Fate and Destiny

Fate and destiny are complex concepts. Few of us focus on them in a society more interested in materialistic gain, power, control, and greed. Just as everyone has a divine spark, everyone’s shared destiny is physical death. When we accept life, we accept death; but out of death – life. Individually, we do have an intrinsic destiny or a mission if you wish. This is a mystery few seek to know. Philosophically, our intrinsic destiny is intertwined with our fate based on achieving a level of soul evolution. But our fate is not an individual thread. It is intertwined with all other things in a web of weaving—not just the ones in our immediate environment.

The weaving of fate and destiny is a mystery. I do not buy into some people’s concept of karma where we are being punished for past actions in past lifetimes; or the Christian concept of Grace where we are at the mercy of gifts from God. On the other hand and from a philosophical standpoint, I believe the Norse-Germanic concept of fate and destiny to be one of the best paradigms to consider. It is based on a Triple Goddess paradigm, the Norns, and intertwined with two of their basic cosmologic symbols—the World Tree, Yggdrasill and the Well or “the spring of Urd, commonly translated as the past. However, the real meaning of the name is Origin, primal cause, the connotation being that of antecedent causes from which flow all subsequent effects.” The yew tree Yggdrasill is metaphorically the center of the seen and unseen universe. It holds the nine worlds of Norse mythology. Within Yggdrasills’ branches and roots dwell all things of creation, all sentient beings and things of the seen and unseen world. Yggdrasill’s growth comes from the waters of the Well of Urd. This is extremely important as water is a central concept. The water nourishes the tree and all the worlds and its evergreen fir branches shed this water by dripping dewdrops back into the Well replenishing it. This is the archetypal water cycle discovered in the esoteric lore of many culture. Water is life. One reason life exists on earth is due to the natural water cycle of our planet: water evaporates from the surface of the ocean; moist air raises, it cools and water vapor condenses to form clouds, the moisture is transported around the globe until it returns to the surface as precipitation. The earth’s water cycle is even alluded to within the Hebrew Tanakh in Ecclesiastes 1:7: "All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full; to the place [from] which they flow, the streams flow back again." Furthermore in our journey to awaken, the imagery of the water cycle of the World Tree points us to certain esoteric truths. One is time—a circular passage of time as well an interpenetration of time where timelessness and linear time are One. This is not a linear sequence of past, present and future. This is the influence of the past on the present and the present influencing the past (forgiveness/ transforming patterns) which then have an effect on our present and destiny. By combining this concept of the circular passage of time with the concepts of linear time and timelessness, we have a better grasp on knowing the truth of existence and consciousness. We reflect the cycles of nature—birth, death, rebirth and becoming. We are becoming. The influence of the present on the past basically means a new present. It is easy to shove the past into the deepest, darkest recesses of our consciousness, which many do. To the Norse, this act is pure stupidity. Since the present is symbolized by Yggdrasill while the past is the Well of Urd, we can influence the waters that feed our personal ‘tree of life.’ Letting the waters stagnate does not provide for the wellbeing of our metaphoric brothers and sisters, our ‘tree’ or our awakening. The attendants at the Well are the three sisters: the Norns—Urd (Origin/Fate), Verdandi (Being/Becoming) and Skuld (Necessity/Debt). As we can see, these could equate to past, present and future. But not exactly or in a linear fashion. At birth the Norns carve our life journey and destiny into the tree. All things are subject to these carvings. But different than most paradigms, these carvings are not absolute and may be altered—the carved words may be rewritten. In other words all beings have a degree of power over their destiny as well as other’s destiny. A key to awakening is being more active and powerful in shaping our destiny with the understanding that we are still subject to Necessity. Necessity links use with the concept of weaving. Everything is interconnected in a web of creation; everything interpenetrates; everything is One.