By Gothi Arinbjorn OR
On the night of Midsummer, 2264re, in front of friends, comrades and family, I was ordained as Gothi Arinbjorn of the Odinic Rite. This sacred ritual was the culmination of 4+ years of study, 2 years of growth and evolution, and a lifetime of events that seemed to point to that night.
Those who take the Gothi Course will understand the efforts put in are not necessarily difficult, but they are challenging. They are time consuming and they are provocative. They require Discipline and Self Reliance- as this course is voluntary, there will be no one but yourself to keep you going.
But it is not the letters that are put down on paper or typed on a keyboard. Not the words and sentences submitted as answers and essays. Nor is it the books that are read and re-read that gives the course its challenge. It is our selves.
To date, there are only two ordained OR Gothis, myself and Gothi Hariulf, and this is not through lack of applicants or open positions, it’s because there is something that has to lie within someone to finish the course. The Rite of Profession states that the applicant will see the world with clearer eyes, what is beautiful will be more so and likewise what is ugly shall be more repulsive, and this is true. The Pathway to becoming a Gothi forces that gaze within. One must examine him/herself, for there needs to be a reason to become a Gothi.
I myself feel that I was set upon this path almost without my knowing. Many years ago, when a few members in Denver, Colorado got together to blot for the first time I was asked to lead the blot as it was decided that I had the most “experience”… Little did they care for the fact that I had rarely even led the blots at home or anywhere else! But I stepped up and fumbled through them, channeling my English comrades and teachers during galdors I learned at the GM’s. I found I liked doing the blots, and my new brothers and sisters seemed to enjoy them as well.
So when I found the insert in an old ORB for the Gothi Course, I weighed the decision and finally contacted Heimgest DCG about starting the journey. Why? I felt that if these people were going to put their trust in me as a leader, as a mediator between them and the gods- even for an hour or so a month- then I owed it to them to do the best I could. I needed to train myself, and what better way than under the tutelage of the Director of the Court of Gothar?
So I started…
I read the books and submitted reports, I meditated and examined. Over four years I occupied my time with my training. During that time I had a few pivot points in my life, turns in my journey that could have lead me down a very different path. I moved to Idaho for what was supposed to be a few months while student loans came together- I was going to Aberdeen University in the fall, going back to the Homeland to start a new life…
But that’s not what happened.
The beginning of the credit crunch of 2008ce meant I was stranded in Idaho. Thankfully my mother, the wonderful Thorbera OR, let me stay with her. For two years I was without a job- the curse of being a stranger in a small town- living off credit and motherly good will. I threw myself into my training, and as I did, I kept my sanity. Later I found a job that let me continue my studying while on the clock, the one benefit that it had.
Soon I had “completed” the course, but my training was still in full swing.
I continued to read books related to those in the course and furthered my learning, I continued to meditate where I could and develop my ideas. I was volunteering in the Idaho Prison System and was using all that the course had given me to further the education of those “behind the wire”. All this while waiting for the stars to align and get my ordination out of the way so I could begin ‘the next stage’.
But that’s not what happened either. Wyrd had said that I needed more time, and looking back I agree.
I found myself in a position to advance at my work, to become a shift supervisor under the new management. I decided that I needed this, a ‘career’ to build my life on, so I put my all into it. But Wyrd said no. Within a year the job broke me, not the work or the duties, but the politics and underhanded mentalities of those that were labeled my “peers”. It was the roughest time of my adult life, my health was in decline, my stress was through the roof and I was a man alone in the storm… a storm that I did not belong in. A storm I created by trying to create a world that I did not belong to. Urd knew it, and she and her sisters had to show me, to break my will to open my eyes.
I stepped down from the supervisor position and let my soul settle. Many an email and letter to comrades and mentors helped me through that dark night, my Ragnarok, to which the sun is only now starting to rise again.
Over the last year, I have spent many an hour inside my own head, examining the nooks and crannies. Having such a breakdown as I did- my whole world shifting as it did, I had to see what was broken and what was salvageable. I continued to read- Jung, Serrano, de Benoist, Evola- I talked to the Moon and the stars; I talked with my ancestors and to my Self and all its parts… I began to see ME and where my life had gone and what I had made of it.
Like I said, the sun is only starting to rise again in my life, the spring is coming, and I am still sorting through the rubble of my mind and getting to know all those facets of myself that I took for granted.
And on Midsummers Night, I felt a change.
The ORV Moot was honored to welcome Heimgest once again, the first time in 5 years the powers that be saw fit to let him make the journey. He came with news and possibilities, kind words and great purpose, and for my ordination. We had been trying to get together for the last two years, both of us trying to work out work schedules and border crossings but all had turned to naught until now.
My life, all of its highs and lows, growths and decays, led to that night. From the first time I picked up a cheap plastic set of runes at a book store at 14 or 15 years old and even before joining the Rite, to GM trips and forming Endr-Lifga Hearth, but almost more so having my dream of moving to Scotland constantly denied and my ill-fated career choices. Wyrd and the Norns put walls and doors where I needed them. I needed to be by THAT fire on THAT night with THOSE people.
I had gotten through the “course” with relative ease, but before I could fully take the title of Gothi, I had to understand something. I had to have my life in the right place to have my Ragnarok. My old ways had to be burst, broken and burnt away so that the newer and purer ones can grow in the rising sun.
So on that night, when Heimgest asked me “What has led you to this decision [becoming a Gothi]?” All I could say was, “My whole life… From the moment of my birth, and before, to today.”
That is the truth.
So I am honored to address you, the Nation of Odin, The Odinic Rite, the Vanguard of the New Awakening, as Gothi- ever evolving and growing.
I swear upon the blood in my veins, the name of my ancestors, and the honor of my life that I will serve you and the Rite to the best of my abilities, with all my strengths and my faults, my knowledge and wisdom, my heart and my spirit till the end of our days!
Thank you, brothers and sisters. May we all grow strong in the shinning sun of the coming spring!
Hail the High Gods!
Hail the Rite!
Hail the People of the Rite!