Since I began practicing a spiritual lifestyle, I have discovered that it is a solid practice to “check in” with people I know and trust to get a more impartial viewpoint on “How’m’ I doing?” in maintaining a clear and coherent spiritual connection. My person of choice is Cathy of The Sisters Are In podcast. We talk candidly, we laugh together, and I absolutely know and trust that nothing – NOTHING! – is going to leave her confidence. Cathy and I are soul sisters of the sort that can embrace people of any life walk or any religion as long as there is that “vibe.” We know that people are in our lives for a reason for the exact length of time they are supposed to be there, and that someday our energies may shift as we shift, and it is time to move on or re-adjust to a new pattern together. Relationships can continue after the initial reason for two souls meeting up is accomplished – like in a marriage, when what brought two together no longer jives and if two choose to stay together, they need to find another common purpose. Love can still be present, but our inner goals change.

About nine years ago, the Norns entered my life. My husband and I were sharing the learning of a shamanistic relationship with the water element. He had alerted me to the presence of the Spirit of the West Kill and I made her acquaintance, and she became a tutelary spirit for me. In January of 2013, she called me late one night to the Mesa and introduced me to the Norns.

The Norns are the three giant women from Niflheim that oversee Wyrd and Ørlög. Wyrd is the turning of the flow of life and Ørlög might be most closely translated as karma. The principles are similar, but there are subtle differences. Karma presupposes that we pay for our mistakes with justified returns, like an eye for an eye. But Ørlög (as Paul Bauschitz explains in his book The Water and Well) is more like action and the consequences of actions laid down one upon the other like the stratified layers of soil. The leaves that fall provide a ground cover and basis of rotting down for the new growth to come after. This is Wyrd. Life is always in motion, turning and returning to a starting point like yet unlike what has come before.

Our actions proceed the consequences that will bring in the new direction.

The Norns are named Urđr, Verđandi, and Skuld. The phonetic “đ” is pronounced very much like a “th.” Urđr is the Norn of the Past, or That Which Was. She oversees the ground of Being, from which the Present, or That Which IS arises, overseen by Verđandi. Urđr appears as a Norn of great age, resembling the Past that she oversees. Verđandi appears as a Matron, a motherly woman whose life experience has made her capable of achieving much, although nothing in the Lore mentions that these women ever bore children. It is a comparison I am making based upon my experience of Them. The appearance is relevant, though, because the Past is accumulated experience which teaches us how to deal with life, and the Present is the moment of Power to act and choose. It holds tremendous capacity. We cannot act in the past, it is already done. We cannot act from the future, it has not arrived. Rather the power to act and choose stems from our best capacity Now to discern and act from what has gone before in order to accomplish what we can imagine the future to hold for us. Skuld, who has been called the Norn of the future, is rather the Norn of What Should Be, based upon What Was and What Is. Wyrd turns, action flows into consequences, and these consequences form the strata of that which Should Be.

There is no future set in stone. Although every action has consequences, the round of possible consequences can have many potential outcomes. When people come together to work on a thing, or to trade, deal, or otherwise participate in a common concern, each person brings to it their expectations, hopes and fears, and what they are willing or not willing to do. Every potential outcome is thus colored by the thoughts, feelings and actions of those meeting at a certain point in time. Thus the Norns are also said to oversee Time. Time as I mean it in this context, is Time while we are in the physical realm. Any given lifetime has its point of Birth, Death, and every aspect of life in-between.

When a client asks me to Divine for them with a Runecast, I never sit them down with a statement that I see all clearly. Rather the reading becomes a dialog between the energies of the Runes and what is going on in their life now, what their concerns are, and what must or may change based upon the outcomes they are seeking. So if you go to a fortune teller and are told X, Y, and Z, you may bring about that outcome by the belief you place in it. Instead I believe that Divination is a sacred art intended to help us further our life purpose.

I have warned young women away from the attachment to a certain man, but they have built too many expectations around the way they thought things should go, although the man was sending clear signals he was not interested in attaching. So although there may have been the possibility of a more devoted individual on the horizon, they allowed the pull of the current relationship to take precedence. We always have free will, to choice and decide as we wish. But there is always also the consequences of exercising that free will. I like to train people to develop their inner Observer, sometimes also called the Witness, in metaphysical literature. Strengthening this aspect of our self also strengthens our mindfulness and capacity to be more in tune with discernment of the potential consequences of our choices. For example, if you spend more than you earn, you might end up broke. Or if you eat more than you need, you will end up chubby. Life itself demands a balance between movement and stasis, action and inaction, want and satisfaction.

Taking the time for a spiritual “Check In” like I did with Cathy this week, is a chance to hold my own strata, to discern what I have laid down for the life ahead, and then to rise up on the branches of Yggdrasil and play a little. Odin wants his children to be joyful and passionate and delightfully creative. I hope you will check in with your self on a daily basis, and enjoy the life you have and whatever is coming up for you!

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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