On of the key components of Vitki work is journeying to the different realms to gain wisdom or just to see what’s going on. Great. But how do you journey?
For me there are three major and different ways to do it. They all start from the same place. You need to create sacred space for a journey to be successful. The easiest way to do this for me is through scent. Scent is a powerful agent in any sacred work. It sets the stage and lets your mind know that something different is about to happen. You can use scent with incense or oils. The key is to choose a scent that will only be used for sacred purposes. For example if you choose sage or mugwort for your sacred scent don’t use it to simply rid your house of unwanted pet smells! You want to create a mental trigger through scent that something out of the mundane ordinary is about to occur.
Deciding in advance about your intention is also important. Your intention will carry you through the proceedings. Keeping a strong solid intention in mind assures you won’t be drifting about aimlessly. It keeps you on track.
The first two ways to journey are through trace. Getting into trance for me and in my experience comes down to two techniques
First there is the way I teach all of my apprentices. You begin with rhythmic breathing. Setting a steady rhythm of breath helps to bring on a trance. Next you work on opening up your mind. This is accomplished by allowing your mind to go blank. If any unwanted thoughts come in simply acknowledge them and let them know you are busy with something else. You need to let the intrusive thought know you’ll get back to it later before gently pushing it aside. Continue to do this until your mind is free and clear as it can be. Then simply restate your intention and wait for the shift in consciousness to occur.
Another way to go into trance is through repetitive motion such as swaying. Swaying back and forth can create the altered state of mind we’re looking for. While not successful for everyone it does offer another option.
Then there’s the guided meditation technique. Here you simply get into a meditative state and picture Yggdrasil before you. You see there is a door at it’s base. Opening the door you step inside the hollowed out center of the tree. There is a spiral staircase inside going both up and down. You simply choose which direction you want to journey in an take the staircase there.
Those are three different techniques to journey. I’m sure there’s more. How do you travel?
I got a new drum in the mail yesterday. It’s always exciting to get a new tool for my Vitki work. This drum has a beautiful ring of runes on the head in red ochre. I plan to use it to assist me in seidr work. But I can’t just jump in and use it. It must go through some preparations.
First I have to use incense to make it sacred. Passing it through the smoke a few times helps to set this drum aside for special purposes. It says to the multiverse exactly what I plan to use the drum for. Sacred work. Setting it aside this way makes sure that whenever I use the drum it’s for a distinct reason. This act also puts me in the mindset of what this drum is truly for. Seidr work and calling upon the gods.
Next I need to spend some time getting to know the drum better. I sit and meditate with it. I stroke it to add my personal energy to it. I ask it it’s gender. I ask it if it has a name. All of these things help build a link with the drum. In essence I become one with it. It’s never good to trust a stranger with your intimate ritual work. Same thing goes with your tools. Don’t let them be a stranger. Get to know them a bit before using them in a ritual setting.
Once I feel confident I’ve gotten to know the new tool I can do some dry runs with it. Testing it out as it were. Giving the tool a chance to show off its abilities. Let the tool have this opportunity to show you what it’s got. This process can take several sessions. Don’t rush things. Really give the tool a chance to become acclimated to what you intend to use it for. Not good to just jump in and then expect positive results. These things take time.
Now that I’m sure the tool is accustomed to its use and I know it and have set it aside for Vitki use it’s time to use the tool in a full blown ritual setting. Let all of your previous work carry you through. Enjoy the new tool in its proper use. Exciting stuff to be sure!
i do this routine for all my tools. Drums. Gands. Whatever. Proper planning makes for positive results in ritual use. A little time beforehand gives a wealth of rewards.
How do you prepare new tools for ritual use?
So I felt it was time for a seidr session to have a talk with Odin. These talks generally go pretty well for me. I generally get nuggets of wisdom from him. So it was time to find out what wisdom he’d share with me this time.
I prepared as always. I lit candles and incense. I got out my drum. I started drumming and chanting the name of Odin. Soon enough I was in a trance.
I looked around. Yep. It was Asgard. I called out Odin’s name. And I called again. And there he was in the distance. Walking with a staff purposely toward me. Soon enough he was with me.
“What do you need?” he asked in a rather direct manner. I told him I was just checking to see if he had any wisdom to share with me. He looked at me with his one piercing eye. I felt uncovered and vulnerable. Finally after seconds that seemed like hours he spoke.
“You are an ordained gothi. You are a certified Norse Shaman. You are a teacher. So you are the keeper of wisdom. Any wisdom you may seek is already inside your head. Use it.” And with that he ambled off.
I slowly came to ordinary consciousness. I was weak and shivering. I let the power of his words sink in. He was right. I am a wisdom keeper now. I had never thought about that before. I have and always will be a seeker of wisdom. But as I stand today I am also the keeper of much wisdom. Funny. I needed to start looking at myself with different eyes. I needed to acknowledge to myself how far I’ve come and how much I do know. Scary thought. But powerful.
And I challenge you to take a look at yourself. You too are a keeper of wisdom. No one else has traveled your path and learned what you’ve learned. Acknowledge that fact. And be a keeper of wisdom yourself.
Do the runes and seidr ever go together? Absolutely. In a couple of meaningful ways.
Runes and seidr go together to create powerful experiences. It’s like a double whammy of input . The best of both of the major disciplines of Vitki work come together in harmonious ways.
First there’s the Runic seidr combo. That’s where you do a rune casting and can’t make heads or tails out of it. A seidr session offers clarity in these cases. What you do is cast your runes. When an interpretation escapes you simply do a seidr session to make it understandable. Go into trance. Focus on the runes pulled. And soon interrelationships start to become apparent. That which was obscured becomes transparent. Meanings will dawn on you that you never expected.
The same works in reverse. Did a seidr session that was full of disconnected images that left you flabbergasted? Do a rune casting to get additional meaning. Runes are very to the point and down to earth. Rather unlike the ethereal seidr session. A rune reading will help ground you in the here and now. Making it easier to make heads or tails of a slippery seidr session. Runes can give answers where only questions occur.
These are but two examples of how these esoteric heavy hitters go together. Maybe you’ll find other ways to combine them!
All Nordic healing techniques should first begin with Eir. Invoking her is the first step toward recovery. Here’re two methods of healing for which I have called upon her for assistance.
First there are psychological healings. A broken heart for example. First I get the client into a comfortable position laying down. Next I light incense. Then I pull out my drum. Drumming in a given rhythm I start to invoke her. Saying her name along with the drumming forms a type of light trance. I fall into the trance state and hopefully my client does too. Then the work begins.
Using my third eye vision I explore and examine the Hyde of the client. I’m looking for holes. Dark splotches. Sudden eruptions in the energy field. Now I can start to remedy the imperfections. Using myself as a conduit for the energy of Eir I fill in. I smooth out. I fix stuff. Once things seem complete and whole again I restart my drumming. The drumming serves to help me return to ordinary consciousness. Once fully back in this realm I go over what I’ve accomplished with the client. Then I give them a runic amulet or some stone for them to use as a focusing device. I instruct them to spend some time every day with the object in meditation. That’s about all there really is to it!
Physical ailments can be addressed through the use of herbs. Every Vitki should have some solid knowledge of the use of herbs. Getting to know them will give you a good idea of dried herbs to have on hand. Crushing them together in a mortar and pestle gets them ready to give to the client. I pray to Eir over the mixture so that they have the desired affect. Of course you shouldn’t dispense or prescribe any herb until you have a solid training in their uses. To do otherwise is reckless.
There is scant little information about Eir in the lore. About all we know is that she was the doctor to the gods. All I know is that no healing work I undertake is complete without her aid.