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Thread: Nornir

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Nornir

    Hi All,

    I've been drawn to the Nornir before, and now, with my reintroduction to the Northern Tradition, and beginning to look into it in earnest, I'm being drawn back. I recently found this website and it's given me some food for thought, and prompted me to start a discussion, knowing also that Rae'ya could be a gold mine on this one!

    I honestly don't feel drawn to any of the gods themselves, neither Aesir or Vanir, not even more towards one group or the other. So far my only real interest and focus has been on Vaettir, and now the Norns.

    It also made me click that about 6 months ago, before I got back into forum-land, I began cross-stitching (and I hated it as a kid). So my brain's making me think that this could be a good direction to go...

    So, people's experiences with the Nornir, or with individuals? How did you get there? What do they like? Links to lore? Spinning/weaving vs carving. Any and all.

    Ta!
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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Nornir

    A topic very close to my own heart! Unfortunately right now I'm at my parents' and on my phone and I'm definitely gonna need a keyboard and some time for this one. I'll have to respond properly tomorrow. Don't let me forget lol

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Re: Nornir

    Here is your reminder message!

    Of course that won't work if you check your phone again before tomorrow....
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    Sr. Member Wednesday's Avatar
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    Re: Nornir

    I quite like the Norns as well. However, from UPG and lore it seems as if they aren't beings that one can "work with". The gods and people don't call to them because, by virtue of their functional law, they cannot manipulate fate/wyrd/urd to be of assistance. They're like gravity.

    On the other hand, I found that the Disr were what I thought Nornir would be like, and I really enjoy worshipping them in my practice.

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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Nornir

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    I honestly don't feel drawn to any of the gods themselves, neither Aesir or Vanir, not even more towards one group or the other. So far my only real interest and focus has been on Vaettir, and now the Norns.
    I started in a very similar way. I've been drawn to the Norse cosmology for as long as I can remember... I remember being like, ten years old, and loving the concepts of the Nornir and Yggdrasil and the Nine Worlds and it's denizens. All through my induction into paganism it was the same, but when I went looking in that direction in earnest I hit the Aesir and came up short. I didn't like them, I didn't connect with them, I couldn't muster up enough passion to even approach any of them. I looked into Asatru and Heathenism and I didn't like a lot of what I saw. I've always had a good relationship with the runespirits, and I pursued that without the Norse cultural context for many years. I looked into the Spinners of other cultures... the Greek Moirae, the Roman Parcae, the Anglo-Saxon Wyrd Sisters, the Latvian Laimas, the Arabian Menat... but I kept coming back to the Nornir. None of the others felt right. I know that it was the Nornir who I was connected to, and the Norse cosmos that drew me. I just couldn't find a way to reconcile that with my feelings about Heathenism and Asatru.

    So I went the other way. I came into shamanism and animism. I came into Demonolatry and Theistic Satanism. Through shamanism and animism I developed my relationship with animal guides, land spirits, and others; a better understanding of the Otherworlds and through that, the Nine Worlds; and the skills for journeying and spirit work. Through Demonolatry and TS I found a group of deities I connected with; an ethos that I could feel comfortable with; and a way of looking at the world and at mythology that changed my perspective. Demonolatry is what showed me the reality of the demonized deities and pantheons... not just the Demons and Satan, but deities like Set, Ereshkigal, and Nergal; and pantheons like the Titans and the Jotnar. These gave me the confidence to go back to the Norse cosmos and strike out on my own.

    Then I read the writings of Raven Kaldera and Galina Krasskova and I discovered that other people were doing the same thing.

    Now, these authors are controversial in the Heathen world... almost the entire reconstructionist community dislikes them and says all sorts of nasty things. But that makes sense, because most of the reconstructionist community thinks that Loki and the Jotnar are evil. Demonolatry gave me the confidence to be able to wade through that and read between the lines of the mythology. There are lots of non reconstructionists who have taken up the cry also, mostly because that's what they see the 'experts' doing. On pagan forums, mentioning Kaldera or Krasskova or talking about the Jotnar or Rokkr can lose you respect and earn you instant enemies. I find that incredibly sad, but Demonolatry and the LHP in general also gave me the ability to not care about what other people thought or said.

    So long story short... if you don't feel connected to the Aesir or Vanir, don't despair... there's a third road in the Norse cosmology. And there ARE Aesir and Vanir who will work with people who also work with the Jotnar... almost all of the Vanir, in fact, and notably Othinn himself. So the three aren't mutually exclusive, despite what many Asatruar would have you believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    It also made me click that about 6 months ago, before I got back into forum-land, I began cross-stitching (and I hated it as a kid). So my brain's making me think that this could be a good direction to go...
    I've cross-stitched pretty much my entire life. Thousands of people do, and not everyone who does knitting or stitching is bound to end up with the Spinners (of whatever culture... there are several pantheons who have Spinners), but it seems to me that everyone who ends up with Spinners does stitching or fibre art of some kind. Cross-stitching I've done since I was a small child, but I only started spinning fairly recently. I remember playing with my grandma's spinning wheel when I was a kid... I used to make a beeline for that thing the minute we got there lol. I still don't know how to spin on a wheel, but I've been spindle spinning since last year and I love it.

    Stitching, knitting, crochet, spinning and weaving are all things that we can dedicate the energy of to the Nornir. In my experience though, it's not the actual finished product that They appreciate. You don't dedicate the end product to Them, but the actual act of stitching or spinning... and the knowledge of fibre and how to turn it from individual fibres into a complex pattern or image. It's the PROCESS, not the product. The knowledge behind it, the connection with the threads, the feeling that you get when you see the image unfolding before you. That's what is important to Them. People think that it's just a pretty image on aida, but when you're the one who stitched it, you know better. You saw the image unfold, saw the way that the colours played together, saw the subtle patterns develop as you placed each stitch, experienced the frustration of knots and tangles when you were careless with your thread, followed the thing from guidelines to final image... When you spin it's the same. The feeling of taking individual fibres, working them, drafting them out as the spindle spins, having them turn into thread beneath your fingers, winding it on and seeing it build up on the cop. It's an intensely spiritual experience on it's own, but dedicate every minute of it to the Nornir and that is deepened.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    So, people's experiences with the Nornir, or with individuals? How did you get there? What do they like? Links to lore? Spinning/weaving vs carving. Any and all.
    Well... lol

    Firstly I should probably say that not many people work with the Nornir directly. They don't generally act as patrons, and They certainly don't help with magick, and They definitely don't change your Pattern just because They know you. They are different to other deities... and the interaction that you will get from Them is different. They have a very good Divine Answering Machine, and this is what most people who invoke Them are talking to.

    Most people work with the Nornir for two or three reasons. Firstly, work with divination... help with making it accurate, petitioniong Them to allow you to see the future, that sort of thing (Divine Answering Machine stuff... the automatic and impersonal 'accept the offering, send some energy'). Secondly, to change the future, which never works because They wont do it. They MIGHT show you what you have to do to change your own future or current situation, but They wont do it for you. Thirdly, Threadwork, which is something that you may get a personal interaction with, and something that you will need an ongoing working relationship with Them for. But again, YOU do all the work, and They simply give you permission and access to look upon the Pattern. They MAY show you how to do it, if you are lucky or have a Divine introduction.

    Then there are some of us who just belong to Them. This is the difference between working 'with' the Nornir and working 'for' Them. They will work 'with' people for divination and Threadwork, but it's generally transitory and is probably the Divine Answering Machine. You don't have to be sworn to Them for this sort of work. They'll accept your offering, give you access and you'll be on your way. Wednesday is absolutely right in this regard... They don't work with people in the same way that other deities do. They wont speak on your behalf or change something or help with your magick. That's just not going to happen.

    And honestly, from a practical point of view, being sworn to Them is actually not that different. There is no nurturing, no helping with magick, no changing your future, no holding your hand. So what does being sworn to Them actually grant, presuming they accept you?

    Personal interaction, every time. Help with divination and Threadwork... a more direct and clearer conduit into the Pattern. Access to actually view the Pattern pretty much whenever you like. Access to Their halls within the Otherworlds. Access to Urtharbrunnar. Permission to see Their Loom and watch Them work. Lessons and teachings. A strange sort of affection... it's not necessarily comforting and you have no illusions about Their stance on your Thread or your place in the Pattern, but it's there. Introductions to other deities and the lessons that can be learned from them.

    They wont just accept anyone's sworn oaths, though. You can't dedicate yourself to the Nornir in the same way that you dedicate yourself to Othinn and be sure of getting past the Divine Answering Machine. They also don't teach in the same way that other deities do... my lessons are more like throwing me in there and making me figure it out for myself lol. Skuld will show me something, or let me watch Her or the others doing it, and then let me come to my own conclusions. On one of my first visits to Them I saw Verdhandi spinning and I wondered that shouldn't it be Urdhr that was spinning. The two just looked at each other with a sort of indulgent smile and I knew that I had it wrong. But it was left to me to puzzle it out... when I finally did, several visits later, all three of Them were pleased with me. And having the Nornir be pleased with you is somewhat like how I imagine a Labrador feels when he pleases his person. It's... different to any relationship I have with any other deity or spirit.

    They also encourage independence and taking responsibility for your own actions as well as your own future. Just because They are the beings who control orlog and the Pattern doesn't mean that you can make excuses for what happens to you. Once you see the Pattern itself, and the Nornir at work, you can't moan about your lot in life, fret that your future is out of your hands, or complain about being helpless in a given situation. They will not tolerate that, and you'll find yourself sacked pretty quickly. If you see the error of your thinking and use it as a lesson, you may be accepted back, but if not, you'll be permanently fired. That's not how fate works with the Nornir... the first lessons will be about orlog, the Pattern, the factors that influence them, the interwoven relationships of separate threads, and the fact that you control your own fate via the choices that you make and the actions that you take in response to those around you.

    They will also not reciprocate if you're lazy about your relationship. They are not the sort of deities who accept dedication or sworn oaths, then let you do your own thing until you call on Them for help. There is a part that you have to play in the relationship, and if you don't do it, then you'll find yourself sacked and ignored. If you can't find the time and energy to dedicate to Them frequently and regularly, then They won't take the time and energy for you. That's not to say that They aren't understanding... Skuld gave me a twelve month reprieve when I was having so many things happen in mundane life that I was struggling to keep up (getting married, moving into our own house, getting promoted at work, getting my husband through immigration amongst some health issues... all at the same time). I still had to do my regular devotional work and keep my ritual room appropriately, but I was excused from the more intensive things will I got mundane things in order. Or I should say... I was excused from deadlines for the more intensive things... I still did some work, just not at the rate that I should have been doing it. Something that the Nornir understand very well is personal limitations... and They expect you to understand them as well. If you can't recognise your own personal limitations and make promises that you can't keep, They're liable to let you burn yourself out just to teach you a lesson. They appreciate honesty, transparency and humility. Part of being truly independent and responsible is recognising when you can't do something and either finding a solution around it, asking for help or admitting that you can't do it.

    And with that I'll have to take a break lol. I have A LOT more to say, but I'm gonna hit the word count limit fairly soon and there is nothing more frustrating than being thwarted halfway through a train of thought. This is a logical place to leave it for now, so I'll write more tomorrow. I still want to talk about the way that They do their work and each individual Norn.

    Plus I'm open to thoughts, debates and questions about any of this.

  6. #6
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Re: Nornir

    Quote Originally Posted by Wednesday
    I quite like the Norns as well. However, from UPG and lore it seems as if they aren't beings that one can "work with".


    And that is exactly why I didn't put "work with" in my OP. I knew that particular point would be brought up! haha

    And I knew it Rae'ya - GOLD MINE haha

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya
    So long story short... if you don't feel connected to the Aesir or Vanir, don't despair... there's a third road in the Norse cosmology. And there ARE Aesir and Vanir who will work with people who also work with the Jotnar... almost all of the Vanir, in fact, and notably Othinn himself. So the three aren't mutually exclusive, despite what many Asatruar would have you believe.


    I picked up on that, through that website I posted. They have the whole shindig seperated into Aesir, Vanir and Rokkr (Interestingly the Nornir are listed under Aesir...). My brain tells me that I should head more into the Vanir path, being that I'm a bit of a hippy, but I haven't felt any real pull there. And just the fact that the Rokkr aren't classified as main anything (even though they have pretty important roles in the lore I believe) makes me interested. Your angle through shamanism and through demonolatry is interesting. I just found a book on Wicca, grew out of that and decided to head back to the motherland :P Though I also picked up on runes early and have had more success with them than anything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya
    Stitching, knitting, crochet, spinning and weaving are all things that we can dedicate the energy of to the Nornir. In my experience though, it's not the actual finished product that They appreciate. You don't dedicate the end product to Them, but the actual act of stitching or spinning... and the knowledge of fibre and how to turn it from individual fibres into a complex pattern or image. It's the PROCESS, not the product. The knowledge behind it, the connection with the threads, the feeling that you get when you see the image unfolding before you. That's what is important to Them. People think that it's just a pretty image on aida, but when you're the one who stitched it, you know better. You saw the image unfold, saw the way that the colours played together, saw the subtle patterns develop as you placed each stitch, experienced the frustration of knots and tangles when you were careless with your thread, followed the thing from guidelines to final image... When you spin it's the same. The feeling of taking individual fibres, working them, drafting them out as the spindle spins, having them turn into thread beneath your fingers, winding it on and seeing it build up on the cop. It's an intensely spiritual experience on it's own, but dedicate every minute of it to the Nornir and that is deepened.


    So they are definitely a thread kinda peoples? Not a carving thing? I'm curious about the carving/weaving bits. Stitching is a bit more accessible to me though.

    It's nice to hear about the process being important not the product. I stitch for people, the final product goes to them, so dedicating the process to the Nornir is a lovely thought.

    It also dawned on me recently that the only time my mind is quiet is when I stitch. I forever ask hubby 'What are you thinking?' and he has no answer, I never got that, my mind is constantly going 100kmh. But once after stitching I tried to think back to what I had been thinking, and couldn't get anything. Yes sometimes I think, but usually I'm so engrossed in the stitching my mind is freed. Another reason why I though the Nornir could take a look into.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya
    Firstly I should probably say that not many people work with the Nornir directly. They don't generally act as patrons, and They certainly don't help with magick, and They definitely don't change your Pattern just because They know you. They are different to other deities... and the interaction that you will get from Them is different. They have a very good Divine Answering Machine, and this is what most people who invoke Them are talking to.


    I kinda picked up on this too, I think I mentioned. It makes sense to me. God ain't there to answer my whim, cuddle me when I feel down, and it just makes sense that through my personal belief in that, that the Nornir could be a good thing (I keep saying I'm being pulled to them, but that could be nonsense). I know they definitely aren't going to change my future (another thing that makes sense - wyrd). But I kinda like that.

    My biggest question to you Rae'ya is how did you get there? Once you felt the pull to the Nornir, how did you develop that relationship? How did Skuld 'choose you'? Of course I don't expect the same path myself, but I'm pretty happy to have a go at yours and see what happens :P Also what kind of regular things do you do now, for the Nornir? I want to have more regular aspects to my practise, and it seems you're pretty solid in that respect.
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    Opinionated Rae'ya's Avatar
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    Re: Nornir

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    I picked up on that, through that website I posted. They have the whole shindig seperated into Aesir, Vanir and Rokkr (Interestingly the Nornir are listed under Aesir...). My brain tells me that I should head more into the Vanir path, being that I'm a bit of a hippy, but I haven't felt any real pull there. And just the fact that the Rokkr aren't classified as main anything (even though they have pretty important roles in the lore I believe) makes me interested.
    In Kaldera's books, he includes the Nornir in the Jotun category, and to me They are undeniably Jotun in nature. Having said that, They are often counted as Aesir because They live in Asgardhr. Technically I wouldn't even count them as Rokkr because they don't have any allegiances or alliances... They are outside of all the politics and side-taking, removed from all the races. They were born Jotnar, and Their nature will always be Jotnar, but they don't really count as Rokkr deities... they are deities outside of the three pantheons. A category of their own, though you could potentially count them in the same category as the cosmos entities... Ratatoskr, Nidhhoggr, the Four Harts and Nordhri, Sudhri et al.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    So they are definitely a thread kinda peoples? Not a carving thing? I'm curious about the carving/weaving bits. Stitching is a bit more accessible to me though.
    They do both. It's a cycle of comb, spin, weave, cut, record, untangle, comb, spin, weave etc etc. The 'record' part is the carving part. The way that I've seen Them work, and what They taught me is this...

    Urdhr combs the fibres that will make up our individual Threads from the recycled fibres of our ancestors and past incarnations. Those fibres are then passed onto Verdhandi, who spins them into the actual Thread and weaves them into the Pattern (what most people call the Web of Wyrd or the great tapestry or whatever). Verdhandi oversees the weaving, but the Pattern actually kind of weaves itself to a certain extent... each choice or action that we make pulls our Thread into position, crosses it with the Threads of others, tangles it up with other Threads... it's our choices and actions that dictate this, not the Nornir. Skuld studies the past and current Pattern and marks out future choices or events that are likely to happen, decides when individual Threads should be cut, and sets orlog into the fibres based on what we have done. Once the Patten moves on into the past, Urdhr records it into the fibre of the cosmos by carving it into Yggdrasil itself, making a permanent record of all things. She then unravels the past Pattern, combs out the fibres of the cut Threads and recombines them into new Threads. Then the process starts all over again.

    So in this way Urdhr is the recorder (carver) of the Pattern, the keeper of the past, the keeper of memories, and the decider of the layers of our orlog. Verdhandi spins the Threads and weaves them in, overseeing the Pattern and being the keeper of the present moment. Skuld decides our futures based on our choices and actions, sets the obligations and debts that we have created for ourselves, sets the orlog into the fibres of our Threads (which may then be carried on as part of the layers of orlog for our descendants or future incarnations once our Threads are recycled) and cuts the Thread when we die.

    And between the three of Them they both carve AND spin/weave.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    My biggest question to you Rae'ya is how did you get there? Once you felt the pull to the Nornir, how did you develop that relationship? How did Skuld 'choose you'? Of course I don't expect the same path myself, but I'm pretty happy to have a go at yours and see what happens :P
    For a long time I didn't even consider it possible for the Nornir to be primary deities or 'patrons' or whatever. They were always there, in the back of my mind, present in everything and watching over everything, but not taking an active part. They were different to other deities. It was the Demons that I called on for help with magickal work, and as I started developing relationships there then I started to experience a sort of possessiveness from elsewhere... sort of like 'you can work with them and worship them but you are not theirs'. I started getting images and sensations of a goddess and of a room somewhere in the Otherworlds. Sometimes during meditation and trance, other times just when I'd be reading or researching I'd slip into it spontaneously. She led me a merry dance for a while, making me hunt Her down and discover who She was for myself. She never handed me anything on a platter, just smiled indulgently when I got it wrong and urged me to keep looking. Eventually I put the pieces together... Her hidden face, Her appetites and the things She likes, Her symbols, the things that had been drawing me for years... it took a few months but I got there in the end. The result was that I'd earned my place. At first I second guessed myself, because of the whole 'the Nornir don't work with people' thing. And then you assume that They would work with people as a group of three, which is also not true. They've corrected a few assumed misconceptions over the years lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heka View Post
    Also what kind of regular things do you do now, for the Nornir? I want to have more regular aspects to my practise, and it seems you're pretty solid in that respect.
    I perform regular blood offerings to Skuld... she has a penchant for clotted blood. That was one of the images I was getting at the start... a friend and I had been talking about dead blood sacrifices. At the time she meant menstrual blood, but reading the words I was whacked over the head with an image of dark, clotted blood. That was a big clue that I was dealing with a deity of Death... not a deity of The Dead, but of Death itself. So I draw blood from my veins for offerings (as a vet nurse I can do so safely and aseptically with the right equipment and technique).

    I also keep an altar for Skuld and do the normal devotional stuff... I have symbols and a scented votive candle that She picked out. I look after the neglected rose bushes at our rented house in Her name... it's taked me a few years to get their trust up, and the tea rose still doesn't trust me, but Skuld has a thing for roses and so I look after them, including the red briar that has sprung up in the middle of the white rose bush (it's an interesting look lol). I learned to spin so that I could devote the energy of the spinning to Their work, and I devote all the energy from my cross-stitch as well. When I cast the runes I offer blood (from a finger prick) to the runespirits, to the Nornir and to Othinn.

    I also do trance and journey work to Their hall for lessons and whatnot. Skuld sends me off to other deities for lessons sometimes... as well as non-deity entities. I'm currently studying the human energy system with an old woman who wont tell me her name. And I have instructions from all three of the Nornir to 'get my household in order' (not just physically... my household of spirits etc) and to ask Frigg to help me learn how to manage that household.

    I don't actually do anything devotional for Verdhandi and Urdhr, apart from devoting the energy of my spinning and stitching to the Nornir as a group. My relationship with Them is more peripheral, kind of association by default than anything personal. That may change over time, but right now they allow my presence in Their hall, allow me to watch Them at work, and interact with me in minor ways. Knowing the Nornir is a multifaceted thing... you know them each as individuals, but also as an intrinsically linked group... it's an interesting dynamic.

    What does Skuld like? She likes white, black and blood red. She likes the imagery of blood on snow. She likes clotted dead blood (but accepts clotted live blood because I don't live in the Middle Ages where I can offer up the blood of those I slay in battle lol). She likes roses, especially the really deep dark red ones. She likes the Rose and Geranium scented votive candles from Dusk (the candle store). She likes swans and is intrigued by our Australian Black Swans. Her symbols are the swan (I see a black swan in relation to Her, but I don't know if that's just because I'm used to seeing black swans rather than white ones and it seems to fit Her better... either way She seems pleased by that), a dagger (one of the things she did when I was hunting her was bade me find a dagger necklace as a symbol of my oath to her) and the old fashioned shears/snips (you know, the ones that look like old sheep shearing hand shears).

    When I see Her she is normally hooded, with Her face in shadow and only her wine-dark lips showing. She has long black hair that is plaited over one shoulder, and pale ivory skin. She has a dangerous, seductive, mysterious, powerful smile, with a hundred different nuances that seem to tell you exactly what She's thinking. She rides with the Valkyries to oversee their choosing of the slain and ensure that they don't go against the will of the Nornir... this is where the swan symbolism comes from, and it's said that She is armored in black when She rides with the Valkyries, though I've never seen her armored.

    Verdhandi has black hair also, but Urdhr is white haired with stern grey eyes. They are all tall... though Urdhr is the tallest. They are kind of timeless and ageless... Urdhr is the eldest and there is something about Her that makes that obvious, though She is not wrinkled or aged looking. Sometimes they refer to each other as 'sisters' in the sense of a sisterhood rather than siblings. Other times Skuld refers to the others as her 'aunts' in the sense of respected family elders rather than 'my mother's sisters'. I have the feeling that I don't have the right words for those concepts, and those are the words that seem to fit the best.

    Talking to the Nornir is... different. They don't always talk in words. More often it's images or sensations, or the knowing of what they are 'saying' just pops into your head. Facial expressions speak volumes, and glances shared between Them are like entire conversations. In fact, words are pretty rare... the brain translates the images and knowings into words to be written down, but that's not how it reaches your brain. Some of it is cryptic, until you figure out what They are talking about and then it snaps into place all at once and it's suddenly translated and you understand perfectly.

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    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Re: Nornir

    This is all so fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing


    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya View Post
    In Kaldera's books, he includes the Nornir in the Jotun category, and to me They are undeniably Jotun in nature. Having said that, They are often counted as Aesir because They live in Asgardhr. Technically I wouldn't even count them as Rokkr because they don't have any allegiances or alliances... They are outside of all the politics and side-taking, removed from all the races. They were born Jotnar, and Their nature will always be Jotnar, but they don't really count as Rokkr deities... they are deities outside of the three pantheons. A category of their own, though you could potentially count them in the same category as the cosmos entities... Ratatoskr, Nidhhoggr, the Four Harts and Nordhri, Sudhri et al.



    They do both. It's a cycle of comb, spin, weave, cut, record, untangle, comb, spin, weave etc etc. The 'record' part is the carving part. The way that I've seen Them work, and what They taught me is this...

    Urdhr combs the fibres that will make up our individual Threads from the recycled fibres of our ancestors and past incarnations. Those fibres are then passed onto Verdhandi, who spins them into the actual Thread and weaves them into the Pattern (what most people call the Web of Wyrd or the great tapestry or whatever). Verdhandi oversees the weaving, but the Pattern actually kind of weaves itself to a certain extent... each choice or action that we make pulls our Thread into position, crosses it with the Threads of others, tangles it up with other Threads... it's our choices and actions that dictate this, not the Nornir. Skuld studies the past and current Pattern and marks out future choices or events that are likely to happen, decides when individual Threads should be cut, and sets orlog into the fibres based on what we have done. Once the Patten moves on into the past, Urdhr records it into the fibre of the cosmos by carving it into Yggdrasil itself, making a permanent record of all things. She then unravels the past Pattern, combs out the fibres of the cut Threads and recombines them into new Threads. Then the process starts all over again.

    So in this way Urdhr is the recorder (carver) of the Pattern, the keeper of the past, the keeper of memories, and the decider of the layers of our orlog. Verdhandi spins the Threads and weaves them in, overseeing the Pattern and being the keeper of the present moment. Skuld decides our futures based on our choices and actions, sets the obligations and debts that we have created for ourselves, sets the orlog into the fibres of our Threads (which may then be carried on as part of the layers of orlog for our descendants or future incarnations once our Threads are recycled) and cuts the Thread when we die.

    And between the three of Them they both carve AND spin/weave.
    Both of these points just make sense to me. Of COURSE the Nornir are originally Jotun, but are totally removed from all that. And of COURSE they both weave and carve, everything you wrote their just made sense!!! So enjoyable to read. I have none of these experiences myself, but it just makes SENSE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rae'ya
    For a long time I didn't even consider it possible for the Nornir to be primary deities or 'patrons' or whatever. They were always there, in the back of my mind, present in everything and watching over everything, but not taking an active part. They were different to other deities. It was the Demons that I called on for help with magickal work, and as I started developing relationships there then I started to experience a sort of possessiveness from elsewhere... sort of like 'you can work with them and worship them but you are not theirs'. I started getting images and sensations of a goddess and of a room somewhere in the Otherworlds. Sometimes during meditation and trance, other times just when I'd be reading or researching I'd slip into it spontaneously. She led me a merry dance for a while, making me hunt Her down and discover who She was for myself. She never handed me anything on a platter, just smiled indulgently when I got it wrong and urged me to keep looking. Eventually I put the pieces together... Her hidden face, Her appetites and the things She likes, Her symbols, the things that had been drawing me for years... it took a few months but I got there in the end. The result was that I'd earned my place. At first I second guessed myself, because of the whole 'the Nornir don't work with people' thing. And then you assume that They would work with people as a group of three, which is also not true. They've corrected a few assumed misconceptions over the years lol.



    I perform regular blood offerings to Skuld... she has a penchant for clotted blood. That was one of the images I was getting at the start... a friend and I had been talking about dead blood sacrifices. At the time she meant menstrual blood, but reading the words I was whacked over the head with an image of dark, clotted blood. That was a big clue that I was dealing with a deity of Death... not a deity of The Dead, but of Death itself. So I draw blood from my veins for offerings (as a vet nurse I can do so safely and aseptically with the right equipment and technique).

    I also keep an altar for Skuld and do the normal devotional stuff... I have symbols and a scented votive candle that She picked out. I look after the neglected rose bushes at our rented house in Her name... it's taked me a few years to get their trust up, and the tea rose still doesn't trust me, but Skuld has a thing for roses and so I look after them, including the red briar that has sprung up in the middle of the white rose bush (it's an interesting look lol). I learned to spin so that I could devote the energy of the spinning to Their work, and I devote all the energy from my cross-stitch as well. When I cast the runes I offer blood (from a finger prick) to the runespirits, to the Nornir and to Othinn.

    I also do trance and journey work to Their hall for lessons and whatnot. Skuld sends me off to other deities for lessons sometimes... as well as non-deity entities. I'm currently studying the human energy system with an old woman who wont tell me her name. And I have instructions from all three of the Nornir to 'get my household in order' (not just physically... my household of spirits etc) and to ask Frigg to help me learn how to manage that household.

    I don't actually do anything devotional for Verdhandi and Urdhr, apart from devoting the energy of my spinning and stitching to the Nornir as a group. My relationship with Them is more peripheral, kind of association by default than anything personal. That may change over time, but right now they allow my presence in Their hall, allow me to watch Them at work, and interact with me in minor ways. Knowing the Nornir is a multifaceted thing... you know them each as individuals, but also as an intrinsically linked group... it's an interesting dynamic.

    What does Skuld like? She likes white, black and blood red. She likes the imagery of blood on snow. She likes clotted dead blood (but accepts clotted live blood because I don't live in the Middle Ages where I can offer up the blood of those I slay in battle lol). She likes roses, especially the really deep dark red ones. She likes the Rose and Geranium scented votive candles from Dusk (the candle store). She likes swans and is intrigued by our Australian Black Swans. Her symbols are the swan (I see a black swan in relation to Her, but I don't know if that's just because I'm used to seeing black swans rather than white ones and it seems to fit Her better... either way She seems pleased by that), a dagger (one of the things she did when I was hunting her was bade me find a dagger necklace as a symbol of my oath to her) and the old fashioned shears/snips (you know, the ones that look like old sheep shearing hand shears).

    When I see Her she is normally hooded, with Her face in shadow and only her wine-dark lips showing. She has long black hair that is plaited over one shoulder, and pale ivory skin. She has a dangerous, seductive, mysterious, powerful smile, with a hundred different nuances that seem to tell you exactly what She's thinking. She rides with the Valkyries to oversee their choosing of the slain and ensure that they don't go against the will of the Nornir... this is where the swan symbolism comes from, and it's said that She is armored in black when She rides with the Valkyries, though I've never seen her armored.

    Verdhandi has black hair also, but Urdhr is white haired with stern grey eyes. They are all tall... though Urdhr is the tallest. They are kind of timeless and ageless... Urdhr is the eldest and there is something about Her that makes that obvious, though She is not wrinkled or aged looking. Sometimes they refer to each other as 'sisters' in the sense of a sisterhood rather than siblings. Other times Skuld refers to the others as her 'aunts' in the sense of respected family elders rather than 'my mother's sisters'. I have the feeling that I don't have the right words for those concepts, and those are the words that seem to fit the best.

    Talking to the Nornir is... different. They don't always talk in words. More often it's images or sensations, or the knowing of what they are 'saying' just pops into your head. Facial expressions speak volumes, and glances shared between Them are like entire conversations. In fact, words are pretty rare... the brain translates the images and knowings into words to be written down, but that's not how it reaches your brain. Some of it is cryptic, until you figure out what They are talking about and then it snaps into place all at once and it's suddenly translated and you understand perfectly.
    And all this is just so fascinating. Thank you again I might try some of this.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, could you post a note re spelling and pronunciation?? I feel I am way off... :S
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

  9. #9
    Sr. Member Wednesday's Avatar
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    Re: Nornir

    I saw that you didn't put "work with", but that you were asking what they like. I'm going to sound bitchy but it doesn't matter what they like because its pointless to offer them anything or to worship them. For example, someone close to me died and thats just life/fate/the Norns. They wouldn't have saved that persons life no matter how much I cared about what they liked or who they were. This is real fucking life-- kids die of leukemia and husbands are hit by cars because that's the way the thread was woven--this isn't some fun religion where every god has their place and likes and dislikes and attenpts to communicate things to you and its all written in the lore with mystical meaning.

    Beg a god--any god-- to fix your broken heart, perform a miracle, and bring your loved one back to life and see how far you get. That silence you'll get is the Norns. Theres no point with them because they aren't providers or nurturers. Gods arent always beings who care, sometimes theyre just beings who happen to be, and learning to accept that is one big point of spirituality. That inability to break the laws of reality and to only move within the function of those laws is the core of polytheistic gods and spirituality. Dead is dead when they say and they don't care if you wanted it or not.

    Anyways, that's my personal experience actually living and breathing heathenry daily in the real world. It isn't something I read and cross-referenced and researched for a year; its what I lived and what every person lives and why its fucking truth.

  10. #10
    Loud Mouth Heka's Avatar
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    Re: Nornir

    And I totally agree with that experience. I'm not interested in the Norns because I want them to change my life. I don't want to dedicate my stitching to them because I want their blessings. I'm interested in them because of what you said. Because this is 'real fucking life'. The thread is woven. That's fine. I get that. That works for me. And its nice to find something that fits that. Life is exactly what YOU make it. If I get an insight into it, that'd be sweet, but they fascinate me because they AREN'T gods, or even like other deities. I ask what they like because I'm curious, both in the Nornir, and in Rae'ya's experiences. I don't expect miracles or even favour, but it isn't pointless, it will still help me to focus my practises, it will still help ME, even if it's not THEM who help me.
    ThorSon's milkshake brings all the PF girls to the yard - Volcaniclastic

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