Invoking the Gods

On the day of my birthday this past week I packed my crew up and headed out to the ocean. To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to go (I was feeling the edges of a cold creeping up on me) but I had a visitor from out of town who very much wanted to breath the ocean air before returning to the desert (can't say I blame her!!).

I'm glad I went.

There is something unnameably silent in the rush of the waves; a palpable and yet unimaginable profundity. You can feel it just standing there on the coastline looking out over the vast expanse of blue-grey water. There is something in the sea that transforms our pain, that calls it out of us and into its vast depths, like an embrace. The ocean is a great healer.
I had pulled three runes in the early morning hours, a birthday message: Mannaz ~ Isa ~ Laguz. As with all readings, it has multiple layers of significance. Mannaz is humankind, it is community, it is the many manifestations of our identity depending on the people we are with, it is our values. Isa is the ego, the self, it is a pause, it is the illusion of stasis like water flowing under ice. Laguz is life, it is water, it is the emotional body, the ebb and flow of feeling. One layer brought me: a moment of stillness at the sea. (This was my first inkling that we might end up at the ocean.)

And indeed I did manage to find a quiet measure of time at the edge of the ocean, alone and yet surrounded by people. Whenever I go to the water I greet Njörd. On this day I found myself silently calling the names of all of the gods and goddesses - not in supplication, but in acknowledgement. As I uttered each one, I felt chills moving up and down my arms.
I have always felt Odin in my soul. He is the center point around which everything pivots; the essence you might struggle to locate until you realize that it is all around you, and within you, and everywhere, all of the time. At least that's how I feel him in my own life. As I stood there at the water I thought about how vibrant Loki has been, especially over the last year. He is fire and flame, joy and change, a powerful ally and friend and teacher. He is hot where Odin is dark and cool. Odin stands in the shadow, quiet, observant, inviting these transformative presences into my life, and watching how I respond, what I do. It was never more clear to me, this dynamic, then it was as I stood there at the water that day. I understood, and I was filled with sobering gratitude.

Before we left, I reached down into the clear water and felt a distinctly feminine presence - the deepest ocean reaching up through these playful ripples to touch me. I whispered Rán's name in recognition and thanks, and went home.


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