By William “Hrutr” Barron AORFirst published in ORB 200, Spring 2006
Often in our lives, we pass what we call “milestones”; pivotal moments we mark as special for one reason or another. This past month, Snowmoon 2256re, marked the passing of no less than four milestones in my present life, and if you will indulge me, I would like to celebrate them with you.
30 Snowmoon marked my 20th anniversary behind bars. Of course I don’t celebrate being incarcerated, but I do thank the Gods I’ve not only survived this long, but that I’ve grown stronger in many ways-far too many to list in this short article. Suffice it to say, returning to the faith of our ancestors is chief among them, and this commutation has been the catalyst for many of the other changes that have occurred within me.
Snowmoon 2256 marks the ten year anniversary of my full conversion to heathenism, and the fifth year I have been an apprentice member of the Odinic Rite. It sometimes bothers me when I think about the person who introduced me to the Rite. He turned out to be a coward and, more importantly, an oath breaker. He’s no longer with us, as his wyrd inevitably caught up to him. Again, too much information to put into this writing, but the good thing to come of this is that his character serves as the antithesis to what a true Odinist should strive to be. When confronted with an important issue, I have only to ask W.W.J.D.? (Sound familiar?) In this case, what would John do? Whatever the answer, I simply do the opposite.
This same month and year marks two more special occasions for me. I have decided to create my own Hama and take on a heathen name. I’m not one to simply jump on a bandwagon because everyone else is. In the past, I’ve made many decisions in the spur of the moment only to regret them later. And I, being hard-headed, as many of us can be at times, would rather live with my mistake and refuse to correct it so as to give the appearance of being right in my first choice, wasting valuable time in the process. I’m 41 now and tend to be more thoughtful in my decisions, and I do not regret what appear to be five year leaps in my progress through Wyrd’s Web. I was Christian identity for nearly five years-studying aspects of heathen beliefs on the side-before turning to a heathen way of life in 2246. It was around five years later, Snowmoon 2251re, that I joined the Rite; and now, five years hence, I’ve decided to take on my heathen name and begin a Hama.
I’ve struggled with the name issue for many years. I’ve known guys who have taken on their heathen names seemingly days after learning about Odinism. I take nothing from the brothers and sisters who take on their new names soon after conversion. Only they can know their reasons and their dedications to the Faith. I, however, wanted to know, why? What does it mean to me? Can I live up to it? And just as important as any other question, what should I call myself? My first name is from the German language, and I wondered if there was a need to adopt another name. I came to the conclusion that the answer to this question is yes. This will be my outward sign of my inner strengthening and re-dedication to myself and to the Faith.
I’ve decided on the name Hrutr. It means “Ram,” and the reason I chose it was because my last name, Barron, in the original Russian means “Ram.” It’s believed that someone in my lineage probably raised rams. Hrutr is also an alternate name for Heimdall, defender of the Bifrost Bridge. He is a guardian, and my first name (William) means determined guardian. The name, Hrutr, leapt off the page when I saw it, and it seems appropriate.
Which leads me to my last major milestone for Snowmoon 2256re: Varinn Hama. By way of a separate letter to the Court of Gothar, I am asking the Rite to recognize the Varinn Hama AOR. I haven’t struggled as long with this issue as with the name, because Hamas are new to the Rite. And the decision to start Varinn Hama was not a difficult one. Connected with my new name, the Hama will be a constant reminder of my need to be more active in the New Awakening.
Varinn, as with Heimdall and William, means “defender.” If accepted, Varinn Hama will continue and strengthen my efforts to defend our Holy Faith, Folk, and Family. I’m a certified paralegal and have been working to get Odinism accepted in the New Jersey, Vinland penal system. I’ve been offered some concessions by the State’s Attorney General’s Office due to a law suit I have in the Federal Courts, but they want me to compromise on one side to get relief on the other. The lawsuit is not directly related to Odinism, but it is about religious rights in general. I may have to file another suit, hopefully a class action (several people suing under the same action) as this would make the Court’s decision state-wide instead of relating to just this one prison.
I’m also a qualified boxing instructor. It’s hard to train someone in a maximum security prison due to the many eyes on you, but I will do what I can, when I can to teach fellow kinsman to be mental as well as physical defenders of our Holy Nation.
My further responsibility in the Hama is to rededicate myself to my physical well being. A combination of time (the passage of some 41 years) and food (the enjoyment thereof) has at times taken a toll on my health. I’ve had asthma for many years but have kept it in check and not had to take medication due to my staying active in sports. But I can feel it when I get lazy for more than a few weeks at a time. And excess weight can be a problem. Vinland has become a nation of obesity, and I need to do more to prevent my being part of that statistic. I don’t do drugs, but food can be just as much of a vice. With my aerobic activities, I don’t put on much weight, but I need to do more to shed the extra pounds I do have. Regarding this, I will strive to be more vigilant in the future, Gods willing.
In closing, I would like to challenge each of you to mark your milestones with a rededication to our Faith. Sometimes those milestones will signal a change in our lives; for good or bad. Grow and adapt to your surroundings, and don’t become stagnant. Odinism is an organic, acclimatizing religion. To acclimate means to make resistant to hardship, especially through continued exposure. The more we expose our faith to others, the more we make it resistant to the many roadblocks people throw in our way. Our milestones down this road and through the roadblocks will become the markers for those to follow.
For Faith, Folk & Family
Hael the Gods & Goddesses, Hael the Rite Hael the New Awakening