Beware that many men can be bastards, shrewd and full of face that fits their advantage, smile at the right time and then blows when least expected, treachery in the heart and out for gain, friendly when the moment suits them while making arrangements behind the scenes, and sadly, friends, not just those who seek high positions, but sometimes friends, too. Beware and root yourself deeply, lest their turnings unground you as earthquakes that make you wonder ; all is not certain, and those whose knowledge of self is shaky shall be shakier more to friends. Yet some with great knowledge of self and only self-gain in mind will play all men in hall like strings of a harp to a tune whose melody in full is full of dissonance and melancholy to those who hear it, joy to he who plays it. Beware the Loki in all men and women, who play the thrall to his tricks as pawns, who claim worship of holy powers but demonstrate switching in their own behavior. Get wise, allow shock to deepen into firm anger, stern and discerning eyes that won't be fooled twice, and bunker down knowing the flippancy and cruelty in some men's ambition so that you will not be surprised when alliances break and treaties are turned. Some of those who have your back may drop out at a sudden, and your response must be no-nonsense and full of firm strength and resolve. The Hooded One says, be prepared, make ready for contingencies, even unlikely and painful ones, and share out only that trust which has been full earned and over tests of time. The Sagas are full of all kinds of characters, many of whom are not moral exemplars, but examples all the same of bastards who may have their way, and even receive some praise for it. One is often shocked at the treachery and cruelty of the Sagas' honesty, its often firm objectivity in reporting the truth of many men's lives that does not allow us to idealize ancestors who themselves had fallen much from ancient golden ages. "Men switcheth," sayeth the Rune-Poem, thereby speaking the unsteadiness of hearts and the treachery even in agreements and vows made which ought to stand through time. In time, though, we will know who are trees, who stand treowe, steadfast, sustained, and can hold the gifts we give for good. And we will know those who never deserved the half of what we gave, and sadly become wiser for it. In that wisdom we shall draw the steadfast close and reap greater rewards and harvests.