One vitki’s response

As a vitki I normally stay far away from issues that are political in nature. But I feel I must make a response to last weekend’s events.

A woman was killed. Using her rights to demonstrate against what she believed to be wrong. No one deserves to die simply for standing up for what they believe in.

So I did what I always do when confronted with something I don’t fully understand. I did a rune casting using the question “What does this weekend’s events hold for the future of my country?”  Here’s what I got.

As a country we are experiencing sorrow and strife over these events. But the prospect of new beginnings will outweigh our feelings of being left defenseless. An emotional sense of stillness and concentration will lead us to intellectual success. A national loss of connection to the Divine powers must be addressed with innovation. Although we are currently off balance we will ultimately gain a view of harmony and teamwork.   All will work itself out.

What does this mean?  The first statement is obvious. We are experiencing sorrow and strife. This event is one more example of the extreme division this country faces. We have allowed ourselves to become polarized politically. Instead of unity many of us have chosen to take sides.

New beginnings after this disastrous event will conquer a sense of being defenseless. Many people on both sides of the issues raised by this action are left feeling defenseless. Some strike out from this place in anger, some with attempts to bring unity to our nation. Which side you belong to depends in a large extent to how much you feel heard. Those who are not feeling heard lash out the hardest.

After our emotions have calmed down we can intellectually have success. With emotions flaring red hot nothing of any merit can occur. Only after things have calmed down emotionally can we as a nation approach this issue intellectually. Then healing can begin.

As a nation we are experiencing a loss of connection with the Divine. This issue must be addressed with a sense of innovation. Only by thinking about the Divine in new ways as part of the national dialogue will divisions begin to heal. It’s time we stop considering ourselves as divine.

A feeling of teamwork and harmony will happen after a time of feeling off balance. This period of uncertainty is needed to gain a new world view. A larger sense of scale. Only by taking a look at the bigger picture will we be able to then break it down into smaller more manageable pieces. A new world order can then be born.

Where to begin?  I suggest being open and honest about your spirituality. With everyone. Friends. Family. Coworkers. Acquaintances. People on the bus. Anywhere a conversation turns to big picture ideas let it be known where you stand.  Don’t let an opportunity to share this important part of yourself slide by. Be proud in what you believe.

Lastly it’s time to admit that tribalism has failed. Only by a new view of inclusion can the healing begin. The time of us verses them has seen its last days of usefulness. Time to admit that technology has shrunken our huge world into a neighborhood. Today I have a mentor in the Ukraine and a student in Dubai. Small world indeed.

These events will shake us for some time I predict. It is only our approach to the aftermath that matters. I say inclusion is the key to a new world. Where we all can feel safe and secure. A country I can be proud of.

Meeting a Druid ally

When I started exploring this path a little over a month ago I was overwhelmed. So much to take in and learn about. I was feeling a bit adrift. I know in my concurrent path there are spiritual allies I can turn to for help. Was there a Druid counterpart?  I figured it was time to find out.

In Asatru when I need to contact a spiritual ally I go into trance. I figured it would work the same way here. I got out the scents and drum. Time for a trance.

Normally when drumming I chant the name of the ally I wish to connect with. Here I had no clue. So I just started chanting the word “Druid” as I drummed. That seemed to work as I was in a trance rather quickly. I kept my intention in mind. Do I have a Druid spiritual ally?

Soon I was in a large field of grass. There was a circle of stones in the middle of the field. The stones were large enough to sit on. I headed towards the nearest stone to sit down. It was quiet. But I could feel the energy crackling as I approached the stone circle. I realized it was somehow alive.

I went up to the nearest stone. I put my hand out to steady myself as I sat down. At making contact with the stone surface I felt a bolt of electricity shoot up my arm. At the same moment I heard a deep booming voice. “I am here” it said. I asked if he was my Druid spiritual ally. “I am. My name is Llewellyn.”  My mind raced with questions to ask. I managed to spurt out how am I to learn?  “I have already placed tools in your path. Use them.”  But what am I to study first?  “Morrigan” was the answer. Then all was silent. I had met a spiritual ally and learned his name. And he had given me homework!

I came out of my trance. I wrote everything I remembered in my journal. Then I turned to find out more about Morrigan.

So it really began. I was forming a relationship with the Shining Ones. I was given guidance. I was truly on my way.

 

A chat with the Old Man

I was feeling blech and generally out of sorts spiritually. I had felt this way for several days. I decided to do something about it. It was time for a chat with Odin to find wisdom and inspiration.

I hadn’t bothered him for quite a while. So I figured he might be up for this little talk. I did all my seidr stuff to get myself into a trance. I journeyed up the World Tree to Asgard to meet with him. So I’m there in Asgard enjoying the energy and looking for Odin. He’s nowhere to be seen. So I just kinda hang out. I’m sending out my intention for the visit. Nothing. This went on for a while. Then suddenly I hear a loud voice proclaim “Meditate on my rune fool!”.  And I’m slapped back into ordinary consciousness.

Well. Sorry to bother you!  But I’m not one to ignore a direct order. So I meditated on Ansuz. I kept getting two words in my head. Communication and gods. Then as I was meditating I was thrown back to the first of the year. I was feeling out of touch spiritually then too. And the events of the last eight months where unfolded for me. Founding the Vitki/ Volva Forum. Starting to learn the Anglo Saxon futhorc. Getting a vitki student. More rune castings for others than I can count. Starting my blog. And most recently the messages that I am to follow the concurrent path of Druidry. Whew!  When I lay it all out it’s been quite a busy year spiritually speaking!  I should be more content with my progress.

Communication and gods. I’ve definitely had my world open up in regards to communication. And my new concurrent path opens me up to a whole new pantheon of gods. What more could I ask for?

But I still wasn’t sure. So I pulled out the runes to do a casting on the question  “What should I make of the events of the last year spiritually?”.  Here’s what I got.

I am experiencing life changes. Inspiration of the gods in my subconscious is bringing me to a gestation phase in my higher consciousness. Intellectual awareness of the Divine structure is keeping my emotions stable. A lack of creativity at this time would lead to sorrow and strife. My connection with the gods may confuse me.

And that’s a perfect picture of where I stand. Especially in regards to my new concurrent path. The runes never fail to put things into perspective. Much for me to do and meditate on!

So not much of a chat with Odin. But as always he put me on the path to wisdom and greater understanding of myself. I’m never disappointed in his guidance. He steers me to the right path every time. That’s why I turn to him.  Hail Odin!

Dedicating myself

After a month or so of studying druidry since I heard the call I decided I was ready to make an oath to the Spirits that I will seriously follow this concurrent spiritual path. I was ready to do a ritual to declare my choice to the Divine and Spirit allies.

As I am not a stranger to ritual I was not too concerned about the exact format. I decided to use a ritual outlined by an ADF member in one of his books. I went into my ritual room. The moon was at its fullest last night so I felt it was an auspicious time to do this. My rather humble druid later was prepared earlier in the day. I lit some incense and was ready to begin.

I got myself into a pattern of rhythmic breathing. I grounded myself.  I called the four quarters. I cast a circle of energy to create sacred space. Then I sat down in front of my altar which faces east.

I asked the Gatekeeper to open the gates to the other realms.   Once I felt a flowing of energy between the realms I called on the Earth Mother. I allowed myself some time to feel a connection with her. The grounding I had done earlier became deeper. I asked her to be with me on this new path. I asked her to keep me grounded in this work. I thanked her for her help.

I lit a candle to the Spirit of Flame. I called on it.   I focused on the flame as I started to sense a new energy in the room. After sitting with the energy for a bit I asked the Spirit of the Flame to burn inside me with creativity. I had images come to me of me doing ritual and walking outdoors. I thanked the Spirit for its assistance.

Now I turned my attention to the cauldron of water. I called upon the Spirit of the Well. I sat there feeling a new energy. The room got noticeably cooler. I took some water and placed it on my forehead. As I sat there feeling the coolness of the water I asked the Spirit of the Well to be with me. I asked that my search for wisdom be as deep as a bottomless well. Images of books flying by entered my vision. I thanked the Spirit for guidance in this issue.

Then I called on the Nature Spirits to hear my oath and bear witness.

Next I called upon my ancestors. I focused on a photo of my parents as I did this. While doing this I felt the energy circle I had cast expanding to allow more sacred space. I asked the ancestors to be with me on my path. I heard my mother’s voice telling me that everything I had experienced and learned had lead me to this time and spiritual place. I thanked the ancestors for their help on my way.

I then called upon the Shining Ones. I asked them to hear my oath and guide me on this path. I asked them to help keep me on the path of Druidry when I sta. I asked them for sure footing as I traveled. I thanked them for their help in this issue.

Now in front of all the assembly of Spirits I made my oath. I promised to follow this concurrent path wherever it may lead me. I oathed to take this matter seriously and hold it close to my heart. I oathed my dedication to the Path of Druidry. I then thanked the Spirits for hearing this promise and asked for their help and guidance. I suddenly felt light hearted and full of joy.

I called the Gatekeeper to close the gates. I opened the circle of energy creating ordinary space again. The ritual was ended.

I felt very energized but tired at the same time. I felt certain I would be able to fulfill this oath. I felt new purpose and a sense of connectedness. This was the right path at the right time. I was truly on the Path of Druidry. I await whatever is to be revealed to me next. I am ready.

Ergi warrior

An ergi warrior. Contradiction of terms? Not possible? I say it is.  

I’ve always known I was ergi. Gay. From my earliest memories of being the oddball in a rough and tumble familial and social setting I knew something was up. I was born and raised in a rural farm community of 650 people in 1965. I was never in the closet. Was out and gay from day one. It just never occurred to me to hide who I was. No one else around me did. Why should I?
I was always feminine.

My favorite fictional characters were always female. In my youth from Little Orphan Annie to Dorothy and Glinda (she did have the best costume after all!) in “The Wizard of Oz” I closely modeled myself after the heroine. Even though my favorite TV show was “Starsky and Hutch” it wasn’t because I wanted to be them. I just thought Starsky was dreamy. So all the signs were there early on.

But I was also always a warrior. Fighting back against those who picked on me. Which happened often. Slammed into lockers. Books hit out of my hands. Fighting back with my father. He figured he could bully the sissy out of me. Of course not so. I figured out that the only way to survive and flourish in this atmosphere was to stand up for myself.

When I was 13 I was expelled from the Lutheran church in my hometown. They said I was gay and had no right being there. This was a crushing blow for me. I was very active in the church. I taught Sunday School. I sang solos at special services. I played the organ. The church was a well integrated part of my life. But if God was going to turn His back on me I would fight back. I turned to alternative religions to fill the spiritual void.

I spent years searching for a spiritual home. I devoured self help books and New Age philosophies. I was Wiccan for a while. None of it seemed to work for me. It was years of being adrift. I had no inkling where to turn.

I had decided to find out what my ancestors did spiritually before the tide of Christianity took over them. As my ancestors as far back as we could trace them (the 1500s) were German I knew that there was going to be my answer. And that meant the old olds of the North. This lead me to a fascination with the gods of that time and place. I read everything I could about Odin and Thor and the like. I was entranced. No one could have told me back when I was 13 that I would find such a rich and diverse history of beliefs. I felt at home.

Ultimately my adulthood searching lead me to my exposure to Asatru. Here was a religion celebrating all the gods I had come to know. It had ritual and clergy. Soon enough I had joined an international Asatru group and called myself an Asatruar.
I was drawn to the Esoteric side of Asatru. I began my Runic studies in my mid20s. But soon I felt unbalanced. There was so much talk of the warrior side of life in Asatru. The Esoteric offered a way for me to combat all this overly overt testosterone.  I learned about Odin and his studying seidr with Freyja. Not a very manly practice. Most seidr workers were women after all. And then of course reading in the Edda about Loki using the term ergi to hurl as an insult at Odin. I looked ergi up. Feminine male. Me. But Odin was nonplussed by the insult. After all he was a warrior god. If he also had an ergi side of his complex personality so be it. Odin knew that to continue his never ending search for wisdom it would be necessary to explore that part of his psyche. He was an ergi warrior. I figured so was I.

There are times today more than 25 years later I’ll be in some discussion in a Facebook group where someone will throw the term ergi at me. And I’m fine with it. I know I’m a warrior as well.

My husband of 30 years and I have been ergi warriors together. Back in 1993 we marched on Washington DC for the rights of same sex marriages. In 2000 we adopted our daughter in suburban Chicago. Many was the time of a parent teacher conference I had to don my warrior garb. It’s been a life of struggle and fights. But I’ve held my own over the years.

Eight years ago I was diagnosed with MS. This began a new round of battles. The daily fight against my body decaying. Losing and then gaining back functionality. The onslaught of medication and physical therapy. I have fought and won many battles both large and small. It’s a battle I may ultimately succumb to. But fight I will.

I have been a Vitki for 25 years. Over a year ago I achieved my goal of being ordained as a Gothi. My life is spiritually full. Nothing in my life is untouched by the gods. Ergi or not I have been chosen for this path.

What does this mean for me today? How do I live a life as an ergi warrior? I explore both sides of myself. The masculine runes and the feminine seidr. The fighter and the healer. I know that may be a gross oversimplification but it’s how I view it. It takes work on both sides to keep me balanced. I admit I struggle sometimes with this balance. But I at least keep struggling.

So these days I’m a warrior in my daily battle with MS. And naturally my ergi flag is always flying. I’m not afraid to be ergi. Or a warrior. I am happily both. So let Loki hurl insults. It’s simply who I am.  I follow the example of Odin. I’m an ergi warrior!