Monday, October 20, 2008


Below is a post I discovered on the internet, written by a godi, a priest of the Asatru, Troy Wisehart, who was kind enough to give me permission to republish it. I’m happy to share his personal statement, which exemplifies the virtue by which a modern Heathen may live when inspired by the Eddic texts.

"Wodhanaz is that which integrates the many into a conscious whole and describes the entire process. ~ I am a Heathen who follows the ancient path of my ancestors known as Asatru (1) and I have sworn the oath of the gothar (2). Life flows to me and through me, and I choose what remains in me. Because I am a microcosm of the multiverse, I bring from the darkest depths to the highest heights that which is needed for me to be able to receive from the realms of light what is required of the deepest abyss. I take from the dark as well as the light because I am my own master. I follow Odin's path as outlined in the Havamal (3), and Freyja (4) is my protectress. I walk between the worlds in the branches and roots of Yggdrasil (5) and sing the runes. Believing that I am my deeds, I ally myself with the Aesir and Vanir (6), whom I consider to be the forces of harmony and beauty, against that which is of chaos and destruction and each conscious choice of right action strengthens the power of my soul and positively contributes to my hammingja (7) and orlog (8). I am free of hatred and resentment because I recognize those feelings as a form of submission to the focal point of those emotions. I absolutely reject all betrayal, beginning with myself and refuse to take into myself anything whose origin is the bringer of distress, she who is the lover of the trickster and the mother of the children of Jarnvid (9). Having once lost everything, I let go of all that I fear to lose and in so doing recover what is mine. I exist tri-partite in time for I am my ancestors as well as my descendents. My soul resides in my blood and will one day return to that from which it came, bringing with me the sum total of my deeds as a contribution to the folk soul in the next cycle of existence. My destination is the journey, and its purpose is to experience and feel so that I will learn and grow and achieve personal power which is preparation, awareness, intent and the ability to focus through the vessel of the self. In this way I will not be consumed or destroyed. I have come into being, and by the process of coming into being I have established the process of coming into being."

The following notes are my additions, and I don’t mean to attribute the ideas to Mr. Wisehart, although we would, no doubt, have productive discussions using them as starting points.
2. gothar, collective priesthood of the Asatru community.
3. Havamal is one of the Poetic Eddas, similar in tone to wisdom literature.
4. Odin is a god seeking wisdom. His “path” is one of honor and virtue. Freyja, as
Elsa-Brita Titchenell explains in Masks of Odin, “represents the higher, spiritual faculty of intelligence.” It is to Freyja’s hall, Sessr├║mnir at Folkvangr, that half of mankind ascend. She is the lover the enlightened sought.
5. Yggdrasil, the World Tree, the Tree of Life.
6. Aesir and Vanir are, roughly, the two tribes of Norse gods. The differences between them and what they represent to the Asatru is beyond the limit of space and purpose here.
7. hammingja is, roughly, individual and familial soul power.
8. orlog, roughly, primal layer of being.
9. Jarnvid, Iron Wood. “She,” “the trickster” and their “children” represent testing forces, obstacles which prevent us from recognizing and then realizing ourselves as gods, but they are also the forge fires through which we are tempered.

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