Day 5 on Yggdrasil
DR: OR: RR: –
I have realized I have not written much on what Hanging on the Tree is like much, so I will describe it here. Keep in mind with each new moment what I describe here gets harder or worse (in terms of say, pain) or increases in sensation.
What I first notice is the pain in my ankle that shoots up my leg. It burns from the rope and strain alike, my muscles clench and unclench in pain. A fiery hot that burns in my right leg as my ankle swells with that throb. Next I feel the weariness in my limbs as they dangle, scratched from hitting the bark, hands bloody as I’ve clung for moment or two for relief for my foot only for weight to hit it harder. Then the spear wound, ribbons of pain from under my left ribs across my chest. My breath comes in long draws; I shiver with cold, the pain unwelcome in its intensity, glorious in its heart. My body is an unwashed bloody mess, my hair sticks together from the dried blood and sweat. my throat begs for water, my belly for food. Everything seems to throb right along with my ankle; my mind, body, and spirit begging for release.
This is what has been happening to me in every moment as I do the lessons and tasks the spirits give me. This has and is hard to be asked to do all this and do the bidding of spirits and diligently write about it. I hope that others find use in this writings.
Today the Realm I will be working is Midgard, and the Runes are . It is interesting; two-twenty in the morning and neither Odin nor anyone in Midgard has contacted me yet. I will have to see what happens in the morning.
I did not think about why I picked up Dune to read when the radio proved useless. Purpose. All things, even seemingly useless gestures have purpose and meaning. Looking into this Ordeal, seeing, feeling, understanding, knowing, connections where others see only chance or coincidence, I can see, experience the grand tapestry of Wyrd all around me, inside me, beyond me. Once, I would have thought “this is grandiose delusion or foolish notions” but I can feel the waves of Wyrd all around me. All things born die, but all things are made for the purpose of living. Beyond that, what purpose is there? Some look to religion, others to science, some to philosophy; most, however, never truly think about purpose. It is not something most people bother with finding because they have been conditioned to another’s purpose since birth. That, perhaps, is what troubles me most about humanity and this world. So few question their purpose, and so, become willing, uninformed tools of another’s purpose. It is entirely likely Odin and His Family and all Gods and spirits exist as not; yet I find comfort in my religion, and in my Father, because neither foisted purpose onto me, merely gave me the tools to find it and claim it. I believe in Gods and spirits, energy work and the soul not because they exist in some “out there”, but because I can experience them as readily as another who desires to. The whole human race can experience the “between“, the liminal, and yet, so few do because it is too bizarre or frightens me, or suddenly God or things speak to them and our modern world, whether by monotheism or science, has no answers save “heresy” and “demons” on one side and “delusion” or “magical or wishful thinking” on the other. Yet so many Christians parrot Christ in how we are all Sons and Daughters of God, but think neither of the message nor the purpose behind it. They don’t think about how their Savior tells them from a book they hold so close that they will do far greater things than He. That is their purpose, if they but claim it. Like most humans, they are caught in “everyday life” mindlessly sailing the boat down the river with all the others when their vessel is oceanworthy. The ocean scares us because there are no certainties in the ocean. You may hit dead wind or be blown off-course from where you wanted to go, shipwrecked or sunk, but no human progression has happened with all boats floating down a river. If we move into that open water, like wearing the Valknut, a terrible death could come to take us. Death comes for us regardless of how perfectly you navigate the river or how horribly the ocean may claim your ship. Living comes in decision, in exerting your Will upon this world as much as it doing the same to you, and both reacting to one another in causality that can be interrupted at any moment, or perhaps, better to say, and more accurate, purposefully ended. Yet in death our Will may be felt upon the Earth. The battle for Civil Rights did not die with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., nor Malcom X, nor the countless who died victim to white supremacy or riot. They gave people, or people accepted, purpose in their deaths. That, perhaps, is the most beautiful and dangerous gifts our Gods or our fellow humans may give: purpose, on that others may not understand or actively denigrate, that shapes the world around us because our Will is that strong, or more likely, because our gift of purpose to us or others brings that Will in to the world and changes it. That is why people fear purpose: it brings change and with it, there is purpose in the change and a new understanding of Self, reality, the world, perhaps the Universe, and certainly, one’s place in it. Recognizing one’s purpose as important, whether one is given that purpose from Gods or spirits, community or family, self or seeking, it is neither hubris nor self-indulgent to acknowledge the importance of one’s purpose. There is power and security in fulfilling your purpose, as sure as there are limitations and uncertainties. I would actually reject what I now see as my purpose if I had no uncertainty or limitation as that leads to fanaticism and self-delusion, both I see as roadblocks, for I see that purpose can change and evolve. However, this does not stop me from feeling, knowing in my heart and soul that I have a great purpose, but I serve this purpose by navigating my ship in the ocean and working with it to arrive where I need to. Not adjusting or putting away the sails when the winds change or storms rise makes for poor progress, or shipwreck in the ocean. In accepting this, and the uncertainties that come with it, I also must recognize the possibility I am neither floating down a river or sailing the ocean, but splashing in a kiddie pool and only wetting myself, making a great deal of commotion with no effect besides self-gratification. To not at least think of this, to not be humble enough to say “I may be completely wrong” opens one up to self-delusion and fanaticism for a purpose without impact, or worse, a disastrous one that brings others with you as David Koresh did. Yet, even he had purpose we can recognize, as did his followers, though we do so from differing perspectives.
So I come back to purpose. It does not need to be great or big, small or quiet, or anywhere in between. Your purpose need only be one thing: Yours. An apt pop-culture metaphor icon, could be Luke Skywalker. His destiny was not simply lain before him; through life experience, the guiding of Obi-Wan Kenobi, his ancestry all contributed to his purpose, but he eventually chose to follow it. Yes, Obi-Wan Kenobi offered him one purpose, to become a Jedi, but his family did too, to be a moisture farmer, and his friends offered him yet another way: the Imperial Academy to become a solider. He could have chosen any purpose for himself; become a thief, a smuggler, anything within his spheres of influence and understanding could have become his purpose. He chose to be a Jedi, and all that came with it. That is the power Luke, like any of us, has. The power of choice, to do and follow that purpose to its end, or next beginning or wherever it may lead. He followed his purpose and his Wyrd, his orlög, changed the galaxy around him for the betterment of it. How many tiny choices went into that end we see at the end of Return of the Jedi? How many great ones had to be made? In the final scenes of The Return of the Jedi, Luke overcomes his own anger and rage, rather than strike down either the Emperor or Darth Vader, no small feat, but one many of us can make, especially with the training to support those decisions. As with training Jedi, this is why magical, Pagan, Shamanic, even psychological disciplines do so much training. For the magical practitioner, it is empowerment of the Will, deconstructing obstacles to It, and the fulfillment of one’s purpose. Psychological disciplines train so one may aid others without becoming others’ purpose, something I feel the previous groups could use more of. The psychological disciplines are about aiding another in fulfillment of their purpose by helping them remove obstacles to it, or in extreme cases, giving purpose if the other cannot see it despite aid and training. This is dangerous territory, and it is why those in the psychological disciplines are held to such tight standards. However, psychologists, unless they interact with a patient from a young age, does not give them frames of reference and understanding to their reality. Religion, parents, schooling all do, and many in those fields seem to care less of the impact their inclusion into the lives of their children and adults that they are a part of. A poor experience with a religious leader at a young age may completely curb a person from ever exploring their potential purpose in religion. It may shut out an avenue of hope that they may sorely need down the road. Alternatively, it may help them see frauds and hucksters for who they are. Experience, like purpose, can be what you make of it. There is something I touched on earlier that I feel, however, I need to flesh out: the idea of spheres of influence. A starving person will have fewer spheres of influence due both to the lack of viable options he or she has, real or imagined, and to the purpose she or he is following. If the person wakes and says “I am starving today”, unless the person makes it their purpose to be a “full person today” their reality will follow suit and they close off alternatives available otherwise to them. Does this mean that they will be a “full person today” if they merely think of it. Certainly not. Part of having options is exploring them. The question one really needs to ask in this situation above, is what limits does the person place on alleviating their hunger? Do they not eat foods, as Jains do, unless they are fallen fruit or similarly-found foods? Will they refuse to eat pork because they are Jewish or Muslim despit there being ample pig to feed them? Are they completely destitute, the latest U.N. shipment has arrived and is being ransomed by the city warlord? If they have not the means to successfully, by any means, fulfill the purpose of “full person today” but you have it, are they failures? No. They will probably keep trying despite what can be heavy adversity. However, they may do it on their own terms, as with Jains, they may not eat unless they find fallen fruit if their purpose as a Jain is higher to them than “a full person today”. The same with Jews and Muslims who refuse to eat pork to alleviate starvation; their religious purpose is second to nothing, even physical harm. This is both the strength and danger of purpose. Sometimes we may choose it and yet sometimes it chooses us. Children in poor areas of Africa did not ask to be born into privation. Their parents did merely by having them. Doing so, they severely limited their spheres of influence, both for them and for their children, and have framed their reality through the lenses they give to their children the we give to all we bring into our lives, whether born or adopted: society, religion, ethnicity, race, status, wealth, etc. that we use to design and define our collective reality.
In defining collective reality we give people purpose, and yet, we may, in choosing our own purpose, transcend it. Women in Africa, given microloans, were able to purchase a few items that greatly expanded their spheres of influence: a bike, cell phone, and basic supplies. So we may empower another by giving to their sphere of influence and contributing to their purpose, or disempower them, destroy spheres of influence and give them a purpose they will be willing to accept if for no other reason than we have so severely limited their spheres of influence. My purpose as Odin’s Son, as a Runemaster when this Ordeal is over, as a Priest, Warrior, and Shaman, is to help others expand their spheres of influence, and help them come to understand their purpose for themselves. My purpose is to be many things besides, such as a father, a lover, a student, a video game player, a reader, but they are wrapped up in being my purpose, in following it. I need not be fulfilling my role as Priest every moment of every day in service to others; there are avenues of options within each purpose I have, and giving myself, and being given the options, is part of my power. If power is found in finding one’s orlög and Wyrd and following it, it follows, to me, so are the options that become available to you when you do that. So I will walk in my purpose, I will live my purpose, and see where it leads me.
After writing this Nicole asked if I wanted to go to the local graveyard. Everything clicked, so I agreed and went with her. The graveyard close to my folks is run down, but peaceful. No overtly angry spirits, just fussy, cranky ones wanting to know why two whippersnapper Pagans are tromping around a largely Christian graveyard. A lot of the graves were ill kept, some dating from the late seventeen-hundreds to as recent as a few years ago. Several of the Veterans gravestones had fallen into neglect. The spirits there asked me to help by cleaning up their grave sites, something Nicole started immediately. So, I did, and one family line full of Veterans whos graves I cleaned, prayed for, and saluted, offered me their graveyard dirt to take with me. We left after about an hour of speaking with the spirits, one giving me a headache trying to make contact so I could find and clear the little kid’s small grave marker. I left feeling good, and like my work in Midgard was done, aside from ongoing work with my Ancestors.
In the spirit of ,, and Odin is asking me to take stock of my spiritual protection, the paths of my energy, and to correct imbalances as I find them. He also asks I take time to site down and catalogue my spirit guides, totemic spirit guides, Ancestors, etc. who guide, guard and/or work with me, in the spirit of . In the spirit of , Odin asks that I look at what qualities I would ask to be hallowed or ask for success in. In the spirit of , Odin asks me to look at situations of injustice in my life, and evaluate them by heart, mind, and spirit, and write on how I approach conflict. He also wants me to talk about spiritual conflict, not just with oneself, but with other spirits.
Spirit’s Name Kind Relationship
“Grandfather” Possible Ancestor, unknown He guides me when I bend my ear to listen, venerable man with fox as a totem it seems
Corsayth Small blue Dragon Guardian that eats excess “Water” energy
Wolf Totemic Spirit/Kin Kin through my wolf side; guide and teacher
Eagle Totemic Spirit Introduced by first Pagan teacher; guide and teacher
Bobcat Totemic Spirit Introduced by FourClaw, Native American medicine-worker-in-training; guide and teacher
Owl Totemic Spirit Introduced by first Pagan teacher; guide and teacher
Turtle Totemic Spirit Reached out to me in a dream; guide and teacher
Dung Beetle Totemic Spirit Met during astral journey two to three years ago, guide and teacher
Michael Archangel Worked close during Ceremonial Magic and evocation training; sparring partner, teacher, sometimes guardian
Kaedra Sidhe Court Representative Liaison to the Courts, as needed contact
Landvaettir Local land spirits Reciprocal guardianship and friendship; teacher
Kora Valkyrie of Freya Lover, reciprocal guardianship
Financial Security Hallowed and help me to be successful, that I and my loved ones may do as we need without worry
Purpose Hallow and bless it with success, that I may do what needs to be done
Discernment May I be successful in understanding how I can help, and whom
Fatherhood Hallow and help me to be the father my children need
Love Hallow and help me to find it, cherish it, and make it grow
Speech Hallow and help me to say the words when needed, or keep them back when not
Wisdom Hallow and help me to know wisdom and to live it every day
Magic Hallow and help my magic, may it grow in power and with the blessings of wisdom, may I wield it well
Resolve Help me succeed in sticking to my guns when needed, but having humility to know when I am wrong
Conflict is something that requires discipline if you are to do anything with it. The Immortals of the Persian Army in the ancient world, and likewise the berserkers, controlled their respective battlefields with discipline. The former controlled their conflicts with deeply ingrained discipline, such that they were said to be silent when falling battle. The latter controlled conflicts with a seeming lack of discipline, but I would say berserkers operated measured discipline in knowing when to let the battle fury overtake them. If you are to win a conflict you, above everything, need discipline to steel yourself for blows and to take them when needed to gain a tactical advantage or to roll with the blow and reverse the tide of conflict. Sun Tzu said “The Art of War is deception”, to “appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak” and to always challenge your own status quo while keeping to the principals that serve your purpose best. Though I do not advocate lying in relationships if possible, understand that in any situation where conflict may come, deception is part of the skillset. In terms of spirits this can mean taking an energy signature you are comfortable with and adopting it their purposes. Are most spirits like this? Not to my knowledge, in the same way that most people don’t care enough to try to deceive you in ordinary situations. Just be cautious as you might meeting a physical stranger, but moreso as a physical person will probably not be able to mask their energy or shapeshift before your eyes. I particularly caution people who do a lot of astral travel to have a few trusted spirit guides as well as a Deity or Divine figure to turn to when a situation is too confusing or spiritually risky. Having backup plans and people, physically and spiritually is important. Don’t go into a situation expecting conflict, just be prepared to handle it in case there is.