In the previous edition of The Runestone, we talked about what makes up the Aryan soul. The first part of our soul complex is Lik (pronounced "leek"), the physical body.
Paraphrasing from Asatru, A Native European Spirituality, we often view the body as distinct and separate from the soul. This is not how we in the Asatru Folk Assembly view this. It is the vehicle we are given by Odin and his brothers (or, if you prefer, Odin in his triadic nature) in order to work the will of the Gods and Folk here in Midgard.
"We habitually think of the body and soul as being two distinct things, or even opposites. We regard our flesh as spiritually insignificant, a mere garment we wear on Earth, and then discard when we leave this world." -Stephen McNallen, Asatru A Native European Spirituality.
The body is a part of the soul, it's the most tangible part of it. As I mentioned above it is the vehicle we are given to work with in this realm. It is the receptacle of magical work, as stated by Edred Thorsson, in Runelore. It is the gift of Lodhurr, or Ve. The name Ve correlates to our word we use for Temple. Kind of harkens back to the cliche, "my body, my temple."
So, let’s talk about the practical part of caring for the Lik. We all know these things, yet we often hire trainers, follow diet plans, some good, some not so good. We hire trainers, not because we don't know how to take care of our bodies, but because it's about accountability. Accountability is vitally important. It's about caring for the children who are, without a doubt, watching everything we do. It's about being accountable to our Ancestors and Gods. We were given this body, as a gift, to manifest our will upon the world. We are the result of a thousand thousand loves, as our ancestors did enough to make sure we are here, through famine and plague, war and strife. It is of paramount importance that we care for this body.
Eat well, avoid processed garbage. There are a million diet plans, and a billion workout plans. Whether it’s keto, carnivore, paleo, macro counting, take your pick. All of it works, you just must find what works for you. As for exercise, weight training and cardio are staples of fitness and have been effective since the dawn of time.
I lift weights at least 6 days a week. I’ll often Galdr on the way to the gym, URUZ, the rune of primal strength. I won’t always do this audibly, often it’s in my conscious thought. When I press the barbell off my chest, I think of the bench as the altar on which I sacrifice myself to a higher self, a higher Lik. Every rep, every sore muscle is a sacrifice. We do this because we are good enough to be better.
Imagine you are given one car to drive for the rest of your life. You would do all the basic maintenance, keeping the oil changed, the coolant clean, all the bearings greased. All the belts changed. Your Lik is the only one you have for this life here in Midgard. It’s a gift from Odin, do all you can to keep it in optimal condition. It’s your sacrifice to show you are grateful for the gifts given.
I could add all kinds of statistics on obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. We all know these things. Part of what our Founder refers to as the “soul sickness” that our people suffer from manifests in a diseased Lik. Beauty matters as well as overall health. Despite what the world tells us.
Next month we will look into the Ek, the ego. Another part of the soul that can suffer if not cared for and developed properly
Gothi Daniel Young