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By Chad Axe
To Gods To Kindred To the Future
Introduction This book is primarily for the practicing Asatruar. I assume a general familiarity with our Lore, the Gods, the Eddas, Sagas, and Runes. Mimer's Head is a creative engagement with this foundation. Much of it is my personal understanding and based on my unique experience. These may or may not be the reader's experience or understanding. I am not trying to start a catholic tradition and would rather see Mimer's Head start lively conversation. Perhaps it will be a conversation that leads to the reader's own with that wisest of Giants, Mimer. Furthermore, this is not another book just on the Runes. There have been many such books. Some of these are excellent, others are not. I wanted to write a book that comments on some of the other and perhaps more important aspects of our faith. These include theology, history, politics, morality, and spiritual experience. Of course, the Runes, being what they are, can include all of this, but much of the current literature does not. Above all, I wish to inspire the reader and hope some of Mimer's Head can be enjoyed over a horn of mead, and lead one to reflection and enrichment. Enjoy! As a final note: Asatru draws heavily from the ancient folkways of Northern European peoples. It embodies our native consciousness. It is our Soul. (Hail Mother Europa and Her Tribes and Tongues!) Hospitality is our noble virtue and the Hall of Har is open to any genuine seeker. Wisdom is always shared; ideology imposed. In our lore there is no innate malice towards other peoples. We are not Nazis, neither are we meek about our heritage. Reading 1 Heathenry is about living life to the fullest. It is about celebration, as well as, reverence for the awesome universe and the Gods that embody it. It includes in its embrace of life; tradition, family, folk, and faith. Heathens do not need to be coerced into living. The joy, challenge, majesty, and purpose are laid before us and given to us by the Gods themselves. The word ‘heathen’ literally refers to those who live on the ‘heath” or the countryside. This association is still useful
because of the great love most modern heathens have for the environment and the wisdom of living close to the Earth. Heathenry is not for the meek, but requires boldness that the seeds of life be carried onward. We should stand defiantly against all those who would enslave us, and resolutely in the face of all the challenges the Norns weave for us. To succeed at this, Heathens are not alone. We are bound by Troth to the Gods and to each other. We share Sumbel, Blot, and feast, as well as a mighty faith in ourselves and our Gods. In the present day, let us reclaim our Heathen spirit, our pride in who we are, and a high vision of the future dedicated to the preservation of the folk and our faith. Reading 2 Until three gods, strong and loving, Came from that company to the world They found on land Ash and Embla, Capable of little, lacking in fate. Breath they had not, spirit they had not, Character nor vital spark nor fresh complexions: Breath gave Odin, spirit gave Hoenir, Vital spark gave Lodur, and fresh complexions. --Poetic Edda, Larrington trans. The three-fold gift of Odin, Hoenir, and Lodur was just that a gift. We can surmise that this gift of Life, or this gift that sets us apart from the rest of Nature, was given out of love. To all of humankind it was passed along. We here today are recipients of this gift. The gift guarantees little. There are many forces at work in the Universe, including orlog, the Norns, and the Gods themselves. We too are a force, and through liberation we can utilize free will and create through decision and deed. To live lives of honor and bravery is the right use of the gift. Tto cultivate all the noble virtues, and be of some worth to the folk and to the Gods are also praiseworthy. In doing this we create good names for ourselves and benefit ourselves and our families, even those not yet born. Through work and sacrifice we can have good lives and from this we can declare that the gift is truly from the Gods; that is, truly a good gift.
Reading 3 He enjoys delight who knows little of woe, Of suffering and sorrow, And has for his own prosperity, pleasure, Eke the plenty of cities. --Old English Rune Poem, Wunjo …life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. --U.S. Constitution The holy rune Wunjo is a deep uplifting force. It is the rune of happiness, the rune of a wish fulfilled, and a goal attained. It is also the kindred banner under which the folk gather and form communities of solidarity and humanity. Pursuing our happiness individually and collectively is our right and our duty. When we allow this rune stream to flow from us we move out into the world and up into the heavens. We overcome the often chaotic din of the giant land we sometimes find ourselves by steadfastly seeking our hearts desire and life’s true adventure. Wunjo is a force both grasped and allowed. So celebrate your joy, keep this in mind during setbacks, and share with others. Wunjo! Reading 4 The Nightmare is difficult to tame. When she comes, she brings shadows and dreams. Trolls come out after her. These are our phobias, curses, truths we cannot accept about ourselves, or changes we are not willing to make. We can dialog with this part of ourselves. We can say, “Easy, Easy.” We can be gentle. It is also helpful to think that when we face fears we are showing courage, no matter how small. A person with many fears has just that much more to overcome, and is that much more bold. This is the Northern Way. Again, no matter how deep the night or terrible the dream the Gods gift us with strength. Hail Thor! Keep in mind too, that vigorously following the Nightmare is the fearless Day Stallion. He brings day on and lustfully chases the Nightmare away.
Reading 5 There is a holiness and wholesomeness about Asatru that to the casual observer is surprising. This is due to a lot of cultural stereotyping and a two dimensional look at Norse or Germanic culture. We put value in valor and virtue; and also, faith and folk. This is quite different from the barbarous image with which many portray us. Hospitality is one of modern Asatru’s noble virtues. This means to take in strangers by giving food, drink, warmth, and shelter. This also means taking to heart the needs of those within the kindred. Of course there are the proper ways of being a guest as well. Manners go a long way with the Asatruar. Though the Vikings did their share of fighting and pillaging, they were in no way different than any other culture of the time. This includes those people who professed Christianity as well. In modern times, our kindreds provide the wherewithal to actualize our faith and destiny. They are communities of enduring bonds and shared orlog or “fate.” What affects one will affect all, or what will strengthen one, will empower all. So, by all means, look to the welfare of your kinsman, and be just though perhaps a little wary to those outside. Make your kindred a circle of care and concern. This is a circle maintained by love and law—truly wholesome and truly holy. Reading 6 To be strong, you have to start with strength. Fredrick Nietzsche , who considered himself a psychologist, had the same idea. Those ideologies and practices that degrade a person or undermine their innate strength and freedom create that very same character. Instead of starting with original sin and its subsequent psychology, let us start with Odin’s gift and the subsequent strength we can draw upon from our Elder Kin. There is might that flows in our blood. It is no longer necessary to stoop and grovel. We are free! We have the power to define our existence. We can set the boundaries and rise out of any thralldom, whether this is substance abuse or religious abuse. Hail the “One-Harriers” of Odin! Fight the good fight and always seek to overcome the god of weakness. Then we earn the right to sip mead with the High Ones and enjoy the company of heroes.
Reading 7 The swearing of and honoring of oaths is a powerful spiritual practice for heathens. It lays orlog and sets doom. If one pledges fealty to a lord, one’s whole life begins to turn around this bond, and if honored, will set the course for future conditions and actions. Your loyalty will be there now and later. You will know this, and so, you have your doom. Another example, is the God Vidar who resolutely sits apart from the life of the Gods until his vow of vengeance is fulfilled. He kills the demon wolf Fenris after the beast kills his father, Odin. The breaking of oaths is also powerful. Usually this is followed by certain dishonor and tragedy. Oath breakers are said to be some of the denizens of Na Strond. That is they suffer snakes and venom in the afterlife, or become food for the terrible dragon Nidhogg. In modern Asatru, many of us make and publicly declare an oath to the Gods. We vow to honor the Gods of our distant ancestors above all others. This is powerful in our lives, and should be adhered to throughout them. In this way we lay the orlog for the future of the faith and make us the men and women worthy of that faith. This flies in the face of a contemporary culture that encourages superficiality and heartless spiritual shopping. Stay true to the Gods, and they will stay true to you. Reading 8 To his friend a man should be a friend And to his friend’s friend too; But a friend no man should be To the friend of his enemy. --Poetic Edda, Larrington trans. The Havamal extols friendship. Odin counsels us on how to win friends and how to keep friends. A circle of friends can be the greatest support in times of need, and can be an added blessing in times of joy. As Odin counsels, these bonds can be strengthened with good times and generosity. In a true circle, everything you put into the friendship will come back to you.
Problems arise when not all members of a friendship pull their own weight, whether it is in time, energy, or goodwill. Mutual aid and voluntary association are key ingredients in a friendship; and so, when this happens the circle is weakened. Sometimes for good or ill, the circle breaks. Fellowships do end. We all have our enemies as well. To them, declare yourself. This is boldness. If we are not going to do that, then make your peace with them quickly and get on with it. Unresolved anger or resentment is a poison. Honor your enemies because they are but the other side of the coin. They make the conditions for conflict and victory possible. This is not always an evil. Pray that they are worthy of the fight! Reading 9 Be open to new experiences, people, and ideas. The Vikings were world wide travelers, and Odin sacrificed his eye for wisdom and experience (Mimer). Lifelong learning can be a powerful passion and lead the soul on many grand adventures. I highly doubt that close minded ignorance is the way of the Gods. Do not take Asatru as an excuse to end knowledge but take it as a way to open to the world. The omnivore masters the food chain. The omniscient masters the cosmos. Hail the Wayfarer and He who seeks the high and low ways of the world! Reading 10 There is the Path of Ice and the Path of Fire. The path of ice is one contraction, stillness, and silence. It can be practiced in solitude. It is a drawing inward. The path of fire is one of expansion, passion, and conquest. It is a moving outward. These two are the dialectic that allowed life to come forth. This happened when the ice of Niflheim met the fires of Muspelheim. The combination created the temperate and moderate conditions for the Tree of Life, the Yggdrasil, or the Evergreen. Both paths have their pitfalls. Ice can harden the heart and freeze the mind. Fire can consume you and give you no rest. The balance of these is the Path of Wisdom. Many times dynamic movement into the field of action should be followed by a time of integration and rest. However, to come to a
complete stop would be death. Fire melts ice. Ice cools fire. So be it. Reading 11 Nanna’s devotion to Baldur is absolute. She dies out of a broken heart over his death. She is then laid within His funeral ship and goes with him into the land of the dead. Her name is associated with devotion, purity, or a blooming flower. This is a great image. The delicate flower opens for the sun (Baldur). When the sun dies or winter sets in, the flower dies. To be true to an ideal often takes this kind of loving devotion. When it is there, a power uplifts all included and the project can just about take flight. When it is not there, the project becomes mechanical and lifeless. Winter has already set in. Nanna’s love and devotion are very high and not usually associated with the Vikings. The living concept was there though, and by taking Nanna’s mood as our own we too can experience this aspect of Heathen faith. Love also is True. Reading 12 The Living Earth is an amazing reality. This Giantess is the ground on which we stand and the nourishment with which we feast. All wights associated with Her, the beasts, the plants, rocks, streams, and trees are holy. Both Light Elves and Dark Elves play with and among Her. Odin rides Her with abandon. Thor is their offspring; love their embrace. Reading 13 The sun guides seafarers Who ferry across the fishes’ bath Until the seahorse brings them to land. --Old English Rune Poem, Sowelo Sowelo is the rune of the sun. Its power is bright and active. It is like the Holy Sun wheel or Swastika. It is the impulse and will of life. In Humans this is our light, our free will, and free choice. Sometimes Sowelo is considered the rune of the source, but is only understood when there is motion and true living.
Like the sun, our energy can wane, set, or even be eclipsed. In the lore, this is portrayed by Sunna being swallowed by a wolf at the end of time. When this occurs our creativity suffers, and our light dims. All seems bleak for a time, but then like the myth, Sunna gives birth to daughter brighter than Herself. So it is with us. Stay true to your process and your life. Like the rune poem’s teaching use the sun and the rune Sowelo as guides. Be bold! Be Bright! Reading 14 Work in essence proves life is not a terrible thing. Some religions teach that work curses life. This is pessimistic at best. Work is holy. It is an expression of our soul and self. True work gives us meaning and purpose. It is worthy of praise. Industriousness is a noble virtue, and allows us to overcome many things. We can turn the raw resources of Earth, through our labor, into something beneficial to ourselves and our family. We can improve our circumstances. According to Wyrd, our present action or work causes an effect; a tangible effect. This can be passed on and dedicated to the Gods and our ancestors/descendent's. In this way work is sacrifice and will bring our folk success and honor. This is the Germanic way. Rest and recreation are also important. In the Edda, the Gods take sport. So it was with our ancestors who enjoyed gaming and celebration. Take time out to give Blot and thanksgiving for our becoming into the world. Share the benefits of your work with others, and enjoy success for a job well done. Reading 15 A story: Once a Norse man was traveling far from home to the southern lands, when he came upon a man nailed to a cross. This man was bleeding and dying. Out of sympathy the Norse man brought the man down off the cross and tended his wounds. From his own supply he gave him food and water. In a short time the suffering man recovered a bit, and the Norse man asked, “Why were ye nailed to that wood?” “It is because of my faith that I was so nailed.” “I say everyman to his own creed,” said the heathen man.
“Actually everyman must submit to the true faith. All efforts are vain without the Christ and eternal torment in Hell is awaiting those who do not accept my lord as their own.” “Is that so?” replied the heathen. And with that he took the Christian, hoisted him up, and nailed him back to the cross. The end. Reading 16 A hurting heart is an open heart. In this openness we meet the Gods who are mighty and compassionate. Even Odin with all His grim and mysterious ways is aflame with purpose and love. A heathen heart is a passionate one. We have loved fully and sought after that which we love. We sometimes have been betrayed. This is Orlog. Darkness can threaten to engulf us. This is the time to fling ourselves into the darkness and go with it. It is a wild ride like the Wild Hunt. It is a wild ride like the wild heart. So be it. Reading 17 Hospitality is one of the noble virtues. Hospitality is about opening your home to the stranger, as well as, your heart. Take the stranger in, and offer him water, a clean bath, and a place by the fire. Hospitality can also be seen as general friendliness and goodwill. This has supreme survival value and earns the respect of the Gods. A culture that adheres to hospitality will stand the test and trials of life. Who knows when The Wayfarer might knock on your door. The Gods are hospitable as well. Asgard always has a warm welcome for the True. They do not reject the seeker on the basis of race or creed. We should not either, and racism on our part is the very antithesis of hospitality. Welcome all, but hold everyone up to a high standard. All will be well. Reading 18 In the Northern Tradition, one aspect of the soul is the fetch. This is the animal part of us and usually is a relationship with one or more animals that have bonded with us. The concept is not hard to fathom. Even today people are
said to be a “dog person” or a “cat person.” Unfortunately these are the only animals many people ever get to know. Wilderness areas and wildlife are scarce. Many of us have to go out to seek our retreat in wilderness. Contact with one or more of the animal powers is rare. That part of us is weakened because of this. Perhaps a return to the Old Ways can bring about a change of thought. The beasts and birds are apart of us on a deep level. They are apart of our soul. Perhaps we can learn from them once again and make those spiritual contacts with the whole of wildlife. Maybe we can befriend these allies and work to restore their habitats. At the same time, we can strengthen a real part of ourselves. Maybe one day we can appreciate the blood, skins, meat, bone, and milk we take from them, and know too that we are obligated to give back to the different species and the Earth as a whole. Explore this part of yourself. Find what animal spirit speaks to you. Go out and spend a week or longer in a wilderness area. What animals come in your space or your dreams? Which animals reflect your personality through their behavior? Become aware of these teachers, and they will become aware of you. Reading 19 The Aurochs is fearless and huge of horn, A very fierce beast it fights with its horns. A famous moor-stalker that: A mettlesome wight. -- Old English Rune, Uruz. The rune Uruz is associated with strength, health, and vitality. We in Asatru can expand our consciousness through our relationship with the Aesir and rune work. Uruz can help us bring this expansion of the consciousness out into the physical domain. In this, we can enlarge our bodies, our incomes, and our progeny. The energy of Uruz is prolific and steadfast. Use this rune in times depression, during creative blocks, or sexual impotence. It taps a great reservoir of energy and resources. Think on what and how you manifest. Your dreams can come true, if they are grounded in effort and the mystery of Uruz.
Reading 20 In the saga of Ref the Sly we meet Ref. Ref is an unassuming Icelander who would be just fine if everyone would let him be. This is not the case with Ref. He is forced time and again to defend himself and his family. He kills several men and is forced to relocate more than once. Ref gets the appellation “the sly” by deftly evading capture. In the end he finds refuge albeit in a foreign land. Ref like many of us is an ironic hero. Circumstances and social pressure combine to thrust him and us into the spotlight. We do not want trouble but here it is none the less. We are called like Ref to stand up for ourselves and see to the safety of our own families. We do this through honor and a little cunning. If we stay steady maybe we too will find a safe haven. Reading 21 Iceland itself is a land of fire and ice with its lava flows, volcanoes, glaciers, and cold springs. It is quite literally a living island. It is an island that is growing and still becoming. In this there is a natural prophecy. As Iceland is the inspiration of and bestowed much of the Northern Lore, so may this living land become a new continent where Asatru and its cultural by-products thrive and become. As Iceland grows, so too, the faith. All of us owe a great deal to this land and its people, and even the modern revival is largely due to Icelanders. The continuation of our folkish religion is paramount. May this prophecy give vision and strength. Health and happiness to the Gods and to the folk! Reading 22 After fighting the Giant Hrungnir, Thor ever afterwards had a piece of flint embedded in his skull. One could imagine the Mighty Thunderer waking with a really bad headache each day since. Humor aside maybe from this story we can draw a deeper meaning. Thor battling this Giant, like us battling our own can come with a cost. That cost is a wound. We are not invincible neither is Thor. Battle always has the risk of injury or even death. This is what makes fighting them heroic. Your battle could be with anything opposed to your struggle for
Consciousness. Often our victories are hard won and we live with pain. This pain is the living memory of these battles. These battles could be with addictions, personal dishonor, cancer, or an enemy overseas. Whenever you are struggling call on Mighty Thor, and He will lend you strength that you may prevail and endure. Hail Thor! Reading 23 Let America be free! Those of us born into the United States have a dual and proud heritage. We are Americans and Heathens. Much talk is given to whether America is a Christian country or not. We are guaranteed religious freedom by the Constitution. This should end the debate right there. This religious liberty is one shared by our heathen ancestors as well. There are many gods in our pantheon and many ways to honor them. Freely do we choose our Troth. Liberation is the gift we are given in return. Let us toast freedom, which is an enduring tradition. Let us be thankful for all the blessings of the Gods. Let us continue vigilance on behalf of this freedom. May none tread on our folk or our faith. Reading 24 It is a great gift and honor to have an enemy. Jesus taught love for one’s enemies, and I think so to does Odin. By all means honor your enemy and pray that he is mighty that your victory is well earned. Enemies bring out the best. They also expose our vulnerabilities. Every Asatruar needs the test of the enemy. Conflict is a path and a goal, because without conflict our inner selves stagnate, we grow bored, and we sink to the Land of the Dead. Hel’s Hall is indeed miserable. Hearken to the call for battle! Know if you are to fall, your enemy may be sitting across from you in Valhalla. So be it. Reading 25 Faith is doing without knowing. Trusting our instincts aligns us with our natural and true selves. It aligns us with wilderness and spontaneity. It is an uninhibited response to life. Through this we can learn who we are, and resist control
by outside forces. It is in the aftermath; and do not misunderstand for all actions have effects, that we can understand ourselves. This is also courage. With practice and much trial and error, we notice within ourselves a solid faith. We start realizing that Asgard is as much within. We can stand within its walls even as we act out our Wyrd in Midgard. Do not worry. Oft times the commercial is right, “just do it.” Reading 26 Be not overly wise. --Poetic Edda, Larrington trans. To follow up on the previous thought, I use this quote from Havamal. Again as we decide on the course of action we should take, we should show a little trust in our innate faith and our Hamingja. Too much planning, worrying, and procrastinating does lead to paralysis. We need to take action and hope for the best. This is not always good advice but without ever taking risks we lose many opportunities and lessons. Also, without that risk taking, we never become aware of our Hamingja. This is both a guardian spirit and our force of luck. The Hamingja allows you to beat the odds, as well as, picks you up when you lose. Those with the strongest Hamingja are those who experience it most. This again leads to faith. Not a faith in divine security which creates an aversion to life, but a robust faith in life and our own abilities to persevere. Reading 27 Love is one slice of the pie, but not the only. In fact, if we are to read the list of the Nine Noble Virtues we would see love and its derivatives are not really mentioned. Sure it is interwoven with all of life and may be the icing on the cake, but it is not the cake. In moments of reflection and in pure acts of sacrifice we experience it, though many of our attitudes and beliefs about it must change. Often our ideas about love are a hindrance to what must really be done. We think that “love” will save us and we become passive and reactive not proactive in our search for
meaning and growth. It is not religion that is a crutch but our delusional thoughts on love. This is a carry over from the dominant religious paradigm. We are told that this ephemeral experience (love) is what all of us need. In truth we need strength and a willingness to step outside our comfort zones to experience a much deeper and richer reality. Romantic love especially is greatly distracting from the true path of life. We are best without it and all of us should go a full four seasons and a day abstaining. Self knowledge should be first and then we can come to another person with something more durable to share. Relationships bound by troth and tested over time are the important ones; not those that feel good now and then are cast away when they do not. So be it. Reading 28 Unn is a heroine from the Sagas. Her planning abilities and foresight led to her founding a dynasty and ensuring that her progeny were able to succeed. Let us celebrate these qualities. Let us remember that it is for more than ourselves that we live. Are we thinking about others? Is our work worthy? Will it stand the test of time? What are we passing on to the next generation? These are the questions we should ponder, and like Unn be deep minded. Also, we can honor all the shrewd and resourceful women in our lives, especially those women that are devoted to their families and are the pillars of their communities. Women like this are usually the ground upon which a good society is built upon. These women can be mothers and grandmothers, teachers, healers, or even police officers. In any case let us honor them and of course pay them heed. Reading 29 An Estate is very dear to every man, if what is right and fitting there He may enjoy at home With most prosperity. --Old English Rune Poem, Othila This is the rune poem for the High Mystery of Othila. This is the rune of the homeland, the self, or the kindred. All of
these are protected spaces and have delineated boundaries. The homeland is one of geography, the self is a matter of psychology, and a kindred is the boundary and protected space of shared community. It is within the protecting walls of these citadels that we can feel secure and from which we can valiantly head out into the outside or utgard worlds. Worlds where fortunes are won and lost, and adventure and glory are had. None of this is possible without a strong identity and a place to return to; a place called home. The rune poem counsels that “right” and “custom” should be kept within these walls. This is important in that the homeland is ruled justly and with attention paid to the rights of the free men and women who live there. The proper care should be taken of the self on all levels, and right relations and respect should be cultivated within the kindred. With this insight there can be enjoyment and prosperity within these walls. Without this the walls will crumble down. Remember that the Aesir themselves were forced to build a wall around Asgard. Within that wall, peace, beauty, and holiness were protected. In a day when all identities are questioned and undermined, and alienation is widespread this can be a certain balm. So let us take care of our land, our selves and our families. So be it. Reading 30 It has been said before and must be said again. Our greatest enemy is our self. How many times have we shot our own foot, stuck that foot in our mouths, or not taken the steps to make restitution and positive change? Probably too many to count! Follow the trail of the causes of our misfortune to their source and we can see the source is our own weakness and foolishness. Many times our inner self is reflected in our outer circumstances. Knowing this is the beginning of wisdom. Through experience and wisdom we can make better choices and live impeccably. Some say that Loki is actually an aspect of great Odin Himself. This is the aspect that carries with him his own demise. Sadly it may be the way Loki is handled by the Gods that creates more trouble than is needed. At one time, Loki is “friend of the Gods” and then later in the mythic cycle, there is polarization and Loki becomes the supreme enemy. Perhaps
we can learn from this. We carry with us our own enemy but with some care and patience and a little peacemaking we can avoid the war. So be it. Reading 31 Historically the Vikings introduced money to some of the outlying lands they explored, conquered, or settled in. This shows that a system of values was in place; a giant step towards civilization. Assigning value is important to any sphere of life. Some things, persons, events, or ideas are worth gold, others silver, and still others copper. By having a clear conception of worth, we can prioritize our time, efforts, and resources. Standing up for one’s kindred and family may be worth gold, defending one’s personal honor may be worth silver, and seeking riches may only truly be worth copper; nearly worthless. Of course this will be dependent on context and personality. Every Lord gets to assign the values and measurements for his kingdom. Supply and demand always factor in as well. Again this goes for every aspect of life. Always seek after that which you value most; “go for the gold.” Silver is not bad and some are content to settle with that. Copper is copper and much worry need not be given to this. Do not get hung up on small things. Reading 32 Frith is a condition and a practice. Many Asatruar consider frith, loosely defined as “peace,” a praiseworthy goal. As a condition or state of being it is the absence of warfare or hostility. Frith rises among us when we are not fighting and feuding with our neighbors, whether they are in our community or foreign nations. Certainly this does not have to be a state of banal consensus or conformity. We endeavor to be free men and women. This means a robust sense of individuality. This also means is that we honor the individuality of others as a fundamental principle. We may disagree with them but we tolerate their opinions, religion, politics, music, and the rest. We get a long with them and desire the same back. “Live and let live.” As a practice, we try to maintain frith between ourselves. We can do this by checking our anger and minding our actions and words. This is especially useful during times of collective
decision making and disagreements. Don’t let such times degenerate into a free for all of ill will and resentment. The wise will always lead us back to frith, and from that to sound decision making and peaceful coexistence. Our frith should encourage the participation of all. Let each person speak their mind and have their say. This indeed does take practice. Reading 33 Some good advice: do not bring the battle home and do not start a war in your own backyard. This is ignorance. Our homes and our communities and the folk that share these with us can be the strongest ties we have. Home base should be just that. Our loved ones and neighbors should enjoy our strength and care. We should be supported likewise. This creates a strong foundation for the rest of the adventure we call Life. Anything that poisons this foundation ruins what is built upon it. Often we do this to ourselves. The Vikings went away to conquer, dare, and test the outside world. In the Sagas it always talks of the harm, and sometimes death of those men who could not handle the settled life, so to speak. This is unfortunate. So be it. Reading 34 Beware the seeds of Loki! Loki is infamous for causing troubles and mischief. He can make you see what is not there and think suspiciously. He is the Father of Lies. His speech is gossip and malice. Of course His spirit comes around more when you lie and gossip yourself. This creates interpersonal problems, arguments in the family or kindred, and trouble with the law. If all of this is to your liking, then embrace the Sly One and accept the consequences. If this is not your path, then become aware of the discord around and within you and refuse to engage it any longer. In this way we work with this Loki spirit and become wise. He is hailed with Odin for a reason. Reading 35 A curse laid down is a curse shared. This can be a frustrating lesson to learn if you are not cognizant of the web of Wyrd. Everything in space-time is connected. You are affected by everything and you affect everything. This is what
makes Galdr so powerful. It also is why we are accountable for our actions. What you send out is what you get. This is inescapable. You can spin threads of good or spin threads of not so good, and you will experience what you choose. This is not some xtian bullshit, but a fundamental law of life. This is the basic and rational principle around which Wyrd is woven and which rules the multi-verse. It is ruled by the Norn, Skuld or Debt. It is what keeps it all together. Learn this rule and wisdom is yours. Reading 36 The Midgard Serpent is described in the Prose Edda as sunk in the sea and surrounding all lands. Thus Jormungand can be thought of as a boundary and defines the limits of this Middle Earth; the realm of humans. We inhabit a world where there are limits and there are boundaries. This may distinguish our realm from the others. Thor on the other hand embodies the strength of the Gods and is often portrayed in the Lore as contesting with the Midgard Serpent. This is a battle of divine strength versus the weighty force and restriction of earth life. We in our own way battle this everyday and in every life, even in as elementary a process of moving against gravity and flexing our muscles. To move is to feel this force, and it is also to overcome it; or at least match it. Work is created and the glory of humankind expressed. Eventually this force takes its toll and we succumb falling at last to the ground and rising not again. In this sense the Midgard Serpent is depressive, and it is no surprise that we know He is an offspring of Loki. Call on Thor for aid when life gets you down or when you need the raw strength to keep going either up a hill or on the job. This is how we can alleviate our situation. The Hammer is for us! Reading 37 Freyja is an aspect of the Great Goddess of the North. She is Mistress of Magick, Chooser of the Fallen, and Giver of Blessings. Our devotion to Her should be great because Her devotion to us is deep and true. She posses the Brisingamen necklace, which is the very beauty of the living earth, and does not hesitate to protect Her chosen. Her daughters are all that is
precious and worth defending. She is beauty, health, and love. May all prosper under the Vanadis. Hail Freyja! Reading 38 In Havamal the High One says, “earth is good for all manner of drunkenness.” It is also known that in Nordic tradition enlightenment or the inspired state is akin to drinking mead, which among other things can make you drunk. The point of this is to discuss grounding. Grounding is returning excess energy back to the earth. This allows our drunkenness to abate and return us to our everyday consciousness. This can follow all sorts of “energy raising” endeavors. Seith work, battle, and literal drunkenness are all examples. If we let that build up stay within us it can wreak havoc. We overload. So send it out and down. Let the earth soak it up. One way of doing this is to simply put bare feet and hands on the ground and allow your excess to flow out. Let it take a few moments and breathe. Crouch if you can, and become a plant; rooted in the soil. Thank Erda for her blessings, gentleness, and receptivity. Rise renewed and stretch out to your glory. Reading 39 In Asatru the discussion of race usually comes up. We have viewpoints called folkish, universalist, and ethnic Asatru. All three are valid and do well in dialog with each other. If this dialog is not respectful then I think that the whole point is lost. The folkish view regards our religion as something implicit in our genetic and racial beginnings. We as Northern European descended people are related to our Gods, and we alone are favored by them. Other peoples have their own cultural and religious ideas. Each should keep to their own. This is not necessarily a view that is racially supremacist. It could be a simple acknowledgment of racial and cultural difference and an affirmation of ones inclusion and duty. It is a matter of who one is. The universalist perspective contrasts with the folkish view. Our Gods are for everyone. Anyone can stand proudly before
the Gods regardless of race. Usually the Gods are conceived as aspects of a greater divinity, and are one part of the Mystery. It is equally valid to honor other Gods, God, and Goddesses. Openness defines this cosmopolitan perspective. The ethnic viewpoint is the happy medium. Asatru is indeed a part of the European or Norse culture, and is well suited for those thus descended. However this is not an exclusive position, and anyone with sincere desire and fluency in Germanic language and culture are welcome to partake of the Gods. Racialist thinking plays much less in this view than in the folkish viewpoint. Again all three of these three perspectives are useful. Each one has strengths and weaknesses. Hopefully we can all call ourselves Asatruar, and get along. Perhaps the common saying is right, “The Gods call whom They will.” Reading 40 Ymir was formed from the ice and flames of Niflheim and Muspelheim. He was fed by Audhumbla and was protocreation. He was a giant of immense size and filled all time and space. It was the work of the Aesir and Ymir's dismemberment that created the known universe; midgard included. Ymir might be a personification of primal chaos, or primal simplicity. As chaos He was unorganized and possessed no static form. The proto-universe was all change and flux. It took the intelligence of Odin,Vile, and Ve to take this raw and untamed force and use it as the basis of the many worlds. Also, Ymir may be seen as a crude or simple block. The giants are often portrayed as dull witted creatures lacking the wit and beauty of the Aesir. In this light, the Gods are the carvers of this block—Ymir. The Gods are responsible for the complexity and personality of the worlds. They create the basis for difference, change, and dimension. They in fact create the basis for the adventure of life. The Giants are the ones trying to revert us to desolate sameness or “oneness.” This is in contrast to other philosophies where the oneness is exemplified as an uncorrupted ideal. Here the Gods could be thought to think, “Oh! How boring! How ugly!” They then set about their own form of complexity. Hail the Givers of Life!
Reading 41 Defend the land, and you will own the land. Work the land, and you will receive blessings from the land. When you honor those who came before and honor those will come after, you will be a steward of the land. Give thanks and make offerings to the Good Gods of the land, and you will make peace with the land. Share your harvest, and you will stand righteous upon the land. So it goes. Reading 42 The High God Tyr is said to have bound Fenris after a few attempts and the sacrifice of His sword hand. Fenris, I imagine, is savage to the extreme; full of hatred and cunning. Tyr, on the other hand (so to speak), is said to be the very essence of honor and virtue. It is He who our ancestors called upon during the Thing assembly. In this mythic instant comes wisdom concerning ethical conduct. As mentioned Fenris is hateful and would soon grow in size enough to threaten the whole of Asgard. This wolf must be bound. As it is with the Son of Loki, so it is deep in the hearts of men. Here Tyr and each of us individually must sacrifice our sword hand. This is our aggressiveness and ability to harm. Then we bind this part of ourselves, that the peace stead of Asgard be kept safe. Thus can we can live one with another. Unfortunately, Fenris is destined to break free, and Hel to break loose. This will draw all of us into viciousness. Hearken to the Gjallerhorn, and beware the day! Reading 43 In obtaining the Brisingamen, Freyja had to descend to Dwarf-Home and consent to lay with the four Dwarfs who had created it. Odin later found out about it and laid a dire punishment on Our Lady. She was to be the cause of a ghastly war between two human kings. In this spell, Freyja has given into weakness, vanity,and dishonor. She is a goddess and we mortals should not be too
harsh in our own judgment of Freyja. May we learn from Her mistake. Many times in life we are tempted to trade our sanctity for mere whims of pleasure and fleeting desires. Like Freyja we often find the consequences of our actions or even meager gratification to be less than satisfying. Do not adulterate your honor for these. Freyja learned about staying true to the highest and giving in to the lowest. We too make these choices and learn these very same lessons. May we soon learn the difference between that which is high and that which is low. Reading 44 ...Of course there are other ways of looking at and interpreting the myth of the Brisingamen. This goes with all the myths told and untold. Sleeping with the Dwarfs was done out of necessity or reasons She alone can justify. If the Dwarfs represent lesser and cthonic parts of nature and She is the personification of beauty and pleasure, then Her “sleeping with” and mingling Her essence with them would be to grant them some measure of these qualities. We could say that She brings fruitfulness, beauty, and the pleasure principle to the Earth. The necklace is all this in its glory. Odin is not so jealous of the Lady's affection, but that Her cult would be stronger. She then would be revered and adored as Highest. This kind of spin on the lore helps to fully enter the myth and the Deities involved. We, especially those of us in Troth, should not be afraid to creatively involve ourselves in the lore. We should try to glean what meaning and wisdom we can, and know fully those we glorify. The lore too is a gift. Those who are devoted to the Aesir have full right to understanding, debating, and experiencing this gift. We also must allow others to do the same, and stay in frith, when discussing our unusual personal gnosis and interpretations. Let us not be as the krisjtan or like Loki's sons Vali and Narfi who turn upon each other and rend each other apart. Reading 45 Odin extols wisdom above all else. First, this is evidenced by the sacrifice of His own eye to sip from the well of Mimer. It was not necessarily to win a battle that He did this but to be wise. Second, many of Odin's encounters with the Giants were
tests of wit and wisdom; take Vafthrudnismal for example. Finally, there is the Havamal or words of the High One given so that men and women may live well. Living well is what wisdom is all about. It is a teaching from one who has experience in life to one who does not. It should be heeded. Life itself will teach you all there is to learn, but listening to wisdom can keep us from making the same mistakes and reinventing the wheel. This is why study of the lore, heeding the words of the elders, and honoring of the ancestors is important. We learn and build upon the foundation of the past in order for the future to be bright. This enhances our quality of life that the good may increase. So, seek out wisdom, sacrifice for it, listen to it, and above all live it. Reading 46 One piece of great Indo-European literature is the Bhagavad Gita from India. A part of its wisdom is the necessity of action, or simply having to do one's duty. Krishna tells Arjuna that because he is a warrior he must fight the battle. It is his duty. Arjuna goes on to fight the battle he had reservations about, and in this case he is victorious. We Norse also carry and respect duty. This is usually bound with one's doom or fate. In Viking times the Norn Skuld had the rule over the future, debts, and duty. We must do what has been laid down for us to do. This is also the concept of Wyrd. The key is finding just what is laid down and what exactly our individual Wyrd is. Self-examination, divination, and prophecy help this process. It helps in allowing clarity or clairvoyance. Once known, action must be taken and duty adhered to. This is for good, ill, success, or failure. To not do one's duty is to suffer the purposelessness and lifelessness of Hel. It is to know misery, depression, and death of the soul. In the Gripisspa, Sigurd is forewarned by Gripir of all he is to encounter. His doom is known, and in Sigurd's case this is his death (really this is the ultimate doom of us all here on Midgard). Valiantly Sigurd rides on to meet his duty and his death. In this he is a hero and so it is with each of us. Reading 47
Let us mark the defeat and death of so called St. Olaf of Norway. He should be remembered as Olaf the Horrible. He was responsible for a “convert or die” propagation of the kristjan faith among the folk. He was a ruthless leader and no friend of the Gods and Elves. Long years our culture has suffered the cross. Long years we have been without our traditional faith. This was a faith that had nourished our folk and was nourished in turn. We were born into it and gave birth to it. It was during the reign of King Olaf that this faith was forcibly taken away. We today have the great boon of living in a time and place that we can once again declare ourselves and our Gods. We can have our vengeance by living true to our Faith and virtues. Also, by being strong for each other. Now would be a good for the renewing of our vows to the Aesir, for understanding what it is to be Asatru, and committing ourselves to the thought of “Never again!” Reading 48 Don't get me wrong we are Heathen in all the nuances of the word. Heathen is associated strongly with being of the land or country, being rural or off the grid. It is also associated with being “not of the book ,” or not kristjan. It does not necessarily mean we are anti-kristjan. We are both pre-kristjan and postkristjan. Our faith was before and will stand after. We do not need to define ourselves in relation to Christianity at all. Our paradigm has its own logic. We are Asatru. It is a great weakness to only exist within relation to something else. As it is one of our noble virtues to be selfreliant; so it is. We can stand alone. Another point to ponder is that the Myth and teachings of Jesus are a composite of the teachings and stories of many cultures and sages including our own. Even Odin swung from a tree. To be too rigid against these might make us guilty of throwing the baby out with the bath water. Wisdom comes from many sources and if a spell seems good and useful, then so be it. Reading 49 A coward thinks he may live
forever if he avoids the fight; Yet old age will not spare him, though he be spared spears. --Havamal, Titchenell trans. We cannot escape life and we cannot escape our fate. We must as duty fight the good fight. We all die in the end. We all must make our sacrifice to Those who gave us life. The alternative is to live and die in dishonor. This is the way of the coward. Life is actually bad for the coward anyway, as is death. Cowards have no adventure and no hearts. They have no fight and take no chances. What can be accomplished? Where is the joy? Without even a small degree of courage we would never leave our homes and continually worry about death. This is death itself, and I say to Hel with that. Old age is not bad in of itself, but make sure your long life was or is put to good use. Even in old age we are not to be overcome, and we can always pass down our words, wisdom, and wealth thus can we avoid the “straw death.” Reading 50 Harvest is the hope of men, then the Gods, Heaven's holy Kings, Allow the earth to yield To prince and pauper, glorious fruits. --Old English Rune Poem, Jera The season of harvest is traditionally the time of gathering in what was planted and cultivated before. Many of us do not farm or cultivate crops, but we can take time out to reap the benefits of our work. It is also a time to separate what is good and nourishing from the rest. Usually the whole plant is not used for food. We too in our lives need to separate the needful and essential from that which is no longer useful. Even the dross though can be used for compost, so consider wisely. The rune of the season is Jera. This mystery ties us to the land and cycles of nature and their fulfillment in harvest time. Right work, a little luck, a little patience, and good timing will always produce a bountiful harvest. So it is in all things.
Reading 51 Perseverance is a virtue that if cultivated will see us through all our trials. We persevere when we stay focused and committed to our goals. It is about seeing a project through to the end even when that course might seem hopeless. It seems all of life will bring us to a near breaking point. It is there that we are called to make a stand. “Can I be resolute and can I continue on?” These are questions we need to ask at these times. Perseverance comes into action also when we have a lull in our lives. At this point everything is seemingly fine and is taking its own course. There is not a whole lot we can do but wait. Here so many diversions can lead us from our focus. We get bored and complacent. Still we must persevere. Many of the Gods and Heroes exemplify perseverance. Vidar comes to my mind as does Skadi. Vidar sits with supreme resolution to see His father avenged at Ragnorak. He cannot be swayed from His oath. He will not be stopped. Skadi too perseveres. I say this because of all the Gods, She spends most of Her time in the harsh lands outside of Asgard. She must survive and meet the challenges of the terrain for food and shelter. Exposed to these very basic facts of existence, surviving is perseverence. So be it. Reading 52 Let us forsake the angels of alienation. To be alien or suffer alienation is to be a stranger, and there is much estrangement. We suffer not knowing ourselves, and taking for ourselves the flimsiest of identities. We are strange to our past, our history, culture, language, and innate wisdom. We know not our ancestral soul and define ourselves as “white.” The color of our skin and a box we check on applications is all the difference. We are strangers to each other because we do not know true solidarity and community. We are alien to kindness because we perceive no likeness. Many live alone yet surrounded by people. We suffer alienation in our work. Many work using machines owned by others, making goods we will never use. We make special arrangements to exercise our bodies when this should be a natural byproduct of living. Video games replace reality and the State replaces family.
Elders are sent to nursing homes away from the young, and “nature” is something you experience only on vacation. Gods are experienced as far away and antagonistic; Goddesses are forgotten. Many put faith in extraterrestrial beings but never know the joy of Being itself. Then the irony of ironies is that those who try to do anything about our situation usually end up ostracized or imprisoned. May we come full circle and get to know ourselves, our people, and our world. Let us do away with this strangeness and welcome ourselves and each other. Reading 53 A Christian, a Muslim, and a Heathen live in the same neighborhood. One night, thieves break into all three houses and they steal the valuables. Who is the menace? Reading 54 The Runes, as we know them now, are a spiritual language. The Futhark is the basis of a spiritual language because it describes Reality as a Whole. It both quantifies and qualifies this Whole. By learning this language we come to the platform of understanding, as well as, have a tool to call out or evoke “New Reality.” This is the essence of Galdr. Everything and anything can be translated into “Runic.” This includes art, science, myth, history, philosophy, and literature. By translating we can know, evaluate, and have dominion over all things. Let us be thankful for Od's trial and Od's gift. Reyn til Runa!! Reading 55 Are the Gods real personalities or are they personifications? Is the Edda a universal matrix of wisdom intuitively grasped, or Icelandic literature that forms the basis of our lore? Are the runes the manifold mysteries of nature or the 24 characters of the Futhark? These questions and more can come up in our theological and philosophical thinking. Hopefully we are like the dwarf in the “Lay of Alvis or Allwise” and are able to take a multi-versal perspective; and also, think more in terms of continuum rather than in rigid “this” or “that” thinking.
In the Lay Allwise was able to understand specific phenomenon from the standpoint of differing worlds and beings. For example, He would see Moon or the moon from the position of Gods, Giants, Elves, and the other beings. This kind of openness should keep us from the dangers of dogma and allow us the creativity and fluidity that other belief systems do not have. Unlike Alvis the dwarf, we cannot allow ourselves arrogance; for despite his wit and wisdom, he was still fooled by Thor and turned to stone. Let us be moderate in our wisdom and respect the Higher Powers that create and sustain us, especially do not demand Their daughters. Reading 56 Naming ceremonies are important worldwide. As they were certainly important to our ancestors and important even in contemporary Asatru. The young are presented to the Kindred and the Gods. By doing this we include that new life in our circle of care and consideration. As with all members of the Kindred we share Wyrd and help bring that new life into being. In this sense we are all mothers or The Mother, and by guiding and protecting this new life, we are all fathers or The Father. Names assign identity and can point towards destiny. They are how we are known. With naming comes the rights and obligations that are set by the group. This inclusion is holy because each are part of the whole. To break with the whole is to lose honor, identity, and one's name. This is the fate of the outlaw. No longer is s/he a part of the kindred concern. In many initiatory groups, a second name is chosen by the individual or by the Gods that is different from the name given at birth. Here naming recognizes the rite of passage. This second name is either secret or known, and in modern paganism is often called the “magickal name.” This name goes beyond the Kindred and is how one is known by the Gods. Here two parts of the self are honored; the social and the psychic. Because of the importance of names and naming one should be careful. Naming a baby before its birth trial or eating an animal that has been named is very unlucky. As it is unlucky to injure any we are bound to by kinship and whose name we are obligated to honor.
Reading 57 We are too often at war with each other. We war over boundaries and possessions, as well as, ideas and beliefs. We are like the mean spirited and narrow minded Thurs, who know not the blessing or favor of the Gods. Can we not conceive of “win-win” solutions to our disputes? Can we not honor the decrees of Forseti? Even in conversations with kin, we often come to the table with antagonism and the purpose of proving wrong. Expand your horizons with the consciousness of the Gods! We all know some kernel of the Truth, and by Thor's hammer, if we make the proper sacrifice we will have all that we need. There is no need for petty grasping and debate. Above all, end the war with your Best Self. Let your excellence shine brightly from here to Asgard. Allow others to do the same without envy. We cannot let baleful forces keeps us down and keep us fighting; so in this sense it is wise to surrender to what is highest and best within us, then we can come to some peace. Reading 58 Raising the Minne Horn for Radbod is an affirmation of our forsworn relationship with the Gods of our Folk. Radbod refused threat imposed Christianity at the cost of his life. “One day in Niflhel rather than eternity in kristjan heaven.” This kind of commitment is worthy of the highest praise. We can salute all those mighty heathens and heroes of old who went to their graves never forsaking Our Holy Kindred. Today we can pledge Our Troth with the same devotion. Now we are not at the loss of the Faith but at its rebirth. It is going to take the strength of Thor to bring us all together and ensure our survival in this time of chaos and decadence. Survive we must and we must hand down the good and useful to future generations of Asatruar. This will take work and unflinching commitment. We are lucky to be living at this time and eminently challenged. Let us remember and toast our hero Radbod and then rise with him to glory. Hail Radbod! Hail the once and future Gods!
Reading 59 My understanding of “orlog” is that it is the primal law or the “ur”-law; that is, it is the basic principle upon which everything else rests. This law is the law of balance or homeostasis. For every good there is an evil. For every suffering there is a joy. For every action there is reaction. A child is fed and a child goes hungry. One's victory is another's defeat. You are strong in one trait and fall short in another, and so on. The Norns are compelled to weave accordingly. The principle is always at work but specific manifestions do indeed change. This is the check and balance of the planetary ecology or Yggdrasil. All things exist and exist in relation to every other thing. This law, which is a true law and not necessarily a moral law, keeps Life what It is. All wights are thus subject to it. By knowing this law how can we complain about this or that. “Now I am sad” and indeed there is sadness, but someone else is happy and indeed there is happiness. The Norns continue to weave and, “Oh! Now I am happy once again.” Orlog is not “for” you or “against” you. It just is. So it goes. Reading 60 In Asatru we are familiar with the Nine Noble Virtues. What we cannot agree upon is which nine virtues are or should be included in the list. The beauty of freedom is not that we can be vicious but that we can freely choose which virtues we want to exemplify in our own lives. A liberating activity is to think upon the Eddas, Havamal, and Sagas and come up with a list of your own favored virtues. From the Lore and thinking of our Ancestors we should be able to find a multitude of qualities we admire. Now try to limit yourself to nine and commit yourself to these. Each person will be slightly different reflecting each person's personal style or Hamingja. Now we have an alignment and a course of activity leading to the highest within ourselves. We have expressed our goals and are now duty bound to endeavor toward them. These are not necessarily material goals but aspirations of character; noble indeed.
Reading 61 To know Balder we must love and appreciate all of Life. We must water the plants and tend the animals. We must care for the young and the old; the sick and the hale. Live when we feel like dying, and do this despite the cold winter and rotting decay of death. When we do this all things become bright and beautiful. Then will the assembly of all living things mourn our passing. Now will we know rebirth and eternity. Hail Balder! Reading 62 Honor is an important quality to cultivate and establish. When we have honor we “walk our talk.” We are not liars, cheaters, thieves, and back stabbers. We are forthright and honest. We do not get along with someone we tell them why and arrange to settle the matter. If we lose, this is orlog and we boldly accept our Wyrd. We meet our needs in a manner that causes no injury. If injury occurs we nobly make restitution. We do not complain and we do not gossip. As Day is open and bright; so should be our deeds and souls. Honor rides ahead of us on our journeys and follows after us. Never can you tell that you won't return and find an ill regard. Never can you tell what word will be known of you on the road ahead. Honor, of course, is best upheld when the mighty Aesir uphold you. Then do we stand on a sure foundation. Then is all glory and honor bestowed. In the Halls of the Dead how will you be remembered? Oh mortal, honor in the end is all we really have! Reading 63 Though our deeds should be bright, not all need to be revealed at once to still be honorable. Sometimes honor requires secrecy and proper timing. Rather than Day, we have Nott or Night, who is pregnant with Day and will bring him forth at the right time. Thus Nott and darkness is our privacy and our mystery. This we should guard. This is the Hall of our Runes. Like the rune Peorth teaches, we are most comfortable sharing in good and noble company. To much openness and use can defile a thing. “Love” is a good example. We devalue love by spreading it around, so to speak. It is when we save our love for the truly worthy that its
gift is not lost. Universal love or “free love” cheapens the gift and alienates us from our personal experience. Wait to love truly or love not at all. This reminds us that we have something precious to share. So guard your heart and your mysteries; honor thyself. Reading 64 The Odinic heart swirls between Ice and Fire. So was everything forged and so everything is. We are cold, and seek out the heat of love and warmth of affection. We desire. We lust. We consume our beloved, and then fall, once again, to frosty aloneness. We seek solitude and the invulnerability of the Ice. So is the systole and dystole of our heart and our love. Like Freyja we love as we will, and know the pain of lost love. Lucky indeed are those that know Troth. Lucky indeed are those that know the bridge over both Ice and Fire. Reading 65 The Einherjar live to prove what they already know. They are fearless, deathless, and alone. Always do they go to the edge, and so honor the Valfadir. Their Hamingja is strong and grows with each feat and trial overcome. Seeking death; they live. Knowing that they fall; they stand. The battlefield is their altar, and their own blood is the offering. Tested and perfected are the Valiant-Ones. Hail Odin's Elect! Hail the long road to Valhalla! Reading 66 Game is always play and laughter among bold men, where the warriors sit in the beer hall, happily together. --Old English Rune Poem, Peorth As mentioned before, the rune Peorth is associated with mystery, secrets, privacy, and could be even associated with lying. This meaning of the rune makes sense with the Old English Rune Poem, if gaming represents mystery itself. The “bold men” are players of the game or those with gnosis.
Happy together indeed are those who can share secrets and enjoy the beer of consciousness. Happy indeed are those that can have fun with life and be open and glad no matter how the dice fall. Reading 67 Our Ancestors have built the long ship and bequeathed it to us. We hold the rudder. The Sea of Life is vast and we are free when we declare ourselves thus. Grab hold Sea-Farer and give praise to the Wind-Maker. Rise on the swells, and rejoice. Though we seem awfully finite, glad hearts and praiseworthy deeds give us eternity. The Mighty Ones call, and the Mighty Ones shout back. In the end we too must relinquish the great ship, and wish well those who follow. Reading 68 Looking to the not so distant future we can envision Galactic Vikings faring out into the universe and the unknown worlds. This time in spaceships rather than the long ships of old. Setting sail; they will embark on the seas of space to seek adventure, wealth, and destiny. Out beyond the Midgard Serpent and breaking restrictions of inertia, we will go out from the Womb-Planet; birthed to glory, and ever honoring our ancestors and the holy Aesir. I can foresee in such a day that no matter how far we fare, at death we would want our mortal remains returned to Mother Earth; our origin. Reading 69 There are two main paths for the Odinist. There is the path of the Warrior, and there is the path of the Wizard. Superficially the Warrior path is extroverted, or concerned with the conquest of outer worlds; a path of Fire. The Wizard is on more familiar ground with the inner worlds; a path of Ice. That is not to say, however that they are strangers to each other. The warrior should be acquainted with martial arts, and have the stamina and quickness of the physical. Always should s/he be ready for combat and spirited action. Always should s/he be able to come back to stillness. Virtue and above all honor are the means of the Warrior along with the
sword. The radical acceptance of one's own death and the courage to take one's life to that edge is also paramount. The Wizard should know Runes, the Lore of our people, and have direct trans-personal experience. This last is most easily done through the sacred or power plants that the ancient seekers used. With this path, again radical acceptance of death and a life on the edge is important. Odian consciousness is not for the faint of heart, but is boldly sought by the daring and strong. These two paths are not mutually exclusive. They form a balance. To win the prize we should be capable of both. This is easier said than done. Most of us who come to Odin have an orientation towards one or the other. Often one will have to draw on inner resources of the other to walk the path. Both deserve respect; the Warrior and the Wizard. Reading 70 In this reading let us consider the feast and Blot of Freyfaxi. We celebrate the season in honor of the heathen Good Lord. Frey is Frithleif and the gentle Vanagud. He brings rains, bright sunshine, and fertility of field and man. We give thanks to Him for His Providence. This is a harvest festival and we can also think upon our good labor and the fruit it has produced. We can share our abundance with our kith and kin. The Vikings came back at this time to bring in the fields. The year's adventure was done. At this Freyfaxi be especially blessed by your food, and always remember that no matter what we take from the Earth; we too will feed the raven! Reading 71 In the soul lore of our folk there is a part of the soul called the fetch or fylgja in Old Norse. This is usually experienced as an animal or as a spirit of the opposite sex. The fylgja accompanies you now and since the time of your birth. It/She/He is a warding spirit that usually appears in the knick of time. The concept is related to our hamingja or luck. The fylgja or fetch is indeed beneficial to keep around, and can help us through many difficulties. As an animal it can be totemistic and represent your personal spirit. This is kind of like a personal mascot. Try to always pay attention when your
fetch appears. Many times it/he/she comes only in times of danger. Personally, I believe very strongly in my fetch and have had a few moments where only She had helped and my life was saved. For instance, I was doing Seithr and battling Surt in Muspellheim. I was about to fall into flame when a womanspirit in Viking dress appeared. She had a long braid of golden hair. The braid hung just long enough that I could grab and climb up. I was rescued. The fact that we each have a guardian spirit proves that we each have a personal destiny. The fylgja will help us reach that destiny. It is for a reason we live. Reading 72 As heathens we are not strangers to the mysteries of Life; both light and dark. To live and love fully you must accept death. To seek for glory is to overcome many trials, and to maintain honor is to often walk alone. Life is not easy and any worthwhile teaching will confirm this. We all struggle very hard for our existence. The way to mitigate the bittersweet of the One Life is to embrace it all with your spirit. Give it a big Viking bear hug. This probably sounds too fluffy bunny, but stretch out your arms from here to eternity and as wide as the ocean. Embrace Life, and call it Friend. Then will you know the deep meaning of Wunjo. Then will you know true joy. Then will you find your dwelling with the Gods. So be it. Reading 73 Sexuality is a personal matter. With who and how much should be left to the consenting adults involved. Hail Lofn! Though there should be privacy and discretion involved, sexuality is healthy when it can be freely expressed. Rape is not sexuality. It is violence and should be dealt with accordingly. Oaths and commitments, of course should always be upheld. Hail Var! Suppose we had a dual marriage system. Silver Troth, for Gay and Lesbian partners, heterosexual couples planning not to raise children, those getting married for a second time, and those wanting to share a more open definition of marriage. Gold Troth can be reserved for those making life time commitments and wanting to raise children. This way tradition is honored, as are contemporary realities. Also Silver
Troth should not necessarily be seen as second class. It has its own maturity and wisdom. Again, relationships are like sexuality; a private issue, and not one the free state would infringe upon. Reading 74 In Old Iceland, the free farmers organized themselves into communal units called hreppar. The hreppar were economic cooperatives that acted as insurance for the farmers. They were localized, geographically set, and self-governing. These hreppar could be an archaic example for a contemporary but similar system. Instead of a welfare state or a corporation (Giant) ruled economy; we would have independent, worker owned, and worker operated cooperatives. The workers would be the same as the stockholders. They would share profits, and democratically operate the company. This would end worker alienation but without a totalitarian state. Hreppar could operate in a free market albeit non corporate system. Such a system would honor our ancestors' innovations, and bring us closer to the “Free State.” Reading 75 To live by faith is to live by instinct. It is to trust that deep innate intelligence and wisdom. Faith that is instinct is not divorced from robust living. Our Ancestors trusted this sense. Egil Skalla-Grimsson gives a perfect example. He lived with Death always around every corner; inside every hall. He could sense danger and avoided much through his cunning. He had a heightened sense of Life because he did live with Death. He was also in touch with spirit. This is expressed in his poetry. He again gave words to life because he experienced life deeply; joy and sorrow. Poetry always flows from the mouth that has pulled long on the Horn of the One Life. Egil was also crafty in runes. Stained by blood and sacrifice, the runes will always take us to our instinct and faith. We will accomplish all that we need to accomplish. Need is key. Need is instinct, need is essence, and essence is faith. The challenge is to be in touch with this instinct in a world that merely offers comfort, diversion, and spiritual boredom. I
highly doubt that Egil suffered these modern diseases. It is up to us to reclaim this instinct and this faith. So be it. Reading 76 The contemporary revival of our native ways is a journey forward, but it is a forward step into the past. The course the Ancients laid is the one we are taking up. The course brings us to them. We are coming full circle. In this sense we can say that our Ancestors are actually ahead of us and are waiting for us on the other side. Thus we learn that time is ultimately non-linear. Again the theory goes something like this: when we turn to the Ancestor Soul, we go back and forward but not exactly. We can never fully recreate the past, because time actually is a spiral,(or at least a spiral is one part of the design). We turn to the Elder Kin and then with them take the next step, hopefully with more wisdom and their guidance. This is confusing but try to follow the logic. This will increase your understanding of Wyrd, the necessity of Orlog, and the Rune Raidho. Also, it is a lesson of the Ancient Mind itself; for they had similar concepts of Time and Journey. Always do we move out and back. Always do those that lived before wait at the End of Time, welcoming us home and bringing us to our destination. Always does the One Life create more of itself. On it goes. Reading 77 In the Soul Lore of our people we have what is called our “shape.” Most people identify this with the body. My shape is my body. In fact, many of us take it for granted that identity is solely the body. However, there are techniques and practices that allow us access to trans-personal or “out of body” experience. When we step aside and into this dimension we find that our “shape” is much more plastic. We can literally shape-shift. This knowledge is what allows personal transformation. We can take a new shape by taking a different perspective or opening to different ways of being/doing. In the trans-personal realm we come into contact with alternate and possible dimensions of ourselves. After selection we can come back to the physical or ordinary, but embodying something new. Actually if the change is great enough we can have a whole new body. This is the basis of shamanic healing. This is also
the basis of many of the stories in our Lore about shape shifting and being in two places at the same time. I would loosely call this Seidr, the Norse form of shamanism. It is a great area of investigation and exploration, but please be careful. There are dangers involved with the “stepping aside and back into.” So be it. Reading 78 I envision a Free State where our folk and our Gods are joined and one. There is actually a historical example of this which would be pre-conversion Iceland. Some level of organization is necessary for this to happen albeit decentralized, democratic, and confederate. We could have political and geographic units or Things managed by a Gothi/Gythia, self sufficient economic units like the hreppar, and then religious and social institutions. In my thinking these last would be structured as Hofs, Harrows, Hearths, Kindreds, and Heaths. Hofs would be an actual building or Hall. This would be a haven for urban heathens. A place to congregate and worship and of course drink mead and play Viking bingo. Harrows can be personal places of power and altars dedicated to Patron Deities. This would be good for Solitaries and our private devotions. Hearths are families and extended kin coming together in homes to celebrate Sumbel, Feast, and Blot. Many families coming together are Kindred. Last and this I would enjoy the most, would be the Heaths. These should be reconstructed and authentic settlements. Heaths should be far from cities out literally on the heath, and as true to an ancient Norse village as possible. There would be some who would live there full time and deeply embody the old ways. Others would come for various periods of time to learn, work, and get away. These institutions could replace the State. The Free State can happen but first must be realized and then worked for. Let us all be free men and women among the free and freely actualizing our Ideals. Hail the Gods! Reading 79 A mighty spiritual work is to bring down destruction to your television set. Seriously, take your tv outside and bring along a hammer. It can be any type of hammer. Hallow the working area, and invoke Thor. Lift your hammer high and
feel the coursing might of Mjollnir. When the time is right bring down the hammer and smash the tv. Do this repeatedly. Now you have just taken a great stride towards liberation. In absence of the “Loki Box” new worlds of possibility exist. Maybe you will go out more and get involved with your Kindred and your interests. You could learn a new craft, or spend your newly acquired time outdoors, walking under trees and talking to LandWights. Studying our Lore and learning the Runes are also worthwhile activities. Instead of the television as entertainer, you could have enjoyment telling stories to your family and playing games. If you are Solitary, you could write poetry or learn to make music. Of course, now there is plenty of time to make love to your partner or care for the elderly. Now in the evenings you can experience the lengthening shadows from the setting sun, recall your day, and deeply experience the presence of the Gods. Television takes us away from much. It is vicarious living. I mean how many television programs show people watching television? Live your own drama, “reality” show, or sitcom. Taste this great Life the Gods have given us. Smash your television. Reading 80 Snorri Sturluson fatefully collected some of our ancient Lore in his Edda. He was a kristjan by profession and probably selected his own version of our Mythology. He did however want to preserve some of the Poetry and this he did. In doing this he preserved our culture's poetic and religious imagery. The Edda(s) are a sacred source and textbook, I believe, that allow us to know how to do Paganism. Enlightenment is the Poetic Mead. Certainly there were perhaps thousands of other tellings and stories of Mighty Gods and Heroes. Certainly, we who are Troth can tell thousands more. The Eddic sources and the Mead of Inspiration give us unlimited wisdom, practices, and enlightenment. Couldn't there be stories such as “When Thor Ate Too Much and Loki's cure,” “When Freyja Became Ugly,” “The Simple Hearted Giant,” and “Frey's Airship and the Long Journey in Space.” Every student needs to master the basics, and then, s/he can elaborate,create, and inspire. Our Lore was before us and will go on after us. We live the Myths and in the process we make the Myths. We truly have inherited an “Uber-Mythos.” Thank
you Snorri. Hail Aesir! Unlock your word-hoard. Let it serve your experience not the other way around. Reading 81 Orlog brings everything into right and balance. Not always in the ego satisfying way but in a broader sense. It is impersonal. It is our doom to endure and enjoy all things to a greater and lesser extent. Get used to that assumption. The Well of Urd contains every experience and because of Orlog, Life stays as one. All things are knit together, and make sense. It seems with Orlog that you are always able to say, “Could be better, but could be worse.” Getting stuck or hung up on one facet of Life, I call being hexed. A hex is a knot in the Soul...an issue. Now there is pain, but we should reason on the basis of Orlog that indeed there is pain, but I probably have known pleasure. This pain is right and necessary, and so I move on; breaking the hex. Life is what it is and Orlog keeps it that way. It is high holiness. In fact it is Bifrost itself. It is wise to be able to look upon both “that” experience and “this” experience as good, right, and needful. With this consciousness we enter Asgard. So be it. Reading 82 Our interests, attractions, desires, and aversions bubble up from the Well of Urd. They form our Wyrd. Each interest and such connect us to the larger Pattern of Life. These are threads that interweave with that Pattern and can pull us along. When we become wise we can choose to follow a Thread or not. When we become really wise, we can spin our own Web of Wyrd, and move along it with the skill of a spider. Each time we allow a thread to pull us along, the whole of Wyrd shifts to accommodate. At this point occurs what is called synchronicity and even “beginner's luck.” Wyrd allows all things to relate to everything else, even as everything changes. Wyrd allows us the personal pursuit and an original birth. We join this by living. We enjoy this by being alive. Reading 83 We want most of our lives to serve our vanity and fears. We want to be comfortable, we want to look good and feel good all the time. We fear many things including a straight
look into our own lives. Then the Raven God knocks on the door and everything changes. His Eye looks in deep and we become aware. We become aware of the fears, pettiness, viciousness. His challenge is mighty, but the reward of a good character, a Mead filled life, and a grounded and radical identity is well worth the effort. A good practice is to start meeting each circumstance with “By Thor's Hammer, I will be strong, I will meet this fear, I will survive.” Something similar would also be fine. Bring the Gods into all of your life. Stand proud and defiant if need be. We cannot go through life pretending or evading our Reality; the good and the bad. We stand as Asatru. We will make it through anything. We will survive. Go with the Gods! Reading 84 Self reliance is one of the basic virtues extolled in Havamal and by our Viking kinsmen. It starts by asking yourself, “Have I done all in my power to meet my needs and desires.” Sometimes help from others is required. If you do all you can do, which sometimes means going without, then this is honorable. If those whose help we receive are in a relationship with us that is mutually beneficial, then it usually is honorable as well. It is a working relationship. Of course, we too, should feel good about helping others. There is a great joy in this. The Gods can be asked of for help, and there capability is immense. However, that does not always obligate them, and we enter into thralldom when we make beggars of ourselves. Most of our religious work should be acts of devotion, self sacrifice, and thanksgiving. The Gods have already provided the perfect context for our growth and development. One might say the Gods are capricious. In fact they are like parents helping a child to walk. Eventually to do this the child has to let go of the parents and stand on her own. When we are left alone the spirit within is sparked, and we know ourselves in our own might. This is the time when the Gods praise us, and we reach spiritual maturity. So be it. Reading 85 A story: A man was out in the forest hunting for Rabbit. He laid out a few traps and was successful. He took Rabbit
who he had caught and carefully skinned and prepared him. He ate the meat thankfully and used the skin to make a small pouch. Now the man was a good man and wanted not to offend the wights of the forest; so he laid out the bones of Rabbit, and he said a chant over them that Rabbit might come again. That night as the man lay sleeping Rabbit did come and hopped right into the man's dream. In the dream Rabbit sought to take the soul of the man as payment. Though the bones were laid out and the chant sung properly, the rabbit did not have his coat. “I will make a deal with you, Rabbit,” said the man who wished to keep his own soul. “I will at the time of my death use my own skin, blood, and bones to feed your children. Rabbit thought this over and agreed to leave the man his soul; for Rabbit knew certainly that the man would die and in the end all would be fair. Reading 86 The Viking diet should consist of both feast and fast. Feast is Fire and fast is Ice. The Gods have set the board and we can eat with gusto anything we like (Hail Bountiful Fiorgynn and the food that becomes the Strength of Thor!); however, we should cultivate our taste. We should eat a variety of foods from sweet to salty, bitter, warm, cold, meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, and fruit. We can be present with our plate; tasting, enjoying, and smelling the aromas. We can discover what is good for us and what is not. This kind of eating is natural and allowed our distant Ancestors to know what was poison and what was not. When we open our senses to our food, we can find the healthy balance and enjoy natural good health. When you eat, eat to fulfillment and then enough. We are not like the Giants who could easily devour the whole world. Again a healthy and balanced diet is best. On the other hand, we should be familiar with fasting as well. Most people have an inordinate fear of hunger and avoid the mostly illusory feeling at all cost. Fasting teaches us discipline and strength, and it is a mighty man who can go on without complaint. Let the hunger come and explore it. Learn from it. Stay with it, and master it. Complete mastery is probably impossible. We can, however, become more conscious and wise about our eating. It is said in the Edda that
Odin does not eat meat, but throws it to Gere and Freke. He sips only Mead. On a side note, think about pizza. It is the Holy Earth. It is round like Earth and is topped with Her Bounty; meats, cheese, veggies. Even the tomato sauce can be likened to Her blood. If you eat too much you are sure to get a Midgard Serpent around the waist. Ha! Enjoy your Pizza, Heathens!! Reading 87 Learn to look after your own affairs and manage them well. We learn wisdom by living our own lives and making those excellent. It does not matter our class or status. We all can start where we are and live the Virtues and gain wisdom. If through our life we gain abundance, then by all means be generous. Too many times we get stuck on what our neighbors are doing or what the actors on television are doing. Be not distracted. Know the Rune(s) of your birth and stay on track. Everything else will fall in place. Reading 88 There under the shade of your Yggdrasil and guarding the Well of your deep being is your personal Norn. She stands waiting and watching all of your life. She is serene, knowing, an insightful. You can come to Her when your Wyrd seems to make no sense or you have lost your way. Gently but insistently she will bring you back to where you need and should be. She will remind you of Orlog and She knows your birth runes. Divination and counseling are Her methods, and sometimes we must go to others to hear Her voice. Many times quiet reflection is all that is needed. To disregard Her wisdom is foolish because she is in fact a part of you. To divorce yourself from Her causes much regret and troubles. Thank Her and remember Her; most will be well. Reading 89 In 9 CE or 259 RE, Herman of the Cherusci tribe led a victory against the Roman Empire. The victory effectively stopped the Empire from conquering the lands to their north and the homeland of our Ancestors. At the time, the Romans were the “global” super power and were pressing their hegemony on the Germanic and Teutonic
peoples. Our people were organized along clan and tribal based ways with a distinct culture(s). The Romans were a full fledged empire and were busy absorbing other cultures into their morass. Herman of the Cherusci helped keep our people separate from this system of world domination, at least for a time. Even today as we struggle with issues of ethnicity and globalization, Germanic peoples are trying to keep and renew our ancient ways. A certain amount of resistance is needed for this to continue; otherwise, we fall into the soulless and mass consumerist “melting pot.” A “One World Government” may not be best for our people. Even the United Nations is notorious for honoring the modernist nation state over the needs and traditional organization of native and indigenous peoples. Here we are talking about bonds of culture and ancestry and not a system of coercion and dehumanization. These issues are important and the debate is certainly long, but let us ponder these as we honor an Asa-brother who did stand against giants. Reading 90 It is disturbing to note how lore from the south always disparages images of a woman, apples, and a tree. In Northern Lore these are the very ideas of our Great Goddess. She is not tempting man to his fall, but healing what ails him and giving him the Spirit of Life. She renews him and offers him all the good gifts that he may enjoy. Even in sorrow, wisdom is often born. The stories of the south are too pessimistic. They damn It and all of us, including the Great Goddess, to Hell. Their curse is now passed down and in their awful thinking we require the supernatural agency of a bloody savior. Real redemption happens when we love Her, the Goddess who is all the many Goddesses of the North. When we love Her, Her bounty, Her Body, Her Joy, Her Sorrow, Her Death, and Her Rebirth, then will we know true redemption. Then can we enjoy the Golden Apples picked from the tree of Life and given over to those that love Her. Hail the Great Goddesses of the North! Hail the Asynja! Reading 91 Hel is described as a miserable place, where hungry Shades wander in a joyless afterlife state. It is said that the Souls of
the unworthy inherit this metaphysical hall. Maybe it is more apt to say that it is the final destination for those that have simply given up. The Spark of Life has completely gone out. They have no warmth of affection, no spirit of strife and struggle, no fire of passion and will, and no compassion. They are in fact dead. They slide down the all to easy Hel Road, and that is it for them. We all probably have an inkling of this bleakness. We experience depression and meaninglessness. We look upon a world of shadows and have lost life and hope. Most of us can come out of this as seeds of life planted previously take root and flower. We move out of the murk. Some of us may be required to make offerings and sacrifices or become more involved with our Kindred and family. Some of us may experience the Light of Bright Baldur. This can restore us to our natural condition. The point here is not to get stuck. Take care and kindle your Life-force. Look upon the world with the Golden Eyes of Baldur and see beyond the veil of death and misery. Live the blessing of Asgard and continue on your way. Reading 92 Having an ethic of virtue is different than having moral rules. Virtues are habits of character that promote good living and are praiseworthy before the Gods. One could always note the virtue of an enemy. This enemy by other evaluations could be called evil, but you could say my enemy is certainly industrious, has honor, or courage. Praiseworthy is praiseworthy. It is assumed by cultivating virtue good will come, and this is why sometimes whom we call “enemy” actually succeed and prosper. Good and evil tend to always be biased judgments. I steal your cow but I feed my hungry family, and I accept any consequences. Sometimes, like this, circumstances are not always black and white, and it is hard to declare that this was evil or this was good. Maybe the better questions are, did s/he have honor? Was s/he courageous or self-reliant? Was s/he virtuous? Ultimately, “good and evil” is the debate of historians, and it is a person's virtue that will stand the test. So be it.
Reading 93 At least as Vinlanders we should show some guestliness and honor to the native wights of this land. It would behoove us to honor the native peoples as well. One wight that many Norse men and women have come to deal with is what I call the Tobacco Elf. Tobacco is a jolly brown-skinned sprite with a yellow smile. Happy indeed. He considers himself quite wealthy. Tobacco is now cultivated and used worldwide. He has two daughters. One is seductively beautiful, and the other is hideously ugly. Tobacco Elf has only one requirement that we may trade with him. He asks only that you marry both of his daughters. Again, the one is beautiful, and the other is hideous. Both must be married. Tobacco will then give you all the peace and smoke you want. So be it. Reading 94 The two healthy attitudes, at least for pagans, are reverence and mirth. We should have reverence for our ancestry. It is on their shoulders we stand. We should acknowledge what we have inherited from them. Their labors and sacrifices have resulted in us. We should have reverence for our Gods. They are the Mighty-Ones that give and sustain life. It is they who inspire faith and virtue. It is they who pick us up when we fall. We also should have reverence for our own awesome responsibility for the future. One day we will have passed on and have given our own labor and sacrifice to benefit others especially our own children. We are all connected through Wyrd, and indeed, our lives do matter. In balance to our reverence and the rare but profound moments when we bow our heads, there should also be mirth. Mirth is laughter. Mirth is play. Mirth is having a sense of humor. Our Lore reflects both of these attitudes and entwines them well. The Gods indeed have sport and pleasure mixed with tragedy and sorrow. Many of the Asatruar are great humorists with a touch of eccentricity. They are especially able to laugh at themselves. We are all playing at being Viking but we are very serious about it. It would be terrible to lose our mirth and only have the sanctimony and religiosity of the other faiths. “Be gay and valiant until your doom,” says
Havamal, and good advice it is. Let us also have a good time and share this great journey with one another. Hail the Folk! Reading 95 One Penny is Yggdrasil, or the One Life. That it has two sides is Orlog. Where it lands when you toss it is Wyrd. Heads up is good Luck and heads down is bad Luck. Changing heads down to heads up, or bad luck to good is Virtue. Knowing which way it is going to land is Divination, and having it land the way you intend is Magick. So be it. Reading 96 The Free State would end all “gray slavery.” We would not suffer monotheism, monopolies, monarchs, or any monolithic structure especially monotony. These are all Giants and are always a thorn to the Folk. These include Giant corporations, Giant individuals, and Giant governments. By Thor's Hammer all of us can be free to self actualize and be free of these oppressive forces. We can all come to the Free State by living our faith and being ourselves. We can do this by allowing our brothers and sisters to do the same. It will take a lot of work because it requires spiritual liberation as well as socioeconomic change as well. Interpersonal relations are also key. Again we must act with each other in this spirit and not deny one another liberty. Our relationship with Earth is important. Without a sustainable and ecologically sound relation with the Earth, no Free State or any State is possible. Practicing in this way opens the world to color and diversity. No longer will we have to march rank and file to the beat of a Giant's drum. The Gods have come to liberate us. Let us toast the Mighty Ones.! Reading 97 As we honor the Wights, Wood Elves, and Spirits of the Land, we recognize that Nature is apart of ourselves, and then also, Other. Our Ancestors were keen on this and kept the balance between human need and ecological awareness. Nature is not just the environment or context in which we find ourselves, but a Living Reality that should be honored. Although at times, we must be anthropocentric in our actions the rest of Nature is not here purely for our use. In my
experience there is a deep part of Nature that despises Humankind and is inimical to us. These Trolls and WitchSpirits should not be seen as absolute enemies, but understood to be Nature's way of self preservation. The proper diplomacy is indeed necessary. Much of this is mediated by honoring the Landvaettir and also the Vanir, who are the wholly benevolent side of the natural world. Keep this in mind as you respectfully walk upon the Earth. Beware the Trolls! Reading 98 Hospitality is generally regarded as a Noble Virtue among our folk. This virtue includes a welcoming attitude, the suspending of suspicion and the taking in of a stranger. In modern times this Virtue would preclude any prejudices and unfounded racism. We give everyone the benefit of the doubt and have the willingness to bring them into our home or circle of concern. While it may be true that other people, including a whole lot of white folk, are outsiders to our faith and the Inner Mysteries of Our Lady. We must be open to others and treat them with justice if not kindness. I would assume that the Gods themselves show hospitality at times and allow True Seekers access to their Mysteries. Remember, “The Wanderer” can come in many guises. So be it. Reading 99 Wisdom for Eorl: Why fight another man's war, when you can fight your own? Why work for others, when you could have others work for you? Why learn wisdom from a teacher, when you have wisdom of your own? Why beg gifts from the Gods, when you can give gifts to Them and all? But Listen! Every Thrall must be emancipated, every Karl must practice. Step up Oh Eorl! You have a place among the stars!
Reading 100 Hotter than fire between bad friends burns affection for five days; but it dies down when the sixth day comes, and all that friendship goes to the bad. -- Poetic Edda, Larrington trans. We have all had friends that turned out not to be as true as we initially thought. They influence us for the worse or betray and back stab us. We should choose friends wisely and over time our real friendships will show themselves. It gets lonely on the Long Road and time is precious. Forget the copper relationships and go for gold, or at least settle for silver. One good friend can make all the difference. Often our friends reflect something about ourselves. Look at your circle of friends and think on who they are and why you are together. What can that say about yourself? Do you let your friends rule your life and drag you down? Are they good friends that support you and are there for you when times are tough? Do you have at least one friend that will tell you the truth? One who will let you know when you are wallowing in self pity, need motivation, or give moral support. These usually are the best of friends. Let us think upon those who are around us and maybe today we can share a drinking horn and enjoy their good company. Reading 101 Winter Finding is another harvest festival and Odin is the honored deity. Traditionally the last sheaf was offered to Him. Now we prepare for the cold months, shorter days, and longer nights. The work of the field is done and we are thankful for plenty. The All-Father has guided and provided for us and we honor him with a feast and a toast. The grains and vegetables have ripened and another harvest has come and will go. This is a great time to think about our connections with Nature and the seasons. If all things are done within balance and the necessary work and effort made, then we should enjoy many good harvests. This is true for the work of the field, as well as, work of the mind, and even of the heart.
Your Ancestors should also be honored at this time. After all it was their planting that resulted in the harvest of you. They also circle us and provide comfort to us, who yet walk Middle Earth. Life is not always easy and harvest is a busy time, but perhaps we can always, through the might of the Gods, come to a good end and an abundant harvest. Hail AllFather! Reading 102 Industriousness is another great virtue of the Folk. Staying busy and working towards a good end is worthwhile. It actually is self evident. Good work that produces something of value either for oneself or others expands, furthers, and aids life. All can benefit. The essential thing is that everyone find work that is personally meaningful. Work should be about bringing what is inside to the outside. Not all people are suited for every type of work. Birth Runes are invaluable when determining what work is a part of a person's Wyrd. Once known a Soul will express itself with ease. Also, there is a concern of alienation. This happens when our natural inclination to a particular vocation is checked. We end up working for a boss. We do not own our tools or the fruit of our labor. We have no decision making role in a company that is owned by people we do not know and to whom we are expendable. In the Free State all work will be meaningful. There will be a structure of economic democracy. Here I am not talking about a statist solution, but one that comes from the level of the free Folk themselves. So the Free State is also libertarian. Here I am talking about reclaiming integrity, and freeing ourselves from hegemony. To each his own, and to own his own. So be it. Reading 103 Rune work can help us expand our beings and our consciousness. Runes are a great tool to investigate the nature of reality. We explore ourselves as we do this. Understanding the runes in whole is to essentially understand orlog; the foundation of Life. Murky or Bright we have an objective tool in order to do this.
As we open to the different Rune-Spirits or archetypes, we allow more of Life to enter our being. We open to Fehu as well as Isa; Eiwaz and Jera etc. We know life is abundant but it is also limiting. We know there is a time for action, as well as, rest. Once we become accustomed to “runic-thinking” we can adapt and adjust to the ever shifting Wyrd of the moment. Pulling a rune at key times or even on a daily basis can allow us to get comfortable with the weather; so to speak. At a very high level of experience, we actually can create or choose the weather; again so to speak. Odin's achievement is a high way to personal mastery. It is well worth the effort to study and learn the runes. They are indeed the “Language of Gods and Nature.” To know this language is to be spiritually mature and adept. It is to literally know the Odinic mind, and again, well worth the effort. Reyn til Runa! Reading 104 Living the Nine Noble Virtues is a definite key to success. In fact, they are the virtues of success. They allow us to improve and enjoy our accomplishments and challenge us to constantly move beyond ourselves. Virtues like courage, industriousness, perseverance, etc are what it takes to make it in this world. One could say these are the natural virtues. They are vital for any life at all. To the degree these qualities become habits, we will see within us True character and will find favor with the Gods. The Virtues are a staff to help us along. They are a guide far ahead of us on the Path. They help carry us through in lean and mean times. The Virtues are an important part of contemporary Asatru, and should be taken seriously. We can have our varied “spiritual” experiences and our great adventures in life, but it comes down to virtue when we want to know who we really are and where we stand. Here is the Living Spirit of Asatru. Reading 105 It isn't as good as it's said to be, ale, for the sons of men; for the more he drinks, the less he knows about the nature of men.
--Poetic Edda, Larrington trans. Drug and alcohol addiction are true demons that many of us are faced with. It is sad to see one lose the battle with Niddhogg and down spiral to Niflhel. Sometimes it takes hard experience to learn wisdom. Support should always be given to those that do battle addiction. Sometimes the addict has to reclaim the Holy Hammer. We lose our connection with the might of the Gods and are entertained by Giants. Woe, when you get the Hammer back! It's time to clean house! Thor is a great friend on the road to recovery. Call on Him often. His Hammer and His Might are yours to use. Break the self-destructive patterns woven around you. Have courage. Have faith. Those that deal in death and speed need to beware, that is, be aware. Many narcotics are inimical to the Folk. They ruin lives, minds, health and wholeness, when all should be experiencing the high of spiritual mead. I am not coming from an absolutist point of view. Wisdom rarely says “always” and “never.” Odin's quest for experience and wisdom takes Him down many roads. The Raven Path is not always the popular one. You must ask yourself, if what you are doing is good for the Folk and the future of Asatru? Is it good for your family and those that depend on you? Is it truly good for you, or are you making excuses? At this point, do you even care? Stay True in all that you do. Get help if necessary. Go with the Gods. Reading 106 Quest and trial are important to the Way of the Hero. We need challenge and thrive on conflict. Often going the easy way does not allow the growth and glory that a harder journey will give. Going a darker way can teach much wisdom though it is hard won. Life is not just about comfort and convenience. We should learn to step beyond these regularly. Doing this we find our innate strengths and weaknesses. Home is fine, but one should head out the front door sometimes. Often when we find ourselves unchallenged, we stagnate, and find ourselves falling into the clutches of Hel. We get bored, depressed, morose, and tired. We lose interest in life.
We become the walking dead. No one wishes to be around us and few offer pity. Light the fire! Concentrate your will and move. Sometimes it is Wyrd that we have to make life happen, not the other way around. The Hero gets no where without first taking a step. Reading 107 The Hero's Journey is not totally about conflict and challenge. There are many Halls in which we can find pleasure and relaxation. The Gods sport and feast in Their High Abodes. A handsome Vana-man or woman can keep us happy. We do not always need to fight. A safe haven to heal when wounded is needed, and keeping frith is honorable as well. Diplomacy is every bit the art as weapon skill. It is through this that we find the support and aid we might need to call on. The point is to not get stuck here. There is a balance. Every pleasure turns bad if overindulged in. A moment of peace and pleasure though are certainly welcome. After this on with the Saga.. Reading 108 In the Viga-Glums Saga we find an example of hamingja being transferred to Glum from his grandfather Vigfus. The hamingja was in the shape of a large women. After the episode Glum knew his grandfather had passed. The hamingja is another part of the Soul and is the embodiment of our personal and familial luck. It is our power to change happenings that they may go the way we want. I also think of it as a personal spirit like the Roman genius. The hamingja embodies all the conditions and traits our ancestors have left and passed on to us. It is now ours to call on. The hamingja can also reflect individuality and personal style. It is our personal “magic.” This “magic” contains all the qualities about us that come naturally and without effort. We are said to have a “knack” for something or some skill. This “knack” might be common in our family history. Luck like the hamingja is usually gained by bold or honorable action. In the above mentioned Saga, Glum attests to his grandfather's great honor. Luck is transferred from the Gods and Heroes, and by doing great deeds, feats of magick, or having the proper timing. It may seem that luck is kind of a numinous bank account. We are collecting it from our
Ancestors and Gods, spending it to save our hides, or giving it to others. Always it is a precious commodity; spend it wisely. So be it. Reading 109 Because of the connection between this world and the other world(s), I think actions and work have consequence on the other side. The point I am trying to make is that a Kindred can work to create the bonds between members that will last beyond death. It is known that we share Wyrd in this life. Why can we not imagine that we do so in the other? If a Kindred self consciously worked for this result, then the Gods would probably honor it. It seems there would be plenty of room in Bilskirner to have “Kindred Halls.” This way we would have a relationship with all the members past and present when we join for Blot and Sumbel. This would create a mighty circle over time. The Kindred could replace the now mostly defunct clan or even family bonds of old. Many are the only one in their family to even be Asatru, and the only one in much of recent (oh, say a thousand years) familial history. Can we expect support from kristjan ancestors or their “new age” cousins? The bonds of kinship could be reinvented and we all could look forward to a nice reception upon leaving Middle Earth. Reading 110 The Sax is an important tool of the Asatru. This is one's holy knife. It can be used for all purposes. It can be used to defend one's person, chop vegetables, open mail, let blood, carve runes, etc. Your Sax is a part of you and is blessed by the Gods. It does not matter if the use is “sacred” or “profane.” All of reality is woven together like a Wayland's Knot. Threads are joined from all worlds, past and present, to form our experiences. Our Sax is an extension of ourselves, and if regarded mindfully, has much to teach. Hail Saxnot! Reading 111 Maybe Egil Skall-Grimsson had too much luck and skill in battle. It was said that he was descended from werewolves and his prowess in battle did not ruin his reputation. The man had wit as well, and composed some of the best poetry our ancient
literature has preserved. However, he did indeed survive into old age. Because of the time and the conversion to christianity, Egil had become a living remnant of a bygone era. He knew this too. He became quite terrible in old age. He was buried as a kristjan and probably denied Valhalla. My concern now is how do we rescue Egil from kristjan heaven? Reading 112 Sooner or later our inner Norn will take us to the Well of Urd and we will meet the Great Norns, the Gods, and most importantly ourselves. This is inspired by a Seith journey I had. I went down and deep to Origin, Becoming, and Debt. There was a pool that was completely still and I was made to look into its depth. On the surface I beheld my own reflection. I was bid, in that silent prodding that the Norns do so well, to look deeper. Behold! The waters stirred and I saw my whole life before me. I saw the good, the bad, and the ugly. The Gods were gathered for judgment but I realized that the ideal that judged, was my own. So much, I think for all of us, we fail ourselves. We distort our own importance or lack of importance. We do not know ourselves very well and the Norns will constantly and consistently make us more aware of who we are in a very real sense and what we should (that is Skuld) do with this life. This reckoning is important and should be engaged in regularly. Always do we want our life to conform with our Wyrd, always does it do so; only we forget. Remember your Troth as you gaze into your own Well of Remembrance, that is remember or discover your Truth. Seek; and then follow it with devotion. The Waters will be still once more and you will again see yourself more plainly, more honestly, but more confidently. In addition, on my seith journey, I did see a swan floating off to the side. She was preening and arching her neck. She, I understood, was actually representing my (and your) fylgja. She oversaw the whole process and was a reminder that there is always someone who supports us. Go with the Gods! Stay True!
Reading 113 Averagely wise a man ought to be, never too wise; for he lives the best sort of life, the man who knows a fair amount. --Poetic Edda, Larrington trans. I am interpreting this verse of the Havamal as saying do not read too many books. Just open to life and let that teach and inspire. Stare deep into the flame and you will know the nature of Fire. Bathe in a mountain stream and know the nature of Water. Send your spirit to the sky and gaze down from high hills and know the nature of Air. Walk barefoot and tend living things to know Earth. Conquer yourself and you will know Spirit. All things come in time and no one is really left with an empty cup. Reading 114 Take comfort in all the natural healing that takes place. Yes, there is sickness. This is Orlog. However, think upon the times that you fell ill or hurt and your body with a little care healed. In fact it is completely natural to heal and be healthy. This is the blessing of our Goddess Eir. This proves that there is a blessing and that life is not all that “fallen” or evil. It, at least in part, is good! For those who think otherwise, think only that they have forsaken the Gods and the good folk. They have taken a step outside the circle of the Goddess, the circle of Life, and the circle of holiness. They now are “unholy” that is unhealthy, and need to re-member who they are and what Life is about. They need to come back to the circle. Death is not a problem. It is one aspect of Life. Do not blame those who die. This is ridiculous. Nor should we seek to prolong life at all cost. Death is natural and it matters not that we die, but how well we die. Did we face it with honor? Did we die with courage? Were we prepared?
Reading 115 Another aspect of health, I am sure Eir finds disturbing, is that we use the same type of implements to “heal” as we do for war. Knives, scalpels, scissors, saws are the things we use. It seems counter intuitive. Ancient practices were much different. Today things like massage therapy can help keep one connected in a holistic sense. They call it swedish massage for a reason. Also eating instinctively can help. That is opening our senses to our food and enjoying with gusto good food. This would be food that once lived or is full of Life-force, smells right, looks delicious, tastes great, is fresh, and appealing. Simple things go a long way. So be it. Reading 116 Ymir was the One. S/he was before the organizing intelligence of the Gods. S/he is undifferentiated substance without form. Odin, Vili, and Ve(the three brothers) “killed” the Giant and created the worlds. Some of Ymir's kin survived and became the etins and giants that antagonize Gods and men. Giants still are huge forces that rise and tower over Midgard. They are monolithic forces that seek dominion and control, as well as, constant consumption (remember etin is related to eater). They want to bring Life back to formlessness or desolation, at least inadvertently. They usually are not to aware of this themselves. The different giants seek to be the One. They war with each other as well as Gods and humans. They hate anything like multiplicity, multicultural, and multi-versal. They have simple minds and hate anything not one. They like monotheism, mono-culture, one world governments, big business, and supreme potentates. Freedom, diversity, locality, and polytheism are too warm and Life affirming for them to handle. These things promote joy, creativity, competition, debate, art, color, and love. The Giants are kind of dull and doleful. Gray is their color, and cold the temperature of their hearts. Beware the giant-kind and their sons. Most of them are the forces, no matter in what guise, that we strive against. Where they seek to put a strangle hold on Life, we are there to liberate all of Life from gray slavery and “mono” oppression. Hail the Gods! Hail the Asatru!
Reading 117 Let's remember our heritage. Let us remember where we have come from and the customs, lore, beliefs, and languages that have been passed down, adapted, and reinvented. We do not, as most of modernity would have us believe, exist in a void. We are heirs of a bright tradition and our actions will affect those to come. We are a continuum. The Ancestors live with us, through us, and will be reborn from us. Learning this should let some of the gas out of modern egocentricity. Honoring our heritage is one way we can connect with this continuum; this river of lives, blood, and DNA. Rich is this river, and strong should be the ties that bind us as a folk. Let us be reverent and mirthful as we celebrate heritage. Reading 118 The Dwarfs are the subterranean inhabitants of Svartalfheim. They are the spirits of Earth and are solely concerned with the material world. They are depicted as cave or mound dwellers because they do not like the light of the Overworld. They prefer their darkness, thus they are also named Dokkalfar or Dark Elves. These beings are associated with the plants, trees, animals, minerals, and elements. They are versed in the Magick of Earth and Fire. They turn resources into usable forms. They forged the implements of the Gods, and when humans interface with the Dwarfs we get our technology. This is a low, short, or dwarfish form of sorcery. They will build for Giants, as well as Gods. They are a bit tunnel blind or maybe it can be said that they are shortsighted. It was this narrowness that led to the murder of wise Kvasir. They presume knowledge, but they only know what they know. Despite their shortcomings, they are nifty and useful. Be wise in dealing with them. So be it. Reading 119 Lust is your Soul pointing in the right direction. Lust is blood and fire. Lust is Life. Then you obtain the desire. You know satisfaction for the briefest of moments and then all goes to Hel. You have wealth, power, orgasm, and fame. All of it goes right to Niflhel and turns cold like your corpse. Oh, Man
what a vicious cycle! When will we know peace, but oh the glory of desire! Reading 120 Tall buildings cast long shadows. We have built skyscrapers and live with smog. Material darkness rules and the Giants eat our world. Much is neglected and much festers in this shadow. The shadow also contains secrets and can be the mulch for revolution. The Dwarfs have tunneled deeper and have discovered the power of Surt. We can destroy our world completely, or transform it into Paradise. We are at a crossroads (Hail Odin!). We are at a point between the fantastic past and the science fictional future. The only space we have to demonstrate our marginal free will is right now. Power is pervasive it only needs to be harnessed. We can change the world, and by Thor's Hammer we will. Reading 121 The Einherjar are great men and women. They do not build tall buildings but they build for themselves strong character. Their foundations are the Aesir and their beams are noble virtues. They stand outside and are opposed to the current construction. They are head and shoulders above the rest of us by their virtue, and are singular and transcendent. They are the “Lone-Fighters” of Odin. They will overcome this world even as they fall, and feast in Valhalla after the passing of the age. To the highest among us, we salute you. Reading 122 Anytime there is a dispute among the Folk, Forseti mediates. Both parties are heard, the law is spoken, and wisdom is offered from the gathered. Forseti ensures that everyone is given equal consideration, and a reasonable solution is found. Honoring Forseti allows us to maintain a civilized culture, while also, allowing for change. In the case that the two parties are thick-headed enough that they cannot come to reason, then maybe a good fight is what is needed. I remember as a boy my father would send my brother and me to the basement to have at it when we would not stop arguing. Possibly the feuds in Old Iceland were solved the same. A space would be created that was outside
jurisdiction. Both parties or their champions were temporarily outlaws and thus given right to fight without disturbing ordinary social space. Most of the time it would be till first blood. The results would be final and honored, or the “outlaws” would not be allowed back in the Circle. We could do this now and have Viking ultimate fighting and let the bone heads deal with each other as they will. One further note, my brother and I only went to the basement once. We learned a lesson. Reading 123 This story is from the Amerindian tradition, but I have included it here, because most Heathens I know, love their hounds. The story goes as follows: Grandmother weaves the world together like a basket. Her craftsmanship is excellent and the basket is beautiful. On She weaves and She nears completion. Of course completion would mean the end of the world. At Her feet is a puppy who is busy playing and chewing as puppies do. Actually Puppy chews some of Grandmother's basket. As the puppy chews the basket unravels and is ruined. Grandmother is just about to exclaim “Perfect!” When She sees that puppy has chewed the other end. Grandmother keeps weaving and Puppy keeps chewing so the world never ends and life goes on. It is always one step from perfection and completion. So be it. Reading 124 The Free State is possible. Paradoxically it is achieved by not by working towards a supreme goal alone, but by offering yourself to the Wind. Go where it blows and have faith in the movement. Be open. The Wind Blown life is a dance and a surrender. To become the Wind is freedom; there is no absolute definition or aim. The seeds you carry will be sown as they will and some of them will take root. Do not worry. This is the way of the Wanderer. As Odin forsakes His High Seat to go out into the worlds; so should we at times. Really no wall hinders but the one we build within ourselves. Be as the Wind, and hail the Wanderer!
Reading 125 Though Jesus would sit in my living room and bleed on the carpet, I would not forsake my Spirit or my Troth. I have analyzed Christianity from within and without and what I can come up with is that Jesus is a spirit with two faces. He is both savior and destroyer and believes only in himself. This duplicity makes him Loki. Loki is “friend of the Gods” and arch fiend. There is no doubt in my mind that should a literal Ragnarok scenario occur; Loki will lead the monsters with the likeness of Jesus. I actually had a dream in which this played out. The Gjallerhorn called out and the Asatru hearkened to battle. Odin was a flight on the back of a Dragon and I was riding with Him. On seeing Jesus/Loki, I doubted for a second and yelled to Odin, “ But that makes us evil.” Above the din and with a laugh that took in the whole of Life Odin yelled back, “We are Evil!” With that we joined the battle. If this is Anti-Christ then it is only because Christ is Anti-Life, and may Life prevail! Reading 126 In the Grottasongr we encounter Frodi, King of Denmark. He rules over the Norse Golden Age. For most this is a time of peace and plenty. Frodi's servants who grind out this prosperity with their nonstop labor, are definitely not enjoying themselves. These two Giantesses are Fenja and Menja. As they run the magickal mill, they sing curses towards Frodi and his Golden Age. Eventually the curses work and Frodi is conquered, and the Golden Age ends. There is much wisdom in this song of old that we can learn now. Many peoples of European heritage are enjoying a fabulous time of prosperity and opportunity. You could say the mill is grinding out gold, but as a metaphor for the very processes and resources of Earth it is working overtime. The Norse with their sometimes grim irony understood that nothing is free. One man's leisure is another man's work. The Golden Age is built upon exploitation and is not quite golden. Also, it does come to an end. We do not have to repeat Frodi's mistake. We can give Fenja and Menja a break. We can look after their health, pay a fair wage, repair the damaged mill, and not build a Golden Age on the the labors of the oppressed. We can honor and
use with foresight the natural resources. We can be wise. It might be possible to have a much truer Golden Age. We shall see. Reading 127 Faerie-Kind are a queer lot. They swish and dish; fawn and fancy. Their magick is that of shape-shifting and identity play. Sometimes they are this; sometimes they are that. Gender blending and gender bending, they are hard to pin down. Male? Female? Not or Other? Most of it is illusion or you could say confusion, but this is their joy and delight. For the most part they are harmless but watch out they can bite. Also, remember that were it not for Faerie Magick, Thor would have never made a convincing bride. Let the Faerie have their space. If you can tolerate them, then great. You have allies. If not, then leave them to their play. If you like them, come out and join their flitting, flirting, fun. All will be well (or do I mean gay?) Reading 128 Many of us come to Asatru through a magickal vocation. It seems any pagan belief or practice is considered witchcraft or the practice of magick. At least that is the current discourse. One of my own definitions of magick is that magick is mythology applied. Myth is theory and magick is practice. In this sense we do have a magickal religion. It is entwined in everything we as Asatru do. In fact, it is hard to actually separate it from whatever else we do. I do not think our Ancestors always did this, and the more we grow in the fertile soil, magick just becomes a new sensibility. It makes sense and is the new common sense. As far as willed change in events and getting what we want, we know there is power and luck. However, some may put too much emphasis on this. This can lead to wishful thinking and delusion. Sometimes it is best to face your immediate experience and overcome it rather than wishing it away. We can use witch-sight to our advantage, which is really just a deep understanding of Wyrd and Orlog. Although, it is probably wise to always have a contingency plan; that is a plan A and a plan B. We may have a trans formative mountain top experience. When we come down we know that good old fashioned virtue leads to wisdom and success. As the Havamal
suggests it is good to be moderate in wisdom and not look to far into your doom. Reading 129 Perseverance is a virtue well worth cultivating. It provides the fuel for reaching your goals and staying true to your faith. Always should we see our tasks to successful completion. Although Life requires adaptation, flexibility, and even rest; our goal can be reached. It just may not be a linear progress, but think how many straight lines do we find in nature? Perseverance means we try and try again. It translates luck into skill, and then skill into mastery. Perseverance allows us to go a tougher way which usually leads to greater satisfaction. If you give up at the first challenge you will never reach anything worthwhile. The easy way is also the most deceptive. In life we go the hard way and learn perseverance as an instinct. Then in death we cross the gap between this life and the next. We will not fall into Hel. Imagine if Sunna gave up the race. She would be overtaken. Life is good. It just takes a firm hand to hold the reigns, and of course, it takes perseverance to learn to ride. So be it. Reading 130 We should be wary that any dogma arise within our faith. This usually is the death toll of a bona fide religion. Dogma restricts, therefore it strangles the free mind. We should allow the greatest freedom in belief and practice. The Gods are there to liberate and quicken our souls not subject them to thralldom. It is a matter of faith. We can look at our myths, history, and folkways in many different ways. The Gods could be advanced beings from another planet for all we really know. They are just as much experiences as personalities. There names are their names, and calling on them is the same no matter what the concept. It is the structure of our consciousness that is expressed in our Mythos. This structure will always be. Our native consciousness is exactly that. We are born from it and into it. It is the poetic mead that enlightens us and poetic truth is vast. Sip from this Horn and open thy Mind and thy Heart. Truth is there; we do not need dogma.
Reading 131 In the Soul Lore of the Folk we have another part of the Soul called the Shade. The Shade is our emptiness, and is a personal Ginnungagap. We know that most of reality or the greater part of the atom is space; vast and infinite space. The Shade is that in us. Because it is empty it contains all potentiality. We can fill it with anything and everything. We can go deep within or far out. Again because it is All-Potential it can include parts of Self that we do not like or recognize. Here it is like Carl Jung's shadow concept. The Shade allows us to go down and explore this realm of shadow and emptiness. We not only discover who we are but also create who we are. We can proclaim, “I am nothing!” This is actually a liberating idea and cuts through a lot of personal bullshit. It does not have to be an exercise in low self esteem, because quite literally “nothing” is huge, vast, and eternal. Such is the Shade. So be it. Reading 132 The Light Elves are the First Born of the Gods.. They are noble and illumined souls that dwell in Beauty. Ljossalfheim is a world above Midgard and has fewer sorrows than the realm of Man. Volund was said to be an Elf, and His only desire was to be with His Valkyrie. The Elves feast with the Gods but some sleep and do not know of what they partake. Freyr is their Good Lord and frith is their way. Be careful, though, not to cross an Elf. Their “shot” is terrible and they despise those that disturb their bliss. Overall, it is fortunate indeed to be in their company and their songs gladden the heart. Hail Holy Alfar! Reading 133 There is orlog which is the natural check and balance of Life. There is also ordeal, the fact that Life is dynamic and beings must react to and adapt to change. Some do not succeed and there is extinction.
Ordeal is experienced differently for the varying wights that live among the worlds and branches of Yggdrasil. Dwarfs struggle for survival on a more instinctual level. They are said to be formed from the maggots upon Ymir's flesh. This is a graphic depiction of animal and plant lives as they teem across the planet. Their purpose is usually material in nature. The Alfar have a more refined quality to their ordeal. They are seeking more aesthetic goals and not just feeding, mating, building, and defending. Here Humans can be inspired to seek Beauty, love, learn art, appreciate music, and awaken the spiritual or Mythic consciousness. Humans are between these and can choose to some degree which quality we seek. We also seem to be able to experience two differing types of ordeal. With one we experience the ordeal as coming from outside ourselves. A hurricane comes and destroys our city and we live through it; quite an ordeal. The other type of ordeal is the challenge we face that we ourselves have chosen. I want to climb Mt. Everest. I then go attempt that. Again, this is quite an ordeal. Ordeal allows us to grow as we find the virtue to meet it, overcome it or accept it. Life is not just about balance, but also, about change, growth, and mastery. This is the way of Yggdrasil. This is also the challenge given to us by the AllFather and His Brothers when they brought us out of organic patterning, culled us from the line of Dvalin, and gave us the gifts of higher consciousness. We attain glory through ordeal. So be it. Reading 134 This little spell or song should remove all fear, doubt, and hesitation. It can lead to total enlightenment. One does not need to be strictly on a battlefield to reap an effect. The spell goes as follows: “Joy in Battle, joy in rest. “Joy in Battle, joy in death.” This is simple, but if you open your understanding it will have an enormous effect. It transcends or fulfills orlog, affirms ordeal, and gives us a taste of Valhalla. Try it. Reading 135 These two visions came during Seith Journeys. The first was actually a dream. I was unconscious but awoke as I was
sinking in a pond. Down I was going. Down to the muck. It was gentle, this fall to oblivion. It required no effort. As I was enjoying, I looked through clear water to that above the surface. Tall trees I saw, and Sun shining down. They were way above. I understood that I needed to come up and break the surface. I was enjoying, but I had to go up. As I did this the muck began to churn and sought to devour me. I struggled and kicked towards the top. I awoke as I broke the surface of the pond. I was in the light of Day again. This second is somewhat similar. I lay down on Earth-Bed and my head became a nut. Still I laid, until my skull-nut broke. Out came a mighty tree. Way out into space it grew. Its trunk was thick and its branches expanded to fill everything. The stars were lights entwined among the leaves. A mighty tree indeed coming out of my head Insight comes in many ways, and the imagination has life all to itself. Visions, dreams, portents, and omens have much to teach. Pay attention. Reading 136 This is a retelling of “Freya and the Brisingamen” that captures the spirit of the original with a slight difference. Freya did desire the beautiful necklace of the Brisings. To have it would mean the love, adoration, and envy of all. She would then be known as Great Goddess of all the world and recognized as Mother of all Living. So down to Dwarf-Home She went and did pay the price for the precious necklace. In turn She lay with each of the four Dwarfs who had crafted such beauty. Each dwarf was a root race of man and all did desire the Lady. She gave Herself to each and won for Herself the necklace and adoration of all. Now Odin, from tattle-tell Loki did hear of Freya's prize and how she had won it. To spite Her and perhaps out of jealousy, for all did love the Goddess, Odin commanded that Freya now start a war. So it came to pass that each dwarf, that is each race, started to fight. Each claimed to be the dwarf that was more favored by Her. They fought and then decided to go separate ways. Each race went a different direction and liked the others not. Odin was pleased and wished that this would continue until each dwarf stopped being foolish and reconciliation made. The Goddess, on the other hand, was saddened that the Dwarfs fought each other and no longer revered their Great and Lovely Goddess.
Reading 137 Be careful when you hear that the “whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” This can be just another slogan for new age Giants. It means that the whole will dictate the needs and desires of the individual parts. This is a spell of Utgard-Loki. The fact that the whole is made of consciously alive parts is dismissed. Nothing should be beside a man and his personal relations, whether the relation is with a tree, an animal, his sister, her mate, or their Gods. “Be fruitful and multiply” is a commandment for a people. Our mandate should be “run amok” until Giants go back to Jotunheim and we have achieved the Free State. In doing this we can take part in the dismembering of Ymir, or “the one,” and create the world-home as each so conceives. Reading 138 Wicked and cruel are the hearts of the Frost Giants. Jagged and sharp is their breath. They will kill any living thing they come across. Oh how they hate Life. Warm is the feeling of love. This is the fire of the humane heart. The open heart is an open door and through it we come out of the chill. True is the faith that stands against the cold. So be it. Reading 139 We do not normally think that we chose the womb from which we came. This is Urd. We are born with certain genetic traits, racial characteristics, into a particular culture, at a given place, and at a particular time. Again this is all Urd. We spring from a vast chain of causes and deep origins. Our DNA is one language by which we can describe this, and our intuition is the only way to truly understand it. We are all of us ancient as Urd Herself is ancient. So be it. Reading 140 The Disir are the midwives and birth coaches of our lives. They are present at your birth in time and every other “birth” throughout your life span including death. They know that often to bring our desires and dreams into being is to know
suffering. They console, encourage, and assist with this process. They do this because the process, that is giving birth to what is always essentially an extension of ourselves, is meaningful. They know this because each one of them has given birth to new life. They were and are mothers. They became Disir. They are always there to help. They stay by your side through it all. They will only leave if you give up on life and curse the Great Mother. In my experience, this would be akin to abortion, suicide, and matricide. Stay true to life, and the pro-life forces will stay true to you. Hail the Matronae! Reading 141 For those of us who live in a city, we have lost a consciousness of the land and have replaced it with what I call urban sprawl consciousness. This is the erratic and ever evolving urban reality. We are inundated with stimulus. Always are there new people, ideas, images, and strip malls. Always are we surrounded by artifice. Everything is paved over and built higher. The Loki-Box, that is TV, amuses us with its constant stream of commercials and inane sitcoms. It seems like there is complexity to all of this, but the goal is to consume, to get more, and grow bigger. Of course this is all at the expense of the countryside. Where else are the Giants going to go? It is important to leave Thyrmheim, and go out to the wilderness, a mountain top, or deep within. There you can meet true life. Go up and out and you will see that what we stand on is far greater, more complex, more beautiful, and more ancient than any urban sprawl. Call down the Thunder and invoke the Wind. Find reality where reality dwells. Then we can come down, off, or out of our vantage point. We can once again deal with the din and crash of Giant-Land. So be it. Reading 142 Origins are important to the Asatru. This includes our ancestry, the country of our birth, and the beginnings of the multi-verse. It should also include the origins of our food and water. When we care about our food and water sources we become more aware and can become more discriminating about what we put into our bodies. Are we eating meat that is
unholy or unhealthy? Are Audhumla's children treated with the proper reverence.? They give us there flesh, hides, and milk. Do we honor this exchange? Are we eating food that is natural and grown with care? Is it full of hormones and pesticides? Do we know the people who labor to bring it to us? Is our water pure and from a running source? Again we can become more aware and healthy, and thus more spiritual. We can honor Life in this way, and can properly enjoy the Feast of Fjorgynn. Reading 143 This is a short saw from Mimer's Head as some are. Your body or lik does not have a Soul. Your Soul does not dwell somewhere inside you. Your Soul has a body; your body lives inside your Soul. Get that? Your body lives inside your Soul. We are much more than appearance. Reading 144 This is the creed of modern day Robin Hoods, and Robin Hood and his merry men were all good heathens. The creed is: corporate greed does not come before human need. The Folk deserve good work, clean air, pure drinking water, good health, plenty of wilderness, recreation, poetry, and mead. We have let the world go upside down. We are heavier at the top and this can only mean collapse. Another way to speak the creed is: we are dedicated to hewing Giants, breaking open the skulls of Dwarfs, and protecting the Tree of Life. So mote it be! Reading 145 One of the holiest actions we can participate in, besides Blot and Sumbel, is the sharing of food. Food sharing brings folk together and raises us from dwarfs. Our capacity for altruism is most highly and simply displayed by sharing food. The word companion actually comes from the Latin cum panis which means “with bread.” Your companions are those you eat with. In India it is the custom to always invite another to meal time. This can be friend, family, or even a stranger. If you have no one around, then offer food to Jord or raise your horn to an Ancestor. Even our enemies should be well fed. We want a fair fight worthy of honor, don't we? This then is a
sign of health, that all are nourished and that all want to nourish others. So be it. Reading 146 ...for from a wicked man you will never get a good return; but a good man will make you assured of praise. --Havamal, Larrington, trans. If you are willing to seek the good in others you will find it. Every person has something of merit. The wise know this and honor it. If your brother does what is praiseworthy, then indeed give him his due. A wicked man only sees the negative and always withholds his praise. These are the type of people who rarely can be good friends. Though, we should be friendly to that person until true injury occurs. This is frith. Often negative people are malcontent with themselves. They are not willing to look for good and so never find it either in themselves or others. Psychologically they may buy into beliefs like “original sin” where all of us are damned. How could you find good with a world view such as this? Throw out these bad beliefs and start with the purity of conception. This will lead to goodwill, forms the basis of kinship and can lead to true friendship. Leave the wicked to their own demise. Tell them, “good luck with that attitude!” Next, be on your merry way, and don't waste words on a fool. Reading 147 We are uncovering the roots of our Northern Mysteries. Through scholarship, practice, self awareness, the imagination, revelation, and dedication, we can reconstruct the ancient world view. We can also apply this world view to contemporary concerns and lifestyles. It is a process of spiritual archeology. The deeper we go, we start to understand the vastness of our tradition and ourselves. In our Souls there is all the beauty, magnificence, and wisdom of our fore-bearers. In our Souls is the Glory of Worlds, Mighty Gods, and the Seed that will carry us forward through Ragnarok and beyond. We are continuing the Saga. So be it.
Reading 148 Much of the wisdom being taught today is kind of the “Be Here Now!” philosophy. It is a truism that the only time we can act is now at least in Midgard consciousness. This is Verdandi. It is she who waters Yggdrasil. She rules over our present opportunities and the space where our marginal free will can choose and be enacted. However we live in the context of all three Norns, including Skuld who lets us know that there is a veiled but possible future(s) of which we should take into account. We know there is continuity, or a thread that connects past, present, and future. This is actually part of the function of Orlog. To some degree we become responsible for future events. We know that our descendants will live after us upon Middle Earth. We know they will inherit a world that we shaped. It becomes our duty to see that their inheritance is good. Then as we become the past they can honor us and learn from us, taking what we left to extend life into the unknown future. This is the basis of true stewardship and the demise of pure egoism. Even in our personal lives we find that we have a responsibility for shaping our lives. If I insure myself today, I may help myself tomorrow. If I hit my neighbors car, then he may sue me, or not, according to my luck and virtue. Had I not insured myself, I would not be prepared. Again, there is a thread that connects these events. So we live in the moment but we cannot always live for the moment. We have to be aware that the moment has consequences. Knowing all of this is wisdom. One further note, when we take responsibility for creating the future, Skuld's veil lifts a bit, and we can take advantage of a little foresight. We can help create the best possible future. Reading 149 If we have fear; we are hexed. Fear is a hex. The fundamental fear is of death. All hexes come from Hella, who rules death, and Her Witches who do Her bidding. Their spell is that all things die and rot, and that there is nothing beyond the grave. All come to the Dark Mother, Mischief-Maker's Daughter. She is supreme over Life, Gods, and men. She is a blight and a dreary fog over everything.
The Asatru know that this is upside down. Hella was cast far from Asgard where Her influence is least. Odin is actually supreme and the All-Father is Life. We must break our hexes and overcome fear and death. It can be as simple as overcoming the fear of heights by flying. It could mean overcoming the fear of public speaking by giving a speech. It could mean getting over the fear of pain by getting pierced. The hex becomes a guide and an ally rather than a binding force. Hella is put into Her place. Now is the way clear and we can journey across Bifrost and come close to immortality. Now is the meaning and song of Life, and we need not listen to the dirge of death and nothingness. Awaken from the spell and know the Gods will welcome the Asatru. So be it. Reading 150 Sometimes as we follow the threads of our Wyrd, we become ensnared or trapped in a circumstance or relationship. These are knots in our Wyrd. They are snares and issues that have to be dealt with, worked through, or unmade. Too many knots create burdens and weigh upon our Hearts. Our Hearts could actually always be light, if we were wise and avoided the knots. Sometimes they are inevitable and they can completely hinder our passage. When we are thus bound, we are trapped in the designs of Vafthrudnir, the giant called “mighty weaver.” It takes Odin to liberate us. Though sometimes we take our condition as the all and everything. “This job means everything to me.” “I cannot live without my high.” “I need you, this, that, something more, different, or better.” All are knots. All keep us from freedom and True Living. No matter how attached we are, or how much we think we “need” something, we cause ourselves too much grief. When we put up a fight against our better judgment, we must remember: Gagnrad always is the wiser and your head is His. So be it. Reading 151 Being aware of the Gothick dimensions of Life is a sure antidote to “fluffy” spirituality. Life is not always kind, sweet,
tidy, and fair. We live in a brutal world at times, and there are Giants vying for control of the planet. War seems to be inevitable and violence endemic to human nature. We are flesh, and so, we bleed, go hungry, get sick, and our corpses rot when we die. Loki will always pop the bubble, so to speak, of the naive mind, just as he did with Baldur. It is being keenly aware of the evils and troubles of our lives that we can mature. We can grow in profundity, rich appreciation for what is indeed good, and compassion. We do not need to delude ourselves in thinking “all is love,” because it just isn't. We do not need to to fall into morbidity, just realism. We accept the ordeal and so we work, strive, and love despite the bad. This is how we gain respect from the Gods. Certainly one day Sunna will be devoured, Mani too, Hel will break loose, and the Gods will fall. Of this we should beware. It only is one part of the story, and an exciting story it is. Hail the Gods! Reading 152 Old Mother Hulda, some say Odin's Sister. Ancient She was, ancient She is. She tossed vanity away a long time ago. Now She only speaks truth. T' was She that slipped the knot around Odin's neck when He hang. T' was She that pierced His side with spear. T' was She that danced and cackled as He went between worlds. T' was She that cut the rope when He came back screaming. T' was She that gave Him cloth and cup. T' was She that covered His shaking body, and said: “Your trial has ended, what know ye?” Reading 153 A true understanding of the Self takes time and the models of runic psychology are a good help. Usually there are listed nine parts of the Soul. These include: the fetch, wode, athem, hugh, myn, shade, shape, like, and luck. The way each of these functions and how they function together is worthy of your study and lead to your enlightenment.
One aspect of the Soul I would add is the stride. This is more an aggregate quality as it includes all the others. The Soul is most evident in motion. The stride is simply your walk. It is the way you carry yourself. People have different strides and each speaks volumes to the keen observer. We too can become aware of our stride and learn to play with it. We have all done this at one point. We lift our chests when we want to communicate strength. We walk downcast when a lot is on our minds. This play with the stride is similar in ways to shape-shifting, but it does not require leaving your likeness or Midgard identity. Become aware of this, stretch your legs, put your Soul in motion, and of course, always “walk your talk.” So be it. Reading 154 The Vikings were omnivores, global traders, world travelers, and sometime conquerors. Today we seek to fill their shoes. They have a legend of being larger than life, because their spirits were larger than life. We can stay true to our root which would be our faith, families, and places of origin, but we can branch out from this and grow. Remember our shades are empty and need filling. Remember too, that space is vast and needs exploring. Even our feast can be true if it includes everything, even the fast. The way over Bifrost is not primarily about denial, but adventure. The Athling has done it all, seen it all, and continues to seek it all. With this largeness of spirit the Waters of Life will flow through you and bliss will fill you. In the highest of halls will you tell legends. So be it. Reading 155 The lame man rides a horse, the handless man drives herds, the deaf man fights and succeeds; to be blind is better than to be burnt: a corpse is of no use to anyone. Havamal, Larrington, trans. In survival based cultures people were not as expendable as they are in a modernist consumer culture. Everyone has a role despite any disability or difference. In fact, some of this is
exploited and the functions of the community were always filled. Today there is a lot of hot air blowing around about homosexuality. We in Asatru know that the nature or Wyrd of an individual is not as important as his or her deeds and virtues. Kristjans place a lot on their version of human nature. We, on the other hand, can dispense with this, and let that which is praiseworthy be exactly that. Everyone is worth something and can find a place in the Circle. Gay men typically do not have immediate families of their own; that is a wife and children. This puts them in a good place to care for elders, widows, and orphans. Their emotional natures usually are sound for this kind of role as well. Gay men generally are non-combative which gives them a place as peacemakers, although many great warriors were/are homosexual. Gay men tend to have a refined sensitivity to Deity and inspiration which makes them excellent poets, artists, shamans, and priests. Lesbians too have a role. Many women have led war bands and taken wives. Lesbians guard the inner mysteries of the Goddess as well. It is She knowing Herself as Herself. This is the deep part of the feminine that a man cannot cross, no matter how much the thurse-man will try to prove differently. A lot goes into sustaining a warrior and if s/he ignores the support, then the whole hall will fall. Difference is not a disadvantage, and again though, one is blessed like this or like that; all have a place. Reading 156 This rune came to me as I was meditating and following a thread of Wyrd: Nine waves of perfection Nine Mothers of Heimdall Nine worlds of Yggdrasil Nine nights upon the tree Nine rings of Draupnir Nine lives.....to do it! I have come to believe that we cycle through nine levels or meta-lives and innumerable lives between seeking perfection and expression. A good way of finding which level you are on is to do a numerological calculation. Use your birth date, that
is the number of your month, the number of the day, and the year of your birth. On this last, convert the year you were born to runic era time. This would be adding 250 to the year. For instance, one born in 1971 AD would have been born in 2221 RE. This is your heathen number, as opposed to calculating this from the kristjan calendar. This will produce the life number you are on, if you then, add all the numbers together to produce a number from 1 to 9. Again someone born on Haymoon (July/7th month) 28, 2221 RE would be on the 6th level. 7+2+8+2+2+2+1=24, then 2+4=6. Each level has its own ordeal. That is each life has its particular lessons and challenges which then become the foundation for the next level. The times, places, and circumstances of each birth are determined at the Well of Urd by each Soul, the patron deity, and the Norns. In between lives, the Soul waits in Hel, preparing itself for the next life. After undergoing the ninth level, the Soul, having reached perfection, graduates and comes to Midgard no more. Perhaps we all ultimately succeed; thank the Gods. Our sacrifice is to experience it. So be it. Reading 157 With the paradigm of nine levels we can understand the journey or adventure of the Soul. We are in a dungeon with nine levels and Odin is Dungeon Master. As we increase our experience and develop our character we move to ever more challenging levels (sound familiar?). This is usually not a linear process. There is the Great Dragon, Nidhogg, which like a Black Hole seeks to devour worlds, stars, and heroes. This is the downward spiral of self destruction that can pull us down or even off the the Path. We might slide from the 6th level to the 3rd. Also, there are lives that are Frost Giants. In these periods, no growth occurs. We are halted in our process. Then there are those fortunate lives in which we are taken by the Eagle and moved upward soaring on wings of spirit. Eventually, the successful Soul will reach its destiny. This is a high metaphysical teaching, and over a little mead can yield much knowledge and wisdom. Reading 158 Forseti is the son of Baldur and Nanna. He is called the God of Civilization. Forseti negotiates contracts, arbitrates
disagreements, and sets the scales for fairness and proportion. Gold is better than silver, and copper is worse. From a sense of proportion and fairness comes commerce, law, and value judgments. This is what allows human life to make sense. This is what we upset by being unreasonable. You do not kill a man for his shoes, but if he rapes your daughter you just might. You do not get upset over the loss of a dollar but you can if it were your life's savings. All of this allows us to live together and maintain dignity and decorum. Forseti should be invoked whenever this starts to break down. Indeed this is how we keep civilization intact. Hail Forseti and His Hall of Reason! Reading 159 Many are taken aback by some of the stark violence in the Sagas and Viking history. It is true that they did engage in pillage and plunder, but no more so than other groups of the time. Life offered little else. What people do not realize is that our own time is probably the bloodiest of all. The last century saw two world wars, the detonation of atomic bombs, genocide, and death tolls of civilians in the millions. Most of us acquiesced and allowed all of this. The difference is that we have others do the dirty work and we can sleep soundly at night enjoying our “peace.” The Vikings were not removed from the darker side of life and their Wyrd was their own. It would be wrong to say that war is the whole of Norse culture. We have many achievements to our credit besides warfare. Even our gentle Peace-Lord, Frey, teaches us to enjoy plenty and frith. He is a “make love, not war” kind of deity. We do have deities associated with war but that is only one dimension of our theologies. Warriors make a great sacrifice, but the profound warrior knows when to fight and when to make and keep peace. So be it. Reading 160 Wicca is the religion of Male and Female. The goal is peace, wisdom, and right relating. Our Gods seem to all have their mates so there is some basis for a Norse Wicca. Wicca though is definitely a modern religion; whereas, the Asatru are attempting a religion with historical roots grounded in culture, tradition, and folkways of the past.
We are also critical of modernism and bland universalism. We do attempt to bridge the divide between past and present by adapting our tradition to contemporary living and necessities. Our religion is not witchcraft per se. We may have a different perspective when it comes to witchcraft than our neighbors, but not all Asatruar pracatice anything that really is witchcraft. We are a bona fide religion with our rites, theologies, literature, and spirit. This is not to say that Witches are not real. We are very aware of the “Power” and this should be feared if not respected. It is not mandatory though for the Asatru to engage in any spell-workings, divination or “energy raising” techniques. This would be a somewhat specialized status within Asatru. There is no real reason we cannot get along with Wiccans and good Witches, but I think some awareness of the difference is appropriate. So be it. Reading 161 There is a methodology to having good luck. It starts with having an open mind and a willingness to allow possibilities. When we are such, the world and our perceptions of it, open as well. We are willing to see that there is more than one solution, or more than one way to get what we want. It is a very opportunistic way of looking at the world, and requires that we be fluent and able to shape-shift a little. Luck is not always resonant with honor. Honor many times restricts behavior, whereas, luck will exploit all actions, times and places. To live honorably is to live within a carefully constructed code or “right way” of doing things. This is not always lucky. In fact, one is said to be more honorable when the code is adhered to even in bad luck. Still our luck goes with us and changes as our attitudes and beliefs about the world change and shift. This is part of our Hamingja. The Gods too provide us with an advantage. It is a powerful Hamingja or very great luck to call down victory and the might of the Gods, especially when all else seems lost. In any case, it is better to be with it than without. On this day, may you have good luck. So be it.
Reading 162 The Feast of Uller is a time we gather with our kin and celebrate a joyous feast. It is said that Uller presides from the High Seat in Odin's stead. He is the Yule-Father and probably the origin of Santa Claus. The hunt is over and the harvest taken in. Now we should be able to get through winter and look forward to a new year. So we boast and toast. This is a good time to make amends and peace with our neighbors. Also, a time to forgive any of our kindred and bring them back to the Circle of the Living. May peace and joy oversee the celebration. Let us be abundantly thankful and share abundantly as well. Hail Uller! Reading 163 A thing that has more than one use is holy. A knife can be a ritual item, a weapon, or a handy thing in the kitchen. This multiplicity aligns it with the multi-dimensional quality of What is. It is a matter of metaphysics. Other examples are garlic and pick up trucks. Garlic makes ordinary food taste excellent, it is a ward against outlandish wights, and has medicinal properties. Pick up trucks can haul a load, take a crew for a road trip, and if it is all wheel drive it can be an off road vehicle. Again, if a thing has more uses, then it is by nature more valuable to the Folk. This includes items like the above that can be “spiritual” and ordinary. Look around your home and see if you can find different uses for the things you own. How does each thing function? Can you see the wisdom and spirit in each thing? Are your things both beautiful and practical? Even this book can be used as a catalyst to your own dialog with Mimer's Head, a paper weight, and toilet paper. In any case this is a good exercise and can lead to mindfulness and wholeness. Reading 164 In my thinking it is arrogance not being what some would call racist. Lately the Euro-centric world view has come under scrutiny. As an ideology it has shaped the world for good and bad immensely. However, we cannot just ignore this fact. We who are a part of this cultural world view are in some degree limited by it. This is where we can be humble and say this is
how we see it. We are not going to presume that our culture is adequate to describe the whole of reality. We are not going to say our model is superior or right for others. What we do not want to do is abandon ourselves. This is who we are and our world view originates in our native consciousness. Some would call this racism but I see it as justice. This is not to say we do not have common ground. We in fact quite literally all stand upon Earth. The intelligent view of race, language, and culture is that they are a continuum and no single culture exists completely in a vacuum. There is understanding, but like a healthy ecology there should be diversity. The diseased thinking is that humanity must be uniform. This leads to all manner of atrocities. So let us celebrate and appreciate our differences, learn from each other, and know that our folkways are vital to the health of all people and the planet. Reading 165 The athem is part of the Soul and is the Living Breath. It creates Life- Force and in many ways determines the quality of our experience. Any time we consciously breathe we are aligning all parts of ourselves and coming back to What Is. Our breathing allows integration and demonstrates faith. Can we breath and then move on? Do we have that much faith? Many times there are blocks to our breath. These are the same as the knotty issues in our lives. We can let the athem unravel many of these. Simply stop and breathe through the issue. Keep your composure. Breathe in and acknowledge the knot and breathe out to release it. The less entangled we are the better we breathe; deeper as well. This fills the Soul with Life-Force and enhances all manner of functions. This allows us to face death with dignity too. “I am dying, breathe in. I am dying, breathe out.” Let it happen for it is very natural, and athem will become the Spirit-Wind. Also, athem allows us to fill space. We can breath to adapt to any particular circumstance in space-time. Whatever the orlog, we can breathe and accept. Again it is aligning with What Is. Through breathing we come to the realization that there is a rhythm to life; a give and take, in and out, up and down, this and that, inhale and exhale. This is truly grasping what orlog is in the first place. Even smokers make the
athem visible, and can watch it all go up in smoke, so to speak. (One of my personal names for Odin is Old Smokey). So be it. Reading 166 This is going to be as hardcore as it gets: Kill Jesus! Jesus is the representative of Giants. He is a trick of the Utgard-Loki, and a block to raw spiritual experience. He is the savior to those that seek to be coddled rather than challenged. Jesus is metaphor. The status quo is fine, right? I mean we are all sheep anyway, right? No! Kill Jesus with your passion and its free expression. Kill Jesus with your mirth and reverence. Kill Jesus with your love. Kill Jesus with your devotion to your native Gods. Kill Jesus with your humanity. Kill Jesus with robust sexuality. Kill Jesus with gnosis. Kill Jesus with art and poetry, pleasure and prosperity. Jesus cannot fully love Other, only His own. He does not fully represent love then, but conquest. He is an Etin. He would consume us all. We must kill Jesus, and recover Reality which does contain love. We are not the heartless ones in this equation. We know what is love and its loss. We know what is hate and its fulfillment. Oh how the Goddess weeps over this struggle! Struggle we must, though, if we are to regain what was lost. Hell fire is not our destiny and it is not our prod. Stay true and valiant. We shall overcome! Reading 167 Rise O Earth Warriors! Go Berserk in defense of Mother Earth! This is the call of the True. No longer is it God versus man. No longer is it man versus nature. Now it is Goddess versus machine. We have created a culture of mechanized brutality. Everything sacred and alive is bulldozed and paved over. Urban sprawl threatens the Heath; the countryside. The body of the Living Goddess is raped and cast aside. The True cannot allow this to continue. We are Sons and Daughters of Earth and Sky. We must defend what gives us Life, and in so doing, we defend all of Life. This is honor and this is love. Such is our cause. So be it.
Reading 168 The image of Thor driving His chariot across the sky creating thunder and lightening reminds me of automobiles, planes, and factory assembly lines. Even His goats “Thrasher” and “Grinder” suggest work, drive, and speed maybe even obsession. These are all hallmarks of Jotunheim. Thor is said to be the Ase most like the Etin-Kind. This allows a fight fire with fire kind of aspect. Thor being Son of Earth is too heavy to cross Bifrost. Bifrost is made of Air, Water, and Fire, not Earth. However, Thor is much more than a Giant. In one Myth, Thor slays His goats for food and then is able to resurrect them. This shows He has power not only of death but of life as well. Giants cannot do this. Also, come Spring, Thor will lay down with Sif, the eagerly awaiting fields. He will then plant His Seed which becomes the Harvest and sustenance for the Folk. Even Thor's thunder and lightening purify the air and spark regeneration. Thor is life affirming and therefore good; that is God. Hail Thor! Reading 169 The fundamental structure of spiritual growth, or any type of growth, is that you start where you are and decide where you want to be. You start with what is real and then achieve the ideal. It is as simple as that; point A to point B. This describes most religion, philosophy, and self help methods. The meat of these is that a way is given to get from A to B. These means may differ, but their structure is basically the same. So too, in Asatru we have a means for achievement. It is the Nine Noble Virtues. You could think that every ideal is nine steps up. Each of the virtues, starting with Courage, is a step. Courage is actually a good beginning because that is what it initially takes to start any quest. Each virtue will keep you climbing the steps. You might falter and take a step back, you might take a rest, or a foe will block our climb, but the Ideal looms ahead and virtue will get you to continue. This is applicable to any goal, not just “spiritual” ones. Success can be ours and growth. Applying and trusting the virtues, the means or way, requires faith and commitment. This is Troth, for the Gods do inspire us and guide our choice of goals and can help along the way. Then think, after the last
step and the ideal is achieved, we meet a lovely Asynjura bearing ripe fruit. She will hand us the fruit. We can taste and look down the way we came and declare boldly: “Behold, All is Good!” Reading 170 Asatru is a unique perspective. We are a monkey wrench in the machinery. Our views on ethnicity, myth, religion, nature, Diety, meta-ecology, and so on challenge the monolithic consensus. We upset the status quo which is just a Frost Giant anyway. The Gods have returned and wage war on many fronts. The Giant will go down. We are probably one of the most important movements happening in the Western world and we point the way to a new and possible future. It is exciting. We have much to say and do. Let the rebellion and liberation continue! Reading 171 May all our homes be bright and warm. Let each take care that Her/His home is as renowned as Aegir's. This means hospitality, good mead, and fruitful conversation. Share stories and food. Welcome extended kin and always light the torches of friendship and love. We all have struggle but within kindred let us find ease. Let our Hearths be our Hearts and let good cheer rule our homes. So be it. Reading 172 We come from the place of pure potential and the elements of Fire and Ice. Between these is a forge upon which our Souls are hammered out and refined. This is not only a mechanical process. We have some power over the nature of our Souls. This is the high art of Soul Craft. We start with potential and then dream our Souls into being. Not just being, but forever becoming. Over eons and innumerable lives we lay in ice and then the fire comes and there is conception. The High One beckons and we are quickened. Slowly we start to grow and the moment of our birth comes once again. So be it.
Reading 173 The Goddess of the North is complex and well worth study and devotion. Four aspects of Her that I most connect with are Frigga, Freyja, Hulda, and Helja. These four show the diversity of the Goddess and give us insight into our feminine divine. Frigga is the Mother and Wife and teacher of all women the art of “woman-craft.” She is the Wife of Odin and Mother of Baldur. She seems devoted as a mother and is willing to overlook Her husbands dalliances with other goddesses. She is wise and knowing. She rules Her domain and holds the keys to the inner halls. She is not simply a part of Odin but a strong, guiding, and beloved Goddess on Her own. She is though of the Aesir and must adapt Herself to a strong patriarchy. Freyja is a bit different than Frigga. Freyja is known as Goddess of Love and Beauty, but this seems not to capture all that She is. While I am sure that She knows all ways and wiles of femininity, she is also a strong character otherwise. Being of the Vanir, She is mistress of Seeing and Magick. While She was punished by Odin, She also teaches Him these arts. She has a warrior aspect and chooses half the battle dead. This is balanced by Her devotion to Her lover. Her Witches seek to empower women and maidens. They also balance the male with the female. She will take vengeance upon any who harm those devoted to Her. She displays strong independence from the male deities and is even for the most part a single mother. Hulda is the grandmother. She is old beyond reckoning and beyond any vanity. She is not negative but so old that She has seen all things pass. She knows the past and even knows that the future often repeats the past. Often She goes overlooked especially by the young. Hulda can be scary as She shambles with the help of a staff and covered by Her shawl. Though She is a refuge for the old and infirm, a genuine act of kindness makes Her remember for an instant the warmth of youth. The last of the four is Helja. Helja is the Norse Goddess of Darkness and Death. It is said that when Odin first saw Her, He threw Her down to the lowest part of the Cosmos. There she is obligated to tend to the dead. Her Hall is gloomy and Her hatred for life intense. She celebrates the wilting of flowers, the marring of pretty faces, and disease. Her Witches seek to bring curses, blight, and all manner of hexes to the world. She is as bitter in Her hideousness as She is implacable
in Her reception of the Dead. These are just four aspects and the Goddess is as rich as she is complex. So be it. Reading 174 The oath to the Gods is important. You have vowed to hold no other gods above Them and made a commitment to the Folk, the Ancestors, and the future of Asatru. At the same time you can expect support and succor from Gods, Kindred, and Ancestors. This completes the Circle of which you and They are a part. This pledge is absolutely binding. It is Troth. The Gods will stand with you no matter what. This is when you are high and when you are low, poor, rich, healthy, sick, prisoner, or free. We have a similar obligation to others who are Troth, but even when we as humans are not fully able to honor our kinsfolk, the Gods certainly will. If nothing more in life, we can honor our Gods, and only we can break Troth. The Gods will not. As this bond is lived and honored; shared and appreciated, it can only deepen into what else, but love. So be it. Reading 175 Then the powerful, mighty one, he who rules over everything will come from above, to the judgment-place of the Gods. Seeress's Prophecy, Larrington trans. After the climax of Ragnarok, it is said that the “One” will come. The Voluspa leaves it at that; the “One.” This is subtle and exquisitely mysterious. Some could say that this is a kristjan invention and the “One” refers to Jesus. Some can say that there is no “one.” There is Ginnungagap and Orlog that is all. Some claim that the “One” is not even male, but a primordial Goddess. The “One” could be an exalted form of Odin or one of His Sons. It could be more abstract like “love” or “reason.” It could be a mushroom. Who or what will be revealed as ruler over everything? The Mystery is open and let this be a spring board for your own vision. So be it.
Reading 176 Let us lift our minne horns to Egil Skallagrimsson. It was said that he was descended from werewolves and he did nothing in life to discourage that claim. Egil was a warrior, poet, rune wizard, mercenary, and an outlaw. At times he was brutal and other times he was poetically sensitive. It seems his contemporaries viewed him askance as we would today. He was a giant of a man and stands as one the most memorable of the Saga heroes. Hail Egil! Reading 177 Tacitus in his Germania observed that the Germanic peoples did not need images and temples to house the spirit of their Gods. They had the “eye of reverence” and would conduct ritual outside in sacred groves. We allow the Gods to express themselves through Nature and find beauty here. This allows all of us to approach divinity and experience It. We do not need elaborate rites and huge temples to worship. An old growth forest or a mountain top is all we need. Why have a stone and mortar temple restrict our Life-Force when we have the open sky and the farthest reaches of space to send out our imagination. In fact divinity is as close as our breath. Why seek the Gods beyond our immediate experience, or sublime Nature? I am not saying that there is no use for iconography or symbols. It is just that we have to beware that these can limit vision just as much as they can open it. No one idea, image, interpretation, or concept should be used to subsume all others, and when one of these is no longer useful then move on. This is the essence of Odian consciousness. It is the willingness to experience all things, see wisdom in all things, and display a equine restlessness in matters of spirit. There is no reason Odin, Himself, could not travel to the Far East, do spiritual archeology with Egyptian sources, learn martial arts in Japan, or go to the South American rain forests to do Ayahausca. Paradoxical as it is, He can do all this and not loose His essence. We have to free Odin as much as He needs to free us. So be it.
Reading 178 Can we ride out the Winters of our lives? Can we rest from our labors and wait on the warmth of Spring? Can we encompass time with our minds? Can we be still? Everything to reach fruition requires resistance and time. Lose not your courage. This is faith. So be it. Reading 179 Some say Odinism is a Left-hand Path. Last time I checked Odin had both a left hand and a right hand. And you know what? He juggles. Odin gives gifts with His right-hand and He gives gifts with His left. These are like His two sons Baldur and Hodur. The nature and quality of the gift may be different but the fact that it is given is the same. Even Jesus was wise enough to declare that His God made the sun shine on the just and the unjust. A good exercise to practice is to place your left-hand on your right breast and your right-hand on your left breast. This is the runic posture for Dagaz. Now all should be clear in its light, and we can leave the simple minded morality play behind. Hail the Light of Day! Reading 180 Another part of the Runic Soul is the Wode. The Wode is our personal inspiration, spirit, or even mood. It contains our changing atmosphere of feelings, passions, desires, and dreams. It is very connected to the daily weather. We can be bright and sunny, dark and gray, or even bold and stormy. As mentioned this is always a shifting and changing pattern. It is hard to predict and even harder to control. Non-adept handling of the Wode is a cause of a lot of mental illness. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. We cascade from great highs to drop bottom lows. We let fears get out of hand and let perceptions jumble and confuse. The Wode can nearly break us into nine parts, but often the storm can be quieted by taking small breaths. Certain substances, practices, and techniques allow us to control Wode. This helps with a lot of artistic, spiritual, and visionary inspirations and is a source for personal creativity. Many times we have to ride out our Wode like a surfer on a wave. There is a knack to this and a danger. Again it is
necessary to be familiar with the athem or breath. All parts of the Soul are integrated and each affects the rest. Breathing deeply and consciously is one of the best ways to navigate or surf the Wode The ancients became aware of Wode during battle and they would be excited into a frenzy. The Wode can take you to the edge and even possess you to fly off of it. Victory can raise it just as defeat can drop it. Of course we are always aware of it, but just do not always trust it. It gives our experiences their color and fuels our desires. This is Wode; so be it. Reading 181 Speciesism is a term coined from the animal liberation movement. It is the belief that humanity has absolute dominion over other species. Animals are important only insofar as they have use. They have no inherent right to exist in their own eco-space. Speciesism is really another Giant. I am not suggesting that we all become vegetarian. We too are creatures and have our rightful place in the Circle Of Life. I am suggesting that we be aware that there is a Circle Of Life and honor those other beings including nonphysical ones that are a part. We should be grateful, sensitive, and humane when we take life for sustenance. We should always be aware that we too feed the Ravens. It is Skuld that all of Life is also Food for Life. This sacrifice makes the whole perfect. Wildlife is important too. We each have a fetch soul that is our animal soul. When we kill all wildlife we do so at the expense of our own Soul. We cause desolation within and without. Again this is the way of Etin-kind. A good practice would be to have each Kindred adopt a member of wildlife. This would a Kindred-fetch or totem. As part of our membership we could take on the Skuld of working to protect that species. It would be best if that species were local. In this way, the True could interact and be familiar with that animal spirit. Working together we could save wildlife and increase our own wisdom and respect for the natural world and our place in it. Reading 182 Ours is a journey from dust to divinity. The Gods draw us out that we may grow. They give us increase. The pattern is set within the Rigsthula. We start as Thrall, then Karl, and
finally Jarl. This scheme works with any attempt at reaching an ideal. First we must be aware that we are lacking and in need of improvement or practice. We accept these terms and we earn the freedom of Karl. Karl then does that. S/he improves and practices. S/he sees the goal and is consciously working towards that. Jarl, then, is achievement of the ideal. Jarl displays excellence and mastery over the chosen field. S/he knows Runes. Jarl talks to Rig personally, and s/he becomes an exemplar or guiding light (Heimdall) to all others. This caste system is not meant to oppress but to liberate. Always should we strive to better our condition. Always should we keep in mind the nine mothers of Heimdall; the nine waves of perfection. Every Jarl was Thrall; every Karl becomes Jarl. This is the course of development set by the Gods. Always honor those “higher” than yourself, but only to one day surpass them. In the end this is the stairway to our own Glory. Keep climbing. Reading 183 Most of my readers probably do not need to practice this meditation, but for those who do here it is. When everything seems to be sliding to Hel, go to a quiet part of your home or even your bed. Lay down in the fetal position and imagine yourself floating down a long stairway to a cave of comfortable darkness and silence. You are in a womb-cave. Now feel all your feelings; indulge. Feel your frustrations, inadequacies, sadness, fears, and impotent rage. Get angry and wish for vengeance. Get sad and hope to die. Throw a huge temper tantrum. Blame society, your parents, alcohol, the police, your second grade teacher, and your spouse. Most of all blame yourself. You are in the belly of the Great Mother. She cares and She knows. She also wants you to move on and grow up. Sometimes it is necessary to return to Her. Sometimes we are infants still. Do this for about twenty minutes. It is helpful to have set an alarm. When your alarm goes off, visualize your Patron coming down into the cave bearing two torches. S/he says “It is time.” Grab a hold of one of the torches and follow your Patron up out of the cave into daylight. Spring up from your bed and snap out of the fetal position. Already you feel better. The more you practice this the less you will need to, but do so until the weening is done. So be it.
Reading 184 The Free State is one without an overarching government. It is not a monarchy, republic, or federation. Pre-Christian Iceland is a fine example. The Gothar did not so much rule but help manage. There was a check to their power. Much of that check was the willingness of the bondsmen to honor the Gothi in the first place. Without this willingness the Gothar really had no recourse, like an armed military, to coerce the Freemen. The essential ingredients of a Free State are mutual association and localized power and decision making. This is a confederate system rather than a federal system. Local autonomy is important because it allows the folk to participate fully in the governance of the “commons” and their own behavior. If an issue is not about commonwealth like clean air, then it should be of no concern to the other Freemen. Legal issues and trespass can be handled at the local level as well. Crimes are not made against the state but between real people. They then can be solved in a way that is mutually agreeable and without interference. This allows for creative negotiation and does not require a massive legal system. It honors the real needs and rights of individuals in unique relationship with one another. This applies to the level of communities as well. In the Free State, communities would be organized within boundaries of sustainability. Again each community would be distinct in its relation to its local ecology, and it would be able to provide for its members human and nonhuman. Relations between communities would be the same as relations between individuals. This allows for diversity, freedom, and creativity. Common roots and needs would be honored and warfare would be mitigated by these. War itself would be localized and not have the sinister aspect of world domination and mass genocide. Remember the Germanic peoples resisted the world power of Rome. There were many tribes and Ways. This assumption into the Roman Empire was perhaps inevitable but not irreversible. We are heathen and we can resist the oppression of Giants and the despoiling of our countryside. We can all agree to be free. One note: We probably could not and should not go exactly back to Icelandic style living. We can be informed by
the archaic and recover something that may save this Rock. As paradigms shift so does technology (a low form of Magick). Even with some of the technology coming out of Post Modernism, the future may be quite interesting. Reading 185 Will Asatru flicker in this present chaos and then fade? Can we establish ourselves among the religions of the world? Will we reach maturity and pass on a legacy of honor and devotion? We toast the future and the Children of the True during Sumbel. Are we thinking ahead and doing the work of the Gods and Folk? Are we just playing around and not getting our shit together? Wasting life in prison and criminality will not further our cause. Yes, we want and have freedom, but being addicted to or dealing meth is not True Freedom. Take up the Hammer! Wield it with wisdom, might, and reverence. Let us secure our place for all time (or until Ragnarok) on this Midgard. So be it. Reading 186 When the cruel Frost-Giant lingers bring your loved ones closer to the fire. When Death knocks on your door open it with a smile. When adversity comes be glad and know your own strength. When all becomes wicked find the good. Find cheer in sadness and friends among enemies. Never will you falter if this is practiced. Some call it drunkenness; others enlightenment. So be it.
Reading 187 This reading is for the solemn night before Yule-Tide. Now do we know the longest night and frozen darkness. Candles should be lit for your Ancestors and words of praise spoken for the ever present Disir. We count on our Ancestors for succor and support through the trials of Life. They give us their spirits, and they give us their wisdom; the might they learned here on Earth. We vow to
give them place in our lives and give them a place in the future that they may come once again. We may not know their names, much is forgotten, but they dwell in the fabric of our being. They entwine in our DNA. They give us our root to the past, and support us as we grow into the future. They have experienced many winters. You are not alone. These are the meditations for this holiest of nights. So be it. Reading 188 This reading is for Yule. This day has been celebrated since time immemorial. It is in fact the Old New Year. It is the Winter Solstice; a time when the dark half of the year turns toward the light half. This should be a joyous day shared with kith and kin. Gift giving is important and strengthening bonds of friendship and care. This is another day that is auspicious for oath making and rune casting. Now we can cultivate the hope and good cheer that will carry us through the winter into the summer. This day gives birth to the New Year. The Child of Light is reborn. This is the wisdom found in the runes of Nature and Seasons. A log can be burnt indoors mirroring the bonfire at Midsummer outdoors. The fire of love should never burn too low. Thor and Frey are patrons of this feast and their help with all our needs and growth should be praised and thanked. It is good luck to eat ham which is sacred to Frey. May we enjoy it and bless it that we may have peace and plenty throughout the year. The entire day should be spent in merry making and delight. Laugh plenty and drink your fill of warm spiced mead. Be glad and make troubles light. There are enough days when they are not. Yuletide blessings to all! So be it. Reading 189 There are three, what I call, mythic vocational orientations. There is the Wizard, the Warrior, and the Earth Worker. The Wizard studies inner space and is concerned mostly with consciousness. His/Her realm is largely the invisible, and conceptual one. A Wizard's power comes from knowledge and vision. They are the philosophers, scientists, scholars,
teachers, priests, shamans, and artists. Wizards rule the head. The Earth Worker is for the most part concerned with the outer world. They work with visible material and create and maintain form. They provide the goods necessary for physical existence. They are the vocation that produces and reproduces. They are the grounding class, and the class that most fully enjoys the rich bounty of Earth and are obligated to care for it. Earth Workers perfect a craft or trade. They are artisans, merchants, and agriculturalists Earth Workers rule the hands and genitals. The intermediary class or vocation is the Warrior. The Warrior must not only conquer the outer but the inner as well. They deal with the immediacy of life and death. This can be a soldier, a fire-fighter, or even an ER surgeon. Warriors are the class that put there own lives on the line. They must face fears and go beyond them. They protect the others. Warriors rule the heart. The three classes work together organically. There does not necessarily need to be a hierarchy,and I do not want to imply a strict caste system. They are archetypal orientations. Most of us have some awareness of which orientation we have. Others may have a mixture. The hands and especially the genitals need the head. The head needs to be attached and grounded and the heart keeps everything circulating and vibrant. These are akin to the three postulated divisions of ancient Indo-European culture, and the three divisions of medieval Europe. This was formulated as “there are those who work, those who fight, and those who pray.” Some even divide the three aetts of the Futhark along these lines. In any case it can promote understanding and self-knowledge. So which are you? What is your function in Odin's world? Reading 190 Identity can be a tricky thing. We should not hold onto one too hard. Possibly, we should hold it like we hold an egg; too hard we smash it; too gently it rolls out of our hands. This allows a comfortable ease with our Self. Another analogy suited to identity is an onion. The outer layer may be our general humanity. The next layer is our country of origin, then ethnicity, religion, gender, animalness, and finally we have the core which when divided shows us space. This last connects us to vastness and nothingness. It is the Holy Ginnungagap. Remember the onion may be nothing;
it is also something. Think about that! Practice today with an egg and an onion. Reading 191 Modern warfare reflects the rest of modernity. It is a distinctly alienable event, and therefore Souless. We have removed ourselves from the reality. Pressing buttons and aligning combat sights is not “real” fighting. There seems to be more integrity in staring your foe in the eye as you jab your spear into him, than pressing a button and wiping him and half his city away without ever seeing him. It seems that all the horror and glory of war is right there in hand to hand combat. You place yourself in a position in which you could die. That is heroic. It also allows for the existential and spiritual aspects to play out. This is heroic too. If you have to fight then fight fair and not cowardly. Make sure the blood is actually on your hands. Then you will know what a warrior is and is not. Even in the Star Wars movies the master Jedi use light sabers and not laser guns. The killing of a noncombatant is reprehensible and should always be avoided. Have no doubt the Goddess will avenge the killing of innocent folk. Whether the Vikings practiced this or not is not an issue. Honor is always the standard. So be it. Reading 192 There is a peculiar though dominate line of thought with our people that I call Zionism. I am not talking about or even criticizing Judaism. If we had a piece of divine real estate we would defend it with the same ruthlessness as the Israelis. What I am talking about is the line of thought that Northern European descended peoples are or need to be related to Abraham, Jewish prophets, the old and new testaments, a king named David, or anyone claiming to be a Jewish Messiah. This is usually not propagated by Jews but ironically by other “white” folk. We are not a lost tribe of Israel. We are not the seed of Cain. We do not need to be “grafted” on an alien vine. We have our own distinct culture and history. We do not need to learn Kabalah. We have our Runes. We do not have to be adopted sons, and being chosen is a matter of reference. Eskimos are chosen by their Spirits too. We are not responsible for Levitical law or any Ten Commandments. We
have our Nine Noble Virtues and that is sufficient. We do not need circumcision and if we like tattooes so be it. We are not required to hate Judaism or love it, as kristjan trends go. We are an independent people, and it is time to throw off the “white lie.” No longer do we need to be deceived by the Utgard-Loki. It is time to claim our own. So be it. Reading 193 Orlog manifests one way in the human world as justice. Orlog limits and delineates behavior and governs human relationships. This is always for the purpose of growth and balance. The High God Tiw oversees this process. He has His own orlog, but because He is higher than us in the chain of being He is able to rule over us. Higher here means less limitation, farther sight, and broader powers. He is a God. The good rede is “do no injury.” Following this advice allows civilization to continue and flourish, while allowing us to maximize our own liberty. For instance, cigarette smoking is allowed under “do no injury” if the smoker does not force another person to smoke. This allows both people to enjoy what they will. However, if the smoker does force a cigarette onto another, this would be injury and restitution should be expected. If not restitution, then there should be retribution. Take abortion as an other example. If you allow a woman's womb to be her own, then if she chooses abortion so be it. If she or the State comes to you and forces an abortion, then this would be a terrible injury. You do not like abortion, then simply do not have one. Do not overstep your boundary and be overly concerned with your neighbors way. We all have Wyrd, and mind your own god blessed business. Laws are good if they allow a good man/woman to actually be good, not to enforce the good, but to allow each to pursue good. If I can practice my religion freely then I have no complaint, but if laws are passed that make my religion unlawful then war and rebellion is justified. What I cannot expect is for all people to agree with me and practice religion the same as me. I no longer am pursuing and enjoying my own good but denying others their's. Do you think you will be judged for your neighbors sin? Just worry about your own. Another thing, if you do injury, then expect a return. This is Tiw's government. It is an old heathen adage that what goes around, comes around. With this in place, it is hard not to learn our lessons and demonstrate our perfection through Virtue.
As far as the question is Nature good? Are you prevented from acting virtuously if your poor, sick, wounded, ugly or alone? No. Are you exempt from virtue if your rich, healthy, famous, beautiful or powerful? No. So be it. Reading 194 The corporate uniform is designed to restrict the life-force and direct the life-force towards its world destroying ends. You have the short hair, necktie, collard shirt, and obsessive or excessive hygiene. Slaves in the “Old Days” had there hair short and wore collars around the neck. Long hair is a flowing display of personal life-force. It is aliveness and freedom. The corporate uniform is fascist by nature. It is about control. Most corporate headquarters are high rises which are far above the Earth and Her Folk. This allows for ease in clear cutting forests and laying people off from their livelihood. Culpability is erased through passing the buck, and everyone's hands are “clean.” It is time to liberate the life-force, and break free from Giants. Let us grow our hair long and let the rivers run free. Let us make peace with dirt and appreciate all things earthly. Let us build high character instead of high buildings. Let us value trees and wildlife more than cars and computers. Let us be more concerned about the death of ecosystems and the plight of all indigenous peoples more than stock options and company parties. There is life without the necktie, and outside the office cubicle. So be it. Reading 195 There is so much race hysteria. Why can we not recognize difference and honor it? Why can we not cultivate, celebrate,and be comfortable with difference? Why do we have to go through a soul wrenching and violent process of forcing our Souls into one mold? Why is race so subversive? We of the Asatru challenge these notions, ask these questions and proclaim our unique spirituality and culture. Different does not mean superior. In fact, since we do not have a universal claim, we can recognize the validity of other religions and cultures. Heathens of old were not known for religious bigotry and warfare. Maybe this was to a fault in that our native way was so easily suppressed.
Unfortunately it is usually white folk that are told to put their ethnicity in the back seat. No wonder we cause so much trouble. We do not know our own Soul. With no knowledge of our Soul, we have no Home, and so we wander hungry and alone. We wreak havoc in our disassociation and become the menace the other folk proclaim. Anyway let's look at race, or for a better word, ethnicity in a calm way and allow everyone their own. So be it. Reading 196 Though He was thought dumb and simple, Hoenir is profoundly wise. You listen to Hoenir when someone is fine with saying, “I don't know.” You come across Him again when you hear, “How can we ever know?” “Don't be troubled.” Even, “It is all REALLY no big deal.” Or, “So be it.” These all come not from ignorance but a deep serenity and acceptance of life as it is. They are non-answers and indefinite affirmations that give us the freedom to relax and be at peace. I believe Hoenir has little use for words and debate. He doesn't get involved much with the affairs of men and Gods. Why bother one who knows bliss and contentment? He truly is a benevolent cynic, and can sublimely enjoy puddles filling with rain. “Take it, or leave it.” Reading 197 This is a helpful practice. Anytime “negative” events occur say to yourself, “This is a part of my personal Wyrd. It is my ordeal.” Then take a deep breath. This will put all events into perspective and allow you to have glad acceptance. From this peace of mind you will be a better problem solver and take more effective actions. The goal is not to be a vegetable. There are things that call for action and remedy. Now you have the capacity to see what needs seeing to. You cannot escape Wyrd, but you can creatively engage it. This starts with perspective and acknowledgment. Positive events too are a part of your Wyrd. They help maintain your course and let you know you are doing something right. However taking the path of least resistance can lead to stagnation. Get with the program and you can be the director and not just the actor. This is proactive and procreative living.
Have the faith to realize that all things happen for your Soul's benefit and growth, and that all that you do will lead to benefit and growth. Keep the the Rune Sowilo in mind as you strive onward. The goal and the energy to achieve it are given, and sometimes the target is as wide as a barn. Stay Bright. So be it. Reading 198 Creativity honors and places us in the company of our Creator(s). It takes us from mere survival to something transcendent. We are saved from brute reality through our creativity. We follow our bliss when we take the Stuff of Life and shape it to an approximation of our dreams. Creativity can be displayed in all arenas of life. It can be displayed in all the Houses; self, work, family, beauty, art, poetry, music and spirituality. We can shape these things and give them Life. We can let the Gods in and share the joy, sadness, praise, and glory of all that we create. We can share with one another as well. Wayland is the patron of creativity. His forge produces all things good, noble, and worthy. The Spiritual Mead gets us drunk enough that we can comprehend and appreciate this. We get drunk and do not pass out but awaken. Hail Odin! Hail the freedom and blessing of creativity! Hail Wayland! Reading 199 We are a tribe. We should honor all members of the tribe. This is not a religion of conversion. Asatru is what we are. It is our native faith and original consciousness. This allows a full spectrum of personalities. We can be “fluffy-bunny,” “old school,” or “modernist.” We can be folkish, ethnic, or universalist. We can be solitary or with Kindred. We are a tribe, and that spirit should bind us despite differences. I would say it is a duty of our Troth. Anyone pledged and devoted to the Gods should receive your special consideration. By and by, the Gods test and build each of us. “Us” being all those that call on Them. If someone says they deal with Odin, then be sure that He is aware of them as well. The Gods cannot be taken in vain. This is a warning to fools and the liberation of the True. Let us forsake doubt and honor all who follow the Northern Way. So be it.
Reading 200 This reading is for the midwinter feast. This is a winter feast day in honor of Thor. We are right in the middle of winter and a little cheer should be welcomed. Light fires and stay warm. Take some time to meditate on good fortune and the coming season. The mood of this day should be reflective and positive. This is a good day to loosen up and break cabin fever. In honor of Thor, if possible, try your hand at feats of strength and boast of good deeds. Share gladly with your Folk. Hail Thor! On this day too, is Thorri honored. He is a winter spirit still hailed in Iceland today. A good practice is to step out into the chill and feel the brisk air. Watch your athem and contemplate for a spell. This Wind; this Spirit is the same our Ancestors felt over a thousand years ago. Let the cold take you back. This is cold wind on white skin. Hail Thorri! Reading 201 That man is fortunate who can get for himself, praise and goodwill; very difficult it is when a man lays claiming to what's in another's heart. Havamal, Larrinton trans. Although you do have inherent worth, in the eyes of the world you may have to prove it. Even the Gods want evidence that they dwell within. This is accomplished by virtue. Show your courage, your self-reliance, and hospitality, etc. Seek always to better yourself and stand firm upon the Aesir. However, you do not want to enthrall yourself to the expectations of others. If you act on what is high and noble within you, this should not happen. The most important thing is your own self regard. If you can live with yourself, then more power to you. Pleasing others should not include debasing yourself. You do others a higher favor if you maintain dignity all around. So be it.
Reading 202 Nidhogg will always give you the interpretation of yourself as negative. This will manifest as others opinions and reactions to you. If you get sucked into this game beware of sliding downward. This will manifest as self-destruction. Keep your eyes to the sky, and take the interpretation of the Lord of Eagles. Rise above the world of opinions and pettiness. Humbly accept your nobility, and know that there are Higher Worlds and many lives. Forget the snare of the Dragon. Wield thy sword in the name of truth and spiritual identity. So be it. Reading 203 The Havamal contains pearls of wisdom. The Voice is experienced and keen. You can imagine the High One as having “been there, done that.” The themes are broad and universal, and have the feel of common sense. It is basically an “if you see rain, grab an umbrella” common sense, but we always need to be reminded of our common sensibility. That wise word can always give us the advantage and is a help in distress. We can also know that we have support from on high. The High One knows! When reading the Havamal it is helpful to bring your actual experience to it. Reflect on a chosen verse and try to remember when you told someone the exact wisdom or remember when you learned the lesson yourself. You could also think back and see where the wisdom would have been useful if heeded. This allows us to understand the Words of Har as innate or in common with our own for they are. It is meant to be practical and acted upon. It also reminds us of our own wisdom and will lead to a good life; if not to wealth. So be it. Reading 204 You are responsible for your own personal ecology. You determine the inflow and outflow of life-force. Within yourself and within your Nine Souls you give and take Holy Time and Energy. Do you feed your Hugh or your Myn? Do you pay more attention to your Lich or Wode? Are you balanced and dynamic? These are within your sphere of
control. This is the garden that is yours to tend. Pay attention and be wise. Your personal ecology is, of course, part of a greater ecology. You do not exist alone. Your relations with others is also an ecology. You have threads connecting you to everyone you know. It is wise to ponder these connections and determine the quality of these relations. Are you neglecting someone? Is there someone you need to spend more time with? Do you have strong bonds or threads with your kindred, family, or household. Are there strings you want to cut? Do you have obligations to, oaths made with, or responsibilities for others? These all should be honored. Souls and relations are fed with Holy Time and Energy, some would call this sacrifice. Give good gifts to those you love. These can be gifts of time, money, sympathy, and praise. Receive likewise, that you may recycle and return. Remember the Gods are relations as well. They need to be fed and gifted. Honor the Days of Blot. Always keep their deeds and attributes alive within you. As it is with Gods; so too with Ancestors. Honor them at Sumbel and remember them well. A strong Web is the greatest of supports. So be it. Reading 205 Sometimes the pot of Mythology and Magick needs to be set on the back burner. It is wise to always have one foot in the ordinary, and cultivate a degree of non-religiosity. This creates perspective, keeps balance and allows for comfortability with things secular and mundane. This is plain thinking and being. Your Sax or Knife is a good totem for this idea. Some say you should only use your Knife for rune carving. I say use it for all purposes and keep it sharp and clean. Practicing thus, you can become aware of the different dimensions of Life and how these dimensions interact, form a whole, and are part of a process. Life as it is; and all that it is, is sacred. It is a good thing to be able to take simple pleasures, and appreciate small things. Remember the Samurai, the great Japanese warriors, take exquisite pleasure in a cup of tea. So be it.
Reading 206 Raud was fed a snake and killed by Olaf. He refused to renounce Asatru. Olaf was the tyrant that sought to unite Scandinavia under His version of Christianity. Olaf may or may not have been true to the real or fictional character named Jesus. About a thousand years and a lot of history separates the two. I am opening a door here because we probably all know some very righteous, kind, and well meaning folk that identify as Kristjan. They are nothing like the so called St. Olaf. There are plenty of xtians that act or would act just like him. These usually are very literalist bible readers and have a peculiar Old Testament political agenda. Not to mention that they are just plain mean and bigoted. This is the essence of Olaf; religious bigotry. So raise your Horn in remembrance of Raud and dedicate yourself to religious freedom. Hail Raud the Strong! Reading 207 Think for a moment of all the good in your life. Think about all the good you have enjoyed throughout your life. This good can be lessons learned, favorite meals, friendship, love, and lucky breaks. Your life has brought you right here, right now. You are alive and there is more good coming. Those of us who are Troth know that entwined with our lives are the manifold blessings of the Gods. Maybe you were fortunate to have been born free and heathen, or you have, after a long search, found our Gods. Again the good and benevolent powers of life are working out in your life. They always have. Not that there has not or will not be challenges, tests, and bad luck. This is orlog. We can keep bright with the knowledge of the good gained. Remember all things lead to wisdom. See with Baldur's golden eyes. So be it. Reading 208 The word “Edda” has two meanings. It is used in the Rigsthula to denote “great-grandmother.” It is also the name given to the main sources of our Lore; The Prose and Poetic Eddas. There is harmony between these two uses. The Edda is the wisdom taught as we sit at the knee of our
Grandmothers. This then is written and becomes the Edda we read. It is the preservation of our Lore. This could be broadened and thought of as the written word itself. This is similar to the Greek Logos. This book you now read is but one book and hopefully you become familiar with others. There is not just one book or “bible” there is the Edda; the written word and many wise teachings. If we read anything with an open mind and dedicated to the Truth we will discover the Edda everywhere. It is a matrix of wisdom found within all things. Again this goes back to Great- Grandmother. She who is wise, and who precedes us, and from whom we come. So be it. Reading 209 I use the term Soul, but in our Tradition we could comfortably say that each has Nine Souls. The Western Tradition also says we have a Soul but it is within the confines of one god and only one life. We actually have Nine Souls and nine metaphysical lives. To the dominate paradigm this belief amounts to schizophrenia. The Odinic Mind is multidimensional, fluid, restless, innately bisexual, and changing. In fact this psychological model is better equipped to make sense of mental illness, altered states, and trans-personal experiences. This makes some extremely uncomfortable with the Odinic Mysteries. In thinking about Nine Lives we can let go of some of our grasping, fear- induced, and brutish behavior. Life does not have to be so mean. Fear need not rule our Being. Understand this and you can start a chain reaction in your Self that will catalyze true courage and an adventurous spirit. Our souls are not limited to the body or likeness. This is really just an appearance, at least from a high perch on Yggdrasil. This is not to completely dismiss the body. It is only one of our Souls, and this puts things into the proper perspective. The other Souls within us also have their place and function. All of them need to be fed Holy Time and Energy. In this way we can maximize our potential. If you start with the assumption of greatness more times than not, you end with greatness. Such is the Way of Odin. All Glory to the AllFather!
Reading 210 The Giants are a vicious crowd. What little law they keep is merely a restraint, and they need threats and violence to enforce it or follow it. Their hearts are cold and cruel. Each seeks his/her own dominion always at another's expense. Life to them has really no inherent worth, only what they can take and use. This is usually to no one's benefit but their own. Their one true purpose is to dominate and consume everything. Constantly do they vie with the Gods. If not for the Gods, they would bring desolation and frost-kill to all of Life. Indeed they are a vicious and selfish crowd. Reading 211 I once was looking at mountains in the dawn. These were “giant” mountains; tall, snow peaked, hard and insurmountable. Ostara, the Goddess of dawn and new life, came forth with Her Living Hue; full of rose, pinks, and tender reds. Her warmth stretched among the mountains and I knew Her love among the Giants. She was welcomed and received, and did bring light to cold cruel hearts. She was light and life as She walked among them. Hail the Dawn! Hail the promise of new life, and the tender mercies of the Goddess! Reading 212 During a Seidr session, I had a vision of a great medieval battle. The two sides came together and there was the din and crash of weapons, shields, and battle cries. Criss-crossing the battlefield was Hermod or “Battle-Quick.” This did not pertain to His negotiations with Hel over Baldur's death. Instead He was bringing Luck to seemingly random warriors. He would appear as a strong sword arm for one, a near miss for another, and a spear finding its place for still another. He would quicken the battle for one side and then the other. The tide would turn and then turn again. At the critical point in the conflagration, His spirit renounced the battle, and the victory then went to the side with the most virtue. Hail Hermod! Reading 213 Shape-shifting requires us to not be so hide-bound. We have to adopt a looser grasp on identity. Basic shape-shifting
is actually as easy or as hard as changing your physical appearance or style of dress. If you are a blue jean wearing person, then try to wear a suit and tie. Go out to a different restaurant and order something you have never tried. Another practice would be to talk to someone you normally would not, or using your left hand when you usually use the right. With practice comes the ability to assume any role necessary for our purposes. This is a great trick of Odin's, and works well for wise ones and thieves. Reading 214 Bifrost is the bridge to Asgard. It is made from virtue. Our Nine Noble Virtues enable us to accomplish what we must and succeed where we can. They are relevant in War or Peace. They are natural virtues distilled from our literature and practice. They point us in the direction of true living. Anytime we are in a slump or feeling bad we can start applying the virtues. So many of our bad times are a result of not practicing the virtues. Are we trying hard enough? Are we enduring? Did we do everything in our own power to help? Were we bold? Did we maintain honor? More times than not it is our own unskillful means that lead us down the Hel Road. Lo, Heimdall is here to remind us of the path. Odin is more interested in the lesson rather than your comfort. You will evolve, or quite simply, give up and die. I say take the High Road and start practicing virtue. In time you will enjoy the glory of Asgard, and the company of Gods and Heroes. Reading 215 Odin's Zen: “Deal with IT!” Odin's other saying: “I fight, therefore I am.” Odin's golden rule: “Do unto other as other has done unto you.” And, “There are many Gods, and we all are prophets!” “Make love and war,” and finally: “ Goddess love.” Reading 216 A house, your house, is alive. We have electricity, gas, and water flowing in. These are spirits that keep us warm, clean, lit and fed. They also connect us to the wider WorldHome. We use these resources and should pay for them. Being grateful means being frugal in this case.
We have other spirits in our homes as well. Consider your plants and pets. These beings share our roof and need our care. Plants are said to respond to human activity and emotion. A good house will have healthy and well tended plants. Our pets are reflections of ourselves. There is a subtle bond that links us to our pets, and they can tell us a lot about ourselves. Fire places are also holy and pictures of our own mothers and grandmothers can be displayed on the mantle. Also the Goddess of the North can be honored here. Offerings can be poured out or burnt here, especially to all the spirits that may haunt and the other beings that dwell here. Cleanliness is important and the House-Spirits will reward a clean and hospitable home. In fact the virtue of hospitality requires us to open our homes to others; and so, a dirty house affects not just us alone, but our honored guests as well. A house is our shelter physically and spiritually. Both combine to give us the blessing of a good roof over our heads. May your home be blessed and protected by the Gods Themselves. So be it. Reading 217 This practice is a take on Jungian psychology. It helps us to understand and connect us to our Fetch-Wife, Fetch-Man, or Fylgja. This is our helping soul and is similar to the Jungian Anima/Animus. Start by envisioning your ideal mate. S/he has all the qualities that maybe you lack or admire. S/he is the completion of your Self. What does S/he look like? What powers does S/he have? Try to get a clear picture. S/he already exists in your imagination. You know Him or Her. S/he has been with you since birth and will guide you through death. Always is S/he in attendance. Always does S/he wait upon you. In the Lore the Fetch-Spirit usually only reveals Herself in time of dire need and crisis. She is not social security but soul security. Many of us have felt Her presence or have had a close call in which harm was avoided. We have been helped and delivered. These experiences also point to who your Fetch is. Trust in Him and do not worry. She is there in the and for the worse. She labors much like Sigyn with Loki. So be it.
Reading 218 Sun to the Seafarer, Is always confidence of nobles, It is ever moving And in the darkness Of night never rests. -- Old English Rune Poem, Sowelo This Rune can cut through all self delusion and any fetters that bind you. The key is to acknowledge That which is outside your Self. In freedom seek out the goal, and never stop striving towards It. In this way nothing will “stick” and your journey will be unhindered. “Whirls the Sun Wheel ever onwards.” Evoke Early-Waker and All-Swift and prepare for the ride of your life. So be it and all glory! Reading 219 There is a lot of talk about church and state issues in the United States. This comes to the foreground especially when we talk about the Pledge of Allegiance among other topics. The issue is the word god. Atheists are offended by this as are others. We could argue as well. Why couldn't we say under goddess or under gods. Just what god is referred to. Is it a Christian god, a Muslim god, a Jewish one, or the Deistic conception popular among the Founders? What does that mean “...under God..?” I propose a solution that would satisfy everyone and still keep our American Spirit. Substitute the word Truth for the word God. Here is a word that all of us, at least in its capital sense, can approach, and in humility realize we cannot own. It does not exclude this view or that. It lets us know what we can know and what we cannot. Within it is contained conscience, reason, and faith. It allows for difference, yet we all look upon the same thing. It can unite and take us beyond semantics and politics. We will be able to talk to each other and have civil discourse and truly be one Nation. It includes my Gods, your sweet Jesus, the other guy's non-god, and everything else. Where is the debate? Where is the argument? Simple! The Pledge would be stated as thus:
“I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America And to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under Truth, With liberty and justice for all.” Reading 220 Peace, love, and freedom can be found under the branches of Yggdrasil. We can sit under the Guardian Tree and enjoy the shade and shelter. All of Life is held by the Yggdrasil, and a profound reverence is evoked as one approaches. Its trunk is Law and Liberty. These are a strong support. Virtue is the water that nourishes it, and health and holiness are its byproducts. Breathe these in so life is full, if not long. Evergreen it is through all season and weather. It is the EverLiving. Manifold are its mysteries. Wisdom is its fruit. Take heart and do not fear. So be it. Reading 221 Some of us have long drinking horns. Some of us have short drinking horns. It really is no matter. Sometimes a horn runs over and sometimes a horn is less than full. If those with overflow would fill those with less, then everyone would have a full horn. This would be without loss to anyone. Even those with short horns at times still spill over. They too could be wise and generous and with the overflow fill another's horn. Again this would be without loss to anyone. Let good Mead and good cheer go around. Trouble arises when one would rather waste than give or take more than their horn can hold.. Beware the greed of Giants. So be it. Reading 222 Hatred is a dire poison. It can overtake the Nine Souls like malignant cancer. It leads to rot. It drives one down to a trollish state in which all humanity is lost. Shriveled and cold we become if we let hatred reign. On the other hand, the best antidote for a poison is to take in a small dose and learn to live with and neutralize it. This builds immunity. A very small dose of hatred can point us to what is truly loved. This is a fine line and requires our utmost
vigilance. Beware being consumed, and be not like raging Surt whose hatred will ravish all. So be it. Reading 223 The greatest wisdom is this: shit happens. When it does, get off the pot and wash your hands of it. Life goes on and there will always be challenge and ordeal. The Gods never tell us life is easy. It is not easy for them either. They do give us the strength to meet anything thrown at us head on. They also give us the wisdom to handle any situation intelligently and effectively. Ordeal is there, but we do not need to get upset by it. We can be stoic and have a sense of humor. They say the Vikings thought it praiseworthy to die with a jest on the lips. They also say that the most common exclamation of pilots during a crash is, “Oh Shit!” Again shit happens; so be it. Reading 224 We are hinged between the fantastic past and the science fictional future. I often think that some time soon we are going to either suffer Ragnarok or else do warp speed into some type of Star Trek reality. If you do not think that this is possible look at your cell phone, or realize we really could destroy life on this planet. The Voluspa prophecy sounds a lot like nuclear devastation and war, and cell phones are becoming more like communicators. Seriously how far away are we from “Scotty, beam me up.” If time is considered a spiral, then right now we are turning back and outward, that is onward. Our destinies are the stars that we become. Glittering, they call to us. We want to reach out, possess, and conquer. We are trading long ships for space ships. It is no wonder that the “Old Faith” has returned. We will need its wisdom, virtue, and strength to accomplish what we must. Hopefully we survive long enough. So be it. Reading 225 Each of us has a Soul-Song. This is the Bragi within. Bragi is renowned for His poetry and eloquence. The enlightened mind is one that can grasp the meaning of poems and myths. It is also being self aware and in touch with our personal myth. This is the Soul-Song.
When we are left standing alone what will rise out of our hearts? When we must justify our right to exist before the Giants of this World, what words will we use? Our Souls sing when we are tested thus, and take glorious flight. We stand upon the Aesir and each of us is unconquerable though our bodies are pierced many times. We fall, but our spirits rise. It is our Soul-Song that gives us the wings. May your life earn you a telling and the Skalds find you worthy of remembrance. Endure all things. So be it. Reading 226 The Vikings made war for fortune, glory and sheer necessity. Battle was a test of a man's bravery and luck. In this way he came close to divinity. Llife is brutal and violent. If you want to survive you have to put up a fight. The Vikings were not spared this, and could not take peace for granted. It was not till the time of Olaf that war waged over religious ideology took root in the Northern mind. War was fought in the name of a righteous god. The enemy is an “unbeliever” and must be destroyed or subjugated completely. It may be true that the Norse fought at the drop of a dime, but they could make peace just as quickly. This is not so with war over ideology. The the battle is over the the Soul, and the stakes are much higher. It is conceivable that the Vikings believed that even if their enemies displayed virtue on the battlefield, they were given glory by the Gods. The highest battle honor is the hope your enemy is strong and worthy of the fight, and that you might share a toast with him in Valhalla. This is not the case with ideological war. Your enemy is always considered inferior. This is the worse kind of war, and it leads to the desire to kill the enemy by any means necessary and as removed as possible. It leads to a greater disdain of non-combatants. They too are targets, being not of the fold. This is cowardice and and to a True Warrior very dishonorable. Not all accounts of heathen warfare show that honor was the prevailing spirit. Though I believe it was the ideal. Of course to the victor go the spoils, but the ideologues do the same even when their stated intention is to “spread the word of god,” force freedom (uh!), or kill on behalf of the proletariat. They are are too “pure” to fight for land, slaves, and profit. Hypocrites!
Ideologies also require a professional warrior class. Battles are not to liberate the spirit (Hail Valhalla!), but to circumscribe and enclose it. The aim is for absolute control over literally everything. This requires constant fighting and inner policing. These are Giants made from the minds of men. All the True Warriors realize this and will refuse and resist! Reading 227 The word god is related to the word good. A god was a good one, that is one who is good at something. No matter what our craft we can always do our best and endeavor to be good at it. This is how we actually honor god. As nice as it is, for example, walking an elderly woman across the street is not necessarily good. Here I am talking about skillful means, and this requires a bit of luck and a whole lot of practice. This sense of good allows us to go beyond the morality play. Honor your enemy, though spare him not. He may be a good liar. She may be a good thief. He might be a good warrior. When you actually are good at something you can usually benefit others. If nothing more you benefit others by example and competition. Here you are good in the other sense, that is being helpful and beneficial to others. Even this requires practice. All in all, get it right and be good (at something). So be it. Reading 228 Discipline is staying on task and not losing concentration and focus. This is what being true is. Work requires discipline, religion takes discipline, and so do relationships. Though there are many diversions in life, we always have to come back to what is important, needful, and right. Without discipline progress is rarely made. So be it. Reading 229 This reading is for Charming the Plow. On this day we honor the revolution from the deep freeze of the Frost Giant to the thaw and hope of Spring. Rather than introspection and inwardness we can begin to plan ahead and stretch our legs. We can prepare for planting time and ask the Gods for their blessing. We are grateful for this coming time and should give thanks to Earth.
Planting time does not just include agriculture. We can hope to plant seeds of virtue in our souls as well. The harvest would then be manly character and this is well worth the effort. Think on the spiritual meaning of this time and start to think on what you want to cultivate within yourself. The Wheel of the Year is a great mechanism for self change and personal growth. Perhaps during the Blot you can state your intentions for the coming season before Gods and kindred. This will lend them a lot of energy and help bring them into being. Plant and speak wisely. So be it. Reading 230 There seems to be an enduring experience with other folk. This occurs in literature, myth, and everyday life. I am talking about betrayal. For the Gods there is treacherous Loki. For us it can just about be anyone. Betrayal happens when oaths are broken, vows are not kept, and kinship is not honored. This makes it a hard experience. In the Sagas betrayal usually met vengeance. Now we seem to allow or even expect it to happen. Many times we do not even care if our friends desert us, our spouse commits adultery, or our government takes away our liberties. We do not care; because we ourselves, may not always act honorably. Whose word can we now trust? Who really does stand with us? Again, this is a hard experience. I have found it helpful in dealing with betrayal to read the last part of the Lokasenna. This is the part when Thor shows up and tells Loki to leave or else. If you are experiencing betrayal, back biting, or an an unjust scandal, then this can open you up to resolution. Call on Mighty Thor! Also tell Loki to scram from your life. In the end, betrayers receive like for like. So be it.
Reading 231 There are parallel concepts and associations in the mythology of the world. Many cultures have an “end of times” scenario. Others have a “dying and returning” God, or a
Mother Goddess. It seems pretty evident that there is some type of collective unconsciousness at work. The myths take on peculiarity when expressed through a living community. We shape myth as much as myth shapes us. This becomes conscious when we declare Troth and dedicate our lives to the Gods. Our myth and lore become a language. We can know and talk to our Gods. They will tell us of things past, give us a vibrant present, and open us to a renewed future. The Gods are real! Through myth, nature, runes, ritual, and art we can come close to understanding what They are. This does take time and practice; as it does for any child learning to communicate. Eventually we can become fluent and even inventive. This is enlightenment. Trust this magickal process and the Nine Worlds will open before your eyes. So be it. Reading 232 The Greek Goddess of retribution is named Nemesis. The name is also applied to an arch enemy. On account of orlog, we all have a nemesis as do the Gods. Take Heimdall and Loki, or Thor and the Midgard Serpent as examples. Somewhere in the Nine Worlds, you too have a nemesis. All the labor and work you do, this being or person does just what is needed to counter it. You work for ecological restoration; they make the decision to clear cut a old growth forest. You take up the Hammer against your drug addiction; they manufacture meth. So it goes. Nemesis is like the Soul-mate and is reborn along with yourself. This does not mean you give up on your goals and battles. These are yours to do. We must take up our Skuld regardless. What you can remember is that you are the nemesis to that other. Now the game can begin. Perhaps during your personal Ragnarok you may come face to face with your nemesis. May you be worthy of this meeting. May you be the one to prevail. So be it. Reading 233 Olaf brought the religion of the sword and book to our people with terrible consequences. Our native culture(s) were suppressed, our freedoms were diminished, and the worship of our Gods was outlawed. We who honor our Ancestors, and have also felt the sting of tyranny, know what it is that we lost.
Our Gods give us freedom, words of the heart are more precious than books, and the sword should be wielded in defense of liberty alone. We, who are True, can now be the enlightened and mighty champions of freedom. Our torch is lit. May we and the Gods watch o'er it and never again let it die. So be it. Reading 234 Here is a thought experiment that might be useful with Galdr and “Words of Power.” Point some distance away, and say, “I want to go there.” Then walk to your chosen point. This is will in action. You formulated your specific goal and then acted to achieve it. Sometimes your will can be blocked other times there are no obstacles. In Runic Palmistry the index finger is Odin's. This is our command and will, both of which have their root deep within the All-Father. It is important that you formulate and speak your exact desire. Often we ourselves have confusion regarding what exactly we want. This is why many times we do not succeed in getting mere whims, which may be contradictory, but always getting what we need. Need makes our wanting clear and well defined. With a clear goal there will be a better chance of actually attaining it. Self knowledge is important here, and a firm grasp of what is essential and what is not. I always add, “By Thor's Hammer” to my formulation. Here I invoke Thor and I am sure that if it is a will that is in accordance with the Gods', then it will be done. If it is not, then it will not be done. Thus I stay within the good stead. I call this step “hammering” out my want. This refines your desire and again lets you know what is and is not important. Sometimes we sabotage our own wills by not following through with appropriate action. “Words of Power” must be enacted. We go towards the objective, even as it comes towards us. Many times we lack the wisdom of timing. There are times when our hamingja is great enough to bring down the Gods, but we do not take advantage. This is ignorance and real weakness. Other times it just is not the right time. We always should be mindful of Wyrd. By Thor's Hammer may your will be done and your words have power. With the Gods come all good things. We just have to be willing to do our part. So be it.
Reading 235 A Free State is possible. We just have to have a deep understanding of human rights. We have to acknowledge our own rights, as well as those of our neighbors. A democratic government should be instituted only to secure and protect fundamental rights. Ideally there would be no need for politics as we know them. The rights would be clear and articulated. We as citizens would come together and find the best way of promoting those rights. Here government would be problem solving and not politicizing. All rights that a society could afford would apply equally to every member. This would be regardless of high birth or low. All of All-Father's sons would be honored. There really is no need to argue. If only people actually thought this way. It has been a great failure in history that human rights and the democratic process are not actually lived and practiced in every day life and thinking. Most people just use the benefit, and work for their own form of tyranny; and also, democracy is usually just practiced when we have popular elections. How many churches, workplaces, families, and other organizations actually are democratic? Did you vote with your coworkers the last time there were layoffs? As a student did they ask your opinion when they hired or fired a teacher in school? Human rights and democracy are both necessary for a Free State. We can make this happen and actualize the ideals we are supposed to admire. Both are foundations for true civilization. Both are inspired from our indigenous consciousness. May Freemen, well, be free. So be it. Reading 236 Olaf the Slime had Eyvind tortured and killed for His loyalty to the Old Gods. Hot coals were placed upon his stomach until he burst. He is another martyr for freedom. I am sure the Gods took great honor in receiving him. The fight against tyranny is long and hard. History has shown that we take a step forward and two back. As you raise a horn in Eyvind's honor think of your own devotion to the Gods and the ideals you cherish. Are you strong enough to stand true to these? Stand we must! So be it.
Reading 237 A story: A seemingly pitiful dwarf had a flint but no spark. Time after time he tried to get a light and was having no luck. Fortunately, or unfortunately as you will, Loki was about and saw the dwarf and his trouble. Loki grinned to himself and thought he might take amusement from this dwarf. Loki approached the dwarf and in an all too convincing way offered to help. “I will help you strike a fire” he said. “I hurt to see your frustration.” The dwarf at this point really had no other choice. He regarded Loki for a brief moment and had Loki been paying attention he would have seen the barest of smiles form on the dwarf's lips. “I will accept your help and even share my dinner with you if you can get a fire started. I am trying to start a fire for cooking and warmth. I need to do this by nightfall. Also I need to erect a shelter by then as well.” Loki, of course, was full of mischief, and knew well that he could start a fire. He, in fact, is a master of flame especially flame that wreaks havoc. With no trouble at all Loki did start the fire. There was a blaze, and quickly the flame jumped and caught a branch from a tree. The dwarf, cunning in his eye, simply waited as another tree caught fire from the first. The dinner was completely ruined and now the whole wood was ablaze. Loki wept with laughter and thought well of his practical joke. The dwarf continued to wait. Loki is better at causing fires than putting them out, and eventually the wood had been cleared. “Well, sorry about that,” said Loki still very amused. “I guess you were not meant to have dinner or shelter tonight.” “ Ah, well you see,” said the dwarf. “I had my fill of food earlier and I have brought a tent. You my friend have only helped to clear this wood in a shorter time than I could have. Now I need not trouble with that and can begin to plant even now.” The Dwarf was pleased and gave his own chuckle. Loki realized who indeed had the last laugh and howled with anger. He Had been duped and tricked into working for the dwarf. Loki hates to work. Loki was about to strike the dwarf, but before he could do so, the dwarf put on a cap and disappeared. His last words were, “Thank you, MischiefMaker. You have served me well. I sought to clear this wood for a garden and you have saved me time and labor.
Goodbye.” Loki was infuriated and never did forgive the Dwarf that had beguiled him. So be it. Reading 238 I know four Valkyries. Their names are War, Wisdom, Magick, and Death. They travel the worlds bringing Heroes the Holy Mead of Inspiration. They carry a potent drink. This is the test by which they know who to elect and bring back to Valhalla. To sip from their horn is to know them fully. To know them fully is to gain favor with Odin. They are not to be known in the carnal sense for they guard their chastity well. It is their essence that must be imbibed. If they have not arrived at your door, then step out and begin your quest for them. So be it. Reading 239 Another way of looking at the Fetch or Fylgja is to see her/him/it as the subconscious. In hypnotherapy the subconscious mind is the “servant” of the conscious mind. This means that what we think actually is a command or directive imparted to the Fetch/subconscious. The subconscious then takes the command and obeys it. It “creates” our perception of the world. In this way thoughts create “reality.” The Fetch goes out into the world and helps you achieve your will. The Fetch brings back what you send out. This at first glance may not be the reality you think you want. Here again you may be giving your Fetch a garbled, confused, or mixed message. She only obeys. So it is up to you to make your commands clear and understandable. You can have the reality you want. You just have to really know what it is you want. This is an ennobling concept and definitely requires more study and self examination. So be it. Reading 240 There is yeast representing the creative and initiating element of life. There is salt which is the preserving element, and there is venom which is the eroding or destroying element. Together these three are the process and cycle of life. Everything comes into being, maintains for awhile, and then breaks down. These elements are related to Brahma, Vishnu,
and Shiva the Destroyer of Hindu mythology. This same triplicity is found in Celtic lore as well. Our actions are always going to be in one of these modes. We can create, keep, or crush. This is the way that life always recycles and continues. At this level of contemplation there really is no moral consideration. Before the elements we are all truly equal. In magickal workings, Thor's Hammer seems to be potent enough to guide all three of these elements. The Hammer can be used for weal or woe; creation, preservation, or destruction. Hopefully, where the process is amoral, we do consider the harm, intention, and consequence of our workings. So be it. Reading 241 Vali is the Son of Odin who avenges the death of Balder. He strikes down Hoder. We celebrate at this time the triumph of Light over Darkness. Darkness seeks to drag us down and keep us blind. From this condition we are easily swayed by the lying tongue of Loki. We forget the prophecy of the New World and Golden Gimle. These are what the eyes of Balder see. For a time Hoder's “vision” dominates the consciousness but the Light Bearer's time soon comes. All is revealed, and hope is restored. Do not let the doomsday prophets, and those who relish slaughter prevail. Reading 242 The three basic vocations in Indo-European society are what I call Wizard, Warrior, and Earth Worker. I mention them elsewhere in this book. To give a general profile of each, I will use a common phenomenon; the weather. Earth Workers are at one with the weather. As it changes; so too do their lives and work. The Earth Worker depends on something outside themselves to fulfill their duty. In this way they are dependent. This is necessary to extract the fruit of their labor. Warriors are not or should not be dependent on the weather. Their goal should be to conquer or overcome the weather. No matter what it is like outside, the Warrior is steady and is not swayed. Bad weather is preferred because this allows the Warrior to display his strength. The weather is seen as a test or challenge and is wholeheartedly accepted.
This vocation begins to get an idea that the goal of life is not simply outer achievement but inner character as well. The last vocation is the Wizard. The wizard studies the weather and learns all that there is concerning it. Observation is key. The Wizard is not limited in studying the weather objectively; but also, as an internal phenomenon. This leads us to the Wizards prime calling and that is wisdom. This wisdom can be passed to the others. Eventually, the Wizard's knowledge can be used to actually control the weather. A good amount of humility is hopefully paired with this process. All three of these vocations can work together and maximize the strengths of a society as a whole. They are of course more archetypal than they are actual designations. They can help in directing a person's endeavor and let us have a sense of function and order without a rigid caste system. At least, this is the way we can use it today. So be it. Reading 243 I believe in the virtue of our Gods. They are steadfast in loyalty to those who pledge Troth. This is, on their part, an indissoluble bond. Only we can break the oath. They will remain benefactors and mentors for the entirety of our Soul Life. This does not mean that their lessons are always pleasant. They have their struggle and we have ours. They have gifted us with a Soul and will always give us back to ourselves. In fact our Self is the gift, and why would they keep us from it? This is self-reliance. Be careful when you feel forsaken. Odin is very wise and subtle. In that we have a Soul (or Nine Souls depending on your perspective), we also have power. When we tap that power we can use it to our benefit, as well as, to the benefit of our Gods, our kin, and our country. This is our gift back to Them. Hail the Gods! Reading 244 Another way of understanding the Midgard Serpent is to see it as our sensual life, that is the life of the senses. In the Lore It defines the boundary of the known Midgard, realm of humankind, and the unknown, that which we cannot see, hear, taste, smell, or touch. To venture beyond Midgard or Middle Earth is high adventure. To know nothing else is ignorance, and ironically blindness.
The senses fail in allowing us to know the Nine Worlds fully. The senses fail in allowing us to know all aspects of ourselves. With the right techniques we can aid our senses in relating to other dimensions besides the mundane. In fact we can awaken to a Mythic Sense which allows us to perceive the complete spiritual ecology. This is the experience of complete Beauty, Mystery, Terror, Wonder, Aliveness, and Cruelty. Bifrost is the bridge from Midgard to Asgard. The two realms are distinct and an effort must be made to cross over. This is the way beyond the Midgard Serpent. Currently, the Utgard-Loki through modern consumer i.e. Etin i.e. eating culture and mass marketing, we believe we only are our senses. Midgard is the only “home” we have. By Thor's Hammer we must break from our delusion. No more will Middle Earth be our prison, but our playground. Hail the Fearless! Woe to the Giants! So be it. Reading 245 We can increase and store luck. Luck can be increased by sacrifices to the Gods, right timing, totems, and the right or magickal attitude. Most of us cannot live on luck alone. Luck usually gets us through the door, or allows us to finish. At some point, we have to jump start our virtue. Here I am talking of our character and the practice and skill it takes to achieve. Nothing like luck or magick beats old fashion self reliance and mastery of a particular craft or endeavor. These allow us to overcome even against the odds. That is when it seems luck is against us. Some of us do quite well by living on luck. These are people that kind of thrive on change and instability. It is an “in the moment” type approach. Luck comes and goes, and so too, these personalities. In Runic soul lore, luck is kept with the Hamingja. This is our personal power. Hamingja, also, can be kept, stored, and even transferred. Hamingja adds power to our magick and is our trump, saving grace, or “get out of jail free” card. As mentioned this can be transferred. In the Viga-Glums Saga there was an example of a man who inherits his grandfather's hamingja upon the grandfather's death. It was mentioned that the grandfather was a very honorable man. Again, if you are going to battle, it is best to know your sword. There are those times when, even if we do not, we win anyway. So be it and good luck.
Reading 246 We are tested and challenged by others. The competitive spirit is healthy and creates a dynamic and vital environment. Through others we have a chance to see what good is and what it is not. We strive to do our best, and seek to surpass others. Each victory is a mile-stone and usually is a cherished memory. Even at gatherings we have competitions. This could be the best mead, viking wrestling, or a hammer toss. Defeat must be accepted as well. It is a part of the process. Each event is not the sum total of your life but one part of the on going adventure. Defeat and set back are mostly inevitable. The noble virtue of perseverance allows us to continually retake the challenge. We learn of our weakness and then seek to improve. This learning is important. To lose and not learn is the worse of mistakes. Our competitors are often our best teachers. Sometimes, if there is no improvement, then it might be the case that you are playing the wrong game. We each must set ourselves to that task Wyrd has given. Make sure you know the difference between this and simply giving up. So be it. Reading 247 Among men we have rights and responsibilities. These should be exercised and defended wholeheartedly. The AllFather establishes our identity. Law should derive from this first principle. Before the Gods all is a gift, blessing, or privilege. To them we owe a sure thanks. Through the agency of the Norns and according to orlog, the Lord and the Lady give and They take away. Being under Them, we trust Their wisdom. Being a part of Them we know joy. Nothing else need be known. So be it. Reading 248 In my neighborhood we get a lot of snails on the side walk. All things being equal we should respect their life. To them we are great giants and inevitably we step on them and crush their life. This is not always purposeful but who has time to watch for every snail. Again all things being equal.
So are we much smaller walking amidst giants. Any moment we too can be crushed by forces beyond and greater than our own. Like the snail we carry with us our defense but to a giant this is nothing. The heroic thing to do is send your glance to god-might and keep going. We definitely should cultivate an appreciation for this grim irony. So be it. Reading 249 Every spirit has a place; every place has a spirit. There is a practice that you can perform to realize this. Sit and look at those around you. They are absolutely where they are. Quietly acknowledge this. Say to yourself about each one, “ this is your spirit; this is your place.” Acknowledge all without discrimination and despite any attraction or repulsion you feel for any in particular. You can also do this with your eyes closed. Here you can think of those near and far; enemy or friend. Again acknowledge their existence, “this is your spirit; this is your place.” This practice allows for some detachment and is a conduit to “bigger picture” thinking. It can lead to a state of blessedness and should be practiced on non human subjects as well. It is also good luck for the wayfarer. So be it. Reading 250 We are born into Wyrd or brought forth from Her. These are the givens of our life we inherit from time immemorial. Many times we find ourselves knotted and bound by Wyrd. Wyrd is said to be a web of relations past, present, and future. So it is. This includes our obligations and our limitations. Again this type of Wyrd is binding and keeps us hung up on the web. We are like flies stuck. The Grandmother has spun us seemingly into a trap. The goal of spiritual practice is to free ourselves from these knots and this web. This is liberation. Then are we not bound by the web, but become more like a spider adeptly moving across it, seeking out our own prey. With the highest craft we can even spin our own web. Our lives become our own creation. There is a danger here if wisdom is not heeded and we do not learn from spiders past. We attempt our own lives and entangle ourselves with them. Pay attention to the wise ones. Learn from the Ancient Grandmother Wyrd. It was She who spun first. It is She that
can teach you of intent and consequence. One day maybe the web will be forsaken completely and we become as the Raven. So be it. Reading 251 Viking long ships set sail, where they go I cannot tell. On high seas they go, on beyond the common man's no. Glittering stars guide by night to the dawn, takes godly migh Songs and lore of old, capture what the Viking told.t. Heroes made from the day, and heroes gone and passed away. Still something inside does stir, when we mingle mead with soul. Lifting high the horn we praise, those that sailed in bygone days. Reading 252 Bolverk is an Odinic name. It can be translated as “evildoer.” This name appears in the Havmal and is associated with Odin's winning of the Poetic Mead or Odrerir. In this story Odin uses deception to get this prize. In the Havamal Odin's integrity is questioned. Seen spiritually Odin is right in His trick. The Giant Suttung was hiding the Mead in His mountain hall under the watch of His daughter Gunnlod. He was hiding it from the world. No one was going to sip this gnosis. No one would have a sip of that which is said to open the poet's heart and mind. This is too great a thing to sit in a Giants hall. So Odin did what was necessary. He lied and stole it! Even today we sometimes have to circumvent the Giants of this Land to reach the platform of knowledge and enlightenment. This does not necessarily mean breaking the law, but in many cases it does involve throwing off norms and traditions that limit our spiritual growth. This is the growth of our Souls; expansion. The Raven Path is not easy and is often lonely. We may ask for a drink from Odin or win our own Mead. This may involve sacrifice and separation. We like
Odin can fly with this to Heaven or Asgard. Here, we can be buzzed on holy drink and enjoy sweet meditations. This usually is not an experience the Giants of this land want you to have. It tends to allow thought to leave its prison and question certain structures and ideologies. Very dangerous if you are looking to dominate and suppress; activities Giants enjoy. Often revolutionaries are labeled trouble makers. Hail Bolverk! Reading 253 Earth Workers' Prayer May I pay my debts. May I get my due. May I have peace with my neighbors, Wealth enough to share, And fellowship with the Gods. So be it.
Reading 254 Warriors' Prayer May I leap wholeheartedly Into the field of action. May I strive and overcome. May I be gentle enough to love, And mighty enough to face loss. So be it.
Reading 255 Wizards' Prayer May I seek the Mysteries. May I walk the ways, And between the worlds. May I turn insight into counsel; Myth into reality. So be it.
Farewell and Go with the Gods!
Literary Sources Larrington, Carolyne, trans. Poetic Edda, New York: Oxford University Press, 1996. This happens to be my favorite translation of the Poetic Edda. Another translation that is well done is the Lee M. Hollander, Poetic Edda put out by the University of Texas Press, 2000 ed. Smith, Caroline and John Astrop. Runic Tarot, New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003. This is the source of the Old English Rune Poems I use. Titchenell, Elsa-Brita. The Masks of Odin: Wisdom of the Ancient Norse. Pasadena: Theosophical University Press, 1985. Recommended Reading This short list is a good foundation for understanding Mimer's Head. This book does require a little familiarity with the Lore and practice of Asatru. Byock, Jesse. Viking Age Iceland. London: Penguin, 2001. Campbell, Joseph with Bill Moyers. New York: 1st Anchor Books, 1991. The Power of Myth.
Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Norse Myths. New York: Pantheon Books, 1980. Davidson, H.R. Ellis. Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. London: Penguin, 1964. Metzner, Ralph. Shambhala, 1994. The Well of Remembrance. Boston:
Thorsson, Edred, FUTHARK: A Handbook of Rune Magic. York Beach
ME: Samuel Weiser, 1984. Thorsson, Ornolfur, editor. The Sagas of the Icelanders. New York: Penguin, 2000. Welch, Lynda C. Goddess of the North. York Beach, ME: Weiser Books, 2001.
For further conversation email firstname.lastname@example.org. Acknowledgments Thanks to everyone in my life whether you be teacher, friend, or foe. Special thanks to the Aesir and Vanir, my mother, and the Eagles Kindred of Utah. Also, I am thankful for all those great conversations on the present day Mimer's Head; the Internet.
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