Tag Archive | Wisdom

Ordeal of Odin – Day Four: The High One

Today my head has been full of the words from the Havamal and Odin’s quest after the Runes – quietly, behind the scenes the words have been “playing” in my mind; like a song that is stuck in my head (but not at all annoying). All of this repetition has brought a new layer of understanding to the words while simultaneously encouraging me to seek out other interpretations. I’d very much like to share this one:

Something about her manner makes me feel as though she is reminding me of things I once knew and have forgotten rather then teaching me something new.

Also, as the words repeat in my head, they become slightly shifted. Not much, of course, and perhaps being shifted closer to a more “true” translation – I sure the version I have is very accurate, but language has so much nuance and so many emotions that translation can never truly be perfect. I’m always reminded of the very opening of the Aeneid in this regard: Arma virumque cano translates as “I sing of arms (weapons) and a man” but it means so much more – just these three (though technically four) words – and some sense of the meaning is lost; I sing of a war and a hero (and trust me, I could go on). So much can be changed or dropped or lost in translation; which is a shame because words are so important.

Words are something that Raven has come into the life to teach me about. The importance and effect of words – the power that they can hold.

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Ordeal of Odin – Day one

First things first – I’ve felt called to do my ritual in the morning rather then the evening – which I think works out better with my neighbors and their oodles of children. Something simple and less structured then in the past. Today, I did remember to stop and grab a bottle of mead for offering and made sure I know where my copy of the Poetic Edda is. I also did some reading in the Völva Stav Manual by Kari Tauring (I will have to write more about this latter) to inspire my ritual and get me in the right space. Last year was about feeling a call to Odin – this year is about claiming and reclaiming power, I think.

So, come morning, if I’m up as early as planned, I’ll be able to do my ritual outside before sunrise – not sure why but that feels right.

Also tomorrow I face perhaps the most challenging day of this ordeal – my troupe is dancing at an Art & Wine Walk event tomorrow, with a group rehearsal before hand. I imagine I’ll be able to handle everything fine; just have to remember lots of water and perhaps some juice if I’m low on energy.

The first day felt fairly low-key, which in a way feels right. I’m feeling more settled in this time around then I did last year.

Ordeal of Odin – A better (and more personal) introduction

So, the wheel keeps turning and I find myself again preparing for the Ordeal of Odin – and I’ve made a lot of changes in the past year, and so I will also be changing the ritual I used before. Change can be good!

Where I am now, the Ordeal is a time to separate a bit from the world – a time for introspection. Some of the changes I’ll be making include:

  • Fasting from sun up to sun down – for health reasons, I can’t quite fully fast for the 9 days, so I’m modifying this part of my ritual.
  • Wearing a headscarf – for me, this is an outward reminder of the introspection and separation the 9 days will be marked by.
  • Nightly offerings of mead, song, poetry, and the like to Odin.

I’ll also be working on reading the Poetic Edda – I’ve read bits here and there, but I’ll like to do a better and more dedicated study. Also working more in-depth with the runes (of course) and using their energies in new/different ways. I’ll be writing everyday and am looking forward to talking time for some self healing and whole-ing.

My “Power Quote”

I tend to take notice of thing that pop up in my life three or more times. A friend of mine calls it synchronicity, which it is. I think of it as messages. Something important, something I need to know or be aware of or confront. As of late I’ve been seeing one particular quote over and over and over. When I mentioned it on Facebook, a friend called it my “power quote” and I have to say I love that phrase. I think we all have power things: power quotes, power colors, power words, power symbols, and so on. They give us strength and hope; provide something we are lacking.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my power quote – specifically about getting it tattooed on my arm so I can see it every day. Most likely it will be simple, but of course, beautiful.

“We do no great things, only small things with great love”

Workshop Time Again

Yup, that’s right – I’m gearing up for another intro level rune workshop. Though I have to say I leaned a few things from my last workshop and have developed some tips to keep in mind.

1 – Runes are a system – not a set of stones:
At my last workshop, I had each person create a set of runestones – I feel like this was maybe not the best course of action, as it may have put too much emphasis of the medium rather then the energies. You don’t need a set of stones or cards to learn the runes – in fact, once you know them you can transcend the limitations of a physical rune set. There have been many occasions when I  wanted to use the runes but had no set with me. So I made one, on the spot with paper and a pen. I want to convey this to my next class, and as such we’re not making rune sets.

2 – Runes exist in all things – they are not separate from the rest of reality:
All too often rune books focus on the external meanings of the runes without taking some time to explore the immanent and internal nature of the runes.  This was something I realized while reading Runes for Transformation by Kaedrich Olsen. In this book is an exercise in which you try to uncover the runes in all things; a boat, an airplane, a tree, and anything else you can think of. I’ve decided to include this exercise in my workshop this time around.

3 – Runes have many uses – not only divination:
This is something I tried to cover in my last workshop without much success, but I think it’s important to at least introduce to new students of the Futhark. Ultimately I’d like to introduce my new students to: transliteration (writing in runes), bindrunes, divination, and galdr if it seems fitting. Not to say that these students mus learn or use all of these techniques. Rather, I feel knowing they exist will help them better understand that vastness of the runes.

4 – Personal gnosis is important in understanding the runes: 
This is something I’m coming to understand through my recent journeys. And I want these students to know that it’s okay for them to come to their own conclusions and that their opinions and experiences will influence exactly how they understand the runes. To this end, I’ve decided to lead a guided meditation to help each student find his/her rune of power (more on this later) – that is a rune that is important for him/her to connect with at this time.

Personalizing Wunjo

This time last week I was informed that friend that I’ve gone to school with all my life was in a car accident on his way to work and was in ICU.

Saturday morning, I was informed that he was taken off of life support, as per his wishes, so that his organs could be donated.

Tomorrow, I will be going to his memorial service.

So, what does this have to do with Wunjo? I realized that this man, Alex, was Wunjo personified. To me, Wunjo is joy (of course) and freedom and love between people. Alex was always happy, always smiling, always and forever a joy to be around. He spent a good bit of his childhood with his grandfather, a truck driver, and has been at all lower 48 states. Right after high school he went right to work out in the western part of the state. Alex was also one of the most gentle, caring,  and loving people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.  His mother simply says he had a heart of gold.

Saturday evening someone else got that heart. When I received that news, I cried. Knowing who Alex was, that is exactly the first thing he would have wanted to give.

That is truly the beauty of Wunjo – giving love, sharing freedom, and inspiring joy.

Requiescat in pace – and may our souls have the pleasure of crossing paths again and again.

The Ordeal of Odin

It is said that Odin hung for Yggdrasil (the World Tree) for nine days and nights in his quest for the Runes. As a Rune reader, I choose to acknowledge this period between Auguest 17th and the 25th, as it is held my many Heathen traditions. I make this period in a variety of ways;  a daily ritual, reading of the Edda’s, and a fast (if possible). In intresting way to observe one day is in silence (or as much silence as possible). This is an opportune time to create a new set of Runes. For today, I’d like to share the tale of Odin’s ordeal:

The Web of Wyrd

137.
I trow I hung on that windy Tree
nine whole days and nights,
stabbed with a spear, offered to Odin,
myself to mine own self given,
high on that Tree of which none hath heard
from what roots it rises to heaven.

138.
None refreshed me ever with food or drink,
I peered right down in the deep;
crying aloud I lifted the Runes
then back I fell from thence.

140.
Ere long I bare fruit, and throve full well,
I grew and waxed in wisdom;
word following word, I found me words,
deed following deed, I wrought deeds.

141.
Hidden Runes shalt thou seek and interpreted signs,
many symbols of might and power,
by the great Singer painted, by the high Powers fashioned,
graved by the Utterer of gods.

143.
Dost know how to write, dost know how to read,
dost know how to paint, dost know how to prove,
dost know how to ask, dost know how to offer,
dost know how to send, dost know how to spend?

144.
……..
Thus Odin graved ere the world began;
Then he rose from the deep, and came again.

Translated by Olive Bray
Edited by D. L. Ashliman