Monday, January 05, 2009

Slander Not Our Shire-Reeve of Victory

They will tell us we had a "war god" ; that because we had a "war god" we must go out to war whenever some foolish leader calls for it.

No! We had a god who taught us how to fight, and how to endure, and how to gear ourselves up for struggle when struggle was unavoidable. He also taught how to bind up the wolf of war.

He was every militia man's friend, but he was to be called up to help one defend the old rights, to protect from invasion, and to seize unpaid wergild for acts of injury or insult.

Knowing how to fight is knowing when to fight. Sometimes it is stupid to fight. That might be where victory cannot be assured, and victory can seldom be easy or long when it goes against right.

He taught us how to fight so that we could survive. There was a Wolf-Age coming, an Axe-Age. What was the provenance of the heavenly militia warding off woe from the world became our provenance. If we were to survive the Wolf Age and Axe Age, we'd have to know how to defend ourselves. These Arts he knew ; these Arts he taught, and ever was he the common minuteman's friend.

But let none mistake that martial readiness and that ability to hold one's own and give as good as one gets in a fight for the imperialistic dogs of war. Let us not follow the Wolf ; let us follow our Shire-Reeve of Victory, who sharpens rights upon the blade of an axe. Never would he dull them.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Ananta Androscoggin said...

Let us not forget that the true "Sport of Kings" has always been warfare, not the horsie stuff that most today pretend it to be. Whether any particular king was a good ruler or a bad one, the tendency has always been to desire to add the neighbor's territory to their own possessions (a term still in use by governments).

Sign me, a 10th-generation veteran in the New World,
Ananta Androscoggin

5:38 AM  
Blogger SiegfriedGoodfellow said...

I believe the tendency you are discussing is called "Greed", and it is certain that ever since she came house to house whispering amongst men her seductions, there have been men willing to help her breed the wolves in the Ironwoods. Ever would she delight to have such men confuse the Wolf for the One Who Tried To Tame Him! Discernment, spiritual and intellectual and emotional discernment, is necessary to penetrate the veil and go beyond illusion. Many things seem to be what they are not. In the Greek tradition, they say that Astraia, Goddess of Justice, who lived amongst mankind, became so disgusted by moral degradation that she left the earth. In the heathen tradition, we acknowledge that Loki, author of deceit, slander, and strife, engineered the death of Balder, by which the world lost its most important peace-maker, conciliator, and protector of the innocent. Nevertheless, Tyr is tough and grim in his defense of rights, and has correctly been connected with the realm of law by modern heathens (although I suspect more through intuition than a perfectly correct reading of the sources). All folks call upon their god(s) in warfare. This does not mean those gods are authentically behind any given campaign. The equation of Tyr with Mars is an error because Mars amongst early Latins was surely a different thing than the Mars developed in Roman tradition into an imperialist, blood-thirsty soldier of soldiers. My distinctions here regarding Tyr ought to be given pithy, reflective thought ; the archetypal realm allows us the opportunity to step outside the cynical graveyard of history and its "mean and ordinary agonies", as N. Scott Momaday puts it, and correct, from a new visionary standpoint. It's certain that we're still within the Axe and Wolf Age, and ought to be prepared accordingly, because still, as Voluspa says, men neither spare not respect each other in this age, but the opportunities to create domains of great freedom, law, prosperity and peace are still very much with us, so long as we will attend the archetypal realm and nourish the gifts the Gods have given us.

9:48 AM  

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