Late in the summer of 2014, I was walking down Clark Street thinking about possibilities. I had a perfectly good job at a place I love, doing work I’m quite good at -- so naturally I was trying to figure out what else I could do. Satisfaction can be elusive and (at least for me) is more likely to come from new challenges than past successes. I come from a family that holds hard work in high esteem (sometimes to a fault) and I follow their lead in that regard. In addition to working consistently in office jobs for more than a decade, I’ve also been writing fiction, teaching yoga, editing high-level academic papers, and pursuing a magical path. I didn’t really lack for things to do, but I wanted more: specifically, I wanted to bring my magical abilities and ideas to people beyond my immediate circle of friends.
Walking down Clark that summer, I was specifically thinking about the Runes. I’m half Scandinavian, and stories of trolls, giants and the Norse gods were as much a part of my childhood as cartoons and action figures were. I had felt a pull toward the Runes for many years: I made my first set of Rune sticks at a friend’s kitchen table in 2006 using popsicle sticks and a Sharpie. They weren’t the prettiest divinatory tools, but they worked just fine. Thinking about the Runes while walking down Clark Street, I wondered, half out loud, if I should offer people Rune readings and classes. As soon as I completed that thought, I looked up just in time to see a man sitting in a restaurant look at the person across from him and nod, smiling brightly. He was wearing a Thorshammer around his neck.
A few moments after that, I was passed by two men talking about a third person who happened to be named Eric. The part of their conversation that I heard was:
“That Eric, he’s pretty smart. He knows what’s up.”
“Yup; he will do just fine. He’s got a good head on his shoulders.”
The Universe is not subtle when it speaks to me.
A few months later, I was in a tattoo shop, getting set up for my first ink: a Runic tattoo chosen with Odin’s help. After that, things fell into place with startling efficiency, leading to the creation of World Tree Healing almost exactly a year after I was so pointedly told to work with the Runes.
Although I focus on the Norse tradition for most of my public work, I have a broad base of magical experience ranging from modern Chaos and Energy magics through and including shamanic techniques from traditionally-trained teachers. The guiding principle of my magical work is Synthesis: bringing disparate or opposing ideas together to create new ideas; working across traditions without appropriating them, and building new ways of making and utilizing magic. Synthesis is the basis of my healing work as well: in order to heal we must create, and in order to create we must draw out the best of what is already there. The healing that results from the application of this concept is powerful, straightforward and challenging. It creates deeply-felt boosts to energy and long-lasting spiritual effects.