By Arinbjorn OR
I hope that this last year has passed with ease and brought about at least some sense of evolution and growth. And here is to a New Year filled with more of it!
It is a fact in this world that each year, each day, each hour brings struggle and challenge, whether the ‘enemy’ that we struggle against is without or within. Those who meet the struggles with joy are looked at as heroes and honored by friends and family and perhaps even the greater world as well. May we all show such strength in the face of adversity!
For most though, the struggle can overwhelm, it can wear us down and fray the edges of our sanity. Often the struggle scrapes at us little by little, hardly noticeable, until worn so thin our levies break and the waters flood our once safe haven. It can become a fight just to get up in morning, let alone do anything productive.
But it is at these times that we must look deep within ourselves- through ourselves- into the space where the Gods live and breath, where the myths we tell play out within the macro- and microcosm by the second and stretch out to eons. It is from this place that the Collective Unconscious reaches out to us, where the Folk Soul speaks with long forgotten languages that still ring true in our ears. This is where the third eye, the eye of the Litr, can glimpse the patterns of Life and Death, Day and Night, Summer and Winter.
Have you ever wondered why we celebrate- and I do mean celebrate- the Death of Balder at his highest point at Midsummer, or celebrate his birth and the darkest time of the year? Why the hottest days of Summer come after the “death” of the Solar God, and the harshest days of winter after his “birth”?
It is because, as Odinists, we recognize that life and death are related- Life IS Death and Death IS Life!
This polarity permeates everything.
Within the struggles of everyday life, great and small, lies the secret to transcending them. In every victory lies the threat of failure. In the seemingly still there is incredible movement (from ‘still’ waters teaming with life to the very atomic structure of the multi-verse), and from the most active there can be little evidence of movement.
We must remember that in the darkest nights of our lives there is a glimmer of light. We reflect this in our Yule fires- without and within- or even the blinking lights of modern ‘Christmas’. This light is dim for a reason- it is not there to illuminate the dark, to drive away the shadows, but to guide us through the darkness while allowing us to revel in its beauty and learn what it can teach us.
It is the North Star and we are simple voyagers on a dark sea.
So in this time of darkness- both in terms of physical darkness and spiritual darkness- perhaps separated from loved ones and comrades, surrounded by the cold materialistic miasma of the modern world- remember that there is still light if you can find it. There is hope- and if there is no hope, there is the hope of hope.
Behold! The Sun is Reborn!
Strive to understand and learn from these dark winter days, reflect on Hagalaz, Nauthiz, Isa and Jera. And when the light returns, the Sun rises and casts it golden light on all of your horizons, bask in its warmth and brightness- but always remember that the dark is there in your shadow, ready to stretch out again when its time comes.
Light and Dark are the two halves of the soul, both have their place as do Day and Night.
Waes thu Hael!
Be thou Whole!
So stoke your Yule Fires high, brothers and sisters, and see that you give thanks to the Dark.
Hail the High Gods!
Hail the Rite!
Hail the Keepers of the Flame!