From the Havamal

82. From the ship seek swiftness, | from the shield protection, Cuts from the sword, | from the maiden kisses.

 

Very little of what the Asatru life is about requires us to seek a betterment of the individual from something outside of our being. The various gifts from Rig in his travels and Odin, Vili and Ve in theirs, provides us with a solid foundation to ascend to whatever heights we may wish with regards to our success. But tools are an important part of the distinction between man and beast. More importantly, as I have outlined in the previous chapter, it is not the tool which makes the man, but the man’s use of the tool which precedes the success he may aspire too. In some instances, it is merely surviving, in other instances, it is a glorious victory.

While it may appear that this line of the stanza is just plain old common sense, and it is, there is also another meaning we might take away from this message. If you are going to use a tool, system or plan in your efforts to move forward in the world. Make sure you know what it does and use the right tool for the job. Take the time to know what you expect from the items you are planning to use. Don’t expect the plow to hasten your arrival anywhere. And yet many people do just that. They put all of their faith in one item and just know, they absolutely know, that as soon as they have mastered its craft, life will be easy sailing from here on out. This is just not the case.  This idea continues below:

83. By the fire drink ale, | over ice go on skates;

 Buy a steed that is lean, | and a sword when tarnished,

 

Once we begin to know and understand this mindset of ridding ourselves of outlandish expectations, don’t you think there is going to be something to replace it.  How many people live their lives expecting wonderful outcomes from situations of their own creation. Situations to which they already know the outcome. Yet we find people on a daily basis who are thoroughly entrenched in a mindset which resembles madness. Doing the same thing over and over, with the slightest variation in circumstances, expecting a different outcome. Not realizing in all of this effort that once again it is not something “out there” which will produce amazing results in our lives. If we are to change the patterns of our lives it is of the utmost importance that we start with our thinking process and ourselves.

More importantly, we need to begin taking a strong look at this body of lore which speaks to us from across literally thousands of years. The adoption of this Tribal mentality, the original folkish nature of Asatru, means we are going to look at these tales with a light of exploration, every bit as important as the ones men adopted to build this country. Where freedom and the division of church and state have created an environment where we might begin to look at these ideas again.  If we pick up a rusty sword, we are pretty sure it’s going to fail us, if we know that going over the ice on skates is the best way to go, then why not adopt that idea. Many times it is pride which says “I can do this on snowshoes or skis.” Just to prove a point. That it can be done. So why don’t we take a look at this lore of ours with the same seriousness? What makes it so terrifying to address these shortcomings within ourselves and fully adopt an Asatru mindset?  Because a scholar has said it’s too heavily Christianized? Oh? Who took what from who. Why would Christians feel the need to fill their perfect worldview with the contaminants of pagan beliefs? So people would buy into it and perhaps at some future date find it almost impossible to decipher one from the other. Thereby assuring a creeping seed of doubt resides within the modern day heathen. We are being told in the stanzas above how to think, what to believe in and what to expect. It is a repurposing of our mindset from depending on someone else to developing our own reliance, yet too many people would decry it to build their own opinion of themselves.  In these stanzas, once we remove our own predisposition to be afraid of personal growth and introspection, we will find those compelling answers needed to correct our thinking. To stand again as fully confident men and women. Let the naysayers wail and gnash their teeth about virtue signaling. Such men will never stand in the way of the empowerment of the folk soul. Such men have done so for long enough. Once we find that we have begun to adopt these ideas and see the change in our lives, we will find a fine time indeed where we might drink ale by the fire.

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