My sister was taken off life support the 26th. Her passing from this realm was peaceful surrounded by members of her clan. Unfortunately I was not able to be there to send her off. But from the moment I got the call they were taking her off support I went into full Vitki mode. Here’s what I did.
I did a ritual to invoke Odin. As ferry man I knew he would be instrumental in her safe passing between realms. This aspect of Odin is documented in the Lore. In trance I asked if I could pay her fare. He assured me that her fee had been paid by all the good works she had done during her life. This was very true. She was a good woman always doing for others before doing for herself. Her 59 brief years in this realm were a testament to how to live a selfless life. If in that regard alone she will be sorely missed.
After getting the call that she had moved on I started thinking about which deity I could call upon to aide in helping me deal with the grief of having someone so vital in my life pass on. I thought about it a while before deciding on Frigga. Who else but the goddess who had gone through the grief of her son’s death in the tale of Baldur? In that tale she had fought the death using everything at her command to reverse it. Although it was certainly not in my power to reverse events it was within my power to choose how to react. I resolved to act as honorably as possible towards members of my clan. This involved reaching out to my niece who is reeling from grief herself. Being as emotionally supportive of her during this time is no less than my sister would have done. Even though I am geographically far away phones and the internet are available to reach out. I’ve done what I can within the boundaries of respect.
Then I turned to Thor for his unending strength in all matters. Red beard has enormous amounts of strength at his beck and call. I will need that strength to help me through.
Overall I am doing okay. I am back to my regular schedule within a few days. I am interacting with others. And I am sharing with friends and loved ones how I am able to bounce back so quickly. With the guidance of my gods I will get through.
Tough times. I’m going through one now. My sister who I love dearly has been in a coma on life support the last four days. The prognosis is not good. So I decided to call upon the gods to help me through.
First I called to Eir. As physician to the gods she was of course my first choice. I did a ritual asking for her healing powers to aide and assist my sister. That energy was sent out into the multiverse quickly on day one. Asking for her assistance helped put me at ease. I knew that the situation was in the hands of someone bigger than me. Someone in a position to do something about it. What could be more appropriate?
Then I called upon Thor. His strength and might are definitely called for. He can assist my sister by bringing her strength. And for me too. I am relying on his strength to keep me stable. He is needed in times like this to help me power my way through the emotions I’m feeling. His strength is helping me keep an even emotional state. Who better to turn to when strong responses are called for?
Why turn to the gods at a time like this? They are instrumental in my life. They help me in so many ways that it just makes sense. If they can continue to help me with the smaller issues in my life why wouldn’t I turn to them for the big stuff? Any other response from me would be totally out of character for me as a Vitki. If I can’t turn to the gods in tough times then what good is all the work I’ve done in the good times? I’ve built up a bank account of positive energy. It’s simply time to make a withdrawal.
So my advice is to work with the gods in good times. Build a relationship with them. Then when things get bad you have someone to turn to.
So I know whatever the outcome of this situation may be I will have the gods to see me through. They will show me the correct path to take and guide me on my journey. That’s all I can ask of them. And I am certain they will be there.
I suppose they could exist. But for me taking the gods out of Vitki work leaves the practice awfully dry and barren. Without the gods all that is left is a shell. It takes away all the wonderful possibilities of the practice. Here’s why I feel this way.
Rune work without the gods leaves you with a rather bland and tasteless experience. In its simplest form it becomes rote divination. Without accepting that the runes are in fact a form of direct communication with the gods you are left with symbols that have direct meanings. By allowing them to be a link with the gods whole stories unfold. Meanings take on nuance. The multiverse is at your fingertips. Without the gods you are left with little beyond surface meaning. The gods give the casting the flesh and blood on the skeleton created by the staves pulled. Acknowledgement of the gods provides depth otherwise not accepted. For me in this regard the gods are all.
What of magical uses of the runes? Without the gods for me it just doesn’t exist. Magic requires the divine to work appropriately. Without the gods magic becomes simply an act of will. And as any magical worker will tell you will is only the barest minimum of the working. When we don’t accept the divine magical workings fall flat on their faces. Without the gods you are again left with a shell of the possibilities.
Seidr work without the gods is simply trance. Anyone trained well enough can achieve trance states. It’s in the communication with the gods and entities of the beyond that things get truly interesting. Then once again the multiverse unfolds for you. Insights and wisdom make themselves known to you. True meaning can be found. Questions can be answered. A wealth of information becomes yours. You can actually do something with the trance. It’s more possibilities open to you.
These are just a couple of quick examples of why I don’t believe a true Vitki can be an atheist. You just cut yourself off from too many meaningful experiences that way. To be a true Vitki for me requires a strong belief in that which is bigger than ourselves. Without a belief in the gods you are left with sheer arrogance.
The winter solstice. The shortest day of the year. The day of longest darkness. We celebrate and honor this day for good reason. It is the turning of the year. What do I do to celebrate this day?
As it is the darkest day I take plenty of time for introspection and reflection. I ponder the year that has gone by and think about goals for the new year. I celebrate my achievements. I dwell for a bit on what’s been. This is the celebration of our turning inward. Being aware of spiritual matters.
This has been a jam packed year for me spiritually speaking. I have accomplished much. I have started a new and exciting path. I have strengthened my footing on my old path. I have helped others in finding a spiritual outlet for themselves. I have lived a spiritual life.
What does my spiritual life entail? A lot of work. Every day I do my devotionals. I meditate. I study. I grow small amounts with each passing day. And those small amounts taken over a period of time add up to a life lived in spiritual practice. Whether I’m doing a rune casting for someone or working with an apprentice each day is filled with spiritual activity. It’s the life I choose to lead. It’s the life I truly believe I was meant to live. Everything I’ve experienced in my life has lead me to here. It is a place I have worked for and grown into. It is my now.
So I urge you on this dark day to take time to take stock of your life. Are you happy with where your journey has lead to? Do you yearn for something else? Something more? Think about the steps you’ll take next. Make some decisions about who you are and who you’d like to become. Lay a foundation to build on. It’s time well spent.
So I wish you a Yule full of introspection and discovery. I wish you safe journeys. Most of all I wish you spiritual fulfillment. Happy Yule!
Fire. It is our friend. Or our enemy. It is all powerful and yet can be controlled to do our bidding. For our ancestors of yore fire was an essential part of life. It cooked their food. It destroyed their enemies. It provided warmth and light. Whether in a hearth or as a campfire the element of fire was always there. Our ancestors maintained a respectful relationship with fire. How do we as modern day Vitkis maintain that relationship? Through the essential use of fire in our workings.
Through the use of fire as an aide to trance work. Anyone who has gazed for any period of time into the flickering image of a burning flame will tell you it alters your consciousness. We begin the see shapes amidst the flames. And soon these shapes take form. Animal. Human. Whatever you could see in ordinary consciousness. And our intuition tells us the meaning of these forms. The forms start to tell a story that can be retold. Within those stories we find wisdom. Wisdom that rings true to each of us. So is the magic of trance work.
Through the use of fire sendings. A candle inscribed with a rune burnt down. A piece of paper with a bind rune inscription burnt to release the energy into the multiverse to affect change. These are just two simple ways that through the use of magic a Vitki uses fire. Fire is a catalyst. It effects change. Boiling a pot of water till the water turns to steam and becomes vapor. Burning wood till it is ash and smoke. Taking something old and turning it into something new. So is the magic of fire.
Through seeking to become illuminated. How often so we say of someone filled with wisdom and inspiration that they have a fire that burns from within. This is what we seek as working Vitkis. To burn from the fire within. It is this burning fire that we wish to kindle within ourselves. To become illuminated. To burn from within.
These are just several of the ways modern day Vitkis use fire. I’m certain there are many more. My hope for you is that you burn a fire within that will bring forth illumination.