It is more often written about, when referring to Winter, to discuss and focus on our maintaining and cultivating of light and fire (physical and metaphysical) in the home, family, and soul etc… We know of many Northern European customs, such as inviting the evergreen into our home during the Yule season, surrounding ourselves with family, song, and good cheer. All of this was done to maintain an “internal fire” within individuals and the “greater individual” of the community, combating an otherwise dark, uncertain, and gloomy part of the year. Symbols of hope, life, and fertility surround us while the Earth sleeps outside. However, this drive for “coziness” must also be mixed with an embrace for the bitter forces of Winter. The less spoken of, and less practically applicable operation in the modern world, is our need to mimic this cycle in its’ “darker” or more unseen aspects.
Winter must be internalized and used for “dark” magic. Acts and meditations that make us look inward and transform ourselves must be sought after and certain rites must be carried out. Chtonic indulgences and deep introspection must be undergone as we walk the roads of Hel within. All intensive personal work and external “curse” work should be done in the Winter; get rid of all your baggage, attachments, and rise anew with Spring, rejuvenated. The Winter is a time (and test) to impose our higher Will upon our internal canvas, “setting the bar,” so to speak, on our future self. While things are harsh outside, we must be harsh inside, becoming that which we see as our higher self, emerging victorious with the Sun. Unfetter yourself and your soul; heal the Hamingja.
One of the most important things about Odinism is traveling.
This of course applies to the Shamanic or visionary aspect, but more importantly to the physical traveling or “wandering” of the Earth.
The Odinist must track down sacred places, spend nights alone in new woods, explore the vast deserts, the mountain peaks, the lakes and rivers and valleys green and lush. To enjoy reckless and unwavering ecstasy and new experience, to make new friends and open oneself to all the possibilities of life. To gain as much wisdom and knowledge as possible in this brief incarnation.
Wandering defeats fear and attachments; delivering solace in the self and a destruction of the need for useless “stuff.” Traveling shows us what is important to not only ourselves and our needs, but also that which is important to humans in general, as you will encounter every imaginable type of person to learn from along the way and begin to see patterns and similarities in people and even cultures.
This is Odinic action. The becoming of the wandering God.
Something I learned from (and credit to) growing up around Buddhism was to take responsibility and ownership of my own mindset and actions.
When you realize that your suffering is not caused by others, but by yourself, you begin to reform the way you view and react to life and its’ obstacles.
This realization brings freedom in knowing that no one can make you feel any sort of way. It is only you who allows things to affect you or not.
I don’t think striving for full disassociation or indifference to the material world is a good end goal to have, but it is wise to realize that you control your mind and your ability to suffer or not, not the others around you.
Even in reference to pain (the easiest argument against this concept), a trained monk or practitioner can remove themselves from the physical sensations of the body, or rather, control the neural pathways associated with their attachment to pain and the phenomenon that it causes within us.
Pain becomes like anything else, an impermanent sensation without negative or positive attachments associated with it, just an experience of the only true constant, change.
All forms of true initiation are meant to be turned inward before they can be directed outward. Not the other way around. This is the premise of what Westerners would call “magic(k).” It isn’t necessarily to control what lies outside the mind as much is it to establish control of the Mind in reflection of its Highest Self or Will.
Remember that if you can control your mind, you can control your world.
When people approach others for spiritual guidance or advice (aside from dedicated teacher/student relationships) they usually expect them to deliver some sort of elaborate truth on a silver platter; some almighty answer that removes their need to search or do the internal “Alchemy” that is required of them in this life.
However, even if the person being questioned felt like they had those answers, from a completely spiritual context, what works for them most certainly should not work for you. These answers can only be brought forth, reawakened, and transformed internally by your own experience and growth. Teachers can assist in this flowering of spirit, but ultimately it is their job to inspire you to do the work yourself, not do the work for you.
This is how forming a Gnostic and deeply personal spiritual system is undergone. Keep pushing yourself and keep digging deeper. Strive to try new things at every opportunity and never be afraid to experiment with life’s journey; move with it and don’t get locked into any type of stagnation.
Someday, in the right incarnation, the modern, civilized and domesticated man will wake up and realize (with much anguish) that he is himself extremely sick and culturally, spiritually, physically and mentally unwell.
His prison of flesh and bones with constrict him into a new state, a state of self awareness wrought with a great vastness and knowledge of patterns and interconnection.
Here he begins his journey to rebuild himself, or rather, build for the first time his true self, awakened and risen from the ashes of fate.
To know where he is going, he must look to the past…