Photo: Matthew Waite, Port Angeles, Washington
We live in stressful and complex times, in large part because we do not work just for ourselves and our families, but for the government, and sometimes even for a foreign government. We hope this equation changes and that we can bring this alteration about, and to this end we need to enhance our mental and physical heath and that of our loved ones in every way we can. Meditation is an art that has brought peace, clarity of thinking and enhanced health to our folk from the earliest times, and it has become something of a lost art for us. Mostly preserved in Asia, this a prime example of a cultural holdover passed down very probably from the Tocharians or their kindred tribes or from a Nordic civilization earlier still in India, an echo of the past, where the people who invented it no longer remain.
Meditation can be used before or during a blót or before praying. The purpose here is general because there are all sorts of shamanistic techniques, relaxation techniques, qigong and even such avenues as remote viewing. All of these things have a historical and scientific basis that is interesting, but here we just want to explore simple guided meditations using imagery for beginners.
We Odinists know that one of the best places to meditate is in nature. When nature is uncooperative, we can bring it inside, which is no doubt one of the reasons we have, since earliest times, brought garlands and Jól trees indoors in Winter. This way, we are close to that which heals us and makes us feel positive and well. The evergreen leaves have always been a symbol of the endurance of both life and hope, even in the blackest night.
It helps to have the right atmosphere. It may also be a good idea to set up particular areas in your house or garden for prayer, ritual and meditation. You may wish to make a shrine to a particular God or Goddess or to your ancestors. I have a shrine to Hygeia, the Goddess of health. Whatever feels best to you is generally the right thing, and you will find that certain places have a strong spiritual presence. As our ancestors did in their temples, you may wish to burn essential oils or resins, such as frankincense and myrrh or sandalwood. A fountain might also be appropriate, or some sort of music. You might want to ring a gong or bell to center yourself before beginning, or to summon the Gods.
There are many ways to meditate. One can, for example, simply concentrate on a candle flame flickering, or the sound of the wind or water, or just be one with one’s own breathing. One can also share one’s essence with nature, by sharing consciousness with a flying bird, or even a rock. All nature is alive.
Bringing one’s energy and focus to various parts of one’s body, such as tightening then relaxing muscles or trying to focus energy in areas traditionally known as chakra points, such as the middle of the palms or the forehead, can also enhance meditation. Chanting, mantras, or even singing songs or walking in mazes have brought people into meditative states too. Essentially any of these methods that works for you is a good one to use.
We see only the barest shadow of what is. Meditation can serve not only as a spiritual preparation, but a spiritual exercise which helps us to experience things more deeply.
Here are a few guided Odinist meditation exercises using imagery for beginners.
1. World Tree
You are becoming one with Yggsdrasil, starting with her roots in the earth near Níðhöggr and Ratatoskr and stretching up the Sacred Tree, merging with it towards infinity. Feel yourself becoming one with the fragrant branches bathed in glowing light, stretching up into the atmosphere and space and sharing your consciousness with the stars around you. Think of Yggsdrasil as Odin’s great horse Sleipnir traveling along the Milky Way and its tree of stars in the heavens, free of all earthly concerns and of all time.
2. Bottom of the Sea
Imagine yourself engaging in sword exercises along the edge of a green fjord, feeling the strength in your arms and working your muscles which become heated with sweat. Walk to the edge of the ocean and slip into the icy water. You can easily breathe under the water, and the cool water will soothe you and energize you. It becomes warmer until it is the perfect temperature. You feel safe and weightless.. Walk along the bottom of the sea floor feeling the sand beneath your feet and watching a waving kelp forest like an underwater garden. Feel the refreshing healing water all around you, breathing in and out easily. Make your way to a glade of sand on the ocean floor where all is calm, and sit there, the water gently massaging you as you relax.
3. Leaf in Stream
In this meditation we will become one with nature and imagine being a leaf in a stream. The details are up to you. The leaf could be red or gold, thick or fragile, and it has fallen into a brook that is carrying it in swirling water to a river. Feel yourself flowing with the water, being carried into streams and eddies, dancing around the edge of rapids and dipping under and out of currents, smoothly flowing over rocks and twigs. Occasionally, you might come to rest on a rock or mossy bank and dry in the brilliant sun before being carried in the watery caravan with the other leaves once more. If you are a perfumed leaf like ylang ylang, you begin to impart your essence to the waters, your fragrant scent embodies it, as you make your way slowly, then quickly, floating in glorious relaxation.
Like or Share this Article on Facebook:
Like or Share the Odinia International Facebook Page: