Short Reprieve

From Northern Antiquities, an English translat...

From Northern Antiquities, an English translation of the Prose Edda from 1847. Painted by Oluf Olufsen Bagge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been so neglectful of my blog. I have been actually working, writing for money, imagine that? Well, I need to wander here more often than I have been. It is like coming home to my thoughts. I am very excited because today I am going to have a consultation about the tattoo that I promised myself I would get when I finished my Masters. It is about nine months overdue. I want the World Tree Yggdrasil in some form. Not too big, but it will complement the 13th Rune symbol I have on my ankle. Even though my kids think it is a Harry Potterish lightening bolt-it isn’t.

Both are Norse symbols. The rune is called Eihwaz (I-wawz) and represents the powerful Yew tree, Yggdrasil. Eihwaz literally means Yew Tree. The expanded meaning includes: strength, stability, grounding, dependability, trustworthiness and reliability.

This rune represents a marked decision made in a reasonable manner and the ability to achieve the goal set. That is why when I set out to achieve the goal of attaining my masters degree, I picked this symbol-besides I am from Norse heritage and it meant something important to me. The rune represents a direct and clear sense of purpose that is well planned and thought out and will be executed.
Due to the nature of the Yew Tree this rune represents a plan of action that you have taken great time with, great care and have firmly rooted into place. This is not an “on a whim” course of action. Hence, the Yew Tree, World Tree; Yggdrasil is the perfect compliment to my rune. The Yew represents roots that are firmly rooted in the earth while the branches are open and vulnerable to the heavens. This tree binds the earth and heavens by its strength.
Now, back to writing for money.

Serendipity or No?

I rarely go to the movies. I haven’t been in years, but over the weekend I saw the new Bond movie Skyfall. Bond returns to his childhood home in Scotland (never knew he was from Scotland) in a sleek, vintage Aston Martin. He gets out of the car and in his musing he looks down into a breathtaking cleft surrounded by lush hills. I sighed and said out loud. “Ah, home.”

That night I kept thinking of that scene from the movie and wondered where it was in Scotland. The next day I googled and found that the very spot where Bond stood was in Glencoe Scotland. I kid you not. Yes, the place where I own a plot of land that was purchased through www.highlandtitles.com.

I just couldn’t believe it. The connection I felt was very strong just like all my connections to my scotwegian self and the Scottish land. Was this just a coincidence? Or was it more?

A happy accident or providence? Technically, the words are synonyms. Providence is fate, kismet, destiny. Is a happy accident in of itself destiny? This happenstance over the weekend ( another debatable word) reminded me of Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy-life’s wheel of fortune and the incredibly philosophical conversation between Boethius’s narrator and Lady Philosophy. Boethius establishes no such thing as chance or free will. God marks out the seasons putting each to its proper task. He established a certain course of change and tolerates no confusion.  The wheel of life turns constantly-for everyone. So where does happiness lie? Within and if you can’t find it forget it!

Providence is foreknowledge, divine reason which arranges God’s thoughts or God’s law and fate.

If Providence is the divine direction it therefore tackles chance. So therefore freewill has no merit if all is predestined by fate. According to Boethius’s Lady Philosophy, chance is obsolete as well if fate is part of God’s hand as well.

What place can be left for any random happening seeing that God keeps everything in order?

Was I meant to experience all these small coincidences and interpret  than as so or is this all part of my journey, my fate?

Short Reprieve

I am a bit regretful that the contest from http://www.highlandtitle.com is over. I wish I would have found the blog contest information earlier. I am planning on continuing my journey of my scotwegian self but for the month of November I am working on my goal to finish the NaNoWRiMo ( National Novel Writing Month). I need to write 50,000 words and I have procrastinated for two days now…partly why I am on this site…my perpetual procrastination of the novel but I am stuck!!!


Be back soon with more compelling thoughts on my scotwegiansoul.


 I did some investigating at www.highlandtitles. com and to my sheer delight I found out that I can legally have my ashes put in the ground on my piece of land in Scotland. I know, it does sound eery that I was delighted maybe relief is the better word. I feel soothed that I can have my wishes carried out.  I will be at ease while I am alive, knowing that when I am gone I will be content as well too.

In regard to the preservation of land in Glencoe, Scotland, there are several things that are allowed. You may not be interested in having your remains buried or scattered in Glencoe, but you can plant trees, picnic and even camp on or near the land that you have purchased. I own one square foot and it only cost about 50 U.S. dollars. I really would like some more land and I am hoping that I can purchase it directly next to the existing, itty-bitty piece I have now.


Several years after I graduated from the university, I went back for my masters degree. I decided to get a small tattoo on my left ankle to represent the journey of which I was about to embark. Being of Norse descent, I chose a rune symbol. I was so surprised that the symbol I chose was the 13th rune, Eihwaz (I-waz). Not only was the rune representative of a tree, it was my favorite number too!

In Norse mythology, it is believed that the axis of the universe is a very large ash tree, Yggdrasil, also called The World Tree.  Note: Eastern Scandinavia references the world tree as yew, while Western Scandinavia references it as the ash. The tree is universally thought of as a symbol of  stability and growth. The roots reach deep into the earth to ground us while the branches reach into the heavens to enable our spirit to grow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SI9FAO5g1Gw

The Tolkien paper, my affinity for trees, my Norse heritage, my unfounded Scotwegian heritage, and most importantly my journey of self became even more linked together when I got my tattoo.

Last March, when I received my title as Lady Karen from Highland Titles, I was tickled to find in my packet from www.highlandtitles.com, a neat pin with a broadleaf tree on the front. I almost wasn’t  surprised. Celtic connections surround me. I wonder still, am I an attribute of the tree or is the tree representative of myself?

Before him stood the Tree, finished. If you could say that of a Tree that was alive, its leaves opening, its branches growing and bending in the wind that Niggle had so often felt and quessed, and had so often failed to catch. He gazed at the Tree, and slowly he lifted his arms and opened them wide. ‘It is a gift!’ he said.”   -Leaf By Niggle


My affinity for trees is another mystery to me. Sure, trees are pretty and if you are lucky to live in a four-season state, province, or town, you get to see wonderful color changes of trees. But, that isn’t it for me-most people appreciate a beautiful tree in all its changing glory. For me, it is something deeper, more rooted that begs for an answer that I have never been able to find. It seems to be a pattern, much like my love for Scotland; unconsciously making choices and decisions which lead me to a better understanding. Rather than just,  “I like trees and Scotland, therefore I will write about them.”

Here is a really good example. I elected to take as my last class of undergraduate research, a seminar course on J. R. R. Tolkien. We discussed everything from the Silmarillion to The Lord of the Ring series. When it came time to choose my paper topic I noticed that trees were infused throughout all of his work. I remember a very stressful period while thesis hunting. I was so close but I could not wholeheartedly wrap my head around dispassionate contention. It came to me quite beautifully as I was reading through some information on G.K., a writer and close friend of Tolkiens:

I mean that a tree goes on growing, and therefore on changing, but always in the fringes surrounding something unchangeable. The innermost rings of the tree are still the same as when it was a sapling; they have ceased to be seen, they they are still central. When a tree grows a branch at the top, it does not break away from the roots at the bottom; on the contrary, it needs to hold more strongly by its roots the higher it rises with its branches. That is the true image of the vigorous and healthy progress of a man, a city, or a whole species.    GK. Chesterton.

From this point, I had my thesis and a big paper to write. Basically, I argued that Tolkien elaborated on Chesteron’s concept of trees and embraced this philosophy in the Lord of the Ring Series, comparing tree to man in the Fellowship in regard to mankind, growth, beginnings, ends, and journeys, all steeped in traditional and historical symbolism. I think Niggle would agree too-of course after he finally finished his painting.