How I Met The Norns

Excerpt from Chapter One of The Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty: Called to the Well of Soul

On January 23, 2013 I undertook a study with the Runes as presented in Kenneth Meadows’s book Rune Power. By February 19, I had meditated with the Runes on a daily basis, and the Runes had imprinted themselves into my third eye in a remarkable way. I drew a Rune before sleep that night: It was GIFU, divine gift.

I slept restlessly. Around 2:00 a.m. I came fully awake, and I sensed the Creek Woman summoning me to the Mesa. I sat down in the dark, as it is easier to “listen.” She talked to me about the heaviness of water seeping into earth around rocks: the striations of earth and of ice through which one can know the very ages of things long past. The Creek Woman is a very old being. At a later point she told Alan and I that she is an Elohim that assisted the Creator in the shaping of the world. On this night, she showed me the Catskill Mountains when they were newly folded into their forms and rocks fell from the sky with their making. She spoke of glaciers and the inexorable advance of Ice, Ice as Maker. Earth and water are very dense, very heavy, and yet water can be light as rain, light as air. Water forms the life giving rain, yet can cause death by drowning. Water rising as vapor into clouds – riding the clouds – is another way to shaman journey.

Suddenly, the Creek Woman brought me the Norns. I could sense their great age, as old memories, or old archetypes. They sat with me around the Mesa. Urdr, of advanced age appearing, sat to my left in the West. Verđandi, of middle age appearing, sat across from me in the North. Skuld, of youthfulness appearing, sat to my right in the East. When they came in, they brought with them the night’s full moon energy, and it was with the moon’s energy that we worked. Energy flowed between us rabidly like the shuttle of a loom. Our speech was telepathic, yet much was known without words through the energy that flowed between us. The Norns tossed the shuttle one to another and then again to me. I was given the opportunity to ask these Ancient Ones things that weighed most heavily on my heart. The energy passing between us reflected the pattern of What Was, What Is, and What Is to Become.

The Norns represent Time in the Norse Cosmo-vision. Urdr, with her great age, represents that which is Past, from which the threads of the Present have been woven. Verđandi has charge of the Present. Perhaps the Present holds the greatest potential for conscious choice, because here lies our moment of choice: Now. Skuld, the youthful one, holds the future, and the power of cutting the threads of fate, and she rides with the Valkyries, as does the Goddess Freyja.

At the time the Creek Woman brought me the Norns, I was concerned about maintaining right relationship with someone dear to me. I asked the Norns what part I could play to influence the situation, and GIFU appeared. My best influence would be via the pathway of partnership and love. Right then, a serpent coming from the south raised its head hard against me, and I understood that symbol to reveal the opposition that was coming at me. I had the work of acceptance and forgiveness to do.

The scene shifted, and I was above the Mesa as if I were a giant being looking down on New York City. I saw the Twin Towers. It had been twelve years since the Towers fell, yet dark times remained on the city. I saw armies, powerful armies, blanketed by the black despair of human sleep. Again the scene of blackness descending upon New York City, and when I asked whether this was to come, I was told, “It may be.” It seemed the action against the Twin Towers in 2001 sparked the blackness in human hearts again and again, one act of violence leading to a retaliation leading to another act of violence in a cycle that never stops. Humans give hatred their power instead of love.

This breaks my heart. I understand the emotions that lead to retaliation, yet rising above anger and despair is all that can break this cycle of repetitive violence. We are what we choose to be, yet any real change can only happen individual by individual. In the face of the darkness that enslaves my species, I have no greater personal power than to live with as much love as I am capable of carrying. This I promised the Powers I sat with this night that I would do.

The scene pulled back from the despairing visions of the City, and shifted back to where I sat with the Norns. The Norns and I sat together quietly for a while as I absorbed all I had been shown and told. Then they guided me through weaving new potentials for these situations. Spinning the energy of the full moon counterclockwise, I sent my loved one the energy of the Rune GIFU, and over the darkness that had descended on New York City, I sent the healing energy of Reiki contained in the potency of the Rune INGWAZ.

I thanked the Goddesses and they reminded me to be vigilant with my light so that I don’t lose my way. I vowed to toss nine coins into the creek the next day to represent the exchange of energy and knowledge. Before they left, I asked if there was a way to neutralize the negative energy of my enemy, and I was shown INGWAZ: containment.

I developed the habit of taking my emotions to the Mesa in prayer. I had been praying hard for resolution to a difficult situation involving other people. Most specifically, I had been praying in the way that I thought things should go. The Norns dropped in, and Verđandi commented, “The crows fly to the Well of UNSEEING.” I knew of Odin’s Ravens, Hugin and Munin, meaning Thought and Memory respectively, so I asked, “Thought and Feeling?” Urdr said, “Yes.” She warned me that when I pray in the way that I had been, I usurp other’s boundaries with my own ideas of the way things should be resolved. When Urdr said this, I realized that my own wants and expectations were getting in the way of true and open communication with the other people involved.

Throughout the rest of that winter, other lessons would come in that were not always comfortable. I had to see myself as I am, and no longer hide my shadows from myself. Among these were reactive patterns of anger and resentment. I understood that I would need to revisit and recapitulate my past in order to experience a true present, and the Runes acted to guide the process. JERA and RAIDHO showed up one day to indicate that progress cannot be rushed. Rather it is a cycle that will take place at the right time.

Gloria, a dear friend from Reiki Master class, has experienced a symbol she names CARDUOM – a cross with a spiral contained within the circle. This symbol links the heart directly to God through the path of suffering, and is very powerful. However, the concept of suffering has to be understood in the right way. It is not to suffer like a martyr. Rather to understand Gurdjieff’s concept of conscious labor and the practice of intentional suffering.

The Goddesses told me in a dream that KENAZ is the Opener. KENAZ is the shaper. It is the blacksmith and life is the forge. I am not without power, because how I choose to respond to events shapes the tempering of my soul. Very little comes easily; I have to fight for what is right, and I often feel sad and tired. One day I asked how I could clear the negative energy that accumulated from my interactions with people with whom I yet had unresolved issues. I was shown that SOWELO could break apart the negative energy, HAGALAZ would clear that energy away, and that ALGIZ can be used to connect with and protect the vulnerable. OTHILA confirmed that by the security of law and order to protect and cherish family is my right. MANNAZ reveals that the divine human in me meets the divine human in others, even when events aren’t so great. As long as I remained open and willing to face events, things could meet resolution.

Five days after the Creek Woman first brought me the Norns, Urdr told me a story: In the long ago, humans had fallen far, far from the stars of their origin and needed to find a way back. So she and her people divined symbols and meanings of the symbols to help the Nordic people find their way back to the stars. URUZ is like a great storm suddenly parting into calm and there you see the Aurochs standing. THURISAZ took form when a man pricked his finger on a rose bush and invented the knife. She laughed. She said the entire Cosmology evolved from natural life in practical application. So they developed the Runes and left them for the man to find: Odin.

At midnight of another sleepless night six days after the Creek Woman brought me the Norns, I arose at the hour of GIFU succeeding into WUNJO, and felt an inrushing presence building around the four sides of the Mesa. The sense of love and presence was very strong. I began to hear an INVOCATION:

ALL THAT IS, ALL THAT WAS, ALL THAT WILL BE

We are the women of all times reading the Wyrd for

husbands, lovers, sons and fathers.

ALL THAT IS, ALL THAT WAS, ALL THAT WILL BE

With that, the Presence of the Norns held me warmly in circle. I am awed and humbled, because I know that I am in the presence of an aspect of the Divine Mystery.

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.

 

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