When people have approached me in the past for a tarot or rune reading, what they have really been asking for is answers to their questions.
For me to tell them why they can’t find a trustworthy partner; why they are in ill health; whether they should change jobs… its all about me giving them an answer to their questions. When I trained as a therapist, the reason readings had never sat comfortably with me became evident – readings are about me doing the work and giving you answers you may or may not be ready to hear; therapy, however, is about us both exploring your answers to those questions, and always validating your own seeking of wisdom.
One way takes away your power to seek your own wisdom, and the other way empowers you and your inner “knowing”.
So it was with interest that a close friend (lets call him Basil*) asked me to work with him to seek some answers from the gods concerning a ‘Calling’ he was feeling. Basil said he felt a particular pull toward the Norse deities, and felt that a particular god was ‘Calling’ to him for dedication … but was unsure and confused about which god, and the reason for this connection. He said it felt like it could be Odin, but it could also be Loki, and he was left feeling unsure.
When I arrived at his home he had his Norse runes at hand, as well as a journal, crystals and a book on Norse god stories. For me, I felt my role was to help Basil find his own ways to “know” what god was Calling him and why – and it was about me supporting his journeying and not telling him “this rune” meant to me.
So the first thing we did was drill down to his intention – what did he want to get out of this session?
Did he want to commune with the gods? Did he want to know which god had been ‘Calling’ him? Did he feel it was a certain god only because his rational mind thought Odin was cool? Was he, perhaps, seeking ‘relationship’ with deity so to avoid a relationship with a fellow human being?
And in the ‘finding’ of a particular god as the originator of the Call …. then what? What did he expect to happen then? Did he want to dedicate? Did he just want to say, “Hey, cool, thanks!”, or if it turned out to be a god he didn’t expect or like, would he ignore the Call?
After 15 minutes Basil had confirmed his intention: understand which god had been Calling to him, and understand why. He decided that once that intention had been uncovered, he could ask more questions & make more decisions during the session.
As we prepared to begin the magickal part of the session, inspiration flowed through us both: Basil would create sacred space, and then he would call on the energies of the Norns – the Norse weavers of fate. To seek his answers, he would then cast runes according to each question. When a particular rune was chosen, I would speak the ‘written meaning’ aloud, and he would sit in silence with his eyes closed, and feel into what that meant for him. At all times I would be scribing his words for him to go back over later on.
In this way, the use of a divination tool was still subject to his seeking his own answers inside himself, and not using words from a book as gospel.
Basil created sacred space, and then, with his hand on top of Neil Gaimon’s book, Norse Mythology, we called to the Norns to be present. Though this may sound sacrilege to some, I would offer that the ‘power’ of objects for magickal use lies not necessarily in some innate potency they have … but the emotional connection we have with, and give to, said objects. Whatever your thoughts, I felt the essence of the Norns move into the sacred space – I felt the hint of their power touch the edge of my awareness.
Basil said he could feel them moving around him and through him very strongly. His body language had already begun to relax, and he had a soft smile on his face as we prepared to work with the runes. We had discussed the many different ways we both knew to ‘use’ runes – pulling them out of a bag; throwing them onto a surface to see what ‘turned up’; moving your hand over them (while they are turned over on the table) and seeing which ones you are drawn to. He decided to go with a fourth (and non traditional) way – he placed the runes, face up, in a large circle on his table. He would then drop a crystal into the centre of the circle, and wherever it tumbled to – touching a particular rune or landing close by – would be the ‘chosen one.’
I would then read out the ‘traditional meaning’ of that rune, and he would follow his own inner guidance and seek his own wisdom.
From here the sessions flowed like a wave – he would be at the crest as he asked his question, then he would travel down the wave as he dropped the crystal. He would plumb the depth of the wave trough as he explored the meaning of the rune to him, finally climbing back up the wave towards the peak once more when he had confirmed his own meanings.
Over and over again we followed this wave pattern – often spending 15 or more minutes at the lowest point as Basil sought out his own answers. What became very apparent to me was the power of the experience for Basil. Here he was, completely in charge of his session and the wisdom he was receiving – I acted only to scribe his words and assisting him in his questioning.
At one point it was my place to gently challenge him when his questions became inauthentic: after a particular god had strongly came forward to claim the Call, and request a commitment from Basil to connect with him for the next twelve months, Basil wanted to hedge his bets and ask if it was ok for him to also connect with the other god. Knowing this person as a dear friend, and wondering if the question actually stemmed from a fear of commitment, I asked if the question was an honourable one – did he feel that the dedication to a god (or any other relationship) was truly respected if he could then still play with others?
He thought about it for a moment then took a deep breath and smiled sheepishly: “I guess not.”
As the session came to a close, Basil had received all the guidance he needed to fulfill his intention – wisdom that had come from within himself. He had discovered not only where the Call had come from, but from which god, and had then made a choice to honour the Calling into a 12 month relationship.
*Basil is not his real name – but isn’t it beautiful!