When I do Tarot readings, I say to the person I’m reading for: “You have the opportunity now to ask a question of God or the Higher Power, whatever that means to you – man, woman or unspecified something,” and they usually reply, “Well, I believe in something, but I’m not sure what.”
I’ve come to realise that that the “something, but not sure what,” seems to be the cognitive landmark that many have now reached since seeing through the false narratives of religions that were only ever designed to control us, not to spiritually empower us. It was a story that gave us a foothold on the path when we were but children in our spiritual progress but, now that we’re growing up, we realise that God is probably not an old man in the sky like this version by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, who sends fire and brimstone in our direction whenever we displease him.
When Odin claimed the Mead of Wisdom and Poetry it was the final episode of a larger mythic cycle covered partly by the Prose Edda and partly by the Poetic Edda. It records the origins of the mead and its passage through existence, returning full circle to its starting point. Along the way, the mead is met by several of the beings who inhabit the World Tree; suggesting all of these different beings contribute to the progress of wisdom itself.
The mead’s first ingredient came about when the Aesir and Vanir Gods agreed a truce after their futile war. They all spat into a vat and out of their spittle arose a being called Kvasir.
The Vanir Gods are associated with wilderness, nature, fertility and possibly magic. The Aesir Gods seem more associated with the protection of social order, “civilization” and religious observance. Kvasir embodies their differences and their common peaceful interest. He contains everything those deities stood for, a compendium of cosmological knowledge. As Snorri Sturlason stated in the Prose Edda “He was so wise that no one could ask him a question that he could not answer”.
Ken or Kennaz is the rune most associated with the Autumn Equinox, and it represents a flaming torch that lights up the darkness, leading to flashes of enlightenment. I had such a flash today when reading about it in Nigel Pennick’s excellent book “Runic Astrology”. Continue reading
By Rosemary Taylor, Shamanic Practitioner
As I explained in my last article, Odin Part One – Journeying God of Magical and Social Wisdom, Odin travels throughout the Nine Worlds in his quest for wisdom and to avert his own prophesied end, told him by a Seeress. He gains amazing resources along the way, including the runes and the mead of wisdom and poetry. He grows in magical and transformative power.
I also ventured that gaining this kind of occult wisdom may not be everyone’s path in life. If this path is your choice then you might well ask what were the processes, the methods by which he gained such power? Enough information is given in the Poetic and Prose Eddas to establish that he engages in forms of initiation and sacrifice in order to alter or expand consciousness, gaining knowledge of himself and the nature of reality. Continue reading