The Tree of Life - Yggdrasil
‘Wyrd’ is a Norse term for the complex interconnecting web that binds all things together, whether they be ‘living’ or not. This web is more intertwined and intricate than any other thing in the entire Universe. In fact, according to Norse mythology, it controls the Universe and everything within it.
Our own English word ‘weird’ is derived from the term ‘Wyrd’. The complex concept it actually embodies is much more potent than the simple notion of something that is ‘strange’ or ‘bizarre.’
One’s Wyrd is ‘that which has been created by what is laid down (orlog) in the past.’
It is your destiny as well as your life as you live it, each and every day.
Within Norse mythology and Teutonic spirituality it is believed that the guarding, creating, fine-tuning and care of this web is the responsibility of the ‘Nornir’, ‘Norn’ or ‘Weaving Women’.
The three women’s names are Urd, Verdandi and Skuld – the Triple Goddess of ancient times.
Urd is the oldest of the sisters and she is believed to rule the ‘past’.
Verdandi is the middle sister and rules the ‘present’.
Skuld is the youngest and is said to be the ruler of the ‘future’.
These three sisters are comparable with their cousins in Greek mythology, the ‘Fates.’ The ‘Fates’, or ‘Moirai’, were the daughters of Zeuz and the Titan Themus. The sisters combined, control each human’s destiny as well as that of the entire Universe. The Fates were often portrayed as a trio of old women who sat spinning a thread – The Thread of Life.
The sister’s names were Clotho, who spun the thread; Lachesis, who measured its length and wound it; and Atropos, who cut it. This Greek myth, in essence, is parallel to that of the Nornir of the Norse and demonstrates, yet again, the similarities between many of the different ancient beliefs and myths.
The ‘Nornir’ sisters shape and weave the web of Wyrd. So powerful are their bindings that by each tug on a strand here will affect your life there. The Norn Sisters know the mysteries of the web and the Universe. Their power and control is so strong that even the mighty Odin, Aasir and Vanir, gods of Norse mythology, are subject to their restrictions, constraints, demands and the way the web is strung.
In essence, these three weaving women, the Norn Sisters, bind and unbind the very fabric of existence. Every time the web strands of the Wyrd come together, they make a shape. Every action is a strand of the Web. Therefore, when two actions or events meet, whether those actions or events are people meeting and interacting, daily activities, someone involved in an incident, or simply birds flying in a flock, the strands meet in a shape. These shapes are then reduced to a level of symbology that we can understand as humans.
When placed in the nearest pattern that the human mind can explain, the crossing of the web-strands, or shapes, are the runes.
Each rune represents a summation for any coming together of web-strands; in any juncture of events, whether those events are connections between ‘living’ things or not.
The task of the rune is to open up these layers, or ‘orlogs’ of fate, to unravel the complex threads and show us how we arrived where we are.
When the Runecaster, Rune Master or ‘Vitki’ draws the runes for a reading, the shapes of the bindings and knottings of the Wyrd are represented by the runes. It is the responsibility of the Runecaster or Vitki, to interpret their relationships to each other and what threads they are linking together, within the Web of Wryd.
In the present, we experience the energy of our own past choices; we meet our own past selves. This comes about through what is known as layers, or to the Norse, ‘orlog’. Action taken, or not taken, literally creates layers of energy that adhere to us and influence our present conditions. Our fate is this energy field, layered in and around us through our decisions and actions, and is thus bound into the aura of our being. It is not a force outside us that takes control while we look on. It is our Wyrd - a living, vibrant well of force that fills us, surrounds us and links us to the Web of Life - The Web of Wyrd.
There is not only the Wyrd of the individual to consider. The Wyrd of the Creator, of groups and communities, the planet and all its inhabitants, the Universe and all that it contains, all play a part of their own in the web - but are all interconnected nonetheless.
To know ourselves we must know the forces within our own Wyrd. We must know and understand the forces in the greater web, for we are all part of a much larger pattern and we all have a path to walk and a part to play within it.
N.B. This web also has another name in Norse mythology. It is called ‘Yggdrasil’ – The Tree of Life – The World Tree.
RUNES – The Elderfuthark