Gift of Joy

Gebo Wunjo

The Gift of Joy

Here is the thing, I do not use the esoteric to accomplish what my own strength, will, wit, and sheer bloody mindedness can accomplish.  I have known success against most of the challenges that have come against me so far, and made many of my dreams come to take their first halting, wobbling steps upon this good world of ours.  I need no magic for this, I will succeed or fail upon my own merit, choices, and wyrd.

I have learned there is a place for the esoteric in my practice.  Note I said mine, I am not telling to use it, not telling you how to use it, nor suggesting this is the only way others can use it, or that there is any reason for people to take it up in the first place.  There you go, cavet lector!

What I have found a great benefit from in my daily life is what the esoteric practices have shown me about myself, and how I have learned to see my own choices and challenges not only in a different light, but in essence, through different eyes.

At Trothmoot past I took part in a very powerful ritual whose implications were far reaching, personal, and I admit, I was poorly equipped to process.  OK, homework assignment given, remedial reading thoughtfully provided by those older, wiser, and far better put together than myself, I went about going back to my daily life with an increased empathy, an increased lust, an increased sense of wonder, and the growing understanding of how badly out of balance I was.

Wyrd weaves as it will, but I am convinced the threads you bind to your own are less random than we would love to think, for threads from the past come back so often to tug you gently from the tangles and knots of the weave of your wyrd to set you straight.  So it was that another fair few friends of mine felt compelled to run a second ritual that ran counter to the defaults of my conscious mind, but matched seamlessly both with what I was experiencing, and with what my studies of psychology had shown was required to restore the balance in my life, and thus my ability to function harmoniously and productively in all the relationships of my life.


I needed it.  I craved it, I hungered for it.  Passion was denied, joy was denied, and in the place of those life giving expressions of passion the tensions found their expression in the darker aspects of passion whose tools come so readily to my hands; rage, self denial, ice cold ruthlessness.

I was a poorer leader, a poorer father, a poorer husband because in my denial of the need for human passion, joy and sensation, I had begun to forge myself into nothing more than a tool or a weapon, a caricature of a strong man, rather than the fullness of one.

This Easter upon the egg of my offering I make the bind-rune, Gebo-Wunjo; the Gift of Joy.

Spring is upon us, the Maying beckons to us with all its vital wicked wanton lust for life, and I will drink deep of the scents upon the breeze, the thunder in the air, the blessed fire of sweet Sunna’s warmth and I will revel in it.  It is not enough to do your duty, it is not enough to survive, you must live, or you may as well be in the mound already, for you have left this life behind, as I did.

Odin is grim while he broods, but merry when mischief he makes, seduction or strategies are a dance as real and joyous to him as any maypole measure of Freyr.  Thor is the storm upon the land, the warder of the realm of men, and while grim his duty, bright and bold his laughter, and his beard is ever out shone by the warmth of his smlle.  Freyr  of the golden wand, depicted ever potent is the promise of life’s richness, a magic that is rooted not in secrets beyond mortal ken, but in the earthy connection to our own bodies and through the connection of our primal selves and needs, to the deeper primal expression of those forces and needs that in turn move the world itself, and those beings that share it with us.

The duties given me were real, and my need to face them at whatever cost was real as well, but it was the legacy of Christian thought that caused me to think my loving gods would lay such a shild upon me, such a wyrd woven me, without  a chance at joy, or hope, laughter or love.  That was no doing of theres, but my own.

Wunjo is not simply the rune for joy, its meanings include completion; to finish what you have begun is to know joy.  Wunjo is joy and fulfillment, to have become what you have sought to become is to be fulfilled, to be complete and whole.  This is joy, if you let it be.  I was not.  Gebo is gift, and sacrifice, the making sacred of a thing that is offered in the expectation of a reciprocal gift from those you have gifted.  I had been sacrificing myself, and forgetting that when we give for others, we receive in turn.  It was no lack of reciprocity that was my loss, but my lack of acceptance of what was offered.

My offering, my lessons, my truths are the same.  Gebo-Wunjo, the gift of joy.  It is not enough to survive, you must live.  There is beauty and passion in this world, there is joy to be seized and savoured.  I face the world now with a greater sense of the emotions of others, yet somehow that only made me blinder than ever about myself.  Luckily, there are others in this world who see us more clearly than we can ourselves.  From them, from me, take this lesson, this offering; Gebo-Wunjo, the gift of joy.

Drink deep, laugh loud, smell, taste, and touch the beauty around you, hold close those who give you comfort.  The grave awaits us all, you may as well live until you get there.

John T Mainer


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