August 29, 2009
"It is the giver, the giving, the given and that which is given to... By the power of this rune persons are bound together through an act of will in order to effect a result." (Thorsson)
According to Paxson, this rune also governs esoteric exchanges, "especially exchanges of of energy or magical power, whether between individuals or between humans and gods." (Paxson, 2005)
Gundarsson also suggests that Gebo has a sacrificial role - as Odin sacrificed himself to himself, so "the vitki's sacrifice to himself or herself [is] a prelude to transformation."
August 28, 2009
August 26, 2009
August 23, 2009
As Thor is a reliable and dependable force for regeneration and fertility, his protection in overcoming these forces is welcome. From their defeat comes new life and liberty.
August 22, 2009
August 16, 2009
It can mean that a destructive power beyond your control is coming and that change will obviously follow in its wake. Esoterically, this can mean that there will be fundamental changes to your own patterns and ways of thinking. These changes will be brought about by external powers. You can prepare for it by accepting that it will happen, and "...live within the limitations of nature and accept events beyond human control." (Paxson, 2005)
When bound by JERA and BERKANO, the outcome is good - JERA is the harvest, the results of the good work done through the season. While JERA is vulnerable to the powers of HAGALAZ, the existence of BERKANO suggests, "...bringing into being..." (Gundarsoon in Paxson, 2005). It is about new growth from the branches broken by HAGALAZ.
August 8, 2009
The Druid Philosophy
According to Restall-Orr (2008), "...Druidy is unambiguoulsy polythestic: it accepts that there are not one but countless gods. As far as archaeologists and historians can access and understand the clues left by time, Druidry always has been polytheistic and contiunues to be so."
How does that apply to me:
Who is right? Which philosophy has the answers? I know which ones are more acceptable to mainstream society. I know which ones are deemed to be nothing more than romantic links to a bygone day. I also know what my experience is and how it relates to the theories and practices I have read so far. Restall-Orr's words make sense: "...if we get stuck in the sticky details of other's visions and experience, we can quickly find ourselves tying to accept or believe in something that doesn't settle naturally within us."
On a personal level, it celebrates the emergence of a new commitment after a long period of internal reflection. The seed starts to break through the soil and test the air above. Sometimes it is too cold, and the new shoots may be burnt by the frost or want to retreat to the warmth of the soil. Eventually though, it is warm enough to start to bloom and reach for the sky.
It is the time to put into action the new plans and ideas that began to take shape during winter.
August 6, 2009
In Norse mythology, a fylgia is a supernatual being who accompanies a person and is connected to their fate or fortune. Usually, it appears in animal form but can also appear in human form- normally the opposite sex of the person concerned. Fylgia or fetch are bound to a specific person for life and act as a guardian spirit.
In Ancient Greece, the daemons were divided into good and bad categories. The good would watch over humans and keep them out of trouble. Christian writers used this term and applied it to demons - nasty spirits associated with the devil.
Jung applied the terms anima/animus. For a female, her animus is in male form and represented the true inner self of an individual. It is the totality of the unconscious masculine psychological qualities possessed by a female. It manifests itself in dreams and also in how women relate to men and vice versa. This may be an over simplification - but I am still weary of Jung!
August 5, 2009
August 4, 2009
Ancient Germanic lore had a number of ways to describe and explain the concepts of fate. The first was the three norns - Urdhr, Verdhandhi and Skuld. These sister are the weavers of fate, the three hags who sit in the roots of the World Tree, spinning and unspinning the fates of all. Each represents a time: Urdhr is the past, Verdhandi is the present and Skuld is the future. In old Germanic lore, fate is not a set thing, but, "...is being transformed constantly by ongoing action." Thorsson (1999) continues: "[fate] itself is a complex idea. The word (in Old Norse) literally means 'primal layers', or 'primal laws' and really indicates action that has been laid down in the past... both the past actions we have dealt out...in the previous existences of our essential selves, and that which others...have dealt out to us over the same span of time."
Interestingly, in Greek mythology, there were also three sisters known as the fates. Clotho was the sister who was responsible for the birth, death and lives of men (humans). Like the norns, the Greek sisters used thread to weave the fates of humans.
The norns are also known as the Wyrd Sisters, Wyrd meaning 'life unfolding'. Stories abound of parents taking their children to the 'norns' to have their fates read. According to Bates (2002), "Through the centuries, stories about the three sisters persisted. In England, they are mentioned by the medieval poet Chaucer, and famously a few centuries later by William Shakespeare in his play Macbeth."
For the ancient Germanic and Scandanavian vitki, the purpose of runecasting was to try to get a picture of what had been spun by the Wyrd Sisters. Once a person's 'fate' is made visible by the runes, it can be read and analysed - not necessairly changed, but perhaps better understood.
August 3, 2009
The thinking underwent several revolutions throughout the Greek era and some of the key philosophers were: Aristotle, Socrates, Pythagoras and Epicurius. Many of the theories are a little odd to me, bit some are very interesting.
"Haven't you realised that our soul is immortal and never destroyed?"
What a great question! He goes on to say not only is the soul immortal, but also " ...it contemplates truths after its separation from the body at the time of death."
Plato continues the thinking by pondering the idea of a imperishable soul and a perishable body - do both t he body and soul die when the body dies?
Aristotle's theory suggests that, "...all of the vital functions of all animate organisms are related to the soul." That's a big responsibility for the soul!
Epicurius holds that the soul is made up of atoms, inclusing a mysterious kind of atom that accounts for sense-perception. It is also made up of two parts - rational and irrational.
Stoic philosophy (Marcus Aurelius was a stoic) limits the responsibilities that Aristotle outlined the soul had. This was quite a revolution in thought for its time. (ref:http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ancient-soul/#4)
Pythagorus was not just a maths genius. He also believed the soul was immortal and after the death of a person, it would transmigrate into other animals. He also believed that, "...after certain periods of time the things that have happened once happen again and nothing is absolutely new." This is the theory I like best. (ref:http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pythagoras/)
August 1, 2009
The rune Othala relates to community, kin, family and ancestors and inheritance. Gundarsson (1990/3) writes that, "...this inheritance may include not only genetic material inherited from one's physical ancestors, but the spiritual legacy of one's previous lives." Paxson (2005) suggests that "...rather than physical inheritance, Othala may indicate connection with an ethnic group-soul."
The Druid Concept
IN her book (2004), Emma Restall Orr comments that, "...at any time, an ancestral soul may touch the cells that ignite the moment of conception. Created by the spark of the spirit, the soul establishes its link to the zygote, guiding its development from there. Thus our ancestors become our descendants... " She goes on to say that, "Listening to our ancestral songs, finding the notes of our genes, our history, blood and bones, the wash of continuity through evolution is exquisite, sometimes painful but always poignant."
This is the one I struggle with. I am least able to understand psycho-babble....... Carl Jung coined the term "collective unconscious" to explain the idea that each of us share knowledge and experiences common to all humanity. Jensen et al (1997) comment that the collective unconscious is, "a reservoir of the experience of our species." This collective unconscious is separate to the personal subconscious, which is particular to each human being.