As Jackson Crawford states in the video below, the passage in the Havamal about Odin sacrificing himself to himself is the greatest mystery in the Northern Tradition.
To understand this mystery, an equal sacrifice is needed - at least in the symbolic sense. It will involve suffering and it will involve a period of gestation. The period of gestation relates to the number 9, corresponding with the 9 days and nights during which Odin hung from the tree (as well as the Nine Worlds) - a tree which may or may not have been Yggdrasil (do watch the video to find out more!).
My first deep encounter with the runes and Odin himself was more than ten years ago. I had started a correspondence course with Freya Aswynn and the first lesson included a meditation to meet Odin. I can clearly see now that I wasn't ready to walk the path of the runester then. I wasn't prepared to make the necessary sacrifice. I'm sorry to say I never got beyond that first lesson.
The days leading up to my 50th birthday (on the day of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction) is a time of reckoning for me. I have to examine my sense of entitlement and I have to hold my hands up and admit that I was wrong when I detached the runes from the gods in my Runes of Lights series on Angelorum a couple of years ago.
What I did is a clear example of New Age spiritual bypass. I'm not saying that the information in that series is totally wrong but it is - clearly - both incomplete and out of its proper context. I do willingly admit that I was finding it difficult to relate to Asatru in the introductory post for the series but what I have come to realise now, thanks to more in-depth studies, is that modern Asatru very often has little in common with the 'fornsed' of my ancestors which, since they were all farmers, is more likely to have been more akin to the modern reconstructionist Vanatru.
I'm willing to do the work of getting to my roots now, which is exactly the work Odin himself did. This means diving deep into the shadowlands of my ancestors and understanding (to the point of feeling deeply) their collective pain and not just my own.
There isn't anything I'm not willing to do to gain this knowledge for myself now and in saying so, I know that Odin is acting as my guide. I will go beyond and keep going beyond. I will admit that I know nothing and I will apologise for my previous entitlement and quick fix mentality.
I'm writing this on the third day of a three-day fast which I have yet to break. Fasting, these days, provides another method of going deeper into the mysteries. It helps me face my fears and grow both roots and a backbone. I wish for nothing more than to make my ancestors proud of me (both Norse and Sámi).