Morning Musings

This morning I groggily rolled out of bed, muttering “Fuck!” to the alarm clock, grabbed to shut the noisy thing off, and rushed to throw my clothes on in the cold of the morning. My mind was traveling toward the worries of yesterday, and my mood growing fouler as I went downstairs to prepare for work. I rounded the corner, and Hela stood there in her fearsome aspect, and my heart jumped, and my thoughts took a sudden “OMG!” turn. As I calmed down, I realized she had startled me on purpose, because the downward turning of my mood was not solving anything. Startling me probably amused her, but she did me the favor of returning me to my more humble self, from where I try to be of service, instead of in that nasty self-importance that prefers my self-comfort to waking up in the cold and the dark of the morning and all that brings. FYI, I have a standing request in to the GNG (Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty) I work with that I remain humble. As I said before, this is not in a way that humiliates, but in a way that serves.

As I went about the familiar tasks of checking blood sugar levels and preparing breakfast and lunch, walking the dog, and packing creative work for the day ahead between bus runs, the following words came to me:

“Make friends with Death because She’s the only way out of life.”

Hela probably prompted that, but it amused me, because once we are born, the fact that we are going to die becomes inevitable. Then I heard:

“People have made over God in their own image as good, benevolent and kind – a God you have to do nothing to earn salvation, because they say Jesus did it for you. You MUST SEEK, if you would FIND. God is not a plastic toy to entertain children while their parents are at work.”

Hela and I have conversed often over that one.

I was raised Christian, but it never felt right to me. The Norns were introduced to me in 2013, and that felt right. Hela introduced herself not long after and that felt right too. Gradually I met more of the Norse pantheon and I felt I had come home.

Rather than make God in one’s image, one strives to make the most of one’s opportunities in life, deed by deed gaining in wisdom and becoming better people. It takes a lot of work on self to grow one’s soul. There is a lot of introspection, reflection, and contemplation. There is the will to accept and experience. To be open to the Sacred requires a willingness to accept and be challenged by life; there is a hunger for devotion, to merge with the Beloved; and there is a need for prayer, solitude, and a lifestyle practice centered in these experiences. This may not be for everybody, but it certainly is for me, and my experience of life is more engaged, creative, and inspired than ever before.

Have I been scared by the Sacred? Sure, but when I come back to myself and do the required inner work, I am clearer than before. God – by whichever Name you worship – is Grace. A Death Goddess? Why not? For all that She can be fearsome, I have found Hela possesses deep compassion and a gift of listening. She would have it, right, as the Mother to many dead? So make friends with Death, because in the end, She’s the only way out.

Although I’m somewhat flippant here, for any readers thinking about suicide – DON’T! Life is also precious and sweet! So if your sorrow is running that way, please seek help. Those who love you will spend the rest of their lives wondering what they could have done if that is the choice you make.

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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