I have been reflecting about the roles and benefits that our mass media and instant connection to everyone and anyone in the world is doing to us as a people of late; and after coming across the below post, I am voicing my concerns. It’s hard as I love to see both sides of every situation, (especially when it comes to technology and mass media, as I utilize it often) and what prompts my decision to pick a committed opinion stems from what I observe, what I hear, and what I experience. Below, is the post that prompted me to get off the fence and say my thoughts; but take it or leave it, as it’s ONLY MY VIEW of things.
“I’m finding that a lot of paganism is based on “yes I spoke to the divine and they said..” or all about tarot or runes or spirit working and what not. I feel like it’s so garbled with things that probably are good. I feel though that when everyone gets involved in this kind of thing..it feels very overwhelming for me personally. I feel this sense of pressure to be a particular way or to interact with the gods and go to all these places in the so called world they live in. To do meditations, which I feel is vastly overrated. Which isn’t to say it can’t help somebody, but I feel like there’s just so much of this business and things going on that I want to remove myself from it.
The community is not as accepting, even if it happens to be a community like this one. There’s this sense of things that makes me not want to be part of it because it feels overwhelming. Like why can’t I enjoy life? Why do I have to do this meditation or commune with spirits? In the past people would go to others for that kind of thing, but even back then I don’t think it was how it is now. I feel like everyone is extra hyped about it and get carried away with it and even get involved in these personal fantasies that may actually be delusions. Never questioning if this experience is actually not real or not.
Maybe it’s my nature to be a hermit, but I feel as though all this business with the overall hype of things is bad some how. Maybe it’s just bad for me..idk…but I feel like overall it’s kinda not a good thing. I feel like no one ever talks about the gods being in nature like Odin is the wind or Frey the field. It’s really bothersome to me because everyone is trying to go to another world instead of appreciating this one. Idk..just my personal thoughts on the matter and why I haven’t posted lately.”
This post came on the heels of a weekend workshop I had just returned from. I had just participated in a Seidr workshop, and before getting into the procedure, the head Volva brought up what I say to anyone who will listen: Seidr (as I have learned it according to Scandinavian lore) is the ritual procedure of channeling messages from the spirit world. It is foremost a form of oracle prophecy via spirit possession, while being a form of “witchcraft” or occult work secondly, and not only is it taxing on the individual, the biggest thing to remember to ask is: 1) is it still necessary to perform in the 21st Century, and better yet 2) is it even a desirable thing to do, ~and why in the world do you think it is??
The first answer is ; “Yes of course!” I wholeheartedly see the timeless usefulness of seidr as an oracle and for the benefits had by adept occult work, however, this answer of all to quick “yes” is oftentimes given by those people who, via mass media and group chats, THINK they know what the process of Seidr entails. I have heard so many self-proclaimed Spa workers, call Seidr a form of Norse Shamanism, and I can tell you as an initiated Shaman taught from a Sami, that is very misleading, as the term ‘Shamanism’ itself is very opaque. Seidr as described in the Edda’s is a prophetic oracle channeling ability. Historically, it is more similar to what Voodun’s practice, than to what a Northern Shaman does, though there are some similar aspects.
The second answer is: “I would LOVE to learn how to do Seidr!” ~Why?? Again, this answer appears to be given by all the dis-enchanted folk out there who are looking for an escape of this high stress, plastic, unnatural and toxic world. They are looking for an organic based thrilling experience that feeds the modern peoples need for engaged stimulation and fantastic “super-natural” experience. To go deeper, the hopeful person is attempting to forge a relationship with entities other than human, therefore filling the void of loneliness that they are feeling in this instant messenger, smart gadget speaking, disconnect of a world.
When someone is a Channel for otherworldly energy; what is happening is the person’s core self is moved aside so that a visiting spirit is channeled and inhabits the individual doing the prophecy for the gathered folk she is propheciseing for. The Seidkonna becomes possessed and is incapacitated for the duration of the process. In the old days, the benefits of this would be to avoid a war with an invading tribe who might wipe them all out; or to seek a reason as to why the crops are failing and avoid mass starvation. With us today being so interdependent, overly connected, and self-sufficient; the need to prophecy for a group I feel should have warrant to outweigh the risks the person who becomes possessed might experience. To find out if you are going to get that coveted job, how many kids you will have, or if you will get married soon, to me, does not a necessary prophecy make.
Finally, to address the above post that started this train of thought; I must address what I have said before: Special abilities, like second sight, being an oracle for spirits, and the ability to travel between the worlds as well as being a Psychopomp are special talents very few folk are BORN with. It can’t be self-taught, nor should someone strive to acquire the skills if one isn’t called to perform these arts. It is at times dangerous, scary, life changing, and daunting. Most Spa Workers struggle to accept their “gifts” of the Mystic, and with those talents comes the accountability to always help others, say things when you would rather not, and have your life not really be your own 90% of the time.
As the person who wrote the above post said, why not just enjoy the real world, the here and now, and have that be sufficient to live your faith that way? I am envious of those who don’t have messages that are constantly yammering in their head, looking for lost soul parts in the iron wood instead of just quietly honoring the Earth by walking through Her quite green forests.
I am here as a Guide, to help steer the truly gifted Folk, the Kindred trying to get a grasp on how to deal with their “gifts.” My message is stop reading so much fantasy and wishful posts, and get away from your computer which has become, perhaps, a portal to your fantasy world. Meet real kindred, enjoy the outdoors, and marvel in the organic world that you are an integral part. Do what you can in the HERE and NOW, in the EVERYDAY EVERYWHERE, and be grateful you have the ability to do so.
Sometimes just being aware you know the spirit world and it’s inhabitants are there, living and working along side the world of man, is plenty enough occult work for a modern day Norse Pagan. Not everyone is cut out to live the life of a contemporary mystic.
To be a Volva (or a Vitki) nor a Seidkonna (or seidmann) is a requirement to being Heathen. -it never was!