Kari’s Voluspa

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

My Photo
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.

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil

To understand the runes more fully, a full working knowlege of Norse mythology is essential. At the heart of the mythology is Yggdrasil, the world tree. The world tree is the pillar of what holds our cosmos together. There are nine worlds which hang on the roots and branches of this tree.

Think of the stav, the staff of our spines, how all our bodies (physical, astral, auric, etherial, emotional, mental etc.) hang on our spines. Think how we are like the microcosm of the cosmic model.

Odin hung on the world tree in a sacrifice of pain, a vision quest of suffering, for nine days. One day for each world he hung and at the end he grasped 18 runes. Two runes for each world. Think how these symbols, sounds, meanings, became for him the intersections of the grid work that holds the cosmos together. Yggdrasil has been called "the terrible one's horse." Odin is now able to ride the tree, the hobby horse, from one world to the other collecting knowlege and power objects to further strengthen his being as the Allfather.

We can find these points of intersection within ourselves, what holds us together. The nine worlds become metaphores for our own psyche's being...and then more than that. Through the unification of our own gridwork, our own cosmological being, we gain the strength to move ourselves through the rest of the cosmology.

So knowing the nine worlds is first knowing ourselves, all of our parts and beings. Rejecting nothing of our total being we integrate. And in integration and unity we gain strength to move through the cosmos, healing, helping, and gaining the knowlege we need for smooth transitions from life to death and back again.

Jesus hung on the cross and endured. Through his pain he gained the ability to move through all the worlds of the cosmos, Sheol or Hel's domain, he visited first. Helping, healing, and saving where he could. Heaven, Earth, and all the worlds are blessed by his presence.

So what does it mean for us? Knowing and learning and going...sacrificing and gaining are all parts of the rune work we can do.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Voices of My Mothers

One of my 2006 goals is establishing the foundation for a thorough family tree. The Native American and Eastern ideas that my life affects and is effected by seven generations back and seven generations forward gives me another reason beyond simple curiosity and fascination to learn about my physical lineage. Fascinating it is, and curious I am, however there is a part of my past that defines my present and predicts my future. So I've finally gotten some written documents about my family lineage from my closest branches: my parents.

I spent an enjoyable several hours the other evening reading stories written by distant relatives that I have either never met, or not seen in years, recalling their memories of their parents or grandparents; recalling stories of lives lived during times of war, struggle and change. Listening to their voices on the paper, I felt a connection with past, differently than I have while reading history texts in college, or biographies of historic persons. There are historic persons in my lineage, and there are stories set in times I've read about in history texts. However, in the everyday language of my own family, I see a personal side of "history": the side that is "his story" and "her story". Because while the events in those books we study are important to know, so too are the events in our ancestors' lives. Crossing oceans and continents, settling and moving, building and tearing down, establishing order and rebelling against it; with out pomp and no mind to prestige, the words of my family communicate the essence of another time and of a spirit that is mine as well - that past that is a part of me and my present.

I see the patterns in my life that reflect the patterns of history. Why study history? "Not to repeat our mistakes" they say. "To learn from the past" we are told. And so too is it with our own history. 50% my mother and 50% my father. A quarter of each of my grandparents, and eighth of each of my great grandparents. And thus is my deck dealt. The tools I come with, the knowledge I start with, the foundation my first foot falls upon. Now it is up to me to choose how to play those cards, and when to add new ones to the deck.

At 2:30am, I finally put away the files. I turned off my bedside lamp, and curled up on my side. I adjusted my pillows, and closed my eyes. And there in the darkness, I heard their voices. Whispers of their lives, like wind in the woods. Softly floating through my mind, I heard their songs. Norse, Celtic, Gaelic, American, young, aged, new, old. Like the voices of the Huldre calling from within the mountain of the past.


Friday, February 24, 2006

All the parts of our selves

In the last few weeks I have had so many conversations with people who are searching for their own unified being. Many people recognize that who they percieve themselves to be in their work-a-day world is not the only person they are.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel incomplete? Does it seem like there is something missing in your life and you can't quite put your finger on it? Are there personality traits of yours that you fight to keep down, want to deny, or are ashamed of?

These are symptoms of a shattered being. Those personality traits we would deny or hide are important to explore. Where do they come from? That is the first real question we need to ask ourselves.

Some of these personality traits, habitual reactions, or thought patterns might have been inherited from parents or grandparents. Some may come from conditioning by television shows, commercials or other media intrusions. Some may be left over from past life experiences. Some may be parts of our own shattered souls.

So the first thing we need to do to find completion of being is determine what is truly part of our being and what has inserted itself from the outside.

But in order to evaluate these things we start by listing them, acknowleging them, and bringing them into the light. So many that I have talked to want to hide, reject, or even destroy these parts of themselves. This, in my experience, always leads to those aspects of ourselves rebelling and asserting themselves in the most inappropriate ways. But if we bring these things forward, admit them and evaluate them, we may find that they dissapate on their own, never to return.

There are many ways to do this. Dream work is one of them. Vocal lessons with the right teacher can be a powerful tool. It's a wonderful and sometimes scary journey to look at and find love for all aspects of ourselves. This has been my life long goal.


Thursday, February 23, 2006


The rune is often referred to as a stave. A staff or a stick.

Staving is an old artform too. Learn about it here.

One thing is certain for me, they are all connected to my spine. If I don't get up and move my stick around, I get stuck and can't seem to function.

Here I go...I reccomend it to you. Move....

Monday, February 06, 2006

Groundhog Sees

When in the new chill of Imbolc morning, the creatures wake and wander,
or stagger towards their morning's rest
a long night of prowling behind them,
we see the groundhog.

Sun shining rainbows on the icy threshold she comes. Peeking out and venturing forth, she comes.

Imbolc morning, Groundhog's Day, the sun shines on your face of fur and sleepy eyes, you turn.

In a panic you are taken, shaken, a shadow passes and it moves. Could it be eagle scouting breakfast? Could it be fox?

What does it matter?!

Groundhog sees and darts back beneath the snow encrusted den. She will not come again, until Equinox has claimed the morning, lengthened the days to equal, and assured dear Groundhog of her saftey in the mid-spring sun!

Winter's grip holds fast. Huldre waits with Groundhog.

Accomplishments and Goal

I am so busily honing my video production skills again. It has been a while since I have had access to such fine gear. As I am editing past shows together for viewing on my site, I am also pursuing my goals for new work in 2006.

I realize my Bush Fellowship proposal, while not recieving funding this year, serves me well as a guide to what I want to accomplish in the next two years.

Here is what I wrote for the Fellowship, what the funding would have supported, bold and itallics are my recent commentary:

Individual subject matter of my pieces range from recent global events to my grandmother's experience with racism and education. I retell the creation stories explaining the trans-global experience of seasonal change with a dance presentation then explain the science of the brain process that creates fear with the comic character "Professor Corpus Callosum." (I will present this character more often in shows in 2006) I create ritual and unity with chants and songs of ancient Nordic herding women's music that echo in my roots and vibrate with myriad Earth centered traditions globally. (I am currently offering courses in this area as well as expanding my studies)

Guided by the theme and message that complete individuality leads to unity, I will increase my studies (I will be writing for a Jerome Study and Travel Grant to support my studies) and performance of Nordic roots music and culture through continued collaborations with Karen Solgard (Hardanger Fiddle) in Minneapolis, MN, Arna Rennan (medieval Norse Music) in Duluth, MN and do field studies and performance explorations in Alexandria, MN through the Kensington Rune Museum, Minot, ND (through contacts in the home of Hostfest) and in Decorah, Iowa through the Vesterheim Museum and Luther College.

This will include solo performances as well as collaborations by my groups Huldre and through the Discovering Origins/Building Traditions Project. Thereby I dig into my own roots, my own heritage and model the behavior of creating art from my complete self.

I will use the Fellowship to expand my artistic outreach especially within the Discovering Origins/Building Traditions Project. By furthering the goal of creating regional access to and participation in these shows throughout the mid-west I will be connecting with theaters and local artists and artisans. The global nature of these shows creates a perfect platform for cross-cultural sharing of these astronomical experiences. While I have done much by way of integrating mythologies and traditions of many cultures, I desire to do more! (I do not see this happening without outside funding, yet I am busy making past shows available through DVD and Webstreaming)

Also among the works I intend to pursue is a continuation of the "Art and Spirit Matters" documentary in the form of performance collaborations and dialogues. I look forward to working again with Marya Morstad, J. Otis Powell!, Miriam Yuseff, Hend Al Mansour, Felicitas Maria Sokec and others.

I am taking the reins of video production again. (expect a Huldre Music Video some time in 2006) Since upgrading my technology just months ago, I will re-visit myself as videographer. The last video I wrote, shot and produced was done in 1991. It was re-shown at the Revolutionary Women's Cabaret and warmly received as beautiful and relevant. This work adds to my pallet of performance media options as well as documents and records my process towards unity.

I plan a more extensive internet presence as well via collaboration with Kristin Van Loon and the Bryant Lake Bowl Theater. I wish to create the global access and collaborative process that I have been desiring since 1999 when I created my first live internet performance show (before the technology caught up with my imagination!) (most likely to happen Yule 06)

Well, these are my goals. As I said, they will not be supported with Bush Foundation money this year, but I think in 2008, when my category comes up again, there will be a new list as these things will have been accomplished by then!

On top of all these things, you will also see my book, Random Rune Process, published. I'm a busy gal...that's how I am!