The High Seat
Engage in Sei∂r (truth Speaking) practice to learn deeper truths
Sei∂r (SAY-th) or seith practice covers a range of ancient Nordic shamanic practices, including rune and high seat divination and magical sending practices--all in all it was a magical practice relating to both telling and shaping the future. In the high seat practice a völva or oracle takes the high seat to connect with truth directly from the spirits. The völva is a Nordic shaman, who traveled from settlement to settlement and provided seership on important issues of farming, community life, and trade travel. Völva means “staff carrier” and this wise woman (more likely) or man would take the high seat, usually hooded, draw up power from the earth with their staff and go into a trance to contact helping spirits or gods and goddesses who would provide answers to questions for those who have assembled.
In rural nordic areas, the visit of the Völva was an anticipated event. A feast was held the evening they arrived, and a high platform was built to support the visioning. Each community had important questions about what to plant, where to hunt, and health and curing of community members. At the time of the ceremony, the assembled querents usually sang a power song to help the Völva go into trance or a shamanic journey.
During the ceremony the Völva's staff became yggdrasil – the world tree – by which the Völva can travel to or see into any realm, either ordinary or non-ordinary. Yggdrasil is a large column of power; it is the vibrational form of creation. With the staff touching the earth, feet off the earth, the Völva connects to the flow of power. Channeling information and help down from above or up from below.
One Völva, Heid is made famous in the Nordic Poetic & Prose Eddas:
They called her Heid, when she came to the house a sibylline witch, who knew the skill of wands, she practiced Sei∂r where she could, practiced Sei∂r in a trance; she was always a delight to wise women
While everything is not known about the ancient High Seat ceremonies, we have descriptions of the Völva sitting on a high seat or platform, able to see out over the audience (traditionally facing West). Their eyes covered (scarf, eye curtain, hood)—they look into another reality. Smoke may have been used in ancient times—likely hallucinogenic; today we journey on the song or drum. With the staff drawing from the earth—the truth comes up from the source of the Runes.
May our speakings be true, and may there be peace in all directions,