How may we get closer to our Gods? In addition to the usual Wheel of the Year rites it is important to engage in other spiritual exercises in order to maintain a closeness to our Gods, which in the Germanic tradition are practices such as meditation, visualisation, concentration exercises, Rune Yoga, Rune Magic and Rune Divination. Before starting any magical enterprise it is important to carry out a protection ritual such as the Hammer of Thor rite in all four cardinal directions but also above and below. This in itself is a spiritual exercise. The wearing of an amulet such as a Thor's Hammer or a Swastika will give further reassurance and protection.
Those of us who are familiar with Armanist practices may at times also use a pendulum, particular in connection with the Runes. An excellent guide book in the use of the pendulum, especially in association with the Runes is Karl Spiesberger's Reveal the Power of the Pendulum. Tools such as the Runes and the pendulum help to deepen and develop our psychic abilities. However such tools should never be used by those who may be prone to mental disturbance or who do not take adequate precautions for psychic self-defence. For such people they are best left alone.
For those who take off their Thor's Hammer before going to bed they could make the donning of their Hammer into a ritual after they awake in the morning. Edred Thorsson in his A Book of Troth recommends that a spell be uttered on donning the Hammer each morning:
"This day shall bring new wonders, great doings, boundless luck and happiness unending-by the might of the hammer!"
He recommends that the Hammer be held at eye level when uttering the spell. The sign of the Hammer could also be used to bless food and drink throughout the day. It is especially important to make the sign of the Hammer over the mead horn after pouring new mead or ale into the horn so that it be blessed with the might and megin of Thunor. If you are anything like me I never take the Hammer off except to bathe, etc.
Edred also suggests that at noon "true folk" greet the Sun in honour by adopting the Elhaz/Algiz Rune stance and utter a simple prayer such as:
"Hail Sunna, in the highest dwelling of heaven!"
Before going to sleep a simple prayer to the Gods in thanksgiving for the good that the day has brought and for protection of oneself, one's loved ones and possessions may be made.
Another practice which has gained acceptance in Odinist circles are the use of Rune prayer beads for meditation purposes. We need to remember that many of the practices of our heathen ancestors were stolen by the church so I see no reason why we should not reclaim them for our own use.
Each of us must try in his or her own way to engage in some simple daily practices in other that we may deepen our spiritual experience. By carrying out simple daily devotions we set a practical and lasting example to our children.