The topic has come up before and has recently surfaced again. People in angst feeling as though they don't have contact with spirit. They read stories on the internet, they wander through tumblr sites, and peruse forums where they read of people telling tales or claiming to have 'god-phones'. In essence, the stories are of phenomenal experiences with spirit where the author claims they see, hear, and interact in profound ways with deity. I've been guilty of this also, I'll admit.

I've pulled back from this. I'm wired one way, others are wired differently. We all, repeat we ALL, have mechanisms for spiritual experience. Every one of us. No one way is better, more thorough, or more accurate. It is how the experience and information is received and used that makes it more meaningful.

I want to briefly touch on an alternative method of spiritual experience for those who feel left out, for those who don't hear words or get flashy visuals. See, we live in a culture that emphasizes intellect and thought over emotion and intuition. It isn't what should be, we need to regain balance there.

Heart tradition is found within many indigenous cultures. It is a source of experience we all can and should look to. Rather than focusing on trying to attain an intellectual, hearing and seeing experience, why not focus on seeing with the heart? Examine the feelings, the intuition that comes from this practice. It is an experiential way of spiritual contact. The heart is holistic, it is more then just emotion but our perception of those emotions. Deep wisdom lies within and for those who have faced barriers in spiritual contact, this may be an alternative avenue.

What happens here is when one goes before spirit, rather than hearing words you feel the answer. Since many modern cultures have an ingrained distrust of feelings we often start by disregarding what is received. But stop, don't disregard, give it time to percolate. Mull those feelings over, court them gently. Over time their wisdom will be acknowledged. Over time, we'll more rapidly understand the holistic message. It can be a profoundly intimate contact, much more so than words or images.

A decent article written from an Andean paradigm by C. Michael Smith is found in the link below. If Spirit via the Heart is something that interests or may benefit you, I suggest you take a look: Andean Shamanic Vision: an archetypal psychology of the heart. 
(You will have to scroll down, the page has a blank area near the top.)

Three Norns by Palentino at the entrance of the Ribe Viking Center in Denmark.

Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld. I've written of them on various pages but its time I mention them here. They are generally ascribed as weavers of fate- the sacred tales they spring from describe the creation of individual and community wyrd as a woven strand(s). 

Most of the time, these ladies are ascribed to concepts such as the past, present, and the future. It's a pretty simplistic approach but I find some errors in that particular line of thought. 

Urðr, and it's Germanic cognate wyrd, essentially means that which has come to passVerðandi is simply the present tense of the Old Norse Verða, 'to become'. It typically is interpreted as that which is in the making or becoming. Skuld is the trickier concept, this  word has a Germanic root of skul meaning 'to owe.' It can point to debt or guilt.

What we have here are some pretty deep concepts far beyond past, present, and future. Often we look at the concept of wyrd as what is to happen but wyrd itself requires all three Norns to fully activate as a theological premise.

I prefer a different approach to wyrd and the three Norns. We have 
Urðr, the past, the foundation, that which sets the stage for Verðandi. This Norn isn't the present, she isn't the now. You've already read those words, they are now the past. Verðandi is the becoming which is continually evolving and never remains still.

Here, as I noted, is the trickier aspect. Skuld. If you saw these three as a branch, it is at Skuld the branch would fork. We have two options, the will and the should be. We can ask ourselves at any given time in the becoming, 'What 'will be' in opposed to what 'should be'?' The 'will be' is the direction one is heading, it is where your feet and head are taking you. Are they aligned with the 'should be?' The goal of any human truly needs to be to align the will be with the should be.

How does this correlate with the meaning of the word Skuld 'to owe?' Simply put, we all have a path, a destiny, a fate. We chose it ourselves, it was placed upon us, it was in the cards, use whatever method of description works for you. We owe ourselves and others to align with the should be. The concept of debt or owing is often glossed over, individualistic and 
independent people don't feel comfortable with the idea of being born into this life with pre-destined duties or obligations. It messes with their concept of free will and choice which is a topic I'll discuss on a later date. For now, let's just focus on getting to the should be.

How do we get there? Sometimes it is common sense. Drink heavily? Doesn't matter the Urðr of the situation, right now there is too much alcohol happening. The will be is obvious to most; relational problems, employment issues, DUIs, liver cirrhosis, even alcoholic dementia if bad enough. Change the becoming and that will alter the will be to a should be of a healthier life.

Sometimes discerning the should be is more difficult. Should you marry this individual, should you take this job offer, should you buy this house, you get the point. What looks good in the becoming may not be the best ultimate course. Meditate, do the research, seek advice or counsel, divine; whatever works with your own construct. 

Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld, are far more than past, present, and future. Take the time to explore them and change your forked branch to a smooth, tightly wound strand.

Three Norns by Timothy Schmalz. Click the picture to go to his site.