Intellectual Journeys to Intuitive Travels
When I first started writing, I considered myself more of a researcher who seeks out scholarly material, gives it some thought and analysis, and then presents my findings. And in general, that is still what I do.
I look deeply into a topic, and reference numerous sources to find solid historical background for it. Or, in the case of fairy tales, I apply years of background knowledge about history, culture, mythology, and historical belief to my interpretation.
But, I'll tell you something. Years of intellectually minded research into the spiritual beliefs of your ancestors will lead you into mystical realms whether you intend it to or not.
And you can't help but eventually begin weaving the spiritual elements you've studied into your own personal worldview.
This is not to say I haven't been a spiritual person. Quite the opposite. But, where there are many pagan writers out there writing about personal practice, I enjoyed the historical side of discovering the roots of European indigenous spiritual belief. That research is the side I have focused on sharing, while the personal implications for spiritual development were kept private.
When you acquire a foundation of deep knowledge, and then combine that with earnest desire to understand the hidden meaning, and turn off the blinders and hindrances that block your vision, then you will begin to have spiritual experiences and insights. Also, I believe that this unlocks doorways to greater access to our collective cultural unconscious.
Dreams of Destiny
There was a woman there, powerful and mysterious. She may have been a Norn, or somehow related to Fate. She raised her staff and caused a great storm that raised the waves and shook the sea. Everyone's boats were lifted and jostled about as the storm raged violently.
Then, when the storm calmed, I looked at the sea and saw that the pre-determined routes had all been washed away. Each individual was now able to chart their own course in their own direction.
I interpreted this dream as relating to the old Germanic concept of Wyrd, which is the Teutonic Heathen understanding of what other traditions call fate, destiny, or karma.
The Germanic view differs because, while certain aspects that you can't control influence your Wyrd (where you were born, family influences, etc), other aspects that you do control can change your Wyrd.
But, the ropes had latched on to me and tied me to one place where I could move only slowly and with great difficulty, and had been stuck that way for some time.
Suddenly, one of the ropes snapped and flung off of me. And then another, and then another. Soon, I was standing on my web, but I was free of the strands that had locked me down. I could begin weaving a new direction and a new path.
Understanding the Teutonic Web of Wyrd
The first dream seemed to show a massive resetting and gift of freedom to change direction not just for myself, but collectively. As if humanity, or maybe the cultural group in which I am rooted, is poised to chart a new course together.
While the second dream was telling me that constraints that had held me back or locked me into a stalemate previously were being cut so that I can forge my own direction in life.
I explain the definition of Wyrd, a bit on it's etymology, the figures who guide it known as the Norns, and a bit about how they have turned up in our cultural lore in the Teutonic world (that includes those of us with English heritage) in the mini e-book "The Three Heads of the Well and the Norns in Teutonic Mythology" which you can download for free here.
But, the gist is that while the Greeks believed that Fate was set in stone and unchangeable, that you will blindly blunder into your predetermined destiny whether you want to or not, the Germanic people (Teutons) believed in this concept called Wyrd which is malleable.
In the Teutonic worldview, you have a level of personal autonomy over your Wyrd. Your Wyrd is affected by elements outside of your control and those play a role as ropes on your web. But, your own decisions and actions allow you to change your fate.
Tapping into the Cultural Unconscious
In recent years, the subject of inherited or genetic memory has come up in scientific news. I believe that this relates to Jung's theory on the collective unconscious. While we don't inherit clear literal "memories" from our ancestors, we do inherit hazy understandings, hardwired feelings, attitudes, and behaviors. So this is one important way that genetics, ethnicity, and culture are intertwined in important ways that have been overlooked today.
While I mainly discuss Teutonic culture, because it's relevant to me as it's my own ethnic heritage and it's my research specialization, the same path that I'm on could and should be undertaken by people of ALL cultural backgrounds worldwide.
In fact, Native American cultures tend to understand this, East Asian cultures surely do. Our ancient myths and legends matter to us and our own identity in very deep and meaningful ways. The things that I discover in Germanic myth are also present in Slavic myth, Celtic myth, really the myths of all world cultures.
So I would urge everyone to dig into their ancestry, find out who they are, and then dig deeply into the ancient cultural beliefs of your ancestral heritage.
Jung believed that everything in the conscious mind stems from the unconscious mind. But, we all tap into not only our own unconscious but the wider collective unconscious of our cultural group and ancestors.
Today, science is showing a genetic basis for this. Jung felt that sometimes issues people suffer from psychologically are due to a failure to merge the unconscious with the conscious.
Therefore, I strongly believe that no matter where you live, what color you are, what your religion is, and so forth, that researching yourSELF is crucial.
And, yes, this does come down to ancestry, genetics, and culture for EVERYONE. Tapping into the myths and cultural insights of your ancestors will give you insights into your own psyche as well as true direction in life.
The Norns and Ancient Teutonic Mytho-Worldview in the poem, "The Warrior's Passage"
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FREE mini e-book!
The first mini e-book in my new European Fairy Tales Series can be downloaded for free in the books section of my website.
Each subsequent booklet will explore a different fairy tale, usually a tale you probably have never heard before!
Introducing each tale is an essay with background information, cultural observations, and analysis based off of my many years of study of these topics and elements that I pick up in these stories that generally would be overlooked.
First installment is FREE. Subsequent volumes are yours for a $1 subscription through Patreon.
Your $1 gets you a new booklet each month, but more than that, it helps me to continue researching and promoting a positive celebration of European cultural heritage. And, I appreciate that more than I can say.