Someone asked me who the audience for this book, The Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty: Call to the Well of Soul, might be, so to find the answer, I went within, to locate who I was writing for. I had a story – the Norns, Scandinavian Goddesses of Fate & Destiny, and Hela, Norse Goddess of Death, had shown up to spirit-lead me into a path of shamanic practice. But why was I writing?
I write because the act of writing liberates me. I began because I had too much stuff wedged way down inside me — too many negative emotions, pain and suffering that no one else wanted to hear, and I didn’t either. The meanest teachers ever from third and fifth grade, the things somebody said that made me feel bad – awful – about myself, the sense of abandonment and betrayal and loss, mistakes I had made – I had deaths inside me, tears inside me, and the JUNK that I was holding on to because at some very deep level I had come to believe that this was what defined me, made me who, how and what I am. Somehow along the way of writing, releasing bit by piece, I realized that things inside me were turning over, and I was freer. Overcoming fear, overcoming what is buried within, digging up the dead from inside myself was very liberating. NOT in the sense of self vindication, but in the sense of LIBERATION! Working with the GNG (Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty) freed me from all that, and I want to share liberating aspects of the teachings.
I expect the story to primarily interest women who follow the Norse pantheon, who wish to understand with greater clarity an esoteric interpretation of the Lore, who are maybe already working as healers or energy workers, and are interested in the self-transformation inherent in Rune study and the Worlds of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life. Since Creek Woman introduced me to the Norns, who taught me aspects of the Weave, I have followed a path that has proven very liberating for me as a woman. Norse women were regarded as equal to, but not the same, as the men, and everybody in the community worked together for the survival of all.
This book explores my inward journey as I was led primarily by the Norns and Hela. Life review, Vision/Shamanic Journey, and the Runes were among the tools to release the emotional suppression that separated me from my true self, and lift me up into the wonder of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life and Worlds. The Old Norse teachings are an amazing roadmap into the soul and the understanding of the human consciousness process.
I consider myself a reformed Christian who now follows the heathen path of my long-ago Ancestors. I do not reject the healing ways of Jesus, but I questioned everything that rang false to my conscience. If Jesus loves everybody, then why would people who lived before Jesus ever came to Earth be doomed to hell? Yes, that really was a question I asked my mother, and she answered, “Because they didn’t know him.” Well, how could they? I wanted to find out what the soul was, did any part of a person live beyond the death of the body, and how would we know?
At the ripe old age of eighteen, I met people in college and we discovered we shared memories of past lives in common – just from different viewpoints. I did not have to question rebirth – I had the experience of it. I learned from other religions – Ba’hai, Buddhism, Taoism – and I kept what made sense to me. I studied Gurdjieff, and I met teachers who had learned directly from Gurdjieff’s pupils. I was led to what I needed to learn. But all along self-doubt still assailed me, because I couldn’t see that I was worthy to learn, to follow my own life path.
In a day and an age when the word “Soul” seems to be a neglected or forgotten concept… In a day and an age when the common denominator among humanity seems to be a hidden rage rising ever closer to the surface… I feel that the deep concepts of the great thinkers Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff and Sigmund Freud are poignant for our time. When they said, “The Subconscious ought to be more properly the Consciousness of humanity,” what did they mean? Might it be true that people need this knowledge more than ever before when it is upon mutual good will that the survival of our species on earth seems to depend?
The root word of “psychology” is Psyche, the Greek word for “Soul.” “Soul” actually refers to the deepest, most profound aspect of our selves, the Wellspring of emotion from which we each find our best joy in life — or our worst habitual urges. The range of emotion colors all that is transcendent in humanity. Emotion is considered the feminine aspect of the self, and Thought the masculine aspect of the self. The marriage of the polarity of Emotion and Thought in an individual is the Alchemical Sacred Marriage. It is through the Well of Soul that we find our way.
Many of us get along well enough in life. But for some of us something happens, and we find our self locked into a moment of rude awakening. It might be as St. John of the Cross called a “dark night of the soul,” or the Bible a “prodigal son” moment. Whatever the cause, the shock comes as a “whole body insight” that life is not as we assumed it was. These are the moments we experience as friction that can lead to growth for our soul. If we listen – to the well of emotion deep within us that speaks through dreams and art, or those moments of intuition that break through into waking consciousness – we are guided for our ultimate highest good.
To begin to awaken our innate potential as independent individuals leading mindful and fulfilling lives, the practice of becoming emotionally open with our selves is part of what is addressed in this book. To become aware that the shadow side of emotion – an honest look at feelings of anger, envy, laziness, lust, greed, gluttony, or pride when they arise – is as a guidepost to what the soul truly needs – and to be able to suspend the “bad” emotion in its tracks to instead look at the “gift” it offers is to identify that which is truly needed for our well being.
Everybody is worthy. Women are worthy. Men are worthy.
I feel this idea so important for children too, because mothers are the greatest influence in children’s lives from the age of birth to six when their basic personalities are formed. We can nurture their joy of life or stuff it down by our actions, reactions, praise or criticism. I have made mistakes in my own mothering, and it is from my experience and my love for children and mothers that I speak.
I have my story about how shadowy goddesses from the Norse pantheon led me into right relationship to myself. From right relationship to myself everything else flows: love of my son, my husband, my community, my country, my Earth. There should be no shame or guilt in any of the choices I made as an individual, as a woman, as a mother. Rather as I honor myself I honor the larger whole to which I belong. I hope that my story will interest others.