I’m learning to work more effectively with the Norse pantheon at present. The Norse way of looking at life is something I’ve been drawn to for a long time, but haven’t really known exactly how to go about the practicalities of bringing the gods into my life on a more regular basis. For me the Norse way of looking at things is no nonsense, destiny focussed and eminently practical. I try and live my life through the nine virtues of courage, truth, honour, fidelity, hospitality, discipline, industriousness, self reliance and perseverance. It’s tricky sometimes, so I have the list pinned to places that I’ll notice (such as my computer monitor at work) to help remind me of my obligation.
I honour the land I’ve been given stewardship of in the form of my garden and will go and talk to the land spirits there, and give them offerings so that we can create the garden together. I wear a small Mjöllnir, or Thor’s hammer, during rituals and when I meet other pagans at the moots. To me putting it on signifies that I’m entering a more spiritual place in which the gods can see me and my actions clearer for a time. I don’t do personal rituals to honour the passing of the seasons, but will mark their turning. I have used a ritual setting to make oaths in front of the gods and witnesses, for things I want to achieve, and to give thanks to the gods and my ancestors for bringing me to a particular time and place. Sometimes the gods bring choices, and sometimes destiny is set, it’s a hard thing for me at accept that there are some points in my life to come that are fixed and cannot be changed no matter which way I arrive at them. Although it seems reassuring to know that there are also points in my past that I could not have avoided.
I cast runes quite a lot in my personal practices, I use them for personal divinations, to give me a focus or new point of view to look at a certain problem, or just as a focus for a day. I have a goodly collection of Norse legends inhabiting my head, and have a healthy fascination with amber. I go to the York Viking Festival every year, it’s about as close as I’m going to get to the real thing (for now!), although I have distant plans to go to Scandinavia and see the rune stones there for real.
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