A Few Word Origins for Pagan Diviners

What is a Druid?

On the surface, we know Druids as ones who were/are among a certain group of Celtic priests, specific almost solely to the island of Ireland. These sorcerers were known to carry out the sacrifices and were known for their strict means of initiation; comprised of history, science, law, mythology, astronomy, and language. When we take a trip back in time linguistically, we come across the proto-Celtic words daru (oak) and windeti (to know, see), joined in the word druwits meaning “wise person,” or more specifically, “oak knower.” These words stem from earlier forms of the proto-Indo-European words dóru (tree) and weyd (to see), together as dóruweyd, which literally translates to “tree seer” or “tree knower.” As much as the druids were known for their sorcery, a key component of their characteristics lies in their knowledge of trees; their qualities, names and uses. Their writing system was known as Ogham, with each character also representing the name of a tree, hence it also being known as a “tree alphabet.”

What is a Godi?

A godi (goði) is a holy man or priest figure of the old Pagan north; invokers of the gods, custodians and facilitators of the Thing (þing). They were usually identified with jarls, chiefs, and landowners. When searching for origins in this word, we find ourselves first passing through the Gothic gudjô (pagan priest and custodian of temples, responsible for sacrifices) and eventually leading us to the proto-Indo-European ǵʰutós (to pour, libate, invoke). In pre-Christian Germanic culture, one poured libation to gods as sacred offerings, likely a remnant of the Soma ritual from Vedic literature. Godi also has its origin in the Gothic name for Odin as Gaut(az), where we are given an image of one that “flows” or “pours” out. Whether this is the ancient Odinic force of development or the entire population of people “flowing out” of the homeland is not entirely certain in this context. However, we know Odin as the ancient Godi, he who sacrifices himself to himself in a grand system of shamanic self-development. Odin (the operant) pours to his higher form, as the godi pours to Odin within him.

What is a Volva?

In Old Norse we have the term völva meaning prophetess, seeress, witch, wise woman etc. This word specifically relates to woman as opposed to many other terms delegating a person with “magical” ability. This word comes from a root word in proto-Germanic waluz (staff,stick) and an even older proto-Indo-European word welH- (to turn, wind, roll). Here we see an image start to solidify of a female “witch” figure can turn, wind, and roll the webs of fate. The association with a staff or stick can be contributed to “broomsticks” or wands of the classical witch, but in this context, one could assume that this connection alludes to the purported horse phallus preserved in herbs that was said to be consulted by these women for divine prophecy. Regardless, even Odin seeks the wisdom and knowledge of the ancient volva in ‘Völuspá,’ as it is with these primordial beings that cold, ancient, objective forms of knowledge are locked, trapped in their memories and experience of ages past.

The Self and Metabiology

A perfect Self should be viewed in the context of human biology. 

As a “perfect” organ(ism) can exist, serving its purpose with extreme clarity, so can an actualized and/or super individual Self. 

Not all of us are meant to be a heart, for instance…

Some of us embody a form whose perfect expression is unique to its duty, as each human’s duty is not identical. 

Some people are brains, some are hearts, some are eyes, some are stomachs…

This can be most obviously seen in the ancient caste system, which places this concept into a meta-biological framework, as each caste represents a different part of the human body; each duty not only necessary, but sacred and holy. This was the case within some Indo-European societies all the way into the “Viking Age.”

Like the plethora of circumstances and organs that create a working organism we call a body, we should view ourselves (and humanity as a whole) in the exact same context. We individually make up a greater organism that is called Humanity; where exists many types of organs, tissues, muscles, needs, etc. 

Each and every faculty or individual organism has a divine duty specific to their existence, allowing the wheel of human life to move forward in balance and harmony (theoretically). 

All things have a meaning and all things have purpose. If this wasn’t so, there would be no cause or reaction; a topic I touch on in this article : Fate, Instinct, and Nature.

Shaping yourself into a potent being should be your main focus, in however that expression manifests within you. Pair this with love and wisdom to achieve the ultimate state of being. 

Spend less time thinking of the faults of others and instead set your crosshairs within at your lower impulses and desires; become the spiritual catalyst that the body needs to heal itself and the spirit within. 

Narrow your focus on your higher Self. Develop this connection with as much time as you can dedicate to it and you will no doubt find a more solidified presence within yourself; one, that with practice, becomes more and more unshakable. 

Fate, Instinct and Nature.

I am convinced in the existence of fate because of the natural laws of cause and effect. Every cause has an effect, indicating a pre-determined outcome for any and all actions. All things and actions no matter how big or small are carefully designed and created with a specific intent and purpose to fulfill, whether conscious of it or not. All is connected like pieces in an endless puzzle.

However, while fate may indeed exist, it is not a finite and concrete model.

There is “wiggle” room…

Rune magic and most divination methods exist for this reason; to gain further insight into circumstances in their past, present and future context. The web of fate is constantly spun, but like a physical web (which looks seemingly perfect) there are minor variables throughout it based on circumstances and the spider’s reaction () to them, resulting in the intended and coherent final product.

In extremely primitive terms, humans have the capability to “foresee” many future events at all times and are able to make present decisions and actions in order to affect those future events. This is evident in our knowledge of the yearly natural cycles of the Earth. Our ability to foresee seasonal, terrestrial, and cosmic events helps us sow, cultivate and harvest what we need to ensure we survive as long as possible. Being able to foresee Winter gives us time to change our circumstances and better our future position.

This is primitive, but evidence of divination nonetheless…

With practice and patience, you can begin to adjust certain strands and strings of the web, gaining deeper insight into their workings and patterns. Personal rune reading (followed by honest decoding) will do this, as well as Tarot and other divination practices.

Instinct is also a good piece of evidence for some kind of fate or design as well.

Instinct indicates that DNA holds literal knowledge of its physical expression and its’ living experience. In other words, Nature imprints experience on its’ creations for them to remember the rules and laws of existence, the laws of fate. The fact that an incubated chicken knows to scratch and eat certain things without seeing it before, or in the way a butterfly’s wings can display pictures of predatory animals like owls, snakes and foxes,  indicates a creative awareness and conscious design within nature, almost like a computer program with all functions working to create a working system. Biological evolution is further evidence of this “Nature Mind” as it is always consciously creating, altering, and watching itself…

Perhaps to fulfill its own fate…