Wight of the Nine Worlds


I welcome thee free spirit, which thou shalt come with an open heart, open mind and an open soul, for what you are about to read can only be understood by the wise who are eager to learn and to embrace the roots deep and forgotten in the hearts of the free people of Europe, by accepting who you are and where your roots lie, is half way into the great road of life. We will journey unto where our spirit takes us with the knowledge we gained. Learn and teach.

The Birth of Loki

Nowadays when we think or speak or hear of Loki, most immediately think of he Marvel villain with black hair and green eyes, filled with thoughts of revange and lust for power, but the real Loki the trickster god of mischief from the Norse mythology, isn't such a character.

After the death of Ymir and the creation and formation of worlds and the great flood, the surviving Jotnar found a land for themselves and called it Jötunheim. The etin-folk settled all over this realm, some in the north mountains, others by the coasts, and some of them went south and found a strange forest, dark, filled with short and hard trees, the ground itself was magical and that magic spread all over that forest, every living creature there was tainted by that very magic, the entire forest was tainted, most Jotnar there became deformed but with special abilities in magic and it was they who started to work with such powers and teached them to other beings and deities. The Jotnar named this forest, Ironwood.
The Jotnar folk divided themselves into nine clans, and elected a chieftain for each of the clan. But the clans were always fighting against each other, as to who would be the chief of the chiefs. This war went on for many years until only two clans were left to fight agaisnt each other and one of the chiefs would claim leadership over all the nine clans of Ironwood. One of the chieftains was Farbauti, of fire-etin blood, tall and strong, living in the stony hills of Ironwood, the other chieftain was a very young witch some say, who could see into the future, and she saw that she would be the chief of chiefs and would claim leadership over the entire Ironwood and its nine clans. So it came to pass that she succeeded, and Farbauti went off into the western mountains and then into the ocean. For many a year he wandered by boat from island to island, he went so far from the costal line of Jötunheim, that at one point he could see the realm of Vanaheim. It was there, on another island that he met Laufey who came from the lineage of the earth-goddesses, she was so beautiful that Farbauti couldn't think of nothing but her, and love struck his heart like a lightning. Laufey loved him likewise and in that great love a child was conceived. But in the early months of pregnancy, her womb began to burn, and the pain was excruciating. Farbauti feared for her and the child, so he asked her to come with him into Ironwood in Jötunheim, he told her that there were healers in his land that could take care of her and the baby, she agreed with him and left her island, it was difficult for her, for she loved her home, but she knew that the baby was in danger and that that child would be the next chieftain of his father's clan should he die, this child was the rightful heir.
At Jötunheim, Farbauti build an house for Laufey and their child, hidden in the hills, he feared that the chieftess of the other clan would know about this and came after them, after Laufey and strike at her and their unborn child, to wipeout the bloodline of Farbauti and claim rulership over his clan once and for all. But this chieftess was cunning, and news of Laufey came to her and she saw in her dreams the prophecy that Farbauti's child would master her one day, so she set out with her clan towards the stone house where Laufey was. Long and terrible was the battle between Farbauti and his  clan, again the chieftess of the other clan and her followers, in this confusion Laufey left, she fled from Ironwood and Jötunheim itself, but the Chieftess ran after her. Laufey came to Midgard, not would own world, but Midgard of the humans of the spiritual world, the realm very much alike our own, the realm where we have a strong connection to also. Laufey came to the border of Midgard, which is Myrkwood, a dangerous place filled with foes, strange beasts, everything in there is a menace and wants to kill you, but even so, Laufey went and ran like the wind until the trees of that forest were no longer with leaf, and they started to be blackned, scorched, the very ground was burnt. She came to the realm of Muspelheim, the land of fire and dust. Surt the fire-lord came to her and asked her what she was doing there, Laufey told him that she seeked shelter, and that she was carrying the child of Farbauti, who shared the same blood of the Fire-Etins such as Surt himself. He agreed with her to give her shelter in exchange that he would be the godfather of her child and the second father. Laufey was in much pain and was also tired of running away, the chieftess was on her heels, and so she agreed with Surt and he brought her to his Castle. The chieftess and her folk would not dare following her into Muspelheim itself, Surt was a very powerful being, and so they stayed at bay.
Laufey had her son within the land of fire, a red-flaming-hair boy. Laufey sent word to Farbauti, telling him that he had a son and that she and their child wanted to return to Ironwood, but Farbauti was still at war, and it wasn't safe for his wife and son to return there, so Laufey stayed at Muspelheim for many years, and Surt himself taught the boy in the ways of fire and all its secrets, and told him about the power he had in his own veins, Surt raised him as his own child.
When the boy was leaving his childhood, Farbauti sent word to Laufey that the war was over and that the Chieftess had won and claim the title of ruler of the entire Ironwood and the leader, chief of chiefs of all the Nine clans, Farbauti gave her the title and rulership over his own clan and agreed with her that by doing so, she would never harm his wife or his son. So Laufey made ready her departure from Muspelheim with her son, but before that a Seer from Muspelheim prophesied the future of the child. The child would be a wanderer for all his life, he would never have a place to cal home, yet every place he would be in would be his home, he would achieve great power and would be dearly loved but also terribly hated, but his name would be very much known all over the Nine worlds and outsider them also. After this prophecy he left with his mother to meet his father in Ironwood at last. When Laufey arrived, she was angry with Farbauti, for he ordered her apart, when she wanted to be by his side, fight by his side and die by his side if it should come to that, he did not share with her all his troubles, and she declared that she would not live with him anymore, so she went into the mountains overlooking Ironwood, in there she built her own dwelling and stayed, but Farbauti could visit her any time he wanted, but she would not live with him anymore. Their child went to live with Farbauti but only until he reached adulthood.
Laufey asked that Farbauti should take their son into a counsel with all the nine clans gathered so that their son should be welcomed and claim his heritage, to this Farbauti was fearful, for the great chieftess of the nine clans could break her oath and kill their son, but Laufey was confidente, for she remembered the prophecy of the Seer at Muspelheim, so Laufey herself came forth with her son when the counsel was called. The great chieftess remembered what she has seen in her dreams some years ago, that Farbauti's child would master her, so in spite of her word, she really wanted to kill him, even if this seemed to be wrong to her and break her word, but when she saw the child coming near the fire at the counsil, her dream came to her again, but this time with much more details. The child would indeed master her, but this mastery was with love, and he would become her concort and would be the father of all of her children, and she also saw what the Seer at Muspelheim had seen. So the great chieftess, Angrboda welcomed Farbauti and Laufey's son, and he became a member of the nine clans, and so Loki, that was the name of this child, started here his path, that would bring much joy and also hate to many, and few would understand him, but he would change the lifes of many.

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Ullr's Hidden Cave

This will be a post only to talk about my latest spiritual journey and share it with all of you, a spiritual journey that I thought to be interesting and I really would like to discuss this with all of you.
I am not a Shaman but I do practice Norse Shamanism, the difference between a shamanic practitioner and a shaman is complicated, but summarizing that subject, lets just say that a practitioner of shamanism doesn't experience half of what a Shaman does, and a practitioner of such a spiritual work, never makes his/her spiritual journeys when, how or where he/she wants, and has much less work and trouble than a shaman who makes this his own job, and his life and the lives of others depend on it. Basically for a practitioner of shamanism, every spiritual  journey is a fortune and a blessing, it doesn't happen a lot of times, so every time with get this chance, we have to absorb as much knowledge as we can.

Now going back to the main subject of this post, my latest spiritual journey was quite strange because the other spiritual journeys I had,  I experienced things that I already knew from the lore or with conversations with others, or after I had such experiences I went to search for them in the lore and there they were, so I managed to prove to myself that many things, places, beings, deities etc from the lore are real. But the last spiritual journey I had wasn't such a case, as a matter of fact what I have experienced is something that I have never found in the lore, and so far others that do such journeys haven't managed to find the same thing I did, so hold tight to your chair and if you have experienced something similar, please share with me, so here it goes:

I was at Asgard, a place iIhave been a few times, and when I mean few, I seldom have that chance. The place where I was, was far from Gladsheim, I went to a mountain chain, I think the direction was northeast, this zone itself was a rocky ground, of a very dark stone, resembled granite, but in a nearly black color, very slippery, filled with ice and some parts with snow. The god *Ullr came to me, he was at the junction of two mountains, at a high level, because I was in a valley between mountains. This was the first time I met this deity, and he came to me. In that valley he showed me a gap on the ground, large enough for a grown man to go through, it wasn't dark, I could see the floor, it went deeper, decreasing, covered with snow, I went with him till the end, until we were near a wooden house, only the front to my right, and still the roof  was that long gap, the light entered this zone, a pale light, it was daylight but the sun was covered by the mists of the mountains, and everything in this place had a mixture of colors of light blue and tones of grey, and that dark stone was everywhere, some of it wasn't covered by snow. Ullr showed me the entrance to that wooden house, it was built inside the dark rock, there was some people doing some chores outside, and Ullr stayed there with them. I went inside, alone, in here the only light was the light of candles and torches, a lot of people were sleeping in beds made of straw, covered with an old brownish rag. In front of me there were two wooden doors, one to the left and one to the right, both led to two different caves, there was nothing inside those caves that was manmade, only those wooden doors, the rest of the caves where just... caves, dark and wet, both led to a chamber and I got the impression that beyond the caves, there was another corridor on each one of them that led deeper into those caves. But in these chambers, on the cave to the right, more people slept in there, but this time, all of them slept like animals, naked, on the rocky floor, in the darkness, most of them facing down, there was a glimmer of a fire in the middle of the chamber, the fire almost extinguished... there they were snoring like bears or wolves, the sound echoed in the cave. Now.. when I was at this cave, I heard sounds coming from the other cave, similar sounds to the cave in the right, but louder, stronger and more beastlike, so I got out of this cave and stepped right in front of the wooden door that led to the cave in the left, someone told me that that cave was dangerous, and I had to be very careful, if I was to go in, I would do so by my own account and if something bad happened, no one would intervene. So I just opened the the door, and I saw that the cave was similar to the one in the right, but what was sleeping there gave me a chill down my spine, humanlike beasts, big and stout, hairy, actually.. with fur, and claws, similar to werewolves. Now I knew what that place was, some kind of cult, training place, or even a school, to learn how to shapeshift into wolflike beasts, and the head of this school or whatever, was Ullr himself. As far as i know Ullr isn't a shapeshifter, but it is true that few things are known about him and the lore doesn't say much about him, that is my problem... but what it does say, is that he is a very important god, and he is like a diplomat of the Aesir tribe of gods, such as Bragi, but with much more importance, sent in very hard diplomatic affairs, most of the time into Jötunheim. This is what is known about him, and what I can take from this, is that... as far as the lore tells us and what shamans have experienced, in Jötunheim there is a large woodland called Ironwood, where the tribes of the Jotnar live, a place where Angrboda reigns, this is the only place in the Nine realms, known so far, to have werewolves, I just call them werewolves, so you might have an idea, because they do resemble such myth creatures, so probably Ullr learnt some kind of magic or shapeshifting technique and gathered people to teach them this, hidden in the mountains of Asgard, and it doesn't seem to me that this is a secret to the Aesir gods, they probably know, at least a few of them or maybe just Odin, but to others, this might be a huge secret I don't know, nor do I know by writing this experience I had, if this will bring any trouble... but Ullr showed me this and I don't think he expected me to be quiet about it or maintain the secret. So this isn't probably a secret, but at least, no one that I know of, knows about this, so please, if any of you out there knows about something similar to this, share with me.

*Ullr is the god of skiing, hunting, archery, skating and winter, a god of great importance it seems, for when Odin is out of Valhalla, it is Ullr that stands in his place and reigns over Asgard and all the Aesir gods.

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My Wordpress

Hello there dear friends! I have created a Wordpress, another blog where i will be writing about the same things i write in here but to reach another kind of public, to spread my knowledge to those who use Wordpress. Don't worry, i will not be leaving this blog, i will continue to write in here.

To go to my Wordpress just click on the lable "My Wordpress" above this blog or go to this --> [Link]

Stay well friends! I will be coming back with more!

Upphaf - Skapa Miðgarðr

 Upphaf - Skapa Miðgarðr

The sky was shapeless
in depths of the void
Earth, wrought from emptiness
where darkness once coiled

Ginnungagap, bounded by fire and ice
in turmoil came life
nourished by Auðumbla's sacrifice
Ymir, began his strife

Búri emerged, father of fathers
with Borr, conflict was shared
enhanced by Óðinn and brothers
Ymir's sons, none was spared

From Ymir's body, mountains shaped
blood poured through the sea
from flesh and bones Óðinn made
a wondrous land for thee

To the children of the earth
the gods whispered windward
to whom ásynjur gave birth
that now dwell in midgard

Arith Härger

Cσρуяιgнт © 2013™

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Norse Shamanism

If you have read my blog, you already know more or less what shamanism is, but for those who found this blog and came straight to this post, lets just make a brief explanation.

Shamanism is the oldest profession since imemorial times, working with the spirits and entering the spiritual world through an altered state of consciousness, with the purpose of learning from the spirits, or deities or even the ancestors, to aid in the various needs of our daily mortal lifes.
There are records of shamanism being practice all over the world for as long as 40.000 years possibly more. When it comes to Norse Shamanism, or the kind of shamanism practiced in Northern Europe by hte Norse/Germanic Peoples, the bases are similar, however in ancient times, this was women's work in ancient Scandinavia, not to say that men also did not practice, but those were very few at the time, and only in very secret cults, dedicated to a specific god and usualy with warlike purposes and to the welfare of the group or really very individual, each member trying to achieve something for his own. So in the Norse/Germanic culture, shamanism or Seiðr was practice by women for the welfare of the entire community, for healing, divination, talking with the gods and the land spirits for aid, knowing which place was better for hunting, dwell, etc etc.

One of the most famous gods of the Norse pantheon, is Odin, and he is the archetype of a shamanic figure, the tales of how he stood hanged on the world tree Yggdrasil, wounded by his own spear, without food or drink, without rest or healing for Nine days and nights to achieve greater wisdom and the hidden knowledge of the Runes, shows us the primary ways of shamanism and how to enter in trance to travel to the other side in search for something or to work with the spirits. The ways of Odin and how he manages to make spiritual journeys is well written in many stories including the "The Ynglinga Saga" which records would travel to distant lands on his own errands or those of others, while he appeared to be asleep or dead. Also there are many tales of him travelling to the underword in search for answers, which is something very typical in shamanism, travelling to the underworld to communicate with the underworld deities or with the spirits of the dead who have a greater knowledge about spiritual journeys and the many places of the otherworld which is their own world.
Like most shamans around the world, Odin also has familiar spirits, which are beings that aid the shaman in the journeys to the otherworld, teaching the shaman, showing him the ways, giving advice, spirits that are connected with the shaman, Odin too has these, for example, his two ravens.

Shamans undergo a ritual of death and rebirth, to gain their powers, it can be physical or while in trance, dying and coming back with a new body fit to the future tasks of the shaman while working on the world of th spirits. Odin too did such a sacrífice, an ordeal to aquiere such powers, the one of have written about before in this same post, wounded and hanging from Yggdrasil.
It is said that Odin is a practitioner of Seiðr, which he learned from the goddess Freyja, such goddess from a different tribe of gods, the Vanir gods, which are the kind of deities much more connected with shamanism and spiritual work, the kind of deities that teach the other tribes of Gods, and here we can see the sama connections that women had in the Norse/Germanic communities, those were the ones that held such powers.

The Norse Shamanic magics, Seiðr, was practiced by the women called Völva or seiðkona, these women wandered from town to town or from farm to farm to prophesying and performing other acts of magic in exchange for room, board, and often other forms of compensation as well. Guided by the spirits, they went to where was needed, to where they were called. Such as all the other shamans in other countries and different cultures, the Völva were also set apart from the society, and they lived out in the open, in the wild places, or near the villages but far from its domains, this is a caracteristic from shamans that have been found and documented by archaeologits that dates from 27.000 ago as it was found in the Dolni Vestonice and Pavlov sites in czech republic. The shaman always stood outsider the community/society/tribe.

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The truth about Valhalla

Valhalla is the most common name heard when talking about the Norse myths or paganism and ancient Norse/Germanic beliefs, but most people don't know what Valhalla is exactly. I have heard people saying things like "Midgard is not form me! Valhalla awaits me!" or "When i die i will go to Valhalla, that is the place for me!", so this post will be just to clear that up, what Valhalla is, behind the myth, its true purpose and meaning.
First lets talk about Valhalla from the myths and stories, because many people don't know about it and so like that they will never understand what it is and know the truth behind every metaphor.
Valhalla is the great Hall of the Dead, the hall that stands in Gladsheimr in Asgard, home of the Aesir tribe of Gods.When the bravest of the breave fall in battle, they are chosen by Odin, the king of Asgard, the Allfather, and the Valkyrjes come in the form of ravens and pick them up and take them to Valhalla, the Hall where the braves of the warriors will dwell for eternity. In these great halls, warriors will fight each other every day, improving their fighting skills, they will kill one another, get wounded and even die, but at the end of each day they will be resurrected and will feast in the great banquet of the hall and have sex with women in there the entire night. In the next morning the same thing will happen, an endless circle, fighting, dying, resurrection, feasting and have sex for eternity. Figthing every day to be ready for the coming of Ragnarök, the twilight of the gods, the great war between the Aesir and the Vanir tribes agaisnt the chaotic forces, where most gods will die including Odin, but a new dawn will rise for mankind, after everything burns and the sun and the moon are devoured, the world will be a cold place, filled with ice, frost and snow, all life gone, and the great war will torn the world asunder and everything will burst into fire and flame. After the great war is over and the very few survivors are left, the world will regenerate and life will come back, a new world will be made for mankind after the chaotic destruction that ended the lifes of almost every deity and mortals.
Now, i will not be talking about Ragnarök and its meaning, i will leave that for another post, i will just concentrate this post on Valhalla.
We have take into account that the people who believed in such tales were people that lived their lifes in battle, battle agaisnt their neighbours, battle agaisnt other countries, battle agaisnt the weather and the forces of nature in the cold harsh northern countries where winter is a deadly foe, to them life was that, a constant battle and honoring the glorious dead warriors of old, singing their tales and how courageous they had been. Living a life of battle, they would turn more to the warlike gods than to the gods of agriculture or other life affairs. The Aesir gods were such a tribe of gods, warlike. It isn't as if these people didn't pray to other gods, in fact all gods were importante, but the Norse and Germanic peoples gave so much impression to the other peoples of Europe, and by the Viking age the pillaging and ravaging throughout many European countries was so great, that many were those that have written about the Vikings and their warlike gods, and warriors were no farmers, or fisherman, or anything else, they were just warriors and they spent too much time at that, and Valhalla became a word very much mentioned in their daily lifes, being the best of the best, the bravest of them all, chosen by Odin himself, such honor, such glory.
The cold North was a difficult place to reach, was more dificult to reach its people without having your head cut off, the knowledge that was left behind for many centuries, was the knowledge earned by those who say closely the horrors of battle, and the invasions of this horde of men that seemed like to come from Hell itself, lets not forget that these were the times where Christianity was spreading throughout Europe and pagan people were seen as the bringers of evil, people who worshiped the devil, so this made them even more horrific creatures. Unfortunately these were the only facts in the History of Europe that marked the Norse/Germanic peoples for too long, but enough to inspire many writers and musicians, which rapidly in modern times reached the masses through the fast communication sistems of the media. Many were and still are, those who want to achieve such glory, to be known as the best, inspired by the Norse tales, and music became the best cultural strand to spread such things and inspire the younglings.
Fortunately our minds evolve, even if nowadays seems to be a very slow process, and Archaeology, Anthropology and History helped a lot in knowing who these people were, their gods, their daily lifes, their beliefs, as a matter of fact, in the late XX century already in the 90's few things were known about the Norse people and was still believed by many that the Norse afterlife was only Valhalla, a great hall filled with undead warriors. Nowadays we know that that isn't true, and Valhalla is just a tiny needle among numerous needles in a barn, compared to the complex Nordic mythology and the Nine realms.

What i have just written about is the scientific and historical explanation of this subject, now lets decode the metaphor and see Valhalla in spiritual perspective.
Fighting for eternity and dying, to be resurrected to do it over and over again, would soon became too painful, and lets go into a christian prespective, it would become an Hell rather than a Paradise. People would become dull, sad, ignorant, brutes and stupid, they would only know how to fight and make battle, and if you ever delve into the all Norse subjects, the myths, stories etc. you will see that the mind of the Norse people was actually very concerned with gaining knowledge, being wise, you just have to read The Hávamál if you don't want to go with all the trouble of Reading every story and myth, and you will see a thousand of good, wise and very intelligent advises to be taken in ones life to achieve a better life, to be humble, brave, intelligent, cunning, watchful, good, courteous, gracious, respectful, hardworking, honorable and so on. This is what Valhalla is, and not just Valhalla, but the other Halls of other deities and all the other places of the Nine realms in which one must go to achieve diferente kinds of knowledge about many subjects.
Valhalla in truth is a place where we and our soul/spiritual form, will continue to evolve, to improve, become better, a place where we can extend our knowledge into different areas and be more attentive, and less selfish, to become wise and have better opinions, to differentiate the good from wrong, put aside the preconceptions and evolve our spirit, our mind, our very essence.
Valhalla isn0t the first place to enter to earn these things, or to improve, the more ignorant one might be, the more wrong that has been done, the less the person is able to go into Valhalla or anyother place similar, the more far away one might get, and will be likely to go into other places, step by step until the person evolves, think of this as your own life, you don't start by going to college or straight to work, you will start earning knowledge by what your parents and other family members do, you will slowly build your personality, each book you read, each movie, is a step further to be wiser or not, it depends on your actions, your choices, what you do in life will be reflected in what places you will be visiting in the afterlife.

Now seeing Valhalla in a shamanic prespective, which is a subject that has attracted the attention of many and its study has evolved a lot and has helped to better understand the connections we have with each other and with the natural world and the deities, is also a good way to know what Valhalla really is, unfortunatelly those who practice Norse shamanism, Seiðr, or Shamans, rarely have seen how Valhalla really looks like, in Shaman journeys when coming to Asgard and actually reaching Gladsheimr, people only stick with the surroundings of Valhalla, but the few that have really seen it or had a Glimpse of how it looks like, Valhalla is actually a city, one of a kind that you haven't seen before, beautiful and well arranged, with a great Hall also called Valhalla, you really have the feeling that that is exactly the place to achieve greater knowledge, like an huge library filled with countless food for the brain.

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Yggdrasil Sigrúnnr

Yggdrasil Sigrúnnr

Yonder came the one-eyed
Gungnir his faithful companion
Guardian of wisdom and pride

Dwelt he for nine days
Relying on his own strength
Along the bark, ancient blaze
Secrets carved in its lenght

Iron fist grasp the rope
Land bellow became darkness
sacrifice he gave for one's hope
injured by the spear's sharpness

glimmering light beyond the veil
reaching the edge of the horizon
unseen shores where he set sail
noble mind was enlightened

notable  wisdom, his new dominion
runes of power, to mortals provided

Arith Härger

Cσρуяιgнт © 2013™

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Yggdrasil the symbol of Initiation

Initiation in shamanism usually means the passage into a normal mundane state of life into a higher state of mind when one is more connected with his/her own spirit and is able to live between this world and the world that can be seen through an altered state of consciousness, experiencing "death" through self-sacrifice. This also means achieving greater knowledge, it does not require any exchanges, only full sincere devotion of the individual. A search of the true spiritual sense, freeing the mind of the condition of being a human being limited in their ability to act towards what seems elusive, untouchable and unknown, opening the door to another reality and very much alive, completely destroying the meaning of the earthly world being the only possible reality.
We can see this kind of self-sacrífice in Odin, one of the most famous shamans, and all the symbolism contained in his history, being a metaphor to release the mind to the world of spirits, in Yggdrasil, the world tree, the symbol of life, houses everything that has life and has conscious. Odin wounded himself with his spear Gungnir to precipitate delirium which comes in many ways, one of which is near death from blood loss, hanging in the great Ash tree upside down in complete fasting and sensorial abstinence, the most ancient manner to induce trance by shamans, through a series of brutal acts against the body to reach the state of near death and hallucinate. By doing this, Odin was able to leave his body, and earn the knowledge of the sacret language, the Runes. Many shamans used such ways to enter in trance in the most primordial times of humanity, in search for aid and answers from the spirits, visiting the spiritual world for knowledge and such knowledge was shared amoung the communities and thus learning from the shaman and from the spirits, people would understand better the world around them and life itself. This also facilitated communication between mortals with the deities and natural forces of our world and the spirits of each living creature. The story of Odin seeking knowledge of the Runes helps us understand how shamans acted when seeking knowledge beyond what could be seen in the normal world we know, not only by the way the trance was induced but also the symbolism of riding into a spiritual journey to another world, just as the shamans rides his/her horse that might be the drum of a animal/spirit/deity in the other world, so did Odin rode in his journey, the meaning of Yggdrasil is the very channel that connects us to the world of the spirits, being Ygg one of the names of Odin and Drasil means Horse, so it is literally the horse of Ygg, the passage that might take us beyond the thin veil that separates this world from the world of spirits.

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Bronze Age Medicine House

In the Irish countryside and in Northern Portugal, among so many buildings of the Bronze and Iron ages, it has been found some really interesting buildings with the same function as the Sweat tents so well known among the Lakota indians of Northern America, known as Medicine Lodges or Medicine Houses. These buildings like anyother similar ancient constructions in Finland, Sibéria, and other countries where Saunas existed, have the same function of ritual purification and to communicate with the spirits. These houses are all very similar in the way they work, a simple hole in the ground with tree trunks covered with earth and stones. In Northern Portugal and Galicia, both on Portuguese and Spanish soil, such buildings were found, dated from the Bronze and Iron Ages, when the Celts and the Celtic tribe of the Lusitanians lived there, it is known that these people took at least two steam baths per week, but this wasn't just to clean the body, in truth it was more for religious and spiritual practices, for the purification of the body and to interact with the spirits of the elements, of fire, water, air and earth, all combined in one place and making steam, this also helped enter in trance and actually communicate with other spirits. After this long bath, making the body sweat and all the impurities of the body cleansed in a way to protect oneself from evil beings, the person would dive in cold water of the near by well or river to wash away any negativity in the body.
Nowadays we know about the ancient practices and even the rituals that take place in such occasions, because shamanic tribes still exist and use the same method, but unfortunatelly we don't know what kind of sacred ritual was performed during these ceremonies in the Celtic culture, but it is interesting to see that worldwide people share the same habits, and that many European countries even share the same type of architectural style and the buildings have exactly the same function.
To know more about these ancient European practices we have to take a close look to the similar practices of the North American indians, or the Siberian peoples, to have a little idea about these steam baths with spiritual purposes, because unfortunatelly with the coming of Christianity, there practices were also banned, what seems to be a simple steam bath, was indeed a cause to pursuit those who did it.
It is possible that people might add hallucinogenic herbs in the process, so the steam might help to induce trance, some Indo-European tribes did it, and also the Eurasian tribe of the Scythians did it and there are accounts of it because their kingdoms spread all the way to Bulgaria.

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Shamanism as an anthropological study

I have writen about shamanism at my blog a couple of times, what it is, why is it done and how, but today i want to write about it as a anthropological study, more turned to those who are a bit sceptical about it, or need science to prove the existance of such a work as entering the world of the spirits, which is perfecly natural, if science can explain the natural world and the behaviour of us humans in the past towards it, the better we may understand our paths and the way the universe works.

Shamanism, summarizing it, is the ability to leave this world and travel to the realms of the spirits, or the otherworld, it has always been a part of our human condition since the dawn of times, since we humans exist and work in such ways. Anthropology has been evolving and improving, becoming increasingly a discipline which can be learned by meeting the traditional communities still alive in our world, be those of South America, Africa, Australia and of course Siberia. Anthropology tried to explain shamanism in a shallow way, telling us about the items, tools and clothing people wore and how they arranged their ceremonies, no one mentioned the actual journeys the shamans made into the otherworld, the only explanation for that was the "logical" conclusion that shamans probably were clinically deranged, and all sorts of new and different illnesses were invented. Anthropologists had never head of the otherworld or the realm of the spirits before, and of course never had experienced it, so this was understandable, the way they behave towards such phenomenon. But time passes and we evolve, and we are always eager to learn, so anthropologists decided to take their studies into a different level and began to follow these shamans in their practices in this world and the otherworld. To the surprise of the anthropologists, they had similar experiences to those described by the shamans, and this opened a new field of research.
The studies went on and it was established that the shamans go into trance in order to facilitate their entry into the otherworld. This was tested in laboratories during the 1960's and 70's, and the experimentations showed that certain hallucinogenic drugs could induce into similar trance states, or altered states of conciousness, also field research found that some shamans use natural forms of these same drugs to assist in their journeys to the otherworld. All of a sudden everything began to make sence in the world of sciences, because after these experiences, anthropologists ignored the trance and that could only make them understand part of the shamanic world those people lived in, because the existance of the otherworld and the spirits, was exactly the reason that lead people in these communities to make everything they do. This was also an huge step to Archaeology, which showed that if these people live their lifes around trance experiences, so did the peoples of the past. Anthropologists by this time had already shown that they could enter trance and journey to the otherworld as easily as traditional people, and that all humans have the same ability to do so or to experience similar altered states of conciousness.All such trance is facilitated by a stimulus, even archaeologists looked into the records of the past and they found a lot of drugs that were already in use for such practices, from opium, to burnt seeds and even mushrooms.

Drugs aren't the only means of inducing trance, also listening to repetitive drumming at a certain beat and frequency is also very effective, which explains why Neolothic people designed the forecourts around burial tombs to resonate drum beats just this frequency, it was also found burnt stones, which were used in saunas, and we also know that shamans in Siberia also induce their trance by inhaling steam in a sauna.

Many people see geometric shapes after entering in trance, but these are formed entirely within the eye itself with no outside stimulus. Scientists call them phosphenes. This fact allowed archaeologists to recognise them in the past, since the first forms of art anywhere in the world, all of a sudden these shapes of trance were everywhere in every archaeological digging, even on 70.000 year-old stones from South Africa.
Studies showed that moving deeper into trance, these shapes coalesce into a tunnel and if one follows it till the end, a new landscape reveals itself which of course shamanic people identify as the otherworld. The concept of a long tunnerl leading into another place may have induced palaeolithic people to follow passages into the earth and thus the myths and stories of caves, tombs, holes in the ground and later wells and such things were entrances into the otherworld.
The more people delve deeper into trance, the more they can identify whatever symbols and images that were painted or carved on the walls of caves and tombs in ages past by our ancestors. Animals are often seen in these altered states of conciousness, but not just animals we are use to see, but also creatured of similar shapes and forms but somehow different, also the otherworld is inhabited by the spirits of the dead, which explains many of the rituals and traditions surrounding burial activities and a strong reason why people went to these practices again and again and again. Neolithic people build huge tombs with long passages leaning to an enormous chamber, to symbolize the experiences they had while in trance, an idea that it seems that people believed the dead also took such a journey to arrive into the otherworld.

Both Anthropology and Arcaeology recognize that there is more to shamanism than just the physical characteristis of the rituals done by shamans or shamanic practitioners, this is an huge step, we can now delve into our deep thoughts and journey out of this world, take similar experiences and know more about the way ancient people live their lifes and how their mind worked, we can understand these things by living the same experiences. Archaeology and Anthropology helps us to prove that these experiences are not made up or a figment of a deluded mind and our past is real and very much alive, something natural and attached to every human brain.

To our ancestors these experiences were their day by day life, and it was easier for them to believe in the existance of the world of spirits and such things, they lived it, they depended on it, and from there came the inspiration for the creation of art, tools, music, jewelery, clothing, architecture and so on. Today for us it is hard to believe, we underwent through a series of events in our human history, the creation of lots of religions, the disbelief of the same, the coming of sciences trying to explain everything, even if there isn't a good explanation for the natural world itself, we are poisoned by the amount of television programs, religious and political propaganda, a mixture of events that drives us crazy and the most welcoming thing to stop all that madness is scepticism and everything that turns away from that path, seems too fantastical, unreal, impossible, but we must go through this veil and see things as they were and still are.

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