Intro - Why I’m Writing This
Well, I finally feel like it’s time to write up a (probably not as brief as some could wish) summary of my past several months’ work with Odin, for whatever benefit those on the forum may find in it. I wasn’t planning on sharing this publicly at first: there are others here with far more impressive reports than mine, that seem more tailored to the members’ general practice than my apprenticeship with a somewhat enigmatic pagan god, and through this report the very basic level of my spiritual ‘attainment’ will be a bit…unimpressive, compared to some others here. That said, some of the questions I’ve seen lately from inquiring newcomers here reveal that they don’t really think real, lifechanging results can manifest without awe-inspiring crackles of occult lightning in the air and the daemoniac cackling of a thousand eldritch voices madly rending the sanity of all present. My post will hopefully, even if you’re not remotely interested in working with the Allfather, show just how much you can achieve for yourself while practically in a state of spiritual blindness, deafness and general insensibility for most hours of the day. Occult lightning and daemoniac cackling are great verifications of course and wistfully longed for by yours truly, but do you know what else verifies what you’re doing? RESULTS!
The other main reason I’ve been convinced to do this, for what it’s worth, is my current minor illness. For some time I’ve incorporated into my regular meditations (now at least once a day; really can’t stress the importance of those basics enough, you think they’re boring at first but there are -wonders- hidden in the most basic parts of magick!) a strengthening of my body and its health, a fortification against illness and weakness. This has worked admirably, and really this is the first time a problem has arisen. Just a mild sinus/ear infection for the first part of this week, I was going to tough it out on principle but then decided to do the smart thing and began meditating to drive it from my system and strengthen myself. This had immediately noticeable effects, but rather than eliminating the ailment it -changed- it. I thought this must be very significant because in my own weird view a person generally suffers and ailment because they are on some level complicit in it, and I really wanted to know, if so, why this had cropped up.
The new development was that everything involved in this all seemed to gain incredible density as a congestion in my throat, fucking up my voice majorly (no more tormenting my housemates from the shower, alas) and interfering way more with my job (essentially, giving orders and being physically active). I decided to meditate on this and kept getting the impression of a rune, Ansuz. My personal impressions of that rune from five earlier days of meditation had more to do with direct spiritual communication and intangible links with the spirits and gods of the Norse system, but in this case I couldn’t shake what Orismen had emphasized from his five days with the rune: its connection to the throat chakra and use in communication for both building and removing barriers. In my meditation on this I thought over my experiences with all the runes, and with Odin, the sacrifices rendered and lessons learned. In a nutshell, I believe what this physical phenomenon and this rune were trying to tell me is that the time has come to break the silence, so to speak, about this work of mine. I wouldn’t have decided this on my own because I frankly didn’t consider it really -applicable- to anyone not specifically interested in working with Odin. But I have to consider the possibility that some unknown to me -might- be, and also synchronicity is a funny thing. Reading articles here has many times oddly echoed ‘just right’ some vague impression already somewhere in my life and mind and influenced me in just the right direction to make an important discovery. Maybe this article is someone else’s turn. But I think I’ve passed the point of adding anything to this account by continuing to elaborate on why I’m writing it, so here goes:
A Note on Record Keeping
Ah, recording one’s progress - absolutely support the notion, very helpful for anyone doing this sort of thing…and I absolutely am not keeping day-by-day records of any of my work with Odin, or from the rune working before. The reason for this is entirely personal and is not -the- way, but my way.
I had in mind the classical era “barbarian” European cultures and their attitude towards knowledge that was sacred. It didn’t get written down (at least during the ‘golden age’), the preservation was oral and mnemonic. In a way, committing what happened to memory was not just me trying to adapt from a “dead” tradition but a mark of respect, a way of saying, ‘now -this- is important!’
Odin’s a complex figure, and my work doesn’t come near encompassing all of his facets and aspects, but my particular attitude deals a lot more with, maybe, his ‘wilder’ sides. There is planning, and leadership, and poetry, true, but it’s instinctual, free-flowing, and…well, inspired. Odin’s characterization to me has been a very…spontaneous form of emergence. To stop babbling and get to the point, I think that a different set of deities might have gained a very different spiritual approach from leaving a blatant physical record spelled out on their behalf. But with what we have of Odin and similar deities from similar “barbaric” cultures, we have a completely different, ‘spontaneous’, ‘inspired’, ‘individualist’ and decentralized approach laid out.
“It was not in Wotan’s nature to linger on and show signs of old age. He simply disappeared when the times turned against him, and remained invisible for more than a thousand years, working anonymously and indirectly. Archetypes are like riverbeds which dry up when the water deserts them, but which it can find again at anytime. An archetype is like an old watercourse along which the water of life has flowed for centuries, digging a deep channel for itself. The longer it has flowed in this channel the more likely it is that sooner or later the water will return to its old bed.”
So that’s my excuse for the very ‘loose’ and free form of this account; it’s not going to read like a journal excerpt so much as a loaded summary of every damned thing I can think of that’s not really personal - but there is a reason why.
Also, I should add that this post won’t be bloated even more by trying to include every profound lesson learned from every rune on the wheel; all that and others’ are already being entered into Orismen’s The Runetastic 120 Days thread in General Discussion. This post is more about the process of initiating and continuing work with Odin during some of the same period I was first working through the runes, about the (to me) astounding results that can be had -before- being remotely advanced enough to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ the old ‘occult lightning and daemoniac cackling’, and more generally relevent to those on the forum -not- remotely interested in Odin, the ways in which he’s taught me to step up in all parts of life as a God in the making, and a God rightfully. So here goes, and I’m sorry short attention spans, because the run-on sentences have only just begun!
Calling With Genuine Respect & Intent
I was over halfway done with my runic meditations when I got a distinct feeling that I shouldn’t waste any more time “trying to become ready” before working with Odin; circumstances dating back long before I became involved in magick pointed to a connection with him and the runes were picking up so much speed that I needed a guide to help me get the most from them, and what greater authority than their mythical discoverer?
I’d stalled on this for so long because of my inability to “see” or “hear” spirits most of the time, but I did it anyway and hopefully this account will go a long way in assuring people new to all this that you -don’t- need well-developed senses as much as you need -experience-! So jump in!
I went off to my darkened bedroom, sat down on the floor and began to relax into a trance. I considered all that I knew of Odin from what’s been preserved (I guess I grew up into years’ worth of preparatory immersion!) and, once the meditation gave me the feeling that a definite contact was established, I stood up and began to speak aloud. The words were simple, straightforward, and respectful, I acknowledged the connection and admiration I felt for him (honest respect, not flattery and cock-sucking), that the time of delay was over and I was now ready to commit to working with him on a magickal level, that I sought his aid in navigating and understanding the runes, and that I hoped to build up a relationship where he would mentor me in the aspects of his that I admired and wished to embody.
Important note here, there was no flash of light, cawing of ravens and sudden appearance of a hat-wearing stranger in my bedroom. Just a subtle feeling of connection due to the state I had meditated into, and a certain knowledge that whether I could see/hear or not, -something- was happening just beyond my means of materially verifying!
As a sigil (not necessary btw, just what i chose to do) I used an Othala rune I had inked onto a scrap of paper, and activated that the usual way that can be found in so many places on this site and forum.
So You Can’t See/Hear Spirits Yet Regularly?
Neither could I! Here’s how this went down:
First I entered that initial meditation, established a mental link to the deity in question, and plainly and respectfully (but without grovelling or religious whatnot!) initiated communication from my side. The sigil was just a visual aid for my benefit, and after charging it with my intent of ‘opening up lines of communication’ to Odin, I spent a few nights with it under my pillow. It may not seem special at first glance, but dreams are a -huge- way to gain spiritual insights before you’re at the point of perceiving things whilst awake! It was one of the only ways to communicate I had at the time, so I went with it to establish that initial connection more solidly.
The content during those nights’ dreams wasn’t that awe-inspiringly profound or anything, it was more like a few unmistakeable appearances ‘on the sidelines’ of the rest of my dreams, like popping in and saying, ‘hey, I’m here.’ Looking back I think the reason Odin didn’t take a prominent role in steering my entire dreams at that point was to make sure I didn’t just think that I had Odin-related dreams because I had been thinking about and focussing intent on him - this way I could see the main body of my dream as a whole, complete narrative of its own that had nothing to do with Odin, but he still showed up off to the sides, intentionally ‘out of place’ and not central to the main dream.
Now, after a few days of this growing connection I began to ponder more in meditation the glimpses of Odin’s appearance I had seen in my dreams. When I would meditated on these images and states, a curious thing would happen: I would hear a voice speaking in my mind. Now I was very anxious not to mistake my internal dialogue for an external entity, so I was skeptical until the voice suggested a novel approach: setting aside a certain place for the majority of such communication to occur until I could better discern the difference.
This seemed like great sense to me (and something I’m not -sure- I would’ve thought of myself at this point), so I began scheming on setting up an altar.
Now this is not a thing of worship or personal debasement/external exaltation. It is a thing of respect and, considering the path of mentorship I was seeking from this spirit, a mark of devotion, true. An entire space set aside -just- for work with this deity, housing artefacts and mementoes that empower the psychic link and magickal potency.
Please do not copy this exact setup, it’d be useless anyway, this is just an -example- of the -reasons- behind choosing some of these items for their symbolism. Also, having a dedicated altar is -not- necessary to work with a spirit, this example is just for those who think it might be right for -them-.
In the center I have the antlers attached to the sawn-off brainpan of the first deer I killed when I was a boy. The antler tips are resting on the altar (which is basically a wooden nightstand, I’d guess it’s cherry), and my military dogtags are wound around them with the tags themselves resting in the top part of the skull, this is to resonate with Odin’s wilderness and hunting aspects, commit myself to a certain role and successfully hunt all sorts of prey.
In front of this is a whiskey tasting glass (thanks, Glenfiddich!) that I keep filled with various drink offerings. At first it was whiskeys (as prompted by that unusual voice in my head) but once time for fermentation had elapsed I began using mead I brewed myself. I would have a more impressive and ‘ceremonial’ drinking vessel, but this communication happened as I was enjoying my own drink of whiskey from the glass, and I decided the thing to do was finish my drink, top off that glass (I was using it because it was the best glass in my house for enjoying a complex whiskey) and reserve that one for Odin’s own use. Not a self-debasing, ‘I’m surrendering this thing of mine slavishly’ thought but having to do with pagan customs of hospitality as the mark of a well-bred man. Hanging from the wall to the side of the altar is a drinking horn, but I use that more for ceremonies of offering and annointing.
Behind the antlers is my military sabre, it’s there to signify being offered in Odin’s service relating to some specific dream gnosis; also trusting my fortune to him in battle, and other dangerous circumstances with a commitment to acting without fear.
Kept on the altar are two candles. I’ve been using red, not for their traditional usage in candle magick but on instinct to connect with Odin’s primal, passionate mode of inspiration and gnosis. Wodan, id est furor. An interesting thing is that after I had concluded my six-month rune working one of the candles sputtered out, and would not re-light. I was a bit slow to get the point here, but presently it came to me in light of Odin sacrificing an eye for knowledge. Now I continued with this one-candle setup until recently when I replaced them both with two fresh candles. I lit them both, and wouldn’t you know it, after entering meditation one of the candles dimmed down to a barely visible pinprick of flame, not completely extinguished but a marked contrast from its counterpart. Interestingly, it was not on the same side as the candle that went out with the last set; I’m still trying to find some kind of meaning there. At least I know it’s not a tiny draft on one side of the altar…
On the altar I also keep my bag of runestones, under care of the Master of the Runes, and when possible I like casting and reading the runes on the surface of that altar. I will also use the altar space to hold the odd runic talisman that I make and charge there.
So that is how I, without appreciable clairvoyance/audience, established a solid link with a Norse god leading to all kinds of results and insights. And you can too, with just about any spirit out there!
To Be Continued… 0.o
This is literally all I can bring myself to type out right now, but next in this thread I will post some examples and insights from Odin (that are useful in general to people and especially new people here, not specific to working with Odin) that have to do with personal power, ritual authority, and stepping up as a god in the company of gods.
Fuck does that feel lengthy. If you’ve actually read this far consider it a heroic deed, and if you’re capable of this much of an attention span you already have pretty much the only tool you need, to get out there and evoke!