In this profound and learned article, International Runes Teacher Lia Crise from Florida, writes about the ancient Norse lore of how Odin seized the magic of the runes by dying to himself. Lia meditates on what it means to ‘die to one’s self’. This article thus ties in deeply with a couple of other blogs/videos in this June Starwheel Astrology and Healing newsletter, which are about the nature of the self and what the current energies are doing to our sense of self.
In lore, to possess the runes, Odin hung himself upon the World Tree. This is story we see and hear over and over. But there is a much greater meaning to this, that is usually missed without the proper lens with which to view it. And it is that view that I hope now to bring light to.
Odin was in theory, realized enough in and of himself to know that simply possessing the runes was not enough to fully understand and wield them. Thus, he hung himself upon the World Tree suffering and dying for 9 days and 9 nights, speared and bleeding refusing both food and water, until the wisdom of them was made known to him.
The lore is often known, but there are key notes in this story that are often missed, and they are actually really important, and these are the notes that I want to bring light to.
Possession of the runes was not enough for Odin to use and comprehend them effectively and fully, and for their greatest purpose.
The key is sacrificing the individual we believe ourselves to be, and the life that has created this identity, to what is true.
The Void from which all consciousness is born from, leaves us with little or ego for the truth to contend with.
It is well known in every ancient pathway that ego, is the suffering of man. Ego is what drives us for power and status, and what also blocks us from possessing and perceiving the fullness of the truth on any topic.
Odin then sacrificed himself, suffering and dying upon the World Tree, to himself. Having lived through one such death, I will do my best to communicate why this portion is so important and also how this process feels.
To be open and honest, I have chosen not to speak of this time in my life bc it is so exceedingly dark and there are really no words to fully express the absolute vastness of such an experience.
All that we know, all that we are, believe, think and feel, all that dies within us when we experience this.
The feeling of death consuming one’s existence is so encompassing that nothing we knew, were or believed prior to this death is even remotely still alive within us when it is over. But the death, however desolating, is necessary. It is a stripping of us so deep, that the soul itself feels to be shredded and crumbling away to nothingness.
As I have aged, years have gone by now since this time in my life where I gave myself to myself in Ritual by the hands of my own teachers. I have grown to understand why this act was so necessary. But without my own giving of Self to Self, I couldn’t have understood how my experience ties into the lore of Odin and the runes. Prior to this event, just as many do, I too overlooked this. It was just too far outside the limits of my comprehension and consciousness before my “death” to really grasp onto.
‘Death’ is a release of the former Self and all the person ever was, including their current state of consciousness. There is a moment in this deeply meditative state where a person is only aware of the vast nothingness of the Abyss, from which all things are born, and which constantly exists within. The stillness is freeing, loving and perfectly soothing in every moment of eternity simultaneously.
This is completely comprehensible in one’s entire being and we are incapable of truly forgetting this once it has been experienced. It is in this moment that one can feel, see and touch as a living state of being, and no longer just philosophize that we are truly of the simultaneous stillness and chaos of the world and universe around us without division from it.
When we awaken as a Self, absent of division, we carry this state of being with us. We are bound to it as our state of being -the state of consciousness that Odin himself would have had as the first being known in Norse culture to devote Self to Self.
This is the only tale in Norse lore that remains as any sort of indicator that even the ancient Norse understood that the Self is the ultimate realization and the ultimate power in any lifetime.
Many other cultures still remember and teach this today, such as Hindu and Buddhist traditions, but there are many, many more. Many indigenous cultures around the world, such as tribes in Africa and the Philippines, still practice a similar thing today. In the Philippines, each member of the tribe does this as a way to be permanently connected to who they are, tying the soul and the truth of the soul to the body for the duration of the lifetime.
The emerging from this state is so life altering, I wrote about it many years ago. I have never since been the same.
The state of stillness remains within, never really leaving, but as I learned the hard way, without proper care and guidance by our teachers, it is easy to lose sight of why we were reborn from the stillness in the first place. It is easy to become lost in this newly found power and freedom.
What Westernized Culture on Earth currently doesn’t constantly condition us to seek power, notoriety and success? -This conditioning is very reason I have chosen to speak on this topic, risking many precious things to misjudgment and fear from those who aren’t capable of understanding this experience for their own conditioning, wounds and even their ego.
Stillness is written about in every ancient culture as well. The Buddhists call this Nirvana or Nibana, depending on the sect of Buddhist practice we are discussing. In Hindu practice this is called Nirvana, Sahaja Samadhi or Moksha with the state changing as one progresses toward Moksha as final liberation. In New Age terms (probably borrowed from Hindu or another of the former mentioned) this is called Awakening and Enlightenment.
I am not saying after having lived this, that a death and rebirth ritual is equivalent to Enlightenment or a short cut to it. In truth, regardless what path we are walking, there is no short cuts to this. What I am saying that walking the path of enlightenment was the start of Odin’s mission to become all powerful, vital. It is looked, or maybe misunderstood and possibly just simply unknown to many as this pathway is being reconstructed by so many who are still looking through the modern lens.
It is also to bring light to the fact that even Odin himself was forced to suffer the death of his own egoic consciousness and to “truly be powerful” he was forced to become a sovereign being belonging only to himself as The Self, in truth, is without Separation from the Nothingness all things belong to. He would over time become master of his own ‘Megin’ (spiritual essence, strength, power) by way of residence in a constant state of nonego.
Odin was dedicated to no one and nothing, and in turn became known as the “All Father.” -A metaphorical description of the state of interconnectedness and infinite consciousness that is the product of residing in Stillness.
But most importantly, I am pointing out that the call a person feels to this path, may appear to be about power since there is such much mention of this without clear understanding of what power truly is.
Many get lost there in their desire for power, but it is in truth about awakening from ego and spiritual self-realization.
If we aren’t working towards this result, the “power” of the runes shall never be fully realized. Thus, hours and hours of book study, lofty titles, bind runes and rune readings are ultimately meaningless. -Just another illusion of Division to get lost in.
So, if you stuck it out this far, thanks for reading.
But also, I just love you. 💘 I want any individual seeking the truth of themselves to find it. This is the healing the world needs most. So today, I break my silence.
May the wisdom of the most ancient ancestors return. ❤🌎
To find out about Lia’s Runes Course, go to: https://www.rune-path.com/buy.html