The Voice of God is in the Wind

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 susan@nornirscorner.com

WORKING WITH ANIMAL TOTEMS & SPIRIT GUIDES

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 susan@nornirscorner.com.

The Norns, Urdabrunner, Yggdrasil, and Oorlog

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.

 

NEW OLD TRADITIONS – RECIPROCITY

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.

NEW OLD TRADITIONS – RIGHT RELATIONSHIP

This morning I was walking the dog, and a hawk startled up from where she had been perched. I saw her feather fall, then went to find it where it had fallen. This hawk feather was a gift to me. I believe the Creek Woman inspired the hawk, the dog, and I to be at the right place at the right time. I offered thanks, and because I didn’t have any with me at the time, I will go down later and offer tobacco. The Creek Woman and the Norse God/desses have been teaching me a shamanic related path over the past four years.

I began blogging recently about questions I had within myself regarding the rebuilding of traditions, and Odin had given me the term “NEW OLD TRADITIONS.” He told me that of course the methods had to be learned from some place, because many of the traditions of our ancestors had disappeared over the flow of time. There is that other fact, too, that we cannot easily cast out of ourselves the conditioning we have received from the material-oriented Christian culture we have grown up in. As synchronicity happens often in my life, I was not surprised when a culmination of things I was thinking and reading about happened to sync.

This blog considers the topic of RIGHT RELATIONSHIP. I found this term in Buddhism, in the book Fools Crow: Wisdom and Power by Thomas E. Mails, and a book on the Huichol by Tom Soloway Pinkson, Ph.D., titled The Flowers of Wiricuta: A Journey to Shamanic Power with the Huichol Indians of Mexico. My Gurdjieff mentor Donald Petacchi frequently said that it is good to have good will with other people.

This series of meditations started when Odin chastised me last week for not being attentive enough to the Gods. I am admittedly a worry wart; I had some personal situations going on that I had not brought to prayer. I felt I was closed off from my usual open channel to the Gods, but I was not kenning why. Odin reminded me gently that when I get worried about something, I try to solve my own problems. He reminded me that I was forgetting to act with faith and trust. While the Gods expect us to work to solve the difficulties in our lives, They also like us to pray to them about our difficulties, and to ask for what we need – Nauthiz. The process itself is an exchange. There are things that we do for the Gods and the Goddesses to honor them and to be their agents in the world – Gifu.

Odin opened the door of my heart again, and I began paying attention to sacred reciprocity that I had neglected. I used to work daily with the Creek Woman, but I fell away from that when I accepted a day job an hour’s drive away from home. I keep a busy schedule, but I am home for the summer, so there has been no reason to neglect that relationship. Being a worry wart is really no excuse. When we had our floods here back in 2011, she taught me how to sing so that the rain would be diverted over a wider area and bring balance back to the local weather. She taught me more than that, but that is another topic. The point was that I had forgotten to honor RIGHT RELATIONSHIP.

Right relationship figures prominently into the old ways of thinking practiced by indigenous peoples. As a young college student taking an Anthropology class in 1977, my professor, Dr. Ferguson, loaned me a book that radically changed my life. The book was Black Elk Speaks about a Lakota (Sioux) Holy Man who lived at the time the white people were seeking gold in the west. I felt like I was reading my own story. As a twelve year old kid, our parents took us on a trip to the Badlands because they wanted to see Mount Rushmore. I wanted to see the statue of Crazy Horse. I wanted to go off on my own and explore the Badlands, as I somehow knew I would be okay. The landscape was familiar. I felt victorious at the Custer National Monument, and overwhelmed by grief at Wounded Knee. Reading Black Elk Speaks brought those feelings up again, and inwardly I felt like the lifestyle I was living did not fit me, yet I could not articulate why. Now, nearly forty years later, I have a better handle on it than I did as a kid.

We have values in the greater American culture that collide with values of cooperation and reciprocity that were common in pre-settlement America. Cooperation and reciprocity are values that are supported by communities who realize that helping each other is the manner of survival. American Indian peoples would share the hunt between the members of their communities. The poor always had food to eat. Communities would have Giveaways out of gratitude or life changing events, such as a death. It did not matter that the family gave away everything, because some other family would host another Giveaway.

It is true that we still find some of those values today. Small town communities will have a giveaway or a fundraiser for folks whose homes have burned down or who have a family member with cancer or other incurable illness. Schools and Volunteer Fire Departments remain social centers within communities. The Amish still hold their barn-raising and community-centered events. I am talking in general about values the larger culture honors, such as greed and corporate gluttony, the lust to own more things, and the tendency to blame the poor for being poor.

With the advent of robotic technology, more and more machines are replacing jobs once held by human beings. With the event of computers, video games, cell phones, and television, people no longer seek their entertainment from nature, and their attention spans get shorter. If I were a historian, I might write a thesis as to the entire involution of this process, but I am not a historian. I am a simple human being who thinks deeply about things and wishes the world that people have created is better than it is and people better than they are.

So it is in thinking about these things that has me in this introspective mood this week. I talk to Odin, the Norns, Hela, Loki, or Sigyn about the feelings that are troubling me, and the answer is some version of “Live from the inside out. Talk to people. Share what you know. Share what you are.” Easier said than done sometimes. I was the “weird one,” the odd person out so often in life, that I have grown far more comfortable with my own company. There have been walls to take down, but I have done that work. Living in Right Relationship demands community. The Holy Men and Women of the Lakota Sioux say they give their lives for the people, like the buffalo. To this end they have their sacred pipe and the story of White Buffalo Woman. I was raised by devout Christians, who had great love for Jesus who laid his life down for the people. It was hard for me to come to this attitude; I have been so angry much of my life.

One of the things that I have often been sensitive to is the fact that people in groups are so familiar with one way of looking at things that they believe that is the only way to look at things. There was a moment in Fools Crow when he was talking to Tom Mails, and he said that if only they could get the Catholic priest out there to look at things, the Catholic priests would understand that their God and Wakan-Tanka was the same being. What Fools Crow did not understand was that the Church had only one way of looking at things. People don’t really think, and they ought to think. The same sun shines on everything. The moon too. The planet circles around our sun, sharing its light with the other planets in its orbital field. Our solar system is one of many in this galaxy. We are finite beings upon this planet that so graciously provides for all of our needs. Yet human beings with their big egos and corporate greed rob not only the planet, but other living beings of the sustenance they need for life. I will not even begin to comment on the atrocities of colonialism; or the mindless hatred of genocide. In a way this thinking of Right Relationship is a property of our Rune Raidho. Raidho is a rune for right ritual, and reflective of the journey the stars, suns, moons, and planets make across the sky – in right relationship. We humans likewise rotate around each other in the activity of our days.

What is really needful is a shift of human consciousness. And that can only come one person at a time, as individuals feel with open hearts the misfortunes of others and seek to do what they can to equalize the reality of life here on Earth. I think that an animistic view of the universe is needful as part of this shift of consciousness. The Lakota also have a saying, “Mitayuke oyassin,” which means “All my relations,” and refers to the two-leggeds, four-leggeds, winged ones, fishes, trees, plants, rock and stone people, and all beings of Earth. It is a more humble way of looking at the world, and a higher way, to realize that we are equal to everything else. If I am caught up in my ego, and someone in the Wal-Mart line does something that I don’t like, I might take my stand, say words that aren’t flattering, and in general behave just as poorly as that other individual. If I am in my center, and that person is doing the same thing, I might walk away, find another line, or choose to hold my patience then and there as another way to practice holding my center. The Gods and Goddesses support this work of self-change. Loki, for example, is great at finding the prank to knock me out of my ego and into a place of humility, and I thank him for that. He originally came into my awareness out of his curiosity at the work I was doing with his daughter, Hela, and ended up introducing me to Sigyn. The two of them have been most kind in helping me with attitude shifts in my own marriage.

Odin taught me another thing a couple of weeks ago. We live in the country, a really rural area of the country, where the wilderness is still wilderness and the bears can be met in the berry patches when we go to pick our own. And we are okay with this. But this year the ticks have been almost endemic, and the first time I walked Dolly in the spring field I literally was pulling eighteen and twenty off my pants. Yuck! Finally my anger at the ticks had grown so large that I was killing every one that I saw. Where I live we all know someone suffering from Lyme disease, and no one wants to get that. I eventually had the insight that my anger was attracting the very thing I wanted to avoid. I try to practice the insights of the Lakota saying quoted above. Odin reminded me that I was not living from a center of trust and faith, but from fear – fear of what might happen with the ticks. He said, “When you live that way, you close your heart. You close your heart to Me.” So, with genuine contrition, I prayed “Help me to live with trust and faith. Help me to open my heart that I might better hear You.” He did, and the balance of my inner world fell back into place. And He taught me a prayer, “Thank you for all of the lives that live here in my valley and that make up the world. Thank you for both the joys and the challenges, the love and the fear. I will live with trust and faith. Please do not let those other beings who could harm my physical body hurt me.” And I say that now whenever I walk the dog, and I have not been bothered by ticks since.

But this process, being equal to those beings that disgust me or that I have cause to fear, can be challenging, because I have that social conditioning that says I have the right to kill whatever is in my way or crosses my path. This same ego sometimes allows me to feel that it is okay to express anger at my loved ones, or other people just because I am in a bad mood. This is not being equal to anything or anyone. In fact if I stomp on an ant yet fear the bee, it makes me something of a bully to pick on those that are smaller or more innocent than I just because I can. Rather in being equal to a thing, or another being, I have to practice an act of humility, one that recognizes that being’s life is just as important to it as mine is to me. So I walk by the ant and let him about his business, and I step respectfully by the bees fascinated actually with their hard work and grateful for their pollination of the plants in my garden. My teaching by Odin reminded me of another thing that I often am forgetful of. When we are confronted by the Higher Powers, an act of surrender is needful. When I have exhausted my own will and done all I can in a situation where things just are not working, I have to surrender. This does not mean I have quit. Rather the Higher Powers that guide my life are putting in an appearance and letting me know that my way is not the way that will work. Instead, this surrender is really an acceptance, and when I bow my head to the inevitable, it is an act of trust and faith that the Higher Powers have a plan in mind for me and that things will work out better in the long run if I humbly listen.

I believe that Right Relationship also has to do with one’s sense of Place. After all when we work with the spirits of land and water, we are working with a sense of place. The synchronicity I spoke of earlier was this: Fools Crow was talking to Tom Mails about mythology versus origin stories. This struck my attention because I have been studying the Norse Mythology and asking my questions concerning Tradition. Fools Crow said that his people practiced ritual traditionally because it is a thing that works for healing and ceremony. He commented on the reality of mythology, and stated that the deeper those archeologists dig, the more they find those origin stories to be true. I grinned to myself, because I understand that one of the reasons Jesus talked in parables, and among the reasons that our own ancestors taught about life through Myth, is because there is a wisdom inherent in story and poetry that is missing in any literal, intellectual interpretation of a thing. You can know one thing with your heart, and that knowing will be wiser than your head. Fools Crow inferred something else, I felt, that Tom Soloway Pinkson, Ph.D. had recorded in his book on the Huichol. Tom was on a trip with the Huichol to collect the peyote that is at the heart of their shamanism, and he had a vision. He saw the spirit enter the land, and the spirit of the land entered the peyote, and the peyote grew into human beings who saw things in a certain way that manifests the spirit of the land. Even their language reflects the spirit of the land. This was pointed out equally powerfully by Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) in his self-illustrated book Sound: Native Teachings and Visionary Art. Joseph Rael learned these in his grandfather’s kiva at Picuris Pueblo more than sixty years ago. At the start of his book, he says, “Everything observable and non-observable in this sphere of perceptual reality is the result of the breath of God, moving in the space-time continuum, creating matter, creating life. …all these things, the flesh, bones, chair, grass and earth, are artifacts of one great collective act of perceiving in which all beings participate.” The entire book is a good read for many reasons, including that language is a form of the vibratory frequencies that sing life into being. What comes to my mind as I write this is the Australian Aborigine Songlines, where every tribe had a song that they knew to sing that kept the world in form.

If these things are true, and they are certainly true from a dreamer’s perspective, then what happens when a people leaves their homeland, and brings their language and their ways to new shores? If we are open, we learn to sing our ancestral songs in a new way related to the land we have come to. The Creek Woman has taught me a song of joining. A time I needed to do ritual for the dead of indigenous peoples the Norns advised me to make a sacred mixture of tobacco, corn meal, and sea salt to honor my traditions and the traditions of this continent. It seems that it is indeed a NEW OLD TRADITION.

MAKING NEW OLD TRADITIONS

MAKING NEW OLD TRADITIONS

Odin called me to the matt for not honoring the Gods this morning. I had made a decision to go to a Music Festival and do Rune Readings, but I had not prayed directly about it. I had assumed that it was going to be okay since the Gods had earlier suggested I connect with these people about the art that I do, and these people are running this festival today. Apparently I am not to make assumptions, but to first consult the Gods who guide me. These would be the Gods of the Valknut – Odin, the Norns, and Hela. They have been working together to guide me to a higher understanding of Conscious Being. While I do have free choice, apparently it is best for me if I honor Them in prayer before undertaking doings on my own initiative. If I fail in these matters, They have ways of making Their Will known.

This morning, my husband’s computer had quit. It was not working, period. He planned to take it to the computer service he uses, but there was a conflict with my plans for the Music Festival. We discussed how we would work these things out. It was a big strain on him to take me to and from the Music Festival, so we decided I would not go. Then he discovered that somehow the cord connection to his power source had been disconnected; this never happens, yet is consistent with how the Gods interfere with events when they want my attention. In the meantime, I had heard from the festival coordinator that there was a way to get me to the festival, and my husband is now telling me I can have the car. As all of this is going on, I am hearing Odin’s Voice ringing in my mind, and I KNOW I had better make the time to connect with the Gods before stepping out on my own initiative.

The message was loud and clear: We [the Gods] want you to bring all of your concerns, consults, plans, requests to Us before you act on your own. Yet there was a paradox here too. I remain free to make my own decisions and choices. It’s just that if I do so randomly, I invariably step away from the Divine Connection that sees me through my days and gives meaning to my life. The need to pray strengthens my connection with all of that. It would not matter if I were following these Heathen Gods or the Christian God of my mother (Jesus). There is a living Presence in my life when I make the time to pray and that living Presence is distant when I do not make the time to pray.

I had been asking the Gods for a while about tradition building. I am aware there has been a lot of work done in this area, but as a solitary practitioner who has come to this via seemingly disparate pathways of learning, I wondered if I was doing wrong if I fit the new things I was learning into the rituals I have been establishing in my own practice as a spirit-worker. This morning Odin chose to answer me with a statement about the New Old Traditions. That was His term. He said that so much has been lost, it has been necessary to take learning from other practices that have not been lost, and that I cannot assume [that word again] that the traditions people have been rebuilding are in all times and all places right for our post-modern Age.

Our Ancestors were an adventurous and war-like people. The pre-eminent chakra in our religion has been the Solar Plexus, our center of Will. The Christian religion that gained eminence over the first religion of our Ancestors based its teachings on Jesus, who was the Great Rabbi of the Heart chakra. As the time of his death approached, Jesus prayed at Gethsemane for Jehovah to remove the need for him to die. Yet at the end of his prayer, Jesus had strengthened his spirit to do what had been planned for him to do, and he said, “I will to do Thy Will” to Jehovah. Jesus had subjected his personal will to the will of the Gods. In his The Book of Runes, under Raido, Ralph Blum writes,”A simple prayer for the soul’s journey is: I will to will Thy Will.” My friend John Naughton, who writes as Phoenix interpreting the Christian Revelation of Saint John in healing terms, has said that Jesus’s death raised the standard for all the Gods of all religions to operate from the heart.

John’s understanding of the Gods is that “God” is the evolving human collective consciousness. I put this thought out there for readers to think about: the idea has a certain logic. I neither defend nor deny it, as Hela has said to me that the Gods evolve as people evolve. I believe I also read that thought (that the Gods evolve as people evolve) expressed in one of Raven Kaldera’s books, probably Pathfinder’s Guide to the Nine Worlds, as that is the most recent one of his books I have been rereading.

Whatever the case, it was brought forth strongly to my attention this morning, that I am better off if I bring my personal concerns to the Gods in prayer. I may have to bend my will [my ego, my stubborn pride] to the Gods’ Will, but when I raise my consciousness to the level of heart awareness, I am connecting with the Gods from love. I do this because my relationship with the Gods renews that love and contributes purpose, joy, creativity, knowing, and meaning to my life. The Gods may evolve with us, but certainly I need the help of the Gods to evolve in myself. I believe that people who turn away from the Gods toward atheism are turning away from a self potential that holds great beauty and wisdom.

So I return to the topic of tradition building. Even though I am now following the Elder Gods of the Norse, I am aware within myself of the conditioned teachings inherited from Christian parents. Hela guided my picking and sorting of conditioned awareness for values I would keep and those I would excise from myself. The dedication, loyalty, service, and truth I learned from Mom and Dad are among the values of the Warrior God Tyr, and are values I keep. Jesus influenced me as Healer; I practice Reiki. From the Native Americans of North and South America, I learned practices of the Medicine Wheel, the four directions, and the Pachakuti Mesa. I honor these, too. Last year I began working with Edred Thorsson’s The Nine Doors of Midgard, and I found teachings therein that were similar to what I had learned from these other traditions. All of these things were a start.

A couple of years ago the Norns encouraged me making my own drum, a thing I had been wanting to do any way. I prepared the deer hide myself in ceremony with Sun and Water, then had to re-stretch the hide after my husband tested the drum and said the hide was too loose. I re-softened the hide this time in ceremony with Moon and Water, so the hide has been three ways blessed. The Four Directions and primitive sound instruments are consistent with a shamanic practice. Love of the Gods, energy work, Spirit-work and the way of the psychopomp, drums, whistles – these are components of a religion that predated the church and has far more in common with shamanism than any religion based upon a priestly class; yet there are things we have learned from religions with a priestly caste. Mindfulness from Buddhism, Forgiveness from Christianity, Devotion from Islam and Hinduism are what come to my mind as I type.

Is there a right way or a wrong way to go about rebuilding tradition that was lost, especially when the Lore that comes down to us has obviously been biased by the Christianity of the time it was recorded? Many people are being called at this time to follow these Elder ways, and I believe that the only way we can arrive at what feels like the truth of it is to verify for ourselves through discernment via personal gnosis. If enough of us are having similar experiences with these ancient Beings, there must be some truth in it. Concerns exist for our Age though.

I have a personal issue with white supremacy. Shortly after I met the Norns in 2013, they showed me the bombings and vast destruction of World War II, a war my father’s generation had been part of. Men of my heart fought through Normandy against the Nazis and through the Phillipines against the Japanese. When Odin made His appearance to me in 2014, he greeted me with the expression, “Wilkommen al Kriege!” He showed me again the devastation the Norns had pointed out. He wanted me to do what I could to make things right of the murders of other peoples. The Norns represent Orlog, a word akin to Karma. As a people we bear the weight of our ancestors’ choices and the consequences of those choices. I have just prayed to Odin for an answer on this, and to the Norns, and I have been told that as an individual I am not punishable for my Ancestor’s choices, but that I am responsible for my actions by my own choices to do what is right toward the Spirit-world and my own conscience.

The Battle to welcome is not then outside of myself toward those who hate, but within me that my own influence in the world might be toward those actions and choices that support the values I uphold. The answer lies not in hating the haters, which I would then become, but to accept others until they too have evolved spiritually. I cannot help but wonder, if my father’s generation of America acted to help free Europe and those imprisoned and persecuted by the Nazis, what lessons are imposed upon the current American generation by another authoritative leader, Donald Trump? What I see of people who are taking stands for what they believe in even as they disagree with this person in the Presidency gives me hope. People are walking to protect water. Governors of states like New York and Vermont are supporting the World Climate Change agreement even as persons like Trump threaten to withdraw from it.

I think that any New Old Traditions we support must include considering the planet as the home of all human beings. There are simply no edges to fall off of now that science has discovered the world is round.

A message from Urdr:

The Cosmos of the scientist and the Cosmos of the Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life, both invite us to participate in the dance of Conscious Being…

We wear a lot of forms, we wear a lot of faces as we shape shift through Time. Some we keep, some we shed, some we hold dear to ourselves long past our need of them.

A lot more can be said about this. Circumstances demand different actions and different reactions. Our masks are the faces we present to the world, to society in order to gain the outcomes we wish. Our cues are taken from others, situations, and time. But are any of these faces truly you?

When you are quiet by yourself something else emerges, right? A feeling maybe. A sense of your own vibration, your own song, and if you sit still long enough and listen long enough, you will begin to hear this something different which belongs to the stars.

Each one of you a star, singing with your own cosmic being.

When we made the legends [Mythos] your species was not ready for galaxies and stars. But you were ready for Gods and Heroes, so we strode forth, larger than the life your ancestors knew – a life close to starvation and survival, but for the work of your hands in the soil of Earth in accompaniment with the seasons and yearly round.

And here you stand now gazing at the stars from which your seed soul came with the invention of the Hubble telescope!

This has not distanced you from your [species’] need for Gods and Heroes. Why else would you play at Marvel comics or do battle with Dungeons and Dragons and create Renaissance Fairs?

The imagination can leap, but the body is still of Earth, and something of the soul still yearns for the vibrational wildness of forests and trees.

We [speaking] are the cumulative voice of your ancestors and ancestral Gods. Loki, Thor, and Woden no less a part of us than Jesus, or Buddha, or Mary.

Sometimes I speak as Urdr, sometimes as the Voice you will hear [me, and the collective]. We feel your pain(s), we feel your anxiety, we have been in the human experience too, so know we are here for you.

Light a candle, pray. Burn some incense, smudge the room. Do whatever it is that you need to do to climb those stairs into the inner realm of vision.

Being or Becoming? Does something in you need to pass away so that something new can be born? This is a role of the Tree of Life, which is pure awareness. Ascend if you are seeking the Becoming. Odin is Master here. Descend if something needs to be disowned, dismembered, or understood. Hela is Mistress of impartial compassion – I did not say “niceness.” She is not a squeamish Goddess, but if you are tough enough for Her kindness, She will help you, oh yes, just as She has this medium we channel through.

If you seek your Being, seek your fate, come to Us at the Well, but KNOW your questions! Know your questions, especially if you turn to Mimir! He’s been without a body for so long that he’s forgotten the trials of the flesh. We [Norns] are much kinder, for we look with detachment, with impartiality.

Know yourselves, know your motivation, know your own darkness and your own light – as Sigyn holds the bowl for the God of Truth and Deceit. For what you fear will poison you, what angers you will poison you, your own jealousies will poison you.

Look to the left and look to the right. Know your own place in life and stand firmly on your two feet and you will hold your own power.

As the Earth spins a certain way about the Sun, and the Moon spins a certain way about the Earth, you too have your calling toward Conscious Being. A calling that if you answer it will grow your soul to its very depths as a tree reaches its branches toward the Sun and its roots toward the anchor of Earth and the life giving waters she provides.

But if there is ought rotten at the heart of you, that will be your undoing.

There was the man who went out with a sword determined to kill every thief he found because he felt something of value had been stolen from him, until at his last day of judgment he learned he had been the thief of many lives. This great warrior did not go to Valhall, he went to Hela who received him in her mercy. For many will say, “Lord, Lord, here I am! Here I am!” and the Lord will say, “I will know you through the compassion you showed your neighbor. I do not know you.”

Odin carries the war toward Conscious Arising. His companions are those He meets along the way. Remember we are all kin. All humans. You may look different as night and day, but under the skin, the blood runs red.

Norns, the Weave, Choice, and Elevator of Awareness

When I first came to the Norns, I had asked the Wight of the creek in our backyard to hook me up to the Weave. For those not in the know, the Weave is something that really good psychics can tap into for better reading their clients. That was what I was really interested in – then. Since then, the Norns through their own service to humanity have deepened my commitment to share what I am taught.

The Weave, the Web – all life is connected through the medium of Breath, Divine Breath, Ond as given us by Odin. Also related to Prana and Chi, or the Holy Spirit, which comes into us at birth and departs us at death.

The Norns connect us to the plane of Time – Urdr speaks to us about the Past, Verdandi speaks to us about the Present, and Skuld speaks to us about the Future. We are connected to Time while we are in the physical body.

I strongly suspect that a key to understanding the Ragnorak (or understanding Revelations) is to know that the Beginning of Time is our birth and the Ending of Time is our death. In this way these sacred books become more relevant to our own life and its meaning. Yes, our spirits may survive the death of the body, and yes, many of us do take on more than one earth life. But the import of these books has really to do more with the soul’s evolution in Time, than the end of human life on Earth.

While we are spirits inhabiting flesh bodies, what we act on has power – the power we give our actions through our attention, our love, our intention, and also how those actions come back to us through the perceptions of others. How do they feel, think, and respond to our actions? This is the fruit of our human life, our “orlog” or “karma.”

We can begin to connect to our personal power through awareness of our choices: For example, the Elevator of Awareness climbs through the states of our consciousness from lowest to highest or highest to lowest – Unconsciousness, Subconsciousness, Waking Consciousness, and Supra Consciousness.

PRESENCE is the key to Awareness: it is an “in your face” I AM AWARE of this. There is peripheral awareness and subliminal awareness. When we are Present and Aware, we realize that neither the past nor the future is real except insofar as we connect to those patterns by the power of our feelings and our thoughts. Memory serves experience as patterns of how to avoid pain, errors, and mistakes.

We have two powers happening within us all the time, and these serve as our Paradox: Essence, that which we are by heredity, and Personality, that which we are by programming, education, reactivity – meaning how we felt or thought about things that happened to us. In this arena we carry childhood experiences throughout our adult lives. Understanding this the way I do, I feel it is so very important to educate children through building upon their own experiences and not merely stuffing their heads through rote memorization of dead facts.

Between Essence and Personality, the Fulcrum becomes our own process of self examination, reflection, and contemplation on what is the basis of our own experience.

© 2017 by Susan Hintz Epstein