(A Religious Perspective)

By Dr. Casper Odinson Cröwell, 1519-CCG

Earlier this day, Harvald Odinson and myself were discussing the complexities surrounding the realities of the Germanic (Norse-Teutonic) myths, as it were. Harvald had posited that the myths point out that the Valkyries were/are led by Freya, yet Odin is their father. So, he queried of me, who is their rightful and correct leader?

This of course led us to converse upon several differences within many of the myths; i.e. if Freya gets to choose half of the battle slain, how then does one know who makes it to Valhalla contra who makes it to Freya’s hall at Folkvangr? Such complexities require anywhere from many years of exhaustive study of the myths, to a lifetime of cumulative said field of lore and myth. Ive long since come to realize that anyone whom believes themselves to possess all the answers has long since suffered an arrested state of progress regarding such. That asserted, what follows is the sum, thus far, of my own nearly forty years of research and meditations regarding the subject at hand.

Initially, we would all do well to consider that what constitutes the corpus of our ancestral mythology of the Gods and Folk of the Aryan Tribes, most certainly did not occur all at once. Nor were they committed to text by a single writer or in any single period. Ergo, just because our myths arrive from our illustrious past, packaged or bound in a single volume, or in the case of one, Jacob Grimm, several volumes, should not infer that they came down to us from a single era, or geographical locale. For any such inference would indeed be erroneous.

What constitutes the body of the Norse-Teutonic myths within the full scope of their entirety, most certainly had come about over the span of millennia. To be even more precise, those which we identify, albeit erroneously so, as the Viking Age myths, are in fact a product of several different clans, tribes and Folk which comprised the Aryan phylum, and over the breadth of myriad generations as well as geographical value within the vicinity of both Northern and Western Europe.  To wit, in Southern Germany, the two distinct Goddesses; Frigga/Fricka and Freya/Freyja, were considered to be one and the same in days of yore. While in most probably, all other areas, they each assumed their own unique identities. Yet, a further example, albeit this one as a matter of time and generation span, as opposed to geographical in character, is that of the God and patriarch of the Vanir (Earth, water and fertility deities), Njörd. The farther back we trace the origins of this God, he had, by some scholarly accounts, evolved from first, Goddess (Nerthus=Mother Earth) only to achieve transformation as a gender neutral (Hermaphrodite) God/Goddess. This may be due in large part to the quality of the gender role which both male and female must play in a concerted effort to produce new life within the grand scheme of natural order. Hence, we may easily arrive at our ancestors perspective of the dual (God/Goddess) persona of Njord/Nerthus as fertility deity. Eventually, the two deities assume gender specific roles as the God and Goddess of fertility and ultimately, Njörd goes on to assume the station of primacy and thereafter sires the twins Frey and Freya, both deities of fertility and the sexual desire required to procreate.

Now when we factor into the equation, geography as well as generation span, we may descry not only a distinct separation betwixt Njörd and Nerthus, but we may additionally bear witness to the plethora of names ascribed to the Goddess of the very one and the same role as Earth mother/Goddess, to wit; Ertha, Erda, Erde, Ercce, Fjörgyn, Hlódyn, Jörd, etc., etc., etc., all of which are synonymous with Nerthus.

In this vein of example, the same may be posited in regards to variations in name, albeit, in the main they are more oft than not, linguistic only in nature. To wit, Odin, Oðinn, Odhin, Othin, Woden, Wodan, Wotan, Wutan, Wuotan, Wednes, etc., etc., etc.. And Thor, Tor,þórr, Donnar, Donar, Donner, Donnor, Thunaer,Thunor, Thunar, Thurs, etc.. And Tyr, Tiw, Tiwaz, Ziu, Tiuz, Tues, etc.. Such a study in semantics regarding names, nature and character in conjunction with geographical differences and time span, is and always will be an exhaustive one.

Next, we must consider that as a history addressing our myths, we are still in our infancy in as much as the history of research of Germanic mythology commences with the onset of the 19th century (see Dictionary of Northern Mythology by Rudolf Simek). The Codex Regius which is the very manuscript whence came the Poetic, or Elder Edda, is the very heart of our myths, both religiously and recorded. It is the oldest known compilation of the myths and its exact age is unknown and may not be dated with any certainty since the many vellum pages were composed over the breadth of time spanning the multitude of ages. These stories of ancestral lore were verbally passed from one generation to the next for incalculable ages whereby the time of their actual recording in print is most assuredly lost to the recess of history. As a matter of historical chronology, the myriad of velihm sheets which comprise the Poetic (Elder) Edda, which themselves were composed over an unknown yet certainly wide range of time, were compiled as an actual manuscript circa 1150 Common Era. However, it was not until 1275 CE that it was produced as the Codex Regius of Eddic Poems. Conversely, Snorri Sturluson composed his Edda (the Prose or Younger Edda) circa 1220 CE. He also authored the famous Heimskringla and is believed to have been the author of Egils Saga, as well.

Since the 18th century, numerous volumes by equally as many authors, have been composed on/about the Germanic (Norse-Teutonic) myths, and each author has in turn, interjected his/her own influence and interpretation in the rendering of eachs own account of the epic and heroic myths.

Upon such considerations, we must add yet another to the equation. That being that all of these volumes have beencomposed as an effort or study in mythological history, as a form of entertainment or as a primer to understand the ancestral pagan-heathen religious state of mind. But never have any of these works been composed with the deliberate intent, or from the vantage point of a surviving and ‘Living’ religion, or spiritual philosophy. Which is exactly what our ancestors did and it must be kept in mind when considering the ages in which these stories were told and retold by word of mouth, as they had been passed down until they were eventually chronicled by the hands of Christian monks upon the very vellum pagesfrom which ancestral, albeit Christian scholars would eventually compile the volume(s) that would be named/called the Eddas which are the source of what we today know as the Germanic Myths.

Given the myriad of clans and tribes, eras/time span and migration, locale and geographical variations, it can be no wonder that so many differences have appeared from what once may have been the same story in certain instances. Be that as it may, there is always the common denominator, if you will. The kernel of similarity (and truth?) which reoccurs within the variations of the myths. That is the common denominator and one of the primary points of authority which we have available to guide us in our own quest.

Next, we must take into account that unlike the chroniclers and scholars of our myths, we actually live the religiosity of these tales of virtue, character traits, morality, honor, loyalty, Folkways, etc., as they have

come down to us and yet survive!

In actually ‘’Living’ this spirituality, we enjoy a relationship with our Gods and Ancestors. We are connected with and to them, where others are disconnected. And as thus, they speak to us through our blood/DNA and

ancestral memories.

There are many confusables within the corpus of our myths, upon initial consideration. But further, advanced and extensive study of our myths, lore and Sagas will guide you well like a true compass always leading you north toward the home of our Gods and Ancestors. It will enable one to unravel

the mysteries (Rúna) and the tangle of any confusion. And, in the end, isnt that what any spiritual quest, journey or pilgrimage is all about?

So then, what of my reply to Harvald‘’s query? Who is the leader of the Valkyries? Why, Allfather Odin, of course. Yes, it is so that beautiful Freya is the leader of the Valkyrie host, which both she and Allmother Frigga are counted among as well. However, she, as well as all of the Æsir and Vanir, submit to Odin as do children to their father (Prose Edda; Gylfaginning 19 – 20).

And if Freya gets to choose half of all battle slain, how does one know that one will go to Odins hall; Valhalla, or to Freyas hall; Sessrumnir at Fólkvangr? Well, once again, upon exhaustive study of our myths and lore, one may descry that such an allusion must be associated with those who may have been followers of the Gods in general, or perhaps even Thor, Tyr, Frigga, Frey, etc.. For Odin shall claim the souls dedicated to him! No matter how they die. Any who are initiated unto his ways, Gothar (priests & priestesses), or his warriors, those whom rightly wear the Valknut, the Valkyries even those slain to him in sacrifice, shall he alone claim! In the Heimskringla, chapter eight of the Saga of Ynglings, Odin says that all who are cremated (a funeral rite of those dedicated to Odin), shall arrive in Valhalla, and with whatever riches or possessions that are burnt with thee.

In sum, these analogies are mythological in association with the Eddas, our lore and Sagas. However one elects to view them in reality based upon metaphysics, metaphors, Theology, Theosophy, Philosophy, or even quite literally, is up to each man/woman whom adheres to Fundamental Odinism as a religion/spiritual path.

For my own part, I employ extensive research and endless study of our myths, lore, Sagas, history as a Folk/People and race in concert with lengthy (sometimes very prolonged; days, weeks even a month) silent meditation. Additionally, I fully exercise traditional ritual practice (observe Holy Rites), Runic application and of course, my own personal relationship with our Gods and ancestors. But above all, our father, Allfather Odin/Wotan.

May he bless you well in your own journey North and may our Folk of the Aryan Tribes always know his venerable name and his victory. Heil Allfather Odin! And heil the Gods and our noble Folk, in his name!!!

I remain yours in service and fraternal solidarity for the 14 WORDS.

Megi Oðin blessi þig allur, ok fara með Goðanum!

“What then shall they say of us one day as they stand b’fore the memory stones, our posterity? That we stood fast in our ways and defense of their right to ‘be’, with honor! Or shall they cast their glance downward in shame and with quiet voices, as they recount how ‘WE’, their ancestors, nearly cost them their right to be, with our lack of unity and refusal to band together with iron bonds of fraternal solidarity! Only the Norns know the final outcome. But each one of us knows within the measure of our hearts, just what we are or arent willing to do for our descendants yet unborn.

– Casper Odinson Cröwell, Ph.D., DD