Wyrd Wednesday

Hail, Óðinn!
Wayfarer, Wanderer,
Allfather, King!
Hail the Æsir!
Hail the Vanir!
Hail the Jǫtunn!
Hail the Vættir!
Hail the Folk!

This is the prayer I say every morning as I place Mjǫllnir around my neck. The necklace is very dear to me. I have been wearing it faithfully for 35 years. I hired a silversmith to craft it for me in 1985, modeled after one found in Rømersdal, Bornholm, Denmark. I requested the ring to be fashioned as Jǫrmungandr swallowing his tail. The craftsman delivered it to me a year later, at a Gun and Knife Show in Indianapolis. In 2001 I added the second ring, my wedding ring, when it became too tight for my finger. I have gone through many necklaces — leather cords, rope chains, and the like — several were gifts from my wife. Mjǫllnir is now born by a dog-tag chain. It’s never been more secure.

I thought it fitting to discuss this on the inaugural Wyrd Wednesday post, Mjǫllnir being the most obvious declaration of my faith. It is frequently commented on, especially at events and festivals (remember when those were a thing).

I embraced the Norse faith as a child, on my own volition, in 1974. I had no scholarship to guide me, no mentors or believers to counsel me on this path. My only resource at the time was The Children of Odin, written by Padraic Colum and illustrated by Willy Pogany. I had no inkling that anyone else in the world heard the call of the Northern Gods.

But it felt right and true to me then, as it does for me today.

I used Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca as a sort of guide back then. I saw Thor and Sif as my patrons. As I said, I was a child with no guidance. I fumbled through my faith, adding knowledge wherever I could find it along the way. In time, I came to honor Odin above all others, as it was his example that led me all along the way, gathering wisdom where I could to incorporate it into my faith and practice.

Now, of course, we are in the midst of a renaissance of Norse culture. The worship of the old gods has risen exponentially in the past decade. Never has there been more scholarly resources available. It is an amazing time to be Heathen. It is also a terrible time…

For all the positive growth in our faith, there has been a near equal amount of negativity. There are some who would use the symbols of Heathenry in bad faith, and others who misappropriate the gods and present them to further their own agendas.

I do not belong to any national or international organizations. I belong to no local kindred. I have been a solitary practitioner for more thirty years and I am fine with doing so for thirty more if the gods are willing. Of course, it is the twenty-first century, so I do interact with a number of Heathens from all facets of the faith, be they Asatru, Aldsidu, or simply Norse Pagans.

I count among my friends those who are Universalists, Folkish, Wiccatru, and all points in between. There is no room at my table for racist, bigoted thoughts and behavior, and I can tell the difference between someone who wishes to honor their cultural heritage from someone who merely maintains hate in their heart.

Personally, I certainly lean Folkish, but I hold no line against any man or woman, regardless of ethnicity or orientation.

As I have said, this is an amazing time to be Heathen, to be sure. We are well and truly blessed.

It is a tremendous responsibility to represent the gods. It is one none of us should take lightly.

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