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Sacred Marriage & Romantic Love--Are They Compatible? . . . 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.


Sacred Marriage & Romantic Love

Are They Compatible?

 

It's St. Valentine's month, a time when romantic love is celebrated throughout the Western world. Few realize that the origins of Valentine's Day are found in the Roman celebration of Lupercalia which was a pagan fertility festival held annually on February 14th. Lupercalia, along with its equivalent Beltane or May Day festivals in the North, were celebrations honoring the sexuality of humans as a transcendental union between soul and flesh. As usual, the early Church grafted a Christian overlay onto the pagan celebration, in this case a mythical martyr named St. Valentine.

Try as they might, however, they could not eliminate the dynamics of human sexuality bubbling just under the surface of their newly converted peoples. But their dogmatic attempts to stamp out all signs of human sexuality led the western world into a condition known as “romantic love,” a formalized way of expressing human love and sexuality within the restrictions imposed by the early church. We have been living with the consequences ever since.

The question is not whether we have strayed from the natural flow that human sexuality would have taken had no suppression occurred. We have ample evidence in the offices of modern psychologists visited by people who suffer from sexual suppression.

The question really is, now that the practice of romantic love is totally ingrained in our cultural expectations, can we ever obtain a clear ideation of the mystical Sacred Marriage, the true union of soul and body, male and female while living within cultural expectations?

Of course we can, but not without having to dismantle a few preconceived notions associated with romantic love that have little relevancy to the way the Love Force is defined and expressed in terms of spiritual evolution.

The French novelist Andrew Maurois (1883-1963) sums up the condition of modern romantic relationships this way . . .

 

"We owe to the Middle Ages

the two worst inventions of humanity . . .

gun powder and romantic love!"

Where did the idea of romantic love come from, meaning the type of love which in its broadest scope disdains the unity of soul and flesh, and which in its daily expression relies on sugar-high emotional stimulus, false persona, illusionary packaging, temporary fulfillments and the like? For the answer to that we must go back in history to the troubadours of Southern France and the establishment of the Code of Love.

THE TROUBADORS

During the late Middle Ages in southern France, from 1100 to 1300 CE, troubadour poetry took root. The central theme of the wandering troubadour involved addressing a noblewoman as both the object of graphic ardor and religious veneration.

However, in the code of the troubadour this overpowering desire for sexual union was not to be consummated by the woman of whom the poet sang. She was unattainable. On the personal level she was disdainful of the troubadour; on the political level, she was the wife of someone else, someone more powerful. Even if she could be won over, the bonds of class and convention forbade union. In the end, this intoxicating denial of human sexuality was celebrated by the troubadour in poetry and song and thus began the ritual of romantic love.

FROM LOVE SONGS TO LOVE COURTS

The first troubadour was Guillaume, Duke of Aquitaine (1071-1127). His daughter was Eleanor of Aquitaine, who married Henry Plantagenet and became Queen of England. Their stormy relationship was popularized in the film, The Lion in Winter starring Katherine Hepburn as Eleanor. Much as in that film, the real life Eleanor was the most formidable of women. Throughout her career, she surrounded herself with troubadours and eventually established an institution legacy known as "Love Courts." After leaving Henry, she turned her ancestral home into an academy of the courtly arts. Princes and princesses from all over Europe visited her for instruction on the 31 articles of the "Code of Love."

Like troubadour poetry, the love courts were an aristocratic development having an underlying subtext:

The Code of Love . . . is infused with the pulsating energy and passion which drove the women of Eleanor's entourage to create their own world and attempt the dethronement of masculine oppression and mastery. Courtly love was a practical way of rebelling against the prevailing social mores, and was consciously adopted to serve this end.

Marie de Champagne (Eleanor's daughter) ruled that love had no power between the parties to a (feudal) marriage, and justified her ruling on the grounds that in love everything depended on both parties giving themselves freely, whereas marriage (in feudal courts) implied obligation and coercion, which was the death of love . . . The poles of the older social order were Pope and Emperor, priest and people, the soul and God. The poles of courtly society were to be the lady and her "man," her lover, who owed fidelity to her alone.

These noble ladies knew well enough that feudal men regarded them as loot or merchandise. In feudal society marriage was an important political and commercial tool. It took no account of love as an emotion felt by individuals for each other.

(The Medieval World, F. Heer, NAL, NY 1961)

Now you see that romantic love, institutionalized as courtly love within Middle Age aristocracy and handed down to modern day in one romantic ritual or another, began as a rebellion from the churchly suppression of the natural flow of human sexuality that was previously celebrated in pagan societies.

In fact, it appears that the Elder cultures had the correct perceptions of this unity between male and female, soul and body, however expressed in open, forthright demonstrations. Better that than having to package the Love force in rigid ceremony as Eleanor did to compensate for the malady being created by patriarchal church fathers. Modern spiritual seekers like yourself now have to travel "back to the future," to gain spiritual wisdom regarding the real meaning and nature of the Love Force.

TRUE LOVE

So what is the nature of true love under the traditions we are studying within Northern lore? What are the real rewards found in establishing a mature love between two Selves or souls. What does this type of relationship mean in the long run of a lifetime or more?

Those of you who have ever viewed or listened to the music from the popular Broadway play Fiddler on the Roof, will remember the song where the father sings to his wife and mother of his children, "Do You Love Me?" He sings this refrain, and she answers in song with tongue in cheek, "I've washed his clothes, cooked his meals, birthed his children, and cleaned his house for 30 years, and he asks, "Do you love me?"

In the peasant culture of Russia where the scene takes place, she is not without her freedoms as a woman. So, her answer contains all the beauty of a love between two truly mated human beings. How can she not love him if she has been willing to do these things for their common household for all those years? He is the romanticist, she is the practical principle of Love.

You can search the Northern sagas and you will find few instances of romantic love. But you will find love, like our Fiddler's wife sang, expressed as profound reverence . . .

for trust,

for loyalty,

for a good name,

for keeping an oath,

for fertility of womb and land,

for the sacredness of family,

for interdependence of the clan.

To the ancient Northern mind, and even now to billions of human beings on this planet who live outside the bounds of the Western democracies, this continues to be the bottom line of a valued relationship and the rewards of an honest mating of male and female in love.

Only when the concept of love and relationship comes into this level of understanding can you begin to discern the patterns of a Sacred Marriage, which entails all the above human attributes plus a whole lot more on the Inner spiritual planes of existence.

THE MYSTICAL SACRED MARRIAGE

It is impossible to summarize one of the most sought after dynamics in all of mysticism in one brief page. We spend much time on the dynamics of the Sacred Marriage in our second quarter of instruction in the Denali Rune Master program and still leave much to later lessons. Briefly, the Sacred Marriage is the joining of two equally potent male and female "halves" into a whole. It has both a "horizontal" and a "vertical" dimension.

The horizontal integration occurs with your mate as you perfectly merge your physical body and your mental body with each other. If you are the male, this means you blend your male physical body and your male psyche with your partner's female body and female psyche. But that is not all . . . your female fylgja or fetch, that wonderfully special Northern psycho-spiritual construct (called the anima in Jungian psychology) also must blend in perfect harmony with the male fylgja of your partner. If you are female, the pattern is just the opposite. To some degree or another, this happens unconsciously each time male and a female bond in physical and/or mental love. But the real test of a horizontal integration is to do this consciously, a much more difficult accomplishment.

The vertical integration occurs when a male or female psyche blends with their own contrasexual fylgja, thence completing Self as an independent Being. To some degree or another, you do this every time you seek to feel "whole" in a meditative state. While you experience this joining momentarily, the full vertical Sacred Marriage is akin to achieving a rare state of Cosmic consciousness.

You can now see how difficult it would be for you to achieve a Sacred Marriage level of understanding while approaching Love with the expectations of emotional romanticism as shaped by the troubadours and Eleanor of Aquitaine's court. Every seeker of the spiritual mysteries must eventually come to dismantle cultural programming in order to achieve the stable mental platform needed for the Sacred Marriage.

The great contribution of the Elder Northern tradition's approach to human sexuality and the bonding of male and female is that it allows each person to maintain a stable platform from which to learn more about the true dynamics of a Sacred Marriage. This extremely valuable perspective was lost with the arrival of romantic love which came about only as an alternative to the extreme asceticism imposed by the early church.

THE PLACE OF ROMANTIC LOVE

Still, who of us would deny the head-over-heels thrill of the first real romance in life, or the fun involved in courtship, or the joy of a beautiful wedding ceremony? Would any of us turn away those memories, or deny them to our children?

As long as the Sacred Marriage can be seen between the glitter of the emotions surrounding romance, as long as a balance can be maintained, there is space for romantic love. In fact, its total suppression would be as equally disruptive as the opposite.

You will be able to keep your balances in a healthy state by allowing natural expression of your human sexuality and by meditating on the energies of the following runes:

. . . . .GEBO is the primary rune of Sacred Marriage; polarity exchange of balanced M-F energies.

. . . . .EHWAZ to find/maintain harmonious duality with partner; to activate Fylgja/Fetch.

. . . . .ELHAZ for divine link to higher realms (crossing Bifrost to Asgard); instruction on magical potential of the runes.

. . . . .KENAZ to stir the fires of controlled sexual passion; quicken natural force of sexual attraction.


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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