As winter has ever so slowly been making its way to the North Country, I’ve yet again begun to feel Skadi’s presence. Along with Her presence, I’ve been feeling a draw or a pull to explore the Norse and Germanic pantheons. Since I had just finished reading A Dance with Dragons and have at least another 1 1/2 – 2 years before the next book in A Song of Ice and Fire series comes out, I was browsing my bookshelves and wondering what to read next. My attention was drawn to 3 books in particular; Exploring the Northern Tradition by Galina Krasskova; Essential Ásatrú by Diane L. Paxson and Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswynn. I ended up picking Krasskova’s book a few nights ago as it looked like a good intro into the Norse and Germanic beliefs, pantheon and lore.
The book thus far has turned out to be a very good read! I’m a little over 3/4 of the way through the book and I feel like I have a real good beginner’s understanding of the lore, the cosmology, and the major Gods and Goddesses. I found myself for the first time really drawn to a God – to the All-Father Odin (who I was drawn to about a year ago while still living in Alaska, but didn’t really follow through with anything. I guess it wasn’t time…). I also felt a strong resonation with Frigg, Sif, and Eir. As I read their lore and through meditations or actions to build a relationship with Them, I could almost feel their energy – very much different from that of the Goddesses I already work with: Brighid, the Morrígan and Epona.
In fact, I was getting the feeling that the Morrígan wasn’t very happy about this exploration at all – especially when it came to Odin. However, I did promise Her an offering (a healthy offering of wine actually to all 3 Goddesses mentioned, also to Danu and the Shining Ones as it had been well past due) and that of course I still honored Her. I felt it necessary to explain that these Gods and Goddesses I am learning about are also the Gods and Goddesses of my Ancestors as I not only descend from Irish ancestry; but German, English, Dutch, French, Polish, Czechoslovakian, and Sicilian. I felt that an understanding and a peace had been reached and life was good again.
Getting back to Frigg, Sif and Eir…Yet again, I’ve been going through a bit of a rough time (hey – it happens to the best of us from time to time) dealing with personal issues. While I recognize the triggers that set me back and know what I’ll be going through and yes, I will come back out of it – the process of going through PTSD flashbacks still very much sucks. I could feel Frigg, the All-Mother’s strength and sense of duty flowing in to kind of give me a boost and can still feel Her here now; Sif’s patience and again, strength to endure the humbling and hard times; and the healer and shaman, Eir – who not only was the “best of physicians” but also Galina Krasskova explains “is a good Goddess to call upon when facing the proverbial ‘dark night of the soul.'” Though I haven’t set an altar up to Eir (or any of these Goddesses as of yet), I did find the meditation outlined in Krasskova’s book to Eir very soothing and relaxing – a meditation and a place that I would very much like to visit.
Thinking about and taking a good hard look at the 9 Noble Noble Virtues of Heathnery (Courage; Discipline; Fidelity; Honor; Hospitality; Industriousness; Perseverance; Self-Reliance and Truth), I found that they are very similar to the ADF’s Nine Virtues (Wisdom; Piety; Vision; Courage; Integrity; Perseverance; Hospitality; Moderation and Fertility). Examining each virtue – where I fall short or where I feel I’m in a good place – is a must, I feel, in order to better my life…plus, I need to write an essay on the Nine Virtues as part of completing the ADF’s Dedicant Path.
So, last night I dreamed of runes – lots of runes swirling around, in and out of the familiar mists that accompanies my spiritual dreams. One rune that stuck out was Jera. One thing that really resonated with me with the rune Jera, according to Runesecrets.com, was that “Jera has to do with right timing. Jera is in the maxim ‘This too shall pass’, the proverb, ‘As you sow, so shall you reap’, and in the modern adage, ‘time heals all wounds.’ Using this rune is the key to understanding the mysteries of time and the psychological importance of dividing and managing time. Deadlines bring out the best in us and motivate us to grow to levels beyond our present ability. It also moves us to strategically taking action when the time is right. Take advantage of the ups and coast through the downs.” Apparently, Eir is very much tied to this rune as well.
Frigg gives me a sense of strength, duty, and responsibility. Sif gives me a sense of hope for the future – not the immediate future – but the future that is several years off from now. I can’t help but feel Sif’s presence in the quote by Anaïs Nin, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” I have felt this pain for a very long time, and in time, when the time is right, I too will blossom find happiness and fulfillment.