During the countless expeditions conducted over time in and among the canyons located just north of my Home-Stone of some thirty-five years, I awakened that which lay dormant within.
From the early childhood lessons taught me by my Grandfolk in the California High Desert. On through to the years of my hap-hazardly blundering through the myopic and highly ceremonial Enochian Studies which I attempted to rather diligently, and quite literally seek out.
Thus I am at this point here, where I am now just beginning with a new cycle of knowledge through the Denali Institute and the Norsk Ways which I faithfully combine together.
It was through my inquisitive search of ancestry, and the loving, yet gentle prodding of my Mother- may Helija hold her departed SjalfR in comfort, that I fortunately discovered the myriad Northern Traditions sometime during the Spring of 1977.
Gathering a thread here, a strand there, literary sources were, and still are to this day
rather scarce when compared to the other three Great Traditions.
The Eastern and Southern are themselves overwhelmed by the Western Traditions here in the United States for it is oft considered a main subject within this society's mainstream educational ciriculum, separation of Church and State not withstanding.
Be that as it may this paper is not about me directly, but about the overlooked world of philosophies, techniques and blendings of the Northern Teachings.
Each branch within a specific Tradition should be, and quite often is allowed its own personal variant of the known myths which may at first appear to deviate from the norm.
Beginning with Creation and continuing on through Age after successve Age, this shows a distinctive series of transformational levels which are brought forth through spiritual attainment, and thus have actually proven something quite useful in blending the known myths with various personal points.
For this then places Northern Thought Patterns, blended with scientific truths, into an understandable concept for future generations. It is only upon the subjected openness of the Seeker that new ideologies will ever be released.
Answering questions left from the Edda's. Filling in the space of doubt with glimpses of Light. Urging one ever forward on the Seeker's Path of gaining input which rings true. These and countless other notions are needed for the spiritual journey which each of us must travel in order to grow.
It is a subjectiveness which takes a reversal of thoughts for a few. For we hold to a balanced troth with the godz, male and female alike, of the Aesir and Vanir, all held in high regards, who are equable to community elders and familiar family members. Thus it is with these diverse ancestors of our ancestors whom covenant is held in utmost respect, each of us granting patronage as we see fit.
Because of this strong worthship, the totalitarian aggressiveness that is commonly seen as Asatru, carefully blended with the communistic passiveness known as Vanatru, then allows one to attain an everyday balance of equality within oneself, thereby providing one with the means to live a healthy, more productive life emotionally, physically and spiritually, as well as for the betterment of the community as a whole.
It is the combination of Elements gathered together, within the Seeker, which forms a beauty unparalleled elsewhere within nature. Where the feelings of comfort are received. Where a divine gateway for attaining the unknown can be opened. Hence it is within this individual area of neutrality betwixt the gods wherein one is abe to independently discover an elevated consciousness of their own inner feelings of well-being.
To thus combine the natural essence of the spiritual warrior with that of the fertile beast in an attempt to become the Perfected Being often referred to within mythology.
Myths are the persistant link betwixt the ever-changing physical world and the immutable spiritual worlds. Seen as a time-tested, gently-guiding path which provides faultless direction throughout the four distinct phases of the individual Seeker's Life, those of infancy, adolescence, maturity, and aging, certain themes emerge bringing forth echoes of our own religious experiences.
Yet today many folk have lost this valuable connection to their own personal foundation of Spirit. This is due, in part, to the common need for one to assimilate and conform with the general populace, thus possibly loosing that finite sense of ancestral connection.
Realize, if you will, that all myths from around the globe actually contain generalized themes which obviously link them all together superficially. This then quite possibly indicates that the Human Being, although isolated from one another since pre-historic times, does indeed have one common beginning which is now lost beyond comprehension.
But, by slowly sifting through a specific culture's mythology, we can in fact begin to notice that the surviving oral and written sources are what tune one into the role which the society as a whole takes on within nature. Right along with the understanding that this imprinting actually begins at birth.
Of course the symbolic values differ, moreso betwixt male and female polarities than betwixt social class distinctions. This then gives rise to two entirely different natures within the collective community.
One is that of the practical, animalistic character which mutually co-exists with its natural surroundings. The other is highly susceptible to beauty, its only concern in creating what is viewed as wondrous through its own eyes.
It is this second mentality which brings forth the notion that life, in its various manifestations, lives through death by destroying what it does not understand. It is this transformation of existing culture which brings forth a new notion of regarding the universe. For words inspire growth, which provides knowledge, bringing forth the realization that stagnation leads to death.
This comprehension then turns group traditions into individual realizations.
However, within the plentiful representations of mythic origins to have been passed down to us, most of which happen to be brought forth through diety as models of consciousness, the Seeker begins to discover underlying esoteric phenomenon unique to the Northern Traditions which can further enable insightful Spiritual Keys to be gained that easily relate to modern intentions.
One ideology which readily steps forth is that of Orlog. Literally translated as "primal layers" and seen as the root concept of the Cosmic Law of Cause and Effect whereby one is able to influence each particular outcome by specific actions. This arrangement of individual accountability is not unlike the Karma of Eastern Traditions, yet there are no firm absolutes involved. Orlog is much more expansive and flexible in that one's past actions and deeds are woven together to influence the present moment and quite possibly the future Wyrd of personal experiences.
The individual's Wyrd, understood as "that which is meant to be," can be bent to act as a counter-force against anticipated events and thereby change one's Orlog. It is this ability to subtly push or bend one's personal outcomes through the use of the illuminated mind which bends the past and present into an attainable future.
Thus to live in the present moment (Verhanđi) yet to ever remember the past (Urđ) and dwell not upon that which may be (Skuld) for it has yet to happen. Hence Orlog is the Cosmic Necessity of what has been spoken to determine the events surrounding one's life, and consists equally of good, bad, and nuetral happenings. It is through the skillful use of Wyrd, or Personal Intentions, whereby one is able to alter the present moment and thus deflect Orlog into something which is oft more agreeable.
Understand that this means we create our own world in which we live through the myriad choices which we make on a daily basis and the outcomes which result from doing so. There is no pre-destination, although there are of course a series of established ground-rules to live by.
Be that as it may, this innate energy of transpersonal power contained within one's Wyrd can be carried forth through death to further aide close familial relations and so may be continually built upon through succesive generations of positive actions. For there is no cumulative energy within the cosmology of Northern Lore which may be unaccounted for.
Seen as a thoughtful blending of myriad teachings left us by our ancestors about the inherent Aesic and Vanic ways, and based more upon intuition rather than professed academics, the surviving Lore is then incorporated into a balanced whole for everyday living.
This is not to say that known theoretical literary sources are hap-hazardly tossed out the window. In truth they are continuously expounded upon by way of diverse papers and numerous synopses put forth by steadfast Seekers, in an ever-expanding search for further input. Thus it is through the teachings where one finds myriad threads cleverly hidden amongst the ordered structure of Aesic constructs, to grasp and then turn round, thus returning to the original Vanic ideals.
This then enables one to connect the discovered bits of accurate knowledge together into a unified conception of the whole. To empower the Seeker with the ability to spiritualy progress, which is thereby blended into one belief system based upon general consensus.
By looking to this skillful combining of accurate knowledge as omni-present and all-pervasive within the Universe, one can generally view the Aesic qualities as being actively masculine while the Vanic qualities are passively feminine, each unique in their own right.
The one, dominately aggressive, is oft constrictive for it tends to reside within a set framework of Cause and Effect that is structured around mental discipline. It is here, within this defined skeleton of Aesic mentality, wherein the Seeker becomes absorbed in placing requirements which then need be attained before progression can be had, or recognized. This then creates varying limitations.
Yet the Vanic temperament desires to see this same Cause and Effect taking a natural course, simply acting from each incident as it arises, thus allowing to happen what does. To then consequently proceed from this newly given perspective, no matter the cost, just so long as the ultimate outcome is effectively achieved for the betterment of the whole. For life is supported through the giving and yielding of some obscure transcendental power known collectively as the Nornier.
Realize at this point that the active role of leadership is always considered to be masculine in the fact that it is the initiatory pole in any given situation, while the receptive role is considered to be formatively feminine. If you look to the Edda's and Saga's you will notice that these roles are continually shifting back and forth under general circumstances as the individual situation warrants.
It is from the joining together of the masculine with the feminine through the Sacred Marriage in which the two unique energies of Asatru and Vanatru bond together through the Cosmic Principle of Generation to thus manifest successful attributes within the Life-Force, thereby creating a third, separate energy known as the fabled Perfected Being.
Collectively self-contained, the Seeker will none the less notice many common similarities betwixt various branches within the Northern Traditions. Yet they are only so on the surface. Only by faithfully delving deeper, as one ever should, will any discrepancies begin to appear. But they are more akin to illuminating wisps of knowledge than those of mis-leading darkness.
However, to fully know oneself the Dark Side within must be investigated, for it is here that one finds the spiritual iitiation and fundemental wisdom needed to accomplish an iner growth of liveliness. This personal evolution may be obtained not through external manipulation but through internal growth. This is to say that we all contain an aspect which most of us repress so as to function within common society.
The Norsk Ways subtly touch upon this facet, along with other interesting areas of human nature. For example, through the common conception of the Nine Noble Virtues one notices merits of self-control and parallel adjustments of values. This balanced guideline, which the Seeker may follow to attain spiritual growth, enables a self-commanding assurance through actions which better the environment around one by removing those sub-conscious notions which have hither-to been repressed.
Along with other equally consequential formations within the Norsk Ways made up of nine fragments, the Soul Complex which makes up the Human Being consists of nine psycho-spiritual constructs.
Within Northern Lore these various layers include: the physical body known as the Lik; the etheric body known as the HamR; the intellect and reflective construct known as HugR and MunR respectfully; the breath of life known as Ond; our inspiration and motivation known as OdhR; the fetch or guardian known as the Fylgia; and the Self known as the SjalfR. Each of these eight energy structures within this intricate grouping blends together to unite and thus make up a collective whole termed the Sal, or Soul.
This multiplicity of forces thus contained must then be specifically addressed, evolved and ultimately harmonized, thereby becoming a balanced singleness. One layer relates to and overlaps another, thus further instilling the truth that each is dependent upon the other. Without one the others are clearly missing a vital portion of the whole.
Retaining various constructs, the SjalfR can be seen as a continuation of one's Sal upon death, where still further evolutionary processes occur. For individually we are all unique, each dealing with our own particular subtleties as we journey the Great Unknown. At an unperceived cosmically designated moment it is the Fylgia which attaches itself to a close genetic and familial newborn within the first nine nights of the fledgling babe's life. To label this as a belief in re-incarnation is to over-simplify the matter. It is seen more as a subliminal awareness of accumulated experiences over a span of generations.
It is upon death while the Lik is prepared for burial, or preferably cremation, that the SjalfR then inhabits the HamR for no less than a period of nine days.
Sometimes, due to ill-tempered and spiteful will, unfinished MidgardR business or for other reasons involving closure, it simply hangs near the physical body giving rise to reports of ghostly poltergeists and grave-mound apparitions known as DraugR. For the most part though, upon death the SjalfR is guided through the mountainous realm of Svartalfheim by the Fylgia to pay any previously accrued debts to thereby arrive at the final destination free from unneccessary details.
A common mis-conception is that the realm of Helheim is only for the rotten-apple lot in life. Nothing can be further from the truth. For this is the fabled Summer-Land common of other mythologies, where the status of death-less rest brings forth the cognitive awareness of self experiences for one to reflect and expound upon until such time as the essential SjalfR is re-introduced to MidgardR.
Yet within the northern-most tract of this realm of the Goddess Heljia there is the dread frozen strand of venomous beach where all of the evil-doer types are dully punished.
One will discover many instances within the Saga's which support the belief of the dead dwelling within sacred mountains as well as various charms, spells, and talismans which ward against other-worldly wights.
It is rather common knowledge for sailors to carry a coin for payment to the Goddess Ran should they drown in high seas.
When on land all household doors and windows are promptly opened to facilitate passage of the recently deceased. Any knots within the house are undone and mirrors are then covered to prevent the spirit from becoming trapped.
By burying the dead face down, after they are taken from the house feet first, through a hole newly-made in the wall will prevent them from returning and possibly exacting vengeance. The big toes are also tied together to hobble the corpse. These and many other traditional customs stem from the common knowledge of life continuing on after the death of the physical body.
Through the various rites and rituals which accompany specific periods of importance, we appease not only the dead but the living as well. Honouring fallen Heroes, celebrating the changing Seasons, offering out Thanks, celebrating phases of Life-Passage, these but name few.
Yet we must also realize that rites are in fact a daily occurance. This is not to downplay the individual sacredness of them, but rather to elevate our omniscience.
Defined as a ceremonial action or customarily repeated act, one can see ritual in many forms throughout one's Life-Time, and this includes everyday mannerisms. Through the eating of foods, exercising the body, conversing with friends and family, doing yard-work, meditating, even giving birth and accepting death. The giving of Thanks after awakening and before sleeping also acknowledges the divine, both inwardly and externally.
These and other daily acts can easily be construed as sacred if but a spiritual awareness is readily accepted by the Seeker. A joyous shedding of old habits which no longer serve a positive purpose and the diligent acquisition of new practices which further one's development. For through death, in it's various manifestations, comes life anew in ways not yet known.
Therefore why wait for this awareness to happen when you yourself can make it happen, always keeping in mind the balance of absolute equilibrium. For maybe we all cannot attain perfection, but all of us can indeed live better-illuminated lives.
I have attempted to convey what I see as important through the writing of this paper and by providing public access to the information contained herein.
However, I know full well that there is so much more that I have not touched upon in regards to definite particulars which should encourage further study. Therefore this exposition should help inspire you, the reader, to strike out upon your own and seek with a new sense of awareness on just what the Northern religion holds within its individual sphere, justly unique for you alone.
The Elder Seers of this Tradition are no less intelligent than those of other contemporary and long-forgot societies alike, esoterically as well as academically advanced within their own singular rights. Yet the Northern Ways are none the less down-played today due to the accurate cosmological observances and mysterious secrets of life which they openly bring forth through the obvious encoding of numerous surviving myths and vital runic distinctions. These abstruse esoterics have survived the Ages because of the truths they hold.
Are you therefore willing to investigate and hence discover untold answers yourself?
Sank I further into the Void, Nothingness,
Lest I be disturbed, blesséd is my Path,
Long held secrets I reveal what I give.
As such is the path inspiration grants.
The Lay of Holde, Skerbók
copyright © 2000 Reverend Godhi Yens Jensen all rights reserved