A spiritual journey is a funny thing, rather like a roller coaster in that it is full of ups and downs and turns you often don’t see coming.
Sometimes, things that we expect will turn out great don’t turn out at all, great or otherwise. And so it was with my connection with the Norse gods. Academically, they’re still fascinating to me. The Eddas and Havamal are still terrific sources of wisdom. But for all my efforts, I know that I have drifted far from that direction, and I’m not likely to sail back now that I am presented with the choice to do so.
At least, not for a while yet.
The people are partially to blame. In the last several years I’ve had to come to the sobering realization that several close friends of mine who were Asatru were also
agents of Hydra white supremacist and anti-Semitic “folkish” heathens, and I’ll admit that this shook me heavily. That’s not a world I inhabit or wish to be vaguely near to. For obvious reasons, these former friends had to go, even though they’d done nothing to me personally. I’m a pretty open minded soul and I do my best to build friendships with many groups of people, but racial supremacists are right out. In the world which I seek to help build, there’s no place for monsters like that.
The other reason was the quietude of it all. Maybe I’m not the sort of person gods like to talk to long term, but after a few years of study and communion, contact just sort of… stopped. Like I was very suddenly speaking to a brick wall. While this happened before I cut the
Hydra agents Nazis out of my life, if it turns out that the gods of my ancestors cut me off because I don’t believe a person’s skin color makes them superior or inferior to others, well, then fuck them. Any god that is so small minded is not worthy of me. But I don’t believe that’s the case. I think gods just need to do god things and there’s no room for me in that. At least, I sincerely hope that is the case.
As for why I’m not headed back anytime soon?
While it is the most easily researched part of my Northern European lineage and my voyage certainly began with them, the Norse are not the end of my quest to understand who I am. I have documented ancestry in Scotland, Ireland, and Gaul as well — a proud dual strain of Gaelic and Brythonic Celtic ancestry beats within my blood. If I am to seek my ancestors, I must seek ALL my ancestors, and it’s frankly easier to do that if I am not tied down anywhere spiritually. I don’t think that I’ll ever owe allegiance to one set of gods or another. Individuals, yes. I’m quite fond of Frey, Loki, and Skadi on my Norse side. I’m fond of Lilith on a personal side. Hopefully in the year or so to come, I can forge new bonds with gods from my Celt ancestors who are at the very least new to me. If this next leg of my journey is anything like the one I have just completed, I think I should stand to learn much and grow more.
Sometimes we are knocked off course, or becalmed in spiritual doldrums. Sometimes we lose track of where we are or where we’re going. We are each Odysseus, each of us navigating to get somewhere that strikes us as “home”. But just as each instance of those created a new chapter in Odysseus’ journey back home to Ithaca that made him a better leader, a better warrior, a better man, or simply reminded him of his ultimate goal and hardened his resolve. With that analogy in mind, I think that we should come to celebrate these drifts and off course moments. Unfamiliar seas mean new sights, and new sights are new opportunities to grow in one way or another. And sometimes, just sometimes, we find a place that’s worth staying for a spell before we get back in the boat and resume our voyage home.
I’m not mad that the Norse gods aren’t speaking to me. I might be annoyed, but that’s harmless to both sides. During this time of quiet from one source, I have elected to sail on and explore uncharted waters, and I’m very fortunate that I live in a time and place that allows me to have this option when my ancestors by and large did not.
That’s my solution. What will yours be?
Gods guide you.