Etymology — what is it good for?

Etymology. The origin of words. Sometimes this issue comes up in groups on Facebook. What exactly is the origin of the word “rune”?  Or “Seidr”?  Or any other word related to the work of a Vitki?  Interesting questions to be sure. Yet really what does it matter?

I maintain the only issue that should surround a word is how it is used currently. The only thing that matters is the current use and meaning of a word. Everything else in my opinion is merely mental mastrubation.

Take the word “rune”. The origin of that word is the word “runa” which means “mystery”. What does this mean to us now?  Would we not have discovered this meaning if we simply studied them?  What difference does it make if a word is Old Norse or Old German or whatever?  The meaning of a word is what it does for us today. So in this case the word means “mystery” to us today because in studying the runes we find it to be true.

My opinion is that a word is only as good and as powerful as it’s current usage. Otherwise we run the risk of being trapped in some dusty yesterday rather than being full and vibrant practitioners of a living craft. And that’s what I strain to be. A living breathing Vitki with his eyes looking towards the future. Not looking back on where we’ve been.


To be truly effective a Vitki must be well connected. Connected on many levels to many different entities. Connection is the way we monitor our progress. It is the way we serve. It is the way we communicate with our gods.

First for me there is the connection with deities. Being connected with the deities gives me the opportunity to do and experience a wealth of information. Being connected to deities is the way I make sure I stay on the correct path. How to stay connected to deities?  The easiest way is through meditation. And ritual and prayer. These ways offer us a direct link to the divine. This is my primary connection. Without it for me none of the other connections really matter. It is my lifeline to everyday life.

Connection to the Runes is also vital to me as a Vitki. It is my first line of connection with the gods. Through my use of the Runes I am allowed a glimpse into the goings on of the divine. The runes are more than a powerful Divination system for me. Plugging into the energy of the Runes gives me a boost of spiritual strength. I need this on a regular basis to function well.

Connection with your clan. Staying connected with those of a like mind has never been easier. Thanks to the internet we can reach others all over the world in a simple keystroke. Your clan can be as large as your imagination allows. For me this has the added benefit of not needing to leave my house to be connected. This is important as a person who suffers from MS. It may be important to you for different but just as valid reasons.

These are just three ways that being connected is vital to my work as a Vitki. I’m sure in your own practice there are more. But being connected is an important part of who we are and what we do. Connections makes the work worthwhile!

Seidr and personal transformation

One of the most powerful ways to use Seidr is to use it for personal transformation. This is easy enough to accomplish if you have trance skills. Let me give you an example.

First let me restate my definition of Seidr. For me in my practices any trance work done with a northern tradition as its backdrop is Seidr. Traveling the nine realms qualifies.

First you need to determine what you would like to change about yourself and your thinking or behaviors. This could require some introspection. It’s time well spent though.

Once you have a plan in mind it’s time to journey. For transformation purposes some of the most powerful allies you can have are the Norns. They are the weavers of Wyrd and help control our paths. Whenever I have a change that needs to occur within myself I travel to the well with the Norns.

Next I ask them to see the weaving they are doing of my own Wyrd. If they agree to show me I look for something in the weaving that may correspond to the change I would like to have occur. Many times this appears as a dark or black strand in an otherwise colorful weaving. It looks out of place. I then ask the Norns to cut this thread and continue the weaving without it. If they agree then great. Mission accomplished. If they don’t agree to this request I simply go back to them at another time and it always seems to get done.

Next I return to ordinary consciousness and make a game plan of what I can do myself to bring about the change. This is something else I always ask the Norns. They generally give me a good idea of what I can do beyond their changing of my weaving. This always takes the form of good solid steps to take. It’s up to me of course to follow them!

This technique has worked for me many times. Whether it’s a habit I need to change it a relationship that I need severed I go to the Norns for their aid.

This is just one way to use Seidr for personal transformation. There are many more. The uses are only limited by your imagination. Dream it then do it with the help of the Norns!

The runes and personal power

The Runes can be used for many purposes. Perhaps my favorite use is to use them in regards to personal power and transformation. This use for me is the primary use of the Runes. It is through this use that we can tap into the strongest and highest use of the Runes. It is through this use that we may achieve the highest goal of the Vitki.  The transformation of the Vitki into someone more powerful than before. Someone with greater Self understanding.

How do we do this?  Two ways immediately come to mind. Through the use of individual staves and through the use of bind Runes.

In using individual Runes the Vitki would choose the Rune that most suitably matched the desire of the needed change. This may be as simple as using Ansuz for spiritual growth or connection with Odin. Or perhaps using thurisaz for protection and defense. The individual Runes chosen can then be used in different ways. Through galder we can use the element of air to achieve a desired change. Through the use of fire either with a candle sending or simply writing the Runes on a piece of paper and burning it we can release the power of the Runes into the multiverse. The simple act of loading the paper or candle with the appropriate stave through galder should bring about an effect. There is powerful magic in these uses. Explore them for yourself.

Then there’s the use of bind runes. You can choose several staves to bring about a desired effect. For example for spiritual growth you may choose laguz and Ansuz. For material gain fehu and laguz work well. The possibilities are as endless as the imagination of the Vitki. Again you could use the two burning methods described above to send out the magic. I ask you to also try these techniques.

What is the difference between using an individual stave or a bind rune for your purposes?  The individual stave tends to be more focused and directed towards quick results. The bind rune is more long lasting in its effects. Slower and more deliberate. At least that’s been my experience with these two techniques.

Changing of Self is a primary calling for the Vitki. Try using these ideas and see what changes may occur in your life!