Issue #5, Easter-Moon

Welcome to the Easter-Moon Issue. This month we have Part 3 of Ingrid Fischer’s Germanic Soul-Lore.

May you know the blessings of Eostre!

COMPONENTS OF THE GERMANIC SOUL

[Above] you can see the traditional Old Norse body-soul complex with its many components, according to Edred Thorsson.  (Figure: traditional body-soul complex[1])

 The fylgja or fetch is not something every man has; some men have a very weak and underdeveloped one, but powerful men have a strong fylgja. Here again, we see the connection to the ancient belief in physical strength and power in general. This shows the beginnings of a body-soul separation where the soul is no longer entirely bound to the body but takes on personal, individual traits. 

Óðr, the ‘soul’ in a state of utter arousal opens the access to new and normally unreachable worlds and man can find a higher, freer existence which enables him to succeed against enemies and other detrimental situations. Óðr makes man transcend mediocrity. In its second meaning it shows poetry born out of the passion of the soul, out of enthusiasm and divine inspiration.

Hugr (ON), the hugh or hidge, is the cognitive faculty and is that part of the mind which can analyse and work with data. Whilst in ancient times hugr was bound to the body, in later times it becomes independent from it and forms what we call a man’s ‘personality’. This is when hugr becomes the seat of man’s will.

Minni (ON), the myne, is in simple terms memory and the reflective faculty, the storehouse of consciousness and the unconscious that also contains transpersonal elements, i.e. the archetypes of the collective unconscious.

Hamingja (ON) or luck is the life force and power of the soul which can be passed on even during one’s lifetime.

The lyke or lík (ON) is the physical body; it is given its shape by hamr (ON) or the hyde; önd (ON) is the ‘breath of life’, the athem.

Sjálfr (ON) is the Self which potentially can lead man to synthesise and understand all other faculties; sál (ON), the soul, is the death shade and all actions are recorded in it.

It is important at this stage to point out the clear distinction between the psychosomatic soul complex (i.e. önd and óðr) and the semi-autonomous concepts (hugr, hamr, hamingja and fylgja). As Flowers states, ‘önd and óðr denote activities, qualities, forces or essences which are active within a man’s psychosomatic complex, but which do not approach the measure of autonomy or transferable characteristics’. The second group, with hugr, hamr, hamingja and fylgja, is the more autonomous and also in most instances personifiable one. It seems that fylgja is the most personal and individual part of the soul; it is the most anthropomorphised of the various soul concepts and appears to have developed a will of its own. However, once the individual has gained an insight into the past and his (ættar-) fylgja, it becomes more evident that the ‘being’ which seems to be ‘other’ than himself is in truth the sum total of all that he is, and all that he has done.

Next time we shall discuss the development of personality.  

Practical work: 

From the diagram above you can see the core triad of the soul complex: óðr, hugr and minni. I call this the core triad because without any one of them, or with one weaker than the other two, your whole being will be out of balance and you will not be able to reach your full potential in life.

Many of you will know the UAIEO formula. This time we shall add one vowel and vocalise the sequence in runes, up and down your body. Stand up straight, inhale and intone, three times:

uruz ansuz isa eihwaz ehwaz odhilaz

uruz ansuz isa eihwaz ehwaz odhilaz           

uruz ansuz isa eihwaz ehwaz odhilaz 

Now visualise the core triad covering your whole body in a three-dimensional triangle: óðr is located at the crown of your head, hugr to your right and minni to your left. Think of what they represent and feel their power circulating. Record your feelings, emotions, obstacles you encounter and so on. You will need these notes next week and we would like to hear about them here. Remember regarding feedback that being courageous enough to show a part of yourself to fellow travellers is an act that will, in and of itself, help with this work – so don’t be shy.

[1]          Edred Thorsson, Nine Doors of Midgard

One Reply to “Issue #5, Easter-Moon”

  1. It is a powerful working. The core body should be activated as in the standing ‘mountain’ yoga pose (tadasana) . And to better visualize/activate the triangle it felt right to angle my arms out slightly from the body while opening the hands towards the front. In galdoring and placing the runestaves I used the swirl from foot to head to genitals, and so forth, but where to place the extra (eihwaz) stave? It came to me that instead of being localized like the other runes, it should be used as a core “axis” running through the entire body (which of course it is). This seemed to act as a armature for holding the other runes. After establishing this loaded column I could easily visualize the triangle from crown to a point 3 or 4′ feet to either side, exactly where my hands were pointing. I let my breath move energy from odhr to hugr to minni. I thought also of other like triads, such as Odhinn, Vili, Vé and Odhinn, Huginn, Muninn.
    I felt the need to close my eyes and feel the sway a tree might feel in the wind and the life-force needed to keep it strong and upright. I remembered the Norns constantly nurturing the roots of the World Tree. I recalled a godpole I raised once on the land and how it made the space sacred.
    Yes, a sense of balance and sexuality came to me. Thank you for this article and working!

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