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The Love Force--Different from romantic love! . . . This article is presented as a monthly series of Northern Insights articles on this preview page. Every month, a new article will be posted for students and visitors to the Denali Institute web page. These articles have been previously published over the years as feature articles in our monthly True North journal. Please check back regularly for new postings.

Spiritual Genealogy--Lo, there do I see my Father . . . We are keeping our October preview article posted for the benefit of all who are interested in learning more about ancestral stream dynamics within the Northern tradition.

Good "Northern" LuckNot Just For the Irish . . . Our March preview article has been so popular and frequently visited, we are keeping it open for the benefit of all who are interested in bringing more Luck into their life.

Are You Enriched or Robbed? . . . Loss of accurate knowledge in mainstream sacred texts.

Understanding Northern Spiritual Mysteries . . . selected excerpts from our foundation document on the Northern spiritual mysteries.

Northern Insights Articles . . . a full listing of 100+ articles available to students and the general public by direct mail order.


THE LOVE FORCE

Different From Romantic Love

There is a passage on Love in The Prophet, a 1923 book written by Kahil Gabrin that is most beautiful, highly reflective, and very much in alignment with the way the Northern Seers would have written it had the tradition been allowed to evolve in its purity.

In this story, a prophet named Almustafa was, on this day, going home to the isle of his birth after twelve years of teaching in the city of Orphalese. He saw his ship as it appeared on the horizon, and began walking to the dockside. As he walked, the people of the city left their places and thronged in the great square before the temple and besought him to speak his wisdom that they were so casual in accepting in the years past.

They say to him, "But speechless was our love . . . yet now it cries aloud to you . . . and ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation."

"And there came out of the sanctuary a woman whose name was Almitra. And she was a seeress." The discourse then begins:

"Then said Almitra, Speak to us of Love . . .

"And he raised his head . . . and with a great voice he said,

"When love beckons to you, follow him. Though his ways are hard and steep. And when his wings enfold you yield to him, though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you. And when he speaks to you, believe in him, though his voice may shatter your dreams as the North wind lays waste the garden.

"For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.

"Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun, so shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to earth.

"Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

"He thrashes you to make you naked.

"He sifts you to free you from your husks.

"He grinds you to whiteness

"He kneads you until you are pliant,

"And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast.

"All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart.

"But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure, then it is better for you to cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing floor, into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter and weep, but not all of your tears.

"Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself. Love possesses not nor would it be possessed; for love is sufficient unto love.

"When you love, you should not say, 'God is in my heart,' but rather, 'I am in the heart of God.'

"And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself."

Another Perspecitve on the Love Force

For a similar view of the impersonal nature of the force of Love, we turn to a recent arrival in the late 20th Century metaphysical community, A Course in Miracles. Regarding Love, the text says in its brief, and to-the-point writing style:

This course does not aim at teaching the meaning of Love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing obstacles to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.

The course goes on to delineate in three voluminous texts how to define and remove the obstacles to Love's presence. It's approach to the topic is as excruciatingly intense as Gabrin's Prophet implies in his short verse on how humans undergo the experience of Love in its universal sense.

A Course in Miracles is written in the style of Eastern mysticism, with its near-total emphasis on release of individualized will to an all-pervasive and all-knowing Spirit acting as the mind of God in Earth. While the technique of "release" to a higher power is a part of Northern thinking on Love, Northern lore does not portray it to the extent that Eastern based philosophies mandate. This is neither right or wrong. Differing human temperaments in sharply differentiated cultures and environments call for alternative ways to approach the Godhead. The Western temperament, derived from Northern lore, is action biased and individualistic.

Northern "Release"

To a Northern practitioner, "release" is one of several elements in the creative process. On a spiritual scale, release is found in the human acknowledgment of Wyrd (the forces of cause and effect), administered in myth by the three Norns. Still, in Northern tradition, Wyrd can be influenced by the mind of a skilled practitioner using the rune Nauthiz and to a lesser extent with the rune Pertho, which gives Northern "fate" a flexibility not found in Eastern mysticism. Building up one's "Luck" is another element clearly identified in the Northern tradition and given full coverage in our Rune Master lessons as well.

The Northern practitioner attempts to use individual will to discern the flow of divine forces and work within their parameters for optimum progress instead of entirely giving up his or her individuality.

Greek Thinking on Love

The ancient Greek world defined love in three dimensions. There was Eros, which represents the erotic, sexual and romantic side of Love. Plato wrote that Eros was the most venerable of all deities, for in the ancient world the act of procreation was perceived as a method of direct linkage with the mind of God. In Old Germanic languages, the word lust meant "religous joy." We cover this dynamic thoroughly in lessons on relationship and the mysterious Sacred Marriage in the second quarter of our Rune Skills and Northern Lore program.

The second dimension of love in Greek thinking was Philos. Philos is a the intimate kind of love between personal friends. It is the love you have for those people that you get along with well, and those whom you like on this level, you love. It can be as intimate as two close friends or as noble an idea as found in its namesake city, Philadelphia, the city of "Brotherly Love."

The Greek language has another word for love, and that is the word Agape (pronounced ahgahpay). Agape is more than romantic love and more than friendship. Agape is understanding, creative, redemptive good will. Agape is an unqualifying love which seeks nothing in return. It is best expressed in modern day as "unconditional" love. Agape is spiritual-level love. Both the rune Gebo (shown on left above) in its aspect of Sacred Marriage and equal exchange of energies and the rune Ehwaz (shown on right above) as the rune of partnership and marriage contain the elements of the Greek Agape.

One of our Rune Masters (RM W.H.) wrote an enlighting essay on an additional aspect of the Love Force that we have added to this discussion. "Greek also refers to the lesser known Storge. Storge is the inclination to cuddle, the warm interaction of one being with another. It is the need of the puppy to be petted and the adult dog to settle into your lap to take a nap. Storge is the inclination that Beings have to be close. Are these expressions totally distinct or are they related and possibly even different expressions of the same phenomenon? Our Northern Tradition sees Reality as in process. What we call Love is also in Process. It is in process of becoming more deeply what it already is.

"Perhaps Storge is the root of the many aspects of reality we call love. Perhaps it is the motivating energy that continues to energize our lives. Perhaps it is the impetus, arising from 'lower' life forms to touch the other, to affirm the other even as it is being affirmed. The animal being petted experiences lower blood pressure just as the person petting it does. As Storge has developed in human expression, it has led to self-sacrifice for a higher good and the beauty of long commitments, or a concern for the well-being of those others we have never known. Perhaps Storge has evolved into the possibility of Agape."

Northern Thinking on Love

Each characteristic of the force of Love that we have discussed in this article thus far is to be found in Northern lore and tradition, regardless of its having been so suppressed that we are left with only remnants of its original glory. We need only search for the appropriate key-codes implanted in mythical imagery, cultural lore, and rune meanings to find the accurate knowledge of the force of love that the tradition contains.

The ancient Northern seers would have no qualms accepting Gabrin's description of Love as an intense and fiery purifying force dedicated to the evolution of the human life wave. Gabrin's description of the human as a grain of corn brings to mind the intensity of purifying fire described in the rune Kenaz (the rune pictured above in the center).

The ancient people of the North understood that the beneficial forces of nature also contained harsh and disruptive sides which expressed equally along with the beneficial attributes. Their mind set was prepared for such eventualities.

In ancient days, life was directly interfaced with the forces of nature. Survival depended on many factors beyond the control of the individual. Life forces were observed and impartially defined. No civilized veneer, or illusion of propriety interposed between life, sexuality, reproduction, generation and death.

In the Elder Northern tradition you will find little of romanticized troubadour type love that evolved in the European Middle Ages. This romanticized version of Love actually came about as a culture-wide psychological alternative to the extreme asceticism and suppression of the female gender imposed on the people by the patriarchal Roman church and the authority given to kings.

In ancient Northern lore, the force of universal love is found in the form of honor and respect to others, duty and loyalty to family and an extreme respect for the freedom of others to live as they see fit, including spouses and lovers in relationship. And this characteristic was not exclusive to the Northern mind, rather it was a principle that extended throughout all primitive cultures from Native America to Polynesia to Arctic Eskimo and Africa. Respect for Life included respect for human life and the nature of energies that coursed through the human aura, including the force we now call Love.

In the Northern Havamal, or Words of the High One (Odin) we have many verses which point out the importance of trust, loyalty, friendship and fidelity among kin, lovers, spouses and acquaintances. In several of the rune charms, we have examples of Eros, Philos, Storge, and Agape. In the lore of at least half the runes in the Elder Futhark, you can find allusions to the universal force of Love, not in its romanticized version, but in its actuality as it impacts on the life of a human being in Midgard.

That is why Gabrin's portrait of Love is so important to understand. It bridges us to the actuality of Love that we have forgotten (or had suppressed) from our Elder Northern traditions of long ago. Gabrin's words on Love may strike you as shocking, or make you uncomfortable with their emphasis on the impersonal nature of the Love force. Such a reaction would not be unusual for we have been trained to see God as consistently and personally attentive. But the dichotomy is testament not to the error of Gabrin's words, but rather to the degree we have strayed from the actuality of Love.

To be clear, we do not overlook the supportive, gentle, and enriching side of this same Love force. It is this aspect which gives human life its greatest rewards and our most cherished moments. We only intend to bring balance back into our perceptions on Life and Love and to remind ourselves that each has its beneficial and its disruptive side.

For the aspiring student of the mysteries, an understanding of this balance is essential to spiritual advancement. The masses may be able to live out a full life in the singular pursuit of romanticized love, however an aspiring initiate will find himself or herself gratefully being remolded in the purifying and transformational fire of the Love Force.

Take a moment now and go back and reread Gabrin's words out of the Prophet Almustafa's mouth. Contemplate these questions . . .

What if this is true?

What will it mean in my life, right now?


SPIRITUAL GENEALOGY

Lo, there do I see my Father
Lo, there do I see my Mother, and my Sisters and my Brothers,
Lo, there do I see the line of my people back to the beginning,
Lo, they do call to me, they bid me to take my place among them,
In the Hall of Valhalla,
Where the Brave, they live forever.

Viking Jarl Buliwyf
(in the movie
The 13th Warrior, based on the book by Michael Crichten)

At the end of this month, we will observe a celebration of Samhain (Ancestor's Night, All-Hallows Eve) and enter into the traditional family time of the year, when you and your loved ones will gather together physically, and if not, in treasured memories of past gatherings.

At the same time, we are in the midst of a great surge of interest in the field of genealogy, the tracing of family roots back as far as records can be researched. As a runic practitioner, you should not only be searching paper trails (which may take you back into the 1800s and even the 1700s, if you are lucky) but also be addressing "spiritual" genealogy which will carry you back a thousand years or more in your ancestral stream using the energy of the runes and your Elder Northern tradition.

PHYSICAL GENEALOGY

First off, let's talk about what you can do right here and now to discover more about your family roots.

STEP 1: In the next few weeks, develop a list of those things you want to know about your family tree that you can ask your relatives when you have the occasion over the holidays to talk or write to them. You'll be surprised as to how much you can learn of your family tree by just this exercise.

But, I recommend you do not leave this exercise to chance. Write down your questions, and write down their answers. I also do not recommend tape recordings of conversations as your first choice, unless you plan to transcribe the recordings within a few days. Tape recordings sit around for years on the shelf, and by the time your children will want to access them, Ill bet there won't be a tape machine around (it'll be digital voice recordings or something newer).

I recommend you write down your questions in advance and write down the answers in brief shorthand type notes that you can flesh out later. Prepare a special journal to contain your notes. Write as if you were writing, not to your children or grandchildren who know you already, but to the third generation away.

STEP 2: Draw out a family tree diagram so that the linkages are obvious. I will bet you have a family tree in your baby book that ends with YOU. Now, it's time to give this same gift to your descendents.

STEP 3: Don't hesitate to make contact with your older relations this season. In many cases, whole family histories disappear with the unexpected passing of an elder in your family. If you have a "skeleton in the closet" between you and an elder, now is the time to deflate that energy with a sincere inquiry into their past and what they can remember of the generations before them.

GENEALOGICAL SEARCHES

After this effort, if you choose to do so, you can begin to search back beyond your living relatives and their memories of past generations. The Internet is the resource of choice for genealogists-just enter the term "genealogy" in a search engine and you will find hundreds of web pages offering quality services at no charge. You can initiate a search in your own name. You are limited only by your imagination and the time it takes to follow through on each lead.

SPIRITUAL GENEALOGY

Spiritual genealogy begins where the physical research leaves off, back beyond the past century or two of family records. Fortunately, you are in a spiritual tradition that not only includes but recognizes exploration of ancestral streams to benefit your present life in Midgard, as well as to reveal the variety of experiences you have stored in your family treasure box.

To be clear, we are NOT talking your personal rebirth or reincarnations within the ancestral stream. While you can expect to have incarnated more than a few times in the broad ancestral stream that you now belong to, we are paying special attention to the OTHER souls that have been weaving in and out of your ancestral stream that have left traces of their energy in your inheritance.

The runes that quicken your consciousness to awareness of your ancestral stream are:

Othala (primarily) as rune of the Kin-Fetch and Disir.

Ehwaz as rune of your Fylgja or Fetch (which contains your personal wyrd/orlog and connects to your Kin-Fetch).

Tiwaz to restore inheritances which are justly yours.

Four questions to quicken your mind in meditation:

1. Where did I get my spiritual "genes" to explain my interest and pursuit of esoteric mysteries and runic tradition, especially if none of my present family exhibit such tendencies? Think deeply on this runesters, for this question will lead you back to the ancestors that practiced the tradition openly. NOTE: you may have to leapfrog back and bypass those ancestors who were (are) dogmatic in their religious beliefs and/or fearful of straying from strong Christian dominance (don't underestimate this element).

2. Who else "owned" my name?

3. What traits have I inherited that are certainly "family?"

4. Are there any "like-minded" ancestors alive today in a distant thread of my family stream that I have yet to meet in this lifetime?

NOTE: Those of you who are of non-European ethnic heritage, consider:

(1) your fascination with symbols and a Yggdrasil-type cosmology from a similar type ancient tradition that has since disappeared from your present ethnic heritage; or

(2) leaping back to a thread of your ancestral stream that was part of or dealt with Northern cultures; as well as

(3) your past incarnations that may have been in Northern realms or overlapped with the Northern tradition.

We provide in-depth coverage of ancestral stream dynamics integral to our tradition in Rune Master lessons, as well as a full chapter in our Rune Mentalist Skills book which is further described on this site.


Good "Northern" Luck

Not Just For the Irish

FEHU ELHAZ

It's unfortunate that a useful and practical metaphysical truth gets relegated to a once-a-year celebration of folklore particular to only one cultural group. The "Luck of the Irish," is celebrated on St. Patrick's Day, and rightly so. But it's not just to the Irish nor to the Irish Church that "Luck" belongs. It's part of the weave of Northern lore, and the Irish have held on to it the longest, to their everlasting credit.

"Luck" is a uniquely identified energy concept within the Elder Northern tradition, and recognized throughout the Northern lands. Far more than the modern definition of luck to the gambler at the race track, or in the casino (although even in this extreme, the principles apply), Northern "Luck" can be identified, quantified (somewhat), and shaped (somewhat) according to individual will.

It is true, in mainstream consciousness, that luck is "90% preparation meeting 10% inspiration." But to a Northern practitioner, the concept of Luck has much greater potential for practical use.

Just what is "Northern" Luck? In the Northern tradition, Luck is defined as mobile force. The universal energy force that fuels Luck in Northern lore is Ond, or vital breath. It is roughly comparable to chi, prana, orgone, nous, and manitu energies in other traditions.

However, in Northern lore this universal energy is given a uniquely individualized identity. When specifically addressed as the energy within an individual, this energy is called megin. Megin is defined as a personal force distinct from physical power or strength, the possession of which assures success and good fortune. It equates to what we call "charisma," but more than just everyday charm, popularity, or ability to persuade.

Megin is stored in an energy construct within the aura of a human being called the "hamingja." Numerous references are made to the hamingja of Northern heroes and kings in the sagas, but it is not easily defined. Briefly, the hamingja is an integral part of one's personal aura which gives the entire field greater potency and much more flexibility for workings of human will. Think of it as being similar to the air sac of Scottish bagpipes. The hamingja serves to concentrate one's personal megin much as the bag in the Scottish pipes acts to store air for future melodies. Consider the hamingja a reservoir for the storage of your megin energies, which in turn becomes your Luck.

Through study of the Northern mysteries, we know that, (1) the walls of the hamingja can be strengthened using the rune Elhaz, (2) its capacity to hold energy can be increased (using the runes Fehu and Elhaz, and (3) it can be tasked to discharge its energy in a "sending" under the will of an illumined mind (using the rune Fehu). The hamingja is an extremely important tool of the mind for the Northern practitioner to become adept in using.

MANAGING YOUR LUCK

Making a relatively simplistic assumption, we can say that the amount of Luck in your life is the equivalent to the amount of megin concentrated in your hamingja or psychic energy reservoir.

It is common that people experience the best of their Luck in the early years of life. That is when the hamingja is fresh and full of megin that is rightfully yours from past life accumulations and through your share of the energy "treasury" provided by your family ancestral stream. Because of this, early in life things happen naturally and effortlessly and you experience any number of "lucky" synchronicities.

However, as the years go by the level of the energy in your reservoir goes down as you go through life passages, and the skeletons accumulate in your mental closet. If your hamingja is not refilled with fresh megin energies, your Luck goes down also. I am sure every reader will relate to this statement to some degree or another.

If you have health problems, you can be sure that your personal megin will be used to counter bodily diseases and other health emergencies. This is an unintended depletion of your reservoir of megin energies which only serves to lower your relative level of Luck. While all the megin stored in your hamingja is instantly available in the event of an emergency, unfortunately, in most people the level of stored megin is just adequate to meet daily needs. This relatively low level is not sufficient to give you what you had known as "good luck" and is definitely not adequate to protect you from threatening situations which call for an abundant supply of megin to protect you from harm.

The Northern tradition does NOT hold that individuals are limited to a fixed allocation of megin energy in life. HOWEVER, we do know that if an individual doesn't learn how to preserve personal megin and how to refill the hamingja after discharging megin, they certainly will appear to "run out of luck." As a student on the Northern path, you will be pleased to know that there are ways in which you can increase your luck so that you will have an abundance of megin energies at your command for positive applications in life.

INCREASING YOUR LUCK

FIRST, Stop Excess Drainage! Extreme diplays of negative emotion (anger, jealousy, etc.) will cause unnatural drainage of your reservoir of energies. Unbridled exuberance that fills your personal atmosphere with energy supplied from your hamingja will also contribute to loss of energy. You wonder why the Ancient Wise Ones are written or observed as (relatively) sober and nonemotional? This is why.

You should also Check Your Eyes! You will want to monitor how much energy flows out of your eyes in the normal course of the day on meaningless trivia that could be retained in your hamingja. Your eyes are truly the "windows of your soul." If you don't "draw the shades" on your eyes, you will needlessly discharge psychic energy from your reservoir of storage. You will also want to remove yourself from the vicinity of the energy "sappers" as defined in our lessons.

SECOND, Add to Your Storehouse of Energy. Meditate on the several runes that are known to build up your hamingja and its reserve of energy. The rune Fehu, a fiery energy rune, is known to increase the production of megin into your hamingja. It draws down the energy of the sun, the moon and the stars into your personal sphere. The rune Uruz will draw upon the powerful telluric rune streams within the Earth to be stored in your reservoir of psychic energy. The rune Elhaz,the Guardian rune, will act to strengthen the walls of your hamingja, giving it a greater capacity to hold new energies.

You should do deep breathing exercises that we include in our lesson instruction to gather more of the mystical Ond into your hamingja. Get in the habit of regular physical exercise and proper eating habits to maintain good health and vitality. You do not want to spend precious megin in restoring yourself to health after unnecessary disease or sickness.

THIRD: Constantly Visualize Build-Up of Energy. As you mentally redirect the energies generated by your rune meditations into your hamingja, (1) see the area of concentration expanding to accommodate this new influx as a water bag expands as it fills with liquid, (2) see the extremes of your auric bubble becoming more defined with increased density at the edges so you can make it impermeable to any leakage or intrusions from outside at will, and (3) visualize a release valve within your auric field so you can "send" some of this energy to loved ones or for other workings.

Because of its capacity for discharge into magical workings and its ability to be refilled at will, albeit with a certain amount of concentrated mental work, you see that the hamingja is a very valuable mental tool for solving the problems of life, most of which are originally caused by a lack of megin energy to begin with.

SENDING YOUR LUCK

This article is neither the time nor the place to go into the operative techniques of sending your Luck to others or onto situations you need to control as did the great Kings, Drightons, and Seers as noted in the Heimskringla (Chronicle of the Kings) when situations deem it necessary. That is left for our Rune Master lessons.

We will take a moment to qualify the matter of Luck regarding gambling and the like. Yes, the storehouse of megin in your hamingja can theoretically improve your luck at gambling or even at the lottery. But remember, at the same time you are applying your megin to the gaming table, there are others probably more skillful and trained than you in the art of gambling, who are also applying THEIR megin to the lay of the cards or dice or even the lottery.

Whoever is the most skillful, of course, will have the most influence. But, remember, even the professionals have to live by the whims of Luck. So, unless you are a skilled gamer, it's best to practice your Luck on getting a better job, finding a mate, increasing your business prosperity and the like. At these tasks, you will have great success because you are applying your conscious use of Northern Luck in situations where you are personally involved.

THE MYSTERY OF "LUCK"

With all this being said, there is still a great mystery to Luck. We used the term "somewhat" earlier in this article, and we meant it.

While the preceding text appears like a 1-2-3 step technical model on how to manage your Luck, be aware of this: how the Breath of Life, Ond, and the magic of megin or charisma work within your aura is more of an esoteric art than a science.

Still, there are others in the mainstream who believe in the concept of "Grace" to intercede in their lives (a worthy, but ill-defined abstraction). In the Northern Path, we have brought Luck to some kind of definition and identity, along with its influencing constructs in your auric energy field, so that you, the practitioner under the influence of Illumined Imagination, can have tools with which to exercise your skills.

When we at the Denali Institute wish you Good "Northern" Luck, we mean something more than just good wishes. We mean something tangible that can be felt with your extra-sensory perceptions.

NOTE

We can only touch on some of the principles of Northern Luck in this journal article. Much more is contained in the expansive lore of the rune Fehu found in our lesson material as well as a full discussion in Rune Master course quarter #3 on Abundant Living.


Are You Enriched or Robbed?

If a mugger took $ 500 from your wallet
and gave you $ 100 back,
would you feel ENRICHED by his generosity,
or ROBBED of your $400?

Unfortunately, that is exactly the situation most seekers find themselves in when searching for answers from popular spiritual sources.

So much has been forgotten about the true nature of the Life Force, or has been covered over by centuries of dogma, or has been out-and-out changed by power-seeking revisionists, that most of humanity feels "enriched" by the little knowledge being given them by mainstream religion, and even, most New Age sources of wisdom.

In Denali lessons on cosmology, we learn that Life mysteries are meant to be understood by the intuitive and illumined reasoning powers of the human mind. They are NOT meant to be perpetually shrouded in the foggy mists of blind faith and abstractions. The ancient Wise Ones wrote their teachings accordingly, but so much has been lost between then and now. Where did we go wrong?

REVIEW

New students are encouraged to review our foundation documents, such as the Understanding Northern Spiritual Mysteries manuscript and our Quick Study lesson: Runes and Your Destiny, to refresh your mind about the value of the original knowledge contained in the Northern tradition. This will allow us to present NEW information about how modern seekers have been shortchanged, without having to go over the foundation points of Northern lore in this short article.

This is a brief introduction into the teaching points contained in this essay (available as Insight Article #292) and Denali lessons on Northern lore and Yggdrasil cosmology. The singular question to be answered is . . . how do you feel, Enriched or Robbed by cultural trances?


Understanding Northern Spiritual Mysteries

The Understanding manuscript provides a foundation of knowledge regarding Northern spiritual mysteries. It is offered as part of the Rune Master instruction program or separately to the general public. The following extracts will give you an idea of the range and scope of this paper and our instruction. 

A Surrounding Medium

Like the fish that has no name for water, those of us who live in modern western culture are surrounded by the heritage of ancient Northern custom and tradition. It sustains us with a richness and abundance that is unique in the history of civilization. Just as the fish does not conceive water as an object outside itself, we neglect to see how much our daily lives are influenced by the Northern tradition. This is a great mistake, because it leads us to search for esoteric truths in strange mystical doctrines, attempting to configure our mental selves to unnatural (to us living in western culture) methods of thinking. All the while, we have the philosophic substance of Life within our very own cultural heritage. Signs of the great Northern tradition surround us daily, for instance...

(This paragraph is followed by eight distinct signs of the Northern tradition in our cultural heritage. The signs include the foundation points of democracy and our system of law; the overriding drive for equality of sexes which is more Northern than Middle Eastern tradition; the names of the days of the week; the festival of Yule; our natural system of measure, etc.)

Characteristics

NORTHERN "FATE"

In Northern lore, rlg is the root concept of the Cosmic Law of Cause and Effect. In Old Norse it literally means ‘primal layers’, and is loosely translated as ‘fate’. rlg parallels the Eastern concept of karma, a relatively fixed outworking of cause and effect.

However, within rlg we find the Northern concept of wyrd, which is the process by which past actions are woven to influence your present and future experiences. In the North, the concept of wyrd provides a flexibility not identified in the karma of Eastern tradition. Wyrd is the means by which rlg, or the cosmic law of cause and effect, can be ‘bent’.

Because Northern esoteric disciplines hold that the will of the individual is ever in play to influence events, wyrd can be ‘bent’ to the will of the illumined mind. In Northern lore, the web of wyrd is never looked upon as fatalistic or unchangeable. Rather, past deeds build up weight in the cosmic fabric by which the ‘lay’ of future events can be anticipated. If these events are deemed undesirable, the ‘lay’ can be redirected (but not negated) by the active mind and independent will of the individual.

Several runes work to ‘bend’ unfavorable wyrd, specifically the rune Nauthiz (#10) when activated correctly. The energies of Nauthiz help define the existing web of wyrd and act as a counter force to negative rlg, much as a karate expert uses the force of an opponent to render an attack harmless.

In Northern myth the three Norns are depicted as weaving the web of wyrd for both humankind and the gods alike, for no energy field within the realm of Midgard (Earth) is exempt from the Cosmic Law of cause and effect. The Norns are also known as the three ‘Weird Sisters’ in Shakespeare and the three ‘Fates’ of Greco-Roman lore.

(The above paragraph outlines one of eight identifying characteristics of the
Northern tradition explained in the "Understanding" paper.)

 Critical Points

Those who think the Northern mystery teachings stop at the pantheon (Odin, Thor, Tyr, Freyr, Freyja, etc.) fall woefully short of an accurate perception of the Northern creation story. The lineage of androgynous, pre-conscious Beings (Ymir, Audhumla, Buri) demonstrates a little known rudimentary truth found within the Northern mysteries.

By placing the androgyne several levels of consciousness above the pantheon of gods and goddesses, the Northern ancients revealed their knowledge of Ultimate Intelligence (Cosmic Mind, Creative Life Force) as a state of consciousness beyond that of the gods and goddesses. In fact, myths of the mighty gods and goddesses emphasize that they were human in their appetites, while superhuman in their feats.

The energy that they used for their activities comes from the Source of all energy in the universe, Cosmic Mind. This cosmic energy was called Ond in the North. It is also known as Nous, Chi, Prana, Manitu, etc. in other traditions. In Northern myth, the Aesir Goddess Frigga (wife of Odin) is imaged as spinning the (cosmic) Substance that eventually becomes the threads the Norns weave together to determine the rlg and wyrd of humankind. This role places Frigga equivalent to the Cosmic Feminine in other metaphysical traditions. Denali Institute programs explore the mysterious dimensions of Cosmic Mind beyond the level of the ancient pantheon as a part of our triune approach to the Northern mysteries.

(The above paragraph outlines one of four critical points in differentiating the
Northern tradition as contained in the "Understanding" paper.)

Archetypes and Other Psychological Constructs

The most accepted modern psychological structure that comes closest to the ancient Teutonic view of the Life mysteries is that developed by the Swiss psychiatrist, C.G. Jung. No 20th Century thinker has contributed more to the understanding of symbols and symbol-making than Dr. Carl Jung. Jungian psychology postulates that remnants of the primordial dimensions of Being penetrate our rational consciousness in the form of symbols. There are symbols having personal resonance and symbols with universal resonance, which Jung calls archetypes.

Although Jung popularized the term archetype, he didn't coin the word. It first appears in Plato as he described the ideas or forms of natural objects present in the divine mind prior to creation. Jung suggests that if you could follow the archetype all the way back to its inception, you'd pass over the chasm between mind and matter. Archetypes are housed in the collective unconscious, a term invented by Jung to refer to an ancient symbol making mechanism. While the personal unconscious is individual, the collective unconscious is universal. Jungian theory along with quantum physics and holographic theory (covered later) gives us a rational foothold to understand how archetypal symbols, such as runes and the pantheon of gods and goddesses, can influence the manifest world through the agency of an illuminated human mind.

OTHER TOPICS covered in the "Understanding" paper include…

Northern Cosmology

The Northern Creation Story

Dynamics of the Northern Cosmic World Tree, Yggdrasil

The Pantheon of the North

The Mystical Landscape: Earth's Elementals and the Co-destiny of Earth and Humanity

The Northern Tradition in World History including its Suppression and Modern Revival

The Runes: Origins of the Runes, Quantum Physics and the Hologram, Science and Philosophy Come Together

Mind States for Mystical Practices: Changing Brain Wave Patterns

APPENDIXES

A
- The 24-Rune Elder Futhark - Rune Shapes & their Ancient and Transpersonal Meanings
B - Bibliography & Recommended Reading


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