Ice. Stillness. Meditation. Concentration. All meanings for this slippery and sometimes dangerous rune. Let’s take a closer look.
Isa is ice. Ice brings up images of stillness and constriction. Beautiful but empty of life. This reaction of water to cold speaks of nourishment on hold. The life giving aspects of water are brought to a grinding halt in ice. Left unable to do the nourishing it was meant to do it simply remains still. Stillness is one of the major aspects of this rune. Quiet. Meditation. Self reflection.
The self discovery that comes of such self reflection and meditation contradicts the slippery aspect of this rune. The slippery aspect speaks of thoughts not sticking or gaining hold. Yet when viewed in its bright aspect the exact opposite occurs. Thoughts do take hold. And when warmed by the light of enlightenment it thaws into its natural state of a life giving Element. It is allowed to do what it was destined to do. Grow. Grow thoughts and insights to their full bloom.
In my personal experience this rune is an example of the thought being gestated and brought ultimately to life. It is a rune of contractions worthy of the reflection it speaks of. Good or bad news depends on the other runes in a casting. When used magically it is a powerful tool in creating change. It is like most runes multifaceted and deep in mystery.
We know little about the role of the Vitki in long gone times. The role of the Volva is clearly defined in the lore. She was an Oracle. She saw into the future. Vitkis do the same thing several times in the lore. They also curse enemies. Beyond that there’s not much to be found.
But what of the Vitki of today? What does he do? What is his role in the clan?
A Vitki today in my definition is simply a Norse sorcerer. Which covers a lot of ground. Rather like a Shaman in other tribal societies the Vitki of today is called on for many services.
Seidr work is one of those services. Whether it be faring off to talk to departed ancestors or looking into the Wyrd of someone seidr is the tool we use. A complicated and sometimes messy tool but a valuable one at that. Seidr practice opens doors otherwise left tightly closed. A Vitki offers a glimpse of other realms through his work.
Rune work makes up a huge portion of my work as a Vitki. Divination and magic are the primary uses available to me. Looking for clarity or insight on an issue? Turn to a Vitki and the runes will assist you.
Being a Vitki in the modern world means using tools our ancestors would never have dreamed of. Phones for instance. The use of phones means that we are able to be in touch with those on the other side of the world. This means that we have the ability to do long distance healing and seidr work with ease. Vitkis can be in touch with more people meaning larger size clans. This is a definite step forward in the world as we know it.
The internet is also a huge development for modern vitkis. Now information is at our fingertips at all times. We can use this tool to expand our clan as well. We can easily reach others who may wish to use our services. We can interact with those also doing this work.
So although many of the basic services a Vitki offers today looks very similar to those offered long ago the ways of communication are greatly easier. No one need be the only one in a village doing this work. Our village is now global thanks to the innovations of the modern day. And that’s what being a modern Vitki means for me.
Before you begin working with the runes in any capacity you’d better have some sound knowledge of them. Going full force without a solid foundation will just lead to spinning your metaphorical wheels. So how to best get some knowledge? Here’s a technique I use with my apprentices. It’s a pretty good technique and can be used by Runic veterans as well to gain insight. This is the way I wish someone had told me to learn the runes over two decades ago when I was a green newbie.
You will need a set of runes to provide as a meditation tool. You will want a physical representation of the staves to hold in your hands. This makes the runes more solid to you than just using your mind to recreate the stave shapes. They will also act as a grounding tool to help you stay centered.
Next get a copy of the rune poems. Many books have them reprinted as part of their information. I have found for myself the translations I prefer are found the the book Rune Primer. This book is available through Amazon as a Kindle edition as well as paperback format.
Once you have the rune poems in a translation that you respond to read them. Slowly and carefully. Try to get as much information out of them as you can. Particularly see what images occur to you as you read. Remember we’re building a foundation to place our structure on. Any time spent in this part of your learning process is time well spent.
Now meditate. Holding the rune in your hand and with the words and images of the rune poems in mind set yourself the task of discovering meanings for each stave. Write down all the meanings you can come up with. This is a discovery time. There are no right or wrong answers. The point is to find out how the runes speak to you. Again don’t rush through this.
Now turn to the meanings compiled by others. Books abound in this matter. The point is to compare and contrast your list of meanings with those of others. If you feel your meanings are just way off the mark repeat the process described above. Once you are pleased with the results you can move on to the next rune.
I have my apprentices work on this at a rate of two runes a week. That way there is nothing plenty of time spent on each rune.
And that’s how I teach the basics of rune knowledge. Try it yourselves and see what kind of results you get!
In my ongoing journey to put the Elements into use in my Vitki work I came across an exercise to get better in touch with earth. Here’s how it went.
First you choose a stone to work with. Stones are of the earth. They can’t help but be connected to this Element. So I choose my huge 8 inch long clear quartz crystal. It is huge and weighs about 3 pounds. It is definitely of the earth. I wanted something that was still in its raw form. Which this crystal is.
Then I sat in front of the stone and calmed and quieted my mind. I entered into a trance state. Enough to be aware but still in an altered state of consciousness. Then I took the crystal into my hands.
I was getting a buzzing feeling from the stone. I let myself experience this phenomenon. I felt the buzzing increase in intensity.
Then I aligned my consciousness with that if the crystal. I let my entire consciousness become one with the stone. I got myself to the place where I was mentally of the same energy level as the crystal. It was of a definitely slower level than I am accustomed to. Once fully immersed in this lower level of being a remarkable thing occurred.
Suddenly my consciousness was inside the stone. I was seeing and sensing the world through the viewpoint of the crystal. The things I saw around me where different colored light masses. The plants in my ritual room where green balls of energy. The other stones and crystals were white balls of energy. Everything was reduced to or perhaps elevated to balls of colored light.
And I saw or sensed the balls of energy influencing each other in subtle ways. There were places where the colors merged. Everything touched each other in this raw energy state. Even books. Everything was something more than what they appeared to be through my eyes. Through the eyes of the crystal they were all raw energy.
Once I slowly came back to ordinary consciousness I pondered what I’d experienced. It was a view of the world in its rawest form. The form of pure energy. And everything influenced everything else. We are all truly energy influencing each other. So much to think about…
Alchemy. The act of turning lead into gold. Magic indeed. But what does this mean for the Vitki?
Turning a base material into something precious is truly the heart of all Vitki work. As Vitkis I t falls upon us to be ever mindful of this task. We are the ones who through our work create transformation. Transformation of Self. Transformation of others. Whether it be through insights of a rune casting or a full blown seidr session we are in the business of bringing about change. Transformation.
These transformations may take time. Or they may occur in a sudden blast of insight. How they occur matters less than the fact that they do indeed occur. I’ve seen it for myself. Whether in my personal life or on the lives of my apprentices changes occur. And once the transformation is complete there’s no turning back. You can only move forward. Forward to the next transformation.
That’s one of the funny things about this alchemy. It always leads to more alchemy. It’s a never ending spiral of growth. We can think we’re done. That we’ve achieved all there is to know. And suddenly a little light will flicker. A light leading us on to the next series of changes. The possibilities are endless. We can always learn and grow and change. We are continuously in a state of performing alchemy. If we’re doing the true work of a Vitki.
So I would challenge you to this task. The task of alchemy. Where and when can you change and transform into something greater? Something purer? More refined? I say the time is now. The place is right there where you are. It’s the best time and place for magic. For alchemy.