Kari’s Voluspa

Things that concern the health of our Folk Soul,our Human Soul, and our Planetary Soul.

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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

I am a Völva. Völva is Old Norse for “staff carrier,” the traveling spiritual guide learned in the ways of my European/Scandinavian Folk Soul. Like Thorbjorg from Eric the Red’s Saga, I am invited into communities to lead ceremony, share information, impart wisdom, and perpetuate the folk ways through song, story, and dance. I heal oorlag at it's source and read wyrd for individuals and groups.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Rice Pudding Rituals

I have never gone a Solstice Season in all my life without the taste of Rice Pudding. A Christmas Tradition in Scandinavia.

There are so many recipes. My mother used a double boiler, and all my womenkinfolk treasure her recipe.

Hiding an almond in the pudding is a ritual of my people. The finder would gain their heart's desire in the coming year.

With 5 little girls and one big bowl, my mother did not make a habit of hiding hard objects the size of an esophagus in pudding so thick and creamy that trance inducement was likely.

In Scandinavia today people continue to put out plates of rice pudding to honor the folks who came before...ancestors, huldre or trolls - Freyas creatures, Loki the trickster - half Giant...who else?

How about Hanuman the monkeyGod. He enjoys a nice rice pudding. He will then be happy to bear away your burdens and karmic ruts like extra treats! Happy, shiney, monkey Hanuman.

Why should a Norwegian pay homage to an Indian God?

My Norwegian, Latvian, and German roots have deep familial connections to the first wave of immigrants from the Indus Valley Region. This is becoming more obvious as the studies of Bronze Age Scandinavian material continues to publish.

One thing that ties us together at this time of year is sharing the joy of unburdening our sorrows to the coming of light.

Here is yet another connection. In Vedic Astrology (and Hindu Mythology) this is the time of year when Rama and Sita return in unison from dark banishment to the light of their golden reign. Sita, the mother of all, must venture deeper into the underworld (like Persephone), collecting the wisdom of the deep dark female places (like Freya). Their male consorts are then transformed within this sacrifice and in interesting ways the male and female selves are joined in unity.

As Christians celebrate the coming of light with the advent of Christ to Earth, all cultures are celebrating the miracle of the Solstice. That this Earth will keep turning...how blessed are we! We should take care of Her like a treasure.

To read more about this time of the year, this page.

Happy Solstice...make your puddings!


Monday, December 19, 2005

Runes to Mark the Way

In my excitement, seeing the Brisingamen Bridge today, I thought of ways to mark the place of this manifestation.

Yggdrasil is the name of the cosmological world tree in Norse Mythology. There are 9 worlds of humans, gods, elves, dwarves and giants and it has been understood by some that the runes (originally 18 were given to Odin) were markers of these worlds. Knowing them would allow the user to pass interdimentionally through the worlds, unlock the bridges that connect them like branches and roots.

Seeing all the worlds together is to become enlightened, all knowing, like the Allfather Odin.

If I had to give the rainbow I saw today a rune duo designation it would be Urz and Sigel.

The creative fire of the world ox and the sun, combining Earth and Sun. Freya and Freyr as a unified being. More later!

Today I saw the Brisingamen Bridge

Today I saw Brisingamen Bridge while walking Jack to school.

The rising sun was hanging low above Duncan's house when I got to the crosswalk.

A constant sifting snow like powdered sugar, yet each crystal so distint, was reigning down the light of gold in a perfect full arch embrace. Centered by the Chestnut Trees the snow rainbow of gold held fast as I walked and watched the sun creep up the arch, the ark, the bridge.

"Jackie!" I called behind me, turning. "You have got to see this! In all my nearly 40 years of living in this climate, I have never seen such a thing. We are surely blessed." I remembered the teaching that the divine promise of unconditional love (love without judgement) comes in the form of a rainbow.

Science explains the breezes on an 8 below 0 day as upper atmospheric whisps picking up the prisms, the crystals of snow from the top of the school and parks flat roofs. The heavy orange gold winter sun is amplified by the prisms, the crystals. The thick crystals reflected red, orange, yellow, and only the hints of green and blue, indigo and violet were implied and consumed by the whitness of the thick snow sugar.

The arc or corona (crown) was, as I say, complete. And the left pillar as I approached it moved into the street where the young lady at crossing guard duty could see it and share in it's wonder. I pulled our own Grace Jaggers outside in the cold to verify it. (Alas that I had a camera. If anyone saw it and got a photo, please email a copy to me for publication).

I call this archway the Brisingamen Bridge for these reasons: In Nordic Mythology, the cosmos is held together by the world tree, Yggdrasil. There are bridges from the world of the humans and the worlds of the gods, the elves, the giants etc. The bridge between Manneheim (human home) and the Assir (where Odin lives) is called the Bifrost Bridge. It is created with light and crystals.

The Brissengammen is the necklace of gold worn by Freya of the Vanir. This bridge looked like that very necklace, all red and gold and showering her Sungold on my Mannehiem. So I call this the Brissengammen Bridge. Wow. To have one right in my neighorhood. Surely Huldre (Freya's own children) will be about this Yule! (I hope you are all putting out bowls of rice pudding!)

After cleaning up the cocoa making supplies for our hard working crossing guard 4th and 5th graders, I quickly bundled up and ran outside. Sure enough, the sun's arc had already moved to the apex of the bridge, but the pillars remained to assure me of what I had witnessed.

In telling Adreinne she commented hopes it would return. "I think it's still there," I said, "if only we will see it!"

"Ahh" She said. "Aren't we lucky to live here and now?"

"Yes," I replied. "We are truly blessed."

Gud Yule til alt!


So near the Solstice

So near the Solstice (Yuletide December 20 - Jan 6), my mother and I, at her round kitchen/hearth table reading old cook books last night after the carrolling concert at Peace Lutheran Church of Plymouth. It was lovely. And today! Read the Monday Huldreblog!

Norwegians clean their homes spotlessly before the rays of Solstice or Christmas hit. They bake and clean, practice their instruments, wrap gifts for their friends and family, bless them all.

This we read in the tourism guide, I think. Bibliography possible later.

I am half Norwegian on my mother's side so I like cleaning quite a lot. I like the ritual of clearing my home for the health of the children and the elderly. I like to see my 8 year old son wash china in the golden rays of the low winter sun. He notices how it gleams. And how when I wipe it, it squeaks.

Publicity for the 7 th Annual Discovering Origins/Building Traditions Project has been word of mouth and internet mostly. The press have listed the event but wow, there are just so many events!

Relaxing into the Yule season we have happily smoked the Trout, merrily we are cleaning the house, lovingly I am composing and rehearsing my songs. Songs of loneliness and dispairing in the darkness. Songs of the sign, a golden rainbow in the sky, the full belly of the Earth and the generocity of the South Pole...bringing us the sun back again.

I thank you and I am blessed. See you all a-wassiling on Thursday or on-line at KFAI on Christmas Day Eve!!!


Monday, December 12, 2005

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Nied, Nauthiz, Need...the need fire.
This rune is shaped like a cross. The pillar is striaght up and down, like isa! So it tells us to Stop where we are and have a look.

The cross piece has been written at a slant, high on the left as you look at it, slanting down to the right. If it were placed on the Lakota Medicine Wheel, it would be North (the Creator and ideas) to South (the Warrior and protector of the central fire of the community, called the children's fire and the grandparents who sit on either side of it) and Northwest (tribal chief who is responsible for the whole tribe) to Southeast (tradition, why we do things the way we do them).

Why do I add this information from a different culture?

Because it relates to the same tribal concept that all cultures follow. We must take care of our children who are our future and our elders who are our past, and the fire which is our central tool of survival. To do this we will draw a circle around them and set up protection around them. It is a physical, social, and spiritual duty to do this.

As recently as my mother's generation, the hearth fire was essential to survival. If you let the woodstove die, so might you. She grew up on a farm in Wisconsin. In the 1950's they were starting to get more modern. Still, the fire taking care of the needs of all the people in the household and taking in the elderly and children (even those who may have been institutionalized for their health issues), was not only in place as a concept but a daily practice. The old rune Nied was secure in the system as the center of the culture and the center of the individual's drive to improve the conditions of the cultural system (which, as a true system, considered all the parts as integral).

What is significant about the idea of Need - the need fire - in today's society?

At a gig inMinneapolis this Saturday I witnessed a most disturbing thing. I am a story teller and musician, I have been working with children for over a decade. The children are usually engaged and participatory in my work and full of fire in their bellies. The need fire that makes them feel secure also feeds their desire to know, question, laugh.

There was no fire in the bellies of the children sitting before me this weekend. It was sad, eerie, and disturbing. There were no parents with them, they clung to the liters of soda pop they had been winning at the carnival games as though someone might steal this precious substance. They would not engage or look me in the eye. They would not accept the gift of free evergreen sprigs wrapped in ribbons from my son whose role was to hand them out. They would not take their hands away from these liter bottles of pop. They cradled the pop and it will be poured into their bellies - and may even be the only thing in their bellies. It will douse their fires more and more and more. They will grow up with no concept of the Need Fire and they will fill the jails our government has focussed funding to build more of.

Strange thing is, though, these children were not wholly limp and lifeless. They were full of a different kind of fire I can only describe as an "Entitlement Energy." When pushed to point at my piggy bank globe of where our state Minnesota is (a common and effective teaching tool filled with coins from around the world which I have been using for years) they not only could not point to our state but their aspects shifted to lip licking greed as they discovered there might be money in the globe. They quickly lost all fire when told that the globe contained money from other countries, unusable here in Minnesota...where ever that is.

In contrast, there were three children who had fire in their bellies. They want to see the money from other cultures because it's so interesting, so cool! All three were accompanied by caring adults, mothers, grandmothers. All three were well fed and nurtured in every Need Fire way!

There is a sickness I am finding all over the place, in men and women, children and the elderly. It's just that usually there is a "buffer" of regular citizens that keeps this "element" in check. Not so this weekend. It is a sickness that was once the downfall of a pampered people, like gout. A sickness that comes from a combination of spoiled entitlement and a lack of true needs being met. A lack of understanding about what our needs really are, how they are being met, and the gratitude that comes from this understanding are pervasive in the America of 2005.

How many of us feel gratitude every time we have hot, clean bathwater pumped right into our house?

I know I do. Not many others around the globe get this luxury.

What has created this?

1. We have stopped putting all effort into protecting and preserving children and the elderly.
2. We have not defined the hearth fire of our culture...is it oil, is it an industry? is it sustainable?
3. We have allowed television and subsequent media to define who we are, what we "need" and what our goals in life should be. Media has become the need fire for so many, it is addictive, passive, and ultimately oppressive.

Why don't people see this?

Even the least monied has all kinds of "stuff" to make it seem as though they have no needs except what they are told they need by television etc. Our motto is "more for me" and recently in the Fox adds for the Simpsons, "my life is oppressed and dysfunctional but I have The Simpsons to medicate this for me.

Our "entertainment" is cheap and mindless and we are a people whose Need Fire is being doused every day in every way. We are no longer the creators and sustainers of our lives, our culture, the tribe. The need fire is going out. It shows up in the bad nutrition of food, thought, and spirit. Refined sugar and nutra sweet have become our rotting, death dealing agents. Dumb, numb, ignorant, and wasted are so many of our tribe. This is accross all cultural, socio-economic, and racial lines.

So, what is the remedy for the Need Fire?

The rune teaches us to:
1. Make a list of needs and wants...define what is essential and we will get at the essence.
2. Look at our daily lives and see how much we have and be grateful.
3. Seek out the children and the elderly who live within walking distance of our homes and make sure their true needs are being met. Not just a "meals on wheels" kind of thing. Are they being respected, are they lonely, are they being educated, are they being ignored.

When we ignore anything it dies. The children, the elders, the fire, it all dies and so do we.

4. We are all driven to a false sense of "survival mode" by those who would control us and douse our needfires. Stop, like isa said. And start creating your own lives, dip into the fire of creation and get into your bellies. Find out that the true human needs are not being met! Let that feed the fire and be the mother of your inventions...You!

That is the essence of the Rune Nied. Wake up and get aware!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Why can't you see the back of a Huldre?

There are many references in the Eventyr, the stories of the Huldre that talk about how beautiful they are to look at from the front. But often when you see the back of them, it is hollow, not there.

I believe that to be a perception of 3rd dimensional beings, like humans, who are not used to living on so many levels. It is as though the Huldre are between worlds, as Maren made comment about in the last huldreblog. In my (Kari's) experience, I have felt "half here/half there" when the dream time has been active and full of real life lessons. I have carried those lessons with me from the dream time to the awake time and it has sometimes felt as though I have had "one foot in each world."

I imagine that with all the practice of interdimensional living that the Huldre, and the other fine folk of the folk have, and with all the new ways of being and percieving that humans have, Huldre might seem more solid to us today than they did to our ancestors!

Let's keep looking,