Time and Lore
It was June this past year, and I had the distinct honor to preside over the Midsummer Blot at Odinshof. I was walking the ritual circle ahead of time, chatting with our Alsherjargothi about what I had in mind. I was also getting used to the ground so I wouldn't trip. A question popped into my mind with regard to what direction I should focus my gaze, should I look up to the heavens when addressing Baldr, or look toward the ground (the underworld)? What the Alsherjargothi had to say was vitally important. We tend to view our Lore as strictly past tense, rather than in a cyclical fashion. Baldr is in Helgard, he is also returning from Helgard, and he has already risen victoriously... all at the same time. That really resonated with me. I already knew that our Ancestors viewed time as cyclical, but it had never occurred to me to view our Lore the same way. I'll give some examples below.
The sons of Bor were once walking along the seashore and found two trees. They lifted the logs and from them created people. The first son gave them breath and life; the second, intelligence and movement; the third, form, speech hearing and sight.... the man was called Ask, and the woman, Embla. From them came mankind... (Gyfaganning, The Prose Edda)
To the coast then came, kind and mighty
from the gathered gods three great Aesir
on the land they found, of little strength
Ask and Embla, unfated yet. (Voluspa 17.)
Do we believe that humankind literally came from two pieces of driftwood? No. But it is my belief that the symbolism indicates that they washed up from the sea of humanity, or the turbulent seas of chaos, unfated...rootless even. It is also my belief, that Ask and Embla represent a generation, rather than the first humans. Perhaps they were the first generation to be conscious of our gods. (Odin gave breath..can be also be interpreted as consciousness.) With that in mind, how would we view this story through the lens of cyclical time? Another generation made aware of our Gods, is the likes of A Rudd Mills, Guido von List, Else Christensen....Stephen McNallen. an Ask and Embla generation right in front of us.
Our Ancestors lost their way after and during the conversion of Europe, perhaps a Ragnarok level of disconnection between our Gods and our people. They became rootless. They were unfated yet again, until a generation of men and women became aware, or conscious of the Gods. Did Odin give the gift of consciousness again to his people? That is my belief.
In the next Runestone, we will take a look at the slaying of Ymir, and how we can see the stories unfold in a cyclical way.
That which was, is, and that which is, is yet to occur.
Hail the Gods, Hail the Folk, and Hail the Asatru Folk Assembly!
Gothi Daniel Young