I have spent a good deal of effort pointing out the pitfalls and success of the awakening a person enjoys when they decide to become Asatru. But I am entering a phase where I am searching for those ideas which provide us with the empowerment which follows the awakening. It is a simple idea. That there is a way to do all things. People don’t become successful doing things the same way as everyone else around them. The become great by doing things a certain way. As I held that idea in my mind I took a look at the lore and asked myself “Is this idea reflected in literature which is thousands of years old?”, it most assuredly is. If you have the thought process necessary to grasp it. It is 180 degrees from what we have been taught for generations.
Nevertheless, there is a way to do all things. No one beckons unto himself success repeating the efforts of the average man next to him. He emulates the manner in which successful men accomplish the seemingly extraordinary. They may be doing the same thing, but they are doing the same thing in a certain way, with a certain mindset, and with the innate knowledge that their efforts will yield results. What are the truly important things in your life? How easily are you able to set aside long held dreams or goals in favor of a six pack?
One of the most poisonous ideas of the Abrahamic faiths was the idea that one could do all things through their god. This removed, almost immediately, the common sense and divine direction that men could enjoy life if they did things in a certain way. It is outlined in the Havamal quite nicely but many people fail to understand what these sayings of the High One are really getting at. They confuse it for the supposed charm of the simple life. The curse of settling for just an average existence while you pray for greatness in the hereafter. It’s like the whole of humanity was confined to play the waiting game. Waiting on this or that really big moment to change their life. The trouble is that if you are constantly waiting on the big guy to make that difference with some amazing miracle, you are missing the moments which give each of us the chance to be that great thing we all dream of.
As we look at these stanzas from the Havamal we need to remember that the simple things do not confine us to a mediocre existence. It is the way we do those simple things which determine our level of success in any area of our life. Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual, it matters that we are doing them, but more importantly, it is the way we are doing them.
- Give praise to the day at evening, | to a woman on her pyre,
This is such a common sense idea concerning a life of deeds not words. It is also a 180 degree turn in our thinking from almost all of the rest of humanity. Those who kneel and pray hoping for good things to come in the future. When we take a moment at the end of our day to reflect upon our deeds; hopefully powerful, successful actions on our part, we are taking that inventory, that measure of who we are and how we might be able to do better. It is an important time to look at exactly how we are moving through this world. Are we crushing the obstacles which arise or are we inadvertently placing them in front of us with our own thinking? Are we expecting bad things to happen because that’s what always happens on Monday or are we stepping up to face life and using our minds to build a day which will bring a smile to our face at the end of it? I mean, this is really at the crux of everything this Asatru way of life affords us the opportunity to do. This idea that we have what it takes as reflected in the Sumbel. From the gods to our ancestors to ourselves. That line of great lives handed down to us. That formula which affords us the opportunity to boast of our own actions during Sumbel is a formula which ought to be repeated to ourselves at the end of each day.
We are also given a yardstick by which we might measure our success. Take a look at the woman on her funeral pyre. Her life has been filled with the honorable duties involved with creating a home. The bearing of children, the loving and raising of them, the teaching of them. The partnership with her husband. And in today’s world, many of these powerful women will also need to work outside of the home. I see lots of men who work good jobs and take their duties every bit as seriously. But when it comes to honoring the center of the home, most people will look at grandma. Especially if she has been widowed, for she has raised the children and taught the mothers to raise their children and escorted her husband to the doors of the afterlife as well. Nothing we might wish to achieve is possible if we do not have those strong women to whom we might give praise to on their funeral pyre. Most of the great and glorious deeds reside in the hearts of men, but I assure you, if there is not a powerful woman standing beside them, weaving the various yarns which create a home from which all may venture to slay the dragons of their life, it will all be for naught. Take a look at any man or child whose home is a mess, whose wife or mother is not aligned with these powerful ideas and you will find worry and many times paralyzing fear which preempts the actions of greatness out of concern over some issue. It is the responsibility of men to create that home where the wife and children might find the freedom to truly express who they are, the inner beauty of their hearts. Where they might let go of the reins of control and embrace the freedom of an Asatru life.
When we look at the end of our day and give praise to it, do our actions measure up to the greatness of a loving grandma who has endured the world and given her family the life and food necessary to live as champions. Many times, when we look at this in our own lives, we might find those shortcomings which have precluded this idea from manifesting in our family trees. As we reflect upon our day it will take courage to recognize those shortcomings we have been taught and fix them. As the first in our lines after hundreds of years and generations of religious poisoning, it is the faith and way of life we call Asatru which is here to help us rectify that situation which has handicapped so many of the people we love and set that example worth emulating. Giving praise at the end of the day we will see where we have tripped up or fell short and we may resolve to do better on the morrow.