Tree of Life

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Since I took up with the Norse, I think a lot on the Tree of Life, Yggdrasil. Yggdrasil is a symbol with rich and far reaching connections to Life, Death, and all In-Between. As the Being that stands within Ginnungagap, Yggdrasil represents that most basic foundation of consciousness: Being. As someone who has talked and thought about Consciousness most of my life, I have noticed that whenever I mention “Being,” many people’s eyes tend to glaze over and ask why I am talking about Existence. This reaction has led me to believe that many people fail to appreciate the width and depth of their own Being. To simply BE, to take a moment without thought or haste or strong emotion is to sit quietly in the Well of one’s own center, to fully appreciate and know one’s own inner depth and breadth. And it is at the level of Being where the Norns come into the play of Time passing in the Cosmos. As they govern the Weave, and the Weave is woven from our desires, thoughts, choices, actions and consequences of those actions, I think that visiting my own Being has been a very important resting point for me during the course of my life.

Of course the Tree also offers other road maps to adventure and soul. The Trees of the nervous and circulatory systems exist within our own bodies, for example, which remind me of the importance of Ve’s gifts to humanity. There are family Trees. From the Root to the Crown we are tapped into the DNA of the Ancestors and the Descendants, those who came before and those who will continue as we join the ranks of Ancestors. We are never alone because we are surrounded always, in our own blood, bone, and DNA by the spirits and legacy of the people who are family and those who are spiritual kin, teachers, and heart kin. The worlds on the Tree are related to the chakras and offer clues for those of us who have come through such alternative healing methods as Reiki. And most importantly, the Worlds of Yggdrasil stand alone for their merits in understanding the ever changing flow of Consciousness. In this, Yggdrasil holds Awareness of and for all the beings moving among its worlds.

There is not a myth, legend, or stray verb about Yggdrasil that does not have a teaching for human life. The Squirrel Ratatosk running up and down the trunk of the Tree carrying gossip to the Wind Eagle Hraesvelg that lives atop the Tree has every bit as much to teach as watching the squirrels in the park on a sunny afternoon. The news and industry he conveys are amazing. The Winds travel the Worlds like Odin’s Ravens Huginn and Munnin, and it is wonderful what can be learned simply by pausing and watching the goings on in life. Thought and Memory – those are what the names of Odin’s Ravens translate to. At my age, perhaps, there is more watching than doing, yet I was young once, and despite more years looking backwards than forwards, those memories are rich with love, understanding, and joy. I have learned from my mistakes, done my best to make right things with those whom I have wronged, and let go of what I cannot control.

What I enjoy most these days are the quality of the relationships I have with the people I love, the Nature beings that surround me, and the Gods. Yggdrasil, Hela, and the Norns have offered me many lessons in learning the truth of myself. I have honed to the best of my ability the capacity for Awareness, Intention, and Attention, the gifts Voden, Vili, and Ve gave to humanity, and these qualities have enriched my life beyond gold.

Published by susanofthenorth

Susan Hintz Epstein is an author, Rune diviner, healer, non-academic scholar, and former Methodist Lay Speaker who was called by the Runes in 2013. The time since then has been a serpentine shedding of one skin for another, as Susan's spiritual practice with the Runes and the World Tree, Yggdrasil, deepened. Susan keeps company with the Norns and other like-minded women.

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