“Neun nachten im Ernte”

(Nine nights in Harvest)

By Goði, Dr. Casper Odinson Cröwell, 1519-CCG

Hereafter, committed to print, for the sake of both insight today to those concerned, and for posterity tomorrow for those who are brave enough to seek, follows the meditative musings of myself, the Herjan of the Sons of Odin, 1519-Vinland Kindred, for your perusal.  These of course occur in the form of journal entries as they did in fact transpire over the course of nine days and nights of silence and fasting in some instances, during the initiatory period known as “Odin’s Ordeal”, which of course spans the breadth of nine days/nights in the month of August.  This is a deeply meditative journey which is capable of yielding truly profound results wherefore insight is at issue!  And while I have been traveling the road of shadows for little less than three decades now, each year’s new journey has continued to provide me with great intellectual wealth.  This year was no exception, and it was truly anything other than pedestrian…  The Odroerir yet once more, have I consumed!

Odinsdagr 17, Harvest 2255 RE

(17, August 2005 CE)              

                        Day one

(Wednesday 8/17/05 CE)

            And so it begins, another year on that Holy and Sacred Tree, the path less trod.  Another initiation reserved for the stalwart and noble character.  None but the truly brave dare tread this dark road in search of the light.  Only those with honest thoughts, who dare not look away from what reality shows them, may hope to approach the ancient well.  Only those stout of heart will peer deep and long into its cold, clear water, and only those truly initiated will descry his eye looking up at thee from the depths of Mim’s well!

            But not without sacrifice will any see the Drighten’s face, nor hear his voice on the wind.  The ordeal is at hand…what will I see this year?  Has the storm abated, or dost the tempest’s fury rage yet with the might of the burning pyre?

            I step forth now on this first day of nine, eagerly and without pause, knowing all too well, that in my endeavor to sacrifice myself to myself, do I honor the All-Father, my father!  And with this holy act do I anticipate spying his face in the reflections of my mind.  I stand ready, ready to embrace this ordeal with passion and an undeniable thirst for yet another draught of Odroerir!  I ascend the holy ash of Ygg and eagerly await the coming storm.

Thorsdagr 18, Harvest 2255 RE                                                                                 Day two

            I have awakened before the dawn, it will be sometime yet before Sunna smiles this day.  And so, I sit in the early hours of the dark and silent morn, resigned to the loudness of my own ruminations.  But are they in fact “my” own?  Or are they not to be attributed to the old Sage himself?  I can hear the distant echoes of a thunder which none save for myself can hear.  It vaguely reveals itself to my awareness, calling out to me whence it has come.  Its origin rooted in that which is ancient and nourished by the Laguz of Urd’s well!

            Soon, my senses will be assaulted by the cacophony of Loki’s laughter as this place comes to life!  Such is the torment of residence in Fetter Grove.  Fjolsvidr’s echo will however, permeate my mind and drowned out the din of the day and the music of Thor’s chariot will keep Laufey’s son at bay as I hang upon the tree and send hither and tither my mind, in search of that sacred echo which travels the sanguine highway of millennia past…Hail Odin!

Later same day –

            It begins with a desire really.  To comprehend the ideas and language of great masters of thought; Nietzsche, Wagner, da Vinci, Edison, Grimm, Machiavelli, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Herodotus, Franklin, Jefferson, Twain, Whitman, Yeats, Kipling, Patton, and so very many more!  The ghosts of these men have been my dearest companions for so many years now.  They have goaded me on to higher idealism and aspirations.  They have witnessed my struggles, watched me stumble and demanded that I get up and refuse to yield to defeat!  I have heard them all in my darkest hours; “Pity naught thyself, ye of noble heart and character, for self pity is a whore, a pining thief and she will rob thou of thine senses!”

            I seek to join the social order of these sage men, though I dare not assume the pompous air of arrogance in thinking myself worthy as of yet, though I forge on ahead.  The wise are never sated, their thirst for knowledge and wisdom shant ever respect the bounds which confine the mundane and complacent minds of the masses…  Not ever!

            Heil to those great thinkers, for are they not all, each one, but incarnations of Odin himself?  Made manifest in the shapes of these men’s minds?  And thereby bestowing veracity to the fact that the All-Father is often-wandering among us.

            He is here, with me now, this very moment.  And I shall wax from our intell­ectual exchange.  The wind begins to rock the tree and I rejoice in the fruits of sacrifice.

Friggasdagr 19, Harvest 2255 RE                                                                              Day three

            It is day three of the Ordeal and the resonations of my last words two days ago have now receded into the silence.  Sunna’s ascension over the Sierra Nevada Mountains this morn was a magnificent and wondrous sight to behold!  It is just after 6:30 a.m. and soon this place will explode with the sound of prison life, and like a great beast, it will tear this sacred silence asunder.  Today is also the third day of the Festival of Runes, and it concen­trates on battling the ego this day, in an effort to achieve victory by sacrificing self to self.  This particular guest far exceeds the parameters of this day for me however.  For I seek to slay my ego daily, for it is the only thing which stand in the way of one’s own progress.  Tiwaz (ᛏ ) is the runic key for unlocking the door which would otherwise oppose success…to invoke its power is just not enough, one must become it wholly, and so I do.  This day I shall know the victory I seek.  Heil All-Father Odin!

Lagaurdagr 20, Harvest 2255 RE                                                                               Day four

            Hmmm…, day four is upon me and the pace quickens.  My dreams last night were very vivid, graphic and colorful.  In these dreams, I journeyed far and wide.  Some of it was very pleasant while other portions of it were not.  I had a companion with me everywhere, Odin, of course.  Over and over again, he advised me; “Trust naught those whom have yet to earn it.  And never trust any man whom fears the shadows of darkness, or what awaits him there.”  My meditations throughout this day and night will find me considering Hár’s words/Rede well.  On another note, yesterday, a Skraeling who moved into the cell block a few days ago was impressed that I was not speaking for such a lengthy time and for such a noble reason.  He said to me; “I have something that you may enjoy.”  He gave me a Black Sabbath CD entitled “TYR”!  Three parti­cular songs which all fade into one another are of special interest – The Battle of Tyr, Odin’s Court and Valhalla.  I reciprocated the Gebo with a CD to him which he was pleased with.  The songs are haunting and moving, and that I received and heard them for the first time yesterday…I have no doubt that they are the voice of Odin!  Oh, not the singing, but rather the combination of the Gebo, the CD’s title in addition to those of the three songs and the lyrical content all occurring in concert with the timing.  I have gazed into the eye so blue yet once more…Heil Odin!

            This is Thurisaz’s (þ) day to champion over chaos in the sacred Festival of Runes, Heil to you James Leisinger!

            I will tame the Thurses this day and command myself fully.

Sunnasdagr 21, Harvest 2255 RE                                                                               Day five

            My night was without event, save for the dream.  Ah yes, it is always the dream…isn’t it?

I was at a mini mart of sorts, when a man walked in and shoots dead the woman merchant!  He then mutters the words; “I told you bitch!” He glanced at my sister and I, walked out to his waiting car and sped away.  I took my sister by the hand and led her away from the place with great haste!  Then I informed her that I must return to the mini mart.  “No!” she cried, it’s not safe.  I must go, I affirmed, and I departed for the little store.  When I arrived there this time, it was twilight time, early evening.  Nothing seemed to be amiss in the store.  Then he walked in, firearm in hand and said; “You should not have returned here.”  He leveled the weapon at my chest and fired three times in rapid succession!  I was down, but got back up unharmed.  The would be assailant stammered; “But, but I shot you!”  I felt a presence in the shadows as I tried to make sense of it all.  And then, just as I began to wrap my mind, somewhat, around what had just occurred, the store had transformed into an old European village and I was surrounded by Roman soldiers while the Tribe folk looked on.  The Roman was incredulous as his words began to make sense to me; “I ran you through, why are you not dead?”  The presence in the shadows had stepped forward now.  It was All-Father Odin, and his voice boomed; “You cannot kill the Einherjar, fool!  None but the fire of Surtr will put them down in the final battle of Ragnarok!”              Now obviously, in terms of analytical psychology, fleeing the mini mart with my sister in tow was an action born of an overwhelming sense of duty to “Family”, to safeguard & protect my sister.  My imminent return to the mini mart must be attributed to a sense of living the Nine Noble Virtues, more directly to the point of the warrior’s duty to protect and not merely stand by.  And then there is my execution in rapport with defending the Folk.  Odin restores my life for honoring my oath to serve the Gods and Folk, or so it is which I equate with the former.

            The voices and lessons of our Gods and ancestors can and do speak to us on many levels, not just via the medium of our myths, lore and sagas, but via our dreams as well which speak directly to our souls!  One need only learn to become aware and listen.  I will consider the lesson and gift of their voices, the voice of Odin, from this dream, all day in my meditations.  Heil All-Father Odin, Heil the seeker…Heil to those who not only seek, but find as well!!!

Manisdagr 22, Harvest 2255 RE                                                                                Day six

            I awake yet another day to bear witness to Sunna’s majestic ascension beyond the apex of the Sierra Nevadas.  It all occurs with such grace, accompanied by a loud silence heard only through the eyes.  The nocturnal world recedes with the first tell of dawn’s stirring.  One must truly be aware to grasp the Dagaz (ᛞ) at work here, if only for a few brief moments.  The truths of both night and day enjoy a brief harmony with one another, just as they do at the end of the day.  This is a time when one may look upon the face of Odin, when the light and dark hang in that precarious balance just long enough for one to consider whether or not they had just looked upon the face of God!  Only the initiated will meet him in that succinct yet sovereign place.  Doubt not what the mind would seek, would know and you shall know truths unparalleled which powerful Runes shall reveal.

            Sunna shatters twilight, day has begun and with it arrives so much raw potential…so many possibilities awaiting the initiated, those bold enough to reach out and seize them!

Tyrsdagr 23, Harvest 2255 RE                                                                                   Day seven

            It has occurred to me, and not for the first time, that so many who claim to know Odin, know him naught!  Especially some so-called authorities of renown whom have authored a number of books.  In fact, they have merely interpreted what they have read somewhere and then furthered it with some rehash in eloquent, albeit often verbose fashion.  I have perused books on numerous occasions, whereby the author asserts how Odin has betrayed his own!  I have no inclination to be disrespectful to any among our folk whom have authored such books reflecting thus.  Though I would strongly suggest a deviation from the same old fare regarding Odin’s betrayal of his sons and daughters for it is altogether devoid of any merit whatsoever and is valid only in the same vein as mere rubbish is!

            Odin does not betray his own, not those who remain true at least.  Folk betray themselves by failing to identify and thereafter, accept reality.  Odin grants wisdom and wit, he grants victory to those of us brave enough to embrace reality beyond the minute and unrealistic scope of political correctness!  Any Trú son or daughter of Odin knows all too well that the day will come when he will come to collect his portion of the avowed Gebo (ᚷ) exchanged betwixt you and he.  He will come to gather you up to him, or send his Valkyries to do so.  That was the deal which any Trú son or daughter has made with Odin via the oath of the Valknut; that it is understood and accepted that Odin may gather you up to him any time he sees fit to, that’s the deal and shame on those who failed to read the fine print of the very contract they signed in their own blood!  For you have betrayed yourself, Odin certainly has not betrayed you, or any other loyal son or daughter!

            Such folk whom entertain such an absurd notion and even further it with their writings and teachings are disconnected from All-Father and too blind to see that.  I would further surmise that any such soul has not had the experience of being fully exposed to the trials and ordeals of physical battle and violent environments where lives are taken and lost and survival is the object of the game, for Odin is always present, this I can verify for I have both participated and witnessed as much on many occasion.  More to the point, I have met him there face to face!

Heil All-Father Odin!  Heil those who ‘truly’ know him…and Heil the Sons of Odin!!!

Odinsdagr 24 Harvest 2255 RE                                                                                  Day eight
            It seems at times of illumination, that the knowledge and wisdom we so oft seek, has been right before us and all about us all along.  Like some mystical forces, engaged in some arcane and ancient dance which is always occurring in our immediate proximity, albeit just beyond and outside of the spectrum of our mundane vision.  It seems so wondrous, if not all together surreal, when we are finally able to grasp the knowledge itself, that it has always been there.

            You see, that is just what initiation is all about.  Even when we feel as though we may possess a certain, if only vague, understanding of that which we covet, it is the absolute clarity and certainty which arrives through initiation, which affords one the trove of confidence in said knowledge/wisdom attached thereto…A certain mastery if you will.

            On day eight of the Festival of Runes, the initiate gains a knowledge, a perception of the divine within, and he/she participates with their own Ørlog and Hamingja in an effort to perceive said divine knowledge and thereby ascend toward an acceptance of this divinity.

            Worship me naught says the father of Gods and men, but follow my foot steps and emulate my life long journey in search of wisdom and thou wilst honor me and my gift to you!  His finger pokes at my Hugauga, stirs the Wode within my mind and leads me toward higher idealism.  Hail All-Father Odin!

Thorsdagr 25, Harvest 2255 RE                                                                                 Day nine
            Well, this is it then.  The ninth and final day of initiation.  When I get off of the Tree at the morrows dawn, it will have been nine nights of silence having uttered not a single word during the span of the holy ordeal.  Only the sound of my evening Galdr has pierced the breath of Nótt, the Rune songs alone hath escaped pass thine lips, riding on the stream of my Athem, those holy and all sacred Runes did travel, wending their way tither, unto all the worlds at large!

            Transformed shall I re-emerge, inspired further hence by the taste of Odroerir.

Friggasdagr 26, Harvest 2255 RE                                                                  The morning after

            It is just the other side of sunrise and I have now descended from the Great Tree.  The final night had delivered unto me two realizations, one very happy, the other, truly disturbing.  The first realization is that, where I once sought only deep and complex thoughts while searching the realm of shadows, in search of greater wisdom, such was my only light in the vast darkness which enveloped and consumed my mind so that my Hugauga may come to recognize and embrace that light.  And now, a second light has emerged as well, to stave off the impenetrable darkness, a gift from the Gods themselves, and delivered unto me by Odin and Freyja themselves!  She is my song, my Nordic Princess, Linda, and wherever my thoughts of her shall wander, my heart dost always follow!  I render unto the holy ones my unyielding respect and gratitude!  The other realization is neither attractive, or comfortable to embrace.  And yet, this knowledge is passed down from Odin himself.  It is an inexorable and sad truth, albeit, it is one which must be addressed and with little time to spare…

            Where once our ancestors stood upon the sacred grounds, in the lands of our fathers, consumed with dismay at the knowledge that the sacred ways of their fathers had nearly been annihilated and swept from the plain of Jord by Christian marauders and converted betrayers of the folk.  We, their descendants now, not only glance back into that long ago time of decline and despair but we too, find ourselves at that same precipice!  Consumed with the same overwhelming sadness which accompanies such a reality.  I have heard so much talk of the re-awakening which has been occurring since the late 19th and early 20th centuries, of our noble and sacred folkways, but look about with honest eyes and ye shall see a truth much less appealing and way more disturbing!  We are standing in this wolf age, at the very place our fathers once stood, surveying the dwindling remnants of what remains of our indigenous and holy ancestral ways.  Oh sure, there seem to be plenty of us to protect and defend the flame this day.  But we age and wend without pause towards our own departure from Midgard to join our beloved Gods and Ancestors.  And who then will accept the flame we seek to pass, let alone vow to protect and defend and pass it on?

            If we don’t discover bold and courageous folk to pass our own knowledge on to, folk not only willing, but worthy.  Not merely courageous in word and desire, but indeed as well, then it will perish with us…, ushering in the Fimúlvintúr and ultimately, Ragnarok!  Those of us who lay claim to the old ways today bicker too much amongst ourselves and within our Holy Folk community.  Too many Helmsmen and not enough rowers makes the longship’s journey slow and perilous and without the means to outrun the coming tempest!  Pride is a noble trait, but ego can and will wound.  Egos in constant competition with each other will kill until all are defeated.  We must learn to assume a mastery over our own egos, control them, not allow for them to control and dictate our actions.

            We must place an emphasis on the Folk, and not only the immediate survival of our holy Faith and Folk ways, but the ADVANCEMENT of it as well.  The laws of nature dictate that the female quality/gender is required to produce new life.  We are currently 90%, or better, male in our folk community the entire world over.  We must make our women Folk feel honored and welcomed as equals.  We must find a way to make the old Folk and clannish ways of our ancestors, which we follow today still, appeal to them as well.  We must provide them with the desirability to warrant their return to the old ways of our Folk community, lest the old ways of our noble and honorable faith ceases to exist!  Our women, better than us, and more suitably so, are more likely and with greater ease, able to teach our kinder, with their inherent maternal instinct.  And our kinder are more likely and readily willing to accept what our women folk say and teach them.  Nothing has changed in all the millennia of our folk’s history.  In over 40,000 years, our women and children are still a mandate for our survival and advancement.

            We had better stop banging our shields and clanging our swords long enough to address this paramount issue.  For there is none more of epic importance to the survival of our folkways and faith community, let alone any promise for the future of our Folk.

            So then, there it is, two realizations, two truths.  And I embrace them both as well as the responsibility for which I am charged to defend and bring about a positive effect wherein both are at issue.  My time on the Tree was most enlightening and beneficial to me and my growth.  May it be so for that of the folk as well!  Heil All-Father Odin, and Heil to those who have stayed the storm and rode it out while hanging on the tree.

Appendix of words and meanings

Herjan – TribalLeader/Chieftain. lit. trans. Lord.

Athem – a component of the complex Nordic soul structure, in its most basic sense, it is one’s breath of life.

Dagaz (ᛞ) – one of the 24 Elder Futhark Runes, very basic meaning is twilight.

Drighten – a very learned leader.

Einherjar – Odin’s heroes, his warriors, the slain, lit. trans. One harrier.

Fetter Grove – as used in this essay, Prison, Old Norse trans. Grove of bondage

Fjolsvidr – one of the numerous names for Odin.

Galdr – the Rune’s song, chant, incantation.

Gebo (ᚷ) – one of the 24 Elder Futhark Runes, very basic meaning is gift, shared or exchanged gift.

Hamingja – a component of the very complex Nordic soul structure, basic sense, it is one’s store of luck.

Holy Tree, the – Yggdrasil, the world tree, the universe, both seen and unseen.

Hugauga – the mind’s eye.  Part of the complex Nordic soul structure.

Jord – Earth Goddess, Mother Earth.  Jord’s plain is therefore the surface of the Earth.

Kinder – German for children.

Laguz (ᛚ) – one of the Elder Futhark Runes, very basic meaning is water, primal waters.

Laufey – Loki’s mother.

Loki – most basic understanding; the God of chaos and mischief.  Loki’s laughter is employed herein as descriptive of the jarring and unsettling noise of prison once the population is awake.

Mim’s well – the fountain/spring of wisdom, Odin plucked out one of his eyes and gave it to the well’s depths in exchange for a drink of its sacred water which imbues the drinker with unparalleled wisdom.  Mimir, the well’s owner is a wise and ancient Giant/God far older than even the oldest Gods.  Each day he drinks from the well in honor of All-Father’s pledge at the well.

Nótt – Night.  Therefore, Nótt’s breath is the night air.

Odin’s Ordeal – Whereby Odin hung on the world tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days and nights to gain knowledge of the Runes, which he later shared with the rest of the Gods and man so that they could understand the hidden mysteries of the nine worlds, the multiversal truths and realities which are otherwise hidden from our immediate view of understanding.

Odroerir – the mead of poetry, that which stimulates ecstasy and incites knowledge and thereafter, wisdom.

Ørlog – A component of the complex Nordic soul structure, primal layers, simply put in its most basic sense, it is like karma.

Ragnarok – twilight of the Gods, end of the world, an extinction level event along the same lines as that of the Christians Armageddon, for a lack of more immediate and concise description.

Rede – Counsel, advice.

Runes – Lit.  Trans.  Mysteries, secrets unknown to the uninitiated.  Runes are comprised of three key parts, the stave/shape of the rune’s sign/sigl, the Galdr which is the song, sound, chant, incantation, and the mystery, the rune’s secret, its meaning.  Runes are universal truths, manifestations of the divine knowledge made manifest and expressed through the secrets of the runes which would otherwise escape our comprehension of these truths.  This is of course the very simplex and vague illustration of the runes which of course are far too complex to address within the allotted space here.  However, on another and equally important note, it should be stressed here, that the alphabetical equation and import people today like to ascribe to the holy Runes, was of no real significance, or chief value to our ancestors until the middle of the eleventh century except under the veil of unique circumstances.

Skraeling –  Lit.  ON.  trans., Native inhabitant, commonly employed to describe the ancestors of todays American Indians, though erroneously employed by some today to mean wretch, which by definition should be properly ascribed to the term nifling.  There is nothing ignoble about the term Skraeling when applied in the same context as our Vinland forefathers used the word.

Storm, the – As employed in this writing, the storm is descriptive of the attrition of the initiation and the effects thereupon one who undertakes such an ordeal.

Sunna –  the Sun Goddess, the sun.

Surtr – The Fire Giant of destruction.  His flame will consume the whole of Midgard (earth) at the time of Ragnarok, hence, Surtr`s fire.

Thor – The God of strength, Son of Odin (father Sky) and Jord (Mother Earth).  God of thunder, brother of the folk and defender of both Gods and Folk.

Thurisaz (þ) – one of the 24 Elder Futhark Runes, very basic meaning is strength, breaker of resistance and thorn of restriction.

Thurses – Giants, forces of chaos.

Tiwaz (ᛏ) – one of the 24 Elder Futhark runes, its basic meaning as used in this writing, is self sacrifice for higher purpose.

Urd’s Well – also the Well of Wyrd, or wyrd’s well, the well of fate, named for one of the three Norns (fates), Urd = that which has already occurred, the past.

Valknut – knot of the slain, worn only by those fully dedicated to Odin, both in life and death.  It is a visual oath for all to see that its wearer is ready to be taken into the ranks of Valhalla any time Odin sees fit to take him/her.

Valkyries – a daughter of Odin.

Ygg – one of the numerous names for Odin, Lit.  Trans.  The Terrible, Terror of the Gods.  Yggdrasil, the name of the holy world tree, means Ygg’s Gallow.