Conversations with Odin & Freyja on Magic - Intro Essay
© Rodney Cox 2012
This essay come about from a conversation I had with Odin and Freyja about magic during a trance journey working. The ultimate goal was to come up with a magical system to use with both Rún Valdr and for the ADF Order of the Raven and Falcon which would be a religous order within ADF focused on Odin and Freyja and in particular magical practices related to both.
First let us define what “magic” means. Aleister Crowley’s definition seems to be popular and states that magic (or magick) is "the Science and Art of causing Change to occur in conformity with Will." This is a good definition and many authors of magic use it. This then leads to discussions of the Will, what it is and how to apply it towards magic. Essentially the Will is the force behind your magic. It is the vehicle for the magical act. Crowley liked to define the Will as an aspect of one’s Higher Self and all acts of magic should be used to a greater understanding of this Higher Self. Crowley, of course, used magic for plenty of practical goals, so don’t be concerned with that.
I did spend some time with Odin and Freyja asking about coming up with a magical system to use with Rún Valdr. Odin’s definition of magic is “Interfacing with the forces of Nature and/or the mechanisms of the Universe to manifest a desire or goal into the realm of Midgard, or elsewhere.” This definition places less importance on the individual Will, but instead focus on working with the existing meta systems to get the work done. One thing that Odin and Freyja mentioned to me was the importance of gaining authority in order to make the change. In this case authority is having the right or dominion over something. Thus to work magic you would need to gain authority, even if it’s temporary, over something in order to make the changes you need.
To use an example, if I wanted plumbing done in my house I could call a plumber. The plumber has the proper training and has authority over plumbing issues and I would, in this case, be borrowing the plumber's authority for awhile. I could learn to do plumbing myself and thus gain my own authority. However, if I wanted to make changes to plumbing techniques for all of the United States of America, or to change the type of materials used, I would need to be able to influence either a large plumbing union or the plumbing trade commission for the country. Otherwise a single individual could not hope to change how every plumber in the country does things. This is the challenge of working magic. To gain the authority so that the changes you make actually are taken seriously.
Traditional magic perhaps relies on the Neo-Theosophical idea that reality is made up of several planes of existence, each eventually leading to manifestation in the physical plane. This is the foundation of creative visualization and a lot of modern magic. Even the Kabbalah starts with Kether (nothingness or totality of everything) moving down the Tree of Life until you come to the physical world, thus creating a map of manifestation or creation. The idea is that anything physical first existed in the causal plane, then the mental plane, then the astral plane, to finally it is manifested in the physical. However that idea needs enough energy to carry it through the manifestation process.
Common day dreams are the stuff of the mental and astral planes. However these idle thoughts have little energy to actually manifest. With creative visualization or other magical practices where you visualize your goal, you are empowering your thoughts so that they have weight, gravity, density, what have you, to actually be manifested. You could say that there is a current towards manifestation so that any thought with enough energy will eventually manifest. This creates a sort of consensual reality where a lot of people expecting something will get it as all that energy is being focused on one thing. It also explains why ideas before their time fail.
Look at e-readers. Sony had electronic book readers long before Amazon came out with the Kindle. However the time was ripe when the Kindle hit the market and the whole idea took off to the point where Amazon says they sell more electronic books than physical ones and large book stores like Borders closed because they could not adapt to the new electronic market.
What does this have to do with Rún Valdr? Odin mentioned to me that these different levels of reality are more interconnected than I had thought. For example, I could think about a sculpture that I may want to create. I could see it in my mind, plan it out, then go through the motions of sculpting it. This would follow the traditional idea that things manifest from the mental plane down. However, Odin mentioned that one could just start slapping clay together and see what kind of sculpture you get. You could create a wonderful sculpture without thinking about it first. So the linear descent of idea into physical manifestation is not always that linear.
To create change magically sometimes half the battle is making sure you are not swimming against the tide. You could be the best swimmer in the world, but won’t make much headway if the tide is against you. If you could change the tide, that would be the real trick. In my mind, gaining the proper authority over something can allow you to change the tide. The rest after that is easy.
Well if we look at orlog, or the Norse idea of fate, we can see the ancient Norse equivalent of a consensual reality. Orlog is fate in that it is the momentum of everyone’s past actions upon the moment, this weight and momentum is more or less headed in a certain way. While you can change orlog it is tough because it has all that weight behind it. Looking at orlog as everyone’s wills trying to find manifestation. The world you see around you is the result of this combined effort. Orlog can be changed, even drastically, however you need the proper authority in order to make those changes.
Instead of a system where manifestation flows from the causal plane to the mental plane, to the astral plane, to the physical plane, Odin and Freyja talked about how the other realms, Upper and Under act as places where authority is derived. The Gods can do a lot, however there are a lot of Gods and they have their own consensual reality to deal with. There are a lot of Gods of the air who deal with weather, but They won’t interfere with each other, so they limit what they can or will do directly.
So human magicians need to find authority to do their work. There are three ways to gain authority.
1. Ask for it.
2. Work for it, gaining skills, put energy into it.
3. Gain enough understanding/sympathy/resonance with an area to gain authority.
Asking for authority would come from the Gods and may be temporary, at least as long as the magical work you are doing needs to last. This is the method used mostly be ceremonial magicians who vibrate various names of God and enflame themselves with prayer in order to gain enough of God’s authority to do what they want. Traditional magical work with spirits, sometimes called Spirit Arte is famous for this kind of authority. By enflaming themselves with prayer the magician would gain the necessary authority of God to command the spirits, demons, or angels to do whatever the magician required. Of course the mere act of asking some other being to do the work is borrowing their authority in the matter, or get them to do the work.
Most shamanic work also deals with meeting various entities to gain their help to do things, thus sharing in that being’s authority. You want to change the weather, make friends with Gods or other entities that are responsible for weather change and ask/gain authority to do the same.
The second way would, perhaps, be more applicable to mundane activities. If I want to be a plumber, I need to go to school for plumbing, learn the trade, become an apprentice, etc. Or if I want to be a great athlete, I would need to practice every day, study everything about my chosen sport, etc. However, creative visualization uses the same techniques. By constantly imagining the goal as already manifested you are empowering that image with energy so that it will eventually manifest. While a lot of magic is fire and forget, and actually demands that you forget about the working after it’s done, creative visualization demands a lot of work.
I would also place psychic phenomenon in this category. Psychic abilities are skills and need work to improve and expand.
The third type of merging or gaining resonance is similar to the second method, but could possibly take longer. You are essentially attuning yourself to area of influence so much that you are seen as a key part of that area so that when you make changes it is accepted naturally. Nikola Tesla, the inventor of AC electricity dealt with resonance later in his life and there are stories of his experiments shaking the building he was living in. He reportedly said that if he could find the resonance of the planet he could crack it open.
Going back to the weather analogy, if you want to change the weather you would spend time trying to become one with the sky and all the things in it. By identifying with the sky completely you become one with it, or gain resonance with it. Thus when you want to change the weather you merely plug in your wish and the sky accepts the change because it has come to accept you as being a part of it. I came up with an elemental magical model based on this. You would fill yourself with one of the four classic elements (earth, fire, air or water) and use that energy to accomplish a goal. The idea was that you were not only filled with it, but you were in contact with the infinite element allowing it to manifest within you.
On a quicker note, a lot of kitchen magic, or natural magic makes use of this kind of authority. This springs from magical laws of correspondence. Putting energy into a green candle, which represents wealth will then bring wealth when lit.
Once you have your magical authority sorted out the magical work is then broken down into four steps.
1. Asking/gaining authority.
2. Merging or gaining resonance with area to change
3. Make the changes
4. Finishing up.
In step one you would ask for authority for the magical working. Or you would have gained the authority in some way. If doing a more complete or full ritual you could make offerings to whatever Deity you are getting help from at this point.
In step two you would spend time attuning yourself to the area that you are trying to change. This part is separate from third method of gaining authority in that instead of trying to gain authority you are trying to create resonance to make the change you want.
Step three is the meat and potatoes of the working. Since you have made a connection in step two you should reach out and feel/see the changes you are making. Kind of like sculpting. Feel the change happening and know that it is changing reality.
Step four is equally as important. You need to finish correctly or your efforts could be in vain. If sticking with Rún Valdr you would obviously use the sealing symbol, Tunai. I would also recommend stating out loud a definitive statement such as, “By my authority over X, let this be so!”, or “By my authority, I set these changes to be made manifest.”
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