Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pay Your Dues to Tyr

What does Tyr, that mighty God of the rank-and-file soldier, have to teach?

Tyr can help you acknowledge where you're angry, and how to channel that anger so it doesn't bottle up inside. Tyr can help you learn to be rugged, tough, and skilled in fighting. He'll teach you how to be bunkered down, trained, readied, seasoned, a firm head square on your shoulders, undaunted, unphased by temporary setbacks and defeats, eye on the victory, weathered, confident in the face of adversity, sinewy, knowing muscle-deep how to counter, parry, block, and dodge blows, whatever their source, experienced in what to be concerned about and what to let slide off your shoulders.

He can teach you how to refuse to get upset by what matters little, gain equanimity, learn to turn potential defeats into fighting chances, how to face significant defeats without giving up, how to be firm, resolved, holding your ground, defending yourself, protecting what is important to you, standing on your rights and fighting for them, demonstrating dogged determination.

He'll help you know when to back off from an unworthy fight, how to choose your battles, how to feel good about fighting well in a fair fight, and to feel ok when forced to fight unfairly in a fight you didn't choose. He can teach you how to realize when a friend has crossed the line and become an unfriend. (Heathen sources seldom speak of attacking strangers, but rather "unfriends", those who have crossed lines and broken confidences and treaties.) Tyr can train you in how to keep your footing, knowing you can hold your own against friend or foe if necessary, and feeling good and strong about it. He can help you create an arena where you can fight the fight you need to fight, instead of keeping it inside and letting it eat away at you.

All of these feats he knows well, for he is "remarkable for his wealth and feats of arms", as Saxo puts it in Book Four of his History of the Danes (Fisher translation), "adorn[ing] his sovereignty with athletic prowess". And mighty feats they are, much needed in this world we live in. Tyr knows what it is like down in the trenches, and knows the skills of mind, body, and endurance needed to meet those challenges. He knows how to toughen up the timid, and bring courage to the fearful, for he knows how intimidating the battles that force themselves upon us can be. He teaches bravery, how to confront and overcome the forces of fear and panic. This is especially necessary in combat, because war is often largely a bluff-gamble of noise and intimidation, mixed with killing, in which panic can ruin the day. Being able to dig in one's heels against panic, and face one's fear may be one of the richest gifts Tyr offers. He knows how to do this because it is Tyr who binds the Big, Bad Wolf. (Although he has also fed that wolf, and thus has an ambivalent relationship, a tricky, delicate balance that can easily go bad if Fenris grows out of proportion, which he, as a jotunn, has an inherent tendency to do so. Nevertheless, Tyr, taking responsibility, will do what it takes to bind the scary, frightening, rapacious monster.)

Tyr is that loving, gruff drill sergeant who makes sure we are prepared for the roughs and nicks amongst the scrapes and scratches of life. He is, therefore, one of the best friends anyone could ask for in a life full of challenges. Pay your dues to Tyr!


Blogger Brainwise said...

Excellent! Reinforces some of my views while introducing new avenues for me to explore. That's why I keep coming back to this blog.

1:09 PM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

Thank you for coming back!!

1:03 AM  

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