This short concise book packs plenty of punch in its content. For those entirely unfamiliar with the Norns in Norse myth, this is a highly accessible introduction and offers resources for further exploration.
Irisanya Moon organizes her ideas and material in a masterful way. The introduction considers multi-cultural forms of the Fates, generally depicted as a group of three women who weave the fates of humanity. The author provides a background for understanding the Norns and their place in myth, and describes their appearances in Norse myths more fully in Chapter 2. Mythic material is sparse but it does provide some specifics about the Norns and their role in fate.
Chapter 3 gets into the nitty-gritty of describing and defining the complicated concepts swirling around fate and destiny. The Norse concepts include wyrd, ørlog and hammingja; these are quite different from Western-Christian concepts. This is a crucial chapter and the author’s clear definitions and descriptions are worth the price of the book.
Subsequent chapters focus on each Norn as an individual entity. Moon provides more in-depth ideas about each Norn and includes appropriate rituals and meditations for connecting with them in turn. The suggestions in these chapters that will help the reader create an improved and more evolved perspective of their past, present and future.
Chapter 7 – Cultivating a Relationship with the Wyrd Sisters offers excellent advice about approaching the Norns (or any deity). The author outlines a set of expectations, intentions, limitations, and ideas that should precede the relationship one is about to create with the Norns. This chapter has wonderfully sensible advice that can be applied to any devotional or ritual practices, and gives reminders that sometimes a person has to slow down, take a break, or even walk away. Chapter 8 offers interesting ideas about discovering your personal nornir or dísir, subordinate entities that might have been assigned at birth. A visualization meditation is included.
The end matter includes endnotes and a “Resources and Bibliography” section.
Irisanya Moon has compiled intriguing thoughts and ideas about the Norns in this book. Her approach is gentle and wise and includes welcome dollops of common sense. The meditation exercises and ritual suggestions are fairly simple but have the potential for profound results. I enjoyed her innovative thinking about the Norns, particularly how she examines the Norns in their ancient context and then brings them into useful relevance in the present. “The Norns” is a wonderful book – highly recommended.
~review by Elizabeth Hazel
Author: Irisanya Moon
2023 Moon Books/John Hunt Publishing
112 pg. $12.95 pb, $6.49 Kindle