Self sacrificed to self– that is the answer. There is a sense in which it does not matter who is speaking, because whenever a mind is conscious of itself, I am there. But I take it that what you want is my particular perspective.
You are concerned with manifesting the Divine, especially as it relates to possessory experience.
You speak of your responsibility and ethics — this is all very true, and yet you must remember that what is needed is not control but balance. Do not strive so hard to establish solid boundaries. Seek rather to create a rhythm, a pattern, in which the interaction will be channeled by the dance. You are handicapped by your dependence on words set one after another on a page, and page after page, and book after book. One verse follows another verse, but also, they cycle back again, and the same runes that are set out in a row may also be bound together in a single moment. You are deceived by the new way of living in a straight line. Look for circles and cycles, Freya’s necklace, which is in its own way as powerful as the runes . . .
You are like children unused to strong drink. You must learn to hold my mead like a warrior. Those who simply become drunken are of little use to me, as are those who take a sip or two and thrust the horn away. But to those who call me I will come, in whatever measure they dare, and so they should be warned. As you desire me I also desire you. . . . You must understand also that having opened this door, it cannot be shut again. I must and will speak, and therefore it is for you to find me Mouths that can speak my words in the world. Find me the time and places to speak, and I will go more gently. You are not afraid to stand up to me, and that is well. Perhaps it is true that I do not yet entirely understand what a thousand years have done to the folk. Even in the tenth century, the last of my servants were already becoming bound by the ways of Rome.
(After reading book on channeling) Who are you really? An aspect of my self? An old god, the primal source? A deception?
[laughter] I have been called all of these, and at times all of them were true. Very often, people have sought to use me and sworn they were my instruments when in truth they were obeying the desires they had imprisoned deep within — or sometimes not so deeply. Thus it was with the kings who thought my favor a guarantee of victory. The victory I give as Sigfather is not always the obvious one. There are many battles, and many ways to be a victor. And “Sig” does not entirely mean what you think of as a victory. That implies a loser. The hero of Sigil follows his or her course to the end, the right path, the sunpath, the bright way. Being on the right path is an inner battle, and must be fought self to self before you can “win” in the outer world.
I am called a deceiver — so is your own mind. It will play many tricks on you, striving to fulfill fate. The deceptions of the unconscious are the ripples on the surface whose current is Need. The ripples may go one way while the current is in truth driving more deeply and in a different direction. One must be an experienced ferryman to understand and interpret those surface riffs and wrinkles and safely guide the boat to the other shore. I am the ferryman who can show you how to cross; but I am also, sometimes, the current and the ripples. If you cannot hear me clearly, you may see in those apparent deceptions the outward evidence of my inward working.
They are few who can hear me directly, and even they do not hear as directly as they believe. You hear me now, but only those words and thoughts you are ready to hear. And even those, sometimes, you file away and do not ponder. You have an interesting choice of reading matter — channels and personae. The one is the message and the other is the medium. This persona through which I speak to you is a means to get my message through your channel. Your persona — the one you show the world, the one you are now reinventing, is a device as well, and is no more your true and eternal soul than this voice you perceive is my totality.
Do not regret that — you cannot apprehend what I truly am for more than an instant, and what you apprehend in that moment, you cannot communicate. You are indeed a channel in the sense that your deepest instinct is to find a way to pass on whatever comes to you.
Personae are my masks. I wear a different one for each one I speak to. Even when I ride a body like yours, and speak in a human voice, those who are present will all see and hear a different thing. All your knowledge as humans is approximations. You do not know me, or each other, or yourselves. What you do have is an interface, an image through which you communicate. Human relationships go bad sometimes when the image, the eidolon, one person makes for another is too far from the reality, or the personality the other person uses changes. That is an uneasy teaching, I know, like walking on mud or sand. You cannot be sure of your footing, ever — instead, you must walk on balance, always ready to move from your center to a new balance point.
That is the secret, you see, when working with gods or with men. You must find your center and move from it always. When your center is rooted in mine, you are at peace, and you are in harmony.
You try it now, and your conscious mind retreats a bit farther. Do not go farther now, or you will lose control of the fingers. But you must practice this — becoming still, and moving into me, into my shadow which is also light. It is a place of great renewal, but you must be able to still the whining mind.
You know this truth, that I am all sound, all communication, but know also that I am silence . . .
Read the books, they will give you clues on how to prepare yourself and your fellows for clear seeing. Make a meditation for the worldtree, clearing those parts that align to each world before beginning trance. Try it, see if the visions come more easily. Remind your people that it is essential to go apart and clear their minds before working magic.
So — do not worry whether I am a high spirit or a low one. That is up to you. If you clear yourself and bend your mind ever to see me as what you call transcendent, that is how I will come. Study my manifestations in Midgard — they will show you how I have been perceived by your people, but always seek to go beyond.
After a ritual in which several people were “possessed” by Odin.
Did I enjoy the party? Such an event is like looking into a mirror ball. In each facet I see a different reflection. And then it is over, and they all flow back together and I am singular once more. By seeing myself refracted through many lenses I gain understanding. What I lose in perception I gain in perspective.
It is the same for you. When you carry me, or when you allow your consciousness to be used by other deities, you are intentionally splitting consciousness, dissociating. And then you return to yourself, bringing a memory of how it felt to see the world from eyes not your own. You do the same when you enter fully into the reading of a book or the viewing of a film or listening to music. That is, after all, one of the functions of Art.
It is a complementary process. I become many so that I may be enriched when I am one, and so do you. A delicate balance must be maintained between expansion and integrity. If you expand too far you will lose all focus, and lose yourself as well. If you cling to your core, you will shrink and dessicate. Being too generous and too miserly can lead to equal poverty of spirit. True, my swings between them are on a godly scale, and may seem excessive. Find the scale appropriate to your capacity.
The important point is that you must not stand still. As I have told you before, I am an active verb. Only in motion is there life — the tiny components of matter in your bodies move, your spirits move, nothing is static if it wishes to survive. Without the movement of air around your planet, it would die. I ride that wind.
So, maintain, not that balance, but that equilibrium of motion. This is why there are times when I can speak to you most easily when you are in motion. Seek dynamic equilibrium.
At your parties, let me dance. Next time, let me take the drum, and I will have them all dancing. I will dance with myself and with you. Then you will see an explosion of power. Let there be someone who has the strength to direct it. Agree on a purpose beforehand, or it will disorganize rather than work for you.
It was a good party, but remember, I am the god of odhr, ecstacy…. (laughter)
One of the things you can do is reveal your process, rather than hiding it behind pride. Too many have done that kind of hiding, and it leaves each newbie terrified and alone, fearing they are the only one with issues. You are one of the few newbies I’ve had recently with the writing ability and introspection to see what was happening, the writing skills or potential writing skills to express it, and the in your face stubbornness to reveal it. (No, not the only one. Never the only one; I try very hard to avoid having only one friend for any given task, lest I find myself choosing between the friends needs/desires and my own, if s/he should fear or refuse the task, or simply not understand the message. And moreover you know that, or at least I’ve told you that a few times already.)
So, you’d rather explain how you do automatic writing. I don’t blame you, but you pretty much already have, and can in any case write that explanation with your conscious mind driving.
Let’s talk, instead, about relationships with gods. Yes, you are right to be concerned about garble in filtering through you and your specific experiences. I can’t get a complete message through this channel; probably not through any channel. Your culture lacks layer upon layer of concepts, and I can only inspire people towards realizing and spreading foundation concepts. Even if I could put the whole thing into your mind, you’d have no words to express it, and while you could act more effectively with that knowing, you couldn’t convey it, couldn’t even involve your left brain in processing and planning. I have seers and others like that, but they can only really teach the intuitive, and maybe the experiential. I’m not willing to abandon everyone else. Neither are you. That’s why we are suited to work together on this project.
Yes I know it’s frustrating. You may work all your life to invent a babytalk or pidgin, to convey concepts you will never yourself fully understand, because of never yourself speaking the mature language that would result in a generation or three. I’m sorry about that, but I don’t have anyone incarnate who can teach you this stuff fully; it simply isn’t in the culture. Your people are groping, and we’re all eagerly helping (though sometimes at cross purposes with each other. Out of this, eventually, better understanding will come. But. Not. Today. And not, I’m afraid, truly in your lifetime, or the lifetimes of your sister’s children. I’m sorry about that, because I know you want it so much, and I just can’t do it.
We just can’t do it, rather. Working alone, I might just as well be pissing into the wind, or trying to hold the seas back with my hand. I need human help. Not just yours, but the help of many many humans. And other wights too. Gods… not all Nordic … land wights… ancestors … ‘udha spirits” (best term you have for them) [a concept from the work of an author called Sarangerel, who uses it for the primary contact spirits of a Mongolian shaman who call him/her and act as primary otherworld teachers/helpers.] … maybe even the non-human animals that share your lives.
Tell them that we are partners. We don’t want servants. Worship is nice, but it’s more like fluffy candy than a decent meal. Nor do we want people to use as as magical tools. Don’t call “Odin energy” to help you with your scholarly endeavours; I might just feed you more Odin energy than you bargained for. No, I don’t mind requests, though they get old pretty fast if they don’t come with offers of friendship. But commands got old a long while ago. Don’t do it. I like it less than you do (is that possible, given your dislike of receiving commands at all?). Well, more than most humans do.
Tell them that partners make mistakes, and may need forgiveness. Tell them that we need to know about you, and your hopes and fears. Tell them that we are not omnipotent. Nor, though I see far, and have agents, am I omniscient. Much have I striven for wisdom, but omniscience is beyond me.
Nor should you then hand out omniscience as attributes to the Norns. We are not a neatly dissected repackaging of the Christian sect of your choice, much as that’s where a lot of you are coming from, and the pattern that shaped your expectations.
You can only know us slowly. Study is good, but there’s no such thing as a crash course in friendship, nor even in empathy.
You are aware I am speaking to your issues, to matters discussed last night with myself in [another medium], though perhaps more poetically. Poetry reaches the deep mind. It is good to discuss things that way, and much may be conveyed, and on topics less consciously understood. But to really know something, many need more than poetry, as you know well.
You have noticed that people seem less possessed to you when you are yourself seeing them with a god’s eyes, and hearing them with a god’s ears. That’s part of it. Part relates to the idea of aspects. When you “become me” one big thing you do is express the part of you that’s most like me in personality, life experience (to the extent I have such, exactly) and goals. With a close god, it’s hard to tell where the god begins and you end; with a far one, there may well be revulsion, and there’s likely to be some very clear boundaries, even amnesia, even though in very light levels of trance.
That’s not all. If you think it’s all, you miss most of the point. But if you think it’s all someone from outside coming in, you become prey to some pretty dangerous delusions. Never fall into that trap. No matter how deep the medium may go, some comes from her. remember! Remember expecially when you’ve gone deep and gotten stuff you think can’t possibly have come from you; it will have come from you at least in part.
What we do is a lot like shifting wyrd. We take the best and most right of what gets stirred up in you, and try to add a little emphasis to it, so you think that. We may put bits together in ways you never saw, might never see without that help. In you, that’s usually word combinations, or idea combinations. A more visual person might get image combinations. Another might get symbol combinations.
It’s sometimes very frustrating, and we like having people who work to get close to us, because it’s a bit less frustrating with them. Still maddeningly slow though.
Something else to note: this task is never ending. Even as we convey one needed concept/technique/symbol, another is dropping out of use and being forgotten. Generally because it’s not of present relevance. But they come back to relevance again, except they are gone, or only recorded imperfectly in some half forgotten book of dusty history, with no living memory left to give the part that can’t be written, as being of practice, or emotion. As we were relegated to those dusty books, though with resurgences and derivatives.
[Originally written in response to a correspondent:]
How to Have Sex with the Gods
There is a sense in which we have sex with you when you let us into your bodies, you know. How else would you decribe the sensation of allowing one being to become physically one with another? We move as one, experiencing what the other does… and in doing so, you move out of yourself, and in that there is ecstasy.
But I take it what you want is how to pursue that ecstatic moment when all else drops away… and in nine easy lessons.
Well, I’ll give it to you in one: ergi.
Reflect on this, this receptivity meant by the word. Think of it, not as unmanly, but as unmanning — the difference is profound.
Make of yourself a vessel. A vessel for what? Well, if you would experience the ecstasy of being one with a god, then you must be open to them, and that to which they connect….
Yes. You must make the way for the sea to be poured into a thumble, for the stars to all be held in a bucket of milk. You must make of yourself a vessel for the universe entire, and that is no small thing.
But that is what you seek, that is the way of it. Reflect on the concept of receptivity, and hollow yourself out so that your “I” is… passive. Not unresponsive, but able to move out of the way. You can use Us to fill in what has been made empty by your own passing.
Like any other act, it will be difficult on the first attempt. Like the nervous virgin, you will be tight and cannot hold much (and I have known very many spiritual virgins…). But, as you grow, the more you hold, the more you can hold, and the sooner you will attain that which you seek.
Still, it’s very much like sex, so if you have hangups about that they may come to haunt you here. They will come and live with you, filling up that space where you would have us live, where you would put all the universe you can stand. And that… will not do.
But to open the way to ecstasy, make of yourself a vessel. Even I have done it, from time to time…. although you can well imagine I can hold a little more than the average one of you, yes?
When you allow the universe, All that Is, to penetrate you for even one shining moment… or, by proxy for it, any of Us… you learn a little better how to respond to it the rest of the time. That’s how you respect us in the morning: by remembering how to talk to us waking as well as you do when sleeping or meditating.
Sex is good. Moments of mind-shattering ecstasy are wonderful (and I’m an expert). But it’s the respect in the morning that really gets the job done as far as we’re concerned.
Do you understand? It’s important, it’s what keeps the task going once the fun is just a memory.
It is vital that you understand this — for while I love you, I would not have desire for ecstasy to distract you from the true goal.
You have your own part to sing in the chorus, when you’re not busily screwing me. I enjoy screwing you, don’t forget it: both in the sense of bringing you ecstasy and in the sense of moving with and as you…
What? How else do you think gods have sex?