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.

Walpurgisnacht

Hailaz Walpurgisnacht!

However you choose to celebrate the next couple days, do it with your full attention.

Meditate on life in its myriad forms.

Banish any fetters holding you down in the damp halls of Hel.

Personally, we will be preparing a part of the homestead for the return of our patron deity of peace, plenty, and fair weather (Freyr,Ingwaz, Fraujon).

(In our practice, Freyr departs after Samhain and returns on May Day.)

Before we do this, we wish to shield ourselves and our land from all forms of evil and misfortune with song, ritual, and fire.

Under the darkest of moons we shall embody the Sun,

Becoming the fire that licks the sky.

Filling our hearts with strength,

impregnating our minds with ferocity.

Let us transcend the depths,

On the wings of the eagle!

ᚠ : ᛉ : ᛋ

The Metaphysics of Action as Expressed by the Germanic Pagan Trinity

In this piece, I will explain how we can metaphorically link all actions, plans and inspiration to a formula represented by the three main deities of Germanic mythology.

First and foremost, when carrying out any action, we are met by a force of inspiration. A divine “spark,” if you will. This inspiration has long been equated with the wind god, Odin. Odin is the inspiring thought, drive, or “stirring” we feel before any action is undertaken. Once we are inspired to complete a goal, action, or task, the next faculty comes into play, as we move from inspiration into planning and execution.

This intermediate period between final action and initial inspiration is the planning stage. This is when the “seed(s) of inspiration” begin to gestate and grow. This gestation period is deified in the god Freyr, who represents growth, abundance, and fertility. 

As this seed of inspiration grows and our plans begin to take form, we begin to move towards our final aspect of completing an action, which is to finally act with precision, force, and fullness. This aspect of the trinity is most easily attributed to the god Thor, who represents action, will, force and potency. 

To quickly summarize, Odin inspires, Freyr plans, and Thor executes. Each faculty is crucial and each one fits closely with a certain aspect of society, class, or caste. 

If you practice Germanic Paganism, try incorporating this tripartite system into your life. The role of Freyr can be replaced by his sister if that is your preference. This can be a practical application to philosophize Paganism and the “worship” of deities. As much as they are to be viewed as “Gods,” they also represent greater ideas and functions within the life and society of those who revere them. They are the blueprints of ascension.

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.

How to View, Approach, and Venerate the Old Gods of Europe

Vendel Helmet Plate (900 A.D.)

For most people practicing European Paganism, the goal is not merely to worship and pray to the old Gods, but to embody them and entwine their forms within us. We should strive to avoid the worship of external deities and instead become them through the emulation of their archetypal expressions.

An example in the most basic sense:

-To be a successful farmer, naturalist and Lord of the Land, one is to embody Frey.

-To be a successful sorcerer, artist and eternal student of wisdom, one is to embody Odin.

-To be a strong and fearless protector, one is to embody Thor.

These Gods personify and preserve different aspects of the ancient European mind and culture. Although they have evolved over time, they will always represent core concepts within the patterns of nature and the psyche of the folk.

Not only do we associate the forces of nature with many different deities and spirits, but each one also possesses an endless repertoire of names and “faces” associated with it. These faces are simply different expressions of the God-Power representative of the deity in focus. We see this in the lengthy list of titles for Odin, including Draugadróttin, Gaut and Grim.  These titles do not refer to different deities but rather a different face, form and focus of the God we are choosing to emulate or venerate. In the same respect, we see the title and focus of the Gods change with culture and time, as the Odian archetype from the North seems to be yet another altered face and form of the original Wōdaz or Gaut incarnation.

Odin Idols
Loshult, Skåne, Sweden

In the word Wōdaz we see that the Odinic force was thought of as an adjective, a way to describe a specific phenomenon, state of mind or being that intoxicates the emulator or practitioner. This personification (or effect) would inspire (or require) a certain state of rage, madness, frenzy and obsession to invoke. When we look at what these forces have in common, one observation is that they are all required in the act of creating and unlocking the highest forms of the self; the unwavering and untamable “Odian” self through a supreme invocation of madness.

The reason why Odin is renowned as a war god is also reflected in this hyper-form of rage and obsession. Through many means of ancient sorcery (such as Galdr and Utisetta) the warrior ascends to a realm of complete and total awareness and focus. Time is slowed down dramatically and stormy forces begin to rise within. This gives birth to a wild flare of intense energy and aggression; a substantial power brought about by an internal means of transformation. In this state, the warrior can achieve things that a normal man cannot and fight with unhinged ferocity.

Eventually, it seems that the Norse took this “Wōdaz” concept and formed it into a more tangible and external “Godlike” force that could be consulted, worshipped, and interacted with. In other words, the act of achieving Wōdaz (madness/obsession/frenzy) was turned into a deity and noun termed Odin or “the frenzied one.” The adjective took on its’ own archetype due to the potency of its’ characteristics, demonstrating further its’ effectiveness in the transforming of the practitioner, solidifying the concept in an objective form.

Odin
‘Der Wolkenwanderer’
by Hermann Hendrich

When we look at the name Gaut, we see a Gothic verb meaning “to flow out of.” This seems to reflect the early stages of the Indo-European migrations when the people came “flowing out” of the Eurasian Steppes during the decline of the last Ice Age. This title seems to be more ancestral in nature, as “Gaut” was said to be the origin of the Goths or “Gauts.” Whether this term correlates with a single originating ancestor or is a term used to describe how the entire Proto-Germanic population came “flowing out” of the North is to be speculated. Either way, this title should be held in particularly high regard, as the Gothic language is one of the oldest recorded languages in this family.

To conclude this short anecdote, it is important that we do not let monotheistic, omnipotent, Zoroastrian/Abrahamic concepts plague what it means to venerate the Gods within our blood. Strive to unlearn those false and foreign concepts about what a God is (or should be) and rebuild the spiritual identity locked within your ancestry and DNA. Our cultures were unique, complex and created during the primordial ages of human development when our relationship with nature was still abundant and flourishing. They were undoubtedly more sophisticated and powerful then the watered-down concepts they “feed” us in school and in mainstream media. This applies to Paganism of all cultures and forms, as all our Gods have been painted in this way to ensure the systematic destruction of our advanced cultures and identities. Our distinct and organic histories are entwined within us; in our Gods, cultures, language and ancestors. We must hold these things in the highest respect and venerate them fully to ensure our spiritual health, freedom, and strength.

Odin and Berserker
Bjornhouda, Torslunda parish, Oland
(600 A.D.)