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.