So now I am inspired to do a month of devotional poetry and song for Gefjon. I am counting the two prayers I last posted for the start of this project. This is the prayer I wrote for Her yesterday. I will have another prayer for Her later today.
Charming of the Plow Prayer to Gefjon
If any know how to Charm the Plow, it is You
If any know the work of claiming land, it is You
If any know the work of tilling the darkness of Jörð, it is You
If any know how to carefully cultivate the grove, it is You
If any know the work of bringing in a hearty harvest, it is You
If any know the work of a well hewn hall, it is You
If any know the work of a healthy hof, it is You
If any know the sacred work of the gyðja’s charge, it is You
May Eir and Mengloth bless those in harm’s way
May the healers be careful, skilled, and compassionate
May Thor protect those in harm’s way
May the communities be safe from harm, secured by His Hammer
May Loki, Angrboda, and Sigyn bring laughter, protection, and perseverance
May mirth, solidarity, and determination lift up those harmed and grieving in this tragedy
May Tyr and Forseti bring justice to the Dead, to the families, to all those harmed
May justice be done, lawful and swift
May Freyr, Gerda, and Freya bring Their love, sensuality, and vitality
May we celebrate ourselves together, and with Them, stand by those we love
May Odin and Frigga bring wisdom to the leaders
May action be guided by wisdom, may work be guided by insight
May Hela take up the Dead
May She bring Them comfort and care
May the Landvaettir be heard
May They, too, have justice, and may Their needs be met
May The Dead hear the calls of Their loved ones
May They know They are remembered, and may those They left behind be comforted
May the newly-Dead be long-remembered
May They be remembered for more than Their deaths; may Their lives be remembered well
What do you think is the symbolism/significance of Odin giving an eye to the Well of Mimir as opposed to some other sacrifice?
– Do you think this may or may not have affected his decisions and the potential outcome of Ragnarok?
– Does this affect your enjoyment of pina coladas?
I can see Dreaming is on a pina coladas kick, but the quick answer is no, it does not affect my enjoyment of them. I mean, it might if I had enough, but I’m sure enough pina coladas and anyone’s enjoyment would be affected by the potential outcome of Ragnarok. Don’t mix thinking about Ragnarok with alcohol. Bad things ensue, I am sure.
The significance of Odin giving His eye to the Well, to Mimir, is that He is willing to do anything to ensure He has the power, coming from wisdom, to achieve His ends. Truth be told, all of the sacrifices Odin makes, from His offering His eye to Mimir, to His Hanging on Yggdrasil, to His hanging between two fires as described in the Grimnismal, to sacrificing the solid ground His gender may have stood on to learn seidr (and I think spá) with Freya, His sacrifices are to give Him the power and ability to do what He knows must be done. No less than Loki’s many gifts, are Odin’s many gifts needed to see all the Gods, Aesir, Vanir, and Jotun, through the hard times. No less than Thor’s might, Freyr’s prowess or Skadi’s skill are Odin’s gifts needed to see through the hard times. He goes through pain and torture to attain His goals, and in my experience, and the experience of others who hail Him and follow Him close, He asks much the same of us.
That He gives half of His vision to lay in the Waters of Wisdom is indeed rife with significance and symbolism. One eye to see in the Worlds as it presents itself, another to see in Wisdom. He sees all without from His throne, Hlidskjalf and hears all from His Ravens, Hunin and Munin. His drinking from Mimir’s Well, His sacrifice to Mimir is indicative of the lengths He is willing to go to achieve Wisdom, and alongside it, the Power to do what is best and, more important, necessary for the survival of Gods, and the Beings of the Nine Worlds.
Keep in mind He came to Jotunheim at that time leaving everything, from Sleipnir to His spear, His helmet and armor, aside. He then riddles with Vafþrúðnir, betting His head against the wisest of Jotun to find Mimir’s requested sacrifice in the first place. As Vafþrúðnir tells Odin, no one has yet to make that sacrifice. He has to lay one of His two eyes in the Well of the wisest of all Beings. So He drank from Mimir’s well and saw the future. More importantly, He saw why things happened as they did. Whether one sees Odin as actually still seeing through His given eye or it merely being there as a symbol of His sacrifice in the Well, He gave what no other would for Wisdom. It is a piercing Wisdom that see through veils and bullshit, that cuts away the dross and lays bare the truth as it is.
The symbolism of Him sacrificing His eye, His full vision, is very different from, say, Tyr’s sacrifice of His right hand. If the eyes are indeed windows to the soul, and given we see the liche (body) as part of the soul, then Odin’s sacrifice of His eye has powerful symbolism. He has given a window to His soul, a way for Him to see the Worlds around Him for insight and Wisdom. Tyr sacrificed His oathing hand to bind Fenrir; the symbolism is far different, but no less poignant. Where Tyr bound a danger to all the Worlds (and particularly Odin), Odin unleashed Wisdom, seeking ways to avert annihilation. If nothing else, Tyr’s sacrifice gives Odin the time to gain that Wisdom, to gather the forces, to do what is necessary to avoid the demise of everything. Neither one is a failure; both are needed for the Worlds to be remade at Ragnarok, and both are said to die during the event. They both give Their all to help the threads of Wyrd continue. Both do as Their Wyrd requires, and the Worlds live on.
So for me Odin’s sacrifice of His eye indicates the lengths He is willing to go, the dedication to a course of action, the strength He employs that action with, and the reward such action brings. There is Gebo, despite the pain He goes through to gain that Wisdom, and the pain the Wisdom itself brings. That reward for His pain allows Him to do the necessary Work at hand, giving Him the ability to see that everything that must be done through to the end is, in its own time, done.
I’ve known that Odin would want me to wander at some point. He’s told me that since He started working with me. I’ve asked Him, myself, other Gods, spirit allies, and friends, physical and not, what roads this could go down. Now I finally have the first piece of that puzzle. It was a relatively simple click to get it into place, but it took me hearing it and seeing it for it to fall into place.
I believe in living as sustainably as one can, from recycling and reusing as much as possible, to living as much on the land as possible. Yet, I have no job, and no training on how to do a lot of the things necessary for it. Sure, I’m learning to grow vegetables and herbs (I finally have my own space for herbs!) and I am willing to learn how to raise chickens, goats, and the like. I’d be willing to learn every aspect of life that my folks grew up with on their farm. Yet I didn’t even know how to start; I kept thinking “what about the price of having a home? The utility costs? The costs of getting everything around?” Then, some friends of mine from my local shaman gathering told me about training they are taking this fall with the Earthship project. I asked about it, and as they spoke, I could almost feel that puzzle click into place. Holy shit. It made sense.
Don’t get me wrong, at first I was skeptical as hell. I thought How can you live so completely off-grid? What about water, food? Turns out the way the place is laid out you actually can grow food year-round in-house. Water is collected from melting snow and rainwater, and electricity is made by wind and solar means. There’s a lot more, but the website goes into more detail and gives it more justice than I can. To put it simply, my fears were laid to rest. These people built shelters that are designed to be earthquake resistant for the people of the Andaman Islands, and they built homes for Mexican families in the wake of Hurricane Rita. The walls were built out of ordinary materials that we Americans have in plenty: old tires, plastic bottles and aluminum cans, and cement, with plaster for the outward finish. It seemed unreliable when I first heard about it, yet they stand tall and strong against even monsoon weather, as experienced in the Andaman Islands.
I wasn’t just skeptical for practical reasons, but spiritual too. After all, it was kind of convenient that the answer fell in my lap. That said, I don’t much believe in ‘coincidence’ anymore; more often than not, when I do pay attention to them, positive outcomes ensue. I tend to kick myself later when I don’t pay attention. I did a few readings to confirm that I wasn’t just listening to sock-puppets in my head, while the next was for the next as-important question: why? The two Runes that I remember best from that reading (it was about a week ago) were Naudhiz the Rune of Need, and Othila the Rune of Ancestral Land. Naturally, there are other interpretations for these two Runes, but again, these two may as well have hit me in the face. Of course, I could have just read it as NO from their Futhark-to-English rough letter translation. I didn’t read it like that because neither were merkstave, and there wasn’t anything from the previous Runes to doubt the message screaming from them to me. Still, I had another person who I hadn’t had any of this explained to her to read my cards just to check. This time the message did club me over the head, and several times. I needed to do this. I needed to go for training, and it was part of my next step in my life in all its forms. Okay, message received, stop the clubbing.
I asked Him why this would be part of my Wandering. He told me that I needed the skills before I hoped to set out on my own, that having all the spiritual tools were good, but I “needed to learn to live in Midgard”, and that is what has largely been missing from the past couple of years. I’ve lived, by and large, on others’ resources, time, and good will. If I am to live in the future as a person, father, shaman, priest, and Pagan, I needed to change my relationship to the world. If I believe in sustainability as more than a pretty word, as a lifestyle and as part of my spirituality, then I need to live it. By learning these techniques I hope to live sustainably. By learning all I can, I hope to live closer, and in better relations with the landvaettir, the Vanir, the Jotun, and the Aesir, and other Gods who have called to me. It’s my hope that by Wandering here, I am able to leave a land worth inheriting to my children, with a right relationship with the landvaettir, Gods, and people, who call it home with me. This may not be the end of my Wander, but it certainly is the first of many steps.