Day 2 on Yggdrasil
As yesterday, I began in prayer, praying to Odin, Vili and Ve, and breathing önd into my rune bag that both my Daily Reading and how many runes I will be working with today would be clear. Today I pulled four runes, so I will be working with today. They are well-stained and rest upon the rune pentacle, the two stained yesterday waiting in their places on the rune pentacle until their fellows join them. In this way, I read each new day with less and less runes in the bag.
I have been told by Odin the Second Realm I will work in is Muspelheim. Fitting, given I drew today. It seems I may be learning a new layout to the Tree. I shall map it out once I’ve finished. The first of the realm I am to work with is the Jotun-God Surt, He who was made of or in Muspelheim. He I will be working with Him in my dreams and upon weaking and I am to record as dilligently as I am able.
Surt has given me three lesson which His wife, Sinmora, has pushed me to write down now, at six in the morning. The first was to regulate my internal body temperature; using as a mantra I could greatly increase it, but repeated after helped me to regulate it. In return for these lessons He asks I share them, to increase His reputation beyond what Ragnarök has given Him. Once I was able to regulate my internal temperature to His liking (yes, my body was warmer than normal upon waking and writing this) He congratulated me almost as a grandfather does a child. Surt’s second lesson was to take that internal heat and project it outwards for healing or for harm. For healing, He had me repeat because is the birch, slowly feeding and growing the healing power of . He has told me is also good to add on the end, and a fever breaking spell may be like this: .
The third lesson Surt has taught me involved fire spirits. He knows, especially of late, that I work with them and had some words on the matter that He asks I write here:
“Fire spirits, like I, are neither to be terrified of nor disrespected. You may appreciate fire, but fear not based in respect makes you its thrall. Treat fire as an ally, and fire spirits this way, and both will respect you. Place limits upon your fire, but equally, give your fire adequate room for growth. Feeding a large flame drains resources fast, but maintaining a small one can drain patience. Know first, then, and then may take place. If you are using fire for cooking, whisperas you light it if you need it. Let your allies know regardless of why you light a fire, combine runes so your message is clear; fire spirits may not understand your spoken words, but the energy behind them. So, if you say “I would like a fire to warm my family!” and you are wroth, the spirits may misinterpret that and disaster, or the refusal of fire, may result. So approach fire and the spirits therein in calmness. If you cannot, then do not approach, or speak in runes that clearly communicate your desire. I give you these lessons that my kind and humans may rekindle our relationship and may grow in respect for one another. Once, men came to Me, asking for my help. Yet now few know Me beyond Surt the Destroyer. Why would a being such as I desire companionships with humans? My Flames were once respected, revered. Now My Flames murder children wantonly, destroy homes, cities, nations, in ways controlled by human hubris, greed, and disregard. I do not mind My Flame’s use; I mind its disrespect. Flames engulf too much of your land; we must strike a balance. So even if you do no more than call My Name when you light a fire, so long as you do so in respect, I may bless it. If you call My name in battle and kill only whom you need, I may bless the fire of your weapons. If you call My name for healing, I may come, but My healing is far less gentle and sometimes much more swift than Sinmora’s. So call on Me, but do so in honor; do so in respect.” He now sends me to His wife, Sinmora, who also will teach me in dreams.
In my work with both Surt and Sinmora, They have provided me mental “keys” or cues to help me remember. When this has not worked, They have graciously reiterated or helped me in recalling what has been said. I tend to remember what has been done, if vaguely.
Sinmora started off the evening not with a lesson, but a talk. She commented on how “my people”, namely Americans but especially Pagans, would preach freedom over and over again and yet would not indulge ourselves in it. She went on:
“You fetishize, then punish yourselves for merely looking at the thing. ow can you live so disjointed? One pack of authority figures tells you ‘respect your sexuality’ and the other either denigrates it, exploits it, and/or tells you, in the name of sparing you or ‘keeping you pure’ nothing about it! If you are to let your youth explore their sexuality, let them explore it and give them the means to do so. Guide them, let them be safe!”
After this I lapsed into sleep, upon exploring my own within my mind.
Sinmora’s first lesson was the fire of sensation. Almost on cue of writing this last sentence, Nicole came out with two great containers of Tomato Soup. Sinmore pushed me to touch her, embrace her, hold her, as I desperately wanted to do. I asked the Allfather for permission and He assented, given it was one of His agreements to allow me to do as I needed in each Realm. I took in the richness of the sensation; dear Gods, when you attention to your body it tells you so much! The softness of her skin played on mine, shot fire down my nerves, could feel the tiny hairs tickle my far larger ones, could feel her blood thrum like drumbeats as we embraced. Her whole body was alive, constantly sending, receiving, if only I’d pay closer attention. Then she kissed my cheek, a pure , beautiful, needed gesture, and it warmed me heart and soul. I came, held her close, kissed her lips, and for a moment, felt melded to her, two fires burning as one. I probably won’t be getting a moment like this, at least until after my Nine Days are up. I will cherish it.
Sinmora’s second lesson was on purification and healing and saining through flame. Her first part of this lesson, purification, involved both physical and spiritual purification
“If you ever need to purify an item, pass it through or over an open flame. The fire spirits will feed on the impurities, whether emotional, physical, or spiritual. For physical purification it is best if the object or limb (the latter, quickly if possible) is passed quickly through the flame. During this, it is good to chant along with whatever runes or words the illness or malady best match, followed with a healing such as or , or other runes as appropriate for the desired outcome.”
The second part of Sinmora’s lesson was far more complex.
“Healing begins in need, so is usually the best rune to start with, regardless of if your healing is galdr magic or a spell written on a cast or for surgery. Keep in mind the Mistress of Healing is Mengloth, and if She contradicts my words I Myself would follow Her instruction. Besides, fir for healing can be the wrong element for a given illness or issue, so what I say here has bearing only for my element. If you have a physical burn, beyond the necessary remedies of the physical, I recommend for minor, perhaps moderate burns, and for serious ones. For inflammation I recommendfor a slow growth of the inflammation into being resolved. For internal ‘firey’ problems I recommendto grow into a state of internal balance, and to quickly restore balance to your scales within, though the process may be more jarring than . If you are feeling heat or pain in an area, saying may help your spirit locate the area at issue. There is more that can be said here, but much of knowing healing is to train in it and simply do it.”
The third part of Sinmora’s second lesson went faster, but no less informative. She called upon a spirit of flame, a salamander I believe, and bid it attack me. It hit my shields and bounced off, but then Sinmora offered me a (spiritual) torch and had me trace a small circle about myself. She told the salamander to attack me once more, and it did not even get close to my shields, but hit the barrier of my saining and bounced off. Then Sinmora called a fire-etin to Her and bade him attack me with his flaming axe. It seemed to dent my saining sphere for a moment, and then all was well.
“If ever you need a spiritual barrier, site, or to lay claim to an area, do it with fire. As you can see, even spirits of flame cannot pass through a sained area. However, if you feel yourself in need of added protection, any of the runes may do, especially all of them about the saining site.”
Sinmora’s third lesson was on passion, power, and will.
The first of these, passion, She had this to say:
“You humans tend to feed your passions well until it looks like you might get somewhere with it. Other times you feed your true passion little and feed things that distract you instead. You, Sarenth, turned your love of art into a career move, which you pursued with misguided passion. You turned a love into a bothersome labor and you ceased enjoying it. Though it has take you time, your passion now matches your choice of career, and you can be passionate in your work and your love of art. Make sure what you choose to be passionate about is good for you, or at least, moderated well. Expending your passion entirely on video games leaves no room for others or other passions in your life. Similarly, expending your passion on your spirituality leaves the other parts of your life cold. Moderate even your true passions, or you may find them burning more than you have fuel for.”
The second part of Her third lesson, Sinmora had this to say:
“Power is found first within. Those who project facade as their power often have either enough who believe them, or enough fear built off of their perceived power. You know if you have power; it may not be outright strength, nor may it be in having more followers than such-and-such does. It is found in living by your word, in how you treat others, in how your community knows and remembers you, in how spirits, Gods and Ancestors remember you, or know you. Power is found in doing, is used in doing, is made in doing. Power can be built and destroyed. It can be harnessed or let loose. Power can corrupt or sanctify. It can bring peace, creation, healing, life. It can bring death, destruction, pain, entropy. Each being engages power and is tied to it. Power is found in Wyrd, is given its shape therein. To have power is, then, to weave with Wyrd, to do your Purpose, or to find it and embrace it. Find yourself, find your orlog and Wyrd, follow both, and you will know power.”
Finally, Sinmora had this to say on will:
“”Your will is honed in each decision. Every time you make a choice or yourself, each time you stand up to dishonesty or speak for another unable to, for whatever reason, you further your will. Each time you lie, or are silent when you should speak, you further your will. The power you use is done so by your will, and your will shapes the response of your power. If you feel empowered, you are. If you feel powerless you are. Recognizing what you cannot do, however, is a good exercise of will. It is as good as recognizing what you can do. In knowing your power, you may see where your will may apply it for the best and least effective ways. Keep both your power and what you truly will in mind with each decision. Choose well.”
She has asked Loki to take me on.
It is now about twelve-thirty and the heat of the day is getting to me, so I am going to my backup shelter, my parents’ trailer, until the heat dies down. I did so at Loki’s nagging, telling me that it was stupid trying to tough it out on all-liquid fast and that my body is under enough stress as it is. So, while my soul struggles on Yggdrasil, my physical body sits in more comfort, the A.C. just kicking on.
“It makes it hard to do the rebirth part of this experience if your physical body dies of heat exhaustion…in this life, anyway,” Loki says with a grin.
I feel the need to make a not ehere: when I say or alliterate to seeing or hearing Deities or spirits, my eyes may ‘reflect’ the motions the spirit or Deity goes through, but I am not seeing with my physical eyes. My mind is interpreting the spiritual signals it is getting into a recognizable form; usually when I ‘see’ spirits it is affected in the visual of them so I know they are not corporeal. In the case of spirit or Deity possession, it is like a transparent visual overlay of the Deity or spirit over the host body. Not all my spiritual stimuli comes in sight, it can come in any of the six, presenting itself for translation into my mind so I can interpret the signals. Does this mean that Gods and can’t become corporeal? I don’t think so, but why blow that much energy crossing the barrier into physicality when there are other ways to get one’s message across? My Gods and I have grown our relationship over time. Odin didn’t come to me like Moses and the Burning Bush, but I am no less dedicated to my God than Moses. Could Odin have physically come to me? Yes. Did He? No. I don’t need Him to, to count the blessings in my life that He and all the Gods and spirits with whom I work have given me. I have no less of a purpose, nor do I feel less loved by my God because He has not physically recognizably (from my angle) encountered me.
After letting me get the above out of my system, Loki has come back to give me His own lessons. At first He says:
“Life sucks. Get over it. Move forward. There ya go, three lessons and I use less paper than Surt and Sinmora!” He says with a laugh. I smile and ask Him seriously what His lessons are.
“Find your opposite and appreciate it. If nothing else you look damned intelligent and good-natured side-by-side! Write down the attributes of your opposite; you might find you could easily be this person with a few personality tweaks!”
At first I think ‘Pentecostal minister’ but there’s still a zeal that person and I share for our Gods, still the zeal, however misplaced the actions, to help others. So then I think ‘atheist with a huge, cult-like following’ but even I have had things I have agreed with Richard Dawkins about. I feel like I’m missing the mark, though these examples have been close hits. I think, though I may have it now: ‘anti-social personality disorder with the ability and willingness to fleece and hurt people with religion.’ Loki is right; with a few tweaks I could be this guy. I have charisma, an excellent understanding of religion in general, particularly Paganism and Christianity, and understand how to motivate and manipulate others. If I stopped giving a damn about others, only thought of myself, and did not want to be there for others so much, ignoring my orlög, Wyrd, and all of it, I could be this guy. I definitely appreciate him for showing what I could sink to, to what I could become. I’m thankful for all my examples of what not to do for similar reasons.
He claps me on the back and adopts an upper-English accent as He goes on:
“Now that we understand this about ourselves, let us go on to what fuels us. That is, what provides that fuel for your life and gives you reason to be and grow?” His lessons are not what I expected at all: introspection. I guess He likes to keep me on my toes.
I don’t know if I havea single source of ‘fuel’ for my life. I don’t think I do. My reason to be and grow is given to me by a lot of things: myself, my son, my fiancee, my communities, my Gods, my spirit friends, my Ancestors, my friends, my family, even my society. The fuel from myself rests in wanting to be more today than I was yesterday and pursue my own happiness and fulfillment. The fuel from my son is to show him a good way of life, to show him he can make it despite adversity, and my love for him. The fuel from Brandon burns bright; he is a pride and joy in my life whose fire I hope to kindle with my guidance and example. The fuel from my fiancee Nicole is love, the desire for a happy future together, the twin flames of our religious paths, the understanding and effort we give to each other. The fuel from my communities comes from the mutual support we have, and my desire to improve them and be remembered for it. The fuel from my Gods comes from the love, support, help, and purpose They help give me. The fuel from my spirit friends comes from their support, help, and devotion, and my desire to give back. The fuel from my Ancestors is similar, additionally They being the reason I am here, and wanting to give back to Them for it. My friends fuel me with love, support, honesty, hope and faith in me, as does my family. My society fuels me with desire to succeed in it and exceed its limitations, and to improve it.
He leans close and asks me in a whisper: “What truly feeds your flame?”
My desire to help this world as much as I can with the resources given to me and my ability to use them. If you boil down all of my fuels above, this is what it comes to.
“Now to get in touch with the oldest of fires: find the Ancestor in your bloodlines that first used fire and learn from or her, and set a small fire.” He laughed at my confused expression that I held at first. I first need to go to Hyndla and ask to learn or get help in bloodwalking; I know that much. Then find the Ancestors, then learn from him or her. This may take some time. Regardless, it is time to leave the trailer. As part of my agreement with Hyndla, She will teach me bloodwalking if I look up my ancestry and introduce others’ ancestors should the time be good for Them and I. She is a fair Jotun-Goddess.
I am using yarn-cord blessed with my blood and following Hyndla’s guidance as I bloodwalk backward along my bloodlines. The first knot is me, the second my parents, the grandparents, great-grandparents , etc. and I will get no more than “feeling related” until I look up my ancestry. I make a knot in the string each time I feel an Ancestor with close contact or desiring contact with me. The furthest knot is my Ancestral Progenitor and/or Progenitor Coupl, the middle knot is a family bloodline from sometime around 1200 C.E. that wants contact.
My ancient Ancestor that first knew how to make fire was a woman named Dath (I’ve no way of verifying this besides her) with a ruddy complexion, lanky build and long brown-black hair and deep brown eyes. She is dressed in brown furs and shows me how to make fire with two sticks as with . Now I must do it physically. It would honor her.
I have struggled almost four hours to make fire. I saw smoke three times but I did not get my tinder on quick enough those few times. I am incredibly warm, my fingers are near to blistering and Loki and Dath are both chuckling at me, that I thought I could get it my first time out without training or experience. So I have come back to the trailer irritated at myself both because I broke my silence in frustration saying “Please show me!” to Dath, and frustration for not being able to make fire. I almost did though. At least it is cool here.
A few hours ago I had my second lengthy meditation on the Tree and my leg hurts from it, a twinge of pain at the site from my astral self every so often. I can feel my life force slowly ebb away; Odin warns me I may spend more time asleep or in meditation as the days progress, but still be expected to record during my waking hours. Today’s morning and midday meal was delicious Tomato Soup with milk…which, upon review of my notes, it seems I already wrote this.
In this spirit of and , Odin has asked me to evaluate where I stand and where the chaos in my life come from; then, I am to look at my oaths and take inventory: what have I done and not done? What can I no longer do? What am I being called to do?
Where I stand in life is pretty good, overall. There are things I would like to change, such as my employment status and physical custody of Brandon, but due to circumstance cannot. My financial status is a sore subject of chaos, one I have not been taking care of as well as I should, but one which is hard to take care of with two years unemployment and no job prospects despite a good resume. Most of my chaos besides is internal; me wrestling with old, poor self-image or other issues, and sometimes against perceived slights and too much involvement of my ego in conversation.
Now, an inventory of my oaths:
Odin: Promised to follow my path as His Priest and a Northern Tradition Shaman, and accept my time when it was time to “wander” soon as He once did. To honor Him as my Father.
Baldur: None as of now.
Freya: To love myself, to respect my sexaulity, to engage the range of my sexuality, to love others so long as they respect me.
Freyr: The same as Freya, with the inclusion of allowing others to experience and appreciate my effeminate male side (ergi) and to honor it, allowing it out as I needed and loving my whole Self.
Thor: To honor Him as my blood-brother and to lend Him aid and my ear as He asks. Many of my oaths with Him are severed due to Him allowing me to sever orlög wit h my former mentee.
Brighid: Learn to do a simple illumination and write something important to myself in it.
Bres: None at this time.
Lycrous: To honor the wolf within me. Look upon Him as my wolf-father if I would.
Lupa: Same as Lycrous. Look upon Her as my wolf-mother if I would.
Bast: Do not douse my passions in tepid waters. Allow my heart to open and release its pain.
Anubis: Honor Him as blood-brother and His Priest, and the Dead as He sense them to me or as They ask in crossing over, aid spirits as I desire and as my ability, station, resources, and relationships allow.
Hela: The same as Anbuis, sans blood ties and priesthood.
Skadi: Learn survival techniques to hunt, and to clean, skin, and dress a kill.
Thrym: Speak to Odin on His behalf to establish trade with Asgard, if able.
Surt: Share His lessons for me
Hyndla: Look up and otherwise research my ancestry, introduce others’ Ancestors as able.
My Ancestor, Dath: Learn to make fire.
These are the oaths I have yet to do. The oaths I have done are many, and I have neither the full recollection or paper space to write them.
What I am being called to is as much a fulfillment of myself as these oaths. What I am being drawn toward is the end of the Nine Days and the wandering that will take place soon, my work as an ambassador from Odin to the other Realms of Yggdrasil, and especially my work as a Northern Tradition Shaman.
Five years: Working on my Master’s in Counseling, halfway through the program, have a good, steady paying job with benefits, a good relationship with Nicole and my son Brandon, healthy loving relationships with friends like Sean and Ashley and Mary, etc.; healthy loving relationships with one or two other romantic partners, balanced finances, Pandoran Society grows.
Five Years: Good grades, good GRE exam, good GPA, job opportunities that present themselves and allow my foot in the door, open and honest and loving communication with loved ones, having a balancing book or similar written system. Encourage PS to grow with good Council example, training of new members, and adjusting group as needed.
Ten Years: Mast in Counseling, private mobile practice that brings in good money, affordable health insurance, saving for a home, good relationships with loves ones, begin wandering once stable. PS has several autonomous chapters.
Need to find steady clients, able to afford mobile practice with client load, ability to get health insurance based on good salary or client load or job or career choice, continue open, honest and loving relationships with loved ones, keep communication channels open, put away extra money for home (budget for it!), wander once other affairs are in order. Be open to not having a “job” as most normal people do. Odin has said numerous times that the Provider role will probably be Nicole’s. Encourage PS to grow with encouraging individual growth into group growth.
Fifteen Years: Wandering ends, excellent personal relationships, leader in Pagan community, renowned Counselor, a home, built public temple, personal shrine and magical work area, national Pandoran Society meetings, Nicole and I and our lovers and/or our committed partners comfortably living with our children, Brandon and other children-of-age in college or otherwise pursuing their dreams, take out life-insurance policy on myself so funeral expenses and other matters are taken care of.
Fifteen Years: Wandering needs to actually end; communication and love and respect are hallmarks of relationships with loved ones, have a college fund for the children set up when they are young and contribute as able to it, give children both upbringing and resources to pursue college and their dreams, find competent and tailored-to-me life insurance
*Note: If you try to use the techniques, spiritual or otherwise without consulting the Gods or spirits first, they probably will not work. If they do, you will have no spiritual safety net. I recommend only using these techniques if your Gods or spirit allies, or alternatively the Gods and spirits of these techniques, directly move, ask, or inspire you to learn them and practice them.