Irreplaceability, Mastery, and Glory

All men really want is to be irreplaceable.

Mans higher purpose is to become a master of something… a professional at X, a genius on Y, an authority on Z.

When it comes down to it, men want nothing more than to become irreplaceable. They want to know that no one can fill their shoes; that their existence has a meaning tied to their form. They want to know within that they have made a contribution and that their memory/legend will live on beyond the grave; whether or not one has heirs.

Man wants to conquer great obstacles, ascend the highest peaks, and soar into the blackness of space; each one wants his unique piece of the glory.

At a certain point, we must ask ourselves if this is really a bad or negative trait to possess. In reality, yes and no cannot answer this sufficiently, as it seems to be “natural” instinct for driven humans to behave like this.

Do we call the hunting aspects of a mountain lion negative or evil, even when they sometimes kill humans? No, it is natural for them to hunt any prey that is liable and in their territory.

The humans’ need to conquer seems to be akin to this type of instinctual, non conscious behavior; transcending a human “right” or “wrong” duality. Repressing this can be detrimental to one’s own life and the lives of those around him. But, through wisdom, it can be mastered and maneuvered with divine accuracy.

This view ties one in with the physical and metaphysical simultaneously, as one must achieve earthy victories in order to attain the metaphysical “legacy” one wants to build or acquire. In many ways, although this doesn’t seem to offer any sort of climax or end, it reinforces man’s role as the being “in the middle.” We exist within that context, as a wheel in between tracks, moving onward into eternity.

We emerge and dissolve into many forms, although, the deeper parts of our spirit continue to rise ever higher.

Wisdom of the Futhark

: Fehu is resource, wealth, and abundance.

: Uruz is oxen, pride of the marshes.

: Thurisaz builds it, and also destroys.

: Ansuz is wisdom, wind of the body.

: Raido is wagons, rhythm of seasons.

: Kenaz the torch-light, fire of knowledge.

: Gebo the crossing, of gifts between friends.

: Wunjo is wishes, and joy in the heart.

: Hagalaz changes, liquid to solid.

: Nauthiz the trial, building the fire.

: Isa the focus, crystalline patience.

: Jera is turning, wheat into flour.

: Eihwaz the greenest, spine of the forest.

: Perthro is chances, the womb of the fates.

: Algiz the antlers, guardian of groves.

: Sowilo the fire, that burns in the sky.

: Tiwaz the arrow, celestial light.

: Berkano is thin, the bones of the woods.

: Ehwaz is trusted, moving with partner.

: Mannaz the flesh-bridge, between Earth and Sky.

: Laguz the water, to heal and to quell.

: Ingwaz the homestead, gestation and growth.

: Othala in sight, home of the fathers.

: Dagaz the light-source, breaking the cycle.

Suffering, Fire, and Wellbeing

The avoidance of suffering shouldn’t be the end goal, contrary to what many Buddhists would argue. 

Times of suffering are opportunities that give us what we need; chances to break cycles, change habits, grow stronger, etc. while also giving us the (unfortunate) opportunity to completely give up, stall out and/or fail. Suffering is the great catalyst for change, the instigator of wisdom. Without suffering, mankind would not grow or change. 

To attach yourself to an end goal which jades you or completely removes you from suffering is to imply that growth comes to an end and suffering has a limit. This is a pipe dream mentality, because just as with knowledge, the more you learn, the less you know. This is the case with suffering, as the more you conquer it, the more you see it’s lingering presence in other people and the more you will strive to assist in the destruction of its grasp upon humanity.

The only way we could righteously practice an “avoidance” of suffering is if every single human being took it upon themselves to destroy, or rather, actively overcome their own suffering(s). By rooting out the cause of one’s own suffering, then one can consciously choose whether or not to participate in that which makes them suffer. Only then could the notion possibly be eradicated, as we would slowly and consciously move away from the negative connotations surrounding the concept. Suffering should be viewed as a “friction’ in one’s life, the same friction that births fire from sticks. Friction generates heat and heat creates fire/energy. This is a metaphysical fuel-source to the conscious individual, who can channel this in any direction he/she wishes.

Likewise, it opens the door to find new and more profound approaches to raise one’s sense of well-being. This well being must be found and cultivated internally, not produced by external means. If one wishes to feel a long-term sense of satisfaction in life, then one must spend their energy internally and renounce the addicting pleasures of material dependence. This is the road to achieving greater heights of the spirit.

Short-term pleasure must be sacrificed for the long-term gain; the short term being materialistic tendencies like consuming, hoarding, or anything solely connected to one’s externally gained sense of comfort. Well-being and comfort are to be found within oneself. If you create a sense of comfort and well-being within yourself, then it is untouchable, grasped and stored in the most secure way and form; an internal armor against external chaos.

Like the Nauthiz rune teaches, we are to instead channel this phenomenon into a certain metaphysical fire, a drive to conquer. We are, in a way, meant to seek out hardship for our own benefit; to cultivate, build, and reach the supreme Self within.

Become addicted to challenges if you want to reach the heights of the Immortals.

Insight into the Function, Form and Relationship Between Odin and Thor

          Odin has long been viewed in connection with the wind and inspiration, while Thor has been related to willpower, strength, and action. These two forces, in an elemental or alchemical context, represent two distinct functions of the self-development of the Superindividual, Übermensch, Buddha, Druid, Shaman, Monk, Priest etc. The two parts of this mechanism include first the fire, which in this metaphor would be a symbolic “inner” fire, regarded centrally within the gut or deep in the lungs. Some would equate this to the Will and the willingness to act on instinct and intentions with confidence and clarity. The second part is the wind or air, represented by Odin, as the fanning breath that inspires the fire to grow and develop. Fire needs breath. As we’ve all seen, wind or breath is what inspires fire to rage, dance, live, generate more energy and produce more heat. In this regard, Thor is our internal flame, the force of Will, strength and action within us, while Odin is the oxygen, wind or current that breathes inspiration (like a bellows) onto the internal flame, causing it to rage and ultimately be “inspired” to grow and conquer more. These two deities, represented by Wind and Fire, are necessary to form the self-actualized and potent man. This man is concrete in focus and intensity, able to live in strength, wisdom, and constant action. 

          Unifying the two forces of Odin and Thor seems to have been accomplished and utilized by certain classes and aspects of society, as not everyone was meant to form and manipulate the fire that exists within. Traditionally, this would have been a practice of the Priest/King and Warrior classes, who’s function was to control chaos and keep alive the organism of society. Essentially, these Priest/Kings were embodiments of the Gods on Earth, and the same responsibility would be bestowed upon them, usually ending in their sacrifice if crops failed, famine ensued, or war was lost. Although the unification of these two forces is necessary for certain individuals and both deities were widely worshipped and observed alongside each other, the two cults of Odin and Thor were highly different in their more basic, daily, and practical functions. There were completely different lifestyle qualities, goals, skills, approaches to life, and ultimately different methods in overall purpose and intent. The cult of Thor generally resides around the community, fertility, farming and the “thrall” lifestyle that most humans experienced within the tribe or larger group. Because of this, Thor was the most widely worshipped of the ancient gods and was the chief deity observed by the common folk. Thor protects man from chaos and endows power into material forms. This force keeps man strong and determined, acting in accordance with honor and vitality. Thor represents the physical and temporal qualities of human life, things we can build, destroy, and manipulate in accordance with our Will.

          The esoteric meaning of this deity is rarely observed and utilized but is very beneficial and powerful when introduced and practiced with other occult techniques and connotations. This occult function of Thor can be seen most clearly in the Siberian and Sami Pagan religions, who venerate the Thunder god “Horagalles,” which translates to Old Man Thor. Through Shamanic/Odinic techniques they use the element of Thunder to induce trance through rhythm, inducing the visionary travel and prophetic hallucinations famous to their practice. Here it seems the Thunder God takes on the more singular roll of community protector, Shaman, student of wisdom and the living bridge or messenger of the gods. It is possible that this sorcery was originally a single, unified practice, until eventually splitting into multiple cults and focuses as people spread out of the Northern Steppes.

The Norse god Óðinn, from a 1760 Icelandic paper manuscript (Copenhagen, Danish Royal Library, MS NKS 1867 4º, f. 94r)

          The cult of Odin is a much different beast when approached in a focused and direct way. As I’ve stated, many Pagans, past and present, acknowledge and venerate both Gods, but it is fair to say that most Germanic Pagans lean one way or the other when it comes to utmost devotion and dedication of spirit. Odin is a self-development, war, and artist God, one associated with mantic wisdom and mad obsession to obtain knowledge and conquer new metaphysical territory, whether for the good or bad, helpful, or detrimental. The Odinist develops the self, and in doing so thus inspires the community to follow suit, acting in accordance with the archetype (or one of the many archetypes) of the God. Odin is the god of nobility, artists, and kings, the ones whom the myths, legends, and culture of the tribe is associated with and known for. Through acts of brilliance, magic, prophecy and wisdom, Odin (and his devoted) inspire and pass on wisdom and tradition to the rest of the community. This inspiring force ultimately leads the tribe towards greatness, stirring the “flame” of Thor to burn powerfully within the soul of the group, instigating excellence from all instead of the enabling of weakness and brittleness.

          When it comes to esoteric, occult, or alternative views on these Gods, we can easily see their different function in the psychology of the human mind. However, when brought into union, we can see how this formula of wind and fire is necessary (and without lack of potency) when it comes to developing strong, wise, and sturdy acolytes. Greatness and madness go hand in hand; like wind and fire. Odin and Thor, in the soul of the sorcerer or warrior, must be unlocked and unified to become completely unhinged in potential and intensity.

Allegany, New York
Winter, 2022
Photo by Ariale Miller.

New Lyric Book Coming Next Month

Storm, Fire and Blood is the second book by American Black Metal band Elegiac. This includes lyrics from over 15 songs, works from 2020-2021 covering topics like Paganism, runes, modern culture, and photos/artwork from 2021.

“‘Storm, Fire and Blood’ picks up where the last book ‘Resurrection of the Ancient Cult’ ends. This takes you through the dark, murky world of “Father of Death” and various other compositions with commentary, excerpts, art, experiences and thoughts from along the way.”