The only thing I knew about Odin was that when the Valkyrie Brynhild granted the victory to one hero when Odin had designated it to another, he stuck her with a sleeping thorn and placed a ring of fire around her that only the hero who knew no fear could cross. I had learned this from opera, so I knew it must be true. I also learned to respect Brynhild who was cursed for this with marriage and ended up destroying Odin’s greatest hero, Sigurd the Dragon Slayer. She ultimately ended up in Hell, so I’m not sure things always go right, even with the Athestan Gotha, the foremost of the gods, though Odin never objected when his greater warriors came to him in Valhalla. He was funny like that.
So when the Great Ones of Solomon commanded me to perform the Norse work, that was all I had to go on, that and my own studies of Beowulf in Old English and whatever knowledge is conferred by the fey folk in sleep and in other worlds. I had emerged from the Abramelin knowing I must have tattoos, a common practice among the Norse, so I would imagine that this rite had rung that bell without my knowing it. It’s a good thing I don’t do Enochian magic, or the old ones would have all been pulverized to feed the empire of what goes by the term Thelema but is actually all Hermetics and I would not now have a lovely tattoo honoring the sea powers that my goddess works with me in, as do the old ones who were of ships. Evidently ships were important at one point in Scandinavia.
I knew the raven was important and at one point I placed a secondary altar to this being, or these beings, since there are two, Hugin and Munnin, Thought and Memory. I was told not to do this because the raven is nurtured at Odin’s altar. THIS IS NOT GOSPEL BUT ONE OF THE OLD ONES IS, IN FACT, ALREADY A RAVEN AND DOESN’T NEED THE CHOPS.
Later on when I began to concoct something I wished to create, I was shown that the raven Memory evaluates how the thing has been done in the past while the raven Thought creates an alternate reality wherein the item is perfectly normal and in common existence. Since the underworld ultimately works in a creation circuit with this world, I could see how such a function would be useful for someone who wanted to make things happen with magic. And when it is Odin making the thing, it is always . . . elegant.
I knew from the work that horses are great beings of worldly work and the just rewards of it, so Odin’s eight-legged steed Sleipnir must confer enormous power on him to make things come into being in practical ways.
I had learned from the gods that the illuminated fey of serpents are among the only animals who can make heads or tails of the putrid and rotting human energies who did not make the soul very powerfully, which is true of most Western people in this era and probably many in the past. (This is a good reason for all magically inclined Westerners to work with the Norse powers who had much work of serpents.) I also learned that illuminated birds are very good at strategy. Odin shape-shifted into both of these forms, so He must possess these powers.
I had been told that the dish served in Odin’s hall, pork, is an animal who can see and develop human genius. Thus Odin always selects the geniuses as his special people. And mead confers the gift of poetry, so I make sure to drink frequently, though not mead. It’s too expensive. I drink three-buck chuck, the modern equivalent of mead.
At a certain point, when it was clear that my work in ceremonial magic was going to end in complete failure, the Norse gods and the demon Paimon had me throw away every object that I owned and come live in a part of my city where the ceremonial magic had been done and where many Catholics had lived. It was only here that I could HEAR the teachers tell me how to do the magic. This is because my lifelong objects had been bound into patterns of myself in the past, and I could not be that daughter, sister, student, friend, wife anymore. Those roles were keeping me from perceiving the requirements of the magic, and despite the best of intentions, I was in great danger of losing my life if I did not get it actually right.
While I sometimes regret the loss of a particular object, I am often reminded that the Great Gods of the Underworld set the bar very high and that throwing away everything I owned was how I managed to keep myself together.
I am told that this is how Odin is: intense and unpredictable. But it is his responsibility to keep the Norse underworld together, and that is a big job.
Now that I have fulfilled the initial requirements of Odin, the Underworld Gods have brought in Thor. THIS IS NOT NORMAL BUT WHAT IS AROUND HERE.
Thor is requiring me to behave normally and not throw away perfectly good things, because I don’t have many things at this point, and I need some things, like this computer, a perfect replica of the one I threw away.
I like Thor. I need Thor. But I also need Odin.
It has been expensive to build the gods of my Deep Self, but the money is starting to return. In due time, I see a way to have perhaps what I started out with, and CLARITY to boot.
I think I will be alive now that I have performed the requirements of the gods, whereas the two cancer scares and the many near deathly accidents were indicators that this was not likely without them. I am told that the Aesir, the death gods, consider me more valuable dead than alive (I am evidently very expensive for the underworld to keep) and that I need to do REGULAR STUFF so that the Vanir, the life gods, can make a case for my continued existence in this world, one of the purposes of this blog whereby I am a spokesman for the Norse powers in Hermetics.