“Alone she sat out, when Odin came seeking wisdom from the Völva.”  This line comes from the oldest of the Eddic poems, the Völuspa.  The Völva is practicing útiseta, which means to “sit out; in the open air; of learning and wisdom, of sorcery or prophesy.”   Like meditation, útiseta is a bodymind exercise to bring about true discernment and cognition.  In order to practice galdr and integrate the runes and other symbols found in the Galdorcraft calender and throughout heathenry, a regular útiseta practice is essential. Útiseta is what helps us cut through/ hold all the interrelating patterns, rhythms and energies of daily life.  It is what allows us to sit outside/ completely within our selves and everything so that we can perceive something larger. 

There are many forms of meditation practiced in different cultures around the world and they all have two things in common. 1; they are meant to expand the mind and illumine consciousness and 2: to assist the mind in formulating a particular mind-set. This second one is where the various forms of meditation become distinct because it is the cultural symbolism and cosmology that defines the relevant “mind-set.”  It is the mythic symbolism and cosmology, that will guide us as we align ourselves with the inherited folk wisdom of our ancestors and practice right mind-set, awareness, and discernment.

Central to this practice is Önd/ Wod (breath, soul), the fist gift given to Ask and Embla (the first man and first woman.

They had no inhaling breath, no soul, nor had they inherited a noble mind,

No blood or warm voice, no good color or moral.

Inhaling breath gave Ód (Woden), Noble mind gave Hoenir,

Blood, and Warm Voice gave Lodur, and good hue.

-Völuspá, verse 18 (wright translation) 

Útiseta Practice

· Create or find an environment where you will not be disturbed.  An outdoor (wild) place is ideal, but not necessary. 

· Start with a few deep full breaths, then allow your breath to come slow, steady, and natural. Notice the inhale, the brief pause, and the exhale. 

· While you are noticing your breath in this three part motion, start to notice other things around you sounds, smells, the way the air feels against your skin, the pressure of your weight against the ground or the chair, etc.

· That’s it. We are practicing awareness and noticing.  This is a lifelong practice and needs to be done daily in order to maintain and advance mastery. 

Wright, Valarie. Forn Þreifa: Ancient Healing Touch 2007
Hollander, The Poetic Edda 1962