No, we expect them to sacrifice a part of who they are to accommodate our failings. This is the lesson of Sigyn, which means girlfriend, holding the bowl over Lokis head to catch the venom that is the result of his ego driven actions. She must sacrifice who she is to placate his failing. And every time she needs to empty the bowl, he writhes in a torment and pain of his own making, creating earthquakes affecting everyone around him, until his partner once again gets back to helping him. Like a great child, expecting his mother to remind him everything will be alright. Ever hear that phrase “He married his mother”? Well now you see it.
All of this brings me to my point. A warning if you will for men who seek to find their masculinity from women. An example of not doing it to begin with. We find the champion of Asgard setting the example of this powerful concept and foundation of masculinity. But Bryan, you might ask, isn’t he always out fighting? Yes, he is, let’s take something more than a sophomoric look at what he is struggling against, setting an example for all of us. Here follows his struggle against Geirrödr.
Then said, Ægir: “Methinks Hrungnir was of great might. Did Thor accomplish yet more valorous deeds when he had to do with the trolls?” And Bragi answered: “It is worthy to be told at length, how Thor went to Geirrödr’s dwelling. At that time, he had not the hammer Mjöllnir with him, nor his Girdle of Might, nor the iron gauntlets: and that was the fault of Loki, who went with him. For once, flying in his sport with Frigg’s hawk-plumage, it had happened to Loki to fly for curiosity’s sake into Geirrödr’s court. There he saw a great hall, and alighted and looked in through the window, and Geirrödr looked up and saw him, and commanded that the bird be taken and brought to him, But, he who was sent could scarce get to the top of the wall, so high was it; and it seemed pleasant to Loki to see the man striving with toil and pains to reach him, and he thought it was not yet time to fly away until the other had accomplished the perilous climb. When the man pressed hard after him, then he stretched his wings for flight, and thrust out vehemently, but now his feet were stuck fast.
Isn’t that something? Here we have a being who borrows a female deities outfit and goes flying around. He laughs at the people who don’t get him, thinking he has found a way to be above all these other people. To be free and uninhibited. Enjoying what he thinks is his advantage at being able to look down on everyone else. Until he gets caught.
So Loki was taken and brought before Geirrödr the giant; but when Geirrödr saw his eyes, he suspected that this might be a man, and bade him answer; but Loki was silent. Then Geirrödr shut Loki into a chest and starved him there three months. And now when Geirrödr took him out and commanded him to speak, Loki told who he was; and by way of ransom for his life he swore to Geirrödr with oaths that he would get Thor to come into Geirrödr’s dwelling in such a fashion that he should have neither hammer nor Girdle of Might with him.
Even though Loki is wearing his outfit, a dress of feathers he obtained from a female deity, it does not change the fact of who he is. No matter how much he may wish it to be so. Since he does not have the masculinity to oppose the jotun himself, he makes a deal to help sacrifice the idea of masculinity in the kingdom he is from. He swears to bring this threat of manliness to the giants’ home minus the powerful symbols we so often associate with the God Thor. His hammer and the belt which increases his strength. In the same manner which Loki assumes that his dress of feathers allows him to be something effeminate, he mistakenly believes that a man is less than a man if he doesn’t have his tools. He conspires to remove from the masculine deity that which he believes makes him masculine.
There are any number of efforts to accomplish these efforts against men by feminists, governments, and churches at all levels of society. Take from him his guns, his knives, and his hunting, they say. Remove from him the trappings which reminds him, and us, that there may lie savagery within his very soul. Use laws and the media to quell the primal strength of men. A strength which allows us to enjoy a discourse of competing ideas. Where neither man fears he is something “less than” because another man may have a more coherent point of view. One not based on emotion. A strength which fosters confidence in the face of adversity. Confidence which allows him to seek out the answers to the deeper meanings of life without being emasculated to do so. It also allows him to stand on principle when faced with opponents who might be clever. Most politicians are clever, but very few of them are truly intelligent.
Thor addresses a being known as Gridr, a giantess whose name means “greed”. How many men have the confidence to look at greed, see it for what it is, and wrest from it with intellect and fair dealing the things he needs to succeed with the task at hand. Too many of us would rather engage in the wailing and gnashing of teeth against the rich, wall street and the bankers instead of garnering for ourselves the concepts from them which might make us successful as well. In all of our thought processes, like the ones I’ve already described, men will seek a boogeyman to fear. Once he has done that, he has given himself carte blanche to continue acting in the fashion he has. No matter the insanity or pain which may surround these actions.
A confident man has no such queasiness about dealing with things other men don’t understand. Odin understands it as well. He fathers a son with her. A mighty son who takes vengeance for the death of his father. Vidarr is one of the gods who helps Baldur rebuild a new world free of these contaminations. When you see three of the most powerful deities of the Northern Pantheon dealing with greed, and coming away better because of it, you might want to pay attention. Just like the money in our world today. It, in and of itself, is not a bad concept. It works best in the medium it was designed for and that is to spend.
When we deny ourselves the benefit of having this crucial lubricant to the gears of the world, we are not standing on principle. We are assuring ourselves of a position where we can sit around and complain all day. A place in life where we will never need to risk the hard work of unlearning poisonous ideas taught to us to keep us in our place. There is no reason for it. It doesn’t make you a sell out, or blind or traitorous, these are the comments of men who have not the courage to even try to be successful. Thor strolls into her home knowing he is worthy of respect and gets the truth of the matter.
“Thor came to spend the night with that giantess who was called Grídr, mother of Vídarr the Silent. She told Thor the truth concerning Geirrödr, that he was a crafty giant and ill to deal with; and she lent him the Girdle of Might and iron gloves which she possessed, and her staff also, which was called Grídr’s Rod. Then Thor proceeded to the river named Vimur, greatest of all rivers. There he girded himself with the Girdle of Might and braced firmly downstream with Grídr’s Rod, and Thialfi held on behind by the Girdle of Might. When Thor came to mid-current, the river waxed so greatly that it broke high upon his shoulders. Then Thor sang this:
Wax thou not now, Vimur,
For I fain would wade thee
Into the Giants’ garth:
Know thou, if thou waxest,
Then waxeth God-strength in me
As high up as the heaven.
Thor has a conversation with Gridr. She tells him the truth. This whole effort, this great lie and scandal created by a giant and a being wearing a feminine garment, has been created to do him harm. You know we can fight these concepts all day long. Concepts of lesser men seeking to make sure that good men find obstacle after obstacle in their way. They will do so until it wears them down to the point where they are no longer be a threat. When we are fighting our own minds with all of the uninvited thoughts we have been taught and the efforts of society as well against men, it may very well seem as if the river may overwhelm and drown us.
The media parades the violence of men who are spiritually unconscious and woefully unaware of who they are in front of us every day. Sure, we might be perfectly content to embrace that simple idea of violence and relish the thought of the mighty struggle against the current. But the strength and the resolve of man is finite. Not so the strength of a god, which will wax as high as the heavens against the oncoming flood. What chance do you think a man has against this effort to emasculate the world of men? Especially if he is wrapped up in his own ego. Convinced of his own importance and limited by the association he has with his own thoughts. Ones such as I just described. How far across such a river will we get if we believe something fantastic will happen when our wives tell us we are man enough. A concept they don’t even know. Will we make it across the river if we muster the guts to tell our bosses to shove this job? Do these ideas even sound like the kinds of thoughts a spiritually aware man might even begin to depend upon for his success crossing the river of life? More importantly, can we begin to believe that having a spiritually aware aspect of our being is what we need to cross this great river? A river of life which challenges all of us.