Have you ever felt that you were missing something? It seems that no matter how hard you look, you can’t see what it is.
You know you have greatness within. You know you were built for better things. Forged like the sword of a champion.
You are the hero of your story, yet you struggle to shape your destiny. If you could only see what you were missing, you would be unstoppable.
You can, my friend.
You think you’re missing something important, and you’re right. You’re exactly right.
There’s a secret hiding in plain sight. It’s so close, you can reach out and touch it.
But first, you have to see it.
It has always been this way. I learned this early.
When I was young, I was told a story from a poem called the Hávamál.
The Hávamál shows you how to Have It All.
It’s an old story, at least eight hundred years old. I will tell you the story as it was told to me.
Before I can do that, I have to lay some ground work. Some things you know about the hero of this story are wrong.
The Old Ways
We call Odin and Thor and Loki “gods”. That’s the wrong word.
We use the word “gods” because we understand it. The people who followed the old ways understood things differently.
Their deities were like honored family. You respected them, and tried to live in a way they’d respect. Their concept of worship was closer to reverence and honor.
The most honored of all was Odin. Odin was the leader of the Aesir. He was the leader for good reason.
Odin is a multi-faceted figure. He isn’t easy to define. He isn’t black and white, he is full color.
Odin: Full Color Berserker
Odin is a wanderer, a wizard, a seeker of truth. In fact, every story of Odin involves his search for truth.
He is the patron of artists. He is the deity of berserkers. The master of magic.
He is not the wise old man sitting on a throne. He is always building, always moving forward, always seeking more.
I could tell you the story where he slayed the father of jotuns, Ymir. A giant formed from venom whose body was used to build the worlds.
I could tell you the story of Odin’s death. How Fenrir, the demonic wolf-child of Loki, tore his uncle to shreds in the final battle of Ragnarok.
I could, but I won’t. Instead, I will tell you the story of Odin and the runes. The story of the secret to seeing truth and shaping your destiny.
Odin and the Runes
Odin sat on his throne in Asgard, home of the Aesir. From there, he could see Yggdrasil.
Yggdrasil is the world tree, whose trunk and branches connect the nine worlds.
One of Yggdrasil’s roots grew out of a great well. The waters of the well were the waters of wisdom.
Deep in the well’s waters lived Mimirs, powerful creatures that shape destiny.
They carved runes only they could see into the tree. The runes grew up the tree and shaped the destiny of the worlds.
Odin was an eternal seeker. A wanderer who always wanted more.
Odin saw the Mimirs and knew their task.
He wanted their knowledge. He wanted the wisdom of the waters, the secrets of the runes that shape destiny.
But no matter how much he looked at them, he couldn’t see the runes.
Odin realized that truth would not come to him freely. He realized it would only reveal itself when he put things in motion.
Odin went to the tree with his spear in hand. He performed a sacrifice, the highest sacrifice he could make.
Odin sacrificed himself to himself.
He suffered physically to grow spiritually. He hung there from the world-tree, impaled on his own spear.
Odin forbid anyone from bringing him food or drink. He was determined to see the truth. No amount of suffering would stop him.
Nine Nights and Nine Days
Odin hung there from the world-tree for nine nights. Bleeding, thirsting, starving. He maintained the pain and focused on the water below.
At the dawn of the tenth day, a raven flew by and tore out his eye.
Then, he began to see shapes. Shapes floating in the waters of wisdom. They were so close, he could almost touch them.
They had been there the entire time! The truth had been right in front of his face. He just couldn’t see it.
He had to become blind to what wasn’t true.
Odin became half-blind to see the whole truth. The simple truth that was always there, hidden in plain sight.
“Then I was fertilized and became wise;
I truly grew and thrived.
From a word to a word I was led to a word,
From a work to a work I was led to a work.”
The runes gave Odin power. Not physical power, but spiritual power. He had gained the power to shape destiny.
Odin took these runes and strung them together.
He discovered written language, and art, and poetry. He discovered magic, and truth, and secrets.
With these, he became one of the most powerful beings in existence. As you already know, it didn’t prevent his death. The runes aren’t that kind of power.
How to See the Truth and Shape Your Destiny
The power of the runes is the power of artistic genius. Odin was capable of great magic because he was capable of great art.
Odin healed wounds with his words. He disarmed his enemies. He protected his people in battle.
This is the magic of genius art. Odin was simply a genius artist of the highest caliber.
He then gave the runes to mankind. He shared this gift of written language, and art, and poetry.
Any who could see could be free to shape their own destiny.
Remember, Odin is patron to artists and poets. His magic is the magic of words. His power is the power of genius art.
You, my friend, are also capable of genius art.
This is where the story comes back to you. The circle completes itself, unbroken. And at least 800 years later.
You also have the power to shape destiny.
The only catch is, destiny won’t bend to you if you look for it. Destiny will only bend to those who see.
No matter how hard you look, you won’t see it. All you see is murky water. A cloudy haze between you and the truth.
You have to prove yourself, you have to suffer. You have to maintain the pain to stay sane. No matter what you must endure, endure.
You must sacrifice yourself to yourself.
The highest form of sacrifice. By giving all, you will get all. Endure, and in enduring become strong.
You must become blind to untruths and distractions. Become blind so you can truly see. When you do, you’ll realize something.
The truth was right there all along.
It was always there in plain sight. So close you can reach out and touch it.