Wolfslayer unspeaking strides The endless years The watch of the wolf The world to tread Beneath his boot of scraps
Unshorn and silent Brooding and cold The judgment of the gods The twilight killer Among us walks
For all his father hung On windswept tree That mortals should in knowledge grow For all that Thor in endless war Our world defended Howling the human kine Refuse the runes Refuse the lore Refuse the battle But not the cost
Masked and gowned Deep scars in faces Deeper in souls Falling unmorned and unnumbered By lowing kine that only care That their muzzle is free to browse While herd defenders fall Weeping and ignored
Jottun laughter shakes the land Angrboda mother of monsters Rejoices as her children reap The harvest endless Of the children of Ask and Embla
For all the prices paid for knowledge For all the heroism of defenders Count as nothing When comfort excuses killing And ignorance is worshiped as god
When Twilight falls will Vidar speak With the boot of scraps With left overs of the common man Shall the Odinslayer shatter The Victory slayer broken By the leavings of the silent Will the Wolf be slain at last
Kneeling the silent one gathers From janitor, nurse and aid From doctor, coroner, and tech Ten thousand masks Scraps of a war they fought alone Scraps of the forgotten and distained Scraps of faith in a land unworthy Woven into a boot of battles
Forged of a faith hard kept In faithless lands Forged of weaponless warriors In a fight forsaken Will the silent one forge The death of the Hope Slayer From the failure of our days Will he weave a weapon for twilight
The Silent One cannot speak His is the final watch His the eyes that see Those whose hope has died Yet rise to battle still In silence he nods Keepers of the twilight watch But their scraps he will carry To the final day Where words will not suffice And the wolf at last will fall.
—For my friends in the healthcare sector who have to be despairing at the active resistance and outright attack they are facing in the long struggle to keep us all safe from Covid. For those who have lost, who are struggling now, and will yet face this particular monster we could have, should have, and would have already defeated if not for the howling and defiant ignorance of the science deniers, conspiracy theorists, and morons.
Vidar is the Silent One, but while he does not speak, he watches, and the long struggle is his. You are not alone, and your struggle is not unwitnessed.
I was given a challenge, and it seemed reasonable to answer it.
The merchant Iadakus was proud of his bride, Adosina, a high breasted beauty, daughter of an Ostrogoth chieftain of the people with whom he traded dyes and fabrics, spices and steel ingots for the furs, amber, and fantastically ornate mosaics used to adorn small items all the way to sword sheathes, most often to be used as grave goods, with an opulence the most sophisticated Byzantine or Alexandrian magnate would pay any amount to posses.
The older sailors of his merchant ship Marzamemi muttered about the risk of having a woman on board, the younger sailors grabbed their crotches and whispered how long it would be before the blushing bride tired of the old merchant, as it was a long voyage. For two days they sailed along the shore, for the winds were with them.
The third night as they swayed at anchor, the wind began to rise, and the captain was awakened. The shallow draft ship rolled and slipped over the waves as the captain screamed out to the keltuse to beat to quarters. The anchor dragged along the bottom and snagged on a reef, dipping the stern of the galley until the sea threatened to roll over the decks.
Iadakus struggled to get to the cabin door, his young wife Adosina helped to keep him from falling as they struggled onto the deck. The Byzantine captain screamed at his men to cut the cables and free the ship to run before the wind.
The waves hammered the ship, the aft rising high enough the steering oar would not bite, and the ship rolled on its beam as it was broadside on the waves, the tarred ropes howling and screaming as they strained. Fortune favoured them, and the heavy bow with its bronze ram dipped the nose and plowed deep into the trough of the wave. The ship groaned and boards shattered as the ship bent as its spine nearly broke. The slack in the lines when the ship bent left the mast loose, and the wind caught the yards like a giant’s hammer, while the sea clawed like a hungry dragon at the hull, dragging it the opposite way.
The mast snapped and came down shattering the port rail and carrying six crew into the sea. Adosina joined the sailors as she picked up an ax rolling loose upon the deck to hack upon the lines on the fallen mast threatening to pull the ship over as it dragged behind the dismasted galley.
Dawn found them dismasted and far from the shore, the sky dark and wild as the winds howled in the distance to all sides, whipping the seas beyond the azure of the sleeping Mediterranean into the white of the seas fangs bared to its prey.
It was then the young sailor who had been grabbing his crotch at the sailing, looking at Adosina and dreaming of her growing bored enough with her older husband and lonely for a young sailor, who looked over at her now. Dress pressed tight to her body, soaked in sea water, her hair loose and wild in the wind, the axe used to clear the lines and shattered rails in the storm tossed night now loose in exhausted hands. Fear covered his face, for he knew they were in the eye of the storm, and every path onward was back into its teeth. A landswoman, she only knew the sea no longer raised their ship to the sky and smashed it down with every wave. She smiled, a hopeful smile, taking joy of survival hard won. The sailor saw her smile and his fear turned to rage. He pointed and screamed.
“Her fault! It is her fault. We took a woman on board and the sea she grew jealous. She will take us all if we do not cast her out!” The sailor screamed.
The men growled and turned to circle her, she backed towards her lord husband. He reached down and took the axe from her hand and smiled. She turned back to face the approaching sailors, and did not see her merchant lord husband raise the axe, and bring its haft down on her head.
They bound her hands, and she kicked out at them. Wrapping her legs in anchor chain, they swore she would go down to the bottom to the sea so she would no longer be jealous. Adosina raised her eyes and begged her husband to defend her, that she was a good woman who had fought all the night along side the sailors to save the ship. To her husband she begged, “You promised on our wedding that you would take me to distant shores, will you break all your oaths to me?”
Two sailors stirred and began to argue this was true, but the captain reached down to grab her mouth and with his dagger cut out her tongue.
“She is a witch, she tries to beguile us. Let her be silent until we give her to the sea. She will beguile no sailors.” The captain swore.
Adosina’s husband sneered at her in fear forged rage and imitation courage. “If I let you live, I would not see the farther shore, so I give you to the sea.”
Legs bound together, she fell into the sea. Clawing at the surface, she could only fall deeper into the cold and dark. Her mouth opened, tongueless and breathless, she could not scream, but she raised her arms in entreaty at the men who had betrayed her.
Down beneath the wild white water of the seas rage, down past the blue of the sea’s peace, down into the black of the sea’s hunger. It was there that she found a giant.
Hair flowed like a crown around a face so white it shone. What colour was it? Green of kelp, black, who could say. Face proud like a queen, cold like the mercy Adosina had been shown, eyes black and pitiless of the sharks that turned in lazy circles about her. Hands the size of a man’s torso reached out to cup Adosina, and the howling panic of the last of her bubbling breath fell away.
Blue human eyes staring into black eyes some called divine, but most spoke of only in fearful whispers.
The voice of Ran echoed in the deep, gentle as the faintest whisper the fiercest storm barely raised down here.
“They gave you to me child. As if I cast my nets for one who has never strode a deck, never taken of my bounty and given nothing in return, as if you were the one who came as a thief to my realm. I took my payment of them and let them go. Their chance to offer to me was when they sailed. Yet, they give you to me.”
There is no way to cry in the sea, but Adosina tried. She had no voice, no husband, no hope and no home, now even death was denied her. The same spine that drove her onto the storm tossed decks to take up axe and battle the storm caused her to raise her eyes and glare defiance at the cold white face of black eyed Ran of the deeps. Wordlessly, breathlessly, she screamed her rage.
Far above, the sea whipped white and the sky’s answered in lashes of lightning and howling wind as Black Ran laughed.
“You please me, daughter. Would you serve one who will not toss you aside, for what I catch, I keep?” Ran asked. Adosina nodded.
Ran stroked the chain bound legs, and the bronze chain fell from them.
“They took your legs, that you never be free. I will give you legs that will make you ever free in my kingdom.” Ran sang softly. Fish like scales the colour of the verdigris and bronze ran down Adosina’s legs, and those legs fused together into the seamless lateral tail of a whale.
Brushing the torn clothes from her torso, and the bindings from her hair, she let Adosina float free, beginning to swim under her own power in the cold and lightless depths.
“They thought I feared your beauty, when it was their own fear that could not face the sight of it, so do not hide your beauty for fear of their eyes or their ownership any more.” Ran whispered softly, her eyes catching the sad blue eyes of her newest daughter.
Lastly she bent her great head down and kissed her daughter lightly on the top of her head.
“They took your tongue, and took your voice, for fear you would entice and bewitch them. Thieves upon my oceans, oathbreakers and woman killers, they sought to silence you and in my eternal silences to hide their crime. Daughter of mine, I give you back your voice. I give you my song, the song of the sea, the endless hunger of the source of all life, the endless hunger of the silence and cold that drowns every scream and waits to drag down the bones of ships and sharks and bones alike.”
Adosina raised her head, and opened her mouth. She sang, and for miles around, every shark and ray turned and swam to her call, while above the black depths, the sea boiled white at her call.
Ran looked upon her daughter and smiled.
“Will you stay with me child, in my waters. Will you seek out the men who trespass in our realm, and seek to use us so lightly? Will you use the voice they stole and I restored to call them to the death they promised you?”
Adosina smiled, and shot towards the surface, seeking the sun and wind, the surface of the sea upon which the ships of men sailed, and upon which the magic of mermaids waited to be made.
They say that Black Ran casts her nets for the men who work the sea, dragging their living from her bounty. They say that she is a jealous goddess, yet these are but the words of men. Such men who have turned her seas to red with the murder of their own hands, who have struck from the sea and treated the women they found as little more than loot to steal, may well have told only such of the truth as they chose to face.
They say the mermaids haunt the seas, whose voices call the sailors and tempt them to watery embrace and death, or whose songs call call the ships themselves to doom upon reef and rock. What could drive such womanly spirits to such wrath, or the sailors to such fear, who can say?
There was a time I had a choice Young and strong with naught but dreams Twas then the old man Spun a tale and weaved a song My foot unthinking took the dance My hands upon the weapon closed
I followed into fire and shot Thinking the danger to my front Yet the song was in my soul The weaving of my step Through blood and fire To tree was bound And bound and bound
Young and strong with naught but dreams Did the old man whisper in my dreams Secrets of life and truths of death Would I like to learn to sing The songs of madness Songs of truth His face a grin his fingers swift The rope he guided me to weave
I followed into song and verse To weave the truths no words can hold Of loss and learning Of illusions death Of rising when no hope remains Unknowing to the tree was bound And bound and bound
When to the tree at last I came I found him there Beside my grave A rope was in his hand Of my weaving every strand And to the tree he bound me fast And bound and bound
The old man laughed And let me swing Choking on the truths I learned I took them up And with them burned I wept then for the cost But to this tree I was always bound And bound and bound.
The twisted paths that I had trod Were mine to chose By strand and strand With arts of healing Arts of war With songs of glory With magic wrought This noose I wove This path I trod Was always to this tree I was bound And bound and bound.
The Oldest Profession, is generally a phrase used to describe prostitution, or sex work. In all honesty, there are two oldest professions, young women (and boys) could sell their body for sex as prostitutes, and young men could sell their bodies for combat as soldiers. Those rich old bastards with the political and economic power exploited those without for whatever their bodies were most useful for.
This managed to last from the stone age into our modern times with little changes save for the specifics of the transaction, and how much danger the exploited were exposed to. I was a soldier to pay my way through school. For a few years I dated a stripper who was using that summer job to put herself through school. I served the CF, and they pimped us out to the UN. Of the two of us, one left with a body less than intact, with anger issues relating to trauma, serious issues with how we were used. The other was her.
Funny, she was the one described as selling herself, yet she is the one whose hands, and conscience were clean. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the result of good marketing. Society teaches us to accept being the product, the expendable resource for those who find us economically and politically useful.
Now we come to the modern age. Prostitution, pornography, sex work in all forms has always turned women into commodities, and a great deal of money has been made off them. Now comes first Tumblr, and then OnlyFans. These platforms allowed women to shift from being simply the product, to being the content producers.
No one was angered that pornography existed, banning pornography and prostitution has always been about making sure sex workers were properly kept in their place, persecuted and poor. This has consistently exposed them to routine abuse, and made them the natural target of everyone looking to kill human beings who won’t be missed.
No, the conservatives lost their minds, and dropped their masks when the sex workers moved from being the exploited product, to being the content creators. The women were safe, financially secure, and generating content that was no longer message controlled by an industry with a very firm idea of the message they were to market. The LGBTQ+ community flourished in these spaces. An acceptance for different body types, gender identities, gender expressions, sexual orientations flowered. The sex positive culture weakened the traditional mass market pornography selling a body image that agreed with the diet, makeup, fashion industries unnatural body stylings.
Sex positive women, sex workers, LGBTQ+ people and those of non traditional gender expressions built the communities and the economic success of Tumblr and OnlyFans. In return, the received a safe space, community, affirmation, and economic control of their own content.
Apple gave Tumblr the choice, remove porn or lose being supported on the Apple platforms. The banks gave OnlyFans a choice, remove porn or lose banking services.
Let’s be clear. NO ONE is looking to shut down Pornohub, or the thousands of industrial pornographic producers who are still selling young women as product, where big business reaps the profit and they workers just get fucked, literally and financially. The only ones being shut down are the sites where sex workers had agency, had physical safety, had financial security, and the full choices about what they would choose to do for money.
I hear a lot of “stop child trafficking” bullshit from the right wing. I call it bullshit because they are the ones creating the shadows, and driving sex work into those shadows, that allow, empower and protect the sex traffickers and expose the sex workers to nothing but abuses and predation.
Europe has looked at sex work and decided to reduce the harm. They brought sex workers into the light, into full protection as workers. Those nations chose to accept that prostitution or sex work was never going to go away, but the drugs, the diseases, the coercion, sex trafficking, physical abuses, could be eliminated.
Can you get rid of sex trafficking of minors, of the women kidnapped into the lifestyle when all sex work is driven into the shadows? Hundreds of years of law enforcement have given us the answer; no. Can you get rid of those same abuses when you bring the sex workers into the light? Yes. Take the haystack away and needles aren’t too hard to find. Keep the needles in the haystack and no, we can’t ever find enough to matter.
Corporate conservatives are not opposed to sex work, they are opposed and actively at war, with women being economically secure sex content producers, not economically oppressed carefully marketed product. The Conservative church, conservative politicians, and conservative big businesses have always supported keeping women and vulnerable underage boys, available for their use, without any protection or choice in their use, on the streets and in the shadows where they were aware they were always and only product to be consumed. The “scandals” of the abuses of these sectors with vulnerable sex workers, frequently underage have been so common for as long as I was alive they really have to be spectacular to even make the news. They don’t want to get rid of it, they want the sex workers to remain vulnerable, without physical or economic security.
You know what? No.
We are in an age when you do not need a movie studio, a printing press, a network of film distributors to get your product to market. Musicians, authors, and content creators of all kinds have taken advantage of this freedom from the mass market limitation to get messages corporate America doesn’t wish to sell us out there. Music that would never have been given radio play are now building support bases and fan bases that make a paying career possible. Authors telling stories that were not ever going to get funding for mass printing, or big budget film are building their own following, and economic support for telling the stories about characters that were not the same crap we have been offered for the last hundred years. Heroes and heroines of every body type, every racial background, gender expression and sexual orientation. No longer were we limited to the stories the Industry wanted to sell us, now we could find stories about our own communities, stories we could see ourselves reflected in.
At the same time, sex workers were given the same chance, the chance to step outside the exploitive industry that turned them into product, while denying them any creative control, or any chance of economic survival if they dared to express limits on what they would participate in. Sex workers became the content creators. Less exploitive porn, every body type, and every gender expression and sexual orientation were able to create sex positive spaces where they could explore their own joys.
Now Corporate America has spoken, they want to end this freedom. They want sex workers back in their place as product. They want shame, they want exploitation, they want physical risk, disease, and police harassment to again be the daily lot of the sex worker. They want the sex content, they just don’t want the women to profit, they want them only as product.
I am a Heathen. I don’t get the whole Christian hatred of sex workers. I read their book, and I have a sneaking suspicion that if Jesus Christ were to walk into any of the churches I have seen during a bible thumping speech drumming up hatred against sex workers that they would have the ever loving crap slapped out of them by their dear lord. He did once tell a man who tried to body shame a woman for arousing him that if he thought sinful thoughts looking at her to rip the eye out of his head. It was his issue, not hers. That was Jesus, so where his priests get their misogyny from is an interesting question, and not my problem.
Being Heathen, we have the example of Freya, a goddess with sexual agency she wields at her will and no others in defiance of any social convention in blissful unconcern. She was equal in power to Odin and had zero concern for other peoples reactions to her sexual freedoms. What are her thoughts on Tumblr and Onlyfans sex workers? I would have to say that she would bless their embracing their sexual nature, their power, and making a strong independent life on their own terms. Choosing to make a life they can be proud of, rather than accepting the will and judgement of others as to what they could or could not do with their body.
There is something so pathetic about the drive to deplatform sex workers in Tumblr and Onlyfans. It isn’t about stopping porn. It is about stopping sex workers from ever daring to see themselves as producers, as workers deserving of dignity, physical and economic security, rather than just product to be exploited for the profit of others.
There is something about getting up in the morning, letting your mind begin the daily sort of priorities, that which you must do, that which you should do, that which you want to do, and that which you are pretty sure you can ignore because when is the last time you got to the second list, let alone the fourth?
There is that feeling where you measure yourself against what you must do for the day, then turn to face your mirror, take a long hard look at what you see and come to the conclusion you aren’t good enough.
Now I can hear a lot of people already starting the whole “don’t downtalk yourself” thing, and they have a point. A good one. Your superego is your unconscious understanding of yourself, but it is sort of a weighted average of all the snapshots of your ego, what you consciously think of yourself, that you have stored over time. From that point of view, they are right.
There is a problem with getting older. The rah rah stuff that used to fire you up and motivate you, the cheerleader optimism that used to power you through all the doubts starts to get less effective as you get older and you start to keep track of the number of times everything depended on you, you can’t afford to fail, insert whatever line in the sand you use on yourself; and you failed anyway.
Not being allowed to fail, and your chances of succeeding are not actually related. There is a relation between not allowing yourself to fail and giving up, but it isn’t always about you. The world is a stone cold dream killing bitch that does not care who is in its way when it passes through.
Many times you needed to find more inside, it wasn’t enough. This means that those inner cheerleaders pom poms are pretty threadbare, and the inspirational memes are as likely to draw really negative memory loops as positive feelings.
Looking in the mirror, and making the sober assessment, you are not enough is a wonderful place to be, for those of us worn down, stripped of most of the feel good illusions and having brutally lost every traumatic virginity of loss and failure. It is because it is the state that we can use to plot an attack that is not based on some superhero fantasy of if we just want it badly enough we can win.
This is Odin’s place.
Mr Wednesday is not Mr Happy. He is not the god of sunshine and puppies. Not the god of nobility and trying hard. He is the god of cheating, stealing, charming, creative rule interpretation, inspired work arounds and brutal screw the cost, ultraviolence. Whoops, weren’t looking for the last one? Don’t give the willingness to accept the terrible consequences to achieve all cost objectives as being a bad thing. It is the tool to reach for last, but if you reach for it, swing as hard as you can, for half measures won’t win.
You are not good enough. The voice of Imposter Syndrome. The fear that you are faking it, not deserving of your position, not as good as those in similar positions, not equal to your challenges. Fake.
Good. You are in the right place. Odin’s place.
Odin wasn’t good enough. Liar and thief, traitor and oathbreaker, unmanly sneak who cast aside even his manhood to get the magic he needed. A less impressive figure you could not find in all mythology. He does not give a shit. He isn’t the god of glory, not the god of masculinity, he is the Victory Father, and his path is neither pretty nor clean. Pretend otherwise at your peril.
Odin made a mistake long ago, he traded an eye for knowledge. What he saw was what was coming. He saw what was coming when no one else did. There were worthier gods, but they lacked the wisdom to see what was necessary. There were stronger gods, but they were not willing to admit that strength alone was not enough. There were wiser goddesses, but they were not willing to sacrifice enough to save what perhaps, only perhaps, they could. There was only him, and he was not half enough for the job.
He set out to steal what he needed. He lied, charmed, seduced, and stole what he needed for inspiration for himself and for the rest of us. He dressed as a woman to learn the magic of women because he needed it more than he needed anyone’s respect for his masculinity. Victory Father, not alpha male, no shits given for appearance, no care given for reputation, or origin of his skills. Whatever it takes to win, because no one else is doing the job.
He wasn’t good enough for the job, but the job is there, the doom was coming and no one else was stepping up. He wasn’t suffering from Imposter Syndrome, he was the first Imposter. He was the Fake King, the High Fraud. The father of lies, the first being that you should trust him. Even he doesn’t trust him. Trust this, he is not planning on losing.
Hanging on the Tree, he proved there was substance to his lie. He was not the Allfather by right, he was not as noble as Tyr, nor as strong as Thor. He never will be as frithful as Frey, as wise as Frigg, nor as truthful as Heimdall, yet there is this, he has never waivered from the goal he focused on. He will steal, sacrifice, or study to learn whatever he needs to, so that he may become the equal to his task.
He is the fake, the fraud, the imposter who leads us forward towards victory. Victory he cannot see the path to, does not have the tools to craft, but plots point by point to steal, earn, learn, barter or build what he needs along the way so when he gets there he can win. Not survive, that one was never an option. He was not the god of self care, he was the Victory Father.
Look into the mirror and see you are not good enough. You are a fraud, a fake, not equal to the tasks ahead. You don’t know enough, aren’t strong enough, don’t even see a path to victory.
He gave the eye, that knowledge could be stolen of what comes. He hung on the tree, that we can have and share knowledge with each other and stand on strength not our own. He betrayed Gunlod to steal the mead of inspiration that we may find the paths where none existed, to survive the prices we have to pay. He taught us the laws of hospitality because we are never going to be equal to these challenges alone, we need each other, grow stronger with each other, and because together we are more than we could ever be alone, draw substance from those who stand with us to make the fake a reality.
You are as fake as he is. Think about that. He is perhaps not the example we would wish, not the example we deserve, but he is the example we have. The Victory Father, the first imposter, the lie made truth.
We don’t really fake it until we make it, we fake it until we make ourselves the person we needed to be to finish the job. We were fake at the start, but we may well be real at the finish. If the task needs doing, and falls to you, what choices do you have but to walk Odin’s path and find your way to Victory.
On the way you may find more wonders in yourself, and more strength in those around you than you dreamed. Still don’t trust him all the way; that eye has zero remorse, and you were warned coming in.
Forgive me if upon the day I cannot raise the cry I cannot sing the shining praise Nor raise my banner high The mother of our land is weeping Heavy are her tears The dead are crying in their graves Hidden all these years
To all of us who marched away Made war under her name Her tears demand to know Who stood on guard For my first born When you stood on guard for me?
I love our nation best of all I am her proudest son Yet I hear her weeping for her first born Those we stole and threw away You cannot raise the banner high When it flies on unmarked graves Her tears will keep that banner furled Until we give justice to their name
Our nation is a promised land A land so strong and free Yet we built it on the broken bones Of little children we took away
Forgive me if I cannot sing The anthem on the day Not when so many bones are screaming In their unmarked graves
The day will come we raise the flag Salute again with pride But first we must bring justice For all the innocents who died
Our motherland weeps on the banner For her firstborn cast aside Until we make it right with them We have no right to pride
I will not be celebrating Canada Day this July 1st. I will be pouring out my offerings to the hundreds of Aboriginal Canadians ripped from their families, murdered, and thrown away in mass unmarked graves in a program that ran into the 1990’s, under the auspices of the Canadian government, the Catholic and Anglican Churches.
We made a successful attempt to kill an entire group of cultures, languages, and ways of life. We set out to destroy family structures, community structures, traditional beliefs, and we didn’t care how many Aboriginal children had to suffer or die as long as whatever remained was only capable of speaking English or French, only capable of praying to Jesus.
We didn’t care if they got sick, got beaten, got raped. We didn’t care if they simply got taken away and forgotten. The forgotten are being found as today’s technology is capable of finding the sins of the past we buried in unmarked mass graves that we like to pretend belong to Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. They are Canadian. We did this. We were doing this while most of us were alive, and the survivors of this are all around us, continuing to be treated far worse by our criminal justice system and social services.
We live in the richest society on earth, with a constitution and charter of rights and freedoms that calls upon us to fulfill the dream of a society in which all are treated equally and well, no matter their race, religion, gender, or orientation. Yet not everyone gets to be part of this dream, those who were here first, those who welcomed our ancestors to this land now have communities that are so poor and bereft of the services that all of us take for granted they look like they should be on some other continent, not a short drive down the highway. We have the harsh statistics that show being born Aboriginal is to never be treated fairly by our social safety net or criminal justice system. We have mass graves of a cultural genocide that was willing to accept actual genocide as the cost of wiping out Aboriginal culture.
I love my country, but I will not celebrate it until we have made this right. We made a promise with our constitution, with our Charter of Rights and Freedoms that whatever we may have been when we were founded, we came together to demand something better, something fair, just, and harmonious.
I won’t salute those colours again until I see us live up to that broken promise, until those mass graves have seen justice done, when the survivors who have had their culture, their family and community structure stolen away have received our aid in rebuilding.
When the motherland no longer weeps for her first born children lying forgotten in unmarked graves, I will salute the colours again. Until then, the flag hangs heavy with the tears of the motherland, and the dead lie awaiting justice in the cold earth that was the only homeland we left them.
I guess everyone has heard the song (My Mother Told Me) from the Vikings, but it got stuck in my head and I began to think about what my father actually told me (what my mother told me is neither printable nor useful).
My Father Told Me
My father told me One day I would die All that I had won Left upon the dirt
When the challenge sounds Be the one who stands Give your all to the battle Blood will wash you clean Time will make you whole It won’t make you forget
My father told me One day I would fail All that I had fought for Would look on me with shame
When work is still to do Be the one who stands Give your all to the doing No one has to cheer Love is paid with duty Rest is for the dead men
My father told me One day he would die All that he had won Would live on in me
When I see my children I see my father’s eyes Boldly striding forth Charging into the future No fear will hold them No fear will hold them
—The song got stuck in my head some time ago, and it is a good work song. Problem with good work songs with lyrics of meaning it you start working on the meaning in the part of your brain that is not busy working.
My father did teach me a lot about killing, but that was mostly about making sure I stayed alive to get to the important stuff he paid good coin to learn. The things he taught that mattered the most are these;
It costs you more to look in the mirror and wonder why you didn’t step up, than it costs to step up and get hurt, or even dead.
One day you will fail, when you can’t afford to. You will screw up the thing you would have given everything to protect. You STILL have work to do, if you aren’t dead, you don’t get to stop and feel sorry for yourself. Get back to work, and feel sorry for yourself while doing your duty.
No thing you earn, no title, no land you hold, no gold, no lover will matter after your last breath. What will is those you leave behind. What you give to them in time, in care, in protection, in power, in resources and in love are the only things death can’t take from you.
Remember that when you choose. You don’t get to fix it when they don’t need you anymore.
Roots of “You’re doing it wrong!” in modern Heathenry.
We are children of Ask and Embla spiritually, but we were raised in an over-culture that was Christian. Not all of that baggage is clearly labelled, and much of it, with tags ripped off, we brought with us. Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy, the One True Faith, one true path, one true everything is a toxic and poisonous leaving of the lie that was foisted on the Jewish people by a priesthood who saw consolidation of the pantheon and consolidation of their power as a nifty idea. They collapsed their pantheon into Jehova’s merry misogyny circus, and the disease of the One True Faith was born.
Rome looked for something to unify ten thousand peoples under its yoke, and look, here was a ready made tool. Splice with Mithras elements to get the Legions on board and Western Christianity was born.
One god. One way to worship god. One way to be a man. One way to love, one way to prove yourself, and we forged our own chains. The Patriarchy is good for the Patriarch and terrible for everyone else. Why did we keep it? We returned to the ancestral altars. Great, wonderful, pat on the back and hearty hail. Now that we are all done patting ourselves on the back, lets deal with the baggage.
We, as in Asatru/Heathenry in North America largely sprung from white Protestant Christian roots. We sneer at Wiccans a whole lot, and boy can you hear the Protestant come out. Wow did we keep the single gender identity, single gender role. Oh don’t get me wrong, we love and revere Frigg as a fertile Mother Mary, but boy do our conservatives get twitchy when Freya’s sexuality or Skadi’s independence enters the discussion.
What about us?
Brosatru is a label that most of us sigh and admit is our problem. Viking metal Valhalla or bust fan boys. On a more dangerous level, “Strong masculine men, and feminine ladies.” which can either be a quote from the AFA, or the Gobels Nazi party, they both used it, and both meant the same thing by it.
This is a modern poison that sprang from Christian raised men looking to take little brown possibly commie Jesus out, and a warrior Odin to take over a revised white Old Testament for creation of a National Folk identity that was complete toxic fabricated bullshit from the start.
The reality. There was never one true anything. Frey is a model of manhood, so is Tyr, Thor, Odin (more wizard than warrior, sorry AFA), and even Loki are all models of how to be a man, a strong and successful, sane and complete one. The disease of the One True Faith needs to die. We need to kill it here first. There isn’t one right way to be a man. The expression of your masculine power is something that weaves through every part of your soul, finds expression in many different forms as you grow and mature.
We have many gods, many goddesses, many examples. None are superior, all have lessons to teach, and warnings to give. Each have something to teach us, and each has weaknesses. We are not sufficient unto ourselves; we require community. We require EACH type of man, and woman to handle everything we must as a community. Are you capable of being the man your child needs? Maybe not, but you are capable of being the man who will seek the example who can teach your child to use the tools THEY have to meet the challenges THEY face. Are you capable of understanding the gifts in them, the virtues in them, the greatness in them even if the form is not one that matches your own path or nature?
As a people, we did that once. We can do that again. We gave up so much of our soul, so much of our potential when we accepted the lie there was only one way to be a man, or woman, and be worthy. Even returning to the altars, having tossed away the Bible and cross, we dragged the disease of the One True Faith with us, and have been punishing everyone in our communities for the crime of daring to be different than us.