I’ve crossed a frontier. when it became clear that I was going to have to give up my right eye I asked for help. The help that came was through the story of Odin. The Tarot card that traditionally represents him is the Hanged Man. Odin hung upside down on Yggdrasil, the Norse Tree of Life, for nine days and nights. The Hanged Man is sometimes called ‘the Reversal of the Will’. Its mission is to support us to let go of all data and drop into the Abyss. Also sometimes called ‘the Ordeal by Water’, it takes us to a place where there is no more up or down, no external orientation of any kind. With it can come a bone-deep, soul-deep vertigo, as the unpinned consciousness struggles until it despairs of finding any external handhold, until it surrenders to the Abyss, to drowning.
The tree Yggdrasil has three roots. Under one of them is the Kingdom of the Frost Giants. Here Mimir, the friend of Odin, oversees the Well which is named after him. As the final battle, Ragnarok, approaches, Odin goes down to Mimir’s Well and offers his eye in exchange for the wisdom he needs to deal with the crisis.
When I heard, a month ago, that it would be prudent to have my right eye taken out, I found myself drawn absolutely to Odin. I didn’t know much, but I am lucky enough to be friends with the remarkable story-teller, Abegael Fisher-Lang, and since that time she has been helping me to understand the story of Odin.
What do I believe about this? What about these gods and goddesses? Well, when the fairy Tinkerbell was dying, having intentionally drunk the poison intended for Peter Pan, he called out to all the children in the world. Every time a child says “I don’t believe in fairies”, a fairy dies. when, conversely, they call out that they do, indeed, believe, a fairy lives.
Call them, and they will come back.
I began to call on Odin. It’s always a bit risky to call on a god. Some years ago I had arresting and perhaps dangerous times after I called on Apollo. He came, and a lot happened. I have not dared call a god since that time. Now, facing the ordeal that Odin chose, I took the chance.
After the eye was successfully removed, I went into a state of terrible vertigo. For a long time I was seasick, eating very little, lying by an open window resting as I could on the rainy windy dark March weather. It was most definitely a Hanged Man experience. Suspended in the void, my eye gone, I called on Odin, and asked if it would be okay for me to use my cards as a receiver for whatever he had to teach. I shuffled and cut. The result was arresting – the card was the Hanged Man.
So for a while I’m going to share this process. You might call the next set of blog entries “The Odin Papers”. I’m taking this invitation I’ve been offered very seriously. Does it mean Ragnarok is coming? Maybe. Hang in there and we’ll see where this goes.