Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mother's Blessing

main, mother's strength, bliss, blessing be upon her always!
hael, holy kin's matron, kiss upon her feet, and welcome!
all the ve'd maegth of yore rising up flower-vine to garland-arches
deciduous august flutterings of gold and beech rooted, strong,
soil-standing up to hold the heaven's heights, tree after tree,
as all the trees in long line of kin backward tending meet,
mother, in thy blessed bosom's heart-treasures. love holds you
relentless against all seasons in undying devotions and affection.
main, mother's strength, bliss, blessing be upon her always!
hael, holy kin's matron, kiss upon her feet, and welcome!
roots' reared trunks soil-standing up to hold the heaven's heights,
tree after tree, as all the trees in long line of kin backward tending meet,
mother, in thy blessed bosom's heart-treasures, where undying devotions
and affections await your welcome return, holy kin's matron!

Mother Jord

bosom of the broad swathes' lap, a matron's apron
with flowers' garland grass and sedge and tree woven,
might's mother, mother of all wights great and small,
rides, Audhumla's daughters driven, across the bumbling plains
where peace and joy town-fest meet her all ways, outwards ranging.
rust in trees' shed flutters, oil painted broad yellow and gold sunset-dripped
across the lonely, wondrous waves of woodland, oceanic.
And all ways meet, every road on petal-strewn soil she walks out onto,
neighbors and old grudges nodding, now is the time to bow, the Lady,
put away all feuds in broken bread with barley dust shaking soft
on white, linen cloths beneath the ale-frothed horns toasting,
boasting oaths to frith and grith, sworn in by thunder's main
called down goat-chariot to bow, his hand extended invite
escorting blessed mother across the wide and long laid lands.
There the golden twins smile, in lustrous, libidinal distribution
handing fruits of ripe and eager shape, sensual, to matrons
and fathers, children, old men and grandmothers spry now dancing!
bosom of the broad swathes' lap, the matron's apron
opens out blessings for all kin, cornucopia, to come and eat,
juicy the succulent fruits of peace. Hail the Mother!
Bless her footways safe and sky-sailed forever,
till milk-deer lands soft foot-fall near the swans' song
reed and heron, by the fens, where lake-bathed, she dips
and sinks to fair elfland, there to walk the rainbow bridge
back into the skies where broad-rimmed father waits.
Hail the Mother! bosom of the broad swathes' lap, a matron's blessing
be here now and forever upon this holy aurr-blended soil.
Hail the Mother! whose deep loins hold and nourish all
with wet sacraments of caverns' bliss drip-bubbling up from deepest wells.
bosom of the broad swathes' lap, mother matron's earthy feet
touch this land forever, bright blessed heaven-queen of old.

Odr's Blessing

mother-tomb tending, tears, grief upon a boy's surly brow, snowdriven.
man-raised, silver eyes blue beneath white gold wisps of elvish hair,
he calls, mound-deep, mother, rise, rise, give me rede, and aid-ail
fresh for parched soul bereft of all understanding on arctic paths.
that ale-mistress, father's whore, would exile me, wretched, upon the ice,
there to seek a dream-maiden marvel whose smile no man has seen.
mind swirls with lies and half-truths spoken tribe after tribe,
wars no one even remembers beginning, captives and cages
of woven ice-strands cold and fogging brains with frost-thorns
Dainn drove deep in the coldest of nights, again and again.
No one knew why, and now, this? this witch to ward me off?
Mother, tell me what to do! Mother, speak as you said you would!
sat he, shivered, the biting whisper of wind, lonely by the mound ;
then rose, whispers, swirling, surrounding, gales of soft shrieks
till ghostly, Groa came before him, words tinkling like chimes of twilight,
and spake, spraece, spreading blessings, and nine knots of scild untied,
morning gifts of boy's birth lullabied, returned, roiling in blood and breath,
powers, sight, words of wisdom rolling off lips naive, surprised,
ancient parables and proverbs known, now known as if always,
forever-etched in deepest forests' mind-stuff, now moving into meadow
of man's becoming, elvish passage to adulthood in songs of sael and hael.
Shoulders broadened, kneeling standing tall with brightened eyes, knowing.
And maybe she was real! For mother, ghost-smoke recels draining
fog-sucked back to mounds, had spoken of this Lady, one blessed.
And he might, she said, Urd-spoken be, the one to bring her back.
Pride and terror mixed in bone cold-driven now to quest, come what may.
Over hill, over dale, through deepest valleys dark and caverns-down to nowhere,
what may find, monsters, treasures, swords and sorcerors. He rose,
buckskin boot crunching snow packed earth with firmness, he would go.
He would go!

Sif's Spell

brewing, barley-hair writhing rise like snakes' lair raining
dew of deepest venom dipped in marked chalice,
brewing, Ullr's matron, mother potions thick and foggy,
filled with trance chants shrill and elvish,
Thor's bride-to-be witch-sings marvel, power into stew
for son's far faring ride 'cross winter 'scapes
where Lady Syrra lies forlorn in frozen towers,
Corn King brother bound on throne by Beli's rough howlers.
brewing, calm queen-dreams of mother earth, peace-weave
to ripen spring songs of winter's reconciliation, circle restored.

brewing, barley-hair writhing rise like snakes' lair raining
silver whispers' charms like snowflakes across brothers' mares of night.
calling, up-calling, hoping Gods of heaven hear her words so whispered
that weather's warfare might cease, and harvest come.
Elvish son so young, eager, proud, watcher of woods and wood-ways,
smiling reminisce this mistress of deer-play days boy blended in,
birches and cottonwood, still as mountain leaves, just to touch velvet fur.
calling, reaching, steam suck grasping strength, wit, will, wiles even
against the glaciers' blade-thralls looming, thundrous, all through Alfheim.
He will return ; brewing ; he must return ; steam and musk ; the Lady,
The Eldar must see her face again to rise to service of Gods once more.

brewing, barley-hair writhing rise like snakes' lair raining
drops of summoned clouds, river's might, beak and claw,
white swan-feather's wisps sunk drop seethe-cauldron.
conjure, ancient yore-day sitharin, daylings' dawn wisdom
packed, boiled, tight in the stew, potent smells and oils,
a drink to man the boy whose quest has come, and then,
placed, the half-brother feigning, mankind's poet, tastes the stew
in taking boiled birth-right of brother, brewed so love-like;
but Sif, frith sailing smooth in fay veins, merely squints, letting
breath fall like a slow canopy descending softly onto dewy lawns,
then with strength, admonishment, charges the poet to care
for tracker's kin whose wit he shortly swallowed single-gulp.
He would have the Lady, said he, but loving eyes of Ullr she saw,
and wished all well, the fates would have it, Gods bless their return.

The Waters Beneath the Lowest Roots (Urdabrunnr)

the waters beneath the lowest roots, speak, sounds never heard by mortal men.
the waters beneath the lowest roots, dance, phantasm tapestries, upon the rippling membrane.
the waters beneath the lowest roots, down, down, down the cup dipped, dipping deep.
the waters beneath the lowest roots, silt, white as bone, soft as Frodi's meal, ages' law and laws.

the waters beneath the lowest roots, skein strand stretched slowly across in eager, wondrous webs.
the waters beneath the lowest roots, three dark hovering maids, blazing eyes, watch all, everything.
the waters beneath the lowest roots, cleanse, beyond all shame or soil, all the purest gauze silken.
the waters beneath the lowest roots, bubbling, up bubbling, forgotten dreams rise and surface.

there in those waters i will see, ancestors faces new as dawn, nodding, smiles of encouragement.
there in those waters i will see, the paths woven, wondrous ways which, for my web of luck.
there in those waters i will see, the high one, hat's brim, downy cotton-tail beard, winking, wisdom.
there in those waters i will see, the homes of all i have loved, home forever, patient, kind, green and beckon.

there in those waters i will see, schemes, tragedies, washed away, unforeseen surprises.
there in those waters i will see, patterns of lives fulfilled, fragile choices, opportunities missed and taken.
there in those waters i will see, what could be, what nearby lies, what has already been.
there in those waters i will see, reflections, the court of doom, all the gods assembled, sentence, and smiles.

In Whose Branches (Yggdrasil)

in whose branches, dawn, the night mists down to leaf-litter floor, renewal.
in whose branches, darkness holds, the bright and fiery orbs in the azure sea.
in whose branches, life spoke primeval, far beyond any death or tragic loss.
in whose branches, awe, sprinkling, gave birth to first gasps of breath.
in whose branches, children, fairies gathered sparks, to bring to mothers' wombs.

in whose branches, craving, moved from beginnings, sap rose in swirls to canopies.
in whose branches, lady, white gauze, moves without a whisper, washing smooth bark walls.
in whose branches, ages past, brush softly over, ages yet to come in gentle seedlings.
in whose branches, sex originated, long ago, in ocean spray dashing up onto the boughs.
in whose branches, I learned, once upon a time, how to breathe and grow.

in those branches, I will soar,
in those branches, Gods scintillate atop the highest boughs.
in those branches, the sun sails through the skies.
in those branches, we are held, surrounded, bound together.
in those branches, peace beyond measure.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Heathenism is Cosmocentric, not Theocentric

Heathenism is not theocentric but cosmocentric: action-oriented and reality-centered. The Gods help shape reality, guide our actions, and grant blessings and inspiration --- and are worthy of our highest honors and friendship --- but we are centered on doing our work, and the doing of that work that only we can do, which is our true religious duty. We are Wyrd-centric, not theocentric.

Monotheism is theocentric because it collapses categories into one reification. Heathenism is neither fragmented nor artificially unified. It is, rather, dynamic and responsive.

The Gods are not the center of our existence. They are our glorious circumference. Wyrd is the center of our existence, and the circumferential blessed Holy Powers bless us in the pursuit of our wyrd.

Brian Bates has his finger on the pulse better than most : authentic heathenism must be Wyrd-centric. The point is not asa-tru, but wyrd-tru. Theological religions have made us god-centric but the real sign of a heathen is orientation to wyrd, and I would take that so far as to say that an atheist who is truly attuned to wyrd and its Ur-Thank is more of a heathen than one who worships the Gods but has no relationship to wyrd whatsoever.

The Gods are powerful shapers of wyrd, who committed great deeds that laid down laws for becoming that have affected the world ever since. In this sense, they are creators. They are also immensely wise, knowing how to work with the way things happen, to magical effect, because they have such long experience with how things have happened.

The Gods themselves are subject to Wyrd. Wyrd is universal law that cannot be abrogated. It can only be learned and surfed. The Gods are excellent surfers of Wyrd, somewhat akin in this respect to the Taoist Immortals.

The Gods are holders of Offices of Trust and Protection delegated by Wyrd for their merit and abilities. We therefore might say that our mission is "To Serve Wyrd and Her Gods." The Gods are entrusted to the care of the cosmos (The World Tree). The Well and the Tree -- Source and Manifestation, Implicate and Explicate, the Unconscious and the Conscious -- is the process of Wyrd. The Gods are entrusted with Stewarding the Well and the Tree. We serve the Gods in order to serve Wyrd.

In that way, we orient ourselves to Immanent Source, from which we cannot be separated (but which transcends us), and which we access through creativity and dream. Nature -- (physis) -- this world (The Tree) and the Afterlife -- the Otherworld (The Well) are interconnected in one process. Wyrd is the eternal recycling of noteworthy deeds.

Again, this makes us not theocentric but cosmocentric : centered in this world and the larger process of reality, and we let the Gods handle their own realm. We appeal to them for Friendship and Wisdom, but orient ourselves towards wholemaking in this world. We serve the Gods, but as Trustees of Wyrd. They are Penultimates, not Ultimates. They are worthy of our highest praise and love, but ultimately we worship the world itself -- or the world-generating power, in other words, Wyrd. Through Wyrd, we are pantheists, and we serve our Gods because they themselves serve the pantheism of hte world. This is the proper orientation.

Monotheistic faiths confuse the Penultimate and Ultimate. Reality is ultimately atheistic and uncanny, but it is served and managed by theistic beings who have shaped the world into its present incarnation for us.

We give our Ultimate Worthship, therefore, to Wyrd, and only Penultimate Worthship to the Gods. Because Wyrd is worthy of our ultimate worthship, we can be weird and give worthship to those dreamfigures of the larger reality we call Gods --- Sources of Good. (That which is a Source of God puts things in their place and gives them a proper home, a place of power and prosperity. It assigns, orders, deems, distributes.)

The Gods are a Board of Trustees who distribute the gifts of the Grantor, Wyrd, to the Beneficiaries -- us and the world. What Wyrd in turn gives to the Trust are our fully digested actions, and thus there is a feedback loop between Beneficiaries, the Grantor, and the Board of Trustees.

Because Wyrd is dreamlike, so the stories of the Gods have a mythical quality about them, meant to be raed like a dream rather than a literal quality. Just because it is not literal, however, and therefore not to be bowed down before like an idol, does not mean it is not real. You have to come at it from both angles --- the Gods created us, but we, in the process of unfolding our Wyrd, created the Gods as expressions of our sense of higher powers working in the world.

Our orientation, therefore, is not towards a distant celestial realm, inhabited by abstractions of our imaginations, but towards this world, this holy world where every one of our actions matters. A bear fishing, a spider weaving its web, or a bird song reveal wyrd just as well as any story or scripture. Scriptures are commentaries on reality --- not vice-versa. Wyrd overpowers word.

We serve, therefore, not abstractions, but Reality itself, understanding, however, reality to be far more magical than our prosaic mind often reckons. We direct ourselves to the Holy Creative Powers who shape reality and are the Sources of Good in the world, but in order to serve, and have a richer experience of Reality itself.

We ought not to be ideologically heathen. What do I mean by that? I mean that our first obligation is to study wyrd and seek wisdom, and wisdom transcends position-statements and adherence to policy. We always have our heathen values (thews) to guide us, but reality is always complex and refuses to fit neatly into any ideological schema. To borrow a metaphor from our Indo-European cousins the Greeks, we are not to construct Procrustean beds hacking off or stretching reality to fit our theories, but to attend, rather, to the real, concrete texture of the world. That means in any debate attending to the kernal of truth our opponents speak, and being true to it. Seldom is anyone 100% right or 100% wrong. Wisdom involves sorting and sifting, weighing and evaluating, beyond any easy or lazy ideological dogmas.

Heathenism is not about make-believe. It is about relationship to reality. True, it is a reality that includes more than our senses show, and it is true that our imagination can be utilized to orient ourselves towards this larger mysterious order of reality, but the basic orientation is towards reality rather than mental constructs.

Many people worship their own mental constructs and call it religion. Some have called it idolatry. We just call it silliness and foolishness. Heathenism should be about restoring people to a healthy relationship with the mysteries, joys, and challenges of our real, collective and individual, everyday lives.

Minnis and Significance

Now it may be that only deeds well-lived and lived deeply enough touch the level of significance to affect and cohere in the level of dynamic eternity that is Wyrd. Wyrd is a process of memory, and not every minutiae is remembered, per se, but that, rather, which is significant, although significance is holographic, and thus details can at times be caught there as well.

Deeds not deeply etched do not disappear, but become part of the drone, the background chorus of event-reverberations and resonance, blending into the mix, while those that make their mark have stronger individual subtones in the choral polyphony.

Shimmering on the well are the images of those eternal moments --- holding hands at the beach, giving vows to each other, making love, laughing with each other. They are not "over", they are "done", meaning a part of things. They are real. There is no erasure. They are ready to be remembered. They were well-lived moments and thus take on significance. What takes on significance does not fade. But significant deeds long to be told, to be shared in the story. They do not wish to remain in the background, but to receive affirmation, to be honored, to be toasted over the holy ale.

Those are the moments when we have dipped into the depths of the well, and so when we dip our ladles into the mead to fill our horns, it is right that we should honor those moments. Our culture says "get over it" to those deeds that are done. I say, how can I get over what has become eternal? I don't want to get over it. Those were good times and good deeds. They will live forever. They are now a part of the real history of the world, etched into the flow-patterns of wyrd, and I will recall them with pride, with strong mirth, and with hearty remembrance. What is a minni for if not for hearty remembrance?

Doom on the Deeds and Final Worth

That which has fully become -- however far it was able to become -- has achieved its final worth, a worth it co-creates through its deeds and efforts and which may be deemed upon it when it is done, and thus doomed. Doomed merely means completed and declared. fully worthed, done and doomed events or entities become inherent properties of the universe, exerting ongoing influence. That which is "dead" is literally "do-ed", in other words, done, a completed deed ; "deed", "did", and "dead" are cognate, meaning that negation of existence is not part of the heathen conception of death, otherwise the word would be "undeed" or "undone", but in fact the word denotes completion, and inclusion in all that is.

"Death" -- that which has been done -- and "Wyrd" -- that which has become -- are therefore coterminous (1), and what must be remarked here is that there is nothing morbid about the concept whatsoever. What is dead, in fact, in a sense lives more than the living, although not in as active a tense, but rather, in a way, transitively. It is not an undoing, but -- to use a somewhat grotesque image -- a swallowing by existence, in which one's unique pattern is assimilated by and into the whole, woven into the very fabric of the nature of things, which is why it is said that Wyrd weaves. We may say that the dead do not exist -- ek-sist, stand out -- but sub-sist, stand beneath and within, existence. As the subsistence, the standing-beneath, they form literally the ground of our understanding, and as subsistence, they have a felt connection to nutriment and the crops that grow from beneath the soil.

The present is but the integument of a vast organism, of which the dead form the blood and bones. They become part of the unconscious functioning of existence, although whether more unconscious from their side or our own side only seers know. They are not gone, therefore, but right here, even though their matter has been eaten up by the ongoing uptake of material by life itself. One's life lived becomes a hidden testament, a textual marrow, an infrastratum. We might contrast the living and the dead by speaking of the manifest and the unmanifest, but far better it would be to speak of the manifest and the inframanifest. These are only terms, inadequate but approximate.

Hence from this angle there is no escape --- neither a nowhere nor a somewhere else, but ever and only a multidimensional here, of whom we the living are but diminutive dimensional folds of the larger multiplex, around and through which larger dimensional currents may run circles around us, passing both "through" and "beyond", yet forever "here", in both the interstices, the macrostices, and the infrastices --- our barely four-dimensional subjective reality can hardly cope with such higher mathematics. Suffice it to say that some of the descriptions from the book Flatland are apropo in these considerations.

The dead are not "gone", they are interwoven, woven into the fabric of existence.

1 A proof in itself that Viktor Rydberg's suggestion that Wyrd was originally Hel, and that Snorri, ignorant after 200 years of conversion, mistakenly applied the term to Loki's daughter, is correct. Wyrd was the original Goddess of Death, in the sense we have developed it here, of setting dooms on all those whose Deeds of life are Done. Gylfaginning 15 says, Þriðja rót asksins stendr á himni, ok undir þeiri rót er brunnr sá er mjök er heilagr er heitir Urðarbrunnr. Þar eiga goðin dómstað sinn. Hvern dag ríða æsir þangat upp um Bifröst, "The third root of the Ash Tree leans towards heaven, and under that root is the well that is mightily holy and called "Urd's Well". There the gods have their Doomstead. Each day the Aesir ride thither upon Bifrost." What is clear here is that daily the gods conduct dooms at Wyrd's Well, which stands in the Underworld (Hel) beneath the third root of Yggdrasil, angled towards the heavens. This is a Court that meets daily, to pass dooms upon the dead. Odin says in Havamal 76 that everything dies except for the reputation of a man that has had a judgement or decree passed upon it (orðstírr, a law-verdict or decree passed upon one's renown or reputation), and then to clarify, in Havamal 77, says that what never dies is the dómr um dauðan hvern, "judgement/decree/sentence on every one of the dead." Havamal 76 and 77 obviously converge upon Gylfaginning 15 : the gods are assembled in Wyrd's court helping to pass judgement on each of the dead, as they come each day into Hel. That this is done right by Wyrd's Well proves that Wyrd has special jurisdiction when it comes to the dead ; since "dead" in heathenism means simply a done set of deeds awaiting dooming, this makes perfect sense, as Urd rules over that which has already become. It may be that this court, this dómstað meets in that "fair hall" that stands --Þar stendr salr einn fagr undir askinum við brunninn, ok ór þeim sal koma þrjár meyjar, þær er svá heita: Urðr, Verðandi, Skuld -- beneath the Ash near the Well, out of which the three Norns come. The Gods may sit on the court, but the court takes place on Urd's jurisdiction. We can guess who has the final word.

Sunday, May 25, 2008


There is a spontaneous order permeating the complexity and interconnectivity of events, founded on the generative chaos of conditioned chance, that our minds can barely fathom. This spontaneous order is the law of chaotic becoming, consisting of nested layers within layers of events superimposed atop each other, in which we are all fractally and molecularly influencing each other in ways that official systems and word-nets can barely portray, if at all. There is a vast internested network of events that ripple out and inter-influence each other.

Even when we are relatively anonymous, we are both influenced by and influencing this interconnectivity. As individuals, we are parts of larger movements, currents, and eddies of which sometimes only our peripheral perception or dreams can catch a glimpse. Seemingly insignificant events combine and grow in unanticipated ways over time into significance, and events seemingly unconnected follow almost associative rules that connect them nonlinearly and nonlocally.

Our actions occur within a vast hive of buzzing events circulating around us everywhere, in which we are parts of the whole, patterns in the swarm. Every deed conditions chance and encourages particular habits of becoming ; thus, all together, we co-condition chance into particular patterns of law. Flocks of birds, swarms of bees, herds of animals, flights of clouds, waves of water, eddies of rivers, gusts of wind, all carry this sense, and may be sampled and filtered to get a sense of the flow of this sensitive chaos and collective co-conditioned chance.

Everything that has happened before becomes inherent in what is coming into being now and shapes, however hesitantly, what may become as events unfold. Thus our actions take place within a vast anonymous democratic moot of significance and the laying down of layer after layer of law.

To articulate this spontaneous order, this flow in the rushing vortex, this grain in the wood, is the most difficult and subtle thing. When applied to events as a whole, we call it "wyrd". When applied specifically to those mostly unspoken rules which guide human conduct, we call it "thew". Thew is merely the wyrd of localized group conduct. This kind of law is descriptive of behavior that bonds people in productive, significant ways, rather than prescriptive by design. We look at what works and try to describe how and why it works rather than imposing a predesigned pattern onto a unique happenstnace.

Interventions can be made, but with sensitivity to the autonomy, organicity, and momentum of events, tending and guiding, inspiring and shepherding, rather than forcing and imposing, understanding that at all times, regardless of our initial intentions, the system in question will assimilate and digest the intervention according to its own law and pattern, and thus our efforts are only seeds translated by the reception of the native soil.

Wyrd is 'dynamic eternity', because everything that has happened is so real that it coheres in everything that follows and can never be erased, though it is often covered over. The continual process of covering-over means eternity is buried, so to speak, in the strata of the depths, which contain all kinds of dormant patterns ready to be unearthed and dis-covered at any time, taking their present force from the fact that their deep patterns inhere within the blood and bone of present tendencies, with the moment simply one edge of the wave of a tremendous momentum that is the history of everything that has ever happened, a happening that, because we are a part of it, we can never fully grasp or get a hold of, and which thus remains a Mystery. Wyrd is thus the Mystery of Reality in its entire unfolded History.

The deeper levels of Wyrd cannot be read with the eyes alone but require the dreaming and free associative power to penetrate, for wyrd may be said to be the dream that reality itself generates, reality dreaming itself, history unfolding as both dream and nightmare, wonderfully and terribly real, strangely and awesomely surreal.

Monday, May 12, 2008


My spouse left me recently, and this has given me pause to think about the old concept of "unwyrd". Unwyrd is something that was not supposed to happen. It is a mistake, something unnecessitated, undestined, made by choice or the result of a series of choices and accidents. If it were merely an unavoidable mistake, it would be called "bad wyrd". But unwyrd suggests it was avoidable, and moreover that it has negative repercussive effects on the rest of the flow of wyrd. A precedent has been set down that is like throwing poison into the well. It must be discovered, challenged, and thrown out, as if it never were, for it was never meant to be.

Here is what I want to know : is there a way to heal unwyrd? Is there a way to undo what should not have been done, to restore the "time-line" -- or wyrd-line -- to where it should be? To me, that would be true magic, to conquer the tragic, to not allow tragedy -- often pathetic tragedy -- to win, again and again and again.

Magically, I'm not as interested in making things happen -- innovative work -- as I am in undoing the things that were not supposed to happen -- restorative work. In fact, I think restorative work -- getting things back on track -- may be more important than mere innovations.

One must develop the ability, of course, to distinguish between an unavoidable or necessary tragedy and an avoidable or unnecessary tragedy. It is my sincere belief that there are many unnecessary tragedies that end up making a difference. And it is towards the avoidance and healing of these -- ie., making a real difference -- that our actions should be directed. This is the heroism that our ancestors admired, a boldness that does not passively acquiesce to happenstance and give it the stamp of necessity, but subjects happenstance to scrutiny in order to crack its nut and get at the kernal, in order to improve one's lot.

It is a mistake to assume that Wyrd implies total predestination. Some things are necessary, and the rest improvises around those points. There is considerable room for the extemporaneous, yet this realm of choice has considerable weight. Our choices and actions make a difference. There are real consequences for past actions and inactions, with inactions -- failure to thrive -- being almost more important than actions. Wyrd works with what we will give it. Skuld imposes a debt, a scild, which is precisely that which we need to worth, to bring into blossoming : our potential. Tacitus speaks of ancient Germanic warriors who acknowledged their debt in coming into this world, and their desire to make good on that debt. If we do not pay that debt by worthing, the Norns have much poorer thread with which to weave, and the fabric is frayed more easily. The Norns work with that which we give them, and we should not be misers with them. Here Jesus' parable of the Talents is most apropo. Give unto Wyrd, as you would have Wyrd give unto you. Failure to thrive, as Eric Wodening has suggested in We Are Our Deeds, is a sin, and in fact, may perhaps be at the root of the word "sin" itself, denoting a stagnant state of static existence that refuses to grow and blossom. If we will not blossom, the world will not have the fruits it needs to be a rich and prosperous place. Failure to thrive is a major cause of unwyrd, and it is completely unnecessary. The work we need to do to worth ourselves is work we dare not neglect or shirk. In Wyrd Megin Thew, I called this kind of work wyrdweorce.

Besides the positive scild of our inner potential, there are negative debts or scild which we will be made to pay. Our job in life -- to phrase things somewhat prosaically, but, I will argue, accurately -- from the perspective of wyrd is to pay off our debts. In this way, we become freemen. Negative debts or scild is quite akin to what Asians call "karma". Buildup of karma or scild accumulates, and then can have a tendency to emerge to the surface in emergencies because of our failure to deal with them. The Norns may say to us, your failure to TCOB is not our emergency, although it may be yours. Wyrd accumulates, builds up, and then suddenly turns, the resultant of all kinds of forces and choices. When we choose, we co-choose and to a degree co-create the world we will all have to live in. Paying off our debts is the best way to be prepared for the future. Perhaps that is why Skuld is associated with the future.

There are many aspects of my breakup that represent a reckoning of scild or karma, and not particularly karma I created, but karma that long pre-existed the relationship. To that extent, such a working-through of karma was necessary, but there are other aspects of how things occurred which I will never believe were necessary. The companionship was too good, too solid, and much too supportive to warrant the kind of unwyrd that has resulted. It is true that I had critiques, but those critiques required only correction, fine-tuning, modifications, not abandonment of the entire enterprise. And I feel in many ways like an outlaw, an outcast, although I still retain my kith and kin, but the woman with whom I made a hearth and a home is lost from me, pulled back by her family Disir in some working I do not understand, and the loss is tremendous. I do not wish to start from scratch again and yet it seems as if this is what I must do.

I wrote a comment on Swain Wodening's blog a couple months back about Beowulf as a warrior who fights to rid the meadhall of the monster who robs it of its joy, the joy that gives life meaning. I tried to fight like Beowulf to save this, but ironically, despite my commentary, I was powerless to stop this. I still can't stop feeling that all of this has been tragically unnecessary. I have seen a number of events in my lifetime that have felt to my heart as being unnecessary, as being unwyrd, many of these involving relationships. I have seen distractions and matters of small import separate people who clearly belonged together. In other cases, I have seen unworked-out family unwyrd creating snags and sabotaging the good, family debts and liens which had they been worked out and paid with skill and proper effort, may not have necessitated the separation of good couples or friends. You can't say these things are "meant to happen", because that erases the entire meaning of heroism, which is using our wits and our will, our might and our main to improve our lot, and that means taking an active, rather than a passive, stance towards happenstance. Happenstance is not necessity, although it may be the result of many bad choices. The point is, we don't have to choose bad choices.

But perhaps we remain enthralled to that which we are indebted, and so long as the debts remain unpaid, we are thralled to the force of determinism in the collection of those debts. Gurdjieff spoke of human beings as automatons or robots puppetted by determinancy, completely unfree without some effort to liberate themselves. In a sense, this is a very heathen standpoint. It also happens to be a good psychoanalytic viewpoint. To the degree that we have not liberated ourselves from the debts, liens, and deficits of the past, we remain within their subjection. When a debt comes to the surface, we often panic and make poor choices, not knowing how to deal with what is coming up for us. Frankly, it is quite difficult to deal with such emergences/emergencies, and quite easy to make poor choices under the circumstances. Those in debt are often tempted towards get-rich-quick schemes.

This is why liberation, education, and a dedication to personal (and community) growth is so critical, because it affects our ability to make good choices, and our choices affect our wyrd. Without the determination to make the best choices we can, unwyrd is almost certain to strike us, and that means facing misfortune or tragedy that is both unprecedented and unnecessary. But while unprecedented, it may become precedent, and indeed will become unprecedent, something one does not want the rest of one's wyrd building upon. Unwyrd represents lost opportunities, and heaven forbid that we should rob life of any opportunities. We need all the luck we can get. The more educated we are, the more we liberate ourselves from past debts, deficits, and prejudices, and the more we seek to enrich ourselves, increase our skills and mastery, and succeed in thriving, the better off everyone around us will be.

For let's face it. Bad choices and unwyrd do not just affect one person. They affect everyone who knows that person, everyone who loves that person. Foolish choices and unnecessary misfortune can wreak havoc with a social network or kinship system. We owe it to everyone to be our best.

Still I will ask : is there a way to heal or undo unwyrd? Something in my heart of hearts knows this should be possible, implausible and unrealistic as it seems, but I just don't know how. If something shouldn't have happened, must we believe in it, invest in it, give it power and strength and official approval? We can accept a fact without acquiescing to it. We must trust our hearts. Even if we do not have the power yet to do something our hearts tell us must be possible, the Gods have that power, and perhaps, in time, if we prove worthy, they will teach us, or share with us some hints. Because one thing I know is true, and that is that the Gods want this to be the best of all possible worlds for all of us. And that requires that we keep learning, keep growing, keep choosing deeds wisely, but perhaps most of all, keep the faith.

Keep the faith, friends. I am doing my best. In time I will heal from this unwyrd.