By Volksieg AOR
The Fetch, as many of you may know, is an entity who is with you, throughout all your incarnations, acting as a guide to greater spiritual development and, when the relationship between Odinist and Fetch is fully developed, it is entirely possible that it can act as a protector in this realm also.
One can see that the concept of the Fetch has even survived the Christianization of Europe encoded within such concepts as the “Guardian Angel” which is accepted by many as a part of Christian theology and yet has no biblical basis whatsoever. Essentially, the very concept of this “Guardian Angel” is a survival from pre-Christian times, like many of our traditions, wrapped up in Abrahamic symbolism and, thusly, ensuring its survival into modern times.
In a previous issue of ORB, and at the GM a couple of years ago, Tyrsson led us through a fantastic path-working exercise to allow us to contact our Fetch. As one may recall, this involved a passing through a tunnel, as many a good path-working does, until one found one’s self within a sacred glade. If one is successful during this operation, one should encounter one’s Fetch at this time. Of course there is no shame if this is not so, as for some, it may take multiple attempts before such an encounter takes place.
To carry out such an operation but once is, of course, only scratching the surface and I would suggest that people attempt this exercise, at the very least, once a day.
Some have great trouble visualising anything. There is no shame in that either as no two people are the same and some simply have a natural gift whilst others require much training in such matters.
What follows are some rather useful techniques in enhancing visualisation that I have picked up over the years and, although I am far from perfect at these techniques, I do find that they get easier with time and a lot of hard work and perseverance… hard work that, when one begins to experience the fruits of one’s labours, is rewarding in the extreme.
One of the simplest parts of this exercise is to close your eyes and try and relax as much as possible. It is best to try and find a position that is most comfortable for you…. Even if this involves sitting in a chair or even lying on your back as complex yogic stances are not necessary. Once you are totally comfortable, it is time to concentrate on your breathing. With a deep inhalation through your nose (Though, if this is not possible for any reason – I have a broken nose, for instance, and can only breathe through one nostril – the mouth shall suffice.), keeping your breath slow and steady, count to four. Hold this breath in for another count of four before releasing, again trying to maintain a steady flow, counting to four again. Once your lungs are emptied, again count to four and then breathe in again. Continue this for as long as you feel necessary until you feel a great feeling of relaxation wash over your entire body.
The most important thing to remember is that you are not in any kind of hurry. This is not a race and trying to rush such things will only hinder your progress.
After you have become accustomed to this, comes the most difficult part for many: Mastery of the body.
Many of you may have found that, upon partaking of any meditational exercises, that the body seems to rebel against you rather violently! That infernal itching that just won’t go away. That terrible urge to just lift that arm up and shake it! The strange feeling that if you don’t twitch that little finger, the world could quite possibly end this very minute! Many people who have experience with yoga have told me, over the years, that such impulses are the bane of their existence.
So how does one stop this?
The quick and simple answer is “You can’t”. What you can do, though, is try and develop the discipline to be able to ignore it and move on.
I am sure that many of you are aware of these street entertainers who call themselves “Living Statues”? Some of these performers have developed the ability of total stillness which, although it may sound easy, is no mean feat. What is required here is the development of this ability. I would say that a 100% success rate is almost unheard of, unless one has the advantage of many years practice and, perhaps, a little mountain retreat and absolutely no friends or family to get in the way, so do not feel like an abject failure and start beating yourself up every time your face twitches….. just put that unfortunate moment behind you and persevere.
After about fifteen minutes of the aforementioned breathing exercises, continue and try to maintain total stillness for, at the very least, an extra fifteen minutes. I can guarantee that you will find this an absolutely agonising experience! What, at first, seemed like the most comfortable position you have ever been in will soon develop into a hideous torture as every part of your body screams for even the slightest movement. You will find that your mind is overcome with endless doubts: “Surely it doesn’t matter if I just move the tip of my little finger a couple of millimetres?”, “I’m sure Volksieg isn’t expecting me not to swallow!”, “My arm is going dead! How can anyone consider a dead arm good meditation practice?!”…. block it all out as best you can and just keep trying!
A good thing to do would be to keep a diary recording your daily attempts at this.
Keep a record of the date, the day, time of day, what you ate, how much sleep you had the night before…. Anything you think may be influencing your experience and ability to maintain stillness. Sometimes you will last 10 minutes, sometimes you will mess up after 5 seconds….. again, I cannot stress just how important perseverance is.
Over time you will begin to notice patterns in your behaviour that have somehow aided you. As silly as it may sound, you may even notice that, for instance, you are a lot better at this if you had a bacon sandwich for lunch or you are incapable of even attempting this exercise between 2pm and 5pm on a Wednesday if it rained during the early hours of the morning and you happen to be wearing green socks! Try to understand yourself and your own limitations as well as the somewhat bizarre outside influences that may aid or interfere with your progress and use this information to your benefit. Experiment a bit! Test every assumption, increasing the things that help you and decreasing or totally cutting out the things that stand in your way, keeping notes of your progress as you go.
Once you have reached the stage where you are managing the 15 minutes of stillness, all the while maintaining the slow and steady breathing, try to visualise something such as a rune, perhaps, or a simple object. The most important thing is to try not to run before you can walk! Keep it simple!
For this example, I shall pick the first rune: Fehu.
Maintaining your stillness as much as possible, breath in slowly and steadily as before and try and imagine, as the breath fills you lungs, a golden light slowly forming the shape of the rune. Once your lungs are filled to capacity, imagine the rune burning and sparking! Filled with energy!
As you slowly exhale, imagine this energy dissipating, whilst chanting “Feeeeeeeeeeeeh…. Huuuuuuuuuuu”….etc.….etc.….
Try to block out, as much as possible, any extraneous thoughts that may try to interfere in your visualisation. Every time you feel the image become unfocussed, or your mind starts to wander, try hard to force it back stronger than before.
Continue this exercise for as long as you wish, picking a different rune each day.
If you have decided to attempt these exercises in the morning, come evening, reflect on anything that has happened throughout your day that may appear to come under the influence of the rune you worked with and note it down. You may be rather surprised!
When you come to the end of the Futhark……. Start again!
You should be finding that, after a short time (Though, of course, the time it takes you to develop this depends on each person.) the images become far more solid! What once was simply “imagining” each rune becomes almost like a projection on the back of your eyelids. This is a major turning point in developing visualisation skills!
Now try these exercises with increasingly complex images. Try to incorporate sound, smell, taste…. Imagine holding, smelling, biting and tasting an apple, for instance.
Over time you will find that you are getting better and better and the visualisations are getting more and more “real”.
If you have been practicing the path-working, as put forward by Tyrsson, you should be finding that your experience of your Fetch is also becoming much clearer, more solid…. Again, more REAL.
Start to interact with your Fetch more. Talk to him/her and stroke him/her perhaps, imagining the feel of his/her fur/feathers/whatever… under your fingers….. try to build a solid relationship with your Fetch until you know its behaviour patterns, its quirks, its likes and dislikes! If it is a Wolf or a Dog, for instance, don’t just visit him/her for help or some spiritual insight….. throw it a ball! Play with it! Take it for a walk! Visit your Fetch for the simple pleasure of visiting.
You may be surprised by the results as you start to realise that this animal you “imagined” seems to be taking on a life of its own! You may even begin to realise that the truth of the matter is that, far from it taking on a life of its own, you have simply trained yourself to truly see, experience and realise that it has been living its life, as an independent entity, far longer than you could know.
Surround yourself with images that remind you of your Fetch. Talk to your Fetch daily during these exercises or even muttered under your breath when waiting for a bus (Perhaps in your head if you fear turning into one of those people who hang around bus stations!). Do not be afraid of asking your Fetch for guidance and signs when you are filled with doubts or troubled by something. Remember that your Fetch is there for such purposes if only you would let it do its job properly! You may even find out it has a name! When you meet your fetch in that glade, it may want you to follow it! Do so! See where it wants to take you!
Pay extra special attention to your dreams from now on, also. You may be pleasantly surprised!