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Intro to Life and the Love of Life

During the middle ages, there were environmental deviations from the norm. We have typically referred to them as a mini ice age. I’m going to talk about a couple of them which we know about in the recorded history of Europe. One of which is from a story in the lore of Asatru. In around 320 a Swedish king, Domaldr Visburrsson was sacrificed. For three long years, his kingdom had endured multiple failures of agriculture. Famine and his companions became common guests in the villages of this kingdom. Most certainly death made itself well known in this hard time.  This was not what we know as the Middle Ages, these were the Dark Ages.

The council of chieftains came together in response to the hard times the people were facing. They resolved to sacrifice oxen. This is a great sacrifice indeed in a country suffering the failure of agriculture and hunger. The second year they sacrificed men, an even more powerful sacrifice. One which speaks to the desperation of the people that the best efforts of men who could work the fields might be better employed to entreat the gods on their behalf. In the third year, it was decided in the most crucial of times that the king himself should seek the gods on behalf of his people and he was sacrificed. Following this. the country returned to prosperity. 200 years later we find a similar tale. And we also find a reason for it.

The little ice age cooling of the 6th century. Between 536 and 544 CE, there is a record of a dramatic atmospheric event which caused severe hardship upon the inhabitants of Northern Europe.  Couple that with Saxon invasions. People seeking new resources of their own during this time and you have a great need for a hero. This information was first given to us in the great Arthurian myths penned in around 830 CE by the monk Nennius. He records this legend of King Arthur and the Grail Quest and it is here along with Beowulf that we find the evidence of monotheism poisoning the well so to speak.

The grail quest was a quest to heal the king and the land. Both had been suffering. The king had a wound which would not heal. The land was suffering as well. For weeks at a time the sun would not shine. Clouds covered the sky and crops could not grow. It was a cold time. A time of hunger and the loss of crops. Famine and weakness befell the kingdom. The stories do not become prominent in the written record until over 300 years after they were coined by Nennius.  This is the time when the great cathedrals were under construction and Adam of Bremen had begun his legendary collection of writings.  About 1130 to 1280 these stories about Arthurian days were fully fleshed out as stories to cement the transition from wounded pagans to whole and healthy Christians. They were committed to paper and became legend.

You see, the land had succumbed to blight, it had become a wasteland. The feeling that they needed divine intercession was capitalized upon. He was sick and in decline, and the land reflected that. If one were to take an honest look at society, one might be tempted to conclude that it is a wasteland every time you step outside your front door.  Be that as it may, men were at the mercy of the environment and there were no Gods stepping forth to change it for them this time. The honor of a king sacrificing himself might have been a thing of the past by now. But it was a perfect time for King to sell out to the conquering faith.

But let’s take a look at the environment of that time Dendrochronologists have studied this time and during the grail quest for 8 or 10 years, Mike Bailey has shown that serious global cooling was occurring and as a result tree growth stopped. Weeks at a time the sun was not visible. There were multiple collapses of harvests. The people were malnourished. Then famine set in. People developed weakened immune systems and the luxuries of ancient civilizations such as running water fell by the wayside. As a result, in 542 CE we see the eruption of disease in the form of the Justinian plague. Cold, the collapse of agriculture and then plague.

It took Europe 300 years to recover from that.  The medieval warm period around 900 Ad allowed the sea ice began to retract and the sea lanes opened again. The peoples of Northern Europe took advantage of this with sailing routes to Greenland, Iceland, Great Britain and the Americas. Agriculture rebounded. With a surplus of food, economies began to strengthen. When a society has lots of food, people increased in height 4 or 5 inches from the dark ages.

Now there was wealth and the population expanded. After 150 years of warmth. European society began building cathedrals, thousands of well-trained craftsmen worked on this activity. All of this shows up in a geologic instant. Who organized this? Who trained the craftsman? This glorious consequence of the expansion of wealth from warm weather. Christianity took advantage of this unique and very cyclical occurrence and has long been hailed as the savior of Europe. And then it stopped. In the early 1300’s. At that time was the onset of the little ice age.  Once again, we have an agricultural lapse, famine and finally, the black plague strikes wiping out another 1/3rd of Europe.

The sad thing is that when these plagues strike they affect two parts of a society. The young and the old. The old possess the knowledge of how to train the young. Who knows what very valuable information we may have lost from the devastating effects of a plague-ridden Europe. That concept, of a society passing down the necessary info which made it great, which allowed it to survive such events, is crucial to everything in this book. In all of these instances, there is evidence of a comet, changing the atmosphere of the planet. The ancient people referred to these comets and meteorites as “hailstones”.  What your understanding of the ruin Hagalaz is, is about to change. If you consider Solar Flares and Volcanoes, one begins to see how tenuous our grip to life on this planet truly is.

This type of cycle occurred in other areas of the world as well. While everyone is aware of the fall of Rome around 456 AD. few people are cognizant of the fall of Egypt in 1177 or 1186 depending on the archeologist you speak with. The standard line has always been that it was the sea peoples. But new studies done by Eric Kline in his book 1177 points out that there were several civilizations alongside Egypt which created a world economy. As this trade route was interrupted there are written records of what happened. A drought which lasted 300 years. There is also evidence of a comet strike near southern modern-day Iraq. The sea-peoples’ invaders were actually refugees. These boats were filled with families as well as warriors. As the Minoans, Canaanites, Hittites and many others fell by the wayside, other city-states began to rise. Egypt, though, never truly recovered. The trade route for tin from Afghanistan and copper from Turkey fell into disuse and wasn’t truly recovered until Alexander the great 1100 years later.

If we go back even further in time to the reign of Akhenaten, with his Grand Vizier Thutmoses, (who we know as Moses, which means “son of”) we see in documents literally around the world of a red disc in the sky with 10 tails beaming down at the planet. From China to Egypt, there are written records of a light in the sky brighter than the moon and rivaling the sun. This coincides with the birth of monotheism. And when Akhenaten freed a group of people who were Semites and the volcano at Santorini erupted, you have a ready-made case for monotheism to stick as it were. Such was the birth of Judeo-Christian belief.

In the meantime, further north, one great king of Sweden began to gather his copper from Michigan and his Tin from Cornwall. This was beautifully written out on a rock from the bronze age in Canada at Peterborough.  In Serbia, there has been a copper axe head found dated to 7500 BCE. Where do you suppose that material came from? A world economy indeed. You see, there is a big picture.  It is a much bigger picture than we currently imagine.

For centuries, mankind has struggled to focus in on this kaleidoscope of information. A whirling pattern of pertinent information from the latest scientific or religious evidence concerning life on earth. Yet the lens with which this effort has been viewed is of the wrong integrity. It is a grainy and tinted lens forged in the fires of men’s egos and the righteous indignation of monotheistic belief. They tell us we needn’t even bother to look.

The answers to our questions, the remedy for this wholesale loss of our history, as a species, is to be found in our mythology. Perhaps the concept is encapsulated in the rune Ansuz. Our ancestral knowledge. For the follower of Asatru, Lif and Lifthrasir are represented as our lore. For us to understand the dynamic information which will shatter the foundations of a world we have largely left behind; it is of the utmost importance that we view it all as a people who practice the faiths which make the world around us sacred again. We will not survive the future falls of civilizations with this very valuable body of learning intact, or ourselves and way of life, if we do not.

Because the evidence is very powerful that time and again this planet and the peoples on it have had to rebuild from disasters of cosmic proportion. But what if they could not?  What if the impact was severe enough that more than one civilization was wiped out and important technologies seemingly lost? The comet impact of the Younger Dryas provides just such an occurrence. And it does so in the foundation of archeological thought.

At the end of the last Glacial maximum roughly 12800 YA there was a sudden warming, followed by a sudden cooling that threw us right back into a period of glaciation 11,300 YA. All over the Earth, there is evidence that a comet struck the Laurentide ice sheet. The strike literally wiped out anything which might have existed in 6 western states. It caused Lake Bonneville to create the Snake River Canyon, it caused the Veles volcanic crater to fill up and burst its caldera wall. The impact on the Laurentide Ice sheet created a tidal wave of ice full of gigantic boulders and water which swept across the Pacific Northwest. Evidence suggests that this was a tidal wave of debris reaching up to 1250’ high. The debris trail of boulders as big as houses have been left there like the ring in an old bathtub. Similar Events were occurring in the Dakotas and present-day Minnesota from the same comet. New evidence from The Woods Hole Oceanic Institute shows that similar amount of fresh water flowed into the Arctic ocean and disrupted the oceanic warming mechanisms for the planet, the Gulf Stream for one. The sea levels rose 400’ and any evidence of civilization over 10 million sq. miles of coastline was eradicated. That’s the size of China and Europe.  Imagine what might be found there.  Life became a cheap commodity in the face of such a cosmic event. 35 genera went extinct on the North American continent, including the Clovis culture. At the same time all this is happening, there are continent-wide wildfires burning everything down. Above every Clovis culture site, there is a layer of black created by the ash of this fire.

If you consider the Solutrean Hypothesis, where Europeans migrated across the North Atlantic, you end up with an archeological argument that has no real reason to justify this movement of people. The economy might be one, but it is much more likely that the Solutrean Hypothesis is backwards. It is a group of refugees fleeing a continent-wide destruction on a level we might only see in a movie. Hopefully.

Most major cities are located at the mouths of rivers. Some of these people would have been out at sea. Engaging in the fishing or sailing of a trade route when these disastrous occurrences reshaped the futures of all men. These are the individuals who would have survived. They would have carried the legends which were most important to them, forward in time.

Look at this list and timeline of comet impacts on planet earth in recent history and consider some of the changes I’ve referenced above.

THE 14,300 BC STRIKE  16,300 YA

THE 12,945 BC STRIKE – 14,945 YA

THE 11,600 BC STRIKE – 13,600 YA

THE 11,000 BC STRIKE- 13,000 YA

THE 10,600 BC STRIKE – 12,600

THE 9,600 BC STRIKE  – 11,600 YA

THE 8,300 BC STRIKE – 10,300 YA

THE 7,800 BC STRIKE – 9,800 YA

THE 6,800 BC STRIKE – 8,800 YA

THE 6,200 BC STRIKE – 8,200 YA

THE 5,600 BC STRIKE – 7,600 YA

THE 5,000 BC STRIKE – 7,000 YA

THE 4,500 BC STRIKE – 6,500 YA

THE 3,500 BC STRIKE – 5,500 YA

THE 3,000 BC STRIKE – 5,000 YA

THE 2,350 BC STRIKE –  4,350 YA

THE 1,600 BC STRIKE –  3,600 YA

THE 1,200 BC STRIKE –  3,200 YA (Birth of Monotheism)

THE 200 BC STRIKE –  2,200 YA

THE 500 AD STRIKE – 1,500 YA

THE 1,000 AD STRIKE – 1,000 YA

THE 1,500 AD STRIKE – 500 YA

 

Given the sheer volume of these impacts and the catastrophic damage, each impact has caused, it may well be time to re-examine the entirety of what we think the rune Hagalaz means or all of them for that matter. The 200 BC comets were referred to by the Romans as an issue with hailstones. The Runes provide us a clue that they are a pattern for negotiating life. Lif and Lifthrasir are examples of how we should be in order to use them. Separated from the nonsense of this world. But this is not meant in the same misunderstood mindset of “deny yourself” such as Christians promote it. Quite the opposite. It means we must build ourselves. Later in the book, I devote three chapters to how this is done and how it is not done using three 4 different Lays from the Prose Edda.

The second chapter points out where this was all recorded in the Voluspa.

Purchase Life and The Love of Life Here

Right Here and Now

Where are you? See, that’s the kind of question which will give you insight into every person you meet. How they answer it determines more about them than they might even begin to imagine. When someone asks it of you, the answer you give is based upon the criteria you were taught is the right way to determine where you are. In life, at work, with family, according to your finances, your birthday, so on and so forth. You will reply with an answer you know that your mother or father, or your spouse, will or has, deem as acceptable. Whether or not it has a thing to do with where you really are in life is irrelevant. Chances are it doesn’t even hint at what you truly are.

So, I’ll ask you again. Where are you? Let me be more specific. Where are you in life that you decided to pick up this book and try find some answers about where you are in life. What I’m getting at is that most people have something like a fuzzy image in their head about who and what they are, no idea about where they are and only the vaguest of a suggestion about where they want to end up. The majority of the thoughts they possess about themselves is gleaned from some narrative they pick which suits their ego the best. We are going to change that.

It starts with being present in this very moment. Far too many people are constantly preoccupied with an incessant train of automatic thinking that revolves around what has happened or what is going to happen. Neither of these modes of thought has anything to do with right now. While many people will automatically sneer as they raise an eyebrow asking “How should we make plans? Don’t you yourself advocate investing strategies which are largely focused on the future?”

Make plans all you want. This is crucial in life. But stop centering your thought process concerning the quality of your being on the successful fruition of those best laid plans. Quit forecasting the outcome with the qualifier being that you will be complete when such and such has taken place in your life. That is the thought process I am talking about when I say that you have been taught how to think.  You are as complete right now as you will ever be. The only thing stopping you is your own thoughts.

How many people do you think are walking along downtown streets somewhere in the world hating the fact that there are walking for one, hating the fact that they have another half-hour to hour of travel to get home and thinking the whole time how happy they will be when they get there. They will be safe. They can watch a little TV, eat dinner, play with the kids, enjoy time with the wife, have a drink. But not now, right now they are walking, after a long day, at a job they probably don’t like. In the middle of the country and other places it is the exact same thing except there is a car ride, bus ride or bicycle ride involved. And you want me to start thinking that right now, in this sorry situation I’m forced to do to survive on the planet I was born on, that I am complete and that everything is OK. Yes I do. With everything in me, I encourage you to start believing that very thing.

Because if you’ve paid even scant attention to what I just wrote, I drew out for everyone involved how their own thinking has been programmed to expect to be satisfied and complete at some point in the future. Even if it is just 30 minutes ahead of you, your thoughts are such that the present circumstances of your being are not what you signed up for when you popped into this world for whatever reason. So we dream about the future. We fret about the past and we miss the fact that if we so decided to keep on walking, go a different route, stop and look up for just a second, every single thing about that walk will change. There will be new information to process and it may even bring a smile to your face. You have just touched base with what it means to be right here and right now.

A History of the study of the Lore

The study of Teutonic mythology may be traced back to the seventeenth century, when publications already appeared in which either the popular beliefs or the antiquities of a particular region are treated. In 1691 a Scottish clergyman, R. Kirk, wrote a treatise on ” elves, fauns, and fairies,” which has recently been reprinted as a document of historical interest, while in the Netherlands J Picardt, in 1660, issued a work on Teutonic antiquities. As early as 1648, however, Elias Schedius  had essayed a complete Teutonic Mythology, a rather bulky work, in which the passages of the ancient writers descriptive of various peoples are treated with little historical discrimination. To these two sources, popular beliefs and the classical writers, there were soon added the records discovered in the North and the antiquities brought to light in various parts of Germany. The books and treatises dealing with this material as a whole or in part had, by the middle of the eighteenth century, reached the number of one thousand. Special mention among these should be made of Trogillus Arnkiel, who first made use of the works of Scandinavian scholars, and of J. G. Keysler, who drew upon Latin inscriptions and popular beliefs. Nearly all the writers of this period regarded the heathen gods from a euhemeristic point of view, as departed heroes. No one of them was able to establish his work on a sound historical basis by distinguishing between Teutons and Kelts. The Scandinavian countries were destined to give the first impetus to the fruitful study of Teutonic antiquity. It would be erroneous, however, to suppose that in these regions the classic period of medieval literature passed imperceptibly into the period of historical study. Even in Iceland, the centre of Old Norse literary development, the historic past and the indigenous literature were, in the fifteenth and during the larger part of the sixteenth century, well-nigh forgotten. The Renaissance does not begin until the end of the sixteenth century, with the historical and literary labors of Arngrimr Jonsson and Bjorn Jonsson a Skardhsa. Much, indeed, had even then been accomplished elsewhere ; the Paris edition of Saxo dates from the year 1514, and in the middle of the same century the last archbishop of Upsala, Olaus Magnus, had made the first attempt at writing a Norse Mythology, based on Saxo, on the Latin writers, and on the conditions of his own time. Olaus had also investigated the monuments and drawn up a runic alphabet. Not until the seventeenth century, however, did the range of these studies begin to widen. In Denmark Ole Worm, Stephanius, and P. Resenius occupied themselves with monuments and runes, with the editing of Saxo, and the collecting of manuscripts. This was made possible after Brynjolf Sveinsson, Bishop of Skalholt in Iceland, had, in 1640, discovered the most important manuscript of the prose Edda — already known at that time —and had in 1643 first brought to light the Poetic Edda. Despite the fact that the great fire at Kopenhagen in 1728 destroyed many manuscripts, and that during the second half of the seventeenth century many more were lost, there yet remained an extensive literature, including sagas, preserved in four great collections, which were destined- to form the basis of subsequent study. These four collections are: 1. The manuscripts collected by Brynjolf himself and sent in 1662 to the king of Denmark (codices Regii). 2. The collection of Ami Magnusson made between 1690 and 1728 (codices A. M.). Both of these collections are to be found in Kopenhagen. 3. The manuscripts collected by Stephanius, now at Upsala (codices U.). 4. The codices Holmenses (codices H.), discovered in Iceland during the latter half of the seventeenth century, and at present in Stockholm. or a long time afterward, the most fantastic ideas prevailed concerning its origin and antiquity. What had been found was thought to be only a small fragment of an Eddic archetype attributed to the Aesir themselves or to the princess Edda, shortly after the time of Odhin. This archetype, it was thought, contained the patriarchal beliefs of the ancient Atlantis-dwellers, some three hundred years before the Trojan war. The oldest runes were believed to date from 2000 b.c. Following in the wake of Danish scholars and under the influence of conceptions peculiar to the eighteenth century, Mallet, a Swiss, wrote a book, the purpose of which was to delineate the history of civilization. The North was extolled as the cradle of liberty, and Mallet included in his treatise a translation of several selections from the Edda. The book was translated into English in 1770 by Bishop Percy, who added an important preface, in which a sharp distinction was, for the first time, drawn between Teutonic and Keltic legends and antiquities. Literature also turned these finds to good account. In Germany, Herder, with his breadth of view, did not fail to recognize the value of Old Norse literature. Standing under the influence of the currents of thought prevailing in the eighteenth century, he paved the way for the Romanticism of the nineteenth. His broad and profound intellect combined cosmopolitan interests with an appreciation of the characteristically national, a love for the natural with a feeling for historical development. He took hold of the new material and opened up new points of view. From near and far he gathered folk-songs, though among these naive Stimmen der Volker, as he called them, there is many a song which we no longer regard in this light. Thus he believed Voluspa to be a product of primitive times, although he recognized that criticism had not as yet passed a final judgment on the poem. The less known F. D. Grater also helped to spread a knowledge of Norse mythology and of folk-song. In Denmark the spirit of patriotism served to heighten the interest in the newly discovered poetry. Ohlenschlager, proceeding on the supposition that the Eddic poems were parts of a single production, sought through his cycle of poems to infuse new life into the old myths. What the elder Grundtvig achieved along this line also belongs to the domain of literature rather than that of science. N. F. S. Grundtvig, the enemy of rationalism, the champion of personal faith and the living word as against petrified formalism in church and dogma, also showed great zeal in advocating the development of national character and put the stamp of his individuality on the intellectual life of his people. His enthusiasm for the Norse heroic age, his acumen in the treatment of myths, whose profound figurative language he sought to interpret, his graceful renderings of these ancient legends in beautiful poems, all this may have borne little or no fruit to the cause of science, but it unquestionably imbued the heroic age with new life in the popular mind. Meanwhile the opinion that the Edda contained a most ancient, original, and splendid mythology was not held without opposition. Finn Jonsson, who a century after Brynjolf held the episcopal see of Skalholt, recognized in the Edda a mixture of Christian ideas and scandalous fabrications. In a brief survey of the production he discussed the main features of the religion in a somewhat dry and prosaic fashion. A deeper impression was made by the direction which studies in Teutonic mythology took in Germany. As early as 1720 Keysler suspected the existence of Christian influences in Norse mythology. Towards the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century this opinion steadily gained ground through the writings of von Schlozer, Fr. Adelung, and Fr. Riihs. The work of these three authors is frequently placed in one category, but in reality only that of Riihs possesses scientific value. He distinguished in Norse mythology three factors : popular conceptions of Teutonic origin, Christian ideas, and fragments of Greek and Roman mythology. The Edda, he contended, could not be regarded as the common heritage of the Teutons, nor even of all Scandinavians. It was a poetic production that had originated in Iceland under Anglo-Saxon influences. The culture of the North was of Christian origin. A view well suited for the time and one which completely dismisses any archeological information concerning the timelines of history. For the Church, all good things originated from within the corridors of their relatively new halls of study. The world was still grappling to some extent with Newtonian physics. The kinship of these ideas with recent theories and results is self-evident. The chief centre of these studies remained, for the time being, Kopenhagen, where collections of manuscripts and monuments were deposited, and where, also, these studies received strong encouragement because they were regarded as subserving national interests. From 1777 to 1783 a beautiful edition of Snorri’s Heimskringla, in three volumes, was published at the expense of the Danish crown-prince. In 1806 the erection of a museum of Norse antiquities was begun. In 1809 the publication of the Danish Kampoviser was commenced, while a few years later, in 1815, the Icelander Thorkelin furnished the edition princeps of Beowulf. Rasmus Nyerup (1759-1829) carried on extensive investigations in Old Danish popular literature, archaeology, and mythology. R. K. Rask (1 787-1832), who was one of the founders of modern linguistic science, sought the origin of Old Norse in Old Thracian, from which he also derived Greek and Latin. While Rask did not extend his comparisons to the Asiatic languages, the Icelander, Finn Magnusen (1781-1847), did not hesitate to find parallels in Oriental and Egyptian mythology, which he regarded as evidences of a common primitive origin. Both in editions of texts and in works on mythology he made use of an enormous mass of material, much of which is still of value despite the fact that no reliance can be placed on his astronomical interpretations, on the accuracy of his Oriental parallels, or on his theory of the Trojan origin of the Northern peoples. Thus the horizon gradually widened, notwithstanding the fantastic and arbitrary combinations that were still being made. Skule Thorlacius, in a study on Thor and his hammer, went so far as to make an isolated attempt to distinguish between the earlier and later elements of mythology. No one of these men, however, produced work of more lasting value than P. E. Miiller (1776-1834), who took up the gauntlet in defense of the genuineness of the  Aesir-religion in a manner that carried conviction to the Brothers Grimm and to many of their successors. He was the first to render a rich and well-arranged collection of heroic and historical sagas from medieval Norwegian-Icelandic literature accessible, and his edition of Saxo, with Prolegomena and Nota Uberiores, completed after the his death by of J. the M.Grimms Velschow, Germany possesses lasting value. Before the advent of the Grimms, Germany was far behind the Danes and Icelanders in the study of mythology. With the national revival, however, that followed the French domination, the famous minister of education, von Stein, gave the first impulse towards the publication of that gigantic collection of historical sources known as the ” Monumenta Germaniae Historica,” which, under the editorship of G. H. Pertz, began to appear in 1826. But indispensable as these sources subsequently proved to be for the study of Teutonic heathenism, their publication at first exerted little or no influence. It is difficult to form a just estimate of the Value of the mythological work done in Germany during the first decades of our century under the influence of the Romantic movement. There can be no question of the good service which the movement rendered to the cause of science and of culture. Through the two Schlegels, August Wilhelm and Friedrich, and through Tieck, the language and gnomic wisdom of the ancient Hindus, as well as the works of Calderon and Shakespeare, and such subjects as the Middle Ages and popular poetry, were first brought within the general horizon. The Romanticists were also strongly attracted towards the study of the national past and of Teutonic paganism, though this interest did not proceed from the above-mentioned leaders of the movement. Heidelberg became the centre for the study of mythology, with Gorres, von Arnim, Brentano, and Creuzer as the chief representatives. Among these the most gifted, perhaps, was Joseph Gorres (1776-1848), who devoted himself to editing German chap-books. It was he who perceived the relationship between the Norse and German legends of the heroic saga and recognized the age of migrations as the period which gave rise to the legends among Goths, Franks, and Burgundians.

The preceeding work was taken from the book The Religion of the Teutons published in 1902 by a Danish professor Sassauye. The study of this ancient way of life has been going on for centuries. And it has always been at the mercy of the prevailing religious school of thought of the time. It is important to perceive this information concerning the history of what we value today as spiritual with a keen and penetrating intellect. Much of it will have absolutely no bearing upon the development of a spirituality. But there is enough of it around to provide ammunition to those individuals who would prefer to be right with regards to their arguments about self-importance to give new people and social media educated folks a hard time and perhaps even to run them off for good. The lurking dangers of the lowest of men who would utilize half-truths in order to boost their own egos is a threat we cannot underestimate. The damage to those folks who now feel that they have tried the way of this new faith only to find it wanting is incalculable. Only those brave few, who have the wherewithal to cut a path of their own choosing, who are fully aware of the dangers of the uninspired human intellect parading hand in glove with out of proportion ego’s (Loki’s outburst at the table with the Aesir during Aegirs feast is the prime example) and who have made a commitment to understand that through all of time, natural disaster, wars, famines, pestilence, competing religious systems and death, that this material is now presented to us in a time when we might need it the most. For it appears that the moral compass of the world is in pieces. As the magnetic pole of the Earth shifts, so too does the direction of the human spirit, and ours cries out for direction. No matter the various treatments which history has afforded this great mythology of the north, a mythology which provided purpose, guidance and direction for millions of people for thousands of years, what we have today is exactly what we need to survive whatever the future may hold for us.

Pathfinder!

Excerpt from Life and the Love of Life

The tale of King Gyfli is the grand tale of a man attempting to learn those things of a nobler nature as Julian had ascertained all those centuries ago. King Gyfli is seeking instruction from those whose knowledge and thought processes allow them to truly shape the world they wish to live in. In many cases, if one but knows what to look for, the King is being instructed in how to understand the flows of energy we call life and how it moves across the realms.

  1. King Gylfi ruled the land that men now call Sweden. It is told of him that he gave to a wandering woman, in return for her merry-making, a plow-land in his realm, as much as four oxen might turn up in a day and a night.

How many great men have been brought low because their success was based on the manipulation of others and not on an honest and empowered thought process? For the “wandering woman” in this tale, just about anything is possible. Despite his outward success, it is a base and simple manipulation of his ego which brings him low. A night of merry making almost always includes a great deal of flattery. How many men and women have heard that “you are the best” in all kinds of scenarios only to find out later that this may not necessarily be the case.

But this woman was of the kin of the Æsir; she was named Gefjun. She took from the north, out of Jötunheim, four oxen which were the soils of a certain giant and, herself, and set them before the plow. And the plow cut so wide and so deep that it loosened up the land; and the oxen drew the land out into the sea and to the westward and stopped in a certain sound. There Gefjun set the land, and gave it a name, calling it Selund. And from that time on, the spot whence the land had been torn up is water: it is now called the Lögr in Sweden; and bays lie in that lake even as the headlands in Selund. Thus says Bragi, the ancient skald:

Gefjun drew from Gylfi | gladly the wave-trove’s free-hold,
Till from the running beasts | sweat reeked, to Denmark’s increase;
The oxen bore, moreover, | eight eyes, gleaming brow-lights,
O’er the field’s wide: booty, | and four heads in their plowing.

Gefjon had a purpose in producing those four strong oxen. Great, powerful beasts raised for a purpose. I have to wonder if somewhere there might be written down their names. I’d be willing to bet that each one represents a powerful single-minded purpose or idea that would empower women to accomplish great things of their own accord. The Church would have likely squashed that tidbit of nonsense long ago. Of course, this is all conjecture. But one cannot help but consider it given the actions and the empowerment of the feminine throughout our lore.

But there is another, more important way to look it. The King is a mortal representation of Odin. A powerful concept represented a feminine deity has entered his court. And he has lost a great deal of his kingdom because of a weakness. For Odin, it was three Gullveig (gold-lover, or gold drink), Heith, the bewitching aspect of gold, the joy to women who will do anything to get it, and horse thief, the woman who splits the work effort of men apart for selfish gain. Three all-powerful female jotuns. The resultant chaos leaves Odin wandering and sacrificing himself to himself to earn ever greater knowledge about who he is, where he comes from and the tools within him needed to right his previous course of action and truly become who he was meant to be.

King Gyfli was perhaps in the same boat. A powerful ruler in his own right, as we see below, yet he still allowed a being into his court which he did not truly understand the danger of, for selfish reasons and when that power was brought to bear, his kingdom became much less than what he intended. Selfish reasons pale when compared to the divine feminine often referred to as “The Giving One”. An ancient and powerful virgin Goddess who knows the destinies of all men.

Perhaps it was time for this great King to earn his place in history. Great loss, the pain and trial of growth, the introspective study of oneself and the return of the hero King. How many times must we hear it before we begin to get it through our heads? All of this life is an illusion, a stage as Shakespeare proclaims, and it is only after we decide to get in the directors chair may we begin to create the story we wish the world to know.

  1. II. King Gylfi was a wise man and skilled in magic; he was much troubled that the Æsir-people were so cunning that all things went according to their will. He pondered whether this might proceed from their own nature, or whether the divine powers which they worshipped might ordain such things.

Here is where the musings of Julian the Apostate come to mind. For this thought process of the gods knowing themselves to such an extent that they may control and direct all things to be commented upon in reference too Greek and Norse Gods is not an inconsequential thing. It is a clue, a hint, that we may have it in us to achieve these same things.

There are two questions asked here. Both are things which any man may do something about. But it is more the question of whether one might trust deities from an outside source, that it outside of ourselves, or is it possible that we might be able to make these great accomplishments of our own accord. The entire tale is a discourse in the examples of these various deities learning, growing, suffering indignities, and developing into something greater of their own abilities. The same abilities we see being developed to various degrees by the heroes which have already been discussed at length in this book None of them fall into the category or relying upon any form of government or church to make that change for them, support them or anything else modern man believes these institutions are capable of.

            He set out on his way to Ásgard, going secretly, and- clad himself in the likeness of an old man, with which he dissembled. But the Æsir were wiser in this matter, having second sight; and they saw his journeying before ever he came, and prepared against him deceptions of the eye. When he came into the town, he saw there a hall so high that he could not easily make out the top of it: its thatching was laid with golden shields after the fashion of a shingled roof. So also says Thjódólfr of Hvin, that Valhall was thatched with shields:

On their backs they let beam, | sore battered with stones,
Odin’s hall-shingles, | the shrewd sea-farers.

In the hall-doorway Gylfi saw a man juggling with anlaces, having seven in the air at one time. This man asked of him his name. He called himself Gangleri, and said he had come by the paths of the serpent, and prayed for lodging for the night, asking: “Who owns the hall?” The other replied that it was their king; “and I will attend thee to see him; then shalt thou thyself ask him concerning his; name;” and the man wheeled about before him into the hall, and he went after, and straightway the door closed itself on his heels. There he saw a great room and much people, some with games, some drinking; and some had weapons and were fighting. Then he looked about him, and thought unbelievable many things which he saw; and he said:

All the gateways | ere one goes out
Should one scan:
For ‘t is uncertain | where sit the unfriendly
On the bench before thee.

            In every instance a man, no matter how accomplished he is, comes across someone who has the strength of mind, heart and will to create a word he wishes to live in, they are amazed. I have seen men attain the frenzied state of a teenage girl over meeting a legendary guitarist. I have seen women of a respectable age and accomplishment all their own, be absolutely beside themselves with happiness at meeting a celebrated entertainer. We all, to some extent or another, find heroes we would wish to know.

Look at the crowd’s politicians gather unto themselves. Everyone is convinced that they are of a like mind set. They want to meet them to make sure that the vicarious experience of their success might be enjoyed by them as well. Same thing applies to football and other sporting athletes. What makes them tick? What was it that brought such success to their doorstep? How did they accomplish these magnificent things? Even a king is susceptible to such flights of fancy. Where do we go to find this success for ourselves in a world which suggests that a foreign god might do it for us or a socialist, Marxist, communist or fascist government? Though those types of governments tend to remediate the situation by just eliminating the problem of success. Most of the modern media outlets encourage us to take this vicarious enjoyment to the extreme.

In every case, we let our guard down. In the midst of a strange hall next to a man juggling daggers, this may not be such a good idea. Yet we will do it without a second thought in the presence of someone we admire. Those seven anlaces being juggled are the up-in-the air decisions that will be made concerning the lives of men. Turning them over to a government or a church (the strange hall of congress, which is strange to a king or a farmer) is not a smart idea for the man who wishes to move forward in the world.

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Somedays you have just the barest hint of an idea to work with. But this fragment of a thought may lend itself to ideas of greatness as readily as syrup to pancakes. It might suggest to you that there is something truly magnificent right at the edge of your thoughts. Just the whisper of a notion but possessed of an intensity which demands that it not be ignored.  What happens when we finally find ourselves prepared, developed or grown enough to look squarely at this cornerstone in the boundary wall we’ve erected against the chaos of forces outside our control? Well, for one thing, we grow and we move ourselves just a little further down the only path every single one of us treads. The path towards that great door of death.

During a fairly animated conversation with a friend of mine, Chase McDougal, he made a powerful comment. He said “all roads lead to Rome.”  Now how many times have we all heard that? Probably several. But there is an analogy which accompanies this statement which has led me to an eye-opening experience.

I had just finished writing Life and the Love of Life, which in the lore of Asatru is a reference to Lif and Lifthrasir. Those original beings who emerge from Yggdrasil after Ragnarok. They are notably minus all of the accoutrements modern people feel are essential. Typically considered items dedicated to our comfort and ease of existence.  This is an important observation.

You see the whole of the book was dedicated to the idea that there have been and are concepts, ideas, occurrences in the life of every man which draws him off of a well beaten path. One trod by his ancestors and lit by the knowledge of the Runes. And here we are trying to figure that out again. We drifted so far off track that even our moral compass is off kilter. I pointed out how the Goddess Freya attempts to bring Ottar back to the straight and narrow by cutting a wolf loose on his butt in the Hyndluljoth. In essence she was setting him on the straight and narrow path to Valhalla as it was mentioned in the Lay. The road to that one great doorway. The entrance to death.

As we travel along our way in life, we secure about ourselves things, items and people we believe are what we need for where we are in life. But are they?  Are they what we need? Is it beneficial to bring such nonsense with us? And what might our flailing attempts to negotiate the obstacles of life look like to our Gods and our Ancestors? Both, it would seem, have a vested interest in our success. But why? How do we even know that any of it matters?

Well, for one thing, for absolute centuries, peoples all over the world were so convinced that there are certain things everyone needed as they trudged that great road to Rome (Rome being the analogy for the doorway to death) that we are still examining the grave goods of cultures around the world. We stand in awe of magnificent temple complexes and burial mounds where animals, slaves, lovers and the tools of successful people are exhumed and brought forth to put on display. Always marveling at the quality and the craftsmanship of bygone eras, but never once considering that there is a reason, a gigantic clue, slapping us in the face about the nature of the life in front of us today. I think the evidence these past civilizations have left us goes far beyond the anecdotal. The more advanced the civilization, the more elaborate the ceremony, sacrifice and grave goods.

One has to wonder, if but for a second, if we don’t have it all backwards today. Today we might drop a trinket of sentimentality into a casket or spread the ashes of our loved ones in some wonderful place. But we no longer build for them great temples or palatial complexes full of the treasures which past cultures believed were essential for a successful afterlife. We are no longer concerned with the ability of our loved ones to successfully navigate what comes next. In large measure, we have deduced that once again, something else will take care of it. We say good bye to our ancestors and automatically assume that they have what they need to deal with whatever environment they exist in and we also believe that they have the tools necessary to assist us in our struggles in the here and now. That’s a mighty tall order to expect from people we have said our goodbyes to. Like it or not, this is the reason it seems to be such a hard thing to do to explain to people that we do not all go to Valhalla or Folkvangr. Most people end up in the halls of their ancestors. Which is a good place to be. But in all of those examples it means that we no longer need to do anything for them. It’s all about us at that point. What can they do for me. Our ancestors on the other hand engaged in elaborate ritual and temple building, sacrifices and magnificent holidays to make absolutely sure that these important people in our lives knew that they were loved. As much as I hate to say it, I have, and still do, see people believing in their ancestors like a personal Jesus.

Meanwhile, the majority of people are completely oblivious to the flows of energy represented, guided, created and manipulated by our Gods, our ancestors and us. At some point in our faith, we are required to tune in to these same energies so that we might negotiate this path Hel-way.  Something around which almost every aspect of daily life revolved. For us now, it seems to be only in passing.  (Within that paragraph lies the secret to our own godlike abilities.)

Here’s the important question concerning this approach to such a thought process. Is there an outline in the lore of just what that path might look like? Are there markers embedded in the lore which will point out how we might merrily trudge the road to happy destiny while keeping the very essence of the Gods and our ancestors at the forefront of our thinking minds? Is it possible to do so minus the continuous streams of incessant suggestion that our life will be better if we own this or that comfort producing device?  Is it necessary to adopt some foreign faith in order to see this pattern in a clearer light? That is kind of a devil’s advocate question but really, I mean, why not? We have sacrificed every other responsibility for our own existence on this planet to others. Why would this be any different?  But that means two things. One, there will be evidence of such a path in the past. Two, that path may well represent the ability of men to stand up again and proceed forward as the Gods intended. You see, the great truth of all existence is that the path you may be on can be changed with but the simplest of thoughts and a new future will unfold in front of you.

Bryan D Wilton

31 Oct 2018

Emerging From Yggdrasil beginning of Chapter 9

But there is one tale in the lore which sets the stage for a magnificent change in the life of every adherent to Asatru. The Tale of King Gyfli himself. The great tale which relates a plethora of ancient knowledge for us to decipher. For a long time, I probably didn’t think much of it either. But then I read something written by Julian the Apostate. The Roman Emperor who was adamant concerning the return of Paganism to the Empire.

Julian was decidedly against what he called the Galileans. He felt that they pulled the people away from the gods and subsequently themselves. Here is what he wrote which prompted my entire train of thought concerning this book.

Further, that to make oneself like God as far as possible is nothing else than to acquire such knowledge of the essential nature of things as is attainable by mankind, is evident from the following. It is not on the score of abundance of possessions that we count the divine nature happy, nor on the score of any other of those things that are commonly believed to be advantages, but it is because, as Homer says, “The gods know all things”; and indeed he says also of Zeus, “But Zeus was older and wiser.” For it is in knowledge that the gods surpass ourselves. And it may well be that with them also what ranks as noblest is self-knowledge. In proportion then as they are nobler than we in their essential nature, that self-knowledge of theirs is a knowledge of higher things.

Much like I have mentioned in past writings, this is the sentiment written over the entrance to the temple of Apollo at Delphi. The phrase “Know Thyself” is steeped in tradition and esoteric meaning. This legendary phrase was carved into the entrance to the temple and everyone who entered must have read it and wondered what it might mean. When I discovered the meanings of the Runes, I found a deeper sentiment of Julian’s philosophy. One which suggested that this knowledge of all things resides within our very being.

If one were to truly know thyself, what need would he have for an oracle. If anyone had control of his thoughts and thinking process, had tapped into the ability to create the world he wished to live in, what need would he have for someone to tell him what his future holds. To varying degrees, he would be comfortable in his own skin and capable of not only accepting the world as it is, but he might also have the strength of will to make it better. That careful play on words, has, to those who were not initiated, resulted in a thinking process that must be a cornerstone for monotheism. A type of behavior which pulled people away from their Gods, the beings who have been so instrumental in our development, beings who are by many accounts (including this one) our distant ancestors and coerced literally billions of people to begin looking outside of themselves for the knowledge of life. When it has been contained within us for all these long centuries.

The runes are a pattern for every man and woman’s life. When we get to Mannaz, the man become god followed by Laguz the interconnectedness of all things through the energy transferring power of water, Inguz, which means the god seed, Dagaz, the dawning of a new day and Othala or ancestral homeland. The emergence of Lif and Lifthrasir is the awakening of that understanding. The greatest expressions of the divine emanate from those who know themselves. The tale of King Gyfli is the grand tale of a man learning all things from those whose knowledge and thought process allow them to truly shape the world they wish to live in. It shows us very clearly what happens when the thought processes which are not conducive to this effort poison the well.

 

 

  1. King Gylfi ruled the land that men now call Sweden. It is told of him that he gave to a wandering woman, in return for her merry-making, a plow-land in his realm, as much as four oxen might turn up in a day and a night. But this woman was of the kin of the Æsir; she was named Gefjun. She took from the north, out of Jötunheim, four oxen which were the soils of a certain giant and, herself, and set them before the plow. And the plow cut so wide and so deep that it loosened up the land; and the oxen drew the land out into the sea and to the westward, and stopped in a certain sound. There Gefjun set the land, and gave it a name, calling it Selund. And from that time on, the spot whence the land had been torn up is water: it is now called the Lögr in Sweden; and bays lie in that lake even as the headlands in Selund. Thus says Bragi, the ancient skald:

Gefjun drew from Gylfi | gladly the wave-trove’s free-hold,
Till from the running beasts | sweat reeked, to Denmark’s increase;
The oxen bore, moreover, | eight eyes, gleaming brow-lights,
O’er the field’s wide: booty, | and four heads in their plowing.

  1. King Gylfi was a wise man and skilled in magic; he was much troubled that the Æsir-people were so cunning that all things went according to their will. He pondered whether this might proceed from their own nature, or whether the divine powers which they worshipped might ordain such things. He set out on his way to Ásgard, going secretly, and- clad himself in the likeness of an old man, with which he dissembled. But the Æsir were wiser in this matter, having second sight; and they saw his journeying before ever he came, and prepared against him deceptions of the eye. When he came into the town, he saw there a hall so high that he could not easily make out the top of it: its thatching was laid with golden shields after the fashion of a shingled roof. So also says Thjódólfr of Hvin, that Valhall was thatched with shields:

On their backs they let beam, | sore battered with stones,
Odin’s hall-shingles, | the shrewd sea-farers.

In the hall-doorway Gylfi saw a man juggling with anlaces, having seven in the air at one time. This man asked of him his name. He called himself Gangleri, and said he had come by the paths of the serpent, and prayed for lodging for the night, asking: “Who owns the hall?” The other replied that it was their king; “and I will attend thee to see him; then shalt thou thyself ask him concerning his; name;” and the man wheeled about before him into the hall, and he went after, and straightway the door closed itself on his heels. There he saw a great room and much people, some with games, some drinking; and some had weapons and were fighting. Then he looked about him, and thought unbelievable many things which he saw; and he said:

All the gateways | ere one goes out
Should one scan:
For ‘t is uncertain | where sit the unfriendly
On the bench before thee.

He saw three high-seats, each above the other, and three men sat thereon,-one on each. And he asked what might be the name of those lords. He who had conducted him in answered that the one who, sat on the nethermost high-seat was a king, “and his name is Hárr; but the next is named Janhárr; and he who is uppermost is called Thridi.” Then Hárr asked the newcomer whether his errand were more than for the meat and drink which were always at his command, as for every one there in the Hall of the High One. He answered that he first desired to learn whether there were any wise man there within. Hárr said, that he should not escape whole from thence unless he were wiser.

And stand thou forth | who speirest;
Who answers, | he shall sit.

III. Gangleri began his questioning thus: “Who is foremost, or oldest, of all the gods?” Hárr answered: “He is called in our speech Allfather, but in the Elder Ásgard he had twelve names: one is Allfather; the second is Lord, or Lord of Hosts; the third is Nikarr, or Spear-Lord; the fourth is Nikudr, or Striker; the fifth is Knower of Many Things; the sixth, Fulfiller of Wishes; the seventh, Far-Speaking One; the eighth, The Shaker, or He that Putteth the Armies to Flight; the ninth, The Burner; the tenth, The Destroyer; the eleventh, The Protector; the twelfth, Gelding.”

Then asked Gangleri: “Where is this god, or what power hath he, or what hath he wrought that is a glorious deed?” Hárr made answer: “He lives throughout all ages and governs all his realm, and directs all things, great

and small.” Then said Jafnhárr: “He fashioned heaven and earth and air, and all things which are in them.” Then. spake Thridi: “The greatest of all is this: that he made man, and gave him the spirit, which shall live and never perish, though the flesh-frame rot to mould, or burn to ashes; and all men shall live, such as are just in action, and be with himself in the place called Gimlé. But evil men go to Hel and thence down to the Misty Hel; and that is down in the ninth world.” Then said Gangleri: “What did he before heaven and earth were made?” And Hárr answered: “He was then with the Rime-Giants.”

  1. Gangleri said: “What was the beginning, or how began it, or what was before it?” Hárr answered: “As is told in Völuspá:

Erst was the age | when nothing was:
Nor sand nor sea, | nor chilling stream-waves;
Earth was not found, | nor Ether-Heaven,–
A Yawning Gap, | but grass was none.”

Then said Jafnhárr: “It was many ages before the earth was shaped that the Mist-World was made; and midmost within it lies the well that is called Hvergelmir, from which spring the rivers called Svöl, Gunnthrá, Fjörm, Fimbulthul, Slídr and Hríd, Sylgr and Ylgr, Víd, Leiptr; Gjöll is hard by Hel-gates.” And Thridi said: “Yet first was the world in the southern region, which was named Múspell; it is light and hot; that region is glowing and burning, and impassable to such as are outlanders and have not their holdings there. He who sits there at the land’s-end, to defend the land, is called Surtr; he brandishes a flaming sword, and at the end of the world he shall go forth and harry, and overcome all the gods, and burn all the world with fire; thus is said in Völuspá:

Surtr fares from the south | with switch-eating flame,–
On his sword shimmers | the sun of the War-Gods;
The rock-crags crash; | the fiends are reeling;
Heroes tread Hel-way; | Heaven is cloven.”

  1. Gangleri asked: “How were things wrought, ere the races were and the tribes of men increased?” Then said Hárr: “The streams called Ice-waves, those which were so long come from the fountain-heads that the yeasty venom upon them had hardened like the slag that runs out of the fire these then became ice; and when the ice halted and ceased to run, then it froze over above. But the drizzling rain that rose from the venom congealed to rime, and the rime increased, frost over frost, each over the other, even into Ginnungagap, the Yawning Void.” Then spake Jafnhárr: “Ginnungagap, which faced toward the northern quarter, became filled with heaviness, and masses of ice and rime, and from within, drizzling rain and gusts; but the southern part of the Yawning Void was lighted by those sparks and glowing masses which flew out of Múspellheim.” And Thridi said: “Just as cold arose out of Niflheim, and all terrible things, so also all that looked toward Múspellheim became hot and glowing; but Ginnungagap was as mild as windless air, and when the breath of heat met the rime, so that it melted and dripped, life was quickened from the yeast-drops, by the power of that which sent the heat, and became a man’s form. And that man is named Ymir, but the Rime-Giants call him Aurgelimir;

and thence are come the races of the Rime-Giants, as it says in Völuspá the Less:

All the witches | spring from Witolf,
All the warlocks | are of Willharm,
And the spell-singers | spring from Swarthead;
All the ogres | of Ymir come.

But concerning this says Vafthrúdnir the giant:

Out of the Ice-waves | issued venom-drops,
Waxing until | a giant was;
Thence are our kindred | come all together,–
So it is | they are savage forever.”

Then said Gangleri: “How did the races grow thence, or after what fashion was it brought to pass that more men came into being? Or do ye hold him God, of whom ye but now spake?” And Jafnhárr answered: “By no means do we acknowledge him God; he was evil and all his kindred: we call them Rime-Giants. Now it is said that when he slept, a sweat came upon him, and there grew under his left hand a man and a woman, and one of his feet begat a son with the other; and thus the races are come; these are the Rime-Giants. The old Rime-Giant, him we call Ymir.”

  1. Then said Gangleri: “Where dwelt Ymir, or wherein did he find sustenance?” Hárr answered: “Straightway after the rime dripped, there sprang from it the cow called Audumla; four streams of milk ran from her udders, and she nourished Ymir.” Then asked Gangleri: “Wherewithal was the cow nourished?” And Hárr made answer:

“She licked the ice-blocks, which were salty; and the first day that she licked the blocks, there came forth from the blocks in the evening a man’s hair; the second day, a man’s head; the third day the whole man was there. He is named Búri: he was fair of feature, great and mighty. He begat a son called Borr, who wedded the woman named Bestla, daughter of Bölthorn the giant; and they had three sons: one was Odin, the second Vili, the third Vé. And this is my belief, that he, Odin, with his brothers, must be ruler of heaven and earth; we hold that he must be so called; so is that man called whom we know to be mightiest and most worthy of honor, and ye do well to let him be so called.”

Excerpt from the forthcoming “Emerging From Yggdrasil”

Sigurth was there continually with Regin, who said to Sigurth that Fafnir lay at Gnitaheith, and was in the shape of a dragon. He had a fear-helm, of which all living creatures were terrified. Regin made Sigurth the sword which was called Gram; it was so sharp that when he thrust it down into the Rhine, and let a strand of wool drift against it with the stream, it cleft the strand asunder as if it were water. With this sword Sigurth cleft asunder Regin’s anvil. (In some tales, this sword is made from the broken pieces of his fathers sword, given to him by Odin) After that Regin egged Sigurth on to slay Fafnir, but he said:

  1. “Loud will the sons | of Hunding laugh,
    Who low did Eylimi | lay in death,
    If the hero sooner | seeks the red
    Rings to find | than his father’s vengeance.”

It is here where we see Sigurth begin to break away from this nonsense of Regins quest for vengeance and tackle the business of his own ancestors. A unique parallel for those of us shedding the yoke of monotheism. We are beginning to handle our own business again. Minus the tinted glasses we were offered with which those around us insisted we view the world. Many of us are no longer interested in what everyone has told us is important. For some, it was viewed as a living death. For others, it has been a way to function in society as everyone expects. Still others consider it as shackles upon the person they are meant to be.

In every case, the disdain is an ever-intensifying sensation. It resides somewhere at the back of our minds. Though it is difficult to perceive the full magnitude of it. The incessant background noise of constant thoughts, worries, and musing upon the past or the future we have been told is “thinking” is like the background noise of the universe. This noise of our minds, usually put there by everyone around us, makes it very difficult for us to use our minds instead of leaving them on autopilot.

We know there is a path from this mindset, though most of us have a great deal of difficulty in the implementation of such a radical deviation from the current standard in our life and thoughts. This becomes readily apparent the moment we are confronted with a situation we know is part of a mold we are no longer cast from. Almost as if by magic, we find ourselves answering exactly as we have been taught. Fear prevents us from expressing our newfound ideas lest we be labeled as crazy or outcasts of society. Back to the drawing board. How can I stop being this way?  What, or where, is the intervention on my behalf? It is a feeling people both new and old to Asatru deal with on a daily basis.

Each day, we are peeling away another layer of the conditioning we no longer value. And each day we find some new part of the lore that confirms our suspicions. There is a better way. It is hard and may threaten some of the comforts you now enjoy. But I am here to tell you that this lore, which we should all be reading, is that first step in taking care of our own business to become what we are supposed to become. No one or no thing is going to do it for us. At some point, we have got to begin believing that those gifts offered to us long ago are worthwhile in this world.

For Sigurth, in his journey, Gods and Kings come to help him along his way. Just as they come to us from the past to the present via the written words which outline the wisdom of our people. The moment we begin to approach our lives with the proper focus upon ourselves and our development, we uncover the value of who we are. Sigurth has done it by remaining steadfast in his dedication to handling the business of his ancestors, Ottar did so by remaining faithful to Freya, Odin did it by sacrificing himself to himself. Odin picked up the Runes, Sigurth and Ottar both have an encounter with the divine. The benefit of the noble mindset over the shallow greed of our time sheds new light on an ancient path. It is the emergence of life and the love of life into our world. The parallels between what we are doing as we discover the depth of this faith we call Asatru and what we are dealing with as a people in today’s world are not accidental

Let me change, a little, the foundation you think you have about Asatru.

There are so many diverse bits of information concerning the evolution and movements of mankind around the globe that it becomes almost impossible to make one coherent theory out of it. When looking at the whole it, one question comes to mind. Why would I even want too?  The number of academics who have put their professional and accepted image of scholarly importance on the altar of science and summarily sacrificed it is a long one. Some of these ideas seem to be as clear as day, yet the egos of men who wish to dazzle their colleagues with professional white papers to prove how right they are is an ever-present obstacle to creating any kind of clear path to our distant past. Or the knowledge they possessed which allowed them to survive countless planet changing events.

That knowledge is at the crux of it all. What might one do if they figured out how to properly utilize the math, the astronomy, and whatever unknown great science which allowed ancient men to construct great monuments we cannot recreate today? More dangerous is what kind of mindset might the individual man assume once he realizes he needn’t be dependent on someone else for his freedom. Freedom at every level of his being. Mental, Spiritual, Emotional and Physical. So far, the best polytheistic men have been able to accomplish with the pursuit of that knowledge is a shallow, spirituality based reflection of the scientific one. So we use schools of thought and the sects of faith as tools and in that division men are controlled.

Yet every day, some aspect of that ancient knowledge emerges as if the Gods themselves are leaving us a trail of breadcrumbs. A trail which not only brings the great lessons of the past into reach but also the knowledge of how to traverse the landscape of the future. A landscape which history suggests is full of landmines, booby traps and cataclysmic occurrences, any one of which might destroy mankind as effectively as the dinosaurs were.

Think about the cold mornings of winter. When the air temperature is hovering near zero and the wind is still. The stars before dawn seem to be clearer. As the sun begins to emerge on the eastern horizon, all of these things shift from the stillness of night, they begin to come alive, except on these very cold days. Even as the powerful energy of the sun bathes the landscape in gleaming light, refracted in a hundred different ways from the ice crystals, the world remains still. One has to wonder if the mind of man isn’t in the same state of being. On those cold mornings it takes awhile for our thoughts to move forward and in those moments the haze of automatic thinking isn’t as powerful as it is on mornings when the heat of day starts early. But I digress.

In the Voluspa we are told of how the world will end. I think it matches up neatly with the Younger Dryas Comet. Indeed, given the sheer number of these events, it is of no surprise that the Voluspa herself talks of worlds before and we begin to understand the importance of Gods who have the ability to shape the world around them, one of fire and ice, into something worth living in.

Let’s look at what the Voluspa says and the chaos of the Younger Dryas comet. It starts with what could be a reference to the enormous 1000’ tsunami which created the Oregon scablands and many other features created by flooding in the Western United States.

  1. Fast move the sons | of Mim, and fate
    Is heard in the note | of the Gjallarhorn

The sons of Mim are the sons of Mimir, the rivers and water features which cascade from the well beneath Yggdrasil. By itself, this happenstance correlation might be dismissed. But there is more.

  1. Surt fares from the south | with the scourge of branches,
    The sun of the battle-gods | shone from his sword;
    The crags are sundered, | the giant-women sink,
    The dead throng Hel-way, | and heaven is cloven

All over the US, there exists what is referred to as a black matte in the archeological record. All of it above what we know as the Clovis culture. I am sure there are many other cultures erased as well. This mat is the record of the ash from continent-wide wildfires which erupted from the impact of this comet on the Laurentide Ice Sheet.  The record of this impact is all over the Earth and proven by a number of scientific studies. But in this instance, all I can think of is a being fighting the raging forest fires with an elk handled implement to protect his home and all he loves. Frey fighting Surtur with an elk horn. So many great legends have been born this way.  In this destruction of fire and flood perhaps millions of an ancient civilization perished.

It is entirely possible that no record whatsoever might be recorded in an event of this magnitude. But the stories might travel among men at sea and distant lands rich in resources would be remembered. As the glaciers retreated, huge resources of copper would have been exposed in Northern Michigan. The key ingredient of bronze would become available in abundance. A trade route between This area in Canada with a stop in Cornwall for tin would be established. The name of the King in charge of it around 1500 BC is recorded on the Peterborough Petroglyph. These people would not typically go somewhere they didn’t know existed. Would you get on a boat to sail away to certain death? Hardly. What makes anyone think our ancestors would do so?

Yet there is more from the Voluspa and it is not so vague.

  1. The sun turns black, | earth sinks in the sea,
    The hot stars down | from heaven are whirled;
    Fierce grows the steam | and the life-feeding flame,
    Till fire leaps high | about heaven itself

Here we have the reference to the comet itself, as the hot stars are whirled down from heaven itself. Dust, ash, and smoke would turn the sky black and the water from the melting of the great ice sheets would raise the sea level 400’. As we have already stated, covering an area of land equal to Europe and China combined. 10 million square miles. The great fires are mentioned again. Interestingly enough, this is all occurring in an area where Kennewick man was killed 2000 years later.

By itself, all of this information has the potential to provide an archeological foundation for Asatru which goes well beyond the Viking age. But the important thing to remember is that occurrences of this magnitude have happened hundreds of times in the last 150,000 years. The entire epoch of man as we know him on Earth. The most important thing the Voluspa is telling us is that there have been civilizations before and Odin is reminding us that if we follow the example of the Aesir, we have what it takes to make it through another such event. It is a cycle and the sons of Gods who make it through to become rulers in their own right.

  1. Now do I see | the earth anew
    Rise all green | from the waves again;
    The cataracts fall, | and the eagle flies,
    And fish he catches | beneath the cliffs.
  2. The gods in Ithavoll | meet together,
    Of the terrible girdler | of earth they talk,

And the mighty past | they call to mind,
And the ancient runes | of the Ruler of Gods.

  1. In wondrous beauty | once again
    Shall the golden tables | stand mid the grass,
    Which the gods had owned | in the days of old,

  2. Then fields unsowed | bear ripened fruit,
    All ills grow better, | and Baldr comes back;
    Baldr and Hoth dwell | in Hropt’s battle-hall,
    And the mighty gods: | would you know yet more?
  3. Then Hönir wins | the prophetic wand,
    And the sons of the brothers | of Tveggi abide
    In Vindheim (Hall of Wind) now: | would you know yet more?
  4. More fair than the sun, | a hall I see,
    Roofed with gold, | on Gimle it stands;
    There shall the righteous | rulers dwell,
    And happiness ever | there shall they have.
  5. There comes on high, | all power to hold,
    A mighty lord, | all lands he rules.

That great ruler is Baldur. The one son who traveled the pathway of the dead, who shed his boyish ways and accepted the path of becoming a man.

So much is included in this idea of rebirth one can hardly wrap their minds around it.  Hropt and Baldur residing in peace in Odin’s battle hall (Valhalla) means it is a time of peace. One much like the time when Asgard was created. How many great empires have we studied to see this happen again and again? Rome, Greece, Ghengis Khan, Babylon, Goths, Hittites? Every single great empire we know of has risen and fell. For the most part, we are narcissistic enough to believe that it was the actions and attitudes of men who brought about these great failures. But more and more the evidence lends itself to these great catastrophes. Hagalaz is much more than just a hailstone from a thunderhead. It is the radical change of the very shape of the world.  From it empires are created and destroyed. Our lore is the reminder of that cycle, but it is also instruction so that the very important information of our being is not lost through these calamities. That this spark of the divine might move forward through time if we have the courage to develop them and protect them like the treasures they are.

So let’s get on with what that instruction might really be and build a foundation for a faith which moves men forward instead of holding them back.

From this simple chapter a great book is emerging.

During the middle ages there was a mini ice age. Two of them which we know about in our recorded history of Europe. One we might surmise about from a story in the lore of Asatru. In around 320 a Swedish king, Domaldr Visburrsson was sacrificed. For three long years his kingdom had endured multiple failures of agriculture. Famine and his companions became common guests in the villages of this kingdom. Most certainly death made itself well known in this hard time.  This was not what we know as the Middle Ages, these were the Dark Ages.

The council of chieftains came together, and they resolved to sacrifice oxen. This is a great sacrifice indeed in a country suffering the failure of agriculture and hunger. The second year they sacrificed men, an even more powerful sacrifice. One which speaks to the desperation of the people that the best efforts of men who could work the fields might be better employed to entreat the gods on their behalf. In the third year, it was decided in the most crucial of times that the king himself should seek the gods on behalf of his people and he was sacrificed. Following this. the country returned to prosperity. 200 years later we find a similar tale. And we also find a reason for it.

The little ice age cooling of the 6th century. Between 536 and 544 CE, there is a record of a dramatic atmospheric event which caused severe hardship upon the inhabitants of Northern Europe.  Couple that with Saxon invasions. People seeking new resources of their own during this time and you have a great need for a hero. This information was first given to us in the great Arthurian myths penned in around 830 CE by the monk Nennius. He records this legend of King Arthur and the Grail Quest and it is here along with Beowulf that we find the evidence of monotheism poisoning the well so to speak.

The grail quest was a quest to heal the king and the land. Both had been suffering. The king had a wound which would not heal. The land was suffering as well. For weeks at a time the sun would not shine. Clouds covered the sky and crops could not grow. It was a cold time. A time of hunger and the loss of crops. Famine and weakness befell the kingdom. The stories do not become prominent in the written record until over 300 years after they were coined by Nennius.  This is the time when the great cathedrals were under construction and Adam of Bremen had begun his legendary collection of writings.  About 1130 to 1280 these stories about Arthurian days were fully fleshed out as stories to cement the transition from wounded pagans to whole and healthy Christians. They were committed to paper and became legend.

You see, the land had succumbed to blight, it had become a wasteland. They needed divine intercession. He was sick and in decline, and the land reflected that. If one were to take an honest look at society, one might be tempted to conclude that it is a wasteland every time you step outside your front door.  Be that as it may, men were at the mercy of the environment and there were no Gods stepping forth to change it for them this time. The honor of a king sacrificing himself might have been a thing of the past by now. But it was a perfect time for King to sell out to the conquering faith.

But let’s take a look at the environment of that time. I think that the underlying wisdom of our lore sets us up and squarely puts us in the unique position to reclaim that knowledge and survive a world which doesn’t always abide by our pragmatic, engineering controls. There is science to support this. Dendrochronologists have studied this time and during the grail quest for 8 or 10 years, Mike Bailey has shown that serious global cooling was occurring and as a result tree growth stopped. Weeks at a time the sun was not visible. There were multiple collapses of harvests. The people were malnourished. Then famine set in. People developed weakened immune systems and the luxuries of ancient civilizations such as running water fell by the wayside. As a result, in 542 CE we see the eruption of disease in the form of the Justinian plague. Cold, the collapse of agriculture and then plague.

It took Europe 300 years to recover from that.  The medieval warm period around 900 Ad allowed the sea ice began to retract and the sea lanes opened again. The peoples of Northern Europe took advantage of this with sailing routes to Greenland, Iceland, Great Britain and the Americas. Agriculture rebounded. With a surplus of food, economies began to strengthen. When a society has lots of food, people increased in height 4 or 5 inches from the dark ages.

Now there was wealth and the population expanded. After 150 years of warmth. European society began building cathedrals, thousands of well-trained craftsmen worked on this activity. All of this shows up in a geologic instant. Who organized this? Who trained the craftsman? This glorious consequence of the expansion of wealth from warm weather. Christianity took advantage of this unique and very cyclical occurrence and has long been hailed as the savior of Europe. And then it stopped. In the early 1300’s. At that time was the onset of the little ice age.  Once again, we have an agricultural lapse, famine and finally, the black plague strikes wiping out another 1/3rd of Europe.

The sad thing is that when these plagues strike they affect two parts of a society. The young and the old. The old possess the knowledge of how to train the young. Who knows what very valuable information we may have lost from the devastating effects of a plague-ridden Europe.  In all of these instances, there is evidence of a comet, changing the atmosphere of the planet. The ancient people referred to these comets and meteorites as “hailstones”.  What your understanding of the ruin Hagalaz is, is about to change. If you consider Solar Flares and Volcanoes, one begins to see how tenuous our grip on life on this planet truly is.

But this type of cycle occurred in other areas of the world as well. While everyone is aware of the fall of Rome around 456 AD. few people are cognizant of the fall of Egypt in 1177 or 1186 depending on the archeologist you speak with. The standard line has always been that it was the sea peoples. But new studies done by Eric Kline in his book 1177 points out that there were several civilizations alongside Egypt which created a world economy. As this trade route was interrupted there are written records of what happened. A drought which lasted 300 years. There is also evidence of a comet strike near southern modern-day Iraq. The sea-peoples’ invaders were actually refugees. These boats were filled with families as well as warriors. As the Minoans, Canaanites, Hittites and many others fell by the wayside, other city states began to rise. Egypt, though, never truly recovered. The trade route for tin from Afghanistan and copper from Turkey fell into disuse and wasn’t truly recovered until Alexander the great 1100 years later.

If we go back even further in time to the reign of Akhenaten, with his Grand Vizier Thutmoses, (who we know as Moses, which means “son of”) we see in documents literally around the world of a red disc in the sky with 10 tails beaming down at the planet. From China to Egypt, there are written records of a light in the sky brighter than the moon and rivaling the sun. This coincides with the birth of monotheism. And when Akhenaten freed a group of people who were Semites and the volcano at Santorini erupted, you have a ready-made case for monotheism to stick as it were. Such was the birth of Judeo-Christian belief.

In the meantime, further north, one great king of Sweden began to gather his copper from Michigan and his Tin from Cornwall. This was beautifully written out on a rock from the bronze age in Canada at Peterborough.  A world economy indeed. You see, there is a big picture.  It is a much bigger picture than we currently imagine.

For centuries, mankind has struggled to focus in on this kaleidoscope of information. A whirling pattern of pertinent information from the latest scientific or religious evidence concerning life on earth. Yet the lens with which this effort has been viewed is of the wrong integrity. It is a grainy and tinted lens forged in the fires of men’s egos and the righteous indignation of monotheistic belief. The answers to our questions, the cure for our amnesia as a species is to be found in our mythology. For the follower of Asatru, Lif and Lifthrasir are represented as our lore. For us to understand the dynamic, yet information which will shatter the foundations of a world we have largely left behind; it is of the utmost importance that we view it all as a people who practice the faiths which make the world around us sacred again. We will not survive the future falls of civilizations with this very valuable body of learning intact, or ourselves and way of life, if we do not.

Because the evidence is very powerful that time and again this planet and the peoples on it have had to rebuild from disasters of cosmic proportion. But what if they could not?  What if the impact was severe enough that more than one civilization was wiped out and important technologies seemingly lost? The comet impact of the Younger Dryas provides just such an occurrence. And it does so in the foundation of archeological thought.

At the end of the last Glacial maximum roughly 12800 YA there was a sudden warming, followed by a sudden cooling that threw us right back into a period of glaciation 11,300 YA. All over the Earth, there is evidence that a comet struck the Laurentide ice sheet. The strike literally wiped out anything which might have existed in 6 western states. It caused Lake Bonneville to create the Snake River Canyon, it caused the Veles volcanic crater to fill up and burst its caldera wall, it created a tidal wave of ice and water which swept across the Pacific Northwest which was 1250’ high. Similar Events were occurring in the Dakotas and present-day Minnesota from the same comet. The sea levels rose 400’ and the archeological evidence of over 10 million sq. miles of coastline was eradicated. That’s the size of China and Europe.  Imagine what might be found there.  35 genera went extinct on the North American continent, including the Clovis culture. At the same time all this happening, there are continent-wide wildfires burning everything down. Above every Clovis culture site, there is a layer of black created by the ash of this fire.

If you consider the Solutrean Hypothesis, where Europeans migrated across the North Atlantic, you end up with an archeological argument that has no real reason to justify this movement of people. The economy might be one, but it is much more likely that the Solutrean Hypothesis is backwards. It is a group of refugees fleeing a continent-wide destruction on a level we might only see in a movie. Hopefully.

Look at this list and timeline of comet impacts on planet earth in recent history and consider some of the changes I’ve referenced above.

THE 14,300 BC STRIKE  16,300 YA

THE 12,945 BC STRIKE – 14,945 YA

THE 11,600 BC STRIKE – 13,600 YA

THE 11,000 BC STRIKE- 13,000 YA

THE 10,600 BC STRIKE – 12,600

THE 9,600 BC STRIKE  – 11,600 YA

THE 8,300 BC STRIKE – 10,300 YA

THE 7,800 BC STRIKE – 9,800 YA

THE 6,800 BC STRIKE – 8,800 YA

THE 6,200 BC STRIKE – 8,200 YA

THE 5,600 BC STRIKE – 7,600 YA

THE 5,000 BC STRIKE – 7,000 YA

THE 4,500 BC STRIKE – 6,500 YA

THE 3,500 BC STRIKE – 5,500 YA

THE 3,000 BC STRIKE – 5,000 YA

THE 2,350 BC STRIKE –  4,350 YA

THE 1,600 BC STRIKE –  3,600 YA

THE 1,200 BC STRIKE –  3,200 YA (Birth of Monotheism)

THE 200 BC STRIKE –  2,200 YA

THE 500 AD STRIKE – 1,500 YA

THE 1,000 AD STRIKE – 1,000 YA

THE 1,500 AD STRIKE – 500 YA

 

Given the sheer volume of these impacts and the catastrophic damage each impact has caused, it may well be time to re-examine the entirety of what we think the rune Hagalaz means.  But what purpose would that serve?  The remainder of this book will try to answer that question.