Although your standard dictionary will undoubtedly state that pagan and heathen are both uncivilized, irreligious persons, nothing can be further from the truth. Pagan is a Romanized word to mean country bumkin, or those folk who dwell well outside of established cities and townships, living as one with the natural cycles. Heathen is a Germanic word which basically means that what is seen upon the heath is accepted as fact, or to have knowledge of such information which has been handed down through the generations. Never the less, it does one's enemy a sharp injustice when their own derogitory words are taken up as a positive infliction. Thus, albeit for the most part consciously unknown, why many today call themselves Pagans.
Whether you prefer one term over the other is of little consequence for, hopefully, we are all seeking accurate information in regards to the particularly styled path which each of us has choosen to follow. Ask ten people what they see Indo-European Folk Magick as, and odds are you will get eleven different answers, yours having become formulated from their responses, although each may quite possibly center around the reverence of nature as seen through the higher powers of one's Self.
Be that as it may, most of us tend to seek fellowship with like-minded folk, seeking to expand our own mentality through the comraderie of others. It is through this diversity of human experiences whereby we should then be able to overcome any stagnation through open discourse as we celebrate, and expand upon the divine within and around us. Yet it is none the less a personal quest for the divine, both within and without, to bring forth needed change within one's own life.
This change can be brought about in a number of diverse ways; by discarding habits which no longer serve, through the realization of personal conduct, to re-begin with a fresh start, even the seeking of the divine itself. Each of these outlooks in their own unique way creates the basis for a new life-style. Know now that it is the desire to make this happen which brings about results. No magick, however sacred, can work wonders without the positive attention of those wanting the change to honestly take place.
This change in one's self then calls out to others of like-mind, though we may be unaware of it happening at the time. For it is through our daily actions whereby we come in contact with age-old problems and solutions. Looking to previous experiences and past actions can oft times result in an understanding of why something is the way it is. Therefore we then have an honouring of our Elders through various rites and rituals, all while empowering ourselves towards becoming better folk in relation to both the planet and our fellow man, thereby coming closer to attaining the Perfected Being of myth.
The author Starhawk brings forth the notion that there are three powers which continually reside within each of us; 1)Power Over. This is seen as holding sway over others who have little choice, not unlike deity within most pantheons, or the CEO of a large corporation; 2) Power With. Liken this aspect to a mutual sharing of duties as seen betwixt husband and wife, or within an eclectic grove or kindred; 3) Power Under. This is seen as others having power over you, like a parent-child relationship, or even a teacher-student affinity.
It is a common occurance for most of us to be Under the Power of others while wanting Power Over some particular thing at one point or another within our lives, and assuredly there are spiritual aides which can help us to attain this dream. Speaking of dreams and the effects which they tend to have on us within the physical world, I would like to share an insightful revelation I received which was brought forth through the SeidR process of "sitting-out" if I may...
The simple fact is that the runes are not what most see them as, but are instead actual subconscious representions of streams of primal energies. Perhaps one can liken this concept to the magnetized and etheric lay-lines which criss-cross MidgardR. Now, how does one possibly tap into these streams? Why of course it is through the practice of the many uniquely individualistic forms of magicks which abound in the traditions of the Northern Folk.
Realize that the aspect of Magick, as brought forth by Scott Cunningham (may Helija bless his SjalfR) has three distinct sources of energy: 1) Personal Power. That life force which daily sustains us and is released through movements of varying degrees, from the simple to the sublime, as it is raised, imbibed with the Will of the Seeker and directed towards its goal; 2) Earth Power. That which resides within the sphere of our planet and all of its natural, elemental products, can be released through the use of sympathetic energies to thereby produce the desired results; 3) Divine Power. This third aspect is the force which resides within deity and can be witnessed through either of the two previous sources.
By attempting to fully understand these three sources and by looking at the myriad styles known to exist within Northern magicks, which can all be seen as primarily existing within two main methods, GaldR and SeidR, one uncovers subtle similarities betwixt differing nationalities. For it is within these two oppossing styles that the myriad web-like strands of energy lie hidden from most, for most simply tend not to see beyond the obvious. Possibly because they are often looking to discover the easiest way to accomplish their goals. Instead one should always delve as deeply as they can, achieving an enlightenment otherwise unattainable. Never the less, it is these two methods of GaldR and SeidR which then combine together thus invoking the Pattern of Polarity that is common to Northern thought processes.
Within this Pattern lies a Key. To quest for ever more input is the way. Yet one must know where to search for the hidden answers, and when it becomes time to ask for assisstance from others. For without directions many seem to get confused and even stray along the way. This is where the exchange of positive information and the helpful instruction of others becomes a necessity. By being able to attain an accurate understanding of the various methods available one is then able to create their own style and still stay within parameters set forth by the ancestral traditions.
However, there are some not willing to lend a hand, or are overly concerned that others may be incapable of maintaining the required diligence without constant observation, and still others are just simply wanting to gain for themselves regardless of whether the student does so or not. Therefore the search for outside instruction is oft a long path fraught with perils. Yet, the best way to find a teacher is to make it known that you are seeking direction. For it is through verbal communication that one partakes of Ond, the magickal breath, which is represented by the runic symbol of Ansuz, and it is a part of every one of us from our birth.
Now that may not be much to some folk, but I felt that it had to be said before we commence upon our mindwalk.
All Hail unto Divinity
For within each of us
They are alive and well.
copyright © 2000 Reverend Godhi Yens Jensen all rights reserved