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What's in a Name?--Your Cosmic Energy Signature! . . . 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.

What's in a Name?

Your Cosmic Energy Signature


Human beings are the only life forms in the physical world that are empowered to name things. Think of it! Nothing else can name a thing-not a dog or cat, a fish or fowl, an elk, deer or moose, a bee or a spider, a hawk, eagle or raven. Only YOU can create a name in thought, and only YOU can speak that name to individualize its unique vibratory pattern in the manifest world. Our modern world uses names to catalog, quantify, and establish ownership, but the ancients knew that every name is an "energy signature." It is an actual link between the physical world and spiritual Inner World. In this article we will tell you how you can use your power to name for daily benefit and what spiritual dimensions are revealed in your family name.

Ancient Northern lore viewed the world as an integrated part of an animate universe. In the Northern tradition nothing exists separately, but is part of a seamless universe which is perceived as a single living Cosmic Being. The physical world, which makes up only a small portion of the overall "energy" universe, is seen as alive, eternal and cyclic having continuous phases of creation and devolution.

Modern physics tells us that not only is every particle of matter in a state of constant vibration, but also that light, heat, magnetism, electricity and other forms of natural force results from a vibration. Ancient Northern lore and modern esoteric science go one step further, teaching that the distinction between the several levels of Being (i.e. between seen and unseen realms) is almost entirely due to the difference in the rate and character of vibration.


Naming is the establishment of a distinct vibrational pattern that singularly identifies that which you name within the manifest world. It individualizes the substance of matter with vibratory patterns emanating from your vocal chords as you "speak the word." Naming is a power and dominion given to humans at creation.

In Hebrew Tradition naming was one of the attributes of the Creative Life Force bestowed upon humans in the creation story (Genesis 1:26) when God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Thereafter in Hebrew Genesis 2:19, God brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name.

In Hebrew the name of every person or thing represents its character. Every name mentioned in Hebrew scriptures has an inner metaphysical meaning much like mythology has its symbolic archetypal imagery. The Hebrew Old Testament (the Talmud) places much emphasis on the importance of naming and numbering. The Biblical God always gave wise men and leaders a new name when they achieved victory.

In the Hebrew Kabbalah, an esoteric pattern of the Hebrew creation story, God is known by 10 different names (Sephiroth), each with a different energy characteristic in the seen and unseen worlds. One of God's names (the Tetragrammaton or "four letter word") is unmentionable by the profane tongue. It was so secret and holy that it could not be pronounced, except once a year, and only by the High Priest of the Temple. It was accorded great magical powers by the Hebrew Kabbalists, being regarded as a direct embodiment of the spirit of Yahweh.

In both Hebrew and Christian inner teachings there is an enduring tradition of the "secret names of God." In the Middle Ages the church sold amulets printed with "many secret names of God" to those seeking protection from evil. Most sanctioned lists render God with seventy­-two different names or aspects of how the one divine energy force manifests in various avenues of human activity.

In Egyptian Tradition to know the name of a god or another entity in the Inner World, and to address him/her by that name would not only force an answer but would force the god to obey the caller in all things. A derivative of this practice is found in the system of Enochian magic created by Doctor John Dee in the 16th Century which has evolved into today's Order of the Golden Dawn and several derivative initiatory works. In birth rites, Egyptian mothers would bestow a special name-soul (ren) on the newborn child, along with a baptism of milk. Both Ra, the Egyptian Sun God and Isis, Supreme Goddess, were known by many names, each a different expression of the same deity. The Muslim Allah is known by "ninety-nine secret names."

In Babylonian cosmology the gods mothered by Tiamat did not emerge from the waters of life until they were named. Ancient India recognized only named children as fully living members of the clan; an infant who died before being named was not mourned because it was considered soul-less.

In the German fairy tale Rumplestiltskin, the dwarf spins flax into gold for a maiden to meet the demands of the prince she has married. In return he demands her yet unborn first child if she cannot guess his name. She secretly over­hears him sing his name in the woods, "Ah! Lucky ’tis that not a soul doth know that Rumplestiltskin is my name, hot hal" When she faces him with his name, the spell is broken and the dwarf disappears in a rage. Jacob Grimm, the folktale chronicler, wrote that each individuality, even in the world of languages, should be respected as sacred.


It was a practice in Viking days (and before), as reported in the Sagas, not to immediately give your real name to a stranger because it would give them a certain amount of power over you, especially if the stranger were to turn out to be a skilled practitioner of runes and other magical arts. That is one reason there are so many "kennings" (literary allusions) and by-names in the Elder writings.

Modern superstitions about naming are based on remnants of Elder traditions. For example, the name of a ship given at launching is considered permanent even in today's technological world. It is believed that any change will jinx, or bring bad luck upon the ship.


In the ancient North the naming of a child was delayed for several days after the birth. Because the spiritual bond between the child’s name and his or her physical essence was considered so "real," it was better not to commit a name to a child until the family was assured the child would live beyond a few days. The naming ceremony normally occurred in the ninth night of the new child's life, nine being the most significant number in Northern cosmology. There are nine realms on the world tree Yggdrasil, Odin underwent his shamanic initiation rite hanging for nine nights on Yggdrasil, nine is the power of the divine triune times three.

In the North, the naming of the child was done by the mother since it was believed she had the greatest attunement to the soul that would be forthcoming in the child. Northern tradition maintains that transmigration of the soul, or reincarnation, occurs within family or clan groupings. Therefore, the name given to the child was normally one of an honored deceased relative, or one that was intuitively "known" or dream-inspired to be the right one by the parents.

Even with modern recognition of the sacredness of pregnancy, today's child-naming retains only a glimmer of the power inherent in ancient wisdom regarding how to welcome a new soul to Earth.


The ancient mystery schools taught students the power of words. They taught the sacredness of names and the means to employ them for various purposes. They taught the use of one's name to touch the soul and awaken its potentials. The ancients advised, "Know Thyself." One of the easiest ways to know yourself is to know the magical properties of your name.

As the vibratory patterns of your new identity "went forth" in the physical world, i.e. at the time you were named, a psycho-spiritual bonding was finalized between your personal soul history, your ancestral family streams, and you. At that moment, however unconscious your naming ceremony may have been, you were given your individualized "energy signature" and empowered as YOU!

The Elder Northern tradition defines the unique YOU as an interweaving of several constructs. Those pertinent to this discussion include the Fetch, the Kin-Fetch, the personal Norn, the ancestral Dis, and your hamingja.

These archetypal constructs, harmonized within your psyche by the powers of Self, bring into your present life experience: (1) your personally accumulated Orlog (roughly equivalent to Eastern karma), (2) your immediate family or clan Orlog, and (3) your personal Norn, or the means by which the laws of cause and effect are woven into your present life. The (4) Dis are ancestral family deities watching over the success of the clan through the generations, and the (5) hamingja is known as the storehouse of your personal "Luck."

In Northern lore, the individual is portrayed to be a blend of the talents and obligations of the past and the hopes and responsibilities of the future. The newly born person, the new YOU, is free to blaze a new path in a new life using the accumulated blessings of your past incarnations and your family ancestral stream.

Your birth name is the most important of your names. While you may have nicknames in your youth, most often they are dropped as you reach maturity and step out into the world. Of your several birth names, your family name carries the energy of your ancestral stream but your first name is the most important for it reflects the individual vibratory energy that you are expressing in this lifetime. It is the new YOU.


Working with your name to enhance its vibratory power through repetitive verbal intonations while in a relaxed state of mind is called "name magic." Through this practice you will discover archetypal energies that are associated with your name. Your name, when understood and used correctly, summons forth universal energies into your life that influence your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual states. You are not controlled by these energies, but under Cosmic Law you are influenced by them because you resonate with their personal vibratory patterns.

There are no inherently "good" or inherently "bad" birth names. However, some people feel a dislike for their given names and want to change into a more natural feeling magical name for their metaphysical work. This is permissible, but before you adopt a new esoteric name you should explore the power in your current name with which you have been resonating since birth.

At a certain level of attainment, Initiates in the mystery schools take on a magical name in recognition of their "rebirth" into a new dimension of Life. This change comes to every seeker as an initiatory advancement. When this happens, it is accompanied with conscious knowledge of the deeper changes occurring within the soul.

Your name is an intimate link to your highest potentials. Learning how to develop its powers is a subject of deep esoteric study, far more than we can cover in a brief article like this. However, it is one of the major topics of instruction in our progressive Rune Master study programs.


The power TO name is directly linked to the power IN your name. If the name you were given is your persona "energy signature" in the multiverse, and if you are the only life form on this planet with the power to grant individual "energy signatures" to other manifest forms, then it follows that you have another potential to apply to your personal affairs. The ancients knew this power well and they encoded it in their secret mystery teachings.

The ancients recognized that in the hands of a skilled practitioner, naming brings the physical item named to "life" with a charge of personal megin from the operator. The practice of talismanic magic (bind runes) is based on this esoteric phenomena. The habit of carrying a "lucky rabbit's foot" or even wearing a religious symbol by the mainstream modern person is a mundane, albeit low-powered, evidence of this ancient esoteric art.


In addition to naming children, objects and things, humans can use this power in other creative ways. You can name things good or bad, right or wrong, helpful or harmful as they are to you within your personal environment.

If you were truly skilled with your power to name, you could name a habit for sweets or fattening foods as BAD and the power of your naming it bad for you would carry into an immediate change in your hunger for that certain food.

You can also name your bills PAID to bring into your field of action energies which will con­tribute to your economic security.

Naming yourself HEALTHY has many positive and beneficial consequences.

However, lack of awareness and lack of esoteric training in the skill of naming means the average human being goes through life without using one of his or her most potent esoteric talents available for improving quality of life. The power to name is simply an extension of the same laws of vibration you are familiar with in the physical.


. . . . .Ansuz (#4) contains the energies inherent in the power to name.

. . . . .Berkano (#18) reveals secrets regarding the alchemy of the word.


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.


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.


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 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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.)



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


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

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For a summary of the contents of our Rune Master lesson program, please go to our Rune Master Program page.
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