I am a follower of Galina Krasskova’s blog Gangleri’s Grove, I have read books she has written and contributed to, and I appreciate her scholarship, the prolific and academic quality of her work, and especially the fact that she is fiercely devotional to the Gods and her principles. THAT said, Ms. Krasskova frequently makes a statement that the Gods are NOT archetypes, but active personalities and powers that interact directly with people, and therefore the Gods deserve our devotion and our love. Agreed. But here is where my own life experience makes me want to put my two cents in for whatever it is worth.
I am going to differentiate “archetypes” as a mere intellectual exercise and use “Archetypes” -note the capital A, please- to denote the deeply experiential power of direct interaction with the intimate, collective “Archetypal” energies as intuited and written about by Carolyn Myss, another author who has been a great teacher for me through her books. Please do not make the error of dismissing Ms. Myss as a “new age” type of guru. She is not. Rather she too is an experiential, hands on, real deal guide for those who are spiritually serious seekers after their own self-knowing and their own truth. Ms. Myss and Ms. Krasskova are Mystics of a high caliber.
When intellectually minded scholars categorize the Gods (or God, depending on one’s point of view) as small-a “archetypes,” they are simply that – intellectual. Our entire culture is infested with this disease of intellectualism that dismisses an entire part of our own being that is EXPERIENTIAL, in favor of rote memorization. It is what we have been taught, but it is our loss until we are willing to stretch and grow into deeper relationship with ourselves by expanding our willingness to experience, and think for ourselves instead of echoing what we have been taught. Otherwise an idea remains purely intellectual and not taken into the Soul Realms of our Being – and here I must use that word, BEING, because that is precisely the level of awareness that is missing when people try to make a direct experience of the Gods, and yes, Archetypes, into an intellectual exercise expressed on paper but not through one’s heart, and mind, and hands.
The Gods and the Archetypes are powers that exist outside of and beyond the conscious level of the human individual. They are not the same, but They are most directly experienced at the level of the Wiracocha, the Crown chakra, which is the part of a human being that becomes awakened with the fullness of the light of conscious being. I have “seen” that every human being has a silver cord extending upright from the Crown of their heads for two to three feet whereupon it fades from conscious sight into the Heavens (Jesus said “Heaven is among you”). It is the human connection with Life Source Energy. In some people this cord is active and pulsing with energy, and in other people it is faint, but still existent. It is this center, the Crown chakra, that comes awake when we seek self-knowledge and to grow into our personal enlightenment. The awakened Crown chakra connects Mystics, Prophets, Gythias, and Gurus to the realm of the Gods, the Archetypes, Angels, and Mythos. The Crown chakra does not come awake and stay awake without a whole lot of sincere, honest, and steady work on one’s self (purification).
In the years before I was called by the Norns and Hela, I invested a lot of time investigating the Archetypes through Carolyn Myss’ book Sacred Contracts. Carolyn Myss as a gifted medical intuitive began sensing these vibrational frequencies in relationship with her clients, and learned that people make “sacred contracts” with these collective energies as part of their birth plan. I discerned the Archetypes that I work with and created artwork to illustrate them. The Archetypes come in with our birth and guide our life choices from the depths of the Subconscious from the seed of our purpose for this incarnation. I would describe the Archetypes as energies of the human collective, with which human beings engage in relationship as energetic powers that work through us and with us, but are not experienced directly as distinct personalities as the Gods may be experienced.
To clarify: as an artist, I work with the Artist Archetype, but the energy of the Artist Archetype does not appear to me as a separate and distinct personality saying, “I think you should paint a picture.” Rather I simply feel like painting a picture, and then the energy of that Archetype works through me to paint that picture. Perhaps it is safe to say that the Archetypes guide us to “mastery” of a technique or a skill set.
Whereas when I need for the sake of my soul to be in deep devotion to the GNG (my Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty, who are the Norns and Hela), it is not the broad concept of an Archetype that I call to and pray to, but my direct and personal experience with the known personalities of these Goddesses. The Mystic is the Archetype that helps me in mastery of my connection to the Divine, but the Divine is separate from the Archetype. The GNG make Themselves known to me through Their essence, or the felt vibratory emanation of Their Being, and thus my devotional practice becomes a deeply felt, experiential, resonant, and loving guidance for my own life and being.
Sometimes the lessons are hard, sometimes the lessons are easier, but I strive to meet each lesson through the lens of humility, service, and open receptivity. When I fail, I must own that I have blockages in place, some of which may need to be broken down so that I may continue in humility and service. In a shamanist practice, the breaking down is called “dismemberment” and the putting the pieces back together, “rememberment.” The practice each individual brings to their spiritual and soul’s growth will be distinct to their individuality whether they follow the stations of the Cross or the Way Odin showed us upon Yggdrasil when He got the Runes.
I have had the experience of God as Light in the darkness of night. More than once in my experience, I have seen the night lit up as day. One time when I cried out from a pain I was holding in my own spirit at the state of the world as I saw it, Gabriel emerged from the Light and asked me why I felt that way. The content of that conversation was deeply personal, but at the end of it, I was remembered of how God loves everybody. Gabriel started to shrink back into the Light, and I felt His parting in a visceral way, but then out of the Light stepped Apollo, Who told me to remember Asclepias, to whom He taught ways of healing. That was my first meeting with Apollo, and guided me to a better way to pray for the human collective.
That experience for me, seeing the Light, and two very important spiritual Personages step out of that Light and recede into it, has confirmed for me the Shamanist/Animist viewpoint that everything has life and consciousness, and the probability that we all share Life Source Energy, makes the Oneness of “God” -by whatever Name- as much a possibility as the Polytheism of “God,” so why is humanity still stubbornly arguing over whose God is the right one? My experience of the Gods is that They love us, and stand ready to help us and guide us to greater degrees of love and usefulness.
And someone here will ask about the Dark Gods. I will reply that Adversaries exist as polar extremes to the Light Gods so that we can find our way back to our own personal power. Fear is sometimes more of an impetus than a kind facade. Please read The Tibetan Book of the Dead, in which Gods of Light reveal their monstrous faces to those who do not respond to their face of light. Death is just the other side of the coin of Life.
The chakras, like the rungs of the ladder on the way to Heaven in Jacob’s Dream, like the Kabbalah, or like the Worlds on Yggdrasil, correspond to the Ascension of the human soul as we evolve toward the state of the Gods. These types of diagrams point out a map or a method of self-development. The Root is our “Earth” connecting us to our body and the ground upon which we stand. The “Sacral” is the Womb and the point in which the spirit incarnates into the body, or Earth experience. The Solar Plexus is the aspect of Will; of ideas, beliefs, and accords that form our personality; and the ego identity with which we must struggle for truth (awakening) or lie (remaining in the “comfort zone” of waking sleep). To ascend, one must pursue truth, in which the Sun of the Solar Plexus ascends into the human heart, surrendering personal will to divine will. This opens the door to creative expression through the Throat Chakra, that which we give voice to. The “lower self” of the lower chakras gains greater clarity, definition, and personal meaning through increased capacity to remain awake to the “higher centers” of the Brow (Third Eye) and Crown Chakras. These two “higher centers” are always awake, but it is misconceptions, wrong conditioning, and wrong beliefs and blockages held at the Solar Plexus often through stubbornness or fear and trauma that keep people from their own ascensions. Ascension is not a one-way process, but a continual climbing and descending the Tree of Worlds during our own life. An epiphany is seldom a one time “AHA!” moment, but many collective through life.
When I was new to the Norse pathway, I saw the correlations between the Chakras and the Worlds on Yggdrasil, but it took me a few years of questioning the GNG and study before I saw that the direct correlation was held in our Creation Mythology, where Odin, Vili, and Ve blew the life of humanity into two trees. Odin gave the Breath of Life – Spirit; Vili gave Will; and Ve gave “Blooming Hue,” or the blood. Odin’s gift of Spirit (breath) corresponds to Throat chakra, Vili’s gift of Will to the Solar Plexus, and Ve’s gift of blood to the Heart chakra.
There is a double message here in the gift of will and the chakra that the quality is allocated to:
Ve is also the name for the “Sacred Enclosure.” The heart is the place at which the willing human lifts his or her own will to be in accord with divine will, and this is the place at which self-transformation, transcendence, and manifestation take place.
The three Gods named Voden, Vili, and Ve are also named Odin, Hoenir, and Lođur. From other sources, Lođur is another name for Loki, the Trickster God. Odin gave the gift at which the point of creation is manifest, in the divine breath, but Hoenir and Loki gave the gifts which must work together in order that the divine gift might be manifest in humanity. Hoenir is at the level of our life on Earth, or Midgard, where human will is directed to the needs of survival and even thrival in the material realm. At the level of the Solar Plexus, the sun calls for life to be lived on the physical level and thus the human will is directed in a certain way. But for more, for the divine in humanity to be lifted up to the Gods, the human will must be lifted up. The Heart chakra is the meeting point between the physical and the spiritual, and the Beloved Trickster God, Loki is the master of this sacred trust.
Within each of us the polarity exists: I am hot, I am cold; I like, I dislike; I love, I hate; I am honest, I deceive. Perhaps the greatest deception of all is self-deception, those lies which stand between myself and the truth of Who I Am. As the Trickster, Loki plays both the Guide and the Adversary, and becomes the Mediator between the Truth of myself and the Lie of myself.
We see both sides to Loki throughout the mythology. He is the helpful one whose negotiations with the dwarfs conspire to bring the Mysteries to the Gods: Freyr’s ship, Thor’s hammer, Sif’s hair; but his own pride in his negotiating skills ran away with him, and he got his lips sewn shut for his troubles. He is the one who to save his own life from an eagle, promised to deliver Idun and the apples to Thiazi, but he returned them again. In one myth, Loki even eats the heart of a witch, but since the rest of the manuscript was lost to age and rot, we really don’t know whether the witch was Angrboda or Gullveig, although arguments rage on in favor of both. In short, Loki represents the stages of the heart in which we weigh first one, then another outcome in the decision making process. When we surrender our human will to the divine, then Loki enters as Ve, and our heart is the sacred chamber of spiritual and soulful ascension. At this aspect of manifestation, Hoenir and Loki are working together to manifest the spoken creation at the level of the Throat chakra, Odin’s gift to humanity.
I will probably have a lot more to say upon this topic in another blog, but for now I will simply suffice to summarize that in my opinion, or two cents if it is worth that much, the Archetypes and the Gods are both necessary to human ascension, and should be respected and revered not merely as an intellectual activity, but as an experiential one.