by Jennifer Hooper AOR
Some of you may have seen the Dreamworks new animation film “How To Train Your Dragon” . In this film Vikings fought against dragons who jeopardized their livelihood but eventually through knowledge and patience befriended them and worked with them making their lives better. This is actually a great analogy for something that is very important to every individual that walks our Faith.
Dragons are found throughout our mythology and our Folk history. You can find dragons in stories or see them in artwork and crafts from different periods of our Folk. Dragons are never relegated to one period in time and left there. They continually pop up even today. Dragons have been symbolic of many different things. Wisdom, treasure, protection and raw power among others. But the symbolic meaning I would like to speak with you about today is: the dragon as ego.
First let’s talk about what ego is. Ego has three definitions: 1. the self, as thinking, feeling and distinguishing itself from others. 2. the part of ourselves that experiences and reacts to the outside world and works towards our drives, demands and place in it. 3. self esteem; self image.
As you can see ego is something we all have. As a matter of fact it is something we all need to live our lives and can never be done away with. Nor should it be! It is good to be an individual and seek to improve ourselves and look out for ourselves. But like many other things in life it can be misused and hold us back or even lead to our downfall.
When it comes to our ego we must strive for balance. We do not want to hate the “self” as some other religions promote, but we also do not want to let our self interests reign supreme in all areas of our life either. When this happens we become in simple terms: very selfish! We begin to only care about what we want, what will make us happy or make us look good with little care for others or the long term consequences. This is very much opposite to the Odinist way. As Odinists we strive for self discipline, we seek the greater good for our Folk, our Faith and our Family. We seek higher evolution which is impeded by an over inflated ego.
So how do we make sure that our ego is balanced and healthy and does not become inflated. How do we train it or if necessary tame it? By following the examples of our Gods and following the codes of our Faith! Living the Nine Noble Virtues, heeding the words of wisdom found in our lore, meditating and performing blots. By asking if our actions benefit us and our Family, Folk and Faith. All of these things help us to keep a proper prospective of ourselves and our place within the grand scheme of things.
When we tame our dragons growth and good things will surely follow.