Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Heathen Humility

Things are not always as they seem. They say humility is foreign to heathenism. Bullshit. Humility is the very heart of heathenism, the ground from which we brag.

It is Rome that is arrogant, in its imperial and its religious forms. It is Rome which constructs a great chain of being with human beings at the top, little lower than the angels.

We are heathen. We are of the earth. We humble our humanity before weeds, trees, rivers, stones. Teachers reside there. Great elfin beings of shine and marvel tend these flocks. There is grandeur in a simple field of corn and grass. The wind blows, and we know Odin's thoughts wander about the earth.

We are beings of the heart. Our hearts are not debased by bowing before the humble things of this earth. We are trees transformed. We are bread and meal and milk drawn up through earthen flesh into bone and blood bodies spiralling with stars in our heads. God is mad, wild, uncanny. Enchantment lies deep in the heart of things. This is how it belongs. This is how it should be.

Because we have roots, we have crowns as well. Because our trunks stand firmly in the ground, our branches frame the blue swept heavens. We may nest in the mustard and oats and speak great soliloquoys, often of silence. Guttural sounds and gurglings of rivers emerge from our throats, and we are proud to speak them. We too have wildness within us in our hearts.

The old ones said, cities are web-lairs of tomb-beings, crafted by giants of old. They hold no ancient wildness. They are warp, not wyrd. Only faintly wyrd whispers in such tomb-lands. If you would know the guardian who wards you, you must find her at the edge, beyond the hedge, out in wild lands where she roams free. You must roam free to see her. Her beastly guise speaks in growls and chirps your original nature (orlog). How has happenstance (wyrd) brought forth or warped that nature within you? Your city-self obscures your true nature.

Out into the woods -- it may be a mere patch of vacant land where unwanted herbs grow -- sit out. Sit out and silent begin to woo. Woo her who watches. Woo her who sings softly in the distance. Woo her who knows, and shed city-self layers like petals from a dead and dried blossom, like husks from old corn to find the green beneath.

Herbs and worts say, we are real. They say, we speak. Herbs and worts say, come to us. You could hardly think them unholy. Once they gathered in force and gave oaths, oaths to never harm the best and brightest, the cleanest and most pure, the wisest and most just. They were there and you were not, to have honor to give such oaths, and they held to them. When Beloved Mother Earth called from her high seat in the heavens, where she and her husband sip mead over atmospheric billows, faithfully they came. Faithfully they swore. Faithfully they upheld. Such honors they are still proud of. They have won their merits and have pedigree beyond your imagine. Blur eyes and see medals and heraldry totemically stretching back in great pride of heritage and story long before humans melted out of the trees. We are real, they say. We speak, and this is no "metaphor". This is no quaint little story. This is spiritual reality. We are embodiment and process of powers. Heed us.

That will make you humble your city-self. It is but a skin, with brightness beneath if you would dare. You may feel your sanity peeling. Beneath that underneath madness lies sanity cleaner and more vibrant than you have ever known. Such humility is befitting a heathen. Its heritage is something of which to be immensely proud. May you be as whole as your hearty humility!


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