work of integrating these aspects of myself so that I could progress on my life path. Urdr gathered me back up to Urdrbrunnr on her spindle and sent me back into ordinary reality.
It is through visions like these that the Norns, Hela, and sometimes other Gods and Goddesses guide me on this path. I listen, watch, and do the work to the best of my ability. Hela has guided me through a Life Review to finish the work that Urdr and Mengloth set for me. Most of my inner healing related to child selves. It is in childhood that we are most sensitive and receive the emotional wounds that deflect us from our intended life course. Integrating the childhood selves involved assimilating the emotions that I repressed at those times, and because of this process I have journeyed toward wholeness. Recently Urdr told me that the bulk of her work with me was done, and that I would be working with Verdandi more now as I plan ways to actualize my life purpose. I was told somethings about my life purpose, other things I have to figure out as the path unfolds. There is learning that will come in the proper time, and learning I have already done yet need to integrate.
In developing a spiritual life, I am realizing that the commitment is to live in the Present moment, ready to listen and hear the Goddesses when they call, but in addition to that, living a conscious life means continually “clearing out the closets.” As a Reiki Master, I learned to work with healing energy. As a Mesa Carrier, I learned ways to work with the energy of Four Directions and to set up my altar according to my need. As a person who has been “taken up” by the Higher Powers of the Norse pantheon, I am continually reminded of the need to clear my own energy circuits, ground and center on a regular basis. The work is not over as long as I have life. The learning is exciting, and I hope to share more with people through my experiences as written in this blog and my book.
After I posted the last blog on NEW OLD TRADITIONS – RIGHT RELATIONSHIPS, I thought of three ideas I had not considered at the time, concerning Reciprocity, and finding a balance between ancestral traditions and the traditions offered by the spirit of the place, or the land, where you are. And then because we are currently living in very troubled political times here in America, with many shadow issues from the collective consciousness of humanity coming into the light of day, the question arises of what is the responsibility of descendants of those people whose wrongly held ideas of racial superiority wrecked so much havoc? Certainly very little can get put back the way it was.
The hot topic of this past week (August 12-21, 2017) has been the Neo-Nazi KKK rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a symptom of longstanding beliefs by some white people that because of the color of their skin they are superior to people of color. The evil and the cruelty of the slave trade and the use of slave labor in the cotton industry was indeed a shadowy period in the history of the United States. Yet another huge evil which often gets overlooked is the genocide of America’s First Nations, whom Christopher Columbus mistakenly called Indians, with the colonization of America. For the history of the injustices done by colonists toward America’s First Nations, read Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown.
I am often on the short side in a conversation when people want to argue their point of view from a historical perspective so that they can continue to blame this or that person without taking a long hard look in the mirror, so don’t expect any of that here. I refuse to carry around that kind of ammunition, because it is just not important to me to find someone to blame. I am more apt to roll up my sleeves and see what I can do to better a situation when I am in one, and if I can’t, I will go back to my own business. So from this perspective I re-ask the question: What is the social responsibility of the cultural descendants of persons whose wrongly held ideas of racial superiority created much suffering for the black race and the red race? Or more specifically, since I cannot speak from anyone else’s conscience, what is my responsibility?
I am a white woman. When I first read Dee Brown’s book, I was a teenager and I did feel guilty because I was white. I also felt ashamed of the fact that I was female and heavier than the social stereotype said I should be. Since I have learned more about myself I no longer accept shame for any of those things. My parents raised me to care about all peoples, I have stood up for people of color when the social situations have presented themselves, I have been in favor of governmental programs such as Affirmative Action that support equal opportunity for all, and I have worked at Job Corps wherein I was able to work one on one with young people whose social opportunities did not present them with an easy education. It is true that I have not thought overly much about the privilege factor of being born white, an idea I have picked up from online discussions of the topic. Does this privilege make me responsible for more than my own life? I do not think that it does.
With all of that said, there is also the fact that each human being has to take responsibility for his or her own conscience in the actions they choose to act on in life. When I meet someone online who has an obvious propensity to support the hate-mongers I speak up in a way I hope will plant seeds of love and new ideas toward the awakening of the human collective conscious. Some receive what I say and some don’t, and I cannot control what they will choose to believe. I do take great heart from the numbers of people speaking out today against the political ideology that supports the white suprematist ideals, and at the same time, I recognize that the times we are living in are frightening to many people of color. America, and human beings in general, have a ways to go to find ways of cooperation that are in the best interest of all of us. I celebrate through my prayers, my energy medicine, and my social media those groups who honor the changes that are needed in the world for each other and Grandmother Earth. Notable among these groups is the Standing Rock Water Protectors and those who support clean water Earth round.
With all of that said, I want to thank from the bottom of my heart and even the soles of my feet America’s First Nations for sharing their medicine ways and their animistic viewpoint so that even as a white American female I could find my way back from generations of Christian conditioning to a way of life that is heart-centered on the planet and with Nature. Their traditions hold a teaching of RECIPROCITY – all people get what they need and there is sufficient quantity of goods to support a good life for all. It is when people get greedy for money, for status, for land, that everybody else suffers for the few to have the most.
The worldview of America’s First Nations is ANIMISTIC. This means that everything contains the life (is animated by) breathed into it by the Great Spirit/Mystery/God/Creator. Rocks, trees, water, fire, air, all trees and plants, fishes, insects, four-legged and two-legged beings, winged ones, and the little creepy crawlies all have life that is as valuable to them as my own is to me. The animistic worldview has helped me tremendously in understanding RIGHT RELATIONSHIP to the land. I work with the spirits of the land in my garden, and the spirit of the West Kill Creek has been a teacher to me in working with water, the shape shifting qualities of water, and its connection to my own emotions.
I give to the land and it gives to me. We have very little waste in our household. Most of our food scraps go into compost that we give back to the land and also nourishes our garden. I give thanks every day for the balance of life here. Walking the dog twice a day, we frequently sight wildlife. We have had a bald eagle fly over our heads, as curious about us as we were about her. We have seen deer, hawks, vultures, foxes, skunks, herons, a black mink, a fisher, and today five ducks, not to mention the tremendous variety of butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and other interesting insects. I have made a perennial garden with plants intended to attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.
RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with the land is a manner of RECIPROCITY, as is Right Relationship with the Gods and humanity. The Peruvian Quechua have a saying of “Ayni” – today for me, tomorrow for you, meaning that everyone gets what they need. Somedays you give of yourself to others, somedays yours are the needs that are met. My Norse Ancestors have the Rune GIFU, which literally translates as “Gift,” but further meaning an equal exchange of some kind. This could be worldly goods, this could be energy, this could be opportunity. Odin told me recently that the Gods value our prayers, although they already know our needs, because they want to be asked. (And there are other ways to honor the Gods: maintaining an altar, taking a vow to fast from food or a cherished ideal, for example). Marriage honors Gifu. My husband and I have exchanges of energy, things that we automatically do for each other or ask for help on, because ours is a reciprocal relationship.
Today and yesterday when I went down to the Creek to pray and listen, I poured out some of my morning coffee, because that is a thing I truly enjoy and wanted to share. A First Nation tradition is offering tobacco, and there are acts of purification, such as smudging or the Sweat Lodge. It is ironic that the very culture that worked so hard to irradiate the wisdoms of the First Nations has had to turn back to those cultures to regain wisdom that had been lost to generations of Christian enculturation. (In no way here do I wish to devalue Christianity: the early Christians practiced reciprocity in their communities. Rather it seems that reciprocity fell out of practice once Christianity became a political power with its adoption as the “state” religion by Constantine).
I am not certain whether this is a finish to this article, but my heart is full today, of relationships with beings of Earth, with the Gods, with the people and animals in my family and community whom I love. The sun is shining today, and I have knowledge of how many peoples around this glowing blue planet we all call home began by calling the Sun “Grandfather” and the Earth “Grandmother.” Today is a solar eclipse. I will be participating in a Wind Clan Ceremony with others across our beloved nation who are calling in the winds to help humanity heal.