If you cease to think and transform, your mind will die. You must always be open to what is new. It is all very well for you to learn the old tales and the old languages and dress in the ancient clothes, but if you wish to live and grow, you must also seek ways to bring me, and the others, into your lives in the new world. Your speculations on the gods in modern dress are amusing, but also true. A thousand years have passed since the faith of the north went underground; if we are to live in the world of today we must not be perceived as antiques.
If you wish for the enlightenment of the mystics, you can attain it by breathing, and allowing yourself to know the unity. But that is not really the point. It is pleasurable, and can be a reward like the moments in which you are one with me and experience my ecstasy, or indeed the experience of allowing yourself to be filled by the power of any of the gods. But aside from lifting your spirits, is that what you want? Better, if you can bring that ecstasy into manifestation by learning to see the world as I see it.
There are so many ways in which to experience reality, so many levels. Consciousness dances back and forth between them. I glory in all the ways your race has evolved in which to perceive the world, even the ones that can be destructive. There are great purposes that require that some things survive while others must be dispensed with. Those things that hasten the end of the age must be stopped or slowed, though indeed, we know that all things eventually must end so that they may be transformed into something new. But even in the jaws of disaster there is joy. even in terror there is an ecstasy — this is a hard teaching for you, but if you can find the perspective that will allow you to appreciate everything as I do, you will understand.
(written while on an airplane)
Sleipnir rushes across the skies… There is a kind of peace here, above the clouds. You are suspended, free from all ties. No one can reach you here, no one can make demands upon you, except for Me, and that is because you have deliberately opened yourself and sought my presence. In truth, it is always so — you must make the decision, you must choose. The difficulty is that so often you — humankind, do not understand what it is that you choose. You are always making choices whether you intend to or not. Simply arising in the morning is a choice. But too many go through their lives letting chance make the choices instead of Will. Perthro is important, but not a rune to choose for one’s talisman.
Think — understand – Within your soul both I and the Goddess dwell. I speak through one part, and she through another. There are worlds within you — a part of you knows it, and a part of you does not even now believe. You may wonder, as your philosophers have of old, if indeed there is any reality outside of yourselves, but what is the self? I and all things are within you, because you and all other souls are part of me, and we are part of all — this is the dance, the play, the eternal cycle of being and becoming and passing away. Hagalaz, the rune of transformation, is Isa crossed by Naudhiz. Stability and necessity create change.
And therefore I can speak to you because when you open yourself thus, you recognize that there is a one-ness, a unity, and your critical conscious self is silenced. But if you wish the Goddess to speak you must open yourself in different way, open yourself to the depths, which are also the heights. She speaks from the depths of the mound and from the heights of the seiðjallr.
I come to you as a wind, as a consuming flame, as a shower of stars. Those who suppress me see only the dark shadow of German-ness. But I am the brightness to those who turn to face me and open themselves. Think of a fire — do you look at the shadows cast by those things that stand between you and the flame, or do you look at the flame? Do not think that I am tame, or nice, or emasculated. I am Ygg, but that, too, is a part of the ecstasy. You cannot do seið and stay cool and collected. The discipline and control you seek to train for trance work are those that you use in riding a wild horse — brute strength will never master him, you must guide, find the rhythm, apply only a little pressure, in the right way, to turn the frenzy to your service. This is a dynamic interaction, not a rigid procedure. There is a place for discipline — in the preliminaries, in the preparation. But when the time comes, you must open the gates and trust that the trained instincts will carry you through on the right road.
The hall is fair, but I like better the crash of the waves on the shore. I see Aegir’s fair daughters, their hair blowing back in clouds of spray: nine radiant maidens who gave me my fair son, though not the fairest. Did you never wonder how I joined with them? You see, I am being delicate. I fucked them. But to do so I had to give myself to them, for they expire on land. I had to give myself to the sea.
Here is a lesson for you. You have walked by the ocean, did you learn nothing? The waves are driven shoreward by the power of the deep currents behind them. So it is with your visions, they must be driven by deep currents within. What you remember, what you see, what becomes conscious, is only the surface froth. The waves are manifestations of greater forces. A vision is the same; It is only powerful if there is energy behind it, otherwise it is an idle dream.
Say to those who want to know how to gain certainty about the gods’ care for them that we are many because you are many, we wear different faces, because it is through those faces that you address us. But how could we not care for you? We depend on you in a certain sense — to exist as intermediate forms between you and the Ultimate we must have your response. I am not saying we are not real — but there is that which is more real even than we, which is the light that shines in Gimlé. We are bright shadows of that light, and you are dense shadows, having partly our light and partly your own. Your lives are brief — your personalities evanescent, but your essence, the high spirit that survives, is as immortal as we. Your lives are interrupted by your deaths, while we continue. Each one of us is like a doorway through which you can pass to the greater light, but different people fit better through different doors. I will say to you that my Mind encompasses all, but Thor might tell it differently. And surely Frigga would. And we are all speaking truly.
You must continue to know the Goddesses, even as you know Me. They know after another mode. When I touch it through you I am expanded.
Remember how I got the runes. Remember why Thor fights the Jotnar, and even Tyr, the upright, was saving more than Asgard when he gave his hand to the wolf. As for Frigga, she mothers all things, having lost Baldr. We do not live for ourselves, no more than you should. Of all that concerns us, you humans are the part that can understand what we do. This is of great value.
Who made Ymir, and me?
No one — at least not in the sense that you think of One. And yet One is all there was. Personification is misleading. You speak of Persons when what you have is Forces, or forms of existence so beyond the limitations of human awareness that you have no referent. It can be useful to personify processes, but it is misleading. A cloud does not sigh with relief when it releases the rain. A seedling does not “decide” to turn towards the sun. They fulfill the law of their nature.
But that law is part of a greater law. Consciousness is a liberator and a limitation. It is a mode of knowing, but thought is not the only way to think — there is a knowledge beyond it, which is the experience of Being. It is Being that is the true Creator, if you must use those terms. Although human words for what is beyond definition are only a way to build a fence against the infinite. To truly understand you must explore the ultimate Utgard, and give up even your identity.
I am very fond of Consciousness, and words, but there is always a part of me that is open to the infinite, and it is from thence that my Ecstasy comes. Or my madness — you choose how to perceive it. But my madness is ecstatic and my delight is mad, because both come from a place beyond reason where there is only energy.
The wise men speak of the peace they find in contemplation, but it is not a passive state. The paradox is that the state that is most empty, the Void, is also most active and full. Ginnungagap gapes only so that it may be filled by the interaction of Fire and Ice. And both states are simultaneous, because they are beyond time. You look at the empty sky, but in truth it is not empty, but full of dancing motes. You look at solid stone, but it too is in constant motion, only more slowly. All that you perceive as still or empty is in fact full of action. There is no emptiness or negation, only different levels of activity.
And there is no where that does not have spirit — only it manifests after different manners in different worlds. You can learn much by observing the flames of Muspell. Or the frozen wastes of Jotunheim. When Fire and Ice meet, there is an explosion. I like explosions (Loki likes them even more). But I also enjoy what you would call peace.
You wonder why you do not feel the need to speak with me (or rather to let me speak through you, like this), except as a presence, when all is going well. Do I come to you only with stress? With challenge? When action or creation is required?
Think about it. They call me the Stirrer of Strife, but the English translation is not quite appropriate. Think of the meanings of Odh, of being “all shook up”. You can go to Frigga for peace. As I do.
But my nature is to be agitated, active. There is an aspect — a mode, in which I, too, am still, but not when you call me as Odin. The face I wear to speak to you like this is the face I show to the world. And that is all stirred up.
That is the nature of your life — of all life. It is all vibration. If you did not move you would not exist. Your scientists teach you that everything consists of particles in movement. It is as good a way as any of describing what I am in the world.
I am Consciousness, I am knowledge. I know by naming, by naming I distinguish one kind of motion from another. But it is all moving.
So you should be moving too. You have rested long enough. Not that you have not been busy, but you have not been engaged on the deepest levels. Many people, you know, never do live so deeply. That is my gift to you.
At times you may consider it my curse. But my gifts are often like that, not so? It all depends on what you do with it.
The runes, mysteries, mystères, are in one sense quite artificial, and in another, more real than anything you see or touch. I gave runes to gods, elves and men, not the same runes. I am still giving them. The ancient runes help you to understand where the gods came from, but the new world requires new runes, not newly invented, but newly manifested — there is a distinction.
I no longer inscribe them on Sleipnir’s hooves, but on computer boards. Your computer experts understand some of them quite well. But there are others, more accessible to the general populace. Look at the symbols of your culture. A “rune” is not always a sound. It can be an image. What are the images that press the buttons of folk today?
Take the letters of your English alphabet and find the names that will give them meaning. Just as the runes give you the key to the old culture of the north, your new galdor can give you a key to the culture you live in now. Think about it. What are the buttons? You can make monograms, anagrams, collages, visual spells. Take words of power and make them into mantras. Take the principles behind what I have taught you to make magic that all can understand. You can learn a great deal from the past, but do not be confined, frozen, ossified by it. I am the wind, not a set of stone tablets. I am always moving, changing, responding. Air that is confined will die. The historical image is an interface through which you can reach me and I you, but my essence is always changing. Paint a picture of me as I am now and you will see.
Now I will tell you more: turning inward is not the answer. If you turn inward and stop, you will be lost in the mazes of the mind. Turn inward to turn outward. Turn outward to turn inward. This is a mystery. It cannot be explained to your mind. Sometimes the only way to accomplish inner work is to do outer work in the world. You have a body. Do not ignore this. If you ignore your body, the mystery will elude you. Putting the body aside to study intellect and spirit will take you only so far. The body is a burden and a gift. It will take you places your mind alone could not go. This is a part of the mystery. Strive not for more… Understanding will come in its own time.
As you study my gift [the runes], you feel the craft of words again. Writing comes, experiences come. When you lose yourself in the expression of your soul in words, you feel my ecstasy. You do not drink only once from the mead of inspiration, but many times. The vessel is self-refilling, like the grail-cup which can never be emptied. You may drink from it all your life… I do not merely tempt you with visions. I show what can be. You must make it real in your life. If you choose to work with me, I will inspire your words and thought. But know that this will not be hidden; you will have the drive to express yourself, and if you do not use it, it will depart. You will no longer be able to keep silence. That time is over. Choose well how, and to whom, you will speak.
The study of lore is the framework upon which I hang my communication with you. I can only speak to you and through you in terms you understand. Increase your understanding, and I will speak more clearly.
On pain: You are alive, and the lot of life is pain. You can only choose how you will bear it. You can use it, or it can rule you. If you strive and fight against it, this avails you nothing. The pain can outlast you — it will always win. But you can turn it inward or outward. Turned inward, it will corrode your heart and spirit. But it you turn it outward, it will remove remove obstructions from your path. It is black, corrosive venom that will clear your way. Only take care, for it will eat through anything.
Source Four: On eating, drinking, brewing and making merry.
Know who I am, and that inspiration lies within a cup of mead, the same mead I drew as inspiration from the roots of Yggdrasil, the world tree. Mead is honey, water and yeast, but much more than that. There is life and death in each cup. Life and death and yea, desire and work.
Think of the bees from whom the honey was stolen, how when the honeycomb cracked, it dripped down, mixing with the water caught in the roots of the world tree. Think of the yeast, those little lives floating in the air, living in the water. Eating, drinking, living and dying and growing, their deaths going to nourish the yeast cake at the bottom of the barrel, the mother from which the new life will spring.
Mead should be live to be sacred. You need to drink the living as well as the dead, and remember the work that the bees have done to gather the inspiration for you.
Mao had some silly things to say about having a hundred flowers bloom. He wanted them to bloom so he could kill them. That is foolish. They must bloom so that the bees can work, taking their inspiration from each one, pollinating each in the manner of its own, taking inspiration from the next flower, and bringing the sweetness of that inspiration back to the hive, where the honey is distilled and gathered.
That’s what you’re drinking in a horn of mead, and that’s why it’s sacred to me, why it lifts the spirits at the same time as it fires the blood. Besides, it tastes goood, and what joy is there without simple raw pleasures?
Remember also that what you taste, the bees have tasted before, the brewer hast tasted between, but you are tasting at the end. The knowledge and wisdom that all the worlds’ flowers have to offer. A good thing, yes?
No, not really. Remember the legend of Pontus, the land of the poison honey. There, the skalds sing, far to the south, in certain seasons the honey ran poison, the flowers giving forth a toxic perfume. Know the significanse of this. Some inspiration can be bad, some can be poisonous, and sometimes it flows false, like honey in a poisoned cup. But the worst poison is that which lies within the false honey.
But telling the false from the true, well, that is a matter of taste. And poison can heal, in measured doses. The pain and anger gathered by the bees of Pontus was poison because of its strength and the degree, not because of what it was altogether. There were likely true drops of wisdom mixed with the false, sweet honey along with the bitter. It was just a matter of degree.
The mead I like is a bit of both. The poison lends it savor. If it were all sweetness, it would be as false as the pure poison. So it’s up for the bees to gather, the brewer to select, and the customer or guest to judge to his taste, knowing what to drink, and not complaining when you drink more than you can handle.
A hangover is a lesson, and from that you can draw wisdom as well.
I like honey. But don’t think it is just sweet.