Hagalaz is the Rune of sudden change, those endings that lead to new beginnings. When Hagalaz arrives in a reading, it does not mean that things are going to be comfortable, but it does indicate that one is at a point of new growth. If one is on a spiritual path, as I have been with the Runes, this is a wonderful point to arrive at.

This past year I have learned to surrender. My beloved was in the nursing home, due to the changes imposed upon his body by old age, and he has recently transitioned to the Spirit world. He is home with me now, in his urn, and his presence has all of the old feeling to be found within our friendship, but I can no longer live my life by what has passed away. I am giving myself this year to dance with grief and see what lessons it brings me. I am giving myself this year to live alone and learn who I am without the habitual consideration for another person’s wants and needs. We were lucky to have found each other at the tail ends of our lives, and maybe there is a book there, about the dance of dementia and the spiritual components I met along the way, but that book is not fully emerging yet.

What I am doing is taking stock. The dance of grief is like the crest of a wave I ride, and when it breaks upon the shore, there is a measure of peace and tranquility, but also often the treasure of a good memory. I reflect how often I took for granted what I had until it wasn’t present any more. Alan was a wonderful cook, and last night as I was making Calamari Fra Diavolo, I was struck by the memory of how the last time I had it was when he made it for my birthday two years ago. Of course there was sadness at the memory, but it also led to reflection upon how often we showed love for each other and in such quiet ways that love wasn’t often noticed.

When we first met, Lois T. Martin, gifted psychic and numerologist said that Alan and I were Twin Flames. I did not realize at the time that Twin Flames can trigger the hell out of each other, and I was hoping for comfortable romantic love. HA! Comfortable? It could be. Romantic? We had that. Cards of sentiment and flowers on special occasions, yes, we had that. But when we triggered, we triggered hurtfully and often there was no talking around that. I remember one occasion when I recognized that I was triggered and my reactions were also triggering Alan. That was a point at which I became more able to pull back and simply be a witness to what was happening on the emotional plane. There finally came a point in Alan’s care when I had to totally face down all my triggers, to allow love to dominate all the rage and hatred I could feel when my triggers were fully engaged. It was not an easy moment, it took courage and a total willingness to face who I am with all my own shadows and rage. Love won out in the end, and though Alan was in a nursing home, we had that final year to say everything we needed to say. There were some funny and some not so funny moments, but I have good memories to tide me through until my time on earth is over and I am with my kindred spirit again.

Meanwhile, I have started a YouTube podcast that you can access through the domain name RuneOfTheDay.com in order to engage with my passion for the spiritual growth that daily work with the Runes provides. In case you don’t know what the Runes are, the simplest definition I can offer is that the Runes are symbols used as an alphabet and also as symbols for divination, or fortune telling. They come down to us from Germanic and Scandinavian heritage, definitely earlier than Roman times, and probably much older than that. The Runes are tied to the God Woden who sacrificed himself to himself on the World Tree Yggdrasil, in order to come into contact with the highest mysteries. He gathered up the Runes and taught their use as little mysteries to guide the process of life for humanity.

And while I’m on the topic, humanity is just that. Humanity. Some people try to interpret the Runes as symbols of white superiority. You will never find that with me. There is not “races,” but the human race. I consider myself a human being among other human beings who like me are running the “race” from cradle to grave. Nothing is more equalizing than death. Death is the great leveler. Equality is a myth. We come into life with what we are given genetically, in terms of supportive or non-supportive family, and in my opinion the best way to get through both the difficulties and joy in life is to give and receive in pertinent measure. Have and establish relationships with those you trust, maintain your part in the give and take of those relationships, and you will never or seldom be without someone to have your back when the hard times hit.

Deep Subconscious Workings, the Norns, and Time

The Norns were introduced to me back in 2013 by the Undine in charge of the creek that flows behind my home. My husband of two years had received some shamanic training and taught me techniques that deepened my capacity to learn from the spiritual beings who work within the realms of Nature. I had been learning from this Water Being since 2010. Little did I know then how wonderfully life could unfold for me.

The Norns came to me around the Mesa I keep in the manner taught by Don Oscar Miro Quesada over a weekend at Camp Rowe in the Berkshires in May of 2009, revealing that spiritual messages and beings can easily cross lines of tradition. To explain the Mesa, it is a time honored lineage of the Peruvian Quechua tribe, who are descended from the Inca. The Quechua peoples secreted themselves away from the developing world during the years of colonization, and brought their teachings out of the mountains of Peru when they were shown that the human collective would need their teachings of Anyi. Anyi tranlates as “today for me, tomorrow for you,” and is a message of reciprocity and caring for one another in community. One can learn more about the Mesa practice through books by Don Oscar Miro Quesada, Bonnie Coffin, and Matthew McGee. I understand that Alberto Villoldo also teaches the Mesa. I am not very familiar with his methods, even though I have studied with those who are. His books too are worth reading.

The Norns are three ancient female powers within the Scandinavian, Germanic, and Indo-European heritage who weave the cosmic “law and order” of fate and destiny, called in the old language “Wyrd and Orlog.” “Wyrd and Orlog” are concepts fitting what contemporary people know more commonly as “Karma.” The three Norns appear as women of three ages. The oldest appearing Norn is called Urd, who recalls the past. The mother age appearing Norn is called Verdhandi and she is the ever-present and unfolding power of “Now.” The youthful Norn is Skuld, who unfolds what “should be” from all that has gone on before and the choices and decisions made in the ever-present “Now.” When the Norns first appeared to me, they seated themselves around my Mesa. As Mesa carrier I sat in the South, Urd seated herself in the West, Verdhandi in the North, and Skuld in the East. They brought their Weaving with them, and passed the shuttle back and forth around the Mesa, sharing their weaving with me.

This was a very powerful experience for me. I could sense the energy as the Norns passed the shuttle. At that time, I was enduring my first husband’s efforts to gain full custody of our son. The Norns questioned me as we examined the situation: What outcome do you want? They were not there to help me “win” or to get revenge. Rather I needed to chose to align my spirit with the outcomes that I wanted, and I wanted what was best for my son. I had to align my will to what would come in order to gain the answers I sought. What I most wanted, I told the Norns, was to rebuild my relationship with my son who was in the middle of the conflict. I willingly chose to surrender my resentment and anger in order to remain open to what would be. We passed the shuttle of the Weave between us, the Norns and I. With each question, the answer came as to the actions I would need to follow through on to receive the outcome I requested. I acted on the Norns’ advice, and the outcome I requested emerged for me. To this day I enjoy a positive relationship with my son, who also remains close to his father.

The entire process was deeply emotional. Confronting the uncomfortable aspects of my own psyche shook me deeply, but brought me to a deepening truth of myself. The questions that arose as I studied with the Norns led me to a truth that the old Norse Mythology provides a structured method to understand whole aspects of human consciousness and a way to evolve consciously.

The Norse Mythology is structured around the great World Tree, Yggdrasil (pronounced eeg-dray-sil). Yggdrasil means the “steed of the Terrible One.” The “Terrible One” is Odin, who sacrificed himself for nine days and nights on the World Tree in order to gain the Runes. The abode of the Norns, Urd’s Well, is located at the base of the World Tree. The Poetic Edda places Urd’s Well in Midgard, Tolkien’s “Middle Earth.” Tolkien drew his inspiration from the Norse Mythos. Later in the Prose Edda, Snorri Sturlusson placed Urd’s Well near the place in Asgard where the Norse Gods meet to uphold their laws. Although the Norns do have their association with cosmic law in terms of actions and reactions resulting from the consequence of our choices and decisions, I believe the placing of Urd’s Well is at the base of the trunk of the World Tree in Midgard. My reasoning is thus: In shamanic terms, the physical plane of Earth is where humans are embodied in order to carry out the work of our spirit in “flesh time.” In this manner of thinking, death is something that happens to the physical body, but the indwelling spirit returns to the Source until it’s next incarnation.

In the most basic worldview of a shaman, there are three worlds: the Upper World, the Middle World, and the Underworld. The Upper World is the realm of the Gods, the Middle World is where humans dwell (and where Spirits are embodied in physical existence), and the Underworld is the realm of death and the afterlife in which souls review their lifetime just past, and other souls await birth.

The powers that dwell in the heavens and the powers that dwell in the underworlds present duality and the struggle between the spiritual and material planes of existence. This struggle is like the continual striving between our waking consciousness – like the ordered consciousness of the Gods – and our Subconscious, which is always working to inform us of why we incarnated in the first place, despite the forgetfulness of physical life. Our waking consciousness, which is usually run by our intellect, seems to be the dominant consciousness. In reality, the Subconscious is like the bottom of an iceberg – the Subconscious is far deeper, and connected intimately to dreams and the World Soul, as the work of Carl Jung attested.

Upper world powers such as Gods, Angels and Archangels, Elves and Enlightened Masters, and Underworld powers such as the Ancestors, Dwarfs, and Hela, who oversees the Realm of the Dead, are Beings that humans can connect to when they make the choice to evolve consciously and “make the Subconscious conscious.” This is just another way of suggesting you develop your emotional intelligence and learn to trust your intuition. The Norns have shown me that they work with Hela and the spirits of the dead and the unborn in order to create the blueprints of a new lifetime. I find this information incredibly fascinating, as it seems to me to be upheld by the many stories of NDEs described by those who have died and come back to life.

The three worlds concept also relates to the fact that Shamanism holds the view that a person has three, or sometimes four and five soul-aspects. (Multiple aspects of the psyche or the soul relate to which cultural form of shamanism one is taught). The three we understand the most easily are the physical, the emotional, and the intellect. To these three, some add “spirit” as the animating breath or life force. The fifth soul-aspect is shared by all animal life, and has been called “Chi” (or ki, or li) and termed by Gurdjieff as “sex energy.”

Much more will be said later related to the idea of how consciousness is organized, but for now it serves to point out how the structured consciousness of a human being is related to the Cosmos and a human being’s place within it. The Northern Cosmology is as valid a point for this understanding as the Creation Myth of Genesis. I believe that Creation Myths in general ought not to be taken with the assumption that they can ever assume the burden of scientific “proof” – a fallacy many people fall into as many of us have been taught that we should take the Bible, for example, as literal truth. Instead, recent neurological research indicates that humans process what happens to us as story. We take in the evidence of our sensory apparatus and our mind sorts through many impressions and creates a linear sequence of events in order that we might understand the perceptual input. Truth is relative, as seen through many eyes. Good religious stories were established by our ancestors in order to awaken the knowledge of the heart. I am happy to see that many people are awakening to this understanding now.

The Norns with their Well have an association with water, and esoterically speaking, water has long been associated with emotions. The Norns utilize the water from Urd’s Well to water Yggdrasil, which is the Norse equivalent to the Tree of Life. Emotions are the real power behind all we want, say, and do, and in getting to know ourselves it is key to understand your own emotional feeling-states. I was thrilled by the content of Brene Brown’s new series Atlas of the Heart on HBO Max, as she helped me to further define just what it is I am feeling in any given moment by raising awareness of language as a portal to this understanding. In their action of watering the World Tree daily, I believe the Norns are watering awareness. I believe that awareness is what the Tree of Life represents, and in giving attention to our inner states and our sensory states we are watering our awareness like the Norns water their Tree. The Tree too stands proud as a symbol of the interconnectedness of all Life. This is a topic I look forward to talking about in future blogs.

Rune of the Day

After getting shouted at by my favorite “check in” psychic for being too intellectual, I have re-approached my public face. Yes, I get it. People with their busy days want short, simple, easy to understand, go to information for their psychic take on the day. Long-winded diatribes on what is easily one of my favorite topics tend to put people off. What it really comes down to for me is having fun with what I’m doing and also putting something out there that helps people to feel good. So for a smiling cheerful take on your day, why not check out my YouTube channel? You can get there from here: RuneOfTheDay.com.

I have many plans for this work. I want to host online classes on the Runes. I want to talk about how the Norse Mythology and the energies of the Runes contribute to an individual’s soul evolution. I want to talk about how the Nordic Tree of Life, Yggdrasil, is like the Tree of Life inside us. I want to talk about Shamanism and how a shamanic practice can add meaning, purpose, and soul fulfillment to one’s life and relationships with Great Nature. It certainly has done that for me.

I am making small beginnings to get back into the swing of life. For those who have been following this blog, I have been distracted by my husband’s descent into dementia. Dementia is a hard illness to watch in someone you love, but I am learning that the process also makes you stronger and more resilient. In order to avoid going down the rabbit hole with your loved one, you find ways to re-create your own interest in life on a daily basis.

I am grateful that I met Alan when I did. It was back in 2009, at the tail end of the year. I had encouraged a Reiki circle I was leading to attend a workshop at the Catskill Mountain Foundation. Alan was giving a talk he titled “Healing and Mystery.” Alan had taken classes with Brugh Joy, and had been a shaman’s apprentice. He shared methods for me to deepen my own practice in something I was deeply interested in. We married in 2011. I will call it an Autumn-Winter romance, with both of us toward the end of our lives, and sixteen years between us in age. I enjoyed having a best friend at home who was interested in the same things I was and who shares my intelligence.

Letting go and grieving are emotional challenges to be sure. The counseling I have received from spiritual mentors and friends over the past few years has been to step fully into an emotion to process it so that its suppression does not block my own clear feeling of life. But it works. The pain is there, is going to be there, no matter whether I want to experience it or not, so I have chosen to undergo the process willingly. I want to enjoy joy. Let it be!


So here I am, at home for the moment taking care of a spouse who is home from the hospital, getting over thoracic surgery, and generally not himself. I don’t need to say it is hard. I am a very independent person, and I need a certain amount of creative and contemplative time every day, which I am not getting. Perhaps the sentiment among some readers might be that I should be the loving devoted wife whose every apparent concern is for her husband’s recover. I am not that person. Of course I want him to regain for himself some independent quality of life for himself, but my motives are both caring and selfish. If he is independent, I am not waiting on him hand and foot. And I am trying not to wait on him hand and foot! I have to look at this period of time as his period of need, he is at the moment invalid, and like a baby, the body needs care. Sometimes I get that great big smile and the loving gaze in the eyes, but it is not enough to sustain me, or ride the roller coaster of emotions that come with this type of journey.

I have been blessed and lucky to have met women who have walked this road ahead of me, with aging spouses, spouses with dementia and/or alzheimer’s and they know the heartaches. The advice they have for me, is “Take care of yourself.” When I coaxed my spouse into the ambulance because he was gray and not meeting his own needs, I acted on the emotion that was in me at the time. At this point, I have the hard truth that to save a life can make one responsible for caring for that life, and all the harsh emotions that ride with it. Still there is the higher awareness that at the level of the Spirit where the Gods dwell, there is help and care aplenty. I do not know what soul lessons any other person might need to take away from any experience we are part of and/or party too, so I try to look at it that way.

There is no life and no soul growth without conflict. I love the teachings of the Norse Tree of Life, Yggdrasil. Yggdrasil, with its Nine Worlds provides all the necessary wisdom for navigating life’s challenges. There are times of ascent in life and times of descent. Grief, anger, and sorrow are points of descent in our emotional state. Likewise, Joy, Ecstasy, Curiosity are qualities that help us to rise up. Unlike other forms of religion where ascension or the end of the wheel of reincarnation seems to be the goal, life on Yggdrasil meets all kinds of challenges and conditions with the understanding that life experience is the foundation of all wisdom. It might be my life experience, or yours, or that of the Ancestors who formed our own becoming, but life experience is the foundation of all wisdom and all knowledge. Like the Norse Creator Gods, Odin, Vili, and Ve, who wandered the worlds after their act of Creation in search of what they might learn. Everything seems to be in a continual state of rising and falling. When I can bring this awareness into my relationship at home, I do find more equanimity with a very hard situation.

It’s not about sacrifice. It’s not about suffering through something, but rather about surrendering to an experience in order to remove the personal resistance I am feeling. When I look at the second Aett of the Rune cycle, which consists of Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa, Jera, Perthro, Eihwaz, Algiz, and Sowelo, I see the flow of challenge, need, a time of stillness, the round of the year, the Mystery/Norns, and the ascent and descent upon the Tree, which having undergone, brings Victory of a sort. The transmutation might be strong enough to change my inner state, or as simple as solving a difficult problem, but I like knowing the Runes, and the Gods (as long as I am willing to learn) have my back.

It’s not to say there won’t be hard times. But to everything there is a season, as that old song from Ecclesiastes goes. The wheel of the seasons goes around, time turns, and things are different again. Hopefully better than before.


No book or course on Norse Mythology 101 would be complete without beginning with Yggdrasil, as the Nordic Tree of Life and Worlds remains at the foundation of the “Soul Map” of the Northern peoples. For one who has truly studied the Northern Mythos, the stages of psychological growth are obvious.

In the beginning of Nordic Cosmology there was the Void. Within the Void perhaps the Great Tree existed waiting, or perhaps it came into being when the World of Fire, Muspelheim, collided with the World of Ice and Mists, Niflheim. At any rate, after the collision of these two opposing worlds, fire melted the ice and the conditions for life arose. At this very beginning was Yggdrasil, Audhumbla (the Divine Cow), and Aurelgimr, also called Ymir. His name translates roughly to the Roarer or the Mud Roarer [Kvelhaug, Maria. Seed of Yggdrasil]. Thus the Norse Cosmology contains within itself the Big Bang and the theory of Sound Vibration as a source of the creation of ongoing life, shaping and reshaping itself.

From this first human-like being, the Giants arose from the movement of his thighs and from under his armpits. The Giants populated the world as it was. Of note were Bor and Bestla, whose son Buri sired Voden, Vili, and Ve, who were the three God-brothers who acted to create the rest of the Nine Worlds. They slew Ymir. From Ymir’s corpse they formed the worlds. Ymir’s blood became the Waters, his bones the Earth, his brains the Clouds, his skull the Dome of Heaven. The Sun and Moon were put into their places, and to further lighten the sky at night, the God-brothers took sparks from Muspelheim’s fires and set them in the sky as Stars.

The three God-brothers were wandering one day, admiring Their handiwork and exploring the Worlds They had created, when They came upon two trees, an Ash and an Elm. From these trees They gave rise to humanity. Voden blew in the Divine Breath of his Holy Spirit. Vili gave Will, Mind, and Perception. Ve provided the movement of the blood, circulation, the communication of the five senses, further offering to humans the gift of sensuality. It is through Ve’s gift of the five senses that Vili’s gift of the Will and Mind interpret via Perception, and Voden’s gift of frenzied inspiration motivates humans to act within the world. This is like the three parts of ourselves that modern psychology calls physical, emotional, and intellectual.

The Great Tree Yggdrasil, whose name means “Horse of the Terrible One,” acquired that name when Voden sacrificed Himself to Himself upon the Tree for an ordeal of nine days and nine nights and thereby gained the Runes. It is said in the Voluspa that the Norns, the three great giantesses from Niflheim, scored the Runes on the Roots of the Tree to govern the Wyrd of the beings dwelling within the Nine Worlds. For Odin, this was a journey to the Root of the Tree where the World of the Dead, Helheim, is located. He journeyed toward Death in order to obtain the life enhancing powers of the Runes, which among other things are tools enhancing life in the hands of a Rune master.

Odin’s journey to obtain the Runes was a sacrifice of his ego self in order to actualize his ascended self. After Odin’s sacrifice, the fear of death had no more power over him. This is something that students of Northern Mythology 101 can learn from. The fairy tales remaining to us are actually teaching tales that came from our Ancestors in order to guide their Descendants. I can imagine these stories told during the long winter nights in the far North around a community fire. Our Ancestors were very much in harmony with Nature. Yggdrasil unites humanity with Trees, as humans were first made from trees, and the concept of having a Tree within us connects us also to the Nine Worlds like our spine is connected to the seven chakras taught in Kundalini yoga. Our personal power is our power in the world; we are beings of energy even as are the Gods and the Elements. In order to truly KNOW ourselves as such, we, like Odin, will visit the Root of the Tree and ascend to its mighty branches many times during our lifetime.

Welcome the Conflict

When the Norns first came to me, they gave me an Invocation that invited me to be of service. To be of service is to sometimes step out of the solitary self and into the larger community of humanity. Truly learning to be of service has been a huge balancing act for me. I share the Invocation in the book I am working on: Urd’s Well and the Goddesses of the Nitty Gritty.

Being of service to Deity and the larger community of humanity, has meant learning that as I am, I am not a large enough vehicle to contain the channeling for the Divine at all times. But who wouldn’t want to stay in that zone? It is uplifting, fulfilling, caring, powerful. But I have learned that to attempt to stay in that zone is fall out of it into a negative space in my own imagination that serves my ego instead of the needs of community. Instead, I have learned to find peace – or strive to find peace – with the community of my own soul.

It is a powerful act to be simple, to be human, to live and act without an agenda. Life offers challenges enough to distract and tear down that fragile inner peace. So I offer up these simple moments, these simple acts demanded by life, to the Goddesses. The simple actions of cleaning the house or raking the yard or going to work become mighty acts of gratitude when offered with mindfulness. Thank you for my life and what I have.

It is these moments, too, that offer the opportunity to come into emotional honesty with my small self. Here I can bring my worries, petty annoyances, angers, and larger concerns – with humility – to the Norns for resolution. Although life often demands waiting for answers, I have learned through faith and trust to wait for the Gods’ good timing. This has included help with improving relationships, financial burdens, and just in general seeking the next sense of direction.

I began working with the Norns in 2013. Soon after that relationship began, others from the Norse pantheon dropped in. The Norns and Odin showed me smoky scenes of battles – the evil purges of the Nazis – and I was told to make it right. I don’t know how to make it right, except to carry as much love forward in my life as I can.

When Odin came, he greeted me in German, a language I don’t speak, but I understood enough to realize that “Wilkommen al kriege” probably meant “Welcome the battle.” Later, when I was translating a book from German into English because it held information I craved, I bought a German-English dictionary, and I learned that kriege meant warrior. So whether Odin was welcoming me as a warrior or whether he was advising me to welcome the battle, either interpretation became important to me.

Although I have never served in the armed forces, I am a warrior. I have had to carry on when hope was gone. I have had to endure difficult situations, and I have risen up when others have tried to pull me down. I know something of struggle, enough to understand Odin’s blessing in those words, WELCOME THE BATTLE.

Struggle is what makes us stronger. Conflict challenges us to rise up and overcome. This is implicit in the second Rune row with Hagalaz, the Rune of “seed change” and wintery storm, followed by Nauthiz, the Rune of the Need-fire that also helps us to find the next steps forward, even though it is followed by Isa, the Rune of Ice, concentration, and waiting. Odin knows well that through the struggles with the stuff of life we will find our strength by facing down and overcoming our challenges.

Finding my own balance through the challenges inherent of stepping into and out of my larger self – the self I am in communion with the Gods – has been one of learning patience and mastering the art of waiting. The process has taught me humility. It has taught me how to contain my own energy in the act of waiting. There is more of myself to bring into service, then, when I am called. It is about mastering the art of integrity and right action.

Two Runes that guide me here are Teiwaz, aka Tyr, and Reidho. Tyr is the God who sacrificed his arm in order that the Aesir might bind Fenris, the “Wolf of Greed” (as translated by Maria Kvilhaug The Seed of Yggdrasil). Finding this inner balance has meant binding my own strong passions and emotions in appropriate circumstances, even as Tyr served to bind Fenris. Reidho might be considered the Rune of right action (although this seems a Buddhist concept) because it is the Rune of the lawful movement of the stars in the Heavens and the flow of activity on Earth.

There is so much just to be learned from simple contemplation upon the Runes. But those reflections are for another time.


I was thinking about the impulses that motivated me to give up Christianity. It felt like a huge act of rebellion given how church-going my family was. Mom was a Sunday school teacher who loved Jesus and only gave up teaching when her last illness made her body too weak to continue.

When I was seven, I was happy to go to church and strive for the ideals my family taught. But then the family cat got hit by a car. It was on an Easter weekend – “good” Friday to be specific. The cat did not come when Dad called him. Acting on intuition I looked behind the shrubs in the front of the house, and there Buffy lay, still alive, but with his tummy torn open. Dad tenderly got an orange crate from the garage and put Buffy on a towel he lined the crate with. Dad promised that if Buffy lived over the weekend we would take him to the vet.

As a little kid who believed what I’d been told, I prayed hard, but Buffy died on Easter Sunday. There would be no veterinarian, only a burial under the evergreen tree. Knowing I would never see Buffy again strolling to me making me feel like his favorite person hurt. I grieved. To comfort myself, I commented to Mom that I would see Buffy again in heaven. Mom said, “Animals don’t go to heaven.”

In research I’ve done for my next book, I learned that my trauma did not end, because the narrative was never allowed to finish its story in my mind. I was a seven year old, so I believed my mother. People who suffer traumatic stress replay the incident in their limbic memory – it becomes an episodic memory that does not end. Only recently, fifty-five years later, has the story gained a new ending in my narrative. Buffy now acts as a Guide on my journeys into the death realms.

Without Buffy’s passing the way he did, I would not have grown up with the questions I had that made me strive to seek the truth inherent within a religion instead of accepting the status quo that the myths within the religions are the reality. I studied a lot of religions, and I found so much beauty in all of them. The transcendence of the soul became a shining truth for me. I meet many people who allow their disgruntlement with religion to turn their faith aside into atheism, but I could never do that. There is a message in the mythology of any religion that speaks to the heart and the soul and often bypasses the intellect. This feels true because the intellect cannot always accept the Mystery.

There is a Mystery that accompanies the Gods, whether someone is a tried and true Christian believer, or one who has give that up for a religion that feels truer to my heart and soul like the pre-Christian religion of my Swedish ancestors. Heathenism offers the beautiful symbology of the Evergreen Yggdrasil, Tree of Life and Worlds to the Scandinavian folk. Below the Tree stands a Well, the Well of Wyrd, Urd’s Well, that nourishes the cosmology of the Tree and the Worlds and all who dwell therein. Humanity is enfolded into the expansive branches of Midgard, central world on that great and mighty and best of trees. Plants, Animals, Humanity, Gods, Elves, Dwarves, and Giants all make a home here and are nourished by the Holy Waters of Urd’s Well as it nourishes the Tree daily.

We are nourished by the Waters of that Tree, by the actions and memories laid down by our Ancestors. Our own actions expand that strata as we lay down our own actions and experiences to take part in the immense undertaking of the Norns, that great Weave of Life.

Just thinking upon these things, I am humbled and proud to be of service in that Weave. In my new -old- religion, Animals do live in heaven. They are all around us, as the Tree stands over us. And Buffy lives on again in my mind and heart guiding me on journeys to new experiences and adventures.

Waking Up

Photo by KoolShooters on Pexels.com

This morning I was reflecting on how the Mythos of any religion relies on symbols taken from Nature in order to guide and deepen human understanding. From the Christian religion, for example, Jesus often talks about the need to “wake up.” His examples parallel the waking and sleeping cycles of day and night, but His meaning is far deeper. His meaning is the same as the Buddha’s when the Buddha talks about the process of Enlightenment. Jesus and the Buddha are talking about a process that every human being will go through from birth to death, and from death into rebirth.

The process begins, perhaps, with self knowing. The process is like an ascent and a descent on the Tree of Life. We “ascend” and “descend” between the conscious, ordered mind, and the Subconscious mind, which may often seem chaotic, turbulent, and not always comfortable. There is a layer of “sleep” in waking life that is the accumulation of conditioned awareness that prevents people from truly awakening into the life of the higher mind. And sometimes when people think they are awake in the higher mind, they fail to recognize all of the turbulence hidden beneath the seeming of their surface calm. The shadows of the depths, once faced courageously and sincerely, can bring us great treasures for an authentic life. The ocean surrounding Midgard and the Midgard Serpent that dwells within those waters represents this layer of sleep in the Norse Mythology.

I love the Mythology of Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds and the lives of the Gods and Goddesses, Giants and Giantesses, Norns and Valkyries, Elves and Dwarves upon the Tree. The stories that remain to us from these old Germanic, Norse, and Scandinavian traditions are full of lessons of honor, humor, trickery, and striving. Magic is as real as science. The Norse Tree of Life itself provides a pattern for human striving. The example that humans were created from trees ties humanity to the life of the Forest and to the consciousness of trees being among the highest level of consciousness holders in the plant world.

There is a way to draw the Rune Algiz that ties us more firmly to the connection Trees make to the higher and lower properties within ourselves. This way of drawing Algiz is not reversible, and addresses the cognizance of which I am speaking – that one can always be connected both to the highest in one’s self and the lowest.

An older method of drawing the Rune ALGIZ

I have drawn this style of ALGIZ twice. The small circle in the drawing to the right represents humanity in Midgard/Middle Earth. In alchemical terms from the Emerald Tablet, “As above, so below,” our body is our Earth. Humans comprise the physical and the spiritual within our own bodies, and this is a sacred thing, as Odin breathed Life into two trees (Aske and Embla), Vili provided Will, and Ve provided the colors, sensations, and perceptions in accord with “blooming hue,” the blood that flows, the movement of the body, and the sensations recorded as perception. All of these are capacities the body, which houses our spirit, provides us during any one lifetime.

There is so much more to be inferred from this Mythos, but for now this is enough. What does it mean to have body, breath, and will? What does it mean to have awareness, attention, and the capacity for intention? Herein lies our potential.

Odin, Hoenir, and Lodhur

For a while now I have been striving to stay open to receiving guidance for my life from the divine. Intuition deepens. It is like listening, only with all the senses. It is like when we understand a thing, we say, “I see!” It is about the quiet knowings that clairvoyance makes possible. Language is not always adequate for expressing the fine nuances of feeling. Language does not always hold words for concepts that make their way toward consciousness from the deep inner wells of being. And I think this is why “religions” started with Mythology, because a myth or a story can be felt with the heart in its truth, even when the intellect with its belief in logic, gets confused into taking such stories literally.

I had a dream one night. In this dream, I was on an airplane flight with Odin, Hoenir, and Lodhur, the three God brothers of the Norse Creation Mythos who finished building the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life, before they gave two trees the gifts of human life. The three Gods sat side by side across the aisle from me, staring at me. There was nobody else on the flight. Just Them and me. They have become Guides for building my inner Yggdrasil. Getting to know Them, revering Them, and honoring their Guidance is life transforming.

By chance, I was taking Gurdjieff training from Ann Kelly when she drew a figure on the black board that consisted of three intersecting triangles. She said this figure was another form of the Enneagram. That was in 1988. In 2013, when the Norns came into my clairvoyant practice, I began researching everything I could find on what They told me, to verify -or not- what they taught. One of the figures I came upon was the Valknut, the exact drawing Ann Kelly had made on that chalkboard so many years before. If the Valknut was another form of the Enneagram, how did the Vikings come across it? Through some research online I was able to find that the Eastward migrating Vikings and the Sarmoung Brotherhood, the teachers of Gurdjieff, were in the same neighborhood in the 7th century. This was the same era when the Valknut first appeared in Gotland, Sweden. Circumstance? Or not?

When one lives with clairvoyance, circumstances more often than not are synchronicity. I think I am on to something with this, and I have written of it in the last chapter of my book Rune Play, available here. I will be deepening this research into a complete book of its own. But meanwhile, I am thinking often on the three God brothers of the Norse Mythology. Going back to the Creation Mythos, Odin, Hoenir, and Lodhur found two trees, which they gave the gifts of human life. Odin gave the gift of Breath, Hoenir gave the gift of Will, and Lodhur gave the gift of “Blooming Hue.” With these gifts the human beings Aske (Ash) and Embla (Elm) began their life on Midgard.

These gifts of the God brothers correspond to three “centers” – the intellect, the emotions, and the physical body. In shamanic terms, these are spirit, soul, and body. “Spirit” comes from the Latin word for “Breath.” Like the winds that encircle the Earth, our intelligence is full of ideas for what we want to do with our life and how to do it. The soul anchors our spirit to life within the body, “electrifying” us into movement in pursuit of what we need or want. Our emotions are a connection between the waking consciousness and the deeper feelings of the Subconscious that link us to the awareness of Earth. Like water emotions flow easily downhill around obstacles and obstructions showing us ways to accomplish our pursuits. The body itself is our personal “Earth.” What animates it is a sort of serpentine, creative energy that motivates and drives us and serves in the continuation of the species.

There is really a lot to think about in conjunction with the three God brothers and our situation as human beings. Odin, Wind God, is the Creative and Inspired Mind. Hoenir, who gifted Will, represents the Heart of an idea. Lodhur, who gifted “Blooming Hue,” the blood, circulation, and sensuality, weighs the conceptual pleasure or pain of a thing, granting consideration of which ideas we want to breathe life into.

I believe that the Norse Mythology were teaching tales left by our Ancestors to guide our life by. One can develop deep, meaningful relationships with the Gods, who are willing to meet us in our personal space when we are willing to develop ourselves and our fuller potential. It reduces to the moment of inner silence, when one becomes receptive to the messages of the soul in conjunction with the spirit. It comes down to the time of listening and seeing, knowing, being, and understanding.

Apocalypse, Ragnarok, and Ego-Death

I want to pose the question today: What if the Christian Apocalypse or the Northern Ragnarok is not an outworld reality, but an inner world reality? There are certainly enough clues given in both the Revelation of St. John and in the Icelandic lore for these Mythos to consider the question.

In the Revelations, there are seven candlesticks and seven seals. These have been decoded and written about extensively by modern day businessman, Reiki master, and Christian Mystic John Naughton, writing as Phoenix. You can locate his work here. These candlesticks and seven seals are synonymous with the seven chakras. Further writings associating the seven chakras with the Christian sacraments and Jewish Tree of Life, the Kabbalah, are written of by Caroline Myss in her seminal work Anatomy of the Spirit.

I had been trying to understand the relationship between the chakras and the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil since the Runes called to me in 2013. Last year the answer came. I explained in yesterday’s blog, here, if you read down, how the three Creator God brothers of the Northern Mythos linked the Worlds of the Tree to the Throat, Heart, and Solar Plexus chakras, and how it is the special role of Loki/Lođur/Ve to trick us into honoring our own truth versus the lies/mistaken beliefs and conditioning at the level of the Solar Plexus that keep us firmly in our own self-deception. Loki’s special role is in lighting the fires of transformation from the Solar Plexus toward awakening the Heart chakra, overseen by Hœnir/Vili, into the Creative principle of the Living Breath given by Odin. This trifold functioning of a human being – the life of the spirit within the flesh of the body living in the world – links humanity and these three Creator God brothers to Midgard at the center of Yggdrasil. From here human awareness, attention, and intention reach out to interact and relate with the eight worlds around us: Helheim, Svartalfheim, Niflheim, Muspelheim, Vanaheim, Jotunheim, Ljosalfheim, and Asgard, as well as the Æsir, Vanir, and Jotun who may act as Guides for our becoming.

Not so much in the Lore comes down to us about the character of Hœnir, but two facts stick out in my mind. Hœnir is named after the Ragnarok as the one who survives to become the Rune Master for that age as Odin is premier Rune Master of the preceding age. Hœnir is also a Being of the marshlands from which all life was supposed to have arisen by the wise and learned folk of the time this Mythos arose. Baldur, the Beautiful and the Bold, also returns, and there is a new Golden Age. To my way of thinking, these teachings point toward the Mythos of the Ragnarok being an INNER JOURNEY that those of us who choose the Runes as a life path undertake. The golden age comes within after we have overcome the demons/giants inherent in wrongfully held, but perhaps cherished ideas, of the ego. This is like the darkness of death has overcome Baldur’s beauty until the world overcomes its darkness. As Noaidi shaman Ailo Gaup has written of in his book The Shaman Zone, we face many ego-deaths throughout our life as we strive within to maintain the balance of our inner dance with soul and spirit. As we free our souls by overcoming our own shadows, parts of the ego die off and we are able to carry more clarity, more light within ourselves. Hela herself reminds me often that humans experience many “small deaths” before the great one comes for us. These are the ego-deaths that Ailo Gaup is talking about.

One of the great blessings in honoring the polytheism of the Northern pantheon is the live interaction in relationship with Beings among the Æsir, Jotun, and Vanir Gods that guide us. As we are such unique individuals, so too are the Gods, and there is always Someone who has the capacities we need to call upon for our own growth of being.

Until tomorrow. To be continued…