Self-work and developing our power during the Winter Months.

As we approach the winter season, the natural pull is for us to focus on those deep needs of self mastery that began in the active warm summer season.

Many Heathens choose these quite, introspective seasonal times to learn more deeply the written history traditions and lore that teaches us much about our Ancestors and Gods, or perhaps they hone in a creative art, like weaving, blacksmithing or mead making.

But what about working on the most important part of ourselves we own?

Our Lyke?

Lyke means the actual physical body. When we get involved with higher spiritual pursuits it’s very easy to overlook this crucial soul part, and this month’s lesson is to remind you without it, we wouldn’t be! Your Lyke IS your most sacred vehicle, so it’s the most important ‘soul’ part you own!

(old Norse)Lyke is also spelled Lich. Lyke is pronounced lee-keh; where the old English name Lich is pronounced leekh.

Like all parts of us, it goes without saying our body is like, super necessary to do ANY work, spiritual or otherwise yes?

As a Heathen, one of the first things we are taught is to revere our physical selves, and its soul part with all its functions is sacred and Holy.

But with todays 21st century living and all its Modern marvels, to honor and use our bodies in the holistic way they are meant to be used can be a daunting task that requires much in the ways of self sacrifice, work, discipline and discomfort.

For me personally, I cant connect as well with my Ancestors and the Gods if my body isn’t used in the process as well; so that means dedicated daily time to keeping my Lyke strong, supple and fit by using it, training it and treating it with as much hospitality as I would a honored guest into my home.

I have learned to turn my workouts into a offering to the nine worlds-and I use the discomfort, pain, and power I experience as my proof I am prepared to face hardships; starting with the first interface I use for my connection to the Norse cosmology ~my Lyke.

*This morning before my workout, I read from one of my favorite fitness places on line (https://norsefitness.co/blogs/motivation/this-approach-to-hardship-will-change-your-life) this inspirational post which really captures the importance of us using our own self care and the PHYSICAL training of our Lykes is step #1 on how we face all the adversities in our lives:…….” Adversity is generally seen in a negative light. Hardship, setbacks, failures, and pain are things we all try to avoid. And when we inevitably are forced to face them, we look to for ways to stay distracted rather than learn from it.

Learn from these obstacles. What if these things were used to our benefit? What if times of weakness bring a new found level of strength?

Pain is meant to be embraced, not ignored. This does not mean condoning self-pity or accepting failure as a pattern. It means taking responsibility, and most importantly, taking control.

Strength requires a certain level of intensity to achieve. Pain, loss, and challenges are a gift. They give us the intensity needed to propel forward. Most of us don’t see strength as a life or death situation. But life – and a weak one at that – is the most threatening and serious situation of all. Is your life one that reflects strength, both mentally and physically? Or is it one that cowers away from adversity, avoids conflict, and seeks comfort?

Comfort is complacency. Comfort is weakness personified. No one has ever achieved anything worthwhile by staying in place, no matter how good their intentions. Comfort means accepting mediocrity, resigned to being average, and devoid of purpose. Your choices brought you here. Choose to do more.

Ask yourself, what would it really take to start chasing a better existence? Would you blame another person, or the situation itself, or how the world slighted you? You could, but you’d stay exactly where you are, and the world would keep going without you. The pain that you make every effort to avoid is THE EXACT LESSON you were meant to learn. Use it accordingly.

Pain is necessary for action. Embrace it, stop running from it. Use adversity as a reminder of where you never want to be again. Use it as a reason to keep fighting towards something better. The alternative means defeat. You’re not done, and you’ve rested enough. Pain is your reminder that it’s time to move forward. A better existence is out there, but you are the only one with the ability to find it.

And when you find more pain along the way, you’re going in the right direction.”

Very Powerful words, yes?

So for our total selves in the Norse tradition, I choose to honor the component parts of a living person as follows: 1) the physical body (lich); 2) the mind(hugr) 3) the etheric energy or energy field (aura) that surrounds our physical body (ham[r]); 4) personal awareness of consciousness or identification of self, sometimes called the ego (EK) ;5) our actual spirit self that is our astral ‘double’(Fylgja) 6) the higher “god” self (Disir) and 7)the breath of life or spirit (önd); 8) divine consciousness and inspiration (öðr)and finally; 9) our ‘luck’ or inherited traits and behaviors known as hamingja.

Each of these parts creates a working and cohesive whole; and if one is overlooked, we can’t know our full power in my opinion. That means much time and insight are needed via getting in touch with ALL your parts! This post it’s our bodies; and this outward manifestation of ourselves is the essential part of our being that has its own intelligence and provides us our interface with life and all things mystic!

The physical body, whose parts appear and function in the same way regardless where we hail from or what we believe, has its own kennings and instinctual ways of performing which allows us understanding of the world around us; both seen and unseen! As we have discovered thus far, the parts of the soul can be divided up in a number of ways, depending on cultural or (as in this case) personal preference, but as physical proof of our existence, the body itself must be approached as a scared and holy soul part.

In 1985, I read a book called “The Body Electric” Robert O. Becker, a pioneer in the field of regeneration and its relationship to electrical currents in living things, tells the fascinating story of our bioelectric selves., which in many ways challenges the established mechanistic understanding of the body. In his iconic book, Robert explores new pathways in our understanding of evolution, acupuncture, psychic phenomena, and healing.

It is through understanding the body (Lyke) as an organism that houses its own intelligence, its own muscle memories, it can repair itself, fight off microbial invasion, and it generates its own biomechanical energy and heat; we come to see our Bodies are miraculous self-sustaining entities in their own right. Our bodies are just as sacred as our Disir, our Fylgja, or any of our other 9 soul parts!

Odin’s ravens Huginn and Muninn

“Hugin and Munin fly each day over the spacious earth. I fear for Hugin, that he come not back, yet more anxious am I for Munin.” ~ 1866 Benjamin Thorpe in Edda Sæmundar Hinns Frôða “The Lay of Grimnir” 1883 Gudbrand Vigfusson in Corpus Poeticum Boreale “The Sayings of the Hooded One”

This post, we will learn the importance of thought and memory. With this knowledge we can change the direction of our wyrd and create links to our ancestral past (which is never lost) as thought and memory are profound aspects of our soul that we need to more effectively utilize to truly understand the self, as well as the world around us-both seen and unseen. This information can lead to a new, deeper understanding as well as clear direction. Moreover, by participating in rituals that we ourselves invent, then in turn memorize, (like our monthly Utiseta journey’s we perform after watching the full moon while thinking on it as a link with one’s ancestors) we can gain deeper, wider insights (thought) that opens up our soul to become more and more aware of the energies that surrounds us: from the other nine worlds-to the physical place to which we belong. (Remember, the land you inhabit is not only the material world but a magical link to the concepts, runes, and powers left to us in the annuls of ancestral wisdom!)

Through Thought and Memory, we can reconnect with the Gods and Goddesses, Wights, our own ancestral dead, as well as the landvættir. By reawakening them through memory and thoughts, we can call on them to support our work and thus change the wyrd of ourselves, our loved ones, and the world at large. Thought and Memory strengthen our souls in such a powerful way we can actually determine our direction and destiny in the world. Those things that you were made to believe were memories of ‘superstition’ are the very things that bring forth the memories of the essence of Heathenry in all its forms, as well as the magic of our ancestors. Our work to recover this magical heritage has much possibility for astounding success; you simply need to accept to use your mind. What we are trying to reclaim is not won by sentimentality and wishful thinking, but by staying focused and effective in this modern world. This soul-work is of paramount importance; and it begins with our thoughts and our memories of understanding.

For this soul part the best explanation I have found is via the book Elhaz Ablaze: A Compendium of Chaos Heathenry, by Henry Lauer. which states:

“The Hughr is in many ways the structuring, analytical, investigative, observing faculty, mostly identified with the intellect. The Myne (minni) represents the imaginative, visionary, intuitive part of the Soul that brings forth images, symbols, symbols, signs, patterns, feelings, and omen-like occurrences. The Hughr and Myne are of course Odin’s two ravens Huginn and Muninn. Ian Read calls the Wode, Hughr, and Myne the core-triad. This is so because all three must be developed in a careful and balanced way so that the runic learning can happen in a holistic process without bringing imbalance to the psyche. Too much Wode will simply consume you, your everyday personality won’t be able to handle the overwhelming ‘information,’ and psychosis or worse would be the result. An overdeveloped Hughr will make you question everything – the typical academic – or you simply will accumulate a lot of knowledge that you can’t put into action; the armchair scholar or the book learning occultist who knows everything in theory but nothing in reality. If the Myne is overdeveloped and the Hughr is undeveloped one will be confronted with endless images and patterns that will lose coherence. The result in most cases is the occult ‘master of the astral planes’ or the New Age dolphin channeler, who flies off into cuckoo fairy tale land, seeing everywhere coincidences, secret messages, and magic at work without being able to manifest any real results. So, in a nutshell: The core-triad needs to be developed harmoniously for the seeker to have a meaningful learning process.”

This work it is important you not only come to understand how you view these crucial soul parts you house within you; but it’s imperative you learn to hon them and use them wisely. If you haven’t already begun to do so, being selective on what you fill your mind with in your free time (music, media, literature, news, etc..) ensures you aren’t taking up valuable ‘head space’ with all things frivolous or perhaps even damaging to your thinking/remembering process.

There are other descriptions I found that have a similar take; so please see: https://norse-mythology.org/gods-andcreatures/others/hugin-and-munin/ http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2015/10/th e-riddle-of-odins-ravens.html https://www.norsegodsasatru.net/soul-andafterlife.html

As discussed above there are varying views to the true meaning of Muninn’s name, and as the name can’t be clearly defined via old Norse; (there are folks who think the name means memory, and others who think it means mind) I hold the idea it means both. You see in Icelandic the name Muninn actually means ‘difference’ (there is no old Norse reference to that name) and knowing the Norse held great weight in the naming process, I discovered from the University of Texas in Austin Linguistics research center the old Norse word for remember is: muna; and according to UOT it means: “To think or have thoughts, one must remember the data being received, as well as have the abilities to process and analyze the new information; thereby using their mind in conjunction with past informational data to compare it with.”

When Odin sent his Two Ravens out to do his bidding, he sent out an extension of himself (his mind- Hughr) to gain any obscure information that might aid Odin in his quest for ‘all knowing.’ Upon return, Huginn and Muninn would share all they found via the duel analytical process that make us uniquely human: our thoughts (self-awareness) and our memory (comparing past events for relevance and decision making)

For Odin’s furtherment in knowing all, He knew the best tools for the job would be to send the parts of his mind that could discern/recognize any new information, (think) as well as retrieve/bring back (remember) whatever new insights were to be found. ~Our Norse Ancestors were very clever, and it seems obvious to me by the very names Odin used for the bird forms he send forth as his minds representative’s; since to be able to remember what was learned would be of paramount importance to fulfilling “all-knowing” aspirations!

As you know by now, Odin had an insatiable thirst for knowledge and would go to great lengths to obtain it. Odin is a profoundly mystical, magical, and mysterious deity that represents Consciousness via Will, Knowing and Ordeal. Only those who are prepared (a.k.a. to have strong Will via Knowing) to go through the same trials and ordeals as He did can truly know Him. Many might profess that they worship Odin and call themselves Odinists or Ásatrúar heathens, however I have come to find they only worship the archetypal Christian ‘father figure’ Yahweh dressed up in Norse clothing sporting a missing eye. When one truly meets Odin, they quickly come to see He is not a God for the sheep-like many, but for the brave (foolhardy?) few. This is evident in the fact that in Scandinavia when they actually Worshiped Odin as they knew him, places and things were not abundantly named after Him, like the other ‘salt-of-the-earth-peoples Patron Gods; namely Thor and Freyr, who were much more accessible and understandable to the daily lives of most ‘common’ Folk. Odin historically was never a popular God. To assume that today, he is suddenly every heathen’s “All Father” is to deny the Odin is deep, resolved, and can be cruel, grim, and deceitful. Odin is a God of magicians and Shamans, so to simply place his image over the Christian God is to not know Odin at his very core: To ever seek to know more, as Knowledge is Power.

Odin’s favorite tools for seeking ‘all knowing’ was sending forth two ravens as his intercessors to all the nine worlds, which were His very thought and memory. These two messengers are our next souls’ parts to come to understand, (which in actuality aren’t really ravens) they are components of Hugr; the mind.

The Ravens of Odin were Huginn (the thought) and Muninn (the mind). They would fly all over the world bringing Odin information and news, making Odin the original entity of the Norse Pantheon to recruit familiars. (He was a Shaman after all!) His association with these birds gave him the name (one many!) of “Raven-Lord.”

Above I state Odin was a Shaman, and this fact when understood, is crucial to sperate his way of doing things apart from any other God in the Norse pantheon. (Even Loki) Excepting the notion Odin was “the father of Norse Shamans” in and of itself explains MUCH about Odin and his personality. Scholars have linked Odin’s relationship with (and use of) Huginn and Muninn to other indigenous people’s shamanic practices by using animals as their “fetch”.

The Ravens represent Odin’s ability to send forth his “thought” and “mind” out into the world, projecting his will and influence from afar. John Lindow,,a professor emeritus (University of California, Berkeley) specializing in Scandinavian medieval studies and folklore; whose works include Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Rituals, and Beliefs, a handbook for Norse mythology relates Odin’s ability to send his “thought” (Huginn) and “mind” (Muninn) to the trance-state journey of shamans. Lindow says: “the Grímnismál stanza where Odin worries about the return of Huginn and Muninn “would be consistent with the danger that the shaman faces on the trance-state journey when the mind and its thoughts become the vehicle of the Shamans soul.”

In Odin’s very name we see Wode, or Óðr, stands for the ecstatic, divine, inspired part of the Soul, and is one of the nine-fold soul parts, eternal and immortal. Most of our life we are unaware of Óðr and normally we only become conscious of it for very short moments, experiencing only glimpses of it, which in most cases are triggered by circumstances we are unable to purposely recreate. -Some individuals certainly experience Divine inspiration in overwhelming ways through the use of extreme situations; like hallucinogenic drugs, sex, or excruciating pain or loss; but I have found, personally, by cultivating a strong Will, gaining much knowledge, and via thought and memory Óðr can also be accessed when sought out.

*NOTE! There lies a danger for those who think that ONLY the drugs/sex/pain/trauma make the experience happen of Óðr happen. They stop looking in normal and accessible places for inspiration and mystical information not understanding extreme situations act as cataclysmic gate-openers to those realms of the Soul or Consciousness. These realms exist independently and can in truth be accessed without any of the above-mentioned outer means.

Control the thoughts and hone the memory is much of this work. Once you can control your ravens, you are much like Odin, as you come to understand your Óðr, via Önd.

You will see I speak MUCH about Óðr. Why? Because to truly be a Völva and seiðkona, we must come to know, recognize, and access Óðr to be successful in our magical endeavors. The aim must obviously be to cultivate this part of the Soul and to be able to stay aware of it, so that it can lead oneself towards higher truths and deeper mysteries, as well as power and adeptness. You see, Asatru and Heathenry as a Religious practice and not so much a spiritual one can be confusing at times, since not every heathen is involved with occult activity we deem ‘magic or mysticism.’ I am discovering often times, neither active Asatru Kindred practitioners nor the serious Scandinavia academia students ever touch on, nor give validation to, the ecstatic, spiritual/mystic aspect of Norse paganism or Indo-European worship, (the arts of the Völva or seiðr) and I must ponder as to why. I believe some of the reasoning comes from the idea that Norse Paganism was revived at the turn of this century, when many people were becoming dissatisfied by the emptiness that Christianity and other monotheist religions offered them. Remember, monotheist faiths have been THE ruling spirituality worldwide for over 1500 years, and that means the dogma and deep ideologies have been ingrained into countless generations of people for a long enough time span that it unconsciously created a rift within the newly developing Pagan Heathen community where it comes to occult Arts and practices, ~as well as it has influenced the interpretations of some of the meanings and what teachings we have discovered within ancient lore and Mythology. ( i.e. a Volva isn’t/wasn’t a witch.)

What this means to me is although instinctually people know there is more to our spiritual lives than ‘one truth’ which is ingrained thinking; it’s hard for some to supersede that stunted mindset that unfortunately accompanies us when we leave the spiritual teachings of our childhood. Most folks for centuries believed that esoteric practices and the occult were dangerous waters best left unchartered, and that its participants were crazy, zealots or delusional. Unfortunately, this mindset still follows some who come to Asatru today.

For many Heathens right now, understanding the occult veneration of the Old Norse cosmology is limited. Moreover, most modern day Heathens keep to acknowledging and revering a scant few Gods and Goddess’s of Norse mythology and it seems many 21st century Asatru followers (perhaps unknowingly) have chosen to view the most well-known God (Odin) as a substitution role to the Arabic Gods of Judaism/Christianity/Muslim faiths, keeping alive the mindset that Divinity is one-dimensional and unknowable. Furthermore I have begun to realize because of the generational conditioning of today’s people by these ‘only one truth’ religions which has had such a negative and limiting impact on their spiritual development as children; Odin is seen only as the Wise, untouchable All-Father, and that this very humanized Divine Being is removed from people, human happenings, and the goings on here in Midgard. Sadly, many Asatru followers don’t know or acknowledge Odin’s primary role as a Magician and ecstatic Shaman, nor do they realize/accept that a Norse mystic’s abilities and basal spirituality hinge on the ability to actually work with Odin in this aspect.

Moreover the idea (I feel is due to lack of participation in the ecstatic/occult side of Asatru) pervades in heathenism today is that Odin and the Other Gods care not for us, nor do they have a interest in accompanying us on our lives journey.

I have heard repeated Heathens say they feel the Norse Gods are simply there doing whatever it is Gods do, and we mere mortals are to simply struggle along in Midgard, doing whatever it is we do-abandoned by the Gods because that’s what it appears like if you don’t believe the notion The Gods do and can be very interested in the affairs of men.

So, when a Volva who is driven by Óðr begins discussing their practices of esoteric work and the involvement of Gods, Wights, and Dead Folk as working, real allies with other non-mystical Heathens; sometimes a Volva or a Vitki (as well as seiðr practitioners) can fall into a firestorm of ridicule due to the fact they practice Ecstatic Norse Occultism, and the “cerebral-only” Heathen does not. “UPG!!” is thrown about like its a swear word, and by doing this, there then becomes a dividing rift within this reclaiming process of this ancient path; as now the Volva’s whose “inspired” practice of seiðr are (through their ecstatic occult work) discovering that Odin is MUCH more than the limiting “Jehovah” replacement; and everything about Odin is esoteric, occult and ecstatic.

How do I know this? By the very things that help us create ‘magic’ in the first place: Önd and Óðr. THE essence of Odin. There has always been arguments in the study of Norse religion between those who feel veneration of the Gods in “typical cerebral fashion”(via reading and study with occasional blots and seasonal rites) VS the ecstatic practices with the occult side of heathenism (i.e. Volva’s seiðr and spa); are incompatible -thereby causing discord within the Asatru community due to Norse mystics use of ecstatic practices like trance work, possession and esoteric techniques which rely very much on each practitioners ability to interrupt images and messages via personal gnosis. The cerebral Heathen gets angry because they feel the person who is doing ecstatic Asatru is somehow dis-respecting the Gods, or worse; making a mockery of Norse Mythology. Most Volva’s/Vitki’s I know use primarily the information found in the Lore combined with person gnosis; especially the accounts of the little Volva, or Voluspa. These sets of prose tells us how the Volva has the ability to interact with Odin; and that he actually sought her out for knowledge.

However, any remaining information is very vague, so the Volva or Vitki must then take a leap of faith to know more and surrender to the idea of becoming an open vessel for the Önd and Óðr Odin might bestow upon them after much diligence, dedication and work. It requires the Volva/vitki to become ‘intimate” with the Beings of the Norse cosmology, and this included the Gods. The metaphysical side of Asatru can only be understood by those who are actual practitioners, and not everyone (most actually) has the ability to be a Volva or Vitki, and not every Volva/Vitki can do seiðr. I have found to understand this path of esoteric, ecstatic religion, one must have the ability to be open to what the Norse call Óðr, (it means “mind”, “soul” or “spirit” -so used in stanza 18.1 of the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá. In addition, óðr can also mean “song”, “poetry” and “inspiration”, and it has connotations of “possession”. It is derived from a Proto-Germanic *wōð- or *wōþ- and it is related to Gothic wôds [“raging”, “possessed”], and in being open to Óðr, everything from simple rune casting to healing work is accessible to the Völva or Vitki.

I feel that Óðr is Odin’s gift to us to reach higher planes of existence, via visions, dreams and spa. These are THE very arts of the Volva; and many people can’t (nor shouldn’t) aspire to immerse themselves into the Norse mystical arts; simply because they don’t have the ability to surrender to Óðr. Mysticism exists because the Divine exists (within and around us), and a human being is capable of touching the limitless via Önd.

More than that: a Norse Pagan can be an ecstatic being, but until Óðr is deciphered and visited by each individual seið worker; they will never fulfill their complete potential until they experience states of Higher Consciousness. Transformation and ecstasy, illumination and inspiration, creativity and Selfexploration, meditation and world(s)-expeditions, these are at the core of Norse mysticism, which – according to the myths of our forefathers and foremothers – is a Gift of the God who Himself represents these qualities: Óðinn, Woden, or Wotan, via Önd~which in Old Norse, means “mind, wit, soul, sense”, and is the agency of breath.

The importance of Rites of Passage in 21st Century Heathenry.

The Power of Mythos in Ritual

After days of ritual work and preparing, I look down at my horn and for a moment I stare into its contents seeing back over some 2000 years when this very sacrifice was made.

There is a collective pause, as time bends and the old is transposed onto the new with an audible snap and shimmer.

I and my Spa sisters had summoned the Nornir, we sang the songs and welcomed the Old Man as we agreed to an exchange and gifting as old as time.

I saw many other rites I have helped to perform for this time of ending and the beginning of winter’s touch.

Cold, still, somber walks through veiled labyrinths, a full plate for the silent Ancestors, many Utiseta on frozen mounds and offerings for the Alfs.

I hear the timeless hopes, fears or needs chanted, screamed, and sobbed out to the otherworld’s since the First Seeker climbed into the Gallows to know more.

The fire flickers and breaks my dream, and I place the horn on the Altar. I see through eyes of another and proceed with my two sisters of What Is Becoming and What Is, and without emotion but full of purpose, I, as What Must Be, grasp the Man and lead him high enough into the branches to be seen as the sacrifice he wishes to become; together we as the Nornir bind him to his fate.

As the Sisters of Wyrd we read him in turn his entire Story, his own words why this act of Sacrifice is being relived.

Through the eyes of Her as I hold the song, waiting for my time to tell His tale; I see a glint of terrible beauty in this ancient deed, and I as She asks the One Eyed “have you known more? Even now, you who are with many names and faces?”

I see the Human Man’s face as it flickers in our need fires flame reflection. Smooth, serenely quite, almost dead.

I look harder, and a form appears, eyes wide open intensely staring: and I am blasted with a passion, a grim but euphoric determination to continue to live -only if His self sovereignty is realized so His Ancient Sagas can continue to be told, thereby thawrting Death.

I knew, somehow, with the telling and re-living of His most heroic feat, immortality for Him is realized and shared by those who know the tales.

It is my time to speak and I ask Him his own questions asked by Himself so long ago, does he know how to call them, to carve them, to name them, to send them?

One last time I look upon Odin on his windswept Tree, and once more the power roars up from a time older than memory and he whispers, “yes, you know Volva that I do. And by honoring this timeless Sacrifice, so do you.”

How Norse mythology relates to mans evolution.

thor

In the next few posts this one and a few others follows the first I posted about the Jontunn, and my ideas whom the Gods were in metaphorically in the Eddas and The Sagas.

I wish to discuss a thesis I have come up with over the past few years, which is that I feel the poems and God’s in Norse mythology not only discuss the evolution of the Old Norse concept of whom they viewed the Divine were; but that these beings also mirrored the evolution of the very things that gave them life and existence: us. (Meaning mankind.)

I hold a view that the life force of “God’s” is of an elemental nature, but through our human awareness of them, and then by naming them as well as giving them human form, anthropomorphic entities we deem “God’s” came into existence because we created them (we recognize them and then named them) due to mankind’s evolution of understanding Their supreme attributes that are very divine, but also, very uniquely Human.

You see, being a Heathen pagan I am polytheistic and an animist; so I believe the anthropomorphic nature of the primary Norse God’s of the Aesir and Vanir (as well as the Jontunn) is overlooked, perhaps due to the fact for 1500 years most humans have had monotheistic parents and society; who’s spiritual teachings make us overlook very real aspects old world spiritual pursuits were to bring harmony to being
fully alive and powerful in Midgard as human beings BY UNDERSTANDING OUR PLACE WITHIN THE NINE WORLDS. I do not think plants, animals or other life forms in Midgard answer to human type God’s, and other life forms on Jord are just as powerful and just as important as human lives are.

With that said, I feel the nine worlds and all its inhabitants are interwoven with Midgard, and as our world affects our lives the most, there is good reason the God’s as we know them are very human like; because I feel each “faction”of Norse Gods represents (and are Representatives- i.e. our physical link to the spirit realms) to the human condition as we evolved from cave man to the civilization based species we have become.

In the next few posts I will bring via the Lore why I think this as a truth for me personally. (Remember, this is just MY take on what deep kenning I take from the Eddas, but in no way am I looking to change anyone else in what understanding they have gotten from our beautiful and powerful fragments of Norse mythology. 😉)

So to begin this thesis, let’s start with an overview of Old Norse Paganism:

Norse paganism, also known as Old Norse religion, is the most common name for a branch of Germanic religion which developed during the Proto-Norse period, when the North Germanic peoples separated into a distinct branch of the Germanic peoples. It was replaced by Christianity during the Christianization of Scandinavia. Scholars reconstruct aspects of North Germanic religion by historical linguistics, archaeology, topography, and records left by North Germanic peoples, such as runic inscriptions in the Younger Futhark, a distinctly North Germanic extension of the runic alphabet. Numerous Old Norse works dated to the 13th century record Norse mythology, a component of North Germanic religion.

Old Norse religion was polytheistic, entailing a belief in various gods and goddesses. Norse mythology divided these deities into two groups, the Æsir and the Vanir, who engaged in an ancient war until realizing that they were equally powerful. Among the most widespread deities were the gods Odin and Thor. This world was inhabited also by various other mythological races, including giants, dwarfs, elves, and land-spirits. Norse cosmology revolved around a world tree known as Yggdrasil, with various realms existing alongside that of humans, named Midgard. These include multiple afterlife realms, several of which are controlled by a particular deity.

Transmitted through oral culture rather than through codified texts, Old Norse religion focused heavily on ritual practice, with kings and chiefs playing a central role in carrying out public acts of sacrifice. Various cultic spaces were used; initially, outdoor spaces such as groves and lakes were typically selected, but by the third century CE cult houses were also purposely built for ritual activity. Norse society also contained practitioners of Seiðr, a form of sorcery which some scholars describe as shamanistic. Various forms of burial were conducted, including both inhumation and cremation, typically accompanied by a variety of grave goods.

Throughout its history, varying levels of trans-cultural diffusion occurred among neighboring peoples, such as the Sami and Finns. By the twelfth century Old Norse religion had succumbed to Christianity, with elements continuing into Scandinavian folklore. A revival of interest in Old Norse religion occurred amid the romanticist movement of the nineteenth century, during which it inspired a range of artworks. It also attracted the interest of political figures, and was used by a range of right-wing and nationalist groups. Academic research into the subject began in the early nineteenth century, initially influenced by the pervasive romanticist sentiment.

The importance of initiation Norse occult arts.

odin

A book by Rudolf Steiner tells us that “the Mysteries of ancient times enshrined a knowledge which was not only of the intellect, but bound up as well with the element of the will effected and influenced by a special spiritual connection to the divine, a wise power wielding that is only obtained after a form of initiation between the higher powers of the ethereal transmuted to the this corporeal word of mass and physicality.”

This interconnected relationship isn’t an accident; it is done by thought, understanding, and sacrifice; a gift for a gift, and it’s essential this initiation is experienced since it is the entry point of giving Humans a shared power to wield by the higher elevated human principles called Gods.

This gift of initiation is a shared boon, since upon a mutual agreement of acceptance into the mysteries of esoteric kennings the Gods, Wights, and Ancestors can once more become corporal; as thorough the intimate interaction within each initiate human life They may walk Midgard once more, tasting and smelling the delights of life, living and feeling all that a physical existence has to offer as the ages pass.

In much the same way, the human initiates gain knowledge much deeper than the fleeting glimpse of insight which may live in the human intellect independently of the reality of earthbound nature.

The occult initiate comes to find they now have a certain power over nature, a power born of and issuing from the soul, with which only those who had been specially prepared can be entrusted, so as not to be misused. For this reason, the preparation of an initiation consists of an enhancement of the sense of responsibility towards the Earth, natural forces, and the creatures who inhabit it, as well as the deepest understanding of the self; not to mention the Divine beings and sacred tradition one will become an initiate of.

The Initiate himself becomes fully self-sovereign in his own right. Since Odin’s sacrifice of himself to himself as the first recorded initiation for self-mastery and understanding by aid of magical forces (In Odin’s case the Runes) echoes this process of necessary initiation through the ages; even to today.

Moreover, we are warned in the Hávamál, by Odin’s own words: failing to understand the occult knowledge properly, like how to create them, how to call them and how to use them will affect one’s children’s children.

It is thus evident how high a value was in those days being properly initiated into deep esoteric kennings were to us living fully as powerful beings.

Earning acceptance and then being guided by powers of the otherworld’s were regarded as necessary thus penetrating right down into an initiate’s physical life.

Unfortunately, with the progress of human evolution this perception of the connection of power and knowledge vanished.

More and more there has evolved a mere philosophy, a religion with an existence quite apart from a co-creational relationship of shared partnership, and with it an increasingly anemic cosmology.

An initiation experience as an expected part of the Occult experience began to vanish with the equation of Norse occult power; and with it the Human as the co-creator of the Gods began to vanish as well.

Moving from tactile experience to obscure philosophy —Humans, whose nature is the primal object of philosophy to reveal, has through the eons witnessed ‘religion’ becoming a less ‘spiritual’ and a less effective way of reaching the realms of the true occult understanding, because I feel, many of traditions of the initiation process; in descending from our world downward into the abyss and back again -has been lost or largely forgotten.

Many have forgotten its via initiation we are granted access to those places where the Gods themselves dwell.

We experience once again how the element of an initiationary rite allows the seeker to enter more profoundly the spiritual world.

Once one undergoes a sacred initiation, the Norse Cosmology becomes more tangible and familiar and much more than mere ancient mythology from which all modern 21st century concrete reality vanished.
Time is truly timeless, and life, death, and all the stages in-between are viewed as the cyclical wheel it really is.

Once a seeker undergoes the initiation of willing sacrifice, the creative cosmic words of the Edda’s became the words of ordinary speech and concrete pictures of spiritual Beings, are given life once again by the seeker who gives the gift of self to self.

How Norse mythology relates to man’s evolution. The Jontunn.

“How Norse mythology relates to man’s evolution. The Jötunn.”

“When most of us use the word “myth” in conversation, we refer to something that is not true. When historians of religion use it, they generally refer to a representation of the sacred in words. When anthropologists use it, they often refer to narratives that tell about the formation of some social institution or behavior. None of the definitions, however, will hold directly for the characters and stories this book treats. That is in part because of the enormous time frame: Materials relevant to the study of Scandinavian mythology, broadly defined, span two millennia or more. But even if we limit the discussion to the relatively small body of texts from the Viking Age and later Middle Ages about the gods Odin, Thor, Frey, and the others and their constant battles with forces of evil and chaos, it is difficult to reconcile these texts with any one of the narrow definitions of myth suggested above. Certainly they had some truth value to the people who composed them and those who wrote them down, but these were not always the same people—usually they were not—and it is obvious that what was true, sacred, and an account of how the world got to be the way it is to a Viking Age pagan poet can have been none of the above to a Christian scribe copying the story in a manuscript hundreds of years after the Viking Age. It is therefore easier and more enlightening to talk of formal criteria and content. In form, then, myth in general, and the texts that comprise Scandinavian mythology in particular, are narrative, although this narrative is couched in both verse and prose. In general, one expects myth to recount important events that took place at the beginning of time and helped shape the world, and Scandinavian mythology indeed has sequences that tell of the origin of the cosmos and of human beings. The story goes on, however, to the destruction and rebirth of the cosmos, and everything in it is presented in light of an enduring struggle between two groups of beings, the gods on the one hand and giants on the other hand. These terms are to some extent misleading: Although the group that creates and orders the cosmos is often referred to by words that can best be translated “gods,” the principal word, “æsir,” is explicitly presented by the important medieval interpreter, Snorri Sturluson, as meaning “People of Asia,” and indeed the word often has the feel in mythological texts of an extended kin group or tribe rather than of a collective of deities. And the other group, the ones who aim for the destruction of the cosmos and disruption of order, are certainly not “giant” in the sense that they are demonstrably larger than the gods. They are usually called the “jötnar,” and again as the term is used in the mythology it feels more like a tribal or kin group than anything else. The world in which the æsir and jötnar play out their struggle has its own set of place-names but is essentially recognizable as Scandinavia. There are rivers, mountains, forests, oceans, storms, cold weather, fierce winters, eagles, ravens, salmon, and snakes. People get about on ships and on horseback. They eat slaughtered meat and drink beer. As in Scandinavia, north is a difficult direction, and so is east, probably because our mythology comes from west Scandinavia (Norway and Iceland), where travel to the east required going over mountains, and going west on a ship was far easier for this seafaring culture. It is helpful to think of three time periods in which the mythology takes place. In the mythic past, the æsir created and ordered the world and joined with another group, the vanir, to make up the community of gods. Somehow this golden age was disrupted in the mythic present. As dwarfs, humans, and occasionally elves look on and are sometimes drawn into the struggle, the æsir and the jötnar fight over resources, precious objects, and, especially, women. The flow of such wealth is all in one direction, from the jötnar to the æsir, and in fact one might divide the narratives of the mythic present into those in which the gods acquire something from the giants and those in which an attempt by the giants to acquire something from the gods is foiled. In the mythic future, this world order will come to a fiery end as gods and giants destroy each other and the cosmos, but a new world order is to follow in which the world will be reborn and inhabited by a new generation of æsir.”~ Introduction from Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs; by John Lindow

Stories and Mythology are time honored ways of telling “kernels of truth” within the human understanding of life and its mysteries as it unfolds in the world around them.

Our history of Indo Europe, like that of the Celtic people was oral, and it was a highly prized form of wisdom to be able to recount as accurately as possible the legends and names of God’s and Hero’s within a prose structure so that the listener had the opportunity to hear two stories at once: a recollection of significant events that effected the Norse historical landscape, but also, hidden deeper meanings of each tale left for the listener to decipher as the “story within the tale.”

In a seemingly straight forward way, we read answers of where we as a species came from, where did life stem from, and where we go when we die.

But we also are left with questions to these descriptives, since as in the example of Ymir the first Jötunn where all other beings stem from, including Odin (known as “All father”) and two brothers; Villi and Vé, we get as many questions to ponder as answers. The world of Midgard, is all green and lush, ready for human civilization (and here is the key word-civilization) began by Odin and brothers only after dismembering a (the listener is first lead to believe) SINGLE Jötunn being, then by being destroyed by his heirs can all other life of civilization continue. However, upon closer examination, we also find in this tale Ymir had a cow with him and according to the Prose Edda, and we then read of Búri (Old Norse ‘producer, father’) is an early ancestor of the Æsir! Búri wasn’t born from Ymir like Odin and his brothers, Búri was licked free from the salty rime stones by the primeval cow Auðumbla over the course of three days. Búri’s background beyond this point is unattested, and he had a son, Borr, by way of an unknown process.
KMS3397

So who was Búri?

By understanding this tale as how early mankind began as an evolutionary species forming Tribes, anthropology experts called these early human Ancestors Neanderthals, who were strikingly similar in appearance to what we think a Neanderthal might have appeared; and if we look carefully, we can begin to see Ymir(and all the Giants) as the ancient transitional Scandinavian forbearers viewed by those early first Norse people who lived primal and wild, as part of the primordial landscape of Jord.

Primal and wild didn’t equate to “dumb, slow or easily overpowered” to be clear.

All throughout the Edda’s, the descended Aesir and Vanir would often seek a Giants wisdom, tools, or powers at many times throughout the wise and colorful poems.

One of the most powerful poems for me of my kennings the Jötunn are Ancestors with many useful gifts comes from Kvasir and the Mead of Poetry. This is the Poem when Odin goes to Suttungs home to obtain the mead of inspiration hid inside the mountain Hnitbjorg and made his daughter Gunnlod stand guard.

Odin goes to great lengths for this mead, and through this myth we learn it can only be gained by spending much time and effort, by wooing, and by coming to know thoroughly all about the Giants; how they lived, what they liked, what they needed. Moreover, by thoroughly mimicking the way they lived, Odin learned what skills and tools were needed to obtain the mead of inspiration he sought. That, in a nutshell, is exactly what Odin did in this particular story, and his reward for living among the Giants for a season was the gift of being forever inspired.

The Nornir who actually weave our fate (and were the first weavers) grant us with our Wyrd, as well as the skills to actually WEAVE. Making clothing from thread was a real game changer for the survival of mankind, and we have 3 Jötunn Sisters to thank for that.

The fact that the Norns are frost-giantesses reinforces for me the fact that Jötnar did not merely represent hostile forces to our ancestors, but also the ancient and immutable forces. To the ancients, the same force that burned down your hut or froze you in a blizzard or drowned you in the sea also implacably named your destiny and held you to it. Fate was in the same category as natural disaster, as far as they were concerned. All were the wild and untamed mysteries, and all were equally easy to fear and to respect, and to hold wisdom that even the more “civilized” Gods needed to learn.

I think some make the mistake of adopting a monotheistic mindset when studying the rich and deep Norse Myths.

The Jötunn were our primal selves that the Tribe of Odin (who Odin himself is a evolved Jötunn let’s not forget) sought to overcome and supersede.

Just as today, every descendant of mankind has a drive to evolve and supersede the quality and “technology” of life laid down by those predecessors hence the development of living quality, tools, and food; all elements of man’s timeless struggle since we first began recording our Story.

For me personally, the Jötunn are our earliest Ancestors, and They set the stage for each Tribe of God’s (which for me is we humans AND Them ~since you can’t have one without the other) to evolution, yet still have a huge part to play with their timeless wisdom.

Just as we watch the God’s go back often to those Giants for help of various kind; we note we as modern man have a habit of late to go back to our Indigenous ways of living searching for the old wisdom of spells, magic, wholeness and wildness that only those primal people (and God’s) can know.

In the next post I will introduce my hypothesis of Thor being a representative of “the missing link.” ~I.e. fine tool use versus crude stone age equipment in forcing the powers of primal mankind to bend to our will via force and powerful “tools”.

Which all began with a Hammer.

Meeting our Scandinavian Kindred, continued…

Lars E Pic Galdrs commentary pic

This week we will sit down with Lars Magnar Enoksen.

Lars Magnar Enoksen (b. 1960) of both Swedish (maternal) and Norwegian (paternal) heritage, has written twenty-nine books regarding Runes, Galdrs, Glima, Norse Mythology and Viking History. Primarily published in English and Scandinavian tongues, but also translated into German, French, Japanese and Czech languages.

Besides that, he has a prolific fighting/wrestling (Glima) career and was officially awarded ‘traditional martial artist of the year’ 2016 by the Swedish budo & martial arts federation. As well as being a vintage punk rock era musician, an illustrator of obscure graphic novels and former story-writer for Walt Disney’s worldwide comics. Still performing live as a Galdra singer and collaborating with internationally successful bands such as Wardruna, Gaahls Wyrd and Lindy-Fay Hella. He is very active doing practical weekend seminars regarding Runes, Galdrs and Glima all around the World.

Questions for Lars Magnar Enoksen, as given by contemporary Volva and seidkonna, Ivy Mulligan; ~owner of the 21st Century Heathen and V.P. of The Asatru Community, Inc:

Hail Lars!
I am taking your very well given advice, and for this particular Interview created for the purpose of educating our readers in The Asatru community about misnomers some hold with Runic magic use in ritual. (especially the use galdr)
Thank you for agreeing to this answering of questions!

I will begin with explaining that I have created a Men’s retreat, to know Odin and the runes in a very personal way.

Under guidance and in a Immersion retreat, each man comes to know Odin on a personal level, and how to apply his runic magic; by trial and ordeal; via the guidance left to us in both the Hàvamàl (verse 138-165), of the “Elder” or Poetic Edda, which is one of the primary written sources for Norse mythology.

I have taken the MERSEBURGER INCANTATIONS (Merseburger Zaubersprüche), the two magic poems from pre-Christian Germany to be the foundation of this three day, multi-weekend retreat.

The first poem describes the activities of valkyrie-like sorceresses called the “Idisi” who have the power to bind or to free battling warriors.

The second poem tells how a number of these goddesses unsuccessfully attempt to cure the injured leg of Balder’s horse. Wodan (Odin), with his unfailing magic, knows the right charm, and the horse is healed. This pre-Christian incantation is similar to charms against sprains recorded in the Orkney and Shetland Islands during the nineteenth century.

So within these three poems and their context, during the three long weekend retreats; each man also learns the ways Odin did his runic magics, as a Warrior, as a Magician, as a “King” and as a Wanderer.

For my research to create an effective class, I use your Books written in English, as well as a few other sources that might be classified as “obscure.”
I would like to ask you some questions I personally want to clarify about Runic work, once and for all.
I am looking for your Scandinavian, and more specifically, your Swedish take on this subject, as Odin was once thought to be a real King, besides being a Norse God.

First question(s) I have seen in repeated work, (yours included) that we must learn to pronounce the futharks by saying their consonant or vowel sounds correctly; but some American “Experts” state to “Galdr” this is accomplished by chanting each Futhark in a repeat-the-syllable type way. Is this what you would call ‘Galdr’, or just the beginnings of training our voices for galdr? (Other American “scholars“ claim just intoning the futharks via throat singing is actually galdr. Is that true?)

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Nope, totally wrong.

Question: How so? Could you explain this? I know by reading your books and then using your clarifications of proper Galdr in a Norse Mystery week led by Inger Johanne Syverud I was totally misunderstanding Galdr! It wasn’t until Inger introduced us to your work, then showed us how to galdr properly, that then most of the workshop participants understood many of us here in the US are mislead to think the process of Galdr is simply saying a Futhark in a long drawn out sound. But that is incorrect, yes? Can you explain the way it should really be done please?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Ok! First of all, we must define what a Galdr is. A Galdr is an oral incantation, made in a repetitive manner – where the initial phrases are repeated and their interchangeable activating words alliterates. This is made in three stages. (1, the invocation – where the three powers that a Galdr needs are hailed and called upon. 2, the intention is stated as a demanding wish – with clarified very and exact expressions. 3, the activation of the conjuration are presented as an affirmation – where the result is already working.) These guidelines are called “Galdralag” (the law of incantations) in Old Norse. However, this oral conjuration, can be presented as a graphical symbol – which is also called a Galdr – to help the warlock/witch to focus better on its meaning. This symbol should be very simple, so it can be easily drawn with saliva on your forehead. Puh.. Sorry that I give so nerdy answers, but we need to clarify your sloppy Futhark statement too, since I have no idea what you mean by that?

Question: I have also seen this method of intoning the futharks be called “aspirating” the runes. Have you ever heard of this? (Again, I have heard some people think this is “galdring,” but how do you feel about that?)

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Sounds strange. I don’t even understand the question, since there are too many un-authentic Runic assumptions in it…

Question: I read a paper where a gentleman suggested breathing in the Futhark each singularly, while pronouncing it’s sound on the inhalation. The author claimed it would infuse your body with each “rune.” But am I correct in understanding the Furtharks are not the only meaning to the word Rune in the Eddas? Is there a deeper meaning, and can you explain what that is?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: My best advice is; learn some basic knowledge about the Runes first. As understanding the evolution of their graphical structure and which sounds are connected to them. This simple beginning is something that is utterly lacking in most modern Rune activities. I regard Runes as the highest knowledge of the North, which also my ancestors did! Then you should be skeptical when somebody teaches the Runes in a superficial way, without any authentic wisdom at all behind it. When that has been said; yes, the Runes are of course connected to sounds! But not in the way you just mentioned…

Question: In my course I am trying to teach healing with using the runes, like was customary in Old times. Can you give any insight into how you might make up an incantation to heal someone from a physical injury, like a hurt back? Like what futharks would you pick, and what galdr would you sing? Also would a healing of the persons spirit be possible this way as we do with our body; with futharks and galdr? Can you explain how?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Yes, you simply construct the Galdr (with healing purposes, or with other aims) through the “Galdralag” (see above) structure, which is the basis of all Galdra-performances. Hence, if you don’t master or understand “Galdralag”, then you are just faking it.

Question: What exactly is Galdralag? How does the word and it’s meaning differ from just Galdr? Can you give an example of a Galdralag in the context of healing a back injury?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: By following the wisdom of Galdralag, it helps us understand the genuine art of Nordic wizardry, as well as how to construct our own galdrs. And there is no difference – in its performance – of a healing or a hurting Galdr. And to keep it short, I have written two practical books in the subject. “Galdrs Of The Edda” (Scandinavian Heritage Publications, 2014) which pinpoints and explains all the 38 preserved authentic medieval Galdrs found in the Codex Regius manuscript of the Elder Edda. And the “Norse Sorcery Compendium – Galdr & Runes” (Tribal Wizardry Publications, 2018) teaches it from a more practical point of view. But be aware that these books are not for the beginners, since it goes directly to the core of the matter and assumes that the readers are already interested in these subjects.

Question: In trying to sing galdr, what is the way you would create an alliterated chant to say as an example, change someone’s mind? How would you create the chant while using the futharks in the incantation? What would that look and sound like?? Can you clearly describe how you would do this?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: First of, you need to know HOW to create a Galdr (and the “Galdralag” structure is our guide to that). However, the Futharks – has NOTHING to do with Galdrs! A Galdr, is an oral incantation. Runes are graphical presentations… Hence, it is the WORDS – not letters – that are important in Galdrs.

Question: Why do you think so many people in the last 10-15 years have so misunderstood the structure of creating a Galdr? So many people share mistakenly that the Futharks are the “runes” Odin captured. It leads to most Heathens never getting the use of your deep, powerful teaching. Can you give some examples of where in Norse mythology a person can read to explain the proper meaning of runes, and therefore Galdr?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: How should I know that? Maybe it is because they did not learn it from a living tradition. Or simply that they just make things up, as they go along… I myself, was introduced to the art of Galdrs through Glima-wrestling. Where it is used – on master level – to become invincible when the opposition seems impossible to overcome.

Final questions! In the Havamal, I have read and re-read this passage (as have others) countless times.
As a rune master, I genuinely wish to know how you interpret these very powerful lines; as I being English speaking, feel there is something important I miss via the translation and not understanding deeply as you do, Old Norse etymology:
Question:….“Runes you will find, and readable staves, {what staves, like bind rune staves, special futharks, incantations?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: This passage refers to learning and understanding the strength and possibilities of the Runes. And for doing that, you must learn the Runes – in an authentic way as possible. But if a person don’t even have the basic knowledge of Runes, then he/she is doomed to go astray.

Question
: What is the best way you recommend to learn the Runes as authentically as possible? How did you learn these powerful arts? What and where did you find your answers?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: My best advice, is that you start with academic books or reports about Runes. Just to get a good foundation to build upon. Regarding my own Runic path, I have never had any problems understanding that valuable knowledge takes time to achieve. And I was willing to spend enough energy to learn the difference between the good hardcore stuff – and the lame un-authentic information spread by charlatans.

Question:.…”Very strong staves. Very stout staves. Staves that Bolthor stained. Made by mighty powers. Graven by the prophetic God.
For the Gods by Odin, for the Elves by Dain, By Dvalin, too, for the Dwarves. By Asvid for the hateful Giants. And some I carved myself: Thund, before man was made, scratched them.” {does this mean special runic chants were made for and by these wights ( vätte ) and for them alone?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: It refers to mythical persons and tribes that were supposed to have great Runic knowledge.

Question:…”Know how to cut them.” {The futharks themselves, or incantations or both?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: There is no difference between using the Runes as letters or in incantations. But yes, it is vital knowing the different Futharks – as well as their similarities and differences. However, anybody that starts with the Elder Futhark without checking the connection to the Viking age or Medieval Runes, will never achieve any greater knowledge in the subject.

Question: So if I wanted to make a very powerful incantation, would I use the Futharks entirely to make the incantation? Meaning, would I replace my English language with Old Norse? Or can the English language be properly transcribed into a Futhark writing word for word?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: The problem with English, is that it is a linguistically “un-pure” language and has too many loan-words in it. You have to search for the expressions that can be traced back to Old Anglo-Saxon to find powerful genuine English words. And once again, the Futhark has nothing to do with a Galdr! More than Runic signs can duplicate that sound of a Galdr, of course.

Question:…”Know how to read them. Know how to stain them.” {Am I correct to assume this mean every work of runic magic should receive a blood sacrifice?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Perhaps, since it means how to paint them and what liquid to use. So, blood is an excellent choice, of course.

Question:….”Know how to prove them.” {What does this mean, prove them? By trying them out? Seeing if the spells come to fruition?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: It means, that you need to test your skills – so they work in reality. The “eight enigmas” give great advice in this matter. If putting it simple, if you cannot communicate with Runes – then it is time start learning that!

Question
: What are the eight enigmas, and where can I learn more about them? How do you recommend someone communicating with the runes? How do you yourself communicate with them?

Lars Magnar Enoksen
: He he – you speak about the Runes in a way totally alien to me. There is no easy path to understand the eight enigmas. Most people only understand three of them, but seldom four or more.

Question:….”Know how to evoke them.” {How do we do this? By simply galdr them? Should we invoke Odin each time?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen
: You should actually invoke three (3) powers – not only one – in an authentic Galdra-incantation.

Question: What are the three powers to invoke? And how do we do this? In a formal ritual, or blot? Can you give me some specific details?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Yes, it is the three Gods (or nature powers) that you already are interacting with and knows that they will listen you request. First step, is to befriend an initial power/entity. Then two, and lastly three. I would say, that this process takes around 15–20 years to complete. But then you have great possibilities to create powerful Galdrs.

Question: …”Know how to score them.”

Lars Magnar Enoksen
: He he – totally wrong translation of “soa”… Since it is about the much needed skill to revoke a conjuration due to changed opinions about the targeted person.

Question: Fascinating! Can you give me a hypothetical example of this process as you would do this?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Yes, you just reverse the words of the Galdr. (On that part.) Thus changing its aim and meaning.

Question: {Is this different than the line above; knowing how to cut them? I know its traditional to carve the futharks in stone or wood, but does these mean to also “cut” or “carve” the incantations as well?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen: Nope, same Runes – same techniques.

Question:….”Know how to send them. Know how to send them.” {This line seems quite important. By know how to send them, does this mean by just by using galdr? Is there more than that to sending them? How would that work, to know how send runes?}

Lars Magnar Enoksen
: You are totally correct. Knowing how to send the Runes/Galdrs/intentions – is to most important aspect in the Runic art of wizardry.

Thank you so much for taking this time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions Lars. I know you are writing your next book, as well as coming to the States in November.
Would you mind telling me your itinerary, so encase I can get the chance to see you in person I could?

Lars Magnar Enoksen: He he – I am not difficult to find. Perhaps through my webpage:https://www.larsmagnarenoksen.com/

Lars cartoon

~Nice talking to you! It was both fun and challenging answering your questions, Ivy.

Meeting our Scandinavian Kindred.

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Hail!
As Vice President of The Asatru Community and owner of the 21st Century Heathen,
I will be sharing interviews with Scandinavian heathens whom I have come to meet, as both friends and mentors along this path of what I call “The Old ways.”

I have come to find as a self taught American heathen, Gythia and Volva, somethings about this ancestral path I struggled to learn, as some of the etymology and customs of the old Norse was at times hard for my 21st century English mind to grasp until I gained clarification and guidance form these wonderful Scandinavian heathens.

It wasn’t until I actually began to work with those kindred of people who actually live upon the soil of my ancestral homeland, that many of the deep secrets eluding me within the lore began to whisper to me the true meaning of the Runic magic all the nine words and its inhabitants have to offer.

I came to find these Scandinavian heathens, via working in an intimate way with not only The Gods who walked the land where they reside had at times a keener insight to these mysteries of the Lore. Was it due to understanding the original etymology better than an English speaking Heathen? Perhaps; but I also feel, by the fact they are living along side and working DAILY with the landvættir and energies of the place where the Ancient magic has, for the Millennium, seeped deeply (through sacrifice and blood)into the rocks, mud, streams and mountains; they take these magics into their bodies, on a daily basis.

Make no mistake here: I am not saying living in Scandinavia (or Iceland for that matter) makes you a more authentic or valid follower of the Old Norse ways of Paganism known as Heathenry. What I am saying, is if you, like myself, are truly adept and have dedicated your life to this path as I have done, there is a deeper, richer kenning to be gained; a more thorough understanding if you will, of the obscure telling of the Old Norse myths and concepts. By speaking with the indigenous people of Scandinavia,and hearing in their own words those fragmented stories of Old, the mythology comes to life in a new and deeper way. Once one begins speaking with (and working along side) the Natives of that environment, you can’t help but have your practice enlivened and enriched.

I wish to share some basic questions I have asked them, as well as their biographies. In doing so, I hope to help explain the differences (if any) that by living where they do, how the demography and topography brought them closer (and with less struggle) to a deeper understanding of reclaiming this path of Norse paganism than I myself have experienced. ~Since I am a few generations removed physically from the place of my Ancestry, these questions for me, were personally very much real and valid questions.

I will share four separate interviews: One with a life changing personal mentor, Gythia and Volva Inger Johanne Syverud from Norway. I hope to share her experience as a God-woman and Seer who travels to the US on occasion and gives workshops.

In another interview, I will also ask a spiritual and well known “soul singer” of Heathen Folk based music Lindy-Fay Hella, as she epitomizes for me the power of magic held within one of our most ancient arts and tools; our voice, and the power of enchantment through song.

I also will ask Lars Magnar Enoksen, a Master Runologist, Author, and Gilma instructor the deeper and often missed questions and understanding to rune work and Galdr that only someone with the understanding of the native Norse language can truly unlock. Lars opened the door for me to the profound understanding of runes and Galdralag. I feel if he wasn’t living where he does, nor if Lars didn’t have such a deep understanding of the language, my insights gleaned from his vast runic knowledge would not have been possible.

And finally I will ask Jean Lauridsen who runs multiple online groups for Old Ways education, to show how his Scandinavian Heathen life might differ from a US Heathen life even while being influenced by technology in a similar fashion as everyone around the world is influenced by it. By viewing how his Scandinavian lifestyle is impacted within this very modern world of easy access to millions of people and vast amounts of information; we can see by his answers he learns to balance both the old and the new. Jean is in service consistently to the Old Ways, and his story of being a Lore Keeper, wedding the Ancient to the Future, is a vital role in our modern Heathen world.

I hope you enjoy these short interviews and come to see the amazing treasure that I have discovered in coming to know the talents of each of these amazing 21st Century Heathens living in the Homeland of the Norse Gods..

Jean Lauridsen

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I’m a Dane I live here in a town named Esbjerg in Denmark, have done that all my life.

It is very close to Ribe only 30km apart that’s the town the Vikings went out from when they went to Lindisfarne, Ribe is the oldest city in the North it’s from the year 710 so it is more than 1300-year-old an amazing town.

I’m 47-year -old 48 next January, I am married to Charlotte for 5 years now, we have been together 8 year in a month or so. I have 8 kids with 3 different ladies + 4 grandkids, family is everything and a big part of my life. I have 6 girls + 2 boys age ranging between 16 to 25 3 are named after the old ways Freja, Røskva and Tjalfe.

My grandkids are 3 boys and the latest arrival is a little girl named Luna 😊
3 years ago I started my education I am on at the moment still have 11 month left so school is also a big part of life right now, I needed to figure out something to do, I used to be an offshore welder but a motorcycle accident destroyed that Job for me, my shoulder wont allow me to do it anymore it is kaput, I hitted a light pole drove way to fast idiotic right I know 😊 so I went jobless around for 18 years living of the state because that’s how long it took me to get back and feel good again ready for new challenges. We have an awesome welfare system here in Denmark that takes care of people when shit like my accident happens, I even get paid right now for being in school do I need to say I love Denmark with all my heart.

I also train a lot 5 days a week love it, a big part for me as Asatru’er is to always try to improve myself in every aspect of life bodybuilding is just one way I do this, studying is another way. Taking around looking at all the sites we have from before the Viking age and to the end of it is also something, I do a lot.

I also do a lot of visiting all the different Viking markets we have here in Denmark, last summer I spend the weekend at Jim Lyngvilds market in a tent that was awesome we had a Seidr there after closing hour in Odin’s temple the temple Jim build in honor of the gods Inger Johanne Syverud was the Volva an amazing experience once again 😊

Been on the heathen path as an Asatru as long as I can remember back, still wear a Mjølnir I got at the age of 11 – 12 year old by my mom I actually wear 3 the one I got from my Mother and oe I got from my daughter + the big one I bought myself when I was on a date with my wife so all 3 means a lot to me even though it is kinda overkill to wear all 3 I do because I simply can’t chose and I feel naked when I’m not having them around my neck I never take them off only to clean them.

For many years I was a solo practitioner I did not realize the fact that there was a lot of others out there with the very same belief as me. And I was all in all happy with just being alone, however I must admit looking back I was happy because I did not know what I was missing out on being alone in the path, after I started the whole Facebook thing I realized there was many out there and I connected with them first online then later in real life.

Haven’t been this dedicated always when I was younger, I did not take my faith so serious it was just something I had, but after that crash I had on my bike (crotch rocket) I started to feel I needed more in life, more in my path so I started to read up on all the sagaes the Eddaes and everything I could get my hands on I truly figured out this path was what it’s all about if I wanted to be happy again that helped me mentally to overcome the fact I lost everything in that accident, the Norn’s sometimes spin our tread very strange.

Some years went on here on Facebook were I learned people with the same faith a myself to know, started with my friend Alex to drive to Roskilde Zealand were we had found a group of awesome people, that invited us into their circle and had Blòt’s with us that was the exact moment I knew I was not going back to be solo practitioner again.

Alex and I went over there some years in a row, 4 times every year, then we decided it was time to start our own kindred so we did, and that has been an awesome journey, we started Blòtgruppen Sol Esbjerg that’s the name or kindred have, first time we had a Blòt we were around 15 people that attended so it took of very well, there was a need for one here in Esbjerg where we live, and now we have members from all around Denmark. So that was a huge success and people seems to enjoy the group very much and that makes me happy. The place were we do our rites and rituals are an old Iron age area (homestead) with a lot of energy the gods are truly present there, it’s in a forest just outside our town were we have been allowed to borrow the place for our Blòts of the city council. It is an area were there are 4 shelters to spend the night in with room for around 6 – 8 people in each, and there is a huge space for people to set up tents we normally take an entire weekend at midsummer blòt out there Friday to Sunday, and just enjoy being with equals.

The first year I had the role as the kindreds Gothi. This year Alex is the Gothi so we both can take all roles and do the ceremonies.in case anyone get sick so the Blòt’s still is on and we do not have to cancel.

I am a member of Forn Sidr the official recognized Asatru society here in Denmark have been a member for some years now, Asatru is a recognized religion here in Denmark and in the North in general.

Asatru here in Denmark is not looked down on because most people understand instinctively that this is what created the north and the north men and we also learn about the old gods from early age as kids in our schools, it is a huge part of our culture, the Viking age even a bigger part I think.

This year I also joined in with the Swedish Nordiska asa-samfundet so I am also a member there. I joined them because they are more around in all of the Northern countries. + I learned some awesome people to know that was in NAS when they visited Forn Sidrs Althing (that’s where everything in FS is decided) last year so I wanted to be a part of that as well. Forn Sidr and Nas is trying to get a union up and running a connection between the Nordic Nations asatru’ers we still need some from the other countries to join in, but it is a start.

I have met some incredible awesome people on this path true the years and hope to meet even more to connect with. Because the more we are the stronger the faith will be.

Til árs ok friðar

QUESTION 1
What is Ásatrú, or Heathenry mean to you?

Jean: Simple answer it means everything for me😊
Asatru is a way for me to connect with the gods and goddess those my ancestors believed in by doing this I also feel closer to the ones that came before me with out them there would not be any me so I respect my ancestors very highly and I do remember them in times of celebration. Asatru is a nature religion mostly for me almost everything I do within Asatru is outside out on the places my ancestors walked, we have many old places here in Denmark places that still today have the energy of those that were before. It is a nature religion and that’s where I do all rituals outside in nature that’s also were, I feel closest to our gods and goddess.


QUESTION 2

How did you discover this path?

Jean: Been on it as long as I can remember, grew up with a mom that was culture Christian and not really believed in anything, and a Dad that believed in the old ways the old seed. Here in Denmark the old ways never left we have so much that are directly connected with it, in our language names, roads are named after the gods etc. we also learn about the old gods in school so I think it’s just what came most naturally for me to be Asatru. And I have never doubted that this was the path for me to be on, + it was the believe of the ancestors and that matter to me. I have never seen the idea of the dessert religion even though I’m married to a Christian woman we still respect each other’s right to have our own paths.

QUESTION 3
How do you see it being done differently in Scandinavia as compared to the US?

Jean: The biggest difference as I see it from over here, haven’t been to US yet so it’s all only what I see online as for now, is that so many in the US kinda seems to when they find this path they have huge difficulties leaving the old luggage behind their old religion so they kinda mix it up I think that’s because US compared to Denmark is way more Christian than the Danes are most here in Denmark are what we call culture Christians they don’t really believe its more a tradition than a faith to them so that can be a reason that it is difficult to leave it completely behind.

QUESTION 4
Is there magic in Ásatrú (Heathenry)?

Jean: Yes, defiantly there is: rune magic just as an example + everyone that have participated in a Seidr will say yes there is magic. Go out in nature and try to listen to what it tells you it won’t be more magical than that in my eyes at least it’s also the best place to connect with our god’s I think 😊

QUESTION 5
How do you personally honor the rites and ceremonies of Ásatrú (Heathenry)?
Jean: I made kindred with my Friend Alex some year back and we keep growing in members in it. We have the 4 season Blòts can’t really describe what we do under those because that’s for our kindred only not that it is secret or anything we just like to keep it in the circle, and we do take on trips to different places we just been to Sweden and Norway with the kindred, next year in February we are heading for US California and meet up with American heathens from L.A. that is also something I find very great to do make connections and get the word out about the gods not exactly a rite but done in that spirit.

I try to do my best everyday in honor of the gods but rites and ceremonies is not something I do in particular everyday I do them when I feel it is the time to do it, if you do it to often you wont gain energy from it but loose energy I think.

Something I have been lucky enough to do is participate in Seidr at Jim Lyngvilds temple Odin’s hof were Inger Johanne Syverud was the Volva. 3 or 4 times I have been there doing this and it is amazing that place have so much energy and so have the people there. Other than that, we sometimes do drum rituals that’s amazing to do also.

QUESTION 6
How/Why did you become the creator of so many heathen groups?

Jean: Because I was an idiot ha ha and somedays, I wish I had not done it 😊
Short answer I felt the need to do it, just something I had to do back when I started it on Facebook I thought I could do something good with it still think that 😊
It all started when I made my first page “Fuck Heaven And Hell I’m Going To Valhalla” and some of the followers of that particular page encouraged me to make a group were they could learn about Asatru and connect with others with the same faith so I did I made my very first group it had some name changes for different reasons but ended with the name “Path of the raven” when it started to grow and got up around 15k members I gave it to the admins that helped me with it and left it, because I at that time thought it was to big to be funny to have. It got removed by Facebook without any explanation at all. Next was I made Followers of the old ways that should be my little group I had this idea around 5k members would it get and how wrong was I we hitted 75k within the first 6 month I made it for all kind of heathens, pagans, everyone that did not follow the mainstream religions was welcomed. So, we all could get to know each other’s paths. We also have the group for our kindred with a page connected

QUESTION 7
Which Gods (if any in particular) do you Serve?

Jean: All of them
but some are closer to me than other Freya is very close to my heart I even named my daughter after her 21 years ago. Odin is also one I often send a good thought because without him as an inspiration I would not have started my education in my age.
Loki has always had a place with me as well because without some sort of chaos there would not be anything to learn from situations, we need chaos to grow. But all the gods are very dear to me I love them all.

QUESTION 8
What would you tell American practitioners about Ásatrú (Heathenry) as it is done in Scandinavia?

Jean: Do not hide who you are be proud of your ancestors and the old gods, to many is paying attention to what the neighbors think and feel , it is not their path it is yours and you should embrace it in all places.
we probably do have it easier over here because here in Denmark no one cares about what our neighbors believe in we do not ask them if they want to share what they believe with us that’s fine but no one really pay attention to others faith.
something I have noticed with many of the Heathens from the US is that they almost try too hard.
Relax do not try so hard the gods are there even when it feels like they are gone. No one expect you to read the Eddae’s daily or the Havamal for that matter, take your time and learn it in your own tempo. Here in Scandinavia I have never met anyone that followed the Nine Noble virtues we really don’t need a set of guidelines like them it is good guidelines but I seriously don’t think they belong in Asatru, our own moral compass should do just fine but to many seems to believe they are the core of Asatru remember they were first put together in the 70’es by some real questionable American folks.

Question 9
What do you see for the future of worldwide Ásatrú (Heathenry)?

Jean: I do believe it will continue to grow, that there will be many more that will be coming home again, home to the faith of their ancestors. My hope is that all the good people out there starts to show who they are what they are because that’s the only way we can get the faith to be recognized world wide as it is now it’s really only all the rotten apples that show who they are those that give us all a bad name. but I do think more and more are starting to show who they are show the world we aren’t rotten all of us, but we are humans just like the rest of the world.
Til árs ok friðar

Why not celebrate your life triumphs, it is only Life after all….?

Loki

Its time to ‘feed’ the Spirits in the Wires today, but I am inclined to do it a different way.

Yesterday after speaking with my good friend about life, our trails and what we face as 21st century Heathens, Volvas and human beings; I hung up the phone worried about my dear Sister, hoping the Nornir are kind to her wyrd as she struggles to make her life choices that seemed daunting and bleak.

I went to bed sending her my thoughts of support and when I rose this morning, my friends tough choices of how to navigate her life through a seemingly unending minefield-wrought-trajectory was fresh on my mind. How do I tell her to stay strong and overcome this now to common-place series of every day crisis’s and upheavals that we ALL seem to be facing in the modern world?

I went outside to stand in the dark and drizzling rain, deciding a smoke of natural tobacco was what I needed. That’s when I heard my ever present Guide chuckle, and then proceed to merrily chat at me from dry the corner of my porch. I turned and glared Him down, stating “how dare you be annoyingly upbeat and chipper right now! Can’t you see I have a ton of shit I am dealing with right now?” (Not to mention its annoying to be startled from a deep melancholy revelry by a happy upbeat voice; how can I possibly process the way out of life’s doldrums like this??)

“Did you ever consider telling your friend instead of getting lost in the conundrums of her inevitable life’s lessons of growth she must face, to remind her to think of all the good and powerful life choices she has made over her life time? You know, celebrate and hail all her accomplishments; so she can look at the right and sound life choices she has made, so she can use them as a reference point to choose a empowered and happier way out of a sad situation? Like, give her some much deserved self generated strength by looking at the amazing things she has accomplished and done with her life as a success! Truly Ivy, you are a bit too much of a drama queen for my tastes sometimes. lighten up, its only life after all!”

What??! I just stood there my mouth wide open, and a rain drop splatted out my hand rolled as if to make my point.

“You should really quit smoking, it kills your kind you know. Any way, I think that the problem here is everyone gets so caught up in what they view as life’s shit shows, people don’t use the one thing they got that’s put there for a reason. Hope. That word goes hand in hand with humor, and remembering the good things about living; especially our own great deeds. Why do you think we left you all with so many stories about ‘Heroic’ feats? Because Coyote Girl, no one gets inspired to go conquer the world if all they hear or dwell on, talk about, and regurgitate is how hard life is; or how awful, or unfair, cruel, hard, or insane. it is especially silly to somehow get lost in making a bad situation BAD, by settling in to the thoughts our past ‘mistakes’ somehow mean how unprepared we are for battle. ~Even if that battle isn’t epic. You see oh wise one *snicker* the second you are born you are prepared to surmount the battles you face in life, its called tempering, and as long as you’re alive, you’ve proven you are invincible, because, well, you made it thus far, battle scars and all! Get it?”

I just stood there getting wet. After a minute, I realize I’m cold and its time to back in.

You want a cup of coffee? I ask Him.

“You gonna tell your friend to remember all the good things she has accomplished in her life, and strength is not all about having to wallow in old wounds, or only revisiting the hurts and traumas she has actually conquered to be a powerful Volva and human being?”

Uggg, I hate when Gramps is right, especially in such a upbeat way. its hard to be serious when hes like that…Ok, I say, lets go in. But really, drama queen?

*chuckling* My faithful Guide only replied “I like my coffee with cream and LOTS of sugar!”

Spirits in the Wires

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So, to help combat the powerlessness we sometimes feel, I saw a post from one of my students, Dylan Rae Wulf, about being sensitive to the vibes of the interwebs.

I had to walk away from daily use of technology because I was being shown the vibration and unnatural power it wields, though at times useful, is beyond our understanding of it’s all encompassing foreign influence on our bodies, minds and soul.

We must remember it’s a man made entity if you will, an artificial intelligence created by man’s need for ultimate all knowing; and like all forces called into being by humans who can be reckless with wielding our will into the cosmos, the created force of “the internet” has become a life force of its own- given the continuance of its life force by all the people who feed it, both beneficially and as a maligned entity.

Charles de Lint wrote a book called “Spirits in the Wires” and although it’s a fantasy novel, like all mythos there is truth in it’s telling.
I enjoyed de Lint’s take on the internet being a place inside the spirit world, and that it’s inhabited by spirits that seek to gain what they can in the form of devotions from people who use certain sites. The mainline of the story follows Christy Riddle and his shadow Christiana as they quest to find Saskia, Christy’s girlfriend, who was sucked into cyberspace when a virus hit a site she was visiting.
The way the problem evolves, (and the point of using the story as reference) is because everyone (especially those of mystical leaning) seems to wish to live in a world detached from our corporeal one; which explains one possibility to the dangers of all this building technology that is dominating ALL aspects of human living at an alarming rate.

The eitherwebs IS a place of raw, detached energy, and again it’s fueled by human thoughts, will, wishes, emotions, magic, and combined SEARCHING.

I have found without the proper warding or understanding, It’s(the Spirits in the Wires) need for “more” will suck every human mind into its net, causing us to loose our self identity, our trust in our personal self sovereignty and our connection to organic physicality.

I have discovered the more we feed the spirits in the wire, the more dependent we become to feeding it.

Do what you can to ward yourself and limit your exposure to this entity that needs your interaction to survive.

Stop going online daily, limit your exposure time, and be of the utmost care in what parts of yourself you feed IT.

Be well my Tribe, and know I love you deeply.