(Read So You Think You Can Be a Vitki, Part One here.)
In my late 20s I got bit by the rune bug. I had read about the runes in the books by Tolkien. I started studying them seriously. I joined the Rune Gild. Through my studies I realized that the connection to the Runes is also vital to me as a Vitki. The runes are my first line of connection with the gods. Through my use of the Runes I am allowed a glimpse into the goings on of the divine. The runes are more than a powerful Divination system for me. Plugging into the energy of the Runes gives me a boost of spiritual strength, which I’ve found that I need on a regular basis to function well.
At the same time, all I kept hearing about was Odin–Odin this, Odin that. I learned that Odin had snatched up the runes while hanging on the tree. And then he called me. It wasn’t a single dramatic event. It was more of an unveiling of wisdom to me that I soon realized was coming from Odin. So, I answered the call and started to honor him in earnest. I started meditating on him in particular, and sure enough he wanted to talk with me. He taught me about the runes and many other mysteries. And I’ve been going full force since then.
As I continued my Runic studies over the years, I got the feeling that my spiritual practices were off balance. I decided to start finding out about Seidr. What is Seidr? In my practices, any trance work done with a northern tradition as its backdrop is Seidr. Soon I was duplicating my spontaneous trance experience of years gone by and I was having altered consciousness experiences regularly. More studying lead me to greater personal success, and I started using Seidr for personal transformation. Soon I was visiting the Nine Realms as often as a frequent flier!
By then I was in my early 40s. I was and had been doing rune readings and Seidr sessions for others for some time. And I had been referring to the work I did as Vitki work. It just slowly over the years evolved into that–step by step, bit by bit. No crash of thunder or flash of lightning signaled that I was to become a Vitki. I just continued to learn and do what a Vitki does. So, I became a Vitki.
In my mid 40s, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Soon after, I was unable to hold down a regular job. I believe this turn of events was the work of the gods making sure that I was freed up to do my Vitki work full time. And that’s what I did. I have been dedicating myself to Vitki work full time for over seven years.
Now, in my early 50s, I have really accelerated my Vitki work. I’ve received my certificate of Shamanism of the Norse path. I founded a Facebook group. I have apprentices. I have a blog; I’ve published a book; and I have a YouTube channel. I have been interviewed on a podcast. I do what a Vitki does, and have done so for years now.
How dare I call myself a Vitki? That’s how. But mainly I call myself a Vitki because I dedicate my life to Vitki work. I serve my clan in many ways. I give rune readings and I do Seidr work. I help to educate my apprentices and community. I received my ordination as a Gothi, and as an ordained Gothi I provide spiritual guidance. I continue to grow and surprise myself in what I end up doing. Each step along the way has lead me to now: I am a Vitki.
Kurt Hoogstraat is a full-time Vitki and Heathen author based in Northern Illinois. He has been studying the runes and other Old Norse esoterica for over twenty years. A member of the Troth and an inclusive Heathen, Kurt also blogs at https://vitkimusings.blog/. He also creates instructional Heathen videos at his self-titled YouTube channel . You can check out his video on “The Blot” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvMtuXG1MWY&t=3s.