Monday, May 30, 2011

Norse Shaman's Journey

The Norse shaman's journey- the seer's journey may take one of two forms: journeying inwards: or it may be a physical pilgrimage to a place of mantic power. 

The physical seer's journey is an actual pilgrimage, involving traveling a prescribed route along sacred paths, trackways and roads to a holy site, and visiting other wayside, sacred places on the way. Journeying seership can be accomplished by several means, the most appropriate to be oneself being discovered by experiment. Exploring a wild area until one finds a good location for sitting out is one method. 

Another, once popular in the Norse lands, is being wrapped in a cows hide or blanket, with only the head free, and lying all night by a holy well or waterfall to experience visions. The ancient Greek Pagan master Pythagoras, after being ritually cleansed , slept in the skin of a black sheep by a river to gain knowledge. Much of our knowledge of geometry, still used today, came this way.

The inward seer's journey is similar to what is modernly termed "path working", traveling through inner landscapes. In the Northern Tradition this is accomplished through the images of scriptural stories from the Edda or the Sagas, such as Hermod's ride to the Underworld, or Thor's journey to Utgard. This re-enactment of an archetypal journey, either physically, or in the mind, re-creates qualities and insights which cannot be put into words. 

When the exercise is finished, whatever it is, there should be a re-awakening, a re-entering of the "normal" world. This is done in the reverse order from the methods used to being meditation, consciously ordering each part of the body in turn to start functioning again. The body as well as the mind, shoud feel revitalized after the exercise. 

Brightest of Blessings,

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