By Goði, Dr. Casper Odinson Cröwell, 1519-CCG, Holy Nation of Odin

Long ago in the Land of the Midnight Sun, whence came our Fathers’ fathers, and their fathers before them. The Folk had assembled around the hearth in many a’ hall when did Skóll chase Sunna with a fierceness.  And the cold dark of Nótt reigned for half of the Jera (year).  Enthralled, they sat about hall and hearth and hung upon every word which had escaped the Skald of the moment’s lips, as he masterfully weaved a colorful tapestry of the olden lore with expertise.

Of life’s creation and end would he sing.  And of great and mighty Gods and Goddesses too!  And the awful and awesome feats of battle and the truly brave souls whom they gathered up to their holy halls, upon their passing over the Bifrost Bridge, from Midgard to Asgard.  Such tales of heroics and adventure swelled many chests with Norse-Teutonic pride and emboldened many to shun the quiet and content life in lieu of great and often peril filled adventure, too rich with reward to be recounted here.  Such a career of romantic adventure would no doubt be brutal and vicious more oft than not and life itself could be counted on to be cut harshly short just as oft.  Such were the welcomed risks and hazards, and such rich accounts of these adventurous feats would captivate the attention and ignite the souls of our folk without end.  And so it remains today, among us, their descendants.  And Gods, Norns and Ourselves willing, it shall remain thus for millennia yet to come!

Several, if not nearly all of our beloved myths and lore, exhibit a reoccurring nature. What I mean to say is that while these tales are set within a given timeline and geographical locale, the very crux of the tale is yet a rendition of a moral or ethical lesson in the offing.  Each one is so much more than a mere vehicle in which to advance an enthralling tale.  And just as with the moral lesson of our Ancestors’ day, were encrypted into the myths, they were designed as such and remain just as valid today, in concert with the very virtues which our Ancestors held to be so necessary to their sense of community, society, civic and social duty and responsibility.

You see, more oft than not, our Faith/Religion/Lifestyle this day seems to attract a large amount of folks whom view it as “The Viking” religion whereby its Thew (virtue) of ‘Freedom’, to their way of thinking, seems to imply that life is just a big party of drunkenness and fighting!  Where one may live a life of reckless abandon devoid of guilt, or concern for one’s own actions or the consequences attached thereto said actions.

But a glance at reality as it truly existed and continues to exist today, will illuminate the genuine concerns which face our Faith, Folk and Future.  To begin with, while the Viking Age (ca. 793 CE to 1100 CE) certainly provides us with a window into a very romantic and adventurous period of our Ancestral history, which indeed blazed new trails across both land and sea and left their indelible fingerprints upon new world settlements and colonies as well as modern social inventions and reform, we cannot, “Must Not”, dismiss the fact that it was the latter part of this era and our very own Ancestors whom peopled it, which began miscegenation (Race Mixing) in foreign lands, disregarding the sound compacts of Norse-Teutonic Law and ushered in the complete and near total breakdown of our Ancestral Faith/Religion, which up till that age had endured for millennia past!  By selling out to the church in Rome, our indigenous Gods and Faith were nearly lost to us for evermore!  In contrast with the Viking Age, the Germanic Tribal Era, often referred to as the Barbaric Age (ca. 300 BCE to 400 CE) had flourished with morality and accountability as the order of the day.  Teutonic-Norse chivalry ruled the roost and the notion of betraying one’s own people/folk or that which they as a folk/people, owed their very existence to (their Gods and the laws of natural order), would have been absurd, unnatural and sacrilege to say the least.  The bloodline, Odal Lands and Gods of our folk at this time were held in the highest esteem and wielded the most paramount importance!

These hearty ancestors abhorred the Romans and their whoredom of an Empire even centuries prior to the birth of the Jew, Jesus and the advent of Christ­ianity in his name.  Let us not forget the stalwart Cheruskan Chieftain, Herman and the epic battle of Teutoburgerwald, wherein Herman and his host of German Tribesmen whom were gravely outnumbered by three Roman Legions, had soundly defeated Varus and his entire host at Kalkriese in the year 9 Common Era;  Ever saving both Faith and Folk from the moral corruption of Rome.  Sadly so, our own ancestors in positions of power over the Tribes and Clans of our folk, sold out both our faith and our folk to the church in Rome in the 11th Century Common Era, which history has otherwise afforded the dubious distinction of being the end of the “Viking Age”, as it were.

What had led to such social breakdowns, en mass, that such a good and noble way of life could be purchased by the church and sold out by our ancestors? Disregard for honorable virtue, lack of accountability, unchecked substance abuses (alcoholism) of the day and plain ol’ greed… That’s what!  The living became the living dead.  Aryan souls were bought and sold with a frequency.  The Gods were replaced with greed for outland gold, power and lust for that which was foreign to their indigenous nature and lifestyle.

The old lore tells us that upon the death of a loved one, the family has a duty to cut the dead’s nails upon his/her fingers and toes so that the ship Naglfar (ON: Nail ship, or Ship of the dead) could not be completed any time soon, and thereby staving off Ragnarok!  Naglfar is made from the finger and toe nails of the recently departed dead and that this ship will ferry the Sons of Múspell (the Brood of the damned) to Vigrid Plain for the great and final battle ‘twixt the forces of good and evil (Christian interpretation) or chaos and order (Norse-Teutonic interpretation). The Battle to end all battles pitting the Gods, Einherjar (Dead & Living) against the Army of the Damned, led by Loki.

Upon this ship of fools are the traitors and those whom sought to kill off our faith and folkways and traditions.  Those oath breakers whom swore to protect and defend both our faith and folk.  This hideous army of the damned will face the Gods and their host of noble and virtuous Einherjar and Valkyrjar.  Those who follow with pleasure, Loki and his brood, shall find their selves upon this ship of fools.  Those who said; “All for me!”, and “Me first and damned the consequences!”  Their reservations await.

And those wretched souls shall be gathered from all eras ever more, including the 2llst Century and beyond, right up to the time of Ragnarok.

Ragnarok occurs, in miniature, on a continuum throughout our lives.  Any whom are destined for Valhalla at this point, may find themselves boarding Naglfar, if they fail to keep their feet upon the Northern Road and continue to honor their sacred oaths. And any bound for Naglefar at this point, still may correct their pernicious attitudes and behavior and alter their reservations for the ship of fools and instead, board Skidbladnir (Frey’s ship – the very best of ships) which may ferry the souls of the good hearted and virtuous, to the great battle, those whom are destined to assume their place, upon death, among the Eihnherjar and Valkyrjar.  The point is, it is never too late to cease negative, selfish and irresponsible behavior while one is alive… One may always find the Road North, atone, and secure one’s own place among one’s own folk.

Assume an attitude of service to your faith and folk, before you seek to serve your own desires.  Consider the cost and consequences of your actions upon yourself, your family and your folk. Always inquire of yourself; “Is this a noble act?” “Will it bring rewards or consequences to myself, my faith and my folk?”  These are queries which should always be predominant in every Odinist’s mind.

Just because a man, or woman wears a Hammer around their neck does not make them an “Atheling” (a Noble person), merely because they call themselves Odinist, or Ásatrúar. There are plenty of “Níthlings” (Ignoble) out there with Hammers around their necks and claiming our sacred and beloved Gods as there own as well.  Believe me when I attest that I have made the acquaintance of more than a few in my sixty-one years upon Midgard!

Decisions regarding one’s life, faith and one’s responsibilities in concert with family, faith and folk, should be arrived at freely and with a sound and open mind, heart and soul.  One would indeed be wise to consider all harm or benefit regarding thus.

Conversely, one should not stave off what one knows to be just and noble in lieu of doing what pleases or feels good for one, at the expense of one’s family, faith and folk.  And then seeking to justify such behavior as the virtue of “Freedom”, while historically, albeit erroneously so, pointing to the Viking Age; or equally as erroneous, believing that they have plenty of time to change later.  For one can never know before hand just when the Gods will gather them up to them, or when the thin thread of the Norns will break!  Gods forbid, that upon such a reckoning the first words one hears be; “All aboard the Naglfar!”

Study the old lore: the myths, sagas and chronicles, for they are indeed ripe with morals, ethics and virtues which sustained our Ancestors in harsh and trying times. They are the voices of both Gods and Ancestors which have traveled millennia to us today, and their wisdom and wit is ever a blueprint and repository of righteousness which we, their descendants, may employ in this current Wolf’s Age.  Just as our forbearers had intended each following generation to employ them.  Honor them by visiting them often and taking measures to ensure that our faith and folk will survive yet another millennium!

And don’t forget to clip the nails of our dearly departed prior to burning, or burial.  For every bit as important to staving off Ragnarok, is the honor­ing of our ancient ancestral traditions. When a folk/people honors and respects their heritage and cultural traditions, their folk continues to live on no matter whom endeavors to destroy us.  Heil Allfather Odin! Ves Heil, ok Fara með Odin. Ok, megi Goðanum blessi þig allur.

Odin með oss!!!

I remain in service to and in Frið and fraternal solidarity with thee.

“Striking a blow for justice is the way of Thor, Tyr and Forseti.  Albeit, deliberately striking the wrong designation is the providence of tyranny!”  – Goði, Casper Odinson Cröwell, Ph.D., DD