Like so many captive of Fetter Grove, and others, I was appalled when I read the testimony of Valgard Murray, when he was deposed as an “expert” witness for the State, in a civil rights suit brought on by an incarcerated Odinist in Ohio. My mind spun in confusion as I perused those ill-fated pages, inked with betrayal of kinship and resounding with sanctimonious disloyalty. Breathless and astonished a question formed in the chaos, “why”. Laurel Owen may very well be correct in her assessment of Mr. Murray’s “ignorance”, but I posit that this occurrence is but a symptom of a greater malady afflicting our faith community: “The Ásatrú Disorder”.
Modern Ásatrú, begging for contemporary societal validation, has lost touch with it’s holy roots and, like Yggdrasil at Ragnarok, is convulsively “quaking” as a consequence. The poison from which our faith is suffering, attractive as it be, is quite possibly the embracement of the ‘Viking era’ was a period of significant corruption, and a time which may rightly be described as “death throw”. The lack of hierarchy and disregard for leader, as Stephen A. McNallen put it3, of historical Viking society has been transferred to our faith’s reawakening. In many ways we lack contemporary societal validation, because we lack any real objective validity, as evidenced by our many events and organizations which promote “dressing up” and exhibit obvious disorder.
“Decentralization” is now often mentioned when describing our faith and/or faith community; it is however, entirely antithical to our cosmology, and the primal, ur-Odinic principle of “order”4. Decentralization literally means “without a center or focal point” and, in light of our current state of affairs, makes ‘Ásatrú’ synonymous with “chaos”. If our faith remains beneath the branches of such a root-less tree, then we are truer to the etins than the Æsir, with more prophetic words never falling from the tongue of man:
“… if a generation suffers from defects which it recognizes and even admits and is nevertheless quite pleased with itself… resorting to the cheap excuse that nothing can be don to remedy the situation, then such a generation is doomed to disaster.5”
Modern Ásatrú ignores the hierarchal “Allfather” precept in favor of the concept of “absolute individual freedom”, by which the ‘personal’ is of more importance then the ‘general’, in relation to the welfare of the Folk. This is not to say that Ásatrú does not recognize Odin as Allfather, but that it essentially dethrones him, like parliamentary monarchies, and relegates him to a figure-headed role, stripping the spiritual and esoteric power of his being. Children are manifestations of their parents, as the Æsir and man are of Odin. He is the father of “all” and in absence of his spirit absolutely nothing is possible. In the Eddaic poem ‘Gylfaginning’, Gangleri began his questioning thus: “Who is the highest and most ancient of all Gods?”6
“…high said: ‘He is called AllFather in our language, but in old Asgard he had twelve names…”
Later in Gylfaginning, Gangler spoke: “Which are the Æsir that men ought to believe in?”7
“…High said: ‘There are twelve Æsir whose nature is divine… Then spoke third: ‘Odin is the highest and most ancient of the Æsir. He rules all things, and mighty though the other Gods are, yet they all submit to him like children to their father…”
It has become gravely important for us, as a faith-community, to finally recognize Ásatrú as the way ward child of Odinism, which must be brought to heel. There is something to be said of the mysteries of dagaz ( ), that the blessing of the valley is known by the bounty of the fells. We have known chaos for nearly the entirety of the modern reawakening and we are deluding ourselves if we ignore the inherent failure of our cause to date. For those who are devoted to faith and folk, in service of support, it is becoming painfully obvious that some semblance of “order” is required ( ) for any real future, as prescribed by ‘Odinic Law’.
The blessed progenitor Rig, who is heit Heimdallr, who is heit Odin, bestowed upon his noble lineage, an evolutionary aptitude, with inherent risk and reward ( ), from slavery (‘prall’), to freedom (‘karl’), to leadership (‘jarl/earl’). This is the societal ordering principle, both subjective and objective, by which the dawn of civilization was wrought, and with it the greatness of our people. Depressingly, modernity bears the fruit of decline and the darkness of oblivion. However, we are not without hope for the future, for just as darkness must follow the twilight, so too is it ordained, that dawn must follow the night. The question is how long will we linger in the depths of blindness and insanity? Our answer lies our willingness and fortitude; the courage to slay our andvaric egos and embrace spiritual and temporal order, breeding a new generation of leaders and a healthy respect for their service: a return to reason. By this concept of reason, logic, and no matter how corrupted, the ‘Rigspuls’, that ‘jarl’ (leader), wise in runes is the inheritor of Rig.8
‘…In runes he rivaled Rig the Earl; with wiles he warred, outwitting him: thus got for himself, and gained to have, the name of Rig and runic lore.”
I am often fond of noting that the Germanic concept of ‘freedom’ is by no means absolute, but conditional to appropriate, and/or inevitable, consequences. A free-person must accept the ‘Law of Causation’, runicly corresponding to Jera ( ), and understand that in thus lies the dictation of their freedom. There is and can not be ‘one’ truth, or way of being; only a river of righteousness, fed by many trirutaries, some greater than others. So it is with the Holy Nation of Odin, Inc. that we establish core principles, from the fundamental message of Allfather Odin and invite all children of Heimdallr, who feel an especial kinship to our cause, to lend their divine spark to our holy flame, melting the manifestations of contraction and stagnation, thereby increasing our contribution to that holy flow,; Elivagar.9
…By giving the honor and integrity of the clan first consideration the individual was best able to maintain his own freedom. Wunjo is the mystery of harmonious existence of varied affiliated forces… When all members of the clan are harmoniously working together, while integrated into their environment in a syncretic manner, a true state of holiness exists.10
Centralization, while demonized today, is the example laid down by our divine ancestors, which enabled the glorious empires of our people to rise. Even the Athenian Empire, paragon of “democracy”, maintained central and sole authority in the citizens of Athens. Through out their great empire, the rulers and administrators were of ‘one’ persuasion, Athenian; and by no means herself. For further illustration, reference the Roman Catholic Church, which despite ubiquitous ineptitude, hypocrisy, immorality and obvious falsities, maintains a prestigious and ascendant dominion, commanding loyalties and obedience from “our people”. This may primarily be ascribed to Roman Catholicism being founded in “pagan” Roman Pontifical structure (i.e. order) and thus inherently amenable to “our people”. Seeking the advancement of our Folk and the fulfillment of the Great Re-Awakening, we have only to examine millennia of decline and act to reverse it. The more de-centralized we become, the closer we inch toward the precipice of dissolution and ultimate annihilation.
Some will inevitably decry these words as “Totalitarian”, and perhaps they are. It should be emphasized that “Totalitarianism” is founded in “totality”, the embracing of oneness, completeness, collectivity and entirety; ultimately representative of “Unity” As I’ve previously intimated, there is no “one” way, but we are “one” Folk, in need of “one” nation and “one” leader. Rüna screams to us that centralization is essential to our very beings, from the primal patterning of Hagalaz (), to the convergence of God and man in Mannaz () and the unity of balance that lends to the Odinic paradox in Dagaz (). Centralization provides organized leadership upon which our folk may depend, spiritually and socially confirming, and enduring etinic chaos, while embracing and utilizing the diverse, yet sympathetic forces () of our Folk. Such must not devolve into micro-management, but allow for autonomy and latitude for growth, while preserving a foundation of values and principles central to the ‘honor and integrity’ of our Folk and Faith community.
Thus in the near future we may be asked to lend ourselves to leaders, and/or as leaders, and I pray that the breath of Odin fills us with the will to embrace this holy call. I realize that, for incarcerated individuals, this may prove a daunting endeavor, but I remind you all that Hroptátýr, who is heit Odin, is the foremost patron of our condition and, if you value his patronage, you must abide his ministry. This message also holds rue and self-determining will, we all become the charges of Hroptátýr, that noble Chieeftain?
Allfather commits us to his holy charge;
Odin vertú sæl í alheiti:
The High One’s dominon must for now recede,
For man must prove divine.
In utter darkness true to us remained;
Odin vertú sæl í alheiti:
Light of Askr and Embla Like holy orb of night,
Enduring life e’en in decline.
Gimli rises ever above the deluge and is reborn;
Odin vertú sæl í alheiti:
Lif and Lifthrasir shall from holy baum emerge,
Our noble lineage blessedly refined.12
Thus we are guided, by our Gods and lore, to establish orderly structure base upon honorable leaders (Jarlar), tempered by wisdom (Ruma), so that Midgard may more closely resemble Asgard () and man more fully realize our divine nature (). Heil Hroptátýr í alheiti! Farr međ Ođin í friþ ok frænda.
1. Daryl ‘Alfar kynwulf” Blankenship in Eberle, et.al. V Wilkinson, civil action nc 2:03cv272.
3. TYR: Myth-Cultures-Tradition, Vol. 2, 2003-2004: Stephen A. McNallen, “Three Decades of the Ásatrú Revival”, pp. 216.
4. As evidenced in the ordering of the cosmos (i.e. ‘Cosmology’). REF.: H.R. Ellis Davidson, ‘Gods and Myths of Northern Europe’ (Penguin Books, London :1964), pp. 190.
5. Adolf Hitler, ‘Mein Kampf’ (Hurst and Blackett LTD., London: 1939), Murphy translation, pp. 228.
6. Snorri Sturluson, “Edda” (Everyman Press, London :1987), ‘Gylfaginning’ 3, pp. 8.
7. ---------------, ‘Gylfaginning’ 20, pp. 21.
8. The Poetic Edda, Lee M. Hollander Trans. (Univ. of Texas Press, Austin, TX USA :1962), ‘Rigsþula’ 46, pp. 127.
9. ‘Edda’ (op. cit.), ‘Gylfaginning’ 5, pp. 10, ‘Mythical River of Primal and Singulalr Orign.
10. Edred Thorsson. ‘Futhark: A Handbook of Rune Magic’ (Red Wheel/Weiser LLC., York Beach, ME :1984), pp. 95.
11. The Heiti of Odin, ‘Hroptatry’, is commonly accepted as ‘God of Prisoners’.
12. ‘Guidence’, an original verse by the author.